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  • Stargate Universe

    About 8 episodes into this now, and I'm wondering why on earth it got cancelled. The show looks great, it's tastefully scored and the characters feel fully fleshed out and human (with flaws and real shortcomings).

    Sure, it feels a *bit* self-consciously 'gritty' and BSG inspired, but thus far I'm really enjoying it.
    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!

  • #2
    I certainly like SGU a lot, and would have liked to see it continue.
    Jan from Denmark

    My blog :

    http://www.babylonlurker.dk

    "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"

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    • #3
      I couldn't stand it. I found most of the characters to be annoying. I also couldn't stand the whole (magic) communication stones that allowed them to bring in guest stars. The show was loaded with wasted potential. I guess they felt the other Stargate shows explored plenty so making this show more contained was okay. And most importantly, it was way too obvious that they were trying to capture what Battlestar Galactica had and bring it into the Stargate Universe. The worst aspect of the show is that it may have destroyed the Stargate franchise forever.

      Sorry, but I really didn't care for anything on SGU except the theme song. I mean, Carlyle was great and the show wasn't good enough for him.
      Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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      • #4
        In retrospect, I'm not even sure it was just BSG they were imitating. When you hear the writers discuss the show's inspirations, they talk about a lot of other TV dramas that used such visual and storytelling techniques long before BSG. And unlike BSG, which often used its visuals as a way to pretend to be deeper than it was, SGU makes excellent use of its style.

        I do wish it wasn't called Stargate, though. That's its biggest failing - it's so vastly different from the shows that spawned it that it ends up confusing the viewer's perception of what it's trying to do. I know that happened to me.

        Oddly enough, despite the fact it was cancelled, SGU has a far more satisfying overall arc and series finale than BSG.
        Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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        • #5
          I didn't like BSG 2003+ OR SGU, for the same reaaons. After awhile, I didn't care if any of the characters lived or died, because they were almost all thoroughly unlikeable. That decidedly was NOT the case with SG1 or SGA.

          The difference was that I liked BSG 2003+ at the beginning (opening "miniseries") but it went downhill with each season. By the time I finished Season 3 and Razor (all of which I bought on DVD), I couldn't stand it anymore, and sold my DVDs (miniseries thru S3 and Razor) for half of what I paid. IMHO, SGU was bad from the start.
          Mac Breck (KoshN)
          ------------------
          Warner Brothers is Lucy.
          JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
          Babylon 5 is the football.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KoshN View Post
            I didn't like BSG 2003+ OR SGU, for the same reaaons. After awhile, I didn't care if any of the characters lived or died, because they were almost all thoroughly unlikeable. That decidedly was NOT the case with SG1 or SGA.

            The difference was that I liked BSG 2003+ at the beginning (opening "miniseries") but it went downhill with each season. By the time I finished Season 3 and Razor (all of which I bought on DVD), I couldn't stand it anymore, and sold my DVDs (miniseries thru S3 and Razor) for half of what I paid. IMHO, SGU was bad from the start.
            I think that's really not true of SGU, though I was also under that impression for the longest time. The characters in SGU are very human and often very flawed, but over time they overcome their differences and develop very real and very moving friendships. It's quite beautiful.

            It is, however, very different from previous Stargate shows. (Which, to be honest, I think are rather cartoonish.)
            Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jonas View Post
              I think that's really not true of SGU, though I was also under that impression for the longest time. The characters in SGU are very human and often very flawed, but over time they overcome their differences and develop very real and very moving friendships. It's quite beautiful.

              It is, however, very different from previous Stargate shows. (Which, to be honest, I think are rather cartoonish.)
              I'm with you there. I think that difference may have been what alienated a lot of fans. I used to watch SG1 on Sunday mornings on Chanel 4, and I always thought of it as ‘good fun’ slightly throwaway SF. My ex-Girlfriend loved it, so we watched quite a lot of it together. I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I’d ever go out of my way to watch it. I did like that the show never took itself too seriously, and I can see why SGU would be a big leap for fans who liked the more light hearted tone of the previous incarnations.

