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DVD Review

Stargate: Atlantis
Volume 17 (Season 4 - Vol 2)


Starring: Joe Flanigan, Amanda Tapping, Rachel Luttrell, Jason Momoa and David Hewlett
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 16 June 2008

Imprisoned and forced to reactivate a radiation-emitting dormant Lantean spaceship, Sheppard sends a distress signal that attracts a Wraith cruiser...

Travelers sees Sheppard captured by a Nomadic band of warriors who for years have lived onboard spaceships in order to stay one step ahead of the Wraith. Their leader, has made it her quest to search down Sheppard and his team, after hearing tales of their success in controlling Lantean technology. This race has found a damaged Lantean ship which they want Sheppard to fix in order to guarantee the future of their species.

This episode reveals that Ronon has also crossed paths with this race in the past - obviously acquiring his famous firearm from them.

Amanda Tapping's Carter doesn't appear in this episode, which is interesting. Personally, I'm glad that the producers are using her in exactly the same way as Weir. I was a little worried that, with a new regular character on the show, the writers would concentrate more on her and write her into the bulk of the episodes.

Paul Mullie (executive producer / writer) and William Waring (director) provide this episode's audio commentary. Highlights include them pointing out that Sheppard doesn't actually get that much "Kirk action" in the show, despite some fans complaining whenever there is a love interest for him in an episode; and their discussion on how this travelling race has managed to keep their leader in lip gloss and hair care products.



Plant samples brought back from a new planet introduce an amnesia-inducing virus that strikes everyone in the city except Teyla and Ronon...

Tabula Rasa borrows heavily from the movie Memento. The episode opens with Rodney handcuffed to a chair, with no memory of who he is or where he is. In front of him is a laptop with a post-it note that directs him to push a button. When he does, a message from himself appears on the screen telling him that he must find Teyla or everyone onboard Atlantis will die. The rest of the episode alternates between the past and the present, as the audience is slowly shown what has happened to everyone.

While an entertaining enough episode, some may feel a little cheated by the amount of material lifted from Memento. It wouldn't have been so bad if one element had been used to show that the producers were paying homage to the movie, but there are a few too many. These include the memory loss (obviously); trying to make the audience as disorientated as the characters; McKay writing on his body; and Lorne having a polaroid picture in his pocket.

Alan McCullough (producer / writer) Martin Wood (director / supervising producer) and Amanda Tapping provide the audio commentary. Highlights include them pointing out that the skylight in McKay's office was added specifically for this episode, and that you won't see it in any other episode; and the revelation of what David Hewlett was actually writing on his body (examples being: "Why am I writing on myself?" and "I love the hot blonde").



Captured in a strangely deserted settlement on New Athos by a fierce warrior tribe, Teyla and Keller are threatened with death unless they betray the location of Atlantis...

Missing is the first episode where Jewel Staite's Jennifer Keller takes centre stage, as she and Teyla are trapped off-world. This episode sees the two travelling to Teyla's home world. However, when they get there Teyla's people are nowhere to be seen, and it's uncertain whether they have been slaughtered, taken by the Wraith, or abandoned the settlement. This episode is the start of a change for Teyla - which will see her become a lot darker through out the course of this season.

While it's good to see Keller given a little more screen time, sadly the main plot felt more like a b-plot - there's only so much running around a forest planet you can do before the audience starts to get a little bored.

Carl Binder (co-executive producer / writer) and Andy Mikita (director) provide the audio commentary. Highlights include the fact that Mikita's wife used to baby sit one of the guest stars; and Mikita's tale of being scared by an owl while on location.




Teyla seeks help from a seer in her search for her lost people, as the Wraith offer their help in stopping Replicators from destroying humans throughout the galaxy...

The Seer stars Martin Jarvis as a mystical figure who is able to see the future - and, more importantly, by touching another he is able to let them experience the vision also. We also discover that the Atlantis team has a new threat. When they rewrote the Relicator base code - so that their main objective was to hunt down and destroy the Wraith - they didn't foresee just how far the Replicators would go to complete this mission. It appears that the Replicators are targeting the Wraith's food supply in a bid to starve them to death, which means that the Replicators have taken to destroying entire planets that are colonised by humanoids.

This episode's audio commentary is provided by Alan McCullough (producer / writer) Andy Mikita (director). Highlights include them talking us through what is probably the longest continuous shot to have appeared on Stargate so far; and the fact that there will be a new conference table from Season 5. Be warned though, there is a pretty major spoiler about a character leaving at the end of this season, and another familiar face replacing them.



Extras include the aforementioned audio commentaries; The Doctor Is In: The Return of Paul McGillion (14 min, 11 sec really silly addition for this disc as it provides a huge spoiler that you can't escape as the feature's title gives it away. As McGillion doesn't turn up on this disc's episodes I'm baffled as to why this extra is here); Stargate Atlantis Bloopers (7 min, 09 sec outtakes with introductory segments by Martin Gero. However, be warned, as this also spoils a lot of the mystery surrounding McGillion's return); Photo Gallery and Design Gallery.

While the episodes are entertaining enough, I was a little surprised at the featurettes that were chosen for his release. Those that were unaware that McGillion was returning, or those that were unsure as to whether he'd be back as a regular, will have their enjoyment of future episodes totally ruined.

Pete Boomer

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