"I don't think if we, for any reason, go away, it is an issue necessarily of the quality of the product that we've been making. I think getting moved on the schedule has hurt us. And the fact that some of the fans that liked SG-1 and Atlantis were so angry that they have deliberately hurt us, which is unfortunate."
-Brad Wright on the fate of Stargate Universe-
The time slot change is never a good thing of course. There's more than a few shows that can attest to that.
But, does the barb toward fans sound like sour grapes? Perhaps, but Wright does have a fair point. And even then, it still wasn't entirely the fault of fans. Were fans put on notice the Stargate franchise was about to make a massive tonal shift? I'm not exactly sure. I don't peruse the Internet that religiously for information on any specific series or film. I tend not to read too much for fear of spoiling the experience. It may very well have been crystal clear to many that the change was coming.
Certainly many old fans were not happy with the end result that was Stargate Universe as a finished product and there was indeed plenty of vitriol spewed about it.
I know I was quietly disappointed upon my introduction to Stargate Universe, Air, Part 1 and essentially never went back to it. More on that later, but my preparation for it was indeed minimal.
This Stargate fan, in hindsight, realizes he made an error in judgment. SGU is surely unique within the cottage industry that is Stargate and based on the first several episodes clearly was shaping up to be the darkest, most satisfying journey of the human soul within the long-running series. It's also special on the whole within the pantheon of science fiction series that now exist on DVD and Blu-Ray in the rear view mirror.
Today, I'm sorry to see things did not work out for SGU. It deserved a better fate. And the talented Brad Wright is indeed correct here. SGU's failure was not the result of production quality. SGU is an exceptional effort and foray into science fiction production more in step with the likes of the cinematic expertise of Danny Boyle's Sunshine than the lighter, sci-fi adventure escapism of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis.
With that lesson learned, I'm going to make a concerted effort to give Defiance a little more patience. At the very least I should enjoy those science fiction-based landscapes.
Also notable, for those of you who enjoy a good viral outbreak as much as the next guy, you should be watching Helix. Helix actually features a terrific cast including Billy Campbell and, funny enough, Sunshine's Hiroyuki Sanada (Lost). It's also worth noting that Steven Maeda is the show runner for the series. Maeda was a writer on The X-Files (5 episodes), Harsh Realm (2 episodes) and Lost (4 episodes). Apart from the occasional stupid human moments, I'm all about being inoculated for that one. Two episodes so far and they have been mostly impressive. Helix is in a terrible time slot. I truly hope it survives.
So, thus, as if often the case, SGU will shine brighter with the passage of time along with others that received their due much later in history. I have no reason to believe otherwise based on the sheer quality of this series on every level. Its legacy will endure with proper reappraisals.
This is the assessment of a true fan of the franchise as I sit enjoying my coffee. But with SG-1 and SGA you knew the rules and formula going in and yet our critical faculties ignored all of it for the fresh exchanges between character that lit up the screen. It was good, old-fashioned fun. Without question SGU is a more cerebral and rewarding experience that feels positively cinematic.