Alrighty, here it is. Enjoy my StARe! (See what I did there? StARe? Stargate Atlantis Review? Am I funny or what?)
My review of Stargate Atlantis Season 1, Episode 1, Rising Part 1 & Episode 2 Rising Part 2 and the accompanying novelization titled Stargate Atlantis: Rising… I’m seeing a pattern here.
Stargate Atlantis: Rising
(Most of the books can only be found used now or at conventions. The ebooks should be readily available via any ebook seller, I know Barnes & Noble and Amazon for sure, but you can always ask on social media for help finding them.)
If you’ve never watched an episode of Stargate a day in your life what even are you doing?
Go! Watch it and come back. I’ll wait.
You didn’t do it.
That’s okay, I decided I couldn’t wait that long to gush about it, so I kept typing away.
Stargate SG1 follows a three-man and one woman team through a device (the Stargate) that creates a wormhole between two points. This allows interplanetary travel within the Milky Way Galaxy.
Stargate Atlantis does the same only they’re a little further out.
Actually, they’re a lot further out.
Though I adore and love not only the original series but the movie that started it all (seriously people you NEED to watch the movie!), there is a special place in my heart for Atlantis.
Beginning with the very first episode.
Before I get into the review it needs to be noted that the episodes and the novelization vary slightly. The author notes this in the front of the book and explains it’s due to editing and other changes during filming. The changes aren’t big, but it was still great fun to watch the episodes then read the book and see the differences. With this in mind, this review encompasses both episodes and book at the same time and I won’t mention the differences because of how slight they are.
Rising Part 1 and 2 show us a few of the people we will be falling in love with over the next five seasons while also giving us glimpses of our favorite people from SG1.
General Jack O’Neill is being flown to a research station in the Antarctic where an Ancient weapon has successfully kept earth safe from an alien invasion. His pilot?
Our intrepid (aren’t they all though?) team leader (he doesn’t know it yet), Major John Sheppard. Who has had some trouble in the past with following orders he didn’t agree with. Considering it involved leaving fellow soldiers behind, this fact just makes him all the more lovable.
The theme of not leaving teammates behind is one that he carries throughout the series and it even extends to allies, some-time enemies, and possible enemies depending on the circumstances.
Sheppard keeps the two from being blown up by an alien Drone (glowy bullet thing that resembles a squid), gets them to the station and decides to sit down.
On a chair that can only be operated by someone with a particular gene.
Not only is his gene the strongest they’ve ever seen, but he also seems to have an innate ability to use the Alteran technology. (as a side note, I call them Alteran’s even though for most of the series everyone calls them Ancients. I do this because as the series goes on the expedition, especially SGA 1, become disillusioned with the Ancients as a race. No longer seeing them as these omnipotent, benevolent beings… and I just plain don’t like them so don’t give them that respect.)
Sheppard is convinced to join the expedition and soon they are off through the Stargate.
Remember when I said they went ‘further out’ than SG1?
They go to the Pegasus Galaxy. For all they know it’ll be a one-way trip because the power source, a Zero Point Module or ZPM, is already almost depleted and the distance between the galaxies requires an eight chevron address and far more power than they could create on their own.
Now, the military leader at this time is one Colonel Sumner and he does not like Sheppard because of his record. Unfortunately for Sumner, he isn’t in charge.
One of the big differences between SG1 and SGA is that the Atlantis Expedition is a civilian/research one. SG1 is military and run by the United States Air Force. This means that the leader of the expedition is not military personal but a negotiator.
Dr. Elizabeth Weir was so good at her job she got wrangled into the Stargate program in the first series (later seasons) and now leads the expedition. Episode 1 and 2 show us that there are going to be interesting times ahead because Weir would rather find a peaceful solution to things (which is fine) while Sumner is not quite so inclined (which is also fine).
For the brief time you know him, you really don’t like Sumner. His manner is very rigid and since Sheppard has already been established as being a funny, sarcastic guy you just know you’re gonna like, Sumner seems like a bad guy.
In the end, however, his bravery and character keep a group of people alive long enough for Sheppard to rescue them.
Most of the group are Athosians, Pegasus Galaxy natives, whose leader is one Teyla Emmagan. Teyla becomes part of SGA 1 which is comprised of Major Sheppard, Dr. McKay, Lt. Ford and herself to start with.
We’ll get more into them in later reviews.
The 2 part series premier ends with the city of Atlantis no longer underwater but sitting on top of the ocean. The expedition has lost people, made friends and are sitting ducks for a new enemy they made called the Wraith.
Colonel Sumner is among the dead. Mercy shot by Sheppard while a Wraith Queen fed on him and gathered information about Earth wanting it as a new feeding ground.
So this was incredibly brief, I know, but the episodes are so good and open the way for so much excitement and adventure its unbelievable. I had to stop here otherwise it’ll be several pages long and we don’t want that now do we?
See ya next week for my review on Stargate Atlantis: The Chosen!