Thanks to the void left by BATTLESTAR GALCATICA ending its run combined with our rejuvenated interest in all things space courtesy of JJ. Abrams successful STAR TREK re-boot, Sy Fy’s third incarnation of the STARGATE universe, appropriately titled just that, could not have arrived at a better time. Which is why last night, this TV Addict went where I have never gone before and subjected myself to an actual entire episode of STARGATE.

The two-hour pilot kicked off with a literal bang, when some space baddies (who this STARGATE virgin can only assume have a history of blowing stuff up) attacked a planet — forcing the mysterious Dr. Nicholas Rush (Played by ‘foreigner’ Robert Carlyle, so you know he’s both really smart and obviously ‘up to something’) to shepherd a ragtag group of military types (like Louis Ferreira’s Colonel Young and Brian J. Smith’s Lieutenant Scott), politicos (Elyse Levesque’s Senator’s daughter) and computer nerds (David Blue’s Eli Wallace, serving as a guide into the STARGATE universe for us neophytes), among others — haphazardly through a Stargate. Destination: Who-knows-where!

Of course, ‘who-knows-where’ turned out to be the Destiny, an ancient ship, which as luck would have it, came complete with a Stargate of its very own. Not to mention, enough problems to provide for a solid twenty-two episodes (or more!) of adventure. Giving the crew — when they’re not searching for ways in which to find home — ample opportunity to jump from planet-to-planet for spare parts.

An adventure we’d be a lot more excited for, had ‘spare parts’ not also served as an apt metaphor for one of our biggest problems with the show. From the ragtag fleet of painfully generic character archetypes (See: the ex-con, the strong female and Blue’s nerdy comic relief that treads dangerously close to Wesley Crusher levels of annoyance.) to the fact that try as they might, SGU’s pilot failed to introduce even one original story-line (Power struggle between the brilliant but morally ambiguous scientist and the political figure! Hmmm…. Where have I seen that before?), it’s hard to ignore the total lack of originality on the creative team’s part. Especially when the shaky camera docu-drama feel and the dark corridors devoid of light practically beg comparisons of the less-than-kind variety to that of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.

That said, as all good pilots must, there certainly were more than enough interesting plot threads and likeable personalities (Full disclosure: We have a soft spot for both David Blue and Ming-Na — assuming of course her character ever gets to do anything!) to entice me to jump on the STARGATE bandwagon and give this series a shot.

Will you be joining me for the ride?

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  • I’m a huge fan of the Stargate franchise having watched all the SG-1 episodes multiple times and every SGA episode. I wanted to like SGU, but it tried too hard to be dark like BSG instead of focusing on story or characters. The 2-hour series premiere was completely unnecessary and could have been cut to an hour thirty or an hour. Full review of the episode.

  • I love the Stargate Franchise. I didn’t fall in love with SGU as I did with SGA when I first watched the “Rising” 2 hour pilot. However, by the end of the episode, I was really excited for more–wish they had aired all 3 hours. The one element that seems to be missing right now is humor–it’s very dark at this point. I’m hoping that we will get more levity after the immediate threat subsides. I imagine Eli Wallace will provide the comic relief as Dr. Rodney McKay did for SGA.

  • Craig

    I liked it. It obviously had a touch of BSG in there, and the sex scene seemed out of place for Stargate, but as a whole I very much enjoyed it. I wasn’t a big fan of SG-1 (found it boring) but I loved Atlantis. SGU seems like a completely different kind of animal from those two shows, but it is still very much a Stargate series. Also, the generic characters, as you mentioned, are pretty much in every Stargate show (the military guy, the science guy, the alien guy, the lone female on the team, etc.) so that didn’t bother me too much. This seems much less dark than BSG (which got so depressing I stopped watching in season 3) but much more adult than its predecessors. Hopefully this will be a good (or at least interesting) season of Stargate.

  • Joseph

    Good show!

