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.
Meh, seems like it’s worth a rent, shame they cut the cliff hanger ending, that will muck up continuity.
I probably will get it… but i will have to convenience myself a little to do it.
Tho i would like to see Heroes pt1&2 together… That is an awesome and one of my favorite episode(s)
The only other and I mean ONLY other episodes I would like to see a ‘final cut’ of is Lost City, just so they can add in all the shots o Mitchel and maybe shot some more. Apart from that I don’t think they should do any more re-cutting of episodes also am I the only one who prefers the silver gate puddle from the earlier seasons??? The newer SciFi seasons are good but nowhere near as good as 1, 2 and 3 in my opinion. But the I will defiantly rent the DVD and probably buy it when the… Read more »
Its only $18 at my local Target. Cheapest place I could find.
The effects look like a massive improvement and I’m glad they decided to tackle some of those nasty canon-violating errors and just plain oddities in the episode.
Yeah, I wish they’d left the final Kawalsky scenes in, but I understand why they’ve removed them so I won’t be worrying too much about that.
Will definitely be buying this when it comes out in the UK.
I liked SG-1 a LOT more back when it was less silly and cliche. So while some changes seem worthy, I’m a bit turned off by the mentioning of Brad having a final victory over the fights from 12 years ago.
Great review! Interesting to hear about some of the changes that have been made, and I’m looking forward to watching the DVD.
But I’m surprised that you didn’t mention the improved picture quality with one word. At least I assume it looks much better than it used to – based on the new screenshots and Brad’s previous comments.
Earlier DVD releases of COTG (and the early seasons) suffered from heavy grain, so better picture quality is probably the number one thing I’m looking forward to with the recut version (along with RDA’s commentary).
By cutting the “sexual organs” line, they’ve lost the setup for the joke in “Birthright”, where O’Neill reverses the line’s genders.
I guess they have to do a final cut version of “Birthight” now
im definitely getting this! i dont care how much it costs!
Amazon has been dropping the price over the last few weeks. As of right now, it’s $16.99 (down from $19.99 a week or two ago).
This sounds great. I heard some bad reviews but I dont see any changes mentioned that I have a problem with, and I actually like them all. And I dont think this is meant to replace the original pilot. Its more like a companion for the fans. There is no need to worry about missed references.
Your review is excellent; and while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the version of Children of the Gods that has aired until now, you’ve made me want to see the re-cut version. I think the changes (deletions, modifications and additions) you discussed all seem really appropriate and – rarely am I EVER this enthusiastic about a review – but now I’m really anxious to get this new working of that episode. Thanks! :)
Nice review Darren. Thanks for taking the time to write this. Having said that, I think I will be skipping this until it is down to bargain bin pricing. I don’t think I can stomach a Brad Wright vanity project. I appreciate all of his efforts over the years, but it seems like Brad has once again ignored the fans, and has just done what he wants. SG-1: COTG has done just fine over the years in its original format and has become a part of established lore. It might seem nice to Brad to excise the “reproductive organ” line,… Read more »
Sound like just one ego, money making venture to me, and thus I will not be providing them with my money. I actually prefer the previous version of the implantation of the sybiot. Also the fight sequence at end was actually better in the original, I prefer the old one of the kind ship that Apophis use. And it certainly did not need changing. The organ joke I actual thought it was funny and earned her respect in the room. The only thing which could compel me to spend money on this would of been a massive special features lists,… Read more »
Thanks for the comments, everyone. A few people have commented on the continuity issue — the fact that the “reproductive organs” line is referenced (made fun of) a number of times in the series, and Kawalsky’s Goa’ulding playing out in the next episode. First, if you watch “The Enemy Within” it clearly holds up as a story. We don’t need the reveal at the end of “COTG” to understand and enjoy the story. One might even argue that the mystery is better if it’s not telegraphed ahead of time. As for the other: I don’t think Brad or anyone else… Read more »
That’s a fair point about Enemy Within Darren, but it is still a scene that seems silly to take out. It just added to the portent of what was to come. As far as Carter’s line, it has become famous in its own right, and has been referenced many times. Off hand I can recall after effects in 200, Morbius, and Birthright. Removing this will then impact all of those episodes and leave new fans in the dark when they watch those shows. I beg to differ regarding Brad. Wasn’t it him who said, in an interview on Gateworld, that… Read more »
Brad did mention that an impetus was the need to go back to the original 35mm footage anyway in order to create a Blu-ray version (which we still don’t know is going to be released). Here’s the exchange from the 2008 interview: GW: Does the old “Children of the Gods” maybe go away? Will there be a TV version you can give to SCI FI to put in the rotation? BW: The old “Children of the Gods” will never go away. I think fans are going to be mad at me for playing with it in the first place. It’s… Read more »
I personally didn’t miss the ‘organs’ line. I did miss the MacGyver line, I thought that was one of the best lines in the episode when I first saw it years ago and I found that it was really startling when it wasn’t there.
