Roberta G. from FLINT, TX Reviewed on 10/13/2010...
0 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Good at times but overall fails to realize its potential
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 07/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Warning! There are multiple spoilers in the following review!
I've watched STARGATE ATLANTIS from the beginning and have more or less enjoyed it from the start. I definitely plan on continuing to watch it, but I have some concerns about the show that I'm convinced have to be addressed for it to continue to be worth watching.
First and foremost, ATLANTIS has always had and continues to have serious cast problems. They have now had three complete seasons to address these problems and while they have played with it some, most of their decisions have been odd at best. I really like Joe Flannigan as Sheppard and David Hewlett as Rodney, but beyond that the cast is mainly made up of liabilities. There was one other actor I liked a lot on the show, Paul McGillion as Beckett, but inexplicably in remaking the cast they chose to kill off one of the few strong characters on the show. Rachel Luttrell as Teyla is more baffling. Her character has never been very interesting, but I'm not convinced that Luttrell is untalented. I suspect that for whatever reason the writers have simply not been willing or able to come up with any interesting arcs for her (apart from having an interesting connection to the wraiths, which by and large has been underutilized). My hope is that they will rethink Teyla and either do both her and us a favor and kill her off, or become more aggressive in writing her character and give her some significant arcs and character development. Jason Momoa as Ronon, however, is probably a lost cause. He is perhaps the most wooden actor on television today and they have done virtually nothing of interest with his character. David Nykl, however, is good as Zelenka. I always enjoy his scenes with Rodney. Finally, I really want to like Torri Higginson (not least because she bears a scary resemblance to an ex-girlfriend of mine). I love shows that feature strong and interesting female characters, but after three years she remains yet another character with whom they've been unable to do very much. In her case, however, it appears that the producers have decided to either write her out of the show entirely or reduce her merely to a recurring character. I will continue to watch and sometimes enjoy STARGATE ATLANTIS, but they really need to do some serious rehabilitation.
Some help is on the way. We know that Amanda Tapping and her character Samantha Carter will be moving over from the cancelled STARGATE SG-1 to become the new head of the Atlantis project. I think she will bring more strength to the role than Torri Higginson did. Normally I would also applaud the casting of Jewel Staite as the new base doctor. I loved her on FIREFLY as Kaylee, but I still regret Beckett's leaving the show. But I honestly feel that the cast needs several more major changes. The show has had to rely far too heavily on Sheppard and Rodney.
The end of Season Three did, however, leave hope for new and better things. Atlantis has emerged as the name not of a location that cannot be moved, but of a truly mobile city that can relocate . . . well, to anywhere. The season ends with the city blasting off into space. I'm anxious to see what happens next. But whatever they do, I would like to see the show continue the risks it started taking in Season Three. Killing Beckett was an abominable mistake (especially given that there were some other characters who could have been killed with far greater profit to the show), but it at least started giving the show something that both it and SG-1 have always lacked: a body count. The good adventure shows have body counts. SG-1 had next to none. The only truly heartbreaking death in ten seasons was when Dr. Frasier was killed. It is no accident that that the episode in which that occurred was one of the finest in the series' run. If you don't have a body count, you get no sense of danger. On shows like BUFFY, LOST, and BATTLESTAR GALACTIC they have killed off some important characters. As a result when a character is in danger you get a degree of danger that you never, ever get on ATLANTIS or SG-1. Well, at least until they killed off Beckett and at least seriously injured Weir. I dearly hope they continue doing this in the future.
I also hope that we see Season Four taking the stories of the Wraith and the replicators to newer and more complex levels. The series has had some great moments over the first three seasons, especially when they let situations get really desperate. Hopefully they will continue to do this.
While Season Three frequently left me wanting more due to the weaknesses in the overall cast, there were some great moments. The season finale (both SG-1 and ATLANTIS have had some fine season enders) was splendid. And the season featured what may be my favorite episode of the entire series so far in "Common Ground," in which the Genii kidnap Sheppard and enclose him with a wraith who is allowed to feed on no one else. Christopher Heyerdahl has played several wraiths on the series, but in this episode he was allowed to give this particular wraith a dignity and complexity not allowed any other wraith with the exception of Michael. He gradually drains the life out of Sheppard out of sheer necessity before the two of them, cooperating as human and wraith never have before, manage to escape from the Genii. Then, in a moment that could lead to interesting plot developments in the future, we discover that the wraiths cannot only drain another creature of life, they can also imbue them with it, and as a sign of comradeship he heals Sheppard. I want arcs like this one! On a host of other series some of the most interesting characters have been those who came over from the other side. On STAR TREK: VOYAGER, we had Seven of Nine; on BUFFY we had Angel, Anya, and Spike; currently on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA we have Sharon Agathon and (possibly) Caprica Six; and on SG-1 we had Teal'c. I think it would be fascinating if they could do something like that with a wraith.
