Well, the above statement isn’t technically true – I’ve seen two episodes of Stargate SG-1, and to be honest, I didn’t get on with either of them (they were from season five). I’m pretty set in my ways when it comes to drama. I tend to like shows that are especially bleak, for one reason or another, a preference I carry over to videogames, comics, books, music and movies, in one way or another.
While I’ve seen the Stargate Universe pilot before for research purposes, it was only yesterday that I watched it for pleasure. It turns out, the show is really good; you just have to be in the right frame of mind to watch it.
I think there was too much pressure on this series from the beginning – canceling Atlantis and then essentially saying, SGU is the primary Stargate series, now, built up a level of hype that a show this slow-burning would never match. Watching it on DVD is oddly satisfying, though, to the point where I’m glad I don’t have to watch it on TV. Each arc in the show tends to be like a stage play, with three acts, and the fact that every character has something to hide makes it a fascinating viewing experience for me.
I wouldn’t like to make a judgment on the entire Stargate franchise based on my brief viewing of SG-1 – that would be unfair, and from many of the shows I’ve seen in the past, I’m aware it can take a whole season for the audience to ‘get’ something.
All I know is, I’m glad there’s now a Stargate series that’s compatible with my taste for shows like Caprica, Battlestar Galactica, even Mad Men, The Wire or Wallander. It’s not an exact fit, but Stargate Universe probably belongs more in this category of shows than that which houses its predecessors.