Stargate Atlantis

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Stargate Atlantis
Stargate Atlantis-title screen.jpg
Created By:
Brad Pitt
Joe Flanigan
David Hewlett
Jason Something
Rachel Whatshername
Country of Origin:
United States
No. of Seasons:
Original Channel:
Original Run:

Stargate Atlantis (often abbreviated SGA) is a sci-fi comedy series that ran from 2004-2009 on the NBC television network. It is often considered on the same level as Seinfeld and Friends as one of the networks most influential comedy series and was a dominant fixture on NBC's Must See TV lineup.

Conception[edit | edit source]

Atlantis, as seen on the show.

The series was conceived like all television series, in a gauntly lounge in 30 Rock where all the executives meet. It was in one of those meetings where they were sitting around watching old NewsRadio reruns when one of the execs who was high out of their minds said "Hey, you know about that episode in Space right, why not do one that's set in Space?" and the other execs agreed with him. They called up famous actor Brad Pitt and asked him to come to 30 Rock to help develop the show because television execs have no idea how to make shows; it was originally supposed to be set in space, the team of 4 originally taking spaceships to other planets but due to budgetary problems caused my NBC's massive failures (including the high cost of CGI, the huge cost of the set designs and the small SFX budget.), the show was instead set on a water planet and a teleporter was created to take the people anywhere they wanted to go. Needing a cool title, they had many sessions before they came up with the initial name of the show which would have been called Stardate Atlantis; when they sent the name over to NBC, the title of the show accidentally got transposed leading to the D being replaced with a G. The error was never fixed due to positive feedback and thus, the show was born.[1]

Premise[edit | edit source]

The show was originally an ensemble comedy featuring 4 people (John, Rodney, Teyla, and Ford) going to distant planets, each one (and their civilizations) being exaggerated for comedic purposes. The crew of 4 originally had a quirk that would make them stand out from the crowd and the early episodes often featured their quirks as well as banter that was often filled with jabs among with sexual immuendo. Each episode had them going on a "mission" where they were to explore the planet and form partnerships, this often quickly dwelled into a misadventure where the shortcomings of said civilization was explored through witty skits and the crew almost always got themselves into a situation where they had to fire their guns in self-defense. As the show went on however, it became apparent that 2 of those 4 people would prove immensely popular (John and Rodney) and thus the show was reformatted into a show which focused on the two primarily leaving all others in the background, those episodes focused on the nonsensical banter that focused on nonseniscal subjects such as science and cake and focused more on Atlantis instead of on other planets, leaving fans of earlier Atlantis outraged. However, nobody cared about those fans.

Characters[edit | edit source]

John doing that, "I will fuck you up but in the same time I will love you tenderly" look.
  • John - John is the muscular guy with good looks, he has a main habit of speaking catchphrases from other, more-well known action movies and is considerably skilled with shooting a gun. He has aspirations of being smart but he is constantly brought down by everybody in Atlantis, mainly because guys who shoot guns aren't smart. John once shot himself in the foot, giving him an excuse to say catchphrase after catchphrase but by the next day, he was fine.
  • Rodney - The smart guy of the show, also the wimpiest. Despite his muscular arms and good looks, he could barely lift a pea more of less shoot a gun constantly. He is afraid of every corner in the dark to the point where he requires a nightlight whenever he sleeps; he also complains a lot about how he is treated badly in Atlantis while at the same time, praises himself for the quick turnaround of things which happen in almost nanoseconds. His portrayal of the show is a fine example of what a smart guy is; wimpy, unable to get a girl, unconfident and cowardly.
  • Teyla - Uh, I think she's a girl...
  • Ford - He's the black guy on the show...
  • Ronan - He... He kicks ass I think; I also think he grunts and acts like a caveman.
  • Stargate - The titular character of the show. He is often shown saying wisecracks to the characters of the show before they go on their journey, he's also been known to sit around lunch and gossip which has lead to some shifty looks by some of the main characters. His lifelong dream is to become a father which would make him one of the more tender characters of the show.
  • Todd the Wraith - He's like a character on Seinfeld, whenever he's around; the studio audience cheers and laughs. He is always portrayed as a protagonist but he somehow manages to find ways to say funny lines with exaggerated accents. His main source of humor comes from whenever he confronts John who is almost always against him in every episode.
Stargate was particularly snarky during most days.

