"STARGATE UNIVERSE: SEASON 1.0"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ** (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)
Robert Carlyle as DR. NICHOLAS RUSH
Justin Louis as EVERETT YOUNG
Brian J. Smith as MATTHEW SCOTT
Elyse Levesque as CHLOE ARMSTRONG
David Blue as ELI WALLACE
Alaina Huffman as TAMARA JOHANSEN
Jamil Walker Smith as RONALD GREER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT
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While uncovering a gate capable of dialing an eighth chevron, a random group of military members, politicians, media and civilians are attacked and forced to step through the stargate to an unknown destination. They find themselves aboard an ancient supership billions of light years from Earth. Their tale becomes one of survival in the deepest regions of space, struggling with finding essential resources and overcoming interpersonal conflicts.
WHAT I LIKED
I have been a fan of the Stargate series for years, and I was excited as hell when I saw they were making a new one. There are some elements of the show that I do enjoy, in particular the new design of the ship, the production design and the special effects.
With this new series, it’s clear that the showrunners are determined to make it look even more cinematic than the previous incarnations. It looks more like a feature film than a television series. “Stargate Atlantis” had already started taking steps towards that feel, especially in the fourth season, and it is continued here.
While I am a bit disappointed in the series right now, it has some very fertile ground to farm. Like other series that got off to a rocky start, I’d like to see where this goes once the showrunners actually start writing sustainable episodes.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
As excited as I was to see a new “Stargate” series hit Syfy, I was equally as disappointed with this new incarnation.
I understand that the ratings for “Stargate Atlantis” were in a bit of a slump, but they switched things up too much in this series. “Stargate Universe” has become MGM’s answer to “Battlestar Galactica,” in look and feel. And while I dearly loved BSG, that’s not for everyone.
“Stargate Universe” is more about interpersonal conflicts than about dealing with a greater universe, and that’s sad. What made “Stargate Atlantis” and “Stargate SG-1” so awesome was the camaraderie between the characters. In this new series, everyone is bickering and fighting. That’s what you get when you cram everyone together. They can’t even work together to find their basic resources.
After “BSG” became a hit, it seems that every show wants to go dark, not just in the tone of the series, but in the set design. On the Blu-ray, the producers talk about how “Stargate Universe” has such a unique look. It doesn’t. It looks like they’re copying the halls of an old Battlestar. It’s not that original.
The show needs an infusion of life, and it needs a common enemy. People on the ship need to stop fighting among themselves because it leaves the audience not liking any of the characters. In this sense, the folks behind “Stargate Universe” went too far from the original flavor that made fifteen seasons of “SG-1” and “Atlantis.” Seriously, everyone on that damn ship are assholes, and I don’t care if they live or die.
Like many fans, I’ll give the show another try when it returns... but it’s on probation in my book.
First of all, before dealing with the bonus features, I will say that this Blu-ray looks amazing. This new series is being shot on hi-def, and that comes across in the presentation on these two discs. If it’s worth watching, it’s worth watching on Blu-ray.
The features include audio commentaries on all the episodes with the producers and the cast, which is always nice to have. There’s also the extended edition of the pilot episode and self-contained Kino video diaries to add some depth to the characters.
Additional features also included on the DVD are sit-down interviews with the cast and “Stargate 101: Presented by Dr. Daniel Jackson,” which offers an in-character tutorial of the background of the Stargate universe.
The Blu-ray also includes “Creating a New Universe,” which has more than 40 minutes of content exclusive to this format.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Anyone who thought the “Stargate” series weren’t enough like “Battlestar Galactica.”