Your Stargate: Universe Series Opener Open Thread

I had a request from folks to have an open thread here while Stargate: Universe had its debut airing tonight, so here it is. Feel free to use it to comment on the show as you watch and to ask me questions if you like (yes, I’ll be here to answer them, and will also be on Twitter).

WARNING: Given what people will be doing in this comment thread (i.e., talking about the show), there will be spoilers. Those of you in later time zones or in countries where it’s not yet shown, you might want to avoid the comment thread here until you see the show.

Also, to be clear, while I might talk about spoilery stuff in the comment thread, I’ll be avoiding spoilery comments in Twitter, because lots of my followers are in different time zones.

Anyway, the fun will begin at 9pm eastern/8pm central. See you then.

546 Comments on “Your Stargate: Universe Series Opener Open Thread”

  1. Note when I say there will be spoilers, I don’t want any BEFORE the show begins, or to have them revealed before they naturally come during the broadcast. Any early spoilery stuff I will snip out. Fair warning.

  2. For folks who don’t get Syfy via pay TV, the first episode will be posted on Hulu tomorrow. I don’t know offhand how long the episodes will stay up, but I’ll come back here after I’ve gotten the chance to look at it there.

    I don’t know if it’s running on any other online video services. I suspect the Hulu video will only be accessible from US sites.

  3. @John Mark Ockerbloom: It will almost certainly also be offered in full on Possibly with commentary, like the enhanced Warehouse 13 episodes over the summer?

  4. This is how big a geek I am: there was a possibility of a date with my lady tonight; she’s tired out and it isn’t going to happen; and I’m actually not bummed out about it because now I get to watch the SG:U premiere.

    I. Am. Hopeless.

  5. The wife working late tonight so I get to watch it…alone. I may pester Scalzi on Twitter, though.

  6. I’m psyched since I finally got my wireless working so I can be on the computer while watching SGU. It’s a good thing I’m also DVRing the show.

  7. Oooh… this sounds fun! Reminds me of the days with the BSG threads over on Fark…

  8. I’m very excited about it!! My computer’s ready, tweetdeck up and SyFy on. Bring it on!!

  9. Can’t wait to watch it, DVR is programmed and ready to go.

    But I REFUSE to call the network that stupid, ridiculous new name. I will always say the show is on the SciFi channel.

  10. #4 – the *real* geek would be dating someone who would be watching it *with* them. I married a geek, just so I could do stuff like that :>.

    Because I’m celebrating a milestone bday tonight, I won’t be online with you guys – which is a total bummer!

    OTOH, I get to watch it with my total geek family tomorrow at our leisure and fast-forwarding through the silly commercials.

    Hope you have a blast!

  11. Never open the door when a sunglass wearing military man knocks on the door.

  12. “They also told us you have an extra set of balls…ha, ha! Just kidding!”

  13. MWT:

    You mean, you’ve never been recruited by a mysterious government organization after playing a video game? Happened to me ALL THE TIME in the 80s. Really started to cut into my schooling. Had to quit.

  14. Ok, John, were you on screen at all for the episode? I could have sworn I saw you in a white dress shirt sitting down leaning against a wall in the ship, just before the first commercial break.

  15. past the first commercial break and I’m hooked. Feels like BSG back when it was first starting and fresh, but dark – serious – bizarre.

  16. Yes, we are making an away team and kid, guess what color shirt you are wearing?

  17. Barstool Babe:

    I think they may have redressed the set, yes.

    Christopher Turkel:

    I think it was Young Guns II. I interviewed him back on that junket.

  18. I’m hooked, though why do I think that Eli got recruited into the Rylan Star League. :-)

    I’m wondering how much the flashbacks will play into future storylines,

  19. Am I the only one who’s wondering why they’ve obviously gone with the cliche of the geeky overweight guy hooking up with the HOT girl? In the cafeteria on the ship, it was obvious that’s what is coming next. And is it sad that I find their hookup less likely than the fact that they’re on a frakking space ship going FTL?

  20. It’s like East German architecture run amok. couldn’t someone have made an Ikea run?

  21. Ryber:

    I always hope the sort of fat geeky guy makes out with the hot smart babe. Of course, the hot babe better be just as smart or I’m going to get pissed off. :-D

  22. Hope my prediction is wrong. I’d love it.

    I’m hooked by the way! Show rocks so far!

  23. geekygirl602:

    I can say without too much spoilage of future episodes that one of the nice things about this show is that all the women on it are smart.

  24. This is fun, both the show and ongoing commentary here. Adds to the experience.

  25. geekygirl602:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the geeks getting together with the hotties, I’m just saying it doesn’t happen nearly as much in real life as it does in Sci-Fi. Dammit. And I agree, she darn well better be smart. Looks like she is so far. She’s going for the geek after all. . .

  26. I dunno if I like ANYONE yet. They all seem, like, complex and flawed and all. Where’s the perfect one that’s suppsoed to lead and save the day? Where’s the real life?

  27. I really love the cuts back and forth between on the ship and what happened before. Damn good storytelling.

  28. “Eli, I need your help. Really. Go into the planet’s core and turn on the “off” switch”

  29. “Complex math under pressure…almost as bad as balancing my checkbook.”

  30. For a premiere, there is a lot of backstory I want ot know more about. Nice setup

  31. Congratulations Dr. Rush, you just doomed 200 people to between 4-7 seasons of drama and death!

  32. Am I supposed to like Dr. Rush? Because so far I think he’s a bit of an arrogant cad with more respect for mathematics than human life.

  33. Shades of Star Trek Voyager. But less hoky. Hope there’s no alliance with what should be an enemy ship.

  34. I am pretty confused. The flashbacks are not helping. Are they on a planet other than Earth? How did the Jonah Hill guy get there from Earth? Are they on the base or the station in a given scene? I can’t tell: they look the same.

    It is paced like a Season 4 cliff-hanging finale rather than the pilot. Also, too many subplots and characters for a pilot.

  35. I don’t have cable, and haven’t seen Stargate since the original movie, but this comment thread is a kick!

  36. ATMachine, no, Dr. Rush is an asshole and you won’t like him. At least that’s my impression.

    Wow, they are out in the wilderness aren’t they. Cool!!

  37. Whoah… must have been a Red Matter reactor in there. ;)

    Lovin’ the cameo’s. And I’m guessing the “once the batteries are dead, they’re DEAD was Scalzi’s doing.”

  38. So far, Rush is a bit of a dick, kind of like McKay was on SGA. Only he talks less than McKay, and doesn’t quite have personality yet.

  39. “How do you know what works?” If doesn’t eat you, champ, that’s how.

  40. Did you put the battery line in there John? Sounds like a CC tip to me, a particularly Scalzi-ish tip too.

  41. Clearly Rush knows the language, and Eli has the equivalent of 1 or 2 semesters. Just enough to really screw up.

  42. Doctor Lee just made his cameo. Was wondering how long until he appeared. And I agree TrackBall, the ship is freakin’ sweet!

  43. Dr. Rush is a fucking SCUMBAG. He thought his research was more important than the lives of all those people.

    And he’s fucking lying about talking to O’Neill.

    I hate the Senator too. I hope he dies.

  44. I think the best line was, “We’re gonna get you sobered up…and find you some underwear.”

    Oh, wait. That was Glee the other night. Never mind.

  45. Wait, they named Dr. Rush after the band, didn’t they? Canadian show and all, Hmmm.

  46. Yeah, the crowd would have torn him to bits when they figured out what he did. And I would been there with his carotid artery in my teeth.

  47. So, how does Scalzi feel about the fact that we all seem to hate Dr. Rush! That last scene was enough for us to all rush the Doc. Wouldn’t you agree? So, why did the “group” not attack the dear doc? That’s my question.

  48. @ Scalzi: At the very least, I think we’ve established that Rush is thinking with the wrong parts of his brain.

  49. 1-way com device that you won;t let anyone else use – that everyone gives up bitchign about almost instantly?

    John, did you tell them there should be more of a fight over that little toy?

  50. Scalzi, thanks for the heh. I guess that’s the reaction the show wanted? It’s really good.

  51. I know who Dr. Rush is! DOCTOR SMITH!!!!!

    That WAS a Goa’uld mother ship, wasn’t it? Maybe he was secretly working for them. I bet he’s a traitor, not just an arrogant scientist.

    I have to say I’m irritated that the dedicated scientist is the bad guy. But I have to say, if my dad had been a stargate scientist instead of a neuroscientist, he would have done just what Rush did. :-(

  52. I still say Rush is going to be the one we love soon. I see him being a totally arrogant SOB, but able to back most of it up.

  53. I’m not going to look, but I’m hoping Rush is a guest star who gets killed in this episode. He’s a fucking murderer. Everyone who died in the evacuation, and everyone who dies from now on who would have lived had they gone to Earth, is blood on his hands.

  54. I have a sneaking suspicion that as time goes on, we will find that Nicholas Rush is the kind of man one can admire without necessarily liking him.

  55. ‘You were in detention!” yes, I was. and the little kid deserved that noogie, too.

  56. He’s the bad guy in this episode so far, John. He’s the one who got everyone killed. He’s the selfish criminal in this episode.

    Might be worse guys. But he’s bad enough. They should put him out an airlock…or throw him into that busted dome or whatever it was.

  57. What I told a friend in an email is that Rush is like the good evil genius. I think it might turn out that way. Sheesh, I need to shut up. I’ve always been a good spoiler at movies. Hell, I knew that Darth Vader was Luke’s dad in the 1’st movie. ;-)

  58. #xopher, Rush is the evil genius that saves everyone or finds the alien culture. He can’t be killed off!!

  59. Wait… where’d they find a furnished room?

    Half the fun of this show is going to be figuring out who lived on this ship before.

  60. Anyone else going to watch the re-run of the episode after the premiere is over? I’ve missed a few things reading and posting.

  61. Geekygirl: Wow, you knew the twist of ESB before George Lucas did! ;)

    Also, seconding the “Rush is a murderer, plain and simple” line of argument. If this ship has a brig, he should be thrown into it.

  62. Now see, that’s the kind of spoiler John asked us not to do. We don’t know yet in this episode that someone doesn’t shoot Rush’s ass in a fit of righteousness. You looked that up on IMDB or something.

    I enjoy the dramatic frustration of constantly wishing someone would kill a character and having them keep refraining. Please don’t spoil my fun on anything else.

    And the more I watch and listen to that lieutenant, the more I want to fuckin’ marry him.

  63. Can yo uimagine 100,000 plus years of CO2 scrubbing? Of course, most of that time, what would have been producing CO2? The degredation of the metal the ship is made of?

  64. ryber,

    I’m going to have to watch it a couple of times. I’m emailing, twittering and watching and typing here. There’s just so much multitasking my brain can handle on a Friday evening.

  65. This guy rode the Enterprise C into oblivion and lost to Happy Gilmore. Bad omen for the ship.

  66. Chloë, huh? After the series, will there be a whole second one called SG:CT? Chloë’s Tale?

  67. All they’ve been talking about for the whole run up to the show is how they got Robert Carlyle as the headine actor. I didn’t look up the show in IMDB. Just used info that’s been out for months now.

  68. Fine, I’ll let you guys hate Dr. Rush without bringing up the fact as to why he’s needed in the story…

    Personally, I could love the evil genius Dr. Rush. He’s a jaded soul. Poor man. I need to save him. ;-)

  69. “What makes you think I won’t try?”

    Well, could be the fact that you already treated your own ego as more important than these people’s lives, asshole.

  70. Warfarin presents a host of problems, from diet to regulating the INR. Is this one of the things a Creative Consultant has to manage?

  71. The Senator is goign to volunteer to close the door from the inside. So’s the Colonel.

    Rock’s paper scissors, best 3 out of 5.

  72. “Someone”? If he volunteers to be the one, I’ll admit that he isn’t 100% scum. And I’ll be amazed, too.

    It’s only right that it should be him. They should PUSH him in if he won’t volunteer.

  73. ryber, that would be cheesy. No, that would be pasturized processed imitation cheese food product-y.

  74. Prblem is, as the Lt. said, “I think we need you.”

    Find someone who won’t be an asset, maybe won;t live through the day anyway, and let them be useful.

    Goodbye Senator Shooter.

    Long live Dr. Ego.

  75. ‘On the next Ghost Hunters. we track down the white shirted guy’s ghost.”

  76. Watching right now, just like most of the rest of you. :P

    I don’t normally watch a lot of TV and when I do it’s usually Discovery and Food Network but I must say I’m enjoying the heck out of this premier. Please let the show’s producers and cast and crew that they’ve really knocked this one out of the park!


    Oh! It’s back on!

  77. It’s a SyFy original. Of course it’s made of cheese-in-a-can. Laughably bad, so much so that it’s good. I like cheese whiz sci fi flicks.

  78. “It doesn’t take any special skills to die of asphyxiation!” Line Of The Night.

  79. I meant the Mega Fault flick. Their original shows are awesome, but their movies are cheese.

  80. Chloe Shooter gets her dramatic baggage when Sen. Shooter takes one for the team. Cue the end of Armageddon.

  81. Well, the Senator proved himself a good guy. I regret saying I hoped he died, now that he did. Just what the writers were hoping I’d feel, I bet.

  82. Well, they didn’t have the medical tech to help him too much. This way, he goes out doing One Useful Thing. And gets a helluva view.

    Dr. Phil

  83. Chloe could have been such a good character there if she had been less hysterical. Doesn’t bode well for her being a strong character.

  84. MacGuyver isn’t necessarily left behind. Given how huge the ship is, it’s possible that RDA and the rest of Earth are on the ship too.

  85. I tried to post that a while ago – got told to slow down my psots, and now it’s all out of sequence and I am righteously pouty. How can the world properly appreciate my wit when my timing is thrown off so heinously by a machine like this?

  86. Well, Trackball, someone has to react like a real person. Bodes well for the characters being 3-dimensional.

  87. FINALLY!!!

    No wonder John seemed non-plussed by the “where’s the violence toward the jackass” talk.

  88. Single tear running down her face, Sen. Shooter blubbering as he sacrifices himself, she says something like ‘it had to be done. that’s my dad.’ That would have rawked.

  89. Sorry, scumbag, you DID create the situation that forced them here. SHUT THE FUCK UP ASSHOLE!

  90. OK, Rush is creeping me out right now…

    @ Scalzi 256: Call us your “test audience.” This is quite fun. Are you going to do this again?

    Aww… the first SG:U couple!

  91. “I didn’t create the situation that forced us here.”

    Even as Rush appears to apologize, he deceives and spouts half-truths. Truly a snake in the grass.

  92. Totally distracted by “Why is the ship empty? Where are the people? Are they all hiding under the bed?”

  93. “Don’t worry about your mom, she’ll cash in the insurance policy and be nailing cabana boys in Aruba.”

  94. ryber:

    Chloe and Rush and antithesis to each other. You have the old skeptical guy who is a genius and will do anything to save “whatever” at any cost and then you have Chloe who is innocent and has the belief in the “special” world of honor at any cost. Great story line.

  95. Of course he doesn’t care. He’s completely selfish. If he weren’t on the ship WITH them he’d go take a nap.

  96. Ok, I take it back. Maybe geek guy and hot girl don’t hook up. Hot guy and hot girl do. Maybe.

  97. Xopher, that was a classic stereotypical hysterically emotional female reaction. And surrounded by stoic men to boot.

    It shreds any individuality the Chloe character could have built. And all real people don’t melt down like that at sudden tragedy. Some go into stony shock, others throw up, or lash out, or something besides hysterical wailing. As Dr. Rush/stubbly Yoda said, people react in different ways, that’s what makes them three dimensional.

  98. I don’t agree that Rush created this situation. He didn’t arrange the attack. And he didn’t create the feedback to the planet’s core.

  99. @277: Darn. Could you at least set an open thread to auto-post? We promise we’ll be good!

  100. @John Scalzi – I’m assuming that you’ve seen a couple other episodes – how is the theme song for the regular show?

  101. @ 293: Scalzi – Thank you! :) I’ll e-mail you next week.

    And the backwards cap… haha.

    Great first episode!

  102. OK, why the quick change to Earth camo before going off – What do we call it now? Off ship? – before going off-ship? Likely as not the terrain will be anything but camo colored.

  103. Damn! The only one on the away team dressed different from teh others is Scott – who’s clearly gonna live.

    What’s the SGU equivalent of a Redshirt?

  104. I still think the flashbacks messed up the first hour. Eli and the Looey would make a great pair. Eli is about the only real character so far, the Looey needs some more depth.

    The preview of the rest of the season looks promising. Pilots can be rough, but you may have something here Scalzi.

  105. I give the show a solid B. A little slow and confusing at times but definitely watchable.

    I had fun with everyone tonight. Let’s do it again, soon.

  106. They did see the terrain through the Kino, ryber.

    And I’m glad we’re not expected to like Rush.

  107. By pair, I meant non-romantic partners. Best buddies, Kirk and Spock, Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, you get the idea…

  108. I dunno, Trackball. Maybe the looey and Eli could find hidden depths, if you know what I mean!

  109. I agree with Joel. Those 2 hours went by very fast. Good stuff. Thanks.

    Lurker Julie

  110. I also agree with Joel. The credits came up and I said “Wait, that was just the first hour, right?”

    REALLY grabbing me, John. Kudos.

  111. Well, never cared much for the other Stargates but I’ll keep watching this one. Shamelessly ripping off BSG (down to the music even) but that’s not a bad thing. If you’re going to rip somebody off might as well go for the best.

  112. @ 319 Scalzi: You’re welcome!

    @ 320 Grand Fromage:

    “You got BSG in my Stargate!”
    “You got Stargate in my BSG!”

    /g’night everyone!

  113. I have always been a Stargate fan, and I love what this version has done with the series so far. I missed the credit, and I’m watching the show again, so I’ll keep an eye out for John Scalzi this time around.

  114. Mr. Scalzi, I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the thread along with your commentary while watching the show. I found myself refreshing my browser every little bit. Please think about doing this more often!

    Thanks Man.

  115. Is there anything specific from this ep that you did? Any certain lines you added/changed that made the final cut?

  116. I just KNOW there’s an edit of that sex scene that shows the lieutenant’s butt.

    I also know I’ll never get to see it. Alas.

  117. I find peoples’ reaction to Dr. Rush quite interesting. So, he’s arrogant, opinionated, and appears to be as warm and cuddly as a crocodile.
    They are in a rather hostile and extremely dangerous environment as opposed to a tour of Disneyland. Definitely someone you would want on board, preferably not the one in command however. I suspect he will be adding spice to the plot. I am impressed with the series pilot.

  118. Seems like “Lost” in Space.
    Did that sequence of the Sen. daughter have to go on so long.

  119. I never really cared much for the other two Stargate series. I’m not sure at all if I would have watched this without the Scalzi push. I rather enjoyed it, though. I wonder if it’ll hold my interest across the whole season. I’m optimistic. It’s much easier to take the cast and story seriously here than on the earlier two shows.

    The science fiction show I had been eager for during the summer was FlashForward instead. But the execution on that really has not lived up to its premise. The two hours of SGU have been much more satisfying than the two hours of FlashForward.

  120. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a show. I expect to watch it every Friday until the bitter end. Also, I can’t wait to see more of Dr. Rush’s character. He’s just so damn… fascinating.

  121. I didn’t fall head first into the Rush-hate like it seems a few others have but I am really digging the tension and distrust between him and the colonel. It almost feels to me like having an unreliable narrator: Dr. Rush most certainly has access to quite a bit more information than either the audience or his fellow refugees.

    Again, very well done! Not flawless but I don’t feel driven to care about the flaws and I’m quite happy with that.

    Oh, one thing I only just now considered: the special effects at no time came across as the cheesy, television sci-fi variety. I can’t think of another SFX heavy show that I’ve seen where that’s the case. Yet another reason to hang the “IT ROCKS” sign on this one.

  122. Watching Universe now. Scalzi is the new Gale Anne Hurd. Which is to say, you rock. Thank you for being you. :-)

  123. Preston:
    If you want good TV effects, check out Battlestar Galactica. It’s all movie-level stuff, and the space battles are the best I’ve ever seen, movie or TV.

  124. Nice debut episode. Shame that Syfy packs it so full of commercials, but them’s the breaks. Not much to say except that it’s looking good, and I hope there continues to be some thread of plotline running back to Earth from time to time.

    All I ask is that the show doesn’t turn into “Stargate does Battlestar Galactica”. Nothing wrong with BG, but this shouldn’t be a Stargate-ized redux of Galactica. If we can avoid that, I’ll be a happy camper.

    Oh, and @John Scalzi – the wife thinks you’re a god amongst men, just FYI.

  125. So far, it looks good. loved seasons 1-6 of SG-1, abhorred Atlantis, but this looks promising. They seem to be specifically leaving behind alot of the baggage.

    as mentioned above by Preston, I do get a nice ‘unreliable narrator’ vibe out of the situation, and not just from Rush. I am partial to the unreliable narrator (cf. most Christopher Priest novels).

    My wife agreed to watch this with me, not being otherwise sci-fi oriented. (I convinced her to watch Battlestar Galactica and she ended up liking it.)
    However, she was a bit less excited about SGU, not being familiar with the Stargate concept. She was slightly confused by the reverse order in which the evacuation scenes were shown, I think largely becuase alot of the sets (ship vs. base) were nearly indistinguishable.
    also, she’s a nurse, and couldn’t help nitpick that they seem to have conflated nitroglycerin with blood thinners. the Senator wouldn’t have been popping blood thinners for his symptoms, and the pills he was taking even resembled nitroglycerin.

    I also wondered…if the Ancients were never on this ship, why are the air scrubbers gunked up? just natural degradation due to the eons of travel?

  126. So, I just got home from watching SG:U at a friends. I liked the episode, but it’s totally different than I thought. Definitely not as much humour as in SG:1 and Atlantis. Yet, anyway, but I have a feeling the series won’t go that way as much as the other two did.

    I’m a hardcore SG geek, so I’ll definitely continue to watch it, but I want more!! (Also, the cuts to commercial were so … BRUTAL. Chop.)

    I did make my friend rewind so I could see the ScalziCredit again, though. :)

  127. Mssr. Fromage,
    (I kill myself sometimes. Sorry.)

    I mentioned way up-thread that TV makes up only a tiny part of my entertainment time. By the time that I’d heard enough about BSG to start getting actually interested I’d already heard that the end of that series was at hand and so decided to avoid jumping in at the end. I am very late to that particular party.

    I’ve been avoiding spoilers for it because I fully intend to pick up the whole series on DVD at some point, probably as a reward for getting the car paid off finally or something. Or Christmas! Ooh, good call! I’ll put the word out to the family.

