Stargate Atlantis is a American-Canadian science fiction television program. It is part of the Stargate franchise, which began in 1994 with the feature film Stargate which starred Kurt Russell and James Spader. Originally it was intended as a trilogy of films, but instead inspired the television series Stargate SG-1 which closed down in 2007 after a decade-long run.
Stargate Atlantis follows a human expedition to the lost city of Atlantis in the Pegasus galaxy. The Stargate has brought humanity into contact with other cultures including those that contain new, powerful enemies. These include the Wraith, the Genii, and the Asuran. They battle these races, while trying to uncover the secrets of the ancients.
Stargate Atlantis first appeared in the U.S. on the Sci Fi Channel in July, 2004 with "The Rising", a two-part episode that guest starred Richard Dean Anderson and Michel Shanks from Stargate SG-1. Season four premiered in September, 2007.
Stargate Atlantis: Season Three begins where season two left off; having stopped the Wraith from reaching Earth, the expedition begins the third season still battling the Wraith but soon into the season they find themselves up against a new and more powerful enemy, the Asurans, who are trying to destroy the expedition. When a mysterious ship is racing toward the Daedalus at nearly the speed of light containing a crew of genuine ancients, Shepard and McKay are thrilled. When control to the city is given back to the race, it becomes heartbreak, until they discover the truth; then it is hell to pay.
Stargate Atlantis: Season Three contains 20 episodes and special features on five DVDs covering 871 minutes. This is a much darker season compared to the previous ones, but it retains the quality production that has made this show a success. As with most series, there are good episodes and ones that leave a bit more to be desired, but overall I think that this is one of the better seasons. The Asurans taking more of the lead in season three gives it freshness as well.
Each DVD has a mission directive, an audio commentary, as well as a still photo gallery and production design gallery. There is a noticeable lack of actor commentary, which is missed because of the take that they can sometime bring to the table as opposed to the producers. Still, the comments are informative and entertaining.
The Mission Directives profile specific episodes and contain interesting behind the scenes trivia and information. These include the episodes "Sateda", "Progeny", "Phantoms", "The Game", and "First Strike".
The audio commentaries cover more episodes, and are with producer/writer Martin Gero, director/producer Martin Wood, executive produce Paul Mullie, writer/director Robert C. Cooper, and others.
My top three episodes are "Progeny"; probably the best of the season, "The Return – Part I", which starts off very promising, and the season finale, "First Strike." My bottom three are "Sateda," which just doesn't work for me, "The Return – Part II," which doesn't live up to part I, and "Vengeance" which is really one-dimensional.
I think that Stargate Atlantis: Season Three overall is a very satisfying package; the quality is great and the additional features make it worth the price. This season is better than season two and really lays the foundation for a great season four.