Since the season 5 DVD came out this Tuesday, I'd like to give a review of the whole series for any prospective buyers or people who want more information on the show. I'll also be giving a review of Battlestar Galactica a few days before the season 4.5 DVD is released which off the top of my head is July 29, but that might be the soundtrack.
Stargate Atlantis is a spin-off of Stargate SG-1 which I think is a magnificent show (review later). The concept is that people on Earth have found the gate coordinates to the lost city of Atlantis which is in the Pegasus Galaxy. As such, great power is required to traverse between galaxies, and a return trip will not be possible. A multinational group is sent to Atlantis where they find a deadly enemy, the Wraith.
Apparently they feed off of human life-force and Earth is just the planet with billions of people they are looking for. Along with the stand-alone episodes, there are episodes that involve Wraiths. Later there are a group of enemies called the Asurans which are the Pegasus version of the Milky Way replicators. The enemies of SGA are decent: the Wraith are strong, smart, have weird voices, and live forever. They don't however have the presence or what I like to call the aura the Goa'uld of Stargate SG-1 had which was grand, arrogant, and highly imposing. The Asurans are totally random and aren't nearly as scary as SG1 replicators which have a clicking sound whereever they walk. Nonetheless, the writers were able to make a decent story with them.
The characters are where the show really takes a hit. What made Stargate SG-1 so enthralling was the core group of characters which stayed for 7 seasons. In SGA, there are so many casting changes that it gets kind of tedious. When I said the Farscape had bad acting in my previous post (I'm comparing the show to all shows, not just scifi), SGA may be worse. Out of the original cast David Hewlett is the one bright spot and Joe Flanigan and Torri Higginson are decent. Rachel Luttrell is awful and Rainbow Sun Francks barely gets to do any "acting." Later on Jason Momoa joins as the typical strongman and isn't that great either.
The visual effects in the show are great as it has some of the coolest TV space battles (comparable to BSG). Compared to SG-1, there are many more times in space and uses of laser beams. Now this doesn't necessarily make the show better, but the show uses space and visual effects effectively (lol).
The show provides some unexplained backstory for SG-1 and overall is a decent scifi experience. I think some of the storylines ended too quick even though they could have been extended. The finale ended pretty disappointingly with minor conclusion, but it opened up another storyline the show could have taken. I do like however that in the end, the writers went back to the original reason for opposing the Wraith. A direct to DVD movie to coming some time at the end of the year called Stargate: Extinctions, so don't forget to buy it (or do whatever semi-illegal thing to watch it).
Happy Independence Day!
Just a little footnote, I will be giving a review of the newest episode of Mental tomorrow. I watched it last night, but I still don't know what to make of the whole show, so I want to make some sense when talking about the show.