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Stargate Universe - The First Season
Stargate ... at one point, it seemed to be on all the time with reruns of SG1 and live episodes of Atlantis appearing regularly on TV it seemed to be the logical inheritor of the Star Trek mantle and it did it with flair (by the way have I mentioned that there seems to be a StarGate on the M6 on the way to the Lake District in the UK?). Then it all ended and there was no SciFi show on TV for almost 1-2 yrs ... bit of a withdrawal to be honest for me. Battle Star Galactica came on and things were right with the world again ... then Stargate Universe was announced and my "cup runneth over!"
Comparison to BSG
Stargate Universe was supposed to be a "dark" version of Stargate, similar to BSG in an attempt to revive the franchise (which I must admit was slightly flagging for me also near the end of Stargate Atlantis) ... however while it started out with a "bang" (literally in fact as the way in which the team transferred to the Destiny was via an exploding planet!) it really flagged in the middle and only started to pick up near the end of the season. To some extent, Stargate Universe followed the same model as previous versions - a small team that was in the middle of most stories, comprising of military (Lieutenant Scott - a young soldier, Sergeant Greer, Colonel Young - the head of the operation) and civilians (Dr. Rush - the scientist in charge, Eli - a genius kid, Chloe - a senator's daughter & Camile Wray - a member of the International Oversight Committee), the sense of camaraderie is definitely not there as conflict abounds between the two groups that are forced together in such close proximity.
You would think that this conflict would be interesting ... but unfortunately it really isn't. Personally I would much prefer if the two groups would realize that they are alone - literally millions and billions of miles away from the rest of the human race and it would just make sense to work together! Throughout the show, the characters are trying to survive daily life on the ship, figure out where it's going, find a way back home, and fight off the occasional bad guys ...so its really not rocket science to realize that success is best achieved by working together ...
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A brief recap of the season is basically as follows:
Episodes 1- 4 or 5 ... try to figure out where they are and how the ship works (by the way, the communication stones - really dumb - being able to communicate from literally one end of the Universe to another is stupid. The team on the Destiny should have been left to fend for themselves vs. being able to "call home" ... while the point is obviously to try to show the characters as they deal with their home lives, it only takes away from the real story which is the situation on the ship).
Instead of dealing with the actual issue though, the standard formula is too often followed where the show too often simply puts them in threatening scenarios, tries to convince the viewer that there's no way they'll escape, and eventually finds some way to get them out relatively unharmed. Some of the episodes that perpetrated this too a very great degree are "Water", "Space" and "Lost" ... to really give you a feeling of how frustrating this is/was ... in Lost, some of the crew are trapped on a planet and while rushing to get back to the Destiny they just miss it before it makes its jump out of the galaxy and out of reach. In "Sabotage" - the next episode in the series, the Destiny suffers a malfunction and the stranded crew members are able to gate back on board just before it makes its jump. One other major complaint that I have is while Stargate Universe introduces a new alien race:
- They are still bipedal ... there have to be other forms of life out there that aren't symmetrical ... I'd love to see them!
- Even worse though ... they don't really do anything! While they managed to capture several members of the crew (Rush and Chloe), both are able to escape without too much trouble (in fact, in Rush's case, it is his way back to the ship after being stranded by Colonel Young!) and they seem to be pretty much useless for anything else!
In fact the "villains" in Stargate Universe after being all the way on the other end of the universe ... are ... humans! Come on, this was the perfect chance to introduce some sort of new super race. I mean in the beginning of Atlantis the Wraith were actually villains worth the name! Here's hoping that when Stargate Universe returns for its next season it actually has learned from its mistakes and while it left several members of its crew in jeopardy ... unfortunately, chances are good that they will all survive!