Mon
May 9 2011 6:37pm

The Closing of the Stargate

Stargate Universe

After 14 years with some kind of Stargate on television, the gate will finally close tonight as the last episode of Stargate: Universe airs. If one counts the 1994 original film, this means Stargate has been around in some capacity for 17 years! In comparison, the Star Trek franchise stuck around for 18 years, spanning from the inception of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987 (in fact, we’re talking about the first episode today) to the final episode of Enterprise in 2005.

And though there were rumblings a few years ago that Roland Emmerich was planning a sequel to the original film, this final episode of SGU looks to be the end of Stargate as we know it.

What are your thoughts? Sad to see it go? Is Stargate ending with a bang? Going out with a whimper? Will it come back? Should it?

The final episode of Stargate: Universe airs tonight on the SyFy Channel at 9 PM EST.

31 comments
Noneo Yourbusiness
1. Longtimefan
I loved Stargate the movie and Stargate SG-1.

Stargate Atlantis was a bit hit and miss but overall it was entertaining.

Stargate Universe was a show I wanted to like and could not. I found it too dysfunctional to enjoy. The characters were not written as much as overwrought and seemed to be intentionally not able to get along with anyone.

There is only so many times that kind of poor functionality can be considered "dramatic" and then it just becomes a bunch of assholes I want to see fall into a black hole.

I really wanted to like the show but it seriously lacked the charm that the orgininal series found in creating characters a person could imagine themselves working with not working against.

I am not even going to talk about the irritation with the body switching physical escapades that are questionable at the least and downright unpleasant at the worst. Some of the characters seemed pretty cavalier with other peoples bodies.

I feel that Stargate Universe unfairly cut short a promising franchise because of the writers focusing on gritty instead of focusing on the triumph of the human spirit and cooperation in difficult situations.

I would like to see a new Stargate series but maybe in a few years once the current crop of writers have worked the dark, agnsty grit out of thier systems and remember that good characters are complex but in the end they are characters that the audience can care about because the characters care about people.

(edit to add the answer to the questions poised in the post.)
John Skotnik
2. ShooneSprings
I was about to post a hopeful note about the Direct to Video movies: Revolution (Stargate SG-1) and Extinction (Stargate Atlantis), but it appears they have both been shelved (per Brad Wright: http://www.gateworld.net/news/2011/04/wright-sgu-continuation-other-movies-dead-for-now/ ).

I felt that SGU really delivered some excellent work in these last few episodes, but of course that wasn't enough to save the show.
rick gregory
3. rickg
Bit sad, but really they need to find a reason to continue/revive it if they ever do. SG-1 was fun, episodic (and thus easy to get into even if you missed the start or came in after S1) and, while campy, the team seemed to play well together. It went on a bit too long, but was generally a fun show.

Atlantis... was OK. I liked a lot of it, but face it, they'd have been wiped out by the Wraith pretty quickly IRL, so the storyline ended up seeming less and less plausible.

SGU I never got into for three reasons... first the painfully slow start. The first several episodes were all "will they survive!??" when we knew that they would. Yes, I get that it's a way to introduce characters etc, but it simply went on for too many episodes. It would have been fine for a 2 hour pilot, but it dragged on for 4 or 5 hours of the first season.

Second, the communication stones provided too easy of an out and the people on the ship didn't do the amazingly obvious thing of using them to leverage the expertise of the SGC. Instead, they went clubbing and screwed. Sigh...

Finally, it felt way too much like the producers wanted to do BSG in the Stargate universe (pun intended...). Coming soo soon after BSG that was a hard thing to do and it ran counter the basic optimism of the SG canon. Basically, it felt like SyFy and the producers saw that BSG was a success, looked around and said "Hey, let's mold SG to be like BSG!"

