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Stargate Atlantis Edit

Stargate Atlantis (often abbreviated as SGA) is a Canadian-American military science fiction television series and part of MGM's Stargate franchise. The show was created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, as a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1 created by Wright and Jonathan Glassner after the release of Stargate (1994). The first three seasons of the television series were broadcast by Sci Fi Channel and The Movie Network before the series moved only to Sci Fi Channel for its last two seasons, meaning a release of 100 episodes before the series was cancelled. Stargate Atlantis premiered on Sci Fi Channel on July 16, 2004; its final episode premiered on Sci Fi Channel on January 9, 2009. The television series was filmed in and around Vancouver, Canada.

The story of Stargate Atlantis follows the cliffhanger episode on Stargate SG-1's seventh season finale "Lost City", where SG-1 found an outpost made by the race known as the Ancients in Antarctica. After the events of Stargate SG-1 season eight premiere "New Order", the Stargate Command sends an international team to investigate the outpost. Soon, Dr. Daniel Jackson discovers the location of the greatest city created by the Ancients, Atlantis. The story unfolds when the members of the expedition encounters the Wraith, the race that defeated the Ancients ten thousand years ago.

The series was a ratings success for the Sci Fi Channel, and was particularly popular in Europe and Australia. Although it received little critical response, Stargate Atlantis was honored with numerous awards and award nominations in its five-season run. After Stargate Atlantis was cancelled, the show's co-creators began working on the already conceptualized Stargate Universe which the network had approved to have a bigger budget, be less mythology dependent, and have more focus on character development. Stargate Universe was released on October 2, 2009. Merchandise for Stargate Atlantis includes games and toys, print media and an original audio series. A direct-to-DVD film titled, Stargate: Extinction is planned to be released.

Series overviewStargate Atlantis follows the present-day adventures of John Sheppard and his military team from Earth that, along with two dozen other teams, venture to distant planets. They use an alien device known as a Stargate, which is housed in the city of Atlantis on the planet "Lantea". The city was built thousands of years ago by one of the most advanced races of the Stargate universe: the Ancients. Five to ten thousand years ago, due to a plague in the Milky Way Galaxy, they were forced to flee to the Pegasus Galaxy, and there they seeded life on hundreds of worlds as they had done in the Milky Way. After encountering a powerful enemy known as the Wraith and going to war with them for more than one hundred years, the Ancients ultimately lost and were forced to submerge their city beneath Lantea's ocean, which, in the Stargate universe, is the source of the Greek myth of the Lost City of Atlantis.

Stargate: Atlantis episodes feature a self-contained story that also contributes to the larger storyline of the war against the Wraith and the Atlantis residents' search for the means to destroy their enemy. Each season has also featured a two-part episode, and a few episodes that, while not technically two-parters, feature direct continuity with the story of the previous episode (for example, season 3 "Progeny" and "The Real World"). Each episode begins with a cold open, sometimes preceded by a recap of events relevant to the upcoming narrative. The opening credits feature an original theme by Joel Goldsmith. Though they were drastically cut at the start of season 2, the full credits were recovered after the mid-season two-parter. They were again cut short in the 5th season.

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Season one began airing in the United States on July 16, 2004. The Atlantis expedition, led by Dr. Elizabeth Weir, arrives at the city of the Ancients and its members quickly find themselves in a dire situation that forces them to seek new friends, the Athosians, but they also acquire a powerful new enemy: the Wraith. Completely cut off from Earth, perhaps permanently, the expedition must survive in a new galaxy, while deciphering the Ancients' technology in order to find a way to destroy the Wraith and to acquire important new knowledge. Major Sheppard puts together a team consisting of himself, Dr. Rodney McKay, Lt. Ford and the Athosian leader Teyla Emmagan, who serve as Atlantis' first contact team. In one of their first missions, they make another enemy, Genii, a human militaristic civilization with a 1950s level of technology. After several more revelations about the Wraith are made, the expedition prepares to evacuate. Just before they do, however, a military contingent from Earth arrives to help defend the city against the impending Wraith attack long enough for Earth's latest battleship to arrive. The season ends with a cliffhanger, while the city is still under siege by the Wraith.

