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Stargate Universe and Sanctuary: Syfy Renews TV Series

SanctuarySyfy has given the go-ahead for a second season of Stargate Universe and a third season of Sanctuary. The cable channel has ordered 20 installments of each.

Stargate Universe (SGU) is the latest series in the Stargate franchise and revolves around a band of soldiers, scientists and civilians, who must fend for themselves after being forced through a Stargate. The desperate survivors emerge aboard an ancient ship which is locked on an unknown course and unable to return to Earth. It features Robert Carlyle, Justin Louis, Brian J. Smith, Elyse Levesque, David Blu, Alaina Huffman, Jamil Walker Smith, Patrick Gilmore, Peter Kelamis, Julia Benson, Jennifer Spence, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Mark Burgess, Ming-Na, Josh Blacker, Haig Sutherland, and Lou Diamond Phillips.

Sanctuary follows the adventures of Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping), a brilliant scientist who holds the secrets of a group of strange and sometimes terrifying beings that hide among humans. Others in the cast include Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, Ryan Robbins, Christopher Heyerdahl, and Agam Darshi.

SGU is expected to return in April with the second partth of its 20 episode first season. Production on season two will begin in early 2010 and is expected to start airing in the fall.

The second season of Sanctuary is currently airing and expected to finish on January 15, 2010. Production on season three will start in early 2010 and begin airing in Fall 2010. This recent pickup marks the biggest order to date for Sanctuary. Seasons one and two are comprised of only 13 episodes apiece.

What do you think? Are either or both of these shows worthy of another season? Which do you prefer?

 

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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie July 19, 2010 at 8:41 am

Bring back Atlantis! SGU just doesn’t have the humor that the old SG franchises did. Way too much Angst for my taste.

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Kit Kat July 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I have to agree with you.Please bring back Atlantis. SGU is good,but it is very dramatic.lol :) Also bring back Santuary ASAP!

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Kit Kat July 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm

I do watch SGU and like it, but not as much as I like Sanctuary.I think both shows deserve a chance at another season. I’m hopeing Sanctuary will be coming back soon.:)

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Cate Miller June 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Really like sanctuary, SGU is good, but I find I watch it in hopes that something more will happen. Seems more like sad-fi & needs more of the “fi” part. All this said, I wud give both up if they wud bring back stargate atlantis! Not sure why it got the ax & doom & gloom universe was given the nod. Seriously…waht cud b done to bring back atlantis? Any ideas?

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Geoff Kaven June 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

STU is one of my favorite shows right now. I can only assume that others like it as much as I do. In fact it is one of the few shows that I watch the day it comes out versus several days later via DVR.

Sanctuary I could give up IF the is a show that has better acting (Not Amanda Tapping who is great).

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Dave June 16, 2010 at 7:22 am

After Season 2 of SGU – start making atlantis/SG1 or original movies!

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Tom King June 14, 2010 at 9:16 pm

One of the few things I really like about this series is that it’s hard SF and we don’t have a bunch of mysticism. Please don’t pollute the series with a bunch of magic. If I want magic, I’ll pull a Disney cartoon from my VHS collection.

I’d like to see Colonel Young grow a pair. Telford’s dead and probably in the nick of time. He redeemed himself. The lieutenant needs to try to outgrow his university education and become a soldier. Rush should burn himself out in “the chair” and bet frozen for a while and give Eli a shot at fixing Destiny. I don’t think Rush really wants to repair it because he’s afraid they’ll take the ship away for him. They probably would as obnoxious as he is.

When General O’Neill told Young “Do I have to take command?”, I had a little thrill run up my leg.

We need Jack and Sam on board, maybe bring Teal’c along for security. The Lucian Alliance wouldn’t have got past the gate room if the big guy had been running security. They ought to get Daniel to come read the manuals for them so they can get the ship running properly.

