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Stargate Atlantis: Season 3
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Three years into it, Atlantis has retained numerous familiar elements while continuing to evolve steadily. The core cast is intact, with the cocky wiseacre-hero Lt. Col. John Sheppard (Joe Flanigan) and the egotistical, neurotic genius Dr. Rodney McKay (David Hewlett) still the most entertaining of the bunch; as the series explores the characters' personal lives and backstories, we even meet (in "McKay and Mrs. Miller") the latter's sister, who's every bit the wiz that he is. On the other hand, the roles of team leader Dr. Elizabeth Weir (Torri Higginson) and members Teyla (Rachel Luttrell) and Ronon Dex (Jason Momoa) are neither especially well-written nor well-played. The return of Richard Dean Anderson (and his sense of humor) as General Jack O'Neill, the SG-1 mainstay during most of its run, for a few cameos is most welcome, as is the presence of the Wraith, the series' principal villains (SG-1 fans will also recognize the "sentient machines" known as the Replicators from that series). With their flowing white locks, cat-like eyes, pale, almost translucent skin, ultra-fine black leather dusters, and, in one case, shades that would make a Hollywood hipster envious, the Wraith remain the coolest bad guys on the sci-fi scene. We already knew that they feed on humans, but this season brings some startling new revelations, particularly in "Common Ground," an excellent episode that finds Sheppard and a Wraith (Christopher Heyerdahl) forming an unlikely alliance against a mutual enemy; we also witness the return of the Wraith known as Michael (Connor Trinneer), who was the subject of the Atlantis team's ongoing "retro-virus" experiment (designed to make Wraiths human) in Season Two and plays a significant recurring role in Season Three. Other developments are apparent as well, but most dramatic of all is the death of one of the team's key members.
Stargate Atlantis isn't the most original TV show ever created; in fact, elements of The Running Man, Alien, The Abyss, Enemy Mine, and other sci-fi works are sometimes so obvious that the characters themselves mention them in dialogue. But as always, the action sequences, special effects, models, and other technical elements are first-rate, as are the bonus features, which include episode commentaries, featurettes, and photo galleries. --Sam Graham
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Top Customer Reviews
Teyla is certainly underutilized, and I hope that this season will bring new depths to her character. From what I've heard, there is definitely the opportunity for that to happen.
(Warning! Spoilers below!)
First, story arc failure. I was expecting a huge advancement in the story arc concerning the Wraith, but it just didn't happen. Sure, they appear in a few good episodes, but it didn't seem like the story with respect to them in particular moved at all.
Second, killing off Dr. Beckett. I really liked him. Maybe I'm dating myself a bit here, but he was kind of like Scotty and McCoy rolled together but with a cooler head. This very lovable character will be missed.
Third, rehashing the replicators. With an entirely new galaxy as our backdrop for this series, why do the replicator thing all over again? It was original enough on Stargate SG-1, but I was amazed that Atlantis started a story arc with replicators too. Are they going creatively bankrupt already?
Fourth, rehashing old sci-fi standbys, like the "weird alien thingy or disease that causes loyal comrades to start killing each other". Did the original Star Trek do this in the episode "The Naked Time" and wasn't it done again by Star Trek Next Generation as the second or third episode in that series?
Fifth, bringing back a whole ship full of "ancients" just to kill them all off by the end of the two part episode. So, the "ancients" have gone from being a great and mysterious race of humanoids from the past to an expediant plot device. We can create them and destroy them at will just to get and episode or two. Couldn't an "ancient" or two have been spared and used as secondary characters? Wouldn't that have been interesting? They could have helped explore the rest of the city.Read more ›
Unfortunately, just when the season is almost over and you're cheering the producers for having achieved the perfect chemistry among the SGA team members, you get hit over the head with "Sunday". I only get to watch SGA when the DVDs are out, so I was totally unprepared for the shocking ending which left me speechless at first, then very sad, and finally very upset with the producers. What were they thinking? Who in the world first came up with such a "brilliant" idea?
Season 3 is excellent, you will love the characters, but I wonder what season 4 will be like. I heard Sam was joining the cast. Amanda Tapping is adorable, but - please don't hurt me - I find her flawless supergenius-to-the-rescue character too unidimensional and boring. I much prefer flawed multidimensional characters like SG-1 Vala (Claudia Black). As for Jewel, I have seen very little of her yet since I don't get to watch Season 4, but I simply can't imagine her as the new chief medical officer. She was a much better fit in Firefly. One can only hope Season 4 will be at least as good as this season, but when there are people in charge making decisions like killing the most lovable character of the show and, to make matters worse, replace him with someone totally unbelievable in the same role, I'm not holding my breath.
I've watched STARGATE ATLANTIS from the beginning and have more or less enjoyed it from the start. I definitely plan on continuing to watch it, but I have some concerns about the show that I'm convinced have to be addressed for it to continue to be worth watching.
First and foremost, ATLANTIS has always had and continues to have serious cast problems. They have now had three complete seasons to address these problems and while they have played with it some, most of their decisions have been odd at best. I really like Joe Flannigan as Sheppard and David Hewlett as Rodney, but beyond that the cast is mainly made up of liabilities. There was one other actor I liked a lot on the show, Paul McGillion as Beckett, but inexplicably in remaking the cast they chose to kill off one of the few strong characters on the show. Rachel Luttrell as Teyla is more baffling. Her character has never been very interesting, but I'm not convinced that Luttrell is untalented. I suspect that for whatever reason the writers have simply not been willing or able to come up with any interesting arcs for her (apart from having an interesting connection to the wraiths, which by and large has been underutilized). My hope is that they will rethink Teyla and either do both her and us a favor and kill her off, or become more aggressive in writing her character and give her some significant arcs and character development. Jason Momoa as Ronon, however, is probably a lost cause. He is perhaps the most wooden actor on television today and they have done virtually nothing of interest with his character. David Nykl, however, is good as Zelenka. I always enjoy his scenes with Rodney.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This season picks up the pace of the series, more action, funnier character interactions, and more intresting one offs that actually end up bieng critical to story arcs.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
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|Disc 4 bad?||
Was this from Amazon or from a private seller warehousing with Amazon (not a third party seller, although they are now treating it as such since I need something made right). I also had a faulty DVD--also season 3 but disc 2 -- it was mislabeled. Now I can't get my money back (only 50%... Read More
Sep 7, 2009 by Sylvie Evans | See all 3 posts
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I think it means "For promotional use only" - basically meaning that the cover shown is not the final artwork.
Jul 10, 2007 by HMark | See all 3 posts
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