Stargate Universe episode 4 review
It's time for Darkness, as Stargate Universe continues to impress...
As episode four kicks in, we see two sides of how things are on the good ship Destiny. On one hand, you have Dr Rush, who is struggling with what appears to be his sanity and anger. On the other, you have the rest of the crew, who seem to be trying to get along and find out ways to muck in.
With power issues putting Dr Rush under a whole lot of strain, the rest of the crew are eager to find technology on board to help out. Unfortunately, that’s just the kind of thing that will drag the power levels down, and god help anyone who gets in the way of the sleep-deprived Rush.
Robert Carlyle continues to be on top form and he had a lot of scenes in which to prove his worth, even if it’s unnecessary to. The rest of the crew get a good chance to shine in scenes which bring them all together, and scenes which separate them and put them on their own. It’s a mixture of these two that lets us see a complete picture of the crew.
First, we have scenes of the crew talking to each other about the problems and trying to at least see an upside, even it is a very small one. It gives us a good chance to see the crew relax, as with most of the series, they probably won’t get many chances to do so. On the flipside, we get to see the crew at their most vulnerable, recording messages about themselves at Eli’s request on the Kino (a self-powered floating camera that can be used for recording and/or seeing what is beyond a gate, found in Air part 2).
Life continues to be tough on board, with no real food to speak of, and a shortage of water too. With the ship only stopping when Stargate are in range, relying on those planets to have fresh water and food will be crucial in the upcoming episodes. Unfortunately, this episode creates a huge problem on that side of the story, as there are no new planets discovered and the huge power failures could cause all sorts of trouble for the ship and its de facto crew. A crew that could be having trouble dealing with the leadership as it is already.
Of course, Robert Carlyle continues to give a powerhouse performance, but other characters continue to surprise too. Justin Louis’ execution of Col Young continues to strengthen with every scene, becoming the second actor for me to look forward to seeing every week. He has a few emotional scenes when he returns to Earth to talk to his wife using the ancient communication device, and they are played with a great wealth of character that Louis seems more than capable of. In addition, he shows both his light-hearted side and his aggressive side in the role of commanding officer. In that way, he reminds me of Edward James Olmos’ incredible performance as Admiral Adama in Battlestar Galactica. It’s perhaps not as good as that just yet, but still an impressive mix and a good character to empathise with too.
The wonderful visual style just gets better too, with a close pass around a gas giant providing an incredible visual stimulus for both the characters and the viewers at home. The cliffhanger, too, provides an excellent final image and an impressive cliff to hang from for a week.
Again, I am highly impressed with this week’s instalment, and am impatiently awaiting the arrival of episode five, which should, hopefully, prove to be as remarkable as this week’s, if not more so.
Check out our review of episode 3 here. Stargate Universe is showing in the UK on Sky1 and Sky1 HD every Tuesday.