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Old March 3 2013, 10:53 PM   #1
DigificWriter
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The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

Hi, all. I decided that I wanted to do a first-time viewing of Stargate: Atlantis; however, I didn't want to go into the series completely 'blind' but felt that I didn't have the time or the patience to slog through 7 seasons' worth of SG-1 episodes in order to get the requisite backstory and whatnot in order to make the most of my SGA viewing experience. When research didn't really turn up any alternative(s), I decided to sit down and hashed out what I'm calling the "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis". Since I figured that I couldn't possibly be the only person out there who might want to get into SGA without having to watch the bulk of SG-1 first, I thought I'd share my guide with the rest of the world.

The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"
Prerequisite viewing prior to beginning SGA:
* Children of the Gods, Parts 1 and 2 (Stargate SG-1 Season 1, Episodes 1 and 2; introduces the major characters of SG-1 and the major thematic and plot elements of the franchise)

* 48 Hours
(Stargate SG-1 Season 5, Episode 14; introduces the character of Rodney McKay)


* Redemption, Parts 1 and 2
(Stargate SG-1 Season 6, Episodes 1 and 2; features Rodney McKay)


* Full Circle
(Stargate SG-1 Season 6, Episode 22; marks the beginning of the search for the 'Lost City of the Ancients' [Atlantis])

* Fallen (Stargate SG-1 Season 7, Episode 1)

* Homecoming (Stargate SG-1 Season 7, Episode 2)
* Heroes, Part 2 (Stargate SG-1 Season 7, Episode 18; introduces the character of Richard Woolsey)

* Inauguration (Stargate SG-1 Season 7, Episode 20; features Richard Woolsey)

* Lost City, Parts 1 and 2 (Stargate SG-1 Season 7, Episodes 21 and 22; introduces the character of Elizabeth Weir and features the discovery of the 'Lost City of the Ancients' [Atlantis])

* New Order, Parts 1 and 2 (Stargate SG-1 Season 8, Episodes 1 and 2; features Elizabeth Weir; must be viewed prior to Rising, Parts 1 and 2 [Stargate: Atlantis Episodes 1 and 2])

Tie-in episodes that feature characters or plot elements that are important to SGA:
* Moebius, Parts 1 and 2 (Stargate SG-1 Season 8, Episodes 19 and 20; features Rodney McKay; best viewed between The Gift [Stargate: Atlantis Season 1, Episode 18] and The Siege, Part 1 [Stargate: Atlantis Season 1, Episode 19])

* Prototype (Stargate SG-1 Season 9, Episode 9; features Richard Woolsey; best viewed between Trinity [Stargate: Atlantis Season 2, Episode 6] and Instinct [Stargate: Atlantis Season 2, Episode 7])

* The Scourge (Stargate SG-1 Season 9, Episode 17; features Richard Woolsey; best viewed between The Long Goodbye [Stargate: Atlantis Season 2, Episode 16] and Coup D'Etat [Stargate: Atlantis Season 2, Episode 17])

* Flesh and Blood (Stargate SG-1 Season 10, Episode 1; features Richard Woolsey; best viewed between Michael [Stargate: Atlantis Season 2, Episode 18] and Inferno [Stargate: Atlantis Season 2, Episode 19])

* Morpheus (Stargate SG-1 Season 10, Episode 2; features Richard Woolsey; best viewed between Misbegotten [Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 2] and Irresistible [Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 3])

* The Pegasus Project (Stargate SG-1 Season 10, Episode 3; best viewed between Irresistible [Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 3] and Sateda [Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 4])

* The Road Not Taken (Stargate SG-1 Season 10, Episode 13; features Rodney McKay; best viewed between Echoes [Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 12] and Irresponsible [Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 13])

* The Shroud (Stargate SG-1 Season 10, Episode 14; features Richard Woolsey; best viewed between Irresponsible [Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 13] and Tao of Rodney (Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 14])

* The Ark of Truth (Stargate SG-1 movie; best viewed between Vengeance (Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 19] and First Strike (Stargate: Atlantis Season 3, Episode 20)

* Continuum (Stargate SG-1 movie; best viewed between Search and Rescue (Stargate: Atlantis Season 5, Episode 1] and The Seed [Stargate: Atlantis Season 5, Episode 2])

* Air, Parts 1, 2, and 3 (Stargate: Universe Season 1, Episodes 1, 2, and 3; best viewed following Enemy at the Gate [Stargate: Atlantis Season 5, Episode 20])

* Seizure (Stargate: Universe Season 2, Episode 15; features Richard Woolsey and Rodney McKay; best viewed following Enemy at the Gate [Stargate: Atlantis Season 5, Episode 20)

