Stargate: Atlantis: Season 1, Episode 1

Rising (16 Jul. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 1,254 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

A team of scientists think they have found the location of the long lost city of Atlantis. It can be reached by a stargate that leads to another galaxy.



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Title: Rising (16 Jul 2004)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Aiden Ford (as Rainbow Sun Francks)
Andee Frizzell ...
Dean Marshall ...
Boyan Vukelic ...


Dr. Elizabeth Weir leads an expedition to find the Ancient's lost city of Atlantis, a journey that brings her and a carefully selected crew of Earth's best and brightest to the Pegasus galaxy, where they embark on the adventure of a lifetime, and awaken among the stars an enemy none of them could have predicted, endangering themselves and the native people of Pegasus alike. Written by Fia Reynne

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

16 July 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Joe Flanigan does actually know how to fly the Helo that Sheppard and O'Neill were in, but for both budgetary reasons and safety concerns Flanigan's shots inside the Helo were all done in a studio or on location, and he was not permitted to try to fly. See more »


The helicopter Sheppard and O'Neill fly to Antarctica in, which is supposedly an American aircraft, has a Canadian tail number. See more »


Dr. Rodney McKay: Sensors say there's oxygen, no measurable toxins. We have viable life support. Looks like we're not getting out of this.
See more »


Referenced in Stargate: Atlantis: Before I Sleep (2004) See more »


Main Title
Written by Joel Goldsmith
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User Reviews

The same mistakes all over again
4 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Like a lot of new TV shows, sci-fi or otherwise, this one is centered around some very good ideas, but unfortunately the overall execution of them makes the show court mediocrity. Its parent show, "Stargate", had a number of problems. It relied too much on very slim points of both plot and setting, and "Stargate: Atlantis" seems to be going down that same route.

"Atlantis" has kept some of the annoying elements from Stargate, which ought to have been changed: Even in the Pegasus galaxy, the star gates lead to tree/desert planets, where oppressed, semi-primitive, huddled, English-speaking humans cower in fear of some vastly more powerful evil alien masters/torturers who terrorize them, keeping them from ever really getting any kind of civilization off the ground. Sound familiar? And what are these spitting images of the Goa'uld called? The Wraiths. Original, huh? Well, at least these aliens are more interesting than the Goa'ulds. The Wraiths are humanoid (loosely speaking - they actually seem to be distant descendants of sharks - or lampreys), immortal and look like slick, stylish horror movie monsters. They actually intrigue me.

And this time around we actually have a bit of space action. The Atlantis crew actually have access to spaceships. Some quite clunky ones, admittedly, but spaceships nonetheless (their interior, at least, is cool, with the mind-operated controls). It was sorely needed!

However, "Atlantis" has also changed some of the good elements from Stargate, which ought to have been retained - such as building on the once-established universe instead of creating a different one which is virtually the same, and having all the same flaws.

The "Atlantis" cast of characters, unfortunately, isn't very strong. Major Sheppard is very good; very likable and a very good leader (though he's so compassionate that he'll have much difficulty making tough command decisions), but that's about all the good news. The rest are just not very charismatic. I do like the doctor/biologist guy with the Scottish accent, and the nerdy scientist isn't too bad, either. BUT, it's not a logical crew to have for such a situation. A whole bunch of people - military personnel, mostly - going off to another galaxy, exploring alien technology, and they have, like, ONE scientist on the whole crew?!! That's completely ludicrous! Okay, maybe the leader, Weir, is also a scientist, but she rarely acts like it. She doesn't have much to do, she isn't assertive enough, nor all that interesting for the viewer to look at. This show definitely lacks good-looking females. Teyla is cool enough as an action heroine (and a too-obvious long-term love interest for Sheppard), and she looks alien and exotic - just not all that good, IMO.

Ultimately, though, a show must of course be judged by its story and storytelling technique. The problem with this and many other shows (oh, "Dead Like Me", "Joan of Arcadia", "Taken", "The 4400", etc., etc.) is that there just isn't enough story, and the viewer is kept far too much in the dark about the few interesting elements that the show does have. It's as if the writers only have a few, thin ideas, and because they can't think of anything more, they stretch these ideas out infinitely, and try to compensate with bits of shock value now and again, believing that the audience will stick around to find out that there's really precious little to *be* found out. This is not the product of people who really want to tell a story. It's the product, ultimately, of people who're attempting, unsuccessfully in my case, to keep asses in seats for the commercial breaks. Sorry if I'm a bit jaded, but, cumulatively, these sorts of dissatisfying shows inevitably have that effect.

The point is that the overall dramatic situation in "Stargate: Atlantis" is neither logical, substantial, well told nor sufficiently aesthetically pleasing; therefore the show's watch ability factor is quite limited. Having said that, however, we *are* talking about a story with some pretty heavy-duty sci-fi elements here (and spaceships!), and that's definitely a plus, although not enough is being done with the ideas. Judging from subsequent episodes, this show is clearly going the Star Trek way, introducing all sorts of irritating, whimsical fantasy elements instead of actually being proper science fiction (and I'm quite convinced that this is the fault of the network producers and not the writers).

The show also lacks proper characterization. We don't get into the main character's personalities and feelings. They maintain a tiresome military social structure, using each other's last names. That just doesn't strike me as at all realistic in a situation like this, where they are forced to work together and depend on each other for survival. Oh well. Sci-fi TV shows have never been good at intimacy.

Still, the pilot movie did, despite all, end up being a little bit exciting, awarding it a 6 out of 10 rating from me, but the next few episodes fell grievously short of that level.

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