Stargate Atlantis

Season 1 Episode 6

Childhood's End

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Aug 13, 2004 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
441 votes

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Episode Summary

The team crash lands on a planet where the locals, in fear of the Wraith, practice ritual suicide when they reach the age of twenty-five.

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  • See Summary

    This episode reminds me of a few SG-1 episodes such as Red Sky, Stargate the Movie, and 100 Days where they encounter less advanced peoples on other worlds with bizarre religious beliefs, to the Expedition Team anyhow, and the team messes with Ancient Technology and either puts the people in danger or helps them, in the end though, they are usually helped. This was a great episode though, and makes you question, what would you do if you lived in a society with these beliefs. The main characters keep developing into more sincere, believable characters that make the viewer want to empathize with. Great Episode!moreless
  • This is exactly what I hate about Stargate Atlantis.

    Much like in Enterprise, the team in Stargate Atlantis wander around the galaxy assuming that their way is the right way. They arrive on the planet and as soon as they find out about the suicides they try to change them, just because they don't do it on Earth means no-one should do it anywhere else.

    They then do the other thing which makes me hate them, they find a ZPM, which is obviously what is protecting the people and they immediately disconnect it and steal it. Why do they assume that they can just take any ZPM they come across?moreless
  • Sheppard's team investigates a planet that seems pretty primitive. The locals they find are all younger than 25 as they commit suicide at that age by tradition. They believe that the Wraith stay away if they follow that law.moreless

    This and the next few episodes form an interesting trinity. Each of them deals with how a civilization is learning to survive in difficult situations.

    In this episode the citizens who were thinking of their civilization surviving long term. They realized their technology would only support a limited number of people so their solution was to limit the age of their people and set up a system where the leaders take their lives at age 25. Remember Logan's Run? Same setup. The facilities would only support a certain percentage of population.

    Dr. McKay once again is as irritating as possible without you wanting to shoot him. Actually I think I would shoot him. :) He steals their shield generator. Talk about arrogant. When Dr. Weir points that out he finally realizes what he had done. It still was not enough for him to feel remorse. It's almost as if he is emotionless except when it comes to his own well being.

    One has to realize that this civilization has not advanced in centuries which is not normal. I don't personally feel that the change in laws and allowing the people to now live their normal lifetimes. Obviously this civilization was advanced to a pretty high level as it was a ZPM type power supply that was running their defenses. Who knows if they were involved with the ancients while they still were around. Of course all human civilizations would have been related at one point.

    Good basic episode with a moral message and the first in a number of similar interesting episodes. Also a interesting side note, the more advanced the civilization the more dangerous and conniving they have become. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • Sheppard and the team visit a world where no one is over 24 years old because of a ritual suicide practice they believe keeps the Wraith at bay.

    While on a survey mission to an unexplored world Major John Sheppard and his team detect a large power source emanating from the surface. When they move their Puddle Jumper in to investigate the entire ship loses power, forcing them to crash.When Dr. McKay gets hold of Lieutenant Ford's compass he soon deduces the disturbance that forced them to land is electromagnetic. It would explain why all of the technology is inoperable, not just the Jumper. If they can localize it, they can shut off the power source and take off, preventing a long trek back to the Stargate.moreless
  • Great vision of another way of thinking.. but this episode really made some vice versa feelings

    It looked different and somehow silly in one point but... it was a thing that taught them a little - there is change against Wrights but the way they seemed to think and talk about those kids - they acted like grown ups who think they are always right. I had thought that when they visit other planets, they won't force everyone to think the same way as they. But on this episode they tried that and they got in trouble. McKay and those kids - that was really great refreshment and it worked out well but - it was nothing special not leading nowhere, more looking like original SG-1 episodes were they go from planet to planet...moreless
Joe Flanigan

Joe Flanigan

Major / Lt. Colonel John Sheppard

Torri Higginson

Torri Higginson

Dr. Elizabeth Weir

Rachel Luttrell

Rachel Luttrell

Teyla Emmagan

Rainbow Sun Francks

Rainbow Sun Francks

Lt. Aiden Ford

David Hewlett

David Hewlett

Dr. Rodney McKay

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Sheppard: Which direction is the gate?
      McKay: You're the one flying, shouldn't you know?

