Regarding StarGate:Universe

Updated below, 24-03-2011

The original Stargate movie was entertaining, but both SG-1 and Atlantis TV series were a classic case of cookie-cutter television. The writers introduced some nice big themes in the storylines, but ultimately their mainly episodic nature, flat characters, and black-n-white bad guys, reduced the series to a painful old-fashioned experience.

Then, StarGate:Universe (SGU) came around. SyFy Channel tried to copy the look and feel of BattleStar:Galactica (BSG), by making it a more character-based show, with inner conflicts, and a more dark, gritty premise. And it failed. Ratings were terrible not only in the US, but in other countries too. After just two seasons, SGU is now canceled, with the remaining episodes broadcasting every Monday. This is so unfortunate though, because in my opinion SGU is one of the best show on TV right now, and the best sci-fi one by a mile (I don’t hold Fringe into as high esteem as some others).

In my opinion, SGU is on the top-10 of the best scifi TV shows EVER. But this article is mostly geared on what went wrong, not what its virtues were. So why was it canceled? Here’s why:

— Some old SG fans, that apparently are mindless drones who can’t get used to watching modern and thoughtful television. As a result, they undermined the new series by giving it a bad name every way they could. Hating it just because it wasn’t the same la-la-la show that SG-1 and Atlantis were.

— The writers of SGU are also to blame. Some episodes were useless, ridiculous, or too good to feel true. As much as 70% of what SGU is it’s great, the rest 30% is lackluster. Here are some such examples:

1. The communication stones are a complete and utter cop-out. I don’t disagree that the show needed some way to connect to Earth, but this exchange-of-consciousness was too unbelievable. I mean, if Destiny’s huge stargate can’t dial Earth, why do these self-powered stones work?

What should have happened instead is that these stones should have been a mystery at first (we could see Rush caressing the case for a few episodes, without us knowing what’s inside) and then having him modify the technology to be able to send short messages to the each user’s consciousness. This way, when TJ is supposed to perform a delicate medical operation, instead of having her exchange her consciousness with a surgeon, we could have her receive instructions from a surgeon, and we could have her scream: “I’m a paramedic, I can’t do this! How do you expect me to operate on an open heart when all I have is two pages of scribble?”. THAT, is drama folks.

2. Instead of the regular traveling consciousness episodes, 1/4 of the episodes in a given season, for about 1/3 of each episode, could be regular a’la LOST flashbacks, that explain certain mysteries about why some characters are the way they are. Having their lives continuing on Earth takes us away from the main storylines upon the Destiny which can be rich and plentiful. For example, “over 80% of the ship is inaccessible without spacesuits”, Telford once said. Plenty to explore!

3. Some episodes are just stupid or too convenient. For example, the recent episode with the double Destiny, or the left-behinders returning the second shuttle (after the writers killed the other shuttle a few episodes back), and then dying. So basically we have episodes of convenience that only serve the writers. Dear writers: if you need a shuttle, don’t blow it up. If you need replacement hardware, don’t kill the aliens’ spaceship that had compatible technology. And then, we have Telford getting saved on the 1st episode by ending up back on Earth, then bringing him back to Destiny (because the writers needed him), and then being able to make it back to Earth, alone. Or TJ getting pregnant all of a sudden and then losing the baby 4 episodes later. This is just HORSESHIT. You give us impossible storylines, just to fix your previous fuckups or to convenience your SLOPPY writing.

4. Leave God and religion out of sci-fi. No problem having Dr Rush mentioning God once or twice, just to manipulate his peers to join him in his quest for the alien entity, but anything beyond that is too much.

5. Relationships among the crew are not always believable, for example Chloe is hooking up with that hotshot pilot (Lt. Scott) on episode 3 already (literally hours after her dad dies), with very little previous connection between them. As for Young & TJ, we never really understood what kind of relationship they had. Come on, be serious. Also, the dynamics of some of the characters need to change a bit, e.g. TJ needs to stop being a doll (miscast?).

The writers should have also focused on the lower decks, let us know more of the characters on the ship. Should have showed us more of their struggle to survive, rather than just these 5-6 first episodes where they find seeds, air and water and then all is good. Instead of the main 9 characters and the extra 6-7 on board the ship, make that an extra 20.

And how cool would it be instead of having that recent love story for Dr Rush that felt out of place, to have a crew member working on lowly tasks. She would not be equal to Dr Rush in any way, but she would fall for him and do his bidding to help him manipulate the other crew members (instead of managing it alone). Rush would use her at the beginning, and only towards the end of the series he would realize that he also loves her. And that would be his redeeming as a character for his arrogance and all the pains he caused to the crew on his personal quest for knowledge. She’d die, and he would go on and become the first human to ascent to the same plane of existence as the Ancients, while everyone else makes it safely back home.

Telford’s character is completely useless and should have never been in the series. Instead of having Young vs Rush trying to get control of the others, add to the mix that Lucian Alliance guy who currently sits on a cell all day doing nothing. What a waste for paying a pretty known Canadian actor for doing nothing. In fact, the few Lucian Alliance soldiers should have arrived to Destiny the same time every one else did (as part of their invasion of the planet). As I explained above, all the Milky Way affairs should not have been part of SGU after the 1st episode. Clean slate from that point on.

