Darkness and Light

Stargate Universe CastThings are still pretty grim for the passengers of the Destiny over in Stargate Universe. Having only just fixed the air filtration system, the ship decides its now going to run out of power and crash into a sun.

A pretty short summary, but much like the previous episodes of SGU, the focus in this show is on how the characters react to the situation, not the situation itself.  For the crashing into the sun dilemma, I think at least 90% of the viewership had twigged exactly what was going to happen.  And that in itself is dangerous for the show.  While needing the basics of survival is a key starting point for a show like this, there’s a danger that “don’t worry, the ship knows what its doing” will completely remove any sense of danger the story will try to build up.   However, with the ship being such a central character in this show, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when what the ship wants, doesn’t coincide with what’s best for the passengers.

As I say though, the focus is very much on the characters here.  Again, Robert Carlyle’s Dr Rush probably steals things, but we also get a lot more fleshing out of the other cast.  Greer, who previously came across as an angry thug, is very well served by this pair of episodes, allowing us to see more of him as a person through his nice bonding moment with Young regarding his incarceration and through the larger medium of the Kino videos the crew record throughout the episodes as a log to leave behind when they think they’re going to die.

Again, Eli really shines as well.  The scene where Rush apologies for getting him into this situation, and he says that its ok, was really well played, and its very nice that he’s actually the one that solves the shuttle issue at the end of the story.

As I say though, Rush continues to steal the show for me.  His nervous breakdown was really well done, and reflected nicely the pressure that’s on him, as the only expert in Ancient tech to try and figure out these unfamiliar systems without anyone who’s really qualified or experienced to back him up.  Of course, his abrasive personality doesn’t really help matters, as people are inclined not to listen to his advice (such as not pushing every button on the ship just to see if its the self-destruct or not), and even less inclined to work alongside him.   An interesting aside to this seems to be  that its something he’s deliberately cultivating.  Over the course of these episodes, with death staring him in the face, we see him soften towards some of the other characters (notably apologising to Eli), however the minute the crisis is resolved, he immediately pushes away Young by hinting that he knew all along that the ship would survive.

As for that twist at the end, I have to say I’m not convinced.  I will accept that Rush might’ve had a suspicion that the ship was going to recharge, but I think his reaction when it happened was much too genuine.   I think its more about him trying to push people away from him, after whatever it was happened to his wife.

I noticed in the news this morning, that the ratings for this show are actually still going up.   That’s worth noting in my book.  I’m no expert, but in my experience, ratings usually start very, very high, and then slowly lose people over the first few episodes before evening out again (barring high publicised episodes with significant guest stars or something like that).   So far the ratings to still be increasing, really shows what a success this show is, and there’s obviously some really good word of mouth out there that’s pulling in more viewers each week.  Excellent stuff.

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2 thoughts on “Darkness and Light

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  1. Actually, for my money this has been teh best ep so far, nice character stuff as we see how they react when death is almost certain. Agree that the character stuff for both greer and to a lesser extent young was good stuff. Also liked the part when they first see destiny from the outside, you forget that they’ve never seen her like that. I twigged the reason destiny was heading for the sun as well but the sheer joy when they find out that they aren’t going to die was contagious. We also see, destiny will leave people behind, as she nearly did with teh shuttle.

    I say best so far, I did like this weeks ep, it was a good take on the hoary old cliche time travel ep, where they kill off main characters willy-nilly knowing that they will go back and fix it.

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  2. For myself, I think I’ve preferred the subsequent episodes of Earth and Time. Earth gave us Young standing up to not only Telford, but the Earth authorities, which could have interesting repercussions later on, and I quite liked how they handled the time travel stuff in this week’s episode.

    I liked how they didn’t make it obvious that it was a time travel reset button until later on in the episode. I was quite surprised when James died, and it was only when Chloe was killed that it was obvious a reset button was coming. Cutting straight to the crew watching events on the Kino was quite effective.

    I also liked how they didn’t spell out the ending, letting Scott record his message and leaving it to the viewer to realise what happens next. Only complaint I really had was that it was left up to Scott, and neither Rush or Eli had the idea. When Chloe died (again), I expected Eli to suddenly realise what needed to be done and jump through the gate to record a message for the past.

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