Sunday, May 5, 2013

Stargate Universe

It's more than a year now since I found Primeval. Since then, I've found myself watching a lot of sci-fi shows. While they all of course have certain similarities because that's the nature of fiction, I'm more interested in the differences between them--in why I can't stand some, am neutral toward a few, and really enjoy others.

Although I have never watched anything in the Stargate franchise and although I usually like to start at the very beginning when going into a new franchise, I tried out Stargate Universe last month. Yes, it was because after Once Upon a Time, I've been seeking some of Robert Carlyle's other roles. And yes, I do think he had the best role in SGU. Anyway. While not having any awareness of the Stargate world meant that I was pretty confused during the pilot, I quickly fell into the pace of the show. Every so often, I knew I was missing something, but sometimes that's just how life is. After all, the structure of this show, intentionally, didn't always fully explain everything, including new things. "Time," for instance, was structured in a way that felt completely fresh.

Summaries of this show do little to express what watching it is like. From what I understand, they took a different angle with this series from the rest of the franchise--I can speak nothing for the differences, but I like the angle they used. While all the violence and despair and whatnot in the Battlestar Galactica reboot bothered me so much, SGU handled similar material differently. (While some people do make the comparison between the shows, I would argue that SGU is much more similar to the original Battlestar Galactica and very little like the reboot. It's more hopeful and endearing.) There is still a certain amount of violence (less, though, right?), action, and creepy atmosphere, but it's tempered with reality.

These characters feel real. You can understand how they think and feel. It took a moment to warm up to the cast, but when I did they became a group of people I cared about. This isn't the only show to make use of an isolated group of people, but I think they handled the group dynamics very well. There is a pioneer side to their quest to survive, but we also see the technical side--and the sci-fi side through things like the communication stones and the Kino. The Kino--what a brilliant idea that was. It modernizes the whole format of the show while at the same time allowing us to see "moments in time" that express who the characters are; other shows sometimes gloss over moments like this in order to continue advancing plot. But plot gets meaningless if you're missing good characters.

At the same time as it would have been wonderful to have more than two seasons of this show, it ended in a place where I can imagine my own ending for the characters. I can say goodbye to them and look forward to bright prospects in their futures. (Oh, and I think someday when I have my own house, I'm going to paint a wall in my office with chalkboard paint and scribble all other it like Dr. Rush, only with words instead of numbers. I've always loved chalkboards.)

No comments:

Post a Comment