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. ytimynona – FLORIDA – I'm a big wannabe. Wannabe a truck driver, PotUS, scientist, writer, and teacher. Well, I already am a teacher. :-)
    ytimynona

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

  4. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    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. 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.

  8. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    Here we go!

  9. #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!

  10. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    Give me time, Twilight. I don’t want to weird her out — not yet.

  11. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    The “U.S.S. George Hammond”… I teared up just a little, thinking of Don Davis.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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,

  17. 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?

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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. . .

  21. 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?

  22. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    Samantha Carter!

    **swoon**

  23. About time we got some Carter, how much are we likely to see of other SG1/Atlantis people in future episodes.

  24. ATMachine – A blogger with an interest in the history of how some of our most beloved modern books and films came to be. Mainly I'll talk about the history behind The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars (chiefly the original trilogy flavor). Also expect some classic LucasArts and Sierra video game nerdery from time to time.
    ATMachine

    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.

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

  26. 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.

  27. 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!!

  28. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    Go Walter!

  29. 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.”

  30. 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.

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

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

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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?

  38. About all y’all hating Rush so far: I am delightfully fine with it. He’s a hard man to like, and I think a bit proud of it.

  39. 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. :-(

  40. 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.

  41. Xopher:

    Just because he’s kind of an asshole doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the bad guy, is what I’d say to that.

  42. 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.

  43. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    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.

  44. 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.

  45. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    Look! It’s Bit from Tron!

  46. 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. ;-)

  47. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    Who puts a septic tank in a frakking starship? Jeez…

  48. 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.

  49. ATMachine – A blogger with an interest in the history of how some of our most beloved modern books and films came to be. Mainly I'll talk about the history behind The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars (chiefly the original trilogy flavor). Also expect some classic LucasArts and Sierra video game nerdery from time to time.
    ATMachine

    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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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?

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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. ;-)

  55. “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.

  56. 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.

  57. “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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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!

    /bows

    Oh! It’s back on!

  60. @177. Joel

    Roto Rooter? OMG, is this going to be a cross-over promo with Ghost Hunters…? Please. No.

  61. 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.

  62. Shooter, I know what they told you but the gold jacket isn’t just through that door…

  63. 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.

  64. 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

  65. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    @ Andrew: No. That was a father sacrificing himself. Any father can understand that.

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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?

  69. FINALLY!!!

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

  70. 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.

  71. This is why it’s fun for me to watch you guys comment. I know what’s going to happen and get to watch you guys find it out.

  72. 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!

  73. ATMachine – A blogger with an interest in the history of how some of our most beloved modern books and films came to be. Mainly I'll talk about the history behind The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars (chiefly the original trilogy flavor). Also expect some classic LucasArts and Sierra video game nerdery from time to time.
    ATMachine

    “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.

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

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

  76. Can’t do it next week, sorry. I’ll be off partying after a week of teaching. But, sure, let’s do it some other time.

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    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.

  80. @ Jeff Hentosz #276
    With forehead ridges (Star Trek style)! Or are you thinking more of the floppy-eared Jar-Jar variety?

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

  82. 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.

  83. AlphaGeek – Cincinnati OH – Rent-A-Geek is your one-stop shop for website design and maintenance, on-site computer troubleshooting, and one-on-one technology training. Whether you need a new website built, an existing website redesigned, a printer connection diagnosed, or you just need help understanding how to do a pivot table in Excel, Rent-A-Geek is the place to call.
    Jeff

    I like. I want more. You done good, John.

  84. 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?

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. @296: No half-measures — Monkey Thing from the Lost in Space movie!

    Good show, SG:U team! We’ll keep watching.

  88. 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.

  89. 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.

  90. @ 319 Scalzi: You’re welcome!

    @ 320 Grand Fromage:

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

    /g’night everyone!

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

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

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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?

  102. amandageddon – She is a slacker of the highest order, a geek of not so much, went back to school to become an even bigger geek and possibly get paid for it. She loves it when a plan comes together.
    Amanda

    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. :)

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. I liked this thread much better than the show itself!

  106. 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. ;)

  107. 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?

  108. 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.

  109. 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?

  110. 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.

  111. 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.

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

  114. 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.

  115. 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.

  116. @ 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.

  117. 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?

  118. 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. =)

  119. 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?

  120. 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.

  121. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, who should be writing

    Fookin’ Begby and Richie Valens in the same show? Hell yeah! Can’t wait to watch it. Since the TV shit the bed last night I couldn’t. HULU here I come!

  122. 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!

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. 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?

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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!

  134. 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.

  135. 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.

  136. 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!!!

  137. 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.

  138. 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?

  139. 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.

  140. 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.

  141. 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.

  142. 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…

  143. 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)

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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.

  147. @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.

  148. 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.

  149. 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.

  150. 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.

  151. 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?

  152. 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?

  153. 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.

  154. 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.

  155. 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.

  156. 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.

  157. @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…

  158. 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.

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

    LOL. Goto Vegas. Play Keno.

  160. 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.

  161. (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).

  162. YOU CANNOT BLOW UP A PLANET

    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.

  163. @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.

  164. kevinshaum – Programmer, RP Gamer, amateur writer and artist, dilettante and general layabout; aka "Tinker LaFollette" on Second Life.
    Kevin Shaum

    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?)

  165. 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.

  166. @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.

  167. 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.

  168. kevinshaum – Programmer, RP Gamer, amateur writer and artist, dilettante and general layabout; aka "Tinker LaFollette" on Second Life.
    Kevin Shaum

    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.

  169. 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).

  170. 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.

  171. 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.

  172. 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.

  173. #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.

  174. @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.

  175. 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 ;)

  176. 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?

  177. 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.

  178. 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.

  179. 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.

  180. 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.

  181. 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.

  182. 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.

  183. 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?

  184. 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.

  185. 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.

  186. 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.

  187. 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?