I've enjoyed popping in and reading all your comments -RL derailed my rewatch @ SG1 Season 8. *hangs head*
I've enjoyed popping in and reading all your comments -RL derailed my rewatch @ SG1 Season 8. *hangs head*
Finished the entire re-watch. I'm so glad gateworld launched the re-watch. It's the reason I registered here and discovered a happy new place for loitering.
Regarding the end, I sure hope BW eventually publishes the story he had planned for SGU. I read an interesting fanfic ending but really want to know what he envisioned.
I may be about 4 days late with my Rewatch, but I am proud of my fan site and rewatch Log I was able to maintain and keep updated throughout the rewatch. I just have a couple of SGU twitter reviews to complete since I flew threw those two seasons in about a week.
I was also able to complete a Lost rewatch and Battlestar Galactica rewatch inside my SG rewatch this time last year, which was tough but I eventually caught back up.
It was fascinating to see how my interests and feelings changed throughout this event, as I found myself focussing on different story threads and enjoying episodes I may have previously neglected.
Thanks to everyone who made this an enjoyable community event, and especially to the staff of Gateworld for promoting and supporting it. I look forward to seeing what may lie ahead for us and any future events!
"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” - Henry David Thoreau
Thanks, everyone! I'm really enjoying reading your comments about your Rewatch experience. It's been a great deal of work to keep up on site updates in the midst of RL, and your words make it all worth it.
I dropped well off the ball when it came to mid SGA, and I'm only about 14 episodes into S1 of SGU, kinda put off SGU as it was like putting off the inevitable :/
I'll start again in a few weeks and probably end up doing 2/3 episodes a day, then I can get all depressed in time for when the weather starts to get better..
Thanks Darren for doing a GW Rewatch of the whole franchise. I don't know what I am going to do with myself now because so I would stay on schedule I also rewatched Charmed, Farscape & Firefly so I have nothing to watch when there is nothing on T.V.
My Favorite Scifi/Fantasy T.V. Shows, Movies, Franchises, My Sports Teams & My Fav Sitcom
poundpuppy29 AKA Erika = Astrology Nut, Scifi-Fantasy Junkie & Massachusetts Girl
I've filled my routine of settling down after getting home from work with a nice cup of tea to watch Stargate with doing the same rewatch format for Supernatural. Well timed too with the setting up of episode threads for the earlier seasons in the SN section that someone had to use! That's a series that has been going for 8 years now so its fun going back to the beginning and seeing how different the characters were as it was with Stargate. At least with that it's looking hopeful for a 9th season.
I watch Supernatural when the missus watches it but its not something I go out fo my way to watch.
Fair to say that we can take the end of SGU as the end, people want to know what the plan was after that, did Eli fix the pod and so on, I want to know what the plan was for Franklin. I'd kind of forgotten about him until I saw the one where he sits in the chair and it gets cold and then he vanishes..
I'd also forgotten it was the first we see of Kathleen Munroe as well, mmmmmm
Stargate Universe: Season 1
So you're a well-known sci-fi franchise that has been on the air for so long that it slipped to a more silly, comedic and laid-back affair. You're in a precarious situation where every episode you make parodies a recent movie, has the characters in a silly situation or involves loads of visual effects to the point where your eyes pop out and the fans love it. So what happens when the comedic tendencies start interfering with the series, when you lose sense of all plot and purpose: you take the serious route and you come up with... "Stargate Universe".
This show was intended to be the revival point; a new style, a new darker look into our world, an exploration on human nature and a focus on the unknown. I'll admit, I was somewhat excited to see what this series had in store, the thought of the human mind going outside of the box and thinking up stuff that's never been done before is interesting and the very idea of a starship with a purpose was enough to get me hooked.
But along the lines, something went wrong.
The premise of the show is introduced in the three parter "Air", which in no way states this will be a different series than what you've known. It introduces us to the characters who would be inhabiting the ship. Rush; the scientist who has a sense of devotion but a sinister side to him, Young; the person who has an kept-together image but deep down has flaws, Eli; the rookie scientist who's a bit behind in life and also has a bond with her mother, Chloe; the daughter of a senator with social tendencies, TJ; a rookie nurse who's forced into the forefront, Scott; an aspiring lieutenant and Greer; the emotionally closeted soldier with a heart of gold but it does so in the most long and overdone way possible. Many of the scenes shown don't do much for the characters as much as they try to create drama by having arguments over minute situations that aren't survival, hinting at possible death every second and at many times, having almost nothing being done at all and the scenes that do involve life & death and/or survival are too structured, meaning that it's set up almost as if they can make sure that a certain character does this or everybody makes it out alive.