Season two began airing in the United States on July 15, 2005, and it picked up where Season 1 ended. The Atlantis expedition successfully avoids being culled by the Wraith by making them believe Atlantis has been destroyed, and they recover semi-regular contact with Earth, thanks to the Daedalus and the new Zero Point Module (ZPM). Sheppard is promoted to Lt. Colonel and former Runner Ronon Dex replaces Lt. Ford, who went missing in action (MIA) at the end of the battle with the Wraith. The central plot of the second season is the development of Dr. Beckett's retrovirus, which can, theoretically, turn a Wraith into a human. While an incomplete version makes a young Wraith girl lose all her humanity and almost turns Sheppard into an Iratus bug, a more developed version is tested on a living Wraith, "Michael", with mixed results. Michael's Wraith faction proposes an alliance with Atlantis, but they betray the team. The season closes again with a cliffhanger—the Wraith are heading for the rich feeding grounds of Earth.

Season three premiered in the United States on July 14, 2006, picking up where season 2 ended. Having stopped the Wraith from reaching Earth and having failed to develop a working Wraith retrovirus, the expedition faces its third year in the Pegasus galaxy with the Wraith still a threat and a new, powerful enemy bent on destroying the expedition and Atlantis: the Asurans, self-replicating nanobots, also known as Replicators. The situation becomes complicated when an experiment gone awry drains their only ZPM, leaving them without a power source for the city's shields. Soon thereafter, they find a lost Ancient vessel and subsequently lose the city of Atlantis when the crew of the Ancient ship reclaims it. The SGC sends General O'Neill and Richard Woolsey to try to negotiate an agreement between Earth and the Ancients to allow the expedition to return to Atlantis. O'Neill and Woolsey dial Earth and inform them that the Asurans are taking over the city. They kill the Ancient crew who reclaimed the city after 10,000 years. The main members of the Atlantis expedition on Earth disobey the orders and go back to the city, rescue O'Neill and Woolsey, and repel the Asuran invasion. The season finale starts off with Earth launching a first strike against the Asurans, who are building an armada to attack Earth. The Asurans counterattack by attacking Atlantis with a powerful beam weapon fired through a satellite housing a Stargate. As a last resort, the Atlantis team fires up the city's stardrive and escapes into space. The finale ends when the hyperdrive malfunctions, leaving the city flying through uncharted space with a day's worth of energy left in their sole ZPM and Dr. Weir critically injured.

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Season four premiered in the USA on September 28, 2007, and in the UK on October 9, 2007. The writers stated that season 4 would take the series in a new direction. As the 4th season begins where season 3 ended, the future seems bleak: Weir is incapacitated and the senior members of the expedition have suffered multiple injuries. With the city damaged, running out of power and drifting in space, cut off from Earth, the Atlantis expedition raids Asuras to obtain a ZPM and is able to travel to a nearby planet. Weir is captured by the Asurans and Colonel Samantha Carter joins as a regular and acts as the expedition leader. She appears in the episode "Lifeline" after helping to find and land Atlantis on its new home planet; she is then ordered back to the SGC. In episode 3, under the IOA's orders, Carter returns to Atlantis as the new leader of the expedition after Atlantis lands. The season focuses on the main antagonists: the Asurans and the Wraith, as well as the pregnancy of Teyla Emmagan. The Asuran base code is reprogrammed by McKay, leading the nanobots to fulfill the purpose for which the Ancients created them: to wipe out the Wraith. Midway through the season, they are seemingly destroyed, and the remaining episodes concentrate mainly on Michael's efforts against both humans and the other Wraith.

In the fifth season, Richard Woolsey replaces Carter as the leader of the expedition. Teyla, who was held captive by Michael, gives birth to Torren John and escapes with her team, before they are able to cripple Michael. Eventually, he invades Atlantis with a commandeered Puddle Jumper to take Torren and destroy Atlantis but, thanks to the efforts of Sheppard and McKay, Michael is finally killed. The season also introduces a group of rogue Asgard, who unlike their Ida counterparts, actually experiment on humans to prolong their lives, and steal an Attero device to destroy the Wraith, though the side effect is that any Stargate activated after the device has been turned on could explode. The device is eventually destroyed. With the Attero device, Michael and the Hoffan drug, the Wraith have become weakened, and are no longer the power of the galaxy they once were; the falling gives the humans freedom enough to establish a coalition. McKay falls in love with Keller, who eventually reciprocates his feelings, and they become romantically involved. In the finale, "Todd" warns Atlantis that an upgraded Hive Ship is heading straight to Earth. Thanks to the efforts of the expedition, the ship is finally destroyed over Earth, and Atlantis lands in the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco.

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