    I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy BSG as well but SG:U is already pretty freaking cool.

  128. Definitely enjoyed the premier and looking forward to seeing what comes of it in the next few weeks. Personally, I like Rush’s character. Not to say he’s a good person, of course, but he’s a very interesting character. With Young being incapacitated through much of the episode we didn’t really get to see it, but I think the ending seemed to foreshadow the tension that will come between he and Rush. It’ll be interesting to see that play out, and to see which side Scott and Wallace end up on.

  129. Totally digging that Eli had the presence of mind to throw a camo shirt over his “red shirt” before he stepped through the gate as part of the away team.

    Nice nod, that. ;)

  130. So, can we confirm that Eli’s extremely limited wardrobe is a shout out to science fiction’s greatest unprepared hero, Arthur Dent and his legendary bathrobe?

  131. Just finished on the west coast.
    Not bad but I hate serials/soaps.
    Now I’ll go read the posts.

  132. Wow. 350 posts. will have to go through them when I catch up on sleep.

    So, just finished watching SGU. My only exposure to the Star Gate franchise was that I’ve seen the original movie. That’s it. No TV series, no nothing. Just the original movie with Kurt Russel in it.

    So, I gotta say my first reaction was, (1) ZOMG, they did not just do a remake of “The Last Starfighter”, did they? guy puts out a video game looking for a saviour, kid in middle of nowhere gets high score and gets whisked off to some alien world. It was cool in the 80’s, but sheesh.

    My next strong reaction was, (2) who the hell is attacking the planet??? I assume it’s explained in the TV series or something.

    (3) Did the scientist seriously decide to do an experiement that might not even work when the planet is about to go all Alderaan on us? Did he seriously contradict military orders to dial earth? wtf?

    (4) did I mishear, or misunderstand #3, because after the senator sacrifices himself and his daughter starts throwing her ineffective fists at the big bad man’s chest, did the scientist who contradict a direct order to dial earth and instead dialed the 9th symbol putting all of them on the ship, did he not just tell the senator’s daughter that he did not create the circumstance that put them there???? wtf?

    (5) I don’t know if the senator character is on another series or something, but if this is his first appearance, then when you kill him, it doesn’t really work to have his daughter talk about what a great guy he was to get me to think that his death is more important than it was in the story. It felt kind of like “Top Gun” where as soon as you see Goose’s wife, you know Goose is gotta die.

    (6) wtf is with this scientist guy? Seriously? If the series is going to be an ongoing question of whether or not we can trust the scientist, then it’s going to be way to rigged of a story. Take 80 or so people adn strand them billions of light years from earth with no supplies and no way to get back home, and that scientist is going to end up with a bullet in his head in any real world scenario of this. If his sole purpose is to be a plot tool to endanger everyone else when the writer’s need a new twist, then any realistic scenario would have someone put a cap in his ass. If he keeps endangering people when the writers want a change, and the writers keep him alive, then it’s completely unrealistic.

    (7) Did a lieutenant get all teary-eyed and say “please” open the gate to earth to the scientist? wtf? If the Lt. thought the scientist could do it but didn’t want to, the Lt would be pulling a weapon on his ass.

    (8) A sargeant who was in detention? Is he also one of the few minorities on the show? Reminds me of “Pork Chop Hill” where the only black character is a coward.

    (9) This one probably cheeses me off the most. The camera follows Rush around and shows him doing things that might lead us to believe that he is willing to harm people in order to get whatever the hell it is he wants. But we are never shown enough to be completely certain of it.

    If you are telling the story from Rush’s point of view, you’d show whether he is really up to no good or not. If you’re telling the story from, say, Eli’s point of view, you wouldn’t get to see Rush do something when Eli isn’t around.

    For example, we see Rush use the “communication stones”? (these were not in the movie, apparently they are explained in other series, I had no idea what they were at first) We see him switch bodies with someone on earth. But then we don’t see what happens immediately after. Later, we see Rush go in front of a large group of people and say “I used the stones, I communicated with the General on earth, he has put me in charge”.

    At which point, people are bullshit about him, the man who disobeyed a military order to dial earth and instead dialed the 9th symbol, and many doubt that he actually talked to the general. and a few want to make their own phone callto confirm.

    Well, either the writers should have shown us what Rush did the whole time he used the stones (and we would know whether he is lying or not), or they shouldn’t ahve shown any of Rush’s use of the stones, and should have told the story from Eli’s point of view.

    Whenever the writer uses a POV to show the reader part of something, but then cuts off the camera just before revealing what you really need to know, lands as cheap writing to me. A cheat. If we can’t see Rush’s POV because you want to keep information from us, then don’t tease us with ambiguous scenes showing Rush’s POV, and shut off the camera whenever we’d know what is really goign on. If you’re going to keep from the viewers the information about Rush that the viewer wants to know, then don’t show us anything from Rush’s POV in the first place.

    Show us what Eli sees or some other character who doubts Rush and what they see. But don’t try to reel me in with a teaser shot of what Rush is doing and then shut off the camera just before you get to the money shot. That kind of writing just pisses me off to no end.

    (10) It seems that the series is trying to achieve some sort of running theme as to Rush’s alliance. And it is having poeple act like complete idiots to make sure Rush’s alliance, his true intentions, and his true character remains shrouded in mystery.

    Rush gets up in front of all 80 people he just stranded a bajillion light years from earth with no way home and says “I just talked to the general, he says I’m in charge”.

    Some poeple challenge him, but then an emergency is manufactured (by the writer, not Rush) to silence further investigation into whether Rush really talked to a general and wether the general really put him in charge. Seriously?

    If a man who potentially is out to achieve some insane mission and is willing to risk your life and the lives of 80 people you know, and if you could quickly determine if he was completely full of shit by making one phone call to a general, someone out of those 80 people would be making that fucking phone call, at the point of a gun if need be.

    If he was found out to be lying, then he’d be shot on sight.

    Instead, the writers seem to be trying to achieve “mystery” as to Rush’s true intentions and how much he is tellign the truth and how much he is lying. Mystery is fine, but in real life in that situation, someone would have made the fucking call and solved the mystery one way or another.

    This reminded me of those extremely cheesy horror films where a phone call would save a character, but he’s out or range or his battery is dead or whatever, so no call, so he dies.

    (11) great, another super genius scientist with zero social skills. to the senator’s daughter right after teh senator killed himself to give the others more time: “I know you don’t want to hear this right now (but I’m gonna tell you anyway?), this ship is the world’s greatest scientific discovery”???

    Super scientist with no social skills is OK if the super scientist uses their super science to help others. See the TV series “Bones” or even “House”. If the super scientist has no social skills and uses their super science for their own self interest at the expense of others, then that is what you call a super villian.

    If Rush is a good guy, he needs to start producign some helpful effects, some good effects, like saving people’s lives, not waltzing into the room and telling everyone that “he’s in charge”. If he is a villian, then he’s got no secret lair or minions to protect him and a single phone call would establish the truth, and he’d be dead by sunset.

    If the “point” of the show is to keep the audience guessing whether he’s good or bad, then I just got bored by it.

    (12) I don’t get the space ship. It was built by the “ancients” long ago to go off to some distant galaxy and drop a gate there. It is completely automated. It is running on autopilot.

    Why does it have an atmosphere and hallways if it was always unmanned?

    The Voyager probe doesn’t have CO2 scrubbers on it.

  133. Way too distracted by actually watching the show to bother getting online! But I convinced a friend I’ve been trying to get into Stargate to come over and watch it, plus my roommate and another friend. Stargate-watching parties FTW.

    Definitely enjoyed it and looking forward to more!

    One question, though.. I was distracted by my roommate making pie and didn’t pay enough attention to the actual mechanism/button/whatever they used to close that door to block the air leak – but was it totally necessary for a person to die to push it? They couldn’t have sent in a kino by remote control to do it?

  134. When they transfer to the ship in Earth orbit there is no cloud cover over Michigan.

    Mr Scalzi is all, “Dude, I can see my house from here!”

    No FN P90s in sight, I’m a little sad.

  135. Gee, if a guy in uniform and Ray-Bans showed up at my door I’d have to go with him. It would probably be my dad.

  136. is it just me or does the destiny look like a necron tombship from Battlefleet gothic

  137. You have convinced me to spend the day on my basic wide band connection downloading the ep when it becomes available.

    I have learned enough from this thread to make this observation, Dr. Rush had no choice. Consider this:

    The planet they were on was under attack. Rush dials up Earth it’s possible the enemy would use the gate to get there and wreck the place. Matter of fact, it’s possible they were attacking so they could use the gate to transport forces to Earth for a bit of loot and pillage.

    For that matter, he couldn’t dial any known destination, because that would put other people in peril. The 9th symbol was a gamble, and one that worked out well.

    Rule one; people die in a war. Rule two; you can’t change Rule one. To prevent the death of the population of Earth Rush could not dial Earth. He took a gamble, but it turned out to be a successful gamble for only a part of the population of the base. And a provisional success at that.

    Earth has been attacked. The enemy was prevented from profiting from his success, or even following up. There was no perfect solution to the dilemma the humans found themselves in, only barely scraping by.

    Rush made a wild gamble to save lives, and the Earth. He got incredibly lucky. He may be a jerk and a jackass, but through great good fortune he did the right thing.

  138. Greg London, #350

    The ship was provided with environmental support for maintenance crews and observation teams. Thanks to occasional cuts in maintenance and scientific budgets it was left abandoned from time to time, being provided with automatic upkeep to keep it from deteriorating into uselessness.

    In short, the vessel was designed with periods of abandonment in mind, the builders understanding that there would be times when they would not be able to pay for it and its upkeep.

    Keep this in mind, the ship was built by people who could teleport vast distances. Being able to quite literally walk there, they didn’t need to keep it permanently manned.

  139. Getting used to the characters still, been a big fan of SG-1 and Atlantis, you should have Tealc on there as a cameo saying “Indeed”, I was so happy to see O’Neil, Carter, and jackson. I asked the same thing about the Kino to push the button to close the bay door for the shuttle on the @starcommand tweet. Glad to read that you had the same thought ReticentPurple.

    Did everyone on the ship have the ancient gene, I only ask because I thought you had to have the gene to use shuttles and controls of the ancients? and the senator was able to push the button.

    I can’t wait for the adventures yet to come on the planets and once they get the ship fixed to travel to galaxies. The vizy effects are wicked awesome, hope you add 5.1 surround to all the shows.

  140. I watched the later west coast airing. I’m not a huge fan of the SG franchise and have only watched a handful of the previous incarnations. This seems better so far, not so cheesy.

    However, Dr. Rush is an exact knock-off of Gaius Baltar so far, is he not? Could they have even tried to disguise him a bit more? Even the actor’s appearance is similar in a small, not ugly but creepy way.

    And as an aside…I absolutely cringe every time there is a SyFy promo. First the whole SyFy thing is just…why? And then “imagine greater?” Could anyone have thought of a more awkward, meaningless and ill-conceived tagline? Every time I hear it I have to force myself to not immediately turn the channel to avoid getting a seizure from the grammar of it. This show better be good or I won’t be able to handle watching that channel anymore for fear of the promos.

  141. @ tudza – No, but they are using G36C’s, which seems to be the gun of choice in most science fiction movies.

    I’m not a fan of (as GregLondon put it) the Last Starfighter-esque NEET winning the game and being swept away into space. I get that he’s the new Daniel, but Daniel was a legitimate expert in Egyptology and the government needed someone who could translate weird heiroglyphics. Eli’s a guy who got into MIT but couldn’t go (I’m assuming because his mother got sick and they couldn’t afford tuition), and sits around solving complex puzzles and grinding Silvermoon rep? Really? At least he’s an okay guy. I’m looking forward to seeing how Eli and Scott play off each other. It seems like they’ve built up a good amount of rapport pretty quickly.

    And Dr. Rush. A doctor with a slight accent who can’t necessarily be trusted but comes up with dubious plans out of thin air that always seem to work. So he’s Gaius Baltar from Battlestar Galactica. For what it’s worth, though, I liked him where I never liked Baltar. I pretty much agreed with Dr. Rush on everything. Even when I could see that he was being manipulative, I approved of what he was trying to do.

    I’m not going to be all negative, though. I liked the basics of the show a lot. A bunch of people on a psycho magic bus ride through space is pretty compelling. I’m going to continue watching. I’m sure the characters will develop well past how they’re presented in this episode. I’m sure the cast and crew are celebrating tonight. My hat’s off to them. I wish them luck.

  142. Alright, up early and before I go off –

    1. Overall I like the tone of the series. It really did push more for the feel of the original movie I think, with a slight lapse…

    2. Which would be the ridiculous pacing of the “OMGZ! MY DADDY’S DEAD!” scene. I get that they had to do one. I didn’t like the crappy music or the pacing. They screwed around with the timeline the entire rest of the show, they should have plugged that little gem in somewhere else.

    3. And gotten rid of the dead parent music. Seriously.

    4. I like the Eli character. Don’t like the Colonel, doesn’t read much like a career military guy, but then neither did O’Neil. The medic lady is probably also going to annoy me once she gets more lines.

    5. I miss Rodney McKay. I get the whole disaster movie vibe in this series pilot, but if everyone doesn’t get over being shellshocked, get over their drawn out flashback baggage, and cheer up just a little by the beginning of the third episode I’m gonna start making BSG knockoff noises. You’re in space. Holy shit, that’s neat – no matter how scary and horrible it is.

    I missed out on the explanation why the original gate was in the wrong place. What the hell was up with that?

  143. Holy crap comment overload. I’m apparently going to have to look into downloading this, because I’m in Europe, with no tv, and no clue how else to watch here. Sounds like it was quite enjoyed, though, awesome. =)

  144. Overall, I enjoyed the show. I was a bit concerned because I’m not particularly a fan of Lou Diamond Phillips — nothing against the person, but for some reason, I associate him with low-budget, not very good SciFi and I didn’t want to see a Stargate series with the “quality” of a Bruce Campbell, made for SciFi channel movie. I must have missed something though, because I only saw (or recognized?) him a couple times: one scene conversing with someone, and another heading out to fight the Lucian Alliance in an F-302 (or whatever the new model is). If he is to be a regular on the show, I would love to know how he got from a fighter OUTSIDE the base, through the massive attack/explosions to the gate room and on to the Destiny.

    Or have I accidentally explosed a future reveal: LDP (i.e. “Telford” [I think]) is actually an Ancient masquerading as a human for some nefarious (or belevolent, perhaps, but where’s the fun in that) purpose?

  145. Overall, the series is good.

    Just like some of the other commentators, I think that “daddy’s dead scene” kinda sucked. It was overdone and too long. Oh no, somebody died!

    There are good points and bad points. I haven’t been a fan of Stargate before, but I’ll watch this series. I like the concept of the Ancients seeding the galaxies with stargates. The concept of the Destiny is quite interesting as well. From the first episodes, it’s clear that it’s attained some kind of sentience. For some reason, it reminds me of the Nostalgia of Infinity in the Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds.

    It’s kind of a mix between a usual Stargate series and a ship-based space series, which is interesting as well.

    There is some great acting in this series as well as some terrible acting. Young and Scott didn’t strike a chord. Eli wasn’t bad, as well as the nefarious Dr. Rush. Some of the other actors were kind of unremarkable, but I’ll reserve further judgment after a few more episodes have aired.

  146. First off: I am a geek who has probably seen every single SG-1 and Atlantis. Fair warning!

    One thing early on knocked me out of immersion, namely that the Hammond was evenly matched by the 3 (lucian alliance, i am assuming) battleships. There have been three (maybe four) main levels of enemy ships: Goa’uld, Ancient tech enhanced Goa’uld (my maybe), Wraith and Ori. Throughout the series, earth tech has kept pace (though, of course, slightly behind for drama!) with their enemy. We’ve seen the same ship class at the Hammond go toe to toe with the Ori, and wipe the floor in engagements with the Wraith. So why is the first big bad ship really a threat anymore?

    Personally, I would have hung a quick lantern on it “Direct hit on battlecruiser 2, but their shields are still up. I can’t explain it, Colonel!” or just have a few more ships arrive. Maybe the FX budget couldn’t whip up 4 more pyramids.

    Also, i hope the series will have more of the traditional Stargate funny. The first half hour had a few good chuckles… next 1.5 hrs, not so much. I know that is against the BSG theming of the show… but throw in enough funny so my wife will watch too!

  147. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure Rush had no choice in the destination he dialed. Eli figured out that the ninth part of the address was the Earth symbol, which means if Rush had tried to dial Earth, he would have gotten a “busy signal”. Although I haven’t watched the episode a second time to verify it, I’m pretty sure the team had already tried to dial Earth before, and the gate wouldn’t lock. They were short on time, basically only had one chance to dial out, and he took a chance on the one thing he thought would work. If that’s the case, his quick thinking–which Stargate characters are known for, and one thing I’ve admired–saved lives, because aside from the dramatically timed leap by the colonel at the last moment, any failed dialing attempt cost precious time.

    I also hated Chloe’s reaction on several levels. Yes, let’s beat the only man who has the greatest chance of understanding anything about the ship we’re on. Better still, lets give him a head injury to make him more useful. Plus, hysteria always makes things better.

    Of course, her hysteria was a counterpoint to everyone’s muted control. Perhaps she satisfied some people’s need to psychologically “let go”. I just wanted to drop kick her out the airlock, and thought if she’s going to act so childish in future episodes, she could ruin the series for me.

    I don’t need everyone to get along in a vision of a perfect world, but that sullen look she shot Rush from her tear streaked face bespoke to me that she would be, in the future, willing to work counter to his purposes, perhaps even disobey an order at a critical moment, or actually sabotage something he’s working on, and in a survival situation, that will cost lives.

    If Rush is the ruthless genius dictator some of you predict he is, he will do everything in his power to arrange for an accident to befall dear Chloe. And I wouldn’t think him a bad person for it.

  148. Well, I’m just glad that the grease ball rival of “Happy Gilmore” gets to die right up front, and at least once. Maybe twice? I don’t know the actors name, but he always plays a stereotype I enjoy. Now he has gone and played a kind of sleazy guy, and a hero. Actually a very cute twist.

  149. Overall, I enjoyed the pilot. I definitely didn’t hate Dr. Rush as much as everyone else in the thread, and I’m more than a bit worried about the Drama Llama taking over the series, but I’m willing to reserve judgment for later episodes.

  150. Ok did i imagine it or did someone have seeds?
    That could easily be a solution to the Scrubber dilema

  151. I’m pretty sure Rush had no choice in the destination he dialed.

    I believe it was the colonel who ordered him to dial earth when the attack was going all out. I don’t remember it being “see if you can dial earth”, I’m pretty sure it was “dial earth”.

    Also, later on, there’s a scene with the female captain of the big ship talking to a general on earth. She says they managed to beam out most of teh planet’s people before it blew up, except for about 80 who they couldn’t reach due to “shielding”.

    If you’re a base commander and you want to evacuate and you know if you drop shields you could immediately beam out, you’d probably do that. There would be no reason to try to dial earth on a machine that might not be able to do it, and to try to evacuate an entire base through a single physical location.

    Drop shields adn you can beam everyone out from whereever they’re standing.

    Since they didn’t do that, it would only make sense if they knew they could dial earth adn knew it would work, and did that to keep the shields up a bit longer.

    Oh, and during the ship-captain-earth-general info dump, the captain tells the general that her sensors detected that the gate had been activated for six minutes prior to the planet being destroyed. If they had six minutes, they had time to beam them out in small groups.

    If Rush is the ruthless genius dictator some of you predict he is,

    then realistically someone would knife him or frag him or something by the third episode. That’s what you do to super villains who threaten your very existence. You invade and occupy their country. You send in predator drones and fire a missile up their ass. that’s what we do in real life. As soon as Tank knew Cypher was a bad guy, he shot him with a lightning gun. At the very least, you hope Clarice from the FBI will catch your super genius villain.

    Betrayal is an extremely powerful emotion and the writers are playing with fire if this is the basis for the tension in the show. If he’s a bad guy, he has been working with these people for years, only to betray their trust. I think that’s part of where the drama-llama is coming from. You’ve got situations that would evoke powerful emotions and the writers are trying to put them into the script.

    But then no one on the show ever does anythign about it. No one used the stones to make the call. Not even the daughter of the senator could stand up to Rush and do anything other than to pound her tiny little fists uselessly against Rush’s chest.

    And it seems that it’s because the root tension of the show is the unresolved tension around Rush’s betrayal or alleged betrayal. But if these extremely power emotions keep coming up, but never get resolved, you get drama llama, and garment rending, and teeth gnashing, and furniture chewing, by the actors.

  152. Loved Dr. Rush – Begbie for the win! – loved the show. I’ll definitely check in next week. Well done.

  153. Concerned that we have seen this all before (lost people trying to get home in a new environment to explore)…..

    But it still is worth a couple more tries at least.

    Can you somehow get them to stop shaking and moving the camera? That has been done to death with BSG and others and it really sucks.

  154. masterthief@155: Ah, a Jedi training remote!

    *snort* Didn’t think of that. Good one.

    christopher@169: Man, that toilet was backed up.

    All I could think of was “Brazil” where Robert DeNiro comes in and hooks up the sewage line to sabotage the bad guys, and then their suit fills up with poop.

    preston@337: It almost feels to me like having an unreliable narrator: Dr. Rush most certainly has access to quite a bit more information than either the audience or his fellow refugees.

    Except there is no “narrator” like in a book. In a book someone is saying “once upon a time” to you, the reader. And they’re the POV character. In visual media (TV, movies), there is no narrator, there is just a camera.

    In a novel if the narrator tells you something and it turns out later to be a lie, that’s an ureliable narrator.

    In a movie, all you can do is have the writers withold information from you that the characters themselves know. They choose when to turn the cameras on and off, where to put the cameras adn what to edit out so that the audience cannot see.

    In “Sixth Sense”, the story is told from the point of view of Bruce Willis’s character. We see him get shot, we see him start helping the kid. We see him get the kid through his problem of seeing ghosts. And then at the end, we find out that Bruce is a ghost. Which is actually narratively consistent, because Bruce didn’t know that he was a ghost. The story was told from his point of view and he didn’t know he was a ghost.

    In SG:U, the problem is that we are shown things that only Rush can see. We watch him activate the communication stones when no one else is there to watch. But then the camera is turned off before we can see what he does. Rush knows whether or not he really talked with a general. Rush really knows whethe the general really put him in charge. And even though part of the story is told from his poitn of view, the writer’s withold that information.

    “Sixth Sense” would have been a different movie if Bruce Willis knew he was a ghost, but the audience was kept in the dark about it to the end. That’s not Bruce being an unreliable narrator, that’s the writer’s witholding information that the POV character knows to spring a “gotcha” on the reader.