Ultimately, SGU is (or should be) a philosophical study of the question: “When the opportunity arises, do you run back to safety, forfeit your cosmic responsibility for exploration as a sentient, curious being, or do you march forward towards knowledge no matter the risk to your person?” And it’s that important question (through Dr Rush) that still holds the show together in my eyes. Take that away, and SGU becomes a mashed potato.

As mentioned above, mistakes were made on the show, but I’m willing to put away these and blank them out in my mind, in order to enjoy the rest, which is absolutely fabulous.

The first season of SGU is available via Netflix Instant, if you live in the US, give it a go.

Update 24-03-2011
Some immature kids in some Stargate forum are beating this post down because it didn’t satisfy their need to read the positive of SGU, even if this was an article about what went wrong, and not about why SGU is a good show. Here you are, here’s a list as to why it was a good show, let me satisfy your unjustified personal attacks:

1. Serialized premise, my No 1 need when it comes to TV shows. I hate episodic TV, it hurts our intelligence.
2. Dr Rush is one of the most amazing characters ever to grace TV. Intense, not a black-n-white hero by any means.
3. Aliens are not like laughable humans in masks, or just plain humans. More realistic this way.
4. Complex plot, in many threads. Some episodes require good thinking. REALISTIC plots most of the time.
5. Most characters are not single dimensional. Everyone’s carrying baggage rather than being that stereotypical TV hero.
6. When there’s action, there’s intensity. Well-directed, well-paced (no, not boring at all as some people think).
7. Artistic premise (e.g. the episode with Dr Rush reliving his wife’s death).
8. A number of philosophical questions asked. Show tries to appeal to humans with reason rather than brainless twats.
9. Dark, serious, gritty, and not bruhaha “medieval village with human-alikes outside of Vancouver episode of the week” style show (*throws up*).
10. Great cinematography, shot anamorphically. Amazing CGI, some of the best ever on TV.

25 Comments »

zima wrote on March 21st, 2011 at 7:27 AM PST:

It’s depressing how many supposedly versed people fell into “things from my youth are better”, at best, when judging SGU. At least it usually ended when I told them to just re-watch early SG1 (most adored one), to actually experience now how fairly unremarkable and schematic it is. [a]

1. (and 3.) Hey, the stones are there to make the work of scriptwriters helluva easier; to not give the audience too dissimilar from Earthly experiences and too indigestible (too real) world (I see them as tapping into our expectations from, say, air travel; but I think they were already established in canon – at the beginning of Ori (Hallowed are the Ori! 😉 ) story arc, I believe).

After all, we all know same thing applies to the stargates themselves – and it’s what made the concept so attractive to TV series producers. Kinda like with transporters in Star Trek. How the planetary environments almost always mirror the one near Vancouver is just a coincidence… 😉 [b]

I like your version of the stones – could be nicely digestible, pop-cultural, but still conveying the isolation, frustration and general problems of space communication (and it being essentially an “inner SMS” 😉 – I wouldn’t be too surprised if comparable means of contact will show up during this century; not exceeding c-limit of course). Rush-infatuated-underling could be even better ;>

2. BTW, it would help if spacesuits weren’t so idiotic. Sure, it’s “ancient technology” and all; but, for starters, why the style of surroundings isn’t nearly so over the top?

4. Jill… so… so… sad ;( (this one was really mean & manipulative – they threw a bone towards all the nerds watching, and… ;> )

So, probably more or less the end of Stargate franchise (well, I won’t be surprised by a reboot a decade down the line – hopefully more like BSG, less like V). At least a good end (hopefully they made “alternative” scenes, to wrap up the finale decently) / there’s a chance it will attain cult status eventually.

a. Same people very often give “it would be better without ‘gods crap'” as a major reason for disliking Caprica and praising BSG almost in one breath. I’m very close to completely losing faith in the judgment capabilities of average self-professed “scifi / space nut” – are they half-asleep while watching? Do they remember anything out of it except superficialities?
BSG had actual in-setting “angels”, visions and prophecies almost in every episode (after pointing this out, put here “silence of dawning realization and big eyes”). Something which wasn’t present at all, in such form, in Caprica (what was there was simply a realistic analogy of existing mythologies, etc.) – another show with untimely demise. At least the ending was decent and might even work nicely with upcoming “first Cylon war” miniseries.

b. Though sometimes the location of British Columbia does fit nicely – for example, in recent (2010) “Riverworld” SciFi Channel film (mainly fjords, in this one). BTW, it’s not only perfectly decent enough to watch – while doing it, I realized how something close is quite doable indy-style.


Brian wrote on March 21st, 2011 at 10:03 AM PST:

With the first two Stargate TV franchises having a run of 11 years(!), I can’t believe that the better written–and infinitely better looking, SGU has failed after only two seasons.

