When SG-1 discover
what they believe to be the remnant of the Lost City of the
Ancients - the originators of the Stargates - Stargate Command
launches an investigation. A new team of explorers, headed
by civilian Dr. Elizabeth Weir, travels to the distant Pegasus
Galaxy, where they discover an advanced but deserted city
on the ocean floor, a group of nomadic humans and a deadly
enemy that feeds on humans as an energy source...
the first episode of Stargate: Atlantis, gets the show
off to a flying start. It successfully introduces all the
regular cast and sets up the new enemy threat.
O'Neill and Daniel Jackson (from Stargate: SG-1) help
ease fans into the opening of the series - it was great to
see Jackson itching to go through the gate to join the Atlantis
crew. I also couldn't help notice that Gary ("Chevron
One encoded") Jones's character had been replaced by
another actor. While this character didn't do much in these
scenes, it would have been fun to have seen Jones appear.
Patrick (Terminator, The X-Files) also turns in a great
performance - shame he didn't stick around for the duration
of this series.
get a rather nasty introduction to the new alien threat in
this area of space, the Wraiths. These vampire like creatures
make the Replicators look cuddly in comparison. I'm really
looking forward to seeing how these creatures are weaved into
opening episode is extremely impressive. It's action packed,
well paced and very funny. Stargate: Atlantis really
couldn't have gotten a better introduction than this.
McKay's DNA is altered to match the Ancient genetic coding,
allowing him to use the Ancient technology abounding in Atlantis
- but leaving him unable to eat. Meanwhile, during a game
of hide-and-seek, one of the Athosian children inadvertently
releases a dark entity. And when Atlantis goes through a series
of technical malfunctions, the team realises that the shadowy
creature is actually feeding off the power supply...
starts well, but then seems to lose some of its momentum.
The opening scenes are extremely funny. McKay manages to activate
one of the Ancients' devices that gives him his own personal
shielding device. No one or thing can harm him... but he also
is unable to turn it off. Sadly, this means nothing can touch
his body - so there is no way he can eat or drink.
the whole dark entity storyline is really, really dull - something
that felt like it had been lifted straight out of the first
season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
despite its flaws, this episode does give us more of a feel
for the main characters. And it's not really as bleak as I
seem to have painted it - just not that great either.
from a surprise encounter with the Wraith, the Atlantis team's
puddle jumper speeds back towards the Stargate but becomes
trapped when it suffers a mechanical failure. They have only
38 minutes before the Stargate shuts down... and with the
front half of the ship already dematerialised in the event-horizon,
the puddle jumper will be cut in half...
Eight Minutes is
a pretty 'edge of your seat' experience. Every time you think
nothing else can go wrong, it does.
of the puddle jumpers (I really do prefer the other name knocked
around for these craft: 'Gateship') is heading back to Atlantis
through a Stargate. Onboard are Teyla, Lieutenant Ford, Dr
McKay and Major Sheppard (who is having the life sucked out
of him thanks to a large bug that has attached itself to his
neck). As they enter the Stargate the puddle jumper becomes
caught on the sides of the gate and it appears there is no
way to dislodge it.
is a pretty intense episode, fast paced and incredibly nail-biting
- which is pretty impressive as the majority of the episode
is set in two static locations (Atlantis City and the puddle
jumper). The alien bug clinging on to Sheppard's neck screamed:
"Face Hugger rip off from Alien!" In fact,
the conclusion to this episode would suggest that the writers
were indeed paying homage to that movie.
is also interesting to see some surface tension between Weir
and at least one of her crew. There is an exchange she has
with one of her team which shows the possible future struggles
she will have keeping the chain of command.
episode plays out well and has a satisfactory conclusion.
I did have a few small issues with this series though - ones
which I'm hoping will dissipate over time. Firstly the theme
tune is instantly forgettable and borrows a little too much
from other obvious sources (including Stargate: SG-1),
the digital effect work wasn't as good as it could have been
- some of the puddle jumper shots are really poor in this
finally I had a slight (very slight) feeling of deja vu. Star
Trek: Deep Space Nine anyone? No? Okay... The Atlantis
city is not dissimilar to DS9 in construction (especially
when you see cross section diagrams which show the city's
internal sensor readouts); the city is now a human base but
the Atlantis's team have to share their new home with the
Athosian families who they are harbouring - a little like
DS9 became the home for the Bajorans who the Federation
were protecting from the Cardassians; the Atlantis crew are
far away from earth and (even though the SGC can dial out
to them - they can't dial earth) any rescue operation would
be hard - a little like the crew of DS9 being isolated
from the Federation; the Stargate is a little like the wormhole
from DS9; and finally the puddle jumpers look very
similar to Trek's runabouts - especially the way the
tail section opens in order to let the crew in and out.
are incredibly thin on the ground. No audio commentaries.
All we get is a 23 minute featurette that goes behind the
scenes of Stargate Atlantis; an 11 minute set tour
with directors Martin Wood and Peter Deluise; and a photo
gallery. Pretty poor really for the first release in the series.
my negative points above, this first volume has a fairly promising
start and I am truly looking forward to watching as this series
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