    Rush knows if he is a bad guy or not. Witholding that information when the story is being told in part from his point of view is a choice by the writer to create “mystery” for the audience when there is no “mystery” for Rush. Rush knows if he talked to a general. We don’t.

    I don’t mind unreliable narrators like Bruce Willis in “Sixth Sense”. But I have a problem with unreliable writers.

    If we’re not supposed to know Rush’s true intentions, then you shouldn’t be showing us anything from Rush’s poitn of view. We should only see Rush when someone else is around to see him do something.

    If Eli watches Rush do something, adn it isn’t clear whether Rush is good or evil, I can slip into Eli’s point of view, I can lose myself in the story, I can imagine myself as Eli, and I can imagine what Eli must be feeling, wondering what he is thinking, and so on. I’m in the fugue state. I’m in the story.

    Every time the writers show Rush doing something by himself, I start to put myself into Rush’s poitn of view, his character, his thoughts. I start living his story. But when they shut off the camera right before we’d know the truth about Rush, it immediately pulls me out of Rush’s story and reminds me that I’m watching fiction. I’m no longer into the story, experiencing the story. I’m pulled out of it and reminded that I’m watching a bit of fiction.

    If I’m in Eli’s POV and Eli doesn’t know what Rush is doing, then what I’m feeling is congruent with what Eli is feeling.

    If I’m in Rush’s POV and Rush knows what he is doing, but I don’t, then I’m immediately disconnected from Rush. The connection is severed and I’m pulled out of the suspension of disbelief. Oh, yeah, I’m watching a TV show.

    And it annoys me to no end.

  155. That doesn’t bother me, Greg. I think there’s really no character POV here. Maybe I’ve read enough mysteries where the detective reads something “and what he read there told him who the murderer was” to be used to it. We know that Rush used a communication stone, and have only his (lying, cheating, selfish, manipulative) word for the result. That he was lying is more than confirmed by the fact that he wouldn’t let anyone check. Also, O’Neill is wayyy too smart (and distrustful of scientists) to put that jerk in charge; also, O’Neill would want to tell people himself.

    I agree that they knew they could dial Earth from the stargate on Icarus. The POO would be Icarus for that, which is WHY Rush thought the POO would be Icarus for the nine-symbol dialing sequence.

    Which is a glaring inconsistency, btw. It pulled me out of the moment, but only for a couple of seconds. It was established in season 2 of SG-1 that the POO is for the planet you’re on or near, NOT tied to the gate itself (Daniel dialing from the Goa’uld hatak uses Earth as the POO). This is nothing to the other inconsistencies within SG-1 itself, but that fact has remained constant.

    I will paper over that with “yeah but nine-symbol sequences could work differently” and go back to enjoying the show, however.

  156. SGU: morning-after analysis

    I don’t like Rush, but I do have to second his “do not risk a planet-destroying blast wave getting through to Earth” decision.

    Lt. Scott seems to be genuinely intelligent, look at how he handled the early power conflict with Dr. Rush. I hope he stays that way.

    And the “oh yeah BTW I’m in charge?” I don’t believe for an instant.

    Dr. Baltar, er Rush, Kevin Sorbo called. He wants his hair back.

    Out-of-order storytelling doesn’t always work for me, but it’s good here.

    Damn it, people, rig the shuttlecraft controls so that the door can be closed by pushing one button and then use up a remote-controlled camera ball on it instead of a friggin’ human life! What is WRONG with you? I don’t mind the competition for dead hero between the colonel and the senator, but I do mind STUPID.

    Scraping all the gunk out of the CO2 scrubber? Not likely to HURT its effectiveness, might buy them more time.

    New policy: never risk a woman’s life when you can risk a man’s because congratulations! You’re a colony. The whole damn genetic base of a colony, and don’t expect relief expeditions. I will be very interested to see how much of your tech base and civilized culture* you can keep.

    * Per Bujold theme: is our civilization in our stuff or in our selves? How do we react when the right thing is no longer the easy thing?

  157. New policy: never risk a woman’s life when you can risk a man’s because congratulations! You’re a colony.

    Now here’s someone who hasn’t read Joanna Russ (at least not We Who Are About To). Why the hell should these people be a colony? What imperative do they have to breed? It’s not like the human race is at stake; this isn’t BSG. The race is doing fine back on Earth.

    If they want to have children, fine. But this sexist idea that the women have to be protected more than the men because “we have to secure the future of the colony” is grade A cowpat.

    In fact I would say they should NOT have children. I wouldn’t want to be the last one alive on that ship, and I wouldn’t inflict it on a child either. And they’re short on supplies as it is. Maybe if they find good sources of food and water and oxygen and materials for clothing THEN they can consider having kids. But wow, like they need another mouth to feed?!??! Crapola.

  158. And I didn’t even mention how that will lead to complete sexist control of the women by the men. Duh.

  159. Speaking of paper, I saw a crate with toilet paper opened. No invading alien civilizations for essential bathroom supplies then… Until Eli starts running through rolls like crazy, I mean.

  160. I saw a crate with toilet paper opened.

    I thought that’s what that was. How the hell did they manage to evacuate and not grab any supplies that were useful? OK, maybe they got some useful stuff, but did someone really grab a crate of toilet paper and say, yeah, this is important?

    Colonel: OK, we’re going to evacuate to an unknown location. we have no idea what will be on the other side.

    Me: Water! Food! Bullets! Guns! In that order!

  161. Was I the only one cheering on the senator’s death because he was such an ass, it was a pleasure to see him go? All of his good qualities are Informed Attributes, and we’re informed of them by an emotionally distraught biased source, at that. Good riddance to the bastard.

    I loved the pacing and setup of the first half; the swapping back and forth between the current chaos and the backstories really worked for me. Though some of the flashback would have worked better if I were able to distinguish any of the soldiers at all; I can’t tell the sergeant and lieutenant apart from each other unless someone uses a rank title, I can only figure out that what’s-his-name was a separate dude because he was flat on his back half the episode, and of course the Two Black Guys are respectively the Trouble Violence Guy and the Undereducated Cook.

    I am looking forward to female characters actually getting something interesting to say and do in later episodes, because I can’t believe that a series that gave me Samantha Carter would saddle an entire series with Hysterical Girl and the Nervously Emotional Women Of Support (plus the Female Soldier Whose Only Characteristic Is That She Slept With The Lieutenant).

    Right now, the only character I like on the entire show is Eli, who is at least interestingly flawed. Everyone else could get spaced out an airlock and I’d cheer, because then some of the people who haven’t had lines yet could step up and be decent, interesting people who deal with the perfectly adequate tension and conflict of the situation instead of spending all their time shouting at each other. But, heck, I’ll keep watching anyway, with pretty visuals and plot like this, and hope that the Shouty Men Shout At Each Other Repeatedly factor goes down as the season goes on.

  162. I’m largely in agreement, Fade, except that I also like the lieutenant. If you watch his pattern through the show you’ll see he’s consistently a good guy (fucking* while he’s on duty, not so much, but hey)—but of course that would require being able to identify him. He’s the only one who says any of the right things to the Senator’s daughter, for example.

    I think he and Eli are the Jack and Daniel of this show. I hope most episodes center on them.

    *I think ‘sleep with’ is a particularly silly euphemism for an upright against a wall.

  163. Just watched SG-U from my DVR this morning. I thought it was pretty damn good and will watch again.Especially love the part where John’s name flashed for CC. I paused it so the kids could see his name on the screen….they whooped and hollered for their Uncle John. Way to go little Brother/ Uncle!!!

  164. One thing about the battery statement “once the batteries are dead”.
    Lots of batteries are now rechargeable, here at work (NPS) all our hand held radios are and about 1/3 of our flashlight batteries are rechargeable.
    So if you are able to wrap a wire around a core you can build a transformer to make a charger.
    Some of our rechargeable batteries are over 5 years old too.
    Other than that, pretty good show.
    Even if I watched the second showing as I do not want to miss Dollhouse.
    Someday I will get a DVR so I do not have to stay up half the night.

  165. So borrowed the plot from “Raid on Tobruk” where a field hospital is tasked with a commando raid aided by a couple of sick actual commandos?

    I got that when the one airman says he worked in the mess before.

    I really like the performances of Brian J. Smith and Louis Ferreira.

    Will we see more of Scott’s girlfriend the airman?

  166. That was better than I’d expected, and I’ll watch the next episode.

    I liked and disliked the same thing: the chevron symbols are constellations seen from Earth. On the one hand, that was stated in the movie. On the other hand, the ship has been around long enough that I think constellations would have changed.

    But that’s a long-standing issue with the Ancients: the writers have been rather inconsistent on how old they are, and where they originated.

  167. Say, John, why to the Ancients suck so bad at starship design that one jammed door is going to kill everyone?

    As much as I like to see politicians sacrificing themselves for their people, (the biggest hint that the whole thing is fiction/fantasy), in any competently designed starship, I’d expect folks to skip gaily singing “la la la la la” in a spongeBob like manner to the next door down the hall, and close that, thus isolating the leak.

  168. I can identify with Rush as a scientist, this is humanity’s possibly only chance to go through to this location so he makes a decision that is possibly bad for the individuals involved but possibly very good for humanity as a whole.

    Sort of a comparison with the decision the Senator makes, which shows how he made it to Senator by making the tough decisions.

  169. I know I’m coming late to the party. My brain is seldom swift to ponder while I’m engrossed in a show.

    Just wondering why the CO2 scrubbers are in such poor repair. I can understand the existence of life support on an unmanned ship, but what would be causing CO2 to be generated in the ship in the first place?

    Just curious, you know, since we can ask the CC…

  170. Who is the character Dale Volker?

    He is listed as being in 19 episodes.

    The rest of the cast missing about 60 red and blue shirts:

    Series Cast

    1. Louis Ferreira … Col. Everett Young / … (20 episodes, 2009)
    2. Brian J. Smith … 1st Lt. Matthew Scott (20 episodes, 2009)
    3. Alaina Huffman … 1st Lt. Tamara Johansen (20 episodes, 2009)
    4. Jamil Walker Smith … M. Sgt. Ronald Greer (20 episodes, 2009)
    5. Josh Blacker … Sgt. Spencer / … (10 episodes, 2009)
    6. Haig Sutherland … Sgt. Riley (4 episodes, 2009)
    7. Andrew Dunbar … Cpl. Gorman / … (4 episodes, 2009)

    8. Robert Carlyle … Dr. Nicholas Rush (20 episodes, 2009)
    9. Elyse Levesque … Chloe Armstrong (20 episodes, 2009)
    10. David Blue … Eli Wallace (20 episodes, 2009)
    11. Ming-Na … Camile Wray (10 episodes, 2009)
    12. Patrick Gilmore … Dale Volker / … (19 episodes, 2009)
    13. Julia Anderson … Vanessa James (17 episodes, 2009)
    14. Peter Kelamis … Adam Brody (16 episodes, 2009)
    15. Jennifer Spence … Lisa Park (15 episodes, 2009)
    16. Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman Darren Becker (11 episodes, 2009)
    17. Mark Burgess … Jeremy Franklin (6 episodes, 2009)
    18. Tygh Runyan … Dr. Caine (3 episodes, 2009)
    19. Bradley Stryker … Curtis (3 episodes, 2009)
    20. Christina Schild … Andrea Palmer (3 episodes, 2009)

  171. Going to be interesting hating the main character.

    Rush brought the stones just in case?

    My next guess is he is going to hide them but then saw the hoopla over the gay character episode and know they are around.

    But overall, I am not sure. I was VERY annoyed at the amount of commercials. OMG. I swear that was a 48 min show with 1 hr 12 mins of commercials. Started watching the clock when the commercial break happened.

  172. Col. Young not Rush brought the stones because he knew he would have to use them.

  173. why to the Ancients suck so bad at starship design that one jammed door is going to kill everyone?

    Yeah, you’d think in a ship the size of a moderate-sized city that they’d have a few more airlocks. scattered about so they could cut off one section from another. Wasn’t that the problem with the Titanic? No individual chambers? One hole floods the entire ship?

    I can identify with Rush as a scientist, this is humanity’s possibly only chance to go through to this location

    Science is first and foremost grounded in the importance of what it means to “not know” something. We know the earth is round. We know the moon is not made of cheese and we do not know how to travel faster than light.

    A gate to some unknown location has a known value of zero and a potential value that is unknown. The lives of 80 people has a known positive value, and an equally potential value that is unknown (who is to say that one of the people there might have gone on to understand the gates well enough that they can design their own if Rush hadn’t stranded them on Giligan’s Island?)

    Rush is not a fully rational actor. He is partly irrational, and his irrational actions are sufficiently irrational that he is willing to sacrifice a lot of people’s lives to pursue his irrational drives.

  174. Most interesting part of the show?

    They didn’t manage to do anything except maybe gain a couple of hours or a day at most.

    They didn’t save the day, fix the ship or get more O2 in the space of a single episode.

    Bodes well for the future….where things aren’t magically mopped up at the end of the show and everything resets for next weeks episode.

  175. @GregLondon: Me: Water! Food! Bullets! Guns! In that order!
    Besides, they were mostly just tossing stuff through that they could get their hands on. It’s a Gate room so there’s gonna be all the guns and survivalist crap stuck in there as a matter of the whole writ of regs, but for the rest of the stuff I imagine that crate of toilet paper was more “throw everything from the janitorial closet through too, because we might need it.”

    If they’d had access the kitchen guys would have surely grabbed what they could for things like burners and field mess equipment right? Probably not a lot of that coming through, since there’s just the one guy from the kitchen there. They didn’t have access to the kitchen from the Gate room after the collapse.

    It’s like the counterpoint to the problem of SG:Atlantis. They had this lengthy prep time and sent way, way more people and crap through than they were sure they’d need, so they ended up mailing a lot of expert personnel out to another galaxy. Rush and Eli are only there because they happened to be the guys working on the problem, otherwise I guess SGU would have ended up with with clerks, AF people associated with the Gate room, and the Marines designated for base security.

    And toilet paper, because someone in TV Land heard my silent plea.

  176. Given the “Kino” for the video cameras, I assume a linux geek was involved somewhere.

    Beyond that … some of Rush’s lies were just weird. So I dunno where they’re going with that.

  177. Xopher, I might find the lieutenant more sympathetic once I can identify him, and thus get a sense of his personality. I have a hard time tracking faces, so when a lot of white men in military uniforms and military haircuts run around shouting in approximately similar accents… I throw up my hands and wait for one of them to start wearing a distinctive T-shirt or something. (It also made it harder to sympathize when I couldn’t tell from one scene to the next which soldier was Shouty Unreasonable Dude, which one was Shouty Reasonable Dude, which one was Extra Soldier Without Lines In This Scene Just Standing Around…)

    I’m also a bit leery about a lieutenant who was having sex with an enlisted soldier. Isn’t that a court martialing kind of offense? But I don’t know a lot about the military, so I may be extrapolating badly. I am, in general, for anyone who can speak in a reasonable tone of voice about important matters at hand instead of having peeing contests while the air runs out, so I’ll try harder to remember what that dude looks like in the next episode, so that I can spot him reliably.

  178. Fade, I don’t know if this helps you, but I identified him as “the cute one.” :-)

    But also, he was the first one through the gate, and the one reciting the 23rd Psalm in the commercial.

  179. Very dark. The lighting, I mean.

    Yay, Dr. Daniel Jackson! Yay, General Jack O’Neill! They’re hotties, all right. As is Dr. Rush. Who looks like a cross between Kevin Sorbo (a shorter Kevin Sorbo) and the guy who plays Joe (the husband) on “Medium.” I like his hair.

    Fade, I totally agree. All the military types look alike. And so far they’re annoying.

    But where oh where is the tall, noble, studly, gorgeous, ethnic, hunky warrior alien, a la Teal’c or Ronon?

  180. Rush is hot. (What can I say, I like tortured brilliant guys, especially with cool accents…)

    All the military men look alike. Can’t tell them apart.

    Where is the tall, noble, studly, gorgeous, ethnic, hunky alien warrior, a la Teal’c and Ronon?

  181. Sorry about the duplicate post, it glitched and showed no post at all. And then there were two…

  182. Watched the show on Hulu today.

    On the positive end, the writing seems better overall than the other Stargate series, the geeks had some funny moments, and I like the premise fairly well; it looks like they’re trying to renew some of the BSG magic, of which I wholly approve. Liked Rush fine. Very much liked that the military second in command had common sense and intelligence.

    I was fairly neutral on Eli, pinging back and forth between liking him and finding him an annoying cross between Ender and a WoW addict. Not entirely sure why everyone immediately took him more seriously than Rush, the guy who’s been working on related stuff for (presumably) most of his adult life, either – sure, he solved *a* problem Rush didn’t, but he’s not necessarily any better at day-to-day stuff. Mathboy line made me laugh, though he overall feels like the character with Geeks Will Empathize With This One stamped over him with a giant arrow.

    Not really sure why Young couldn’t page Earth with the magic whatsit while he was lying around recovering.

    The bad – as with so many commenters, I do not care for Chloe. The death scene was annoying enough to merit fast-forward, and I suspect if she gets too many doe-eyed moments with Eli it’ll torpedo my interest in the show. Whiny, useless damsel-in-distress characters are not my cup of tea.

    Overall, it’s promising enough that I’ll watch the next one, but I’m not yet sold on watching more than that.

  183. It’s possible the others take Eli “more seriously” simply because he’s a normal guy sort of genius, and those are apparently few and far between at Stargate Command, which is a weird sort of place to begin with. Having “the normal guy” around, in some ways, ought to be sort of comforting in the sense that the rest of the environment around them is all mad scientists, alien parasites, spaceships, and wormholes to other galaxies. They even play upon it a little in the episode – when Eli’s remarking, quite sincerely, just how damned cool everything is. He’s not quite giddy Rodney McKay, but does have the “Man, this is the coolest swag for leveling up EVER” vibe going on.

  184. You know, I don’t know how much handling you had over writing, but I swear I saw “your” humor through the whole thing. It kept me interested.

    Also … It’s the I.O.A. lady!

    Geez, even if they’re stuck outside the right galaxy, they can’t get away from the I.O.A..

    Actually, I liked that actress and the character.

    I found more of the characters agreeable right off the bat. I couldn’t tell you half of their names yet, but the only one I find I can’t stand is the professor guy. Everyone else I want to survive the show.

    …of course, that’s how I felt about many of the characters in Old Man’s War. So of course … I’m very afraid.

  185. EEEK. had to stop watching when they used one of the oldest, stupidest cliche’s in all of SF: blowing up a planet, for god’s sake. Dates back at least to Krypton, and don’t get me started on G. Lucas. Once and for all folks: YOU CANNOT BLOW UP A PLANET. IF SOMEONE can, then you don’t have any hope of fighting them and they cannot blow up NATURALLY. The gravitational binding energy of the earth is about 2.2×10^32 joules (a good problem for a first semester physcis class (calculus based)). That’s about the total solar output for a week or 5×10^17 1 megaton nuclear weapons or 2.5×10^15 kgs of ANTI-MATTER. One obvious difference between good SF and bad SF is getting the physics we KNOW NOW right. Too bad as I liked the previous incarnations of Stargate. Guess I’ll tune back in a few months once the bad taste dissipates. Though if any of the characters turn out to be the kind of psychotic fascist idiots who would get fragged in 5 minutes in real life (yes, EXACTLY like in BSG), then all bets are off.

  186. @Turika Karadina: Well, they are about to set foot on the first alien planet, and there is one regular that hasn’t been introduced yet (391 Jeff Beeler), so … :D

    Some general thoughts.

    Having watched it through twice (because Sci Fi showed it twice (and no, I am not going to call it “Syfy” :p)) and slept on it, overall I’m not feeling very drawn in. The characters mostly either annoyed me or just didn’t make much impression one way or the other*. I liked Rush (possibly because I’m biased in favor of scientists, long haired men, and accents >.> ), but then I also agree with the excellent points @350 Greg London made. Especially the part where we didn’t get to find out what he did with the stones.

    And the part where he said to Chloe “it’s not my fault” knocked my sympathy for him flat – because, well, yes it was his fault. I can overlook every other thing he said and did that wasn’t so good, and I can understand the rationale of not letting $1.6 billion investments come to nothing (and thus let’s dial while we still can instead of having to start over from scratch), but that one statement definitely didn’t work.

    But I’ll watch the rest of the season and hope things get better from here.

    *On the other hand, Scalzi novels tend to have that problem too – where most of the characters are plot roles, not people. Maybe that’s a sign of Scalzi’s work on the show…

  187. I think it was pretty mixed.

    Even with the DVR the advertisment density was just insane and obvious. Was SyFys plan to annoy you with the frequency of havving to hit the skip button that you’d just give up and watch the ads? Gar.

    As to ” YOU CANNOT BLOW UP A PLANET. IF SOMEONE can, then you don’t have any hope of fighting them and they cannot blow up NATURALLY.”

    I cannot. But The Ancients could. The exploding planet was not a result of the attacking ships. It was a result of the way the stargate was operating. The Ancients and their technology is this series sonic screwdriver.

  188. “Given the “Kino” for the video cameras, I assume a linux geek was involved somewhere.”

    LOL. Goto Vegas. Play Keno.

  189. Just finished watching my Tivo’ed copy of SG:U. I’m like one of the questioners in the threads about Mr. Scalzi’s creative consultancy. I saw the Russell/Spader movie back in the day, but the SG-1 series was originally on premium cable so I never watched it or its other siblings even when they moved to basic cable.

    The opening strains of the theme sounded very Star Trek:TNG-ish for a few bars. Then I noticed the music is done by Joel Goldsmith, so that explains that, I guess. Chip off the old block and all that.

    Agree with Fedge about the humor. Very Scalzi-esque in spots.

    coolstar has a point about the planet wrecking. Planets are veeeery heavy and hard to break. Still, the visual is, I suppose, irresistible to producers and certainly establishes the key plot point that going back to where you came from is not an option for our brave strandees. Surely the Mother of All Slammed Doors is an exploded planet.

    My main complaint about verisimilitude, though, is not science-related, it’s the portrayal of military personnel. I gather the Stargates are administered as an ultra-black military program that is, in effect a small, elite, fifth branch of the U.S. armed forces. But the Stargate troopies don’t behave like real American soldiers. The derelictions of duty, casual insubordinations and twitchy psychopathologies on display in this pilot episode would be excessive for a Ritalin-deprived Cub Scout pack after a week lost in heavy woods, never mind any kind of U.S. military organization.

