When a secret base, abandoned by the original builders of the Stargates, is found buried in the ice of Antartica, the newly formed Stargate Atlantis team is born. The team's discovery leads to a daring expeditiion to the d... more »istant Pegasus galaxy, where they encounter a primitive human civilization and a sinister new enemy that threatens human life everywhere. The Stargate Atlantis mission is headed by Dr. Elizabeth Weir, a specialist in diplomatic relations. Her political savvy is balanced by the bravado of her military counterpart, Major John Sheppard, a courageous pilot. Rounding out the crew are Lt. Aiden Ford, Sheppard's second-in-command, Dr. Rodney McKay, a clever and quick-witted astrophysicist and Teyla, a beautiful young leader among the primitive alien civilization that the Atlantis team encounters.« less
"After all the popularity that Stargate: SG-1 received in its first six years on the air, it was only natural that the creators would want to expand the story with a spin-off series. As SG-1's seventh season was going on, Stargate: Atlantis was being developed. Using a plot twist that was introduced at the end of SG-1's seventh season, Atlantis got its start. After searching throughout the Milky Way galaxy for the fabled Lost City of the Ancients (the ancients are a very advanced race of beings that died out long ago), Stargate Command realized that it is on Earth... or at least it was. The city, which comes to be known as Atlantis, was built on Earth millions of years ago. The ancients, who as I said are extremely advanced, ot only made it a city, but also made it a spaceship capable of intergalactic travel. When a great plague hit Earth, some of the ancients evacuated in Atlantis to the Pegasus galaxy, where they plan to start a civilization similar to the one that they had in the Milky Way. Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) of SG-1 eventually finds the correct gate address to Atlantis and an international team of explorers is put together in order to go to and study Atlantis. The expedition will be led by Dr. Elizabeth Weir (Torri Higginson), a civilian who was very briefly in charge of the SGC. The Chief Science Officer is Dr. Rodney McKay (David Hewlett), a civilian who has helped out the SGC in the past, the head surgeon is Dr. Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion), a Scottish MD and biologist, and the head of military operations is hardened Col. Summner (Robert Patrick). In order to work most ancient technology efficiently, a rare gene is required, and while Dr. Beckett has it, it isn't pronounced enough to matter. In comes Major John Sheppard (Joe Flanigan), a hotshot air force officer with insubordination issues. Even though he could be a liability to the expedition, he not only has the gene, but can operate the ancient technology almost flawlessly, so he comes along as well. The last major character is Lt. Aiden Ford (Rainbow Sun Franks), a young officer who looks up to Sheppard (and tragically was born without a personality). Upon arrival in Atlantis, the team realizes that the power is nearly gone, and in order to survive, the city must use the electricity that was powering the defenisve shield to power life support systems. This also means that they cannot use the gate to go back to Earth, since an intergalactic wormhole requires much more power than normal. Soon, the team begins exploring the city (which is immense) as well as the planets in the galaxy. On the first planet they visit, they meet Teyla (Rachel Luttrel), a young warrior woman who protects her tribe from something called the Wraith. When Teyla learns that the visitors don't know who the Wraith are, she begs them to return to where they came from. Soon, the Wraith show up and a lot of bad things ensue. The Wraith are a race of beings that actually gave the ancients a good fight! They are humanoid in build, but they are stronger, faster, and more resistant to harm than any human could hope to be. Also, humans are their food; they literally suck the life out of people. Fortunately for the people of the Pegasus galaxy, they only come around every half century or so (most of them hibernate for long periods of time). Unfortunately, in an act of heroism, Sheppard accidentally causes the entire Wraith population to wake up and begin to feed all at once. That is the pilot episode. After that, the series becomes somewhat similar to SG-1, where Sheppard and his team go to different planets to make alliances, trade for food, and help people escape the Wraith (I will say that for such a powerful race, Sheppard and co. don't have too much trouble fighting them off). A few story arcs develop this year. One of them has the Atlantis expedition team get into a bitter rivalry with another advanced race of humans, which leads to an attempted coup on Atlantis. Also, Beckett begins to study the Wraith and finds out how they came to appear human and how they were able to amass such great numbers. I want to say that even though I'm giving this a 4 star rating, it is definitely a low 4. The stand-alone episodes were usually moderate; some were good, some were just terrible, but on average, they were just ok. The story-arc episodes were pretty good, and they showed that Atlantis has a lot of potential as a show. While there will be a lot to work on, such as writing, character development, and stand-alone quality, after watching the first part of Season 2, I must say that I am very much enjoying where the series is going. If for no other reason, this set should be watched in order to know what's going on in the later seasons, which so far, appear to be leagues ahead of this one."
