Stargate: Infinity – The Complete Series
R0 - America - Shout! Factory
Review written by and copyright: Rob Fields (28th May 2008).
The Show

I only recall watching the original “Stargate” (1994) once when it first came out on DVD. It’s been so long ago. I recall that James Spader and Kurt Russell had starred in it. I also remember that it was through such a device that the characters were able to move from one dimension, universe, reality, sector, or whatever you want to call it. The original cast had had some kind of adventures in the dessert once they had crossed through the Stargate. The film was successful, and at least two television shows spawned from this feature film. I’m referring to “Stargate: SG-1” (1997-2007) and “Stargate: Atlantis” (2004-Current). When I got wind that I was going to be reviewing a “Stargate” DVD series, I was a bit excited. I thought I was going to be reviewing a live-action show. Nope! It was an animated series. I never even knew that an animated series based on “Stargate” was ever made. Well, when you don’t have pay-TV, I guess you tend to miss out on a few things. So, now it’s time to get started with this series. Is it worth watching knowing that “Stargate” is in title and is the premise? Read further, my readers...

“Stargate: Infinity – The Complete Series” – takes place a generation after the SGC first stepped through the alien device known as the Stargate, the universe has become a much different place. The war with the evil parasitic Goa’uld is won. The once top-secret Stargate Command and its work have been declassified, and beings from other worlds are living and working among us. But now there’s a new threat from a warrior race known as the Tlak’kahn, and when SGC veteran Major Gus Bonner is convicted of a war crime he didn’t commit, he must lead a young group of SGC cadets through the Stargate to protect the life of an Ancient from their hostile new enemies. Along the way, the team visits unknown worlds and cultures, learning that life – no matter where you are in the universe – may never be easy, but should always be cherished. Inspired by the blockbuster feature film and its two popular television spin-offs “Stargate: SG-1” and “Stargate: Atlantis”, “Stargate: Infinity” further explores the universe through the eyes of those few who are brave enough to venture trough the mysterious Stargate. All 26 episodes are present and accounted for in this set.

I like the premise of the Stargate. You never really know where you may end up once you’ve gone through (unless it’s a place where one has been previously). On the other hand, you don’t really know who or what will come OUT of it either. I also enjoyed the different characters. Some are human and some are alien. At least there is diversity among all of them. Also, the number of sexes (male and female) among this group is 50-50 (3 men and 3 women). While Gus Bonner is in command and is the most experienced, it’s not his show altogether. It’s a team effort. Also, I liked the fact that Gus Bonner is at the center of controversy between his allies. Although regular viewers will know that Gus Bonner is innocent, there are those among him that have doubts. This also makes for some good stories.

The downsides? One thing I already had an issue with was the synopsis. How could this series be inspired by the two “Stargate” TV shows listed when this series, according The Internet Movie Database, was released in 2002? This was BEFORE “Stargate: Atlantis” debuted in 2004. Apparently, somebody didn’t do their homework when writing it out. In regards to the series itself, each side has one single objective. The good guys need to keep on the move ahead of the Tlak’kahn, while trying to clear Bonner’s name. The Tlak’kahn are trying to obtain Bonner and the Ancient (Draga). While these objectives are well and good, the formula gets old after a few episodes. Also, neither objective is ever accomplished. I’m thinking it’s because this series wasn’t renewed for a second season. Like most animated shows, the good guys always win in the end. Let’s get realistic here. The way the Tlak’kahn functioned, I was surprised that the mission didn’t end sooner for Bonner and company. You would think that the Tlak’kahn would achieve a few victories every now and then. If this is what you like in a cartoon series, then by all means...I and others like me would probably choose a more intelligent cartoon. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are very likable here. I just didn’t like the formula. Also, I found the extras to be VERY disappointing. Come on, Shout! Factory, you’ve done WAY better than this on many of your other releases.

My final word: If you are a diehard “Stargate” buff, then you may wish to add “Stargate: Infinity” to your collection just for the sake of having it. Even though it’s an animated series, it still follows the “Stargate” formula. If you are not so much into anything “Stargate” or you expect a better cartoon series, then don’t spend your hard-earned money on it, neither for a rental nor a purchase.

This 4-disc set includes all 26 episodes which are:

- "The Decision" (21:15)
- "Double Duty" (21:15)
- "The Best World" (21:15)
- "Coming Home" (21:15)
- "Mentor" (21:15)
- "Phobia" (21:15)
- "Hot Water" (21:15)
- "Who Are You?" (21:15)
- "Can I Keep It?" (21:15)
- "Stones" (21:15)
- "Initiation" (21:15)
- "The Mother of Invention" (21:15)
- "Greed" (21:15)
- "Reality" (21:15)
- "Museum" (21:15)
- "Us and Them" (21:15)
- "The Face of Evil" (21:15)
- "The Key" (21:15)
- "Chariot of the Sun" (21:15)
- "The Answer" (21:15)
- "The Look" (21:15)
- "Feet of Clay" (21:15)
- "The Natural" (21:15)
- "Big Mistake" (21:15)
- "The Illustrated Stacey" (21:15)
- "The Long Haul" (21:15)

Video

Each episode is presented in full screen format (1.33:1 ratio). Like nearly all of the releases from Shout! Factory that I’ve reviewed in the past, the transfer is excellent. There are no visible signs of defects or pixels. You can play each episode on each disc individually, or you can play them all in one continuous marathon with the ‘Play All’ option. Also, while there are no chapter selection menus, each episode has chapter stops. However, the only stops to be noted are the opening scene, the title sequence, the rest of the episode, and the end credits. So, if there were any commercial breaks during the ‘rest of the episode’ part of the episode, then only those of you who watched the series during TV airplay would know where they might have been.

Audio

Each episode is accompanied by an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack. There are no optional subtitles available whatsoever. Like most of the Shout! Factory releases I’ve reviewed in the past, the soundtrack could easily pass for a 2.0 Dolby Surround track. The music and the voices do not overshadow one another. You can also hear the many various sounds quite clearly, especially the alien voices and laser blasts.

Extras

Shout! Factory has included some bonus trailers, two featurettes, and a concept art gallery that make up the extras in this set. Read further for insight into the extras.

DISC ONE:

The only extra on this disc is a series of Shout! Factory bonus trailers presented before the start of the Main Menu and includes:

- "Swamp Thing: The Series – Seasons 1 & 2" which runs for 1 minute 11 seconds.
- "Oban Star Racers: The Complete Series" which runs for 1 minute 6 seconds.
- "Medabots: The Complete First Season" which runs for 1 minute 3 seconds.

DISCS TWO & THREE:

There are no extras featured on these discs.

DISC FOUR:

The first featurette is "Animated Stargate Effects Test" and runs only a mere 21 seconds. Here you see a computer-generated test of a Stargate sequence.

The second featurette is "Animated Character Walking Models" and runs only a paltry 45 seconds. Here, you will see one frame after another of walking models for Da’Kyll and Eco. Basically, an animator drew each movement and then ran them together. You see the movements slowly and then speed up. That’s how animation works.

Finally there's an "Original Concept Art" gallery that features 95 stills which feature some concept drawings for the characters of the series. There are no backgrounds or scenery. It is just multiple character drawings.

Packaging

“Stargate: Infinity – The Complete Series” is a 4-DVD set with 2 discs each in a plastic slim-case, both cases placed into a single outer cardboard case.

Overall

The Show: C Video: A+ Audio: A+ Extras: D Overall: C+

 


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