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Sunday afternoon

Posted by Mick on April 25, 2010 – 6:34 pm

Sunday afternoon is such a strange time.

I’m torn between wanting to be productive, wanting to be lazy, and wanting to be adventurous.  So far, lazy has been winning the day.

Tara has been the productive one.  She has fed us both, cleaned the bath tub, worked on the laundry, knitted, and written a blog entry.

I did the dishes.

We did work on getting at least partially caught up on Stargate Universe.  When the first episodes of the series aired, I was on the fence about it.  I liked the new, darker, more serious tone they were taking, but there were a few elements that I hated.  The number one offender being the “communication stones”.  The stones allowed far too much communication with Earth, diminishing the very isolation that should be at the heart of the show.  These people are cut off from everything they’ve known, up to and including everything we thought we had learned from two previous series.  The vast majority of them are ill-prepared for this type of voyage, and less prepared for the power struggles that are going to arise.  Giving them the ability to call home when things get complicated made the entire adventure seem like an inconvenience.  It also raised a far more disturbing question, why are you wasting so much time on inter-personal conflicts… back on Earth?  Maybe we could have used the stones to put Rodney McKay on the ship for an hour or two instead of sending our pilot to see his ex-girlfriend the single-parent stripper who doesn’t need his morality lessons, thank you very much.

Someone out there in SyFy land must have agreed with me, because so far, the stones have been pushed to the side.  Two new episodes and nary an appearance of Lou Diamond Phillips.  I’m a happy man.

It’s still dark.  If anything, it’s darker.  Who are the good guys?  Who are the bad guys?  We don’t know.  Aside from Eli, the slacker/genius kid brought along because he figured out a puzzle in a video game, everyone else’s moral center still seems to be up for grabs.  You get the sense that most of them want to do the right thing, but knowing what the right thing is?  That’s another issue altogether.

And when you think about it, what is the right thing?  Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you find yourself in a position of leadership, responsible for the lives and safety of a few score people on a ship.  You’re lost, far from home with only the vaguest idea where you are, and no idea how to get home.  One of those people is a brilliant scientist, possibly your best hope at getting home, but you believe that not only is he not working to get everyone back home, he’s actually putting everyone in greater danger in his attempts to further his own agenda.  He challenges your authority at every turn.  Finally his actions lead to the death of a crew member, and he attempts to frame you for a murder.  Are you justified in stranding him?  Abandoning him on an alien planet, with little to no hope of survival?  What kind of man does that make you?

It’s a different kind of Stargate.  SG1 and Atlantis featured heroes.  SGU has no heroes.  It has people who are thrown into something none of them, none of them, are prepared for.  It’s a little more real, a little more gritty.

There’s part of me that misses the escapist fun of the first two series, but in the big picture I’m glad that they’re trying something different.  They got off to a rocky start, but it seems that they’re willing to admit their mistakes and make some changes as they go, and the show is improving because of that.  I’m looking forward to the future.

And on that note, I’m going to go eat some of the wonderful chevre that Jim and Emily left with us yesterday, and get ready for The Simpsons.

Be good to each other.

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