Monday, November 9, 2009

Stargate Universe - TV Guide Online: Ask Matt Nov 8 '09

At TV Guide Online's Ask Matt column by Matt Roush for November 8 '09:

(Please follow the link for the complete column.)

Ask Matt

By Matt Roush November 08, 2009

... Question: So I am on board with wherever V is going to take us, but I have a few thoughts. First off, one of the best things about the first episode was the interaction between Alan Tudyk and Elizabeth Mitchell. I was so disappointed to find out he was one of them. I know it was a great shock moment, but I feel cheated that we won't get to explore their partnership. I hope we get more of the amazing Mr. Tudyk because what a waste if he was only cast for such a minor role. My other problem with the premiere episode is probably one that most people didn't even notice. In the opening scenes, the gentleman in the wheelchair was halfway up the steps to the church. I am at a loss to explain it. There was no ramp, no elevator. How on earth did he get halfway up, and why halfway? If someone was assisting him into church, why wouldn't they take him all the way up? Frankly, it looked stupid. Yes, I am open to accept spaceships and alien lizards in people suits, but this particular scene bothered me. Also, have you seen Stargate Universe? This is a show I really wanted to love. I enjoyed SG-1 and loved Stargate Atlantis, but this latest installment leaves me feeling flat. I understand that they want to create a different show, more serious then the previous two, but so far for me nothing is working. The characters are boring. I can't seem to care about any of them, and with actors as talented as Robert Carlyle, David Blue and Ming Na, that shouldn't happen. The choice to keep the set so dark just makes me think they have something to hide, as in a bad set design. It doesn't strike me as moody or gritty, but rather that they are trying and failing to achieve that. The lines for Eli are trying way too hard to be comic relief. None of the peril feels real, I have no sense of danger for any of the main characters. I adore science fiction and was really looking forward to having a new Friday night show, but I’m afraid that this isn't it. —Linda

Matt Roush: First, V. The shock value of having a recognizable actor (from past genre work) like Alan Tudyk be revealed to be a “visitor” was an important twist for the show to be able to pull off. His name is still listed in the guest cast in ABC’s releases for the next few episodes, so maybe you will be seeing more of him. (I’d like to be surprised if that turns out to be the case.) Your nitpick about the man in the wheelchair on the church steps is something that got past me each time I screened the pilot, but yes, continuity lapses can really take you out of the “reality” of the story if you let it. I’ve got nothing to add to that. Secondly, Stargate Universe. I can’t really argue with you that the show’s relentless grimness (in the episodes I’ve seen; I’m one or two behind) could work against its in the long run, especially for those weaned on the previous Stargate series’ lighter touch. The big problem, as you note, is that unlike the camaraderie and chemistry of the previous casts, very few characters have popped yet, although I like the intensity of Robert Carlyle and the “math-boy” nerdiness of David Blue. And I do think the show has managed to sustain a fairly consistent tone of danger and fear, given that much of what happens on this Ancient ship is out of their control. But since we know there’s not a show if they don’t somehow survive, it’s probably true that if it doesn’t become a little more of a joyride in the near future, complaints will likely get even louder.

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