Stargate: Atlantis
Volume 6
(Season 2 - Vol 1)

Starring: Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Jason Momoa, Paul McGillion and David Hewlett
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 10 April 2006

As Lt. Aiden Ford recovers from a near-fatal encounter with a Wraith, the team's new ship, the
Daedulus, arrives to defend Atlantis from the Wraith onslaught. But it may be too late when the team discovers that an even larger armada is on the way...

The Siege - Part III, sees Mitch Pileggi (The X-Files's Walter Skinner) sign on as Col. Steven Caldwell, the captain of the Daedulus. This episode also sees a dramatic change for one of the regular characters on the show. I have to admit to not being sure, at first, how I felt about this. But, to be honest, this gives the show an edge and helps to bring some much needed jeopardy to the show.

This episode also sees a vast improvement in the special effects over last year. Listening to the audio commentary it is revealed that James Tichenor (who was responsible for the majority of the effects on SG-1) is now the show's visual effects supervisor. And it shows.

All in all, this is a pretty good start to the show's second season.

Daedulus is infected by a Wraith computer virus that threatens everyone on board. Can McKay come up with a solution in time? Or will they all become food for the Wraith...?

The Intruder is a bit of a cheap shot really. The plot is almost identical to the Season Four SG-1 episode Entity. But, instead of a M.A.L.P being the hiding place for the virus, it's the Daedalus's F-302s. It's also ironic that Peter DeLuise directs this episode - as he originally wrote Entity.

Basically, a virus has infected the Daedulus's computer. It's gained control of most of the systems before the crew realise, and starts broadcasting a distress signal towards the Wraith homeworld. The crew are sitting ducks until Shepphard comes up with a plan to stop the broadcast. Then the virus instructs the Daedulus to fly towards the nearest sun. With time running out McKay must come up with a plan before the Wraith arrive or the crew are killed by radiation poisoning.

While this is an enjoyable romp, it's still a cheap rip-off and I can't believe the writer managed to get away with it.

The audio commentary with director Peter DeLuise and SG-1's Gary Jones (who plays Walter Harriman) is amusing - even though it's odd that Jones should be commenting on a series he wasn't involved with. Their gag about "space poop" is most amusing. Basically, as poop is flushed out into space, DeLuise and Jones wonder why enemies don't have a space poop detector that can follow the path of space poop back to any ship they are tracking.

Sheppard and his team attempt to locate Lieutenant Ford but get more than they bargain for when they find themselves held captive by a former soldier who is being hunted by The Wraith...

In Runner we are introduced to the show's new regular cast member in the form of Ronon. It looks like this character is going to provide some additional benefits as well as problems for the Atlantis crew. As he's had to fight to keep himself alive, trusting no one, it's surely only a matter of time before there is a stand off and Ronon has a problem with being given orders.

There's some much needed light relief as McKay moans about the radiation levels on the planet and spends his time walking all over the place wearing a heavy radiation suit.

The audio commentary with director Martin Wood and David Hewlett (McKay) is amusing. I especially enjoyed hearing about Hewlett's experience of being hung upside down just after he'd stuffed his face.

While off world McKay and Lt. Cadman are captured by a Wraith dart. The vessel is shot down before it can make it through the stargate. A technical glitch in retrieving the two members of Atlantis forces McKay and Cadman to coexist inside McKay's body...

Duet features the infamous McKay/Beckett kiss scene. The entire episode is played for laughs and works really well. The whole episode rests on the shoulders of Hewlett - if his acting had been even slightly off then the whole episode wouldn't have worked. Thankfully he turns in a magnificent performance.

It was interesting to learn, in the audio commentary, that actor David Nykl went to clown college - although, that may have been another off-the wall DeLuise gag. Also, DeLuise admits that he paid homage to Little Britain in this episode.

Extras on this release, as well as the audio commentaries, include Mission Directive: The Intruders (11 minute behind the scenes look at the filming of The Intruders with DeLuise; Mission Directive: The Siege - Part III (11 minute look at the making of The Siege - Part III with Martin Wood; and a photo gallery.

It's good to see that the producers are not afraid to shake things up in this season. Hopefully this should ensure that the show stays fresh. This collection certainly includes a nice mix of episodes.

Pete Boomer

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