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SGU: Stargate Universe - The Complete Final Season by Various Directors
Review by Charles Mohapel
MGM (Video & DVD) DVD  ISBN/ITEM#: B004TJ1H3C
Date: 02 July 2011 List Price $49.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: IMDB.com / Show Official Info /

The TV version of Stargate SG-1 aired for 10 years and most of us thought that Stargate Atlantis would get the same kind of tenure. But the SciFi Channel as it was known then decided to cancel Stargate Atlantis after only 5 seasons and the final episode aired in January 2009. In July 2009 the SciFi Channel was renamed Syfy and SGU: Stargate Universe began airing in October 2009. On December 16, 2010 Syfy announced that it would not be picking up SGU: Stargate Universe for a third season and that the 10 final episodes of the Spring 2011 season would be the last to air on its channel.

Created by Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright

Series Cast Summary:
Robert Carlyle ... Dr. Nicholas Rush
Louis Ferreira ... Colonel Everett Young
Brian J. Smith ... Lt. Matthew Scott
Elyse Levesque ... Chloe Armstrong
David Blue ... Eli Wallace
Alaina Huffman ... Lt. Tamara Johansen
Jamil Walker Smith ... Master Sgt. Ronald Greer
Peter Kelamis ... Adam Brody
Patrick Gilmore ... Dr. Dale Volker
Julia Benson ... 2nd Lt. Vanessa James
Jennifer Spence ... Dr. Lisa Park
Ming-Na ... Camile Wray
Lou Diamond Phillips ... Colonel David Telford
Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman ... Pvt. Darren Becker

Just as Stargate Atlantis was deliberately darker than Stargate SG-1, show creators Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright set out to make SGU: Stargate Universe much darker than Stargate Atlantis and they succeeded on that count. One major aspect that I suspect many of the other Stargate fans liked about Stargate SG-1 was Richard Dean Anderson's portrayal of Colonel Jack O'Neill and later Ben Browder's portrayal of Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell. Ditto for Joe Flanigan's portrayal of Lt. Colonel John Sheppard on Stargate Atlantis, even if it was a darker show by design. In SGU: Stargate Universe, Colonel Everett Young (played by Louis Ferreira) and Dr. Nicholas Rush (played by Robert Carlyle) were both significantly more deeply flawed characters than Colonels O'Neill and Sheppard. I found myself unable to identify with either of them, nor any other characters on the show, and I suspect this is why the show was simply less enjoyable to me. Given the show's weaker ratings than its two predecessors, I strongly believe that I wasn't the only fan to be disappointed by the premise of the show.

The only Season 2 episode I remember enjoying the first time I watched it, as well as on each subsequent viewing was Season 2, Episode 8: "Malice". This is where the repulsive Lucian Alliance thug Simeon, so ably played by Robert Knepper finally gets his well deserved end, courtesy of Dr. Nicholas Rush and a stampeding herd of large bipedal herbivores. Unfortunately much of the rest of the time Dr. Rush was just too unsympathetic a character.

Disc 1:
Extras:
'Robert Carlyle Directs "Pathogen" ' with Robert Carlyle (Dr. Nicholas Rush), Brad Wright (Executive Producer), and Robert C. Cooper (Executive Producer). Some very interesting insights from Robert Carlyle on directing "Pathogen".

'SGU Director's Minute: On the set with Andy Mikita and Paul Mullie' with Paul Mullie (Executive Producer) and Andy Mikita (Director). Ever since I saw a bonus feature with Andy Mikita, I've always enjoyed his wry sense of humor.

'SGU Breaks Down a Scene: Eli's Mom Comes On Board' with Carl Binder (Executive Producer). Low key but interesting.

'Great Scott! Brian J. Smith's First Fight' with Brian J. Smith (Lt. Matthew Scott), James "Bambam" Bamford (Stunt Coordinator), and Andy Mikita (Director – uncredited here). Mildly entertaining but it felt strange to see James "Bambam" Bamford walking with a cane – obviously even stunt coordinators get hurt on occasion.

'How To Crash A Shuttle' with Mark Savela (Visual FX Supervisor), Robert C. Cooper, and Wray Douglas (Special Effects Coordinator) Interesting, especially to a budding videographer or cinematographer.

'Onboard the Seed Ship with Joseph Mallozzi' with Joseph Mallozzi (Executive Producer) who provides a personally guided tour of the Seed Ship.

'Saying Goodbye to Sgt. Riley' with Haig Sutherland (Sgt. Riley) and Patrick Gilmore (Dale Volker)

'Lou Diamond Phillips on Guest Stars' with Lou Diamond Phillips (Col. David Telford) His bonus scene with the alien was funny.

Commentaries:
Commentary on "Intervention" featuring Louis Ferreira, Alaina Huffman, and David Blue. This gigglefest quickly became tiresome.
Commentary on "Aftermath" featuring Brian J. Smith & Jennifer Spence was mildly entertaining.
Commentary on "Awakening" featuring Andy Mikita, Patrick Gilmore, and Mark Savela was enjoyable and informative at the same time.
Commentary on "Pathogen" featuring David Blue & Ming-Na had a nice boring vanilla commentary.

Disc 2:
Extras:
'Lt. Scott Gets Hit By A Car' with James "Bambam" Bamford and Brent Connolly (Stunt Performer) show how the professionals make a stunt look realistic without a major injury.

'Inside Cloverdale With Brad Wright' was mildly entertaining.

'How To Get Sucked Into Space' with James "Bambam" Bamford, Andy Mikita, and Brian J. Smith ('Lt. Matthew Scott'). Loads of fun, more so when it's someone else in the harness.