Season 1:
Rising, Parts 1 and 2
Hide and Seek
Thirty Eight Minutes
Suspicion
Childhood's End
Poisoning the Well
Underground
Home
The Storm
The Eye
The Defiant One
Hot Zone
Sanctuary
Before I Sleep
The Brotherhood
Letters from Pegasus
The Gift
The Siege, Parts 1 and 2

Season 2:
The Siege, Part 3
The Intruder
Runner
Duet
Condemned
Trinity
Instinct
Conversion
Aurora
The Lost Boys
The Hive
Epiphany
Critical Mass
Grace Under Pressure
The Tower
The Long Goodbye
Coup D'Etat
Michael
Inferno
Allies

Season 3:
No Man's Land
Misbegotten
Irresistible
Sateda
Progeny
The Real World
Common Ground
McKay and Mrs. Miller
Phantoms
The Return, Parts 1 and 2
Echoes
Irresponsible
Tao of Rodney
The Game
The Ark
Sunday
Submersion
Vengeance
First Strike

Season 4:
Adrift
Lifeline
Reunion
Doppelganger
Travelers
Tabula Rasa
Missing
The Seer
Miller's Crossing
This Mortal Coil
Be All My Sins Remember'd
Spoils of War
Quarantine
Harmony
Outcast
Trio
Midway
The Kindred, Parts 1 and 2
The Last Man

Season 5:
Search and Rescue
The Seed
Broken Ties
The Daedalus Variations
Ghost in the Machine
The Shrine
Whispers
The Queen
Tracker
First Contact
The Lost Tribe
Outsiders
Inquisition
The Prodigal
Remnants
Brain Storm
Infection
Identity
Vegas
Enemy at the Gate
***

What does everyone else think of my guide? Did I miss any episodes that are important to or tie in with SGA in any fashion?
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Last edited by DigificWriter; March 4 2013 at 12:55 AM.
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Old March 4 2013, 12:08 AM   #2
teacake
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

Well that's a lot of work.

I hadn't watched any Stargate when I watched all of SG:A and I enjoyed it just fine. Sure there were some surprise bits that were lost on me but the series is quite stand alone IMO.

But I could never skip around a series like your lists, I'm too much the completist.
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Old March 4 2013, 12:45 AM   #3
DigificWriter
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

^ I probably could've gone into Atlantis 'blind', but figured that, because it's a spinoff, its parent series at least warranted SOME viewing as backstory; I just didn't think it was fair to have to go through seven full seasons' worth of said backstory, especially since I figured that I couldn't be the only person who wanted to view SGA more or less independently.

As for the switching around between series, I labeled the tie-in eps and movies as such in order to indicate and specify them as being optional.

Edit: I just did a search to see if there was anything I had missed, and discovered that I probably should've put Fallen and Homecoming on the Prerequisites list as well.
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Old March 6 2013, 06:33 AM   #4
bigdaddy
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

Why not just watch the hugely superior SG-1 first?
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Old March 6 2013, 06:02 PM   #5
DigificWriter
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

^ Because I've never seen Atlantis before. I was already upfront about that.
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Old March 9 2013, 09:20 AM   #6
DigificWriter
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

I've decided to use this thread as a place to post thoughts on Atlantis as I watch it, and would invite others to discuss the show with me here as well. I'm going to start by talking briefly about the main characters of the show, the premiere ('Rising'), and how the show is similar to and different from SG-1.

SG-1 vs. SGA: The similarities and differences
Because it's a spinoff, you'd automatically expect SGA to be similar to SG-1, and it certainly is in many respects. However, I noticed almost from the get-go that SGA has a more 'ensemble' feel to it. I also got a distinctly serialized procedural-esque vibe from the series premiere, Rising, as well, in contrast to SG-1, which is very much a Sci-Fi action adventure serial.

My thoughts on the characters
I really like the characters of Atlantis, both main and recurring. The main characters all feel familiar and very much evoke comparisons to their SG-1 counterparts, although they don't correspond to the characters you'd expect them to based on their individual roles. What do I mean? Here's an analysis of the main SGA characters with accompanying comparisons to their SG-1 counterparts:
Elizabeth Weir
Because she's the person in charge of the Atlantis expedition, you'd expect her to evoke comparisons to Generals Hammond and O'Neill, at least in terms of her role, but, instead, she evokes comparisons to Daniel Jackson due to her intellect and intuititive approach to things, something that is immediately apparent right from her introduction in Lost City and carried right on through to SGA.

John Sheppard
Although he is very much the Jack O'Neill of SGA in terms of his role as the field commander for the Atlantis 'gate team', Sheppard actually reminds me more of Samantha Carter in that he's very much the 2iC when it comes to the Atlantis expedition as a whole. He's also very similar to Carter in terms of temperament.