Which is unfortunately in mostly every episode.
The usual headbutt.
"Air's" 3rd part is a slow, monotonous drawl that is unmemorable and doesn't do much for our characters; they're walking around in the sand but what makes us invest in them, what makes us care for their mission and what do we learn from them walking around? "Water" is another episode where Scott gets trapped in ice and Young has to rescue him; while we do learn about Young's dedication somewhat but the entire thing lacks heart and barely any reason is given to make us care for Scott nor the ticking clock. This series has characters in situations where they're bleeding in a dangerous way, handicapped or facing uncertainty in a dangerous environment but doesn't oddly enough, bring any return in the form of character investment nor is anything they do taken seriously in the longrun which poses a serious problem, the lack of any real threads. We do have a mystery in the form of the Destiny (going places where the crew needs to go) and it's things like the control chair who's key to controlling the entire thing is interesting and you think they'd explore a bit of that in the series but the writers barely do so. We can watch characters complaining about them not being able to get home or in every provocative situation possible but it won't matter unless they make the thing worthwhile, which could of been done by exploring what made the Destiny tick.
There is a constant urging desire to not be seen as a "kiddie" sci-fi series and the way I can describe it is "an amateur view on what a drama should be" with excessive muted colors, dark crushed lighting, shaky camera angles, constant violence, rock music and even sex. Much of it often unnecessary and while having the scene shake around to indicate a jarred view or having people freak out in the most energetic of ways is cool, coolness can often be distracting and when you have to watch through tons that just to get to the meat of the bone, it turns your audience away... The two worst episodes of the entire series, "Earth" and "Pain" are an example of this, both of those episodes have potential in the fact that they attempt to explore our characters in their own ways but I do not watch "Earth" to see Young having pointless sex with his wife, a club scene that is 100% Degrassi and Earthlings digressed to generic villains and I do not watch "Pain" to see characters "hallucinate" with creepy and horrifying situations, including people collapsing. We know that this is different from SG's of the past, you don't actually need to include crass and immature sex which works only when heard about or implied upon (there's a reason Stargate never focused on the sex) and you don't make people overly uneasy just to have a possible conflict ("Divided"); just come out and show us what you got with no pressure, we as the audience can understand.
I don't even know what to say.
These problems cut into the character exploration aspect of the show which leads to relationship issues, constant pressuring situations, pregnancies, even confrontations seeming really sterile/predictable. Seeing TJ with her baby or even Chloe suddenly have to do the operation herself may normally bring some character growth but TJ's declaration sounded really cheesy and Chloe was really scripted in her suddenness, which gives the audience indication of dramatic effect. To me, character exploration lies in not forcing the character in a situation but to let the character go her natural way, potentially leading into said situation which could explore her deeply; when you're forced in a situation, you're basically trying to follow it to the end and that does not afford for much experimentation which is essential to character growth. You have "Faith" which involves a mysterious planet that is like an oasis in contrast to the state of the Destiny, it could of explored the supposed benefits and downsides but it's an example of oddly following a script with stuff like "this planet is good for me, it's better than living in a spaceship with low food and uncertainty" and "these aliens created the planet, they provided us with all this stuff/we don't know if they're still alive, they could be gone for all we know"; any environment could work well with just a bit of pistash but just imagine the wasted potential of the other environments if they're unable to exploit a grand one.
Despite it's pitfalls, there are good character moments. Greer gets tons of good exploration in "Lost" where his history, motivation and perception of life is revealed, "Time" manages to provide a new perspective on some of the characters showing them in a really uncertain situation (death, confessionals, yelling) and "Light" showcases what they'd do if they thought it was their last moments alive; (Rush specifically) the entire interaction with Rush and Dr. Amanda Perry in "Sabotage" is wonderful in that it showcases the best in each other; Rush the one overcome with feelings, Amanda just so enthusiastic in her work. Chloe's scenes in "Pain" is warm and charming and really digs deep at the type of feeling that comes from seeing their own father and the chance to hold on to what you love the most, additionally the best episodes of Season 1, "Life" and "Human" really reflect it's character-based nature. Many people may not like "Life" but it explores both Scott and Wray exposing sides such as her gentle side and his fatherhood desires and the lives of the minor characters giving them personality and "Human" is a breakthrough for Rush. It may take place in a virtual environment, it may even include a guest cameo by Daniel Jackson but it paints a picture into the ambitions of Rush, the way he saw emotion, compassion and how he was driven to find out the secrets of the equation. The fact that Robert Caryle won a Gemini for his performance in this episode says it all. Every one of those moments represents a certain character growth for the show and while it may be placed in less than satisfactory episodes, it shows that they're committed to making sure the characters progress.
