An article written more in sorrow than
in anger by
It didn't need to. There were still several years left in the show. So why was the plug pulled? What went wrong? Well, let's look at what went right first.
In The Beginning
The movie on which the show was based was original and creative. Most science fiction films which involved travel to other worlds, used spaceships. These were based on 'hard science' and meant either spending months or years in transit, or starting in the middle of things in the fairly far future where space travel is routine.
Stargate was refreshingly different. For starters, it was 'soft science' based, focussing on archaeology and anthropology, seasoned with mythology. This is not the usual basis for a space travel story. Further, the Stargate enabled travel to another world without a lengthy journey - in a matter of seconds, in fact - which cut out the tedium of 'getting there.' The explorers could plunge straight into the story.
Well, not quite... First, we had an interesting exposition about the Stargate itself, how it came to be found and how it had baffled the best brains for decades. So we did start at the beginning.
Next, Stargate gave us one of the most fascinating sci-fi heroes ever, in the form of Dr. Daniel Jackson. With him, they broke the mould. Previously, our heroes were big, strong, powerful guys who tended to use brawn rather than brain to achieve their ends. They were naturally brave and courageous because they were big guys. It was expected of them. There was little scope for any show of weakness except in falling for and/or rescuing damsels in distress.
With Daniel, the writers (Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich) cut a wide swath through all those clichés. The casting of James Spader, only slightly above average height at 5'10", and of slim build, immediately said, "This is not Superman or Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon - ah-ahhh!" Even Clark Kent still has that heroic build hidden so well behind the glasses.
Daniel is introduced while giving a lecture to hall full of old fogeys. He has to be a remarkably bright young man to be doing that. His seemingly eccentric ideas show that he thinks outside the box. Telling experienced colleagues twenty years his senior that the basis of their life's work is wrong indicates a significant degree of intellectual arrogance, and no sense of self-preservation. Definitely not the archetypal hero.
Instead, added to his intellectual arrogance, he has an almost child-like curiosity which he will do anything to satisfy, even to the extent of blithely saying he can find a way back to Earth, when patently he doesn't have all the information he's going to need. Definitely an accident waiting to happen!
He doesn't even win the girl; she's given to him, and he's even oblivious of the fact that he has been given a wife. When he does realize, a kind and generous nature appears. He hasn't the heart to reject her and even chooses to stay with her at the end of the movie.
Colonel Jonathan 'Jack' O'Neil is also far from the stereotype. When first encountered, he is a brittle shell of a man who's lost the will to live following the tragic death of his young son through his own negligence. He's inward-looking, focussed not on heroically saving lives, but on ending his own.
He's initially coaxed out of his own private hell by the chief's son, Skaara, in whom he takes an almost fatherly interest; he's beginning to reconnect with the world outside his head. Daniel later suggests that his death wish is a tad selfish when there's the safety of the native people and of his own men to consider. He then shows Jack that while there's life, there's hope. After Sha'uri is shot, he never gives up. With mere minutes left on the bomb's timer, he carries her up to the sarcophagus and restores her to life.
The solution to saving the planet and killing Ra, which both arrive at simultaneously, shows that they're both good at thinking on their feet and that Jack is no dumb schmuck. In the end, he's the one who returns to Earth now with the intention of putting the pieces of his life back together, while Daniel, with no particular reason to return, stays with his new family.
When Jonathan Glassner and Brad Wright set up the show, Stargate S.G.-1, they made an excellent start in merging the show with the main features of the movie.
Their Daniel remains very close to the Daniel of the movie. He's still the highly-educated, intuitive and inquisitive peace-loving explorer with the dogged determination, who isn't afraid to shoot if he has to, nor to stand up to people bigger and stronger than himself. And he still has little sense of self-preservation.
R.D.A.'s portrayal of Jack is markedly different, but then, while a morose and suicidal lead character works fine in a film, it's much harder to sustain in a proposed two-season series. It is therefore not unreasonable for him to have worked through his sorrows to a degree during the intervening year, enabling him to function fairly normally again - on the surface at least.
And there's the Stargate, whence all adventures begin.
At the junction between the movie and the show, we learn that Jack's minimalist report had recorded that the mission had been accomplished. The bomb had been detonated and any threat to Earth eliminated. He either stated or inferred that Daniel was dead, thus leaving him to enjoy his happy-ever-after ending with Sha'uri. The Stargate was moth-balled as an interesting oddity.
