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423 out of 618 people found the following review useful:

A Successful Merger of Concepts

9/10
Author: Wes P from Canada
26 April 2010

I'm going to try to address the many issues swirling about this series without spoiling the plot:

1) Similarities to other shows: There has been a great deal of speculation that the show is a 'ripoff' of Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, or even Lost. While I certainly don't disagree that it bears a striking similarity to Battlestar Galactica, I don't count that as a strike against it.

Prior shows are always going to have an impact on future shows. Film-making (whether it be TV or Feature) is an art that builds upon itself, and stands on the shoulders of those who came before it. The fact is the Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, and Lost are all GOOD shows, regardless of your impression of it or whether or not it struck you the right way, they were the best of their genres at the time, and even bent their genres into something new.

That being said, to call this show a 'rip-off' or 'carbon copy' of any of those shows is grossly over simplifying things and intentionally misleading. Perhaps we should just create a new genre name, like 'Adult Sci-Fi', so we can get over all these intellectual property theft allegations.

2) Dissimilarities to other Stargate franchises: This review will probably take a lot of heat for this, but - past Stargate shows actually weren't very good. Don't get me wrong, I've watched every episode of SG1, and most of Atlantis (still working on that), and enjoy just about all of it, but even while enjoying it, I was fully recognizant of the fact that it wasn't actually good. It's campy. The acting is sub-par, even when there are good actors in the shows. The sets are generic and bland, reminiscent of the original series of Star Trek, the scripting is packed with fromage, and the plots, no matter how original, were all clearly predictable.

But to a niche crowd (myself included) they were thoroughly enjoyable through a mixture of silly humour, sci-fi gratification, and a unique self-aware self-deprecation. But even so, the cinematography was regularly lackluster, the effects unconvincing, and the ratings carried along by loyal fans.

SGU lacks most of these shortcomings. There is the occasional campy humour, though typically coming from the same character. In that way this one character, Eli, has come to be the only vestige of the old Stargate franchises. This is made believable, though, because this character is quite similar to the people (like myself) who enjoyed the camp of previous Stargate in real life.

3) The mood: Many would say it's much too dark, both in production design and in mood. I say that it's about time. In past Stargate series', no matter how far gone a situation was, no matter how much danger they were in, the show was never EVER tense. It never mattered. Nothing ever really mattered. The characters were always too happy and fun and funny and confident and amicable to be capable of expressing any kind of peril. As such, the plots were always completely hollow. Nothing mattered, because it would all be fine in the end.

The only episode in both original Stargate series' that managed to capture any kind of deep emotional commitment or tension was Heroes, which just happened to be filmed in the documentary style similar to that of SGU. I don't solely blame the cinematography for this effect, though, but instead, for just once, the characters were encouraged to be vulnerable and hurt, like real human beings.

When people are in a serious situation, they get serious (mostly), and their flaws become more apparent. This is evident in this series, as it should be in such situations.

4) The set/production design: As for the dark set design, it makes some sense, as the ship is very old, and trying to save power. In past Stargate, no matter how old something was, it always looked like it was cobbled together the day before. The ancient city of Atlantis looking like it was maintained by a team of maid-bots and carpenters right up until the team's arrival. I will admit that the purposeful gloom goes a bit too far at times, but as far as I'm concerned, that's better than skirting the edge of cardboard box grade production.

SGU is simply a great show. Yes, it shrugs off its past franchise for the sake of its artistic intent, but it does so with wonderful results. The acting is largely superb, and even the episodes that in other shows would be considered 'in betweeners' come off as being some of the best episodes on television (like the episode Human).

I definitely recommend this show to anyone, and I absolutely recommend that past Stargate fans try to leave their preconceptions at the door, and respect it as its own show.

UPDATE: You will no doubt notice a massive spree of negative reviews on top of the 'helpful' pile on IMDb. Please take these with a grain of salt, as they are largely spam generated by a select few alienated Stargate fans who are working very, very hard to get this show cancelled. Rest assured, I myself have yet to meet a single classic Stargate fan who doesn't LOVE SGU, and I sure do know a lot of them!

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200 out of 259 people found the following review useful:

Perhaps It's Not What You Like.

7/10
Author: Kamikaze K from United States
22 November 2010

I read a really negative review of this program on this site and I wanted to put my two cents in on the internet for a change. And for the record, I'm not one of these "paid" individuals at the url posted in the review before me (I didn't click it, but urls in posts make me weary anyways). Stargate Universe is a drama about a group of individuals who are trapped on a ship half way across the known universe. The idea behind this show is that the people on the ship are attempting, to the best of their own personal abilities, to find a way for day-to-day survival and how to gain control of this massive intergalactic spaceship. Many on the ship are either scientists or military personal, with a few civilians littered in.