While I'd like to see another good SG series, I'm not sure what stories there are left to tell.
Rachel Howe
4. ellarien
The original (seasons 1-7) Stargate SG-1 was My Show. Seasons 8-10 and Atlantis, not so much, but I still watched every episode (except one that I was warned off) and enjoyed them. SGU was almost completely missing all the things I loved -- humor, likeable characters, pretty costumes and interesting sets, daylight -- and I had a hard time following it at all because it was so dark and I couldn't tell the minor characters apart. I haven't seen the second half of Season 2, due to moving away from the US, but as far as I'm concerned the franchise died with the end of Atlantis. And I've never been into zombies.
Jada Lewis
5. D1RTNAP
I for one will miss it. I've enjoyed its various iterations, though I've always felt they weren't really needed (as opposed to say, getting a better budget and better writers to continue the original series). I hate to see this iteration go tho, particularly since it barely got started. Much like Caprica, things were just starting to really get going when the plug was pulled.

Could the premise have been better? Sure, but that doesn't mean that what it was was worthless.

I suppose that like Star Trek, the majority of people who watch these types of shows are just looking for something new. Personally, I like my TV series like I like my books...Well written, and unending. I know there are many who desperately want something like that to have a definite end point, ie Wheel of Time gets a lot of criticism for being too long. Space shows though, particularly those with a larger portion of exploration as their theme have the potential to be unending.

The point I'm trying to make here,(tho I feel I may be failing) is that rather than a new setting ie. a totally new and unrelated show/book , continue with what works, and have the new show ALSO. If a story is good, and isn't ruined by being continued, see Highlander:The Quickening, then I don't want it to end.
William Fettes
6. Wolfmage
SGU is an underrated show IMO. That’s not to say there weren’t glaring flaws with it, particularly in the first half of season 1. But it certainly came together by season 2.

What went wrong in the first-half of season 1? Well, lots of things actually. It clumsily copied a lot of elements from BSG without using subversion or humour to create a homage. It featured far too many musical montages to bad music. Aside from Eli’s character, it lacked some levity to help break up the darkness of the show. It went way overboard with cliff-hangers, and seemed to stagger from one ponderous moment to the next. It took a while for the crew to find it's rhythm.

So how can I be a fan if that’s all true? Well, the truth is that much of that was fixed or at least on its way to being fixed by the end of season 1. It’s also true that the show had some notable strengths, particularly the character Rush, who is easily one of the most compelling and interesting characters the franchise has ever produced. The ship itself was very cool. The crew dynamics began to really work and we even started to appreciate Camille and enjoy the antics of Park and Brody. The love interests for Rush and Eli, were also a welcome addition. The drones also held good potential to become the next major enemy.

Contrary to some people above, I actually believe one of its strengths was that it was not campy and it used serialised story telling. Some of the weakest SG1 episodes have always been the standalones. Admittedly some were pretty good, but let’s be honest here: even a mediocre serial episode featuring the Asgard, Systems Lords or Replicators was generally better than some cookie-cutter adventure-of-the-week story, where whatever wondrous technology the team encountered was magically inaccessible or forgotten about by the next episode. Of course, that can be true of serial episodes too, but standalones episodes tend to reach for the reset button more often to avoid munchkin powers.
jharris22586
7. jharris22586
I am VERY sad to see Stargate go. It feels like the death of an old friend. I liked SG-1, LOVED Atlantis, never really got into Universe, but I'm willing to try it. I'm not watching the final episode until I see the other ones, but I'm hoping that it's good. Time will tell, but I'm so sad to see this franchise go...
Amir Yoeli
8. Betterthenyouknew
Stargate in any form, will be sorely missed by me. I have watched since the beginning, with Richard Dean Anderson, and have loved every minute, of all the shows.

I am much saddened.
jharris22586
9. drragoon83
I love SG and will miss it like the many dear friends I have had to leave behind over the years. But saying that I haven't watched any SG as religiously as I watched the first few seasons of SG1 mostly because of lack of constant tv access. So I missed Atlantis but watched it since and haven't watched universe at all. But also it seems to me ever since they left the Goa'uld behind the entire universe has been in a slow decline that it never could climbed out of. Which could be said of the whole Scifi/Fantasy genre as well. I hope they can come back like Star Trek has with the new movie franchise but if they don't thats ok to.
James Whitehead
10. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
I loved the original series a great deal; even the final few seasons even though I missed Jack a great deal.