Daniel is all the civilian authority that boat can handle. It was like when Star Trek hired Captain Picard to negotiate his way across the universe. I thought I was going to die the first time he started preaching about the virtue of negotiation.

You don’t negotiate with evil people. I just wish Telford had been a better shot, then we wouldn’t have the prospect of that Lucian witch coming back from the dead!

Ah, well. We won’t know what happens till this fall. I suspect they’re planning one more season and gone. I’d be fine with that.

Tom

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steve June 14, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Stellar review Rob.
Stellar!

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Rob June 14, 2010 at 11:38 am

Honestly, SGU is my first jump into the SG franchise. Universe has had its highs and lows. I just wonder if the writers are really good enough to sort out this mess that they call Stargate Universe.

The characters just seem to stay flat. They are not growing together. There is nothing pulling them together. They are just stuck in space and somewhat unhappy about it. Everyone seems to be haunted by their pasts and unable to grow or move forward. Frankly, the most interesting character on the show has ALWAYS been Rush, our resident antagonist. The best written episode was “Human”.

It seems that the network has been trying to find a way to get this show on track. It’s drifting or just standing still. Great sci-fi shows like BSG and Babylon 5 always had something moving the story forward. There was always a mystery about something “bigger” going on. The vibe is present on SGU, but it seems like the writers have absolutely no idea how to get the ship or characters there. Where is the larger Arc? It seems as though Cooper and Wright got the axe on writing considering that not a single episode in the the 2nd half of season 1 was written by them. The immediate ratings were probably a disappointment and the network wanted a different direction from a different writing team.

The problem is not the premise of the show. The best way to approach SGU is to look at ST Voyager and listen to the comments of some of the actors and writers on that series. Garret Wang (Ensign Kim) has been very outspoken about criticizing Rick Berman and Brannon Braga about not allowing emotional intensity on Voyager or allowing for a larger Arc to be present on the show. As Wang says it (I’ll paraphrase) the acting was very intense during the shooting of Season 1 of Voyager, but the producers watched film and decided against it. Why? The aliens would not be taken seriously.

The best written sci-fi shows prove that large Arcs make shows. But the problem with SGU is that the writing is not centralized. It is all over the place. So the show is all over the place. You need good writers to make a sci-fi show. SGU writers are just mediocre. They have absolutely no idea how to get this show moving in a direction.

The name of the ship is Destiny. What destiny is this crew following? If they do not start moving this show on a larger Arc the fans will just dump it. They already have.

Ratings have dropped from 3 million to 1 million viewers from season beginning to season end. I love sci-fi and I really want to get into SGU, but when you watch other sci-fi shows done right, it makes it hard to not find a show like SGU disappointing.

The show is missing a sort of intellectualism that defines the sci-fi genre. You never really feel a sense of intelligence coming from the characters. They never consider larger issues and they never really take a look at humanity’s past. Maybe this is a Stargate thing as I have never watched SG-1 or Atlantis. Even though characters exist in the present, there usually a piece of them that finds meaning in the past or finds meaning within other characters in the show. The gift of BSG was the latter. The characters always challenged one another to the point where they changed and grew. The characters on SGU challenge eachother, but never grow. They just seem to argue without any issues ever really gaining resolution. The characters on SGU just seem dumbed down. Why? I have no idea. I do not want average people on sci-fi show. I want extraordinary people put onto a sci-fi show.

What helps an audience member connect with a sci-fi series is the larger than life nature of the characters. They serve as points of reflection or people we would strive to be. I think people really connect with characters because they have extraordinary abilities. They are able to do things we fail to do on a regular basis. They have a mission and a goal. They work hard and seem to pushing towards a greater purpose. At the end of the day, Star Trek is always going to be defined by its universe where humanity is striving for the unexplored and the adventure. What greater purpose is SGU going for? What is motivating these people?