    I know nothing of the backgrounds and political leanings of the SG:U producers, but portrayals of American military personnel as undisciplined hysterics does not incline me to want to watch future episodes. That said, I’ll probably stick around for a few more shows, but if the soldiers don’t start acting like soldiers by episode 5, I’m outta here.

    I quit watching the late ‘Crossing Jordan’, ‘Cold Case’ and the entire ‘Law & Order’ menagerie for related reasons. On these shows every soldier portrayed is either a dimwitted dupe or a thug or both. I realize the modal Hollywood producer loathes and detests the American military, but I don’t. If the producers of SG:U are like too many of their prime-time drama peers and can’t keep their looney left politics out of the scripts, well, I’ve got a lot of options about how I spend my leisure hours and watching gratuitous slander is not on my short list of favorites.

    A question for fans of the other SG shows: Are the military personnel portrayed in this same dimwitted fashion on the other Stargate shows too? If so, I feel zero regret at never having watched a single episode of any of them.

  190. (I guess nobody else has been watching Durham County? I had a problem all through the two hours having Ray Prager’s voice come out of a SGC colonel’s mouth).


    You can’t. The various races and technologies in the Stargate universe can.

    Rodney destroyed half a solar system in SG:A, and Samantha blew up a sun in SG1. I believe we’ve seen at least one planet blown up in SG1 due to an attack.

    In this case, as was made clear, the planetary explosion was not done by hostile forces; rather, it was done by the failure of a “reactor” that was used to generate an unknown, but heretofore unprecedented amount of power.

    And given the heretofore precedented amount of power involved at various points, your objection would be inconsistent with the setup of the universe.

  192. @410 Dick Eagleson: A question for fans of the other SG shows: Are the military personnel portrayed in this same dimwitted fashion on the other Stargate shows too? If so, I feel zero regret at never having watched a single episode of any of them.

    One of the greatest things (out of many great things) about SG1 seasons 1-7ish was its portrayal of the military in a positive light. They were well-trained, uber professional, cool and competent in the face of imminent explosions of planets. Meanwhile, whenever they had any civilian scientists, those were short-sighted, wussy, and … well, really annoying. ;) It was a nice change of pace from the standard Hollywood fare.

    A caveat: although positive, if you watch it (and I hope you’ll want to), be aware that it probably still bears no resemblance to any real-life military setups…

    And now that you mention it: it was in the middle of SG1 season 8 – an episode where Carter was horribly nerfed to force a plot to work (the one where she was working with the evil replicator version of herself) – that the show lost me. There were still great episodes in that season, but the overall plot arc was done badly. Suddenly all the competence was gone.

    After that, if we have to mention seasons 9 and 10 at all, the characters pretty much just became caricatures of themselves. >.>

    As for Atlantis, I did like their irreverent schtick, and it worked well for the team dynamics in the first couple seasons, but you could definitely see signs of the twitchy psychoses that seem to be all over SGU.

    And to bring it back around to SGU: my impression was that most of the survivors who made it onto the ship were civilians. That was the only plausible way my suspension of disbelief was going to work, with what I saw of their behavior. And I fully agree – they need to get their leadership established and cut all that out, fast.

  193. Rush didn’t remind me of Baltar as much as he did others. Gaius Baltar was a smoothie and a coward; Rush is a prickly jerk, but by all appearances fearless. I don’t loathe him the way I did Baltar.

    He reminds me more of Kerr Avon from Blake’s 7, which bodes well for the audience warming up to him — especially once he has to shoulder some real responsibility.

    That said: in the last five minutes of the show, the writing took a turn for the awful. It went from begin a tight drama to being an explanation of the rules of a scavenger hunt. “You have twelve hours to find a ball of twine, six AA cells, and three ounces of unobtainium. Whoever doesn’t make it back in time gets voted off the island, I mean, ship. GO!” It was too obviously a “here’s how our weekly MacGuffin works” exposition.

    Notwithstanding that, I’m in; it’s on my DVR and I’ll be watching. At least until I find out if I’m right about who the Goa’uld infiltrator is.

    (No, not a spoiler; just speculation on my part. But really: how did the Lucian Alliance find out about the Icarus base?)

  194. It was either the help wanted ad Icarus base put in the Intergalactic Times that tipped them off, or it was bounty hunters that didn’t get jobs in Clone Wars.

  195. @414 Kevin Shaum: Notwithstanding that, I’m in; it’s on my DVR and I’ll be watching. At least until I find out if I’m right about who the Goa’uld infiltrator is. (No, not a spoiler; just speculation on my part. But really: how did the Lucian Alliance find out about the Icarus base?)

    Err. That thought is giving me flashbacks to ST:Voyager season 2. I really hope they don’t go that route.

  196. Kevin Shaum, #414

    They’re supposed to know where everything is on the ship? Now that would be hard to stomach.

    Where the ship’s problems are concerned, keep in mind that things don’t always work out the way you expect them to. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the Ancients used lowball contractors for their government projects. Economics can hold back many a wonderful thing.

    Another thing to remember is that stuff breaks down. You can’t stop it. Even self repairing devices breakdown eventually, and even the best self repairing devices will make errors on occasion. After a few hundred thousand years very few things are going to be in top shape, even with the best of care. From the looks of it, that ship has not been cared for for a long time.

    Frankly, I’d be more suspicious if the vessel was in mint condition, with everything working exactly as it should. The fact it even runs, albeit imperfectly, says that we’re talking a technology far beyond ours.

    It’s just not perfect. The Ancients failed somewhere along the line, and we are in the process of finding out about them and what they could do. They weren’t gods, they certainly weren’t perfect, and to assume they were will lead to disappointment. Remember that the Ancients were fallible and the series should be a lot more enjoyable.

  197. Alan #417, I think you’re missing my point. Yes, I expect the ship to be run down and in dire need of upkeep, that’s not the issue. My problem is that in one minute of talking-head exposition, they laid out what sounded like a wash-rinse-repeat formula plot. I hope that the show doesn’t fall into such a predictable cycle; in fact, it seems unlikely, given who’s looking over their shoulder and kibitzing. Still, for that minute, it sounded like they were just reciting from the series bible; it came off as contrived.

    And I don’t want to sound like I’m down on the show; so far, it looks at least as good as SG-1, and better than Atlantis. It looks really promising, and I want to see more.

  198. The derelictions of duty, casual insubordinations and twitchy psychopathologies on display in this pilot episode would be excessive for a Ritalin-deprived Cub Scout pack after a week lost in heavy woods, never mind any kind of U.S. military organization.

    You do not know your American military history if you think that any of those things have been particularly uncommon in the American military (and no, I’m not referring particularly to Vietnam).

  199. Kevin, #418

    The fact something is formulaic does not mean it isn’t also necessary. Knowledge of the ship, what it can do, and how to survive aboard it is not going to come in flashes of insight after hours of meditation. They need to learn, and how they’re going about it is the only real way to do it.

  200. I was disgusted to see that they chose to use the episode to demonize CO2, apparently in support of the globalist’s CO2 and Climate Change money making agenda of the carbon tax, carbon credits trading, and the sale of carbon offsets.

    When the ship’s life-support system is failing, there’s no mention of oxygen depletion, or the buildup of nitrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, or any number of other poisonous gasses–it’s all about CO2 buildup, which wouldn’t even be a danger, the oxygen depletion killing everyone long before their exhalation of CO2 could get CO2 anywhere near a dangerous level.

    It’s the same when they check the atmosphere on the new planet–no mention of the oxygen level or any number of possible poisonous gasses, it’s all about “CO2 is at a low enough level.”

    They should be more concerned that there is ENOUGH CO2 to sustain plant life so they can grow the seeds they have with them.

    CO2 is a life-giving gas, not a life-taking gas.

    It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. If they continue with this propaganda, I won’t be able to enjoy the series.

  201. It seems that I’m the only one who instantly thought “Tape a pencil to the flying camera, and use THAT to close the door. nobody dies”
    Overall, an enjoyable first outing. I’ll be back for more.

  202. #396, James Pope: I’m pretty sure that crate was full of duct tape, not toilet paper.

    #422: It was a touchscreen wasn’t it? They often depend on capacitance/conductivity of whatever is touching them, so it’s not just a case of poking it with something. For all we know, Ancient touchscreens are even more fussy.

  203. @Thomas Hurst
    There might have been rolls of duct tape too, but what I saw looked way too whitish to be any brand of duct tape I know, and I don’t see any reason why Stargate Command would be invulnerable to CotS shopping trips unless it would be to try not to tip off the public at large of some of the weirder purchases that might get requisitioned. The military has all sorts of weird purchases though, even in the real world, so I don’t know how that would work. Besides, all the other major countries outside the US on the planet are in on SGC, and even the Canadians. It’s not exactly the huge secret that it was when Jackson and O’Neill were first going through. I imagine there are quite a few people who know something’s up even if they can’t put a finger on the exact nature of what the weird is.

  204. Okay, I’ve been trying to work this from the beginning, but Xtopher, mate – you’re dead, flat wrong. Utterly totally wrong. I know where you’re coming from, but you’re missing a single, essential point.

    This was the first, last and only chance to dial the 9-Chevron Address. That ‘gate on that planet was the only possible combination to throw a nine-ring, so to speak.

    If the goa’uld hadn’t attacked then, there was a plan in place to run a normal MALP-fronted recon through the ‘gate. But they did – and Carter’s boat wasn’t enough oomph to stand them off. The planet was lost. Perhaps the goa’uld had the 9-chevron address, perhaps not – but either way, due to the attack, it was either dial it now – or dial it never. And lose whatever the Ancients had clearly thought we needed to find.

    Yes, Rush could have dialled Earth. Yes, only the 20 or so lost from Carter’s boat and those on the totally-lacking-a-safety-rail parapet would have been lost. Those 80 other who are now aboard Destiny would have been safe-ish back on Earth – and the final legacy of The Ancients would have been lost.

    It was a horribly tough call, but I agree with Rush’s decision to fire off the 9-chevron wormhole. Otherwise, that legacy of the Ancients would have been lost forever. Would the final, ultimate Big Honkin’ Space Secret of the Ancients be worth 80 human lives?

    I have to say yes. Also, I’d have gone through the ‘gate myself, first. Because holy crap – what must they know? How much use would it be to everyone back on earth? And if the worst comes to the worst, then dying on a starship a squillion willion Lights from Terra is a hell of a lot better than dying at the bottom of the Gravity Well.

    Anyway. End deconstruction and minirant, back up to the 270s to finish enjoying the rest of this thread. I’ll probably be back later ;)

  205. The flying spheres seem to have a fixed altitude making it impossible to push a button, at least I cannot remember any bobbing and weaving.

    Can anyone check?

  206. And now, my gripe. Where was the funny? If it a Stargate episode, why are all the military blokes either Grimly Determined or Determinedly Grim, or in one case an unloveably curmudgeon who want to hurt girls? I know things are a bit shite for them all at the nonce, but that’s precisely the time for wiseassery of the finest vintage – not merely a Whole Platoon of Heloes waiting for a toaster to put a bun into.

    Where there was funny, it was delivered at homeopathic concentrations. I really hope some of these buggers either lighten up, or in the finest tradition of Skippy, start acting like smart, stressed people actually do and get with the funny.

    There. I said it.

  207. MarkHB, #425

    Watch Part One Again. Pay especial attention to everything Rush says. At one point he does say that dialing Earth would put it in danger. Dialing the nine chevrons was a gamble, one that worked out, so far.

    It was an act of desperation. An act of hope, but as much an act of desperation. They couldn’t dial Earth because that would kill the planet. What they did dial was the only number they could.

  208. It was a horribly tough call, but I agree with Rush’s decision to fire off the 9-chevron wormhole.

    The moral problem is that it was never Rush’s call to decide how to sacrifice the lives of 80 other people. That’s what makes Rush a fucking asshole. He didn’t ask for volunteers. He didn’t even tell everyone that he had dialed the 9th gate. A bunch of people when they first went through the gate were surprised that they weren’t on Earth.

    Now, if it was Rush’s call, if the General told him that the people working for him and for the Colonel are pawns that Rush can use as he pleases, then then Rush may have been operating within the chain of command, but it doesn’t make Rush any less of an asshole.

    What they have is the moral equivalent of either (1) Rush taking it upon himself to sacrifice the lives of others or possibly (2) Rush being ordered by the General to do whatever it takes to get the 9th gate open, including sacrificing others.

    If it is (2), then very quickly the General should communicate that to everyone else, because Rush was following a legal order, and the military personel like the Colonel, Lieutenant, and Sargeant, need to follow that order. It was the equivalent of a general ordering a unit to attack a hill, knowing that most of the unit would die, but the general deciding it was worth the risk.

    And if it is (2), they need to pass along that order very quickly to everyone else, otherwise everyone will be left to think that it was (1), and someone will very soon frag Rush.

    What I’m afraid of is that the writers want to maintain a “false mystery” around Rush’s intentions and what is really going on. Some writers do this because they think witholding information from the audience makes the audience want to watch the show more. All it does for me is infuriate me with all the contrived nonsense that must take place to maintain the mystery.

    It’s like the cell phone dying before the guy can make the call in teh horror film. It’s cheesy as all hell and no substitute for real story telling.

    And given that the decision to go through the gate was extremely last minute, (alien attack was not planned, core going critical was not planned, Eli figuring out how to open the 9th symbol last miniute was not planned), because of all that, if the situation really is (2), then the General order to Rush would have been a long term standing order, not something the general told him last second.

    And if that’s the case, if it WAS a long term standing order, I have an extremely hard time believing that the General didn’t also inform the Colonel with the same standing order. I find it extremely hard to believe that the General would trust Rush but not the Colonel. If you don’t think your chain of command will hold, you put in people who will hold. If the colonel wouldn’t follow that order, he would have been replaced. You can’t have generals ordering units to charge a hill and have those units refuse to follow the order.

    Which really points to the situation being (1). Rush took it upon himself to sacrifice everyone else’s lives to take a chance of finding whats on the other side of the 9th symbol. If it was (2), then the Colonel wouldn’t have ordered his man to dial earth.

    My question is whether or not there is anything interesting to the story if we know that Rush had a standing order from the General to sacrifice anyone on the base if it meant getting through the gate. Or if we know that Rush took it upon himself to risk everyone else’s lives. If the only thing interesting about the show is that we don’t know if Rush is in category (1) or (2), then that’s pretty disappointing. The 80 people who just got screwed would do whatever it took to find out if it was 1 or 2. And if Rush did it on his own choice, someone would frag him.

    Giligan’s Island was campy and funny and all that. But in reality, if Giligan kept screwign things up so that the Professor’s plans to get everyone off the island always got screwed up, the Skipper would have pushed him off a cliff.

    If Rush’s intentions remain secret, and the only thing that keeps the 80 people from killing him is “He’s too smart to kill, we need him”, then that doesnt’ reflect 80 random people stranded on a deserted island. It is a contrived circumstance. And it would have to come up every episode because people are going to want to kill him all the time, and every time it’ll have to be “we need him right now. kill him next episode.”

    The only way Rush could realistically live through this for a few seasons is if there was a standing order to sacrifice the team if it allowed people to get through the gate. That would transfer a lot of people’s anger from Rush to the General. Then show everyone the Non-Disclosure-Agreement that they signed which also acknowledged that they are entering into a life-threatening situation and the military can legally order them to their death.

    Establish this NDA thing (or some variation), establish that Rush was following a legal, though shitty, order, and make the story about teh ship and the planet, and how they’ll survive, not about “ooh is Rush a good guy or bad guy?”

    An entire series based on whether or not the main character is a good guy or bad guy, when it can be easily determined with one phone call, is too contrived to maintain for any length of time.

    And any contrived scenario like that immediately throws me out of my suspension of disbelief. It’s too unrealistic to believe. People don’t work that way.

  209. Regarding dialing the 9chevron address rather than dialing Earth, Rush’s after-the-fact explanaition was that if the gate was still connected when the planet blew, it would have blown through to Earth. Of course, I expect that explanation to contain large fractions of bullshitting, CYA, and pre-meditated cover story, but he did say it.

    Regarding what they supplies they brought, please remember that it wasn’t an evacuation with a lot of lead time, and the original plan was to evacuate to Earth and they wouldn’t need to bring supplies. They were basically grabbing whatever crates happened to be in the gate room and could be carried by a person unaided. Note that one of thing things they DON’T have is a bar code scanner to red the inventory.

  210. he does say that dialing Earth would put it in danger

    And the ship’s captain says (A) they beamed everyone off the planet but 80 people inside the shielding and (B) sensors showed the the gate was on for six minutes before the planet blew up.

    In six minutes they could have figured out a way to drop shields and beam everyone out before the planet blew. The captain and her ship were in range.

    Risking an evacuation (drop sheilds and beam out) would have been a lot less risky than going through a gate that might have been a ship with no atmosphere in it.

    There were other, far less risky, alternatives than walking through the gate to an unknown destination.

  211. Update: About 34:06 in Part One Dr. Rush says, and I quote, “We can’t afford dialing Earth.” He could be talking about missing a golden opportunity; but then again, he could be talking about putting our planet in danger. I’m not the sort of person who assumes that someone like a Dr. Rush is automatically the villain.

    The courteous are not always correct, the rude are not always wrong.

  212. GregLondon, #431

    Were you there? What did you know and when did you know it? Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make a choice, and make it quickly? Without sufficient information, and with tons of enemy coming down on your ass?

    How do you know they had the choice?

  213. I thought they couldn’t actually dial Earth, and that’s why they were flying out there on the Hammond? The whole “dial Earth” thing was a dart thrown in the dark hoping it would stick when it had never stuck before, whereas the Galaxy address chevron was something that hadn’t worked before either but at least had the benefit of being something they reasonably expected to work because otherwise the Ancients dropped a gate on a freakishly unstable world for no real reason.

  214. Were you there?

    The ship’s captain was there. She beamed out everyone but 80 people. However she arranged the beaming, she could have arranged to have the colonel drop the shield and beam them out as well.

    Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make a choice, and make it quickly?

    Have you? The captain said the gate was open for six minutes. six minutes. In a strategic attack on a military base, six minutes is an eternity. Ships showed up in orbit, reentry vehicles went through the atmosphere, troop ships were dropping troops on teh ground, aircraft were coming at the base, teh base scrambled their own aircraft in response. That’s a long, long operation.

    Once they decided to evacuate, once they started to beam out people, the ship’s captain would have contacted the colonel and coordinated when to drop the shield so they could beam everyone else out.

    The colonel ordered the gate dialed to earth. Rush dialed the 9th symbol. The gate was open for 6 minutes while they evacuated. The ship’s captain had at least six minutes to make other arrangements. At least. She may have started beaming people out before the Colonel ordered the gate dialed to earth.

  215. I thought they couldn’t actually dial Earth, and that’s why they were flying out there on the Hammond?

    No, the ‘gate on the planet was modified to prevent inbound connections — it could only make outbound connections.

    It was implied that he could have dialed Earth — or any of the other sites. His justification was that there could have been a transfer of energy that would have been dangerous. Since we’ve seen a stargate forced open and dangerous amounts of energy pushed through it, there’s background for this in the universe.

  216. The whole I brought the “Telephone Stones” thing that Rush did was pretty lame. Why hasn’t anyone called him on it? Is it a secret?

  217. Now, Greg, you’re making an assumption that the “shielding” around the base was yer Star Trek raisable/lowerable energy shield MacGuffin.

    “Shielding” has an older meaning, you know – assloads of dense materials. The passive absorbtive type? Which is really more likely for a fixed installation rather than a starship? Especially when they’re already juggling a balky, recalcitrant power supply?

    Lead and ‘crete is my guess.

    As to the “legality of following an order” – civillian scientist contractors aren’t in the military chain of command. It’s not possible for them to legally follow orders, or illegally disobey them. They can be in breach of contract, but that’s entirely different from “disobeying a legal order” – whether it’s leaving the launcher unplugged or ‘gating to a different address, it’s a whole ‘nuther matter from a uniformed serviceman disobeying orders.

    And thank Mercy for that. There’s a word for when the military can order civillians around, and it’s not a nice one.

  218. Okay, I liked the show, but I have some complaints:

    1) the sound mixing needs some work. The dialogue was too soft when the music played or sound effects were going on. I found myself turning the volume up and down for 2 hours just to try to follow along. Also there were times when you should have heard sounds (footstep in an empty hallway, etc) but didn’t.

    2) the medics hair never changed. Everyone else came out rumpled, dishevled and a little dusty (some more than others) but her’s stayed neatly up and with a perfect sheen like she just stepped out of the shower. I lost a little bit of believablity with her character everytime she was on the screen.

    3) If the colonel knew Rush took those “speaking stones” (I can’t remember what they’re called) because the medic told him, why didn’t he face him and demand them back? He’s in charge right?

    4) If you only have 2 people who can understand the Ancient’s language why send both of them to that first planet? Wouldn’t you want to keep one safe on board, just in case (and to work on that air problem)?

    My only other compliant about the show is more related to me. I loved Lost when it first came on. I watched it faithfully the first season. Half way through the second season things happened and I wasn’t able to watch the new episodes. I tried to catch up during reruns but there was just too much information lost from the missing episode for me to continue watching the show and knowing what was going on. A similar thing happened with Heroes. I liked this show and I want to continue to watch it, but I’m afraid that missing one or two episodes will put me behind the curve again and who know when/if I’ll be able to catch up. Let’s just hope I don’t miss an episode.

  219. That was a fun show, John, thanks for your part in it. Hadn’t seen anything but a few minutes here and there of the earlier Stargate shows, but I’ll give this one a whirl.

  220. You mean the colonel doesn’t have the stones for it?

    MacGuffin is not a term you apply to shields in this case.

  221. “Shielding” has an older meaning, you know – assloads of dense materials.

    Yeah, except then you just walk outside and beam up. Didn’t seem to take them too long to go from the gun enplacements on the balconies to the gate. Passive shielding would be between the “core” or power supply and the base where the people are. The gate wouldn’t need to be shielded from an orbiting ship to prevent beaming.

    But more importantly, I don’t believe the Ancients used passive anything. The spaceship apparently relies on active force fields/shields to hold everything together, and keep air in the ship. Apparently, the shuttle craft connect to a main hallway that doesn’t contain a single door to separate that hall from the rest of the ship, requiring someone to go inside the shuttle and push the button. Which is an Ancient’s idea of “fail safe”. So, the ship isn’t too hot about passive anything. Everything is held together with active shielding and remote control floating cameras and so on.

    As to the “legality of following an order” – civillian scientist contractors aren’t in the military chain of command.

