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Stargate Universe DVD Box-Set Review
The Stargate franchise has been around for an impressive eighteen years. Starting in 1994, the original film paved way for several spin off television shows and a legion of loyal die-hard fans. Sadly, out of nowhere, the franchise came to an abrupt end and got sucked in to a black hole of lost shows and unfinished stories. The lack of viewership for its latest television spin off, Stargate Universe, was the reason behind the cancellation, so I thought I would give it a fair chance before dismissing it as a franchise killer as other fans of the franchise have.
Stargate Universe follows a group of civilians, scientists and militants through a wormhole, on to a mysterious ship — the Destiny. The ship had been travelling uninhabited for over several billion light years. The new crew members quickly realise there is no life support onboard, and no way of getting home. Through the course of the series the crew have to deal with mutiny, time travel and epic space battles right up until the final cliffhanging and gut-wrenching episode.
It's a strange thing when what you're watching seems to hold no real pace but can still hold your attention. The opening half of the first series is undeniably slow yet spawns some interesting and diverse characters, namely Dr. Rush, played by talented Trainspotting veteran Robert Carlyle, and Colonel Young, played by the criminally underrated Louis Ferreira. Once the characters are established, the second half of the season flies by and really captures the true alien nature of space travel. The second series introduces some new characters and starts venturing into unbroken ground of science fiction. The show really comes together for the last few episodes and gives the audience an incredibly rare feat of story telling and acting which only comes along once in a while.
Upon watching the show, it becomes clear that Stargate Universe did rely on other programs for its base storyline. We see the essence of Battlestar Galactica moulded together with Lost and Star Trek: Voyager. But truthfully, is that really a bad thing? These three shows were the pinnacle of science fiction in their respected time. You might prefer your characters to be a little more likeable and for the story to be resolved by the end of each episode but could a change help shift things forward? In its beginning, Stargate Universe was indeed slower, darker and at some points lacked in excitement. However, by the end of the shows run it was fast paced, action packed and an intelligent, modern science fiction story.
Was Stargate Universe a franchise killer? Was it the lack of viewers? Or maybe the hate from loyal fans of SG-1 and SGA who wanted these earlier incarnations of the show to continue. When watching Stargate Universe, you have to distance yourself from the first two spin-off shows, the same with all good reboots. Despite its drawbacks, Universe stands on its own two feet as a serious and intelligent program that has delighted its modest sized audience.
I can't help but wonder what might have been if the show had been allowed to continue. Currently, there are several online groups petitioning for the return of Stargate Universe and they all have an impressive amount of supporters, so there may just be hope yet. The complete series is a must-see for any science-fiction fan and is available now for purchase on DVD.