Stargate Atlantis

Season 1 Episode 17

Letters from Pegasus

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Mar 04, 2005 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
422 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

With a brief opportunity to send a data transmission to Earth, members of the Atlantis expedition compose video messages home to their loved ones. Meanwhile, Sheppard and Teyla use the Stargate to take a Jumper to do some reconnaissance on the approaching Wraith fleet.

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  • Engaging the viewer emotionally

    I have to be honest and say that actually I didn't give much for the characters of Shepard, Weir, Ford and Teyla. It's up to ones tastes though. And I really don't like flashback episodes. Maybe it's the hard cuts from high action scenes to quiet emotional scenes?

    The other characters even the supporting ones are right up my alley though.

    I was thinking about giving this episode a lower score BUT there, in the words of Mckay, IS gold in there.

    It's the little things. Selenkas retelling of the wonder of their expedition. Weirs letters to the families of lost members. Mckays short, but to the point, message to his sister. These few golden moments, which moved me, lifts the entire episode to a solid 9.moreless
  • See Summary

    This episode was heavy with character development. It was very interesting to see the different characters sending messages to their families, or in the case of some to stargate command on earth. We got to see the regular faces as well as some new characters, or people from the background. It was neat to see how each person said what they needed too, and how different cultures have different expectations to live up to, in the case of the asian scientist who told her family she works for a great, honorable scientist, aka McKay, haha. The Wraith were culling a world, and Sheppard along with Teyla were doing some recon and saving a family close to Teyla. The Wraith force is overwhelming and the future certainly looks uncertain. The family along with others were saved. There was a strange beam of light or energy seemingly emminating from the planet, so hope we find out what it was!moreless
  • Here is a clip episode that is not just a clip episode, but becomes a really great episode of the first season.

    The episode has a double storyline. One follows Sheppard and Teyla scouting the arrival of the Wraith on a planet and finding themselves being the powerless witnesses of an atrocious attack, although, due to their number and duty to come back to Atlantis to warn those still on the base of the number of spaceshifts, cruisers, darths, etc, coming, they can not intervene. Yet, they manage to save some refugees.

    Sheppard's sudden unwillingless to do it at all cost is finally not useful, but is interesting

    to consider. Usually, he is the one who wants to save the people at all cost, but this time,

    not only is the future of the planet that stake, but also the entire's galaxy, and maybe Earth.

    Back on Atlantis, they decide to send a SOS to Earth. Sending a 1.3 second message to Earth

    will use lots of energy, but they really need to do it. As the required information takes only 0.3

    second, they decide to let the scientists, engineers, enlisted and officers send a video to their loved ones. Through clips of the previous episodes, each of them send a personal message - taking into account security clearance - which is a good character development. Some messages are touching, others are funny.

    Overall, this is a good clip episode, because it has a purpose beside lowering the budget. It adds

    to the suspense until the last episode and the arrival of the Wraith, and allows the viewer to learn more about the characters.

  • This was a good episode with the team finding a way to send a message to SGC.

    The team thinks of ideas with the impending Wraith attack. Dr McKay says about his idea to send a data burst that will last 1.5 seconds but can include teribytes of data and the wormhole will be able to connect for long enough to be able to send the message to let SGC no what is going on and hopefully be able to send help. All in all an episode that was vital to the rest of the season.moreless
  • Humor humor humor.....yes, that is a MUST in every sci-fi show and this episode is a great example. The brilliant David Hewlett just cracks you up :D

    I've seen every episode of the Star Treks: TNG, Voyager, DS9, Enterprise pluss Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, StarGate SG1 and Atlantis. And I must say, that the episodes I find most envigorating are the ones with a humoristic appeal. Letters from Pegasus is just that. Sci-fi and comedy mixed into one great package. The good scottish doctor, Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion) and Doctor Rodney McKay (David Hewlett) make up the larger portion of the excellent comedy featured in this great sci-fi series. This one is so far my favourite episode amongst these highly addictive, greatly entertaining television broadcasts and gets the highest possible score.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