So I wait for the beginning of Season Four with some nervousness. The show has some weaknesses and problems, but they are fixable. The series has not lost any of its potential. But until we see how the new city in the air Atlantis works in terms of story and how the new cast changes affect the chemistry we won't know for sure. One thing is for certain. Season Four should bear little resemblance to any of the first three seasons."
Meghan E. Smith | Chicago, IL USA | 09/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For my money, the third season of Stargate Atlantis is the best thus far. All of the seasons have been somewhat hit-and-miss, in terms of episode quality, but I think season three brings a wealth of much-needed character development. We learn more about the mysterious Sheppard in "Phantoms" and the taciturn Ronon Dex in "Sateda," while the episodes "McKay and Mrs. Miller" and "The Tao of Rodney" provide new dimensions to the brilliant and blustery Rodney McKay. McKay's character arc alone -- looking from his original guest appearances years ago on SG-1 to the newest Atlantis offerings -- is staggering, and David Hewlett greatly deserves the praise he's received for his performance. Outside of something like Firefly, I think it's rare to see a show in this genre explore so much of the characters' backstories, and it's gratifying to see it finally happening for SGA.
Teyla is certainly underutilized, and I hope that this season will bring new depths to her character. From what I've heard, there is definitely the opportunity for that to happen."
Best season so far, BUT....
Bookworm | Ohio | 10/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Season 3's main achievement is with the characters. The team was likable enough before, but in season 3, they become absolutely endearing thanks to this season's outstanding job with character development. Ronon wasn't a favorite of mine before, but it's all changed after watching "Sateda", one of best episodes of the series so far with "Common Ground".
Unfortunately, just when the season is almost over and you're cheering the producers for having achieved the perfect chemistry among the SGA team members, you get hit over the head with "Sunday". I only get to watch SGA when the DVDs are out, so I was totally unprepared for the shocking ending which left me speechless at first, then very sad, and finally very upset with the producers. What were they thinking? Who in the world first came up with such a "brilliant" idea?
Season 3 is excellent, you will love the characters, but I wonder what season 4 will be like. I heard Sam was joining the cast. Amanda Tapping is adorable, but - please don't hurt me - I find her flawless supergenius-to-the-rescue character too unidimensional and boring. I much prefer flawed multidimensional characters like SG-1 Vala (Claudia Black). As for Jewel, I have seen very little of her yet since I don't get to watch Season 4, but I simply can't imagine her as the new chief medical officer. She was a much better fit in Firefly. One can only hope Season 4 will be at least as good as this season, but when there are people in charge making decisions like killing the most lovable character of the show and, to make matters worse, replace him with someone totally unbelievable in the same role, I'm not holding my breath."
BAP | 05/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Season 3, Episode 1: No Man's Land Original Air Date: 14 July 2006 Two Wraith Hive ships have captured Dr. McKay and Ronon and are on their way to Earth. It is up to Colonel Sheppard to rescue them and figure out a way to stop the Wraith from reaching a "new feeding ground".
Season 3, Episode 2: Misbegotten Original Air Date: 21 July 2006 After turning a Wraith hive ship crew into humans, the Atlantis team must decide on their fate. Meanwhile, Dr. Weir finds herself under the scrutiny of Richard Woolsey and the I.O.A.
Season 3, Episode 3: Irresistible Original Air Date: 28 July 2006 A man from another world has an unusual effect on the Atlantis team, causing them to behave strangely. The few unaffected team members must uncover the cause.
Season 3, Episode 4: Sateda Original Air Date: 4 August 2006 Sheppard, Teyla and Ronon come under attack on a forested world. Ronon, realizing that he has been on the planet before, learns that his earlier visit came with harsh consequences.
