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

« 1 2»

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. You folks who are giving a hard time to people complaining about the se scene are missing the point. We’re used to a certain tone from the show and now it’s changed completely. Maybe I don’t have the time or inclination to watch the show twice so I’ll know where to skip with my DVR.

    As somene stated above I’m betting they lose Stargate fans but they won’t necessarily gain BSG fans.


  2. Huge SG fans over here and we were bored with it. It was not something we are going to tune into again.

  3. @Bruce…

    I’m going to have to disagree with you buddy. I think the whole context of the nudity in the SG-1 pilot was WORSE than the unnecessary sex scene in SGU. In SG-1 she was kidnapped, drugged and had her clothes ripped from her while she was violated by a Goa’uld (SP?)…sounds like a rape to me. In SGU it was clearly consentual. I’m not a prude by any means, but I just think that in the Stargate universe, which has certain expectations attached to it due to the previous shows, the sex scene was totally unnecessary. They could have conveyed the same meaning without having them humping against a wall. I still hope that this show evolves and is successful, but they are shooting themselves in the foot if they continue to alienate a large portion of their audience.

  4. How can someone state “Huge SG fans over here and we were bored with it. It was not something we are going to tune into again?”

    Seriously – you can’t say you’re huge Stargate fans if you stop watching Stargate Universe after the pilot. That’s the opposite of being huge fans of a series lol

  5. the pilot is the most important show for a new series. If we don’t like the pilot it’s a pretty good indicator of how the rest of the series will be. A waste of our time. We are fans of the previous series. SG-1 and SG-Atlantis. Just because it has a stargate in it doesnt make it a hit.

  6. can’t a chicken cross the road without it’s motives being questioned?

  7. Well, I sat and watched several DVD’s of SG1 and Atlantis in the days prior to SGU. Then the big moment came I found the opening to slow not eye catching and soon I fell asleep during the premier. But I woke up set the recorder and tried to watch again. Still fell asleep. but I will watch the recording I made. Wihh that done I now understand what the show is about. Entirely too much jumping back and forth. I fell the sex sene was only put ther as filler to get people interested in the show. It would have been better it it was worked in to the show’s story line. Too much time in showing people come smashing pellmell through the STARGATE. All and all I did like it and will watch it again, Hopefully the writers will address some of the problems they are having with this first show.

  8. I agree with Stinger. There were also a lot of things that didn’t make sense that distracted me while watching SGU. In addition to the ship and the Lou Diamond Phillips thing, how about being “addicted” to blood thinners? That just didn’t make sense. I can understand uppers, downers, pain pills, etc. But, blood thinners? Really? I worked with a girl that had to take them because she was prone to strokes, and addiction never came up as a possible issue when we talked about it. I’ve tried looking around on the web to see if this seemingly incredulous thing is possible, and found nada. Who knows, maybe it’s possible. But, it would have been better to add things into the script that would make sense to the average viewer.

    They seemed to make some of these common logic mistakes with the last season of Atlantis, but the writing was still for the most part there (except for the finale – to me at least) to pull things together and make a decent show. Someone else also made a good point about the manufactured conflict and anger on the show. I guess it’s just the beginning and there is room for improvement. I still wish they had’ve improved Atlantis and kept it on the air. Good luck SGU.

  9. Another problem I had was the dispute over who was in command .
    It just reminded me of season 1 Of BSG and the conflicts between Roslin and Adama.
    They had a very tenous partnership at first ,
    And the command situation in SGU just reminded me of it .
    Hopefully , now that the pilot is over SGU will have more in common with The other Stargate shows instead of just trying to capitalize on the success of BSG.

  10. I agree with most viewers. I was expecting an opening like the new “Star Trek” movie. The pilot did not live up to the HYPE! I will give it one more try before giving it the axe.

  11. By the way, “What the frack was I watching?” LOL:)))))

  12. I posted this on the other Stargate Universe article by mistake – it was meant for here:

    You guys with the “get over it” attitude on the totally different vibe of the show (and yes, the sex scene) are missing the point. If you tuned in to BSG you KNEW what you were getting – but here, this is the equivalent of making Indiana Jones 6 and including an explicit sex scene with Harrison Ford grinding on some babe up against the wall with his pants down – and afterward the whole film is dark and brooding. People weren’t expecting it and it is Stargate in name only (and use of the gate) IMHO.


  13. I thought the intro was fantastic – they were thrown into a completely alien situation RIGHT out of a battle (as we find out as the pilot progresses) so they were completely in shambles, confused and not sure where the hell they were or what they were supposed to be doing. Personally I think it was realistic. As for the argument that there is too much argument with the chain of command, things have changed in Stargate if you’ve paid attention to the series… at first it was complete run by the military which explains a CLEAR chain of command, then the world found out about it and during the final years of SG-1 and during Atlantis you had a lot of civilians involved, and that’s where Universe starts, with a TON of civilians mixed in with the military. There is no DOUBT confusion right about now.

  14. I didn’t realize there were sci-fi geeks anywhere in the universe that hated sex as much as these posters do. Of course, it might be the same 5 people posting comments on every web site they can find.

    I can only paraphrase South Park here:
    “Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don’t have sex!”

  15. “I agree with most viewers. I was expecting an opening like the new “Star Trek” movie. The pilot did not live up to the HYPE! I will give it one more try before giving it the axe.”

    But the new Trek movie sucked. A bunch of stuff blowing up with no interesting sci-fi ideas whatsoever. If Trek is anything it is about ideas.

    Fear not, poster, you will get more of that dreck with the already-planned sequel to “Star Trek: Bereft of Ideas”.


