It is obvious that the uniforms are color coded to the department in which a particular person works. Yellow is medical, Blue is sciences, Red is leadership, and, introduced later, Black is military.
Goof: In the episode Dr. McKay brings up how one of the Ancients must have told the Greeks the story of Atlantis. But historically it was the Egyptians who learned of Atlantis, not the Greeks. This could be a case of ignorance on part of the character.
McKay: "Zero-Point Module," General, the Ancient power source you recovered from Praclarush Taonas and that's now powering the outpost's defenses.
McKay is referring to events in the Stargate SG-1 seventh season finale "Lost City, Part 2."
Sheppard: Sure you'll warm up to me once you get to know me, sir.
Captain Samantha Carter said something along that response to Colonel O'Neill, in the pilot episode "Children Of the Gods" of Stargate SG-1. Only hers was "You know Colonel, you really will like me once you get to know me."
Goof: When General O'Neill's helicopter makes an emergency landing because of the drone, tire tracks and footprints can be seen in the snow.
When Shepard and O'Neill are leaving the Antarctic Base and are in the Helo, Sheppard starting to prep for take off and we hear the machine sound though the helo's main circuit breaker from the previous emergency landing is still on.
In this episode the 'GDO' is introduced to Stargate Atlantis. The GDO was first introduced in the pilot episode of Stargate SG-1 "Children of the Gods". It means Garage Door Opener, the casual name for the device which sends an identification code (IDC) through the Stargate so that those back at base know it's safe to lower the shield.
Nitpick: Why did it take Colonel Sumner going down 3 levels from the Atlantis gate room to discover that the city was underwater? There were at least two exterior windows in the gate room (as evidenced when the city rose: the water level was shown passing a window behind the Stargate and one at the top of the stairs). They may not have been able to see much of the rest of the city from those windows, but they should have been able to see the surface as it was visible from the lower level.
Goof: The helicopter that General O'Neill and Major Sheppard arrive in is supposed to be American but it has a Canadian tail number. They would have been flying out of the McMurdo Air Force base in Antarctica so why are they in a Canadian registered civilian helicopter and not an American military helicopter?
Goof: When departing the SGC Bates is shown wearing the rank insignia of a Second Lieutenant, despite holding the rank of Sergeant.
Early in the episode, General O'Neill describes Antarctica as "One of his least favorite continents." In the first season of Stargate SG-1, then-Colonel O'Neill and then-Captain Carter were stranded in Antarctica after a Stargate malfunction ("Solitudes"). Both were nearly killed in the incident. In the sixth season, he was infected with an alien virus in Antarctica ("Frozen"). In addition, in the seventh season finale ("Lost City 2"), after he defeats Anubis and his fleet, O'Neill entered a chamber which placed him in suspended animation, and, as shown by his double take when he passed it, the memory is not pleasant.
Nitpick: Just after Colonel Sumner orders Ford to assemble recon teams, Grodin orders a MALP to be prepared to go through the Stargate. In what seems like a few seconds later, he is shown running down the stairs to the gate area and reports the MALPs readings. However, even if the MALP had been ready to go immediately, its slow speed would have meant it wouldn't have had time to reach the gate, let alone have passed through and relayed climate information.
Nitpick: From his first appearance to his ordering Ford to assemble recon teams, Colonel Sumner wears a camouflage outfit, yet in the time it takes McKay to dial Teyla's planet (which only seems like a few minutes at the most) he has managed to change into a standard Atlantis grey uniform.
When the Atlantis expedition leaves Earth the wormhole is green as opposed to blue when people travel within the Milky Way galaxy.
Goof: When it is discovered that the city is underwater, Colonel Sumner estimates that they are "...several hundred feet..." under. However, in the shot out the window looking towards the surface, sunlight and surface ripples are visible. Light cannot penetrate hundreds of feet below the surface, nor can the surface be distinguished.
Flags on uniforms: Germany, Belgium, Canada, Russian Federation , China, Spain, Scotland, Shetland Islands, Australia
Some of the flags have been placed upside down on some uniforms. Futhermore one would think that Scotland would be represented under the United Kingdom, but as Dr. Beckett is a civilian, it would be his choice which flag he'd have on.