      This is one of several times we hear of Sheppard's poor sense of direction. Other references include Season 1's "Underground", and Season 3's "Pantoms" and "Submersion."

    • The planet with the shield is designated M7G-677.

    • McKay: Because anything powerful enough to knock out a Wraith Dart is a big deal.

      This is the first time the small Wraith culling ships are referred to as 'darts'.

    • McKay: Hmm. I've heard a lot of reports from SG teams on missions like this one: specifically the, uh, mission reports of Colonel Samantha Carter. She and I, uh, worked together to avert global catastrophe a few years back, and she and I ... (He sighs nostalgically.) McKay is referring to the events of the Stargate SG-1 episode "Redemption."

    • When Sheppard and the others meet the elders Sheppard asks how old Keras is. It doesn't make any sense to ask because they are on a different planet in an other galaxy and very possible that it has a shorter or longer year than Earth.

    • In this episode you see the children with slingshot-type weapons. In the Stargate SG-1 episode "It's Good to be King" you see the same slingshot -type weapons.

  • QUOTES (40)

    • Sheppard: (To Keras) In fact, Ford would be happy to come back and explain how to be a 25-year-old.

    • McKay: (While two older boys are aiming with bows on him and does not let him finish his work) Look, both of you, go to your rooms! (Nothing happens) You're not buying this, are you?

    • McKay: You scared me!
      Cleo: You scared-ed us!

    • Aries: The guides were sent back to the village.
      Sheppard: Were they?
      Aries: Yeah, they were.
      Sheppard: Must've been naptime.
      Aries: You think this is a joke, Sheppard?
      Sheppard: I don't find much of what's going on around here to be that funny.

    • Sheppard: (Referring to the Sacrifice ceremony) We sort of have a... a deadline.

    • Sheppard: (When McKay realize he has to get back to his lab) How do you plan on doing that?
      McKay: Well, I've had the gene inoculation, and, uh, you've already given me a flying lesson.
      Sheppard: It's gonna take more than a shot in the arm and a five-minute lesson.
      McKay: Listen, I'm not going to be dog-flying Wraith darts. Ford and I can handle it.

    • McKay: Hey, hey, coming through. Thank you.
      Cleo: What's that?
      McKay:It's a compass.
      Cleo: What's that?
      McKay:Used for determining direction on Earth. I'm using it to-
      Casta: Where's Earth?
      McKay:Listen, Cleo-
      Casta: Casta.
      McKay:Whatever. Aren't you supposed to be observing? You understand what that means, observing?
      Casta: Observing?
      McKay:It means you're supposed to watch. You're supposed to stay out of my way and watch.
      Casta: Why?
      Cleo: Because why?
      McKay:Because I say so.
      Cleo: Why?
      McKay:Because I can't get any work done with you two buzzing around asking stupid questions in your stupid little voices. Now sit down and shut up!
      (Cleo begins to cry)
      McKay:Oh, don't. Don- don't.
      Casta: (hitting McKay in the stomach repeatedly) You're mean!
      McKay:Ow. Ow. Thank you for finally noticing. Okay. You wanna go? You wanna go, huh? I'll take-
      Ford: Okay, okay. You got a real gift with kids. You do birthday parties?

    • Keras: Tomorrow is the first day of my 25th year.
      Sheppard: Tomorrow.
      Keras: Yes. That's why I lead the council of elders. I am oldest among the 24s.
      Sheppard: You mean, um, tomorrow, you, um-
      Keras: Tonight.
      Sheppard: Tonight?

    • Sheppard: (To Keras) Ford - he's just a year older than you. Do you know what he would've missed out on if his life was over a year ago?

    • Ford: Never in my life have I ever felt so... old.
      Sheppard: This is without a doubt the most screwed-up way of life I can imagine.
      McKay: Hmm.
      Teyla: They seem to accept it.
      Sheppard: They're kids. What the hell do they know?

    • McKay: Eternal rest?
      Keras: To die at the hands of the Wraith, to breathe your last breath amongst such... hatred... and evil... There is no way to move peacefully into the next world when that is your fate.

