Catch Some “Air”
Posted on October 3, 2009 Posted by John Scalzi 58 Comments
For those of you (in the US) who for some unfathomable reason missed the debut episode of Stargate: Universe (entitled “Air, Parts 1 & 2”), it’s now up on Hulu. Enjoy.
I’m out and about in the world today, so expect updates here to be scarce. Catch you all a bit later.
Anyone have any ideas for those of us overseas? Hulu doesn’t like me. =(
I’m downloading the torrent file in Asia, going to watch it later tonight. Stoked . . .
Thankfully us television heathens who decided that over 100 channels of sub-par programming (SGU being the exception of course) just isn’t worth the $80 – $90 dollar price tag can finally watch the episodes.
I was hoping iit would show up on hulu today. I was only able to watch the first hour last night.
Sweet! That will have to be watched today.
Disappointing. Too similar to SGA’s beginning.
Thanks John! Nice show. I’ll be watching. Nice to see your credit at the end. But I’m sure you didn’t notice that :-)
They are currently free on iTunes, if you are overseas but still have a US account you can download them.
And Sci-Fi is repeating it about 12 times in the next week, literally. For those of us who were recording F1 qualifying instead. ;-)
Hahaha. Ad for Coke Zero.
Anyone knows if there’s gonna be webstreaming in Canada also? Hulu is all “U.S. rules, to hell with the rest of you guys”.
I have a very good reason for missing it. There were too many things at that time of day that needed to be recorded. My DVR will catch the rebroadcast in the wee hours of Monday morning. Looking forward to seeing it after that.
It’s also up for free on Canadian iTunes, at least. :)
For free, IN HD, on iTunes US. Both Air 1 and Air 2.
Bet the rest will be paid.
Well, you know the rest will be paid.
Smart promotion, though. A similar move got me hooked on Eureka.
i wonder how much sir john paid them to include that coke zero advertising? =^-^=
Like those of us watching Dollhouse? ‘Cause someone just had to go and schedule them at the same time …
If I liked the original Stargate movie as a kid but have never seen any of the TV shows, should I try watching this or will I just
Scalzi assured me via Twitter last night that SyFy had total control of the advertising. I thought the ad for scientology.org was ironic.
I was working last night, am working now, and will be working tomorrow. I’ll catch it later in the week – somewhere
Swampmaster @ # 11 – Hulu is all “U.S. rules, to hell with the rest of you guys”.
You think Hulu is the one making that decision?
I really with people would get a clue about how media is licensed for distribution, and who makes those choices.
Jessica: Having seen essentially no Stargate other than the original movie, I didn’t have any problem keeping up with the show.
There’s clearly more backstory to the universe, but it wasn’t really necessary to understand what was going on and they’ve got at least one person they can use as an excuse to explain it to when they need to.
Does the TV show have anything to do with the original movie? I remember the nerdy guy and the army guys going to a planet where people live like in ancient egypt, ruled by an alien who set himself up as a god in a teenage boy’s body. At the end I thought they destroyed the stargate. I imagine the TV show has them finding that it connects to other stargates and going on star-trek-esque adventures that are not related to that original adventure at all?
Yeah, there’s no relation to the plot of the original movie that I could tell other than (a) there are stargates, (b) the military seems to run the operation.
Let me add that I’ve seen probably six episodes total of the whole Stargate franchise, plus the original movie, and I didn’t feel I was missing anything crucial.
From time to time I’d look at the writeup of one of the previous Stargate shows and almost all the nouns were series-specific terminology. (“This week: the X return and attack Y using the Z device! Can the A1 stop it?”) Made me feel like I had way to much homework to do before I could enjoy the show. This pilot, at least, seems to be much more forgiving.
Hulu’s USA restriction is unfortunate, but it’s b/c of licensing, not chauvinism, and it works in more than one direction (we can’t watch shows on the BBC iPlayer, and most will never jump the pond).
@Josh Jasper #21:
Yes, it is Hulu making that decision. No one forced them to enter into an agreement requiring them to block Canadians.
But hey, The Pirate Bay doesn’t block Canadians.
Missed the first run. Saw it on Hulu (thanks for the steer). Nice job!
