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Atlantis Reviews
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Season 1




Season 1







Wraith Caretaker and Colonel Marshall Sumner Adian Ford and John Shepard in a Puddle Jumjper Atlantis Rising

Rising




Directed by Martin Wood. Written by Brad Wright & Robert C. Cooper

Originally aired July 16, 2004

Starring Joe Flanigan as Major John Shepard, Torri Higginson as Dr. Elizabeth Weir, Rachel Luttrell Teyla Emmagan, Rainbow Sun Francks as Lieutenant Aiden Ford, and David Hewlett as Dr. Rodney McKay.

With Richard Dean Anderson as Brigadier General Jack O'Neill, Michael Shanks as Dr. Daniel Jackson, Paul McGillion as Dr. Carson Beckett, Andee Frizzell as Wraith Queen, Christopher Heyerdahl as Halling, Robert Patrick as Colonel Marshall Sumner, Dan Shea as Sgt. Siler, and Dan Payne as Wraith warrior.

The area around the ancient weapon in Antarctica is now a large research station full of scientists searching for information about the Lost City of the Ancients. Daniel Jackson puts it all together. It's in another galaxy and requires an eight symbol address. But, as Rodney points out, it will take the power output of the Ancient power device, called a Zero Point Module, or a ZPM. And there is only one. Using it to power the Stargate leaves Earth, at least, temporally, defenseless.

Nonetheless, a large group of people, led by Dr. Weir, go to Atlantis in the Pegasus Galaxy.

All is well until they discover that the city is underwater, protected by a shield. And, because they just turned the power on, the last ZPM is about to fail. When the shield collapses, everyone will die.

So, they dial a random address, hoping to find a safer place to live. They find the Wraith.

Unlike the Goa'uld, who want to enslave humans, the Wraith raise humans as food. And they are nearly impossible to kill. Making them an even more malevolent enemy than the Goa'uld.

In Stargate SG1, Dr. Weir was played by Jessica Steen. In Atlantis she is played by Torri Higginson. Am not sure why the producers changed actresses, but they both do a fine job.

Christopher Heyerdahl, who played Pallan in Revisions, plays Halling, a recurring character. And Dan Payne, who plays a Kull Warrior in SG1, plays a Wraith in this episode.

This is a great episode. It moves right along with lots of excitement and just the right amount of humor. Rodney is still obnoxious but tamed down from his appearances on SG1. Shepard is both intense about things he feels are important and laid back about most everything else. It is a great introduction the Atlantis series.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 23, 2021










Rodney Trying to Drink The Blob at the Stargate

Hide and Seek.




Season 1. Episode 3

Directed by David Warry-Smith. Written by Story by Brad Wright & Robert C. Cooper. Teleplay by Robert C. Cooper

Originally aired July 23, 2004

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, David Hewlett, and Paul McGillion.

With Craig Veroni as Dr. Peter Grodin, Christopher Heyerdahl as Halling, Reece Thompson as Jinto, Casey Dubois as Wex, Boyan Vukelic as Sgt. Stackhouse, Meghan Black as Marta,

Rodney is the first human to be given gene therapy, so he can use the Ancient devices. He activates a personal shield making him invincible. But he can't eat. He can't ever touch the device to turn it off.

That night, Jinto, Holling's son, gets lost. He discovers a transporter and gets transported into a room with a device that looks a bit like the one that generated strange creatures in Stargate SG1 episode Sight Unseen. Jinto inadvertently turns it on or rather releases the entity trapped inside it.

As this dark shadow flows around the city, sucking power from the Naquadah generators, it grows and nearly kills Ford.

It is reminiscent of the Blob (1988 movie The Blob). It's less solid-looking than that Blob, but special effects have improved significantly. It is smart enough not to go back into the cage that trapped it for thousands of years. And it's pissed. It wants freedom.

This is a fun episode. On the surface, Rodney is insensitive, selfish, and obnoxious, but when it counts, he risks his life to save the city.

It shows everyone settling in and exploring the Atlantis. It also highlights the difference between the Athosians and the humans.

Reviewed by Romana Drew August 25, 2021










Shepard and the Bug The Stuck Jumper

Thirty-Eight Minutes




Season 1. Episode 4

Directed by Mario Azzopardi. Written by Brad Wright

Originally aired July 30, 2004

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, David Hewlett , and Paul McGillion.