Did not enjoy the next two series enough to for either for very long unfortunately.

That said, I think the franchise has run out of ideas, especially if they were getting inspiration from BSG. Great run at times but all things, as they say, must come to an end. The fat lady has sung her last for the franchise & even the great Yogi knows it's over.

Kato

PS - 'Course there's always Netflix, so it's all good. ;-)
Jenny Thrash
11. Sihaya
Well, I just saw the finale. It was totally awesome. Always leave them wanting more, they say.
Leilani Cantu
12. spanishviolet
I loved Stargate SG1 & Atlantis, and though I've only seen a few episodes of SGU, I'm sad to see the franchise come to an end. I'd still love to see the direct to DVD movies, but am resigned to that not happening now.

I have been enjoying the newer Stargate novels - the earlier ones seemed very hit & miss, but the Atlantis books set after the end of the show have been excellent so far.
jharris22586
13. Scotoma
I love the set-up of SGU, but the execution aped too much the new BSG (a show I despised in the end). That said, I do wonder why the original show is seen as campy around here. I'm actually rewatching it for the first time in years, and it's all played pretty straight and serious most of the time. If SG1 is campy, so is every other big SF show, like Star Trek or Babylon 5. When I think of campy, I think of Lexx, Farscape or Doc Who, but not SG1.
Joseph Kingsmill
15. JFKingsmill16
I too believe SGU was an underrated show. Did it borrow some elements from BSG? Yes. I think they took what was good about the series and tried to build on it within the Stargate Universe. Of course it took quite a few episodes before it started to hit its stride as most TV shows do. I can see why fans of the first two series wouldn’t necessarily like SGU. They are completely different.
The SciFi Channel (I refuse to use their cheesy name) didn’t have faith in this show from the start. They showed it in six to eight episode clips and changed the time slot and the nights it would air multiple times. The do this with other shows on the network but this was the only one at the time that was episodic. Also the time between “seasons” was too long. They are doing the same thing with Warehouse 13 which is the only other thing I watch on the channel. I can barely remember what happened the last mini “season”.
In the end I just wish the SciFi Channel would start showing just a little bit more fan loyalty. I understand you have to serve the stockholders and the corporate masters first but is you keep continually disappointing your fan base eventually people will find other entertainment.
Andrew Konietzky
16. NeuroMan42
Loved SG:U more than any of the shows. Some of the best writing around.
Sky Thibedeau
17. SkylarkThibedeau
#4 I agree with you. SyFy decided it needed Stargate: BSG. SGU was a ripoff of ST:Voyager with the dark undertones of BSG. You can only build an audience with a dark storyline on rare occasions and BSG was one of those. The darkness of the human soul fit its story of survival.

Hopefully BSG:Blood and Chrome will not try to remake BSG. It's been done.

I do hope after the series rests for a few years they do bring Stargate back in some form. I think there is a bigger audience that for the 'Firefly' series though maybe not enough to support a full blown feature.

If a full blown feature is done it would have to be a sequel with Kurt Russell.
jharris22586
18. alreadymadwithSGU
Not enough humor. Not enough sarcasm. Not enough irony. How did they expect Stargate to survive on perpetually dark undertones?
Even with the constant Goa'uld threat O'neill managed to dish out an unending stream of one-liners. Even with the constant Wraith threat Sheppard maintained that smirk. Do we see anything similar from SGU?
Even BSG poked fun at its own darkness.
jharris22586
19. Blazegrey
Speaking only for myself, I will deeply miss SGU. The characters were compelling, each in their own individual way, with nuance and depth. I don't need gunfights every episode, or a monolithic enemy to battle, or never ending one liners, to enjoy a sci fi show. I just need characters I can root for, and in the crew of SGU, I found some.

The show ended on a beautiful note. The future of the crew is uncertain, and we know we may never see them again. But hope remains, in Eli's eternal optimism. I, too, will hold out hope that this is not the last we will see of Destiny, nor her misfit crew.
William Fettes
20. Wolfmage
Scotoma @ 13


“I love the set-up of SGU, but the execution aped too much the new BSG (a show I despised in the end).”