Throughout the series, one will hear McKay call the Zero Point Modules "Zed-Pee-Ems." Saying zed instead of zee for "z" is a characteristically British, and by extension Canadian, articulation. It's a small detail but an important one for a multi-national group of people especially since the only English-speaking nation in the world that pronounces the last letter of the alphabet as "Zee" is the U.S.A. All other 41 English speaking nations pronounce it "Zed". The English, Scottish & Shetlander (British) and Australian members of Atlantis (according to their uniform flags) should be heard to say "Zed" in the future, which would be their natural way of speaking. But since 60% of the English-speaking people in the world live in the U.S., and the show started as a U.S. project, it is understandable that most personnel in Atlantis will pronounce it "Zee".
Goof: The drone that assaults the helicopter blasts a hole in the top of the dome at the Antarctica station. When the helicopter lands around 7 minutes later, the glass on the dome is complete.
Goof: When the Wraith dial into Athos, the symbols rotate the same as when someone is dialing out. However, in all future episodes, all the symbols begin lighting up in a clockwise order, activating each chevron along the way.
Goof: On Teyla's planet, Athos, the Stargate's DHD appears to change locations. When they first arrived it was only a few meters away from the gate, but when the Wraith attacked it was much further away.
The staircase in the Atlantis control room has a message written on the front. It reads as following from top to bottom.
We hold these as the truth: A hearty welcome to those of other worlds visiting our home for the first time. Welcome again to those returning. You have been gone too long and your absence has weighted heavily on out souls. We are whole again that you are among us and we celebrate you being here again. As we leave for distant worlds we pledge to respect the lands of our neighbors and to act with integrity as ambassadors in peace time of out people. Travelers with open hearts will always be welcome. Refugees from tyranny may seek shelter under out roof and know that out people will lay down their lives to protect the weak and the just. Let this be our pledge to those inhabitants of this world. And all we may ever know we will always strive to come in peace as we go in peace and you will be welcome on our shores forevermore.
(McKay leads Weir, Sumner and Sheppard into a room with a glowing hologram of a woman in a white robe.)
Hologram: ... in the hope of spreading new life in a galaxy where there appeared to be none. Soon the new life grew, prospered. Here ...
(As she continues speaking, Weir, Sumner and Sheppard walk over to Beckett, who is standing on a step behind a small podium.)
Beckett: It's a hologram. The recording loops. This is my second time through.
Sumner: What have we missed?
Beckett: Not much.
Hologram: ... exchange knowledge and friendship (above her head a three dimensional holographic map of the galaxy appears). In time, a thousand worlds bore the fruit of life in this form. Then, one day our people stepped foot upon a dark world where a terrible enemy slept. Never before had we encountered beings with powers that rivaled our own. In our over-confidence, we were unprepared and outnumbered. The enemy fed upon defenseless human worlds like a great scourge until finally only Atlantis remained. This city's great shield was powerful enough to withstand their terrible weapons, but here we were besieged for many years. In an effort to save the last of our kind, we submerged our great city into the ocean. The Atlantis Stargate was the one and only link back to Earth from this galaxy, and those who remained used it to return to that world that was once home. There, the last survivors of Atlantis lived out the remainder of their lives. This city was left to slumber, in the hope that our kind would one day return.
(Beckett steps off the podium and the hologram disappears.)
Sumner (over radio): Doctor Weir. Colonel Sumner. Can you come down and meet me, please? We're three levels down from you.
Weir: (into radio) Right away.
(Weir and Sheppard make their way down to meet with Sumner.)
Sumner: We've only been able to secure a fraction of the place. It's huge.
Weir: So it might really be the lost city of Atlantis?
Sumner: I'd say that's a good bet.
(Sumner leads them towards what he wants them to see. Weir stares in amazement.)
Weir: Oh my God.
(Sumner has brought them to a large window. The city lies under water.)
Weir: We're under water.
(They gaze out of the window.)
Sumner: I'd say we're under several hundred feet of ocean. If we can't dial out, this could be a problem.
