I have to wonder how the makers of Stargate Universe managed to peddle the series to the studio execs. A group of humans gets stranded on a malfunctioning spaceship (ST: Voyager; Stargate Atlantis to a lesser extent) a long way from home (a little ST: Voyager; more like Red Dwarf). There are tensions and conflict between the military and civilians in the expedition (Battlestar Galactica), and even a little (serious) religion (Galactica). The chief scientist is a massive egotist (Rodney McCabe in Stargate Atlantis; McCabe lacked Rush’s unpleasant, devious streak); the chief civilian is a whiny bitch (the president in Galactica). The chair from which the Ancients’ knowledge could be downloaded turned the first guy who sat in it into one of the Cylons which controlled the motherships in Galactica.
Other than that, the series was entirely original because there was no third-party villain like the goauld, the Replicators, or the Ori, and there was slightly more explicit sex. It does have a bona fide nerd who, unlike Daniel Jackson, has never heard of the gym and thinks that abs is something from mathematics. In fact, just as the spaceship, Destiny, is on autopilot, dropping out of hyperspace for some unspecified reason which the crew than has to work out, the series seemed to have no particular direction either. We did get some bad, blue alien scroungers, but they don’t seem to be an on-going menace, and probably the cgi priced them out of the series.
I got the impression that Richard Dean Anderson (now looking old and pudgy), Michael Shanks and Amanda Tapping all got wheeled out to try and boost the ratings. (Or should that be “collect big fat pay cheques for cameo appearances”?)
The final episode really did look like a final episode with little or no chance for our heroes to survive, although I see that there is going to be a second series. Whether Stargate Universe will last as long as the fairly short-lived Stargate Atlantis, we’ll have to wait and see. Probably the other idea which got peddled to the studio was Stargate Deep Space Nine. I wonder what that might’ve been about.