Those old series always looked very much like cheap TV shows to my eyes. Did the new series simply overspend on their budgets, thus making it unsustainable without huge ratings?

p.s.- The actor who plays Rush is terrific in the BBC miniseries ‘The Last Enemy’. Watch via YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kbqCKe8Ymo


William Eggington wrote on March 21st, 2011 at 12:30 PM PST:

I have really enjoyed SGU and am sad to see it go. The first 6 or so episodes in my opinion were horrible. “titillating” without any substance. Drama where there really was no need for it etc. But after they got the kinks worked out it has really started to kick butt. I hope they manage to bring it to some kind of satisfying conclusion.


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Eugenia wrote on March 21st, 2011 at 4:09 PM PST:

>I think they were already established in canon

The stones were established before, yes, but that doesn’t mean they should be used like that.

>“it would be better without ‘gods crap’”

I’m one of those who I don’t like this either. When Dr Rush talks about the entity he’s after, I’d prefer if he was referring to it as an alien entity rather than God. It’s ok if he wanted to mention God once, to make others follow his quest, but when he keeps repeating God, it goes into my nerves. I want religion out of my sci-fi.

>Did the new series simply overspend on their budgets, thus making it unsustainable without huge ratings?

I think Robert Carlyle said on a UK morning show that it costs $2mil per episode, and that he could “do 5 movies for that money” (obviously he meant low budget indie movies). Ultimately it wasn’t the budget, it was the very low ratings. It fell under a million viewers in the US, which is way too low. This series needed 2.5 mil viewers at least, to sustain itself.

>The first 6 or so episodes in my opinion were horrible

I actually liked them after rewatching the series. I think they made sense.


MeMeMe wrote on March 22nd, 2011 at 4:24 AM PST:

oh-kay. SGU was great with all the plot holes of a armature Soap Opera. I believe this article was the target audience for this show. I mean that people who never watched SG1/SGA.

SGU was made for a small number of people – it was not made for the fans of Stargate.
The writer of this rant even found problems with the show. Some of the items he list are some of the big ticket items that drove off many fans of Stargate. Personally I can’t see how people can even classify SGU as sci-fi but whatever I’m tired of re-stating how the show failed and how it was nowhere near a good show let alone the greatest show ever. There are hundreds of post explaining these points and seeing the current state of the show I would have to go with the hundreds of post being more accurate than the posting rants of one person.


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Eugenia wrote on March 22nd, 2011 at 5:19 AM PST:

>Some of the items he list are some of the big ticket items that drove off many fans of Stargate.

Good riddance. The problems I mentioned were problems, but not enough to stop me watching the series a second time. The original stargate series SUCKED compared to SGU. As I wrote in the article, SG-1/A were cookie cutter episodic drivel with single dimensional characters. The kind of TV we used to have 10-20 years ago. Not interesting at all.


oh dear wrote on March 23rd, 2011 at 11:45 AM PST:

The problems you mentioned were the reasons SGU got cancelled. It was a badly written soap opera with horrible boring characters. I guess the general audience can make up their own minds as to what they find interesting and considering SG1/SGA lasted 15 years and SGU got canned after 18 months for pathetically low ratings, I find it amazing that you consider SGU a great show, let alone decent scifi.

If you like whining, immature characters who shouldn’t be anywhere near a Stargate, good for you but don’t make generalisations about the previous shows when it’s pretty clear that you know nothing about them. Stargate lasted over 15 years and then SGU came along and killed it within 2.


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Eugenia wrote on March 23rd, 2011 at 3:55 PM PST:

As I wrote here and elsewhere, SG-1 and SG-A were OLD style TV shows. I didn’t find SG-1 entertaining at all, I found it as “we went somewhere that looked exactly the same as last week, we did some things that don’t really matter, came back, had a quick laugh at the end, next week we’ll do the same”. And this feels unrealistic. As much as a cop show.

SGU on the other hand did have real deep characters (especially Dr Rush and Eli, the strongest of them all), it explored relations between these people stranded together, and it had many plot threads that were revisited in later episodes (the nature of the show is not stupidly episodic).

There is also some great intensity, even if you knew what was going to happen, it still keeps you at the edge of your seat most of the times. Only a few episodes were truly bad (e.g. the one with the ticks on the back of their heads). The rest was very enjoyable, very artistic, great cinematography too (would change the lighting a bit though).


Copenhagen wrote on March 25th, 2011 at 7:30 AM PST:

Wow, your so freakin funny.

I’m glad you liked SGU. At least someone did…haha

I’m not going to go on as big of a “Rant” as you have here. I’m just going to assume your either a female, or a male who is real “In-Touch” with their female side. Or your a teenager. I’m pretty sure that is the main target audience for SGU.

I’m not sure how you can refer to SGU being one of the best shows on T.V. when the ratings clearly prove that thought process wrong. Being one of the best shows ever…that’s clearly just personal opinion.

I can see you obviously like SGU a lot, so I’ll try not to “Bash” it as much as you’ve “Bashed” the shows I like.

I’d say SG-1 running 10 seasons has both SGA and SGU beat by leaps and bounds. While you may like this BSG, SGU type show. The truth is that most Sci-Fi fans don’t. Most Sci-Fans are usually “Geeks” Or “Geekish”. Which means, we really don’t want a show with Heavy Drama, like (The New) BSG, and this SGU.

