More than three years ago I had to give the sad news that SG-1 came to an end. But in the same posting I also mentioned that a new series was announced and that I hoped the best for it.
Today the first season of Stargate Universe will come to an end. At least for those people in German-speaking countries, because the fans in the US will still have to wait until Friday night. This is a remarkable event, at least for me, because usually a seasons finale airs first in the same area where the season premiere came across.
Not so this time, RTL2 spoils the season finale of SG-U two days ahead of SyFy.
I'll update this posting as soon as I've watched the finale S01E20 "Incursion (2)" or "Feindlicher Übergriff (2)" to conclude my impression of Stargate Universes first season.
Well, now that I've watched finale of SG:U season 1 I think, that SG-U is a worthy continuation of the Stargate franchise. If I had to compare it to something else, I think it's the "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" of Stargate with a remote location, life progressing not strictly within the boundaries of law and common culture and always on the verge of death. Furthermore the different mindsets of military and civilian people add a level of friction and tension which allows a wide range of difficult situations and plots.
What I also like is that many (leading) characters, especially Young, Rush and Telford, which are no clear black or white characters where you can say without even thinking that they're on the good or bad side. Most of the other characters can easily be located on either the good or the bad side.
Some criticism has to be told nevertheless, I think that a tad too much time was spent on character development so that the beginning of season 1 was (at least for me) somehow slow. But these were always freshed up with episodes with in my opinion exceptional plot ideas and also science/action components. I'm specifically thinking of "Light" and "Time" here. The aliens filled a debt which is necessary for a SG series but I don't consider it to be an outstanding viewing experience so far. There was just too less friction with those and although Rush and Cloe had very close encounters I somehow think that there were just too short contacts and plot strings could have been followed a bit more.
For the communication stones my opinion is that the implications they cause have been addressed too lightly and the usage of them has just become too common. I'm not sure if I'm comfort with the decision to let the characters keep their actors when having a mind-switch but it also takes out a lot of complexity for the viewers and I think its the better of two worse possibilities.
In the second half of the season, action and science clearly got a better grip and the balancing between character and action was evened out better, also within episodes. And finally, the seasons two-parted (or even three-parted) finale is in my opinion one of the best I've watched so far in SciFi series. The leadup to the decisions and events was clear but still thrilling and the hefty turnarounds in "Incursion (2)" as well as the most upsetting cliffhanger ever(!) make this finale (and very probably also the following resolution in episode 1 of season 2) a must-have-seen event for almost any SG-fan.
All in all I think, the change of the franchise in a darker and confined direction was a good one as it drives the mystery of the Stargates closer together with the personal and emotional conflicts of humans in extreme situations and gives back a lot of the military strictness and command structures which were softened up somehow over the last few seasons of SG-1.
Sadly, as Joseph Mallozzi has already announced, the Kino Webisodes won't continue in season 2, I always thought of them as a nice complement to better understand life in a group when you're completely isolated in a hostile environment.
So, I can say, SG has tightened the connection to me as a fan and although with this harsh cliffhanger, which possibly could ruin the experience for some people because of the long break, I will eagerly wait for it's continuation this fall.