Stargate SG-1 Watchguide: Season 1

Helen Savore (@ImaPaperNinja) asked me whether I have a Stargate SG-1 watchlist. in my head I do, but nowhere else. My mood suits me doing something about that.

As SG-1 is my all-time favorite TV show, I’ve not only seen it through a few times but also watched it through when introducing many, many friends to it. Like most shows, the first couple seasons are rough while the writers, actors, and producers try to figure out exactly what it is.

Season 1 Highlights

If you’re looking to be entertained, this is the best of season one:

  • S01E03 – “Emancipation” – This is early, so it’s unpolished, but this is a fun women’s rights/Capt. Carter-rocks episode.
  • S01E17 – “Tin Man” – very quotable. If my coworkers watched this, they’d understand 5% more of my Stargate allusions.

Season 1 Plot Episodes (with spoilers)

Season 1 is rough, but it’s what kicks off the series. As such, many of the episodes are built on in later seasons or at least referred back to. Here’s the concise-ish guide:

  • S01E01 – “Children of the Gods” – This provides the transition between the premise of the 1994 movie and the TV show and explains the basics: who the main team characters are, where they come from, and why they’re emotionally invested. But it’s a lot easier to watch when you’re already attached to the characters.
  • S01E02 – “The Enemy Within” – SG-1 team lead Kawalsky makes appearances in a lot of later alternate reality episodes; this is his shining moment. It also helps establish why the Goa’uld are a large threat to Earth, which is good background knowledge for S02E02 “In the Line of Duty”.
  • S01E04 and 06 – “The Broca Divide” and “Brief Candle” – These are referred to in general ways in later episodes.
  • S01E08 – “Thor’s Hammer” – This is an introduction to the Asgard.
  • S01E09 – “The Torment of Tantalus” – Referred to later as “the meaning of life stuff.”
  • S01E10 – “Bloodlines” – This is the start of the plots involving Teal’c’s family and the Rebel Jaffa. It also introduces Bre’tac, and the banter between Bre’tac and O’Neill is marvelous.
  • S01E12 – “The Nox” – This is the first episode building on the “meaning of life stuff,” in which we meet another of the four great races.
  • S01E13 – “Hathor” – This is another amusing girl power episode, though I don’t like it as much as “Emancipation.” It’s referred to in passing whenever SGC security is discussed.
  • S01E15 – “Singularity” – This episode introduces Cassandra, who actually has an interesting storyline as one of Earth’s first interplanetary immigrants. (After Teal’c, anyway.)
  • S01E16 – “Enigma” – “Enigma” introduces the Tollan, who become important allies against the Goa’uld.
  • S01E18 – “Solitudes” – This incident establishes the existence of a second ‘Gate on Earth, which is critically important to a significant number of season finales. But it is a terribly slow episode with some wonderful lines and a wonderful outtake.
  • S01E19 – “There But for the Grace of God” – This is the first in a long tradition of alternate reality episodes. This starts the arc that includes the season finale/premier.
  • S01E20 – “Politics” – This is the first in a long tradition of recap episodes. As usual, interesting frame story, terrible watch if you’ve actually seen it. You’re better off reading a one-line summary (i.e., Senator Kinsey thinks the Stargate Program is too risky and expensive to continue, and SG-1 uses examples from the first year of operation to prove why it must continue.) or checking it out on
  • S01E21/S02E01 – “Within the Serpent’s Grasp”/”The Serpent’s Lair” – This is one of my least favorite season finale/premier combos, but they’re all good. This is also the start of a long tradition of “But Apophis is dead. We killed him.”