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Stargate: Universe, Train Wreck In Progress.

By limpdawg in Culture
Fri Nov 13, 2009 at 06:54:32 AM EST
Tags: stargate, stargate universe, sgu (all tags)

Stargate: Universe (SGU) is the latest television series based on the movie Stargate. SGU is set primarily on the spaceship Destiny, which is 100,000 years old and billions of light years away from Earth. The crew is entirely human and traveled to Destiny via a wormhole which needed to be powered by the core of a planet. They have communication with Earth, and the technology used to do this is fuel for the producers's fantasies.

They use ancient technology in the form of stones that allow them to swap bodies with people over vast distances instantaneously. The bodies remain where they are, but the consciousnesses are transferred for as long as the machine the stones are placed on remains active. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to swap bodies with one of your co-workers and have sex with your wife using his body, SGU is the show for you. The most recent episode (available on Hulu or Google Search) has this happening with the commander of the Destiny, Col. Young. However due to a glitch his colleague returns to his body momentarily in the act of coitus with Young's wife.

Next week is advertised as the lesbian body switch episode, where a crippled woman on Earth switches bodies with a lesbian on Destiny and sex ensues.

The production values of the show are quite good, while it uses handheld cameras the effect isn't so pronounced as to be distracting. The set design fits the concept of the ship well, as Destiny is older than Atlantis the ship appears less advanced as well.

The show features an ensemble cast with elements of the Stargate formula from the first two series. The resident super-genius scientist is Dr. Rush, a dour, temperamental Scot. Col. Young is the senior military officer on the ship, who if the formula is followed will stay on the ship while the main team has adventures on alien planets. Lt. Scott fits the role for leader of the team going off ship, the twist being he's an alpha male who's been shown having sex with two different women so far in the first few episodes. Eli is the outsider civilian who lends a perspective to the team, he's a fat gamer who dropped out of college.

And there are characters who aren't part of the normal formula. Camille is a bureaucrat/HR lady who is working for the IOA (International Oversight Advisory) which has its own agenda. Chloe is an angsty twenty-three year old daughter of the Senator who died in the series premier, she jumps into bed with Lt. Scott all the while using Eli as her emotional tampon.

So why do I call this show a train wreck? Because the producers decided to create a more 'adult' show than SG1 or Atlantis and for them that means putting complicated sex lives on camera. So on the Syfy forums there's been constant criticism, the women are all called whores, and the imminent demise of the show is predicted. One of the writers has called out fans who are critical of the show on his blog. From comments the producers have made I expect a lot more complicated relationship/sex drama and not a lot of battles with aliens and explosions.

The premise is interesting but the execution is lacking. I suspect that even though there are steamy scenes, the fact that the crew arrived on the ship during an emergency evacuation with limited supplies and is unlikely to have much in the way of birth control with them is unlikely to be addressed. The women really should be having babies in the second season if they're trying to be at all realistic.


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Stargate: Universe, Train Wreck In Progress. | 27 comments (18 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
LESBIAN SEX, FTW! (2.50 / 4) (#2)
by undermyne on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:40:02 PM EST

but yeah, slow start for sure.

"You're an asshole. You are the greatest troll on this site." Some nullo

Get rid of the stones (2.33 / 3) (#4)
by FattMattP on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 07:05:40 PM EST

The show would improve dramatically if they would get rid of the stones so they couldn't visit Earth.

Too many ridiculous events (2.77 / 9) (#7)
by sholden on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:15:53 PM EST

An airlock that you can't close by pressing a button with a floating camera thing, but have to send someone in to die?

A ship that has been traveling for hundreds of thousands of years (or whatever), that refuels by flying through stars, that has an FTL drive and yet the shuttle computer doesn't know about about a basic slingshot maneuver that an idiot gamer can calculate in 15 seconds? (ignoring that it doesn't work that way of course).

A ship that automatically visits planets and dials stargates because it knows what the strange visitors need and yet doesn't have a "let us stay longer" button. But of course sticking your arm in the stargate works just fine for that.

Still it's one of the shows that is on the "on-demand" section of the stupid cable box so I seem to be watching whatever is new every couple of weeks. Stupid box wants to charge me $2 for on-demand Heroes (if you are going to have ridiculous plot holes and stupid events you might as well have it in spades) so that'll have to do.

The world's dullest web page

stargate (2.60 / 5) (#10)
by nateo on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 01:01:38 PM EST

what's interesting to me about stargate is how much material has come from such a crappy origin point.  that was a horrible movie.