I caught it friday, and thought it shows promise. almost missed it though. good thing syfy did a immediate replay
Just finished watching it. It was a little hard to get into at first, what with all the jumpy camera plus sometimes confusing flashbacks, but I do like where this is going. Very Voyager-esque, as many have already pointed out. My only real beef is that there was absolutely no explanation as to who these enemies are who came out of nowhere and blew up Icarus. I imagine it’s addressed in the other series and possibly the movie (I vaguely recall the movie), but it’d have been nice to have a line like, “Those freaking Bobs! Always blowing up our stations!” Instead we get, boom boom, “What’s that?” “Oh, it’s an attack.”
I also assume it’ll be addressed in future episodes, so it’s not much of a beef.
John, read Old Man’s War, what a great series.
When I heard you were invovled with SGU I was excited. I watched the SCI FI channel screw up BSG and Dresden Files (Dresden files books were outstanding). So I thought you would be a great influence. I just finished watching SGU on Hulu and was greatly disapointed. The plot has lots of potential and is intriquing. But I saw a much unneeded porno/sex scene on SGU. That was a crazy, why did you put that in there?
I had expected SGU to be have a SCI-FI theme, but it departs from SG1 and SGA. It is like they teleported Days of Our Lives onto an old space ship. This post is a plea to you, get this show on track to be a great SCI-FI that lasts for years. As it stands now, it will most likely last for only a few months, if that. Help! I will watch one or two more episodes, but if it is more of the same, I’m done with SyFy, but I’ll read your books!
I was COMPLETELY impressed with the 1st and second parts of the episode. I won’t post thoughts about different scenes, in case people reading this haven’t yet watched it, but very very well done.
I am looking forward to further episodes.
To people who are posting questions about different things… give it time, I am sure more will be revealed as the season progresses.
Okay, I’m liking it so far, but since no one else has commented on it… the ship. So did the model makers have some sort of contest to see how much extraneous crap they could glue onto the model? No wonder there are lots of holes leaking air, as all of this crap should have had an outer hull around it.
I just finished watching it on Hulu. I liked it. Coincidentally, I also just finished watching Apollo 13, and the situations are rather similar. So far, at least, the science part of the science fiction is pretty good.
So far, too, the characters are complex and likable. The initial cross-cutting wasn’t too difficult to follow, but it kind of reminded me of reading a Williams Gibson novel — a short time of disorientation followed by good immersion in the fiction.
I don’t know the details of Hulu’s deals. But having been involved in another company that licensed a bunch of movie and TV content, Josh Jasper is probably right.
Studios are in the habit of licensing stuff by country, presumably for historical and legal reasons. Distributing on the Internet is still a novelty, and a small portion of their business. They’re just not in a big hurry to risk screwing with their existing revenue model to pick up the very modest extra money from Canadians with broadband but without cable.
Hulu doesn’t ban people outside the US because they’re jerks. They do it because just getting the US licenses was hard enough for a lot of their content. And because their advertisers are mainly interested in US eyeballs, so you don’t make much money for them. The are businesses, you know.
I’m currently downloading via iTunes, gonna take me about two hours to do it (low end broadband). If you’re on a slow computer—as I am—I recommend using iTunes to download and watch on your computer.
Yah, Hulu! So glad they posted it so soon after it’s premiere. Sorry, but even SG:U isn’t worth the $70 ransom the local cable company wants every month.
Watched Part One, but Part Two is glitching on me. I need to run TechTool and OnyX on this machine to get things straightened out and defragged.
I have learned a few things folks have apparently missed.
One: Rush could not dial Earth. Doing so would put the planet in danger.
Two: The Hammond got away.
Three: Earth is at war. People will be learning about our ability to travel between stars because we’ll need to prepare for this war. “First contact” is going to be a bitch.
Four: The Ancient ship is no Andromeda. It is old, and it is damaged. I suspect it was abandoned for some reason, and later lost. Most likely in the collapse of Ancient civilization. As Rush himself points out, it’s sort past its warranty.
Five: Rush is a presumptuous jerk. He also happens to be mostly right, and willing to compromise where necessary.
