Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Season Premiere Review: Stargate: Atlantis (Season 4)

Stargate: Atlantis [s4 ep01]: "Adrift"

*** Spoiler Warning ***

Key Plot Points of Season Premiere

  • We pick up right where we left off last season. After the Asurans (human-form replicators from the Pegasus Galaxy) endangered Atlantis with a Stargate-carrying satellite that shot a continuous beam at the city, Atlantis first submerged into the water and then took off into space. In the process, Dr. Elizabeth Weir, leader of Atlantis, was severely injured when the beam grazed the command tower before the shield was restored.

  • The Atlantis crew faces a series of challenges in survival including damaged power conduits, a draining ZPM (Zero Point Module--a primary power source), a shrinking shield, an asteroid field right in Atlantis's path, and micro asteroids that damage the stardrive (and injure Dr. Radek Zelenka when he tries to repair it).

  • Meanwhile, Col. Samantha Carter and Dr. Bill Lee are trying to finish some of the systems onboard the Midway Station, the center-point in a chain of Stargates linking the Pegasus and Milky Way galaxies. Col. Ellis of the earth cruiser Apollo is able to contact them and tell them that Atlantis did not arrive at the rendezvous point.

  • Dr. Wier's brain is swelling from her injury. A risky surgery is done to try to release the pressure, but Dr. Keller believe's there'll be significant brain damage no matter what. Against Sheppard's orders, Keller and McKay go through a with a procedure that re-activates some nanites that a replicator infected Wier with last year. The nanites repair her injuries, but now she will be half-human, half-replicator for the rest of her life. Sheppard disapproved because of the potential danger of nanites sending signals back to the replicators (a function McKay believes he's disabled), and even Wier herself agrees with Sheppard after she's healed.

  • Sheppard and Zelenka don't repair the stardrive in time before power drops below the required level for sustained hyperdrive flight. But, there is just enough energy to make it to a world with a Stargate and/or ZPM. They decide to raid the replicator homeworld for a ZPM. To be continued...

Opinions and Observations

  • I like Jewel Staite as the new Atlatis doctor, Jennifer Keller.

  • As usual, this was a well written, well acted, well directed episode. A *lot* happens in just one hour.

  • Only two things make this a 4 star episode rather than 5 stars: (1) The episode depends a great deal on a problem of the city not having enough power, a *very frequent* plot device used on this show; (2) This is the first of a multi-part storyline, so we won't get resolution until later, and we didn't even get to see Col. Carter join up with Atlantis yet.

  • There is a nice moment when tough guy Ronon thanks the unconscious Wier for letting him stay in Atlantis staring two years ago.

Hopes, Concerns, or Expectations for New Season

  • I really look forward to the rest of this season. Things are going to be really different with Amanda Tapping reprising her Stargate SG-1 role of Samantha Carter, this time as a full colonel in charge of Atlantis.

  • I've also seen internet buzz about Christopher Judge guest starring later in the season. From the pictures I've seen, I can't stand his new long, greasy hair-do, but at least it'll be one more familiar character.

  • Hopefully, other SG-1 characters may guest star later in the season. I'd love to see a whole SG-1/Atlantis crossover episode like they did last year. If not a full crossover, I'd love to see Claudia Black guest star in her SG-1 role of Vala Mal Doran.

  • If the team is able to steal one or more ZPMs from the replicators, I hope that will alleviate their constant power problems that have plagued them in a number of episodes.

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