To kick-start their new show, Glassner and Wright had to do two things. One was to find an extremely good reason for the U.S.A.F. to divert a substantial part of its budget to powering the Stargate again. The other was to find a means of wrenching Daniel away from his Abydonian idyll and bringing him back to Earth.
With regard to the latter, it could be said that Daniel started Stargate S.G.-1 as well as Stargate, the movie. His combination of insatiable curiosity and the lack of basic common sense often found in highly intelligent people, had led him to unbury the Stargate, thereby leaving Abydos vulnerable and enabling the nascent S.G.C. to contact him.
Glassner and Wright used two extrapolations to fulfil their needs. The first extrapolation was to suppose that where there is one parasitic alien using a human host, there may very well be more. The second was to suppose that, if the Stargate can connect to one Stargate on another planet, then it is likely that it will connect to others - possibly thousands of others. The only limit to the exploration of these other worlds is the imagination of the writers.
All this necessitated the creation of a few more characters, firstly a 'family' of parasitic aliens like Ra, now named the Goa'uld. These greedy, expansionist beings had a higher level of technology than Earth, along with delusions of divinity. This made them a dangerous threat to the home world.
Sending the Goa'uld, Apophis, to Earth, killing several guards and carrying off an Air Force officer, achieved objective number one in providing the impetus to re-open the Stargate, and to keep it in regular use, despite the cost. Apophis' subsequent visit to Abydos, and kidnap of Sha're and Skaara achieved objective number two in dragging Daniel back to Earth. Two birds with one stone.
While it was entirely plausible for Daniel, having found the cartouche room, to work out that maybe the Stargate might connect to other worlds, it would put a big dent in the audience's suspension of disbelief to make him an expert in any of the hard sciences as well as those established in the movie.
Enter Captain Doctor Samantha Carter, with a doctorate in, specifically, theoretical astrophysics. Captain Carter is introduced as being smart in both intellect and appearance. From the very beginning, she is portrayed as a dedicated career woman.
Moreover, she had been involved in the Stargate project before either Jack or Daniel came on the scene in the movie. She makes it plain at the offset that she is a full member of the team and has gained her place on merit. The point may have been made rather clunkily, but at least it was made.
There was some criticism of this scene for its 'feminist' stance. I don't have a problem with it, possibly because I'm a bolshy bugger who would likely have said much the same thing in her shoes. Actually, I would've probably have said my balls are on the inside, rather than reproductive organs, but perhaps that's a step too far for an American audience?
Seeing her introduction from her point of view, she's a highly intelligent young woman who'd worked her way through the (probably all male) Air Force Academy. Being the daughter of a general, as we later discover, she would've had to work harder than her fellow students to avoid claims of favouritism. She also seemed to have a bit of a chip on her shoulder about having been kept out of the first mission through the Stargate by General West.
She would probably have found the sort of mocking reaction that she got from Ferretti and Kawalsky pretty standard with male colleagues. Ergo, I find it entirely plausible that she might have gotten into the habit of nipping such disrespectful behaviour in the bud sooner rather than later. You can loosen the reins when you've established control of a skittish stallion; it's much harder to acquire that control once the horse is bolting.
Her creators are also saying, loud and clear, to the audience that Captain Carter is not an updated version of the blonde bimbo or adoring girlfriend of the hero from the sci-fi comics of the '50s. She is included for her abilities, not her looks, and is there on equal terms. I applaud that!
There was one further adjustment to be made. The Goa'uld had to be sufficiently powerful to motivate the government and military to take them seriously. This also meant they were actually too powerful for Earth's defences to repel them successfully. Although necessary, it was also a bad thing. It meant that either the Earth would be overrun in short order, or that S.G.-1 would regularly have to rely on a deus ex machina to get them out of trouble. This would result in the audience's suspension of their suspension of disbelief.
The playing field had to be levelled a little somehow. This was done in two ways. The first was the defection of the Jaffa, Teal'c. As First Prime of Apophis, he was the most powerful member of the System Lord's forces. With him came not only his military skills, but an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Goa'uld. From him, S.G.-1 could acquire vital information about their new enemies' strengths and weaknesses, rendering the occasional small victory much more plausible.
The second way was the implementation of the iris which prevented the reintegration of the matter stream at the S.G.C. end of the wormhole. This meant that the Goa'uld could no longer come marching through the Stargate to take over. If they wanted to conquer Earth, they would have to take the time and trouble to come by spaceship.
