Stargate: Gift of the Gods Audio Drama
Last night, I decided to check out one of Big Finish's Stargate SG-1 audio dramas. I began with the first title, Gift of the Gods, performed by Michael Shank (Daniel Jackson). The audio drama was released on April 1st, 2008, about a year after the tenth and final season of SG-1 aired.
I'm currently watching Stargate SG-1 for the first time. I'm up to season five, so this limits how many of these audio dramas I can listen to. The majority of them take place in later seasons, but Gift of Gods takes place during season three before Fair Game.
I really wasn't sure what to expect. Most of Stargate's merchandise seems to have been put out with little regard to quality. The books, for example, are mostly print on demand or digital and primarily seem to be written by fan fiction authors. I don't mean for this to sound bad, but you can tell not a lot of time, money, and effort has gone into expanding the universe via other forms of media. It's obviously a franchise with a dwindling fanbase and a parent company who isn't concerned with creating anything new.
The producer of this audio drama, Big Finish, is known for creating Doctor Who audio dramas with the original casts. They are very experienced with what they do and it shows right off the bat. The audio drama is well crafted, has good music, sound effects, and is properly mixed. Having spent many hours over the years enjoying all sorts of audio dramas, I can say that rarely do they sound this good.
Michael Shanks puts on a stellar performance. He slips right back into this season three role of Daniel Jackson and does some fantastic impressions of his former co-stars. He channels Jack's sarcasm, General Hammond's authority, and Sam's curiosity well. Having spent so much time with his fellow actors, he's able to nail the timing and delivery and that makes this a fantastic listen.
I also really enjoyed how the story was set up. It was told through flash backs via an audio log of this particular event. It was believable and tied into the show well.
The plot itself is good, although I will say the ending seemed a bit far fetched. It was definitely the type of ending that would not have been made into an actual episode because it was just a little too risky and opened up quite a few plot holes for the future. Still, I enjoyed the heck out of Gift of the Gods thanks to the fantastic performance of Michael Shanks, the convincing sound effects, and the great pacing.