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October 23, 2014

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Review: 'Once Upon a Time's' Admirable Attempt to Bring Magic to Primetime

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 21st 2011 2:45PM
There's an earnestness to 'Once Upon a Time' (8PM ET Sunday, ABC) and while I find that quality winning, I can see how some people might be put off by not just the show's sincerity but its fanciful premise.

TV's finest dramas tend to feature modern (or modern-seeming) characters of ambiguous morality who often give in to their worst impulses. There's really not a Prince Charming in the bunch, but one of the leads of 'Once Upon a Time' is the actual Prince Charming. He's not what you'd call edgy.

In some ways, though, 'Once Upon a Time's' square-ish optimism is what sets it apart from everything else on television at the moment. Well, that, and the fact that half of it is set in a universe populated by fairy tale characters such as the Evil Queen, Snow White and Jiminy Cricket.

Toto, we're not in regular primetime any more. And that alone is reason to give this show a shot.

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'Stargate Universe' - 'Human' Episode Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 24th 2010 4:30PM
(S01E12) 'Stargate Universe' took a bold stab at character drama last night and delivered a fine and compelling hour of sci-fi TV. The eagerly anticipated Dr. Rush origin story didn't disappoint: 'Human' dropped us right inside of Rush's head to expose all of his secrets, pain and insecurities. Robert Carlyle would certainly be in the running for an Emmy Award this year for his amazing performance -- If they gave Emmys to shows with names like 'Stargate Universe.' You'll have to enjoy your Saturn Award instead, Mr. Carlyle. And I hope you do, because you really earned it with this episode.

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'Stargate Universe' - 'Faith' Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 17th 2010 11:35AM
stargate universe faith
(S01E13) 'Faith' didn't deliver the thrills of 'Space' or the suspense of last week's episode, 'Divided.' Instead, we got a calmer hour full of lush scenery and characters relating to each other with a "spirit of cooperation."

I was glad to see the civilian vs. military conflict start to die down. I'd much rather watch the characters try to relate to one another on a personal level than be divided by their job descriptions.

I'm really starting to enjoy the show's quiet storytelling style, and the characters are finally growing on me. Eli used to be my favorite of the bunch - and he's still up there thanks to his 'Wrath of Khan' reference last night - but I've become very invested in Johansen's story. She's the most human character on the show, which speaks to Alaina Huffman's excellent performance. Hopefully the major development regarding Johansen in this ep will only make the character stronger.

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'Stargate Universe' - 'Divided' Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 10th 2010 3:40PM
stargate universe divided recap
(S01E12) The tide is turning. 'Stargate Universe' is quickly becoming a must-watch sci-fi drama. So far, season one's second half has delivered two of the best episodes of the series. The writers, cast and crew are really starting to get the hang of that dark, tense and atmospheric thing they've been trying to do since the show premiered last October.

"Divided" grabbed me from the opening moments with Chloe walking through the empty ship and that brooding Brand New song creeping up in the background. The nightmare sequence ended on a chilling note with Chloe trapped in the water tank trying to make contact with her mother. Things got extra spooky when that Blue Meanie showed up; those guys are really starting to give me the creeps.

This episode centered on Wray and Rush's attempt to seize command of the ship from the military personnel. Like I wrote last week, I really wasn't looking forward to watching Wray stroke her ego by leading a mutiny, but this ep had a lot more to offer than that.

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'Stargate Universe' - 'Space' Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 3rd 2010 12:47PM
stargate universe space recap
(S01E11) 'Stargate Universe' finally brought me to the edge of my seat. 'Space' was a minor triumph for the show. The mid-season premiere delivered a tight, suspenseful, and engaging hour of sci-fi TV. This was easily the best episode of the series so far.

Did it make up for all those slow-paced, meandering eps we had to sit through during the first half of the season? Probably not, but who cares? 'Space' rocked. Head after the jump for the spoilers.