    During WW2, the Allies sent a number of civilian experts (cryptographers and physicists I believe, among others) into harms way (behind enemy lines). I believe they would technically make them lieutenants. But more importantly, they would have them sign a military type contract. Unfortunately, since they were wearing civilian clothes behind enemy lines, they’d be treated as spies, not POW’s, but hey, it’s a world war.

    Based on Eli’s reaction to being beamed onto the ship, it would seem that the Gate technology and Ancient technology is super-super-secret technology, maybe even American-only technology.

    In any case, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of realism to have civilian experts brought onto a super-secret military project and make them technically part of the military chain of command without sending them to officer school or whatever.

    Sending a physicist to a gate on the other planet would be similar to sending a physicist into Germany to figure out how far the Nazis are in developing the atomic bomb or sending a cryptographer into the north see to try and capture a german sub with an Enigma machine on it.

    And if Rush isn’t in the military chain of command, then his actions cannot be justified as legitimately sacrificing the other lives in order to get through the gate. Which mean he risked other people’s lives to get through the gate.

    Finally, and most importantly, why is the story so ambiguous about something so important? Why keep Rush’s intentions and his alliance a secret when it can be easily verified? Why not explain what Rush is really up to and base the story on whether or not they all survive or not, or whatever?

    Either that, or stop showing anything from Rush’s point of view. If we’re not supposed to know if Rush is a good guy or not, then restrict the camera to Eli’s point of view. He’s the most clueless person on board. Maybe the Lieutenant.

    The colonel must know whether Rush is following orders or full of shit, so we really can’t see his point of view either. But we could probably see the medic, because she probably doesn’t know.

    If Rush is supposed to be a mystery, stop showing us camera work that follows his point of view.

  222. #424, James Pope: OK, I just spent 5 minutes hunting for it to get a closer look. Either they’re ration-size packs of micro-toilet-paper with oversize middles, or it’s white/silver (depending on colour balance/filters) duct tape:

  223. Good show and interesting to read some of the less profane comments. While it is probably true that blowing up a planet is not as easy as it might seem, I thought that the science as depicted and as in keeping with the SG premise was quite good on the whole. The CO2 scrubbers were described very well indeed with one small exception. Lithium hydroxide would indeed scrub out CO2 but calcium carbonate would not (unless it was heated to drive off the CO2 first). The views of the incoming crashing fighter were excellent.

  224. You do not know your American military history if you think that any of those things have been particularly uncommon in the American military (and no, I’m not referring particularly to Vietnam).

    I suspect I know rather more about American military history than you do, but that’s not really a relevant point. The SG:U soldiers are supposed to be part of the present-day American military; not Rogers’ Rangers, not Buffalo Soldiers, not Doughboys, not Vietnam-era druggie conscripts. Except for the Col., nobody in this SG:U bunch acts like a soldier, especially that dithering, indecisive, marshmallow lieutenant. Also, any outfit big enough to have a lieutenant should also have at least one senior NCO. Where the heck is he?

  225. It’s funny what bothers people and what doesn’t. I like the fact that the military guys are more human than they’re supposed to be, but the technical inconsistencies (which no sane person would even notice) drive me crazy.

  226. I suspect I know rather more about American military history than you do

    I suspect you don’t.

    The SG:U soldiers are supposed to be part of the present-day American military; not Rogers’ Rangers, not Buffalo Soldiers, not Doughboys, not Vietnam-era druggie conscripts


    The present-day American military is one in which a female officer in Afghanistan felt the need to carry around a heavy flashlight on her base to use to beat off potential (American) attackers, so I’m not impressed with the “present-day American military argument.”

  227. Dick Eagleson @ 445

    I don’t know a whole lot about soldierly behavior, but I kinda liked the Lt’s approach. Many of the expedition members were trying to bluster over the top of one another, and it was refreshing to see someone take a different tack. Maybe he shouldn’t be a soldier, but I’m glad he’s there.

    I’m also not sold on the the Colonel’s value as a soldier. In the midst of a huge crisis of leadership, he decides that suicide is his most useful contribution? He’s got some serious flaws. I’m not sure if they’re really his, or if they belong to the script. But I’m curious to see how he develops.

    In the bluster department, I was deeply relieved to see the senator go. I think I would have been more sold on his value as a “great human being” (or whatever his daughter said) if he had sneaked or bluffed his way onto the shuttle instead of starting yet another argument with the guards.

    On the whole, I enjoyed the pilot and will definitely tune in again next week.

  228. I enjoyed it, on the whole.

    Sex scene. Meh. You make a good arguement for not having women in the military although I’m sure that’s not your intention.

    I think Chloe is drawn to three guys: Eli (of whom she is using her political science skills on, not that she is deeply attracted to him.), and the Lt., and the black sergeant with the anger issues.

    The Sergeant is an interesting character. He’s shown as a thorougly nice and protective of the weak guy, and he’s respectful of his superiors. Great guy. But, he’s also got a temper which comes out when the IOA lady tries to shove him around. So…perhaps an excellent soldier who loses his cool with bueraucrats and idiots trying to puff themselves up.

    I saw the IOA lady’s attack on him as stupid, and a means of asserting her authority. You’re in a survival situation, so the first thing you do is start a fight about a non-survival related issue. I’m a Republican, but hey, the very first thing I’m going to do after crashing on a dessert island is find the local Democrat and start an arguement with him. I’ll do that if I’m terminally stupid. The only ‘good’ reason she had to do this was to make an example of the Sarge ….’see what happens to people who cross me’.

    Rush reminds me of the story ‘Cold Equations’. He’s a guy who would have liked the story. OTOH, a very bright friend of mine explained how you could have defeated teh situation in CE, thus showing that the approach ‘there’s always a way is generally better’ and supposedly in Godfather ‘when they tell you its business, they lie. Its personal, its always personal’. Rush is an arrogant elitist who probably secretly enjoys killing peons even if he doesn’t admit this to himself.

    On Sliders, they had two really bright guys. The Prof. and Quinn Malory. They should have staked out differing areas of intelligence for the two of them. Make the Prof. the Know It All who really does know it all. And quinn the Inventive Genius who you turn to when the books don’t have the answer. I worry about the Eli-Rush thing here. Don’t make Eli into Quinn Mallory superman. If you do, you make Rush redundant.

    And I would like to see the top notch elite military acting a little more elite.

  229. Dick Eagleson,

    About military guys being doofs or thugs or both.

    In SG Atlantis, Shephard played a doof, but an intelligent and tallented one. In a later episode, there was a moment where shephard admitted to being president of his particular chapter of mensa or something like that.

    Many shows, show the military guys PLAYING doofs, who are actually intelligent characters who defer to specialists. That fits my basic experience.

    One of my favorite lines from a TV show, is from bones. The Holloween episode when She dressed up as wonderwoman and him as a “squint” and he said something and and Bones said “ooooh, that’s smart! You should always wear a lab coat.”

    In fact a lot of the character interaction in bones is based on just such things. All intelligent people, with different basic tasks.

  230. I don’t know how the chain of command works in sci-fi, but senators aren’t members of the chain of command, nor are scientists, nor are representatives of international organizations.

    Only the military is in the chain of command.

  231. You make a good arguement for not having women in the military although I’m sure that’s not your intention

    Or not having men in the military, if you’re going to go for that kind of argument.

    I saw the IOA lady’s attack on him as stupid, and a means of asserting her authority. You’re in a survival situation, so the first thing you do is start a fight about a non-survival related issue

    And if he was in the brig for passing secrets to the enemy that attacked them? Don’t act like we know enough to draw that kind of conclusion.

  232. I forgot to mention: I did really enjoy this, despite my gripe about it being so serious. It feels a lot more solid than SG1 or Atlantis often did in it’s design and scene dressing. I often had the impression that if anyone leant against a wall in SG1, it’d fall over. Not so with this.

    The story was compelling, the Excalibur Test was nicely handled, and it was entertaining. Things like Wray’s stupid willy-waving with Sgt. Thumpy were irksome, but also a bit of essential character outlining I guess.

    I definately seem to be in the minority defending Rush’s decision – and I’m not convinced I’m defending it for the reasons the character had – but it’s interersting to see how stimulated to debate everyone is by this.

  233. I really loved the Air parts I & II. I’ve seen episodes of the previous two SG shows, but never was a big fan. I’m already hooked on Universe. The reason for this is Dr. Nicholas Rush. He fascinates me. I know it’s intentional that most viewers are supposed to be rubbed the wrong way by Rush, but there were a handful of moments of depth and compassion in his character to make you rethink your assumptions.

    He clearly knows more about the Destiny than he is letting on.

    I’m digging the more serious nature of the show now too. I think that may have been why I was never a regular viewer of SG: 1 or SG: A.

  234. The only ‘good’ reason she had to do this was to make an example of the Sarge

    Was this the woman who said somethign like “you’re the guy who was in detention. You were in detention for a very good reason.”?

    Yeah, I saw that and immediately assumed it was the writers attempting, yet again, to create mystery about the characters. All we knew up to that point was he was indetention. we didn’t know why. And the colonel let him out so he wouldn’t die. The sarge might have been in detention because he got a little too drunk when his girl broke up with him or something inoccuous. So, the writers had the woman confront him in a pointless exercise to inform the audience that he was in detention for something VeryScary(tm), but not have to tell us, so we want to keep watching. That sort of crap annoys the hell out of me.

    (dramatic voiceover) What nasty thing did the Sarge do to end up in detention? Tune in next week to find out if the writers tell you.

    Is Rush a psychopath who was so attached to getting through the gate that he sacrificed the lives of 80 people or a brilliant but misunderstood scientist who saved the lives of 80 people? Tune in next week to find out of the writers tell you.

    The annoying thing about it is the woman confronting the sargeant knew whatever it was teh sargeant did, but rather than just talk about it like normal people do, (hey, weren’t you in detention for killing a man?) the writers have her dance around the subject to maintain mystery (hey, weren’t you in detention for a Very Good Reason that will be the subject of a later episode?)

    The colonel knows whether Rush is following orders or not, but rather than tell anyone as part of a normal conversation (Rush was following my secret orders to dial the ninth symbol, or Rush violated orders and is a danger to us all), he tells the medic to tell the lieutenant to tell Rush that he wants to speak with Rush very soon now. (the conversation to be the subject of a later episode.)

    And as far as people being annoyed with how un-military like the military people operate, puh-lease. How many shows do a good job of that? This was a military base with aircraft and permanent defensive gun emplacements and a ground contigient. A base like that would have a company of infantry, a hundred people, for ground defense and operating the entrenched guns. The smallest contigient of aircraft would be twelve ships, twelve pilots, and probably a hundred ground crew specialists, mechanics, weapons experts, missile/bomb handlers, flight computer techs, etc. THen you’ve got logistical guys, kitchen duty, military police, the guys running the PX, the guys working at the armory, the IT department.

    Realistically, you’d be looking at hundreds of military personel, plus how many technical civilian experts they might want to add on top of that. But the people who came through the gate look like the Fellowship of the Ring, one of each “race”. One Colonel, one lieutenant, one sargeant, one medic, one cook.

    A realistic military is boring. On an aircraft carrier, you’ve got a captain surrounded by marine guards on the bridge, giving orders down a chain of command, with those orders being executed by thousands of individuals. But in Star Trek, you’ve got Captain Kirk beaming down to a planet with one red shirt and Bones to investigate some big mystery. Not because it’s realistic, but because it would be boring if it were realistic. Realistically, you’d have several hundred red-shirts on the ship who do the away-teams, and it would take a season or two for the viewers to start recognizing each one of them.

  235. Is it just me or does Dr. Rush = Dr. Smith (Lost in Space) Anyone else getting the same vibe?

  236. It is interesting to see what people grab onto to like or dislike. Here’s mine …

    I like that there’s no Rodney. Rodney (and Sam) always made things too easy. If Sam or Rodney were there, everything would already be fixed, and there would be no show.

    I really like the idea that the ship seems to have a plan, and that the people are along for the ride. I can imagine the ship taking them places for reasons that aren’t readily apparent. So they’ll get to new places for adventure, but they’ll also maybe have the challenge of figuring out what the ship wants them to find.

    And yes, I rewound to see the credits, too. Kudos!

  237. make you rethink your assumptions.

    But that’s just it. You’re not a character in the story. We’ve seen things that no single character has seen. We’ve seen Rush, alone, with the cellphone stones. And we make assumptions based on everything we’ve seen. So we are making assumptions that no actual character in the show can make.

    If the story limited itself to the POV of Eli, the lieutenant, and the medic, then we could experience the story as they experience it. If we make an assumption while watchin Eli, odds are that Eli might make that same assumption.

    But we’re making assumptions based on stuff that no single character has seen. We cannot experience the story through any character in the story. So, we’re pushed out of the story, we don’t experience it, we observe it.

    There is no emotional congruency between what we’re feeling in the audience and any particular character in the show. We have no character to identify with, so we’re disconnected from the show. As we watch the show and make assumptions that no character can make, we’re constantly made aware of the fact that we’re in teh audience, not in the story.

  238. I’d hate Rush a lot more if I hadn’t seen him all a-snuffle over the picture of his wife.

    One thing about the “life support” situation that bothered me: the incomplete shielding venting oxygen into space? Also would be venting heat. Nobody complained about being cold.

  239. A few comments:

    – Nice, chaotic opening.

    – I didn’t buy the possibility of the whole Stargate project being a secret from the general public. Too many people are involved. Someone’s aide with a cellphone camera takes a few snaps, sells the story, gets rich.

    – Maybe I missed it, but did they cause the air leak, or did they just have the incredible bad luck to show up an hour before the air ran out? (Or good luck; if they had showed up an hour later they would have immediately died of asphyxiation).

    – I’m a big SF fan but haven’t watched much on the SciFi (oops, “SyFy”) channel for a few years, and now I know why. Do they HAVE to leave up the ads for upcoming shows in the lower right corner for the entire $%^# show? Smacks of desperation. And do they have any other shows of interest to anyone over 12? Just curious.

    Certainly good enough to follow on Hulu or whatever. Thanks John!

  240. Dan M: Excellent question about the air; I was wondering about the same thing. If the ship has a slow leak and is millennia old, why isn’t it already out of air by the time the castaways show up? Fanwank: maybe the ship, being unmanned, normally doesn’t attempt to keep itself full of air. When the gate is activated, the ship also pressurizes itself.

    Meanwhile, I’m wondering about the perfect makeup on all the women. Will that start degrading? Did they bring makeup as part of the essentials? Or will the ship visit Planet Maybelline just in time to stave off a crisis?

  241. I was wondering the same thing about the air and long time leaks and such. I believe the problem with the air started because people showed up and then Rush turned on some systems that were off before.

    I can only imagine that the ship had some sort of reserve tanks with oxygen in them that it only started to use when either the gate triggered or it sensed oxygen breathers.

  242. That wasn’t makeup, in the future, people are genetically altered to be naturally beautiful…


    Also, it won’t take long with no showers, no soap, no toothbrushes, no toothpaste, no deoderant, no clean clothes, no laundry detergent, that the sex scenes are going to make me think immediately of some nasty, smelly sex scene from “Deadwood” or something.

  243. But isn’t it part of SG’s premise that it’s set in the present? The whole space-traveling thing is kept a secret from almost everyone on Earth.

    Hey, that sounds like a series of novels I’ve read.

    Speaking of which, that’s one of the several things about the show I hadn’t known without looking it up on the Internet. I’m getting a feeling that there are many other things a long-time fan might get that I have no clue about. Right now, I have no idea if things I don’t get are because the writers haven’t explained them, or because I’m supposed to know them already.

    Example: are stargates distance-limited? If so, is it by power or something else? It sounded like that’s the case (they made a big deal of the stones working across vast distances, implying that the stargates don’t), but it wasn’t clear to me. It seems like something they would want to make clear, since it’s the difference between dialing Earth being impossible, or just really hard.

  244. I really liked that the Colonel pulled through. Kind of unexpected.

    The ‘why not use a kino’, and ‘just close the *next* doors’ and such objections seriously needed to be addressed. Even if dismissed in a few moments. Like, “I can’t find an altitude control on this thing”, and “There’s an automatic shutoff for the ventilation system… and it’s not working on this corridor.”

    The ‘why not call Earth back when he claimed leadership’ also needed to be addressed. There could be a reset period during which it’s unsafe for a different person to use, or something – has this come up before?

    Question: If they could dial Earth, then why did anyone take a ship there? They could have made a phone call (as it were) and asked for them to open the gate from the other end. Similarly for any other target.

    Answer?: I suppose they were carrying something that couldn’t go through a wormhole, or opening the wormhole would have been a security risk, or…


    coolstar@406: This looked like a major crust rearranging event with some ejection of mass. This is a lot less energy than you’re complaining about.


    GregLondon @ 429: “And if that’s the case, if it WAS a long term standing order, I have an extremely hard time believing that the General didn’t also inform the Colonel with the same standing order.”

    And as far as the colonel knew at that time, it was [i]impossible[/i]. They had just tried it and failed. Therefore, the order to go to Earth was reasonable, given the information he had, and the decision to go to the true target was reasonable, given the information Rush had.

    Aside from that, totally agreed on the false mystery aspect. I loathe that in writing. I bet that Rush was telling the truth – that in the event that the Colonel was incapacitated, he’d be in charge. Just because to lie about something so easily checked would be moronic.


    I’d love to have a MST3ked version of the show with the comments from this thread overlaid in real time.

  245. Jim, Yes,the whole point of the Stargate series is that it is a present-day secret government program kind of science fiction environment. And yes, gates are distance power-limited: an intergalactic wormhole needs the power of a ZPM to open it, while intragalactic travel can be powered by naquadah (naquadria?) generators or by the whole power output of Boulder Dam. They are also time-limited: no wormhole of any distance can be held open for more than 38 minutes.

    General comment about the military as Wright and Cooper see it: the original SGU character sheets included a character who was in her early twenties, a USAF captain, and a medic. If our host was at all responsible for bringing the ages, ranks and responsibilities of the military characters more in line with actual practice, he deserves high praise.

    On the whole, over the years, as the shows have developed, the Stargate Program is shown as being subject to several sources of authority other than the USAF (working with the Marines, sigh): the Office of Homeworld Security is one, and IOA another, which have funding and organizational authority over the program. The defense aspects of the program are in tension with the science aspects, and the chain of command is usually less important than the ability of an individual to deal with the technology. Sam Carter is one of the few scientists who are also military officers, and the only primary character, over the years, to have been a scientist, a military commander, and the head of an explicitly civilian project (Stargate:Atlantis, fourth season). Trying to think of lines of authority in a Stargate show in realistic military terms will either break your brain or drive you to write extensive gen fic series about the military side of life in the program.

  246. Question: If they could dial Earth, then why did anyone take a ship there? They could have made a phone call (as it were) and asked for them to open the gate from the other end. Similarly for any other target.

    Actually Eli asked that question. The Icarus gate was locked to dial out only (that is, not to accept incoming wormholes). It’s long been established that wormholes are one way (that is, you can only go from the dialing gate to the receiving gate, not the other way around), though this was botched or ignored in a couple of SG-1 episodes.

    That’s why they had to take the Hammond to Icarus, but could go back to Earth via the gate.

  247. With regards to the Stargate program being secret, there HAVE been leaks in the past, to the extent of an in series TV show called “Wormhole Extreme” being created by an amnesiac alien, that is now effectively cover for the ‘real’ operation.

    If I told you that there really was a Stargate under NORAD, and showed you cellphone pictures of the gate, would you believe me, or would you think I was suggestible and taking the show a little too seriously?

    With regards to the SG:U opening, I liked it, but was (like others), was also annoyed by the artificial mystery elements.

  248. Steven, it’s these facts that make me hope it’s all really true, and that they put in the really silly inconsistencies (like the POO, which limits the number of possible gate addresses to 39) to throw us off.

    I don’t have ANY of the kinds of skills that would be useful to the SGC, so I’ll probably never find out, but ISWBN. I think I’d make a terrific Tok’ra!

  249. “that is, you can only go from the dialing gate to the receiving gate, not the other way around”

    Oooh. I was thrown off because they have 2-way radio through wormholes. Also, I saw people in SGA returning fire through a wormhole; I guess it was just on the chance that something came through just as they were firing? I guess I could have worked it out from the difficulties they had in the episode ’38 minutes’ — if it hadn’t been for that they could have sent someone, or just given the nose of the craft a good nudge.

  250. Luke, they’re not terribly consistent about what can go the “wrong” way, but the one-way thing definitely applies to humans and useful objects. Also, returning fire through a wormhole could be for the reason you said, or just because when soldiers are fired on they shoot back…and realize later “duhhh, wrong end of a wormhole!”

  251. silbey, you magnificent bastard; I read your cite!

    Seriously, dude, get some skills. Reading for comprehension might be a good place to start. The base datelined in the article is in Iraq, not Afghanistan.

    Second, quit lying by quoting out of context. The sentence about the lady officer with the flashlight follows one in which it is clear the precaution is being taken on a base which also houses Iraqi soldiers and civilians.

    Your grasp of current events doesn’t provide much basis for respecting your opinion about any alleged history you may claim to know.

    Now to more pleasant matters:


    Nice point about someone sharp playing deliberately dumb in the presence of someone who underestimates them. Also see your point about routine interactions between extremely bright people and those only ordinarily bright. Being a ‘Bones’ fan, I grok your reference (and Emily D. really needs to put that Wonder Woman suit back on ASAP – but I digress). Two other shows where this sort of interaction is a routine part of the character dynamics are ‘Criminal Minds’ (Dr. Reid, Penelope Garcia) and ‘MUMB3RS’ (Drs. Eppes, Ramanujan and Fleinhardt). Compared to these nuanced characterizations, Dr. Rush seems a hasty paste-up job to me. Perhaps he will reveal hidden subtleties in future episodes. My advice to the writers would be, make it quick.

    Overall, the question of relative intelligence seemed kinda beside the point in the SG:U opener as most everyone seemed to be acting dumber than their characters should be under the circumstances. By dumber, I mean not very quickly grasping the nature of their changed circumstances as reflected in speech and behavior. The only person who seemed to behave rationally at every turn was Louis Ferreira’s Col. Young. Dr. Rush seems to have an equal grasp of the realities and limits of the new situation, but is a control freak and has, shall we say, limited people skills. Then there’s the maybe-he’s-actually-a-traitor thing.

    Everyone else seems to be pretty much acting like Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s Island – i.e., as if their former (and it is former) rank and position have any practical meaning on the other side of the universe. The late Sen., though he dies well in the end, is pretty clearly seen, early on, to be one of those John Kerry “Do you know who I am?” buttholes. Ming-Na’s IOA character seems like a pretty typical stuffed-shirt bureaucrat looking to throw her weight around just because that’s how she’s used to behaving. Not a lot of obviously impressive survivor types on immediate offer here.