With Craig Veroni as Dr. Peter Grodin, Christopher Heyerdahl as Halling, Ben Cotton as Dr. Kavanagh, Fiona Hogan as Simpson, Joseph May as Sgt. Markham, Boyan Vukelic as Sgt. Stackhouse, David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka.

The Puddle Jumper gets stuck halfway through the gate. The front half, with all the controls, is demolecularized while the back half is still in normal space. Shepard is in the back half with Rodney, Teyla, and Ford. An alien bug has attached itself to Shepard's neck and is slowly killing him.

And in thirty-eight minutes, the gate will shut down, vaporizing everyone in the front and exposing the rest to space. Apparently, anything that enters the event horizon must enter completely before it is sent on to the destination.

Zelenka on Atlantis and Rodney in the Jumper try to find some way to get the ship unstuck. Teyla and Ford try to get the bug off Shepard.

Not everyone on Atlantis is helpful. Weir gets sidetracked by Kavanagh's self-importance and conceit and the Athosian's death rituals.

Besides being a 'ticking bomb' type story, it further develops several characters. And it introduces a creature that will be important in the understanding of the Wraith.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 3, 2021.










The Wraith Telya Under Suspicion

Suspicion




Season 1. Episode 5

Directed by Mario Azzopardi. Written by Story by Kerry Glover. Teleplay by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie

Originally aired August 6, 2004

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, David Hewlett , and Paul McGillion.

With Christopher Heyerdahl as Halling, Ross Hull as Dr. Corrigan, Dean Marshall as Sgt. Bates, Boyan Vukelic as Sgt. Stackhouse, James Lafazanos as Wraith, David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka.

After five of nine off-world missions are disrupted by Wraith, there is a general consensus that a Wraith spy may be in Atlantis. Since it is inconceivable that one of the humans would call the Wraith, it must be an Athosian, which also doesn't make sense.

Although Teyla understands Weir's position and the need to question everyone, Holling and the rest of the Athosian aren't happy about being accused of calling the Wraith.

As a bit of comeuppance, Rodney takes a stunner blast in the face. No permanent damage, but he can't talk for a while.

Eventually, they do find what called the Wraith and use it to capture one.

This is a well-paced and interesting episode. The characters are getting organized and learning about this new world. But they still don't have a ZPM to power the shield, so keeping a Wraith on board might not be all that wise.

I do have one question. How would the Wraith use the pendant on Teyla's necklace to track Ancients? Why would an Ancient carry it around? Since it emits an electromagnetic signal, wouldn't the Ancients notice that, assuming the Wraith managed to tag them somehow?

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 5, 2021.










Keras Preparing for the Sacrifice. Rodney and the Kids

Childhood's End.




Season 1. Episode 6

Directed by David Winning. Written by Martin Gero

Originally aired August 13, 2004

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks , and David Hewlett .

With Courtenay J. Stevens as Keras, Dominic Zamprogna as Aries, Sam Charles as Casta, Jessica Amlee as Cleo, Shane Meier as Neleus, Julie Patzwald as Pelius, Calum Worthy as Hunter Kid,

John, Teyla, Rodney and Ford crash on M7G-677 when the Puddle Jumper hits and electrometric field. They are surrounded by teenagers with bows who take the intruders to the village elder, a twenty-four-year old named Keras.

The villagers believe they are safe from the Wraith as long as no one is older than twenty-five. So, they kill themselves on their twenty-fifth birthday. In reality a Wraith proof EM shield is powered by a ZPM, which Rodney steals causing the Wraith to return.

Although vaguely reminiscent of The Lord of the Flies, this is a successful society.

My only complaint is that the Aries character is repetitive. His point is made too many times. Otherwise, this is a well written and thoughtful story with good pacing and plenty of excitement. We even get to see Rodney in a couple of delightfully comic scenes with the children.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 14, 2021.










No so Amish-Like After All John and the Backup Plan

Underground




Season 1. Episode 8

Directed by Brad Turner. Written by Peter DeLuise

Originally aired August 27, 2004

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks , and David Hewlett .

