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EPISODE REVIEW: Stargate Universe: “Trial and Error” (Season 2, Episode 6)

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I do love this show, I really do. Slow and mopey and meandering and occasionally frustrating as it is, it’s kind of become the focus of my week. Caprica got cancelled, which was a shame because it was an intermittently good show, but I couldn’t have cared less. Stargate Atlantis got cancelled, and I was mildly annoyed that nothing got the resolution it deserved, but that’s as far as it went: Mild annoyance. If Stargate Universe got axed right now, however, I’d be screamingly angry. And I’m not sure why.

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BREAKING NEWS: Caprica is Officially Cancelled

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Coming as a surprise to no one, Caprica has been officially cancelled by Syfy. Never a huge ratings draw, viewership dropped from a premier-high of about 1.6 million viewers to a bit below 1.2 million during the initial run of nine episodes, rebounding a bit towards the end of that run.

Since the mid-season break, the show has been bleeding ratings like a stuck pig, dropping nearly a half-million viewers. The episode last week hit 718,000 viewers, and the ratings for the episode that aired last night aren't available online yet, but I'm expecting the overnights were even lower.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Caprica: “False Labor” (Episode 13)

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I don’t think there’s any lingering doubt in anyones’ mind that this show is toast. Last week’s episode hit an all-time ratings low of 718,000 viewers. That means effectively the studio paid $4.17 for every viewer. That’s actually pretty sad, because this week, after a miserable three-week crapfest, the show suddenly found its footing again, and was pretty darn good.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Stargate Universe: “Cloverdale” (Season 2, Episode 5)

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God bless Stargate. Seriously: after about 335 episodes and 3 movies, they’re still coming up with new things that touch me. Conversely, most other SF series basically bang the same two or three gongs over and over and over again. The underlying plot of the episode wasn’t spectacularly new, but the meaning and feel and cleverness and the final sequence pretty much declare everything I love about this franchise.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Stargate Universe: “Pathogen” (Season 2, Episode 4)

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I’ve been wondering lately how the Stargate franchise is continuing to operate. I don’t mean that in a Voyager-era Star Trek “Why are people still watching this crap” sense: Stargate has always been great. I just mean financially. MGM is bankrupt. They’re so broke they had to abandon a James Bond movie in preproduction because they didn’t have the money to pull it off. They’re so broke that they’ve only got four movies - only four!

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EPISODE REVIEW: Caprica: “Retribution” (Episode 11)

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Daniel attempts to blackmail the board in order to regain control of his company, with the assistance of theoretical co-star Joe Adama. (Who frankly seems mostly incidental to the show at this point). He gleefully betrays one of them with personal info. Another kills himself rather than let information about his violent hooker habit come out. Daniel blows off the hysterical widow. He regains the U-83 proto-cylon corpse.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Stargate Universe: “Awakening” (Season 2, Episode 3)

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“Gee, Skipper, do you think we’ll get off the island this week?”
“Probably not, little buddy. If we did, the show would end.”
“Ah, bugger, Skipper.”
“Mary Ann likes you, you know.”
“Shut up.”

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The Destiny docks with the alien ship they spotted last week, though it’s not so alien as we thought. It’s one of the Ancient “Seed Ships,” which were sent out long in advance of Destiny itself, to set up the stargate network. These vessels were always unmanned, and they appear to have stumbled across one that broke down for whatever reason.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Caprica: “Unvanquished” (Episode 10)

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For those of you new to the site, I’m somewhat counter-intuitively a big fan of Caprica. I hated the last couple seasons of BSG, and felt utterly betrayed by the finale and the rapidly-deteriorating storytelling on that series, I wasn’t enamored of the prospect of a prequel, particularly one with as circuitous a development path as Caprica had, I hated the pilot movie, but I totally dig the series. I’ve had practically nothing but good things to say about it.

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EPISODE REVIEW: Stargate Universe: “Aftermath” (Season 2, Episode 2)

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Wow.

Just wow. It’s not that anything particularly adventurous or unprecedented happens here. Granted, things go from bad to worse, and the ship loses yet another major asset, but the point of this show is basically to glory in the slow sinking of this boat, and torture the rats, so there’s nothing new there. What stunned me - what will no doubt have stunned everyone - is the tragic-yet-harrowing death scene.

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