Stargate Atlantis has finally arrived in its fourth season. Few months ago, I had the opportunity to sit with Joseph Mallozzi and pick his brain as to the details of the upcoming season. Now we just have to sit back, relax and watch it all unroll. I also had a list of praises and criticisms. Here are some of the highlights:
My major criticism of the show was that these pesky human new comers seemed too well-off. I mean, they arrive to an entirely new galaxy, and yet they seem to enjoy too many victories and comforts.
They awaken an entire civilisation of technologically sophisticated, life-sucking monsters, and manage to defeat them in few swift episodes. The alien city they inhabit is full of secrets and valuable information, and yet they seem to be so well versed in its technology, programming things so quickly and efficiently…They are just too smart for their own good.
To top that, all of them get along so well, my heart aches to work there. Pegasus galaxy, here we come! They are nice, and protective of one another, and kind to each other, it is as if they are just shallow characters created by a few family-friendly writers.
Casting was done incredibly well, recreating some of the endearing qualities showcased in SG1. Saying that, the casting was not flawless.
Rachel Lutrell, who plays Teyla, is well versed in variety shows and Disney productions. I am certain that she is remarkable on a theatre stage, yet on television screen she appears too controlled, too unnatural and wooden. She has that rare ability to appear as if every body movement, every uttered word, every eye flutter is perfectly controlled and well thought out in advance. If she was playing an android, her acting would have been more than justified. Just once, I would love to see her with a swollen lip and a hangover…and maybe they shouldn’t even give her a script in advance, just to see what happens?
David Hewlett as McKay is brilliant. Which is why this show should be called “McKay’s Adventures in Space!” Or not. The trappings of having one amazing actor such as Hewlett, is that the writers suddenly run out of ideas that do not prominently feature “the doctor.” Sounds familiar?
Jason Momoa’s introduction as Ronon Dex into the show’s fold was one of the most exciting moments. I adored the character – the prowl, that stubborn pride of a lone warrior with unmatched strength… let’s face it, we needed Klingons, and this seemed like a good way of having them around. But then immediately after, Momoa has shown himself to be a budding actor with too little experience. Quickly after being introduced as the Tilk of Atlantis, he also displayed all the qualities of an awkward teen who has grown too large too soon, still getting used to the depth of his voice. A bit clumsy and lacking in confidence, Momoa could use a bit of a boost. Maybe they should even portray him as an alien adolescent in throes of puberty!
Saying all that, Stargate Atlantis is a “cupcake show.” A delightful production with sugar on top. As the spin-off of SG1, one of the most beloved, long-running television shows, Atlantis showcases the same kind of wit and creativity that we need on our screens. Atlantis represents that missing element of human drive. A fantasy where we do go beyond our expectations, daring to exceed our human limits by reinventing ourselves as humanity. At its core, it is classic science fiction. The kind that we grew up loving and will continue to love. This is why we care so much about the show.
The first episode, shown on Friday, displays severe changes that were and will continue throughout the upcoming season, and that is commendable work on part of its staff. Keep on watching because this show has the potential to outshine all of its competition.