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Stargate Universe Decides to Rip Off Battlestar Galactica Instead

April 5, 2009

With the original Stargate TV series borrowing some obvious elements from TNG, like Worf, the spinoff was obviously going to be DS9, which is what Stargate Atlantis was, minus the high concept, and plus the evil aliens the cast has to fight. Naturally when we heard that Stargate Universe was going to be about a crew stuck on a starship traveling and lost in space, Voyager came to mind. But while the concept may be Voyager or B5’s Crusade, the execution of Stargate Universe seems to be aiming for a ripoff of Battlestar Galactica instead.

Take a look at that footage and tell me the great minds behind Stargate Universe haven’t spent a lot of time with their BSG DVD collection? Lots of darkness, similar color palette, lots of focus on human chaos and disorder about a large ship. Now if they just bring in shaky cam ship FX shots, the jig will be up.

Of course it’s not like the Stargate shows were original or wanted to be. They were basically action shows in a thin SciFi wrapping. Half the time the original Stargate was basically the A Team with outer space settings. Except unlike the original A Team, whose cast couldn’t stand women, it had a girl on board. And the people who needed their help were conveniently multiracial tribes of serenely happy people living on other planets, of the type Star Trek would somehow keep encountering. In Stargate’s defense, at least its premise provided a justification for that.

Stargate has had the same relationship to Science Fiction that Star Wars did. It borrowed some of the togs and wore them around the house, but it had no actual ideas, just design schemes. Stargate borrowed from Star Trek when it was the dominant paradigm for TV SciFi. With Star Trek gone, Battlestar Galactica was the next obvious target.

So enjoy Stargate Battlestar Universe. In its defense, when it’s canceled a few years from now, there is no way it will go out with a worse ending than BSG did. Think of it as a Do Over that’s more audience friendly.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 9, 2009 1:15 pm

    Fail indeed. Battlestar Galactia was overated anyway. To rip it off… badly… is to miss the point of science fiction completely.

  2. more permalink
    August 26, 2009 6:10 am


  3. Joe permalink
    September 8, 2009 3:21 am

    Although I would agree the pilot reminds me of BSG, I am one of the few who enjoyed the final episode of BSG so no need for a ‘makeover’.

  4. Ian permalink
    October 2, 2009 6:15 pm

    I always found both the original Stargate series as well as the Atlantis spin-off to be too adolescent in it’s writing for my tastes. I loved Battlestar Galactica for the most part (it lagged a little story wise toward the end) and the many flawed humans, both good and bad, who populated that universe made for good tv. Also it was good as some who started out good became bad and vice-versa over the course of the series. So I am going to be very open to this new Stargate incarnation and hope for the best.

  5. Your face permalink
    October 28, 2009 1:21 pm

    Watched the first 5 episode and I am loving it, BSG was great loved it start to finish and this is going to kick the crap out of SG1 and SG Atlantis they struggle to keep the crappy sets from falling apart something they probably rip that off from star trek haha universe is going to be great more of an adult sci-fi less humour more seriousness better rounded show with some character development and great filming story lines have been great so far if they keep going the way they are going its going to turn out super!

  6. Peter permalink
    November 10, 2009 6:36 am

    Come on people, this show is just awful! It’s just a bad copy of BSG! It’s like watching a soap opera, actually soap opera is better than this load of crap! It’s a shame that they tried to “sex” up stargate franchise. I mean really! Are they hoping that my showing skin, they can get more people to what this garbage!?
    Here’s a short list of why I hate this show:
    1. Bad camera work. What’s with the jerky camera?
    2. The constant screaming match. Really it’s like they can’t get their idea across without screaming.
    3. The sex. I love sex but it has no place in the SGU at all!
    4. The constant flashback/body switching. Common their suppose to be out of contact with the rest of humanity.

    I can go on and on but I’d be just wasting time. I’d be surprise if there’s a second season unless they get on the ball and have better writing.

  7. paulboylan permalink
    November 14, 2009 5:47 pm

    I could forgive SG – U if it were not so incredibly predictable and boring. It it almost as if they are testing the audience as some kind of dada inspired practical joke. The only reason I continue to watch is due to the very slim possibility that the overweight and very annoying computer nerd (a modern Stoney Stevenson) might actually have sex with the Senator’s daughter. With the promise of awful direction, the comic value of such a coupling would be breathtaking.

    Paul Nicholas Boylan

  8. justin permalink
    December 5, 2009 5:26 am

    Yeah I’ve seen both shows and SGU is a complete copy of BSG. Can’t people come up with their own ideas?

