Time for another Stargate disc, with lots of special effects, explosions, lots of technical talk, and some great sci-fi. Halfway through season 4, and we’re enjoying a season with bare bones. It’s not too structure heavy, but there’s enough going on to keep you coming back, which is a great way to be, as we get a lot of solid singular episodes.
Miller’s Crossing is one of these episodes. In truth it’s a follow up to McKay and Mrs Miller of the third season, as it focuses on the relationship between Rodney and his sister. Rodney’s sister Jeanie, played by Kate Hewlett, is captured and taken hostage, and Rodney, trying to help, comes back to earth to try and find out why. It doesn’t go so well, as he is captured too. Fortunately, the villain of the story has a heart, and the reason he kidnaps them is because they are the only people who can save his daughter. As such, it’s hard to do, and it creates some interesting conflict and desperate humour between the two main characters. As well as this, Steven Culp does a great job as the kidnapper, as he does a great job of convincing you that not only is he serious, he is also not a bad guy at heart. While one of my pet peeves with Atlantis going back to Earth is that it really is against the crux of the show, at least this episode succeeds in being well scripted and contained.
This Mortal Coil focuses on an unknown satellite crashing on Atlantis, and before they can figure out what it is, it is destroyed. Directionally, this episode is slightly eerie, and contains the full sweep of the episode brilliantly. To tell you any more other than the fact that this is a brilliant episode would be giving too much away. That it sets up things that will probably get looked at more in season 5 is an understatement. This is definitely one of the best of the season.
Be All My Sins Remember’d is apparently one of the best-rated episodes of the season. Unfortunately, I feel I have to disagree. The story focuses on the Atlantis people teaming up with not only the wraith, but also a group of thrown together space bandits called The Travellers, who were met earlier in the series. There are huge space battles and a big blob, and as an episode it’s alright, but it doesn’t do much else apart from lead us into events later in the series. The big final fight is brilliantly achieved, even by Stargate’s already high standards, but isn’t enough to seal this episode with a 10 out of 10. More like a 7, maybe.
Spoils of War takes off from where Sins finished, and moves the story onto the untrustworthy wraith, yet again. Their former helper, Todd the Wraith, played by Christopher Heyerdahl in his second recurring role in the series, leaves a trail for the Atlantis team to follow, and leads them straight to the source of a Wraith breeding ground. This episode is naturally creepy and well played out as the team get captured, and have to resort to some interesting tactics to get free. It truly gives some depth to an episode that could have just been thrown together, and makes for a much more interesting plot device later in the series.
With two great episodes and two good ones, you really get what you need from this midseason DVD. While the extras may be skimping out a little, non-actor jargon-filled commentaries, some photos and a tiny featurettes that features yet more jargon, the disc is still worth a few bob. Is it worth 12 quid, like on Amazon? I’d say yes, but take a look at the full season boxset for just under £30 – that’s definitely worth it.
And with price on the table, Stargate has definitely gotten the message. The prices they used to bring out SG-1 season DVDs out at was horrible (£60!). Of course, time has whittled those down to just over £30, but bringing this, the second best season of Atlantis, out for such a bargain is a stroke of genius, and one that can only work in their favour. Here’s to more of that!