Stargate: SG-1
Volume 47
(Season 9 - Vol 4)

Starring: Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge and Michael Shanks
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 19 June 2006

The team learns of a device with the ability to transplant memories. Reya, the scientist who made the technological breakthrough, is found murdered - and Mitchell is the main suspect. Mitchell confesses, but his memory of the crime may not be real. The team must figure out who was responsible for the crime...

Collateral Damage is an interesting episode, but not overly original. Without spoiling too much, it's pretty obvious that Mitchell is not responsible for the murder, and the fact that they've just been given a demonstration of how the memory device works is a huge clue to the fact that Mitchell's memory has been altered.

I'm not entirely sure that the ending works either. How do we know that the person accused of Reya's murder is really the killer? How do we know that one of the scientists working on uncovering Mitchell's real memories wasn't the murderer and planted this to frame the person who is accused? Also I loved the fact that William Atherton (who always plays the villain) is thrown in as a possible suspect. Is it him? Well, you'll have to watch the episode to find out.

This episode is dedicated to Jeff Upton, who was the gaffer on the episode and who died half way through filming.

The audio commentary (with director Will Waring and director of photography, Peter Woeste) is interesting. Waring talks about winding up one of the guest actors by asking him if he'd shave his head for his role. He also points out a huge nit-pick too: If the killer did do as the episodes suggests, why does he not have a memory of waking up with wires stuck to his head?

When SG-1 arrives at Stargate Command, a confused Landry realises that it is a clone when the real SG-1 comes back. They deduce that these likenesses are really from several different alternate realities. The team and all their counterparts must work together to get everyone safely back...

Ripple Effect is a lot of fun and takes the old Star Trek alternate universe story to a whole new level. In fact there's a nod to this when one of the cast mentions that the duplicates can't be from an evil twin universe because they don't have goatee beards. In this episode numerous SG-1 teams come through the gate over a period of time. This episode also sees the surprise return of two old characters (which I won't spoil for you) which was a very nice touch.

My only nit-pick here is that I was surprised that they were all allowed to wander around the base doing whatever they wanted. Surely they would have been confined to some sort of quarters until the SGC made sure they didn't pose a threat.

I strongly suggest that you don't listen to the audio commentary on this episode until you've watched the later episode Ethon. Why? Well, Joseph Mallozzi (executive producer and writer) gives away quite a big plot twist.

Teal'c becomes alarmed when members of the Jaffa Council turn against the notion of democracy. Daniel realises that the Jaffa are being brainwashed, and Teal'c has been kidnapped by none other than Ba'al, who has a proposition. Ba'al wishes to work with SG-1 to defeat the Ori forces...

Stronghold sees the return of the old Goa'uld system lord Ba'al, who needs the help of the Jaffa in order to defeat the Ori. But obviously he's not just going to come out and ask them - that would be crazy. So he sets about trying to brainwash their leaders.

The audio commentary on this episode is by Peter DeLuise and Gary Jones who waffle their way through in their own amusing style. The highlight for me was their discussion on whether the Jaffa were naked under their robes - it would explain why they always look so agitated.

An interesting enough episode, but nothing really happens to get that excited about.

Extras include Stargate: SG-1: An Introduction to Ben Browder (21 minute feature on Browder and his thoughts on the show); audio commentaries for each episode and a Production Gallery.

One other point, the person who compiled the synopsis for each episode for the back of the DVD case should get a stiff talking to from Sony. Apparently Teal'c is spelt "Tealc", Ba'al is spelt "Baal" and Ori is now "Oris". No doubt letters from hard-core fans will be winging their way to Sony's offices by the bucket load.

Darren Rea

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