"I'm so gonna travel the world, photographing my dick at every location."
  - Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi
No, rly (2.33 / 3) (#13)
by Korean Loller Blader on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 08:39:41 PM EST

That movie was seriously forgettable. WTF? Why do fat assholes rule our TV choices?
D'oh! I can't seem to talk to the mod_
[ Parent ]
Media people are thugs, morons, and weasels (none / 0) (#17)
by vectro on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 01:03:23 PM EST

Or so says Neil Stephenson, in his mediocre book Interface:

"If you come to a media person and want to do a miniseries about the Civil War, or Shakespeare, or J.S. Bach, they will laugh in your face. Because nobody wants to watch that stuff. You know, intelligent stuff. They want pro wrestling. Media people who try to do Shakespeare get fired or go broke. The only ones who survived long enough to talk to you are the ones who backed pro wrestling. And when you come up to them talking about the fine points of your brilliant technology, it makes them think of Shakespeare and Leonardo da Vinci, which they hate and fear."

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

plus eins, (2.00 / 2) (#11)
by nostalgiphile on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 06:21:56 PM EST

on account of this site suffers from chronic Crawforditis.

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
+1 Section, GAY STORY $ (2.33 / 3) (#12)
by schlouse on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 08:12:40 PM EST

BattleStargate: Universe: Voyager (2.00 / 2) (#16)
by FattMattP on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 12:32:11 PM EST

They should have called it BattleStargate: Universe: Voyager. I'm positive that Neelix will show up in the season finale.

Battlegate: Ridiculous (2.00 / 2) (#18)
by j1mmy on Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 03:14:34 PM EST

was the title i saw on one thread over on hulu. summed up the pilot pretty well.

[ Parent ]
good point about the pregnancy (none / 1) (#20)
by j1mmy on Fri Nov 13, 2009 at 04:26:37 PM EST

an outbreak of an STD would also be a hilarious addition to the show

meh (none / 0) (#21)
by Zombie Schrodingers Cat on Sun Nov 15, 2009 at 10:13:08 PM EST

can't get a chick pregnant if you cum in her ass / on her face / etc.

You guys must have pretty lame sex lives. Oh wait you've never touched a breast before I forgot.

[ Parent ]

Bets are on! (none / 0) (#22)
by BOOZy on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 11:26:36 AM EST

Guess the episode number when they first introduce an accidental genders swap and someone getting stuck in that situation for x time.

Bonus points for guessing the plot device (eg. power failure/ion storms/etc).

Life is hard...but so is the wall *ouch*

What sex? (none / 0) (#23)
by k31 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:05:01 PM EST

Really, the show has more drama than sex... if anything, the sex is a minor part of the complicated back-story and such, rather than a driving force for it. Of course, I'm biased, after watching True Blood, my expectations for sex on TV are unrealistically high.

Anyhow, I think the series was written more like a novel than a TV series... but the fact is, as horrible as it is, people keep watching it, because the setup should make for a great show... the fact that it isn't doesn't matter, first impressions already make us want to get more of it, and hoping that it will live up to expectations.

It is true that the writing isn't as good as even SGA and SG1, and the plot has holes big enough to drive a truck through... but since the show exists to get viewers, and it does that, it won't be cancelled. Ultimately, it is just above mediocre in entertainment; it can't be said to be horrible (even though I just said it was) in any particular part, it just doesn't fit together epically like how previous series did.

...but I realized now, that it doesn't matter. It will still be excellently popular, even if it isn't excellent.

Your dollar is you only Word, the wrath of it your only fear. He who has an EAR to hear....

Yes, and I read Playboy for the articles. (none / 0) (#24)
by voxol on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 05:39:55 PM EST

[ Parent ]
I read it for the hirez pics of --- (none / 1) (#25)
by k31 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 01:11:01 AM EST

wait, no, I don't read it.

Your dollar is you only Word, the wrath of it your only fear. He who has an EAR to hear....
[ Parent ]
Directionless (none / 0) (#26)
by mstefan on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:00:12 AM EST

The biggest problem with SGU is that it seems to be completely directionless. There's been a lot of focus on various plot devices rather than actually telling compelling stories. They're all over the place, veering from timetravel to backstory diversions without any real cohesive vision ... or frankly, conveying any reason that we should really give half a damn in the first place. In the end, I'm kind of left wishing that the ship would just explode and put these people out of their misery.

Stargate: Universe, Train Wreck in Progress (none / 0) (#27)
by aguila on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 06:13:15 AM EST

The Stargate series used to have so many interesting ideas which had at least a slim reliance upon science.  That they've devolved to something no more thoughtful than voyeurism is sad for persons who appreciate the field that was pure science fiction.

I could complain regarding how low the Stargate writers have gone, but the trend downwards has been progressive for sometime in all media.  

The effort of critical thinking apparently is a lost art; instead we apparently need sexual or culinary titillation of all kinds to be satisfied.  Solution:  turn off or abandon the media.  I'd suggest entertainment become redefined as a continual process of education in mastering various fields of literature and technical/mathematical subjects.

Stargate: Universe, Train Wreck In Progress. | 27 comments (18 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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