Stargate SG-1 was the first spin-off series in the franchise from the Stargate film, and started three years after the release of the film. The stargate itself had been kept in storage since the events of Stargate, but it suddenly activates and a force of human-looking aliens come through it. This intrusion results in the creation of Stargate Command – the name being used for both the organisation, and for the base in the Cheyenne Mountain complex itself – and the SG teams who are sent through the stargate to explore the new worlds and, hopefully, bring back some useful technology to help protect Earth. SG-1 is the first of these teams.
The first five seasons were released on Showtime, and seasons six to ten ran on Syfy. In total, Stargate SG-1 ran for ten seasons with 214 episodes, as well as two direct-to-DVD films which tied up some loose ends following the end of season 10.
There were some changes from the Stargate film. The appearance of the alien race that Ra belonged to was changed. In the cinematic version, Ra was the last of his kind, whilst in SG-1 he was only one of an alien race, although the most powerful. The aliens, known as the Goa’uld, were now a serpentine looking symbiote that could merge with human hosts. Like Ra, the other Goa’uld were worshipped as gods.
The location of Abydos was changed from being in a made up galaxy at the far side of the universe to it being the closest stargate destination to Earth, and only a few light years away, which was a more logical result. The reason for it being the only address which worked was due to stellar drift in the thousands of years since the gate had been buried which, due to the gate lacking the means of communicating with the rest of the network, resulted in the gate addresses no longer working, without compensating for the movement.
The location of the stargate itself on Earth had been moved; in the film it was located in the fictional nuclear missile silo of Creek Mountain, whilst SG-1 operated out of Stargate Command (SGC) set in the real-life facility of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado.
The series saw the return of the characters Colonel Jack O’Neill and Doctor Daniel Jackson from the original film, although the characters are played by different actors, and, in the case of O’Neill, different personalities. The television O’Neill was more light-hearted than the brooding, suicidal cinematic version.
As a series, Stargate SG-1 did not have much in the way of genuine alien races encountered, something which carried on with Stargate: Atlantis. There were a couple of major alien races, the most significant, or at least the most threatening, being the Goa’uld, who used humans as slaves and hosts, as well as a few minor ones. By far, most of the cultures and ‘aliens’ encountered were actually transplanted humans. Many of the cultures themselves were based on Earth ones, with the Goa’uld taking the place of gods in those cultures, just as the alien Ra was the chief Egyptian god in the film Stargate.