Now where most would say this show is garbage, I disagree. This show is a welcome break from the standard Stargate TV plot line. So far, this season and last, the only goal has been trying to gain control of the ship. They've dealt with some alien life forms and other assorted baddies, but the main arc has always been trying to control the ship so they can get home. Yes, it is incredibly slower paced than the other Stargate programs, but it wasn't intended on being like them. It was suppose to be different, dealing with the intrapersonal and interpersonal issues these people face while staring potential death at any wrong move in the face.

This show gives me a sense of realism (well, as well of one can hope for when watching a science fiction program) when they are faced with problems. There's no room for error. There's no intergalactic space police that can come swooping in to their rescue at the convenient time right after they come back from commercials, they have literally no help what so ever beyond consultation from people on Earth via the Communication Stones. This isn't the hour long show where Daniel Jackson and Jack O'Neill run through the Stargate, pick a fight with someone, someone gets caught or incapacitated or whatever cliché tension builder they decided to use this week, they get rescued by their friends and run back through the gate to Earth. It's almost like their playing a universal game of "Ding Dong Ditch".

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed Stargate SG-1, I watched all 10 seasons, but after awhile the story structure got stale and it was just the same thing with different people every week. The episodes I enjoyed the most were the ones where someone had to make a personal sacrifice for the betterment of their friends. That's what it's like in real life. It humanized them for me. And that's what SGU does for me.

Now granted, I will admit that the creation of SGU after the success of the new Battlestar was pretty evident, but fact of the matter is that it works for some and doesn't for others. Think of all the shows that got canceled in the late 90s, early 2000s that everyone and their dog has breathed life back into? Family Guy, Futurama, even American Dad. These programs failed on their first run, but had such a successful run in later years that they're now part of the main stream and people are enjoying them once more.

This show isn't for everyone, it's not. If you're looking for fights with aliens or saving the world after the 10 p.m. news is over, you're going to be disappointed. But, if you're looking for something a little different with something familiar to relate with, you might enjoy it. I know I do. My name is Matt, I'm from Montana, and no one paid me a f-ing thing to write this review. Cheers.

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187 out of 265 people found the following review useful:

SGU is not SGA

10/10
Author: elfinspace23 from Australia
16 February 2011

Firstly i never give a 10 out of 10 as i believe everything can be improved, so this gets a 9.5.

Secondly to those people who have never seen any stargate episodes of any kind, this series is superior in all aspects - ALL. The people who rubbish this are the die-hards of the Original series who cant adapt or change to take a program on its credits.

Thirdly you cant compare the SGA to SGU they are two totally different projects, SGU is a thought provoking journey through space with all the conundrums that the human psyche can encompass. The acting and the script is second to none, the graphics top notch in fact it beats SGA on everything except gimmicky, off-beat (unfunny) humour.

As anyone looks through the reviews of Stargate Universe SGU you come across a very familiar pattern, that all of its bad reviews come from disgruntled SG & SGA fans, who are just blatantly out to rubbish the show and give it the worst reviews possible. And that unfortunately is where the makers of SGU went wrong, they tried to ride the success of the previous two shows. Thus its original viewing figures got depleted by the loss of the original SG fan base, instead of creating its own fan base from afresh.

I have to admit i nearly didn't watch the show due to it being branded with the Stargate label, and how i would have missed a deeply moving Sci-fi drama in space. And there lies its problem, it had great viewing figure to start, but quickly lost them due to it NOT being SG or SGA and it could never build its own fan base due to people who didn't like the show switching on to another SG.

I believe given time the show would have stood on its own through word of mouth, but now we will never be given the opportunity to find the origins of the stargates or was there life at the beginning of time.

I love this series, please don't axe and do a firefly and possibly destroy one of the greatest sci-fy series of all time. The reason this is only getting a 7.5 out of 10 (giving 1's) is the stuck in the mud original stargate lovers, otherwise it would be well above 9.

DON'T MISS SGU

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205 out of 368 people found the following review useful:

Stargate, the Next Generation

10/10
Author: Emera from United States
3 October 2009

I was nine when the original Stargate film released, and it was one of the first times I was awed by the truly limitless potential of science fiction. I got into the Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis franchises only a few years ago, and I have since seen every episode in the series. It was the reality-based fantasy of SG-1 that drew me in, and despite what budget and technological constraints the show had to endure in its 10-year run, I always felt it captured an aspect of human existence that was often left unexplored in fiction: our place in the universe.

After watching the premiere of Stargate Universe for the second time, I am convinced that the fate of the franchise has a true destiny aboard this ship. The quality of talent in every avenue of production is staggering, and it emanates through every facet on screen. From masterful talents like Robert Carlyle (28 Weeks Later) and Justin Louis (Durham County), to the many newcomers and rising stars, the crew brings humanity into the dark frontier of deep space with a raw and visceral tenacity that captures the essence of human nature.