Terence Kelly

Terence Kelly


Guest Star

Manami Hara

Manami Hara

Dr. Miko Kusanagi

Guest Star

Peter Graham-Gaudreau

Peter Graham-Gaudreau


Guest Star

Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping

Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter

Recurring Role

Paul McGillion

Paul McGillion

Dr. Carson Beckett

Recurring Role

David Nykl

David Nykl

Dr. Radek Zelenka

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Here is the translation of Zelenka's video message: There is a "failsafe" mechanism on the ocean floor. With big power it ripped off the anchor of town from the bottom of ocean. We were ... we were afraid ... were ... were ... we were afraid. Unbelievable. What is happening, and that noise. The whole city was trembling as if it was an earthquake. That was something unbelievable. And suddenly we were moving. All the city was ascending, ascending up, up to the surface. That, that was something unbelievable. And the towers punched through the surface of water and we were going up, up. Waters, waves, waterfalls. All that water was falling down from that heights and we were shot up, absolutely on the top, and suddenly sun. Sun was simply shining to all windows. I will remember it to my death. Take care, darling.

    • Goof: Considering all the precautions taken with security clearance a number of mistakes are made. The highly classified naquadah generator is clearly visible behind Dr. Zelenka and numerous members of the team have "Atlantis" clearly visible on the shoulder of their jackets in their personal messages.

    • During the Wraith culling, one of the ships drops a beacon that fires a large blue beam skyward. Sgt. Bates refers to the same thing happening on the Alpha Site in the next episode, "The Gift". The purpose of this beam is not stated in either episode and has not been used since.

    • The final transmission to Earth would have consisted of: City specifications, mission reports, tactical assessments, a ton of data that they had deciphered from the Ancient database and hours of personal messages.

    • Ford mentions M7G-677 as a suggestion to take their Z.P.M. This planet according to Weir is populated by children. They are referring to the planet in the episode "Childhood's End."

    • Chronologically, this episode is 'a few days' after "The Brotherhood".

    • This is the first time Atlantis actually makes contact with Earth, albeit for only 1.3 seconds.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • McKay: My sister. Ford, if you cut everything else, just, um, keep this part, OK? Jeannie? This is your brother, Rodney ... obviously! I wanna s-say, um ... I wanna say something. Uh ... family is important. I-I've come to realize that because the people here have become a sort of a ... kind of a surrogate family to me. Now, I know what you're thinking: I've never really been the poster child for that kind of sentiment but, uh, when ... when one's contemplating ones own demise, one tends to see things more clearly. I really do wish you the best, you know, and I'm sorry we weren't closer. Perhaps, um ... if by chance I make it out of this, perhaps one day we can be, and I would like that.

    • Ford: You talked for an hour?
      McKay: You see, I found it rather therapeutic, actually. Now, I'm fairly confident I've come up with several valuable insights -- in fact, I'm sure of it -- but, uh, I've only slept six hours in the last few days, so, um ...
      Ford: Who's it for?
      McKay: Humanity in general; my sister ... Look, I don't expect you to cut it down to just a few minutes. I mean, there is gold in here -- so just make sure mine's last and that way, if it gets cut off, fine, but if the Gate holds the connection a few extra milliseconds, then we won't have wasted the time.

    • Zelenka: (long speech in Czech, with hand motions, obviously describing the rising of Atlantis from the ocean floor)
      Ford: You didn't say anything that would require security clearance, did you?
      Zelenka: Security clearance?

    • Weir: It must be, in order to fit all that data into one point three seconds.
      McKay: Point three seconds, actually.
      Weir: We have a whole extra second to fill?!
      McKay: Mmm. A whole extra one, yes.

    • Weir: Recommendations?
      Beckett: Other than panic?
      Weir: Other than panic.

    • McKay: No, no, no! You don't do that - unless you are deliberately trying to blow us up - in which case, excellent work!

    • Sheppard: What else do you want from me?
      Teyla: Too much I fear.

    • Sheppard: This is hard to sit and watch.
      Teyla: There is nothing we can do.
      Sheppard: We can do a lot. It'll just be the last thing we ever do.

    • Teyla: Earlier today Lieutenant Ford suggested we steal from a community of children.
      Sheppard: That's because they have a ZPM and we can bring them back.
      Teyla: Only to face death in Atlantis!
      Sheppard: Look, Ford and I are military, and spent a lot of our lives learning how to survive.
      Teyla: I've spent my life survivng the Wraith.
      Sheppard: Part of that training is knowing who you can save and who you can't.
      Teyla: And that decision is yours alone?

    • Ford: That's it?
      Bates: What else am I going to say to the kid?
      Ford: It's your little brother, Sargent.
      Bates: I'm probably never gonna see him again, why make it worse than it has to be?
      Ford: That's not what this is about, man.
      Bates: That's exactly what this is about. Don't sweat it, Lieutenant, I'm happy I got the chance to say goodbye.
      Ford: Yeah, but you didn't say it.
      Bates: Not in so many words.