In all fairness I gave the show 8 episodes to “Grow” on me. It just had way too much drama. If the drama had not been so heavy. And the characters at least made me laugh with some one liners at least 10% of the time. I might have actually like it a little better. The tech in the movie was few and far between.

Really the whole Sci-Fi, was just a “BackDrop” for the Romeo & Juliet that was going on in the fore ground.

I like Action, lots of “Tech” babbling, Aliens, ships, near death experiences, making it out alive, glad to be alive another day, Sarcasim, dry humor. Stuff like that.

Not really into hot steamy love quarrels. There was just too much of that drama chick-flick stuff in it for me. It was way too much QQ and not enough PEW PEW!

If they could have balanced it out a little more, it might have got more viewing from me. The balance was leaning way to far over in the drama corner, than the sci-fi corner.

It is really unfortunate that they made SGU, cause they alienated all the previous SG fans, and upset what “New” ones that came about with SGU, cause all the “Established” fans threw a complete “Riot” against it. Plus, it got cancelled, now all the SGU fans are “Mad” as well.

They really should have had more of a compromise for both types of fans, not one way or the other.


Lisa L wrote on March 25th, 2011 at 10:47 AM PST:

To me, this series was NOT Stargate, or good sci-fi.

The characters were unlikeable and the actors had no chemistry on screen.

I loved the previous two incarnations of Stargate, this one did not live up to the proud name. It is a shame that Stargate is going out with a whimper, not a bang.

And you invite criticism when you denigrate SG1 and SGA, shows which had many devoted fans. How do you expect them to react?


Brian wrote on March 25th, 2011 at 1:35 PM PST:

“Really the whole Sci-Fi, was just a “BackDrop” for the Romeo & Juliet that was going on in the fore ground.”

Whatever the genre of movie or TV show, it’s ALL just a set dressing for the main story. The AMC show ‘Walking Dead’ is about disaster survivors and their issues–the zombies are just a backdrop!

Think about action movies. You have the aforementioned zombie(horror) action, space action, war action, police action, crime/gang action… Again all just set dressing depending on what you like.


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Eugenia wrote on March 25th, 2011 at 4:22 PM PST:

>Or your a teenager. I’m pretty sure that is the main target audience for SGU.

This is not true, it’s the other way around. SGU’s audience is a more mature audience.

>when the ratings clearly prove that thought process wrong

Ratings are not a good way to determine if a show is good or not. Look at Firefly. Excellent show, low ratings, also got canceled before its time.

>Most Sci-Fans are usually “Geeks” Or “Geekish”. Which means, we really don’t want a show with Heavy Drama, like (The New) BSG, and this SGU.

I’m a big geek myself. A big Star Trek fan at the age of 4. But I’m grown, and today I need more than a shirtless Kirk fighting monsters in the sand. Drama among people in a perilous situation is to be expected. I wouldn’t have it any other way, because that’s how real people are.

>It just had way too much drama. If the drama had not been so heavy.

Drama is what holds together shows. Otherwise they are dry and skin deep.

But of course, there’s also bad drama on scifi, e.g. “Defying Gravity”. Ever watched that show? THAT was boring. But SGU is not so, no matter what some people without patience claim.

>I like Action, lots of “Tech” babbling, Aliens, ships, near death experiences, making it out alive, glad to be alive another day, Sarcasm, dry humor. Stuff like that.

Oh, I like that too. But our difference is that I don’t like JUST that. See, SGU had its share of action and adventure, but NOT more than what they would normally have on a real such situation. You expect SGU to be an old style show, with new humanoid aliens EACH week, that somehow speak English, and with new battles. That’s not how it would go down. Scientists now claim that life is common in the universe, but intelligent life is not so much. Based on that, SGU showing so far only two types of humanoids is a CORRECT writing decision. The rest of the life showing was either plant life (various planets), bacterial life (the pathogen in the water), exotic life (the grains of sand), animal life (at least 3 sets of monsters). That’s PLENTY of aliens if you ask me!

And THAT’s REAL scifi. In fact, there’s a term of such kind of realistic scifi, it’s called “hard sci-fi”.

I don’t want to see going through a Stargate each week, going to yet another planet that looks exactly medieval as the one the previous week, all look like humans, and they all speak English. That’s BOLLOCKS. And then there’s some action, and at the end the heroes escape IMPOSSIBLE situations, and then they go back home, have a laugh, call it a day, and next week the same thing happens again. This is BAD TELEVISION. It is FORMULAIC CRAP. That’s what teenagers actually want. SGU is for a more mature audience where nothing in the plot is taken for granted, and everything is questioned.

>near death experiences, making it out alive

I remember Young killing off and reviving Telford/Rush, Rush left for dead, Scott badly injured, Chloe abducted, TJ losing her baby and almost dying, a whole crew on the planet dying out of cold, Dr Franklin becoming a vegetable, Greer under the rumble, pathogen killing everyone in an alt. timeline, Rush having an open heart surgery. And that’s just out of the top of my head. There ARE near death experiences on SGU, just not the kind you expected. The stories are told differently, so you have to WORK for that dopamine to emerge in your brain, rather than getting cheap thrills.