Yep, BSG after seasons 1 & 2 is one of the most overrated shows ever. It’s practically the flagship example of jumping the shark. It's not even half as deep or interesting as people think. Babylon Five had far more depth. In the end, I’d much rather watch SGU personally.

“That said, I do wonder why the original show is seen as campy around here. I'm actually rewatching it for the first time in years, and it's all played pretty straight and serious most of the time. If SG1 is campy, so is every other big SF show, like Star Trek or Babylon 5. When I think of campy, I think of Lexx, Farscape or Doc Who, but not SG1."

I do sort of agree with this in the sense that the show had a kernel of seriousness that people often underrate as part of its success. SG1 wouldn’t be half as compelling if it didn’t showcase the mechanics of Stargate Command as part of the USAF, the intra-government political battles, the technological progress of mankind, the diplomatic gambits, and the enemies who pose a credible threat. It’s a miss-reading of the series, I think, to focus only on those elements which subvert this seriousness, like O’Neill’s wise-cracking.

That said, SG1 certainly did have some great humour. I think one of my favourite episodes is when T’ealc and O’Neill get stuck in the time loop and decide to cut loose and play golf through the Stargate. :)

JFKingsmill16 @ 15

I too believe SGU was an underrated show. Did it borrow some elements from BSG? Yes. I think they took what was good about the series and tried to build on it within the Stargate Universe. Of course it took quite a few episodes before it started to hit its stride as most TV shows do. I can see why fans of the first two series wouldn’t necessarily like SGU. They are completely different.

Yep, the series did find its own voice right before it was cancelled. Such a shame.
jharris22586
21. sofrina
i only watched the first episode and the final fifteen minutes of the finale. whatever happened in between, this show had one of the loveliest sendoffs i have ever seen.
jharris22586
22. Tom Markel
Just an addition to Star Trek - don't forget the original and best Star Trek from the 60's. Trek has been around from the 60's and is still going strong.
jharris22586
23. Mike123
I for one loved SGU and all of SG. I also like BSG and as everyone here so the similarities in SGU. I am mixed about the ending though. It wasn't really a ending in my eyes, but a way for the creative powers to be to put the series on hold. Why would they do that? I don't know, but I am excited to see this series be resurrected in the coming years. Perhaps its a way for the promoters and ad people to gauge how much support was in the movies to increase revenue... I don't know.
Again, part of me is excited that they left the door open to bringing it back and not kill it off. Keep in mind, they could have done a ST Voyager type ending, which was a real ending to a series, but instead left it as a cliff hanger. One can only hope though.
Joseph Kingsmill
24. JFKingsmill16
At least SciFi didn't do to SGU what they did Farscape. Ending on an unforgivable cliffhanger and then giving us a miniseries that was borderline unwatchable. Hopefully if they do continue SGU at some future date with movies or new episodes, that they build off of what they ended with.
jharris22586
25. JHBI
Dont get me wrong, I loved SG-1, Was sad to see Atlantis end, but I hated Universe. It did not feel like stargate, it felt more like the Battle star remake with smaterings of ST voyager... not any of the good stuff.
jharris22586
26. wiredwizard
SG:U - an ok show but I won't miss it. It was too much Voyager & BSG remake & just about no Stargate. I had great hopes for the show and, despite a great effort by a phenominal cast w/ great potential, it was a total let down.

I will however buy it on DVD (when it's cheap at WalMart) if only to complete my Stargate franchise collection. =shrug= If I could spring for Stargate Infinity, I can spring for SG:U...
jharris22586
27. orokusaki
I see a lot of people saying that SGU was underrated. I have to disagree, mainly from simply saying that it was rated exactly as it should be: good, but not great. Only SG lovers would enjoy SGU, and by what others have said, most SG lovers didn't really get attached to SGU. So there you have it. Not underrated, not overrated.

RDA made SG-1 hilarious, him and his Simpsons obsession. SGU was designed to be grittier and more serious, but there wasn't enough of any plot development early on (as many here have said) to make grit and seriousness the reason to watch the show. SG-1 had what all shows need to have to be successful. SGU simply didn't.

