Stargate Universe, Review


by Irma Arkus

Stargate Universe is undoubtedly one of the best surprises to grace our small screens in years. Following the mythos established by the previous two successful series, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, SG:U took a turn in its approach and managed to singlehandedly unite fans pining for Moore’s version of BSG, with the rabid Stargate followers.

What it offers in terms of viewing is spectacular writing, combined with excellent casting and borrowed stylistic choices that made BSG stand out as a remarkable show. That is all added to generous helping of science fiction and alien worlds, as well as excellent human tales.

Unlike the previous incarnations of Stargate, SG:U takes a serious turn, depicting not a happy family unit, but rather randomly collected souls trapped on a ship of the Ancients, a race long gone, responsible for seeding the universe with their Stargate technology. Despite the evident military presence, and a few techno-gadgets acquired by humanity, the survivors, most comprised of non-military personnel, find themselves on the other side of a gate without a clear chain of command, causing major temper flares and continuous conflict.

Casting is superb.

Robert Carlyle is Dr. Nicholas Rush, a brilliant yet egotistical scientist whose loyalties seem to reside more with his own thirst for knowledge and discovery, rather than with the human survivors surrounding him. Dr. Rush seems to, for the most part, have his heart in the right place, but his lack of social skills makes him a jagged personae that is hard to ascribe to a leadership position.

A relative newcomer, Brian J. Smith is playing a writers’ favorite, Matthew Scott. Matthew is an officer who is a positive presence, a sort of uniting presence on board, but one sorely lacking in experience that would make him head the rag-tag team. What he lacks in expertise (of any kind) he makes up for in heart and

David Blue, a familiar face to those watching an occasional Ugly Betty or Moonlight episode, is a welcome and comforting comic relief, brought on board the accidental expedition because he literally played too many video games.

Justin Louis, on the other hand, is an amazing casting choice for a veteran military commander, who is also handicapped by a physical injury when boarding the ship. His leadership is innate and well suited, but still questioned by Colonel David Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) who is actually still on Earth.

This is all nice and dandy, but the real writing and character development are seen in Ronald Greer.

Played by Jamil Walker Smith, Greer is a military grunt. Gruff, violent, and a bully who displays a surprising amount of loyalty, Greer is a fantastic character, whom you love to hate at one moment, and then surprisingly find an ounce of respect the next, cleverly showcasing the kind of unmatched skills of the writers who will take Stargate Universe to an entirely new and unprecedented heights.

The show is also chock-full of familar faces. Richard Dean Anderson is aging gracefully, dispensing occasional advice as the Liutenant General Jack O’Neill, and he is joined by a line or two from Michael Shanks and Amanda Tapping. Together they solidify SG:U as part of the Stargate family, giving it grounding and relation to the rest of the franchise, something that Star Trek Enterprise, for example, failed in miserably.

These few, precious characters, together with politicians, bureaucrats, soldiers and diplomats, make up the haphazard crew of an Ancient ship, removed billions of light years across not one, but numerous galaxies away from Earth.

Their very landing on the Ancient ship – a rough, tumbling and frightening fall into the unknown darkness through the familiar and previously comforting Stargate – instantly gives rise to a differentiation of SG:U from other shows in the franchise, and solidifies a beginning of what is surely to be an amazing science fiction adventure.

Now tune in. It’s good for you.

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So, this review got posted on Reddit.com here here and me being a total klutz, I forgot to turn the comments on, so you can see there what other peeps thought of the SG:U show.