TV Lists

Ranking the Stargate Atlantis Seasons

Originally planned to be the spin-off series once Stargate SG1 came to an end, the show was altered slightly when the parent series continued on, with the two shows being run concurrently. Here’s how we rank the seasons of Stargate Atlantis…

5. Season One (2004 – 2005)

The first season of Stargate Atlantis sees a team of scientists and military personnel travel across the universe to the Pegasus Galaxy, where they find the lost Ancient city of Atlantis, as well as the race that destroyed the Ancients, the Wraith.

The first season has the Atlantis team stranded far from home, with no way of contacting Earth, let alone having any kind of back-up or support. This meant that the season was about trying to find a way to open up travel with Earth, and to make new allies in the Pegasus Galaxy.

This season is the bleakest of the five, with the isolation of the expedition giving it a very different feel to the later show. Despite having some very strong episodes, the season lacked a spark that made it really special, and decisions were made behind the scene to correct this going forward, including removing one of the main cast members to be replaced by Jason Momoa in the second season.

4. Season Five

The fifth and final season of the series had some truly great episodes, and managed to finally find its feet after the departure of Torri Higginson by bringing in geek favourite Robert Picardo to lead the expedition.

Whilst it did manage to tell some interesting stand alone stories, many of the season arcs were a lot weaker than in previous seasons. Coupled with a rushed conclusion and a baffling episode set in an alternate Las Vegas, the season, and the entire show, ended on down note.

3. Season Two

The second season of Stargate Atlantis made some major improvements over the first, it established a way of Atlantis to keep in contact with Earth, meaning that they had supplies and equipment, new supporting characters, and even had access to a battleship commanded by X-Files legend Mitch Pileggi.

The season also introduced Jason Momoa as Ronan Dex, the insanely tough renegade Wraith hunter who would bring some much needed energy to the show, going on to be one of the most beloved characters in the entire Stargate franchise.

The second season also saw the introduction of the retrovirus that would turn Wraith into humans, a story thread that would go on to be a major part of the show for the rest of its run, giving us one of the shows more memorable villains in Michael (Connor Trinneer).

2. Season Four

The fourth season saw a big change in the series, with the departure of Torri Higginson’s Elizabeth Weir, and bringing in Stargate SG1 main character Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) to act as the new leader of Atlantis. Since this was the first season of Stargate Atlantis to air since the cancellation of its parent show the move made a lot of fans happy, as it brought some of the legacy into the series.

Season four also saw some big story lines across its run, including multiple appearances from the Wraith Todd (Christopher Hyerdahl), the reappearance of Michael, and the resurrection (kind of) of Dr Beckett (Paul McGillion).

Thanks to some great character driven episodes, as well as some of the biggest action sequences the series had given to date, season four remains as a prime example of just how good the Stargate franchise can be.

1. Season Three

The middle point of Stargate Atlantis is easily its best, with season three delivering some of the best stand-alone episodes of the entire run, as well as introducing a number of elements that would go on to have massive effects for the rest of the series, including the introduction of Todd, the appearance of Pegasus Replicators, and the death of Dr Beckett.

A number of the episodes from this season made it onto my list of top Stargate Atlantis episodes, and were among the majority of those that just missed out on the top 10 spots. Even when at its weakest, season three delivers some of the best work for the show, and at its best provided the most heartbreaking character driven stories, and most amazing action sequences of the show.

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