Six: Eli is cute and personable. Cute and personable makes up for a lot of things. Paying attention to the other person and treating them as human beings makes up for a lot more. He saw Chloe. Saw Chloe as a human being, as a woman, and treated her as such. That really is where you succeed with people, sawing them as human beings and treating them as such. Consideration for others is the watchword here.
Seven: People are scared and confused. They don’t know what’s going on, and lots of egos have been bruised. Some people—one lady in particular—are plain arrogant jerks. It’s a time of adjustment and learning. As time passes they will settle in, get in to a routine. They will learn about the ship, about the damage and how to repair it. They will learn how to use the ship and how to get back home.
We are at the start of the story, things are just getting established. Over the course of the season we will learn more. Over the course of the seasons we will see disparate refugees become the crew of a starship; become a people. But it’s not going to happen overnight. Star Trek did not start with a mythology, that developed over the course of years and shows and movies and tons of fanfic. SG:U will develop its own mythology in much the same way. We’ve just seen the prologue, chapter one has yet to begin.
I noticed that SyFy was finishing up an encore this morning when I got up.
My wife was wondering why the senator was popping Coumadin (or other blood thinning pills) last night for his heart condition. Nitroglycerin, yes, blood thinning? That was a stretch. NB, I take Coumadin myself.
The thoughts about using the Keno to trip the door shut? Like anybody has learned to get that good of control over them yet, if it was even possible. Get a grip!
I liked it. Looking forward to the next installment.
I’m well aware that it’s the US studio’s being the biggest jerks here, but Hulu doesn’t have to sign contracts that require national filtering. They could just do without that content, and by taking it anyway they’re enabling the studio’s bad behaviour.
But again, The Pirate Bay doesn’t block anyone, and Hulu’s behaviour removes any argument for not taking advantage of that.
“Three: Earth is at war. People will be learning about our ability to travel between stars because we’ll need to prepare for this war. “First contact” is going to be a bitch.”
Earth’s been effectively at war with galactic powers for over a decade within the Stargate universe. And the Lucian Alliance(those who attacked Icarus) are essentially push-overs. Certainly compared to the types of things Earth has faced in the past.
I mean, you have:
1. Parasites posing as Gods, essentially ruling the galaxy, with vast armies of slaves and huge armadas. Chief among them, a half-ascended Goa’uld which possesses the knowledge of the Ancients and can’t die. Boom! They all get wiped out by Earth.
2. Mechanical bugs which consume technology, including that of the Asgard, a race pretty much on par with the Ancients, and Earth’s most advanced allies. These bugs take human shape. Earth’s forces face the Replicators in at least 3 different galaxies. Earth manages to do what the Goa’uld, Asgard, Ancients, Wraith and pretty much everyone else failed to do – destroy them(well, MOST of them).
3. God-like beings made of energy and their fervent followers, using incredibly powerful weapons. Earth wins.
4. Space vampires that defeated the Ancients. Earth keeps them at bay. Heck, it takes 5 years for them to even make it to Earth, where they get defeated.
And lots of other smaller enemies throughout the years. Years which Earth has spent gathering incredible technology, including the ability to now build what are essentially the most powerful ships out of any race and a giant Ancient city capable of blowing anything out of orbit.
The Lucian Alliance is a bunch of smugglers using the leftovers from the Goa’uld. It takes huge efforts from the writers and a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief in order to justify why they would be, in any way, a threat to Earth, thus leading to the exposure of the Stargate program to the public. A human ship should be able to cut through those 3 ships attacking Icarus in a matter of seconds. Which is my main gripe – why exactly did the Hammond use railguns, instead of its beam weapons, capable of cutting through mile-long ships and the most powerful shields seen in the Stargate universe? I mean, as much as I would have hated it, I’d have even settled for a “Colonel, we’ve lost weapons”, but…NOTHING! The ship breaks orbit while firing its railguns, the shields are holding. 5 minutes later, the bridge is falling apart and they haven’t taken out a single enemy vessel. What gives?
I think I am seriously handicapped by not having seen any of the other TV shows, as there are many things happening that didnt make sense.
