selection of episodes pick up from the mid-season cliff-hanger in which
Colonel Young (Justin Louis) marooned Dr. Rush (Trainspotting’s
Robert Carlyle) on a desert planet for framing him for murder.
The decision wracks Young with guilt, but he doesn’t have too much time to
spend on feeling crap though. It seems that the Destiny “crew” (or is that
stowaways?) are not the only intelligent life in their sector of the galaxy,
and that the schism between the civilians and military aboard the ship is
growing larger by the day. Then there is the issue of who exactly was behind
the attack which left them stranded upon the alien craft in the first place
. . .
Early on in this series it was clear that Stargate Universe SGU was
more of a “drama” than an action show. For starters there weren’t any
English-speaking, dread-locked aliens in sight. Nor any aliens that looked
like Johnny Winter band members. Not one.
Yup, this new Stargate is all “dark and edgy.” It takes more than a
page from the Battlestar Galactica
revival. Think of it as Stargate for people who like Battlestar
Galactica. It may be set in the same fictional universe as the previous
Stargate TV shows, but
SGU however has more in common with the new Battlestar Galactica
than its immediate forebears.
The question is however whether this sort of darker, edgier tone is suited
to the Stargate, er, universe. That
is a question open for debate and by its first season’s end fans still
aren’t in agreement it seems . . .
THE DISCS: The Blu-Ray transfer is beautiful, with
excellent sound and picture quality.
Fox also adopted sexy user-friendly menus that allow users
to quickly access whatever bells and whistles they desire. The extra
features are spread across all three disks, and divided into three sections
on each disk: the typical bevy of brief featurettes, excerpts of the Kino
video diaries from the show, and commentary from the cast and/or crew for
The third disk contains an interactive game - unique to
Blu-Ray - in which the player has to aid a landing party by making quick
decisions on their behalf. Finally, the review copy came with a fold-out
cardboard box capable of holding both of SGU’s first season Blu-Rays.
WORTH IT? Whereas SG:1 and
Atlantis were light
entertainment – think the Star Wars movies on a 1960s series Star
Trek series budget – this new Stargate is solemn. However we like
to think of SGU as simply being different to previous Stargate
incarnations and not necessarily better or worse. Fans should ask themselves
whether the long-running Stargate franchise hasn’t exhausted itself
by now and that what it needed was a new approach to the concept. Besides,
there aren’t that many sci-fi shows doing the rounds right now –
particularly ones set on alien planets and spaceships . . .
RECOMMENDATION: If there is any thing more hateful than the so-called
mid-season break, it is the practice of splitting complete seasons of TV
shows into different box sets. Rather wait for the complete season box set
one day instead.