This fall brings new dramas and comedies, new loves, and new hopes, so here is the rundown on what too watch, and what too avoid this fall. Now, most of the big network premieres are to the side, cable is rolling out some high profile shows starting with a reboot of a classic series, this time Stargate Universe……
Edgier and younger in tone, SGU will take the franchise in a dynamic new direction, appealing to longtime Stargate fans and first-time viewers alike. The two-part premiere of Universe is being directed by Andy Mikita (Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1) and lensed by Rohn Schmidt (The Shield, The Mist). The series is expected to premiere in October 2009. SGU follows a band of soldiers, scientists and civilians, who must fend for themselves as they are forced through a Stargate when their hidden base comes under attack. The desperate survivors emerge aboard an ancient ship, which is locked on an unknown course and unable to return to Earth. Faced with meeting the most basic needs of food, water and air, the group must unlock the secrets of the ship’s Stargate to survive. The danger, adventure and hope they find on board the Destiny will reveal the heroes and villains among them.
The Good: I never have liked Stargate. I have put it on in the backround plenty of times when it is in syndication, I am not into the sci-fi of this kind but that has all changed now. Stargate Universe is totally different, it is almost more like Battlestar Galactica that SG-1. The drama is slick and intelligent that in the three hour premiere (the first two hours airing tonight) it focus on one fundamental question. How does a abandoned ship in space get its air? The answer is intriguing and puts the crew lead my Robert Carlyle in some precarious situations. The shows real strength is in its visuals and directing, the ship is half post-apocalyptic, half futuristic, but in a way that makes the show grounded more emotional, and more prevalent.
The cast is well put together with likes of one of my favorites Ming-Na, as the HR person on the ship, David Blue (Ugly Betty), and Alaina Huffman, a canadian who gives a emotional performance as the crews doctor. However….
The Not So Good: The characters in which the cast plays do not connect with me. No connection to a reason we should invest in them as an audience. I believe this will get fleshed out in the weeks to come as we start to see it in Hour 3 because bodies can be weirdly stay put but minds go to someone else, and we see the crew saying goodbye to their familes and past.
If you are a fan of the original series, SG-1 and Atlantis, expect cameos by some of your favorites. Overall, Universe is a welcome addition to my lineup on Fridays because of a grounded and semi-fresh take on a sci-fi staple. If you are a fan already, tune it, if you are a fan of BSG, tune it, if you are just a TV lover, I expect you should give it a shot.
Stargate Universe premieres tonight on Syfy at 9/8c with a two hour episode and will continue at 9.8c on Fridays for the remainder of the series.