Stargate Universe Premiere: Review & Discussion

Published 6 years ago by , Updated October 4th, 2009 at 8:54 pm,

stargate universe stargate on destiny 02 Stargate Universe Premiere: Review & Discussion

Upfront: Stargate Universe premiered to a lot of hype that wasn’t completely fulfilled.  The episode was dark, as expected, but lacking in the energy I needed to really get hyped about it.  The acting wasn’t stiff, but I think the background music kept things in a very mellow state.

My devotion to the franchise kept me riveted and though I don’t think tonight’s episode was a stellar hit as some would lead you to believe, it delivered an interesting situation that will have me coming back for more… if anything, just to see if things improve or as I get more involved with the characters than I did tonight.

I don’t give everything up, but there are spoilers included below.

A Bit Of A Recap

The Stargate Universe opening scene has viewers watching a ship (the Destiny) drift towards them. The scene has a rather epic looking feel to it and what I didn’t know at the time was that this might have been the best scene of the show.

We go inside the ship and watch it slowly powering up the hallways, eventually finding ourselves looking at a Stargate powering up itself up and the event horizon bursting forth from the ring. People start to come flying through it, piling in on each other in an obvious state of panic.

Meanwhile, Dr Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle) is on a balcony, looking down on the scene, almost looking pleased.

We then experience a series of flashbacks interjected with the developing real-time plot (ala Lost) that help explain some back-story on some of the characters and the developing scenario.

We see boy genius Eli Wallace (David Blue) get recruited because he solved an online game that was designed by Dr. Rush from Stargate Command.  After Wallace solves the game, Lt. General Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) and Dr Rush show up at his door the next morning. Anyone ever see The Last Starfighter? I’m just saying.

When Wallace gets on board, he’s shown a series of videos to get caught up on the history of the Stargate program.  LOL – “Hi, I’m Dr. Jackson (Michael Shanks), and behind me is a Stargate.” I felt like I was watching the DNA video from Jurassic Park.

The rest of the Stargate Universe premiere shows us the attack that forced the impromptu evacuation, focusing on the people on board the Destiny as they try to comprehend their new situation situation – between each other and between them and the ship/environment they now find themselves in.

The Destiny is a ship built by the Ancients. Apparently, the Ancients sent these automated vessels out into the universe to plant Stargates, but then they ascended and kind of forgot about the ships. The Destiny is in mechanical disarray and it reminds me of my 1969 Mercury Cougar, where it will be needing a lot of duct tape.

universe backwall near completed Stargate Universe Premiere: Review & Discussion

The creative team behind Stargate Universe, Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, tries to pull the viewer into the dark and desperate atmosphere the survivors are in. Much like the desperate plight humanity found itself in on Battlestar Galactica.

It wasn’t very distracting to me, but if you remember, they were going to use a different filming technique that was inspired by how Joss Whedon filmed Firefly. They used a lot of hand-held camera angles and it complemented the desperate situation the people were in.  If they don’t get too carried away with this technique, it should be acceptable for viewers throughout.

Another difference I noticed only took place once in this 2-hour premiere; When we came back from a commercial break, we experienced a flashback, then we jumped into a different scene where there was a seriously steamy interaction between two people. If you were expecting a family friendly show like all the previous incarnations of Stargate, even if it was one scene, it was there.  And from what I’ve read in other sources, it won’t be the last time they throw a curve ball at the viewer in the sexuality department.

I don’t like Dr. Rush, and that’s a compliment to Robert Carlyle’s portrayal of the role. The scientific greed that Dr. Rush exhibits makes me dislike or distrust this guy.  It’s Rush’s fault they ended up on the Destiny.  During the unexplained attack on the base that forced the evacuation, Rush interrupted the emergency dialing of Earth to try a new idea he came up with about the 9th chevron. Guess it worked.

Click to continue reading about the Stargate Universe Premiere

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  1. I was really disappointed to see Lou diamond phillips not make it through the stargate. even more disappointed when i learned they’ll be using “THE STONES” to bring him in. Really? as if by coincidence, his character will be the only guy who will be able to transfer, as he will be the one in the right place at the right time – all the time… NO WAIT, it’s actually for 7… SEVEN episodes, shouldn’t he have been labeled a “Guest star”?