More Macabre than SG1
John A Lee III | San Antonio, TX | 02/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It looks like it is not just the Milky Way galaxy where English is the universal language. It looks to be pretty common in the Pegasus galaxy as well.
Stargate Command decides to send an expedition to Atlantis. This is a dicey proposition because if the expedition cannot find more of the ZPM crystals, they will not have the energy to return. It could well be a one way mission. That sets up this spin-off series with its main premise. An expedition from Earth is stranded in a high tech environment.
The series needs more than that, of course and it has it. Instead of the Goa'uld, they find a new adversary even nastier. These are the Wraith, a race which feeds on the life force of humans. They are a constant threat and the danger is that they may get access to Earth's home galaxy. That would not be good.
This series is not as much fun as the original Stargate. The chemistry between the main cast members is not as good as in the original. There is also something of the macabre about it all. Still, it is interesting enough and it is watchable.
Episode synopses appear below:
Rising Parts 1 and 2 - Daniel Jackson thinks he has finally figured out the location of the Ancient's city of Atlantis. It is in another galaxy. To get there will require using up the last ZPM crystal the earth has left. Because the potential payoff is so great, BG O'Neill is willing to take the risk and send a large group through. It is a one way trip but the hope is that power crystals will be found on the other side. They find Atlantis and it is indeed located under the sea. Their arrival, though, drains most of the power left in the local crystals and the city is in danger of imminent drowning. Now the Atlantis team must use the local gate to find another world to inhabit. The Ancients are gone. They were wiped out by a terrible enemy. Unfortunately, the planet visited by the expedition is being attacked by these new bad guys. They are called the Wraiths. These same wraiths captured a part of the expedition. Now, the SG Atlantis team needs only to learn to use the Ancient technology and rescue their compatriots from the wraiths who would eat them. Eat might not be the exact right word. They "eat" the life force, aging the victim. Even worse, they are not even the main threat.
Hide and Seek - The Atlantis crew is still trying to settle in to their new city but they have some problems in that many of the gadgets need to be activated by a person with a rare gene. Dr. McKay finds a device he believes to be a personal shield and agrees to try an experimental gene therapy treatment to see if he can use the device. It works but there is a problem. He is invulnerable but nothing can get through the shield. That includes food and water and even his own hand. He cannot turn the device off. Meanwhile, some of the kids get themselves into trouble when playing hide and seek. One disappears. Not long after, people start seeing strange shadows and rumors of hauntings and general spookiness. The kid playing hide and seek has unwittingly let loose an energy being imprisoned since the time of the Ancients. Now it is feeding on the energy of the base and all are in trouble. Defeating it will take some uncharacteristic bravery on the part of McKay.
Thirty Eight Minutes - The Atlantis team carries out another recon of the Wraith planet. While there, they are ambushed and barely make it back to their shuttle. The shuttle sustains some damage and Maj. Sheppard is not much better off. He has been attacked by a giant, parasitic bug which has attached itself to his neck. Nothing they can do will make it dislodge itself and it is feeding off of his life force. The shuttle team has problems too. One of the engines didn't retract all the way and, as the ship tries to transit the wormhole, it gets stuck, part in and part out. Now time is running out. The wormhole will only be stable for 38 minutes. After that point, it shuts off and kills everyone.
