>Thoughts on the First Season of BattleStar Gate-ica

Posted: 05/12/2009 in Uncategorized

>It has finished. The first season of the dark sci-fi series: Stargate Universe has finished. I just watched the last episode and I feel compelled to blog while the show is fresh in my mind.

For the uninitiated, Stargate Universe is the latest in the the Star Gate canon (which is now the new Star Trek) and is bit of a divergence from the two previous military/exploration shows. In this series, a group of military and civilian scientists escape a battle through a gate and find themselves on spacecraft flying through space on the other side of the universe.

It seems to be a hybrid of Battlestar Galactica, Lost, and Stargate.

SGU (Stargate Universe) is a bit like Lost. The characters, those ambiguous heroes, have a troubled past that occasionally shows up one way or another. One character was raised by a drunken Catholic priest. His dark past was getting a girl pregnant at 16. Dr. Rush does not have a clean moral slate. A particular marine was released from the brig in the first episode and his dark past is yet to be revealed.

SGU is like Stargate in the fact that there is a stargate.

But SGU is really like Battlestar. It is dark and immersive. A lot of work is done with hand-held cameras. Often the camera is tilted or blurred. Much of the shots look like indie films. The general lack of soundtrack, pacing, and such give the episodes a sense of frustration and aimlessness that you imagine all the characters are likely feeling. The grit of the spaceship is much like Galactica as well and is a far cry from the technologically pristine Atlantis.

Like BSG, the show is full of dark characters and dark times. Dr. Rush’s motivations are never known from the beginning of the series. More than once, he clashes with ship’s military officer who does not trust him. While on the ship, we see the characters, civilians and military, struggle to create a political society in which economic, social, and survival needs are all met. This climaxes in the last episode with the court scene, but I won’t ruin that for you.

Of course, it is easy to see how this show make take a few to many pages from the Battlestar book. Dr. Rush, if even for superficial reasons, is a little to much like Dr. Baltar. Likewise, I keep seeing Lee Adama in one of the lieutenants. This is certainly not enough reason to write off the series, but viewers should be aware of this if they are put off of it easily.

Of course, it is not as dark as Battle star, but it did just finish its first season.

As a Stargate fan, I think this is worth seeing. If you like Lost, Stargate, and Battlestar you will probably enjoy this nice hybrid.

  1. >"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today—but the core of science fiction, its essence … has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."-Isaac Asimov

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