Monday, May 10, 2010

Come Monday...Stargate Universe

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of, or commentary about, websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time. Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” This is subject to change, however. In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while. For rants promote change, and change can be good—right? Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).



Oh my, I was so excited to hear about [Stargate Universe]. Not that it made up for the ending of [Stargate Atlantis], but I had been down this road before. For I had felt the same way when I could read the writing on the wall about the impending demise of [Stargate SG-1], which did indeed turn out relatively well.

Such is not the case with Stargate Universe so far, however. For the storyline is way too dark for my taste—with both the good and bad characters being cut from the same cloth. In other words, this is another show that is too “real-life” for me to truly escape into.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, Stargate Universe is the latest version of a entertainment series that started with the 1994 movie, [Stargate]. The plot of the movie was that we are very much not alone in the universe, and that most of our ancient civilizations were greatly influenced by the [Goa'uld], who were serpent-like creatures that used humans as hosts. The [stargate] was a device that creates an artificial wormhole, which allows travel between planets that have them, and it was through this that a United States Air Force special forces team headed by Col. Jack O’Neil (played by [Kurt Russell]), along with an Egyptologist by the name of Dr. Daniel Jackson (played by [James Spader]), traveled to [Abydos], where they encountered one of the most powerful of the Goa’uld system lords, [Ra] (a.k.a. the ancient Egyptian sun god). In the end, Ra was killed, and Dr. Jackson stays behind on Abydos while the rest of the team returns to Earth.

Stargate SG-1 is the television series that took off from where the Stargate movie ended, with a few personnel changes involved. For [Col. Jack O’Neil] was now being played by [Richard Dean Anderson], and [Dr. Daniel Jackson] was being played by [Michael Shanks]. [Capt. Samantha Carter] (played by [Amanda Tapping]) and [Teal'c] (played by [Christopher Judge]) rounded out the original SG-1 team, which traveled throughout the galaxy fighting the Goa'uld. Later on, [Jonas Quinn] (played by [Corin Nemec]) came and went as a member of SG-1, and [Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell] (played by [Ben Bowder]) replaced the promoted to brigadier general, Jack O’Neil, as the leader of SG-1, with his [Farscape] co-star [Claudia Black] being added to the team as [Vala Mal Doran], just for laughs, I suppose.

Now, to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Stargate SG-1 is an understatement of monumental proportions. It is also rather ironic. For here I am claiming to truly have a very close and personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, who is the Lord God Almighty and the Creator of all that exists (apart from Himself, of course), and the subtle religious theme to the series is very close to (if not exactly) [Buddhism]—with self-achieved ascension to a higher plain of existence as pure energy being what happened to the [Ancients], who were the builders of the stargates. Ah, but such is the way it is with my personal brand of escapism.

A few years before the end of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis was introduced, and it was about the discovery and inhabitation of the Ancient city of [Atlantis] on a planet in the [Pegasus Galaxy]. This series starred [Joe Flanigan] as [Lt. Col. John Sheppard], [Rachel Luttrell] as [Teyla Emmagan], [David Hewlett] as [Dr. Rodney McKay], and [Jason Momoa] as [Ronon Dex], with the main enemy in that galaxy being the [Wraith].

No, Stargate Atlantis was not as good as Stargate SG-1, but it was close. In all fairness, it is arguable that it was even better. For the main reason why I consider SG-1 to be better than Atlantis is because I want my heroes to know what they doing most of the time, and this was not the case with the Atlantis team for at least two seasons. Yet, when I catch some of the very first episodes of SG-1, they were stumbling around without a clue just as much as the Atlantis bunch was at first. So, I must admit that my initial disdain for Stargate Atlantis was based upon being used to the maturity of the Stargate SG-1 characters.

I am hoping that this is the case with my current disdain for Stargate Universe, but neither SG-1, nor Atlantis, had as much discord written into the plot. For they had their personality conflicts, but there is genuine animosity between [Col. Everett Young] (played by [Justin Louis]) and [Dr. Nicholas Rush] (played by [Robert Carlyle]), which has forced the rest to have to choose sides.

