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November 29, 2014

Stargate Universe

'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 20 (Series Finale) Recap

by Mike Moody, posted May 10th 2011 10:40AM
stargate universe gauntlet['Stargate Universe' – 'Gauntlet']

The Gate stopped spinning and Destiny went dark in the captivating 'Stargate Universe' season finale.

'Gauntlet' was a strong, densely plotted, emotional hour. It failed to wrap up all of the show's many hanging threads, but I don't think anyone expected 'SGU' to answer every single mindboggling question it ever brought up here, especially since it's well-known that the actors and creators learned about the show's cancellation after filming had wrapped.

But its no accident that 'Gauntlet' had an appropriate sense of finality to it. 'SGU' co-creator Brad Wright told me in a recent interview that the episode was designed to work as a season finale as well as a series finale of sorts. As the show's ratings started to dip following the move to Tuesdays last October, Wright and crew figured that they should really make this season ender count.

Instead of devoting the episode to addressing the show's more complex puzzles, like the search for the "God signal" that was said to be Destiny's true purpose, the finale focused on the characters and how they've grown and learned to work together as a family unit.

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'Stargate Universe': David Blue & Brad Wright on the Finale & Future of 'Stargate'

by Mike Moody, posted May 9th 2011 11:00AM
It's a sad day for 'Stargate' fandom. After only two seasons, the third series from the sci-fi franchise, 'Stargate Universe,' is coming to an end.

The cancellation of 'SGU' leaves the TV landscape without a 'Stargate' show for the first time in 14 years. The series finale, titled 'Gauntlet,' airs tonight (Mon., May 9, 9PM ET on Syfy).

'Stargate Universe'
'SGU' experienced a creative upswing in its second season, but the show fell victim to low ratings following Syfy's decision to move it from Fridays (AKA, nerd TV night) to Tuesdays last October.

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'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 19 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted May 3rd 2011 2:15AM
stargate universe blockade['Stargate Universe' – 'Blockade']

Impressive episodes like 'Blockade' are making this cancellation business really hard to swallow.

From start to finish, this was easily one of the most exciting and compelling hours of 'Stargate Universe' to ever hit the air. I don't think there's another show on TV right now that's offering this kind of classic sci-fi shoot-em-up-fun mixed with genuine suspense, great character moments and an intriguing long-form story arc.

I'd be rejoicing about the show's recent creative comeback if we had another season, or at least a TV movie or two, ahead of us. But, sadly, 'SGU' is a done deal. Well, at least it's going out with style.

This week's episode combined two types of story lines we've seen in the past for maximum impact: The risky plan to save the ship, and the dangerous away mission.

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'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 18 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 26th 2011 8:30AM
stargate universe epilogue['Stargate Universe' – 'Epilogue']

This week's episode of 'Stargate Universe' played like a love letter to the show's fans. Seeing these characters grow old together felt especially poignant in light of the show's cancellation and the recent news that the story will not continue with a TV movie or miniseries.

'Epilogue' was epic, ambitious and moving -- exactly the kind of dramatic and clever sci-fi storytelling that viewers will remember for years to come. And it was funny too! Really, really funny.

It might be tempting for some to call this a filler episode, since the big, epic developments all seemed to concern that other Destiny crew – the one that traveled back in time some 2,000 years and founded a new society on a faraway planet. But their story served to inform and celebrate the characters we've come to know and love.

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'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 17 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 19th 2011 12:15PM
stargate universe common descent['Stargate Universe' – 'Common Descent']

This week's episode of 'Stargate Universe' offered a gripping and mind-bending sci-fi tale that thrilled and depressed me all at once.

I was thrilled to see the show -- and the franchise -- return to its science-fiction roots with epic space battles, plenty of Gate usage and a plot that hinged on time travel. This episode even offered our heroes a rare peek at a dramatic and perplexing "What if?" scenario.

It was shocking and exciting to learn that alternate versions of Destiny's crewmembers had traveled back in time some 2,000 years and founded an entire civilization. But I was depressed two seconds after the episode ended when I remembered that 'SGU,' despite its recent creative winning streak, would be ending soon.