This supplied a nice balance; so long as the Tau'ri kept out of their way and didn't make trouble, they would probably be left in peace. But this happy state could not be relied upon, and the ever present threat provided a plausible reason for continuing to use the Stargate.
The intriguing agenda of the show was to send S.G.-1 on regular speculative missions through the Stargate in search of allies, advanced technology and to see if there was anything of other use or interest there.
Major General George Hammond as the caring and wily base commander, along with the tirelessly professional Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Janet Fraiser and the quirky 'Gate technician, Master Sergeant Davis (per his name badge) were further welcome additions to what promised to be a cracking new show.
Author Wilkie Collins, in his preface to The Woman in White, wrote:
"It may be possible, in novel-writing, to present characters successfully without telling a story; but it is not possible to tell a story successfully without presenting characters; their existence, as recognizable realities, being the sole condition on which the story can be effectively told."
So, even though we are dealing with the often underrated genre of science fiction, it is still essential to have realistic characters that the audience recognizes and cares about, not mere cardboard cutouts upon which to hang the plot. The characters are still of primary importance and the plot is secondary. Did Glassner and Wright get this right? For the most part, I think the answer is yes. Let's take a look at the team dynamics.
Glassner and Wright started with the advantage that a comfortable working relationship had already been established between Jack O'Neil and Daniel Jackson in the movie. They had begun as military jackass meets undisciplined dweeb. By the end of the movie, Jack has come to realize that being a soft-spoken academic neither makes the man a weak link nor spineless, and Daniel has likewise come to see that being in the military does not necessarily make a man a mindless killing machine.
The charm of their friendship lies in their acceptance that Daniel will always be a little flaky with a tendency to ignore orders and do his own thing, and Jack will always have problems with flexibility in his response to problem solving. On top of this, they have a closeness based upon their shared experiences on an alien world.
Glassner and Wright built upon this in that they both have their private sorrows. They are linked by severances. Jack has not only lost his son, but also parted from his wife and Daniel's wife has been kidnapped. Each understands the other's loss. It makes for a strong bond of friendship, and these underlying sadnesses not only give them an added closeness but also put a brake on making the show too light-hearted and jokey.
With regard to Captain Carter, it has already been pointed out that Sam is not there as 'The Love Interest,' and certainly not with her colleagues. Her first encounter with Daniel is clearly a meeting of minds. Although Daniel has no grounding in astrophysics, he is smart enough to reason intuitively that possibly the stars move, and that such movement has affected the Stargate's ability to go anywhere other than Earth. Here is a man with a mind powerful enough to keep up with hers. Therein lies her pleasure when they first meet as she says with a beautiful yet platonic smile, "I knew I'd like you."
Her presence on the team as 'one of the boys' is clearly underscored in Brief Candle when the Argosian woman, Thetys, goes into labour. All eyes turn to Sam who, horror-struck, says, "What? Well, don't look at me. I don't know what to do!"
So Daniel helps Thetys give birth. This is not done as if he were highly knowledgeable on the subject - or simply brilliant at everything. Instead, it leads to a nice little piece of character development for Daniel. It only takes a couple of lines of dialogue. He'd been on a dig in Yucatan and assisted at a birth there.
He takes over in this instance because his limited knowledge is better than nothing which is all the others have. Showing that he was working in his chosen field long before That Lecture adds to the three-dimensionality of the character.
The fourth character to join S.G.-1 is Teal'c. He gets off to a potentially sticky start insofar as, in his first appearance, he abducts an Air Force officer and as a potential host too.
Later, having seen Jack's chronometer, he realizes that Jack belongs to a race of beings who have advanced much further than the Goa'uld allowed. Hence, when O'Neill says he can save the prisoners, he responds by helping the Tau'ri to escape in the hope that they may defeat the 'false gods,' and free the Jaffa. Clearly, there is a mutual recognition between O'Neill and Teal'c that the other is a good man and potential 'brother in arms.'
Some fans took Apophis' side in this and considered him to be a traitor because he broke his oath of allegiance to his master. He was thus treacherous and unreliable. This argument really does not hold water since Teal'c's oath was made under duress to a despot who owned Teal'c's people. He had broken no oath to them - had not betrayed them.