    Oddly, the cloistered nerd Eli character sort of makes his normal persona work in his now radically changed situation by just continuing to be an uber-curious, uber-competent and uber-untethered-by-anything-resembling-impulse-control gadget geek. Eli did more to usefully figure out the engineering of the ship on which they were stranded than everybody else put together. I might have to walk to the other end of it for a little peace and quiet with some frequency, but I know which of these foks <iI'd want to be stranded with on my hypothetical desert island. Eli is SG:U’s Professor, not Dr. Rush.

  252. silbey, you magnificent bastard; I read your cite!

    Seriously, dude, get some skills. Reading for comprehension might be a good place to start. The base datelined in the article is in Iraq, not Afghanistan Seriously, dude, get some skills. Reading for comprehension might be a good place to start. The base datelined in the article is in Iraq, not Afghanistan.

    Dick, you unimpressive cuckold, I read your message! That it was Iraq and not Afghanistan was a mistake on my part, and surely irrelevant to the point.

    As to reading comprehension, you might take a refresher course. I’ll quote the article:

    “As a precaution, women are advised to travel in pairs, particularly in smaller bases populated with Iraqi troops and civilians. Capt. Margaret D. Taafe-McMenamy, commander of the intelligence analysis cell at Warhorse, carries a folding knife and a heavy, ridged flashlight — a Christmas gift from her husband, whom she lives with here — as a precaution when she is out at night on the base.”

    _particularly in smaller bases populated with Iraqi troops and civilians_ does not mean _only_ those bases with Iraqis.

    You see what you want to see because it confirms your prejudices; that it is not reality is apparently not relevant to you. It should be.

  253. Since the only other StarGate thingy I’ve seen is the original Kurt Russel movie, maybe this was explained in one of the other series.

    Who the hell was in the spaceships that attacked the base? With the big pyramids on it? Ancients? Does that mean the entire race of ancients knows where we are and could destroy us in a heartbeat?

    Why didn’t more ships show up and destroy earth after the initial fleet was destroyed? Why did the ships get so close to the planet that they got destroyed by the core explosion? Wouldn’t sensors pick up massive power spikes beforehand?

  254. @476 It was some of what’s left of the Goauld(sp) fleet. The planet was just a small one with an overpowered reactor so they could run the Gate. It was already in danger of exploding, when the base shook itself apart, the explosion destroyed the planet. Why the ships were close – I can only surmise they didn’t expect the whole planet to go up.

    The Ancients don’t want to destroy us – they have ascended and no longer interact with humanity.

    They don’t want to destroy Earth, they want to control it, but there aren’t enough of them to really be a big threat with the exception of occasional subterfuge or small sneak attacks.

  255. Greg, those were Goa’uld mother ships. The three groups that use them are the Goa’uld, most of whom are dead; the Jaffa, former slaves of the Goa’uld, with little reason to attack Earth people (whom they honor for having freed them from the Goa’uld); and the Lucian Alliance, who are basically an interstellar crime syndicate.

    The most likely attackers are the Lucian alliance, which probably means they aren’t responsible. It could be someone else who we haven’t yet encountered.

    In fact, we may never find out, since the attackers were wiped out in the destruction of Icarus. And it probably won’t be important to the plot of the series.

    But with Scalzi involved, thrown curves are definitely possible.

  256. I saw a lot of the civilian woman carrying their purses; I assume they’re carrying makeup bags in them. Soap is pretty easy to manufacture. I was more surprised that nobody had rolls of Tums in their bags for the calcium carbonate needed to help fix the CO2 filter. ;)

  257. They couldn’t gate back to earth lest the blast be “translated” thru the gate and destroy earth. So…what about any one of the HUNDREDS of other worlds the SGC has addresses for? Surely there’s a barren planet or two they could have escaped to from which they could THEN dial earth and go home. (Besides which, Rush was either wrong or lying–Col. Head Wound was flung thru the gate by the exploding planet, but no blast came thru the gate to vaporize everyone.)

    This show was, sadly, everything I’d expected from what I’d heard about it. I think, though, that it was the cheesy and frustrating “let’s keep the viewers in the dark to instill a false sense of mystery” thing pointed out upthread that most turned me off.

  258. Mark@481

    Yeah, I prefer shows that spells out everything so there’s no fun in trying to figure it out. They should tell me the ending, too, so I know whether or not to watch it, who to care for, who the good guy and bad guy is, and everything else. And they should tell me that in the first five minutes.

    If you don’t like it, whatever, but at least be fair about it. You expected to dislike it and, wow, self-fulfilling prophecy.

    And, in case you didn’t get it – Rush decided his research and finding the destination of the only gate possible of dialing all 9 chevrons was more important than the guaranteed health of the evacuees. He could have done what you said, but then there would be no show – that’s the whole premise of the thing. But he is now in over his head and he’s justifying it to himself. He IS responsible, and he IS lying to some extent, but to him that scientific discovery in the most important thing in the universe. And he may very well be right.

  259. Tudza @464, when the gate abord Destiny is active, you can see gas vents activating either side of the gate. This is presumably the on-board air reserves getting dumped into the gate-room to prevent the gasping and the bursting and getting people-bits all over the floor.

    That’s when the clock starts ticking on the available atmo.

  260. I’m not that sci-fi driven a girl, but I always have the same thought whenever I watch that show with Mr. Spock (sorry,,, French).

    If they ever invent space travel… they’re going to need Spaceplows.

    I don’t know How one works a snowplow in space. That’s what you’re for, I suppose. I just think that whoever is shipping stuff through space would be wise to spend a little money to clear asteroid fields and so forth.

    I mean.. everybody on those shows has guns and stuff, and most of space would be barren. You never see a Spaceplow crew, though.

    Now, imagine if that Stargate guy was beaming up somewhere, and he passed through a asteroid belt. He’d get pounded. You wouldn’t even send the guy if you couldn’t guarantee that he wouldn’t drive the Stargate into a meteor storm. It’d get all dented. Simply put.. you’d NEED a Spaceplow.

    So.. when you’re writing this show, make sure there’s a Spaceplow system in place.

    Thank you for your time, Sir.

  261. Stacey, both Voyagers flew straight through the asteroid belt without colliding with anything big enough to cause trouble. They were almost totally unshielded. Not a problem.

  262. Corby, there’s a difference between “spelling everything out so there’s no fun in trying to figure things out” and just plain crappy writing and implausible dialogue (in the service of not spilling info which would naturally have come out otherwise). There was plenty of both in this pilot.

    Yeah, Rush decided to risk everyone’s lives to prove he’s The Smartest One Of All. And if I thought there was a snowball’s chance in hell of there being any _real_ consequences for that decision, I might keep watching. I don’t. (Plus, it required more crappy writing for the soldiers manning the gate room to disobey their orders to dial earth, or even just to stand by and let Rush do it, especially in that situation. But if they hadn’t, as you said–there’d be no show. So they did something stupid and unrealistic. That’s bad writing.)

    Still, I will cop to expecting to dislike the show going in. On the other hand, the things I disliked about it are the very things that I’d expected to dislike–and the very features the producers seem to be aiming for, so clearly I’m not the target audience.

  263. silbey,

    particularly in smaller bases populated with Iraqi troops and civilians_ does not mean _only_ those bases with Iraqis.

    No, but the use of particularly indicates a distinction of some importance. The base on which the lady in question works is such a base. All the Forward Operating Bases are.

    Iraqi soldiers are quite variable in their quality and discipline as troops. Iraqi civilians cover an even wider range of behaviors up to and including anti-Coalition insurgency. Add to this the widespread notion among Muslims that crimes – especially rape – committed against infidels don’t count and the main danger to female U.S. military personnel is pretty clearly not from their fellow soldiers.

    But, hey, let’s look at some numbers. Last year there were, according to the BBC, roughly 3,000 sexual assaults involving U.S. military personnel of which 2/3rds were rapes or attempted rapes. Fewer than 150 of these took place in Iraq. As Iraq has about 10% of the active duty U.S. military deployed there, but racks up less than 5% of the military-linked sexual assaults, it would appear that female military personnel are actually safer in war zones than in rear echelon positions. The REMF’s will, indeed, get you it would seem.

    It would be nice to know just how many of these assaults involve U.S. troops as perpetrators rather than as victims, but I wasn’t able to find any such breakdown of numbers. The best proxy I could find were the numbers in that same BBC story about the number of “actions” taken, including courts-martial. The number of courts-martial is reported to be about 10% of the number of sexual assaults or 17% of the rapes or attempted rapes. As courts-martial are typically reserved for felony-level crimes, it seems fair to assume that nearly all of these are rapes or attempted rapes involving U.S. soldiers as alleged perpetrators. The other 83% of such crimes appear, by implication, to be those in which a U.S. military woman was a victim, but not of a blue-on-blue assault, so to speak. Doubtless, not all male U.S. soldier perpetrators chose to attack female fellow soldiers as at least one high-profile case from Iraq – which also involved murder of the under-age civilian victim – attests. Thus, the 17% number is an upper bound on blue-on-blue sexual assault. This all demonstrates that, while uniformed perps are a problem, they are not the mainproblem. The other at least 5/6ths of rape or attempted rape perpetrators are, by implication, others – U.S. civilians, foreign soldiers, foreign civilians, etc.

    Thus, your low opinion of the American soldier does not appear to be objectively supportable. “You see what you want to see because it confirms your prejudices” indeed.

  264. (Besides which, Rush was either wrong or lying–Col. Head Wound was flung thru the gate by the exploding planet, but no blast came thru the gate to vaporize everyone.)

    That was almost certainly a calibration problem associated with the stargate establishing a connection over such a great distance. Similar problems occurred with the early use of the stargate on Earth until they updated their control systems properly.

    The gate must have shut down before the planet blew. SG-1 has dealt with gates on exploding planets before – and it’s not pretty. The only thing that saved the base last time was the shield, and there was no shield on the Destiny.

  265. Oddly, the cloistered nerd Eli character sort of makes his normal persona work in his now radically changed situation by just continuing to be an uber-curious, uber-competent and uber-untethered-by-anything-resembling-impulse-control gadget geek. Eli did more to usefully figure out the engineering of the ship on which they were stranded than everybody else put together.

    He’s pretty obviously a neophile – take away the terror and uncertainty, and being trapped on the Destiny would probably be his ultimate dream. Plus he only seems to have one person he cares about back home, and he knows she’ll be cared for.

    I’m sure he’s not happy being where he is, but he’s pretty clearly the most psychologically stable person on the ship. Possibly the inheritor of the Daniel Jackson role, we’ll have to see.

  266. I think Eli has a pretty serious man-crush on the LT. As who wouldn’t, I’d say if I hadn’t seen people earlier in the thread saying they found him insipid. As I said before, they may be the Jack and Daniel of this series, except for a) the fact that they’re nothing like those characters in personality and b) the hero-worship I see happening there.

    I’d say Eli is closer to Rodney McKay in personality…but without the arrogance. He’s got the “eats constantly” odious personal habit, the “must play with all technology” OPH, and like Rodney he’s a well-meaning genius.

  267. Watching episode 1 on Sky 1 (UK) time-shifted about an hour (kids’ bed-time, don’t you know). So far nicely so done…

  268. Corby@482: Yeah, I prefer shows that spells out everything so there’s no fun in trying to figure it out. They should tell me the ending, too, so I know whether or not to watch it, who to care for, who the good guy and bad guy is, and everything else.

    yeah, uhm, when it is contrived mystery, i.e. when it is sufficiently important that people’s lives would be on the line if Rush has gone psycho, and it is sufficiently easy to find out whether Rush has gone psycho or not by getting the communication stones, or by just having Rush, the Colonel, and every other person all in one room deal with this shit, then it’s stupid writing.

    So, it’s a legitimate criticism of the show at this point. There’s only been one episode, but it’s turned me off, and my wife hated it. As a comparison, my wife may not be a scifi fan, but she loved watching Firefly with me. I’ll try watching another episode or two, but unless they turn this shit around, we probably won’t be watching it at our household.

    And the thing about the different reactions of the audience, they’re all legitimate reactions, even if you dont agree with it. Because there is no singular “right” reaction to a show. Everyone gets to react based on what they do and do not like. I despise contrived mysteries. My wife was bored out of her mind, though I managed to talk her into watching to the end.

    Now, if someone says they didn’t like “blah” because of “blech” and it turns out that “blech” is inaccurate, if they missed something that was explained in the show, feel free to point out that “blech” is inaccurate. I certainly didn’t get the “we can’t dial earth because the core explosion might feed through the gate and destroy earth” explanation.

    That still leaves the “then why the hell didn’t they dial any other known location so they’d know they could get back to earth” logical issue.

    But I don’t like the contrived mystery about Rush. There was no contrived mystery going on in, say, Firefly, and it managed to be a pretty interesting show without resorting to wondering whether Mal was psycho or sane. Jayne would have put a gun to his head and sorted that out immediately. Someone would have put a gun to Rush’s head and sorted this out, but they haven’t. It’s an unrealistic human reaction, especially when you’ve got 80 random humans from a military base and 30 or so weapons floating around, and Rush is potentially acting in a way that might be jeapordizing everyone’s lives.

    The Lieutenant most certainly wouldn’t have said “please” and begged Rush. A hard charging special ops guy on a deep classified project, who has the mission of going through a gate to god knows where on a regular basis, and little more than his weapons and his wits to rely on to survive? This is essentially Kurt Russell’s character in the original movie. A guy willing to detonate a nuclear weapon and kill himself if the mission required the gate be destroyed. No, he wouldn’t have said “please”. Eli might have said “please”, but if the lieutenant thought Rush was jeapordizing the lives of him and the other 80 people, I guarantee you he would have sorted it out crystal clear, immediately.

  269. Greg, the LT is NOTHING like Kurt Russell’s character in the original movie. That Jack O’neil wanted to die. The LT wants to live, and he wants everyone else to live, even Rush, because he’s an ole softie. He is NOT a “hard-charging special ops guy.” Did we watch the same show? Or are you mixing him up with the Colonel, who volunteered to be the one to close the door to the shuttle?

    A “hard-charging special ops guy” would have had no patience with Eli at all. The LT likes him. Nor would such a guy have been caught with his pants down (heh) when the Hammond arrived.

    That said, I think all the explanations of why Rush “couldn’t” dial Earth are unsupported by the show. He never said he couldn’t or gave any of those reasons, and the Earth gate has an iris, which (because of how remolecularization works) would stop anything from coming through the gate once they closed it. He was just flat-out unwilling to let his science project fail “just” to save 80 lives.

    They should have killed him, both from an emotional-realism standpoint and from a practical standpoint. He’s too dangerous to keep around, even with all his science knowledge. But if they did there would be no show. Shows are about that sort of conflict.

    Why didn’t the SG-1 guys make sure they triple-zatted (disintegrated) every Goa’uld they defeated/captured/killed? Because the writers wanted to reuse those characters. Why didn’t Crichton and D’Argo pitch Rygel out the airlock? Because Rygel was going to be useful later, and end up almost entirely transformed into a decent character. Why did Herakles kill his wife and children? So he’d have to do his twelve labors.

    That’s how stories work. People do something dumb, or soft, or justified by flawed or insane reasoning, and thereon hangs a tale. If people really behaved right out of character, you’d have a better case, but so far no one has (except maybe the Senator…”self-sacrificing politician” being a distinctly oxymoronic phrase).

    I personally am looking forward to seeing the writers try to make me like Rush, or even have any sympathy for him at all. Weeping about his wife won’t do it. She probably left him because he’s such a selfish prick, or couldn’t deal with his NPD any more. I don’t think they can make me like him, but it will be fun to see them try…especially since I think he rapes a Lesbian later in the show. Cut his throat and drop him overboard, that’s my vote.

    I can understand how this isn’t your cup of tea. But I think some of your criticisms are misaimed, and others (“stupid writing”) are over the top, to the point of being a bit rude, on the blog of one of the people who worked on the show. You might want to tone that down a bit.

  270. GregLondon @ 492 –

    the Rush mystery does seem a bit contrived. I think I would have been less bothered by it if they hadn’t show the four second snip of him in charge of a body on earthand then never really spoken of it again.

    The colonel grabbed the communication box right before he went through the gate and then rush grabbed it and used it while the colonel was incapacitated. There should have been at least a sentence between the two of them about this.

    As far as the Lieutenant though, I think he’s not quite yet the hard charging nothing to live for survive by his wits character that Russell portrayed in the original movie. They make a point of noting that his assignment to Icarus is his first. So, he’s still green in terms of experience in any sort of situation. I found his “please” moment embarassing, but I don’t think it was out of character or outside of expectations for a green LT in a scary situation.

  271. Caught UK showing, and like a few folk up-thread I ask…

    Why did then not use a Kino to operate the shuttle door and stop the leak without needless human sacrifice?

    John, can you please give us an answer? This blew pretty all much my suspension-of-disbelief in this being a smart and competent group (including a gamer!) and I have to wonder why this plot loophole wasn’t shut.

  272. Just saw it, not read any post except the one above me, but yeah, use one of the camera balls to close it. Or my other solution was to use weights and counter weights and rig a little mechanical thing to drop the weight on the button, i coulda done it, or as simple as you can go – a weight on a piece of frakking string. String that you can pull from outside the door? they are supposed to have 2 geniuses with them. Wallbanger much? This is going to clash with Dollhouse in the UK in about 3 weeks, and seriously if this doen’t get any better it’s gonna lose. An Robert Carlyles character is a complete **** I just wanna strangle him, obnoxious and pretentious, oh it’s all ‘im gonna be in charge’ is it? WTF? Ok, so first ep was good but second really got my back up – I was all set to like it and all, I liked SG1.

  273. Greg@492 Well, you’ve certainly told me how you feel everyone should act, and what their motivations should be in your estimation, and how balls-to-the-wall hard-charging you are in just killing people you don’t agree with – on a TV show, obviously – but the thing is — you aren’t there, and the writers know more about the characters than you do, and they understand the motivations differently than the audience does.

    Is it a “contrived” mystery? Well, yeah – all mysteries are “contrived” in some way: someone not telling someone something, someone hiding something, etc. Are they doing it to keep the audience in the dark? Sometimes, yes, sometimes, no. But all media is manipulation and contrivance, so I’m not entirely sure what the actual argument is, here.

    What could they have done to make it not seem contrived to you?

  274. Cat@ 495 It’s possible they need a human hand to close the door as a failsafe so the shuttle doesn’t just get knocked about, something falls off a shelf and hits the switch, and they can never get back in.

    I doubt it occurred to the ancients that one day there would be a hole in the shuttle of the ship and the shields would be venting air to space necessitating a human sacrifice to shut the door and save a bunch of refugees. ;)

  275. Having just watched the UK premier of SG:U a few hours ago, I’m a bit baffled as to why people keep talking of Dr. Rush’s character as “contrived”, along with the so called “mystery” of his actions. He’s not meant to be a likeable character, nor is he supposed to engender warm, fuzzy “my hero” type worship, as with previous principal charaters in Stargate shows. He’s intended to be a realistic person, with complex motivations and multiple layers of personality and behaviour. I don’t see that depiction as being in some way “stupid”. In fact, all of his actions made perfect sense within the character as portrayed thus far. He’s a monomaniac control freak. Every action he took fitted into that perfectly.

    I don’t think he’ll turn out to be a villain, nor do I imagine he’ll end up as a glinty-toothed, grinning superman a-la O’Neil, Mitchell or the bloke from Atlantis (Shepperton? I never liked that show much.). I think he’ll be, well… himself. Arrogant, controlling, manipulative, self aggrandising and utterly convinced of his correctness in any given circumstance. Despite what T.V. would have you believe, these are the hallmark qualities of a good leader. So far, the only action of Rush’s that has not been proven to be for the benefit of the whole party has been the act of dialling the Destiny’s gate in the first place, a dubious action, but very much a judgement call (Wrong as it happens, but there’s no show without it.) as opposed to being a calculated act of mass murder.

    To my eyes at least, by far the most ominous character in the show was the menacing sergeant. The one who was in the glasshouse at the begining of the Lucian Alliance attack, who was pilfering supplies for himself when no-one was looking, who was threatening to shoot an unarmed civilian and refused to stand down when directly ordered to do so by a superior officer. In the real life military, loose cannon bad-ass characters cost lives, they aren’t cool anti-heroes.

    Overall, I thought it was a promising start and I’m looking forward to seeing where the show goes from it.

    P.S. Big props to whoever took the decision to go with the handicam approach. Changes the entire look of how the franchise has been approached thus far. Looks pretty cool too.

  276. Dan @ 499 –

    “Overall, I thought it was a promising start and I’m looking forward to seeing where the show goes from it.”

    Hammer, meet the nail head.

  277. Xopher: He is NOT a “hard-charging special ops guy.”

    They’re not going to put a cook in charge of security at a super-secret highly-classified world-altering project. People in the military aren’t generic cogs in the machine with only their rank to distinguish them. They’ve got occupational skills as well. They might be a cook, a supply clerk, a weatherman, or a firefighter. If they’re normally loaded up with weapons and combat gear, then that limits what occupation they’re possibly in.

    The Lieutenant is obviously in an aggressive occupational code, a combat code of some kind. Given how many people are in the military versus how few secret bases there are, he was probably hand picked by the Colonel for the job. They would not take a lieutenant out of officer school, give him a clearance, and put him on a top secret mission. They’d take someone who has some experience that distinguished their skills.

    The sort of people that the air force would send through a gate with no known destination would be someone like a combat rescue officer or maybe a combat control team.

    Skills include: small unit tactics, land navigation, communications, assault zones, demolitions, fire support and field operations including parachuting and combat diving (scuba), and SERE school, among others.

    When the lieutenant walked through the gate, he had a lot of combat gear on him and it was his gear. A cook is not going to assemble that sort of kit in a minute or so by running around a military base looking for equipment.

    A “hard-charging special ops guy” would have had no patience with Eli at all.

    If the Lt was trained in some kind of “behind the lines” specialty, he’d likely learn the importance of (1) patience and (2) working with the locals who aren’t in the military.

    Nor would such a guy have been caught with his pants down (heh) when the Hammond arrived.

    I don’t remember exactly when in the sequence he was having sex. I seem to remember that it was at a non-life-threatening point in time, as far as he knew anyway. As soon as it became life threatening, I think the Colonel radioed him and he zipped up and got on task.

    But, there’s a lot of sex going on in the miltary. so it didn’t occur as unrealistic for me.

  278. Um, Greg, it was when the Hammond arrived from Earth, bringing Eli and the Senator and them. Didn’t you understand what I meant by “when the Hammond arrived”? It was really the only arrival of the Hammond in the show.

