Sunday, July 10, 2011

Postmortem Spring 2011 - Stargate Universe

This week I'll go over five shows that ended this past Spring.  Warning: there be spoilers.

Stargate Universe (click here to see trailer)

I'm really going to miss this show.  Of all the Stargate installments, this one came the closest to "real" science fiction.  This show borrowed a lot of technique from the "Battlestar Galactica" reboot, including realistic space scenes (no sound in space - mostly) and overly-troubled characters.  At first, the latter was irritating, as the writers decided to place the biggest incompetent group of misfits on a distant ancient ship that's barely working.  It made for interesting conflict, but during the first few episodes, I kept thinking, "Man!  Stargate Command really needs to screen their employees!"  When I got over it, I started enjoying the episodes.

The episodes themselves were hit or miss.  The "stones" episodes were the worst (Melrose Place in Space).  The second season was much more consistent.  I enjoyed the conflict between Rush and Young, and how they learned to work together.  I also enjoyed watching Eli coming of age, getting over Chloe, and making his big decision at the end.  The time travel episodes were fun (though impossible).

The last episode would have been a great season closer, but was very disappointing as a series closer.  It felt like one of those episodes the writers put together at the last minute when they learned the show was getting canceled.  After an awesome battle with one of the drone mother ships, and discovering that drones are now parked at every stargate, the crew decided to go into hibernation and skip over to the next galaxy. 

The timing of the drones' appearences doesn't make sense.  When Destiny first encountered them there were two mother ships (Destiny killed one and left one behind).  Then there appeared another one that seemed to be following them.  Then there are more, but who knew how many more?  Then in the last episode they're everywhere.  Where did they come from so fast, and why weren't they there at the beginning of season 2.5?

Many plot lines are still wide open.  What happened to the rest of the descendants?  We can only assume the drones will kill them shortly.  What about the "other" Destiny that went down with the "other" Rush sitting in the Chair?  It felt like we would see them again.  And what about Johansen's ALS?  Okay, I didn't really care about that one.

In the last episode, we got to say goodbye to all the characters we grew to love.  That part was done well.  Eli chose to stay awake to make sure everything goes okay.  But did the writers really have to have just one remaining malfunctioning stasis pod?  It was sad seeing Eli staring off into space at the very end.  Was that him giving up, knowing that there is no chance to fix the pod?

We'll never find out.  I'm going to miss the well-written episodes.  I'm going to miss those 3 chords that opened each show.  I'm going to miss having "real" science in a sci-fi show.  Right now, there just isn't another show available to me to replace it.

SGU, thanks for the fun memories!  Maybe you'll be back in three years.

Coming later in the week: The Event, Smallville, The Cape, V (2009)

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