Stargate Universe - Complete Season 1
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A group of soldiers, scientists and civilians, fleeing an attack, find themselves stranded billions of miles from Earth on an Ancient ship known as the Destiny. Locked on an unknown course, they must fight to survive and find a way home. The danger, adventure and hope they find on board the Destiny will reveal the heroes and villains among them.
Includes all 20 episodes from season 1.
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SG-U has a different approach as they are constantly on the move rather than working from a single location, the spaceship Destiny, which was launched by the Ancients millions of years ago was originally intended to be boarded when it was far enough out into the universe, to help achieve this they had sent Stargate seeder ships ahead to place Stargates on various planets. This however was later abandoned following the ancients progress into ascension (god like level of existence).
The Ancients had planned on boarding Destiny by using the Stargate on-board it, however to do this they would need to enter an address that consisted of nine chevrons, for those of you who SG & SG-A fans this was something that needed a serious amount of energy in order to ake it possible.
This series starts with a team of soldiers and scientists what we know as present-day Earth, the team arrive on Destiny following a devastating attack on their base which drove them blindly through the Stargate and onto Destiny. They quickly establish that many of its primary systems are either damaged, failing or are unknown to them. Due to this lack of knowledge and the fact that Destiny is following its original programming they are unable to return to Earth or even fly the ship for that matter.
But there is one thing that Destiny does on a regular bases, and that is stop periodically, These stops allow the crew to dial the Stargate and visit planets, giving them the opportunity to restock with supplies along with some repairs to the ship, repairs that essential to sustaining their lives.
I can remember reading somewhere that the original idea was for each season to be a journey through a different galaxy, the idea being that they wanted to appeal to both SG & SG-A fans while attracting a newer audience at the same time, to do attempt this they used established Stargate mythology, technologies and SG aspects sparingly so as to keep it in line but not soaked with everything we have seen already.
They have kept familiar Stargate themes of adventure, action and exploration, but altered the focus to be mainly on the crew. The show has often been referred to as "dark and edgy", a story of hope with elements of fear, terror, betrayal and tragedy, but not without its humorous moments.
Good and evil are less obvious but this is because the ship is crewed by a group of people who were never meant to be on such a mission, so this allows for more character flaws, being unprepared, depression, panic and quick to pass judgement on one another. There are a few aliens but this time they are more varied rather larger singular threats SG's Goa'uld and SG-A's Wraith.
SG-U only lasted for two seasons due to the viewer numbers dropping by over a third, this forced them into ending at series two, the series simply wasn't cost effective to keep it running, shame really as I loved the series, but then I am a big SG fan, that said I feel they could have done more with it. Season two got better with improved FX and the fact that they started to focus on its crew who are more fractured than team, almost factional in places with copious amounts of mistrust.
I love it, and think most sci-fi fans will love it, but as for newer fans well that's where my Marmite but comes in the most, you will love it or hate it...
This is a show that tried far too hard to emulate Battlestar Galactica's dark, brooding and gritty feel, something that feels especially forced considering the other two series in the franchise. Yes, SG-1 and SGA both had moments of darkness and some grim themes, but the general feeling was one of action, adventure and entertainment. Initially SGU doesn't feel like the kind of Stargate established by ten seasons of SG-1 and five of Atlantis, though eventually it finds a good niche, albeit too late, and this distance drove off a lot of the fanbase, particularly those who thought SGA was 'sacrificed' to make way for the very different SGU. I was one of them - when first broadcast, I stuck it out for four episodes before leaving, annoyed by the franchise's new turn. However, I'm glad I made a point of watching it through properly when it was later repeated. This is something of a slow burner that rewards repeat viewings.
The characters range from one to two dimensional. Well portrayed by the actors, but only rarely well written enough.
There's a distinct shift in tone regarding the emphasis on science/belief in this, compared to previous Stargate titles. Before, the science was strong enough that real scientists made appearances - this series would be more likely have a priest make an appearance. Like how BSG was diminished by the inclusion of religious mumbo jumbo towards the end, this series runs with that from the get go.
There's also a friction between the military and the civilian scientists. Fair enough perhaps, but it gets wearisome and irritating. SG1 had the scientist as a member of the military, and Atlantis did sport a flaky enough character in McKay to excuse Shepherds tiresome growling "just get it done." That attitude is rarely absent from a scene in this. The military appear to regard knowledge as a character flaw.
The military presence is small (as small as the science team) but only the doctor could be regarded as a positively rendered character. The boss regards knowledge as bothersome, on a need-to-know-basis and favours "close enough" and the "just get it done" approach. The next in line is an immature boy with the depth of a puddle, and the last is a one-note character based on a growly toughness.
The science is not used as strongly as previous Stargate titles. Instead there's constant use of algorithms and programming. They should have taken more computer programmers than astro-physicists.
It's not purely episodic trash. Characters have arcs weaving in and out of episode and season arcs. Of the episodes though, if you played a drinking game where you took a glug everytime they experienced a gribbly situation against the clock you'd be dead of alcohol poisoning soon enough. The writers seem incapable of creating a situation that visits drama without over-doing that schtick.
It's not the worst thing that been filmed, but one would hope the writers have moved onto something they're better suited for, something that doesn't involved words.