review science fiction TV

REVIEW: Stargate Universe Season 1.5 DVD

Stargate Universe. When the show first premiered, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I compared it to previous Stargate series, Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: Voyager.  Within a couple weeks all that was forgotten and it was rapidly becoming one of my favorite shows on TV.

If you’ve never seen the show, the story follows a group of soldiers, scientists and civilians that were unexpectedly transported to the other side of the universe. Stranded billions of miles from Earth on an Ancient ship known as the Destiny, the passengers encounter adventures beyond their wildest dreams as they struggle to survive.  The drama is high and the stories are intense.  One of the best things about this show is the characters ring true.  These are not classic heroes that never make a mistake.  These folks are struggling every day to keep going.  They are flawed … and most importantly, they are interesting.

The excellent cast includes: Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty), Ming-Na (ER), Brian J. Smith (Hate Crime), David Blue (Ugly Betty), Jamil Walker Smith (Hey Arnold!), and Canadian actors Louis Ferreira (formerly known as Justin Louis), Alaina Huffman, Patrick Gilmore and Elyse Levesque. Some of the original Stargate SG1 cast make brief appearances, including Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, and Amanda Tapping.

Stargate Universe 1.5 DVD

Stargate Universe 1.5 (3-disc DVD set) went on sale last Tuesday and includes the final 10 episodes of the season.  If you even moderately enjoyed the first half of the season, then you’re really going to love the second half.  Things really ramp up right away!  The creators obviously learned what worked and what didn’t during the first half of the season.  Stories include: an attack by a wicked new alien race, an attempted mutiny on the Destiny, sympathy-creating insights into why Dr. Rush is such a jerk, crazy hallucinations, an attack by the Lucian Alliance, and a season finale that will leave you breathless.  Seriously, these 10 episodes make for great television!

A quick personal story… somewhere towards the end of these 10 episodes, I realized that the actor playing Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) was the same actor that played Begbie in the film Trainspotting.  I gotta tell you, the character of Begbie scared the crap out of me in that film, and to this day still scares me.  This realization made the Dr. Rush character that much more intense for me.

This 3-disc DVD set includes over 80 minutes of cool Extras, including:

  • Episode Commentary on all 3 Discs
  • David Blue: An Interview with the Creators of SG-U
  • Brian J Smith: An Interview with the Creators of SG-U
  • Alaina Huffman: An Interview with the Creators of SG-U
  • Designing a New Race: Space Aliens
  • Tanked! Elyse Levesque Goes for a Swim
  • Chatting with the Cast: Peter Kelamis
  • Chatting with the Cast: Julia Benson
  • Chatting with the Cast: Jennifer Spence
  • Chatting with the Cast: Patrick Gilmore
  • Finding Destiny: A Tour of the Destiny Set with Chris Beach
  • The Destiny of General O’Neill
  • A Day in the Life of Louis Ferreria
  • Out for a Spacewalk with Jamil Walker Smith
  • A Behind the Scenes Look at “Incursion”
  • Two-for-One: Behind the “Incursion” Double Ratchet Stunt
  • Nine different Kino Video Diaries

This is a great show and this collection makes a nice DVD set to own.  Personally, I’d rather they produce a single-season set instead of two half-season sets, but I understand the economics behind it.  You can pick up Stargate Universe 1.5 on DVD or Blu-Ray at your local DVD retailer or online.  Kick back and enjoy these fantastic episodes as you prepare for the series return to Syfy on September 28, 2010.  My thanks to MGM Home Entertainment for sending me a copy to review.

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Stargate Universe Season 1.5 DVD

  1. I really (really) enjoyed the movie Stargate, and was excited when they were starting a TV series… except that it was on Showtime, and I didn’t get premium cable while off at college (the show started right as I was starting school). This was obviously back before you could download shows as they aired or watch them on the internet. So I never watched it. And by the time it moved to Sci-Fi I figured I was too late to the party and didn’t bother with the spin-offs either, which I have heard very good things about.

    Robert Carlyle also played the best of the later James Bond villains, the French terrorist Renard from 1999’s The World Is Not Enough.

  2. I have said this many times, but my favorite ‘situation’ in all of scifi is the mismatched group of survivors trapped lightyears from Earth who have to find a way to work together to survive. This show does it better than anything recently. Battlestar Galactica started out well but then collapse under the weight of it’s own mythology. This show is gritty and fresh with flawed characters. I like the way they can have the illusion of home but not the reality with the stones. It only adds to the ennui of their situation. I am really looking forward to how the Lucien Alliance will fit into the struggle already existing between the military and the civilians. Carlyle is the best good ‘villain’ in TV. He’s like Dr Smith from Lost in Space without the confidence of Smith.

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