There's a certain murkier moral ground that comes from the show's new premise; mainly involving the fine line between good and bad. While Stargate has explored it before, never has it been the basis of an entire series but the difference here is that the various arguments aren't explored to it's supposed depths, "Time" is the proverbial time travel episode and it's premise has potential in that they could of questioned themselves but they instead linger around in the first person kino gimmick and it's "complex" premise, "Divided" could of dwelled on human nature but it somehow ends up being somewhat contrived with it's subpar acting, even "Earth" could of explored the conflict between Earth and Destiny. It's a shame because that could propel the show to serious new depths. Lastly, despite it being a character drama, there is some action that separates it, predominantly featuring in episodes such as "Space", "Subversion" and the two parts of "Incursion". Seeing great escapes and the characters command while sparks fly around is fun in that they appropriately react to the situation with humanity and brevity while being awesome and seeing Rush act like Jack Bauer is also fun in that it showcases his sinister side while letting him outside of his box a bit but there's a downside to the action... Certain scenes lack the intensity that the action is supposed to have, whenever anybody shoots, it tries to focus on the tensity of the situation thus resulting in an unclear focus and a slower than usual pace which zaps all of the impact out of the room; they push the action a bit too much thus leaving moments where the sparks and explosions become dull and even a conflict between two sides slows the show to a standstill, a result of not knowing whether or not to be clever or provocative and that really brings many of those scenes down from Stargate's classic action standards.
In closing, the first season of SGU is an admirable effort. I can see that they really had something layed down in terms of an overall gameplan and they really wanted to see this through while exploring what they termed as "the unknown" and providing us with a Stargate the likes of which we've never seen before. However... The ideas don't really translate well into execution; the overall purpose is muddled in some really slow progression, much of which consists of feeble attempts at character growth who's similarities to any average drama are overt and any risktaking efforts are hindered by either a lack of effort in regards to the sociological issues or too much effort in terms of the edge displayed. There are some good moments here, seeing Rush face himself and seeing Chloe with her father will have you invested and seeing Jack O'Neill will have you on the edge but those are far and few between and as a result, you will be watching either questioning the appeal of the show or waiting for the moment where it becomes "must see TV". This is ultimately not worth the time or effort but it is a good first try though.
Back from the grave.
For review reference purposes.
Air (Part 1) (4.5/10)
Air (Part 2) (5.0/10)
Air (Part 3) (4.0/10)
Incursion (Part 1) (4.0/10)
Incursion (Part 2) (5.0/10)
Back from the grave.
Stargate Universe: Season 2
After the disappointment that was Season 1, chances looked dim for a second season. Much of the media circles and audiences thought there wasn't enough to sustain a show and thus they sent the show away, doomed to drift forever for the remainder of time.
That is, until a second season was announced...
It's shocking to hear that but then again, it's always good to have a second season; it shows that there's still hope in the show and most of all, that Stargate Universe wasn't the goner it was supposed to be. The most important thing to a second season is this. Is it better?
Well; yes and no. The season opener "Intervention" is a continuation of what made Season 1 hard to watch; slow plot lines, characters you can't get into and overdone drama combined with shaky camera angles and forced darkness; it does conclude the plot that the previous 3 episodes had going on but at what cost? From there on there are the episodes that involve the usual exploration of the grey area and the conflicts that go on about the ship but oddly enough, these episodes are better. Episodes like "Awakening" and "Aftermath" has the show taking steps in new directions; introducing alien interaction, threads like Rush's attempts to control the ship and of course, the euthanization of a character that is sure to get people talking. They're not better in the fact that the acting is good and the pacing is great, they're good because they're taking risks; surely something like this is bound to draw in the audience but then again, we have the usual issues such as inconsistency, one character outacting all the others ("Trial and Error") and of course, arcs that don't get much exploration. You expect to see something out of Rush controlling the ship or Young but all that's being thrown at us is "he can't hold it together/he's not fit to lead." This may lead you to believe that this will be the same old, same old.
Until you get to "The Greater Good".
"The Greater Good" is the point in time where the show sort of finds itself; it has good pacing, great characterization, moments that are bound to draw you in and of course... "The Mission" It is this that gets the crew together, it is this that gets the show on track even though the small moments such as poor pacing and some overacting get in the way and it really provides the opportunity to draw on the nature of... anything really. It seems like every episode after this is trying to mix together the traditional Stargate adventure format with the new character adventure format, the purpose of what they're doing, how they're working together, the planets they explore and every episode seems to be a baby step. Episodes like "Malice" show that there can be mistakes along the way, especially considering that it's one of those dual episodes (I find them boring, especially "The Defiant One") and that the worst Stargate character ever "Simeon" appears as an adversary and everything about this just screams forced from the speeches to the conflicts to the planet itself while episodes like "Twin Destinies" show a huge step forward in the interaction of the characters and the engagement of the action itself; in fact it is an honorary classic mainly because of Alternate Rush himself.
