What is going on with Stargate: Universe?

Where do you think Stargate: Universe is going? Lots of people have compared it to the previous Stargate shows, to Battlestar Galactica, and probably to every other science fiction show in history. When you get right down to it, there are not many stories or story arcs that the writers can really pick from. And we’ve already seen several tried-and-true plots in the first half of the first season.

The next episode promises to deliver another time travel conundrum. I like time travel science fiction for the most part but I don’t feel this cast has established itself enough to really handle a time travel dip in the cosmic journey. I’m not saying they are not experienced enough to do the job. Of course they are. What I’m getting at is that the crew of the Destiny has only just begun to realize it’s going to be aboard the ship a long time. And now they are being flung into the past with an alternate reality storyline (or so the preview leads me to conclude).

I mean, what past do they have in that far-off galaxy? None, really. So why should they need a time travel episode? Maybe we’ll be introduced to a technology that the writers want to use further on down the road. But frankly until the Destiny starts to make contact with some civilizations that have histories and sweeping cosmic issues I don’t see the need for a time travel story. How plausible would the idea of the crew finding a solution to their problem in the past really be?

Let’s face it: Stargate: Universe is a show built upon the premise that Bonanza Bride Syndrome can be sustained indefintely. If this show has a weakness, it is that it assumes the audience will keep watching week after week as formulaic crisis after formulaic crisis is encountered, endured, and solved. But we’re not seeing much growth in the characters. Eli has gotten his heart broken. Chloe has shown she can fall for the wrong guy just as easily as any pretty girl. The soldiers have all proven that they have testosterone running through their veins.

Colonel Mustard is about to reveal that Mrs. Green did it with the Candlestick in the Parlor, but I’m not sure I want to care about that. Instead of sitting everyone down and having the heart-to-heart talks that he should be, Colonel Young is bouncing back and forth between Earth and Destiny personas like a lost hippy on a bad trip. And Colonel Telford, who could have been such an interesting character, is just turning out to be a really bad bad guy (not a bad bad guy but a bad bad guy).

I get that there is conflict between Telford and Young, and Telford feels cheated of his destiny (or is it that he feels Destiny is his Destiny?). But frankly, I don’t give a damn. Either let him do something constructive or get him off the ship — permanently. That he was ordered to be a weenie is no excuse. The old Jack O’Neill would have told Telford to get his head out of where the sun don’t shine or to ask for a transfer to the Pentagon.

With 22 shows already filmed the first season is pretty much a done deal. I’m sure it will roll into a second season but honestly Stargate is supposedly all about discovery. What are we discovering with this crew, except that cliches abound in science fiction television? I’m a little disappointed in the show because nothing really gets resolved. The ship is moving but it’s not moving forward. That’s a problem.

I hope things start to change in the next episode.

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