MOVIE REVIEW:
Stargate: Atlantis - The Complete Series Blu-ray Set
by Brian Savage


Five seasons, one hundred episodes, fifty hours of special features including: deleted scenes; costuming, set tours; character profiles and cast commentaries all on Blu-ray absolutely makes Stargate Atlantis – The Complete series really complete.

Stargate started with a feature film back in 1994 and has been on a screen somewhere ever since.  This franchise has become the longest running science fiction series ever.  Why even the Boy Scouts of America got involved in the franchise last year with the Pike’s Peak Council (home council of Cheyenne Mountain) offering a Stargate Patch set for trade at the 2010 National Boy Scout Jamboree.

Stargate, while still not as prevalent in today’s pop culture as Star Trek or Star Wars, it does run a close third and continues its legacy with the current incarnation of Stargate Universe (on SyFy channel).

The latest release is Stargate Atlantis – The Complete Series now available on Blu-ray. This series is well written (and though at times continues with some of the campy aspects of its predecessor SG-1) is still very entertaining. I find elements among the crew of many beloved/hated characters from past science fiction series like Dr. Smith from Lost in Space, Kathryn Jane way from Star Trek Voyager and Mr. Scott from Star Trek. Even though these character types are similar, they are still venturing out to strange new worlds where no one (ok, not no one, but no earthling) has been before.

The story starts out on our planet where the remains of an ancient outpost is found in Antarctica. The big find is that there was once an entire city there that left (it was a big space craft) millions of years ago to a new destination. They parked the city on a planet in another galaxy so far away that it took more than the normal six digit Stargate code to get there (plus a ton of energy). The crew that goes to find this lost city of Atlantis realizes that the trip is probably one way but they are prepared to make the sacrifice.

What they find on the other end of the wormhole is a fantastic city seemingly abandoned with technology they don’t really understand but must figure out how to use in order to exist. Soon they learn that the city was put to sleep in hopes that decedents from the original ancients (who returned to Earth via the wormhole) would find it someday. The reason it was hidden was so that this race of ancients could survive as they had met a competing race of almost immortals (the Wraith) that had overcome the ancient’s civilization and almost annihilated them.

From here, the episodes revolve around the crew’s discoveries of new technology and new civilizations that are in the same galaxy as Atlantis while they are looking for power sources that will enable them to get back to Earth. Many of these are the same type of mission driven or personal conflict/discovery episodes we have learned to love all the way back to the original Star Trek series. I have found that SGA is not an edgy/drama like Battlestar Galactica but tends to a bit kinder like Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The actors are likable and play their idiosyncrasies well. I really enjoy watching series such as this when you can sit down and go from episode to episode and watch the actors really get into their character’s skins.

The special effects are well done for the time period as well as the costumes. What fun it must be to work in the art dept or costume dept of one of these multi-year Sci-Fi shows as you get to make about everything you can possibly imagine.

Overall this is a great program that is a lot of fun for the whole family to watch together and at about $25 a season, not a bad buy at all for a Blu-ray format set. Check it out at your favorite retailer today!

There are lots of bonus features on each of the discs in the set including:

- Director and Actor Commentary.

- "Stargate: Atlantis" Set Tour.

- Wraithal Discrimination: It's Not Easy Being Green.

- Episode and Mission Directives.

- Deleted Scenes and much more!


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