'Stargate Universe Welcomes You To New Mexico's Bisti Badlands' with Robert C. Cooper, Robert Carlyle, Brian J. Smith, Brad Wright, Robert Knepper (Simeon), Jamil Walker-Smith, Jim Menard (Director of Photography), voice of Bill Mizell (1st A.D.), and Julia Benson (Lt. Vanessa James). This was AWESOME! They hit it out of the park with this one.

Commentaries:
Commentary on "Cloverdale" with Brian J. Smith and Elyse Levesque was entertaining.
Commentary on "Trial and Error" with David Blue and Patrick Gilmore was mildly entertaining.
Commentary on "The Greater Good" with Louis Ferreira and Alaina Huffman was entertaining.
Commentary on "Malice" with Jennifer Spence and Brian J. Smith was entertaining.

Disc 3:
Extras:
'Deconstructing Destiny' hosted by/with Patrick Gilmore was lots of fun

  • ’Power’ with Brad Wright, Carl Binder, and Joseph Mallozzi
  • 'Weapons' with Carl Binder, Brad Wright, Paul Mullie, and Joseph Mallozzi
  • 'Shields' with Carl Binder', Brad Wright', Joseph Mallozzi, and Paul Mullie
  • 'FTL Drive' with Carl Binder, Brad Wright, and Joseph Mallozzi
  • 'The Ancient Chair' with Carl Binder, Brad Wright, and Paul Mullie
  • 'Communications Stones' with Brad Wright, Carl Binder, Joseph Mallozzi , and Paul Mullie
  • 'The Bridge' with Carl Binder, Brad Wright, Joseph Mallozzi, and Paul Mullie
Commentaries:
Commentary on "Visitation" with Louis Ferreira and Alaina Huffman was quite annoying Commentary on "Resurgence" with David Blue and Patrick Gilmore; Commentary on "Deliverance" with Jennifer Spence & Patrick Gilmore; and Commentary on "Twin Destinies" with Jennifer Spence, Patrick Gilmore, and Peter Kelamie were all only mildly annoying.

Disc 4:
Extras:
'A Day In The Life Of Jamil Walker-Smith' with Jamil Walker-Smith was silly but fun. The best part was watching the scene with his stunt double from off to one side.
'Transplant Day On Destiny' with Carl Binder, Alaina Huffman, Patrick Gilmore, Michelle Lemieux (WCT Productions), Celine Godeau (WCT Productions), and Jamil Walker-Smith was BORING!
'Sitting Down With Mike Dopud' with Mike Dopud ("Varro"), Carl Binder, and Joseph Mallozzi was enjoyable.
'Bringing The Bridge To Life' with Brad Wright and Mark Davidson (Set Director). I loved it, especially how Steampunk becomes Spacepunk on the show. 'Louis Ferreira vs. Colonel Young' with Louis Ferreira, Peter Kelamie, Patrick Gilmore, and Mike Dopud was really annoying no matter how many times I watched it.

Commentaries: Commentary on "Alliances" with Ming-Na and Jamil Walker-Smith was mildly entertaining.
Commentary on "Hope" with Jennifer Spence, Patrick Gilmore, and Peter Kelamie. Zzzzz...
Commentary on "Seizure" with Elyse Levesque and Brian J. Smith was mildly entertaining.
Commentary on "The Hunt" with Andy Mikita and Mark Savela. I enjoyed how Mark Savela acted as the interviewer and asked intelligent questions of Andy Mikita. Probably my favorite commentary.

Disc 5:
Extras:
'Pitches: A Journey Of Friendship And Discovery' with Patrick Gilmore, Peter Kelamie, Alaina Huffman, Carl Binder, Lou Diamond Phillips, Joseph Mallozzi, Louis Ferreira, Brian J. Smith, Jennifer Spence, Julia Benson, and Elyse Levesque was puerile and juvenile garbage. Hit Fast Forward or better yet, skip to the next featurette.

'Behind The Season 2 Finale - "Gauntlet" ' with Patrick Gilmore, Peter Kelamie, Alaina Huffman, Elyse Levesque, Lou Diamond Phillips, Brian J. Smith, Andy Mikita, Paul Mullie, David Blue, Joseph Mallozzi, Robert Carlyle, Jamil Walker-Smith, and Louis Ferreira was another of my favorite featurettes.

Commentaries:
Commentary on "Common Descent" with Jennifer Spence and Patrick Gilmore was less annoying than usual with them.
Commentary on "Epilogue" with Jennifer Spence, Patrick Gilmore, and Mike Dopud was quite enjoyable since Mike Dopud provides a calming influence on the other two.
Commentary on "Blockade" with Andy Mikita and John Lenic (Production Manager) proved to be yet another informative and entertaining featurette with Andy Mikita.
Commentary on "Gauntlet" with Andy Mikita, John Lenic, and Lawren Bancroft-Wilson (Script Coordinator). Lawren Bancroft-Wilson had his name misspelled as Lauren Bancroft-Wilson. This commentary was shot after Syfy killed the show. Andy Mikita and John Lenic talk about the difficulties of shooting on this set and moving some of the ceiling panels to shoot some scenes. Low key and interesting.

While writing my review of SGU: Stargate Universe - The Complete Final Season, I realized just how conflicted I was regarding the show. I didn't like the very dark tone of the show and how disappointed I was that there was no single character I really liked, but on the other hand I am very unhappy that Syfy killed the show after only two seasons. What a sad loss of potential! Even though the show was cancelled before the last 10 episodes aired, some of the commentaries look like the actors mailed in their performances by their amateurish antics, particularly the very annoying duo of Patrick Gilmore and Peter Kelamie. Finally, I'm very disappointed that SGU: Stargate Universe - The Complete Final Season was not released on Blu-ray disc as Season 1 was.

SGU: Stargate Universe - The Complete Final Season is worth picking up if you're a compleatist.

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