By Stephen Compall
Oct 21, 2010 11:49 AM EST

Stargate SG-U: 1.0 Blu-ray Review

Stargate SG-U: 1.0 Blu-ray Review
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You would think that, having done this at least twice before, producing 15 seasons of Stargate franchise television, the makers of Stargate Universe would know what they're doing right off the bat.  SGU, however, in its first 10 episodes, strayed too far outside the comfort zone, and we fans have been punished with something terribly awkward to watch again, even by the standards of American sci-fi series.

This is sort of a life-or-death thing for them.  The Stargate crew has exhausted the possibilities of its traditional light-hearted yet serialized storytelling, and in keeping with Syfy's programming shifts, decided to try and fill the niche left open by Battlestar Galactica's conclusion with a dark, brooding style, and a cast filled with morally ambiguous characters.

The worst thing is the jarring unsubtlety of Stargate's new flavor.  Hey, Rush (Robert Carlyle, Trainspotting, The Full Monty) may or may not be trying to sabotage the whole crew, and everything that happens was probably secretly set in motion by him!  Ooh, desperate for human connection as certain doom approaches, Scott (Brian J. Smith, Hate Crime) and Chloe (Elyse Levesque) start having sex!  Yeah, that Wray (Ming-Na, Mulan, ER), she's really political, but Young (Louis Ferreira, Shooter), he sure is a hypocrite.  I'd better not mention Greer (Jamil Walker Smith, Hey Arnold!) in this list, because he might get angry at me.

In these respects and otherwise, the characters all seem to act as if only to play to specific types.  But there are seemingly as many structural flaws as in the decrepit ship Destiny on which they travel.  Starting off the series by cutting our heroes off from earth, a similar mechanic to that which held for quite a while in Stargate Atlantis's early days, this dynamic was almost immediately abandoned.  As pleased as I was to see Reiko Aylesworth (24) again, I'm not sure it was worth dealing with Scott's son or Young and Telford's (Lou Diamond Phillips, Young Guns, Courage Under Fire) aimless jealousy arc.

I don't necessarily think that SGU isn't worth the praise given to the rest of the series, and should probably just be purchase so you have the complete collection.  As I have explained in my review of season 1.5, there are plenty of reasons to think that the show is going to get much better than all this, though it's by no means a risk-free venture, even a few episodes into season 2.  So, if we are quite lucky, and you find yourself invested in the future plotlines of SGU to come, maybe you might care to see where it all began.  Then, put the memories in a little birdhouse, and move on, never looking back.
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Read More Reviews For Stargate Universe

  • Stephen Compall   (B)  (Stargate Universe - SGU: Season 1.5 Blu-ray Review)

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