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REVIEW: Stargate Atlantis Series Premiere



BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The adventures of a new Stargate team stationed on Atlantis – a city on a planet in another galaxy.

PROS: Good story and premise; more science fictiony than SG1
CONS: Some dialog was corny.
BOTTOM LINE: If you like Stargate: SG1, you’ll like Stargate: Atlantis.

I watched the series premiere of Stargate: Atlantis tonight (Thanks, Tivo!) and was pleasantly surprised. It was pretty good. This opening episode, titled “Rising”, set the stage for the series to come.

A more detailed summary can be found on the SciFi site, but in a nutshell, the premise goes like this: A new Stargate team is stationed on Atlantis, an underwater city in another galaxy. Atlantis is the home of The Ancients, builders of the Stargates. Their first adventure takes them to the planet Athos to replenish the city’s power before the shields protecting the underwater city fail. On Athos the Stargate team learns of a powerful warrior race, The Wraith, that were powerful enough to defeat the technologically advanced Ancients.

What I liked most about the show was the storyline – much more science fictiony and much less Egyptian than SG1. They writers segregated themselves from SG1 by making the gate at Atlantis the only one in that galaxy to lead back to Earth.

There were some neat sf elements and some decent special effects as well. The Wraiths promise to be some formidable enemies with their pseudo-immortality via their powers of regeneration and their ability to suck the life out their victims in a feeding frenzy. The redheaded one from the opener was way cool. In this episode, the Wraiths learn of the existence of Earth, a.k.a. their Picnic Planet.

The writing succeeded in providing the same delicately-balanced humor that I like about SG1, even if some of the lines seemed a bit too macho. The characters were likable, except for Col. Marshall Sumner (played by the guest-starring Robert Patrick), a military antagonist to the scientific expedition to explore Atlantis. SG1’s Major O’Neil (McGuyver) and Daniel Jackson made cameos to transition viewers.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

3 Comments on REVIEW: Stargate Atlantis Series Premiere

  1. I’ve watched about half. It suffers from the usual problems of a pilot–the need to introduce way to much stuff in too short a time. But, I’m enjoying it (especially the “homage” to the original filmed version of John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There?”). While it is “segregated” from Stargate SG1, I hope they do the occasional crossover/link episode.

  2. I watched the rest last night. I was sorry to see the demise of a certain ex-Terminator. He would have been a good character for the show.

    I see that both “Stargate” and “Atlantis” this week appear to deal with invisible alien entitites. Isn’t that the sign of budget troubles?


  3. So this weekend, I went and caught up on the 4 episodes that my TiVo grabbed for me –“Childhood’s End,” “Poisoning the Well,” “Underground,” and “Home.”

    Is it just me, or do they seem to screw stuff up more than they fix?

    Where’s the Prime Directive when you need it?

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