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SGU: Stargate Universe: Season 1

4.3 out of 5 stars 2,770 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A group of soldiers, scientists and civilians, fleeing an attack, is stranded billions of miles from Earth on an Ancient ship known as the Destiny. Locked on an unknown course, they must fight to survive and find a way home. The danger, adventure and hope they find on board the Destiny will reveal the heroes and villains among them.


If it isn't already apparent that Stargate Universe (a.k.a. SGU) is not your big brother's Stargate, all doubt disappears when a Nick Drake sound-alike song called "Don't Forget to Breathe" makes its way onto the soundtrack near the end of "Air," the three-episode pilot that unveils this new series. The stargate itself--an artificially created "wormhole" through which one can instantly travel to different worlds light-years away--is still around, but much else has changed. Gone, for the most part, are the rough-and-tumble adventures that were the specialty of SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, SGU's popular predecessors. Gone, too, are insouciant but charismatic and intrepid leaders like SG-1's Col. Jack O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson does make several cameo appearances in that role in the course of these 20 episodes, offered here on six discs) and Atlantis's Col. John Sheppard, along with such memorable and monstrous alien nemeses as the Goa'uld, the Wraith, and the Replicators. In their places, in addition to a new ongoing story line, is a rather less conventional approach, featuring a more minimalist vibe and an entirely fresh cast of earnest, intense, mostly youthful characters battling personal demons and complex interpersonal relationships (including some involving, gasp, gay couples), along with a myriad of technical issues more typical of sci-fi shows. Sprinkle in a few more sensitive tunes of the kind you'd encounter on a nighttime soap opera, and you've got what might be called the emo Stargate.

If this all sounds very serious, well, these folks have a lot to be serious about. Very early on, the "Icarus Base" is under alien attack, forcing military and civilian personnel alike to escape through the stargate. They end up aboard Destiny, a massive ship that's millions of years old and was once the property of the omniscient master race known as the Ancients. Not only do our characters barely know how to operate the ship, they also have no idea where they are, except that it's billions of light-years from Earth. It's the responsibility of the two main men, Col. Everett Young (Justin Louis) and scientist Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle), to figure out how to get everyone home safely, a task that dominates the series' overall arc. That dicey proposition is complicated considerably by ceaseless internecine conflict on the ship, much of it between soldiers and civilians (typified by Young and Rush, both of whom are self-righteous, utterly humorless, and not especially likable). Much of the action takes place on Destiny, but there are occasional excursions to various planets in search of water and other supplies; there are also trips to Earth made possible by magical "communication stones" that allow users to exchange bodies with folks on the other end. As is the case with many new programs, SGU takes a while to hit its stride, but when that happens about a third of the way into the season, the results are often quite exciting; SGU may not be as much fun as the earlier shows, but it's still well written and entertaining, with excellent production values, good special effects, and some two hours' worth of bonus material. --Sam Graham

Special Features

Commentaries on all Episodes
Extended Version of the Series Premier Episode Air
Chatting with the Cast Featurettes
Kino Video Diaries
And Much More!

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2010
  • Run Time: 874 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,770 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00402FGE4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,252 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Annihilatrix1138 VINE VOICE on October 31, 2010
Format: DVD
Watching the first episode of this show, I was groaning constantly. It seemed that someone had sat down and decided to merge two of the most popular science fiction shows of the decade (LOST and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) into one expensive-looking series. I mean, it had all the cliches. You've got the pretty girl who pretty much has the words "love triangle" tattooed across her forehead, the awkward boy genius, the Adama-like commander, the Baltar-like scientist, and a goal of returning to Earth from someplace far away.

Oh, and there were flashbacks. Sure, the action was cool, but it mostly looked like the visual effects artists of BSG had found new jobs.

I worked my way past the two part pilot and into what the main concept of the series would be. You have an Ancient ship called "Destiny" flying somewhere in another galaxy, and a group of soldiers and civilians are effectively trapped aboard it. They have very little knowledge of what makes the ship tick or what its purpose even is; they can't even figure out how to turn it around or make it do simple things.

