can now purchase the entire first season as one complete box
set. This collection is basically the five discs that were
originally released, but now inserted into a rather attractive
box with plastic trays. The front of the packaging employs
lenticular imaging (an image that changes) that shows the
Atlantis crew or a Wraith depending on which angle you are
One gets off ot a pretty impressive start. To follow
are reviews of some of this season's episodes...
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One encoded") Jones's character had been replaced by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.
Weir begins to suspect that one of the Athosians is actually
in league with the Wraith when the Atlantis team are ambushed
by their enemy on an off world trip. Taking action despite
Teyla and Sheppard's concerns Dr Weir starts interviewing
the Athosians in order to weed out the Wraith but alienates
the community who start leaving the city in droves...
is a rather dull affair. There's a little too much "Oh!
I'm hurt! How dare you accuse my people of being spies!"
and "Let's tread softly, softly". There just didn't
seem to be enough material to stretch over 45 minutes.
this episode, unlike others on this disc, is slotted in at
just the right time in the series. We still don't know the
Athosians very well and, even though it's obvious Teyla will
be around for some time as she's on the opening credits, we
are still not sure how loyal her people are.
The Atlantis team discover a primitive forest dwelling tribe
untouched by the Wraith. An electromagnetic field protects
them but the tribe believe ritual suicide keeps the Wraith
at bay. Sheppard must try and convince the tribe this ritual
is unnecessary but the 'elders' are not so sure...
look, another forest planet! Fantastic. Childhood's End
is not original in any sense of the word. This episode
features a culture where the inhabitants must die before they
reach full adulthood (a bit like Logan's Run). The
Atlantis team make friends with the elder of the village who
just so happens to be preparing to top himself that evening
as he has reached the age where it is necessary to die. And
guess what, his replacement wants the Atlantis team out of
his village one way or another.
this episode is clichéd in just about every aspect,
it works! Don't ask how, or why... it just does. The scenes
with David Hewlett's bumbling Doctor McKay help keep everything
very light hearted and the end result, while not fantastic,
Atlantis team encounter the Hoffans a civilisation who claim
to be close to developing a drug that will make them immune
to the Wraith. Learning of the awakening of the Wraith the
Hoffans demand to inoculate their people before the drug is
properly tested, to the horror of Dr Beckett...
Poisoning The Well the Atlantis team visit a race whose
fashion and culture seem to be derived from a cross between
Victorian and '40s influences.
main problem I had with this episode was that the team are
starting to think that it is their duty to police the galaxy.
Does Sheppard really have the right, or the authority, to
speak to the Hoffan leaders the way he does? What gives the
Atlantis team the right to interfere so much in another culture?
Sheppard's comments are particularly at odds with the team's
views in Childhood's End where they were prepared to
discuss sacrificing another culture in order to obtain the
power crystal to get back to Earth.
is the first episode that really sees Dr Beckett take centre
stage and his scenes work really well. There is also a nice
gag about him playing the same role as McCoy in Star Trek.
an enjoyable episode.
investigating another planet Dr McKay discovers that its unique
atmospheric fog may provide enough power to allow the team
to communicate with Earth. Better still, they may be able
to go back there. When the team manage to return to their
home planet they are informed that the Atlantis programme
is to be terminated...
some odd reason, Home is the final episode on this
disc. If these releases were following the original transmission
order, Underground should have been the final episode
on this collection with Home beginning the next disc.
Strangely the PR information we received with this disc indicated
that Underground was the final episode of this collection
too, so I'm not entirely sure what happened there.
I really enjoyed this episode, but I had some major issues
with it. Firstly this episode really should have been included
later in the show's first season. We've only just arrived
at Atlantis and the team are all racing to get back to Earth.
Another problem was the fact that the twist in the tale is
spoilt by the fact that Hammond is still in charge of the
SGC (as he was when they left). So you already know that something
are some great gags here - my favourite being the fact that
despite months having passed, there are no messages on McKay's
home answering machine.
pretty enjoyable episode even if anyone with half a brain
will work out what is going on in the first 15 minutes.
members of the team show signs of an unusual infection, it
is discovered to be caused by a nanite virus, which induces
hallucinations and then death due to brain haemorrhage. Though
the team attempts to disable the nanites with an electromagnetic
pulse, they fail when the pulse is not strong enough. Can
the deadly technology be stopped before it cuts down the entire
Zone sees the Atlantis team in a race against time. At
stake are the lives of all onboard the station. While this
is not a very original story, it's execution is flawless.
