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Nov 09

Sci-Fi Season: SGU and V

The two sci-fi series on TV at the moment are both new series.

Stargate: Universe is the third series in the Stargate franchise. The premise is that a bunch of earthlings get stranded on a ship which is like an Ancient version of the Voyager probe – sent off many millennia ago and now on the other side of the universe. The series is off to a shaky start – it’s giving off distinct vibes of Star Trek: Voyager, which is not a good thing given that Voyager was easily the worst Trek series ever. I just don’t know how they are going to turn the premise of the show into compelling viewing.

The first few episodes were mostly unremarkable. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but the theme for each episode seems to be a different ancient element. The first episode they were running out of air. The second episode they were running out of energy and flew into a sun to get it (fire). The third episode they were running out of water. Maybe next week they’ll do something with earth (they run out of food?). Add to this some weird unexplained plot devices (a swarm of tiny thirsty alien insects which like making pictures of faces?) and, well… it’s just not compelling.

The most interesting part of the show are the characters, which do a good job of being less archetypal than your usual sci-fi show. The cost is the lack of charm and warmth that characterised SG-1 and Atlantis. The characters are more complex, darker, and less endearing (except for Eli, I guess). Let’s see where this goes, maybe it will take a little while for the show to hit its stride.

V is a remake of the 80s series by the same name. Alien visitors (reptiles in human flesh, apparently) come to earth, and it turns out they’ve been infiltrating the ranks of humans for years now in a bid to take over earth from inside and out. I never really found that type of sci-fi plotline riveting, but I think I’ll continue watching to see where it goes. A few familiar sci-fi faces among the cast – Morena Baccarin (Firefly & SG Atlantis) and Laura Vandervoort (Smallville).