    • Keras: And you're all... older than 24?
      Sheppard: Ford, how old are you?
      Ford: 25, sir.
      Sheppard: Hm, I guess so.

    • Weir: Rodney! We can't just visit planets, take away their defenses, uproot their cultures and bring 'em all back here to Atlantis.
      McKay: If they have a ZedP.M., yes we can.
      Weir: Oh my God! How morally superior you must feel!

    • Ford: They can't be right, can they? Would the Wraith just ignore them because they're young? I mean, I don't eat veal but it can't be the same thing, can it?
      McKay: Of course it's not the same -- veal is delicious. The Wraith don't come by any more because when their Darts fly close to the village, the electromagnetic field takes them out, much like what happened to our Puddle Jumper.

    • Sheppard: Please tell me you have this working.
      McKay: I don't know what I did. These things are usually plug-and-play. This device must be using an older version of Windows.

    • Weir: So the suicide pact is...
      McKay: Population control.
      Weir: Wow. That's a little severe.
      McKay: A little?

    • Sheppard: They're kids, Ford.
      Ford: Yeah, with weapons pointed at us.

    • McKay: Specifically the mission reports of Colonel Samantha Carter. She and I, uh, worked together to avert global catastrophe a few years back. She and I... ai ai ai... Anyways, what was I saying?

    • Aries: You think I am a fool?
      Sheppard: No… I just think you're a little cranky.

    • Cleo: What's a grown up?
      McKay: Someone who's older than you are.
      Casta: I'm three years older than Cleya you can tell me.
      McKay: Nice try, but you're not a grown up.
      Cleo: But you just said. Someone that's older than me is a grown up.
      McKay: I don't need you to tell me what I just said, okay?
      Cleo: Okay…

    • Casta: Why are we going to the old city?
      McKay: I got to check something…
      Casta: What kind of thing?
      McKay: It's grown up stuff…

    • Keras: How did you get here, Sheppard?
      Sheppard: We used the Stargate to travel from our world to visit yours.
      Teyla: You do know of the Stargate…
      Sheppard: It's a big round… thing.

    • Sheppard: I'm Sheppard and this is Rodney and Teyla… say, you're one of the elders?
      Keras: Yes.
      Sheppard: How old are you?
      Keras: 24.
      Sheppard: And that makes you an elder?

    • Ford: Think whatever knocked us down… knocked it down?
      McKay: It's possible, but if that's the case we need to find it.
      Ford: Why?
      McKay: Because anything powerful enough to knock out a Wraith Dart is a big deal.
      Sheppard: Yeah, that would be nice to have…

    • Boy: You are full growns
      Sheppard: Excuse me?
      Boy: You need to see the elders.
      Sheppard: Elders... sound… good…

    • McKay: Well if the disturbance is manmade as opposed to natural its probably emanating from within these ruins… Somewhere… Over there.
      Sheppard: So if we find it can we shut it off?
      McKay: It's worth a shot. If we can shut down the field we won't have to walk back to the gate.
      Sheppard: I was thinking more of saving a perfectly good Puddle Jumper.
      McKay: That too.

    • Sheppard: Which direction is the gate?
      McKay: You're the one flying, shouldn't you know?

    • Ford: Check it out, sir. I think my compass has gone wonky.
      McKay: You brought a magnetic compass to another planet in another galaxy? Heh. You have absolutely no way of knowing if this planet's magnetic field is... Wait a second. Let me see that.

    • McKay: I can't get any work done with you two buzzing around asking stupid questions in your stupid, little voices. Now sit down and shut up! (Cleo starts to cry) Oh, don't. D-don't.
      Casta: You're mean. (he starts to hit McKay)
      McKay: Thank you for finally noticing.

    • Ford: (to the kids) It's okay. He's just upset because you're smarter than him. Do you guys know what chocolate is? You don't? This is gonna be huge! Okay, come over here. We're going to go over here, and we're going to leave the mean old man alone.

    • Sheppard: You think it's worth checking out?
      McKay: Any significant energy emission generally indicates technological civilization.
      Sheppard: So you think it's worth checking out.
      McKay: I'm sorry. Yes, energy field good.

    • (Ford hands Keras a small bag)
      Ford: Where we're from, we give people presents when they turn a year older.