Those who cried, "shol'va!" asserted that he could have chosen not to serve Apophis. Had he made that choice, his future, and that of his wife and son, would no doubt have been very uncertain. He would also have been in no position to make any positive impact on the lives of his people. Better that he be First Prime than some vicious monster who would take pleasure in torture and wholesale slaughter.
The episode, Cor-Ai, makes this point clearly. Teal'c is put on trial at the behest of the Byrsa man, Hanno, whose father had been killed by Teal'c. Teal'c was prepared to accept the consequences of his actions. He had killed the man and so refused to defend himself against the charge. It would be dishonourable for the Jaffa to plead for his life to be spared.
As a result, his three team-mates decide to act as co-counsels in his defence, underlining that he is accepted by them as an equal member of S.G.-1.
As the story unfolds, it becomes known that Apophis had ordered Teal'c to kill one of the Byrsa - or he, Apophis, would have them all killed. It is also revealed that, in time of trouble, the Byrsa would flee to nearby caves to hide, but that they go at the pace of the slowest. Teal'c was aware of this and hence chose Hanno's father because he was crippled and would slow down everyone else. Thus, although he had killed a man, he had opted for the best available outcome for the Byrsa.
In this episode, we also have a little more character development with reference to the relationship between Teal'c and Daniel. At first, Daniel had wanted to hate Teal'c for choosing Sha're as Ammonet's host. Now, he appreciated that, if not Sha're, some other woman would have become her host. There had been no malice on Teal'c's part since he knew neither Sha're nor Daniel. It had been a random choice. "Now," Daniel says, "I know that if there were any way for him to help me get my wife back, this Teal'c would do it gladly. Even if it meant giving up his own life. This Teal'c is my friend."
So now we have the team complete, not just as colleagues, but also as friends, even where there might have been antipathy at least. We have these four wonderful characters that we really care about, and a show with immense promise.
Seasons 1- 3: The Classic Seasons
Although the first three seasons were not entirely perfect, and everyone has episodes that she doesn't care for overmuch, most fans agree that the first three seasons represent the very best of Stargate S.G.-1 . There are five basic differences between 'The Classic Seasons' and subsequent ones:
1. The Stargate is used in almost every episode. Sometimes, its appearance is minimal, but it is used, as for instance, in Hathor. This is an Earth-based episode, which is not altogether a bad thing, variety being the spice of life, and at the end of the episode, Hathor achieves her objective in stepping through the 'Gate.
2. There is none of the overt and dishonourable 'shippiness which so bedevilled later seasons. Yes, Captain Carter does make a play for her superior officer in The Broca Divide but this is clearly flagged as a case of alien mind-whammy, and a slightly embarrassed normality is restored in the end. There are no lingering yearning looks.
Again, in Solitudes , Carter and O'Neill are trapped together in a potentially 'shippy situation. (One wonders what the 'Shippy Twins would have done with that - and shudders.) Brad Wright resists the temptation, having Sam let Jack think he's with his ex-wife, not his 2IC.
3. The over-riding principle is that of team spirit. S.G.-1 is a very tightly-knit team who care for and watch out for all their team-mates. It is not a team of three plus an outsider battling for acceptance. In Brief Candle, the team work their socks off to save their esteemed leader and restore him to his natural age (forty) and likewise in Message in a Bottle.
There is the same support for Sam when she's temporarily taken as a host by Jolinar. The Fifth Race shows Daniel's outright refusal to abandon Jack as he loses his ability to communicate. In the aforementioned Cor-Ai, Teal'c is shown to be a much respected and vital member of the team. In Fire and Water, the three remaining members of S.G.-1 are shown to be devastated by Daniel's apparent death. In A Hundred Days, Teal'c risks his life to bring Jack home. There is just so much 'teamy goodness.'
4. A lot more writers were used in the earlier seasons, enough that each writer only needed to write around two episodes a season. Employing guest writers also gave the main writers a break and prevented their getting in a rut.
5. There is much less killing off of popular characters - to shock - because they could - than in later episodes. Of course, there were the inevitable 'red shirt' fatalities, and yes, Charlie Kawalsky was an early casualty, but there was a genuine reason for that one.
According to Jay Acovone at one convention I went to, the actor who played Kawalsky in the movie was only available for a couple of episodes and so the character was written out. The actor was then unable to take any part so Jay was drafted in at short notice. He would have loved to take over the part as a regular recurring character, but that would have entailed substantial re-writing. Sadly, this was deemed to be impracticable.
