Stargate Universe: 1.0

Stargate Universe: 1.0
After the early demise of Stargate Atlantis (at least in comparison to SG1, which lasted ten full seasons), the "Gater" community has been itching for another trip through the Chappa'ai. Producers Robert Cooper and Brad Wright have finally returned with Stargate Universe, the bleakest Stargate yet. This time around we find a group of scientists, led by Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle), seeking to unravel the mystery of the ninth chevron, a mysterious extra icon that appears on only one known Stargate. The mystery is solved with the help of slacker super-genius Eli Wallace (David Blue), who makes his contribution through an online RPG game. Eli is whisked off-world as a consultant to the ninth chevron project and, after an attack by an alien enemy, ends up on the other side of the galaxy aboard a derelict Ancient star ship, along with other refugees from the attack. Unfortunately, the disused and damaged star ship won't power up and allow the group to return home to Earth. Trapped, the unwitting crew of the Destiny are alone in an unknown part of space with no way of escape. Previous Stargate series have always been, at their core, light-hearted sci-fi fun, but Universe could easily have been called Stargate Galactica, with its gritty style and "lost in space" storyline. In usual Stargate fashion, the 1.0 disc (containing the first half of the first season) is packed with special features. Every episode has a commentary track by cast and/or crew, Kino video diaries (a Kino is like the Ancient's version of a M.A.L.P., duh) by the characters, Stargate 101 hosted by Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) and an extended version of the pilot episode. Universe does build on 15 years of Stargate mythology, so it might not be the easiest introduction into the world, but non-fans who are willing to accept that they'll be missing a lot of in jokes and explanations (though the Stargate 101 feature does help give some background for newbies) will find this series nearly as entertaining as the earlier trips through the 'gate. (MGM)