>lots of “Tech” babbling

There’s quite a lot of that actually. Besides, except Rush, the rest don’t even have the experience of understanding alien systems.

>glad to be alive another day

Actually, that’s exactly what SGU has. Try to live on a ship with so limited food and water. They are constantly “hungry and tired” as they said.

>Sarcasm, dry humor

Would you humor if you didn’t know you were going to live next week? They use Eli as a comedy relief occassionally, but these are a bunch of professionals stranded and fighting to survive, not “The Office”.

To me, both as a filmmaker and a viewer, it’s also important to have a serialized premise. Things that happen in an episode, have to have an impact on a later episode. Because that’s how life is. Nothing is without consequences in life. I LOVED how the sand life-form gave them air, but took away their water. And how when they got the water, they later got infected from the pathogen in it. And how catching the creature with the venom cured them from the pathogen. And how the same venom was later used to put Rush down in order to have his surgery. Things are connecting. There is CAUSE and EFFECT. This is great writing.

I even read that people didn’t want to view episodes where the crew had to hunt for water, or food or air. These were the episodes with the most value to me, because that would have been the way things would go down if we were truly stranded on an ancient ship.

Of course there are 3-4 bad episodes in SGU too, absolutely. And in my article I explained where the writers didn’t optimize well, and where they made grave errors. But the overall work is top notch. What I wrote in the article is true: I never liked Stargate before SGU. I found older series to be so old fashioned. I need something that doesn’t hurt my intelligence, and SGU didn’t do that — at least it did it less than SG-1/A/Chuck/Heroes/TheEvent/etc.

>all the “Established” fans threw a complete “Riot” against it.

They did. And they ultimately killed SGU, because they expected something else. They should have matured the same way the writers did. But I guess there’s a reason why the writers are writers and the fans were fans of cheap thrills shows.

You know, I read the iTunes comments section of the 2nd season of SGU the other night. The ONLY people who gave SGU 1 and 2 stars were the people who IN THEIR FIRST SENTENCE of their review said “I’m a huge fan of SG-1 and SGA, but…”. First freaking sentence! They went there, to review SGU, with PREJUDICE. They could not open their minds to experience SGU for what it really was.

I mean, if you had, let’s say, 30% of the people who gave a bad score to SGU say that, it would be normal, and expected. But when you have 100% of the bad scores start with such a sentence, there’s something at play there.

>To me, this series was NOT Stargate, or good sci-fi.

It is THE BEST kind of scifi out there. There is scifi, but it’s not your cheesy old style scifi anymore. And that’s a great thing that you might enjoy 10 years down the road. As for not being “stargate”, how is this bad? Does this mean that franchises and ideas must never grow up? They should! Everything matures in order to fit new eras.

>you invite criticism when you denigrate SG1 and SGA… How do you expect them to react?

Definitely not calling me names, as they have. Instead, I invite them to discuss their opposing opinions in a manner that doesn’t just say “you have low IQ” or “you’re fat”. I had to delete such comments here because all they did was to call names, not express their opinions. They behaved like spoiled kids, not as mature adults. In real life they would not offend me in this way, but because this is the internet, they think they have a free pass to attack other people. Sorry, but their knee-jerk reaction against me, shows exactly why they didn’t get SGU.

>Again all just set dressing depending on what you like.

This is actually true. SGU is more similar to LOST actually, not to BSG. But no matter what, drama is at the center, because conflicts is what ultimately fuels the human civilization. As much as you’d like the SGU team to all work together, in real life it wouldn’t go down like that. Not when there are so many civilians on board. And I want a realistic show, not some show that resembles this.

I really hope everyone turns ON Netflix streaming, and restarts watching SGU, because the second time you might get it better. I admit that when the show was showing last year I DID NOT like it as much. In my case, the TV ads were getting in the way to be able to get immersed to it. But when the 2nd and better season came out, I decided to rewatch the 1st one on Netflix, and then I GOT IT. h.264 encoding on Netflix looks better than TV’s mpeg2 encoding btw, so the show doesn’t look as dimly lit, for example (one of the problems I had with the show). I highly suggest you change your HDTV’s mode to “movie mode” to experience the better lighting/look. And without the TV ads, I was able to picture myself living a life on that ship. The exact same way LOST drew me in: after a while it had succeeded in making me think that I was on that island when watching the show.

It’s that immersion that’s important to me. To be able to make me think I’m THERE. And that can ONLY happen if the show is as realistic as possible. Maybe Eli’s “You Are Here” red sweater is some kind of subliminal message from the writers. Ever thought of that?

This is a comment on a stargate fan site by a reader (not by me). I agree with him, so I will quote him:

“SGU is by far the best of the 3 series. And I loved (and still love) the other 2.

