Stargate Atlantis: Season Four

Stargate Atlantis: Season Four
After four seasons in the Pegasus Galaxy, the team members of the Atlantis Expedition are working hard to catch up to the ten-season record for longest running American sci-fi series held by their predecessors on Stargate: SG1. This season, after Commander Elizabeth Weir’s (Torri Higginson) selfless act of heroism, which brought down the forces of the seemingly unstoppable Replicators, the Atlantis team is joined by former SG1 leader Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping). Tapping joins the group with ease, adjusting the super-scientific personality of her long-established character to allow Atlantis’s David Hewlett, who plays Atlantis’s resident brainiac Rodney McKay, to maintain his role as geek in residence. The story continues to follow the ongoing war between humanity and the evil, life-sucking Wraith, who feed on defenceless humans. And, of course, the Atlantis team has many non-Wraith adventures on the alien planets they visit when they step through the giant space anus to visit the forests outside Vancouver... I mean, step through a wormhole in the space-time continuum and visit strange planets that are all unique and as visually distinct as the forests outside Vancouver. (After 14 seasons of Stargate, fans may actually be able to identify particular trees.) A few episodes stand out in season four, including "Tabula Rasa,” where everyone in Atlantis has their memories erased by a disease and must figure out what’s going on before the sickness kills them, and "Quarantine,” where the Atlantis security system mistakenly identifies a dangerous viral outbreak and initiates a citywide lockdown. Fans will also be happy to see the return of the dearly departed Dr. Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion), including a featurette documenting the decision to resurrect the character, in part due to fans gathering outside the Stargate production offices to protest Dr. Beckett’s death. The discs also contains, for the first time ever on a Stargate DVD, a blooper reel, which, as the series’ producers astutely point out in their introduction, is really not very interesting but is always requested by the fans. In addition, every episode includes a commentary track by various members of the production staff and a number of episodes also have "Mission Directive” making-of features that further examine the work that goes into creating a single episode of mid-budget sci-fi. Stargate Atlantis: Season Four continues the Stargate tradition of loading DVDs with extras that fans will appreciate, providing a reason for loyal viewers to spend their money on television that will be rerun ad infinitum everywhere that humans inhabit, especially if their planet looks like the forest outside Vancouver. (MGM)