Suspicion - Atlantis recon teams continue to encounter Wraiths on most of their missions. This happens even in the most unlikely and uninhabited places. Suspicion grows that there is a traitor or an agent among the refugees they have living with them. They are restricted in their movements and barred from use of the Stargate. Naturally, they resent this. Eventually, they move on to settle a land mass on the Atlantis planet. Still, the Wraiths seem to be getting information of the movement of the Atlantis teams. There is someone giving info to the enemy but it is not a traitor.
Childhood's End - While on a recon mission, the puddle jumper crashes and all electronic equipment ceases to operate. The team is then captured by a bunch of children. None of the locals is over 25 years of age. They believe that by killing themselves on their 25 birthday, the Wraiths are not attracted to their people. It is human sacrifice. The actual reason that the Wraiths do not return is more complex. There is a hidden device which messes up the electronics and keeps the Wraiths away. The device is powered by a ZPM crystal, the same type of crystal the team originally set out to find and which powers everything needed. Taking the crystal dooms the kids. Hotheads among the kids want to kill everyone just to be on the safe side. It is a nasty moral dilemma.
Poisoning the Well - The Atlantis team finds a planet with a fairly high level of technology. It is still behind the Earth's but it shows some promise. The people of the planet store their knowledge in huge libraries to help them rebuild after each harvest by the Wraiths. They are on the verge of developing a vaccine that will render victims immune from the wraith feeding. With the help of the Atlantis team, they actually make a viable vaccine. When it is tested on the wraith prisoner, it does more than expected. It also poisons the Wraith. This sounds good but the Atlantis crew fears that when the Wraiths learn of this, they will wipe out the entire planet to keep the knowledge of the vaccine from spreading. The politicians are adamant, though that the populace must be inoculated. Things get ugly when those inoculated start dying also.
Underground - The Atlantis team heads out on a trade mission to a planet known to Kayla as simple, Amish style farmers. These guys drive a hard bargain and Shepherd has to go back to get authorization from Dr. Weir. When he comes back, he stumbles into a great secret. These are not the simple farmers they pretend to be. They have a hidden, underground civilization secretly working on a plan to fight the Wraiths. They think they can get an edge by getting more Atlantis technology. The problems, however, are multiple. The plans count on hibernating wraiths and the locals are unaware that the sleeping Wraiths have been wakened. A bigger problem, though, is that neither side really trusts the other. The biggest problem, however, is that these people are NOT trustworthy.
Home - Dr. McKay is an obnoxious and arrogant @$$ but he is a smart one. While the Atlantis team is investigating a new planet, they find a Stargate that is drawing an incredible amount of power right from the atmosphere. He thinks he can establish a wormhole back to earth with it. He is right and all of the leading characters report back to Earth to let the home folk know what is going on. They intend to return on the Prometheus but a problem develops. There is an accident on the ship and the leadership seems to be stuck on earth. The problems are worse than that, though. Each of the leadership seems to be having differing experiences that don't mesh with the others. It is quite confusing to the viewer for a while but it seems that each one is being thwarted in all attempts to get back to Atlantis base. The reason for this is simple. They are not on earth. Someone has a vested interest in keeping them from getting back.
The Storm - An incredibly huge storm threatens Atlantis. This is the type that only occurs every few centuries. It is so bad that Dr. Weir decides to evacuate temporarily to another planet. Finding a planet, though, proves difficult. Most people don't like to have well armed, technologically superior people running around in large numbers. A deal is struck, though, and it looks like everyone will make it to safety. The problem is that the "hosts" betray the problem to the Genii, the planet of untrustworthy humans who wanted A Bomb technology 2 episodes ago. They put together a strike team and seize control of Atlantis while most of the people are gone. They manage to capture most of the senior officers except for Maj. Sheppard. The episode ends with a hostile and tense standoff needing to be resolved in the next episode.