McKay: Colonel. Doctor Weir.
Sheppard: (to McKay) We're under water!
McKay: (walking over to join them) Yes, I was just, uh, coming to tell you. Fortunately, there is some sort of a forcefield holding back the w...water. (stops and stares at the sight out of the window.) Oh, that is impressive, isn't it?
Beckett: They think the gene was used as a sort of genetic key, if you will, so that only their kind could operate certain dangerous and powerful technologies.
(Beckett turns away from the Chair. Behind him, Sheppard pokes at the arm control panels tentatively.)
Sheppard: So some people have the same genes as these Ancients.
(Sheppard walks around the Chair.)
Beckett: The specific gene is very rare, but on the whole they look very much like we do. In fact they were first. We're the second evolution of this form, the Ancients having explored this galaxy for millions of years before ... Major, please don't.
(Sheppard started to sit down in the Chair.)
Sheppard: Come on, what are the odds of me having the same genes as these guys?
(As Sheppard sits down, the Chair immediately lights up and reclines. Sheppard and Beckett stare in amazement.)
Beckett: Quite slim, actually. (Shouting out) Doctor Weir! (looks at Sheppard) Don't move.
(Beckett hurries off. Sheppard lies in the Chair, looking upwards nervously.)
McKay: The Zero Point Module, General. The, uh, Ancient power source you recovered from Proclarush Taonas and that's now powering the outpost's defenses. I have since determined that it generates its enormous power from vacuum energy derived from a self-contained region of subspace time.
O'Neill: That was a waste of a perfectly good explanation.
(O'Neill and Sheppard fly in a helicopter when they receive warning from a base.)
Voice (over radio): All inbound craft, we have a rogue drone that could seek a target on its own. Land immediately and shut down your engines. This is not a drill. I repeat …
Sheppard: It's too late. Hang on!
(The drone flies at them, but Sheppard swings the helicopter out of its way. The drone circles around and comes at them from behind. Again Sheppard yanks the helicopter out of the way. Again the drone swings around and heads towards them.)
O'Neill: Break right.
(Sheppard banks hard to the left. The drone whizzes past them again.)
O'Neill: I said right!
Sheppard: I'm gettin' to that, sir.
(Sheppard swings the helicopter to the right.)
(A helicopter flies over the snow of Antarctica.)
Sheppard: Apache, Black Hawk, Cobra, Osprey ...
O'Neill: That's a lot of training for the Antarctic.
Sheppard: It was the one continent I never set foot on.
O'Neill: It's one of my least favorite continents.
Sheppard: I kinda like it here.
(O'Neill turns and looks at him.)
O'Neill: You like it here?!
Sheppard: Yes, sir. (checks his instruments) Be there in about ten minutes, sir.
Beckett: You see? Nothing.
(Beckett gets out of the Chair and starts to walk away.)
McKay: Carson. Get back here.
Beckett: (to McKay) I could sit in that chair all bloody day long and nothing would happen. It's a waste of time. (to Weir) Excuse me, Doctor Weir.
McKay: (to Weir) He's not even trying.
Weir: But he's the one who discovered the gene this technology responds to.
McKay: Yeah, well, he said he wished he never had it.
McKay: (incredulously) I know, can you believe that?
Weir: (smiles) We could always test you a third time, Rodney.
McKay: (annoyed) That's very funny.
Weir: We've only found a handful of people who are genetically compatible with the Ancient technology and despite your heroic efforts to interface ours with theirs, we need every one of them to sit in this Chair, including Doctor Beckett.
McKay: What am I supposed to do? He's afraid of that thing.
Sheppard: What's the mask you got on?
Wex: This? Wraith.
Sheppard: Wraith? What's that?
Jinto: You don't know?
Wex: What world do you come from?
Jinto: Can we go there?
Sheppard: I'm afraid not. I come from a galaxy far, far away.
McKay: Huh. So the story of Atlantis is true. A great city that sank in the ocean.
Beckett: It just didn't happen on Earth.
McKay: Well, the ancient Greeks must've heard it from one of the surviving Ancients.
