Here’s a bit of two-for-one geek-news: The Sci-Fi Channel continues its tradition of cancelling shows that people like. This time on the chopping block, Stargate: Atlantis. At the same time, it’s green lit a third Stargate series, Stargate: Universe, to air in early 2009.
Okay, so I was miffed when they cancelled SG-1, severely irritated when they cancelled Farscape way back when, and continually bothered to find out that the new Battlestar Galactica was still on the air. (It’s going to be gone after this season, fortunately, and I’ll have to rely on possible reruns or episodes on Hulu.com to remind me just why I disliked it so much. At this point I can’t remember specifics, and I suppose I’m not likely to bother re-watching to let myself be reminded. Darn.)
I seem to have lost my train of thought here. Oh! (Yes, revel, revel in the concise blogging style!) My point is that I find I honestly couldn’t care less about Atlantis getting the axe. Sure, I watched some episodes–some were quite good, some not so great–but I never really got deeply into the story or anything. I couldn’t tell you much about the Wraith (aside from my finding them rather dull) or the various characters, few of whom really got me to care. (Okay, so McKay’s always fun, and it was nice to see Jewel Staite working after Firefly, but that’s about it.) My impression, admittedly fragmented, was that the show seemed to be in search of a purpose but often failed to do anything unique or better than what SG-1 had done before it.
And, really, enough with the Replicators, huh?
As for Universe, Sci-Fi describes it as follows:
After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate’s ninth chevron, a team of explorers travels to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by The Ancients at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment set in motion, but never completed.
What starts as a simple reconnaissance turns into a never ending mission, as the Stargate Universe crew discovers the ship is unable to return to Earth, and they must now fend for themselves aboard the Destiny.
The crew will travel to the far reaches of the universe, connecting with each of the previously launched Stargates, thus fulfilling the Destiny’s original mission.
Challenges will arise though as the ship comes into range of Stargates placed centuries ahead of the Destiny, but only for a brief period of time before carrying on with its pre-programmed navigational schedule. If someone is left behind, there is no way to go back for them, adding to the drama of encountering new races, enemies and adventures.
“A grand experiment set in motion but never completed.” Hey, good trick. They’ve created a plot device that doesn’t need to ever be explained because it was never finished! 😀 There’s a mystery of the ninth chevron? That’s a new one on me, but maybe I’m just not up on my lore.
As for the rest of it…I guess we’ll see. I’ll give it a shot, but the description isn’t wowing me. Maybe it’s just that I miss the SGC and O’Neill. It sounds somewhat like Star Trek meets Sliders, which is…workable. If they can come up with some engaging characterization, it could be decent, though I’m leery of the statement that Universe will have “a cast that gives it a younger vibe.” Something about that just smells a little too much of executive tampering. Perhaps they took an O’Neill template, made him an experienced twenty-two, gave him some “attitude,” and then Rasta-fied him “by about…ten-percent or so.” [End Simpsons reference.]
So I’m not holding my breath. What with professional wrestling, Ghost Hunters, and constant monster-of-the-week movies penned by monkeys at best (at worst, by the folks who bring us Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Lousy Movie, and Meet the Spartans), Sci-Fi seems, like Atlantis, organizationally confused and in search of a purpose. Or maybe some Replicators.
But that’s another blog.
Speaking of other blogs, click here for the full story in The Hollywood Reporter by James Hibberd.
Michael G. Munz