David on Stargate Atlantis

The bafflingly popular and long-lived series Stargate SG-1 spawned not one, not two, but three spin-offs, with Atlantis running five highly-successful seasons. But success is usually measured by revenue generated, not by inherent quality, and the series stands as proof that humans are easily amused.

With a setting far removed from that of its parent series, Atlantis had the potential to be its own entity, and for the most part, that held true. But it still suffered from a number of critical flaws that made it nearly unwatchable for this reviewer. Indeed, on my first attempt to watch it, I made it through two seasons before giving up. A year or so later, I returned to finish it on the slim hope it might get better. Silly me.

The two biggest obstacles to any hope of enjoyment for me were Joe Flanigan, the "daring" John Sheppard, and the Wraith, Atlantis' primary antagonist aliens. Evidently a Richard Dean Anderson school of annoying cocky ignorance dropout, Flanigan commanded a screen presence about as impactful as a roll of paper towels. Meanwhile, the alien menace was a race of utterly over-the-top life-force-sucking zombies that did little except provide unintentional comic relief. On occasion.

Worse, with the exception of Torri Higginson, who played Doctor Elizabeth Weird (sorry, couldn't resist), the supporting cast was abysmal, particularly Rachel Luttrell, utterly unconvincing as our resident alien warrior. Oh, and while David Hewlett is an otherwise decent actor, his Doctor Rodney McKay character was so freakishly annoying that I wanted to demolish the TV screen whenever he opened his mouth.

On the bright side, special effects technology had advanced considerably, and the show offered some perfectly splendid visuals. Sadly, they were wasted on pure Bantha dung that isn't even worth the price of a bowl of popcorn.


The score was saved from BAD by virtue of better-than-average visual effects.

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