    Being a fan of both SG-1 & Atlantis I found that SGU took me to places that I never thought of. After Atlantis ended I that this was it for the Stargate franchise. But watching SGU I could see that new life was breathe into it. As others have stated above I thought that they could have cut about half to an hour and a half off the show because parts of it almost reminded me of a lame soap opera. I found the Dr to be cold lacking emotion and trying to comfort Miss Armstrong, what was that about? This part should have been cut there was no need for it.

    However I found the character of Miss Armstong to be the heart of the show as she brings something fresh to where you connect with her on a personal level. Ely is a cross between the characters O’Neil and Jackson of SG-1 which I found unique and satisfying but wanted more from him. As with the Stargate shows of the past I hope they don’t just introduce you to a new cast and somewhere along the show leave you wondering whatever happened to a particular character.

    I feel that there is potential for this series but it needs to break free from concepts of the past and move forward to create something new and fresh. I’m curious as to what the creators have in store. It would be nice to see more aliens and not so many human characters as they have done in the past with SG-1 & Atlantis. I hope that they bring more depth and emotion to the characters without making it a soap opera, but maintaining a nice balance that will leave me on the edge of my seat wanting more. In fact it would be really nice if they made this show interactive where we the audience could have a choice as to what takes place on the show. I know these ideas are new and have never taken place on a show like this but it has the potential to be so much more than just another sci fi show!

  • ewanspotter

    TVAddict, from what I’ve heard, Ming Na will have much more to do later. Initially the character wasn’t as central, but after they brought Ming in, they decided to up the character’s importance.

    Look, the comparisons to BSG are there, the comparisons to Voyager are there. Will there be similar elements? Sure. SGU is set on a ship, but it’s not automatically ripping off anything because of this fact. No more than the stranded crew of BSG or Voyager ripped off The Odyssey (cause they did, and somewhere Homer is piiiiiisssed).

    ALL characters are archetypes — some more cookie cutter than others. Give me three of your favorite characters from any show or movie, and I could list off their forefathers. The SGU ones deserves time to develop. There’s only so much time in the hour and a half to manage that. The same goes for plot point (as we know there are only 12 out there to begin with).

    I’m not defending the pilot’s flaws. There were unnecessary scenes (I’m in no way opposed to adult situations, except when they’re randomly thrown in) and characters who didn’t get much time to develop. There were plenty of spots in the middle where it lagged. But it did what it needed to do. (I’ve heard that part 3 actually ties everything up really well). It was a solid start and, as most science fiction series go, they tend to get better with time. They’ll learn from their mistakes. The things that make us roll our eyes, or characters who don’t ultimately work, will be phased out.

    I look forward to seeing where the show is headed.

  • TVFan

    Agreed on all points, although I am sticking with the show through its first few episodes for sure.

  • Michael T


  • Elliot

    I think most shows try too hard on the pilot. This one is no exception. It seems to have great potential though, and enough going on as to not get boring.

    I really hope they don’t make it too much like BSG. It doesn’t need to be super dark or always over the top. If they have people doing ridiculously stupid things that no one would ever do in life or death situation like BSG did I’ll be upset.

    But then again it is stargate so I’ll probably just keep watching it anyway.

  • I liked the show too. Maybe it didn’t blow me away, but it had a lot of little good things about it, and I can see the potential in it. I agree with Joseph that Chloe Armstrong is the heart of the show.

    Even if the show has some minor flaws, they’re nothing I can’t overlook or forgive. I’m intrigued enough to continue tuning in.

  • Peter

    Has none of the Joy of previous Stargates.

    The BSG atmosphere and melodrama seems to preclude any chance this will ever get it back. The is a dark depressing show filled with mostly repulsive characters who all distrust each other.

    Other than tacking on the Stargate and some cameos, there is nothing of the fun atmosphere of stargate here and I don’t think it will ever be found because of the dark depressing direction they are taking it.

    This is simply BSG with the Cylons replaced by a stargate and poorly done.