There's real tension in this episode and I loved the way that
time after time a solution would appear only to evaporate
before our eyes. This building up of hope and then flooding
the viewer with a wave of disappointment really takes you
on a roller coaster ride.
was also a little concerned to see that the producers are
already putting into place a race that will be more of a threat
than the Wraith. Look away now if you don't want a small plot
development spoiled... but it seems that the nanite virus
has been specially designed to wipe out humanoid species but
not by the Wraith. This now means that there is potentially
another threat to humanity waiting in the wings.
well plotted episode that doesn't disappoint.
Atlantis team visits a pre-technological paradise and requests
that they be allowed to bring refugees of Wraith attacks there
for sanctuary. The locals refuse, believing that the goddess
Athar has restricted their planet from colonisation by outsiders.
But when Sheppard invites Athar's high priestess back to Atlantis,
is he inviting trouble into their midst...?
is an interesting episode. Just when it starts to take itself
a little too seriously the writers inject a little humour
to ensure that everything lightens up a little. This is very
welcomed as the blossoming romantic relationship between Sheppard
and Athar's high priestess's is a little unbelievable - it
just moves too quickly. I know that's how 45 minute episodes
have to work, but it still moves a little too fast.
McKay makes some spot on references to Sheppard behaving like
Star Trek's Captain Kirk (in the '60s TV series - not
the movies) - always getting the new alien girl. There is
also an amusing scene where, in the middle of a meeting, Sheppard
asks if he can be alone with their guest for a few minutes
- to which all in the room cry in unison: "No!"
this episode really brought home to me how out of order McKay
is. He came across as more arrogant than usual and really
does need to tone it down a little. Are there really people
out there that just say whatever they think? Well, obviously
there are, but wouldn't they be disciplined a little more
in the profession McKay is in?
though it's rushed a little, I still found this to be an above
Atlantis team discovers a stasis chamber holding a woman who
appears to be over 10,000 years old. Excited by the possibility
that she is one of the alien race that built Atlantis, the
team decides to bring her out of stasis despite the risks
to her health. But everyone is shocked when, once reanimated,
the elderly woman identifies herself as none other than Dr.
I Sleep sees Atlantis doing a Back to the Future
- a film that
McKay has issues with as he says: "Don't even get me
started on that movie," when Sheppard mentions it.
make-up effects in this episode are incredible and I was also
impressed with Torri Higginson's acting as an older version
of Weir. Normally, whenever someone is aged in this way (take
for example Julian Bashir in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's
Three episode Distant Voices or any
of the actors that were aged in Back to the Future II)
they over act the ageing process. Not only that, but the eyes
usually give away that there is a energetic, young actor under
all those layers of rubber. That is certainly not the case
to the Future fans, as well as anyone who loves getting
their heads around time travel stories, will be in their element
here. A riveting tale from start to finish.
The Atlantis team travels to Dagan, a planet populated
by a people whose ancestors once worshipped a ZPM as a religious
symbol. But even as the team searches for keys to its whereabouts,
the Genii have learned of their activities on Dagan and planted
a sleeper agent amongst them. Now, with the Atlantis team
closing in on the location of the ZPM, the Genii close in
The Brotherhood star Robert Davi once again. The thing
I love about his character is that he is not your stereotypical
villain of the week. He is not a bad man at all, and is simply
trying to help his people at any means. This is not unlike
the Atlantis team, who seem to have no problems with stealing
from other cultures.
is something of an Indiana Jones story being told here
too. There are certainly elements of Raiders of the Lost
Ark in the script. Some of the scenes openly pay homage
to that movie. Davi's character is very much in the mould
of Dr. Rene Belloq. And the scene with the Atlantis team trapped
in the underground chamber is very similar to the scene in
Raiders where Belloq stands above the Well of the Souls
with Indy and Marian trapped below.
is a very impressive time elapse scene. This episode starts
with the Brotherhood fleeing the city as it is under attack.
