I’m giving Stargate Universe a try. It is remarkable how many shows it is imitating. There’s the strange alien ship from Farscape, the frequently shirtless Asian woman from Star Trek Enterprise, the broken-down aspect of the alien ship which is widely known as the original intention behind Star Trek Voyager (but is also similar to Farscape), the FTL drive movement mirroring the “starburst” of Farscape, and the grimness of Battlestar Galactica, including a central character scientist who, like Baltar on Galactica, perhaps cannot be trusted. Another character copied from other shows is a senator’s daughter, who physically resembles the most-popular Summer Glau from Firefly, and who even does ballet like Summer Glau did as Cameron on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, to erase any doubt whatsoever about who they were trying to copy.
Mostly Stargate Universe is Farscape, but with a larger cast, and without the sexy women aliens.
The show lacks any originality. But you have to give SyFy Channel credit for coming up with a show made out of the parts of all the other shows that science fiction fans have enjoyed.
And I’m not entirely sure that it is a coincidence that the doctor on the ship is the spitting image of Katherine Heigl (Izzy) from Gray’s Anatomy. I don’t imagine SyFy is seeking out that demographic, so let’s just call it a coincidence.
I didn’t bother to mention that Stargate Universe uses elements from the previous Stargate series, because really aside from using the gates to arrive on planets, it isn’t really a factor. One does not need to have watched anything other than the original Stargate motion picture — and perhaps not even that — to understand the gates small part. (It delivers people from the ship to the planet-of-the-week.)
The show is enjoyable to the extent that I can watch it and admit that those people have it worse than me. Usually, no matter how bad a set of characters has it, their world is a better one, or at least one that does not involve finding a paycheck. But on Stargate Universe, everyone believes that they are doomed, and they are just scraping by. They have daily life and death crises. They have it bad.