    And from what i can tell, this other guy, brian smith, is the only character getting pussy, First juggs, and then the politician’s daughter (lucky character). i really had hope for the fat kid. In any case, i thought this show would relate to the actual public, or at least more so than it’s predecessor (Latinos, Fat guys getting girls,). I’m a hansom fit, guy, and sometimes a nerdy dork. I would have preferred to see the nerd get the cute girl instead of the model this time around. And sloppy seconds is not the same.

  2. I have every episode on TIVO. I can’t get past episode 3. I keep falling asleep. This show is as dull as tea with grandma’s knitting circle.

  3. I’m a true believer that SG Atlantis was a very nice refresh of SG-1, and with the occasional appearance of Carter, O’Neil and Jackson, it represented the next step in the evolution of the story.

    It is very difficult for me to understand WHY? the producers of SG Universe wanted to transform the original concept into a Soap Opera; this attempt to transform the story I been watching for the last 10 years into “Galactica”, “General Hospital”, “The Days of our lives” or “Lost”, was not really within the window of my humble expectations.

    It’s been more that 4 episodes already, and I’m still waiting for something to happen! … my wife tells me that I’m been masochist by hopping that somebody en-lights the writers/producers to bring them back to their senses.

    Following the Diversity Idea, I think SG Atlantis should be continued for those of us who don’t understand the “improvements” of SG Universe.

    Once again, this is my humble opinion…

    Good Luck!


  4. I’ve seen the original Stargate with Kurt Russel and James Spader when it firs came out in 1994.
    I was a bit reluctant to SG1 at first because it were different actors, but I just fell in love with the show.
    After RDA left the show it lost a lot of the show’s character and the Ori plot never really worked for me, but there was still Atlantis.

    After watching SGU’s pilot I asked myself “they canceled Atlantis for THIS???”
    OK, I gave it two more episodes, but in my opinion it didn’t improve at all.
    It’s too dark (never got into BSG either), too much drama, to implausible, plot lines stolen from other shows and character I just want to get killed because they are not likable.
    OK, I think I have read all this before, but I’m very disappointed in SGU and already canceled the DVD recording for the whole series.

    Its a different subject, but I rather follow the new V than wasting my time hoping for improvements to SGU.

  5. I hate the show, I am a huge fan of SG-1 and SG-A, but this sucks. Actors OK, Set OK, Story potential OK… actual show SUCKS. I can remember that I was excited when I heard that BSG was coming back, then it aired, and it sucked. Dallas in space, and here is another one. I am not interested in a friday night soap opera.

    Hey everybody… soaps are on every day in the afternoon, use your DVR and watch that if you like, but keep it out of my Sci-Fi.

  6. I have hope but I think this far in it’s pretty obvious what direction they are heading. It is nothing like sg1 or sga and that makes me so very sad.

    I liked the cheezy humor and the we don’t take ourselves to seriously attitude. That is science fiction, ridiculous storylines that are not very realistic.

    I loved watching sg after a long day. I would relax a little laugh a little, and be on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t wait until the next episode. I was hooked!

    How can the writers abandon a built in fanbase. That just seems silly. This is like 15 years in the making. Thats not easy. I feel like they are throwing it all away by neglecting the wants of an already established viewing clientele.

    And I reject the idea that stargate is just “growing up” or growing with its fans. I am in my early 20s and have been a die hard fan since its conception. Who wants to grow up any how? And if growing up means all of this drama and soap opera-ey then I want no part of it.

  7. Stargate SG-1 was great. Richard Dean Anderson and his flippant character made this show great (just as he did in MacGyver). So I couldn’t believe it when Stargate Atlantis actually improved on SG-1. Brilliant writing and great humor! Why on earth do we need another dark, depressing Battlestar Galactica type series? Not that I didn’t like Battlestar Galactica, but how much depression does a TV audience need? I cannot even begin to identify with the characters on Stargate Universe. This show is like the first Star Trek movie- WHERE IS THE HUMOR??? Star Trek has lost its “Spock Plug”. And Stargate Universe has lost not only the humor, but the basic elements of drama that allow users to identify with the characters!

  8. As longtime fans of SG1 and Atlantis, my son and I couldn’t wait until SGU arrived. What a disappointment!!! As others have said, it’s BSG, a soap on a spaceship. No action, no aliens – good or bad, no humor, no engaging story. Just interpersonal conflict between characters that we don’t like!
    No Sheppard, Ronan, Sam, Tealc, Jack, even Rodney. We liked those guys and cared about what happened to them. We’re likely to bail on this crappy show if it doesn’t pick up and that’s sad. Please Wright and Cooper, bring back Atlantis.
    Crash Destiny into something and resurrect the real Stargate!

