SGU: STARGATE UNIVERSE - THE COMPLETE FINAL SEASON
SGU: Stargate Universe - The Complete Final Season
Carlyle, Louis Ferreira, Brian J. Smith, Elyse Levesque, David Blue
Writers: Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper
Format: AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Subtitled,
Subtitles: English, French
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 5
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
DVD Release Date: May 31, 2011
Run Time: 880 minutes
one thinks about it, it should come as no surprise that a bona fide science
fiction writer such as John Scalzi of Old Man’s War fame worked as
creative consultant on the StarGate: Universe
(or SGU as its fans call it) Syfy TV series. After all, the show
explored several hard sci-fi tropes such as the quest for vast unknowable
alien intelligences, the unimaginable distances between stars and galaxies,
and so on – the sort of stuff usually confined to written science fiction.
Sadly this wasn’t enough to save SGU: the show’s cancellation was
announced before its second season was even broadcast. There was talk of a
full-length made-for-DVD movie to wind up the various plot loose ends left
behind by its bittersweet season finale, but nothing came of it. It also
seems unlikely that other TV stations will pick up the series.
SGU’s demise not marks the end the end of a franchise that has been
around in some form or another since the Emmerich big screen movie back in
1994, but it is also the first time that there isn’t a TV show around which
doesn’t feature a starship captain of some sort.
Some fans accuse SGU, which admittedly took some liberties with the
StarGate “recipe” to nudge it into
darker and “heavier” territories, for the franchise’s demise. Many fans
detested the strife between SGU’s various characters and missed the
easy camaraderie of StarGate: SG1
and StarGate: Atlantis.
This was StarGate for people who didn’t like StarGate and was
closer in tone to the Battlestar
Galactica reimagining than previous incarnations of the show. A more
likely culprit for SGU’s early death is probably the economic
recession, the same recession that made them film a Pirates of the
Caribbean flick in Hawaii instead of the Caribbean itself and has even
thus far prevented another James Bond movie from being made.
Science fiction shows nowadays are more Earthbound. No whizzing around the
galaxy in a faster-than-light spaceship. That costs just too much money.
Sure, sci-fi isn’t dead. There are still a few SF TV shows out there. But
sci-fi is now limited to law-enforcement officials of some sort
investigating the paranormal (Fringe
is the best example of this). Much easier on the budget. In the ultimate
analysis The X-Files is the
template for today’s TV shows instead of
THE DISCS: The DVD collection holds five discs –
very neatly contained in a standard size case. Each disc contains four
episodes, plus an array of special features. The features are solid, though
fairly typical: interviews with the lively cast, several behind-the-scenes
docs, creator’s commentaries on each episode, and a look at the series
finale. SGU fans should enjoy them, and they lend a nice sense of
completion to the set.
WORTH IT? That said StarGate Universe was a flawed show. It
was hampered in particular by slow pacing problems. Initially the show was
also in danger of becoming a relentless grim battle for survival – not much
fun in that especially when one is involved in one’s own relentless grim
battle for survival in this damned economic recession. It is however ironic
that just as the show’s characters were coalescing into a working team –
that camaraderie which die-hard fans missed – that SGU should be cancelled.
RECOMMENDATION: Is it worth investing all this time in a show that
doesn’t end properly? We think so, yes, especially if you are the type who
reads the likes of Arthur C. Clarke, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ben Bova and
other hard SF authors. It isn’t a perfect show, but by investing some time
in complex characters and interesting SF ideas SGU is a damn sight better
than most of the shows still running on Syfy!