Robert Cooper and Brad Wright used the line “the wheel reinvented”, well Stargate Universe is definitely not SG-1 or Atlantis! The reason we have such faith in the show is that the creators were also writers and co-producers for the enormously popular SG-1 and Atlantis.
After watching the Premiere episode of Stargate Universe, here are my thoughts on the feel of the show and the introduction to each of the characters:
This had a decidedly darker feel to it, but then again, this was the beginning episode and of course a tragedy had to put them into these straights. It is somewhat familiar, if you are a Star Trek: Voyager fan. It takes time to install new characters, especially into an already-established fan-base, where the fans are critical and it is difficult not to compare somewhat. I, personally, expect great things from this show. I think that once we know the characters and learn more about their backgrounds, we’ll have our favorite.
The character that stood out the most (necessarily) was Dr. Rush (played by Robert Carlyle). Are we going to hate him? Are we going to come to understand him? Dr. Rush is an eccentric; believes himself to be destined to explore the universe. Does he have the right to endanger others to achieve this goal? We would say no, however it is important to understand that he truly believes that what he is doing, and what he has done, is for the greater good. It remains to be seen how his character will unfold, as he currently seems to be the most complex character on the show. Again, this is based on the premiere episode.
Another character that stands out in the opener is Eli Wallace (played by David Blue). Here’s our young prodigy, thrown into the deep end after solving a mathematical problem in a video game. Here again, I think of “The Last Starfighter” as a comparison. Eli is taken aboard a ship and given a massive load of information (helpfully supplied in a cameo appearance by Michael Shanks- Daniel Jackson). Okay, okay, I know I’m throwing in a lot of comparisons. However, you have to admit that the method of dispersing the information was reminiscent of “Superman”. There is nothing wrong with making these comparisons. SGU is not ripping anything off at all. Maybe it wasn’t even conscience. Think of these comparisons as a sort of”homage” to movies and TV shows of the past.
The writers of all the Stargate series have been fantastic. They are extremely talented and can tell a story and throw in some laughs. There are many subtle nuances that not everyone may get, but those who do are appreciative.
Another character that has lots of room for development is Col. Everett Young (played by the handsome Louis Ferreira (in this writer’s humble opinion)); we have been able to peek into his life through flashbacks. He is definitely a military man, but his wife seems to be ready for him to settle down. Injured in the pilot, we have yet to see what will happen with the Colonel.
Next we have Lt. Scott (played by Brian Smith). He has been thrust into a command position rather suddenly, when Col. Young is wounded. Additionally, he has been given responsibility of Eli Wallace. Scott comes across as being somewhat naive and maybe idealistic, but he takes his job seriously and there is no doubt that he will step up to the plate, no matter what occurs. He will definitely be one to watch as far as character development, in the episodes to come.
Chloe Armstrong (played by Elyse Levesque) is already an interesting character. She is the daughter and aide of Senator Alan Armstrong (Christopher McDonald), serious about her role in the expedition. I hate spoilers, but I will say that she is forced to deal with a lot of emotions and challenges in a short amount of time. Already we have seen a little of the interaction she has with the other characters, and she will almost assuredly become a strong main character.
Lt. Tamara Johansen (portrayed by Alaina Huffman) comes aboard the Destiny as a medic. Now, however, in this new stranded situation, she is the Chief Medical Officer. She seems insecure, but also capable. She is going to have to do a lot of adjusting as we will most likely see as time goes by.
Sgt. Ronald Greer (played by Jamil Walker Smith) is a bit of a loose cannon. He has already, in the first episode, been locked up for insubordination / mutiny. The evacuation, however, is giving him a second chance to serve his country (planet, ship….et al). Will he take full advantage of his second chance? It’s tough to say, but he will certainly keep us wondering, as he struggles to accept the new situation he finds himself in.
Camile Wray (played by Ming Na) has yet to really come to the fore in SGU. We know very little except that she is a civilian. I am reminded of Dr. Elizabeth Weir of Stargate: Atlantis or perhaps Laura Roslin of Battlestar Galactica. Here is a political player who finds herself to be the highest ranking politician on the ship. This, my friends is where we can look forward to seeing the struggle for leadership between the military and the civilians.
Colonel Telford (played by Lou Diamond Phillips) is the man who is in charge of the Icarus Expedition in the first place. Although he doesn’t make it through the gate, we expect to see him on the show either somehow ending up in the same place, or by finding some communication…..we don’t know. Of course, a lot of you probably know because you DO like spoilers. I want to wait and see!
We’ve got it all in Stargate Universe…. Scientists, military, politicians and who knows what sorts of aliens we will encounter!
My next article will deal with the plot of the show, which we must still get a feel for. Let’s watch together!!