Stargate Atlantis

The Last Man (1)

Season 4, Ep 20, Aired 3/7/08
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  • Episode Description
  • Sheppard returns from a mission and finds Atlantis abandoned and surrounded by sand dunes. He soon finds a hologram of Dr. McKay, who tells him he has come 48,000 years into the future, and everyone is long dead. But the McKay hologram has a plan to save the city and restore Sheppard to his own time.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Amanda Tapping

    Colonel Samantha Carter

  • David Hewlett

    Dr. Rodney McKay

  • Joe Flanigan

    Major / Lt. Colonel John Sheppard

  • Rachel Luttrell

    Teyla Emmagan

  • Jason Momoa

    Ronon Dex

  • Fan Reviews (33)
  • Heartfelt story telling

    By BevinChu, Sep 02, 2012

  • We see what might have been.

    By bmoshier, Mar 20, 2008

  • The best finale EVER!

    By vodazz, Mar 08, 2008

  • See Summary

    By TrueTvWatcher, Oct 07, 2010

  • A fresh approach to a season finale.

    By Ryehead, Aug 07, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (40)

    • Holo-McKay: If I don't get you back within two months of when you left, then it'll be too late. Sheppard: Too late. What the hell's that supposed to mean? Holo-McKay: Things, didn't exactly go well for us, after your disappearance. Once I figured out what happened to you, I realized there was nothing we could do. The Air Force pronounced you KIA. Gave you a very nice military funeral back on Earth. Obviously the casket was empty, but um, you know it's the thought that counts. From there, well, from there things went from bad to worse.

    • Holo-McKay: (of Carter) With her last breath, she took out three of Michael's hive ships. And we buried another empty casket.

    • (Sheppard is trying to get through the sandstorm) Holo-McKay: Sheppard? Sheppard can you hear me? Sheppard: Yeah, I hear ya. Holo-McKay: How you doing? Sheppard: Never better. (struggles through the storm) Rodney? Holo-McKay: Yeah, I'm still here. Sheppard: Tell me about Ronon. Holo-McKay: What, now? Sheppard: Yes, now. Talk to me Rodney. Holo-McKay: Right, uh, well, after what happened to you, and then Teyla, I guess he didn't feel comfortable on the base anymore. He persuaded Sam to let him go offworld to recruit a strike force.

    • Holo-McKay: (after telling Sheppard about Ronon) I'm sorry. I wish some of these stories had happier endings. (Sheppard doesn't reply) Sheppard? Sheppard, you still with me? Sheppard! (Sheppard falls through the door out of the sandstorm, and falls down unconscious) Holo-McKay: Your bio-signature's barely registering. Sheppard! Oh, God.

    • (Sheppard wakes up after his walk through the sandstorm) Holo-McKay: There you go. You can do it. Sheppard: Rodney. Holo-McKay: I'm still here. Look, I'd help you up but I'm a... Sheppard: How long was I out? Holo-McKay: All night. Look, you don't look so good, maybe we should get you to the stasis chamber as soon as possible. Sheppard: Agreed.

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    Notes (10)

    • This episode was originally supposed to end with Sheppard saying "I know where Teyla is", but Sci-Fi insisted there be another scene afterwards where the team attempt a rescue and get trapped, leaving more of a cliff-hanger.

    • At this point in the series, the producers had no plans to make Woolsey the base commander for season five as they believed Amanda Tapping would return. It worked out to be remarkable forshadowing as Robert Picardo did end up joining the main cast due to Tapping leaving to executive produce and star in Sanctuary.

    • The scene with McKay and Keller walking down the street was filmed outside the Stargate Atlantis studio in Vancouver, BC.

    • Cornmeal (or cornflour) was used as sand which was fired into Joe Flanigan's face during the scene where Sheppard has to make it through the sandstorm.

    • As of this episode, John Sheppard is over 700 years old due to being in stasis.

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    Trivia (11)

    • Ronon: Force of habit. Todd the Wraith: Indeed. This might be a reference to a previous episode of Atlantis "Midway" and tribute to Stargate SG-1's Teal'c (Christopher Judge) who appeared in that episode and quite frequently said "indeed" in his dialog.

    • Naquadah technology advanced a great deal in the 25 years McKay worked to solve the problem. The Mark XII Naquadah generators are 10 generations more advanced then the Mark II's currently being used. A single Mark XII was able to power the shield of Atlantis for nearly 400 years, after laying dormant for 48,000 years.

    • When Keller takes a splinter out of McKay, he is typically Rodney about it ("splinter acting" David Hewlett calls it) in much the same way as he did in the Season 2 episode "Conversion" when he and Sheppard were brought to the Infirmary together.

    • Other instances of time travel using a solar flare were the Stargate SG-1 episodes "1969", "2010", and the DVD Movie Stargate Continuum.

    • In the future when "Holo-McKay" tells Sheppard the history, what has happened after Sheppard disappeared, he says that all that can be prevented if and when Sheppard will return back because he would already know all what was going to happen. In the Stargate universe, when somebody time travels they create a parallel universe from the point they arrive, so all that stuff happened in that universe, but as soon as Sheppard returns he's in a different universe than the one he spoke to "Holo-McKay".

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    Allusions (3)

    • The Last Man: The episode seems to be named after the Mary Shelley story, The Last Man, which is regarded as one of the first science fiction novels and in which the world has been decimated by a plague, similar to the Hoffan Drug. Furthermore, as John Sheppard emerges forty-eight thousand years into the future, Rodney states that he may be the last human alive. This is similar to the predicament of the main character Lionel Verney, as he exists at the end of humanity as well.

    • Star Trek: Voyager: The idea of the Emergency Medical Hologram surviving into the future was explored in several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, and oddly enough, Robert Picardo (Richard Woolsey on Stargate Atlantis) played the EMH in that series.

    • Red Dwarf: Sheppard is the last man alive far in the future with his only companion a holographic simulation of the person who bugged him the most. This is the premise of the classic British Sci-Fi-Comedy series Red Dwarf. There is even a Red Dwarf novel called The Last Human.

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