The Eye -Most of Atlantis has been evacuated because of a killer storm. A Genii strike force has seized the Atlantis and holds most of the command team from Atlantis hostage. Atlantis looks to be completely wiped out by the storm unless McKay and Weir, two of the hostages, can use lightning from the storm to power the city's shields. Maj. Sheppard is on the loose playing commando and trying to take back the critical functions while saving the lives of the hostages. A few people caught on the mainland in a puddle jumper during the storm are all the allies he has. It's a race against the clock and killer waves. It's an exciting episode.
The Defiant One - An Atlantis scientist discovers something interesting at one of the Lagrange points. It is a satellite and a moon. They also hear a distress signal...a wraith distress signal. When they go to investigate, they find a wraith supply ship. They assume that after 10,000 years, there must be no survivors. They are wrong. The Wraiths are a hardy and persistent species. The Wraith survivor is also very hungry. That means a bad day for the expedition. The last news that the Wraith has heard was that the Wraiths had Atlantis under siege. Now, Maj. Sheppard tells him that the Wraith lost the war. That does not stop him from trying to steal the ship though. It's another race against time as the Wraith tries to eat everyone and escape and the Major tries to kill the wraith and hold out for the relief force.
Hot Zone - After the big storm the Atlantis crew is looking the city over to ascertain damage. While a ways of from the HQ, a few of one of the survey teams starts having terrifying visions. After a few such visions, the affected person dies of a cerebral hemorrhage. When others start to be affected, a quarantine and lockdown is instituted. An Ancient virus has been accidentally released. Unfortunately, one of the party got away in his panic and has affected lots of others. Now panic is running rampant as some people are frightened of the virus and others are frightened of the visions. Now McKay, who is infected himself, must figure out a cure. He has a few hints but its going to mean some risks.
Sanctuary - While on a survey in a Puddlejumper, Maj. Sheppard and his team come under fire from Wraith ships. It doesn't look like they are going to make it but, suddenly, all the Wraith ships are destroyed by some weapon from the planet below them. That sounds like technology, or at least some energy crystals, which Atlantis desperately needs. When they get to the planet surface, they find a peaceful and pastoral culture with little sophistication and no high technology. They all share a common religion, though. In an effort to learn more, Sheppard seeks out a "priestess". She is intriguing but declines to offer sanctuary. She does come back to Atlantis for a visit, however. There, she seems too perfect and too good to be true. That is because she is not what she seems. Without knowing it, the Atlantis crew has found someone for whom they have been desperately seeking. They have found her but she will not help.
Before I Sleep - While exploring new parts of the city, a team stumbles onto a stasis chamber with a live but extremely old inhabitant. They believe this to be one of the Ancients. When the sleeper is revived, however, the crew of Atlantis is in for a shock. The sleeper is Dr. Weir, another version of Dr. Weir who has been asleep for 10000 years. She is in frail health and not expected to last to long but she has information to impart. In her reality, the arrival of the Atlantis crew started a fatal series of events that destroyed the city. In a last ditch effort to escape, she and a few others got aboard one of the puddlejumper ships and found themselves in a battle with the wraiths. As they desperately tried to figure out the controls, they activated one which sent them back in time 10000 years to the Ancients. There the battle with the Wraiths was raging also and all are killed but her. The Atlantians are about to evacuate to Earth and they invite her to go with them. Instead, she chooses to enter stasis so that she can replace the power crystals of the city as needed over her long sleep.
The Brotherhood - It looks like the information on ZPM energy crystals brought back by the alternate Dr. Weir in the previous episode might bear some fruit. They find a planet where one of the ZPMs was venerated by an ancient religious brotherhood who regarded the Ancients as gods. The brotherhood was destroyed by a Wraith culling. Now, the Atlantis team must figure out where the brotherhood hid the ZPM. They can do it but there are a few problems. The Genii commando leader who captured Atlantis a few episodes back is aware of what they are doing and he has his own plans to capture the device. The plans do not take into consideration the wishes of the current occupants of the planet. Worst of all, a Wraith fleet is headed towards Atlantis.