    Yes, it was non-life-threatening, the arrival was ahead of schedule, and he did zip up (with a visible emotional wrench) when the Colonel called him. I think that scene shows what a stand-up guy (¬π) he is, BOTH because he stopped and because he really didn’t want to.

    The only problem I had with that scene is that he was having sex with a woman. Did I mention I’m crushing on the LT? :-)

  279. Oh, I forgot to make my point. Duh. I don’t think the kind of hardass you describe would have been having sex with a…junior officer? Enlisted person? What was she, anyway? …at any time.

  280. corby@497: Well, you’ve certainly told me how you feel everyone should act, and what their motivations should be in your estimation,

    What was the purpose of your sarcasm at 482? It certainly didn’t feel like you were encouraging different opinions.

    Is it a “contrived” mystery? Well, yeah – all mysteries are “contrived” in some way

    That’s an “et tu” fallacy, and a strawman fallacy.

    It’s “et tu” because you’re trying to say all mysteries in fiction are “contrived” so it’s OK if SGU is “contrived”. And it’s a strawman because “contrived” doesn’t mean the same as “fiction”.

    It’s specifically pointing at the writer creating a situation that could easily determine the truth of some mystery but contriving all manner of nonsense to make sure the mystery remains.

    When you watch a horror movie and someone tries to warn the next victim but they’re always out of cellphone range, that’s contrived. It’s used over and over again in fiction.

    There were several opportunities where the truth of Rush’s intentions would have been fully revealed in the first episode.

    (1) The Colonel ordered Rush to report to him when all hell broke loose. Had Rush and he talked, it would immediately have been sorted out whether Rush had gone rogue or not. At the end of the two hour episode, they still hadn’t managed to talk. At one point, the Colonel tells Rush “you haven’t reported to me yet”, but even though they’re face to face, they still don’t actually talk.

    (2) we see Rush activate the communication stones, but the camera is turned off before we see what he does.

    (3) Rush walks into the main room where everyone is sitting and announces “I’m in charge”. Throughout the rest of the show, he doesn’t care about being in charge, he’s busy doing technical things. He has the stones with him. The senator and others demand ot use the stones to verify, but then some other contrived emergency breaks up the situation before anyone would make their own call and determine whetehr Rush is full of shit or not.

    (4) Rush pushes the gate operator out of the way after the officer had been ordered to dial earth and resets the gate and dials the 9th symbol. The military guys did nothing to follow their orders from the colonel? (and Rush could have dialed any of the other known symbols and guaranteed they could get back to earth, without putting Earth in danger of some kind of power surge from the core traveling through the gate and blowing up the earth)

    (5) Rush reprograms the ship to stop at the next planet without talking with anyone about it? Really? He couldn’t talk to the colonel about it? Or Eli or the Lieutenant? Not even mention it in passing tosomeone? Maybe the colonel would agree with him and then there wouldn’t be a mystery about whether Rush is reprogramming the ship against what the Colonel would want him to do. But no, that kind of conversation never happens.

    So, in just about every case, Rush’s intentions are a mystery. He could be acting in the group’s best interests or he could be acting on his own selfish and psychopathic drive. And one could determine this quite easily with one scene, one conversation between teh colonel and Rush, one conversation between anyone on teh ship and the General back on earth, one conversation could quickly and easily establish whether Rush is working with the group, working with the Colonel’s blessing, working with teh General’s blessing, or whether he’s gone rogue.

    And with all the opportunities they had to have those conversations, it never happened. The Colonel even ordered Rush to come talk with him, but it just never happened.

    That’s essentially five times where a phone call would have solved the mystery, but the cell phone was always out of range. Once you get into the situation a potentially life-an-death issue, an issue that could easily be solved with a simple and short converation, is thwarted the same way five different times on a single episode, that deserves to be described as contrived.

    Solutions for each situation:

    (1) Rush reports to Colonel. Colonel says “brilliant work getting the 9th symbol working before the gate was destroyed.”

    (2) keep the camera on for a few seconds and show the general tell Rush “You’re in charge”

    (3) Show the senator talk with the general and the general says “Yes, Rush is in charge”.

    (4) Operator and military hold Rush at bay, quickly contact the Colonel, and Colonel says “Yes, if he can dial the 9th symbol, dial it”.

    (5) Rush has a quick conversation with Colonel about reprogramming the ship. Colonel says “tell it to find a planet we can land on”

    In every case, we’re talking about maybe a few lines of dialogue that would establish whether Rush is a team player or a rogue agent.

    If he’s a team player, yay. Get on with the show. If he’s not a team player, put him in irons or leave him on his own planet like Khan.

    The show could be interesting even if we knew that Rush was a team player. But repeatedly creating situations where Rush’s allegiance is a mystery that could be solved with two lines of dialogue, but that dialogue just never happens for no good reason, is contrived.

  281. Well, I’m very late to the party but I felt like adding my two cents worth. I probably wouldn’t have watched if it wasn’t for Mr. Scalzi’s connection to the show. I’ve seen the original movie and very few episodes of any of the series. My overall feeling was that this was a mixed bag with an awful lot of SF cliches, but I do like what it has set up. The combination of visiting strange planets without much (if any) advance knowledge of what they will find PLUS exploring a huge, mostly unknown ship is really intriguing. I’m also very happy to know that the SG universe has at least some aliens. After a few years of BSG, I’m more than ready to see some aliens again!

    We’ll have to see how well the characters are developed, but at least there is a decent mix of military, scientist, civilian, etc.

    I’d give the pilot a C+, but it was good enough to make me look forward to the next episode.

  282. Xopher: I don’t think the kind of hardass you describe

    I said hard-charging, not hard-ass. The Colonial Marines in “Aliens” were “hard charging”. Lt Gorman was more of a hard-ass.

    hard-charging as in able to take the initiative, operate without a commanding officer telling you what to do, and deal with a situtation successfully.

    hard-ass usually means “following orders”.

    Special ops guys generally have to operate without direct supervision. They’re behind enemy lines. They have a general mission of some kind, but they have to deal with shit as it shows up and they usually don’t have the time or even the ability to radio headquarters every time something changes.

    If the lieutenant thought for a second that Rush was jeapordizing everyone’s lives, he would have immediately taken the initiative and sorted it out then and there.

    having sex with a…junior officer? Enlisted person? What was she, anyway? …at any time.

    if he is an order-following hardass, yes. But if he’s a hard-charging special ops guy, then, meh, maybe.

    And maybe he’ll have some repercussions for it later on, but that he had sex wasn’t unrealistic.

  283. I’m not saying it’s unrealistic that he had sex! I’m saying it’s unrealistic that the guy who DID have sex like that would be a hardass…which I misconstrued you as saying, so it’s all pretty moot.

    I think people vary a lot. I think General O’Neill, the TOP brass on this project, is the kind to look for people who aren’t what you expect in his subordinates. If you’d watched SG-1 you’d know that he’s not exactly a rules-follower himself. In fact, in the real military he probably would have been court-martialed. He disobeyed direct orders many times, made his own decisions about alliances (actually sabotaging the base of some potential allies at one point, because they turned out to be Third Reich types), and basically did whatever he thought was right, regardless of military protocol or the supposed mission.

    In the process, he had his mind rearranged several times, and got killed repeatedly (in fact, in one episode he was tortured to death many times and resurrected with the Goa’uld “sarcophagus” technolody). Oh, and in the process he also saved the Earth many times, saved humans on other worlds, saved the galaxy from a complete Goa’uld takeover…ten years of series covers a lot of victories.

    So I don’t think it’s implausible that he would hand-pick people like the LT for this mission. He likes eccentric types who get in trouble a lot; shows they have initiative. And when he said “please” to Rush, that was the best way to manipulate that megalomaniac into helping save those people. “Whatever it takes” doesn’t just mean “kill whoever you have to kill.” Sometimes it means “suck up to the megalomaniac who you’d shoot in other circumstances.”

    The Colonel…him I have my doubts about. He doesn’t seem like O’Neill’s kind of choice. And I’m still curious how Lou Diamond Phillips is going to star in this show when he’s on the wrong side of the gate. But unlike you, I like a little mystery, even a “contrived” one; and I don’t happen to think writers have to tell you something just because you want to know it, and cutting the camera before we found out what Rush was really doing was fine, because no one on the ship knows, either. The fact that they didn’t CHECK is a little odder, but maybe they just weren’t willing to shoot Rush to get the stones, and he’s quite willing to stand up to mere threats. Because he’s a fucking freakazoid arrogant son of a piece of shit, and the sooner he dies the better.

    But that’s me.

  284. Sigh. I really should preview and proofread before posting. ‘technology’, not ‘technolody’, and the “he” who says “please” to Rush should be the LT, not O’Neill.

  285. And when he said “please” to Rush, that was the best way to manipulate that megalomaniac into helping save those people.

    First of all, it didn’t work. The Lt didn’t get Rush to dial earth. Second of all, the bigger issue was whether or not Rush would have dialed earth if he could. That’s the contrived mystery that none of the characters have done so much as pick up a phone to figure out yet.

    The Lt saying “please” assumes that Rush is a team player. The mystery is that Rush might have gone rogue and is acting on his own goals, contrary to the goals of the rest of teh team. Confronted with that mystery, the Lt would first establish whether Rush is a team player or going rogue. If he’s a team player, try “please”. If he’s rogue, then put him in irons or lock him up or shoot him.

    “Whatever it takes” doesn’t just mean “kill whoever you have to kill.”

    I didn’t say it did. I think the Lt would probably have tried to check with the Colonel first to see if Rush is following the Colonel’s orders. If the Colonel is unconscious, the Lt might have tried to contact the General via the stones (or probably delegated that task to someone the Lt trusted so the Lt could keep an eye on Rush). Third would have been some conversation with Rush. And fourth, if Rush kept playing word games and “I’m too smart for you to understand my logic”, then lock him up. The “Our lives are in immediate danger so we have to trust this potential psychopath because we don’t have time to figure out the truth” line of thinking just doesn’t fly.

    I can’t imagine a Lieutenant being assigned to the base who didn’t have some real combat experience. Someone who has proven they can think under fire, someone has been in a “our lives our in immediate danger” situation and has demonstrated that he can still think and deal with problems.

    This is the sort of shit these guys are trained to deal with. And they acted no different than the panicked and untrained civilians.

    Which gets to my bigger complaint in that the military personel act like stereotypes of what civilians think military types act like. There are a few officer grades between Lieutenant and Colonel. The colonel being incapacitated shouldn’t immediately lead to a complete breakdown in command, with Rush talking to the general and being put “in charge”, and the next ranking officer being a lieutenant who is new to the base and doesn’t know anything about what’s going on.

    I get part of the issue is dealing with the sheer numbers that would realistically be in a military base. So, the writers usually cut down teh numbers to make it more managable. But to cut it to the point that you’ve got only two officers: an airforce colonel, a rank normally assigned to a wing commander (someone who commands one-thousand to three thousand people) and an airforce lieutenant (someone who might be a flight commander, in charge of thirty to one hundred people) is a bit much.

  286. I was bothered by the fact that they can use the ship’s technology at all.

    Is everyone, even the now-deceased Senator, a carrier of the Ancient gene complex? Or was that technology never incorporated into the ship? When was it established?

    I suspect the Kino can’t be controlled through the doorway – the signal is probably blocked.

  287. I doubt it occurred to the ancients that one day there would be a hole in the shuttle of the ship and the shields would be venting air to space necessitating a human sacrifice to shut the door and save a bunch of refugees.

    Two things you have to recognize about Ancient technology:

    1) They built it with the expectation that alien geniuses would be running it, and would be perfectly capable of dealing quickly and easily with ‘minor’ problems that give normal humans mental breakdowns.

    2) Although they were incredibly intelligent, the Ancients were grossly arrogant and often thoughtless. Their technology is incredibly sturdy and durable, but often fails to include safety features, since “obviously” an Ancient operating the tech would know not to do stupid things.

  288. Greg, most of the military on the base were defending it (remember the railgun they made such a point of when Eli & Co. first arrived?). I’ll have to rewatch to make sure, but I think Sam said she beamed a bunch of them out; she couldn’t beam out of the shielded parts of the base. The military that you see on the ship are the ones who were detailed to lead the evacuation of the civilians.

  289. Greg@504 It wasn’t sarcasm at all. You’ve told us repeatedly how everyone on the ship should act, instead of acknowledging that they are not you and act according to their own motivations. I just pointed that out, no sarcasm intended.

    I really think you are picking at nits. What you consider “contrived” I think of as “mystery”. Why do they have to tell us everything? Why do they have to have the conversation “right then”? Why does everyone need to act the way you feel they should? I’ve gotta tell ya, not many people I know act the way I think they should, but they go ahead and act the way they do anyway. My wife and I constantly just miss each other because we don’t have a conversation we should have, or because we focus on something other than the point of the thing. It’s really easy to answer questions on Jeopardy when you sit at home, but when you stand on that stage I’m sure the mind just goes blank.

    Seriously, you say shoot the people you hate, or leave them on a planet to starve. Really? I mean, you only have a handful of people – can you afford to just piss away a resource because you have a bug up your ass about them?

    My point is, just because you say something is a certain way doesn’t mean it is. It may be that way for you, but I disagree with almost all of your points above, except for the pushing the guy out of the way and dialing the 9 chevrons, which is part of the suspension of disbelief required to watch shows like this. For me, this doesn’t feel contrived at all, and I’m sure those questions will be answered. Lots of things were going on all at the same time on the ship, and there are times and places for all things. What you are talking about above – not so much.

  290. So, like, do we get to watch the Senator decay week in, week out? Could be problematic for his daughter.

  291. In icy vacuum? What makes you think he’ll decay?

    He’ll probably inflate, though. Could be ugly.

  292. Corby: It wasn’t sarcasm at all. I just pointed that out, no sarcasm intended.

    Oh, hogwash. Mark@481 said: it was the cheesy and frustrating “let’s keep the viewers in the dark to instill a false sense of mystery” thing pointed out upthread that most turned me off.

    And you responded with this little nugget.

    Corby@482: Yeah, I prefer shows that spells out everything so there’s no fun in trying to figure it out. They should tell me the ending, too, so I know whether or not to watch it, who to care for, who the good guy and bad guy is, and everything else. And they should tell me that in the first five minutes.

    That’s sarcasm.

    And you know what? If someone doesn’t like your favorite show, you are the one whe needs to deal with it, not them.

    You’ve told us repeatedly how everyone on the ship should act, instead of acknowledging that they are not you and act according to their own motivations.

    Exactly. Read that again. I talked about how teh characters acted and what I dind’t like about their actions. You started the sarcasm. You started making it personal.

    Xopher and I disagree on various parts of the show and we’ve managed to talk about it without the “no, YOU are wrong!” crap you’re throwing around.

    Mark and I both didn’t like the false mystery about Rush. You attacked both of us because of our opinion. You like the false mystery? Fine. Say that. Don’t be coming after me because I don’t.

    Keep the sarcasm (a la #482) to yourself.

    Xopher: I think Sam said she beamed a bunch of them out; she couldn’t beam out of the shielded parts of the base. The military that you see on the ship are the ones who were detailed to lead the evacuation of the civilians.

    I remember. But a base of a couple thousand is like a small aircraft carrier. The commander isn’t on the bridge all by himself and everyone else is out fighting the war in the trenches. The commander needs seniour officers next to him to manage the base and delagate. The CO is a Colonel (O6). Where’s the executive officer? the second in command? The lieutenant colonel? The Majors? The Captains? Where’s the seniour NCO’s? Where’s the chief master sargeant (E-9)? Or master sargeant?

    Here’s some ranks in the air force.

    It’s very one dimensional to have a colonel, a lieutenant, a sargeant (or two), and some airmen. It’s also hard to explain how the seniour staff surrounding the colonel beamed out but the Colonel himself didn’t.

    On SGU, the representation of the meaning of military ranks and what those ranks entail is about as accurate as the A-Team. I mean, I liked the A-Team, but the A-Team knew it was campy and wasn’t trying to be serious. SGU is tryign to be serious, but it seems like there isn’t much in teh way of a military advisor on the show. Or the advisor’s advice was ignored. Or something.

    As for “shielding”, if there was a base of a thousand or more people, and they could beam out everyone but the last 80, then it would seem to be sheildign around the gate itself, not the core. Which sounds to me like active shielding. There is no passive shielding around any of the other gates are there? No lead lined rooms? I haven’t seen the other series, so someoen will have to report whether there is passive shielding around the other gates. So, if it’s active shielding, I still don’t understand why not drop sheilds and beam up. If it’s passive shielding aroudn this specific gate, what was different about that gate that it needed lead lined passive shielding?

  293. Well, I don’t know much about military ranks, but hey, they’re ignoring PHYSICS, so ignoring military ranks doesn’t really bother me.

    Stargate has always required two-inch steel cable to suspend the disbelief, but it’s been such fun I’ve continued to find it worth it. (Mostly. The hiss-and-clatter of Replicators makes me change the channel, but that’s because they had one (or a thousand, somewhere in there) too many episodes with the Reps in them, and it got boring.)

    This stargate IS different from all others. Most of them have a temple around them, or even an open field. This is by far the most defended one I remember. Also, this one is jimmied so it can’t accept incoming wormholes. They (the Ancients) REALLY didn’t want people getting to it easily or quickly, probably because it’s the only one connected to a big enough power source to dial a nine-chevron address.

    So yes, it’s quite possible, and story-consistent, for this gate to be massively (passively) shielded; but there’s another possibility, which is that the Ancients put in ACTIVE shielding that the Tauri (Earth humans) have no idea how to turn off. Might not be a control panel anywhere; could run off the planet-sized reactor Icarus Base is sitting on top of. Ancient tech runs all the way from anyone-can-walk-up-and-press-the-buttons (like most stargates) to requires-an-ascended-being-to-turn-on-or-off.

    And it’s a Tauri railgun, not an Ancient one. If you had a place that you knew was in danger of being attacked, wouldn’t you put your high-value assets (like Eli and they-thought Rush) inside the deepest shielding you could? In this context it makes total sense to put the civs right near the stargate; they’re going to be working with it a lot, the shielding keeps them protected, and they should be able to evacuate to Earth quickly through the stargate (barring the intervention of an asshole and/or traitor like Rush).

  294. I don’t think the Ancients were like Pak Protectors. It’s been a while, but my memory is that the Paks’ errors were the kind you get with hypervigilence, while the Ancients’ seem more attributable to hubris and/or a refusal to recognize the law of unintended consequences.

  295. We’re straying off topic a bit, but…I was mostly joking about the Ancients being like Pak Protectors. But only mostly. The Ancients do seem to expect anyone to understand their technology at a glance (like the Pak), and mostly don’t bother with failsafes, or juggle such cosmic amounts of energy that the slightest miscalculation will be catastrophic. Of course, the Pak didn’t bother with computers either, so the Ancients are like humans in that regard at least….

    GregLondon – yeah, it always seemed to me that the SGC was top-heavy with senior officers. That seems pretty common in fiction, though. I’d have thought they’d have Lts or Captains in charge of SG units (and think the SG units would have been bigger, but the realities of tv show economics wins that argument, I expect). But they were still head and shoulders above what I’ve seen of SGU in these two hours.

  296. Greg@517 Apples and oranges. This comment @497

    Well, you’ve certainly told me how you feel everyone should act, and what their motivations should be in your estimation, and how balls-to-the-wall hard-charging you are in just killing people you don’t agree with – on a TV show, obviously – but the thing is — you aren’t there, and the writers know more about the characters than you do, and they understand the motivations differently than the audience does.

    is not supposed to be sarcasm.

    The one you point to obviously is. Two different comments. Hogwash, you say? Paying attention, I say.

    So there’s some snark in my other comment – snark is certainly no stranger here. This comment

    What could they have done to make it not seem contrived to you?

    sure seems like I don’t want to entertain different opinions. It’s not my “favorite show” and I really don’t care what you think of it – I just find the hating comments funny because they sound very personal and biased and seem to have little to do with the actual show.

    Anyway, enjoy your nit picky tirade, and I’ll enjoy the show.

  297. IIRRC the stargate in SG1 is in an old nuclear fallout bunker under a mountain so yes passive shielding there. And when we saw the base here im fairly sure it was in the side of a cliff, but I would think they would lead line the Stargate room at least and maybe some surrounding areas not to mention the fact that a few hundred metres of rock does what 20 meters of lead does anyway. the civillians were told to go to the stargate room – inwards, with an escort of 1 squad/unit/whatever (which would presumably include 1 seargent, 1 Lt etc plus colonel who would be commanding from a place of safety because high ranking officers are always in the tent on the hill above the field), while all the combat units ie the soldiers with all the other seargents ansd Lts, would be outside manning the defences, rail guns and ships etc. plus the fact the tunnel outside the stargate room collapsed, the civillians only exit from the stargate room would be the the stargate. Which is where Rush is an understandable dick for dialing the 9th instead of earth, (but then when he tries to force himself as leader that is when he becomes a real dick).

  298. Korby@521: I just find the hating comments funny because they sound very personal and biased and seem to have little to do with the actual show.

    Wow. You had to put in another personal attack, didn’t you?

    Have you seen anyone on this thread who had negative comments about the show say that they thought people who liked the show were stupid, or biased, or fan-boys, or whatever?

    Knock it off. Don’t try to “explain” yourself. Just stop.

    Xopher: Well, I don’t know much about military ranks, but hey, they’re ignoring PHYSICS, so ignoring military ranks doesn’t really bother me.

    Yeah, I get that suspension of disbelief is required cause, you know, there’s stargates and ftl and stuff. And I can usually let military nonsense slide if it seems like they put at least some effort into it.

    The movie “Aliens” had unrealistic military representation, but in a very short time they established that the characters were not cardboard cutouts. Hicks, Hudson, Vasquez, Gorman, Apone, they were all completely different personalities. Then there was Bishop the drone. The female pilot of teh dropship had her own personality, even if she only had a couple of lines. The screwup lieutenant Gorman was explained by the company intentionally wanting to disrupt the mission and bring home samples. The one thing that was totally bogus was that there was no navy personel on the orbiting ship to defend it. Some somali pirates could have boarded the big ship and took off while the marines were stranded on the planet. (some somali pirates in real life just tried to board a French military ship. didn’t work out so well)

    But that was one screw up where the rest of it looked like they tried to make a logically consistent and militarily realistic movie. So I let it slide. There was one scene early on,

    Hudson: Man, this floor is freezing.
    Apone: What do you want me to do, fetch your slippers for you?
    Hudson: Gee, would you sir? I’d like that.
    [Apone pulls down the skin under his left eye with middle finger]
    Apone: Look into my eye.

