Ok, time to review the DVD set of the final season of Stargate Atlantis. I remember the shock when the word hit the web that Atlantis was ending. It just didn’t make sense, but end it did. So, lets see how this final season fared on DVD.
Atlantis, you shall be missed. Much like another far away space base spin-off (ST: DS9), you were never appreciated and cast away like a red headed stepchild. Actually that’s not completely correct comparison. At least Deep Space 9 got to have some kind of conclusion.
The Good: This season was a real mix in episodes. Some great, some average and a few not so great. I think the episodes that stand out the best for me are:
The Shrine gave us a McKay losing his most prized possession, his intelligence. This episode really tested David Hewlitt’s acting chops and he did not disappoint.
The First Contact & The Lost Tribe two parter gave us a little cross over action when Dr. Jackson and Dr. McKay team-up as an Ancient weapon causes some major problems in the Pegasus Galaxy.
Brain Storm was two parts hilarious and one part romantic with the McKay and Keller romance paired with a mad (ok, egotistic) scientist experiment gone wrong guest starring the likes of Dave Foley and Bill Nye.
Vegas gave us a Stargate: CSI with an alternate universe Detective John Sheppard squaring off with an out of this world killer.
Adding Robert Picardo as Richard Woolsey was a brilliant move. Samantha Carter is a great character, but just didn’t fit in with Atlantis. Woolsey gave us a character from SG1 that was forced to evolve into something greater for Stargate Atlantis, similar to McKay.
I also liked seeing McKay slowly growing as a character and the love triangle with McKay/Keller/Ronon, which grew into a cute McKay/Keller relationship. Teyla’s arc of balancing her role as mother and warrior was hit and miss, but overall worked well.
The Bad: The fact that the series ended is the big disappointment. This finale was ok for a season finale, but made for a poor series finale. Why couldn’t have Atlantis had an ending that gave us some satisfaction by wrapping up the overall story arc, the threat of the Wraith? SG1 did a great job wrapping up the threat of the System Lords, perhaps too good because in some ways it felt like it should have stopped the series there. But in the case of Atlantis it feels like it just stops, right as it was finding its own identity. Enemy at the Gate just didn’t cut it.
Also, Torri Higginson not returning for Ghost In The Machine to play Dr. Weir caused some problems. With all of these different actresses playing Dr. Weir, I feel like there’s a Doctor Who joke just asking to be said.
And Whispers had a nice guest cast with an all female Stargate team, but they were wasted on a very bland horror-lite episode.
The Daedalus Variations was a mix of good and bad. I liked the concept and the overall execution, but felt like the introduction of a new bad guy alien race was wasted. Here we got a sneak peak of a new big bad (finally after endless battles with the Wraith and Replicators), but we never see them again. Too bad.
Final Thoughts: There are some fun extras in this season set. Probably about average compared to the previous sets.
As a martial artist, I enjoyed “Showdown: Ronan vs. Tyre” which discussed the choreographing of the fight scene with Jason Momoa and Mark Dacasco in Broken Ties. “Joe Flanigan: A Coversation with the Colonel” was another feature that stood out.
There are a number of other features and some deleted scenes (including a Public Service Announcement by Bill Nye), sadly no outtakes. The episodes Vegas and Enemy At The Gate are both extended versions with a few minutes added.
Overall I think this was probably the strongest season of Atlantis. It is too bad it had such an unsatisfying ending. I’ll miss these characters and I admit it makes me a little gunshy about getting attached to Stargate Universe. Will the creators decide to dump that show five years later, when they come up with some other cool idea? I hope not.
Well, here is hoping that Atlantis gets a movie or two to wrap up its storylines and give these interesting characters an ending they deserve.
Score: 9 out of 10
Marx H. Pyle is an American writer and filmmaker. You can find him on Twitter as MrMarx.