While seasoned veterans of Stargate SG-1 fandom have been enjoying the longer version of the pivotal episode “Threads” since it first aired back in 2005, it’s safe to say that 18 years later most casual viewers have never seen it. It’s the only installment of the show’s 214-episode run that has two different edits that have been released to the public (aside from syndication’s usual nips and tucks of other episodes).
Yes, in addition to the standard hour-long episode there is a 90-minute cut of “Threads.”
There was so much ground to cover in this episode that the producers of Stargate SG-1 received special clearance from the network to deliver it as a 90-minute special. The extended cut aired exactly one time on U.S. television, and once in the U.K. … after which broadcasters fell back on the standard, 1-hour edit. That left more than 20 minutes of footage on the cutting room floor.
Because the extended cut isn’t currently available on streaming services, it’s safe to say that most viewers who have discovered Stargate over the last 15 years — unless you’ve purchased the show on disc — have never seen the longer version.
Thanks to some side-by-side analysis from long-time Stargate fan Carl Waring, here we’re going to tell you everything that was cut out of this outstanding episode of television. SPOILERS ahead!
“Threads” comes immediately following the big two-parter “Reckoning,” and together this trilogy forms the climax of the show’s pivotal eighth season. The Goa’uld System Lords are decimated by the Replicators, under the command of a villainous duplicate of Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping). And after the Replicators are eliminated, when the story picks up in “Threads” Daniel Jackson is missing and presumed dead — and Anubis is poised to seize the super-weapon on the planet Dakara and remake the galaxy to his liking.
As the third act of that larger story “Threads” is loaded with denouement. This episode includes important character beats and plot points that needed to be resolved, as the series itself was looking to wrap up at the end of Season Eight. Leading man Richard Dean Anderson was retiring, and in its ninth year SG-1 would reboot with new cast and a new antagonist.
In this episode Daniel is reunited with Oma Desala (Mel Harris) and the ascended beings on the higher plane, in the “Astral Diner,” where Daniel discovers Oma’s deepest, darkest secret. Meanwhile Sam reconsiders her engagement to Pete Shanahan (David DeLuise), Jack O’Neill has a romantic dalliance with C.I.A. operative Kerry Johnson (Clare Carey), and the show loses a beloved character with the death of Sam’s father, the Tok’ra Jacob Carter (Carmen Argenziano).
Now then: What’s different about the extended version? What was left on the cutting room floor?
WHAT’S CUT OUT?
So if you’ve only seen the 44-minute version of “Threads,” what are you missing out on? Let’s look through the edited scenes:
SCENE 1: There is an opening scene that is cut entirely, in which Baal comes before Anubis … only to be accused of betraying him. Anubis allows him to live a little longer, but only so that Baal can witness him retake Dakara and wipe out every living thing in the galaxy.
SCENE 2: On Dakara, the high priest Tolok (Isaac Hayes) honors Teal’c and Bra’tac before the assembled Jaffa. They are given the highest honor any Jaffa can know: they will be known as “blood kin” to all Jaffa. It’s a moment of pride as the Jaffa people celebrate their freedom, and Teal’c’s dream has finally become reality. In the shorter episode, the entire scene is cut.
SCENE 3: In an early scene at the Astral Diner, Daniel’s conversation with Oma is abbreviated. It has Oma speaking without riddles for the very first time, explaining that she stepped in after Replicator Carter killed Daniel. She also explains that he isn’t ascended again … yet.
SCENE 4: Another scene on Dakara is removed entirely. Bra’tac wants to celebrate the victory, but Teal’c is worried that the fight is not over yet. Anubis still must be dealt with. And new leadership must be assembled for their people. Both Bra’tac and Teal’c have been invited to sit on the new council, leaving Teal’c with the decision as to whether the time has come for him to leave the Tau’ri.
SCENE 5: A scene at Jack’s house is deleted, in which Sam calls Jack while he is home asleep. When he hangs up the phone, this is the reveal that Kerry Johnson is in bed with him. (In the shortened version, their relationship isn’t revealed until she comes out of the house while Jack is grilling.)
