- Jack O'Neill and John Sheppard fly to the Atlantis base in Antarctica
I was happy to see that the 4th season of the science fiction series Stargate Atlantis will soon be rentable at Netflix ..... watching that show is what I've missed most about no tv. I though I'd write a little about the show's two hour pilot episode (Rising, part 1 and 2) in case anyone has never watched the series and might be interested in doing so.
The show, a spin-off of Stargate SG-1, begins in Antarctica, where a base left by "the Ancients" (an ancient technologically superior race that built the stargate system and who have mostly disappeared due to their ascension to a higher plane of existence) has been discovered by the SG-1team.
A new team is assembled, led by Dr. Elizabeth Weir and composed of scientists and Air Force military and marines, to travel through Stargate Command's stargate device under Cheyenne mountain to the Ancients' lost city of Atlantis in the Pegasus galaxy .... likely a one-way trip due to the amount of energy required.
- John Sheppard
One of the newly chosen members of the team is Air Force pilot Major John Sheppard, who is always in trouble for failing to follow the chain of command, but is chosen despite this because he has a great asset - his DNA contains the gene derived from Ancient ancestors needed to operate Ancient technology - and good thing too, because he's the main reason I watch the show :)
Once in Atlantis, which appears to be a deserted city under the sea, they discover that the shield which protects the city will soon degrade from a lack of power. Major Sheppard, his CO, Col. Marshall Sumner, and some marines, are sent through the stargate to find another planet in the Pegasus galaxy to which the team can retreat safely while they hunt down some ZPMs to repower the shield.
- Teyla shows Sheppard ancient depictions of her planet's culling by the Wraith
The planet they choose to visit is inhabited by a peaceful people, the Athosians, who's leader is Teyla Emmagan. She warns them of a species of predators known as the Wraith and later that smae species attacks them in ships through the stargate, killing many and capturing a number of people, including Col. Sumner and Teyla.
- Sheppard searches for survivors after the Wraith attack
Major Sheppard, now in command, returns with the Athosian refuges to Atlantis, where the city, once the shield collapses, surprisingly rises safely to the ocean's surface. Part 1 ends with Sheppard demanding Dr. Weir allow him to lead a rescue mission to save those captured by the Wraith, which she reluctantly agrees to allow, once space shuttles are discovered in Atlantis.
- the orbitting stargate
Part 2 is all about the rescue mission. Sheppard leads a force, flying one of the shuttles through Atlantis' stargate to the stargate in orbit around the Wraith planet, the gate address having been memorized by one of his men, Ford, during the attack on Athosia. Using Ancient technology on the shuttle, they locate the Wraith base (actually a huge grounded ship) and sneak within to find the captives.
- the Wraith queen succks the life force from Col. Sumner
Meanwhile Col. Sumner is taken to see the Wraith hive's queen, who interrogates him, and when she has learned of Earth's existence, begins to feed upon his life energy, sucking it out of his chest with her bare hand. Sheppard comes upon the scene, shoots the Wraith with no great ill effect to them, then realizing he cannot save Sumner, kills him to spare him suffering. With Ford's help he finally eliminates the queen and the other Wraith, only to discover that they have unwittingly awakened the hive, and all the Wraith, everywhere, who had been hibernating for so many years. They and the captives barely escape back to Atlantis with their lives, sobered by the knowledge that they have unleashed the newly awakened Wraith on the people of the Pegasus galaxy, as well as endangered Earth.
- Ford and Sheppard on a balcony of Atlantis
It's a fun show, well worth a watch :)