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Review: Stargate Universe - Justice

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 4th 2009 11:58PM
Stargate Universe: Justice
(S01E10) "You put ordinary people under enough stress, I think you'll find they're capable of anything. – Dr. Rush

While watching this episode of Stargate Universe, I kept thinking of the "Court Martial" episode of the original Star Trek series. Captain Kirk is tried for the wrongful death of a crewmate, but Spock discovers via a 3D chess game that the computer's system has been tampered with and presents the evidence at the trial. Yes, I'm that geeky.

Ok, so that's about all these episodes have in common, and there's only so much you can do with the "trial in space" story. It boils down to the characters, and in this instance, the battle lines were drawn even further in this compelling little murder mystery.

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Review: Stargate Universe - Earth

by Mike Moody, posted Nov 7th 2009 12:30PM
sgu earth

(S01E07) With the IOA and Stargate Command planning a risky rescue mission aboard The Destiny, Eli, Chloe and Young used the communication stones to head back to Earth and... indulge in a little drinking and sex!

The crew faced death again, Col. Telford came aboard to annoy everyone again, and Rush hovered on the fringe, skulking and whining about the military's plan of action. Again.

Still, I really enjoyed how everything played out this week. Finally Eli, aka the Star Wars-referencing funny guy, was given more to do than make jokes and pine for Chloe. David Blue really sold the scenes with Eli talking to his mother. I sensed a real longing from Eli to want to take care of his mom and prove himself to her out of love and respect. It was a good idea to have him pose as a co-worker. That way, we got to see what he really thinks about himself, his mother, and his current situation.

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Stargate Universe is starting to remind me of Firefly

by Jane Boursaw, posted Oct 18th 2009 9:03AM
Stargate Universe: Darkness, Julia Anderson as Sgt. Vanessa JamesOk, first of all, I think I already have a bit of a girl-crush on Sgt. Vanessa James. I mean, for cripes sakes, look at her. And I love that she told the guys she could whup their ass. You do not want to cross her.

Four episodes into Stargate Universe, and I'm starting to get hooked. I like that this week's episode, "Darkness," took place mainly on the ancient ship Destiny, which looks ultra-cool flying through space. The whole thing has a Firefly feel to it.

I'm also starting to get a better feel for the storyline and characters, thanks in part to their little bio recordings engineered by Eli. Most of the crew are in their 20s or 30s, and most would rather be anywhere but there.

I appreciated them trying to figure out the ship's systems -- waste, water, showers, etc. As some of the commenters have said, that probably would have been first on the list of things to do three episodes ago, even if Dr. Rush was having some power issues of his own.

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Stargate Universe: Air, part two - I'm liking Eli Wallace

by Jane Boursaw, posted Oct 11th 2009 9:02AM
Stargate Universe - Eli WallaceI once again checked out Stargate Universe this week. Apparently, the first two episodes hooked me enough to watch this one, even though I'm still a little in the dark on the whole portal jumping / chevron stuff.

So I'll let you veterans talk about all the inter-dimensional Stargate stuff, and will just point out a few things I liked about this episode, part three of "Air." For one thing, I'm really liking the kid, Eli Wallace. He sort of grounds the series and keeps it from being completely in a sci-fi universe where none of us could ever imagine going, because that's exactly what's happening to him.

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A newbie's look at Stargate Universe

by Jane Boursaw, posted Oct 4th 2009 9:00AM
Stargate Universe Series PremiereI'll preface this by saying that while I'm familiar with the Stargate franchise and recently watched the 1994 movie starring Kurt Russell and James Spader, I've only seen an episode here and there of the various TV shows. So this is my newbie look at Stargate Universe, which premiered Friday night. (And, uh, there really isn't that much on Friday night, and it happened to be on Charter's video on demand, so I checked it out after the premiere aired.)

