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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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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