"Stargate Universe" is, after 10 seasons of "Stargate SG-1" and 5 seasons of "Stargate Atlantis" the third spin-off series based on the successful "Stargate" movie. Although it was not initially intended, "Stargate Universe" is rather serious and somber.
Loyal fans of the previous series had some objections to the new concept despite - or because - the fact that it is partly "inspired" by and therefore resembles the newly conceived version of a initally rather naive 70ies series in both stilistic devices and narration structures.
The characters seemed rather flat at the beginning despite the quite famous involved actors like Robert Carlyle and Lou Diamon Phillips. The introduction to the "new" Stargate world was pretty lengthy as well and the obligatory opposition also was not too creative, they simply used the Lucian alliance that was already a ppart of the first series. However, at the end of the first season, both story and velocity were improved a lot and one can be excited about the next season, which will be broadcasted this autumn.
In the season 1 box containing the first 10 episodes that was released in early february, the pilot "Air" (episodes 1-3) was featured in an Extended Version. This long version can be bought in other countries, e.g. Germany, as well, but in a stand-alone version. Whether this makes sense can surely be debated because it will most probably also be included in the yet unreleased dubbed season box. On the other hand, the extended version may be a good appetize especially for people who rent DVDs because they can have a look at the newes "Stargate" spin-off without having to rent (and watch) a whole season.
The extensions in the new versions are nothing that special (and no compelling reason to buy the DVDs), but they definitely make the pilot seem more round and fill in some gaps (the chat between Dr. Rush and O'Neill or the "mutiny" on the desert planet really are lacking in the TV Version). All releases on DVD will probably feature the long version, this means that one will not have to look for certain releases and can simply enjoy watching.
Running time designations refer to the pilot (Air part 1 & 2) respectively the first single episode (Air part 3). At the beginning of the latter, there is they typical retelling of what happened earlier and the short SGU title. This is, of course, missing in the Extended Version, but these differences will not be covered here. The rest of the running time difference results from the rounding up and down of single cut scenes to half/whole seconds.
15 Extended scenes = 10 min 56 sec
2 Missing scenes (Extended Edition) = 30 sec
After the arrival on the Icarus base, there is a scene showing the crew on their way to the Stargate room before they arrive there. Senator Armstrong states that it was a shame to waste money in order to "turn down the radiator". Col. Young answers that the cooling of the area was the most expensive thing. Dr. Rush explains that they are there because the planet's core produced a lot of energy - side effects include heating.
Eli and Lt. Scott follow them. Eli asks whether Scott ever had claustrophobic attacks down there. Scott just answers that this was safer than his regular duty. When Eli asks why that is, he simply answers "Dinosaurs." Eli asks whether he was serious, Scott negates. The two gaze after a pretty female soldier and then walk out of the picture.
Before Eli talks to Col. Telford, some of the attendants are shown during dinner, then Chloe asks Telford what the step through the stargate felt like. He says that it was undescribable when one exits the atmosphere and can see the stars. Chloe obviously is very appealed and asks whether she could try it sometime. Telford says that he probably could arrange something. Eli is obviously unnerved by this little flirt, that is why he talks to the Colonel eventually.
Rush adds that Greer could shoot him if he wanted to - but if the system would start up again they would probably need him to solve further difficulties. The shot of Greer starts earlier in the Extended Version because here the rest of Rush's dialog can be heard.
Greer brings an injured soldier to T.J., who instantly puts on her medical gloves and starts looking for something in her medkit. Col. Young joins them and explains that they will retreat. Greer wants to help the other waiting injured soldiers, but Young disagrees and tells him to stay. He then sends him away.
Camile Wray introduces herself to the Senator and instantly wants to underline her position with the IOA, Armstrong interrupts her and says that the administrative things would be dealt with soon. He then approaches Lt. Scott and asks for how long the air will last and when the life support system will be able to be started. Scott answers that they didn't know it and that Dr. Rush still worked on it. The senator is not satisfied with this answer, but Scott clarifies that he could not give answers before he has them.
Dr. Rush stops in the control centre of the ship, where - among others - Eli and Amile work to get the life support working again. Rush asks whether they were making progress, but the life support works only in a few sectors and is quite unstable there. Rush sarcastically states that he asked for progress and Camile tells him that their oxygen would probablye last for 6 to 8 hours. Rush starts a third attempt and asks whether anyone had good news. At least Eli was able to get a system working again, Rush tells him to look for blue prints of the ship. He then neglects Eli's plea for something to eat and tells them to continue working. Eli asks where he was going, Rush answers that he was searching for a bathroom and leaves.