Season 3, Episode 5: Progeny Original Air Date: 11 August 2006 The Atlantis expedition encounters a highly advanced race, the Asurans whom they at first believe to be the Ancients. However, this new race is just a new face of an old nemesis.
Season 3, Episode 6: The Real World Original Air Date: 18 August 2006 Dr Weir finds herself on Earth where, to everyone else, the Atlantis Expedition was just her delusion.
Season 3, Episode 7: Common Ground Original Air Date: 25 August 2006 John Sheppard is captured by the evil Kolya of the Genii and imprisoned in a cell adjacent to a Wraith as Dr. Weir negotiates for his release.
Season 3, Episode 8: McKay and Mrs. Miller Original Air Date: 8 September 2006 When his sister Jeannie comes up with a vital mathematical proof, Rodney returns to Earth to visit his sister Jeannie and take her to Atlantis. But things become complicated when another Rodney McKay from a parallel universe arrives.
Season 3, Episode 9: Phantoms Original Air Date: 15 September 2006 Sheppard and Ronon find themselves under the influence of a Wraith mind-altering device that threatens to force the entire team to kill--each other!
Season 3, Episode 10: The Return: Part 1 Original Air Date: 22 September 2006 While testing a chain of Stargates that will allow travel from Atlantis to Earth in about 30 minutes (the "McKay-Carter Intergalactic Gate Bridge"), McKay, Sheppard and the team discover an Ancient ship traveling at almost the speed of light.
When Dr. Weir talks to the travelers, she is surprised by their request that the expedition members vacate the city of Atlantis.
Season 3, Episode 11: The Return: Part 2 Original Air Date: 20 November 2006 Major General Jack O'Neill's mission to defend Atlantis fails as he and Richard Woolsey are taken prisoner during an Asuran assault on the city.
Sheppard's team, Dr. Weir and Dr. Carson steal a Jumper from Stargate Command on Earth and come back to Pegasus galaxy with a plan to retake Atlantis.
Season 3, Episode 12: Echoes Original Air Date: 27 November 2006 The whales of Lantea congregate around the city and the inhabitants of Atlantis begin to suffer ill effects. Are they there to communicate or attack?
Season 3, Episode 13: Irresponsible Original Air Date: 4 December 2006 The team investigate rumors of an invincible hero off-world, only to find Lucius Lavin again manipulating a hapless village.
Season 3, Episode 14: Tao of Rodney Original Air Date: 11 December 2006 While shutting down systems in Atlantis, McKay is zapped by a strange Ancient machine. He begins to have superpowers, but things are never as they seem, and Rodney and the team must race against his mutations to save his life.
Season 3, Episode 15: The Game Original Air Date: 18 December 2006 To while away the hours, Sheppard and McKay have been secretly competing against one another in a real-time strategy game they discovered on Atlantis. To their surprise, they discover that this is more than just a game....
Season 3, Episode 16: The Ark Original Air Date: 8 January 2007 The Atlantis team uncovers the last survivors of a civilization who have been placed in suspended animation aboard a space station. As some of the people awaken, problems from the past threaten to destroy everyone on the station, including Sheppard.
Season 3, Episode 17: Sunday Original Air Date: 15 January 2007 Almost every member of the Atlantis expedition has a day off. Some of them are enjoying their free time or are catching up on some old work. The Sunday, a day like no other, suddenly turns bad and it appears that a lot of people are in danger.
Season 3, Episode 18: Submersion Original Air Date: 22 January 2007 The team goes searching for an alternate power source beneath the surface of the Lantean ocean. When arriving at the power plant, Teyla senses a Wraith nearby.
Season 3, Episode 19: Vengeance Original Air Date: 29 January 2007 After losing contact with the new Taranin (the people rescued by the Atlantis team when a super volcano threatened to destroy their planet) settlement, Sheppard's team leaves to investigate. Finding the town deserted, they move to investigate an extensive subterranean tunnel system. What they find there holds dark tidings for the entire Pegasus Galaxy.
Season 3, Episode 20: First Strike 1 Original Air Date: 5 February 2007 After learning the Asurians are building a fleet of ships, Earth sends it's newest ship, the Apollo, under the command of Colonel Abe Ellis to initiate a preemptive first strike to stop them from attacking Atlantis or worse, Earth itself. "