saving SGU

As a follow-up, here’s a thoughtful post about what comes next for Stargate: Universe. The key point is that SyFy doesn’t own the franchise, MGM does, and there is precedent for a series to jump channels. I’m not holding my breath, but there’s more passion for SGU than any series out there since Firefly. Who knows?

Well, Syfy doesn’t actually own Stargate Universe, MGM does. From my admittedly limited understanding of TV legalese, what this means is that MGM takes care of producing the actually show and has some sort of broadcasting deal with Syfy whereby the channel gets to air the first run of the show. While this may at first seem trivial consider two facts; One, the Stargate initially aired on the premium channel Showtime before it was “canceled” and then saved by Syfy (then the Sci-Fi Channel) and Two, MGM itself has issued no statement regarding the future (or not) of the series. I think this is significant because there are many more broadcast options available for the series in today’s market and there are perhaps other channels that would be interested in a series that already has standing sets and a built-in audience.

Below, I’ve included address for some of these channels to write to in order to express interest in watching Stargate Universe on their channel. I’ve also included the address for Syfy. I honestly don’t think there is any chance that they would reverse their decision, but there is the small possibility they could be persuaded to commission a mini-series or movie to wrap up the storyline. This happened when the network canceled the series Farscape, so there is precedence. Obviously, a full season of 13 or 20 episodes would be ideal, but I think it would be worth expressing the desire to have a wrap-up to the show in whatever form we can get it.
The remaining ten episodes of Stargate Universe season two will air on Syfy sometime in 2011 and this would be a great opportunity to increase the ratings to show Syfy and/or any other potential suitors how popular the show is. Pop Culture Zoo will continue our usual coverage of those remaining episodes so please stay tuned for that.

I’m reprinting the contact information for the various execs as well:


Mr. Mark Stern
Executive VP Original Programming, NBC Universal – Syfy
100 Universal City Plaza
Bldg. 1400, 14th Floor
Universal City, CA 91608

Dave Howe
President, NBC Universal – Syfy
30 Rockefeller Plaza, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10112

Thomas P. Vitale
Senior Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, NBC Universal – Syfy
30 Rockefeller Plaza, 21st Floor
New York NY, 10112


Charles E. Cohen
Senior Executive Vice President, MGM Finance and Corporate Development
MGM Television Entertainment
10250 Constellation Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA, 90067

farewell, Caprica

Caprica will be canceled; there are five unaired episodes left, but they will be yanked from the Tuesday slot and rebroadcast next year sometime.

I’m disappointed, honestly. I was very skeptical of the premise when I heard about it as BSG drew to a close, but Caprica earned its own name and seemed to want to continue the traditioin of exploring the meaning of humanity. The latest episodes introduced another “angel” head-character that also lent a spiritual continuity. The subplot of Lacy joining the STO, the Church on Gemenon, and the war on Tauron all had echoes of modern issues but suitably and safely abstracted. It provided a broader vision of the Twelve Colonies than we ever had a chance to explore aboard Galactica.

However, I think Caprica spent too much time on its ensemble; I was excited that it seemed for a while that Daniel would be a widower, and disappointed that the thoroughly useless character returned. The plot was excruciatingly slow, driven by the cliffhanger formula rather than just resolving things. But still, it would have been nice to see where they went.

We pretty much know how it all turns out. Somehow, Zoe and Tamara are the seeds for true sentience among the Cylons. It would have been interesting to see how the STO and the Taurons factored into the inevitable rebellion of the war machines. And, how they tied it back to the concept of Everything that Has Happened Has Happened Before – after all, as Caprica unfolded, the Five were racing back from the radioactive ruins of Earth 1. Zoe’s angel was revealed to have given Zoe the basic design for Cylons which Daniel copied, and then she herself is destined to become the precursor to their soul. If done well, it could have added real depth to the Galactica mythos.

Unfortunately, since Moore and crew basically made stuff up as they went along and retconned the heck out of the plot with each season, I doubt that Caprica would have answered more questions than it raised. So maybe it’s a good thing Caprica has withered.

I still have SGU – and it’s the best thing on TV until the Doctor returns.

Galactica news, good and bad

The great news: another Galactica TV series is in the works. And Caprica renewed for another season. With Caprica and SGU, I’m really set to enjoy a summer of sci-fi (on Syfy).

