13 June 2011

Closing the wormhole: The failure of 'Stargate Universe'

The last episode of Stargate: Universe is scheduled to air tonight on Sky 1. It's fair to say that it marks the end of any more Stargate on television for at least the next few years.

The show must be judged a failure and I'm going to give some reasons why I think it failed.

Lack of likeable characters

There was maybe one character in this show I truly cared for: Ginn. The rest of the characters, from Scott through to Colonel Young, were likeable at best. Dr. Rush was an arrogant man with a strong hint of selfishness; Colonel Young lacked authority and Chloe just served to get put in peril. Whenever a character from the original show appeared, they demonstrated just how superior they were - even Rodney "Go suck on a lemon" McKay.

A lot of the time I couldn't even remember the names of some of the minor cast; which clearly means they weren't that good.

Lack of good aliens

The original show had the Goa'uld, Atlantis the Ori. This show had blue fish-like creatures and an army of space drones; none of which had any decent individuals or even spoke English. The Lucian Alliance don't count.

A concept that was limited in scope

There was the ship; a bunch of planets without intelligent life and that was generally it. The team frequently had to use the communication stones to "go" to Earth, because there clearly wasn't enough to do on the ship plot-wise.

Inability to kill a good number of the cast

If you're going to do a dark science-fiction drama, you should at least kill a few people off permanently, not keep hitting the reset button. It would have been better dramatically if whats-her-name had died when the hydrodome vented last week.

Throwing in sex and violence

May well have turned some people away from the show. A lot of the time, sex scenes aren't really necessary.

Other realism issues

Just how many people went through the gate at Icarus and how did they manage to get that much supplies through before the whole planet went up?

All the characters wore the same clothes day in day out, but they never got worn out or needed to be patched.

TJ's hair. The ability of women not to have serious visible roots (as well as being able to have good make-up) after 9 months plus on a desert island etc. is a common problem in this type of work. Please, someone, fix it.

Final Thoughts

When watching a show turns into a chore, you know you have problems; I can't think of many episodes that I actually enjoyed.

I don't yet know the final outcome, but I guess we won't be getting the answer to where TJ got her peroxide from.

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