Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stargate Universe – Not There Yet

Regular readers will know that I was a big fan of Stargate SG-1 and that I was watching the first season of the new spinoff, Stargate Universe. The next season will be starting soon so I’ve been thinking about whether I want to watch it this season. I think I’ll give it a chance even though I’m somewhat ambivalent.

My take on last season? Lots of potential. Not even close to reaching it. Most of it was a big yawner. Why?

Here are my thoughts in no particular order.

First and foremost, there were way to many “oh my god we’re all going to die!” episodes where no one died. Or at least no one that we’re supposed to care about died. That would be ok if the “we’re all going to die!” part of the episode was just running background for something else (like it did on the original Star Trek) but it isn’t. The theme of the entire season has been “oh my god we’re all going to die!” I regularly found myself wishing that someone would die.

Which leads me to …

Chloe needs to die but the writers refuse to kill her. They must have figured out at some point that the character of Chloe was too stupid for words but instead of doing the right thing and killing her off (thereby solving the “oh we’re all going to die but no one really does” problem at the same time) they decided to have her be captured by experimenting aliens who … did something to her. We don’t know what they did but now she’s smart. Uh huh.

Another big problem with Season One was the lack of a Big Bad. No one wants to watch a ship full of crabby people fighting among themselves week after week. Realistic though that may be.

When they finally met the aliens who were out to get them and do experiments on them I thought .. aha! Finally. A Big Bad. But that didn’t really go anywhere and by the end of the season the writers had imported the Lucien Alliance to be an enemy. The Lucien Alliance? Hello? These people on Destiny are supposed to be in a galaxy far, far away from the galaxy where the Lucien Alliance is and they CAN’T GET BACK and no one from earth CAN GET TO THEM (except virtually but that doesn’t count) but the Lucien Alliance (a leftover from previous Stargate series) manages to figure out how to use a Stargate to get to them? Now, I admit that the episodes with the Lucien Alliance were great. But also frustrating. The writers couldn’t come up with anything new? They had to import an old enemy in order to liven up the show?

Another problem for me is that I dislike the way the women characters on this show are written. I miss Carter. I miss Janet. I miss a show where the women characters are really smart. But I could live with no smart women characters. After all there are few really smart men on this show either – only Eli and Rush. I could live with no smart women if any one of them had a little power. In the end they imported the Lucien Alliance to be the enemy and guess what? It partly worked because the leader was a very VERY strong woman character. An evil woman. But a strong woman. Why are there no strong good women characters on this show? Which leads me to …

T.J. is pregnant. Of course she is. bleh. What I don’t understand is, why isn’t every woman of childbearing age on that ship not pregnant right now? Did I miss the episode where they discovered birth control pills on a planet? Also, I find it interesting that the writers made T.J. a medic and not a doctor. Sure it makes for dramatic tension. But see above. Not a single woman on that ship has any power in the chain of command.

Sigh. Ok. Next.

Rush needs to take more baths. He perpetually looks dirty and smelly.

Too much reliance on the stones.

This show needs more Eli (but not with Chloe). Eli is the best character on the show. MORE ELI, MORE ELI, MORE ELI !!!

Back in the 200th episode of Stargate SG-1 the writers had a character who was a television producer who played with the idea of making a “Stargate Movie” and who tossed out ideas about what would it be like. One idea was a “Young Stargate“ team full of all the angst of youth, constantly having sex. Carter buries her head in her hands at the idea. Well, that’s Stargate Universe and I find myself burying my head regularly. In the first season I lost interest in seeing episodes immediately and would catch up on hulu later. I can see where I’ll lose interest completely if something isn’t done next season. But I’ll probably give it a chance for a few weeks and see if the writers learned anything from the first season.

I leave you with Young Stargate:

And as a bonus, a youtube in which someone took that soundtrack from Young Stargate and put it to the real Stargate Universe: