An ancient facility beneath Antarctica becomes the launching platform to the lost city of Atlantis. Atlantis is buried beneath an ocean in another galaxy and can only be reached with an additional symbol on the Stargate. Because of power limitations this trip, at least for the time being, is a one-way adventure. A crew of scientists and military officers from many countries assemble to explore the Pegasus Galaxy from the Atlantis gate. Led by scientist Dr. Weir (Higginson) and Maj. John Sheppard (Flanigan) they take over the Atlantian command center and begin to explore. In their initial investigations they accidentally awaken the area’s top bad guys, The Wraith. These vampire-like beings suck the life-force out of humans.
When Stargate SG-1 was about to enter its ninth year, there was speculation that after season 8 the series would bow out gracefully with the anticipated exit of Richard Dean Anderson. With that plan in mind, the folks at Stargate Command decided it was time to spin off the franchise, and so was born Atlantis. Stargate Atlantis boasts pretty much the same production team as SG-1. The quality of the production and tight storytelling have translated well to this sister series. Stargate Atlantis took a little getting used to. I wasn’t sure the characters had enough chemistry or were even dynamic enough to carry the high expectations for a Stargate series. Those concerns eventually evaporated by the time Atlantis began to live without the SG-1 companion series. These characters really took off, and they’ve developed into nearly as strong a group as SG-1 ever was. Now with the very first Atlantis content available on high definition Blu-ray, you’ll have the chance to explore where the show began and ended. This single disc contains the first and last episodes of the 5 year journey that was Atlantis.
Both episodes are presented in their original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The 1080p image is arrived at by an AVC/MPEG-4 codec. Gone is any of the grain or saturation of SG-1’s filmed texture. This is a clean, if somewhat sterile, image. Colors are incredibly sharp, as is the contrast. Blacks are dead on perfect. The range of color and light is considerably expanded in this format. I keep saying that this series cries out for HD, and this release merely proves the point. In the second episode I was very pleased with the detail on the Wraith makeup, particularly the Todd character.
The DTS-HD Master Audio track is rock solid. The same effort put into making the show look as good as it does obviously translates to the sound presentation. Rich score music works in perfect harmony with the needs of the dialog and ambient sounds. While the rears are not used extensively, they do manage to surprise you now and again with just the right touch to place you square in the action.
None. This disc comes in this new disturbing trend of “eco-friendly” cases. I’m all for saving the planet, but these cases are dangerously flimsy and are not at all acceptable. If I could give minus numbers to extras because of this, I would.
While I’m excited to finally see more Stargate find its way onto to Blu-ray, I’m hopeful we can just get to these full seasons and not spend a lot of time on these “fan choice” experiments. The problem is that it will be considered a big expense for little content. The fan who is likely to buy the show in high definition already owns these episodes and will be, for good reason, weary of seeing them doled out in such small pieces. Combine that with the non-huge fans who won’t need the upgrade, and there is a danger of low sales numbers. MGM and Fox might translate that into a lack of interest, which would be a huge misinterpretation of the numbers. I fear that belief could delay or even wipe out the chance of getting full seasons on Blu-ray. So, I might encourage you to hold off for these releases, but it carries the danger of hurting the chances we’ll even see them. Still, the risk is worth it, as ultimately this is the kind of show that was born for the world of high definition. I’m holding out for seasons, how about you? “Indeed. This city has become quite familiar to me. Almost a respite from daily life. It would be a shame to see it destroyed.”