Stargate Universe was always a strange departure for the franchise. Based around a small group who were stranded on the other side of the Universe, on a ship going the wrong way it carries on the strong themes of exploration that are found in the previous Stargate series, but in a way gains something by losing the trappings of the various wars the other series were coming up against, instead the big enemy here is survival itself. The early episodes made this a bit of a hard series to get into they were so focussed on survival – looking for air, water, food etc but then as time went on the show seemed to settle down a bit producing some very clever and well thought through episodes (Time in the first series is a good example of this – possibly more timey wimey than a Moffat episode of Dr Who), and as the show found its footing more and more it developed into more of a character drama. True there’s the odd bit of action, but the best episodes from the show have been the ones where the characters are studied and the drama comes from an internal source. In a way the episodes dealing with an intelligent external threat are some of the series worse ones. To give an example a recent two part story arc (setup in a previous episode which involved an accident leading to time travel – quite complicated to explain) lead to the main cast meeting their descents from a crew that had been thrown back in time in an alternate timeline. The episode finished with them journeying to find the world that this alternate crew had settled to, and the following episode focussed on a series of flashbacks in the device of video diaries showing how this bunch of people came together, and created a civilisation from nothing. Yes it was an excuse to get out the wigs and old make-up, but it also lead to some really moving and well acted TV to watch. I know at least one person who commented that the concept for this episode seemed a good idea but they wasted it, I’d disagree, the story was one of human triumph and showing that if we make the effort we can live together and make the world work. I seems a shame that SGU in only really finding its feet in the world now (it was announced the show wouldn’t be renewed for a third series at the start of the year) when it is producing these wonderful character pieces – though I think this could be the reason the show has flopped the expectation of more action and less dialogue leading to lowering ratings. I dunno. This post is a bit of a brain splurge of random thoughts having just finished watching a really good episode, but in a way it’s hitting me that this series is coming to an end which is a sad thing because it’s also hitting me just how much more I enjoy this show than I thought I did.
Stargate Universe 2009-2011