Once I had given this premise a chance to settle, I continued on just to see if the writers would drop the ball. They didn't. They took that ball and ran with it to places that I still find myself trying to make sense of. I'm bewildered, frustrated, and angry at everyone on Destiny. And I'm loving every single second of it.

What you have is a spacebound mystery that leaves you largely in the dark (LOST) on a ship where its crew just wants to go home (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA or STAR TREK: VOYAGER). The concept seems derivative, largely because it is, but once this series found its footing all bets were off. You stop caring about what Destiny really is, where its going, and why.
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Fantastic. I like it more than SG-1. It's a shame the network moved it around twice. This is a series that could have gone on for six or eight seasons and never run out of stuff to show us. I've been into sci-fi TV, movies and books since I was a kid, and this is easily the most epic story I've seen. The narrative surrounding Destiny and its true mission is grand.

The only flaw I see is that the series took too long to get good. The first season is exhausting: everything is screwed up almost all the time and the crew is always on the knife edge of survival, and everyone is a total sourpuss except the one funny guy on the whole entire ship. They seem to have moved past that in season 2. Now that I'm approaching the end, I see the show that should've been there all along.
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This truly excellent series was sadly cancelled after 2 seasons...however, those 2 seasons provided some of the best written, most intelligent science fiction on TV seen in the past decade!

While I have some issues with the show (the music montages in the first season are PAINFUL!), the show as a whole tells a great story, somehow managing to take the (very) established Stargate franchise and inject a new element that takes the story in an entirely new direction.

In the previous Stargate series, we learn that a race of "Ancients" built the Stargate network. The Stargate is "dialed" by inputting 6 symbols representing 3 dimensional target coordinates in space, with the 7th symbol being the origin. In the Season 2 Episode of SG-1, it was discovered that they could dial an EIGHTH symbol, which acted like an "area code" and would enable travel outside of the galaxy. Now, at the start of SGU, they have discovered that it should be possible to dial a NINTH symbol...but where does the address lead? Without spoiling much...it leads to an Ancient space ship, thousands (or more) years old, it's crew gone, the ship is barely functional, and the new inhabitants from Earth find themselves trapped on board, MILLIONS of light years from home, with no power source powerful enough to use the Stargate on board to send them home. They now have to work together to simply survive...repair the ship, collect needed supplies, figure out how to get home...and explore the Ancient, alien ship and discover it's purpose.

The characters are well written, and the writers make all of them multi-dimensional, complete people (for a change!). There are increasingly complex dramas played out...over love, power, control...
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SGU is certainly the most cerebral of the Stargate series. Darker in personality, intrigue, and set design it marked what was to be the next phase of Stargate. What could be more classic than 1. A journey into the unknown each week (ala Star Trek), 2. A canon and continuity of storyline week to week, 3. Cool technology like the transport stones (a nice variant of non physical transporters) allowing a link to Earth?

Season one was a bit slow to get going due to the necessary character development, but as it gathered speed it gets more interesting. There are hidden agendas and truths behind every episode with Dr. Rush being a primary antagonist. Love him or hate him, his passion for "the mission" are unfaltering. The other characters will appeal to fans of other Stargates, those being multiple nerds (Eli being a key), military types and hierarchy, civilians caught up in the situation of being lost in space. Near the end of the season things become a mix of fact seeking and spirituality (Destiny's, as from the Ancients, "mission" is starting to be clarified). The series clearly debates this same science vs. spirituality in a familiar fashion and really leaves no one behind in that you can ultimately believe what you want.

First time viewers may find the "transporter stones" confusing -- just stick with it and realize the great trick the writers have played with in this story.

It had been years since I had watched the original showings of these, and so many things got clear on this viewing. You may find yourself watching these back to back so get ready for a weekend of fun viewing after you get through the first five or so beginning episodes.

Very much recommended for sci-fi and Stargate fans in particular.
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