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Book Review

Book Cover

Stargate: SG-1
The Illustrated Companion (Season 10)


Author: Natalie Barnes with Sharon Gosling
Titan Books
RRP: £9.99, US $16.95, Cdn $20.00
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 311 4
ISBN-10: 1 84576 311 4
Available 25 January 2008

The record breaking Stargate: SG-1 is a sci-fi TV phenomenon, and the longest-running US science fiction series ever. In its climatic tenth season, SG-1, the elite military team that probes the secrets of the Stargate, encounter friends and enemies, old and new. While battling Earth's latest, seemingly omnipotent enemy, the Ori, SG-1 - Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell, Dr Daniel Jackson, Lieutenant Colonel Sam Carter and Teal'c - welcomes a new member in the form of Vala Mal Doran...

This is the final volume in the Stargate: SG-1: The Illustrated Companion series and, for the final series, Titan seems to have put that little extra effort into producing something that fans of the show might actually want to purchase.

Anyone who is a regular reader of this site will know that I have not been a fan of Titan's Stargate: SG-1 Companion series. As I've said more than once before, it's not the writers that are at fault - they always manage to turn in some great copy - it's the poor paper stock that ruins everything. Carefully researched photographs are reprinted on paper that makes the finished copy look blurred or out of focus. The majority of images are also too dark.

Of course there are the other usual arguments: that this book won't tell you anything that you can't already find on a hundred other websites; that the images included aren't really that impressive; and that few behind the scenes images are included.

Thankfully this time around the book is published very shortly (a month to be exact) after the final DVD release of season 10 has been released to buy. This means that a lot of fans will find this a useful companion to their DVD collection as they will be able to flick through the book with the episodes still relatively fresh in their minds.

It's odd that this book is released at the end of January. These books are, I guess, rarely bought be Stargate fans themselves, but more likely to be bought for them as presents. I'd count myself as an SG-1 fan, but I wouldn't actually hand over a tenner of my hard earned cash to own this book. However, if it was given to me as a Christmas gift, I wouldn't complain. So Titan has missed out on the lucrative Christmas trade - so expect to see this book in a remainder book store near you by Easter. I'm not saying that this book is rubbish - far from it. It's just that it has a limited shelf life. If units are not shifted quickly, then a lot of stores will heavily discount this type of book.

As this is the show's final season Titan has, for some reason, included 32 colour pages (rather than the usual 16). They've also dropped the usual RRP by a pound. So, my question is... er... why didn't they give this amount of attention to detail to the previous releases?

If you are a die-hard fan of the show you'll probably have listened to all of the DVD audio commentaries and already know as much behind the scenes information as you'll ever need to know. That being the case, this book will only be something that you'll casually flick through. But, for the casual fan, this is an interesting book that will no doubt shed new light on the show's final season.


Darren Rea

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