Sunday, 15 November 2009

Tv Nibble: The Past is Always Relevant…

This week’s episode of Stargate: Universe, “Time”, is an interesting episode for a couple of reasons. At first it would seem to be a corny time travel/parallel universe episode that might snapshot(3)occur in an episode of Star Trek.

And maybe it is a little like that, but it is handled in such a way that makes it fun and believable. Last week I moaned that SGU needs to stop putting the entire crew in danger, but this episode is no different. The crew are getting ill, with a fatal disease that will eventually kill them all. We know that can’t happen, so we also know that they will find a cure. The important part is of course, who will they lose before they find a cure?

The episode has clearly been influenced by some major hollywood productions, stylistically it is similar to Alien, while cinemagraphically it is more akin to Cloverfield. This style of shooting is clever and when mixed with the time travel aspect of the episode, it makes for a fun 45 minutes.

The writers used a clever device to further the plot. Essentially the crew find an earlier recording of themselves being brutally slaughtered on the planet. They use the recording to discover the cure for the disease. But not in time to save Chloe. Because of the additional information they have been able to gather due to the glimpse of the future, TJ was able to figure out how the disease snapshot(5)was spreading. It was in the water… The water gathered from a planet two episodes previously. 

Armed with this information Col. Young and Lt. Scott and a couple of other commandos go through to the planet to collect the cure. At this point I wondered if Chloe was scheduled to be axed or if they planned to use time travel to save her… Then Col. Young had his chest burrowed out and I knew that time travel was now the inevitable conclusion… What I didn't realise was that they intended to leave it for the next episode!

What I really like about this show is just how interconnected it is. There are no “one-offs” even episodes that seem to just be “monster of the week” style episodes can later turn out to have a relevance. It is this element that keeps us on our toes, keeps us watching to see how the things that are happening might be related to something else. It also helps to keep the show feeling snapshot(4)like a single cohesive story, rather than a collection of experiences.

Again this week David Blue, who plays Eli, was very impressive and even Carlyle and Louis managed to give us some laughs. All in all a fun, slightly pointless, but ultimately interesting episode.

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