It's sort of like an up and down process but the difference is that it's more tolerable, you don't feel like you're not getting anything out of the show even as you watch the characters overact and the forced drama. Part of this is that many characters get to shine; Greer does show in "The Hunt", "Alliances" and to a lesser extent, "Hope" a furthering of the character we've come to love, the tough defensive side of him, the friendly side of him and even a human side to him, Chloe shows in "Pathogen" and the two parter "Resurgance/Deliverance" the life of a girl afraid of what's going on with her and her eventual growth to acceptance and even Eli shows in "Hope" an emotional/romantic/human side to him nobody has ever seen before. The fact that those gems exist and the fact that they manage to shine bright is an example of how much Season 2 is better than Season 1; this is actual character growth at it's finest, one that manages to actually mean something and one that manages to defeat flaws like slow progression and even overfocus on things such as action.
Speaking of which, there is more action than ever before, the two parter "Resurgance/Deliverance" refines what "Space" had in terms of classic Stargate action even though the focus on space battles is as flat as ever; it has twist and turns that will keep you on your seat and it even introduces a new adversary, the drones which would go on to be a persistent and resilient threat despite the lack of personality and "The Greater Good" has the absolute best Young/Rush fight scene in the shows history; it actually feels like they're fighting over conflicting views and actually going in it rather than it being forced and silly. These two are really letting their past moments out, they're reflecting everything that they've been through together and in a show like this, it truly is a gleaming moment. There's also a sense of comedy that's throughout the season, some subtle, others more obvious; That immature joke in "Hope" may have been immature but these people were laughing about it and having a good time, they weren't caring that it's a TV show, they were just having fun which is a plus in my book. So the humor also helps further the family feeling.
The real surprise of the season comes at the later half of the season. No it's not the psuedo-Atlantis crossover "Seizure" which only features McKay and Woosley (this is oddly enough where the mood gets lighter but nothing is ever gained in both plots and every actor on here seems to be star struck by McKay), it's the two episodes "Common Descent" and "Epilogue", these represent the very best that SGU will ever have and it'll make you sad that there isn't going to be more SGU when you watch them. Both episodes dwell on the subject of ancestry, the fact that these people are linked commonly to ours and these people really allow everybody to shine; from T.J. who finally becomes interesting when she becomes diagnosed with ALS to Eli who's perspective of things is both awkward and intriguing to even Wray who's compassion and humbleness finally comes shining off and it's shown through the flashbacks which carry a compelling story of love, settling down and life to the present where interaction and hecticness rule the airwaves. It's also got the best lighting and camera angles with stuff that looked like it actually came out of a movie with it reflecting the danger and the situation around them while not drawing the attention away from our heroes and it also provides a look at society as a whole from the moral dilemmas to the overall purpose in life and in a very rare moment for SGU, the pluses overwhelm the minuses by a longshot.
No Season 2 review would be complete without the mentioning of the last two episodes of the season "Blockade" and "Gauntlet". You would think that these two episodes would continue the momentum of the two above but the truth is, it kind of loses it. "Blockade" involves a classic situation regarding the crew having to explore a city and the crew having to take a risk to solve a situation, it starts off good in the beginning but it kind of finds itself in a situation where barely anything is done with the city situation (they don't give it meaning but I did find myself liking the action sequences) and the other situation (while slightly better) gets stuck in repeating itself to the audience with barely little time for the actual struggle itself. Gauntlet unfortunately, is the series finale and begins like their own version of "The Siege" with a sense of hopelessness and desperation curtsey of those drones; it's middle and it's end however is like a slow day, dragging on without providing anything of interest. I can understand what they were going for; reflecting, looking back and comparing them to today in seeing these people as more of a family than ever before but there has to be something to the characterization at hand, there has to be contrast, genuine emotion and every character has to be explored in order to make it truly bittersweet, you can't just have people getting into chambers and looking out into the stars and expect a large majority to get sad, you have to make it mean something. Additionally, you have to figure the balance between character exploration and drama. Having Dr. Park with sunglasses and Eli proclaiming how brilliant he is really contrast with scenes such as Rush giving Eli a pep talk or the crew having one last dinner together.
