A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sci-fi series is yet another spin-off in the popular Stargate family. It's a little racier than earlier series like Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, but the levels of (mostly bloodless) action violence are about the same. Though some of the show's basic concepts will be familiar to fans of other series in the franchise, the overall theme is different, since the premise centers on a group of space castaways.
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What's the story?
Soon after solving an especially tough problem in a computer game, slacker/geek Eli Wallace (David Blue) is stunned to receive a visit from a mysterious military officer and an even more enigmatic scientist, Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle). The strangers are from the Stargate Program, a top-secret unit that's secretly been exploring the universe using ancient alien teleportation devices -- Stargates -- that can instantly zap people across the cosmos. Dr. Rush and his team recruit Wallace to join them (turns out his game solution was something they desperately needed); once at their base, he helps them program the Stargate to send them … somewhere. But when the base is attacked, their only option is to escape through the Stargate. As the gate closes, the group finds themselves stranded on an abandoned alien spaceship, billions of light-years from Earth. They must learn to work together to survive while exploring the mysteries of the far side of the universe.
Is it any good?
STARGATE UNIVERSE is the second spin-off of long-running sci-fi series Stargate SG-1, which itself built on a universe originally envisioned in the 1994 feature film Stargate. The previous entries in the franchise have mapped out a complex and entertaining storyline, with several alien races, plenty of interplanetary conflict, and a complicated backstory about the mysterious Ancients who created the network of Stargates. By shifting the action to the farthest reaches of space, Stargate Universe (aka SGU) gets to keep the backstory while creating an entirely different setting.
The result is a thrilling space drama that will appeal to both existing fans and new viewers. The excitement comes from three sources. First, of course, are the unknown mysteries of this previously unexplored galaxy. Then there’s the challenge of learning to control the decrepit spaceship. And finally, there’s plenty of intrigue on board as the military team members butt heads with the civilians butt heads, and Dr. Rush seems to be pursuing his own agenda. It’s not the first series to use this lost-in-space theme (see Star Trek: Voyager), but it’s certainly one of the better ones.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's action and violence. How does it compare to other sci-fi shows you've seen? In general, does this kind of violence have more or less impact on you than what you see in more realistic crime dramas?
How does this series fit into the overall storyline that's been created in other Stargate series? How does transporting the action to the far side of the universe make this show different? What parts of the series are similar to other Stargate shows?
Despite their advanced technology, the characters here are truly lost in space. How does this compare to shows about people who've been shipwrecked on Earth?
For kids who love sci-fi
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