All that to say that I enjoyed it because I love the mythos of SG, but I'm not shedding any tears over SGU's cancellation. Getting a glimpse of steampunk Ancient tech was pretty cool. Direct-to-Video movies would be awesome to see, if they're ever done.
jharris22586
28. PhoenixJim
A. Star Trek started in the 60's, not the 80's, had (so far) 11 feature films and 4 series. And it still has potential, as the last movie was a reboot of the original series with a completely new story line.

B. Stargate SG-1 went 10 years (and spun off from that enjoyable movie with, who was it, Kurt Russel?), while Atlantis was cut short at 5 years (talk about abrupt endings). I don't count "universe" as even part of the franchise - I have no idea what they were thinking with that, and haven't even bothered to watch it since it's first season ended. In fact, I barely managed to watch most of the first season.

C. Dr. Who has the win in terms of longest running sci fi series overall...

With all that said, I'd be very open to a true continuation of the Stargate franchise (the 3rd movie appears to have been canned) - or even a reboot of the "original" star trek. But after seeing the "SyFy" treatment of the classic "John Carter of Mars" idea, I would want Anybody But SyFy to handle it.
jharris22586
29. beket
I agree that so much of SGU was simply BSG meets ST:Voyager. But I watched it and in general, liked it. It had some really bad days. But there were some very good days. And finally, near the end, it started getting really interesting. And then they ended it.

No reason to watch that channel any more.
jharris22586
30. joseflv
In general, SGU had a pretty good premise, which would have allowed the show to explore all kinds of aspects of the SG universe, but the show's creators pissed that away with some poor casting choices, pointless bickering between the civilian and military castaways, stupid use of the communication stones, and poor lighting, amongst other things. Seriously, did anyone detect a scintilla of chemistry between Colonel Young and T.J., ever? What was the point of the internal strife between the civilian scientists, who had been working under the military at the Icarus Base to begin with, and the soldiers? It's as if the show's creators were throwing everything at the wall to see what would stick.

After the first 10 episodes, the show went on hiatus, and it seemed to me that when it came back they had done some re-tooling. I thought the second half of the first season was better than the first. It's interesting that Brad Wright & Robert Coooper, who wrote most of the first 10 episodes, didn't write any of the last 10. Hmmm.

IMHO, SGU got better in the second season. At that point, they'd gotten rid of a lot of the internal strife and messy relationship issues, and seemed to have settled into what the show was going to be about. However, by then they'd also lost half of their viewers. Basically, the show took too long to find itself, and you can't do that in today's market. If they make a movie, it should be called SGU: Wasted Potential.
jharris22586
31. HotCarNut
I for one will really miss Stargate Universe. I agree with some of the commentors that season 1 was really rough, especially the first half of the season. It's always tough to launch a new branch of a franchise though, especially one that is completely different in mood, tone, and character interaction from its forefathers.

Some quick thoughts:
1. The show really hit it's stride in season 2. If you only watched season 2 and didn't have a clue about season 1, I think a lot of people would have felt differently about the show.
2. The characters themselves were the story this time around. Each and every character had depth on the show, not just a few of the main characters. These guys and gals had LIVES, which you really couldn't say of the SG-1 or Atlantis characters. Even the minor characters (of which there were quite a few) had good depth.
3. I was a big fan of ST Voyager and I have to admit that I see a few similarities between the series, but only in broad generalities. In ST Voyager it's a crew aboard a starship that gets sent to a far-away quadrant of space and is trying to make it home. OK, sounds familiar right? The difference is in how they ended up on the ship and the familiarity with the technology at hand. In SGU, the ship is really another character that is uncovered as the series progresses. It adds a different dimension for both struggle and discovery that was fascinating to watch later in the series (again, the early episodes were just painful).
jharris22586
32. Jacob lipe
All of the stargate and movies are very awsome!!!!! The same thing happened to star trek and I thought that it was gone forever until they made the new movie in 2009 and I knew it was back, so can it happen to stargate too we just have to wait and find out!!! Personally I believe it will come back very soon!!!!!

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