Click through for photos from the White House premiere of Lifetime's The Road to Bountiful, the party for the season-four return of IFC's Portlandia and more events for the week of March 10.
‘Atlantis’ Hits the Mark
Stargate Atlantis’s next episode, Friday night at 9, is its 100th and the last in the series. Based on the fourth and this fifth and final season, it’s a shame it didn’t get the additional season the cast and crew wanted. I know, it’s not my money to spend, and Sci Fi Channel made a business decision (from my interpretation) to wrap Atlantis at five and start a new chapter, Stargate Universe, next year.
I’m happy about Universe and, as a fan of these Stargate series, am excited that Robert Carlyle’s signed on as a cast member. (I recently watched his 1994 guest turn as a soccer fan turned killer on the British TV series Cracker; it was chilling; I digress.)
Cancelling Atlantis, though, removes a high-production-value, quality space drama from the TV menu. A disturbance to the force.
And the Atlantis series will continue in movie form. The dynamics changed with MGM learned that new made-for-DVD moves from the original Stargate SG-1 movies sell well. A third SG-1 movie is in the works, and an Atlantis movie is going into production for Sci Fi and DVD. The franchises go on.
Atlantis finishes very strongly. Last Friday’s episode (No. 99), Vegas, was a trippy homage to CSI and highly entertaining, down to the Sopranos actors who played a cameo. An almost complete departure visually and musically.
The last episode is more of a traditional series ender; Sci Fi says it’s “written as a thank you to its legions of loyal fans.”
It’s already out there that Col. Samantha Carter – Amanda Tapping, now of Sci Fi’s Sanctuary – has a guest role. Others who go back to SG-1 (in supporting roles) also are on hand, and there’s a lovely, small tribute to an absent friend.
In true Atlantis style, the last episode, “Enemy at the Gate,” borrows from classic SG-1 Earth-under-attack tropes. In this case, as SciFi.com notes, the threat is an advanced hive ship filled with Wraith baddies. It also features Christopher Heyerdahl (also of Sanctuary) as Todd the Wraith, a character who’s been about as fun an adversary has Stargate has had since Harry Maybourne (Tom McBeath) tormented Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) in SG-1.
No. 100 was written by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, authors of many classic Stargate episodes, and directed by mainstay Andy Mikita.
Episode 100 is of course bittersweet, as Tapping and Mallozzi have said, because everyone involved with the show wanted it to continue, and frankly didn’t understand why it had to be canceled. But "Enemy at the Gate" delivers all the quality Stargate fans expect.
And with the movies yet to come, it’s not the end of the Atlantis line.
Last plug: Sanctuary also is finishing strongly in its inaugural season.