I was struck by the Dr Smith-like qualities of Dr Rush. if only Eli would have responded at some point by waving his arms at him and shouting “Mayday, Mayday” I would have fallen off the couch laughing.
there was a CokeZero commercial on Hulu for me. Oh the sweet taste of Scalzi.
the chest pain/blood thinner thing pinged my nursing background.. perhaps they could put a couple of dollars towards making the medical part more accurate as well… and I imagine the military people are frothing at some of the things that are on the show as well… but the science and the sciencefiction are good.
I’m not sure its going to capture my interest all that long. I will go another couple of episodes to see and give it an adequate chance… but the combination of “The Last Starfighter” and Lost in Space with a soupcon of battlestar galactica might just be too much for me, esp since I dont get the references from the previous shows.
Meh. I watched both hours based on my enthusiasm for all things Scalzi. I don’t think I’ve watched more then 15 minutes total of any of the Stargate branded TV series, although I have inexplicably seen the movie at least 4 times (and I think there’s the DVD in the house somewheres that came with the DVD player, along with Lost in Space, that Harrison Ford/Anne Heche deal and something else. What was that horse movie with a hobbit in it?). It pains me to say this again: Meh.
I say meh partly because I don’t understand a lot of things. …SPOILERS AHEAD…
Why is discipline so slack amongst the military “types”. Seriously. Scalzi’s the Creative consultant, but are they spending any money on a Dale Dye kind of guy? SGU appears to be set in some sort of alternative present day or near future as opposed to a OMW future and nothing against Scalzi because he nailed it in the OMW series (and TAD), but it can’t cost too much money to at least have the guys in black and the camouflage guys act like they have some sort of chain of command. Are they on the same team, same branch of service? Are the black uniforms some sort of SG special forces and the camo folks regular army? I’m not even military and this in annoying to me.
I say meh because some of the characters behave at odds with what even extraordinary people would do. Why is the Lt. so friendly with the geek? Immediately? Asides the heart condition that WAS IN BIG FLASHING LETTERS, why would McDonald’s Senator asphyxiate himself to save everyone (for a day, unless they inevitably figure it out) without even saying goodbye to his beloved daughter? How does a force field work intermittently enough to not have any sort of explosive vacuum in one instance but cause a somewhat weak force in another? I get it, it’s ancient advanced technology, but huh?
There’s more meh here, but it’s been a couple of days already and the memories are fading. I should have commented on the open thread during the show but I wanted to get into it. I wanted to really like it. Really.
It was cool to see Begbie as the Dr. Smith (I wish I had posted earlier, I promise I was thinking that Friday night and not just b/c womyn2me said it upstream). Nice to see MacGuyver (I know he was in the other SG show for 14 years, I know).
I’ll try to watch again. I don’t really care about the characters (not your fault Scalzi) but I hope it comes together so you can keep getting paid. Meh.
Mixed bag for me:
The main character who was a jerk while still perhaps one of the good guys.
The general BSG-like “this is actually serious” feel.
The characters in general, far as I could tell from the opener.
The lack of yet another Stargate ultimate villain. (The show has really have never recovered from the defeat of the Goual’d.)
The apparent return to the “what mystery is on the other side of the wormhole” motif I liked from the first couple seasons of the original.
The damn video game as try outs cliche. (Though the character himself seems fine.)
The episode solution by pushing the magic whatsit button.
The subverting the self-sacrifice bit and the callous disregard bit by making sure the viewers knew that the senator character was dying anyway.
As such, I am cautiously optimistic, though my socks certainly knocked off they way they were with the BSG miniseries and “33”. My biggest concern is that it seems very much to be treading the same territory as Stargate Atlantis. I felt that show kinda muffed its premise, so maybe this will be better.
Brian M@43 and Steve Burnap@44
I think both of your assessments are fairly accurate. I have been trying to digest the episode(s) but the more I think about them the less I like them.
The video game cliche is a horrible starting point for a series. Any legitimate organization that chooses to use video games as a recruiting tool deserves to get jettisoned through a star gate and onto a failing ship. Could they have at least made the character interesting in some way. Meth addict anyone? (In the case of the America’sArmy its okay because you aren’t recruiting DARPA scientists but infantry and other soldiers).
