Monday, October 5, 2009

Stargate Universe - "Air"

Well, this was an interesting premiere. Take the hook for Stargate, mix it up with the original concept for Macross, throw in a healthy dash of Star Trek: Voyager, and wrap it all up in the trappings of the Battlestar Galactica remake, and you have SGU: Stargate Universe.

(Fun alternate titles: Stargate Galactica, Stargate Dimensional Fortress Destiny, and Battlestargaticross! I can't come up with alternate titles that include Voyager, because everyone knows Star Trek titles are no fun anymore.)

We have an all-new cast, made up of both military SGC officers and civilians who were working together on a research outpost when a crisis hits. They do an emergency evacuation via their Stargate and wind up in an Ancient spaceship, and promptly get stuck there. They're far from home (that's the Voyager part), and only by learning the secrets of this mysterious, giant spaceship will they be able to get back (that's the Macross part). As the ship draws close to planets that have a Stargate, the ship's Stargate activates and they send their team through so they can explore the planet (the Stargate part) and find whatever they need at the moment (more Voyager). And while of course the military is in charge, they still have their duty to protect the civilians with them, many of whom are learning they have to step up if they're all going to survive (more Macross).

And of course we have the heavy angst, the moral dilemmas, the shaky camera work, and the raunchy sex scenes of the Galactica remake.

Unlike Galactica, I didn't feel like people automatically made the wrong choice, and I did feel that the characters had good moral compasses. Dr. Rush seems to be the obvious Dr. Baltar character-- he's the long-haired, bespectacled scientific pragmatist who essentially gets them into the mess but is quick to point out how it's not his fault. However he does seem to be of a stronger moral fiber underneath it all than Gaius Baltar was. Oh, and he sounds Scottish instead of English.

SyFy is obviously hoping this show will keep their Stargate fans and pick up their Galactica fans at the same time. Will it work? Beats me. I can never predict these things. I don't really need to have a Galactica-flavored Stargate, but it doesn't offend me either, and the premise does work for me. As long as they treat it more like Atlantis than Voyager-- have them actually make contact with home, but appreciate the value of where they are, so that "getting home" isn't the constant drive of the show-- then I think this could be a great series. I love ships, and I always said Stargate had some of the best looking ships, and the Destiny is no exception. So I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with this series.

1 comment:

greatplaidmoose said...

I agree with your assessment entirely. Ironically I'm ejoying it more so far than any of the shows you've mentioned except for Macross or rather Robotech as I've never seen Macross proper.