The horrible news: They are still serious about a reboot of Galactica as a movie. Helmed by Bryan Singer of the “I had a chance to reboot Superman and made it lame” fame.

“looks like we entered the Hoth system”

A new trailer for Stargate: Universe, which has me way more excited than anything I’ve seen regarding Caprica.

after Galactica: what to watch next?

somewhat inspired by Mark’s list of games, movies, and anime he intends to watch next, I wanted to list some of the upcoming (and older) series on television that I am going to sample to try and replace the gaping void that Batttlestar Galactica’s ride off into the sunset (literally) has left behind. In no particular order:

  • Stargate: Universe. This takes the Stargate franchise into a fresh direction, into the unexplored universe far beyond the scope of the previous series (SG1 and Atlantis). The plot premise sounds like a cross between Quantum Leap and Star Trek Voyager – but wit the Stargate writers, the extreme suckage and wasted potential of ST:VOY will hopefully be avoided. This is,however, the Stargate franchise, so expecting the series to take actual risks or bold storylines is probably wishful thinking indeed. Unlike BSG, Stargate plays it safe – characters never die, there are never any major changes to the status quo, and the series prefers technobabble exposition to simple character interaction (a failing it has inherited, though to far less degree, from the Star Trek-ification of science fiction).
  • Caprica. This prequel series to BSG is styled as a soap opera/drama rather than an action and adventure series. Still, it will be interesting to see how they respect/extend/desecrate the BSG canon. One thing that worries me off the bat is the insinuation that we will be seeing humaniform cylons instead of toasters. Still, with Ron Moore aboard as a producer, hopefully they will avoid the temptation.
  • Chuck. I caught an episode of this engaging series on a recent United flight and I found myself intrigued. I barely know what it’s about apart from what I inferred from the episode, but Chuck appears to be an ordinary schmoe who somehow has some super classified database implanted in his brain, neccessitating protection by the CIA and involvement in all sorts of silly capers with foreign agents who are trying to learn his (protected) identity. In teh meantime he works at a Best Buy (suitably modified for trademark purposes). This is funnier than it sounds,but it also had some honest emotion too. A major appeal was seeing Adam Baldwin (Jayne from Firefly) playing major supporting role.
  • Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. I know this series is rumored for cancellation, but it’s got Summer Glau.
  • Warehouse 13. This is probably the most anticipated show on my list. The basic idea is to try and mix X-Files with Raiders of the Lost Ark, with two (FBI?) agents assigned to Warehouse 13, a desert government facility where all manner of supernatural objects are stored (think the big warehouse where they stored the Ark in Raiders). The agents are tasked with going off around the world and retrieving more of these objects. The previews suggest that the agents are a lot more interesting, personality wise, than Sculder or Mully ((I mean, they were both deadpan and taciturn. Even Scully’s supposed cynicism about the paranormal became hollow by the end of the first couple of seasons. The only characters with any genuine warmth were the Lone Gunmen)).

I’ll take this moment to ridicule SciFi Channel’s universally-panned name change to (or, as I like to think of it, Siffy). Then again, despite being home to 3 of the 5 series listed above, there’s barely any science fiction on the channel anymore. Most of the time they are showing bad horror flicks like Anaconda or whatnot.

How exactly is having weapons at maximum going to help the situation?

This is from Stargate: SG-1‘s 200th gala episode, which was.. different.

I’m starting to realize that SG-1 is one of the hidden gems of science fiction television. I will probably have to netflix the whole thing at some point. Ten seasons… yikes. Bigger than Ranma!

Also, I probably need to get started on Farscape too, if I have any hope of understanding why this is funny. “Something a little more obscure” indeed 🙂 Claudia Black’s little gleeful rubbing her hands together is just so awesome at the end of that clip, that it really motivates me.

Stargate: Universe

I wonder if this will be what Star Trek: Voyager should have been:

After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate’s ninth chevron, a team of explorers travels to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by The Ancients at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment set in motion, but never completed.

What starts as a simple reconnaissance turns into a never ending mission, as the Stargate Universe crew discovers the ship is unable to return to Earth, and they must now fend for themselves aboard the Destiny.

The crew will travel to the far reaches of the universe, connecting with each of the previously launched Stargates, thus fulfilling the Destiny’s original mission.

I never got into either SG-1 or Atlantis, but this seems well-poised to recapture some of that epic feel from the original movie.