Stargate: SG-1
The Illustrated Companion (Season 9)

Author: Sharon Gosling
Titan Books
RRP: 10.99, US $16.95, Cdn $22.95
ISBN-13: 978 1 8457 6310 7
ISBN-10: 1 84576 310 6
Available 24 November 2006

Stargate: SG-1 is a sci-fi TV phenomenon: the story of an elite military team who probe the secrets of the Stargate, an ancient portal that allows instantaneous travel to remote planets throughout the universe. In Season Nine, new faces appear at the SGC alongside familiar favourites as, following Jack O'Neill's promotion, Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell steps in to lead a new-look SG-1...

This is the fifth volume in the Stargate: SG-1: The Illustrated Companion series (the other four volumes containing two seasons each). Thankfully, as the show's ninth season saw a dramatic change in the format, there is plenty for author Sharon Gosling to get her teeth into.

There's a lot here for fans of the show, but still I can't help but ask myself why this book exists. Yes, I know it's for the fans, but they already know all the episodes (that's 60% of the content: episode synopsis); have heard more background info on each episode than is presented here thanks to the DVD audio commentaries; and can find just about everything that is packed into this book, and much much more, on the Internet.

The listing for each episodes are pretty dry too. All we get (other than details of the writer, director and cast members) is a synopsis and then some background information on that episode which seem to have been lifted from a number of interviews. Nothing wrong with that, but again there's much more information on the DVDs. What about some interesting info like Paul Simpson provided us with in his Smallville guide series? It wouldn't have been too difficult to include the odd bit of titbit trivia, in a box out, on each page like Simpson provided would it?

From a presentation point of view this release, like the others in the series, is painfully dry. There are plenty of black and white photos and 16 full colour glossy pages, yet it still feels like a cheap book - the sort of thing Boxtree would have released back in their day. When this month also sees Titan release the well presented Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny script book (come on you can't get more drier that a script book can you?) for only £2 more, yet with full colour glossy pages, you have to ask yourself what on earth is going on. Surely SG-1 fans deserve more.

If you are just after a book that you can dip in and out of that provides a little more information on the behind the scenes aspects of the show then you'll probably enjoy this. However, if you are a die-hard fan who is looking for something a little more substantial, then you'll probably be better off trawling through the Internet for something a little more meaty.

Darren Rea

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