While in the "dining room" of the female Wraith (Andee Frizzell), clearly seen on the table is the head of a creature. This creature is a Mastadge, which was seen in the original Stargate (1994) movie.
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.
Weir notes that one of the first things they should do is throw away the ten thousand year old dead plants in Atlantis. She says this as she touches an ancient and dead potted plant. In later episodes you can see the dead plant, still not thrown out, through the windows of Weir's office.
Originally aired as a feature-length 90 minute episode, but usually split into two different episodes in syndication. These split episodes have different individual on-screen credits, omitting cast credits for the characters not present in each part. The credits and credit order on IMDb reflects the original complete/combined credits in the feature length episode.
When the 'Stargate Atlantis' pilot was filmed, there were four regular characters in Stargate SG-1, but only two of them (Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson) appear in Rising. According to Amanda Tapping, who played Samantha Carter, her character and Teal'c weren't allowed to appear due to rights issues. They were created for the Stargate SG-1 TV show, and including them in the new show would mean using the work from one of the producers to boost a new, different show. Jack and Daniel already appeared in the Stargate movie and therefore they weren't affected. Anyway, the four of them appear in several Stargate Atlantis episodes throughout its five seasons.
The character of Simon Wallis (Dr Weir's partner back on earth) features in episodes 1.1, 1.8 and 2.2 is played by Garwin Sanford. The same actor played one of the main Tollan characters, Narim, in Stargate SG-1 (1997).