This Friday marks the U.S. premiere of the final episode of Stargate Atlantis. We’re celebrating five years of the show with a count-down of our five favorite episodes featuring Lt. Colonel John Sheppard! Come back tomorrow for our favorite five Teyla episodes, and more for other characters every day this week.
Atlantis‘s leading man was a tough role to cast back in early 2004. The producers wanted an actor who could pull off the action, bravado, and humor that Jack O’Neill brought to the show’s predecessor, yet still make this new character his own man. They finally found their man in Joe Flanigan, then a 37-year-old actor from Los Angeles who had studied history at the University of Colorado before turning to acting.
In a bout of good timing, today is Joe’s birthday. He shares it with fellow Atlantis actor Paul McGillion (“Carson Beckett”).
Without further ado, here are our top five episodes featuring John Sheppard! Post a comment below to let us know which episodes make your list.
(Season Three, Episode 9)
After years of fan requests that we get to learn more about John’s back-story, the writers finally delivered with this third season episode. The team travels to a forested world and comes under the influence of a mind-altering Wraith device. We see flashbacks to a mission in Sheppard’s past, during which he acted against orders to try and rescue a friend from the deserts of Afghantistan, and was shot down. Sheppard begins to relive this incident in the present — opening fire on his friends, believing they are the enemy.
While not a particularly memorable episode in its own right, this one earns a spot on our Top 5 list because it filled in a vital piece of John’s history, an incident that has helped shape him into the man he is.