A Stargate Universe Repentance

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About twelve months ago, with ill-deserved confidence, I foretold the early and untimely demise of Stargate Universe as a result of creative failings and writing ineptitude. The article certainly got people’s attentions, with Universe producer Joe Mallozzi declaring himself “alarmed”, but considered the article merely my “thoughtful, nicely presented opinion, but an opinion no weightier than yours or mine or those who thought SG-1 wouldn’t last or those who predicted Atlantis would crash and burn.” Good on Joe, who approached the dilemma with a calm and assured rationality. I, on the other hand, leapt wrongly on the negativity bandwagon.

Of course, Joe gets the last laugh here. Sod’s law. While Stargate Universe has certainly not been without criticisms, and its ratings have barely risen above the concerningly lacklustre, the show has surprised me creatively. I’ve been widely impressed by the acting, the production and even the storylines. Yes, the show may lack the quirky humour of SG-1, but after fifteen seasons of SG-1 and Atlantis milking the same cash-cow, I don’t believe that’s a bad thing. Robert Carlyle and Louis Ferreira have evolved as effective leads as Rush and Young respectively, and the supporting cast have been strongly developed over the course of the first season to form a genuine and effective ensemble. Good stuff!

I find myself even eagerly anticipating the second series. The final shot of season one of Young and co. being forced to their knees for execution makes me tingle in anticipation, although I realise they’re not all going to be shot. The second season could still disappoint, a la Earth: Final Conflict, but I don’t imagine it’ll be a train wreck by any stretch of the imagination. The foundations and groundwork is there to craft a strong series of television. I look forward to uncovering new parts of Destiny, new characters and new intrigues and revelations.

All I hope that more people will open their minds in the same way I have been forced to by the quality of the show, and stop clinging to the hope that Richard Dean Anderson return full-time. The show doesn’t need it. Heck, it doesn’t suit it. And Universe is more than capable of standing on its own to feet with Robert Carlyle carrying the torch for the franchise.

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