After Dr. Rush "teleported" himself into the body of the technician on earth, it is reported to O'Neill by Sgt. Harrison. When they talk, Rush explains that he and some dozens of survivors were on an ancient space ship because he managed to create a worm hole from the Icarus Base by activating the ninth Chevron. O'Neill interrupts him and tells him that it had been his duty to evacuate the civilians using the stargate. Rush says that he had ignored Col. Young's order because this unique chance just had to be used and a worm hole to the core of the earth would have lead to a catastrophe due to the instability of the planet. O'Neill is furious because Rush could have chosen a planet in their star system and the rescue would have been a lot easier. Rush defends his point that this was a unique chance to activate the ninth and last Chevron. O'Neill breathes in and then tells Rush to just bring the survivors home.
Greer's group is searching a part of the ship, Dr. Franklin asks how they could be sure that it's unmanned. Greer responds that Dr. Rush explained the liffe support system had been activated just before they arrived. Franklin is sceptical, he asks about the possibility that the "Aliens" need no air to breath at all. They shortly look at each other uncertainly.
Greer's search party finds a kind of canteen. There is a lot of space for storing food and water but there is none.
Missing scene in the Extended Version
Probably due to a commercial break, the TV version features a short shot of the concerned looking Greer again.
Eli asks Dr. Rush, who or what the Lucian Alliance, which attacked them on the Icarus Base, was. Rush explains that they are a federation of criminals originating from many different planets who want to use the power vacuum after the G'oauld's defeat. Eli then asks how they could know of the project since it was top secret. Rush states that there probably was a spy involved in the project, but the legend of the ninth chevron was known to many various races and cultures anyway. Eli starts recording Dr. Rush "secretly" with the "cinema", when he continues by saying that some thought it to be the key to the universe and capable of infinite power - reason enought for the alliance to try to get it.
Eli sarcastically asks whether he believed that that ship really could give one such power, Rush says that it was not about the ship itself, but about what it could do and which information it could provide - if one is capable of using it. Eli now asks the Dr. why he risked all these peoples lives for such crazy talk. Rush says if he can bring them back home safely and then come back wth a team of trained soldiers he did not know why he should not do it. Eli does not know an answer to this, Rush adds that he should stop recording. Eli is surprised the Doc noticed the recording and only pretends to stop it. Rush gets back to the console.
The rest of the shot in which Eli puts on his hat and the following shot of Lt. Scott turning around is being shown from a different angle in the TV Version. This is being done in order to cover a missing scene from the Extended Version up. Eli asks Scott whether it was possible that there are dinosaurs. (compare their dialog at 18:22). Scott answers that everything was possible, the two laugh.
Missing scene in the Extended Version
Probably due to continuity reasons, the rest of the scene when Eli, Franklin and the others also go through the stargate is missing in the Extended Versions. Dr. Rush stops shortly before the gate and looks back. Col. Young nods at him, then Rush goes through the gate and the usual overlays stating the producers' names.
Col. Young passes Lt. James and, heavily breathing, asks for Chloe. Vannesa answers that she was still in the room she retreated to. Young asks how Chloe was. Vannes asks why he never asked how she felt. The Col. states that she was trained for such situations and that Chloe had recently lost her father. Lt. James says that her dad was also as well as dad for her as long as she was locked up in some distant galaxy. She was usually supposed to return to Iraq, but superiors had thought this mission to be a better career opportunity - and now they had to die.
Young clarifies that he did not want to hear such negative talk and that they were to work out a solution. Vanessa says that she just wanted to tell how she felt - after he asked.
In a slightly different shot of Eli (in the TV Version he looks straight ahead, in the Extended Version he looks at Curtis), Curtis adds that they might be dead before the Destiny leaves Hyperspace again if they should enter it. Franklin starts walking decisively and says that they were to return to the stargate now. Eli demands his remote control, causing Curtis to point his gun at him. Eli then adds with a forced smile that this was of course optional. Curtis also wants to have the "cinema", Eli says that this was mutiny and hands it to him. Eventually, Curtis, Franklin and T.J. walk back to the gate. Eli shouts that the remote control was their only chance to get back to the ship. Curtis answers that they obviously had to get a new one.
The scene in the Armstrongs' house also starts earlier: Chloe's mother says that she does not want to lose her daughter as well, Chloe comforts her and says that nothing would happen. In the meantime, the house keeper enters the living room and brings tea. Chloe thanks her and calls her by her name. The house keeper is obviously confused because she does not know the person on the sofa. Chloe wants to pour her mother some tea when a soldier enters through the door. (In the TV Version, the following shot of the soldier starts a moment earlier because the beginning of the dialog in the Extended Version starts during the previous shot).
The Extended Version features complete (movie) credits.