With Erin Chambers as Sora, Ari Cohen as Tyrus, Colm Meaney as Cowen, and Craig Veroni as Dr. Peter Grodin.

Teyla takes John, Rodney, and Ford to meet the Genii, an Amish-like society, to trade for food. On closer examination, the Genii are not simple farmers and not so friendly.

The Genii want to build an A-Bomb to annihilate the Wraith. Actually, they want to build enough bombs to blow up all the Wraith ships at the same time. Rodney is more than happy to tell them how. Of course, without an adequate supply of reasonably pure uranium-235, the A-Bomb will, as you might say, bomb. And pure U-235 is not only hard to come by but dangerously radioactive.

Of course, they foolishly attempt to collect intel aboard a Wraith ship.

Cowen, the Genii leader is played by Colm Meaney who played Miles O'Brian on Star Trek: Next Generation and DS9.

The Genii are not the most pleasant of people. They are arrogant and self-centered. Although that is part of what makes this episode work, it is also what makes it less enjoyable than other episodes.

However, it is well written and has good pacing. It may not be the best episode ever filmed, but it is worth watching.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 16, 2021.













The Fog John and Teyla in the Alternate Reality

Home




Season 1. Episode 9

Directed by Holly Dale. Written by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie

Originally aired September 10, 2004

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks , and David Hewlett .

With Don S. Davis as Major General George Hammond, Garwin Sanford as Simon Wallis, Noah Beggs as Dex, Stephen Spender as Mitch, and Gary Jones as Sgt. Walter Harriman.

A mysterious fog shrouds M5S-224. Rodney believes the Stargate draws energy from the fog. There just might be enough energy to open a wormhole to Earth. He takes the control crystal from the Atlantis gate and gives it a go.

It works. They all get to Earth, but things are not quite right.

It first, it seems like happy reunions until they learn that the Prometheus is damaged and they can never return to Atlantis. Then dead people show up.

I only have one question. If Rodney took the control crystal from the Atlantis Stargage, how did he gate to the fog world?

This episode is interesting although a little slow. It is pretty obvious early on that something isn't quite right, but it takes a long time to figure out what it is.

It is nice to see General Hammond again.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September. 2021.













Rodney, Kolya and Weir The Dynamic Duo

The Storm




Season 1. Episode 10

Directed by Martin Wood. Story by Jill Blotevogel. Teleplay by Martin Gero.

Originally aired September 17, 2004

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, and David Hewlett.

With Robert Davi as Commander Acastus Kolya, Erin Chambers as Sora, Ryan Robbins as Ladon Radim, Paul McGillion as Dr. Carson Beckett, Michael Puttonen as Smeadon, Colm Meaney as Cowen, and David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka.

John and Teyla are cruising in a Puddle Jumper when they see massive storm clouds covering about twenty percent of the planet. Not only will it decimate the Athosian settlement, but it's headed straight for Atlantis.

Without a ZPM, there is no way to power the shield.

While Rodney and Zelenka work on a plan to save Atlantis, Sheppard and Ford arrange to have everyone gate to Manaria for a few days while the storm passes. Little do they know that the Manarians are friends with the Genii.

Puddle Jumpers transport the Athosians from the mainland to Atlantis, where they gate to Manaria for the duration. As the storm approaches, Teyla, Beckett, Ford, and the last of Athosians are stranded on the mainland in the Puddle Jumper while the storm rages outside.

Using an Athosian IDC, Kolya, Sora, and a contingent of Genii step through the Stargate disguised as Athosians. They shoot the remaining two guards and take Rodney and Weir hostage.

Kolya wants the device Sheppard took from the Genii, all the C4, and all the medical supplies. Sora wants Teyla to avenge her father's death.

Sheppard, the only other human on Atlantis, is still trying to disengage the grounding stations so lightning can power the shied and save the city.

Koyla ups the stakes. He wants the city, not just the supplies, and will kill Weir to get it.
Sora and Telya Sora, Rodney, and Weir
The Eye




Season 1. Episode 11

Directed by Martin Wood. Written by Martin Gero.

Originally aired November 8, 2004

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, and David Hewlett.

With Robert Davi as Commander Acastus Kolya, Erin Chambers as Sora, and Paul McGillion as Dr. Carson Beckett.