Survival is not enough. Making the best of a crap situation is not enough. There has to be something more. There has to be something great about these characters. Ordinary characters lead to flat characters. The idea of a character is for the character to have character. In that regard, only three characters on the show have managed to achieve any kind of traction (Rush, Eli, and Greer). They are the only characters worth watching. No one knows what Rush or Greer will do next. They are wildcards every episode. They are fun to watch. I think that SGU has done a great job with Eli. From season beginning to season end, Eli has gone from slacker teen to mature adult.

He has seen the most transformation. The depth of his character is beginning to grow and his ability to create humor within the show is one of the few things worth watch on SGU. He has extraordinary abilities because of his mental genius. I hope he continues to develop to a point where he is taking on more and more responsibility, confidence and leadership on the show.

Wish List for Season 2:

*Kill Young and Wray
-He’s boring and he’s not a very good leader. She is boring, but at least nice to look at. Pull the plug on both. Scott becomes the Civilian leader and Telford takes command.

*Scott turns back on Greer and military
-I hope Scott really ends his arc fast by leaving the military. He seems to try to be a good guy all the time. It is not going to work. We all know that. He has tried to quit the military once in Season 1. I hope it finally happens in season 2.

*Mysticism
-There is absolutely no mysticism on this show and it’s really annoying. Part of sci-fi is exploring the unknown from without and also from within. It is about the mystery of the universe. They never explore the WHY on SGU. I would love more mysticism. Something bigger happening in the background.

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opinion June 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Both shows leave something to be desired. Stargate Atlantis was much better. Stargate SG-1 was GREAT and a hard act to follow. Even that went down hill when Richard Dean Anderson became General O’Neill and Brower & “Vana” stepped into place. (Farscape meets Stargate,yuck!. ) Sanctuary is Blah. What’s with Amanda and the accent? I find it annoying and the writing is pretty bad. Warehouse 13, yuck again. Only Eureka and Doctor Who seem to pull off the humor sci-fi bit. As a Sci-fi fan I enjoy lots of mystery and a bit of humor, not a lot of humor and NO mystery. DARK sci-fi, like Stargate Universe, is not entertaining either, just deprssing .

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Tom King June 10, 2010 at 9:41 am

I actually enjoyed “Incursion”, but then Sam and Jack were back for a quick appearance. SGU isn’t that bad, it’s just that it’s not SG-1 and doesn’t attract the same fans. A lot of the big BSG freaks didn’t care for SG-1 anyway – not dark enough. They might like SG-U if they’d check it out, but they won’t because it’s Stargate.

I think they should give it a couple of season’s and then bring it to an end. Then I could buy the DVD’s and add it to my Stargate Collection and they could do another take on the Stargate worlds. Give someone else a shot at storytelling. How about Joss Whedon? Nathan Fillion might be free of “Castle” by then and there are certainly enough of the old Firefly cast and crew hanging around to make it interesting.

I’d like to see someone deal with what happens when the Stargate technology gets out to the private sector and businessmen head off to outer space. Steal some story ideas from Poul Anderson – he wouldn’t have minded – some form of the Polysotechnic League maybe. What fun – trader’s to the stars! I’d love to see someone do a version of Nicholas Van Rinjh. If only Dom Deluise were still alive!

There is so much that could be done that hasn’t even been touched yet. What I’m afraid of is that they’ll abandon the Stargate paradigm altogether. That would truly be a tragedy.

Tom

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Den June 10, 2010 at 3:18 am

SGU is a complete flop in terms of ratings. No doubt it will be cancelled after the second season wraps up leaving the story on a cliffhanger or maybe the producers will come up with some dumb-ass ending to complete it. Well, this show could get better and it’s certainly good in its own way, but them cancelling SGA over this sorry excuse for a science-fiction TV-series is so dispeakable and gross. I’m not a mad fan or anything but at east they could’ve refrained from getting rid of SGA they did shooting SGA and SGU simultaneously. I keep watchin the new show, mainly of RDA showing up occasionally on it but at the present rate it won’t be long before I get bored to distraction…
P.S. Check out the ratings of the latest episode “Incursion”. They’ve hit the lowest point.

