So, taking a break from all my gaming-related musings, I thought I’d talk about Stargate: Universe, which I’ve recently finished watching. I’ve always been a long-time fan of the Stargate franchise, starting with the original film, and then the SG-1 TV series and the spin-offs. Richard Dean Anderson is, quite frankly, a legend, which is odd because I’ve never really seen him in anything else. Never watched any of MacGyver for instance, but anyway.
I can’t actually remember if I watched Stargate from the very beginning or came in part-way through – for years I’d seen bits here and there of the early seasons, and then I kind of missed out some of the middling seasons, before finally watching it consistently when Season’s 6, 7 and 8 were on TV. Then they started up Stargate: Atlantis, which I watched for the first Season and then kind of lost touch with it, and the same thing happened with the last two series of the main show as well. Recently though I watched all of SG-1 from start to finish, and then watched all of Atlantis from start to finish as well, both great shows, with some great moments in them. I also bought the two SG-1 movies on DVD, and whilst they were worth watching once, they weren’t amazing it has be said. With Atlantis, I was pleasantly surprised at how it managed to stand apart from the main show, especially when that ended and Atlantis was the only thing on TV – really came into its stride.
Which bring us to Universe, the third and final show in the franchise. It’s kind of hard to formulate a concrete opinion on it, because it’s really unlike the last two shows, almost to the point where it could be considered completely separate. The aim with it, so Wikipedia tells me, was to have a more character driven and serialised show, that’s less dependent on mythology. Watching the show, you can tell it draws vibes from both Battlestar Galactica and even Star Trek: Voyager to some degree, and the things like the Stargate are merely incidental to the setting, rather than the focus. It was interesting, and I did enjoy watching it at the end of the day, which counts for something I guess.
I liked the fact that the set-up meant the truly alien and unknown could be explored, making it different from all of the English-speaking ‘aliens’ of the other two shows, although the show didn’t really go on long enough for me to decide whether the lack of an over-arching nemesis was a good or a bad thing – the concept of exploring several galaxies as the show went on, each with its own problems and challenges, certainly seemed like an interesting premise on paper. The over-all point of the show – which I won’t say for spoiler-reasons (but you should know what it is if you’ve watched the show) was a bit random, we have to say. It depends really where they were planning on going with it, but it doesn’t really mean anything.
Some things I thought though were a bit naff – the use of communication stones was over-used a bit much I felt, and loved ones back on earth seemed to accept a little too readily that these strangers they were seeing were really the people on the ship. It’s kind of addressed in one episode, but overall that element wasn’t fantastic. Also, Time-travel seemed to have been used a bit too often, which is odd considering between SG-1 and Atlantis combined, there’s about 7 or 8 different ‘timelines’ now. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but somehow it just seemed off in Stargate Universe, but there you go.
It’s a real shame the show was cancelled, but from what I can gather it wasn’t necessarily the show itself that was the problem. After all, Seasons 11+ of SG-1 and 6+ of Atlantis, as well as the third SG-1 film, the Atlantis film and then the Universe film were all cancelled and shelved due to the production studio, MGM, going bankrupted. Universe was cited as o having poor ratings towards the end, but I firmly believe that has as much to do with the new time-slot they were given as it was to do with the show itself. It may have not been fantastic (in the sense that if you had a choice, you might not choose Universe), but it was still a good enough show to be kept on air.
Now I find myself without something to binge-watch though, which always feels weird. I’m keeping up with the weekly new episodes of House, Castle, Big Bang Theory, Bleach… the new Gundam series AGE (seems ok, but the art style is too cutesy for my liking. What happened to SEED, 00, etc?), but I need a new show I can… acquire en masse and just watch through whenever.
What are you guys all watching at the moment?