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Stargate: Continuum (DVD Review)

27 Jul, 2008 By: John Latchem

Stargate: Continuum

Street 7/29/2008
$26.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray
Not rated.
Stars Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, Claudia Black, Beau Bridges, Cliff Simon, Richard Dean Anderson, Don S. Davis, William Devane.

SG-1 is back with a classic time travel adventure that recalls some of the best “what if” moments of the TV show.

Coming off The Ark of Truth, the first DVD follow-up to “Stargate SG-1,” Continuum is a little looser and less constrained by the dictates of finishing up a serialized storyline, and as a result is a more satisfying experience. The first movie paid the bills, and now it’s time for a spending spree.

The action kicks off with a ceremony to extract the Goa’uld symbiote from the villainous Ba’al. When members of SG-1 start disappearing out of thin air, the remaining team members rush back to the stargate and return to Earth, only to find history has changed and the stargate program never existed. Now living in a foreign world, SG-1 must figure out how to restore the timeline for the better.

The details of the setup will hold more significance with longtime viewers, but the movie eases newbies into the plot as well. The alternate history angle makes the story especially accessible to those unfamiliar with the mythology.

There’s still plenty for the fans to love here, including a number of fun cameos. Especially poignant is one last appearance of Gen. Hammond as played by Don S. Davis, who died not long before the movie premiered.

The story is told with a grand scope that would have been unavailable to the TV production, especially scenes involving military hardware, such as a nuclear submarine that bursts through arctic ice. The movie’s conclusion includes a moment that, had it played in theaters, would have the intended audience cheering.

The DVD and Blu-ray release includes some good behind-the-scenes footage, especially from the arctic, and a nice commentary from executive producer/writer Brad Wright and director Martin Wood. For science nerds, the home video includes a brief featurette in which a physicist discusses theories about time travel.

The storyline of Continuum isn’t groundbreaking within the realm of science-fiction. “Star Trek” did this kind of thing on a regular basis, and the end result is very reminiscent of the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” episode “The Wish.” Even “Stargate” has covered some of this territory before, in episodes such as “Moebius” and “The Road Not Taken.”

Fans familiar with the show will have fun with the similarities, as if there’s a handbook for dealing with alternate timelines by now. Step 1, find the second Stargate at Atlantis. Step 2, find a ZPM. Step 3, convince Teal’c (Christopher Judge) to change sides. It’s like a tall soda on a hot day: a familiar taste, but still refreshing.

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