Stargate Atlantis: Whispers
(S05E07) This week the Atlantis team sets out to prove that just because you make a sci fi show set in another galaxy, it doesn't mean you can't have an old fashioned zombie story. If that wasn't enough, this was also the much talked about episode with the all female team. That team included Nicole de Boer, and the returning Leela Savasta. How successful it was depends on how you feel about zombie movies to start with. For me, it was rather hit and miss. Some nice show mythology, mixed up with a monster of the week, and some bits that just fell flat. We'll get into it all, after the jump.
Gallery: Stargate Atlantis: Season 5
Let's start with the good stuff. Look everybody, it's our old friend Dr. Beckett (Paul McGillion). I'm always happy to see McGillion back on Atlantis, but this week it wasn't just a cameo to keep the Beckett fans at bay. He's the perfect person to send to Michael's newly discovered abandoned lab. Of course, McKay would be pretty handy to send along too... but this is the good stuff portion, so let's let that one slide.
Michael's lab worked really well as the setup for the story. It gives us a nice reminder of just how brilliant, and crazy, he actually is, and it stands to reason that his project is going to leave a trail of failed experiments. I was also happy to see that all of the info McKay gleaned from the last lab hasn't been forgotten, as it provided a means to disable the security.
The measure of good and bad starts to get a little 'foggy' when we talk about the zombies. Call 'em hybrids if you want, but they were zombies for all intents and purposes. I'll say, the makeup was pretty solid. As far as creepy zombies go, they nailed it. But the actual zombie story, really goes either way. It was chock full of cliches. Stepping on a branch and alerting the zombie... the plodding walk in the distance... people running off into the fog alone... You can take that as a nod to the classic zombie style, or you can roll your eyes and ask "WTF?" Neither reaction is wrong. I actually liked it, but I suspect there will be more than a few Stargate fans that did not dig this thing at all. Luckily, if you count yourself in that camp, it looks like business will pick up next week.
Continuing on that iffy line was the all female team. It was kind of a clunky introduction. To start, how many times has another team found something that led to Sheppard, and the whole team, taking off to check it out? Given the history, anything Michael related should summon the cavalry. On top of that, how does Sheppard not know that there is an all girl team? Not just an all girl team, but an all gorgeous girl team.
Despite the rocky start, the team wasn't without its merits. Its been mentioned that some of these characters could be recurring, and if I can pick one, I'd like to see more of Major Teldy (Christina Cox as her third Stargate character). I like the idea of a female led team, and she has good chemistry with Sheppard. That's chemistry of the working together kind, not the romantic, by the way. There is also some potential for a run in between Sgt. Mehra (Janina Gavankar) and Ronon.
Which brings us to Dr. Porter (Nicole de Boer). I am, admittedly, a sucker for the casting of certain actors, and de Boer makes that list, so I was happy to see her here. That being said, not a great role given to her. The flirty back and forth between Beckett and Porter didn't work for me. Aside from the fact it's just not something that Stargate does well, it was so oddly timed. Discovering the remnants of a mutant army of killers created by the most dangerous creature you know of is not the jumping off point for, "Where did you go to school?" or "What's a girl like you doing in a galaxy like this?" It's just odd.
And then there is Captain Vega (Leela Savasta). What the hell? More than anything else, this just left me questioning the premiere again. The way she was shoehorned into that was awkward then, but this was the payoff? Was the cameo in the premiere for the sole purpose of removing her red shirt in "Whispers"? Because it didn't work. After two episodes, I still don't know anything about her, and can't really be bothered by her death. I really don't know what they were thinking with her.
Overall, I'd call this episode just ok. I liked the callbacks to earlier episodes, the zombie story, and the potential of Major Teldy. But there were a lot of things that just missed the mark. In the end, the episode was somewhat ill conceived. It's hard to imagine that the combination of a zombie episode and the all girl team would ever pan out as a remarkable episode. But hey, they can't all be gems, right? Let's give it another go next week.
Was it just me, and my TV, or was this the worst looking episode of the season? The fog just didn't seem to photograph well at all.
Sgt. Mehra had the best line of the night following her counting error. "Sorry...that's nine."
Just throwing it out there... TPTB have said that Stargate Universe will feature one recognizable actor, and fresh faces for the rest of the crew. And Dr. Beckett is taking off on a new project. I'm just sayin...
|Excellent - Night Of The Living Dead||39 (12.3%)|
|Solid - Shaun Of The Dead||107 (33.6%)|
|I kept watching for the girls - Night Of The Comet||94 (29.6%)|
|Awful - Plan Nine From Outer Space||78 (24.5%)|