Okay. I stand corrected on what he said. Brad Wright was correct about the fact that many fans (including myself) are mad that he has decided to play with it, though. I think it is unnecessary and ultimately a waste of time IMHO. ;)
I’d err on the side of cutting him some slack. He described it as a “pet project,” something that he as an artist wanted to do because some elements of his work has always bothered him. He didn’t do it for fans, didn’t do it to make money — I think he did it for his own creative peace of mind.
People are whining about how removing Sam’s ridiculous ‘reproductive’ line ruins jokes in later episodes. Okay, I’ll concede that. For example, it does ruin the little joke in Moebius that referenced this line. It’s really fortunate then that Moebius was a terrible episode (perhaps the worst of the entire series) that can be completely skipped without throwing off any continuity (thanks to Threads being such a fantastic conclusion.)
Original is best. Too many cut scenes
I was just reading this and I got really bummed out. Why are you going to take one of the best lines in that whole episode out? That was Sam Carter’s biggest line in the whole movie, that line there told everyone watching that Sam Carter is a no BS kind of person, and she wants to be treated like a solider and not a woman who can’t do anything that the men can do. And that is how she was through the whole series she was a no BS kind of solider.
I am heartbroke. I just read that the “MacGyver” line was left out of the new version of “Children of The Gods”. I absolutely love Richard Dean Anderson and I watch anything and everything he is in. I am torn between buying the new movie or not. I replayed that scene just to hear Carter utter those magic words “We had to MacGyver it” and see the look on O’Neill’s face afterwards. Like it was an inside joke. I loved it. I will miss that in the new version. They say there is no improving perfection, and this is a… Read more »
I bought this earlier today, and I have watched it. In it’s entirety, I loved it, but it seemed odd to take out Sams two funniest lines. The extra animation was quite well done, I felt as though it was a new episode. The entire opening sequence was better than I could’ve thought, with the title appearing and then zooming into Cheyenne mountain. Well worth 17 dollars.
Very well worth the 17 bucks. Just the remastering alone made it worth twice its price. I wish they could go back and remaster the first 4 seasons to look this good. It really is startlingly and gives you a whole new appreciation for the series’ crew’s efforts. An absolute treat to see the added scenes and extra pieces put in that really do make this more a film and less a clunky pilot. Best treat of all, listening to RDA and Brad Wright chatter in the commentary. I applaud them both for being big believers in showing versus telling… Read more »
Wow, I must say… I’m surprised to see the outcry against the removal of the reproductive organs line. That was actually the entire reason why I bought the dvd (well, other than the commentary track).
I do miss the MacGyver joke and the Major Matt Mason exchange, though.
