Stargate: Atlantis: Season 3, Episode 20

First Strike (22 Jun. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 391 users  
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After learning the Asurians are building a fleet of ships, Earth sends its newest ship, the Apollo, under the command of Colonel Abe Ellis to initiate a preemptive first strike to stop them from attacking Atlantis or worse, Earth itself.



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Episode cast overview:
Dr. Carson Beckett (credit only)
Donna Soares ...
Jay Williams ...


Col. Abe Ellis arrives at Atlantis with a new ship, the Apollo, and important news: a new Replicator base has been detected and it appears they have been building a new fleet of ships. He is under orders to destroy the Replicator base and while Dr. Weir doesn't agree with the plan and would prefer to negotiate with them, it's clear that the decision has already been made. The mission seems to go off without a hitch but when a gate appears above Atlantis, the city finds itself bombarded with deadly ray. Their first attempt at saving the city proves to be temporary at best and they are left with only one choice: activate the city's hyper-drive and leave the planet. Meanwhile, having been bypassed in the decision to attack the Replicators in the first place, Dr. Weir questions whether she can continue as head of mission but fate intervenes. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

22 June 2007 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Jewel Staite appears for the first time as Dr Jennifer Keller, who will be a recurring role the next season. She had previously been in "Stargate: Atlantis" playing a female Wraith, Ellia, in the Season 2 episode "Instinct". See more »


Around 32 minutes into the show the pilots of the F-302's that are going to move the asteroid are wearing Daedalus overalls, while they are stationed on the USS Apollo. See more »


Dr. Jennifer Keller: Adams, that guy just has a cut. Tell him to put pressure on it and move on. There's a lot of people worse off upstairs.
See more »


Main Title
Composed by Joel Goldsmith
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User Reviews

Going above and beyond
24 August 2011 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This episode, along with its 2nd part, are probably the most intense moments in the whole Atlantis series. This 1st part in particular is flawless. It is very dynamic, filled with spectacular action scenes (and as someone already mentioned, the visuals are absolutely awesome, worthy of a full-screen movie), and the background music adds a really nice epic touch. But despite all the action, the episode still manages to find some time for our characters, and even eases in two major new faces: Col. Ellis, who will replace Caldwell in the role of the antagonistic ally, and dear little Jennifer Keller, who quickly gets to fill in Carson's shoes despite her misgivings (and here I find Weir's comment that she feels safe putting her life in Jennifer's hands rather prophetic, in a grim way).

The initial Horizon plan is already quite spectacular, but what comes next is even better because this time the action does not only rely on explosion and power, but on cleverness and ingenuity. On both sides, by the way: I like that the Stargate series dare to create tough and inventive villains. So as the Replicators launch a devastating assault on Atlantis, our heroes have to come up with ever smarter, ever more spectacular counter-measures --not all of which succeed, which I also appreciate. Every scene manages to top the previous one; and just when you think that the series has elegantly completed a full circle by submerging Atlantis again, it suddenly takes off in a completely new direction -literally. But this unexpected victory comes at a -very high- price, and the season cleverly concludes on one of those nasty, scream-inducing cliffhangers.

So First Strike -and its 2nd part- constitutes a turning point in the series, as humans symbolically take full (well, partial) control of Atlantis and where it goes. This is what a finale should be, and this (minus the cliffhanger) could have been a really great ending for the series as a whole.

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