I did like the story but felt the execution in telling the story was mediocre. Why waste a great source of dramatic tension by revealing where the 9th doo-dad takes them in the first minute of the show. Instead we know exactly where they are and the outcome of the forced evacuation to a place unknown (to them not us!). Then there is the 30 second reveal that they are on a ship. Why tell us in the beginning? You forfeit any sense of discovery when the survivors stumble upon the bridge. Let the audience discover things along with the characters at least then they will have something in common.
I think getting us invested in the characters should have been priority number one and using time shifts and fractured story telling seemed awkward.
Time shifting in tv and movies always seems like a cover up when it doesn’t serve a functional purpose to the story.
I do like the premise of the story and where it left us in the end while convenient is a good premise for a series.
I will give it a try but don’t expect me to throw down $1.99 for an episode in iTunes.
I liked it a lot! I liked Rush more than most did, and I hated Senator’s doe-eyed daughter more than most did — good Lord, I hope we don’t get more hissy fits from her.
Tks, Sr. Scalzi, for the chat — I wasn’t there but it was fun reading thru after I’d watched.
“The episode solution by pushing the magic whatsit button.”
Huh? Did we watch the same thing? There was nothing of the sort. There was no solution, as a matter of fact. As of the end of Air 2, they were pretty much in the same situation as at the beginning – no air.
As a fan of SG1 and an on/off viewer of SGA, I had low expectations for SGU. Really, if I hadn’t known Scalzi was working on it, I wouldn’t have watched. However, I enjoyed the first show. It was darker than SGA, and the characters seemed greyer, more realistic. I hope it, at least, maintains the quality.
red@47: Not a long term solution, no, but the immediate episode solution was “ship decides to stop and dial out for reasons we don’t know”.
That was awesome, but is it wrong that I can’t see Chris MacDonald and not think of Happy Gilmore?
I’m disappointed that they didn’t try to push the button using one of the floating balls with a pointy thing taped to the bottom. It seemed like such an obvious solution.
49 – that… isn’t a solution.
dude, with all due respect, if your feeling is that sci-fi screwed up BSG, the problem is not that John needs to tune up the show but that yo need to reconsider what you feel is the mission of sci-fi and how it is accomplished. Modern sci-fi is a far cry from the 70’s era or even something like Star Trek TNG. I like that this show is dark (my favorite thing about BSG, actually), but I also like that it isn’t hopeless. The gravity of the situation is well imparted on the audience, but it isn’t overwhelming.
Yeah, BSG was desolate in a way I don’t expect this could be.
They’re both fish out of water, they both have little idea of what they’re doing, and Eli is sufficiently charismatic to get people to like him.
1) He was bleeding internally and probably going to die. 2) She would have stopped him.
Whoops! Where’d it go?
One day the episodes are there, and the next day they aren’t.
Ok, right up front, I’ve watched the original movie, and ignored the existing SG series, so I’m sure there’s lots of backstory that I’m missing out on. I just watched the DVR’d premiere and first episode back to back. That said, I’d like to offer some thoughts, first on the characters and plot so far, and then on some ideas I’ve had about where this series might be going…
Right now, the series seems to be where most creative series seem to be early on– struggling to establish some character parameters through shorthand. That’s neither a good nor bad thing in my book. TV series have a very short window in which to capture viewer interest, and writers and creative consultants are working a very narrow window of time in which to pass on enough information to get viewers interested while concealing enough information to leave room for future growth. It didn’t particularly bother me that Rush evokes Dr. Smith (although I’m tickled to know that I’m not the only person who thinks that). I like Eli, but he needs to become more “Charlie Epps” and less “Beavis and Butthead” in pretty short order. I don’t mind that he’s feckless, but I have a hard time thinking that as a former MIT attendee he’d be a feckless idiot. Right now, “contest winner” aptly describes him, but I’d think a guy who could “solve a riddle written in an ancient language” that eluded solution by the series’ one other identifiable brainy character should be more than a plot device for allowing people such as myself an explanation of things covered in the other SG series.
