This overview is not a detailed per episode guide, but rather gives a brief overview of Stargate Universe: Season One. The following does contain spoilers.
In the Fall of 2009, I started watching Stargate Universe with a group of friends every week. We are fortunate to have DVR capabilities and so we have a regular set time we get together, and have the luxury of fast-forwarding through the commercials.
Something that I have noticed about many science fiction shows is that they start off slow, meaning the actors/actresses generally take a period of time to get accustomed to their roles. This may apply to all shows, including those outside the science fiction genre. That being said, Stargate Universe had a period during the first season in which the world was watching to see if it was going to get a second season or be cancelled as a “dud”. Compared to Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis, I would say that Stargate Universe takes a very serious tone, and does not easily follow over-used plotlines often found in science fiction shows that have settled in.
So during this trial judgment period, the show began to establish it’s characters and the basics that anyone watching should know.
These characters were uprooted tumultuously from a military base as they were being attacked by an alien enemy. This all took place as very smart civilians tried to crack the code to unlock the 9th chevron (a dialing code) in the stargate. The heavy attacks put pressure on the scientists to figure out the code. Finally, Eli, a brilliant MIT dropout, manages to figure out the last piece of the puzzle. As they are being attacked mercilessly, the installation (located in a cave on another planet) takes major damage from the enemy airstrike, leaving the military and civilian personnel with only one option: Grab all of your equipment and run through the stargate. They manage to all run into the circular pool of a wormhole just as the base is demolished, finding themselves on a large starship in space.
The people on board then have to learn how to read the ship’s diagnostics, and figure out how to get the life support systems going. This takes place over several episodes as the ship’s crew slowly learns more and more about the ship.
The ship’s name in Stargate Universe, is called the “Destiny”. It was created by an ancient race, and why the ship is abandoned is unknown. The crew does figure out that the ship is headed away from Earth, going the opposite direction into the universe, and often jumps into a lightspeed travel called, “FTL” (faster than light), until it runs out of energy. The ship then recharges by orbiting a large star or sun to recharge it’s energy cells.
The second half of the show’s season was then aired in Spring of 2010. During this time, we learn about a hostile alien race that is introduced as they abduct crew members Chloe and Dr. Rush from the Destiny. These aliens remain as an ongoing threat from here on out.
As the show reaches it’s finale, we see another faction of human-like race, called the Lucians, open up the stargate on the ship and try to sieze control by brute force.
There are two pieces of notable science fiction technology introduced in Stargate Universe: Season One. First, there are these flying orbs, that are controlled with a remote, called “Kinos”. The character, Eli uses these often to explore new planets and undiscovered areas, and they can be used to record interviews. It is essentially a mobile flying video camera. It is unknown how many Kinos are on the ship, but they are frequently destroyed on hostile planets. The second significant piece of technology used are the communication stones. These are used to transfer the conscious mind of one person on the ship to the body of a person attending the stones at the other end, on Earth. The communication stones are a piece of technology acquired from an ancient civilization, and allow long-distance interactions between characters via a body swap.
Lastly, I would say that the show does gain momentum going into the second season. The crew may actually find out what the purpose of the ship is, and along with it, a way home. I say that this show has a future ahead of it, and could easily run for five seasons.
Episodes. Stargate Universe. SyFy.