“Stargate would quickly establish itself as a family show, and I have to agree with Wright — the nudity just didn’t belong there. Whether or not you think Americans are prudish, that’s the culture of North America, and Stargate fans should be able to watch the first episode with their kids.” I think the nudity belonged there. I think all the SG-1 team should be nude too. It makes sense, they’re saving the world so they shouldn’t have to adhere to society’s delusions and closed-mindedness. Yes, the retarded culture of the US (I live in the US by the way)… Read more »
This is the view you get when you take 21st century Western Europe as the “evolved” “highest new standard of morality”– and assume 99% of the other 7,000+ culture’s standards are all clearly wrong. I’ve traveled all over the world. I’ve been places where little kids (3 and under) are allowed to run around naked. But nowhere I have ever been or studied has allowed public displays of grown women’s vaginas. It seems to be common ethics around the globe that the most private parts (grown women’s genitalia and grown men’s) are supposed to be private. This is not American… Read more »
I knew I should’ve saved some birthday money. :(
I don’t want to make too big a deal of this, because I do not care the nudity is gone. However, the review said that the scene was “gratuitous nudity for a 10 p.m. premium cable show”. Surely they must be kidding? The woman was nude, what is the big deal? This was a SHOWTIME show, not a SCIFI(or SCYFY) show at the time. Many, many of their shows had as much or more nudity at the time. I realize that the show morphed into being a “family friendly”, but my gosh, why the prudish depiction of what was actually… Read more »
@cmuty: You misread the statement: “This was not merely gratuitous nudity for a 10 p.m. premium cable show; it served the story in depicting the Goa’uld’s grotesque violation of the character.”
I see how you might misread it, but take out the word “merely” and the meaning is the same. My point is just the opposite of how you took it. It was not gratuitous, boobies for boobies sake, but meant to serve the story and the graphic-ness of what that scene is about.
I had to view CotG for/with my (then) young son, and what I had to try to explain to him was not the nudity, but the taking over by by the goa’uld. That was the more violent and disturbing act/issue at the time. He commented then about about Share being nude, but he was taught at an early age not to be embarrased about nudity. In fact, the nudity added to the scene, as it WAS a violent act to begin with. As for the Sam parts, I never liked the “reproductive” comments, but it grew on me, and I’ve… Read more »
I bought it, I enjoyed it. HOWEVER… Seems a bit odd to run a “director’s cut” of the pilot ep of a series when one could be focusing on the future rather than the past. I suppose, if this has bothered Brad so much over the years it’s one thing, but to look back on something in embarrassment and say, “I didn’t get to do it my way, so now I’m re-doing it” is a bit weird, no? How many chances do we all get to do something over again? Although I thought some of the changes were excellent, I… Read more »
I thought they butchered it. They replaced scenes with ones that should’ve been left on the cutting room floor, they omitted lines, and left out portions of a plot setup for the next episode.
Visually, it was good. That’s the only positive thing I can say about this.
Glad I didn’t have to waste my money on this.
[…] oude pilot episode is herwerkt met geknipt/extra materiaal en updated sfx. GateWorld REVIEW: Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods – Final Cut __________________ I’m a beautiful and unique […]
[…] the entire feature in order to give it a more theatrical feel. If you are interested you can read a full review here on what has been edited in/out of the 2 part pilot (Does contain some spoilers […]
I actually quite enjoyed this new version. They removed a lot of the dialogue and shots that always seemed cheezy to me (except the Macgiver line. I miss that now). This version is actually felt emotionally at times, particularly when Jackson says goodbye to Abydos. I enjoyed the new score too, but I will say that they didn’t need to remove some of the themes from the Stargate movie that carried into this episode originally.
Oh yah, and I also liked the old event horizon look better, not to mention the wormhole graphics too.
I am so glad this episode was edited. It was the only episode my family never watched again (because of the nudity scene)
I’m sorry I spent the money. Although the story does flow better let us face the fact that this is episode 1 of a series, it is not a stand alone movie. Cutting out the cliff hanger was just stupid. Continuity? The hell with it I guess. Let us not forget that the actual STARGATE movie was the genesis for the series, not the other way around. For this to be a stand alone movie it would have to tell the story from the beginning. Are we just to imagine that the Original Movie did not exist? Then how would… Read more »
I love the new cut of Children of the Gods – it is generally a big improvement on the original. It looks better, sounds better and the story holds together more coherently. The characters are still clearly drawn, and Carter’s introduction doesn’t, IMHO, take anything away, in fact it adds to her professionalism and the sense of competency she brings. I did really miss the McGyver line and think that might be the only real loss in the “Final Cut”. Love Gateworld, and all things Stargate!
