Stargate Infinity: The Complete Series
For the last seven decades or so there have been close, unbreakable ties between science fiction and animation. Many popular Sci-Fi themes started in comic book as far back as the thirties, moved to animated film shorts and today remain alive with advanced computer driven animation. With the success of the iconic Sci-Fi franchise Stargate it was only a matter of time before it was made into an animated series. After all it worked as a theatrical film, a popular television series and a TV spin off. While all of these were live action ‘Stargate Infinity’ moved the stories into an animated world. It also lowered the demographic from late teens and adults to much younger children. A lot of people have ragged on this series for being ‘dumbed’ down and not adhering strictly to the established canon of the Stargate universe. This criticism does have some merit but it would seem to not take into account the target audience of the animated series. This is intended for younger children. Their expectations of a show like this and science fiction in general is a lot different from older teens and adults out there. The original Stargate universe is rich in allegory with themes that touch on such topics as politics, religion, and social structure. All of this is mostly meaningless to a kid of around 8 or 9 years old. They just want to enjoy a show on television and have some imaginative fun. They want some funny looking aliens and younger main characters that they are able to better identify with. This series does have production flaws but that will not be a factor to the demographic. There is time enough for the kids that enjoy this series to grow up and develop more serious appreciation of Sci-Fi, let them have a little fun in the meantime.
Even with all this being said about the intended audience of the series it never achieved any measure of success. It lasted only 26 episodes, one season. Perhaps the kids today are more sophisticated then we were at there age. In any case the series did provide a measure of entertainment if you, no matter what your age, can ignore a lot. For starters the theme song is dreadful but then again most such music for children’s television series are grating and annoying. The animation is fairly smooth with the angular style used in a lot of shows like this. There is a definite influence of Japanese animation with a little anime through in for good measure. This translates to young male characters with broad chests and the female characters all with rather well endowed figures. Everybody seems to have impossibly thin waists. Just in case you have been living in a desert cave for the last decade or so the Stargate is an alien device that allows instantaneous travel between planets. In order to select which planet you go to the operator of thee gate has to select a series of seven symbols located on the perimeter of the circular device. The original team of explorers ran across numerous alien races; not all of them friendly. There was a particular race, the Goa'uld, which was a large parasitic worm like creature that took over human hosts. By the time period of the animated series it has been thirty years since the U.S. government used the gate. By this time the existence and purpose of the gate has become general knowledge and now many alien races have come to live on earth. Now new hostile races have been discovered and are after earth. As with many children series there is a didactic moment by the end of each episode with some moral lesson given to the audience. Usually it is rather heavy handed in its presentation.
Major Gus Bonner (voiced by Dale Wilson) is part of Stargate Command. This is still the military area that is in charge of the gate and exploration of new worlds. He is in command of a group of new cadets for the SGC. While on a mission with his charges Bonner comes across hostile aliens. He is unfairly court-martialed; of course he is innocent, of disobeying direct orders. The race that is behind the frame up is the Tlak'kahn who have just invaded SGC and kidnapped an important new life form. He is the father figure for the young team who accompanies him while he is on the run looking for evidence to clear his name. The main female lead here is Stacey Bonner (voiced by Tifanie Christun). She is the nice of the Major and has his inherited his by the book attitude towards life. Stacey had a bit of a wild childhood with little structure but has now done a lot of growing up. She is an expert in several forms of marital arts and is technically a cadet in the Air Force. With a beautiful female lead you need a corresponding male. In this case it is R.J. Harrison (voiced by Mark Hildreth). For all lhis life R.J. has been an avid fan of science fiction. It was a dream come true when he was accepted to the SGC cadet program. He was finally able to travel the vastness of space. With his rugged good looks and natural athletic build he has potential to be a heart throb on any humanoid world out there. For a good pre-teen romantic triangle potential there is Seattle Montoya (voiced by Bettina Bush). She is proud of her Native American heritage with a rather dark past. Once she moved away from the reservation were she was born she moved to the inner city and became part of a street gang. To get out of that life she joined the Air Force and then became a SGC cadet. She is also a gifted empath which often comes in handy on her missions. In a series like this you need a couple of friendly aliens; here there are two. The first is Ec'co (voiced by Cusse Mankuma). Despite his completely alien appearance he is half human. Because of this he has been rejected by both species. The alien side also forces him to harbor a deep potential for violence. He is a born mechanic able to fix just about anything. Then there is Draga (voiced by Kathleen Barr). She hatched out of an Egyptian mummy fully formed as a young adult. Even though she looks about twenty she is emotionally an infant with the potential for incredible powers. Now that you have a team of good guys you need a villain. In this series the main one is Da'Kyll (voiced by Mark Acheson) a leader of the Tlak'kahn troupes chasing the team. His race is eight foot tall reptiles with no sense of compassion, remorse or any other soft human emotions.
This is admittedly not the best even for kid oriented television but younger viewers may find it entertaining. It is released by Shout Factory who has built up a name for releasing older television series to DVD. All 26 episodes of the series are included here as well as some extras. They consist of animated effects tests, character walking models and original concept art.