              I think SGU quite accurately depicts people under extreme pressure and stress. There are definitely some more (and less) sympathetic characters, but no one would be at their best in such a situation. When it comes to survival, people look out for number one! I’m still getting a feel for the characters, deciding who I like and who I don’t. In terms of plot, I think the pacing is excellent. I’m 10 episodes in now and a LOT has happened, I’ve always been interested to see what comes next. The ‘problem of the week’ stuff melds really nicely with the overarching plot. I particularly like how the Kino devices have been used as a plot device; to deliver quick snippets of personal history and measure the feelings of the crew.

              I really liked the episode "Time", which made significant use of kino footage to drive the plot. Very slickly realised as a stand-alone episode. I liked that it didn’t spoon feed you an ending either, leaving you to conclude the time loop had been resolved in a positive fashion.
              Last edited by Ubik; 01-13-2014, 07:09 AM.
              Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

              Kosh: Good!

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              • #8
                I tuned out SGU for the same reasons Looney pointed out - too morose.

                I started watching SG1 while I was working at an air force base and immediately took a liking to the Jack O'Neil character.
                In my experience I'd met some officers who took themselves too seriously, but I've known a few O'Neils too.

                I dare say SG1 may have jumped-the-shark when Richard Dean Anderson was no longer a regular.
                The franchise recovered nicely with the handoff to SG: Atlantis.

                No offense to Ben Browder and Claudia Black, they spun their magic in Farscape which had a nice long run.
                I own both box set and the Peace Keeper Wars

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DaveNarn View Post
                  I tuned out SGU for the same reasons Looney pointed out - too morose.

                  I started watching SG1 while I was working at an air force base and immediately took a liking to the Jack O'Neil character.
                  In my experience I'd met some officers who took themselves too seriously, but I've known a few O'Neils too.

                  I dare say SG1 may have jumped-the-shark when Richard Dean Anderson was no longer a regular.
                  The franchise recovered nicely with the handoff to SG: Atlantis.

                  No offense to Ben Browder and Claudia Black, they spun their magic in Farscape which had a nice long run. I own both box set and the Peace Keeper Wars
                  I agree that SG1 was spun out for far too long, and should have been closed out before the quality began to slip. Then again, I've always seen it as 'light entertainment', so have no particular burning issues with the show. I only saw a bit of Atlantis, which seemed like ‘more of the same’ but with a new cast of characters to become invested in.

                  With SGU, I like that they attempted something different. There would have been little mileage in another 'go through the gate, encounter aliens, solve problems' format show. I agree SGU is a good deal darker than its predecessors, but it comes nowhere close to the unrelenting grimness of rebooted BSG. I think that given time, it would have settled into something slightly more upbeat, once some of the initial hurdles of their situation had been overcome. I’m still only half way through S1, so it's hard to judge as a whole just yet. I'll let you guys know my thoughts as I progress through it.

                  Currently, the only other SF show I’m watching is 'Almost Human', which has been great thus far. Good characters and high productions values. Nice to see some new genre TV that’s good (and not yet cancelled)!
                  Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                  Kosh: Good!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                    I think that's really not true of SGU, though I was also under that impression for the longest time. The characters in SGU are very human and often very flawed, but over time they overcome their differences and develop very real and very moving friendships. It's quite beautiful.
                    Just watched Episode 13 'Faith', and I see this beginning to come through. I thought it was a superb episode, and liked the use of the Earth like planet to forge deeper bonds between the crew. It felt hopeful and serene, in spite of the hard descisions that needed to be made. I don't find the show to be TOO morose, it seems far more balanced in terms of mood than most have made it out to be. It definitely isn't BSG... there's nowhere near enough crying.
                    Last edited by Ubik; 01-16-2014, 01:56 AM.
                    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                    Kosh: Good!