I was not impressed with the remake. I am a huge fan and found that removing content isn’t the way to remake an episode that started it all. I might have had better quality picture and some new content but I choose the original over the remake with out question. Next time I hope they add content and improve quality not delete history.
Having for years only seen the episode on Canadian tv, I was a bit shocked when I bought the DVD collection and watched the pilot. What Darren is describing for the “new” cut version of the abduction/implantation scenes is exactly what we have been watching up here all along. No nudity, no harem, no difference. Nothing prudish about it, tv here is more liberal than the states. The nudity adds nothing to the scene and really doesn’t fit in with episode or the rest of the show. I am sorry to hear the McGyver comment is gone, but I will… Read more »
I think Brad did the right thing, taking the nudity out. To everyone who doesn’t think so, hey, you can still watch the original version. I’m glad to finally have the option of watching the whole thing through without having the remote handy.
Let me preface this with. I am a huge SG-1 fan. I cannot believe how they butchered, Children of the Gods. They took out Sam’s McGyver reference. Jack’s comment about Sam puking and where said a comment about her having a “big lunch”. Conversation between Jack and Kawolski where Kawolski said he didn’t know (Jack) had a son. Took out the nudity. Waste of 15 bucks. I wish I could get my money back.
Just got done watching the “new” version of this and want to sum up this way. The good – The episode itself seems to flow much better. That’s about it. The not so good – Although I think the original was very clunky and at times slow and hard to watch in spots it did what a pilot for a TV show should do; set the story and premise for the future. O’neill and Jackson already had character development from the actual movie. This cut although as I said, makes for a more enjoyable watch it seems to come up… Read more »
They shouldn’t have cut the Sam scenes in the briefing room. I miss the one with the Captain/Doctor, the dolls one too. And I really miss the reproductive organs one! Also, I miss the one with: “-Don’t worry, Sir. I won’t dissapoint you.-I was going to say <>” And the MacGyver one too! I mean, come on! Jury-rig? Boring! I don’t know, it just doesn’t set the basis of her character so well. I like the first one better. Altough it is good they cut the nudity scene. I mean, it’s a Sci-Fi after all, if you wanna see naked… Read more »
One important improvement not mentioned is the restoration process which noticeably improved the video quality. The video was also given a warmer tone to the color. I don’t know that it was particularly brilliant for MGM to “cheap out” on this DVD. There’s basically no added value and so, little incentive for anyone to buy it. It would be much more attractive, if there were multiple versions and alternate endings etc. I think most everyone approves of the new score since the original was painfully bombastic in several scenes, but nobody agrees with ALL of the cuts. Therefore, a DVD… Read more »
Just Finish watching it and have to say…they took out some good line like….carters reproductive organs and MacGyvering a system together….but added some good lines and screen shots to better explain the series. i give it a 7.5/10……. P.S- some one check out the bit when Kawalsky wakes up and another sg-2 member ask if they should leave and that it feels like hell has frozen over. Kawalsky say’s that their not leaving and walks off the sg member looks at another team mate……(I SWEAR ITS Daniel CRAIG). But i Cant find it on IMDB or anywhere it might say.… Read more »
I borrowed the Children of the Gods 2.0 from Blockbuster Video, and MY GOD….i dont see the difference. All there was,….nicer locations. For example you see the city on Chulak, etc. They removed the nude scenes. What was wrong with that? Im not saying i look for the nude stuff, but this show isnt a kids to young teenager show. But now its going that way, after seeing what they are doing with Stargate Universe. I liked Stargate mainly because of the Egyptian Mythology, but fell in LOVE with Stargate ALANTIS. I bought every DVD, as i got told it… Read more »