Richard Dean Anderson as Jack O'Neill
Michael Shanks as Daniel Jackson
Amanda Tapping as Samantha Carter
Christopher Judge as Teal'c
Don S. Davis as George Hammond
Teryl Rothery as Janet Fraiser
Corin Nemec as Jonas Quinn (season 6)
Beau Bridges as Hank Landry (season 9-10)
Ben Browder as Cameron Mitchell (season 9-10)
Claudia Black as Vala Mal Doran (season 9-10)
Created by: Jonathan Glassner and Brad Wright
Executive Producers: Jonathan Glassner, Brad Wright
Executive Producers: Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Music by: David Arnold, Joel Goldsmith
A production of Double Secret Productions, a Glassner/Wright Company, and
Gekko Film Corp, an Anderson/Greenburg Company, in association with
Broadcast on the Showtime Network (season 1-5) and the SciFi Channel (season 6-10)
First telecast: July 27, 1997
Last telecast: June 22, 2007
Based on the 1994 MGM movie "StarGate," this science fiction adventure series starred Richard Dean Anderson as Colonel Jack O'Neill, a soldier who must lead a team of highly trained experts on a classified mission through an infinite corridor that slices across the universe. Produced in Vancouver, BC, the series debuted on the Showtime network and moved to the SciFi Channel for its sixth season, with syndication worldwide. Richard appeared as the lead for the first 8 seasons (1997-2005) and returned for guest appearances in seasons 9 and 10 for the episodes "Avalon," "Origin," "200," and "The Shroud."
Review by Jeff Jarvis
August 30, 1997
More is better. The more networks there are, the more shows they make; the longer they make them, the better they get at it; and the more they compete, the better the odds there is something to watch on TV. Look how far we've come on pay cable alone: HBO - born of endless movie-reruns' flashes of breast - now dominates Emmy nominations with its original programming. Showtime is also getting aggressive about making series - and is smart enough to give us a bunch in the dog days of summer. Don't you just love American excess?
Showtime's biggest new series is Stargate SG-1, a sequel to the movie, with its own big-name TV star, Richard Dean Anderson, as the leader of a team of low-altitude astronauts who travel to other planets through a stargate - a gigantic portal into space. Walk through this cosmic donut and it dumps you into a faraway galaxy in an instant. So think of Stargate as a would-be Star Trek without the bother, expense, and "rocket lag" of conventional space travel.
In the premiere, Anderson is brought back from retirement to return to the nasty desert planet of the movie, where he reunites with a maverick scientist (Michael Shanks) who'd secretly stayed behind on the last mission. In their first TV adventure, they watch a woman's naked (it is cable) body being taken over by your basic evil alien slug; later they recruit an alien deserter (Christopher Judge) who's carrying his own space slug. In future shows, they zap to other planets, where their primary mission seems to be to stop more nasty breeds of extra-terrestrials from crossing the border to Earth.
Stargate may not be profound TV. And it is rife with sci-fi clichés and klunkers: The aliens, so far, are mostly out of Venusian Central Casting (hasn't that worm-emerging-from-the-belly thing been done to death?). The earthly cast must tolerate a stock heel-dragging general (Don S. Davis) who always wants to ruin the fun by following the rules. Amanda Tapping as the all-too-token female on the team, has been handed lines that make her sound as if her tongue has been taken over by a really scary space monster or an equally scary Hollywood writer: "Just because my reproductive organs are on the inside instead of the outside doesn't mean I can't handle whatever you can." And Anderson gets speeches that would be too specious even for Capt. James T. Kirk: "We tend to be afraid of the things we don't know."
Still, Stargate is made with big bucks (you think creating whole new planets is cheap?) and big-enough stars and plenty of action and imagination to make it a decent choice for viewing on a Friday night. OK, so it's not great TV. But it's more TV - and that makes for better TV.