Every once in a while a show comes along and avoids the sophomore slump by knocking down the walls of expectations and takes viewers on an astounding journey. “Stargate Universe” is that show. Stepping outside the long shadows of its predecessors, “Stargate Universe” sought to explore how a small group of mixed military and civilians stranded on the far side of the universe on an alien ship out of their control chose to embrace their destiny (interestingly, the very name of the alien ship) and see where it took them. It became less about the need to return home and more about seeing what their journey ahead held.
Jumping right off from where Season One had left them amidst an insurrection by the Lucian Alliance, Season Two showed the violent aftermath of the standoff with both sides sustaining losses and casualties. It was only by working together that the bloody siege ended and life aboard the ship Destiny slowly came together again — albeit with some new faces, boiling tensions, and mistrust on all sides.
With everyone distracted by the simmering feud and uneasy truce, Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) made a remarkable discovery about the ship and kept it a secret for his own purposes. As the remainder of the season unfolded, everyone seemed to have a secret — some benign, some nefarious and some just out of curiosity or fear. But crammed together on one starship, there is not much room for secrets. It is out of pure necessity that everyone’s secrets came to light. Rush was not able to keep secret the fact that he had found the control bridge of Destiny and could now direct the ship. Chloe (Elyse Levesque) could not keep secret her growing alien infection. Eli (David Blue) could not keep secret his feelings for one of the Lucians. Just as secrets can erode trust and instill fear, secrets can be used as weapons.
So the second season continued down a murky path as the Destiny-ites sought not only to survive, but to also overcome their own personal insecurities and forge bonds that would ultimately provide the foundation of perhaps a future civilization.
However, during these interpersonal and internal battles, there were also threats at home on Earth and from aliens seeking to destroy the Destiny-ites at every turn. There were the relentless Berzerker drones that lie-in-wait at each of the possible refueling and supply planets where Destiny may take them — and since the drones are robotic machines, they cannot be reasoned with. It was kill or be killed. There were the Ursini who came to aid the Destiny-ites in fending off the drones. And finally, there were the mysterious blueberry aliens that would pop up with their own hidden agenda, such as when they kidnapped Chloe and performed mind experiments on her and Dr. Rush. As the clock ticked down, the blue aliens’ true motivation became clear as they sought to capture the valuable Destiny ship to unlock its powerful secrets; and who ultimately demanded the Destiny-ites surrender or die.
Life on the outer edge of the universe, millions upon millions of miles from home, it is survival of the fittest and this rag-tag of survivors were utterly alone in fending off alien attacks, foraging for food and fuel, and just making it day to day. It was bleak, harsh and utterly gripping to see how survival was even possible without succumbing to desperation, fear and futility. Yet, as “Stargate Universe” showed in its second season, the human spirit is resilient, creative and determined to survive, believing: if we have but one life to live, we must live it to the fullest.
As the second season wrapped, the Destiny-ites encountered their descendants from an alternate timeline after they had traveled down a wormhole. It allowed them to see one possible version of their future and how generations upon generations of future space explorers would undertake their mission to explore the universe.
But it also fueled their desire to not only explore, but also to one day still find a way to return to Earth. Exploration is fun, but the chance to go home is a powerful motivator. With one last leap into the unknown and allowing Eli Wallace the chance to be the hero he was born to be, the Destiny-ites chose to spend years in cryogenic hibernation until they could get to a safe place to begin their journey again. It is a fitting and fulfilling ending to a series that challenged viewers to join it on a remarkable adventure.
For those wanting to see how this fine sci-fi series played out, the entire second season will be released on DVD on June 7th by MGM Home Entertainment. The 5-disc DVD set includes all 20 episodes of the final season, including behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast, featurettes showcasing the mysteries of Destiny, audio commentary by both cast and the producers for each episode and sneak peeks into the sensational season finale. Also among the featurettes are: SG-U Welcomes You to New Mexico’s Bisti Badlands (an in-depth piece about the filming in New Mexico for the episode “Malice”); Pitches: A Journey of Friendship and Discovery (a piece that showcases the development of an episode from ideation to screenplay), Robert Carlyle Directs; Andy Mikita Directs;·Eli’s Mom Comes on Board; Brian J. Smith’s First Fight; Crashing a Shuttle; The Seed Ship with Joe Mallozzi; Saying Goodbye to Sgt. Riley; Lou Diamond Phillips on Guest Stars; Lt. Scott Gets Hit By A Car; Inside Cloverdale with Brad Wright; How to Get Sucked Into Space; Deconstructing Destiny;· A Day in the Life of Jamil Walker Smith; Transplant Day; Sitting Down with Mike Dopud; Bringing the Bridge to Life; Louis Ferreira vs. Colonel Young; and Behind the Season 2 Finale – Gauntlet.
The series starred Robert Carlyle, Louis Ferreira, David Blue, Brian J. Smith, Jamil Walker Smith, Ming Na, and Alaina Huffman, with special appearances by Lou Diamond Phillips and Robert Knepper. Their mesmerizing performances made the second season of “Stargate Universe” simply extraordinary. It simply must be seen to be believed. For sci-fi fans, for Stargate fans, and fans of well-crafted television stories, this is a must watch show. Take the journey with them and be amazed!
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