  • maxim

    I’m a stargate freak ! I didn’t miss a single episode of SG1 or SGA. to be? honest I’m deeply disappointed of the first premiere of SGU, they are trying to copy a combination of BSG and startrek voyager, with of course a stargate.
    the? ship is so “old fashion” ! no technology no imagination at all !
    the scientist, the Rush guy,is weird, and the fat gameboy guy, sucks big time !!
    I hoped if they could of start for a couple of episodes with some of the old teams, Dr Jackson, Carter or McCoy for example!
    and yes,? the guy who “sacrificed” his self, what a none sens !! there’s like 10 possible ways to push that baton ! and the scene of sex ? I mean like come on ! is it how you ganna keep me from zapping the Chanel !
    in my opinion it gonna be a big disaster for MGM if they don’t try to make some new scenarios! I fear that the spirit of stargate is lost !

  • DisappointedFan

    this was the most boring Sci-Fi I’ve see in awhile. Fan of Stargate SG-1 but this was sooo….. boring. Nothing really interesting happened that you can’t already anticipate. Just watched the second episode and man… what’s with all this drama they are trying mix up with everyone and everything. It’s more like a soap opera then a Sci-Fi.

  • Getting real boring real fast. Give actors too much leeway and they begin to ham. This goes for the doctor, who chews too much scenery. They took 1/2 Rodney for Eli, and gave the pissed-off doctor Rodney’s annoying side. It doesn’t work.

    No one seems to like each other. A lot of whining ensues.

    SG-1 and Atlantis had some comedy, mostly created when the know-it-all heroes were thrown into situations where they realized their own stupidity. Usually a “You think” and “Oh crap” tipped the audience off.

  • Skye Graham

    I have been a devoted fan of SG-1 and Stargate Alantis, and I was looking forward to Stargate Universe. Was I disappointed. You have a gamer/math kid, an uninteresting secretive science guy, a token blonde, and a whole group of uninteresting, odd background people. Gratuitous sex and distrusting, whining people lost on a space ship barreling through space is not my idea of a good show. If I had wanted to watch Battlestar Gallactica I would have. It has been fun watching the Stargate shows until now. The franchise has been built on good stories, good characters/actors and the stargate as the glue that held it all together. Now we have a runnaway ship, uninteresting stories, uninteresting characters, and oh there happens to be a stargate(and it is not even real!)

  • Indeed

    As others have commented SGU is simply BSG part deux. I sure hope the writers move away from this to something more worthwhile. Having something catastrophic occur on the ship every week will get mundane pretty quick.

  • I loved both Stargates but this one has way too much human drama. They should rename it Battlestargate Galactica. That is all it is.

  • JC

    Production values, drama, good effects, most of all, a distinct lack of that Stargate cheese. They say immitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and I’m glad SGU took a slice of BSG. Hey, finally a Stargate I can watch.

  • WBC

    How many ways can we say tedious-vapid-plotless-boooooooooorrriiing
    i as hoping for so much more than I am getting. Not one decent ET. No antagonist no plot just la ta de do. I think I am going to atch my fingernails grow.

  • Battlestargate Universe

    I completely agree about how blatant they are ripping off BSG. I wouldn’t be surprised if they encounter Cylons in the next episode. And the fat, unfunny nerd IS extremely annoying. This series jumped the shark in the first 5 minutes. And what’s up with Sgt Greer… whut up dawg, gang members in space? It’s the only original aspect of this show but I’ll still pass.

  • Murray B

    SGU is a giant step towards cost-free-TV. That is, TV that will cost nothing to make.

    The objective of SGU is to make a Reduced Action Drama with Illumination Obscured. This R.A.D.I.O. will be the next big thing and SGU is well positioned to arrive there first. Soon we will all be sitting around watching our RADIOs, you’ll see.

  • shegate

    This franchise has hit a wall with this latest incarnation..
    ‘DramaGate Universe”..I really haven’t found any redeeming properties for any of the characters..and the plot lines are booorringg..
    there is more to this show resembling a big ,fat soap opera than an action/sci fi tele movie …
    and so sad because there are some good ,established actors featured..just terrible plot and lines..
    It is NOT BSG.. and not Stargate SG1 or Atlantis.. other than a gate that spins in a dimly lit room and an occasional glimpse of Ricky D there is no resemblance …they should just change the title..
    count me out..stick a fork. think I’m so dun…

  • Charlotte T.