    • Ford: Okay recording, plenty of battery... why am I not seeing anything? (takes off lens cap) Stupid!

    • Teyla: If someone close to your family, a dear friend was in danger of being taken by the Wraith, would you have not done the same?
      Sheppard: Not if it jeopardized the mission.
      Teyla: So in fighting the Wraith we are to give up that which makes us different from them.

    • Weir: Even so, those ships are light years away, how do you expect to reach them in a Puddle Jumper?
      Sheppard: We'll fly to a Stargate on route that Zelenka thinks they're going to drop out of hyperspace near and we watch them pass by.
      Weir: That's good.
      Sheppard: I have my moments.

    • Weir: We have a responsibilty to report what we've learned here. About Atlantis, about the Ancients...
      Sheppard: ...the Wraith.
      Weir: Exactly. We have to warn Earth.
      Sheppard: Even if it's the last thing we do?
      Weir: Especially if it's the last thing we do.

    • McKay: Where was I...oh, yes. Leadership...

    • Ford: You know what? How 'bout I leave the room and let you record your whining in private?
      Kavanagh: Fine.

    • Ford: I could tell my grandma what I've been up to all this time.
      Weir: Well, if your grandmother had security clearance, yes, you could.

    • Beckett: What shall I say?
      Ford: Uh, uh, "I miss you?" "I wish you were here?"
      Beckett: I wish who was here?
      Ford: I don't know. Who do you wish was here?
      Beckett: Nobody! I wish I wasn't bloody here!

    • Beckett: Hullo, Mum! I hope this message finds you well. I trust your petunias are in full bloom by now. Oh, and I do hope you're keeping up with the ointment I gave you. If you've adhered to the regime, the fungus should have cleared up by now.
      (Ford grimaces)
      Beckett: What's wrong?
      Ford: Dude, fungus?!?
      Beckett: On her toenails! I thought you said no one would watch this except my family?
      Ford: Yeah, but, but...fungus?!

    • Beckett: And if there's one thing I've discovered about we Earthlings, we're a scrappy bunch. I wouldn't be surprised if I bring back...
      Ford: Doc, you can't say "Earthlings"! Your mother doesn't have security clearance.
      Beckett: She knows I'm from Earth, son; it's not a bloody secret!
      Ford: Oh, right.

    • Walter: Receiving transmission... who's it from?
      Carter: Atlantis...

    • McKay(making his first tape): This is Doctor Rodney McKay speaking to you from my base of operations in the lost city of Atlantis, located deep (gestures dramatically) within the Pegasus galaxy. I record this message on the eve of our darkest hour. As I speak, an alien armada of biblical proportions is on its way, bent... dare I say hellbent – in keeping with the metaphor – on our destruction. We will do our best to stave off their attack but I am afraid that defeat is all but inevitable. I, and the other members of my team, face the most horrific deaths imaginable, as our very lives are sucked from our chests in a, in a, horrific...okay, uh, starting again, starting again. Uh, Ford, just, just, cut that, alright?

    • Miko(describing McKay): He's a very honorable and brave man.
      (in a flashback)
      McKay: Oh! Ah! Ah! Okay, cramp, cramp, cramp, cramp, cramp! Ow! Ow! Ow!

    • McKay: I once caught mono kissing a girl in Algebra Club. Missed an entire month of school. Still, the kiss was, uh, something, so it was, uh, probably worth it. April Bingham – cute blonde! God – you see, I love blondes, especially with the, uh, the short hair. Mmm. Samantha Carter – if you're watching, the torch is still burning – sadly, soon to be extinguished, but, uh...You know, you should know – I think you are, you're great – you're really, really great, and, uh, I would go so far as saying you're the hottest scientist I've ever worked with. In fact, there's probably not a night that goes by that I don't, uh, find myself, uh...okay, Ford, let's, let's lose that.

    • Weir: In the off chance you get the idea to take the Wraith ships on yourself, Major, I am hereby ordering you not to.
      Sheppard: Believe me you don't have to.
      Weir: Still...
      Sheppard: 'Don't take on an alien armada single-handedly'... Understood.

    • McKay: Only saw the first half of "The Sixth Sense" – always wondered how that ended...

  • NOTES (8)