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'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 16 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 12th 2011 9:00AM
stargate universe, the hunt, syfy['Stargate Universe' - 'The Hunt']

Rodney McKay was out of sight, but this week's episode of 'Stargate Universe' still inspired memories of the sunnier 'Stargate Atlantis.' A big, scary monster attacked our heroes during a scout trip and took two people captive, leading the team to embark on a dangerous rescue mission on an alien planet.

I make the 'Atlantis' comparison here because the plot of 'The Hunt,' at first blush anyway, felt like the same kind of well-worn sci-fi story that 'Atlantis' rehashed several times during its five season run: Alien creature attacks, important person is taken, others risk their lives to rescue them. But the comparisons pretty much end there. Despite some monster attack scenes and some so-so creature feature CGI, 'The Hunt' was less about reveling in sci-fi/action-adventure tropes and more about exploring Ronald Greer's troubled soul.

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'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 15 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 5th 2011 7:50AM
stargte universe seizure mckay['Stargate Universe' – 'Seizure']

This week's episode of 'Stargate Universe' saw the welcome return of two 'Stargate' franchise vets and the unfortunate "quarantine" of two lovely new characters. 'Seizure' was all over the map emotionally, offering fun winks and nods to die-hard fans, a tense espionage plot, and a tragic B story.

Let's get to the fun stuff first ... How 'bout a big hand for David Hewlett and the triumphant return of Dr. Rodney McKay! Considering the stark contrast in tone between 'Stargate Atlantis' and 'SGU,' McKay's presence here could have easily felt forced and awkward. Instead, it felt solid and satisfying.

Hewlett, episode scribe Remi Aubuchon, and director Helen Shaver managed to create a version of McKay who looked and acted like he belonged on 'SGU' without sacrificing the things we love about the character (like his endless arrogance, below par social skills and genuine brilliance). Even the few bars of the 'Atlantis' theme that accompanied his entrance felt just right.

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David Hewlett on 'Stargate Universe' and the Future of the Sci-Fi Franchise

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 4th 2011 4:00PM
david hewlett stargate universeSmart, geeky, passionate and verbose -- not only could that description suit 'Stargate Atlantis''s science wiz Rodney McKay, it also fits the actor who played him, nerd-for-hire David Hewlett.

Two years after viewers waved goodbye to McKay and Hewlett in the 'Atlantis' series finale, the fan-friendly genre actor is resurrecting his most famous role tonight with a guest spot on Syfy's 'Stargate Universe' (Mon., April 4, 10PM ET).

We got a chance to chat with Hewlett about bringing McKay back to 'Stargate,' a franchise that's in danger of disappearing from the TV landscape after the recent cancellation of 'SGU.'

Hewlett, who blogs about his work and life for Syfy's Blastr site, offered his thoughts about the future of 'Stargate' and what it was like playing McKay on 'SGU,' a show he said exists in "a different world when compared to the other 'Stargate's." The actor also briefed us on the status of his in-the-works pet TV project, 'Starcrossed,' which he described as 'Galaxy Quest' meets '30 Rock.'

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'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 14 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 29th 2011 12:15PM
stargate universe hope recap['Stargate Universe' – 'Hope']

It's nice to know that 'Stargate Universe' isn't above making a penis joke, especially in an episode so centered around death and dying.

'Hope' was somewhat of a nail-biter, but the writers added unexpected hits of humor to the dark and suspenseful hour, making this one of the most delightfully strange episodes of the season.

Not everything worked, and it was a bit frustrating to see alien technology save the day again, but this week's twin stories offered distinct joys and rewards despite their eye-rolling moments.

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'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 13 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 22nd 2011 11:55AM
stargate universe alliances episode recap['Stargate Universe' – 'Alliances']

Greer and Camille finally bonded, the Lucian Alliance threat got real, and Homeworld Command came calling this week on 'Stargate Universe.'

Before we jump into 'Alliances,' let's take a quick trip to Sunnydale...One of my favorite 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' episodes is 'Checkpoint,' from the show's fifth season. In 'Checkpoint,' members of the elite and oh-so-British Watchers Council pay Buffy and Giles a visit. This is no social call, of course; the Council members are in town to deliver valuable information about Buffy's latest foe, the awesomely evil Glorificus. But before handing over the intel, they feel they must evaluate Buffy, Giles and her friends by putting them through a series of ridiculous tests to assess their honesty and credibility.

