SGU: Stargate Universe is the third series in the Stargate TV franchise. However, due to the facts that it prematurely caused the cancellation of the second series, Stargate: Atlantis after only five seasons (whereas Stargate: SG-1 had 10 seasons and two direct-to-DVD movies) — and it seemed to be trying to fill the void left by Battlestar Galactica by going darker than the two previous series — it was met with less than stellar enthusiasm.
Picking up where the first season left off; SGU: Stargate Universe – The Complete Final Season continues the story of a group of intergalactic voyagers whom you wouldn’t see together under normal circumstances as their journey aboard the spaceship Destiny unfolds. They have difficulties on several fronts, including trying to control the ship’s systems, which took them to the farthest ends of the universe and then offered no way back without traveling normal speeds.
Normally, using a Stargate allows travelers to cross millions of light years in the blink of an eye but, with that option eliminated, it will take decades — if not centuries — to return home. They also have other races after them for reasons as diverse as wanting the Destiny’s technology to the simple fact they crossed over certain borders. There’s also the fact that the crew has rapidly dwindling supplies and then there’s biggest obstacle: the clash of personalities between the travelers, especially between Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) and Colonel Young (Louis Ferreira), who are both struggling for control of the group.
Sadly, the series was canceled after two seasons. The producers must have known something like this was coming and ended the series in a way that provides some closure. However, the series could have continued without missing a step following the finale; since that isn’t happening there could be a plot in a future Stargate series which wraps up the story of the Destiny and its crew. Unfortunately, that will be some time in the future as the SyFy channel has decided to take a break from the Stargate saga after 17 seasons crossing three series. It’s too rich of a franchise to let it expire; but for now we’ll have to watch the DVDs with over 300 episodes.
SGU: Stargate Universe – The Complete Final Season comes with a plethora of extras, like the first season set; each episode has commentary which discusses many aspects of the series from its contributors which include many of the cast and producers. There are also 20 featurettes and behind-the-scenes looks that offer most of the cast’s take on how the show is made and how it works. It’s great that the cast is so passionate about the show that they took the time to participate in the featurettes.
Highlights of these include “Lou Diamond Phillips on Guest Stars” the directing styles of Robert Carlyle and Andy Mikita. “SG-U Welcomes You to New Mexico’s Bisti Badlands” which covers the filming in New Mexico for the episode “Malice.” “Pitches: A Journey of Friendship and Discovery” which spotlights the development of an episode from ideation to screenplay and “Behind the Season 2 Finale – ‘Gauntlet’” which as the title reveals goes into the ups and downs of shooting a finale, season or series. After you finish these six extras, you still have 14 more to view at your leisure!
My only complaint is that after numerous versions of Season One (Season 1.0, Season 1.5, and The Complete First Season) on both DVD and Blu-ray — all there is for Season Two is a DVD-only release. This means the die-hard Stargate fan — those who still have it on their DVRs — could have better picture quality then the DVD release. Maybe someday there will be a complete series Blu-ray or Season Two Blu-ray. For now, though, we’ll have to make do with what we’ve got.