Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods
First, I should point out that I’m watching the Children of the Gods Final Edit, the remastered, re-dubbed, de-nudified version of the pilot episode of Stargate SG-1. This version was reedited and cleaned up by the show’s creators, so they consider it the now definitive version. After wrapping up the Final Edit, I popped in the first disc of SG-1 Season One, and briefly glanced over a few scenes in comparison between the original and the Final Edit, and you can definitely tell they cleaned up the picture significantly, tightened the dialogue, dropped the whole stupid “my reproductive organs are on the inside” bit between Carter and O’Neill, and made Teal’c actually sound like Teal’c (Christopher Judge redubbed all his lines). (And another bit that they removed was the setup for the next episode in the series, a brief scene at the very end. Good teaser for a brand new series on Showtime, but not necessary for a standalone DVD movie.)
A note on the nudity in Stargate SG-1’s first episode: For starters, it’s only nudity in the sense that a person is nude; the scene is clearly depicting rape and forceful invasion in a science fiction context. If rape causes you to stumble, you got bigger problems than just seeing a pair of tits. Second, Showtime made the show’s creators add it; no other episode has nudity in it. Third, it’s now gone from the Final Edit, so if you wish to be pure while still an utter sinner damned for hell apart from Christ, then pick up the Final Edit along with the first season of Stargate SG-1. Fourth, I’m extremely proud of one of my more legalistic brothers in Christ whom I love, who I warned about this scene, and yet still agreed to watch the episode and leave the room during the rape scene, and as a result of actually just taking a chance and walking in faith, became a big fan of the Stargate franchise in general.
Ok, on to the episode.
RecapThe basic setup is that it’s been some time, at least a year, since the Stargate movie events. Jack O’Neill is back to retirement, Daniel Jackson is living with his hot wife on the planet (now called Abydos), and the Stargate is basically in mothballs but “closely guarded”. Suddenly, the Stargate switches on, and a group of men in giant silver snake head outfits come through, kill a few of the Air Force guards in the room, and grab the female officer in the room. A man in a giant gold snake head outfit comes out, removes his snake head, and his eyes glow like the alien from the Stargate movie. The intruders then leave through the Stargate, taking the woman with them. Believing that the Stargate only links up to one other Stargate, General Hammond (RIP Don S. Davis…) brings Jack O’Neill out of retirement, and after threatening to send a nuclear device through the Stargate in response to the attack, gets Jack to admit he didn’t blow the planet up and Daniel Jackson is still alive and living on Abydos.
Jack O’Neill is then pulled out of retirement, and along with new team member Captain Sam “Samantha” Carter, a spunky tall leggly blonde scientist warrior, they go through the Stargate to meet up with Daniel Jackson. While on Abydos, the aliens come through the Stargate, kill a few humans, and steal Daniel Jackson’s wife before leaving again. It is around this time we learn that the Stargate actually connects to thousands of different worlds, and one of the shot soldiers from Earth saw the gate destination on the dialing device before the aliens and Apophis (revealed by Daniel Jackson to be another alien from the same race as the alien Ra in the movie) left. The team heads back to Earth, officially assembles teams “SG-1” and “SG-2” (SG-2 made up of two of the same characters from the original movie), and goes through the Stargate to the new alien world.
There, they discover more humans who worship Apophis and Gate travelers as gods, but are captured and imprisoned by Apophis. While on the planet, the infamous rape scene occurs, when Daniel Jackson’s wife is taken over by the symbiote that lives inside Apophis’ race, making Daniel Jackson’s wife now a different person, Apophis’ wife. It’s revealed that the “gods” are actually parasitic symbiotes living inside a host body, and their race is called the Goa’uld. The Goa’uld have also bred a race similar to humans who are called the Jaffa, who, besides serving as body guards and slave labor, also are are incubator and carrier hosts for Goa’ulds, giving them a protective place to live in exchange for enhanced strength, a super healing factor, long life, and retaining their own will and emotions. One of these Jaffa, Teal’c, is Apophis’ right hand man, but is slowly becoming disenchanted with these “gods” of his.
Also during imprisonment, one of the children from the original movie, Skaara, who shares a close bond with Jack O’Neill, is captured and made the “Child of the Gods”, by being forcibly taken over by Apophis’ and Amonet’s (host body, Daniel Jackson’s wife) offspring. After receiving orders to kill all the remaining humans, Teal’c makes plans to do so, until Jack O’Neill yells at him that he can save these people. After a moment’s hesitation, Teal’c turns on his fellow Jaffa and opens fire, before tossing a weapon at Jack and shouting “Many have said that, but you are the first I believe who could do it!”. Together, SG-1 and Teal’c escape from the prison, and attempt to confront Apophis, but Apophis escapes. After taking fire and being surrounded at the Stargate, SG-1 escapes from the planet through the Stargate and back to Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, where Stargate Command is based. Swearing to rescue Daniel Jackson’s wife and Skaara, Jack O’Neill invites Teal’c to join his team, and the movie/episode ends.Thoughts
At the length of two regular episodes, this is a long movie for Stargate SG-1. And yet I think the time is necessary. Bringing back as many characters and event actors (Skaara played by Alexis Cruz in both film and TV show) was necessary to establish this as being in the same universe. It was nice to see Don S. Davis again, whom the Final Edit is dedicated to, as he died shortly after leaving the show around Season Seven; he may be a gruff no-nonsense general, but you could see he had a heart of gold. The character of Jack O’Neill as played by Richard Dean Anderson was already beginning to have a sense of humor, as there are several great jokes made in the show.
I appreciate the inner continuity the show had. Carter was explaining that they had made thousands of attempts to dial the Stargate with different combinations, but all had failed. Their explanation of stellar drift and planet rotations throwing off the alignment made perfect sense. Hence the starmap they discovered containing Gate addresses makes sense and helps give them something to shoot for in the target computer (other planets have Gate dialing devices, but Stargate Command always had to rely on just regular computers to dial the Gate).
Children of the Gods also marks the first appearance of the actor Gary Jones, also known as the Gate Technician. For 10 seasons almost all he did was call out “Chevron X, encoded! Locked!”, was addressed by a number of characters, and yet never had a name until the later seasons. Love him.
Great first episode of a series. I first watched it in 2006, shortly after undergoing some minor surgery which had me immobile for a few days. When MGM announced they were bringing out slimmed down versions of all Stargate shows, I took a chance and picked up the first season for around $25 I believe. And I’ve never regreted it. This show brings so many great and wonderful memories, and helped me make many new friends both in person and online. My life wouldn’t be the same today without Stargate…and I am saddened to see it end with Stargate Universe, the series’ highst creative point so far.