The Siege, Part 3EPISODE #201
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 07.15.2005
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 09.18.2006
DVD DISC: Season 2, Disc 1
WRITTEN BY: Martin Gero
DIRECTED BY: Martin Wood
Lt. Aiden Ford and his team open fire on the group of Wraith that have surrounded them on a city balcony ("The Siege, Part 2"). Both sides effectively neutralize each other until only Ford and a Wraith warrior are left standing. It takes him into its clutches and begins to feed on his life force, but a downed soldier releases a grenade at the Wraith, forcing both it and Ford to plummet over the balcony and into the ocean.
Meanwhile, Sheppard steers his Puddle Jumper into the launch bay of one of the attacking hive ships, and moments later it is destroyed. Atlantis detects the presence of another ship, and soon they receive a communiqué from Sheppard – who has survived the blast. The Earth ship Daedalus has arrived and used its Asgard transporter to beam Sheppard to their ship. Its commander, Colonel Steven Caldwell, orders their energized Z.P.M. to be transported to Atlantis so McKay can re-engage the city's powerful shields. The Daedalus enters battle with the Wraith.
McKay is assigned two soldiers to ensure that he reaches the Z.P.M. chamber, but en route they are attacked by two Wraith warriors. McKay is left alone, face-to-face with a Wraith – but Teyla eliminates them and offers to protect him the rest of the way.
Aboard the Daedalus, conventional weapons are unable to reach the hive ships before they are intercepted. Colonel Caldwell orders Dr. Novak and the Daedalus's resident Asgard engineer, Hermiod, to use Asgard technology to beam warheads into the hive ships. The Asgard expressly prohibited the use of their technology in this manner, but since Hermiod is at the controls, he consents to bypass the restriction and transport the weapon anyway.
The third Wraith hive ship is destroyed and the Wraith cruisers flee into hyperspace. The remaining Darts regroup to make a kamikaze run down to Atlantis at ballistic speeds, but McKay applies the Z.P.M. to the Atlantis generators in time to raise the shield, protecting the city from the collisions.
Major Sheppard returns to Atlantis with reinforcements to clean up the remaining Wraith on the ground. Colonel Everett requests to speak with him in the medical bay. It is clear that a Wraith had begun to feed on him, as he has aged some 20 years in appearance. He now admits that Sheppard made the right decision in killing Colonel Sumner, who had been in the hungry clutches of the Wraith Keeper. Everett wishes that Sheppard had been there for him, too.
With Ford still missing, Sheppard orders Dr. Zelenka to extend the sensors to search beyond the city's perimeter. Ford's signal is located, and the Daedalus transports him to the infirmary – with the Wraith still attached to him. Dr. Beckett reports that he was lying face-down in the freezing water for over an hour. The sudden death of the Wraith pumped the complete supply of its life-sustaining enzyme (which Wraith inject into their prey to boost the person's strength, in order to keep him alive longer and get more out of him) into Ford's body, allowing him to survive. Now Ford has become dependent on the enzyme, but Beckett believes he can gradually wean him off of it.
With Atlantis's long-range sensors back online, 12 more hive ships are detected on the way. They will be in range in 36 hours. Weir orders Sheppard and the Daedalus to intercept them at their next hyperspace stop. With the element of surprise and an armory of nuclear warheads, they are able to destroy two of the ships before the Wraith find a way to block the Asgard beams. Ten capital ships remain. Outgunned, the Daedalus makes a run for Atlantis.
Ford returns to Atlantis's command center hoping to resume his duties, but Dr. Beckett insists that he be taken back to the infirmary. In a fit of rage, Ford grabs Beckett by the neck and pins him to the wall. He soon realizes that he needs to be under medical supervision. Teyla escorts him back. They soon determine the enzyme has begun to alter his brain chemistry; but Ford hears every word as they make plans to wean him from the drug and reinforce security.
The Daedalus lands on Atlantis's east pier to undergo repairs under the protection of the city's shields, just as the hive ships emerge from hyperspace and begin bombarding the city with weapons fire. Meanwhile, Ford escapes from the infirmary with the supply of Wraith enzyme Beckett has harvested from Wraith corpses to help wean the Lieutenant off his addiction. The enzyme acts like a steroid, making Ford stronger and more aggressive.
The group is assembled to ascertain the situation, and they realize that the Wraith won't stop coming even if this fleet could be destroyed. But if the Wraith believed Atlantis had been destroyed, they would leave the planet alone. McKay proposes the Daedalus detonate a nuclear warhead right above the city's shields. Then a Puddle Jumper's cloaking shield will replace the shield of Atlantis; while the Wraith's sensors are blinded from the explosion, the cloak will engage. The Wraith will believe the city has been annihilated. Teyla will further reinforce this ploy by linking to the Wraith telepathically, sharing their intentions to destroy the city.
The plan is put in motion, and Teyla is successful in communicating their fake plans. The ships cease fire. The Daedalus launches the weapon; it detonates, and Atlantis cloaks.
Meanwhile, Sheppard learns of Ford's situation and tracks him down. The Lieutenant doesn't believe that the others are trying to help him, and thinks that they are afraid of him and only want to change him back. Ford doesn't even slow down when Sheppard shoots him with a Wraith stunner, and escapes in a transport chamber. He punches out Zelenka and commandeers a Puddle Jumper using it to activate the Stargate and depart Atlantis.
The Wraith fleet breaks orbit, convinced that Atlantis has been destroyed. The plan was successful and, for the time being, the city is safe.
- Hermiod's native Asgard tongue is produced by a simple reversal of the audio track. When played backward, as Hermiod transports a nuclear device inside a Wraith hive (against his better judgment), he says, "When will these humans learn there are consequences to action?"