  17. @JB

    How about you address my Indiana Jones analogy?


  18. JB:

    I think you misinterpret “hating” for others understanding that the scene didn’t seem necessary to carry the story farther along… It seemed gratuitous at best. A mere ratings tool.

    In fact, it reminded me of one of Joss Whedon’s comedic CABIN IN THE WOODS ad campaign tagline: When you hear a strange sound outside, have sex.

  19. To all the previous folk who have commented in this thread, but maybe have not seen the front page of SCREEN RANT, Vic (Editor, Owner of Screen Rant, has posted a survey on the front page on your reaction to the STARGATE UNIVERSE premiere.

    Check it out, leave your take and enjoy.

    (Here, I was just going to start counting by hand and all from the thread comments. Whew!)

  20. just for the record,
    I voted Notso great, but I will give it a chance.
    It was the pilot after all.
    But I just hope that as it progresses it becomes less of a BSG clone.

  21. A few points from a guy who’s been reading and watching SF since the early 60′s:
    1. I half expected Dr. Rush to start whining “oh, the pain, the pain” at some point in the second half. The robot will appear in episode 4 flailing arms and shouting “Danger, danger, Will Robinson!”:
    2. Is there anyone on the SG earth NOT aware of the ultra secret Stargate programme, now? Far more realistic to have the Senator with an “aide” 30 years younger that to have the daughter tag along. How would she get eyes-only top secret clearance? Just because she’s a politico’s child? I thought I saw the shark in this plot line:
    3. I can assume the lives of the 80 or so survivors now on the ‘Destiny’ will provide for many plot lines and episodes for decades to come without the need for BEM’s to show up for the threat of the week:
    4. I know the first reaction to unknown danger in my military career was to mutiny and threaten to murder anyone near me! When will sf shows portray highly trained, professional soldiers who have volunteered for the adventure of a lifetime as other than bullet-happy hotheads! I say send all the gun-toting jarheads through the airlocks when any of them start acting like they’re in an old Ahnold movie.
    5. Other that, there’s hope for SGU yet.

  22. Ok I voted as “Not so great, but I will give it a chance”.

    I mainly voted this way in hopes the studio takes note of the dismay from the loyal SG crowd and head back to roots of it.

    If It keeps going like battlestar galatica – I am gone. I didnt care for BSG; and I have no desire to see one of my favor shows head that direction.

    For the record, I am not against sex scenes. I dislike gratuitous sex scenes that are crude and cheap that do absolutely nothing for the story line. And to those that said ‘we should have seen it coming’ How would I know this was coming? When SG1 was on prime time tv it didnt have sex in it. Only when it was on Showtime did it have nudity. AND it’s broadcast time was muchlater..not prime family time like SGU.

    Since I first posted, I have talked to a younger crowd to get their feed back. This is an age 14-17 group, the girls hated it and two of them said they didnt watch it to the end. One said everyone was too old. LOL I had to laugh at that.

    The boys were mixed, they loved the opening, but most said that it got dull pretty quick and they couldnt keep up with who was who. Only one said they loved it. Another one, said they liked the camera effects. (Personally I hated those, and that is enough to make me give it a pass if it persists). The last boy who wasnt big on SG1 or SGA said he only got interested as it was ending by the team going through the gate.

    I hoping to hang on for a couple more episodes, hoping that a core group will be defined and a few extraneous people will be killed off. And I miss the witty banter between the characters, hoping that shows up too.

  23. What a disappointment! A clone of Battlestar G. Same sounds,similar uniforms, same camera work, same dark feel. There was only that big circular thing I think they call it a Stargate and a few familiar SG 1 faces that made we realise it was a Stargate series. When you’ve had SG 1 and SG Atlantis you should build on the success not throw the whole thing away and copy from another sci-fi series!

  24. JB:

    I think more than 5 people didn’t like that show. You’ll see this when the viewership goes down.

    I also think that people don’t hate sex, or sexual scenes. It’s just, for me, it wasn’t done very well. There was no connection, or emotion, just raunchy sex that didn’t need to be there. So what’s the point if that’s all they can offer.

  25. Ok, i finally watched it. Well, i does kinda suck. Was it really necessary to put in a scene where that girl in part 2 cries for 5 minutes and then talks about (i don’t want to spoil) about the history of a character we will never see again?

    I always watched Stargate to relax, not to watch some depressing crying with a shaky-cam.

    As for the show, i am a bit disapointed, but ill keep watching it, i’ll give it a chance only because it is a stargate show, and im a fan.

  26. thankyou all for the reviews, you save me some money. my cable company don´t have the new scifi/scyfy latino and i was thinking to change me to sky (and pay a lot more)if i want to watch SGU, now i change my mind because i never liked BSG and i don´t want to watch a show so similar to it.
    excuse my bad english.

  27. Saw it tonight. Actually enjoyed it. Have had reservations about it for some time but I liked the serious tone.

    Agree strongly that Carlyle was the most watchable part and I’ll certainly keep watching it for him.

    Didn’t see the sex scene though. Don’t know whether they cut it from the UK showing (be very surprising) or if I just missed it due to channel hopping during the ads.

  28. I did not read every comment but did anyone else notice they are on a ship that travels beyond the speed of light without the use of hyperspace? Therefore when Dr. Rush contacted the SGC – probably several days or even weeks had passed for the SGC but only a few hours for the people on the ship? Also on that note – Dr. Rush did not inform the stranded people of this. (Unless the writers completely missed this but I seriously doubt that)

  29. Well not sure if he did really contact the SGC. Have to be suspicious of him.

    On the sex scene, turns out it wasn’t shown in the UK due to being prewatershed. No loss there then.