What About the Visual Effects?
The effects shots are the most obvious because, not only was the show not yet mature in its visuals in the first episode, but the technology in 1997 wasn’t there to do many of these things on a TV budget. Now (mostly) updated to 2009 standards, the computer-generated visuals help Children of the Gods – Final Cut feel like the rest of the series and give viewers a fresh and interesting take on the story.
Most of the Stargate puddles in the show have been replaced, though strangely it is a few close-ups — where Jaffa are walking through the gate in the opening — that were not replaced, and now appear antiquated. In 1997 the show was using three different effects houses to get the work done, resulting in three subtly different looks to the Stargate’s event horizon. It took years to reach the crisp, rippling blue that fans are used to now.
Here’s a comparison of the original “Children of the Gods” and the new Final Cut:
Several establishing shots are brand new, either visual effects or matte paintings. The sunrise over Chulak is gorgeous, and the new Abydonian pyramid is also cool — if perhaps a bit overstated. But the coolest of all is a completely new visual of Apophis’s palace, complete with ships flying overhead (above)!
As you might expect, the climactic battle sequence has also been visually enhanced. In the original, SG-1 and SG-2 engaged a Death Glider as a group of refugees fled to the Stargate. This one attack ship has been replaced by twin computer-generated Gliders, allowing for a more dynamic and visually impressive battle sequence. This is the film’s climax, and it’s a sequence you just have to see to appreciate.
But there is also a third ship here: to better conform with the later show, the giant, glider-like ship that transports Apophis and his queen down to the Stargate has been replaced with a bona fide Tel’tak cargo ship. For geeks like us, this is one of the Final Cut‘s coolest moments — and unlike that oversized glider that would never again appear in the series, it makes sense.
NEXT: DVD Menus and Bonus Features