I continue my best SFF characters of 2013 list with Day #10, looking at the Atlantis Expedition, including notable members John Sheppard, Rodney McKay, Elizabeth Weir, Teyla Emmagan and Ronan Dex, played by Joe Flanigan, David Hewlett, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell and Jason Momoa from the Science Fiction TV show Stargate Atlantis.
THE ATLANTIS EXPEDITION
Some of you are probably wondering why The participants in the Atlantis Expedition are on my list when Stargate: Atlantis ended in 2009, and that is primarily because I only just discovered the show in the latter stages of the year on UK Channel Pick TV (who have Battlestar Galactica airing on Freeview TV for the first time this Monday, something that I’m eagerly looking forward to) who have been airing reruns of SGA and Star Trek: Enterprise (which I personally don’t watch) for a while now, and after watching a few trailers for the show I decided to check it out, jumping on with 3×17 as I could not wait until the channel decided to start from the beginning. Of course, I came into the show with a massive disadvantage but the episode was actually a good jumping on point for a newcomer even if one of the deaths of a major character didn’t have as much impact as it should. However, I could not stop watching – and it helped that Pick TV has aired each episode every weekday so I’ve just started Season 5 (although I have missed a few episodes, such as The Kindred two-part episode and Quarantine from Season 4, as well as Season 5’s opener due to prior commitments) and am nearing the end of the series.
The actors, Joe Flanigan, David Hewlett, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell and Jason Momoa among them do an incredible job in their roles. Whilst several elements of cliche are involved in the series (Sheppard falls into a similiar category of Mal Reynolds, Han Solo et al for example) they, like the Firefly crew before them, are so likable and rootable that a few episodes later it won’t matter. And what makes things even more interesting is that not even the major characters are safe in this show, something that I instantly knew from the start of my watching of the series with 3×17 – one of the best episodes of the show so far, which featured a death of a character who played a pretty vital role in the team. Then, at the start of Season 4 another major character, who was one of my favourites – was killed off, and that ‘death’ had a lot more emotional impact for me even if it was left somewhat open ended because by that point I was familiar with the character. It also helped that Season 4 brought in two fresh faces – the ever awesome Jewel Staite as Jennifer Keller, and Amanda Tapping’s equally awesome Sam Carter, who would later become Colonel of the Atlantis Expedition, proving that the team behind Stargate Atlantis can write female characters incredibly well – Teyla, Sam, Keller and Elizabeth Weir have all been exceptional and among my favourites of the entire cast. The male characters are just as awesome – Joe Flanigan’s John Sheppard is your average military wisecracking badass and David Hewlett’s Rodney McKay has some excellent scene stealers. The banter between the team is all pulled off fantastically well and unlike the recent Agents of SHIELD TV series it never really feels forced or flat.
I’ve grown attached to the characters over the course of the episodes that I’ve seen so far and when the series wraps up I will go back and watch the first few seasons when I can, because right now I think it’s one of my favourite space-themed Science Fiction shows, up there easily with the likes of Firefly. I’m glad I took a risk on jumping into the show because there hasn’t been an episode that I haven’t liked yet – and with some compelling and engaging lead characters that range far beyond the ones that I’ve mentioned here, there was no way that the awesome Atlantis Expedition was ever going to miss out in my Top 12 favourite SFF characters that I’ve discovered or become more attached to in 2013. Now all I need to do is watch the main Stargate series as well, which should hopefully be just as fun.