Stargate: Atlantis
Volume 8
(Season 2 - Vol 3)

Starring: Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Jason Momoa, Paul McGillion and David Hewlett
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 05 June 2006

The Atlantis team discover a large Ancient ship called
Aurora. When they board it they soon discover that the Ancient crew are all still alive in suspended animation pods...

Aurora sees Sheppard having to climb into one of the free suspended animation pods aboard an Ancient warship in order to talk to the crew. Unfortunately the crew have been in suspended animation for so long that they have all become incredibly old (it appears that in suspended animation you do still age, but very slowly). The Atlantis team can't revive all the crew, nor can they successfully get them back to Atlantis and work out what to do with them. And then, to add to the problems, Wraith ships are detected closing in on their position.

This episode is not a million miles away from the SG-1 episode Lifeboat. It also very nearly broke the sci-fi cliché when suspended animation pods are used. It must be an unwritten law that whenever a stasis chamber is used to transport people long distances something always goes wrong for at least one unsuspecting crew member (See Planet of the Apes, Star Trek: The Next Generation's The Neutral Zone and Star Trek: Voyager's The Thaw as just a few examples). Usually it's a malfunction, a cracked canopy or some other problem, and this episode looked like that wasn't going to be an issue.

Upon boarding the Aurora it is confirmed that all of the pods are functioning perfectly (even if all of the crew of Ancients have become... er... ancient as they have very slowly aged over the thousands of years they have been in suspended animation) but then we discover that one of the crew was not so lucky. And to prove it we have a skeleton lying around. To be fair though, this is used as a plot device that makes much more sense than the usual shock "Oh! No! Technology let us down" plot twist.

The audio commentary for this episode is amusing - with Peter DeLuise warning us to never trust the long hairs.

The team are kidnapped while on an away mission. Their captors take them to another planet where we soon discover that Lieutenant Ford is still alive and wants his old colleagues to help him in a mission to destroy a Wraith Hive ship...

The Lost Boys sees the welcome return of Rainbow Sun Francks as Lieutenant Ford - it really was a shame that he was cut from the main cast as he's a really talented actor. The story is made all the move entertaining due to the fact that Ford actually believes that he is still one of the good guys - and he has a plan to prove to his old colleagues that his way will work.

This episode also sees yet another alien name that is a total rip-off from elsewhere - the Genii. When spoken, this sounds so much like "Jedi" that you'll be forgiven for thinking that's what they are called. This follows on from Garek in Stargate: SG-1 (like Garak the Cardassian tailor in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and Ka'lel (Superman) who is one of the Jaffa council members in SG-1.

This also has the most interesting audio commentary - with input from the episode's writer Martin Gero, David Hewlett and Joe Flanigan. They also call up one of the guest actors for his input, and we learn that in one shot Rachel Luttrell actually punched Jason Momoa unintentionally.

A good, solid episode which ends on a satisfying cliff-hanger.

Ford and the Atlantis team are held prisoners in the Wraith Hive ship. The only person who can save them is McKay, if he can just work out a way to give Ford's guards the slip and get back to Atlantis...

The Hive is a fairly meaty conclusion to the previous episode. There are some great scenes with McKay, including his retelling of a story where he actually beat up two guys that were bigger than him. And Sheppard uses his wits to get out of a difficult situation and place a seed of doubt in the queen Wraith's mind about who she can trust.

Martin Wood, the director of this episode, manages to get through the audio commentary on his own divulging plenty of secrets - including mistakes with the lighting and how they cheated when using the Wraith prison doors.

A satisfying conclusion to this two-parter.

While on an away mission Sheppard steps through a portal to another world. McKay soon realises that time on the other side is moving at an accelerated speed. The race is on to find a way to rescue Sheppard before time runs out...

Epiphany may be a little clichéd, but I really enjoyed it. The story is not unlike SG-1's Season Three episode A Hundred Days. Although, this time our stranded crew member (Sheppard instead of O'Neill) isn't really there long enough to form any real bonds with the race he encounters. Sure, he starts to fall for a woman, but before he's even gotten the chance to hold her hand he is rescued. I don't think that's spoiling too much as you know that at the end of the episode everything will go back to the way it was.

The audio commentary is a little dull - mainly due to the fact that the director, Neil Fearnly, only speaks every now and then. This is a shame, because when he does talk he has some interesting information to impart.

As well as the audio commentary on each episode, extras also include Profile on David Hewlett (21 minute featurette on Hewlett - well worth watching to see him goofing about. And I loved the section on torturing him); Photo and Production Design Gallery; and trailers for other releases.

Pete Boomer

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