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Ben3 June 7, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Glad to see Sanctuary is coming back…love it. As for Universe, its terrible. No where near the quality or the humor of the other shows.

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Erinsab June 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I just finished watching the first two seasons of Sanctuary on iTunes, Love It !!! I never caught the series on syfy and I was kinda worried the show had been cancelled. Glad to learn the show has been picked up for a 3rd season.

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Griffin May 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Universe is horrible. It’s dark and dreary, and oh so boring. Could they just turn on the lights every once in a while? This show is like watch8ing a particularly bad soap opera; just jam packed with silly drama. How about a little action! Please cancel this abomination.

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Tom King May 25, 2010 at 9:41 am

Jack O’Neill was on SGU this week. It made me realize just how much I missed him. Jim, I think I understand why you like SGU. It’s growing on me a bit as I get into the story. The problem with it is that it feels like the writers are holding back the characters. Everybody’s flawed, but it’s not flawed in a way I can really get behind them. The Colonel is fooling around with a lower ranking officer, the scientist has some serious issues. Between Rush and the Colonel, it’s like watching Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy every week. They need Jack to show up regularly via the stones and provide some serious leadership on that bucket of bolts. I mean, get Samantha Carter to give the dweeb guy some pointers on how to fix broken stuff on the ship.

Everybody is so danged angst-ridden, it’s no wonder they are lost in space. And nobody really likes or respects each other either. I get it – lost in space with an inept crew. We really need to take the muzzles off some of the characters and let them do something exciting or the whole bunch is going to commit mass-suicide. There’s not enough Prozac on board to treat all the gloomy Gus crew on that ship. At least let ‘em find a zero point module or something and turn the friggin’ lights on!

And I liked the sarcasm and jokes on the old Stargate. It made it fun. Where is it written that sci-fi has to be so danged grim. That’s what I liked about Firefly. I maintain that SG-1 and Firefly are more realistic in that if you aren’t able to joke about your miserable situation, you’re going to wind up in a fetal position sucking your thumb after about 10 episodes. Maybe that’s the point.

I agree with Ray. I think someone’s holding back the writers, but not so much over the cost of special effects. I think the producers are holding them to the Battlestar Galactica model of unrelenting unhappiness for all. I’m here to tell you, I got tired of Battlestar pretty quick. Now my wife, who is manic-depressive, she was all into BG and watched it long after I passed the “who cares what happens to this miserable lot of people.” Seriously, BG kept flushing all the nice people out airlocks and stuff.

With SG-1, I liked the chemistry with Jack, Sam, Daniel and Teal’c. Their relationships grew closer and more solid with time. They never took themselves too seriously which helped when they tried to pronounce Goa’uld and say things like…

Jackson: Hathor was the Egyptian goddess of fertility, inebriety, and music.
O’Neill: Sex, drugs, and rock and roll?

O’Neill: You all know I take great pride in my title as Mr. Positive, however, we did destroy their de-Goa’ulding thing, might not they look unkindly on that?

O’Neill: There’s a man… He’s bald and wears a short-sleeved shirt, and somehow he’s very important to me. I think his name is Homer.

Her’ak: No matter what you have endured, you have never experienced the likes of what Anubis is capable of.
O’Neill: You ended that sentence with a preposition. Bastard.

…………I just lived for those moments. I think we should everybody flood Sci-Fi with e-mails for a third SG-1 movie. There’s talk of it being canceled because of the recession. What kind of idiot thinking is that? It’s a recession which is a whole lot like a depression and by damned I need a good laugh right about now along with some laser blaster stick things, P-90′s, big explosions and slimy alien things. Not doing the next SG-1 movie is just plain wrong and Syfy or whatever it’s called should go straight to hell if they cancel it.

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