Atlantis condemned

Dear Johnny Fanboy,

While watching volume 2.2 of Stargate: Atlantis I noticed several odd things. I'll number them this time:

1. In Condemned, the team land on a planet and, eventually, are kidnapped by the natives. Their kidnappers quickly swipe their radios, which look like standard walkie-talkies. So why are the team wearing their headphones and mics? These can clearly be seen, so why don't the kidnappers take these too? If they can't be used, surely the Atlantis team would not still be wearing them.

2. In the same episode... are the kidnappers stupid? The Stargate is active yet none of them tries to escape through it. Surely once the Atlantis team have left they can just follow them. Or, when the Wraith ships go back to their own planet, why not jump through after them?

3. In Instinct, we learn that the tame Wraith, Ellia, once fed off Zaddik's life energy (with his approval) when she was very young. As Pete Boomer points out in his review of this episode, why wasn't Zaddik mutated like Ford was when he was fed upon by a Wraith in The Siege, Part 3?

4. In the same episode, why exactly does Beckett carry around his incomplete retrovirus in a syringe? Is this normal medical practice? If you had a half-complete sample, would you really carry it around in a form that anyone could inject themselves with?

5. Also in Instinct, we discover that Zaddik has altered greatly since the last time his fellow villagers saw him. In fact, even his father fails to recognise him. Yet seconds later an extra runs on to the scene and says, "Look what has happened to Zaddik." Why does this person recognise Zaddik when his own father does not?

Steve Hannah

Johnny Fanboy replies:

1. The headsets probably rarely function on alien planets, but it's possible that the Atlantis team keep them on in case they ever do - for example, if they were to encounter a civilisation that had achieved compatible radio communication. Or maybe it's just force of habit (more on that in a moment). The kidnappers probably don't know what the headsets are for, perhaps mistaking them for ornamental headgear, so they leave them alone.

And the probable reason why the Atlantis team don't remove the headsets once their walkie-talkies have been taken is that they forget they are wearing them. How many times have you put your glasses on your head and then wondered where they are? How often have you left the house still wearing your Starfleet uniform or your Spider-Man costume? Or is that just me?

2. I think the kidnappers are quite sensible, actually. If they jumped through the Stargate they would very likely end up floating in the vacuum of space, since the people who visit their planet tend to do so by ship. And would you follow the Wraith?!

3. It is clearly established in The Siege, Part 3 that Ford's circumstances are unique. The grenade-induced shock to the feeding Wraith caused an unusually large dosage of the alien enzyme to enter Ford's body. This is what led to his mutation, enhanced strength and addiction to the Wraith enzyme.

4. As the episode states, Beckett takes the half-complete sample to the planet to see if it will help Ellia. It could be that he is carrying it in this form so that he can easily add a few drops to other, local, concoctions, such as herbal mixtures that Zaddik uses to help her.

5. It could be that Zaddik and his father were never particularly close, or that his father is senile, has a bad memory or poor eyesight. Alternatively, Zaddik's father may be experiencing denial regarding the fate of his son. Far more likely, though off-screen at the time, the other villager could have overheard the revelation that the man is Zaddik.

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