Sumner: I don't like the fact that they got their asses kicked.
Weir: This is it. Seriously, Doctor, calm down. You're embarrassing me.
McKay: I've never been so excited in my entire life.
Weir: (After being offered command of the Atlantis expedition) You know me well enough to know I could never turn down an opportunity like this.
Grodin: That's not all. Look at this.
(Pushes button. An energy shield covers the Stargate.)
Sumner: Just like the iris on the Earth Gate.
McKay: (quietly) Using power, using power, using power.
Jackson: Yes, it's-it's the name of a dwarf galaxy in the local group.
McKay: After all that time, is there any hope of actually meeting them?
Jackson: Who knows, but isn't that reason enough to go?
Weir: I've been choosing members for this expedition for months, Doctor. I'm not the one who needs convincing. (looks at O'Neill)
Jackson: We've gotten closer and closer to finding the location of the Lost City but it turns out we've been looking in the wrong place all along. Now, we thought we had a Stargate address -- six symbols representing coordinates in space that determine the location of the planet the Ancients went to after they left Antarctica. Now, recently we determined a seventh symbol. (adds symbol to board)
Weir: The point of origin, Earth.
Jackson: That's not it.
McKay: Then your address must be incorrect.
Jackson: Not incorrect… incomplete.
Weir: What are you saying, Doctor Jackson?
Jackson: It's an eight symbol address. What we're looking for may be further away than we ever imagined, but it's not out of reach.
Jackson: Atlantis. I think we can go there.
Sheppard: I don't know what that means.
Sumner: (sarcastically) It's his name.
Sheppard: With all due respect, Sir, we were just attacked by an alien missile, then I found out I have some mutant gene, then there's this Stargate thing and these expeditions to other galaxies...
O'Neill: You know, this isn't about you, Sheppard. It's a lot bigger than that.
Sheppard: Right now, at this very second, whether I decide to go on this mission or not seems to be about me.
O'Neill: I told you not to touch anything.
Sheppard: I...I just sat down!
Sheppard: What the hell was that thing anyways?
Beckett: You mean the drone? It's the weapon the Ancients build to defend this outpost.
Sheppard: The who?
Beckett: You do have security clearance to be here?
Sheppard: So you were the one?
Sheppard: You were the one that fired that thing at me.
Beckett: Look, we're doing research, working with technology that's lightyears beyond us, and we make mistakes. I'm incredibly, incredibly sorry.
Sheppard: Well next time just be a little more careful, okay?
O'Neill: Daniel! Warm welcome.
Jackson: It wasn't me. How did you manage to erm...?
O'Neill: Keep my ass from getting blown out of the sky? The exceptional flying of Major John Sheppard. He likes it here.
Jackson: Exceptional. (To Sheppard) You like it here?
Sheppard: I can't see it.
O'Neill: Pull up, pull up!
(Sheppard steers the helicopter down, the drone narrowly missing them again as the ground rushes to meet them)
O'Neill: What about now?
Sheppard: Now is good.
O'Neill: Break right.
(Sheppard steers the helicopter to the left)
O'Neill: I said right!
Sheppard: I'm getting to that Sir.
(Daniel rushes to McKay and Weir)
Daniel: Ah, just the people I need to see.
(He walks away, leaving Weir and McKay who share a look before Daniel comes back)
Daniel: Come with me.
Weir: Can I have everyone's attention, please? All right, here we go. We're about to try to make a connection. We have been unable to predict exactly how much power this is going to take, and we may only get the one chance at this. So if we're able to achieve a stable wormhole, we're not going to risk shutting the 'gate down. We'll send in the MALP robot probe, check for viability, and go. Everything in one shot. Now, every one of you volunteered for this mission. And you represent over a dozen countries. You are the world's best and brightest. And in light of the adventure we are about to embark on, you're also the bravest. I hope we all return one day having discovered a whole new realm of humanity to explore, but as all of you know, we may never be able to return home. I'd like to offer you all one last chance to withdraw your participation. (no one moves) Begin the dialing sequence.
Teyla: Each morning before dawn our people drink a stout tea to brace us for the coming day. Will you join us?