Rodney McKay
Although it's not truly evident in his SG-1 appearances, McKay is very much the Jack O'Neill of the show when it comes to his temperament and status as the 'wit' of the show, although his role is very much to be a combination of Daniel Jackson and Samantha Carter as the 'brains' of the group, creating a very interesting character dynamic and dichotomy.

Teyla
Teyla is clearly meant to be the 'Teal'c' of the show in that she's its 'resident alien', but she actually reminds me more of Sha're, particularly if you take into consideration the role that Sha're had in the original Stargate movie as opposed to her role in SG-1.

Aiden Ford
Aiden is really the only main character of SGA who doesn't have a direct counterpart from SG-1 in terms of his role, although he does remind me a little bit of Jonas Quinn.

My review of Rising
Rising is an episode that has to do a plethora of different things - introduce the main and major recurring characters; set up the premise of the series; serve as an introduction to the world of Stargate in case viewers tune in without having seen the Stargate movie or SG-1; and establish SGA as more than just a retread of SG-1 in a slightly different setting - and it could've been a massive convoluted mess if not handled and executed correctly.

Luckily, it doesn't collapse under its own weight because of the strength of the story it tells. The plot builds at just the right speed and we get enough information about each of the major characters to make them interesting while still leaving room for growth and development in future episodes. It also feels very much like a feature-length film in its structural narrative, and reminded me very much of the original Stargate movie.
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"There is no 'supposed to be.' It's an adaptation, a word that literally means change. Why bother making a new version if it doesn't offer a fresh approach?" - Christopher L. Bennett
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Old March 13 2013, 12:39 AM   #7
teacake
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

I adored Atlantis and I loved all the characters (chemistry got better and better) except Elizabeth Weir. Worst acting ever. Just nothing there. Listening to her give dramatic orders in that little girl wispy voice just killed me. Seeing the original actor in SG:1 for the character was heart breaking.
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Old March 13 2013, 02:41 AM   #8
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

teacake wrote: View Post
I adored Atlantis and I loved all the characters (chemistry got better and better) except Elizabeth Weir. Worst acting ever. Just nothing there. Listening to her give dramatic orders in that little girl wispy voice just killed me. Seeing the original actor in SG:1 for the character was heart breaking.
Yea, I already had a dislike for Torri Higginson from Tek War (I need to rewatch that sometime) when I watched SG:Atlantis, so, I was bummed she was she was the Commander. Though, when I did my rewatch of SGA after SG-1 not so long ago, she didn't grate on me 100% of the time (Only about 50-75%).

I definitely agree on Blonde Elizabeth, my rewatch of SG-1 was my first experience with Blonde Elizabeth, and I liked her much better
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Old March 16 2013, 04:22 AM   #9
DigificWriter
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

Hmm. I actually really like Weir and don't have any problems with Higginson.

I'm currently on Home, and am really enjoying the series, especially because the more it goes on, the more it reminds me of shows like Bones, BSG, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ANGEL, and Babylon 5.

The Wraith make for great bad guys, and you really get this sense that it's only a matter of time before things go to heck in a handbasket, yet it doesn't feel like there's going to be nothing left to deal with once the crap does finally hit the fan.
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Old March 16 2013, 04:45 AM   #10
teacake
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

In the Pegasus galaxy there will always be plenty to deal with
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Old March 16 2013, 04:52 AM   #11
DigificWriter
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

Speaking of the Pegasus Galaxy, there really seems to be much more diversity there than in our own galaxy, at least in terms of human/humanoid civilizations, which I really like. Not only do you have the Wraith, you've got human civilizations that are all very different from each other, and you've also got non-corporeal creatures like the ones encountered in Home.
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"There is no 'supposed to be.' It's an adaptation, a word that literally means change. Why bother making a new version if it doesn't offer a fresh approach?" - Christopher L. Bennett
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Old March 23 2013, 03:23 PM   #12
DigificWriter
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Re: The "Newbie's Guide to Stargate: Atlantis"

I'm back to update this thread in the hope that I can stimulate some discussion.

I'm almost finished with Season 1 (I just finished The Gift and have taken a detour over to SG-1 to watch Moebius), and have to say that I love the way things have unfolded thus far. As I said earlier, the show really reminds me of stuff like Bones, Buffy, and ANGEL, especially the latter, and there's really not a single character -either main or recurring - that I don't like.

Some ' standout' eps for me thus far - beyond Rising - have been Hide and Seek, Childhood's End, Poisoning the Well, The Storm, The Eye, Hot Zone, Sanctuary, Before I Sleep, Letters from Pegasus, and The Gift, with LfP and BIS being my top two favorites.

I also feel like I ought to update the Newbie' s Guide I made and which I've been using as a guide as I've watched, because I added Enemy Mine and Heroes, Part 1 to the 'prerequisites' list and Prometheus Unbound and Avalon, Parts 1 and 2 to the tie- in section.
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