The Storm

Summary | Analysis | Notes | Production | Transcript | Review

When a massive storm threatens the city, Atlantis is evacuated – only to be taken over by the team's newest enemy.

FAN RATING - 8.63 
NIELSEN - 1.9 
DVD DISC: Season 1, Disc 3
STORY BY: Jill Blotevogel
TELEPLAY BY: Martin Gero
DIRECTED BY: Martin Wood
GUEST STARS: Robert Davi (Commander Acastus Kolya), Erin Chambers (Sora), Ryan Robbins (Ladon), Paul McGillion (Dr. Beckett), Michael Puttonen (Smeadon), Colm Meaney (Cowen), David Nykl (Dr. Zelenka), Don Ackerman (Doran), Cory Monteith (Genii Private), Colin Corrigan (Guard), Jason Diablo (Guard), Lauro Chartrand (Genii Soldier)
  Amazon    iTunes
GateWorld earns a commission on purchases through affiliate links

John Sheppard and Teyla have taken a Puddle Jumper on a course for the mainland. Cruising at a relatively high altitude, they encounter a storm front that stretches across the entire horizon. Sheppard takes the Jumper into space to better analyze the storm. Not only does it take up twenty percent of the planet's surface, but its heading for both the Athosian mainland and Atlantis.

Back at the city, Drs. Rodney McKay and Radek Zelenka discuss the problem. The weather pattern is actually two storms converging and combining power. Without the shield off, Atlantis is incredibly fragile. Winds will cause massive structural damage and flooding could sink the city. There is simply not enough power to activate it. In twelve hours the storm front will hit.

Elizabeth Weir instructs Sheppard to take Lt. Aiden Ford and find a world that will be willing to put up with a hundred squatters for two days. They travel to Manaria and grudgingly reach a tentative arrangement with Smeadon, insuring that their generosity will not be forgotten. After they depart, Smeadon takes a Genii communicator from a drawer and prepares to transmit a message to Cowen ("Underground").

McKay and Zelenka believe they have arrived at a plan, which they present to Weir. Atlantis has many lightning rods channeled into four grounding stations. Typically when lightening strikes the city it is channeled back into the ocean via the stations. If the rods are disabled the energy from the lightening could be channeled to generate the shield bubble. Several corridors are lined with a super-conductive material, indicating this to be the reason. Still, everyone would need to evacuate, as only the control room would be safe, but Atlantis would survive. Weir encourages them to double their efforts.

A man faces off, defenseless, against three Genii armed with staffs. One of them is Sora. Just as he finishes disabling her, the last to stand, he is stopped by a young soldier who identifies the remaining combatant as Commander Kolya. Cowen wishes to see him immediately. It is obvious that Cowen has been informed that Atlantis will soon be evacuated, and asks Kolya to ready his strike force to place the Genii flag in the city after it is emptied.

Back in the mainland, Teyla, Ford, and Dr. Beckett are awaiting the arrival of an Athosian hunting party. To go after them would be impossible. The storm will soon be upon them, but Ford decides to keep waiting.

With Atlantis evacuated (save for two soldiers and the command team), the Athosians have joined the humans on Manaria. Smeadon dines with one of the Athosians, getting him so drunk that Sora and Kolya enter and capture his I.D.C., eventually forcing him to agree to get them through the shield that protects Atlantis.

McKay delegates grounding stations to the three who remain. He will deactivate station one; Weir, station two; Sheppard, stations three and four. McKay and Weir are done before John reaches his first station. Rodney instructs him on how to disconnect the halves of the grounding rods. Sheppard is soon successful. Just then, the soldiers guarding the gate report to Weir that an incoming party from Manaria contains injured Athosians. With an Athosian I.D.C., they lower the shield. Soon Kolya and his men enter through the gate and kill both guards. Kolya orders the gate room secured. Soon he is introducing himself to Weir and McKay and tells them that he is now in control of Atlantis.

Sheppard, overhearing the entire conversation via active comm channels, hurries to the Jumper bay to communicate with Ford's team. He is surprised to learn that they are still in the mainland, but also frustrated that he's not going to receive backup. Still, he encourages them to stay put until the storm has passed.

Kolya's demands are simple. He wants all of the C-4, medical supplies, a Puddle Jumper and the Wraith data device and his team will leave without incident – or so he says. Sheppard, who has overheard this, immediately goes and hides the explosives. Meanwhile, McKay is left alone with Kolya, whose men holds the squeamish scientist captive with a knife.

