Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and Comcast’s OnDemand, I was able to watch the two-part series permiere of the latest “Stargate” incarnation, “Stargate Universe.” And yes, I realize I’m a week or two late, but I’m not a professional that can sit around and blog all day 😛
I’m not sure how they originally aired, as either a 2-hour premiere or 2 one-hour episodes, but “Stargate Universe” came in with a bang. The opening scene was of a spaceship flying through space. The camera slowly moving from deck to deck and through corridors, showing it slowly coming to life. Then we move in on a Stargate. Suddenly it comes to life, too, exploding and settling into a rippling puddle. And that’s where the action begins. People and objects come hurling through the gate in rapid procession, so fast, in fact, that injuries are stacking up.
How did this all come to be and who are these main characters we’re quickly introduced to? That is told over the course of the two hours via flashbacks. Mostly it is a military crew, but, a’la “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” you’ve got some civilian and scientific folk thrown in there, too, due to an emergency evacuation of a base on an alien world.
The purpose of the base is to use the planets natural energy to try and unlock the mystery of the Stargate’s 9th chevron. The chevrons are used to “dial” addresses into the gate. The movie used 7 I believe to dial a planet and the series “SG-1” expanded the 8th chevron to dial different galaxies. “Stargate Universe” unlocks the mystery of the 9th in the nth hour before the base is destroyed by mysterious invaders. Using the help of a “contest winner” who solved an energy problem via a hidden puzzle in a video game, the main scientist, Dr. Rush, defies orders and activates the gate using the new address. Seconds before the entire planet is destroyed, all possible personnel is evacuated through the gate into …
A mysterious unknown vessel. We come to find out the vessel is one of the first Ancient ships launched with no crew. Its purpose is currently unknown to us, but Dr. Rush seems to know more about it than he is volunteering to the rest of the crew.
As is par for a show like this, tensions are tight and there are problems abound. One thing I found interesting is that the ship takes them to places they may need to go, as witnessed in the second part. They were in need of something to clean the air buffers because life support was failing. So the ship came to a planet … conveniently with a Stargate. It dialed the address and gave them a total of 12 hours to accomplish their mission of finding something to clean the buffers. Very “Sliders-“ish in the time limit given before the ship closed the gate and went back into warp.
“Universe” did a decent job of setting up future issues and romances in the first two hours. I just hope it can continue on a forward momentum and succeed like its predecessors. The “Stargate” universe is a fun and exciting one, but poor writing can bring anything down in a matter of time. I’m also looking forward to questions being answered. As much as I love a good story, I sometimes hate mysteries that aren’t answered in good time. “Universe” could have some good mysteries, we’ll just have to wait and see. The good thing about Syfy is that they do provide good backing for their shows, unlike other networks, giving them a chance to grow and develope an audience.
Highly recommend checking this series out.