The Atlantis team is up for a unique ride on a space ship skipping across the space-time continuum in an upcoming episode. Stargate Atlantis writer Alan McCullough recently sat down with GateWorld to tell us about “The Daedalus Variations,” his first story in the upcoming fifth season.
“It’s a great team show, and it’s a real visual effects spectacular, too,” McCullough said. “It’s going to be an amazing visual effects show. The idea of that story is the Daedalus just shows up in orbit, unexpectedly. And it doesn’t make sense, because we know for a fact it should be back on Earth.”
The Daedalus is an Earth battle cruiser, which routinely travels between Atlantis and Earth.
“When we try to radio we receive no response, and when we scan it we learn there are no life signs on board,” McCullough continued. “So we head up to investigate and very quickly find ourselves in trouble because there is a strange energy reading coming from somewhere in the ship. We can’t figure it out, we don’t know where it’s coming from. Suddenly it spikes, a flash consumes the ship, and a moment later, when it dissipates, we learn that Atlantis is gone and we have shifted realities.
“So we are essentially on a Flying Dutchman. This drive is caught on auto-pilot, and every time it charges it bursts, and we jump reality after reality after reality after reality.”
In addition to seeing how the Pegasus Galaxy might have turned out for us, Colonel Sheppard and his team must also survive the threats of each new reality. And the idea also allowed for a creative save on construction costs.
“It was a neat opportunity to see a bunch of different alternate realities. We don’t have to build a new set every time — we are on the Daedalus. You get to see through the visual effects what might have happened in this reality.”
Those differences from one reality to the next are seen “just outside of the Daedalus, for the most part. Although there is one important interaction that takes place on the Daedalus: when we jump to another reality, we get boarded. I won’t say more than that! But we do end up having to win back our Daedalus from an alien species.”
“It’s a wild romp,” McCullough told GateWorld. “It’s pretty much a one-off adventure story that gets the team into trouble and gets them out at the end. But it’s a lot of fun. It’s a fun script.”
“The Daedalus Variations” is currently slated to be the fourth episode of Atlantis‘s fifth season, and will air this summer on SCI FI Channel in the United States. Read more in GateWorld’s episode guide!