Quick Daily Review #63: Stargate Atlantis – The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]
Starring: Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, David Hewlett, Paul McGillion
Created By: Brad Wright & Robert C. Cooper
Number of Episodes: 20
Airdate: 2004 – 2005
Having reviewed all ten seasons of SG-1 and the two SG-1 movies, and taken a break from the franchise, Stargate returns to the Quick Daily Review as we begin to go through the rest of the franchise beginning with the first season of the first spin-off, Atlantis.
The “Lost City” was first referenced in the season finale of SG-1’s sixth season, when the then ascended Daniel Jackson informed the team that they would find a city of the Ancients that would contains weapons that would help them defeat Anubis. The season seven finale, “Lost City,” saw SG-1 gain access to an Ancient outpost in Antarctica; but not Atlantis.
As we learn in the Atlantis premiere, Atlantis is in another galaxy, the Pegasus, and requires the use of the ZPM to gate to it (since it is an eight symbol address). Dr. Elizabeth Weir, whom we met in the last two episodes of SG-1’s seventh season (she was briefly the commander of the SGC replacing General Hammond) has put together a multi-national expedition for what could be a one-way trip to what they hope is Atlantis.
In typical Stargate fashion, nothing goes right for the crew once they get there. The city is under water, and their arrival is causing the shield to fail, so a military team has to gate off world already looking for a place they can get supplies from and possibly evacuate to. They’re not on that planet hours before the bad guys, Wraith, come along and start taking prisoners. Major Sheppard, and Lt. Ford, ends up killing the Queen of that particular hive, and in doing so cause all of the hibernating Wraith to wake up. Yes, the Earth humans haven’t been in the galaxy a day yet and they’ve already awoken the species that plagues the galaxy by feeding on humans.
Atlantis felt like Stargate SG-1; it worked because it was “the same.” The humor, science, and action that SG-1 was known for was present in Atlantis. The main team worked, even though Rainbow’s Lt. Ford character wasn’t given the development time the other characters got and he was subsequently dropped in the next season.
This first season was actually the worst season for Atlantis, but it certainly wasn’t a bad season. After the two part premiere, the first half of the season kind of lacked, but business picked up in the second half and it became a much better show because of it. My favorite episodes from this season are “The Storm, The Eye, Sanctuary, Before I Sleep, and the both the two part season premiere and the two part season finale.
Stargate Atlantis experienced some growing pains in this first season, but it developed into a quality season and the series itself would go on to be great. If it’s not already, this season should definitely be in your DVD or Blu-ray collection.