Monday, November 29, 2010

Is Stargate Universe going the Battestar Galactica Way?

I must say the more I watch Stargate Universe, the more it surprises me. It did start with the basic stargate premise. The crew lands on board ‘Destiny’ and ancient ship en-route the far reaches of the galaxy. It as a stargate on it and frequently makes stops in nearby star systems. With that kind of premise, you’d have expected a standard stargate storyline – go on new worlds, meet new aliens, gather token ethnic crew members, bring democracy to oppressed aliens by miraculously killing all their overly powerful overlords and be the good guys.

However, that’s NOT what SGU did. Instead we have a motley crew stranded on this ship with limited resources, lots of enemies and nowhere to turn back. We get people strugging emotionally with all the hardship and separation of loved ones. We get a detailed development of characters who aren’t clearly good or bad. We get a slow meandering storyline in which action takes a back seat and drama reigns supreme.

It’s hard to get used to all this, having years and years of stargate expectations in your head. And at times the whole thing does feel a bit awkward – especially the sentimental musical slow motion shots just don’t feel right on a show bearing the stargate name. But as the cast and crew get more used to this kind of storytelling, the viewers also get more and more absorbed into this completely different kind of stargate.

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