Tonight’s first spring episode of Stargate Universe [Syfy, 9/8C] is the first of a two-parter that finds Rush returning and introduces what could become a recurring species of aliens who seem to have designs of the Destiny.
The fun begins with Col. Young [Louis Ferreira] attempting to make his regularly scheduled report – and winding up on an alien spacecraft. The aliens are tall and thin, with large heads – and they’re almost sky blue! When Young makes the communication stones off limits until they can be checked out, Camille Wray [Ming Na] believes he’s attempting to prevent her from sharing her suspicions about losing rush to her superiors – at least until a huge alien craft appears and attacks the Destiny. In the ensuing battle, an alien fighter manages to capture Chloe [Elyse Levesque].
The episode brings the less than socially adept Rush [Robert Carlyle] back aboard – something that spawns an us-or-them attitude on the part of the civilians towards the military personnel. In the meantime the question remains: how are these aliens tracking the Destiny and how long have they been doing so.
Despite SGU’s dark-for-the-sake-of-being-dark vibe, the series has been becoming more and more interesting as we get to know the characters and learn more about the destiny. The addition of a potentially recurring alien species with designs of the Ancient ship adds further depth to the series while allowing the four main characters: Col. Young, Camille Wray, Dr. Nicholas Rush and Eli Wallace [David Blue] some terrific scenes – together and apart.
Some of the supporting cast – especially Chloe, MSgt Ronald Greer [Jamil Walker Smith] and MSgt. Tamara Johansen – get their share of shining moments, too. There’s even a case of unrequited lust!
Interesting, the spindly blue aliens have solid, squat ships that, from head on, look like alien faces [though not of the species that’s using them].
Tonight’s premiere is written by two Stargate vets, John Mallozzi [he of the famous milkshake parties] and Paul Mullie who have written seventy-three episodes for the various Stargate series. Space works because these guys write solid, character-based stories and, as I mentioned above, seven of the show’s regular cast members are well served here. The predicament with the alien trackers is given a fresh spin that will pay off in the second half of the two-parter, next week.
SG veteran director Andy Mikita uses the show’s already dark tone to build suspense and get the most out of what few comic moments there are. Think tomatoes!
I write of the series premiere that, once the setting was established and we’d gotten to know the characters, SGU would likely be worth the ride. The first eps of the show’s spring season bears that out.
Final Grade: B+