Weir returns and finds McKay's arm bleeding heavily. He says he caved, but it is not clear what information he has given out. Meanwhile, the soldiers return with no C-4; only a walkie-talkie with Sheppard on the other end, saying Kolya will never locate the explosives. But Kolya is aware of the plan to save Atlantis. He tells Sheppard to uncouple the final grounding rod and make it so the shield will work, and Kolya will allow them to leave peacefully. "Atlantis will be ours ... or the ocean's," he says.

Weir attempts to dissuade Kolya from what he is doing, ensuring that the descendants of the Ancients are the ones who are meant to use Atlantis to destroy the Wraith, but Kolya is amazed by her arrogance, believing his people may be equally – or more – close to the ancestry of the Ancestors. He intends to use Atlantis himself to destroy the Wraith.

Sheppard arrives at the fourth grounding rod and uses an Ancient scanner to locate the two Genii soldiers in hiding, killing them and evening the score. But in the firefight one of the soldiers has destroyed the grounding controls. There is now no way to separate the rod, and Atlantis is doomed. Kolya is not finished, though. He tells Sheppard that he's going to shoot Dr. Weir. Sheppard warns that he will destroy the city if that happens, but Kolya knows that two command codes are required. As Sheppard begins to bargain, Kolya raises his weapon against her.

- D. Read


  • According to the Ancient database, every 20 or 30 years the sea around Atlantis gets unseasonably warm. Previously the Ancients either strengthened the shield or submerged the city deep enough not to be affected by the massive storm that is created.
  • Either the Stargate is able to receive a radio transmission while the wormhole is still being established, or there is a small production goof when Sora and the Genii dial Atlantis and radio a false cry for help. The sound effect of the wormhole's "kawoosh" can still be heard as the transmission plays over the control room speakers. (This sort of thing happened quite a lot in the early years of Stargate SG-1, when Stargate Command received I.D.C. transmissions even while the Stargate was still dialing to receive an incoming wormhole.)
  • The Genii soldier Sora still holds a grudge against Teyla, believing she is responsible for her father's death ("Underground").


  • The only continent on Atlantis's planet is the size of North America.
  • The Ancient equivalent of 0-3-1-5-4-7 is the correct code to separate all four grounding rods, located on piers throughout the city.


  • "'The Storm' is just what it is. A gigantic storm is developing on the planet that we're on in Atlantis, and it's threatening to destroy Atlantis. We have no power, that's the whole premise of the show, is we need to get a Z.P.M., a Zero Point Module, to plug into the Stargate to make it back to the eighth chevron, long distance, out of the Pegasus Galaxy, to come back. We just don't have the power. And we also don't have the ability to put up the full force of our shields of Atlantis, so we're quite vulnerable to attack as well as to the storm.

    "Unless something is done, the city will succumb to this gigantic hurricane that is ten times worse than anything we've ever had on Earth. And because we're vulnerable, and we have to evacuate the city, the Genii come in a terrorist act, and actually attack us when we're most vulnerable and we only have a skeleton crew there. They come to take our crap, and they try to kick our butts. That's kind of a 'Die Hard' episode where Joe [Flanigan] is sneaking around the hallways and kicking the crap out of the bad guys." (Director Peter DeLuise, in an interview with the Richard Dean Anderson Web Site)
  • "There's a super-storm that occurs every 20 years on the planet that Atlantis is floating on. The city and all its inhabitants are all in grave danger. We can't re-submerge the city or put up the shields because of our depleted power sources. McKay and Zelenka, who is a recurring scientist character, come up with a tricky plan on how to harness the energy of the storm's lightning and power the shields. Because it may not work, the entire Atlantis population is gated off-world. McKay, Dr. Weir and Sheppard stay behind, and not only do they have to worry about the impending storm but also deal with a surprise raid by the Genii." (Writer Martin Gero, in an interview with TV Zone magazine [Special #58])
  • "I also especially like the mid-season two-parter, 'The Storm' and 'The Eye.' In these two episodes, Beckett is hooked up with Lt. Ford and Teyla and they get a chance to bond. Ford tries to pull rank on the doctor, but Beckett won't have any of that because he's not part of the military. Still, Ford forces him into situations he doesn't want to be in and it becomes quite comical at times. That's when Beckett looks to Teyla to be the voice of reason and, of course, for protection. What can I say, deep down there's a little Cowardly Lion in Beckett." (Actor Paul McGillion, in an interview with SciFiAndTvTalk's Steve Eramo)