But let’s face it, they were pretty much identical to each other, and pretty standard formulaic, episodic stuff that suited television in the late nineties, early ooze (00’s) – which was pretty much just a slightly new twist of the same shows as the 80’s. You could take an SG1 or SGA episode back in time to show mid 80’s Sci-Fi fans and the only thing they would comment on is the effects. The rest of the show would just seem normal. It would be MacGyver’s ‘other show’.

Things change. Television is thankfully not what it used to be. Greater production qualities, more interesting and original stories and a different way of telling them. Take an episode of Firefly, BSG or SGU back to some mid 80’s Sci-Fi fans and they will not only say WTF to the effects, but they’ll struggle with the style being so different. “Where are the cheezy funny bits with wind instrument music in the background?” It would be like taking back episodes of The Wire, Deadwood or Breaking Bad back to show to 80’s serial drama watchers.

I understand the desire to not want to let go of SG1 & SGA. But c’mon – lets evolve a little.”


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Eugenia wrote on March 25th, 2011 at 5:25 PM PST:

One more thing. SGU’s MAIN premise, that only HINTS were given so far, is a very interesting one. It’s NOT about surviving on a ship/island. That’s been done before with Voyager, and LOST. The main premise of SGU, is ASCENTING.

See, both SG-1 and SG-A were dealing with the exact same premise: CLEANING UP the MESS the Ancients left behind! SGU on the other hand, through Rush, is trying to REACH the Ancients. To become like them. To become God-like, immortal. It’s the ultimate goal for the human race, and that’s a subject that was NEVER discussed on TV before. It’s been explored in some books, even more rarely on movies, but never on TV.

Basically, SGU says, “do you run away from knowledge and run back to safety (crew), or towards it (Rush)?”, “we want to now be mature-enough to reach our predecessors” (as the 10+ people joining Rush in “Twin Destinies” prove) , and finally: “at what cost, do the ends justify the means?”. And for that kind of premise, you need a mature audience. IMO, SGU will rise to become a cult classic. You know, like these works that only get recognition after their death. It’s just too bad that it will end in a cliffhanger, unless there’s a TV movie made.


Copenhagen wrote on March 25th, 2011 at 8:38 PM PST:

Eugenia,

Your obviously set in your point of view, and I’m certainly not here to try and sway you in some other direction.

However, your running down two shows that a lot of people love. Apparently, you think that the SG-1, SGA fans killed SGU. The only reason I believe your wrong on that is because Brad Wright himself clearly stated they did not need the SG1, or SGA fans for success of that show. With a statement like that, it tells me that he was not counting on the original Fans of the previous two series’.

Therefore it is safe to assume that that was not the target audience. Which means, that the original fans could not have killed it if they wanted to. What killed it, is it did not generate enough new fans that liked it. The original fans of Star gate could not “Save” it cause it was not a show designed for them. Brad Wright also admits this when he said “The fans are so predictable”.

That tells me that he knew full well what he was doing. He knew that the original fans would not like it. He was clearly counting on a whole new fan base generating for the show.

You probably don’t believe any of that though.

But, Your bashing the type of shows I like, I’m not exactly bashing your show. I’m just telling you why I don’t like it. I’m sure it is a wonderful show for people like you, that do like it. It’s just simply not what I like.

If you expect people to be somewhat sympathetic to your situation, you should try not to bash the shows that they love. All that is going to do is provoke them to lash back out at you.

As for Firefly, yes I watched that show, loved it. It is totally the type of show I like. I was a little up set to find out it cancelled. However, It did not run for 5 seasons that allow me to get super addicted to it. So, I don’t miss it as much as I do SGA.

However, it was a very wonderful show, with the type of characters that I like to watch.

SGU, did not arouse me at all. The only character I half way liked on the show was Eli, because it had the jokes. But he was a dumb-genius math boy, not a renowned scientist, like Carter, or McKay. I don’t even have confidence in Rush who is supposed to be a scientist. I do not feel like Rush could solve a problem if his life depended on it. I’d hate to be stuck on a ship with some mentally unstable quack like that.

All the passionate love/sex scenes, an pregnancies did not do much for me either,and the type of General Hospital Drama that was accompanied with it all.

As far as sexy hot girls on the show, that only one that was half way decent is the James girl, that had a busty figure, but an ugly face.

However “Real” Hard Sci-Fi you thought it might have been. Or obviously “opinions” reserved for you and other that actually like the show.

If I liked that type of thing, I’m sure I would have loved it. Cause it did a marvelous job of achieving it. The same way the New BSG did. Which was also another show I can get into, because of all the dark, drama, sex/love. But what BSG did do better than SGU, is they did actually have characters that I like.

I can’t force myself to like any of the characters on SGU.

Believe me when I say, I tried. Being a super huge Stargate fan, I really wanted to have a new show that I would like that was Stargate. But it just was not a show designed for my taste.

Obviously, it fits your taste very well. Sadly there was not enough people like you to keep it going.

That is not my fault. Maybe it just did not have the right time slot to develop the fan base it needed. Being that it needed to build a whole new fan base. It probably should have had a better slot. That might would have helped.

But I had nothing to do with the failure of something that was not created for me to like in the first place.