Letters from Pegasus - It looks like the entire Wraith fleet is on its way to wipe out Atlantis. Things are looking grim and the leadership team decides to risk using every available amount of power they have in order to open a wormhole back to earth for a few seconds and send a message warning about the Wraiths. They are able to compress all of their data into a small burst. There is still some time left over for people to send personal messages. So it is that we have a retrospective episode with flashbacks. There is a little bit of story, however. Maj. Sheppard heads out in a puddlejumper to do a recon on the Wraith route of advance. They encounter the Wraith on a feeding expedition at a planet and it seems they have a new weapon which Sheppard goes out to investigate. That gives Kayla the opportunity to try and save a few people and thereby endanger the entire expedition when there is not enough room to take a whole planet.
The Gift - As the Wraith fleet draws ever closer, the Atlantis crew continues to seek other locations to which they can evacuate. While this is going on, Tayla is experiencing terrible nightmares of the Wraiths. She has the ability to sense their presence and she believe these nightmares are somehow connected to that ability. Matters get worse when the dreams begin to star her as the wraith. This experience leads her to investigate why she has this ability that so few of her people have. She learns that it is because of a genetic experiment conducted by the Wraith long ago. She has some wraith DNA. This gives Atlantis some advantage. If she can channel this ability, she should be able to gather invaluable intelligence. Unfortunately, the link works both ways. The Wraith have a much bigger goal than Atlantis.
Siege Part 1 - The episode is about contingencies as Atlantis awaits the coming of the Wraith fleet. Part of the crew keeps looking for sites on which to evacuate. Part searches for a way to destroy Atlantis to keep it from falling into the hands of the Wraith. Part tries to salvage as much information as possible. Dr. McKay, the arrogant ass, comes up with a possible solution. He thinks he can use a naquada generator to power up the old defense satellite from earlier in the season and heads out to try and power it up. Things are not going smoothly. Dr. Weir cannot decide what she wants to save. The local evacuees don't want Atlantis to be destroyed because it is an artifact of the Ancients they venerate; they don't care about earth. The Wraiths have a hidden agent aboard Atlantis and suspicion turns towards Kayla. McKay manages to get the weapon working partially but it is not as effective as would be wished. The Wraith are still closing in.
Siege Part 2 - Just as Atlantis is about to be evacuated, help arrives from Earth. An arrogant marine colonel shows up with some techno toys and relieves Dr. Weir. He also manages to alienate just about everyone with whom he comes in contact. The toys brought with them are not enough to defeat the Wraith but they are enough to (probably) hold them off for a while. This is helpful because more help is on the way. The Daedelus is on its way from earth with a newly discovered ZPM crystal to power the first line defenses. It's a near run thing. The new toys work but they don't work as well as hoped. The Wraith are still closing in and they manage to land some troops on Atlantis itself. There is a possible way to hold out but it involves the cooperation of the Genii. They have never been known for their ability work and play well with others. The plan looks like it might work until power levels drop too low. The solution is a suicide mission with Maj. Sheppard as the star performer. The season ends with the outcome of the battle in doubt. "
Stargate Atlantis not being Sg-1 is a good thing really
Sherrie M. Newell | Alberta,Canada | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes this show isn't SG-1 and sadly some people can't seem to get pass that. The show is different enough from Sg-1 that it can hold its own and not be considered a rip-off or a clone yet retain the same Stargate feel that SG-1 has. This show is actually what rekindled my interest in the Stargate franchise, you've got characters that actually aren't perfect, that make mistakes and are easy to relate to. There mostly ordinary people in an extraordinary situation where they slowly come togethor and become a family of sorts. The strength of this show is the character development, which actually is even more noticeable in the second season but the first season does a pretty good job. Probably the best episodes story wise are Before I Sleep and Letter from Pegasus which are perhaps the best clip show episodes ive seen in the Stargate franchise. If you can accept that this show isn't actually SG-1 and really we don't need two Sg-1's bcse we already have one, try this show out, you might enjoy it. The show has fun,attractive and real characters that actually grow and change and there is reasonable continuity theoughout the season which is important to you if you don't like shows that you leave you guessing for a long time."