    A private mouthing off to a gunnery sargeant, and the sargeant puts him in check without being phased for a second. Clear personalities that matched their ranks and experience. The whole “wake up out of hypersleep” scene showed distinct personalities between all the uniformed people. And after that, I was sold.

    We also see some questions about some character’s intentions on Aliens. First we see Ripley be terrified of Bishop because he’s an android and the android on her ship got everyone killed. But it wasn’t a “contrived” mystery. Ripley didn’t trust androids and made it clear. There was no scenes showing Bishop doing some ambiguous action that could have been good or bad. The movie was from Ripley’s poitn of view. She didn’t see Bishop do anything, she just didn’t trust androids.

    And then there’s Burke, the human who did betray them. From Ripley’s point of view, she doesn’t trust the company. At the beginning she asks him if they’re going to destroy the aliens or get samples. Burke says destroy it. During the setup, we don’t see Burke doing stuff that Ripley can’t see, making us wonder if he’s honest or not. When Ripley starts to think Burke is betraying them, the audience is starting to think Burke is betraying them.

    And when she’s clear that he’s set them up, that’s when Hudson puts a gun to Burkes chest and says “I think we waste him now” and Hicks and Ripley are against it. Conveniently, the aliens attack just then, so the humans don’t have to figure out what to do with Burke, and then Burke is eaten byan alien, ending that thread, but at least they showed a more realistic reaction to possible betrayal.

    Compare that to SGU, and the military personalities are flat. Several people have said they couldn’t tell one uniformed character from another. It’s because they all behave fairly generically. There’s no big personality differences coming through.

    So, then the missing ranks, the missing chain of command, the missing senior officers, the missing high ranking NCO’s, all become more painfully obvious.

    And as far as the mystery about rush goes, back at #504, I listed 5 different scenes where Rush’s allegiances and intentions could have easily been resolved with a couple lines of dialogue. Compare that to Burke’s betrayal on Aliens. It starts out everyone assumes Burke is a team player. No mystery. When they’re holed up in the medical center, we find out Burke is a bad guy because Ripley wakes up to find her rifle gone, the door to her room is locked from the outside, and there’s a face-hugger loose in her room. No mystery needed to keep it interesting. First we don’t think anything of Burke. Then we know Burke is a bad guy.

    There’s a group of 80 people, first they’re trying to figure out this weird and unusual gate, then they’re under attack from aliens, then the planet is about to blow, then they have to save themselves, then they go throughthe gate to an unknown destination, then they figure otu they’re on an alien spaceship billions of light years from earth, then they have to deal with the air leaks, then they have to deal with surviving longer term.

    THere was plenty of interesting stuff to deal with without trying to make the really interesting bit whether or not Rush is a team player or a psychopath.

  299. I’m with the people above that got thrown out of the narrative by the senator death scene, especially since they didn’t try to use the remote control cameras to try to push the airlock button.

    I mean, ffs, McGyver is their boss, right?

  300. Greg, I think it’s really a matter of preference. I really enjoy knowing some ambiguous facts that the characters don’t. I also enjoy having some characters know things that no one else, including me/the audience, does. I like being tantalized by mysteries.

    Do you ever watch Mystery (now Masterpiece Mystery) on PBS? What you’re calling “contrived” and “manipulative” is absolutely SOP for mystery scripts. They show you an innocuous conversation between two people, the next day one of them is killed, and the other tells the police he hasn’t seen the victim in months. Why? You find out by the end, and puzzling about why is part of the fun of watching a mystery.

    It didn’t bother me at all that we were shown Rush’s use of the Ancient stones, but not what he did with them. We are supposed to be unsure, supposed to figure out for ourselves, whether he lied. To my mind this is the same thing as making him an obvious hate-target in the very first episode: our impressions of him will always be colored by the terrible things we know he did, so that even if he does something good, we’ll be suspicious of his motives. It’s all a setup for emotional manipulation, I agree. But so is all good drama. I’m used to both seeing through and willfully ignoring such manipulation. I bet most viewers didn’t notice it until after the credits.

    I suspect you’re not a fan of mysteries, or this wouldn’t be bothering you so much. I am, and it didn’t bug me at all.

  301. OK, the Senator death scene. Wanna know why that’s there? The Senator was never an important character in this show. The actor was too big a name to be a regular character, but more importantly, he’s just a vehicle for his daughter to have a reason to be there.

    The character of the daughter is highly intelligent, but in a way that wouldn’t get her onto the ship by herself. She comes as the Senator’s assistant and daughter, and he dies; now a) she will struggle to find her place on the ship, even more than most, and b) she will be haunted by her father’s death. This is a GREAT seed for developing her character.

    Now, I was pretty sure he was going to die, but I thought he’d just have a heart attack. If he did, though, she’d have someone to blame. Even now she can blame Rush, whose fault it actually is, but with a heart attack she’d’ve blamed whoever the Senator was yelling at just before keeling over. That would be too easy on her, and the wrong dynamic for her interactions with others.

    The Senator was a prize jackhole. This is so that no one BUT her will miss him very much, especially the audience (though the even-marginally-sensitive among us are sympathetic to her loss). This, with her loss of a relevant role on the ship, will help serve to isolate her from the others; again, an opportunity for character development, and something she AND the others will struggle with. And at the same time, they’re struggling to survive; so personal problems will fester untreated, which is an opportunity for blowups.

    I think someone will probably try to murder Rush at some point. Everyone on the ship (except maybe Eli) will be a suspect, but especially the Senator’s daughter. I bet she’ll be cleared, but the writers would be fools to pass that up…or maybe I’m just too much of a Criminal Minds, Law & Order, CSI fan!

  302. Xopher–yes, but the cops (or the lone detective, as the case may be) is actively pursuing the mystery and trying to figure it out. SGU shows us a roomful of people who don’t know whether Rush is a supersmart sociopath who sees them as expendable tools to be used (yeah, dialing the nine chevron address might kill us all…but I really wanna know where it goes, so screw dialing a safer, closer address) or a sincere (if annoying) team player…and they don’t seem to care. Not really.

    Oh, they grumble. But do they do ANY of things that would quickly and easily answer this burning question? No. Which sets this mystery apart from the sort of mysteries you see on Masterpiece Theatre.

    Oh sure, they might _eventually_ get around to finding out whether he’s a lethal threat to everyone, but there’s no hurry. It’s not like they’re all in danger of dying at any minute and knowing whether this guy is friend or foe, and his advice can be trusted, would be, you know, useful information.

  303. Well, they know him. His assholism so far is in character with the asshole they already knew and hated. It’s over the line, but I think they trust that he’s not actively TRYING to get them killed…just that he doesn’t give a damn whether they live or die.

    I’m not sure that’s wise on their part, mind you, since it seems obvious that there’s a traitor in their midst (or maybe it will turn out that LDP is a Lucian Alliance infiltrator), and while I bet it’s not him for other reasons, if I were on board I’d certainly like him for that crime too.

    They ARE keeping him under supervision. They’re still desperately trying not to suffocate. I don’t think their behavior is implausible in the circumstances.

    As for your opening point, yes, this isn’t a detective story. It’s a mystery subplot in a different kind of tale, one tending strongly toward the space-opera action-adventure genre. Someone will try to find out eventually, I predict; it’s just not a priority (either of the characters or the writers) at this stage.

  304. xopher: I suspect you’re not a fan of mysteries, or this wouldn’t be bothering you so much. I am, and it didn’t bug me at all.

    I used to watch the original CSI.

    They show you an innocuous conversation between two people, the next day one of them is killed, and the other tells the police he hasn’t seen the victim in months. Why?

    I prefer the CSI approach where you start with the dead body and pretty much only know what the cops know.

    You find out by the end, and puzzling about why is part of the fun of watching a mystery.

    Think about that for a second. Is Star Gate Universe a mystery? We’re not trying to figure out who killed the Senator. (Colonel Mustard, in the Shuttle room, with Vacuum.)

    The mystery for, say, the lieutenanat isn’t “who killed the Senator?” but “is Rush is going to kill me and everyone else?”

    That’s not mystery, that’s self defense.

    they trust that he’s not actively TRYING to get them killed…just that he doesn’t give a damn whether they live or die.

    You could say the same for New York City traffic. You still get out of the way when a bus is charging your way.

    I get “mystery”, xopher, but as Mark said, there have been multiple times where the group questioned Rush and could easily have found out the truth, but… didn’t. for no apparent reason, there’s no rush to figure out whether the super genius is also super evil.

    It’s like teh horror flick where the group hears a noise in the basement and one guy goes by himself to investigate…. AAAARGGGHHH! is the next line. The point of horror is to create contrived situations where gore can be displayed, plot and logic be damned. I hate horror flicks becaue they’re almost never logical. Alien was one horror story that I really loved, but the characters basically acted reasonable.

    When no one took the stones from Rusn and made the call, it was like watching the guy in the horror flick go down to the basement alone to investigate.

  305. Greg@523 You spelled my name wrong – twice, and it’s an easy name. Talk about a personal attack.

    You are actually the reason I have not been posting here for a while. I love John’s books, but I have other places to be, so I took off. Your thin skin and perceived personal attacks are too much.

    I do find the opinions of the people attacking the show biased, as they seem to be attacking it because it doesn’t do what they want it to, instead of accepting what it does and either liking it or not.

    And I don’t really need your permission to explain myself. But thanks all the same! I appreciate your concern, but I’m a big boy and your apoplexy doesn’t bother me in the least.


  306. The Ancients do seem to expect anyone to understand their technology at a glance (like the Pak), and mostly don’t bother with failsafes, or juggle such cosmic amounts of energy that the slightest miscalculation will be catastrophic.

    In fairness, they weren’t designing their technology for their primitive partially-engineered descendants to use. Their going extinct wasn’t something they anticipated or planned for. Not much of our technology is meant to be easy for chimps to use, and we don’t scatter around primers to teach chimps how to use our stuff.

    As for Rush, I think he IS a villain. Just an admirable one – a person whose priorities put the people around him in danger, and someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to meet his goals, but with good qualities nevertheless. He’s what evil looks like in the real world, instead of mustache-twirling bad guys in fiction. Most monsters are perfectly ordinary people who are confused in their thinking. Rush is confused in his sense of what’s important.

  307. Also, keep in mind that Rush is probably the only person who has a deep knowledge of the Ancient language and can handle their technology to any useful degree.

    The Stargate program has lots of people with similar skills, but not many of them were in the group that was trapped on the Destiny. Eli’s the next closest thing, and all of his knowledge is based off of a videogame and a short tape he watched once.

  308. If Rush is a psychopath, but he’s the only one smart enough to figure out Ancient technology so they can survive, doesn’t that sort of remove everyone else’s effective choice?

    The Lieutenant, for example, has a choice of “(1) kill Rush and certainly die or (2) let Rush live and possibly live or possibly die”

    If Rush truly is their only chance to understand Ancient technology, then the rest of the people are forced to let him live even if he’s gotten off the boat, a la Colonel Kurtz.

    let him live and hope the psycho doesn’t cut your head off to learn something about Ancient technology.

  309. I see now, it’s Lost, in Space. They even have their own Dr Smith ( the evil scheming good one, not the whiny little shit they had for most of the show )

  310. GregLonded #533 — No. They don’t NEED Rush. They have the stones. The SGC has a number of people who can read Ancient, chief among them Daniel Jackson. With at least two stones (that we’ve seen on the ship so far) and six experts on Ancients, they could have TWO experts in the Ancient language (or any other sort of experts they felt were needed) aboard Destiny 24 hours a day, with each expert taking an eight-hour shift (each shift using a different castaway as host, of course).

    Which is one of the reasons I think the writers are going ot regret introducing them.

  311. I bet the stones get spaced at some point in the near future. To be reintroduced at a later date when they start to get their situation under control and some sort of productive operation up and running.

    And then Barkley can show up and make socially awkward friends with the holographic doctor. Augh, voyager flash back!

  312. Mark@536: They don’t NEED Rush. They have the stones.

    The way Rush talked about the stones to the group when he announced “I’m in charge”, it sounded like very few people know what the stones do. As long as the stones are secret, they’ll think they need Rush.

    Once they have the body swapping lesbian/quadripelgic episode, then someone ought to be clamoring to put Rush in irons and use the stones to bring over Ancient experts as needed.

    Hell, you could even swap out medical experts, survival experts, and so on. When they land on Eden, they could swap out with some farmers who can tell them how to plant crops.

    I think the stones basically create too much power for the characters to really worry about them being in trouble due to lack of knowledge. I wouldn’t be surprised if the writers introduce some sort of limitation on the stones so that they don’t totally tilt the show to the point that viewers don’t view them as stranded on a deserted island anymore. Need a neurosurgean? just use the stones.

    It kind of reminds me of a D&D campaign where the DM thought it’d be cool to give the players some magical device, but then afterwards realize its too powerful to keep the game interesting.

  313. Hey Mr Scalzi,

    I am really glad you started this blog. I am wondering if you are going to weigh in again here now after air three. Or is this just going to be a blog for fans? Also, I am wondering why the departure from the archaeological dating of the Ancients of Atlantis being ten thousand years ago to those who launched the Destiny some one hundred and fifty thousand years ago. That is a huge chunk of time missing, is it not? Or, will we reconcile that by learning that the Ancients travelled back in time in order to launch the Destiny so long ago? Or will you keep us guessing? Thanks for posting my comment/questions!

  314. Personally, Rush is my favorite of the lot.
    He knew the last chance to get to wherever the 9th cheveron went was there, so he took it, instead of dialing say, the alpha site.
    He is smart enough to not waste anyone with useful skills just to close a door. He knows some people ARE worth more than others.
    And Icarus was a research outpost, not a strictly military command like the alpha/beta sites, so it stands to reason he is next in command from Col. Young. Thats why the gate tech didnt do anything when he was moved.

    As for the show itself, I liked it alot, no real complaints, just some stuff I noticed… some spoilers for and upto Air pt 3. skip if you havent seen yet.
    1. The math proof in the video game: there were no numbers at all, and the Ancient, when translated is gibberish. apparently the solution is “NEJQHRHOf/u” (F and U use the samy symbol).
    I know complex maths use letters and words in place of large numbers, but there wasnt even anything like ‘upside down backwords L = 3241651.34’ =p

    2. The whole pilot was packed full of ‘200’isms:
    The whole gate spinning “it has to spin, its round…Spinning is soo much cooler than not spinning. Im the general, I want it to spin…NOW.”

    *Icarus base blows up* “AND THATS THE END OF ACT TWO!”

    and many more, Just watch it again with 200 in mind and you’ll see what I mean. I actually liked this, made the uber-seriousness have a little comedy to it.

    3.This one is a complaint… SG personnel arrive through a gate, find out their on a ship, and make no attempt to FIND THE BRIDGE! oh come on!

    4. The way Rush said it, the gate-seeding ships seeded the galaxies, not just random planets while going in a straight line. So why no DHD? (if it was just random planets while on a pre-set course, then I assume the gates were meant just for the ancients to use, then decide if they should even bother seeding that galaxy, hence the need for the remote.

    The rest is just speculation/possable spoilers:

    I think Rush may be a tok’ra or even a goa’uld infiltrator/scientist. (he reminds me a lot of Anise)
    But hell, he may be a Baal clone for all we know. =D (Baal had access to lots of Ancient info, thanks to hand-me-downs from Anubis…so he may just have that 9 symbol address)
    Carter was only guessing that it was the Alliance attacking, they never made contact. I choose to believe it was the snakes themselves in those Ha’tak(Which looked beautiful btw)

    I also believe Scott has some serious mental issues… He was raised by an alcoholic preacher after all, who knows how many times he’s been raped.
    I hope he snaps soon and tries to kill everybody…then gets flushed out an airlock.

    Are they going to reverse course? sure, it will take the ship millions of years to get home(unless they find a real hyperdrive to replace the warp core =p ), but right now their going even farther away.

  315. SGU=BSG. And since I refused to watch BSG as I generally prefer a minimum of overblown Drama (capital ‘D’) in my life I will cheerfully take a pass at this crap too. I WILL be turning the channel and the PVR will not be set. (Yes I watched the damn premier.)

    As for “Why the hate?” They killed SGA so they could attract a “younger, hipper audience”. All they did was alienate a loyal audience for an inferior knockoff.

    I am also bitter that the SGA movie we were promised is being shuffled off to limbo land as the producers try valiantly to convince the Stargate fans who (like myself) have watched and enjoyed SG1 and SGA for fifteen years to embrace this sh*t.

  316. I’ll keep watching, but overall, I’d say that SG-U had is the weakest offering in the franchise to date (and I’m including the animated series). The effects were fine, the premise is a little cliche but workable, but the tone and execution was just so flat and contrived that I had a lot of problems suspending disbelief. I’m willing to give the Stargate franchise a lot of slack in that I loved SG-1 and liked SG-A but having watched the first few episodes of SG-Universe at this point, the writers need to lighten up.

    Yes, the characters are in an unexpected and dire situation, but humor and sarcasm (key strengths of the prior series) are natural reactions to stress. With the exception of Eli, the crew is coming across as a bunch of angst driven jarheads who can’t decide whether to wallow in self pity or beat each other senseless squabling for the sake of argument. It’s like freshman writing workshops on drama and conflict gone horribly awry – it’s not the dramatic advancement of the storyline, its mindless bickeringdone for fear that left unattended, the character will fall into a bottom pit of exposition. It moves the story along about as effectively as a Jon & Kate Plus Eight post-divorce hearing interview.

    I have a lot of experience working with both academics and the military (even in life threatening situations) and the characters’ reactions are pathetic, unprofessional and unrealistic to the point of undermining the entire conceit of the show. If I saw professional, elite soliders acting the way these people have been scripted, I’d bust them down to butterbar and take away their sidearms until their judgement could be trusted.

    As for Ross, he’s an ass. That’s okay, so was McKay and half the bureaucrates on SG-1; but in those situations, even with a sun about to explode or aliens lauching yet another ‘final’ invasion of Earth, there was always humor, chemestry and an interplay that gave dimension to the characters playing off the jerk even if the jerk himself was shallow and one-dimensional. Ross needs to be wrong, in public, in a big way and frequently reminded that he’s not infallible the same way that McKay was taken down a rung or two in SG-A. The whole “I’m so smart I don’t have to explain myself to anyone” thing just isn’t working. It’s not dramic tension, it’s just plain annoying. It feels contrived and I really expected bettter from the people that brought us Stargate in the first place.

    As the camera work, (and I know I’m asking for trouble here, I’ve been flamed by film students and directors alike but…) GET RID OF THE HANDHELDS. Shakey cams are not artistic, they are a distraction. I hated them in BSG, I hate them on the big screen, I hate them on the small screen, I even ran scenes from Gladitor through an image stabilizer program to take them _OUT_ of the fight sequences and the movie was just so much better without them. PLEASE, for the love of god, stick to booms and dollies and if someone ever suggests that going hand-held would be edgier, slap them upside the head. Bad camera work _NEVER_ improves a scene. An effective scene should draw the view in, taking the camera’s limited viewport out of the equation as much as possible, not make them feel like their having a seizure. Focus on engaging the audience with emotion and situational tension, not distracting them with reminders that the scene took place in front of a camera on a set.

  317. I am really liking the show especially the characters but it really needs a military advisor.

    The Air Force has no commissioned paramedics. Tamara Johansen the paramedic character should be a flight nurse.

    The Marine Corps does not promote people with anger management problems like Ronald Greer to Master Sergeant and most people promoted to Master Sergeant are in their 30’s. Special Forces types are know for their coolness not their tempers.

    The Air Force has few 2nd lieutenants, a lieutenant like Vanessa James in long enough to be Special Forces material would be a 1st lieutenant.

    The other sergeants Riley and the mess sergeant Darren Becker seem to be more realistic. Becker with only two scenes has shown himself to be a real person.

  318. Except for their inexplicable failure to bring a doctor forward through the s-comm the premiere was fantastic.
    I’m actually looking forward to seeing how the relationship between Eli and Rush develops: will they be adversaries? Rivals? Will Eli be Rush’s only friend? Will Eli retaliate against Rush withholding information from him by keeping secrets himself? Will the leadership make a habit of checking with Eli whenever Rush wants to do something that sounds fishy?
    Eli-Rush has way more potential than McKay-Zelenka. That’s a great bit of storytelling there.
    Other members of the crew have training in how to use alien technology, and the military guys aren’t “paid muscle” but elite professionals with technical skills. You would expect that of SG personnel.
    The one very unprofessional soldier was a prisoner — I can buy that he was on his way to being drummed out and not representative of his comrades.
    Why didn’t anyone mention that if Eli and Rush go on an away mission together it’s taking a huge risk? They’re both critical for the group’s survival and have overlapping skill sets. I’m not saying the reasons given for letting Eli go weren’t persuasive or that inexperience wasn’t a good argument against, just that somebody should’ve noticed — in fact it seems the sort of thing Rush himself would’ve noticed.
    The Colonel should be going berserk trying to impress upon Eli and Rush the need to get some control over the ship. Maybe it would be tilting at a windmill like the ever-elusive “Cylon Detector”, but if I were in charge and looking at a ticking clock on every away mission and a runaway ship I couldn’t navigate there’s no way it wouldn’t be a top priority — right after getting air, of course.

    On balance, great show! As other commenters have noted the biggest problem is the s-comm: it insults our intelligence to know the castaways have it but don’t use it, especially since they don’t have a doctor. Either use it or conveniently destroy it, but to have it and not use it leaves us asking “Why?” with no acceptable answer.
    But overall this is better than both previous series. The people are real and believable and you care what happens to them. The shuttle problem’s only solution was very believable. (Contrast that with the death scenes from early SG1 episodes where you think, “Well if they really didn’t want that person to die they’d have Sarc’d him.” You can’t get attached to characters whose deaths are obvious contrivances.)
    On to the next episode! What will they see on the other side of the gate? I’ll know in 5 minutes …

  319. So far I realy like Rush, since he is the Anchent expert. I’m not sure if he really did know about the ship and star fule thingy..
    But Eli’s best line was in Epsode 2-
    ‘Cool I have a gun..’
    Rush just looked at him like he was crazy..
    I stell don’t understand the Pormetheus code.
    I think The games title is a hint that Rush knew how the ship got it’s power sorce.
    Since Pormetheus was a greed figure that gave humans fire in the myth.
    I might be worng I hope not though..
    Signed- Fox Cruton.

  320. @542 +1

    I’ve not watched any of the earlier SG franchises but have been finding SGU quite a yawn. After six episodes of characters I care less about each week whining ( it may as well be SG Cafeteria) at FTL speeds, I’m turning it off.

    There are some really excellent TV productions around now and

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