The original Stargate, SG!, and its spinoff, Stargate Atlantis, were pure entertainment with some elements of drama thrown into the mix. The casting for both those series were amazing. If the creators and producers were so anxious to get back to the franchise, I don't know why they did not continue with Stargate Atlantis another three to five years . . . unless, as seems obvious, they were anxious try something totally different, which they do not. And that is the inherent problem with Stargate Universe. They don't fully commit to this new darker version of Stargate. They have regurgitated many of the stock characters, but devoid of the old humor these characters are boring and one dimensional. Eli, the math whiz who unknowingly solves their energy problem, is a very poor contrivance. They should have steered clear of the brilliant gamer being drafted by the government. When they pulled a similar stunt with Rodney's sister, Genie, it was done much more artfully.
And while I love Richard Dean Anderson ad Amanda Tapping, I think they should have had faith in the old franchise, and the devoted fans of that franchise by also steering clear of any of their characters to introduce us to new characters, as well any of the old gags (i.e. characters who like to name unknown things) or iconic references . . . such as Eli's silly reference to The Planet of the Apes. In another show, say SG1 or Stargate Atlantis, it would have been funny. It does not work here
I think the idea of a darker Stargate was an excellent one, but when the producers hired the writers and the actors they should have been thinking Battlestar Galactica meets the science of the Stargate, but without nothing of the old franchise in sight, except the Stargate technology.
Stargate Universe comes off as a humorless imitation of its two brilliant predecessors, and it lacks serious dramatic story lines and great actors. The one known actor, Lou Diamond Phillips, is made to look a buffoon. He is a solid actor, and they give him a second rate part in preference to second rate actors.
If this show makes it, it will only be due to the loyalty of hardcore SG1 fans.