At any rate, there’s a lot of room for growth, here, and my hope is that these characters don’t get locked into some unfortunate stereotypes.
Regarding plot, I’m certain that some of what follows will be wrong, some simply uninformed, et cetera, but it occurs to me that everyone in this series approaches the idea of the stargates and the ninth chevron in a completely blithe manner that will bite them in the ass. Sure, they represent great promise– starships, alien technology, et cetera. Has NO ONE given a thought to how the Ancients may have protected the system of gates from intrusion or unauthorized use, from parasitism by other societies?
To me, how I see the series shaping up on the basis of the two episodes seen so far is an exploration of this idea. It seems fairly “convenient” that a planet that just happens to meet the “power requirements” for accessing the ninth chevron “address” sits fairly close to earth (i.e. reachable by a civilization which has sufficiently exploited the system of stargates, or is technically proficient enough). It also seems odd that activation of the gate using the ninth chevron from that site resulted in the planet being attacked. Obviously, the system of stargates is being monitored. Whether that’s by other “parasites” of the system or by agents of the Ancients remains to be seen.
Also, why should the gate address only actually work if the address is input “as though the gate were on earth”? The first thing that jumped to my mind is that this address identification thing is a two-way street. As Eli said, the address as far as the ninth chevron thing is concerned is some sort of “code”– potentially an identifying code which says “yo, here’s a technologically advance race which may present a danger, and they’re located on planet earth.”
And, boy, didn’t that planet just conveniently blow itself and everything in the near vicinity up awfully fast, and only a few minutes after the gate was activated, too? Call me a little too excessively “realistic,” but there doesn’t seem to me to be any reason or way for a planet to erupt into a titanic explosion other than by design. My guess is that this was intentional. The planet was a trap meant to send information up the line to the builders of the system of gates. The gate on the planet only “dials out” in order to identify which other gates have been corrupted/parasitized by a sentient race, not because of any “danger” to the planet itself, as Rush theorized (or perhaps misled?). Additionally, by having the planet blow up within minutes of the activation of the gate, the gate-builders virtually guarantee that at least a sample of users will make use of the gate, and wind up on a spaceship a billion light years from home, while at the same time muddying the waters as to whether an who might have been “captured” by the system– the nearby ships were all destroyed in the explosion, and it’s only because the Hammond was fleeing the assault that it managed to survive and bring any information at all to earth. If it hadn’t, the only indication earth would have had that anything was wrong is that a stargate address would have gone dead.
But why try to capture a sample of humans on a dying ship?
I don’t think the ship is dying. Oh, I know, that sounds paranoid. But consider this– why would the life support be failing? Sure, the ship is ancient. But why would the life support even be ON during the ship’s unmanned trip through the universe? It should have been off, and merely activated when the gate fired up. Instead, life support was seriously compromised. Seems to me that now that we have a sample of beings on board, the purpose for having them their is revealed– testing them to find out the boundaries of their intelligence, intuitiveness, altruism, et cetera. I.e., the ship is a giant IQ test meant to reveal something about the civilization which has parasitized the gate system. Fixing the life support is a timed test. If the group doesn’t plug the holes, they’re not smart enough to worry about.
The test is formed by a series of problems. The group has to identify and prioritize the series of problems. That prioritization reveals something about them. The time in which it takes them to rectify the situation reveals something about them. The solution which they achieve reveals something about them.
Does it make any sense that the “shuttle” should have some sort of problem which prevents the door from closing while air is leaking out of the ship? Absolutely none. There should be a redundant system of fail-safes which close the door to prevent loss of atmosphere. Even if those failed, the door should be able to be manually closed in some easily identifiable fashion, and yet the group cannot figure out how to accomplish this– presumably because the door is DESIGNED not to be closed in this fashion. Also, what’s with the leaky “shield”? It should either work or not work. Either it blocks air from leaking out through the gigantic hole in the shuttle, or it doesn’t. Why should it intermittently or partially block that leakage? The entire get up resembles a test to me… The only solution is for someone in the group to altruistically sacrifice themselves for the good of the others– the test is designed that way. The doors can’t be closed unless someone is inside the shuttle operating them. Again, the solution to this reveals something about the human species.
