After the Stargate address to the lost Ancient city of Atlantis was discovered, an international expedition of scientists and military personnel traveled through the gate to the distant Pegasus Galaxy. There they found the city, abandoned by the Ancients 10,000 years ago and submerged under an ocean of water. With the city recovered (and resurfaced), the expedition began to explore the secrets of the advanced race that built it, and explore the planets of Pegasus.
Atlantis’s lead reconnaissance team is commanded by Lt. Colonel John Sheppard. The team has changed over the past four years, as has the expedition’s base commander.
JOHN SHEPPARD – Atlantis’s senior military officer is also the commander of its lead off-world exploration team. John Sheppard is fiercely loyal to his people, even to the point of disobeying orders to try and rescue them. One such incident on Earth led to his being stationed in an out-of-the-way post in Antarctica. He flew a helicopter to the secret Ancient outpost, where it was discovered that he possesses a rare gene that allows him to operate technology created by the Ancients (“Rising, Part 1”).
Sheppard joined the expedition to Atlantis as a Major, and was promoted to Lt. Colonel after proving himself a capable leader. Yet John remains haunted by those friends he could not save — including Aiden Ford, a young Lieutenant on his Atlantis recon team, and former expedition commander Elizabeth Weir. As Season Five begins, John is desperately searching for Teyla, another member of his team, who has been kidnapped by the enemy.
RODNEY MCKAY – A brilliant astrophysicist, Dr. McKay often found himself competing with Samantha Carter on Earth (see Stargate SG-1‘s “48 Hours” and “Redemption”). When he joined the Atlantis expedition, he became the smartest man in the Pegasus Galaxy. Rodney is the chief scientist on Atlantis (and often reminds his colleagues that they aren’t as smart as him), and a member of Sheppard’s team.
Arrogant and without a trace of tact, Rodney also has a big heart and a sense of humor. He has a special place in his heart for his sister Jeannie, herself a brilliant scientist who left academia for a family life.
TEYLA EMMAGAN – An Athosian warrior, Teyla is a native of the Pegasus Galaxy. She is level-headed and wise, and never afraid to back down from a fight. She chose to leave her people to join John Sheppard’s team, in order to defend her people and the rest of the galaxy from the Wraith. Teyla has a special “gift” — Wraith DNA, which enables her to sense the presence of a Wraith and telepathically link with their hive mind.
Early last season Teyla discovered she was pregnant, and that her people — including Kanaan, the father of her child — had been abducted. She finally found the Athosians, prisoners of the Wraith hybrid Michael, when she herself was taken prisoner (“The Kindred, Part 1”). And the father of her child has been genetically altered to become a Wraith-human hybrid, and now serves Michael.
RONON DEX – Another native of the Pegasus Galaxy, Ronon is a quiet warrior who is distrustful of anything connected to the Wraith. He is quick to fight, and spars with Sheppard and Teyla for fun. As a member of Sheppard’s team, he is fiercely loyal to and protective of his friends.
Ronon is driven by a deep hatred for the Wraith, who destroyed his world of Sateda and killed everyone he ever loved. The Wraith made Ronon a Runner, implanting a tracking device in him and hunting him from planet to planet. His arrival in Atlantis three years ago has given him his first taste of stability and family in years.
JENNIFER KELLER – A bright young medical doctor, Jennifer worked with Atlantis’s original chief medical officer, Dr. Carson Beckett, until his shocking death more than a year ago (“Sunday”). She was then promoted to assume the responsibilities herself, though she lacked confidence in her ability to be a department head.
In the year since, Dr. Keller has proven herself to be a top-notch doctor and a valuable member of the Atlantis expedition. She has traveled to other worlds, and been caught in more than one life-threatening situation. She remains somewhat innocent and naive about the world around her, yet capable of facing new challenges.
SAMANTHA CARTER – For 10 years Sam served alongside Jack O’Neill, Daniel Jackson, and Teal’c on SG-1. Now a Lt. Colonel, she was appointed one year ago to replace Elizabeth Weir as the head of the Atlantis expedition. Carter is a brilliant astrophysicist and a capable field soldier and pilot — but this appointment forced her into new areas, running a base and calling the shots.
Sam is confident and has the experience to back it up, and after a year in Atlantis she considers its people her friends. But she realizes her time there may not be infinite, since the international body which oversees the expedition — the I.O.A. — has always wanted a civilian to lead it, rather than a member of the U.S. military.
RICHARD WOOLSEY – A by-the-book bureaucrat, Richard Woolsey is more at home with a desk and a stack of law books than a weapon and field rations. As a representative of the N.I.D. and later the I.O.A., Woolsey has devoted his life to the civilian oversight of secret government programs. He is all about accountability, and playing by the rules.
Woolsey has made several trips to Atlantis, usually to evaluate its commanders on behalf of the I.O.A. Though the team regards him as an outsider they must deal with, Woolsey himself has a great deal of respect for Weir, Carter, Sheppard, and the rest of the team.
NEXT: Absent Friends