Review: Stargate Universe: Season 1

Series: Stargate: #19

Series: Stargate Universe: #1

Onward to another universe!

Stargate SG-1 started it all, focusing mostly on adventure and exploring a brand new universe. Stargate Atlantis took that feeling and went hard into the sci-fi nature of the show, giving us an entirely different galaxy and people, dealing with (in some ways) much larger and more complicated threats.

Stargate Universe… in some ways takes us even father, across tens or hundreds of galaxies to an Ancient (both in manufactory and age) ship–the Destiny. And there’s a fair bit of the sci-fi thriller feel of trying to survive in difficult times, learning about the ship and galaxy you’ve found yourself in. But really, at it’s heart, Stargate Universe is about people. And man are they some messed up and drama-filled people.

It’s a very different feel from SG-1 and Atlantis, but there’s still a core of Stargate to it. Through the first season, there are some absolutely stunning episodes like Time and Space and a few… of the other sort (Life and Pain). I’m not a huge fan of how quickly the communication stones were introduced and how much they’re used nor did I care for the big climax involving the Lucian Alliance rather than something more … alien, but it’s still a pretty good show.

Mini reviews! (potential spoilers)

  • Air, Part 1: Man that’s a way to start off. Echoes of Atlantis, sent off to a far away gate, a feeling of discovery. But this time, it’s further and things are going even worse. It’s an intense show and has a bit of a darker, grittier feel, but I still like it.

    One comment: the sex scene. It’s a bit of a different feel, but if you think back to the first episode of SG-1… well, I suppose it’s not without precedent. And SG-U is trying to be more ‘gritty’, so it fits.

  • Air, Part 2: Stuck across the universe with a collection of random people that mostly never asked to be there. And uet they’re starting to step up. Oh Rush, he’s a great competant love to hate him sort of man. Plus, communication stones! (already)

  • Air, Part 3: More infighting! Spanning galaxies. Losses. And finally, some progress.

  • Darkness: Turns out… everyone is slightly stressed. The idea of interviewing is amusing. And then, out of the Darkness, into the…

  • Light: That’s certainly a way to recharge. And hey, more love tangles, sex (no way they have a supply of birth control…), and interpersonal drama. It’s what SGU does, but it’s certainly a different feel from SG1 and Atlantis.

  • Water: Air, power, now what? Sending Young and Scott through was a poor choice if they’re the only ones that can fly the shuttle. Neat to see new and interesting threat the universe can bring to bear.

    I do wonder… if they went back to that planet in a thousand years—would it be a desert too?

  • Earth: Wait… what? TJ and Young? Oh boy. .

    And… the idea of using the stones to replace someone a billion light years away is fascinating.

    O’NEILL: Look, I offered you command of the expedition. You were my first choice. But you turned it down. Your exact words, as I recall, were, “I don’t think it’s still in me, sir.”

    YOUNG: Well, I’m there now, sir, whether I like it or not - whether anyone likes it. This is wrong and you know it. I spent most of my career looking up to you because you always did the right thing even if it meant disregarding the chain of command.

    Conversely, getting a chance to talk to family back home is a neat plotline, no matter how messy that of course gets. Intergalactic love tangle go! Man Eli is bad at this. His mother gets it though.

  • Time: Well that’s a trippy, creepy episode. Taking a trip from drama to horror. A definite high point of Season 1.

  • Life: Life on Destiny begins to settle into a rhythm, Scott sleeps around even more, and new discoveries are made. I so do not care about Scott… like at all. Or really most of this episode’s drama. A let down after Time.

    It’s interesting they haven’t had a gender swap when using the communication stones yet. Also the number of people having sex in other people’s bodies is kinda creepy.

  • Justice: Murder on the Destiny! And Young is the primary suspect? Trial time. It’s focused almost entirely on the characters, but the arguable B plots (Ancient brain device! aliens!) make up for it. Oh that’s crazy.

  • Space: Aliens!

    YOUNG Eli, everyone on board this ship is counting on you.

    ELI (stressed) I don’t need to hear that.

    YOUNG You can do this.

    ELI No. No, I can’t.

    YOUNG Yes, you can.

    ELI Why is this all on me, okay? What about him? [He points to Brody.]

    YOUNG I don’t care. Both of you. I need this ship working now!

    ELI (still working) You should’ve thought of that before you got rid of Rush.

    YOUNG Just fix it.

    Now that’s the sci fi I’m looking for. Space battles and mysteries!

  • Divided: PTSD? Alien connections? Oh boy.

  • Faith: A planet that shouldn’t be, right when perhaps they need it most? Oy. Now that’s a mystery.

  • Human: Rush is the ‘human’? And then Chloe is going to suddenly be the Daniel Jackson? Interesting how they’re leaving people behind two episodes in a row.

  • Lost: Gate hopping in a galaxy a long long way from home. Intense. And why Greer is so Greet. Also intense.

  • Sabotage: Leaving a galaxy?! That could be a problem. Also an interesting exploration of the ancient communication devices and disabilities. Quite the ending as well.

  • Pain: Well that’s a horrifying escalation. Going to be fallout from that…

  • Subversion: Turns out Earth is still back there somewhere. And the Lucian Alliance. A bit of a switch. It’s half a show about those stones. Not sure what to think about that. I think I liked the more Destiny centric episodes.

  • Incursion, Part 1: More Lucians! But also O’Neil, Carter, and even instructional Jackson. So that’s cool. Interesting way to get some more faces at least.

  • Incursion, Part 2: As if a Lucian invasion wasn’t enough they random dropped out of FTL … near a pulsar. All righty then.

Here I was pushing through before Stargate left Hulu in October… and apparently it was renewed. So it goes, more Stargate never hurt anyone! (I hope)