Stargate Universe brings science fiction television into the twenty-first century with influences and lessons learned from every epic saga that came before it. From the cinematic tension of the recent Battlestar Galactica reboot, to the unpredictable realities of the universe in series like Sliders, Star Trek, Farscape, and Firefly.

With SG-1's legacy of imaginative writers and visionary directors behind it the future of the series is finally entering the next chapter. Stargate Universe may well be the next great space saga for a new era of television. Whether you know the lore, or you're on your first trip through the gate, you're in for a ride like nothing else on TV. You may not know what to make of the series from the pilot, but if its predecessors are any indication there are great things in store for newcomers and fans alike as the series progresses.

One thing the Stargate series has always been about is stepping through the puddle to something new and unexplored, and now we all have the opportunity to make that journey anew. In the series' past we were invited to explore the galaxy and learn something about our place in the epic fantasy of the saga. Now we're venturing into the unknown depths of the universe, and the ship of Destiny is just the right vehicle to take us there.

With the support of the fans, and the network, Stargate Universe may soon have its place among the classics, as a science fiction epic that explores humanity's infinite potential in the universe. Don't let its humble beginnings fool you, we are all in for an adventure, that will hopefully be engaging us for many years to come.

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107 out of 178 people found the following review useful:

A more adult Stargate in a new direction.

8/10
Author: alvarhaggis from Scotland
12 June 2010

There has been a lot of negativity about this show, but I disagree with the naysayers.

This show is more adult and serious. If your looking for a show that resolves each episode by the end of each episode, then this is not that show. If your looking for the usual Stargate humour, then this is not that show.

It has taken a leaf out of BSG and decided to go gritty and dark. Many have slated the show for adapting to BSG, but they need to realise that almost all TV and movies are rip offs of something else.

I am enjoying the show and hope it's renewed for another season as it has just started to pick up pace.

I enjoy the performance of many of the characters, but some could be easily ditched next season. Dr Rush is a great character and Robert Carlyle has done an excellent job. I also like most of the science guys. But, characters like Chloe and Eli have become a little tedious and as each episode goes on they don't grow but seem to conform to the bland recipe they have all season.

This is a good show and it seems to me like they are building a good story arc instead of the individually satisfying episodes.

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215 out of 396 people found the following review useful:

Dark

10/10
Author: duncan hunter
2 October 2009

I really enjoyed the season premier of Stargate Universe it seems far darker than any of it's predecessors, and to be honest I saw very little reference to Stargate throughout. While I really enjoyed it I missed the humor from previous incarnation but it does seem to have matured which may be to it's benefit. I believe it is a worthy successor and I am looking forward to next week and I hope the intensity that was shown this week is maintained. I really like the idea of the ship dictating where they go and the "running against the clock" build in is ingenious which I feel was the one thing Stargate (SG1, Atlantis) missed this should hopefully focus the attention to the action and intensity.

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127 out of 221 people found the following review useful:

SGU is Different! And Different is Good.

9/10
Author: RainerRR from United States
29 May 2010

Other reviewers mention that Stargate Atlantis had become a bit of a cliché. It was the same as Stargate SG-1 with different characters. In some ways it had become a comedy.

Now, we see the dark side of the Stargate Universe in a very serious drama. It is vast, filled with new, unknown creatures, and emphasizes the basic struggle for human survival in a radical environment. It may even be closer to the original movie than the first two series.

The characters are better developed than in the previous two shows. They have ghosts that haunt them. They have vices they try to hide. They have different opinions on the way to handle things and without a strong military structure like in the past two series, they find conflict with each other as often as the others did with aliens.

Understand that it is different! If you were a fan of the other Stargate worlds, then it is a significant departure. SGU is a drama, and has no intention of using sarcastic humor to make it interesting. It uses the story line and the conflict to make it interesting. You don't have larger-than-life enemies singularly capable of destroying worlds anywhere.

There are glaring differences between this show and Battlestar Galactica, to which this SGU has been compared. In BG, there was one primary enemy (mixed with a good bit of internal political strife). In BG, their home was destroyed; in SGU their goal is to get home. There is no 'supernatural' element that we saw in BG. Many other facets would reveal spoilers, so watch this show without the expectations that it will be similar to either BG or SG-1 and SG Atlantis.

Can someone watch SGU without knowing the back story of the Stargate Series? Possibly. You might do well watching the movie that started it all. This show uses some technology found in the other series, but not much. Often, they are discussing the other events well enough to put together whatever history they may be referencing. Give it a shot. If it doesn't make sense, then watch a few shows from SG-1. Atlantis relies heavily on SG-1, so don't bother with it initially.

I hope you enjoy the series as much as I!