Rodney convinces Kolya that he needs Weir because she knows the codes to raise the shield. And only he can fix the remaining grounding station to power the shield.

Sheppard has a life-signs detector and can track the Genii coming after him. The Genii get the life-signs detector working in the command center so they can track Sheppard. The hunt is on. While Sheppard slinks around disabling generators and killing Genii, Koyla, Rodney, and Weir attempt to fix the broken grounding station in a drenching rain.

Back on the mainland, the eye of the storm passes over the Puddle Jumper, so Beckett flies it back to Atlantis just before the worst of the storm hits. The shield is still not working. The wind is howling. The waves are crashing. And rain is flooding the city.

The grounding station scenes with Rodney, Weir, and Kolya were filmed in drenching rain. I feel for the actors having to work while sopping wet and having water poured on them continuously.

These two episodes were aired two months apart. I don't know why. It was the middle of the season. I suggest they be viewed back to back or on consecutive days.

The only thing I don't like about these episodes is Kolya. The actor did such a great job portraying an obnoxious, conceited, megalomaniac that I despise seeing him. Kudos to Robert Davi for his superb performance.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 27, 2021.













Wraith and Glow bugs Rodney and John

The Defiant One




Season 1. Episode 12

Directed by Peter DeLuise. Written by Peter DeLuise

Originally aired January 28, 2005

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, and David Hewlett.

With Richard Ian Cox as Dr. Brendan Gall, Paul Magel as Dr. Abrams, James Lafazanos as Wraith, and Joseph May as Sgt. Markham,

While investigating a huge but dead Lantian weapon's platform, Shepard, McKay, Dr. Abrams, and Dr. Gall notice a distress call from a nearby planet. There they find a long-dead Wraith cargo ship. So, they investigate.

What could possibly go wrong?

Wraith can hibernate for tens of thousands of years and are not opposed to feeding off shipmates to survive, making this episode a homage to the survival of the fittest, or at least the most desperately depraved.

There is nothing complex aboutThe Defiant One. It is a battle between a Wraith and John Shepard, with a little help from his friends. In spite of the simple story, the episode works quite well.

The only drawback to this episode is too much bitching by Rodney.

I really like the stunt when John runs into the force field. It isn't the most specular stunt ever done, basically just a fall, but it works well and adds both tension and humor.

Reviewed by Romana Drew September 18, 2021.













Rodney About to Die - Again Teyla and John

Hot Zone




Season 1. Episode 13

Directed by Mario Azzopardi. Written by Martin Gero.

Originally aired February 4, 2005

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, and David Hewlett.

With Paul McGillion as Dr. Carson Beckett, Craig Veroni as Dr. Peter Grodin, David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka, Dean Marshall as Sgt. Bates, Damon Johnson as Peterson, Lindsay Collins as Dr. Biro, Nahanni Arntzen as Dumais, and Peter Grier as Hays.

During a survey of the storm damage, several people find a lab with broken containers. Six hours later, they see monsters and die from a brain aneurysm.

All the people they come in contact with also see monsters and die six hours after the contact. The city goes into lockdown mode, trapping people where they just happen to be at that moment.

Sheppard does manage to save the city (or this would be the end of the series), but he has to disobey Weir's orders to do so. Although they attempt to reconcile, Sheppard is not someone who defers to others.

Rodney again believes he is about to die and talks a bit too much about it.

This is a well-paced, exciting episode, but one question is unanswered. Did the Ancients (or someone else) build nanites to kill humans, and why?

The Wraith didn't do it. The may be evil but not stupid enough to kill off their food.

Reviewed by Romana Drew October 4, 2021.













Chaya and John Athar's Weapon

Sanctuary




Season 1. Episode 14

Directed by James Head. Written by Alan Brennert.

Originally aired February 11, 2005

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, and David Hewlett.

With Paul McGillion as Dr. Carson Beckett, Robert Thurston as Zarah, Craig Veroni as Dr. Peter Grodin, and Leonor Varela as Chaya Sar.

While investigating a new planet, Wraith Darts attack the Puddle Jumper. Outnumbered and outgunned, Sheppard runs for his life. Just before his ship is destroyed, a giant burst of energy destroys the Darts but doesn't harm the Puddle Jumper. Thinking it might be an Ancient weapon, they land to investigate.