You need to pick your bones with Brad Wright, he is the one that wanted to ditch the old model altogether, and create a completely new genre of Stargate. Knowing full well that most of the existing Stargate fans would most likely not like it.

Had it been 50/50 this new model, and the old model, it would probably have done better.

Saying I’m responsible for killing the show, is like saying the fans of Sci-Fi killed wrestling …just because SyFy stuck it on their channel.

Let me put it like this…

SGU was never meant to appeal to the previous Stargate fan base. Never. Brad Wright was trying to take Stargate into a new era, to build a completely new fan base for Stargate.

It failed. He failed.

Not the fans.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on March 25th, 2011 at 9:31 PM PST:

Brad Wright bet on the fact that the same audiences mature, and with the success of LOST and BSG as character dramas, it was the natural evolution for Stargate. I don’t believe that Wright didn’t need the old fans. SyFy does not have THAT many subscribers to bet new shows on new fans only. He needed the old ones, but the old ones didn’t want that show.

BTW, Wright himself said that old SG fans are also to blame. The problem with ratings was that the old fans hated the new show, and all the rest of cable viewers thought that SGU is like the old stargate, so they never even watched a single episode. Wright DID need the old fans.

>not a renowned scientist, like Carter, or McKay. I don’t even have confidence in Rush who is supposed to be a scientist.

Again, a matter of reality. Carter/McKay’s scientific solutions are NOT realistic. It takes years to analyze some new technology, or put together a complex experiment. Carter/McKay would save the day at the end of an episode in a way that’s not humanly possible. Again with the impossible situations. Sure, lots of SGU is impossible too, but at least it’s trying to not be over the top!

Instead, it took Rush MONTHS to crack the master password and gain more control of the ship. And that’s not because he’s not brilliant, but because that’s how it would go down in real life — if at all. In an ultra-realistic environment no one would ever be able to crack the master password of such technology. But this being a fictional show, Rush did — even with a bit of help from Chloe & Eli. And you’re telling me that you want the CHEAP THRILL of a scientist finding a crazy “scientific” solution in the last 10 minutes of an episode? Please tell me you’re joking and you’re actually a thinking person.

It took the Apollo 13 crew and NASA’s most brilliant scientists SIX DAYS to find a solution to their multiple problems after the accident, solutions that MIGHT have worked. No one was sure. Just think about it.

> [Rush] I’d hate to be stuck on a ship with some mentally unstable quack like that.

Rush is my favorite character on SGU. The only one who knows what he wants, without qualms. Sure he’s controversial, but I find him brilliant. And it’s that controversial quality in him that I find challenging and interesting. Rush’s character is carrying the whole of SGU on his shoulders. Without Rush the main premises of SGU would not be there.

>All the passionate love/sex scenes

That’s another thing I’ve been reading from SG fans hating on SGU. I find nothing wrong with sex scenes. Sex is part of life. It’s not dirty, and I don’t see it as a taboo. To me, a sex scene is as normal as eating in the mess hall. As for kids watching the show, if the parent can guide them to what is what with honesty, I see no problem either. I don’t have a kid, but if I had, this wouldn’t be a problem.


phronsie wrote on March 28th, 2011 at 6:11 AM PST:

The beautiful thing about your rant is that you pretty much negate the value of your whole argument early on by revealing a closed-minded bias, a derisive dismissal of the opposing opinion of others that is an obvious neon sign of the inability to process this issue rationally and objectively. You think sgu is among the best top-10 Sci Fi shows EVAH, and those who don’t agree are “mindless drones.” Mmmm-kay, princess.


Lilith wrote on March 28th, 2011 at 9:47 AM PST:

The bad news was that SGU went into production at the expense of SGA. The good news is that SGU could not generate a following except for the reality tv fans who want to watch their characters blow their noses and whine about who is sleeping with who. Since there wasn’t anything MATURE about SGU it couldn’t hold the viewership that the previous 2 shops had for 15 years. I didn’t see Brad complaining about my intelligence when he cashed his checks for producing SG1/SGA. The assumption that the older fans just don’t get it is wrong can only be taken to mean that we were not his audience. We got it and voted with our time and money to cancel this crapfest. We are way older than you and chose our shows to entertain us that does not represent a drama/whiney scene best represented by the children arguing while I am on the phone or who borrowed a shirt without asking. The who is sleeping with who is grounds for being cutting out of my will. The tasteless attributes of these losers are not people who move in my circle so there is no way to relate to them. I don’t get it because I would never associate with this type of low class miscretian. Thanks, SGU for killing a franchise that never asked for you.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on March 28th, 2011 at 1:34 PM PST:

>could not generate a following except for the reality tv fans

I _hate_ reality TV. There’s a difference between a REALISTIC show, and REALITY TV. While in the English language the two words are close, the TV genres are not the same at all. Realistic shows means simply, shows that don’t hurt our intelligence of how things might happen (as opposed to impossible self-contained episodes that get resolved in 43 minutes).

