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Jury still out on Stargate Universe

November 22, 2009

I’ve been watching Stargate Universe since it “launched”… and I still don’t have a good feel for it yet. I was really worried that it had already fallen into a pattern after the first few episodes. In one, the ship brought them to a desert planet where the substance they needed to fix the ship was a major trek from the gate. In another, the ship brought them to an ice planet where the drinkable water they needed was a major trek from the gate. If that was the plan for the next couple of years, I’d pass. But they’ve pulled back from the brink.

What I like.

  • The characters. Rush is  the most complex character in any of the Stargate series. He’s got the brains of Carter/McKay without their morality or blind team loyalty. That makes him interesting. You’re never really sure what he’s doing or why. And Robert Carlyle is a fantastic actor. Eli’s the wide-eyed newbie there to ask questions for the audience. And (of course) he’s brilliant enough to keep Rush from getting away with too much. But he’s a fun character and played well by David Blue. (Does Blue remind anyone else of Jason Biggs from American Pie?). TJ, Greer, even the bald guy who can’t control his temper. All interesting with a lot of potential.
  • There isn’t the obligatory alien with super strength / wisdom to guide and save the team.
  • The  fact that the main computer control area looks like the TARDIS control room.

What I don’t like.

  • Why does American sci-fi have to be so damned boring. PICK UP THE PACE!!! Let’s go already. Watch a couple of episodes of Doctor Who or Torchwood. Plenty of technobabble, lots of drama and deep moments, but upbeat, fun and exciting. My wife, who hates sci-fi, looks forward to those. Deep and dark doesn’t have to mean sleep inducing. (ST:DS9, Enterprise, Battlestar Galactica all had the same problem.)
  • These people are really free with other people’s bodies. Those stranded on  the Ancient ship can use magical communications stones to trade bodies with people at Stargate Command. Ok, I’ll play along. But what’s the first thing they all do? Find their wives / significant others and have sex. Umm… has no one given any thought to what happens when Col Young gets his wife pregnant while he’s “borrowing” Telford’s body? Figure that one out. Anyone thought about STD’s? How about the unnamed female airman who trades places with Camile Way? Anyone ask if she minded it Camile spent the weekend having sex with her lesbian partner? Somehow I doubt that’s what the airman signed on for.
  • PICK UP THE PACE!!!! Don’t just plod around and look constipated.

So far, the best I can say is that this has potential. It’s certainly better than Sanctuary. But, its not good enough for me to get really excited yet. Here’s hoping.

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