kno-it-all | Colorado | 03/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you enjoy the Stargate SG-1 series, you will enjoy this spin-off. Being a big fan myself, my biggest concern was that I wouldn't buy into this new look-alike cutting into the original stargate series--I was wrong. It is almost completely detatched from the original show, has an all new bigger and badder evil race to battle and has more civilian control, which gives the characters' problem-solving strategies a new perspective. Plus, they're in another galaxy, and the worlds are completely different!
If you've never seen Stargate before, I suggest you check it out...this show takes off at the end of season 7 on the original series. Watching SG-1 isn't completely necessary in order to follow this show, but it would help a lot.
One thing I about the show that isn't so great is that it seems the producers have gotten a little cheaper on the special effects--the CG is pretty obvious and they use a lot of it. However, being a TV show, I wouldn't really expect special effects on the same magnitude of major motion pictures.
Also, there's the Atlantis movie floating around...if you're buying the season 1 box set, you don't need to buy the movie. The movie is just the pilot episode, and it's included in the set, so save your money.
Overall? Go for it--it's worth checking out at least once!"
It's all about the special features
R. Bush | Honolulu, HI United States | 02/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By now I'll assume that you've read the description and know what the show is about. Not only do you get all 20 Season One episodes, you get wonderful commentary and other special features that make this DVD set a "must have" for Stargate Atlantis fans. So let me tell you about the special features.
Season One - Volume 1, Disks 1: Audio commentary for "Rising Parts 1 and 2" by Director Martin Wood and Actor Joe Flanigan. (Excellent commentary, lots of trivia and explanations of why they did things the way they did. Includes good background on character development) Audio commentary for "Hide and Seek" with Rachel Lutrell and Paul McGillion Stargate Set Tour with Martin Wood and Peter Deluise (short but fun and funny) Photo Gallery
Season One - Volume 1, Disks 2: Audio commentary for "Childhood's End" by writer Martin Gero and actors Rachel Lutrell and Rainbow Sun Franks Diary of Rainbow Sun Franks (includes great 'thanks' to his fans) Photo Gallery
Season One - Volume 2, disk 1: Audio commentary for "The Storm" and "The Eye" with director Martin Wood, writer Martin Gero, and actor David Hewlitt Audio commentary for "The Defiant One" with director Peter DeLuise and stunt coordinator Dan Shea Mission Directive - The Storm/The Eye (this gives you a behind the scenes look of the episodes being filmed - short but interesting) Wraithal Discrimination: It's not easy being green (just as funny as it sounds) Photo Gallery
Season One - Volume 2, disk 2: Audio commentary for "Hot Zone" with writer Martin Gero and actors Rachel Lutrell, Rainbow Sun Franks, and Paul McGillion Audio commentary for "Sanctuary" with Rachel Lutrell and Tori Higginson Audio commentary for "The Brotherhood" with director Martin Wood, writer Martin Gero and David Hewlitt Mission Directive - Sanctuary Mission Directive - Before I Sleep Photo Gallery
Season One - Volume 3, disk 1: Audio commentary for "The Gift" by Director Peter DeLuise and SG1 actor Gary Jones Audio commentary for "The Siege - Part 1" and "The Siege Part 2" with director Martin Wood, writer Martin Gero, Joe Flanigan and David Hewlitt (commentary for part 2 is especially good) A look back at Season One with Martin Gero (not really a look back - the cast pretends they don't know who he is) Photo Gallery
The commentaries and other features were absolutely delightful and almost as fun to watch as the episodes themselves."