Sunday , April 21 2024
Another incursion into the Stargate.

Blu-ray Review: Stargate Universe (SGU) 1.5

Stargate Universe, also referred to as SGU, is a Canadian/American military science fiction television series and another spin-off of MGM’s successful Stargate franchise. It tells the story of a diverse multinational group of soldiers, scientists, and civilians that, after narrowly escaping death, find themselves aboard a 50 million-year-old ship that is on a one-way trip to the far reaches of the universe.

Among the characters are Colonel Everett Young (Lou Ferreira), Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle), IOA accountant Camile Wray (Ming-Na), Master Sergeant Ronald Greer (Jamil Walker Smith), medic Tamara Johansen (Alaina Huffman), computer brain Eli Wallace (David Blue), Air Force Lieutenant and second in command Matthew Scott (Brian J. Smith), Chloe Armstrong (Elyse Levesque), and astrophysicist Dale Volker (Patrick Gilmore).

The video is very good. It’s presented in a 1.77:1 aspect ratio and filming for this series has taken on the look of a super dark industrial tone. Even though dark, it does provide super sharp images; the blacks are really crisp and it has a nice grunge feel to it. Colors and detail are all there and there is no real artifacting or banding to the series.

The audio is also incredibly good with high quality DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound that makes the room come alive. Dialog is crisp, clear, and you can understand every word with no noticeable flattening but when the tension is threatening, the sound booms.

There are a lot of extras such as audio commentaries for each episode that include a variety of personnel ranging from cast, to producers and directors; “Destiny SML” (68 minutes) which are production featurettes, interviews hosted by the cast, and some short pieces; “Kino Video Diaries” (20 minutes); and “SGU: Survival Instinct” which is an interactive arcade game that requires players to jump through a series of time loops to return to the Destiny.

For those who are unaware, the 1.5 in the title of the set refers to the fact that this is the second half of the first season. First off, let me say that I really do not like the idea of producing half-season series. It comes off as a scam and no amount of justification can reverse that perception.

With that said, this second half of the season is of a much better quality than the first half and I suspect that that has to do with the fact that the ten episodes are on three disks as opposed to the two that the first half where produced on — the extra space allowing for better quality production.

Next, the quality of story, cast interaction, and general movement of the show has begun to take more form and as such, it is becoming much more interesting. As the series moves to the final episodes “Incursion: Part 1 & Part 2,” the intensity really flares, making this an overall rewarding season.

If you are a diehard Stargate fan, then I think this is a must have. If you are sitting on the fence, then I do think that it is worth the effort and provides many hours of quality entertainment. When looking at my rating, keep in mind that half-season series are always deducted a half-point technical foul.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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