>We are way older than you

That’s the other side of the same coin. SGU (LOST, and BSG) are the kind of shows that are strongest in the 20-45 years old demo. See, older viewers are accustomed to the old style “episodic cheap thrills” TV, and so they won’t be able to “get” a more realistic TV. Younger than 20 are usually pre-occupied with adrenaline rush, something that these shows only offer in small doses. So the bottom line is, these kinds of shows are for a specific audience that’s categorized as generally “young professionals”. I’m in that demo, turns out you’re not. That doesn’t mean you should kill the show, it’s just not for you. Let’s move on.


Lilith wrote on March 28th, 2011 at 2:55 PM PST:

How can I kill a show that is not designed for me. I don’t fit into the equation so how am I important. The writers didn’t mature, they got lazy. LOST and BSG didn’t interest the majority of the Stargate fans which is why they don’t like SGU. You think that I am unable to get realistic TV???????? I get it but refuse to lower my intelligence and social morays to be so vogue. Since you don’t have children you can afford to be so liberal. If you had children you would have turned your tv off once he closet scene appeared. Young professionals don’t like this show either. Brad was trying to get the BSG fans and he failed miserably. His old fans were yesterdays news and he told us don’t watch then begged us to watch. The favor was returned to him. When we were the young professionals we didn’t have time or an interest for soaps since they were on during the day and we had to work not to mention how demeaning we thought they were. Didn’t have time for them when they played in the evening on the soap channel because we were running kids to dancing, gym, ball games, homework and preparing a meal for the family to eat. Who would ever have thought that our intelligence would be questioned over a soap opera. I’ll have to let my old professional peers,( 27 degrees amongst us) know that we have been demoted to the dumbass status since none of us like SGU but enjoyed SG1/SGA and dare I say watched with our children.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on March 28th, 2011 at 3:07 PM PST:

>The writers didn’t mature, they got lazy.

You got it backwards. The writers became WAY better. SGU has amazing production values for one. At least 20 sets were built as part of the recurring locations in the show. SG-1 had no more than 5, SG-A about 8 or 9. TNG/Voy/DS9/B5, had about 12. You don’t get lazy to support such a show. It is WAY more difficult to write a good drama, and intelligent sci-fi (that’s not the “humanoid aliens that speak English” crap), than to write episodic copycats of itself every week.

>I get it but refuse to lower my intelligence and social morays to be so vogue.

But by avoiding LOST/BSG/SGU you are doing exactly that! These are the shows that require critical thinking, that are complex and offer a kind of stimulation that’s akin to high art. These are the shows you should be looking up to!

>Since you don’t have children you can afford to be so liberal. If you had children you would have turned your tv off once he closet scene appeared.

I guess you said the right word above, and it’s very possibly the actual ROOT of our disagreement. You’re not liberal (I take the word as in “progressive”, because “liberal” can mean many different things). I am progressive. Very much so.

So… I guess you voted Republican, eh? 😉


Lilith wrote on March 29th, 2011 at 11:59 AM PST:

Yes, I am Republican since I was 18. What you call progressive is what we call vulgar and socially unacceptable. Kindva like the woman who said her daughters pole dancing is just another form of exotic art. One must look up for intelligence not down. Critical thinking is what a WASP is all about.

They could build a 100 sets it still wouldn’t make this awful show a crowd pleaser or win acclaim. There are plot holes that a truck could drive thru. It doesn’t pay the bills to write this kind of dribble hence they were all released from employment. This was the worst Scifi show ever. If you are film student take some marketing courses. You have to give the public what it wants which is good Stargate like SG1/SGA or you will go thru life unappreciated. You can’t just throw crap on the wall and hope it sticks then call it your masterpiece.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on March 29th, 2011 at 3:41 PM PST:

>like the woman who said her daughters pole dancing is just another form of exotic art.

I don’t think the woman who said that was progressive, but dumb. Progressive does not mean naive, or slutty. A progressive takes things the way they are, with reason. In our case, the broom closet scene was sex among two soldiers. Something that happens EVERY DAY in Iraq and Afghanistan among the US/NATO troops. They do it. It’s common knowledge. In some cases the army provides free condoms too! It’s just sex. It’s what we’re wired to do as humans, and what we do to get it out of our systems and relax. So I really don’t see why SG fans hated on that. It’s part of life, including soldier lives.


Vassilis Perantzakis wrote on March 30th, 2011 at 4:45 AM PST:

I agree with you almost 100%. But for this point:
“3. Aliens are not like laughable humans in masks, or just plain humans. More realistic this way.”

Realistic is “close to reality”. Since we have not seen any aliens yet (as far as I know), we don’t know what is realistic and what’s not. Plausible yes. Realistic no. Just my 2 cents. 🙂


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Eugenia wrote on March 30th, 2011 at 4:47 AM PST:

As mentioned in the comments above, scientists now say that while life is possibly in abundance in the universe, humanoids are not. While it’s all a theory atm, that’s the main scientific line. So it’s realistic in terms of the real world theories, not realistic as in “that’s how we know it is”. Plausible is as good a word though.


Vassilis Perantzakis wrote on March 30th, 2011 at 4:56 AM PST:

I watch too much “Big Bang Theory” 🙂 so “plausible” is the word Sheldon would have used, for the exact reason you mention.


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