As they run outdoors you get to see a wonderful view of their
city. This view then rapidly ages to depict crumbling city
walls and buildings, and then the camera pans back to show
the Atlantis team inside the main building, thousands of years
is certainly the best episode in this collection.
Having learned that the entire Wraith armada is headed towards
the city, the team decides to use their remaining power to
send Stargate Command a message containing information about
the Wraith threat and the well-being of everyone on Atlantis.
As most of the team are recording messages to their loved
ones, Sheppard and Teyla embark on a mission that takes them
directly to the Wraith army...
dear! It's time for a clips show. We've not even completed
the first season and off go the writers on a time and cost
cutting exercise. Actually Letter
from Pegasus is
not your average clips show and almost works. It's just a
shame that we had to revisit old episodes so early on.
main thing that saves this from being really dull is (surprise,
surprise) Dr McKay. His lengthy message back home is extremely
funny and well worth trudging through some of the other, rather
bland scenes. An average episode.
terrifying nightmares about the Wraith haunt Teyla, she visits
the city's psychologist and learns that she can sense the
Wraith. Determined to discover more, she leads a small team
on a mission to a planet from which victims of the Wraith
"miraculously" return. There, they uncover what appears to
be a genetics laboratory. Could Teyla's connection to the
Wraith be the result of genetic experimentation...?
is a Teyla episode and one I have issues with (well, more
of a nit-pick really). We are told that the Wraith (or one
Wraith in particular) sent the abducted test subjects back
to their loved ones, hoping that the way he had altered them
would be dampened as they gave birth to future generations.
Now, wasn't that a bit of a stupid risk to take? As the Wraith
eat humans anyway wouldn't it have made more sense for him
to just kill them? I think this is one I'm going to hand over
to Johnny Fanboy... once his answer is live you can read it
by clicking here.
good to see some good old fashioned blokey humour injected
into this episode. McKay says: "I've got a little..."
to which Ford asks: "You've got a little what?"
The rapport between McKay and Ford is very realistic and is
something which I hope the writers will expand upon next season.
the Wraith armada closing in on Atlantis, tension builds between
Teyla and some of the other members of the team over her connection
to the Wraith. When she is accused of revealing the team's
location, after a scouting mission ends in a fire fight, Sheppard
steps in to defend her. But even he begins to harbour doubts
when her accuser is left unconscious after an attack by an
Siege (Part 1) is
a pretty gripping episode. Although, as this two-parter unfolded
I couldn't help but be reminded of the Star Trek: Deep
Space Nine station battle story arc - which was obviously
a huge inspiration, although the Atlantis story line
is not as intense.
new found 'gift' drags up a whole heap of complications. Actually,
having this episode follow straight after The Gift
was a little sloppy. It felt as though the writers were desperately
trying to think of a way of making us question her loyalty
- maybe it was her that was letting the Wraith know about
the Atlantis crews movements and secrets. And so, The Gift
was simply written in a hurry to add a little more tension
to the finale.
ending is an interesting cliff-hanger, and may actually have
worked a little better as the season conclusion.
As the Wraith attack on Atlantis begins, the team is bolstered
by the appearance of reinforcements from Earth armed with
nuclear warheads and good news: The battleship Daedalus is
due to arrive in four days. But when the warheads are easily
destroyed by the Wraith, it becomes increasingly clear that
the reinforcements aren't enough to protect the city for four
hours, let alone four days...
Siege (Part 2) doesn't
really go anywhere. What I mean is, after 45 minutes we are
really no further on than when the episode started. Okay,
there are a few surprises (one big one if you don't already
know - although the synopsis above, which is taken from the
DVD cover, spoils it). The
conclusion seems a little too much like the end to the first
part (in essence)
there are plenty of highs and lows along the way. First their
plight looks hopeless and then there is a glimmer of a solution
on the horizon, then that too is dashed at the last minute,
and so it goes on.
the most exciting cliff-hanger, but it certainly leaves us
in this box set include numerous behind the scenes features
but no audio commentaries - which is a little odd.
did have a few small issues with this series - 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 first
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.