I'll say right off the bat that it seems a little cheesy, so I'm wondering how it compares to the previous Stargate incarnations. The characters seem a little cliche:

  • the blowhard politician with health problems (and his caring daughter), which resulted in the episode's most heartbreaking moment
  • the nerdy guy with long hair and a sad past
  • the nerdy kid who ends up being transported to a spaceship and helping the crew with important stuff
  • the tough-guy military people with guns and crew cuts
  • the gorgeous female crew members

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Stargate Universe -- An early look

by Mike Moody, posted Sep 29th 2009 2:02PM
syfy stargate universe
When word broke that the Stargate franchise was moving into darker territory with Stargate Universe, fan reaction ranged from cautiously optimistic to downright angry. The anger mostly came from fans who felt jilted by Syfy's sudden cancellation of the veteran show Stargate Atlantis (it didn't help that Syfy announced the new series in a press release shortly after announcing the cancellation of Atlantis). To some, it seemed like the fan favorite (Atlantis) had to die so the edgy new experiment (Universe) could live.

Universe
–- a fine, scrappy show packed with great actors – might now be facing an uphill battle with some of its target audience members. Stargate fans unwilling to give the show a chance should know one thing: The franchise's spirit of adventure remains intact in the first three episodes of Universe. It is different and darker than Stargate: SG-1 and Atlantis – even blatantly dreary at times – but it's still Stargate.

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What did you think about the Stargate Universe preview? - VIDEO

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 23rd 2009 3:02PM
stargate universe preview still
During Friday's excellent Battlestar Galactica series finale, SciFi aired a preview for Stargate Universe, the new Stargate show starring Robert Carlyle and Lou Diamond Phillips.

SGU follows a group of scientists and civilians trapped on an Ancient ship, The Destiny, which forces them to travel throughout the far reaches of space. Along the way, the group struggles to survive and unlock the "secrets" of the ship's Stargate.

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Trainspotting's Carlyle to kick Stargate in its biscuit-arse

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 15th 2008 8:28AM
robert carlyle 24 stargate universeRobert Carlyle is a fine actor with an impressive resume (The Full Monty, 28 Weeks Later, 24: Redemption to name a few), but he'll always be the hard-drinking, C-word screaming, Ewan McGregor-slapping Begbie from Trainspotting to me. Which is why it comes as a surprise that he's been cast as the lead in the next Stargate series, Stargate Universe.

Carlyle will play Dr. David Rush, leader of a group of scientists and civilians trapped on a ship traveling through space. Word is that Dr. Rush, charged with finding a way to return his crew home, might not be the nice guy everyone thinks he is.

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Contrary to rumors, 24 will be 24 episodes next season

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 26th 2008 8:21AM
Keifer Sutherland with a 45There's been some scuttlebutt stirred up to suggest that next season's two-hour 24 prequel TV movie will be considered part of the 24 hours in Day 7, therefore leading some to think that there'll only be 22 episodes. But how could there only be 22 hours in a day, right? Well, TV being what it is, I'm sure they'd find a way to do two hours in one -- other shows do! -- but that won't be the case. There will be 24 hours, 24 episodes in the 2009 season of 24.

Part of the reason for all this confusion is an interview that actor Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) gave to Premiere.com. Carlyle, who will be playing someone who'd been a mentor to Jack, said that the 24 TV movie, which is meant to cover what's happened since the end of Day 6 with the new Day 7, would apply to the Fox episode commitment. He told Premiere.com, "This is two hours in real time, and there'll then be 22 episodes."

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More cast members added to 24 prequel

by Brad Trechak, posted May 23rd 2008 2:21PM

24 Season 7 CastTV Squad previously reported that production on the two-hour prequel to 24 season 7 was underway. Now, it's been learned that a few cast members have been added to that TV movie.

The movie has Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) battling terrorists in Africa while the new President of the United States Allison Taylor is sworn in. Already cast are Cherry Jones (as Allison Taylor), Robert Carlyle (as a mentor of Jack Bauer) and Carlos Bernard, who will be returning despite his apparent death in season five.

The new cast members are:

  • Tony "Candyman" Todd (who also has a recurring role in NBC's Chuck) as cruel African dictator General Juma.
  • Eric Lively (an alumni of the series The L Word and the brother of Gossip Girl star Blake Lively) as the president's son.
  • Gil Bellows (best known for his role on Ally McBeal) as a State Department officer ordered to serve Bauer with a subpoena to appear before the Senate.

The project is scheduled to air on November 23rd on Fox.

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