Stargate Atlantis

Season 4 Episode 6

Tabula Rasa

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Nov 02, 2007 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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out of 10
371 votes
  • Beautifully basic sci-fi premise with a Stargate twist.

    Wiping the memories of the entire cast is not a new thing in sci-fi. The most recent example I can recall is the episode of BTVS, also titled Tabula Rasa, where the gang didn't know who they were.

    I liked that, finally, the expedition has run into a childhood illness that affects everyone on the base. Fic writers have been playing with the idea since day one, and it was never really done on SG-1 which is saying something considering there were upwards of 200 episodes in that series, but one would have to think that, along with potent alien punch and weird technology there would be something akin to the chicken pox on some other planet that would have an adverse reaction to the people from Earth.

    The fact that everything became very militant was also very sci-fi. Alien plague breaks out, the infected are quaranteened, the military takes over. It's the premise of a hundred movies, not to mention more than a few tv series'. I liked the darker edge that Lorne had in this episode; he didn't have much to do this season, but the few episodes he did appear in he had fairly important parts in the storyline which is encouraging. I'm a big fan of Kavan Smith and I thought he did an excellent job playing a military leader who was not exactly the dry quippy Major Lorne we're used to.

    Clueless Sheppard was a little strange, but panicked Rodney and take-charge Sam were perfect.

    Anybody out there got a count on how many times Ronon's shot Sheppard now?

    Tine Rua
  • See Summary

    Tabula Rasa, a theme quite popular in science fiction series, was done again here. The episode itself was a little drawn out, but entertaining none the less. I didn't really see any connection from this episode to any major story lines that still exist. The scenery in this episode was cool, with a dark feel to it. I hope we start to see some better stories in future episodes. I feel that Stargate Atlantis is taking an easy route by doing whats already been done. This episode continues to prove that statement. I want to see more challenging situations, more space battles, and more about the Ancients maybe.
  • Superb episode

    This episode - the way it starts - from the some way on the back and like flashes memories of before are coming and coming back until we finally learn the whole story - very well written and made the watching of this episode very exciting.

    I also liked that even McKay was the main char on the focus, it was enough time for everyone else - specially for the new doctor and Carter as they really need more of those melt in episodes and this one worked well.

    And the amnesia thing - it was so great to follow - noone knew anyone and they all acted somehow like little kids. Great idea and great worked with it.
  • Who? What? An amnesiac episode worth remembering

    When the ep first start it look likes we are ending up in the middle of something. McKay is tied to a desk and don't know why. And neither do we, until we are giving flashbacks of what has happened, and then they jump back and fourth in time. An illness is causing people to loose thier memories, and the longer they go without treatment, death.
    Ronon and Teyla are the only one immun, but they are not around to help. Ronon has flown off with Sheppard and Teyla, is helping McKay, or would had helped, she is no where to be found. And to make things worse Lorne and his team are on stimulants and a bit, not quite themself, and are rounding up people and stunning them when not doing as ordered. An order given to them when they had their memory intact an my guess are doing because is the last thing they remember.
    Oh, my, oh my. Seing this ep makes me wonder if they ever gonna catch a break! An illnes that makes you loose your mind?!
    This was an exciting episode, it's shows that nothing in the Pegasus Galaxy is mundane! Not even their own planet!
  • Amnesia, the silent killer you never knew.

    This is a really solid episode! It was so stressful to watch; I loved it. They had some pretty dangerous conflicts central to the plot (the epidemic), and countless obstacles along the way. "How are they going to get out of this?!"
    They all dealt with it in different ways. Personally, I think Rodney should tie himself up more often. Actually, there was a lot of tying up and imprisonment in this episode.

    I loved the whole "Wizard of Oz" vibe I felt running through the episode as a group of "strangers" banded together to look for Teyla.

    This wasn't as good as "33", but I enjoyed the conflicts, and problem solving a plenty!

    Amnesiac drugged-up soldiers are fun.
  • Not entirely original, but still great episode, if a bit fillerish

    Yet *another* filler episode, c'mon Atlantis, show us this Wraith/Replicator war, me want story arc >-(

    However, enough complaining, I'm actually quite gushy about this episode. The acting as ever is superb, and the method used to film the amnesia portion of the episode was great.

    The story itself isn't exactly original, the whole "memory loss" thing isn't exactly new territory. However the execution of the story is decidedly unique, with the amnesia storyline simply threading into the greater theme of people being rounded up by a group of unknown soldiers. It's a very nice homage to dystopian sci fi flicks of yore, and its nice that the writers realising their treading familiar ground, as such they decide to do something new, instead of chalking this up as the obligatory (amnesia episode)

    One minor quibble, I would have preferred the entire episode to be about the amnesiacs, without the flashback sequences. That way information about the storyline could be fed to us slowly, giving the episode a nice aura of mystery, instead of telling us upfront. Mah well, I didn't say it was perfect.
  • Buffy did this already.

    Don't get me wrong, I actually really enjoyed this episode. The last couple have been little more than filers & this was much better. Though the title & plot reminded me of Buffy, the did have some new twists. It was really fabulous right up to the point where Major Lorne is told he has a photo of Shepard in his pocket. It was gripping for me & I thought how th hell are they going to get out if this wit the secutiry team heading to the jumper room. Being toldthe photo was in te pocket was a little too convenient. That is the only criticism I have. The episode had to finish somewhere though, it could've gone on forever.

