Starring Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Joe Flanigan
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The brilliant Canadian Actress, Torri Higginson, plays Dr. Elizabeth Weir, Commander of Stargate Team. Handsome American Actor, Joe Flanigan, plays Lt. Col. John Sheppard. Col. Sheppard is the military equivalent of chief of security. He is also an adept warrior and tactician. David Hewlett plays Dr. Rodney McKay. Dr. McKay is a scientist, and may be the most brilliant human alive, and is a pain in the ass, ego maniac. The Canadian Actress, Rachel Luttrell, is Teyla Emmagan, an Alien liaison with a gift for feeling the emotions in others. Hawaiian born artist and actor, Jason Momoa, is Ronon Dex, human survivor of a planetary attack by a murderous race. Scottish Actor Paul McGillian, plays Dr. Carson Beckett, chief medical officer on Atlantis. Rainbow Sun Francks, is Lt. Aiden Ford, and Mitch Pileggi is Col. Steven Caldwell. Mr. Pileggi is best known for his recurring role on the X Files as Assistant Director Walter Skinner.
Whew! Big cast. Now, down to the review.
It is difficult to know where to begin. I am a big sci-fi fan. I love science fiction movies, books, and television programs. However, for some reason, the Stargate franchise didn’t appeal to me. I loved the motion picture, but could never get into the television series. That is, until I was asked to review the 9th Season DVD collection of Stargate SG1. I fell in-love with it (those of you who read my review know why.)
Stargate Atlantis was no exception. I tried to watch the first season on regular television. But, only succeeded in viewing bits and pieces. It seemed too complicated. There were too many story lines happening simultaneously in each of the episodes I watched. I lost interest. However, I was asked by my friend, Matt, to review the 2nd season on DVD. I thought this might be a good opportunity for me to give the program a second chance. Besides, I would be able to watch with the power of remote control, and would not be distracted by commercials.
The first episode was similar to my previous viewing experience. There was a lot going on. There was action inside the Atlantis base, on a battle ship in hyperspace, and fighting on the walkways outside the city proper. Atlantis was under attack by the Wraith, a hybrid of human and bug with superior strength, and a strong need to literally suck the life out human beings. The Wraith use their hands to feed. The hand acts like a convenient carry-along straw. We are their food. A Wraith simply places its hand on a human body part and voila! Instant meal. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the bug part injects some sort of venom into the victim which paralyzes them, sort of; keeping them alive while the wraith person/insect dines. Yuk!!!
Well, the story goes that the human beings on Atlantis must keep the Wraith from finding the location of earth. Otherwise our planet will become the next MacDonald’s for the big bad beasties. This objective is fodder for some interesting story lines. But more important are the personalities of the regulars, and their interactions with each other, and the folk they meet in other galaxies, as they travel thru the stargate, and hyperspace.
Like Star Trek, Babylon Five, Far Scape, and Battle Star Galactica, the crew of Atlantis and the situations they find themselves in, not the special effects, make the program successful. Almost each character has something in her or his personality that we can all identify with. They are fallible, thus human. Yet, they rise to each occasion to defend the station, and each other. This familiar format makes for comfortable viewing, especially after a hard day of work. I found it relaxing to sit down in front of the television and watch the cast of Stargate Atlantis fight to save humankind. It took my mind off of rush hour traffic and the demands of my job.
The actors are talented. They make the characters believable. The sets are good. Some of the special effects are primo. Others bring to mind Star Trek, The Next Generation. They seem a little crude by today’s visual technological standards. However, what the shows budget doesn’t allow for in props, the cast makes up for in acting.
If you enjoy science fiction drama, I suggest you consider adding Star Gate Atlantis, Season 2, to your video collection. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 3 . Happy viewing!
Audio Commentary on All Episodes
Mission Directive Featurettes
Photo Galleries and More!
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround
Widescreen 1.78:1 Color
Running Time: 872 minutes