Minor characters[edit | edit source]

  • Weir - The girl who says "good luck on you mission", also seemes to be in command of Atlantis.
  • Wooosley - Someone who exists to oppose Weir.
  • The Doctor - Mainly there to explain how they heal, his catchphrase is "All right, who needs patching up?"
  • Rodney's girlfriend - There so that Rodney wouldn't be called gay, cause he isn't.
  • Rodney's second girlfriend - To reaffirm that Rodney isn't gay.
  • John's love interest - Just so he can have some interaction with woman.

Reception[edit | edit source]

When the show first came on, the critics hated it; often comparing it to shows such as Time Tunnel and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show. They often rip on such aspects such as the various stereotypes seen in the series as well as Rodney's perchant for being overannoying at inconsequential times. By the third season however, critics had warmed up to the show and have praised such aspects such as the John & Rodney interaction as well as the gripping satire about the sci-fi genre. It's epic 8 parters are often praised for being such well-crafted parodies, throwing every bit of action on the screen at once and referencing such traits such as the sudden appearance of massive firepower and it's emphasis on visual effects wich makes fun of the effort that goes into such things[2]. Viewer response was positive from the getgo with many claiming this to be the "best show ever" on sites such as IMDB and Metacritic, in fact it was so positive that NBC often referenced this in defending their status as the #1 network.

Fandom[edit | edit source]

A sign of the series impact on culture.

Stargate Atlantis has a large fanbase ranging from a nerd in their mother's basement to the emperor of Japan himself and as such, they consist of a large portion of the fandom. Fans of the show go to great lengths in order to feel like one of their heroes; they custom design the uniforms that are seen on the show, they redesign rooms so they'd resemble Atlantis more and they even engage in meaningless back and forwarths just like John & Sheppard. Internet remixers have often taken clips from the show and mashed it up with either inappropriate rap lyrics or bold impact text that is representative of the internet as a whole. At it's peak, there has even been a convention called "AtlantisCon NY" where fans of the show would meet and discuss various aspects of the show.

It's massive scope and appeal has itself raised discussion on the internet about it's upsides and downsides, ranging from whether or not they will rise up and take over the internet to how the hell this thing is still going on and they often range from 4chan's special Atlantis board /atl/ to AtlantisWorld, the largest Stargate Atlantis fan site out there. Many discussions have been intellectual in nature, with often lengthy words that dissect the fandom bit by bit.[3] While at the same time, many discussions often devolve into pure stupidity, consisting of illogical words and baseless threats.[4] Regardless, fans of Atlantis often praise the discussion as it means more recognition for the numerous amount of Atlantis fans out there.

Because of it's massiveness, it is often considered a lifestyle choice to be an Atlantis fan; the questionability of whether or not "Atlantis" counts as a lifestyle is still being debated in US Congress but apparently it's recognized by a large majority of the public and especially by show's creator NBC who has marketed everything from energy drinks to T-shirts to even Atlantis itself. NBC is quoted as saying "when you're out making a show like this, you have to make it broad; I didn't know it would be this broad! Actually, we did but being surprised works well for the Atlantis demographic."

Cancellation[edit | edit source]

Unfortunately, the series reached it's demise after 122 episodes on March 16th 2009 shortly after Joe Flanigan and David Hewlett left the show in order to star in a spinoff entitled Stargate San Francisco which would involve the two's misadventures in the bay area. The removal of the actors responsible for playing John and Rodney left the show's crew in a state of shock and as such they tried to make do with what they have, pushing Teyla and Ronan into the spotlight. While the actors behind Teyla and Ronan played their parts admirably, the departure of the series defining stars sent the series into a massive downward spiral where they went to millions of viewers to almost no viewers at all. Some blame NBC for scheduling the spinoff in Atlantis's old timeslot, other's blame NBC for scheduling the show in many odd timeslots whatever the case, there's nobody to blame... Except for the actors who played Teyla and Ronan. Following it's cancellation, fans did what was considered normal and created thousands of petitions to save the show, each petition becoming more desperate than the one before it; however, due to the fact that almost everybody moved off to it's spinoff, the petitions failed[5] and fans had to deal with their favorite show not coming back from the grave. Despite that, the legacy that the series defined is insurmountable, to the point where fans still watch it time to time.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. According to directors commentary on the DVD box set.
  2. Like Star Wars
  3. For instance: "lol, atlantis is the greatest TV series eva, u just gelaous!"
  4. For instance: "I disagree with the fact that Stargate Atlantis is the greatest TV show ever made, it just doesn't have the substance that other TV shows have. I mean does anybody really find anything about John & Rodney bickering funny?"
  5. Garnering almost no signatures whatsoever.