The second priority problem is the air-scrubbers. I’ve already mentioned that it made no sense to have them running while the ship was unmanned, nor is it obvious why they should be so degraded if there was no CO2 to scrub from the atmosphere, and oh-by-the-way why would these things need to scrub CO2, anyway? Isn’t it awfully convenient that the alien race who built the ship breathed the atmosphere in such a way as to need CO2 scrubbed from the air?
Again, this is a test. The ship stops at a location which could potentially yield a solution to the problem. It sets a 12 hour time limit for fixing said problem. Will humans be able to find a replacement for the scrubbers in time? They apparently do. Does the ship stop because Rush figured out how to communicate to it that they needed to stop, or because this was the next step in testing humans? If the former, why the time limit? Why the lockout to the other reachable planets (my supposition is that this is to isolate the test subjects and prevent them from “dropping out” of the test)?
Anyway, haven’t watched episode 3, yet. but so far my interest it piqued. I’m interested to see whether anyone in the show arrives at these same conclusions, and whether or not they do something about it. I’m also interested in seeing whether the characters develop enough in the next few episodes to make me continue caring.
I could be right about these ideas, or totally wrong, but that’s my take on things at the moment.
I’ve been very impressed with the first couple of episodes.
A science puzzle, neatly integrated into a dramatic trek through the desert. Cool!
“Past its expiration date.” The black glop was hilarious — a Peter Delouise idea I’m guessing. I can imagine a conversation wherein Scalzi vetoes the idea that the expired glop also stinks really bad.
I’m glad to see they’re utilizing the s-comms. If you don’t want them, make something nasty happen to them, otherwise we in the audience expect you to keep using them. In fact you’d expect a lot more s-comm traffic of the “Apollo 13” variety, with teams of mission controllers and experts trying to help solve problems for the crew.
Pet peeve: Nobody knows Ancient? Didn’t Daniel Jackson make an instructional video for that? How unrealistic! If we discovered advanced alien technology I guarantee you anyone who knew about it would try to learn the alien language. Look what a mild disparity in technology did for the English language.
Big mystery: What happened to those scientists who went off on their own? Some storytelling potential there.
Troublesome question: I assumed the object jettisoned from the ship was the broken shuttle with the Senator’s body, but in the next episode they refer to the problem of what to do about the body. So WHAT WAS THAT THING?
Funniest line (from previous episode): “If you refuse then we’ll beam you up to our space ship.” Anderson’s still got it, dry humor expertly delivered with that trademark drawl that made SG-1 worth watching.
Some of the criticisms I thought were unfair:
“How does a force field work intermittently enough to not have any sort of explosive vacuum in one instance but cause a somewhat weak force in another?”
“Explosive decompression” is a MYTH, dude. What you saw in SGU was realistic and what you think you know is fiction. Scalzi got that one right. (So did BSG IIRC.)
“I don’t mind that he’s feckless, but I have a hard time thinking that as a former MIT attendee he’d be a feckless idiot.”
I didn’t get feckless, I got slacker. He can do anything he sets his mind to, it’s just rare he does it. The only unrealistic thing about him is his apparent nonchalance at the prospect of imminent death. Slackers threatened with bodily harm tend to become very focused and hard-working. He just doesn’t seem to be feelin’ it.
“Has NO ONE given a thought to how the Ancients may have protected the system of gates from intrusion or unauthorized use …”
Earth made live, face-to-face contact with the Ancients years ago. If they had a problem with us using their obsolete gear they would’ve said something. SGC has been using their hand-me-downs for decades — we would expect the security issues dealt with and the bugs worked out by now.
Some mystery was preserved by making the Destiny come from a time period SGC is unfamiliar with — so maybe Destiny is the Windows Vista of Ancient technology and it’s going to be a rough ride.
“So did the model makers have some sort of contest to see how much extraneous crap they could glue onto the model?”
Not even the LSD-inspired spaceships of “Heavy Metal” compare: Disney’s “Cygnus” wins it hands down.
It’s made of GLASS (no, not “transparent aluminum”, freaking GLASS) and they’re using it to explore a black hole. What could go wrong?