  9. January 1, 2010 8:31 pm

    my name is david b conway , and my comment is im not making any comments any more im sorry , just because know one is not repling to just my comments , love david b conway

  10. skip duncan permalink
    January 7, 2010 3:02 am

    Do you people ever proof read what you just wrote?? Your English and your spelling make you appear illiterate and stupid!! Damn the morons who make comments on the Internet! GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!

    • March 10, 2010 7:12 pm

      LOL. Yours is the ONLY comment in this thread which is whining about other posters instead of discussing the show and why you like it (and it is obvious that you do). Stargate Universe is written especially for people like you, with plenty of teen angst, whiney emo bickering, and almost complete absense of real science.

      This show is utter crap, and I am being more entertained at the tanking ratings and the overwhelming negative reviews against this show on the internet here in the US and internationally. the producers have dissed the original fanbase which made them successful, but WE are the power behind the franchise, not them. WE get to say if this continues or not by driving ratings up or down, or by buying (or not buying) DVDs and BluRay discs. This show is a massive FAIL.

  11. Joe Rossi of RPData permalink
    March 3, 2010 5:14 am

    SGU seems to be totally pointless, atleast SG1 had actors that could actually act.

  12. Joe Rossi of RPData permalink
    March 22, 2010 2:20 am

    I just think SGU is really gay

  13. Joe Rossi of RPData permalink
    March 22, 2010 2:22 am

    Instead of SG-U they should call it SG-Gay

  14. FikiRiki permalink
    May 30, 2010 1:56 am


  15. sim permalink
    September 3, 2010 8:38 pm

    SG-U is awesome and you dummies are missing out on a great show, specially those of you who watched SG-1 and SG-A

  16. val permalink
    September 6, 2010 8:58 am

    I just skimmed over BSG while my hubby watched it and the minute he was 10 episodes into SGU I noticed the similarities….I was a big SG-1 fan. Whatever its flaws, the actors were great, the show was fun and no one used a sci-fi tv show to try and teach us about the human psyche (or whatever it is that BSG and SGU are trying to do!)

  17. Sasha-san permalink
    November 24, 2010 9:02 am

    hmmm… I’ve been watching BSG and SG:U at proximately same time and the first thing that hit me was that the both of them had the same way of showing what’s going on outside the ship; I mean, the same shaky footage of space ships(too lazy too check if the same guys were responsible for the computer generated images in both cases). The setting is also somewhat similar too… Just hope they won’t play the “whose the cylon” game as hard as BSG did(although “whose the alien impostor” is getting on my nerves).
    Rip-off… 66% IMO. Hope they make a better ending.

  18. Sasha-san permalink
    November 24, 2010 9:18 am

    BTW The SG:U soundtrack reeks of BSG too. XD

  19. steely permalink
    December 15, 2010 11:47 pm

    i just finished sgu season 1 and started season 2 im a big fan of all the stargates and bsg and yes i see alot of bsg in this show but it went too far when in season 2 the genius rush(baltar)now has an imaginary female to consult with(no 6)……….too far boys!

  20. Daren permalink
    December 22, 2010 12:41 pm

    stargate series is nothing like battle star Galatica, the two shows only have small similarities that they are both based on a earth like system and in the case of sg1 eath it self trying to defnd its self agaisnt the odds while the Galatica was trying to find earth

  21. asd permalink
    May 24, 2011 1:03 pm

    BSG was canceled on the 3’rd series and it tooked about ayear to complete the whole show so, max 4 series for SGU. Oh Even the psychological plot is the same. With factions and revolts, the stupid thing is that in BSG you had thousands and here you have 40-50 ppl.

  22. anonomous permalink
    June 3, 2011 2:29 am

    Hey, SGU is NOTHING like BSG. For one thing, their are only so many sci-fi plots that you can come up with. Heck, their are only so many different story types you can come up with for any genra and they all come down to something like:
    Journy (trying to find a better place to live, get home, or just traveling)
    Battle (one side usualy proves victorious afer facing massive defeats)
    Romance (your love stories)
    and a few others that I cant remember. (learned this in writing classes many years ago).

    • anonomous permalink
      September 11, 2011 8:27 pm

      You are absolutly right. I can assure you that SGU is indeed NOTHING like BSG. I mean, there are only so many things one CAN come up with for any show. Journy, Battle, Romance, History, maybe a few others. But even SFxs are limited in what type of camera movement you can do. In BSG, you got hundreds of ships and thousands of people that all seem to know what they are supposed to do. In SGU, you only got a hundred people who aren’t even supposed to be there.
      I fail to see many of these similarities that you talk about. And the series got a really good ending. But look at it this way, this is not only the end of a series but of a franchise as well.

  23. Anonymous permalink
    February 28, 2012 3:52 pm

    Sgu and BSG are different like day and night.

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