Stargate Universe: A Long and Winding Road
SyFy cancels Stargate Universe ending a long spell of the Stargate franchise and jeopardizing it’s on promise of “imagining greater”
by Fábio M. Barreto, Los Angeles
[Aos leitores brasileiros um pedido de desculpas, mas esse texto tem que ser lido pelos gringos. Agradeço toda divulgação possível, não por mim, mas pela série, que merece! Escrevo em português depois!]
Long ago, enduring the forsaken lands of Brazilian broadcast and the early steps of cable, I travelled to distant Florida and was bewitched by two great channels that, up until that moment, lived only in my wildest dreams: History Channel and Sci-Fi Channel. What a marvelous concept – history and good science fiction all day long. I’ve been dedicating my professional life to science fiction coverage and production – as reporter and editor – for the past 15 years and was one that cheered when, finally, Sci-Fi Channel was announced in Brazil. Then, I moved to Los Angeles where I had access to all the shows – Stargate Atlantis was still being produced, at the time – and things where falling in to place. Three months ago, MGM and Fox graciously invited a group of journalists to visit Vancouver, where Stargate Universe is [was, now] shot. What a massive and ingenious set with a brilliant cast. Come on, Robert Carlyle, Ming-Na and Lou Diamond Phillips on the same show? What about the newcomer David Blue’s awesome work? I was still being convinced by the story line, which producer Brad Wright himself says it was faulty and slow at first, but it was fixed. And it was Wright who flagged the shadow of cancellation over the show. He was worried. And he was working hard on it. You know, what? He pulled it off! Show was improving on a faster pace and hope was in the air. So, besides a mistake of epic proportions for both brand management and lack of trust in a household TV franchise for SyFy, the newly reinvented channel pulls the plug on Stargate Universe in order to open a slot to RAW. In the fight between intelligence and stupidity, the late wins.
SyFy was not happy with ratings. Caprica bought it a while ago, and SGU was the obvious next target. However, this cancellation says much more about SyFy’s confused and bizarre new way of thinking than the ratings. Isn’t the channels new motto: Imagine Greater? What’s greater than a massive ship pushing the boundaries of the universe and the limits of Humanity? Sure, a brute faking and awesome stunt will do that. Thumbs up, SyFy. You really nailed the way of brand construction and being true to values you hold true (?!?!). Brad Wright’s work has been flawless for the past 15 years and he has a plan for Stargate Universe, a good one, actually. After he told me, being as demanding and critic as I am, I was pleased and happy with the new path. But not of this will happen if the decision stands.
Leveling the audience from the bottom’s not a good idea, SyFy. Don’t we have enough of weird people chasing inexistent ghosts in their backyards? Anyone can shot in infrared, breath deep and say “I definitely felt something.. yeah, there’s something in here”. Come on! Science Fiction stands for intellect, for quality entertainment, for provocative concepts and brilliant minds. You are sure forsaking a genre, forgetting who gives you ratings and who also watches Sanctuary, Eureka, Warehouse 13 and.. oops, no more Sci-Fi on SyFy.
Network used to be the place for narrow minded executives. Now, I’m sorry to clearly see that it has contaminated the channel that could change it all. That could enlighten them all. Learn from your, now misleading marketing tag line, and Imagine Greater. Killing a classic is simple wrong and you know that. This decision’s a mistake that will live in infamy.
If you like the show, and agrees with the article, please spread the word. Not for any crazy attempt to get hits, but in order to help save a historic franchise. I wan’t to see where Destiny will taken the crew, don’t you?