Stargate: Universe

By | October 5, 2009

I watched the premiere episode of  Stargate: Universe with my wife the other day on the (idiotically renamed) SyFy channel.  (That link goes to Hulu, where you can watch the episode.)

The premise is decent, as far as it goes.  The plot, though, has several gaping holes in it.  I’m going to hide this behind a “Read More” link, because there are spoilers in what I have to say.

Before that, I’ll just say that my conclusion is a hesitant “I’ll keep watching it”.  It is Stargate, after all, and I do love SG-1 (though I haven’t seen Atlantis yet).

The first problem is with the planet they’re running their 9-chevron-address experiments on.  They claim they can’t dial in to the gate because it will interact badly with the planet’s core (which is connected to that planet’s Stargate so they can get enough energy to lock in the ninth chevron).  A few points:

  1. They should have brought a second gate (connected to a normal power source) to the planet for normal travel purposes.  This would also solve point two, as follows.
  2. Anyone else could dial in, thus destabilizing the planet’s core.  The Lucian Alliance obviously knew the Tau’ri were on that planet – don’t you think the Alliance would have tried gating to the planet before sending a couple of motherships, just to take a look around?
  3. Why did they build permanent anti-beaming technology into the bunker?  They should have set it up in a manner such that it could be disabled, for situations just such as this emergency evacuation.  (I’m assuming it has anti-beaming tech because they were worried about Ba’al.)

The whole oh-no-the-CO2-scrubbers-are-broken thing is a little ridiculous:

  1. Why would the Ancients have told the computer to run the CO2 scrubbers all the time if they knew the ship would be unoccupied most of the time?
  2. The ship appeared to be running in minimal power mode when they gated in.  The air circulation system was not running, if memory serves.  If so, the CO2 scrubbers would not have been operating either.  (I may have to watch it again to know this for sure.)
  3. The computer should be able to tell them where the spare CO2-scrubbing material is stored, or it should have some sort of replicator to create more.  (After all, one could suppose that this ship is more advanced than an Asgard ship, and the Asgard have replicators.)

The air-leaking-through-the-damaged-shuttle situation has its own set of problems:

  1. They should have been able to seal off that section of the ship, if they couldn’t seal off the shuttle bay itself, by closing the doors to the adjoining chamber.
  2. If air really were leaking that quickly, there wouldn’t have been any air left at all when they gated in, because the ship had been uninhabited so long.  Possibly this was the situation, though, and opening doors simply exacerbated the problem (by letting air out of the still habitable sections of the ship).  Point 1 should have solved this though.
  3. They could have used one of the floating probes to push the “close the door” button on the shuttle.
  4. Surely the computer on the ship is capable of interacting with the computer on the shuttle, and can tell the shuttle to close its door?
  5. A ship that advanced should have been able to detect the situation and solve it on its own.  After all, after being told of the needs of its new occupants, it knew how to stop within range of a planet with a Stargate that would have the necessary resources, dial the gate for them, presumably tell them how to get back, and wait twelve hours for them to gather what they needed.

Overall, the people (especially the SGC personnel) handle the situation rather poorly.  They make stupid mistakes – like trying to open sealed doors on an apparently damaged ship.  Dr. Rush acts like a moron by hoarding the communication devices – he should have no problem sharing it with at least one other person (say, the IOC leader lady).

4 thoughts on “Stargate: Universe

  1. Corinne

    K, I’d have to watch it again to be sure but…I understood things a little different.

    1. the gate couldn’t accept incoming wormholes as a built in security measure that they couldn’t undo.
    2. I assumed the materials the bunker was built out of prevented beaming technology (and it was built origionally by the ancients)
    3. Ba’al is dead, remember?
    4. the damage to the ship was from a battle, which I kind of assumed was recent, so the situation of leaking air wouldn’t have progressed that far.

    On the rest of your points I agree, though Dr. Rush clearly has his own agenda and wants to keep as much power as possible which is why he’s hoarding communication devices.

    I think its funny that your whole critique is about the technology and stuff, they made up the technology, they can make it have whatever limitations they want, thats the point of sci fi. I would say the bigger issue with the show is uninteresting characters. But I, like you, will keep watching it to see if that improves 😉

  2. Dan

    Regarding Ba’al, I assumed that SGC had built the bunker, and that they started construction while Ba’al was still a threat (and therefore they install anti-beaming technology).

    My problem isn’t so much with the technology as it is with the inconsistency about the technology. Technology is supposed to be logical, even Stargate technology 😉

    I guess the verdict is, watch it again? It’s on Hulu…

  3. Michael

    I watch too much tv to know this, but there was an episode of SG1 that said you can’t have two gates on the same world and be able to use them both. There was one in Antarctica that didn’t become operational until after the primary one was blown up, or stolen, or whatever happened to it.

    Everything else seems like good points.

    It’s certainly no BSG, but it seems like it’s going to shape up to be a pretty decent series.

  4. Dan

    If you have two gates, the one connected to a real DHD takes priority. Basically all they’d have to do is put the experimental gate in one room, and the “normal use” gate in another room connected to a DHD.

    Come to think of it, they never need to disconnect the normal gate – a non-prioritized gate could still dial out, and that’s all they can use the experimental gate for anyway.


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