Oh yeah, I suppose it would be helpful if I told you something about the plot to Stargate Universe. For this series starts out with a bunch of ill-prepared people becoming trapped on an Ancient starship by the name of [Destiny], that is on its way to the very end of the universe. So far, they have spent as much of their time fighting amongst themselves as fighting to survive their predicament, and as soon as I start to take a liking to a particular character, it becomes clear that they are deeply flawed. Yeah, just like me, but I am watching the show in the hope of escaping the reality of having to live with myself—remember?

Anyway, you can watch the show for yourself on the [Syfy Channel] on Friday nights. If you would like, you can also watch full episodes of Stargate SG-1 online at [Hulu.com], and then you can better judge if I am completely wrong about finding Stargate Universe severely lacking so far.

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10 comments:

  1. I like this new layout!!! :)

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  2. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear C!!! I'm really glad you like it, and I hope all is going well with your new book.

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  3. I like the new layout. Very nice. Good job.

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  4. I am totally unfamiliar with the Stargate series. But then I'm unfamiliar with a lot of things on tv these days. Due to poor hearing I can never hear it at a comfortable volume for my husband. I let him watch tv and I stick with the computer. This sounds to me like a modern day Star Trek type of thing.

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  5. As an aspiring writer Stargate Universe is fairly dark, that is what the writers and producers intend from the beginning, the question is will it get better and will questions be answered. Personally on something similar I couldn't stand the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica it started out dark and just seemed to get sucked into a black hole to me. With any fiction that is dark it needs a silver lining.
    Also on the deeply flawed characters its not a bad thing if they intend for them to grow, otherwise it will hurt the show.

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  6. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Jimmy!!! I'm glad you like it.

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  7. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Ann!!! My wife and I both suffer from the same problem to a certain extent, and what drives us both up the wall is that on some channels, the commercials are set-up to be at least 30% louder than the shows, which causes us to dive for the mute button when they come on.

    Yes, the Stargate series are fairly similar to the Star Trek ones. For they are both more character driven than just about science fiction scenarios, but it is those scenarios that make these kinds of shows so enjoyable to me. For I have no idea what they are talking about most of the time while what ruins many more realistic shows for me is when the writers throw in things that I do know about and they get it completely wrong. I good example of that happened on an old Law & Order show I saw the other day, and it involved the shooting of an automatic weapon by some gangstas. Now, that is not at all far-fetched, but they used a sound effect of a M-60 machine gun (a kind that fires shells on a belt) and when the weapon used was recovered, they showed a Mac-10, which is not even close. In another show, they had a guy get off 13 rounds with a pump shotgun without reloading when the kind he was holding could have only held 5 rounds with the plug out. Yeah, it's nit-picky, but...

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  8. Thanks for stopping by again, my dear Solomon!!! I was the same way about the new Battlestar Galactica, and besides the very dark storyline, it was being too familiar with the original one that ruined it for me. For Starbuck is supposed to be a guy--not a girl! Why would they do that? By the way, I am not all that thrilled about Caprica, neither.

    As in regards to giving characters room to grow, I am all for that, but I would rather the group on Destiny be spending their time fighting against their circumstances than themselves. After all, isn't it enough that they are trapped on a truly ancient Ancient starship heading for the very edge of the universe enough? It is for me, but I have been accused of being rather simple-minded before.

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  9. I can agree with you on the fighting against their circumstances than themselves point, I think with the episode Human they have started having the characters grow. Of course the best way to bring them together is with an enemy which I think they will be doing. What they could be trying to do is to show the crew as they are now before forcing them to put aside their differences against an enemy, one they all have a reason to fight against, not each other. Of course that's just my opinion they may chose to keep the crew fighting with each other, and if they do that Stargate Universe might only last one more season.

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  10. I agree with you wholeheartedly, my dear Solomon, and if they do have the crew come together, I am quite sure that both of us will think of how great Stargate Universe turned out to be. In any event, I would hate for it to be just a flash in the pan, and I am curious about what plans they have for Col. Young and Lt. Johansen's baby.

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