    I am a Big fan of the StarGate franchise, however, SGU is super boring. If someone asks me what the episode was about, I have a real hard time explaining the plot for that story. I will still continue to watch, but if they don’t get more action and a better story line, I don’t think this show will last much longer.

  • StargateFanKay

    I am a huge Stargate fan, but this new show, SGU, isn’t Stargate. It’s a trailer trash soap opera. I don’t like soaps. I will not be wasting my time with this show anymore. It’s not going to get any better.

  • cant get over how far down the Stargate franchise has dropped. I own the SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis boxsets as well as all the movies. But when Stargate Universe premiered in October, I could not believe what I was seeing. They stole so much from BSG that it was ridiculous. They even started calling the hyperspace travel “FTL” like on BSG. The shaky camera was stolen too? And these characters…OMG. I hated them all in that episode and wondered why these people could be on Icarus Base when I know about the “rigorous Stargate background checks” they established early on in the SG canon.

    What I see here is the marketing department version of Stargate. With BSG canceled, and SGA canceled, these writers thought they could reel in Stargate fans and BSG fans, throw in some reality TV and lame drama from some generic soap opera and we would just gobble it all up. NOT. The BSG fans can see that the writing is nowhere near on par, and the dark depressing tone of this show is not anything a Stargate fan would find entertaining. There is so little science in this show it cant really be considered science fiction. Then I started looking around the internet and everybody was saying the same thing…this show SUCKS.

    Well, I watched the episodes anyway, hoping the show would get better, but it just got worse. Then when I saw the episode where Chloe was in a bar having a catfight with her best friend over an old boyfriend, and Eli was sitting there with a drink and they were crying in a car. OMG, was this Stargate? This show is detroying the franchise. The few new people who are liking it seem to be soap opera people. But according to SyFy, this show has the lowest female viewership of all shows on SyFy, which means its girly boys who are watching it. Emo skinny jeans eyeliner type boys who think its perfectly okay to have top secret technology (those stupid phonestones) used by unqualified people to go to earth and bake cookies with mommy, or have sex and spy on their wife or make out with a lesbian lover. This show is not Stargate, its not science fiction, and it needs to be canceled QUICK before the entire Stargate franchise is soiled beyond redemption.

  • Sam

    I really wanted to like SGU and had high hopes for it, before it aired. Sadly, I feel the show has not delivered in any department. I just can’t seem to relate to any of the characters at all and I’m generally left feeling I don’t really care what happens to any of them. Being a fan of the previous Stargate shows, there has been little Stargate or science fiction to keep my interest. If I wasn’t such a big Stargate fan, I would have given up watching after about the first 5 episodes. I think there’s a lot of fans like me still watching to see if SGU improves. This improvement must come soon when Season One restarts, as I am fast losing patience and many Stargate fans, like me, will soon give up on SGU altogether.

    I believe there are many, like me, who are giving SGU a chance, for now, even though we have hated what we have seen so far. It is only out of loyalty to the Stargate franchise, I have stuck with it, but there will be a point when enough is enough. I think if/when diehard Stargate fans finally give up on watching SGU, ratings will drop dramatically. SGU producers and writers should not underestimate this particular demographic.

    This series seriously needs reworking to make it viewable, as it’s just incredibly dull at the moment. It’s not that I don’t get what the SGU writers are trying to do, but the writing, acting and even camera work (e.g. Kino view) has failed to excite or interest. At the moment, SGU is neither compelling scifi nor engaging drama, it is, however, completely bad I’m afraid.

  • Periculo

    I agree except for the part about”Eli Wallace” Sucking. He's just a kid and at least been sort of funny. I wish some of the others ones could have some sense of humor. Honestly though, To me “Rush”, as smart as he's suppossed to be, is just the ship's “Gilligan”!!! He's the “Doctor Smith” of this show! They're always going to be doomed as long as he's on board!