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Stargate Atlantis - The Complete Fourth Season
Review by Charles Mohapel
The Sci-Fi Channel DVD  ISBN/ITEM#: B0017MO11O
Date: 01 August 2008 List Price $49.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

With the SciFi Channel airing two separate half seasons consisting of 10 episodes each in the US market and The Movie Network following suit several weeks later in Canada, it was nice to view all 20 episodes of Season 4 in order, followed up with all the great bonus features included in the set.

Mission Directive: Doppelganger with Robert C. Cooper featurette
I've seen Rob Cooper more animated than he was here and this feature could have been much more lively and fast paced than it was. For the fight scene between Sheppard and his evil "twin", the producers used some Rotoscoping.

A New Leader: Amanda Tapping Joins Atlantis featurette
Here we see how Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie decided to work Amanda into the cast as a military presence replacing Dr. Elizabeth Weir. Since Amanda thought that the kind of over the top humor she was used to on Stargate SG-1 wouldn't work well on the Stargate Atlantis set, she consciously worked on controlling herself rigorously. Amanda's unwavering work ethic to prove she belonged on the newer show paid major dividends and you can see that in her performances.

Amanda says how she misses carrying a gun and going out on dangerous missions, having effectively become the equivalent of Don S. Davis who for the most part stayed behind while SG-1 and the other teams had all the "fun".

The Doctor Is In: The Return of Paul McGillion featurette
Hosted irreverently by Co-Executive Producer/Writer Martin Gero meets with the approximately 60 to 100 fans protesting Gero's killing off of Dr. Carson Beckett. The parts with Paul McGillion, either alone or kidding around with David Hewlett and Jason Momoa are the highlight of this featurette. It's certainly different for the average viewer to hear McGillion speaking with no Scottish accent.

Stargate Atlantis Bloopers featurette
This is the first time we have ever had the chance to see a collection of Stargate Atlantis bloopers. It's a pity that the producers didn't share even more of them with us.

Mission Directive: This Mortal Coil with William Waring featurette
William Waring is still my second favorite director when it comes to these featurettes, eclipsed only by Martin Wood. You have to see Jason Momoa playing Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" from the soundtrack for the movie Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid on guitar, "accompanied" by David Hewlett's vocals.

Mission Directive: Quarantine with Martin Wood featurette
Unlike the action-filled episodes that Martin Wood normally directs, Quarantine was all about the acting and making the actors feel uncomfortable about being in very close quarters to each other for extended periods of time. He made sure that the characters were trapped together with people they don't normally interact with for the most part. As with the case of Paul McGillion speaking with no Scottish accent, it's definitely different for the average viewer to hear David Nykl speaking with no strong Czech accent.

Mission Directive: Outcast with Andy Mikita featurette
Here you see at the funeral of John Sheppard's father that his family is moderately wealthy and how he has become alienated from them, particularly his brother David, played by Dylan Neal (Babylon 5: Legend of the Rangers and Blood Ties). The best part was seeing how they set up and executed the stunts involving the two human form Replicators manufactured on Earth.

The Making of Trio featurette
This is the episode where Col. (Amanda Tapping) Carter, Dr. (Jewel Staite) Keller, and Dr. (David Hewlett) McKay are trapped together after falling down a well. Originally viewed as a simple low cost episode, it morphed into an expensive logistically complex one. They ended up using the gimballed boat set left over from the filming of Stargate - Continuum.

Right at the end of this featurette, Martin Gero hit the nail directly on the head as to why I like the directing style of Martin Wood. Gero describes Wood as being the most detail-oriented director on the show, but when talking about an episode he has directed previously, Martin Wood describes the work in an entertaining manner. Personally I've always found the lessons I learned most effectively were most frequently given in an interesting and sometimes entertaining manner, a trait I customarily use when I'm teaching something.

A Look Back At Season 4 featurette
This was quite enjoyable since you get to listen to the various executive producers and co-executive producers taking about various episodes in Season 4.

Deleted Scenes
Here we learn that some scenes can be improved by being edited while others can be destroyed. Sometimes entire scenes are cut in order to make the story flow more smoothly, while others are cut due to time constraints and the fact the deleted scene did nothing significant to advance the story. Viewing these deleted scenes accompanied by Martin Gero's serious commentary, I certainly didn't find any that I would have realistically argued against. That said, this did make for an interesting feature.

Given how often I've watched episodes filled with digital artifacts, viewing the Stargate Atlantis - The Complete Fourth Season DVD set is the only way to go. And it fits well with all the other Stargate DVD sets in your library.

Disc 1:

  • Trailer for Stargate: Ark of Truth
  • Episode 1: Adrift
  • Episode 2: Lifeline
  • Episode 3: Reunion
  • Episode 4: Doppelganger
  • Mission Directive: Doppelganger with Robert C. Cooper featurette
  • A New Leader: Amanda Tapping Joins Atlantis featurette
  • Commentaries (for each episode)
  • Photo & Design Galleries

Disc 2:

  • Trailer for Stargate SG-1, Seasons 1-10
  • Episode 5: Travelers
  • Episode 6: Tabula Rasa
  • Episode 7: Missing
  • Episode 8: The Seer
  • The Doctor Is In: The Return of Paul McGillion featurette
  • Stargate Atlantis Bloopers featurette
  • Commentaries (for each episode)
  • Photo & Design Galleries

Disc 3:

  • Trailer for Stargate - Continuum
  • Episode 9: Miller's Crossing
  • Episode 10: This Mortal Coil
  • Episode 11: Be All My Sins Remember'd
  • Episode 12: Spoils Of War
  • Mission Directive: This Mortal Coil with William Waring featurette
  • Commentaries (for each episode)
  • Photo & Design Galleries

Disc 4:

  • Episode 13: Quarantine
  • Episode 14: Harmony
  • Episode 15: Outcast
  • Episode 16: Trio
  • Mission Directive: Quarantine with Martin Wood featurette
  • Mission Directive: Outcast with Andy Mikita featurette
  • The Making of Trio featurette
  • Commentaries (for each episode)
  • Photo & Design Galleries

Disc 5:

  • Episode 17: Midway
  • Episode 18: The Kindred
  • Episode 19: The Kindred, Part II
  • Episode 20: The Last Man
  • A Look Back At Season 4 featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Commentaries (for each episode)
  • Photo & Design Galleries

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