- "Will there be big, edge of your seat shows this year? You bet. 'The Siege, Part 3' is possibly the biggest episode we've ever done and is go-go-go from beginning to end. Also the mid-season two-parter we're working on right now is shaping up to be some pretty exciting TV." (Writer Martin Gero, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
- "Regarding the Asgard and Atlantis: Don't want to give too much away, but let me say this. The Daedalus is perhaps the most advanced vessel the Air Force has ever built. We sure could use, say, a full time crew member who would ensure we're using it to its maximum potential ... if you get what I mean." (Writer Martin Gero, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
- "An Asgard team would be too expensive. But an Asgard as a possible team member or recurring character? Well, check out Atlantis Season Two." (Co-executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in an interview with Stargate-Project.com)
- "Ford is in at least four episodes this year, maybe more. We're taking Ford in a really interesting new direction, but that means he can't be in every episode. If you're a Ford / Rainbow fan, I think you'll be very pleased with what we've done. I know Rainbow is." (Writer Martin Gero, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
- "Brad Wright and Martin Gero gave me a script that was really good. So the words were all on the page. My challenge was to make them come to life in a way that was even more exciting than Part 2. Not only that, but we had to top what we did in all the big episodes from last year. Well, somehow, we managed to do that. What makes Part 3 so much fun is that it's not simply a roller-coaster ride with one big hill. It's one that has three big hills and some loops in the middle as well as other twists that keep you off balance.
"There are a number of different crises that happen in the story. The first one finds Major Sheppard in a Puddle Jumper and headed straight for a Wraith mothership to blow it up, which means he's committing suicide to try to save everyone. He's doing the hero moment, but the major can't die, so we have to get him home safely. Following that, we introduce our next generation in battlecruisers, the Daedalus, and its commander, Colonel Caldwell.
"Did I mention that Lt. Ford is missing? And, oh, by the way, our heroes have to get the Atlantis shield up, and there's a time limit because they're about to be killed by these Wraith Darts that are descending on them. Then the very next thing that happens is the Wraith fleet arrives. It seems that the three ships in Siege, Part 2 were just a precursor. Apparently, there was an even bigger fleet on the way." (Director Martin Wood, in an interview with TV Zone magazine [#190])
- "There's a scene at the very end with Sheppard stalking Ford. The Major has a life-signs detector and is aware of Ford's location. However, the Lieutenant also knows where Sheppard is because of his new 'super' powers, which include heightened sense of strength and hearing, sight and smell. They ultimately face off against each other, and when it was time for us to shoot that, Joe and Rainbow both came to me and said, 'As written, the scene lets our characters off a little easy. Can we take it in a different direction?' We had to compromise because the way the scene was written it was really important to the next episode ['Runner']." (Director Martin Wood, in an interview with TV Zone magazine [#190])
- "The events of 'Siege III' are going to have wide-raging effects, effecting both individuals and Atlantis as a whole – new faces, a new dynamic, and ... an intruder." (Writer/producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
- "There are definite plans. But at the risk of spoiling the back half of Season One, I don't want to give too much a way. Suffice it to say that Season Two will be very different. There will be a new dynamic on the Atlantis base – as well as Sheppard's team." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in an interview with Stargate-Project.com)
- "The Jumpers, while in near and inside Atlantis, are pretty much on autopilot when it comes to landing and taking off. Ford does not have the ATA Gene, but anyone can operate and activate the Jumper's D.H.D. He entered an address and just went along for the ride. Once he gets to where he's going, he would have to fly the Jumper towards the gate for the autopilot to engage – so because he doesn't have the gene, he'll just dump the Jumper and move on.
"Secondly, the Wraith enzyme is kinda like a steroid, it strengthens Ford without changing him genetically into a Wraith (we'll deal with stories about that this year too – don't you worry) therefore, the Jumper wouldn't lock him out because he still has no Wraith DNA.
"Okay – hope that clears things up. Glad most of you liked the first episode. We're all pretty excited about the rest of the season ... it gets even better from here! (There's a 302 sequence in 'The Intruder' that took my breath away the first time a saw it – I think you'll love it.)
"P.S. – Sometimes a hug is just a hug. Sheppard put his life on the line to save Weir and the entire city ... heck, I'd give him a hug the next time I saw him, too." (Writer Martin Gero, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
- "Cliffhangers are odd because you have to start where you left off, and with 'The Siege, Part 3' there was no time jump at all. So it was a bit tricky trying to recall where you were at emotionally seven months prior and how you were feeling towards the end of last year. Conversely, you had to come into this new season with renewed energy. I remember when we did the final scene for 'Part 2' last September we were all laughing because everyone was huddled in groups. We figured if there were four of us in a shot there was less chance of one of us being written out for year two.
"So shooting the second season opener was both a challenge and fun. Certainly the Daedalus showing up has opened the door to our people sharing what they've discovered on Atlantis with Earth, and vice versa with Stargate Command sharing its recent findings with Atlantis. Having the Daedalus around has also changed the situation on Atlantis. Last year we had a real Lord of the Flies-type vibe going on because our characters didn't have anyone watching over them. They were in their own self-contained world struggling to survive against evil outside forces and didn't have to justify their choices to any government or other Big Brother.
"This season, Big Brother is involved. They don't have immediate control over Atlantis, but are represented by Colonel Caldwell who is able to fly back and forth between Earth and the Pegasus Galaxy. As a result, Dr. Weir is much more protective now. Atlantis is her 'nest' and she has to safeguard her people as well as their way of doing things. She doesn't want to compromise what they've learned and established just to please the politicians back on Earth. Of course, this has created conflict between my character and Mitch's, and the two of us are having a ball playing the, 'Just who's in charge here,' dynamic." ("Elizabeth Weir" actress Torri Higginson, in an interview with Steve Eramo)