September 17, 2016
After a gap of about four years, late last month (August 2016) I started to re-watch Stargate Universe. I believe this show, which is one of my all time favourite (sci-fi) shows, is tremendously underrated!
It's not a copy of Ronald D Moore's Battlestar Galactica, they only thing they have in common, is that those shows both are darker and grittier but that's about the only comparison you can make.
Of course Stargate Universe is different from it's predecessors, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. These were much lighter, more humour, both shows of course had an story arc running through both shows but not as heavily as Universe did.
There are multiple reasons for loving SGU: darker, grittier story; the fact that it is so much different than it's predecessors; A flawed commander (Colonel Young), no hero type like O'Neill, Sheppard or the Star Trek Captains; the conniving Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) who always has his own agenda, even when it does not appear that way; constantly travelling through space; the conflict between the characters; the conflict between the civilian population and the military and of course also the Ancient communication stones which allow cross-overs from SG-1 and Atlantis. Just a few reasons why I love this show so much, perhaps even appreciate it more than the previous ones because the creators dared to be different, dared to take Stargate to another level and again, the only comparison there is between Ronald D Moore's Battlestar Galactica and Universe is that they are both dark and gritty, what's not to like.
I started to rewatch SGU late August and I have to say, more than the other times I watched this, it really consumes me, I love it, I love it even more than when it original aired and the times I re-watched it in the past. This show really holds up well, it really fits even better with today's TV shows like "The Walking Dead", "Game of Thrones" and "Homeland".
Currently I am at episode 6 of season two, only one episode, S01E17 "Pain", I felt was a weak episode, one out of 26 episodes. The first season started out a bit sluggish but still the stories were very interesting, full with drama and conflict.
The pace improved during the first season, especially the second half of the first season. For me, and I guess a lot of fans, season 2 was even better, not only more drama and conflict, compelling stories, characters got a chance to grow, aliens, cross-overs from SG1 & SGA, mystery, nail biting suspense and also more action. SGU really was growing into something special but by then lots of (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis) fans left the show a long before that.
I honestly do not understand why this show got bashed from the start, especially from Stargate fans, they should have given the show a chance beyond the first five episodes. I understand some of
the fans felt at the time, it felt like they were cancelling Stargate Atlantis in order to launch Stargate Universe. I don't know if this is true or not, and honestly, I don't care! Of course I love(d) Stargate Atlantis but the ratings of Atlantis were declining also, so it probably was a matter of time, a short time, Atlantis would have been cancelled anyways.
And at that time, I myself thought it was time to end Atlantis, however I have to admit, with recent viewings, I really am disappointed there isn't another Atlantis season to sink my teeth in. Anyway, we got another Stargate show, a show which allowed cross-overs, so there were possibilities to see characters from the previous shows, Stargate was evolving, getting more mature, more in line what we want to see nowadays.
So at this time I have another 14 episodes to go and I relish it, I can't wait to watch them again and of course, when I'm finished with episode 20, I will be disappointed it's over, that there is no real conclusion, but I'm still am so glad it's there, that I am able to revisit it anytime I want (If it wasn't for the two-week holiday, I probably would have finished it already). With the last 14 episodes I also know I will see some more cross-over episodes, these are definitely the icing on the cake and I will enjoy them a bit more, because like SGU, I also love SG1 and SGA, love those characters, always glad to see them pop-up in Universe. I just wish all Stargate fans embraced Stargate Universe like I did. There are like me obviously, but apparently not enough.
What always did bug me was the fact that the first season was released on Blu-Ray as well as DVD, while the second season only has been released on DVD! The PQ difference is enormous! I own the first season on Blu, the second on DVD and it really is a huge difference! I always said that I would NOT buy season two on DVD but few years back I could purchase the region 1 DVD for 11 euro's, which I thought was a price to good to pass up and I just wanted the show complete, so I did purchase it but as I said, the season 1 set on blu-ray is much sharper, big difference. If season 2 will ever get a blu-ray release, which I do not expect, than I certainly will double dip and purchase season 2 on blu also.
Update October 4, 2016
I only learned of this last week, someone on twitter pointed out that the creators of SGU did not know of it's cancellation after the last episode was shot. The show was cancelled sometime in the winterbreak of 2010-2011, I always assumed that the last episode wasn't shot at that time and therefore created the finale as it now is. But apparently this is not the case, the shows finale episode was always meant as a true season finale with the expectation of a third season.