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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.1 Missions 1.01

It's one year after the events of the original motion picture. We find that Colonel O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson replacing Kurt Russell) has retired from the military, thinking he can forget about the Stargate and those who were left behind. Events conspire to re-commission him alongside old faces and new when it's discovered there's more than one Gate in the galaxy. A lot more! Although it assumes familiarity with the preceding movie, "Children of the Gods" is still an excellent pilot show. Characters are introduced sensibly, the expanded premise is engaging, and there's clearly a healthy sense of never taking itself too seriously.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.2 - Missions 1.02 & 1.03

Inexplicably, these two episodes are the eighth and twelfth from the show's chronology. "The Nox" guest stars Deep Space Nine's Armin Shimmerman (Quark) as a pacifist alien experiencing a bad hair day. His race metes out sound wisdom to the team when Apophis again crosses their path. "Bloodlines" then delves into Teal'c's past and sets up a story thread from planet Chulak that will be important later in the series.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.3 - Missions 1.04 & 1.05

These episodes, which are actually the fifth and sixth from the series, look at the touchy subjects of disease and ego respectively. In "The Broca Divide" a planet is split in two by those Touched and Untouched. The team could just leave them to deal with their racial divide, but then they go and catch the disease that separates the people. A cure turns out to be right under everyone's noses. Then it's a case of abusing one's power in "The First Commandment" when Captain Hanson (guest star William Russ) from SG-9 sets himself up as local deity on a primitive planet. A situation made more complicated by an earlier relationship he had with Captain Carter.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.4 - Missions 1.06 & 1.07

"The Enemy Within" illustrates the problem of releasing these episodes out of sequence, since it continues the thread left dangling from Volume 1. Here you're introduced to Teal'c having seen him in four episodes already. Things are less confusing in the rather direct look at sexism presented in "Emancipation", when the Shavadai race are put to the test by Captain Carter's beliefs. And vice versa.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.5 - Missions 1.08 And 1.09

An intriguing premise is explored in "Brief Candle" after the discovery of a race whose average lifespan is 100 days. Even though a technical resolution is reached, it's to the show's credit that such a denouement is treated with intelligence and not technobabble. "Thor's Hammer" is an extremely important tale in the series' overall plot development. Breaching a Goa'uld forbidden zone on planet Cimmeria the team start to learn about the Asgards--original Gate builders. A guest voiceover from James Earl Jones makes the Norse- Egyptian mythology crossover even more fun.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.6 - Missions 1.10 & 1.11

This is possibly one of the best pairings of episodes, despite being the eleventh and seventh chronologically speaking. A fantastic link back to the original film leads the team to Professor Ernest Littlefield who has been trapped on a planet for 40 years unable to get the Gate working at his end. "The Torment of Tantalus" is a real showcase for Michael Shanks as Dr Jackson who is enthralled by the knowledge Littlefield has become privy to. The spotlight then shifts to O'Neill who has never come to terms with the death of his son. "Cold Lazarus" is another terrific piece of science fiction, as the team riddles the mystery of the planet of blue crystals.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.7 - Missions 1.12 & 1.13

"Fire and Water" takes Daniel Jackson on a journey into Earth's fabled past. On planet Oannes it's thought he's been burned alive, but in fact the amphibious Nem kidnapped him to find out what happened to his wife 4000 years ago in Babylon! Mythology is explored in a very different way by "Hathor"--the Egyptian Goddess no man can resist. A lot of the fun is watching the girls (including Dr. Frasier doing more than just find a vaccine for once) despair at the guys' schoolboyish behaviour.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.8 - Missions 1.14 & 1.15

One of the most affecting stand-alone episodes, "Singularity" presents a little girl--Cassandra--as a cruelly devised Trojan Horse. The Goa'uld have made her a walking time bomb, and the team's heartstrings are pulled unbearably. Amanda Tapping gives a remarkable performance as her motherly instincts take over. The emotions of "Cor-Ai" are a little less full of impact however, when Teal'c is put on trial for crimes of the past. Every TV show seems to go through this story line with one of its characters. The resolution is just as predictable.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.9 - Missions 1.16 & 1.17

We get an early sign that the higher echelons of the military are not so pure of thought as the SGC in "Enigma". Survivors of a volcanic eruption on planet Tollan could offer massive technological advances, but Earth's top brass only seem interested in weaponry. Then "Solitudes" ranks as amongst the very best of the series, exploring further the notion of the Gates operating like a telephone exchange. O'Neill and Carter effectively encounter an engaged signal and are deposited seemingly at random in an icy cave. The plot, Wizard of Oz banter and performances are simply outstanding.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.10 - Missions 1.18 & 1.19

This volume presents another fantastic coupling of episodes. "Tin Man" sustains the most unnerving of mysteries through to the very end. The team awakes after being zapped unconscious and is reassured by crackpot scientist Harlan that they've been "improved". Exactly what he means, and why they can never go back makes this a truly thought-provoking segment. The same can be said for the alternate universe presented in "There but for the Grace of God", when Daniel's curiosity over an alien artefact presents him with a view of the explosive way things may go with the Goa'uld. This is the start of a trilogy building toward the season climax.

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Stargate SG-1 Vol. 1.11 - Missions 1.20 & 1.21

Following straight on from Vol. 10, "Politics" sees Jackson banging his head against a brick wall when Senator Kinsey (a powerful cameo from Ronnie Cox) threatens to exercise his hold over the Stargate programme. This is what's known in TV as a "clips episode", but the flashbacks are cleverly incorporated to continue building suspense toward the finale. And "Within the Serpent's Grasp" is the pay-off. The SG-1 team ignore orders and follow Jackson's warning about an attack. It's a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire however; when their disobedience leads them to the one place they really shouldn't be--aboard the lead attack ship headed to destroy Earth!

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