  9. It hasn’t improved…
    This is really a disappointment for me. I loved the “SCI-FI” in the previous SG shows. SGU has pieces of Sci-fi smothered in soap. Not my kind of soup…

    At first my complaint was on the setup of actors, and now it’s just the show overall. I give up and you can count me out.

    I would have loved to see a futuristic setup of earth, where humans are on the brink of ascension. That would have been a perfect addition based on the events in Atlantis. Something like the civilization of star-trek with the sci-fi of stargate.

    Oh well. I hope the captain goes down with this ship. This just gives a bad name to the stargate history

  10. Have been a SG fan for over 6 years and have loved SG1 and Atlantis. Have watched them over and over.

    Sorry guys but SGU has been a big disappointment so far. 9 episodes have left me less and less interested in watching. To much drama not much action. This is not what I like about SG and probably most of the fans feel the same. I watch SG to be happy, not caught up in the drama.

    Way its going I’ll try to watch a couple more episodes but most likely give up this show if the style/trend doesnt change.

  11. Good thing I record this series and can fast forward through all that drama, waay too much drama which doesn’t tie in with the universe angle or even sci fi. Did they get a writer from one of the daytime soaps? Half the show is just personal sheet that nobody gives a crap about, I don’t care that they miss their partners on earth, duh, I just don’t need to see a scene to show me. We would have abandoned sg-1 if every episode he went to visit his ex wife and discuss his dead kid…and these are the day’s of our lives.

    The serious tone of the story is ok.

  12. Have to agree with the majority on here. Tbh I think the writers saw the success of BSG, LOST and the Stargate Series and have kinda mixed it all into one, hoping for a BSG-LOST-Stargate hybrid. You have the depressing attitudes and taking itself so so seriously of BSG and the crappy stupid flashbacks and filling episodes with history that we just DONT CARE about from LOST.. which just has you fast forwarding to get back to anything sci fi in the episode, and when mixed in the fantastic Stargate series we all know and adore, the out come is just .. well.. crap.

    And the one dimensional characters? Where is the originality of the stargate characters, the fantastic character development, the characters you grew to love? O’Neil, Carter, Teal’c, Daniel Jackson, Sheppard, the fantastic Rodney Mckay… even Gen. Hammond was more enjoyable to watch than most of this lot… they kinda feel like they are the B-List for BSG and LOST.

    I’ll give it some more time mainly because there is so much little new sci fi out and about at the mo, but there are too many things to irriate you in this series and I really think this is going to be a bail out.

    Sorry SGU writers, you have sold yourselves out. We all loved SG1 and SGA for a reason, wish you had continued with the same fantastic episodes we all have grown to love.

  13. I became a huge fan of SG1 back in late 2002 and was hooked ever since. I now own the entire Stargate story on DVD, from the original film to the final series of Atlantis. So as you can probably imagine, like pretty much everyone else on here, I was extremely excited about SGU. But unfortunately I’m also going to have to wholeheartedly agree with the vast majority of comments on here – it pretty much sucks!

    There were some absolutely hillarious moments in both SG1 and SGA, most of which still make me laugh to this day when I see them over again (any dedicated fans will know exactly which ones I mean!). But not once have I even raised a slight smile whilst attempting to watch this god-awful rubbish. Lets just hope the writers have gone back to their roots with the new upcoming films that are on the horizon, otherwise we’re all in for yet more dissapointment and sadness.

  14. I believe there is too much darkness in the show. The sets are as dark as the story lines. I realise that it needed to evolve from the past two forms of the show, but PLEASE guys can we lift the story lines a bit. I get it, it was a crew of misfits fighting for their place in the hierachy, but by now in reality they would have worked it out, or killed themselves. How about they arrive at a Super Gate left there on purpose by the ancients for crew changes. That way they will have one opportunity to change the cast/crew so we can get on with a TEAM exploring the galaxy’s. Whilst they are there lets also find some ‘Super ZPM’s’ so that at least we can turn a few more lights on. Steve.

  15. I need some HUMOR. I didn’t like Lost and yes I know I’m in the minority, but Stargate wasn’t supposed to be Lost or Battlestar Gallactica or anything else! You messed with a GREAT formula. *sigh* That being said I’ll give it a few more months before I resign to SG DVDs.