Seasons 4 - 6: Decline and Fall
I have already covered this at some length in previous articles and rants, so I 'll try to keep it short and succinct. Enter the New Brooms and exit most of what was good and watchable about the show. As you know as well as I, Teal'c and Daniel, and with them the whole four-sided team spirit, were sidelined in favour of an illegal, implausible and dishonourable "romance" between Sam'n'Sir.
Shows with such illicit love affairs are ten a penny. Good science fiction is rare treasure - something to be cherished, not drowned in romantic schmaltz.
With Michael Shanks seeing the writing on the wall and leaving the show, we lost arguably the one character who was virtually impossible to replace - without resorting to something akin to magic-trickery that is.
Many apologists for Daniel's 'not-replacement' tried to suggest that there were close similarities in the inclusion of both him and Teal'c in S.G.-1. They were both traitors to their people, so that was all right then. This assertion does not stand up to scrutiny.
Teal'c betrayed neither his own people nor Earth. He was a shol'va only to the Goa'uld - the enemy. We had already established in The Crystal Skull that "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," and Teal'c had already proved his loyalty beyond doubt during the previous five or six years he'd already spent in S.G.-1.
Quinn's claim for a position in S.G.-1 does not compare favourably with Teal'c's in other ways. Teal'c brought with him a long military career with accrued know-how and leadership skills, much of it as Apophis' First Prime. He also brought much useful information about Earth's principal enemy. Quinn, from a technologically backward nation, brought nothing but property stolen from his own people, a strong opportunistic streak in looking out for number one, and the ability to speed-read.
In the latter case, being able to read fast doesn't guarantee an understanding of what one has read, particularly as there is no credible evidence that he had any grounding in the specialties which Daniel had studied for much of his life. Furthermore, Quinn's willingness to blame Daniel, his saviour, for the explosion, and his subsequent change of tack when it suited him, argues a very flexible set of morals. Ethicist? Yeah, right.
Quinn's attitude towards becoming 'homeless' also does not bear favourable comparison with Teal'c's. He seemed to drift between showing enthusiasm for going day-tripping around the universe and whining about not being included in said jollies.
When Teal'c had done what he deemed best for his people (not for himself, note) he didn't beg and plead to be given asylum, nor offer up a bribe. He just looked sadly around the carnage, resigned to whatever fate lay before him. When O'Neill encouraged him to join the escapees, he said simply, "I have nowhere to go." What a difference in attitude!
During these three seasons, another pernicious trend developed. This was a cavalier attitude to killing off interesting, popular and useful characters. Having set foot on this undesirable brambly path, they subsequently developed it into a six-lane highway.
If an actor wished to leave the show, then killing off that character is understandable. If not, then it's inexcusable. Disposing of viable characters - for shock value - because you can - closes down potential plot lines, thus limiting the scope of the show in the future.
Sure, they said no one ever dies in sci-fi, but this is patently untrue. Using the same actor to play a character of the same name from a parallel universe is not resurrecting the character they originally killed off. That character is still dead. The two characters are no more the same person than identical twins are.
The first victim of this purge was popular recurring character, Martouf/Lantash in Divide and Conquer. Fanon suggests that this was because he stood in the way of The Big Romance - the illegal, implausible and dishonourable one. If so, this is indefensible. There was plenty of mileage left in this likable character, plus the 'eye candy' was nice.
Dr. Robert Rothman was the next to go, three episodes later in The First Ones. He was another established and quirky character who was a friend and colleague of Dr. Jackson. There was no reason for this. Major Hawkins, the week's 'red shirt,' had already been shot. Rothman's unnecessary death was overkill.
Season five was a bleak season for many reasons, most notably the killing of Daniel Jackson. He was not the first in that season. In Last Stand, we had the double-whammy of the killing off of Lt. Elliot/Lantash. This was another opportunity lost. Lt. Elliot was a personable young man seen in Proving Ground and Summit. In the latter, Lantash blended with him to save both their lives. Here was a wonderful opportunity as Lantash had all the memories of the relationships between Martouf and Jolinar and also Martouf and Major Carter. Elliot and Lantash were killed off in the next episode. What a waste!
There are still episodes of season six that I have never seen, simply because my ability to suspend my disbelief was shot to hell. From what I can gather, once Quinn was made welcome in S.G.-1 (see previous sentence), he underwent a complete character transplant and became Daniel Jackson wearing a mask of Quinn's face.
