Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods – Final Cut does three things, and it does them all very well. First, it repairs a vital chapter in Stargate history. Elements of continuity and characterization that would be established as the series went on are fixed, and the visual effects are brought into line with later standards. Second, it tells the story better — tighter editing, better pacing, less silly dialogue.
Finally, with the audio commentary the release offers new insight into the genesis of the franchise — mythology choices that would later be dropped or expanded, and the politics that were involved between two strong-willed creators and the studio that arbitrated their creative differences.
There was always a significant tonal difference between “Stargate” the movie and SG-1 the series. “Children of the Gods” bridged this gap, but felt more like the original film than what the series would grow into after a few years (or even a few episodes). Final Cut redresses that imbalance. Now the premiere feels more like the 10 years of television that follows, thanks to the music, the visual effects, the replaced dialogue, and certainly the editing choices.
Because it is such an important chapter in the show’s history, this one is worth revisiting with a “special edition” remake. That’s not something that can be said of every episode (don’t expect to see Emancipation – Final Cut next year). Technological advancements allow for better visuals; continuity errors can be addressed; and the fights that Wright lost the first time around (the score, the nudity, and others) are now ancient history. The audio is now 5.1 surround instead of stereo, and the picture is framed for 16×9 widescreen instead of 4×3. The result is most definitely a better product.
We heartily recommend the film as a significant improvement on the original. The new material and tighter editing make it a joy to watch all over again. With a single, 7-minute featurette and one (very good) audio commentary, though, it may not be worth the $20 to $25 asking price for the more casual viewer. It is the same story — just more mature, and better told. But for hardcore fans, completists, and anyone who has a special place in their heart for SG-1’s very first adventure, this recut is a win.