It does make you sad that there isn't going to be any more Stargate; not just Universe but in Stargate in general. Seeing the last showings of the halls, the ship flying into space like that, it's like it's giving you hope in that they may be back one day but it's also saying that it's over. Stargate has been with us for about 15 years and like it or not, it has been at least a part of established culture the same way The Simpsons is; you can't not turn on your TV and expect to see the adventures of whatever SG crew there is compated to how you can't not turn on your TV and see Homer Simpson. There has been discussion on whether or not there was a decline that happened around the time of Season 4 of Stargate Atlantis or whether or not Stargate has been as good as ever but in light of what's going on now, it doesn't matter. There are going to be various discussions about this for as long as the world turns and there are going to be fans who love what they love but the most important thing is that a fixture of our culture is gone and it's going to take some long, long hoping and dedication for fans and even casual viewers to get through this. It's funny, things change and everything that is happening now is recorded in time for eternity; some things may happen because of fate and I don't know whether or not the actions that were taken are fate but maybe Stargate's time was up, maybe it was time for change outselves. Again, I don't know; I'm just an observer in this.
So while Season 2 may be better than Season 1, the result remains the same; a show that is filled with overdramaization, overacting and lack of identity. Many of the same problems from Season 1 follow into Season 2 and as a result it hinders the actual attempts to better itself which are pretty good; going into the show, you're going to see better characterization and actual growth and when you get farther into the season reaching "The Greater Good", "Common Descent" and "Epilogue", you're going to find a show that is must see TV but with all good stuff you have to watch characters who you could barely care for, episodes who's potential isn't exploited to maximum effect and drama that just seems flat. I will admit, it's not unwatchable and I'm glad it got a second season but a few feet of growth isn't enough to stand out from the crowd.
Best Episodes: "The Greater Good", "Common Descent", "Epilogue", maybe "Twin Destinies"
Worst Episodes: "Cloverdale", "Malice"
Back from the grave.
^^ do you think that the use of such a large cast caused some of the lethargic character development?
Think of SG1: a group of 4 (primary) with a small group of secondary characters that weren't always there, but came in and were explored in certain episodes.
SGA had a larger primary cast, and I found it harder to connect with them.
SGU had an even larger primary cast and I bounced around so much that I really had a hard time investing in the characters -it would have felt less hollow if, after the initial escape onto the Destiny, there were more episodes letting the characters mature naturally (without forcing them, as you said) and let me 'get to know them'.
SGU's cast wasn't developed to the point where they'd be interesting. They did try in "Life" and much of season 2 but it only led to 5 or so characters being compelling and those are Young, Rush, Chloe, Greer and Eli; all of them had flaws that grabbed you in, traits that were relatable to you and stories that really had you glancing at their characters. The others such as Scott and TJ weren't given much development and the potential threads were either not explored (such as Scott and his kid) or introduced around the tail end of the season (TJ's ALS for example.)
I don't believe the size of the cast was the problem. In SGA, I found much of the characters interesting especially those of Weir, Sheppard, Ronan, Teyla, Ford, the chezhian, Woosley, Dr. Keller, Carson and even a couple of minor characters such as that Japanese doctor and the occasional Wraith. To me it is how compelling the characters are and how they develop overtime that draw me in; size doesn't matter as long as you know how to handle your characters.
SG1 to me feels more like an adventure show, without a large part of secondary characters to explore they could just send them on missions and misadventures and I think a large part of what made SG1 work was they could both explore darker issues while having a ligher issue on the side (such as "Window of Oppertunity"), of course they kept going with Seasons 9-10 and went more comedic thus lessening the impact of the series but Seasons 1-8 had that perfect balance of serious and funny that they didn't need to have more than what they had, they didn't need to follow up on tons of secondary characters throughout Stargate Command, they were satisfied with what they had.
Back from the grave.
Good points on the rest of your observation. As a viewer, I never got into Lost, either: due to a busy schedule, anything with a huge story arc that requires watching every episode to follow the story does not keep my attention -invariably I end up missing eps and consequently losing interest in the series. This happened with Revolution recently (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution_(TV_series)), and I had been stoked to see that series for MONTHS in advance. I think it would have made a better mini-series than series.
I think this is the same reason I never connected entirely with Star Trek DS9, as opposed to Star Trek TNG (which was more like SG1). I also enjoyed X-Files and Eureka because they were episodic (even though both had SOME over-reaching story arcs as the series progressed). This all may be a limitation with me, as a viewer, but RL is so busy I can hardly do anything else.
I joined the thread at the end of the Rewatch, and I wish I had known about the forum a long time ago because I have been watching Stargate for a long time. I wish I would've had a chance to partake in a entire forum Rewatch! =) If they ever decide to do another I'll be in!