Seasons 7 - 10: Blowing in the Wind
We thought, that now we'd got what we'd campaigned for, the return of Daniel Jackson, all would be well. Sadly, 'Season Heaven' was not what we'd hoped for - a return to the innovative exploration and team spirit of the Classic Seasons. Why not?
Maybe it was because the writers had not familiarized themselves with the classic seasons - a bit like fan fiction writers who use the existing characters without bothering to do any research about them first?
Maybe, with a smaller pool of writers and fewer, if any, guest writers, and the concomitant stress of needing to write more than three episodes each, they simply ran out of original ideas?
Maybe our expectations were just way too high with the triumph of hope over experience - rather like a second marriage? Whatever the reason, I watched in hope the last four seasons.
Mention the titles of any of the first three seasons and most of the next three, and I can tell you the whole plot with lots of quotes of favourite lines. I have little recollection of any of the episodes of the last four seasons. This is probably because I only watched them the once. For the most part, I didn't find it worth a second look. Sad, isn't it? And what I do remember seems to be for all the wrong reasons.
For instance, the otherwise enjoyable Fragile Balance , with the talented young actor, Michael Welch, as the teenaged clone of Jack O'Neill, was marred by the embarrassing depiction of Major Carter as an inept officer who couldn't control a group of juvenile junior officers, male, during her lecture.
The much criticized Captain Carter of Children of the Gods, if projected into season seven - or the real world - would, I feel certain, have had them on a fizzer for insubordination and potential compromise of their mission objectives.
But that was just one minor irritation among the last four seasons. The show runner and writers managed to build a massive impediment into their overarching plan for the later series.
In the early development by Glassner and Wright, I praised the way they managed to set up a plausible enemy. The Goa'uld were, prima facie, more powerful than the Tau'ri. However, a little careful thought in addressing the problem enabled them to level the playing field enough to make a number of Tau'ri victories not seem too farfetched.
With the creation of the Orii as the new 'big bad,' they failed to give any thought to the credibility of their villains, or rather, to the credibility of the home team to win any victories at all against them without recourse to the use of deus ex machina if not outright magic. The Orii were simply too powerful with no exploitable weaknesses like the vanity and self-delusion of the Goa'uld.
This led to a trawl through Arthurian legend, though no research apparently, in search of a means to overcome them. This was a trip - or rather too many trips - out of science fiction and into fantasy land. There were 'staff changes' too, some of which strained the suspension of disbelief.
A Peep into the Crystal Ball
Now, with hope battered to a bloody pulp by experience of both S.G.-1 and Atlantis (which deserved better) I'm not holding out much hope for the latest spin-off series, Stargate: Universe. Yes, superficially, they're doing everything right.
They're making gratuitous use of the Stargate name.
They're promising us cameos of our favourite S.G.-1 characters. I'm envisioning this as being along the lines of Daniel, as glowy squid, saying, "Don't touch the red button," then drifting away on the wind, never to be heard from again.
Number one plus is that they've drafted in yet another hirsute British actor. British actors always seem to be categorized these days as either bad guys or scruffy oiks. In the case of Robert Carlyle, who's a very good actor, he seems to fall into the second category, but he'll always be Hamish Macbeth to me.
Yes, I'll give it a fair try, but I fear it won't be long before Universe develops the same flaws of 'shippiness and cavalier attitude to killing off characters as its predecessors, and follows S.G.-1 and Atlantis into oblivion.
In the anticipated absence of good characterization and imaginative plots, it is with much sadness that I conclude that Stargate is concept whose time is past.
I have now watched the first two episodes of Stargate Universe, which I have seen described as "Stargate Clusterfuck," and with good reason. I don't think even the best of fan fic writers could rescue this one as I found the whole thing totally shambolic.
There seemed to be far too many «homages» to various other S.F. films and T.V. shows and, depressingly, lots of shiny new corridors for running up and downTM in lieu of writing a complete script.
There were way too many people to keep track of. The crew as a whole came across as unkempt, inept and ill-disciplined. This included the military-type guys - well, they were wearing uniforms, though these looked like hand-me-downs from Wormhole X-Treme!
In the real world, I wouldn't rate their chances of survival above 24 hours tops. If I watch again, and I probably will, it will be entirely down to Train Wreck Syndrome.
As far as this writer's intentions are concerned...