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                    • #11
                      Still watching this, half way through S2, still very much enjoying it.

                      It's proper adult SF, but to me it has more heart and far better continuity (thus far) than BSG did.
                      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                      Kosh: Good!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                        It's proper adult SF, but to me it has more heart and far better continuity (thus far) than BSG did.
                        YES! I don't know how I missed that at first.
                        Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                          YES! I don't know how I missed that at first.
                          Yep. Once you hit the later period of season two the crew really begins to cohere as a family unit that genuinely care about each other. For instance, even though Rush remains slightly devious and secretive, he's no longer selfishly taking care of his own needs and goals. Even the occasional bit of light humour is creeping back in.

                          It's annoying, because now that I'm really invested in the show, I only have 4-5 episodes left to watch and then it's over! Yet another example of a show where ratings definitely aren’t indicative of quality. It's funny, SyFy are apparently once again looking to make 'serious adult SF', pretty ironic when that’s exactly what they had in SGU. Idiots.
                          Last edited by Ubik; 01-22-2014, 04:16 AM.
                          Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                          Kosh: Good!

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                          • #14
                            Just finished watching this. I burned through all two seasons in a short period of time. It's fair to say I've been fairly immersed in the SGU universe for the past two weeks. I have to say, I'm saddened that it was cancelled.

                            This was consistently high quality TV, and taken as a whole, it definitely improves as it goes. The cast of characters develops well over time, and as Jonas mentioned it’s wonderful to see the crew of the Destiny slowly cohere into a family unit (albeit a slightly dysfunctional one!). Once the second season rolls round it begins to feel like a proper space exploration / ship show, as opposed to a grim tale of survival against the odds. I do understand the complaints about the grim tone. Yes, it is gritty to begin with, but it needed to be like that to reflect the harsh reality of the situation they find themselves in. I found that it eases up somewhat in the second season, and things tend to resolve themselves in the long term anyway.

                            The cast are really strong, and the standard of acting is high. Robert Carlyle puts in a particularly great turn as Dr. Rush, he manages to make a cold and calculating character fairly sympathetic. Which is a tall order for any actor. He's perhaps SGU's equivalent of Londo - he does some deeply selfish / destructive things to further his own aims, but slowly redeems himself.

                            I admit that I dismissed SGU as a flagrant BSG rip off when it first aired, but my initial assessment was deeply wrong. I feel the BSG comparisons are valid, but had SGU continued, I strongly believe it would have been a far better show than BSG. So glad I came back to it and gave it another chance. It's definitely my favourite Stargate series full stop. Whilst I enjoy the fun and light hearted nature of SG1 and other spin offs, I could never really take them seriously or treat them as quality TV that was worth investing in.

                            One thing I feel really deserves special mention is Joel Hennagin Goldsmith's score, it's absolutely gorgeous. Each season has clear recurring musical themes, and he just nails it. It’s so tasteful, and at times skirts very close to the school of minimal classical composition. It's just beautiful work, dramatic yet understated, which is rare in TV. I could see myself listening to this music outside of watching the series, which is something I seldom do. I’m fairly picky about music having invested the best part of 18 years of my life exploring and honing my tastes.

                            So, there you have it. Yet another really great SF show that was cancelled unjustly.
                            Last edited by Ubik; 01-24-2014, 03:41 AM.
                            Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                            Kosh: Good!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                              One thing I feel really deserves special mention is Joel Hennagin Goldsmith's score, it's absolutely gorgeous. Each season has clear recurring musical themes, and he just nails it. It’s so tasteful, and at times skirts very close to the school of minimal classical composition. It's just beautiful work, dramatic yet understated, which is rare in TV. I could see myself listening to this music outside of watching the series, which is something I seldom do. I’m fairly picky about music having invested the best part of 18 years of my life exploring and honing my tastes.
                              Complete agreement. The score is achingly beautiful, and I say that as someone who disliked Goldsmith's scores for the previous shows.
                              Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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