Sheppard: I love a good cup of tea. Now there's another thing you know about me. We're practically friends already.
Beckett: Please tell me this is not my fault.
Beckett: Thank you.
(Simon tried to call Elizabeth after having heard she's going away to another galaxy)
Operator: The cellular customer you are trying to reach is currently outside the coverage area.
Simon: No kidding.
Sumner: Let me make myself clear, Major. You are not here by my choice.
Sheppard: Sure you'll warm up to me once you get to know me, sir.
Sumner: As long as you remember who's giving the orders.
Sheppard: That would be Doctor Weir right?
Sumner: Everything in here has been double checked and triple checked and cleared for take off. Leave it alone.
Beckett: Look Colonel, I don't answer to you.
Bates: He said the same to me, sir.
Sumner: That's what your sidearm is for.
Sheppard: I told Dr Weir… that I'd… well... I'd think about it.
O'Neill: And? So? Well? What?
O'Neill: You know I checked into his record.
Weir: I know about the whole supposed black mark in Afghanistan, he was trying to save the lives of three servicemen.
O'Neill: Disobeying a direct order in the process.
Weir: I have read your own file, General. Please.
Jackson: I've figured out that the Ancients packed up their entire city somewhere between five and ten million years ago.
O'Neill: In their... flying city.
Jackson: Yes. (after Jack smirks) What?
O'Neill: Flying city.
Jackson: Well, keep in mind this is the race that built the Stargates. They did everything big.
O'Neill: This isn't a long trip so I'll be a succinct as possible.
Sheppard: (after a long silence) Well, that's pretty succinct.
O'Neill: Thank you.
Ford: Major Sheppard is reporting the drone appears to have been incapacitated. General O'Neill's helicopter is unharmed and on its way again. 7 Minutes out.
Weir: Thank God.
Beckett: Holy crap.
Beckett: I'm a Doctor. A medical Doctor.
McKay: There is nothing to be afraid of.
Beckett: You don't understand, I break things like this.
McKay: This device has survived for millions of years in tact. It will survive you. Now sit down. Close your eyes and concentrate.
Beckett: (sitting in the chair) I think I feel something. It could be lunch related.
Weir: Dr. Beckett should be proud he's genetically advanced.
McKay: It's not more advanced. It's a random characteristic.
Weir: This really bothers you, this whole gene thing, huh?
McKay: Oh, clearly I am overcome with envy.
McKay: He's afraid of the thing.
Weir: This chair controls the most powerful weapons known to humankind. I'm afraid of the thing.
Jackson: Jack, if it's not too late for me...
Jackson: I could just grab...
Beckett: So you know nothing about the Stargate?
Sheppard: The what?
Teyla: If the Wraith have never touched your world, you should go back there.
O'Neill: (to Daniel) Let's say we cut to the part where you start talking real fast.
Sheppard: That was different.
O'Neill: For me, not so much.
Sheppard: Me, um, I like, uh, Ferris wheels and, uh, college football and anything that goes more than 200 miles per hour.
O'Neill: That was a waste of a perfectly good explanation. The answer is no.
McKay: This thing is obviously their equivalent of a DHD.
Sheppard: Obviously . . .
Sheppard: It was the one continent I never set foot on
O'Neill: It's one of my least favorite continents
Sheppard: I kind of like it here
O'Neill: You like it here?
O'Neill: Why did you become a pilot?
Sheppard: Because I think people who don't want to fly are crazy.
O'Neill: And I think people who don't want to go through the Stargate are equally as whacked.
(After setting off a drone missile)
Beckett: I told you I was the wrong person!
McKay: It doesn't matter now! Just do something!
Beckett: Like what?
McKay: We need the ZedPM to power the gate.
Jackson: ZPM. He's Canadian.
O'Neill: I'm Sorry.
(waiting to go through the gate to Atlantis)
Sheppard: What's it feel like?
Ford: Hurts like hell, sir. Whoo-Hoo!!!
(He smiles as he goes through the gate.)
The lake on Athos appears to be the same one from the beginning of the Stargate SG-1 Season 2 episode "In the Line of Duty."
