THE PLOT THUS FAR
An international team of scientists and military personnel discover a Stargate network in the Pegasus Galaxy and come face-to-face with a new, powerful enemy, The Wraith.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Atlantis is a lot darker then SG-1. It’s one of the more darker sci-fi of it’s kind I’ve seen and it works. Specially since the mood is so well captured. The cinematographers does a great job at that. However, at the same time it’s dark, the show manage to have humor. I like that. They don’t overdo it. It’s a nice mix. It gives the show a kind of looser feeling. A feeling of that they don’t take them selves all too seriously. That it one of the things I really like about the Stargate series. The directing is also very good. The fact that the same directors and creative crew members work or has worked on both series gives the series much of the same qualities and they manage to stay somewhat in the same style without the one being a copy of the other.
The premise of Atlantis is a continuation from the “Lost City” two-parter that ended Season 7 of SG1. Following further examination of the cave in which the Antarctic Stargate and Ayiana were found, Jackson discovers that the address to Atlantis is eight-symbol – that is, it is located in a whole new galaxy. Dr. Weir, the former head of the SGC, played by Tori Higginson, is appointed the head of the expedition, and some old favorites such as Dr. Rodney McKay return to the scene. The newcomers are no less handy. Major (and later Colonel) John Sheppard, played by Joe Flanigan, is the junior (and then later senior) military leader of the Atlantis Expedition and possesses an uncanny talent to pilot or use anything that requires the use of the Ancient Technology Activation gene. Carson Beckett played by Paul McGillion, is the medical officer aboard the ship and has become a fan favorite for innumerable reasons.
Upon their arrival, they discover that Atlantis has almost completely run out of power and has been submerged under the sea. Not having enough power to activate a gate back home, they start looking for a way out within the new galaxy, and discover the Athosians, who tell them of a new enemy, the Wraith. Their leader, Teyla Emmagan (Rachel Luttrell), recognizes them as technological descendants of the Ancestors, as they refer to the Lantean Ancients, and believes that they have the power to stop them.
Characters often react to extreme situations with little to no urgency, not so much in their delivery (the cast does a decent job) but in the lines and the way the scenes play out. Things that they know already know to be threats or character points that were established in earlier episodes are often completely ignored. Frustrating to watch, considering that they are a smart group of people who consistently fall for the same traps over and over again. It’s as though the show-runners weren’t really paying all that much attention and the directors did not familiarize themselves with the series in detail before showing up for work.
In terms of the characters themselves, most are well written and there are a lot of fun comedic moments between them. However, the scientific types are written so accurately pedantic and intellectually obnoxious that they occasionally become annoying to at least this viewer. While there are some really touching moments that are quite well done, a bit more emotional oomph might have helped make the characters come across in a more meaningful way. There is very little in the way of emotional tension, and most of it is largely unjustified. I would imagine that the cast of the show might have become desperate for some meaningful scenes though they appeared to resist ‘acting by numbers’ for the most part.
The Blu-Ray comes with photo galleries, commentaries, featurettes and more material than I’ve ever seen assembled for a Stargate set. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track is lossless and ranks among the best of the year. While the transfer was sharp for the usual 1080p TV mix, it still has little depth and almost all of the action takes place in the front channels. The problem with a lot of the special features are that they were previously found on other releases and they’re really spread out across the set. The only seemingly new featurette that worked for me was the look back at the previous episodes. Giving the cast a chance to break apart what made the series stand was fun, even for a non fan. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase for fans. Everyone else should rent.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!