That 'Buffy' episode ended with Buffy and crew standing up for themselves and telling the Council to frak off. It was an inspiring episode, with Buffy and her pals solidifying their commitment to the mission and -- er -- staking a bold new claim in the world that flew in the face of the old guard. A similar thing happened this week on 'SGU,' but, of course, the details were slightly different.

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'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 12 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 15th 2011 6:20AM
stargate universe - twin destinies['Stargate Universe' – 'Twin Destinies']

Now that's what I call a comeback! This week's episode of 'Stargate Universe' was one of the most compelling hours of sci-fi TV I've seen all season. Unlike last week's episode, which wrapped up the events of the mid-season finale cliffhanger, 'Twin Destinies' worked as both a solid stand-alone mystery and as an important part of the larger story.

Of course, this episode was full of convenient coincidences, shock-value scenarios and time-wimey trickery, but it was still one hell of a ride.

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'Stargate Universe' Season 2, Episode 11 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 8th 2011 3:45PM
stargate universe deliverance['Stargate Universe' – 'Deliverance']

Seeing 'Stargate Universe' return to Syfy after a three-month hiatus is a bittersweet experience. It's great to finally see the Destiny crew stumbling through the cosmos again, but it's hard to get over the fact that this journey has an expiration date that's fast approaching.

Until we hear otherwise, we're assuming that these are the final 10 episodes of 'SGU.' The series is coming to a close, and it's bound to deliver a frustrating (cliffhanger) ending, since the producers didn't foresee their show getting yanked off the air so early in its run.

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'Stargate: Universe' Cancellation Puts Kibosh on 'Atlantis' Film

by Chris Harnick, posted Dec 30th 2010 12:02PM
Stargate UniverseA new casualty of 'Stargate: Universe's' cancellation has emerged: the planned 'Stargate: Atlantis' DVD movie.

Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi took to his blog to answer fan questions and shared the news.

"I'm sorry to say but the cancellation puts the brakes on whatever progress the 'SGA' movie had made in the past month, shelving it indefinitely," Mallozzi wrote.

"The cancellation of 'SGU' is very bad news for those looking forward to an 'Atlantis' movie," he said.

Syfy pulled the plug on 'SGU' in early December. The remaining episodes will air as planned in the spring.

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Syfy Closes the 'Stargate' ... For Now

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 17th 2010 6:00PM
syfy stargate universeThe transformation is complete: The SciFi Channel, for better or worse, is now officially Syfy.

The cable network canceled 'Stargate Universe,' its last remaining space-set sci-fi drama yesterday. Luckily, Syfy isn't shelving the remaining 10 episodes of 'SGU's' current season; those will hit the air as scheduled starting next spring. But the cancellation still stings -- hard -- for fans of the show, fans of the long-running 'Stargate' franchise, and fans of science fiction TV.

'Stargate' has been a part of the cable network since 2002, and it represented the last "true" science fiction Syfy had to offer. While 'Stargate SG-1' and 'Stargate Atlantis' delivered fun, action-adventure science fiction, 'SGU' offered a kind of entertainment that's quickly disappearing from TV – serialized sci-fi drama.

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Syfy Cancels 'Stargate Universe'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Dec 16th 2010 4:50PM
Another one bites the dust. Syfy, which recently yanked 'Caprica,' has also canceled 'Stargate Universe.'

Like 'Caprica,' 'SGU' was a spinoff of a very successful franchise, but neither show ever caught fire in the ratings. According to Deadline, the remaining episodes in the show's second season will air in the spring, but that will be that.

'SGU' was billed as the darker, grittier, edgier show of the 'Stargate' franchise. But some fans thought that 'SGU,' which debuted in the fall of 2009, failed to capitalize on the things that made 'SG-1' such a long-running hit and also didn't deliver the kind of thematic and dramatic complexity that its producers had promised.

In a blog post that became somewhat notorious within the 'Stargate Universe' fandom, I said all that and more.

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