SCENE 6: Daniel tries to speak to the other ascended beings who are sitting in the virtual diner. He asks to borrow one woman’s syrup. But none of the elderly patrons will even acknowledge him. Oma explains that they are there to watch, but they won’t talk to him because he isn’t one of them yet.
SCENE 7: In the middle of the briefing with Jack, Jacob, Teal’c, and Bra’tac, Sam’s phone rings. She struggled to turn it off, but as the conversation continues — about allowing the Jaffa to hold on to their new galaxy-ending super-weapon — a call comes through the S.G.C. switchboard. It’s apparently Pete, bugging her about flowers for the wedding.
SCENE 8: Another diner scene is still there, but with a bit of dialog cut out. “Jim” has arrived and is asking for coffee, but Oma ignores him.
SCENE 9: The next cut scene shows Sam and Pete driving in a car, with Sam lost in thought as Pete is talking about wedding plans. They talk about Jacob’s cold reception when he met his daughter’s fiancé.
SCENE 10: Another diner scene is left mostly intact, but with Jim’s request for coffee from Oma trimmed out.
SCENE 11: Sam has decided to drive to Jack’s house to tell him how she really feels about him, only to find Kerry there with him. Her very awkward moment is interrupted by a phone call, when she learns that her dad has fallen ill. In the longer cut the scene plays a little longer, as Sam sits in her car debating whether to go through with it.
SCENE 12: As Daniel debates whether to embrace ascension again, Oma’s opening line is cut in order to get into the scene more quickly.
SCENE 13: Sam sits at Jacob’s bedside, having learned of his terminal diagnosis. Their exchange is slightly trimmed.
SCENE 14: Action time! Bra’tac and Teal’c are now on the bridge of a mothership, leading a Jaffa fleet who are taking the fight to Anubis. They have a great bonding moment, as Bra’tac considers this his final battle but Teal’c insists that there will be many new challenges still to come. The scene is cut.
SCENE 15: The Free Jaffa have arrived on Anubis’s planet of Tartarus, but he isn’t there. Bra’tac and Teal’c realize that their forces were lured away, leaving Dakara vulnerable. Now the super-weapon could fall into enemy hands.
SCENE 16: The rest of the episode is left intact by the editors, and one final scene gets just a small edit. Bra’tac is back at Stargate Command reporting on how Dakara was saved after Anubis was taken down. But who secured this victory? What happened to Anubis? Bra’tac’s line speculating about the answer is cut out of the scene: “One can only assume he was vanquished by some beings. If not, why would he forfeit the weapon and his army?”
The longer version of “Threads” is a fun watch, adding scenes and dialogue that provide a fuller story and deepen the audience’s perspective on the characters’ relationships. In that regard, more is better.
Comparing the two cuts side by side is a fascinating study in television production, and it’s also a real testament to the episode’s editor Stein Myhrstad. All the major story beats and character moments are still present in the shorter episode, and the story and the characters never suffer for the cuts.
The additional material with Pete and his need for approval really don’t add much, other than filling out the angst that leads Sam to break off their engagement. The later reveal of Kerry and Jack’s relationship is fine (the audience finds out the same time that Sam does), and most of the diner scenes are intact. The only real loss here are the really touching moments between Teal’c and Bra’tac, who are given space to enjoy their victory of overthrowing the Goa’uld and freeing their people — while also looking ahead to the challenges that Season Nine would bring, in forming a new government to organize the Jaffa and begin to heal old wounds.
Pick up Stargate SG-1 on Blu-ray to get the extended edition of “Threads” (we’ve confirmed the 65:41 running time there). GateWorld also has the complete transcript from the longer cut in our episode guide. We’ve newly color-coded the transcript to show what is cut out of the shorter episode.
Thanks again to Carl for the breakdown!
Have you seen both versions of “Threads”? Which do you prefer for your rewatches? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
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