They find a pre-industrial society that has never heard of the Wraith. There is no sign of a weapon or a ZPM. So, they go in search of Athar, the local God who protects this planet.

This is an interesting episode. There is obviously something different about Chaya, but what doesn't become evident until rather late in the show. Although, you can probably guess it earlier.

Although Rodney doesn't trust Chaya, John finds her charming.

There is a bit too much of Rodney's protests and critical comments. Otherwise, this is a great episode.

Reviewed by Romana Drew October 6, 2021.













Weir and Weir Rodney About to Die - Again

Before I Sleep




Season 1. Episode 15

Directed by Andy Mikita. Written by Carl Binder

Originally aired February 18, 2005

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, and David Hewlett.

With Gildart Jackson as Janus, Matthew Walker as Moros, Paul McGillion as Dr. Carson Beckett, Craig Veroni as Dr. Peter Grodin, Melia McClure as Melia, and David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka.

While exploring the city, they find a woman in stasis. She has been there for ten thousand years and is nearly dead. Dr. Beckett revives her. Instead of an Ancient, she turns out to be Elizabeth Weir.

Apparently, the first trip to Atlantis didn't go all that well. Weir got transported back in time just before the Ancients left for Earth.

Before I Sleep explains why there is a time travel Jumper but not how it got to Harry Maybourne's world in the SG1 episode It's Good to be King.

This is a quiet but compelling episode with a few flashbacks. Most of it is the old Elizabeth Weir telling the story of the first expedition. Torri Higginson does a compassionate portrayal of the elderly Weir.

Reviewed by Romana Drew October 10, 2021.













The Tiles
You don't need math to put them in the correct order. Rodney and His Fancy Lasers.

The Brotherhood




Season 1. Episode 16

Directed by Martin Wood. Written by Martin Gero

Originally aired February 25, 2005

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, and David Hewlett .

With Robert Davi as Commander Acastus Kolya, Jana Mitsoula as Allina, Paul McGillion as Dr. Carson Beckett, Adrian Hough as Pranos, Laura Mennell as Sanir, David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka, and Dean Marshall as Sgt. Bates.

Shepard, Teyla, Ford, and Rodney go to Dagan to look for a ZPM. There is a ZPM, but the locals don't know it is a powers source they worship it.

After a complicated scavenger hunt to find the ZPM. They also find Kolya, the Genni, and the Brotherhood. Needless to say, things go south after that.

Back in Atlantis, the wraith hive ships are still lightyears away, but a dart makes it to the city.

This episode shows another way to not bring a ZPM home as well as upping the tension for the eventual confrontation with the Wraith.

Except for the Genni bits, it moves along just fine. In fact, I think it would be better if the threat posed by Koyla wasn't known to the viewer until he actually shows up.

Look closely at the nine bricks to be arranged, there are several hints as to the positions they are supposed to be in.

Reviewed by Romana Drew October 18, 2021.













Teyla's Dream Teyla's View of the Wraith Ship

The Gift




Season 1. Episode 18

Directed by Peter DeLuise. Story by Robert C. Cooper and Martin Gero. Teleplay by Robert C. Cooper.

Originally aired March 11, 2005

Starring Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, and David Hewlett.

With Claire Rankin as Dr. Kate Heightmeyer, Paul McGillion as Dr. Carson Beckett, David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka, Ben Cotton as Dr. Kavanagh, Dean Marshall as Sgt. Bates, Brenda McDonald as Charin, and James Lafazanos as Wraith.

The Wraith are coming. With so many Wraith awake, Teyla has nightmares that they are feeding on and that she is a Wraith.

Not only does she have Wraith DNA, but with a little help, she can telepathically enter the mind of a Wraith. All goes well until he turns the tables and takes over her body.

This episode explains how the Wraith evolved from the Iratus bug feeding on humans. And why Teyla and other Athosians can sense the Wraith.

It also introduces Dr. Kate Heightmeyer, a counselor. She will be in a few more episodes.

This episode ups the tension. The Wraith are coming. There is little Atlantis can do to stop them or to survive the attack. Not only that, the Wraith don't really want Atlantis. They want Earth.

Reviewed by Romana Drew October 12, 2021