First Aired: June 22, 2007
An unstoppable energy weapon leaves Atlantis under seige after Earth launches a preemptive attack against the Replicator home world.
“First Strike” Facts:
- Atlantis‘s third season finale introduces a second Daedalus-class battlecruiser — the U.S.S. Apollo, under the command of Abraham Ellis (Michael Beach) — and it brings a very cool gate-related premise. We’ve seen enemies use the Stargate against our heroes before. Here the gate is harnessed into an unstoppable weapon, sent by ship to Atlantis’s orbit — upon which time the Asurans dial the gate and fire a high-powered energy weapon straight through the wormhole. The gate itself serves as a conduit for a weapon of mass destruction.
- It’s the first appearance for Jewel Staite as Dr. Jennifer Keller, who would return in Seasons Four and Five as the city’s new Chief Medical Officer. Before joining SGA she played the beloved Kaylee Frye on Firefly.
- Staite had not only been on Stargate before … she had been on Stargate Atlantis before, and in just the previous season. She played the young Wraith girl Ellia in “Instinct.” (The show’s producers knew that, because she had appeared under heavy prosthetics, they would be able to re-use the actress should the proper part come up.)
- Fans were shocked, on the other hand, to learn soon after Elizabeth Weir’s critical injury in this episode that series co-star Torri Higginson would not be returning to the show as a series regular. Though she appeared in several episodes in Season Four, this is Torri’s final episode on the main cast.
- Moving the city of Atlantis to a different planet was not only a significant plot development — it was also a useful device for the creative team, who called it a “soft reset” for a number of issues. One example: After Atlantis spent all of Season Two hiding under the radar, the fact that now the Asurans, a number of Wraith, and Michael knew where the city was posing mounting story problems. Why wouldn’t these enemies come and attack our heroes, all this time?
- Who is that handsome man who has been dialing the Stargate all these years? That’s supporting actor Chuck Campbell … whose character finally gets named on-screen for the first time in this episode. His character’s name? Chuck — nicknamed by fans as “the Chucknician.”
“First Strike” on GateWorld:
- Episode Guide
- Episode Transcript
- Fan Reviews
- Photo Gallery
- Screencap Gallery
- Discussion Forum
- Atlantis Season Three Podcast
- Interview with Torri Higginson (2007)
- Interview with Jewel Staite (2007)
- Interview with Chuck Campbell (2007)
- Interview with Paul McGillion (2007)
Rewatch “First Strike” this week! Then post your comments below, or head over to the episode discussion thread and see what people were saying back in the day. What are your favorite moments?
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