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114 out of 200 people found the following review useful:

The Universe is getting better!

8/10
Author: vram22 from United States
18 June 2010

Finally, some serious and great writing is back in a Stargate series. It was present in the original Stargate movie, the early seasons of SG-1 and then it disappeared (later SG-1 and SG-A were very different in nature). SG-U has the key elements of strong actors, characters, and story lines -- and it's all happening with great backdrop of the Stargate theme.

The show is well cast with actors who'd make you want to see what happens next even if it weren't sci-fi. Equally as important are the scripts - and they are very well written with conflict, suspense and unpredictability.

What remains to be seen is if the series can keep its current breadth of script ideas fresh - this tough task for any new series. It doesn't seem like it will win over die-hard SG-A fans, so it will have to develop a new base of it's own. If haven't checked out the series yet, it's definitely worth a look.

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319 out of 612 people found the following review useful:

SGU is Fan Abuse

2/10
Author: ladydoom001 from Hong Kong
11 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After watching the pilot episode of SGU, I can now recommend the newest installment of the once-beloved Stargate series to all the insomniacs out there. SGU was a mash of Battlestar Galactica and Days of Our Lives. New direction? More like lack of direction. Good camera-work? Closer to vomit-inducing cameraJERK. The story moved along at a snails' pace, with no subtle or intricate plot developments to make up for it. Lengthy dialogues ensued throughout the show only when characters were hurt for no apparent reason. Quite a few scenes were a complete waste of alloted air time; such as the sex scene between one barely-introduced character and another unknown character. In a scenario where teleportation beams are a part of life, logic entails that the brain of the operations (Dr. Rush) wouldn't treat a mundane flying camera as if it were completely foreign and marvelous. The characters' efforts throughout the show amount to nothing in the end, as everything could be solved if anyone amongst the brilliant team of SG personnel would think to dial back to Earth. But perhaps the extras are simply playing themselves, as half of the supposed 'personnel' that walk through the stargate are dressed like civilians. Where were the costume designers? Universe's predecessor, Atlantis, had a far better cast of likable characters. Strong, smart and talented characters were dropped from the air so that non-relatable characters could take their place. The Senator was so annoying and useless throughout the show that when he sacrificed himself, you couldn't help but feel a wash of relief. The Senator's daughter did a great job of taking on the role of 'annoying character of SGU' when he died, as a whole 15 minutes of airtime was devoted to watching her cry and mourn over a character with no reputation with the audience. Dr. Rush was presented as more of a villainous weasel than a genius who imbues the show with a sense of authenticity -- as SG:1 and Atlantis both had. Where there was once a quality franchise with a 10-year reputation, there now stands a truly awful show with complete disregard to longtime fans of SG, or anyone with eyes, ears and a brain for that matter.

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222 out of 423 people found the following review useful:

An insult to SG fans and its history

1/10
Author: Brian Rogalski from United States
14 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After just finishing the episode "Time" I am left with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. It was seriously painful to watch but having been a fan of Stargate since its beginning I perservered. Unfortunately I was not rewarded for my perseverance. This episode has had all the same problems that its previous episodes did and it compounded on another with their "brilliant" idea to do everything through the lens of a kino. This horrible idea gave me flashbacks of the annoying Blair Witch Project movie.

Lets talk about the other issues that have arisen in this cheap knockoff of Stargate. I've already mentioned camera work so we can start with this. The movement is nauseating, and their angles are often half obstructed. When we move on to characters we all know that there has to be someone that you don't like. BUT, there should be someone you do like. That's not the case here. Every character here is out for their own well being with the exception of David Blue's character Eli. Unfortunately, his character is constantly stepped on and is therefore irrelevant.

This show craves two things. A common enemy and control. Many people are comparing this to Battlestar Galactica but even they had a common enemy. SG Atlantis had the Wraith, and SG-1 had the Gould, Ori, and Replicators. In SGU they are their own enemy. They haven't faced off against an intelligent being yet and its been 8 episodes! Now, in order for them to actually have an enemy to face on a repeated basis they do need to actually be in control of the ship otherwise they'd be sitting ducks. So I wonder why the writers don't allow them to be in control of their destinies instead of just fighting with strange circumstances to barely stay alive.

I(and the other viewers) could really care less that Col Everett is having marriage troubles a million light years away. But, they decided to show that in not one but two episodes. Or, how about that Chloe is mad because her ex-boyfriend and her best friend are together a million light years away? The character development is forced, not naturally flowing.

I could go on but readers get the idea from this and the other 122 negative comments. I will continue to watch this for a couple more episodes but I truly think that the Creators/producers have a decision to make. They can either turn this into a real Stargate production or they should scrap it and save themselves from going bankrupt. The patience of the fans is running out and it will likely hurt your future revenues of any new Stargate movies that you want to bring out.

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