Thursday, August 27, 2015

James Rundle: On Stargate Universe (II)

"Taking a more measured and thoughtful pace than its predecessors, Stargate Universe ... feels otherworldly, permanently tense and more grounded in the real world. The real thrill of watching Universe is, in fact, these character moments - the long periods of time taken for a single conversation filled mostly with uncomfortable pauses, the range of emotion that flickers across a character's face as they find themselves in odd situations, the developing trust and the growing division. The slower pace will not, of course, appeal to those used to the frenetic gunfights and more outwardly sci-fi flavor of the last two series in the franchise, and some will never forgive Stargate Universe for replacing Atlantis. However, the groundwork for this show has been laid in both the later seasons of SG-1 and a fair amount of Atlantis's third and fourth seasons, and this is ... a natural successor to those two venerable shows."
-James Rundle, SciFiNow #43, p.72-

Writer James Rundle remains one of the real highlights of the ongoing magazine Sci-Fi Now. Some of his commentaries are downright intuitive or insightful.

Rundle does articulate for me the success of Stargate Universe on the foundation of its approach to character as conceived in the first half of Season One of the show.

The pregnant pauses and the complexity within us emotionally as human beings is what is so inspired about the handling of characters for SGU.  It gets that aspect of the series right like Game Of Thrones. There is good and evil in all of us and while good men are just as capable of acts of evil so too are bad men capable of acts of unexpected acts of human compassion. It's not black and white.

While I'm not certain SGU is a natural successor to the other two franchises, it is indeed a thoroughly complex weave of science fiction that genuinely rejuvenated a rather stagnant, creatively-stilted franchise. Ultimately, it was the perceived harsh and unfair treatment of Stargate Atlantis at the end of its fifth and final season. With fans stunned to see the cast of Stargate Atlantis cut down at the knees in its perceived prime, it was always going to be an uphill battle from the start to foment and rally support around this new series, SGU.

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