Ringside at the Apocalypse

we're all helbound in a handbasket..but at least it's a fun ride
OCTOBER 4, 2009 10:11AM

SGU = BSG = Don't Bother

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I was just interested enough in the "Statgate Universe" series opener to watch it on Hulu--if not sufficiently interested to stay home for it on a Friday night.

Basically, this is "Star Trek Voyager" imported into the "Stargate: SG-1" universe with stylistic infusions from "Battlestar Galactica" (the Ronald Moore reboot, of course--not the original series).

If this sounds souless and contrived, it's only because it is.  Just as "Voyager" used  an improbable deux ex machina to put it's intrepid band of heroes on the other side of the Milky Way Galaxy, SGU uses a convieniently timed attack from one of the Stargate reality's many groups of alien bad guys to force a mixed group of civilians and soldiers to evacuate .... wait for it... AN EXPLODING PLANET onto a millenia-old star ship that is literally on the far side of the universe on a faster-than-light trajectory toward the event horizon of the universe.

The overall look of the evacuation scene  seems directly lifted from Battlestar Galactica's nuclear holocaust series opener, as does the fairly gratuitious (and surprisingly graphic) supply-closet sex scene that immediately preceeds it. 

Once the protagonists have wound up on the "Ancient Alien Starship" that is going to be their new home, the special effects and art direction are much more grounded in the Stargate Universe, albeit with an ovelay of "dark and edgy". 

The only thing lacking is any remote reason to even begin to care.

The characters are all one-dimensional cut-outs from central casting, from the smart-socially-inept-computer-nerd recruited in the opening scene to the hottie senator's daughter to the hair-triggered sociopath (who, of course, is black) to... well, you get the point.

But then, what do you expect from a network that thinks that changing its name to "SyFy" constitutes smart branding?

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