David Hewlett will be receiving the "And" credit.
Joe Flanigan does actually know how to fly the helo that Sheppard and O'Neill were in, but for both budgetary reasons and safety concerns Flanigan's shots inside the helo were all done in a studio or on location, and he was not permitted to try to fly.
As stated in the DVD Commentary, Rachel Luttrell's name was spelled incorrectly in the opening credits of some episodes of season one. This error was corrected in subsequent episodes and on the DVD Release version.
Teyla was originally named "Mikala" in an early draft of the script. Among the many actresses who auditioned for the role are Ona Grauer ("Ayiana" in Stargate SG-1 Season 6's "Frozen") and Kira Clavell ("Amaterasu" in Stargate SG-1 Season 8's "New Order").
Originally, the main scientist was to be "Dr. Benjamin Ingram," an African-Canadian. Actor David Hewlett (while not African-Canadian) even auditioned for the role before it was decided to replace Ingram with Dr. Rodney McKay who was first introduced in the Stargate SG-1 Season 5 episode "48 Hours".
Stargate Atlantis was originally conceived to be set on Earth, after Stargate SG-1 had ended its run and had spawned the new series with a feature film. The film's story instead became the SG-1 Season Seven finale "Lost City" which sets up the premise for the new show. Because SG-1 continued to an eighth season, which would run simultaneously with the first year of Atlantis, the producers decided instead to set the new show in another galaxy, so that the shows could run concurrently without their plots constantly interfering with, or needing to refer to, one another.
Before Joe Flanigan was cast, Ben Browder was also in the running to play John Sheppard. Instead, Browder became Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell on Stargate SG-1, first appearing in the Season 9 premiere episode "Avalon, Part 1".
The Pemberton Glacier in British Columbia doubles for Antarctica during the opening flying sequence.
When this episode was shown as a two hour premier it broke the SCI-FI's ratings record by attracting over 4.2 million viewers. It was also the most watched cable program that day.
-This two-hour pilot episode received the 2005 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series.
-This episode was nominated for a Leo Award for Best Production Design in a Dramatic Series.
Parts 1 and 2 of the pilot were released on DVD as the Stargate Atlantis: Rising movie.
Dr. Elizabeth Weir, then played by actress Jessica Steen, first appeared in Stargate SG-1's Seventh Season episode "Lost City" and was originally named 'Teresa Wright', then 'Teresa Weir". The character was also in the SG-1 Season Seven finale, "Lost City 2" and as well as the first two episodes of Season Eight, "New Order 1" and "New Order 2".
Had a production budget of $5 million (U.S.).
-This episode aired in Canada on July 19, 2004 on The Movie Network and Movie Central.
-This episode aired in the UK on October 12, 2004 on Sky One.
-This episode aired in Australia on March 27, 2005 on Channel 7.
-Syndication Premiere: September 24-25, 2005
Craig Veroni (Dr. Grodin) previously played the weapons officer on Prometheus in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Grace".
Ona Grauer appeared at the beginning flashback of Earth several million years in the past, as the Female Ancient. Grauer also guest stared in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Frozen" as the Ancient Ayiana, who is found frozen in the Antarctic. We can infer from the events, that the two characters are the same.
Christopher Heyerdahl (Halling) previously played Pallan in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Revisions."
Although he made three guest starring appearances on Stargate SG-1, this is the first time David Hewlett (Dr. McKay) had dialogue with either Richard Dean Anderson (Jack O'Neill) or Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson).
It may or may not be a coincidence, but one of main writers on MacGyver, an action-adventure series starring Richard Dean Anderson (Col./Gen. Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1), was also named "John Sheppard".
The name "Teyla" is probably taken from the names of Brad Wright's daughters, Tessa and Kayla, which are also the names of General Hammond's granddaughters in Stargate SG-1.
Paul McGillion (Dr. Beckett) previously played the young Ernest Littlefield in the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Torment of Tantalus."
Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks are the only actors to appear in the pilots of both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis.
Sheppard: We're from a galaxy far, far away.
He was riffing on the opening scroll from the Star Wars movies.