I'm glad someone brought this up--don't have many in my crowd to talk Sci-fi with. I liked SG1, SGA, each show had it's own character, it's own flaws, but most of the time, each was fairly likeable. Both had a lot of untapped potential that was waylaid by some weird, convoluted story lines (some of which were caused by off show politics and the typical brainless thinking of executives that cancel shows like Firefly...) Stargate Universe is a different type of show, more like BSG, or Heroes, or Lost, where you have to watch every episode in order to know WTF is going on.
I really want to like SGU, because there is a void in good sci-fi out there--what with Torchwood being killed off, and Dr. Who on a perpetual leave of absence. (I don't count wrestling and/or vampire shows in the Sci-Fi category--no wait, that's the new and improved Sy-Fy.) I really want SGU to be successful with intriguing characters that you get involved with, identify with, hate, love, forgive, and are willing to tolerate the leap of implausibility that some of the story lines ask of the viewers. Robert Carlyle should be awesome --but it obviously isn't written into his character--so far, he is just a pretty shallow, self-absorbed, meaninglessly hostile character--not contributing much but scowls and criticism. You can have a brooding dark character, but there has to be some meaning behind that grouchiness, or the guy is just a PITA.
Parts of this story line so far are pretty far-fetched--without the character development and program loyalty that allows audiences to accept these grand leaps: for example--in the first episode, everyone is transported through the stargate into a chaotic, unknown ship, and the head scientist and military dude had the foresight to bring along a miraculous, magical transportation device that was never disclosed on any previous SG episodes, that has the capability of transporting one person's consciousness into another person's body across millions and millions of light years (it is a body/consciousness trade really) back to earth. Amazing! and what do these guys do when they "trade" and go back to earth? Not talk with SG Command about how to solve their problems--no, they waste time and valuable ship/energy resources driving around in cars, saying hello and good-bye to people and eating pizza or whatever.
They could have built a whole, gripping, entertaining episode on the just the acquisition of that magical body trade device--but the producers wasted it, in order to rush into the crisis of the story that nobody cares about, with character nobody cares about--it's just bad writing and bad planning. The characters are pretty one dimensional and cliche'--the poor girl whose egocentric senator father valiantly gave up his life to plug the "hole in the shuttle area" (which are supposed to be able to sustain holes). Lou Diamond Philips is a military man with his head stuck up his hole on protocol and authority--not a good leader. The crazy-scary black military guy with a HUGE chip on his shoulder, but whose character gives you nothing to sympathize with (they should have learned their lesson when that didn't work with Rainbow Sun Francks in SGA!) The other military dudes are okay, but are not with memorable characters or acting to keep the audience engaged. Then there are some beautiful women, military & political ambassadors and such, who are just hysterical or bitchy or real whiny--so they haven't captured the audience. Then there have been some needless, campy "sexy scenes" that just don't contribute in any important way to the plot. I don't have a problem with sexy scenes, but they need to create something for the story, not just be eye candy for the trailers. A show of this type needs some quirkiness, some funny to release the tension, and to provide hope. So far, that has only come across in the character Eli Wallace, and he cracks me up, but the writers are limiting his potential, and he's not enough to carry the implausibility of the story so far. At the end of an episode, you want to care that somebody stays alive--but at the end of 4 episodes, I could give a crap (except for Eli), & tend to think they are a boring, uninteresting bunch of crabby people, might as well let them crash.
I have faith in the SG franchise, and I really hope they get their shit together, and get some focus, some credibility to the story lines and characters. But they better do it fast, because they've bungled it so far. It is a pity, because it had the potential to really be good.
I hope they swing it. I want some good Sci-fi. So far, the reviews have been lackluster, as the show deserves. I find it comical that people are describing the show as way to0 dark--I think it is just a euphemism for being just plain bad.
jeez, I can't believe I wrote this much...I've been sick for a few weeks with H1N1 & complications...looks like I need to get a life!