I’ve seen a pre-release copy of the upcoming Stargate SG-1 – Children Of The Gods (released July 21st), which is a re-release of the original Stargate SG-1 pilot, re-edited to fix some nagging issues and make for a tighter story. Read More to find out more about it.
Why would you re-release a pilot episode, when the whole 10 seasons is already out on DVD? Well, if you’re Brad Wright, the co-executive producer and co-writer, its because you think you could do a better job that you originally did. The original had some nagging issues and inconsistencies – problems with the film, the two-way Stargate, the poor visual effects. So given the opportunity to to fix it, he did.
Various scenes are cut a little differently, with some dialog cut, or just a fraction of a second here and there. Some shots were re-ordered. Some scenes used alternate takes or angles, the film has cleaned up digitally and some digital effects have been improved.
Some examples are the “event horizon” (or pool effect) of the stargates, redone to look better and be more consistent with the rest of the series (the effect was improved when the series went into full production), and the external shot of the pyramid entrance, similar to the one in the original Stargate movie but for some reason looked far more like a tabletop model in the pilot, was completely redone.
Another nagging issue for nitpickers was the two-way stargate at the very beginning. When Apophis comes through the stargate with the jaffa, the stargate never closes before they go back through it – which according to later established canon was not possible. So now, the gate is seen to close, and added footage of Apophis giving a command to re-open it is seen.
Some other things have been removed, which can be good or bad, depending on your point of view. One, the “MacGyver” line said by Carter on seeing the DHD for the first time, was changed to be “jerry-rig” (Brad Wright says it is because Richard Dean Anderson is no longer MacGyver, but Colonel Jack O’Neill.) The other, the infamous “frontal nudity” scene, was edited to not have any nudity (it is now considered a family show, and not some random late night Showtime series).
In other cases, scenes were moved around to make more sense. For example, the scene with the kidnapped SGC soldier and Apophis, which originally appears just before the similar scene with Sha’re, now appears much earlier, not long after the kidnapping, where it makes more sense (why take Sha’re as well, unless the soldier had already been rejected?).
Other changes were simply to tighten up the dialog and make it flow better.
Included on the DVD are a commentary track with Brad Wright and Richard Dean Anderson, which is both fun and informative to listen to, as well as a short featurette called “Back To The Beginning” about going back and changing the pilot.
I don’t know if this is definitely a “must have” DVD, especially if you’ve already got the first season DVDs, but I think the commentary itself is quite good and I think this is worth it for the nitpicky SG-1 fan. I would have liked to see a Blu-ray release though – but that would probably have made it stand alone since none of the other releases have been made on Blu-ray yet.