    • McKay: Lets' see how long we can be quiet. Who can be quiet the longest, huh?
      Cleo(without even trying to be quiet): Well, I'm not a quiet person.
      McKay: That's not quiet. That's talking.
      Cleo: Well, I'm not a quiet person. I talk a lot.

    • (when Cleo and Casta are pestering McKay)
      McKay: Ford, a little help here.
      Ford(laughs): What are you talking about? You're a natural.

    • Teyla: It looks like a shrine.
      Ford: You don't think they worship the Wraith, do you?
      Sheppard: That'd be a first.
      McKay: That'd be disturbing.

    • McKay: What are we going to tell them, Teyla? 'Oh, listen kiddies, everything you believe in is wrong, and trust us because we've been here for almost an hour.'

    • (shortly after McKay criticizes Ford for bringing a magnetic compass to another planet)
      McKay: Hey, can we go that way for a bit?
      Sheppard: Why?
      McKay: Oh, it's just that Lt. Ford's compass is acting weird. I might be on to something.
      Ford: I'm glad I brought it along.
      McKay: How prescient of you.

    • (entering the ruins of an ancient city)
      McKay: Didn't fly over this on the way down, did we?
      Sheppard: I don't know. I was kind of busy with the whole 'trying not to get us killed' thing.

    • Ford:(to McKay) You got a real gift with kids. You do birthday parties?

    • (after the Puddle Jumper crash lands)
      Teyla: What happened?
      McKay: He took us too close to the energy field.
      Sheppard: Whose idea was that?
      McKay: Ahh… you made mistakes. I made mistakes. Let's not get caught in the blame game.

  • NOTES (8)

    • When McKay deactivates the shield and Sheppard is forced to destroy the Wraith homing beacon, and he is held by the boys. A scene just after this was cut - it involved Sheppard being hit by stones. Rachel Luttrel in the DVD commentary says that she remembers Joe Flanigan getting hit in the head.

    • Sci-Fi veteran David Winning directed only this one episode in the Stargate franchise. The first season episode of Atlantis won three international awards for directing; New York, Chicago, and Houston.

    • International Airdates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on August 16, 2004 on The Movie Network and Movie Central.
      -This episode aired in the UK on November 16, 2004 on Sky One.
      -This episode aired in Australia on April 21, 2005 on Channel 7.
      -Syndication Premiere: October 29-30, 2005

    • According to Gero, the inspiration for the "guards", Casta and Cleo, came from a rather long airplane ride in which he was sitting behind two hyper twins.

    • The planet's designation here is M7G-677. According to Martin Gero, the designation was derived from Martin 7(July) Gero 6'77. Gero's day, month, and year of birth (July 6, 1977).

    • This is the first episode in which Paul McGillion (Dr. Carson Beckett), Craig Veroni (Dr. Peter Grodin) and Christopher Heyerdahl (Halling) do not appear.

    • Shane Meier and Julie Patzwald previously appeared in the Stargate SG-1 episode, "A Hundred Days" together. They played Garan and Paytha, respectively.

    • Courtenay J. Stevens previously played the recurring character of Lt. Elliot in Stargate SG-1 episodes, "Proving Ground", "Summit", and "Last Stand."


    • McKay: I don't know what I did, these things are usually plug and play. This device must be using an older version of Windows

      The term Windows collectively describes any or all of several generations of Microsoft operating system products. They were introduced in 1985 and have been dominating the personal computer market ever since the introduction of Windows '95 in 1995.

    • McKay: I don't know what I did, these things are usually plug and play. This device must be using an older version of Windows.

      Plug and Play is a term used in the computer field to describe a computer's ability to have new devices added to it without having to reconfigure or (ideally) restart the computer, or in this case a Z.P.M. The term Plug and Play is most associated with Microsoft's Windows Operating Systems.

    • Logan's Run:

      The fact that no one in this planet is not allowed to live past 25 years of age is very reminiscent of Logan's Run, a novel, film and TV series, in which the members of a futuristic society are not allowed to live beyond 30 years. The members of the society in this planet and the ones in Logan's Run see their deaths as necessary for the survival of their people.

    • Title:

      The title of this episode is a reference to the book Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke.