The last ten episodes of the cancelled STARGATE UNIVERSE begin on Syfy tonight at 10:00 PM ET/PT.
In the mid-season cliff hanger, ‘Resurgence’, the crew of the Destiny was caught in the midst of a battle that they were tricked into by the “seed-ship” aliens. In ‘Deliverance’ we’ll see how the ship survives. (See Clip)
Despite the cancellation, producer Brad Wright seemed upbeat, talking to BlastR.
“I’m pretty happy with the whole back 10. I think we come back from the break very, very strong, with some really, really moving episodes and actually some big action stuff. ‘Deliverance,’ which is the second part of the two-parter, has a ton of action in it.”
Next week will bring the episode ‘Twin Destinies’ .
“It’s actually a very big story too. It’s got a ton of scope and a significant amount of action, as well. … It sets up a huge story arc that will follow up the rest of the season. And I don’t really want to spoil it beyond that. I just want to say that there’s something that is initiated that takes place and carries on through the rest of the story.”
Are there any hopes for a real conclusion to STARGATE UNIVERSE or more of the franchise? Brad Wright seemed optimistic.
“There might be other possibilities out there, and maybe even a miniseries or movie. It’s not necessarily the end of the world.”
According to Deadline, SyFy has officially announced that it will not renew MGM Television’s STARGATE: UNIVERSE for a third season.
Recently airing it’s mid-season cliffhanger, the show’s ten remaining episodes will be broadcast in Spring 2011. The cable network has been showing some iteration of the STARGATE franchise since 2002, including the original STARGATE SG-1 and STARGATE: ATLANTIS. SG-1 had a good run, beginning on SHOWTIME for five seasons before being picked up by the then Sci-Fi Channel. ATLANTIS only lasted 4 years before being retired (prematurely, fans thought) in favor of STARGATE UNIVERSE’s darker take on the STARGATE premise.
This often literally dark approach—sometimes so under-lit that it was hard to see what was going on— may have been what doomed UNIVERSE. The characters were lost in space, maraooned on an ancient, barely functioning space craft. Their shock, rage and disfunctional internal battles made them difficult to like, or even sympathise with or care about.
Towards the end of the first season, the show began to show other sides to the sometimes baffling attitudes and hostile personalities of the trapped military personnel and scientists. This year we got more insight, and a real level of empathy was developing. But for the average viewer, it was too little, too late.
According to the item, STARGATE UNIVERSE recently averaged only a 0.5 in viewers 18 to 49, apparently below the average ratings for SyFy’s shows that are being renewed.
A similar thing happened with the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA spin-off CAPRICA, canceled last month. The GALACTICA reboot might have been grim at times, but it made the viewer care about it’s flawed characters. The spin-off did not lay the groundwork of getting the audience to empathise with its major (and many minor) players before taking them down dark pathways.
Tellingly, the shows that are returning are the frothy, ‘quirky’ dramedies, WAREHOUSE 13, EUREKA, and HAVEN. Those shows rate well, featuring engaging, amusing and/or sympathetic characters.
Perhaps this will be a lesson to genre television producers: Build your characters up, before tearing them down.
Here’s a description and video clip from Tonight’s Mid-Season Finale of STARGATE: UNIVERSE, ‘Resurgence’.
“The crew’s newfound control over Destiny’s flight path introduces new risks when they find themselves in the middle of a war between two races.”
Directed by William Warning, screenplay by producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie.
Guest stars: Mike Dopud (Varro), Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody), Patrick Gilmore (Dale Volker), Jennifer Spence (Lisa Park), and Lou Diamond Phillips returns as Col. David Telford.
STARGATE UNIVERSE airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFy. Clip via MrGibbsOfficial
Here’s a description and preview clip of this week’s episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE, ‘Visistation’.
“Crew members who were left behind on an idyllic planet resurface amid strange circumstances, and Chloe (Elyse Levesque)prepares for the next stage of her life.”
Viewers will remember that Chloe seems to have been infected with alien DNA and seems to be changing physically and mentally.
Guest Star Tygh Runyan (Caine).
Visitation was directed by Will Waring from a screenplay bt Remi Aubuchon.
STARGATE UNIVERSE airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFy.
Here’s a clip and a description of this week’s new episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE, The Greater Good.
Col. Young (Louis Ferreira)
and Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) are trapped on an abandoned alien ship, while Destiny is stranded in deep space. Rush continues to refuse to divulge his secret. (That he has discovered the ship’s bridge, and can control Destiny, so some extent.)
Meanwhile, Lucian Alliance member Ginn (guest star Julie McNiven) and Eli’s (David Blue) relationship continues to develop, as Camille Wray (Ming-Na) discovers in this clip.
Kathleen Munroe and Robert Knepper also guest star.
The episode was directed by Will Waring, from a screenplay by Carl Binder.
Supposedly the audience will discover what the Ancients’ starship Destiny’s original mission was/is in this episode/
STARGATE UNIVERSE airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
Here’s a preview of STARGATE UNIVERSE’s “Trial And Error”.
“Col. Young (Louis Ferreira) fears he’s losing his mind after a recurring vision in which the Destiny is attacked and destroyed. Meanwhile, Rush (Robert Carlyle) visits Chloe (Elyse Levesque) in isolation.”
Also, Young’s Earth-bound wife has asked for a divorce, complicating his relationship with T.J. (Alaina Huffman).
STARGATE UNIVERSE Trial and Error was writteb by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie, and directed by Andy Mikita.
SGU airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFy. Video via Blastr.com
Here’s a Clip from this week’s new episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE, “Pathogen”.
Looks like Chloe (Elyse Levesque) may be infected by an Alien pathogen that responsible for her quick healing from her gunshot wound — but is it also making her into a spy for the mysterious blue aliens from Season One? Pathogen is directed by series star Robert Carlyle, from a script by Carl Binder.
STARGATE UNIVERSE airs Tuesday at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFy, followed by a new episode of CAPRICA. Video via blastr.com
Here’s a preview of STARGATE UNIVERSE’s next episode, “Awakening”.
In this week’s episode, the Discovery encounters another of the Ancient’s ships, and may have found a way to power-up the Stargate enough for a trip back to Earth.
STARGATE UNIVERSE airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFY. Video via Blastr.com
A Behind the Scenes Tour of STARGATE UNIVERSE with Producer Brad Wright; Plus the Destiny Bridge Set Revealed! from ColliderVideos on Vimeo.
The sets are amazingly detailed, with ceilings and other elements not always found on soundstages. Many are also multi-functional, able to be easily changed and converted into different parts of the ship.
The new bridge has a “gold-leaf” paint scheme, that might give scenes a warmer look— time will tell.
Here’s some stills, also via Collider.
The Destiny’s Bridge — Captain’s chair?
Another Stargate? -No, just most brightly lit. Click for Larger
STARGATE UNIVERSE hasn’t been an easy-to-like television series. The producers, perhaps bored with the engaging and competent characters of STARGATE SG-1 and ATLANTIS, decide to give us a ship full of frightened, angry people, most of them seeming totally unfit or incapable of dealing with their situation. The only “first-string player” was Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) — and he’s unpredictable, obsessive, somewhat misanthropic, probably untrustworthy, and quite possibly cracked.
Largely because of the dark (sometimes literally, to the point of not being able to make out what’s going on onscreen) and charmless quality of the episodes, I stopped watching the show regularly after a few episodes. However, friends told me that it improved as it went along, and I began watching more often when it came back after the mid-season break. Having missed certain episodes left me in some puzzlement at the beginning of the season premiere, Intervention. The character T.J. (Lt.. Tamara Johansen, played by Alaina Huffman), the ship Destiny’s medic turned de facto doctor, wakes in a rustic cabin. This is a surprise, because when last seen she was on Destiny, shot by the Lucian Alliance invaders, with her and her unborn child’s life in the balance. Adding to the surreal quality, she meets an old acquaintance, Dr. Caine (Tygh Runyan).
She knew him, but I didn’t—apparently, in the episode Faith last season, he and others who had been trapped on the ship chose to stay behind on a planet that appeared to have been made by aliens, seemingly with the needs of humans in mind. In this “dream or reality” setting she learns her baby (a girl she names Carmen) is alive and well, while back on the ship TJ lies unconscious, the child dead.
On the Destiny, Dannic (Ian Butcher) the furious second in command of the Lucian forces, would just as soon kill all the military personnel, and all of the civilians they don’t need to run the ship, since their leader was killed. Col. Telford (Lou Diamond Philips) was responsible for that, though they still tend to believe that his brainwashing to act in their interest , rather than Earth’s, remains intact— despite some suspicion.
Cooler heads prevail, and the Earth people are sent via the ship’s Stargate to a barely habitable planet. However, Dr. Rush has a plan, and enough control of the ship’s systems to force them to bend to his will. He’s seen to it that the ship’s shields will not hold up to another burst from the nearby pulsar, and it’s radiation will kill everyone not holed up with him in the most protected part of the ship.
Despite objections, Rush will carry out this plan, unless the high-jackers surrender. Dannic refuses, and it looks like a stalemate between two fanatic wills—until a female invader (Ginn, guest star Julie McNiven) takes matters into her own hands.
The civilians and military crew return, and Col. Young (Louis Ferreira) is dismayed to learn it was Dr. Rush who saved the ship, once again. Young suspects Rush of having stranded them on the Ancients’ ship intentionally, and being a calculating, physical coward. Rush feels (with justification) that Young is incompetent to command, an unstable, short-sighted bully and moral coward.
Last season, Rush tried to frame Young for a crime to get him out of the way of his work, and Young beat Rush savagely and left him for dead, stranded on a barren planet. Only the intervention of some unpleasant aliens returned him to the Destiny, and now they’re a lurking menace, hoping to stalk and seize the ship.
Col. Young also learns of the death of the child he had inadvertently fathered with T.J. and takes to drink, while she goes to the observation port and sees the beautiful nebula that she had been shown on the alien’s planet, perhaps comforted with the thought that her daughter might truly be alive.
STARGATE UNIVERSE took its time to develop its characters to the point that viewers were likely to care about whether they lived or died. For many episodes, only the chubby young computer genius Eli Wallace (David Blue) was a consistently likeable presence.
The show initially seemed to suggest that even before being trapped on a spacecraft sailing through another galaxy (yes, it’s that far out), many of these people were out of the their depth, and possibly borderline crazy. That was a big problem, I thought; personal picked to serve off-Earth at a research station should have been more capable, and take some time to break down under the stress of the situation over the course of a few episodes. Instead, you were left to wonder why the hell most of them were ever in their military and scientific positions at all.
Now, you’re beginning to see some of the strength and resourcefulness within them. The actors are good in their roles, and the show is getting very interesting. Maybe they’ll even get enough power to turn on a few more lights.
The recent change to Tuesday at 9:00 PM (ET) from Friday nights seemed to damage the premiere’s ratings, judging from online sources. I hope that people will tune in, even if they had given up before, like I did—because judging from Intervention, this is going to be a much more enjoyable season. STARGATE UNIVERSE: Intervention —MGM Television, SyFy Channel.
Directed by Andy Mikita, written by producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie.