Stargate: Universe, Success or Failure?

I have been… crit­i­cal of Star­gate: Universe during it’s first season. At one point I compared it to Star Trek: Voyager (and in my world that’s no compli­ment). Now that the season is complete, it makes sense to look back and see whether Universe lived up to the early promise of the show.
I’m a little surprised to find that I think it actu­ally has lived up to at least some of that promise.  I don’t retract any of my crit­i­cism, but I think look­ing at the season as a whole there is a flow that is miss­ing from most shows. Little details in one episode become signif­i­cant several weeks later.  That sort of atten­tion to conti­nu­ity is nice to see.

It took a long time, but we do now have a cast with some depth and distinc­tive­ness. No longer is Robert Carlyle’s Doctor Nicholas Rush hold­ing the show together single hand­edly. Admit­tedly our roman­tic leads remain largely bland but every­one else seems to have a person­al­ity.

There’s still an annoy­ing tendency to ape Battlestar Galac­tica in style, but the show is no longer completely in BSG’s shadow.

All of which is good, but it’s hardly a ring­ing endorse­ment. And some prob­lems remain. We’ve seen only one alien race so far, and that very briefly. They rely far too heav­ily on the commu­ni­ca­tion stones and I thought it was far too early in the series to prop it up with so many SG-1 cameos. Clearly the writ­ers over-played their hand with the crew tension early on as well. And at some funda­men­tal level this is not Star­gate. If it wasn’t obvi­ous to you before, the scenes with Richard Dean Ander­son made it very clear that SGU does not fit comfort­ably in the Star­gate fran­chise.

But in many ways those final two episodes redeemed the show. Certainly it was the first time that I’ve actu­ally been disap­pointed that the episode was over and the season cliffhanger actu­ally had me eager to see exactly how they resolve it (don’t blow this Star­gate!) That was all it took. two hours of tense, drama capi­tal­iz­ing on all that’s come before and putting char­ac­ters in situ­a­tions where we actu­ally care what happens.

So was Star­gate: Universe a success? Not entirely. But it wasn’t a fail­ure either. I’m going to be back for the next season.

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of eoghann.com. You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?

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