Before Ruling Atlantis, Jason Momoa Had a Stargate There
Atlantis can’t seem to get rid of Jason Momoa, and we’re lucky for it. Although Momoa is currently the coolest version of Aquaman the world has ever seen -- even though we’ve only see him in the trailers, we know he’s going to be awesome -- he actually made his first appearance in Atlantis back during the days of Stargate Atlantis, the first spinoff of Stargate SG-1. Not only did Atlantis boast a literal superhuman, it also had Jewel Staite, who plays Dr. Jennifer Keller. Instead of fixing ships, she fixes bodies! With the production of a new, limited series in the Stargate universe (not Stargate Universe, although they really should make more of that show, but Stargate Origins), and the attendance of Wizard World Austin by Jason Momoa, Jewel Staite, and Joe Flanigan, now seems like a great time to reflect on the best aspects of this series.
Overall, the show follows along with the same camp of the original: there are humorous quips, cheesy escapes, and heartfelt performances. It stands as an enjoyable entry in the Stargate realm, and thus deserves more attention than it often gets.
Didn’t watch the show? Never fear! We’ve got a list of some of the top episodes. So jump on through the Stargate and let your Atlantis adventure begin!
“Michael” Season 2, Episode 18
In one of the best but also most frustratingly heartbreaking throughways of the show, Michael (played by Conner Trineer) is introduced as a member of the Stargate team who seems to lack all memories of who he is and how he got to Atlantis. The truth slowly unwinds when Michael realizes that he is simply an experiment of the humans to turn Wraiths, the main antagonists of the show, into other humans. This episode created such a compelling character in Michael, only to have the Atlantis team continually betray him throughout the remainder of the show. He is one of the few examples in television where, as a viewer, you feel the villain is completely justified in his actions. He just wants to belong. And now he doesn’t fit in with the humans or Wraiths. He’s all alone… there’s no one here beside him...
“Runner” Season 2, Episode 3
Jason Momoa’s Ronon Dex is introduced in Season 2, with the intention of him becoming the strongman of the team. Because he’s strong. Seriously strong. The Wraith have a sickening game they play: they release runners and chase them. Like you chase after an Lyft when you realize your wallet is in it still. However, this game is far more sinister, with Ronon being continually trapped and released. With the convincing of the Atlantis crew, however, he joins. And lives to fight the Wraith another day. Like every day. Most days of this show are them battling the Wraith. Outside of this episode, some of the best moments in the show are definitely when Dex and Teyla (played by Rachel Luttrell) fight. But in this case they are simply training. The Atlantis team doesn’t have a fancy holodeck, so these two make due with a circular room that they can battle in. The two of them are more than capable and have some wonderfully choreographed scenes together. Maybe she can battle alongside him in Atlantis once again!
“Thirty-Eight Minutes” Season 1, Episode 4
An early episode, this one is particularly compelling for the dynamics between the team. While Stargate SG-1 had a film and ten years to build up its characters, Atlantis was forced to speed up the development in order to run in tandem with the then current seasons of SG-1. What this episode does well is show the team in a dire situation with Joe Flanigan’s Lt. Shepherd dying from a Wraith worm (it’s as disgusting as it sounds). Not only that, but one of their ships becomes stuck in the event horizon, forcing the military, scientific, and medical teams to work to save those involved. This is a great episode that showcases the strength of this show, which really is the cast.
“The Shrine” Season 5, Episode 6 and “Brain Storm” Season 5, Episode 16
Although very different episodes, these two fit together for the relationship that is developed through them. In “the Shrine,” Dr. Rodney McKay (played by David Hewlett) is infected with the Second Childhood, which is slowly making him forget as he draws closer to death. It’s like Hewlett’s audition tape for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. But with less sneezing. In a dynamic that was slowly drawn out throughout the show (even having a bit of a wrench thrown in it by the love triangle caused by Ronon Dex), McKay confesses his feelings for Keller before he loses his ability to. In a follow up to that, ten episodes later, Keller, after nearly dying herself, confesses that she loves McKay as well. Dex doesn’t get the girl, but he’s Aquaman now, so who really won that fight?
If you only watch this show for Momoa, it is certainly worth it with his character development and all the action. The creators really wrote him a lot of action. And forced him to keep his hair -- but that’s another story (one you can hear about in the video!). What you’ll likely find while watching is that you actually enjoy the interactions of all of these characters. They are an endearing crew that did their best to build off of and continue after Stargate SG-1. It certainly left an impression on Jason Momoa, to the point where he’s going back! He just couldn't stay away from Atlantis.
As fans of this show or fans of the cast, don’t forget to check out Wizard World Austin! And watch today's Wizpop for a special offer!
Image: MGM TV