tricking the humans of Atlantis into revealing Earth's location,
two Wraith hive ships capture Dr. McKay and Ronon and head
for the planet. What they don't know is that Colonel Sheppard
and his F-302 fighter are in their midst. When the Wraith
show their contempt for Michael, he decides to betray his
race and help Sheppard stop the Wraith attacking Earth...
Man's Land picks up where the Season
left off. Connor Trinneer (Star Trek: Enterprise's
Commander Charles 'Trip' Tucker III) is back in the role of
the Wraith Michael Kenmore. And, when he realises that the
Wraith are treating him as an outsider, he decides to try
and help the members of Atlantis.
you'd expect, most of the humour in this episode comes from
McKay. There's a memorable scene where he compares the Wraith
downloading the location of Earth to the time he: "got
a virus downloading por... er... music".
Gero (producer / writer) and Martin Wood (director / supervising
producer) provide an interesting audio commentary - even if
Gero insists on talking over Wood most of the time. I was
surprised that Wood didn't lean over and slap Gero to shut
him up for two seconds. Interesting observations were made
on how similar the storylines of both the SG-1 and
Atlantis season openers were this year - as though
one was copied from the other. Gero also points out an interesting
fact about the special effect budgets - that basically the
money generally goes on the season finale, but there is a
bit more money available than usual for the season openers.
After taking control of one of the Wraith hive ships, the
Atlantis team must decide what to do with the two hundred
Wraith they have temporary turned into benign humans. Meanwhile,
Dr. Weir finds herself under the scrutiny of Richard Woolsey
and the International Oversight Advisory...
is not really the conclusion to No Man's Land - more
a continuation. The Wraith, having been exposed to the retrovirus
gas, are without their memories and stranded on a planet.
Looking after them is Dr Beckett, who is determined to try
and help them. But, some of the Wraith are getting suspicious
as to why they are there. Not all of them believe the cover
story that they are being quarantined after a plague infected
in an obvious attempt to help unconverted Stargate: SG-1
fans to migrate over to Atlantis, in much the same
way that the SG-1 episode The
Pegasus Project was designed to do, Weir is
requested to return to the SGC to explain how the Wraith managed
to discover the location of the earth.
Mullie (executive producer) and Martin Wood (director / supervising
producer) provide the audio commentary. There are some interesting
observations about how Wood wanted Michael to be portrayed
in this episode. As he was being shunned by the Wraith, Wood
wanted Michael to act more Wraith like - in an effort to appear
more like them. And when he was with the humans, Wood wanted
him to appear more human. There is also a humorous look at
the scene between Caldwell and Woolsey, which takes place
on one of the balconies of Atlantis. The set up, as always,
involved getting several large fans in to make it appear as
though the two actors were outside. However, as neither actor
has enough hair to blow around Wood soon realised that the
fans were a total waste of time.
When the Atlantis team travel to a new planet they meet a
civilisation that seem friendly enough, but their apparent
leader, Lucius Lavin, seems to be a little too friendly and
his people seem a little too accommodating towards him. When
Dr Beckett spends some time with Lavin he comes back smitten
with what a great guy he is. And when the rest of Atlantis
start to fall under his spell McKay and Sheppard realise that
their new friend is not what he appears to be...
is an episode played almost entirely for laughs. In spirit,
this reminded me of many an old Star
Trek: The Next Generation episode. The crew
arrive on a world full of beautiful people, all wearing bright
coloured clothing and bathed in that light that you only get
in productions shot inside a studio. Richard Kind's deliberately
over the top portrayal of Lavin is one performance you won't
forget in a hurry.
wasn' overly impressed with the plot thread that saw the reason
behind Sheppard not being susceptible to Lavin's charms was
down to the fact he had a head cold. My problems with this
were firstly, it was signposted from the very first scene
- so you were waiting for it to mean something. And secondly,
it was pointless as Sheppard was never alone with Lavin for
that long - even McKay managed to stave it off for ages because
he was not in Lavin's immediate vicinity. Although, I suppose
it did help to stop him becoming infected once Lavin realised
what was going on.
Wood (director / supervising producer) and Michael Blundell
(director of photography) provide the audio commentary. Wood
provides an interesting explanation as to why background actors
can sometimes look unconvincing. Apparently directors are
not allowed to give direction to background actors, because
then they are classed as actors and must be paid a lot more
Sheppard, Teyla, McKay and Ronon travel through the Stargate.
When the inhabitants of the planet spot Ronon they attack
the Atlantis team - taking all but McKay prisoner. It turns
out that Ronon had been to that village years before, when
the Wraith were chasing him. On that occasion the villagers
had looked after Ronon, only to have the Wraith attack them
for their troubles. Now that Ronon has returned, the villagers
have a bargaining tool that should stop the Wraith from ever
visiting them again...
is a Ronon based story that examines the background to the
character. We see him before he was originally captured by
the Wraith to be used for sport as a "runner" where
he was implanted with a tracking device and then set free
for the Wraith hunters to chase.
discover that Ronon was not always the tough character that
we now know. There was a time - when he was with his wife
- when he would run from trouble.
Wraith probably make their biggest mistake taking him back
to his deserted homeworld to make their final kill. Ronon
knows the buildings and landscape like the back of his hand.
In essence this episode is about as close to a Western as
the writers could get without making it too obvious.
C Cooper (executive producer / writer / director) and Brenton
Spencer (director of photography) provide the audio commentary.
Cooper explains the benefits of being the executive producer,
writer and director. He wrote this story to have three main
locations, not for a minute thinking he'd get the budget.
Thankfully he did.
Extras include the already mentioned audio commentaries; Ark
Of Truth Promo; Mission Directive: "Sateda" Featuring
Robert C. Cooper (16 mins behind the scenes look at Sateda
- highlights for me included the crazy stuntman who just throws
himself at walls); Inside the Stargate Atlantis visual
FX Department (18 mins behind the scenes with Mark Savela
and his visual effects team); Still Gallery and Production
DVD represents a good mix of episodes - there's something
here for every fan's tastes.