    Otherwise, I really enjoyed it. Am in Manila ATM so have to wait to get back to see this week's...
  • The majority of the citizens of Atlantis are affected by amnesia. Despite difficulties, they manage to save the day. Actually, it was much better than it sounded . . .

    This was the episode I wasn't excitedly waiting for. And in the first few minutes or so, I figured out the plot - still, I enjoyed it far more than I expected to. It was actually well written and well acted. We got to really see things about the characters that we didn't see in their normal "with memory" personas. For ex: McKay. He's a loveable guy even sans snark. He and Teyla were great together. I especially loved the scene where McKay hit the ENTER button to complete the program that was "almost done". The execution by the actors just made that entire scene. Terrific. And then, Sheppard and Ronan are sent to a planet to get the cure for the Amnesia. Ronan get's to really step up and help Sheppard out. You can really see the friendship that has developed there. My favorite scene between the two of them is when he talks Sheppard into giving him the gun. Very nice. All the players had great bits of business. Also, I think this is the ep where that G4 guy shows up who did that Atlantis rap video. He was pretty good. All in all a very enjoyable episode that I like even more over time.
  • Amnesiacs roam the city, hunted by soldiers on stimulants.

    This was a decent episode, in which the residents of Atlantis come down with a mutated form of a common childhood ailment in the Pegasus galaxy. Since both Ronon and Teyla had this disease as children, they have an immunity. McKay needs to escape the soldiers roaming the city in order to rescue Teyla, who had been captured by the soldiers, all the while having no clue what he was doing, who he was, or who Teyla was. Meanwhile, Ronon and Sheppard - rapidly loosing his memory - head to the mainland in order to get the plant which is a cure for the disease. McKay sets the cities system to distribute the cure, and the city is saved. I didn't find the episode that amazing; it was a little bit too plodding. On the other hand, it wasn't that bad. Basically, it wasn't my favorite, but it could have been a lot worse.
  • Better than expected

    When the teaser was over, I was prepared for yet another wacky McKay episode, with perhaps a liberal dose of Sheppard to complete the deal. After all, that's usually how such stories play out, based on past experience. Instead, I found myself noticing something that had been absent from the series for far too long: character exploration.

    This probably sounds odd, given the premise of the episode, but this finally provides a follow-up to the third season episode "Sunday". In that episode, it was revealed that McKay was dating a fellow scientist named Katie. That little detail seemed to disappear back into the woodwork (along with McKay's reaction to Beckett's death), but this episode brings that relationship back. it's a nice touch, because McKay is humanized by his desire to be worthy of Katie's affections.

    Also, without the burden of memory, McKay becomes someone a bit more interesting. He still has the same set of mannerisms, but the arrogance dissolves, leaving only his good intentions intact. So while the episode ostensibly centers on McKay for most of the episode, it's not the same McKay. In other words, we get to see more of the true McKay, past the façade of his brilliance.

    The story itself is simple, but the structure of the episode makes it far more entertaining. The writers manage to convey the otherworldly sense of losing memory. The story may be simple, but from the characters' perspective, the familiar is rendered alien and hostile. Seeing the situation through the eyes of the characters gives us a taste of that perspective, and that's one of the true highlights.

    So far, the producers seem to be living up to their promise. The first few episodes delved into Weir's character and explored new aspects of Sheppard, McKay, and Carter. Ronon had a solid character piece, one that actually managed to make sense. Dr. Keller received a good amount of time in the spotlight. Sheppard's solo story was a bit disappointing, but this episode continued to humanize McKay. Character is getting more emphasis, so now it's a matter of introducing some plot arcs to go along with the other improvements.
  • A mysterious illness infects the expedition leaving everyone with amnesia with the exception of Teyla and Ronon.

    This was an enjoyable episode although not as exciting as last weeks installment. I thought it quite amusing that the plant that Katie Brown brought back from the mainland and named for Rodney was the cause of all the chaos! Because Teyla and Ronon turned out to be immune to this infection they were essentially in charge of getting the expedition back to health and you get to see them take on more mainline leadership roles than normal especially Ronon which I enjoyed greatly. Teyla gently prods Rodney into getting the city's systems back and Ronon in turn (not so gently) prods Sheppard into getting the necessary plant to cure everyone. Of course they save the day and all is well. It's a good stand alone episode that most people will enjoy I believe. Now next weeks episode looks to be really exciting and I can't wait to see it!
  • Fun episode I really liked this one and although it had some plot holes it was a fun ride to watch. The memory loss issue presented some great problems for the crew. Nice run around trying to route the people of Atlantis. Thankfully Teyla and

    Fun episode I really liked this one and although it had some plot holes it was a fun ride to watch. The memory loss issue presented some great problems for the crew. Nice run around trying to route the people of Atlantis. Thankfully Teyla and Ronan were immune so they were tasked with getting the antidote. Funny scene with Ronan and Sheppard when he knocked him out and tied him up. Mckay saved the day by simply pushing enter on his laptop. He had came up with the solution when he had his memory and had simply forgotten. Of course the question is why more clues weren't left for others as a counter measure but whatever the case the suspense and action were well worth it.
  • Fantastic but simple storyline on this one

    I really liked this episode, i dont know if its just me but is SGA getting better and better or what?

    While they dont have a great deal to work with as SG1 has pretty much covered every and all plot lines possible they still manage to take something and dress it up nicely.

    Simple storyline, virus = amnesia, which before anything even happens it has you thinking, geez what happenes when no one remembers anything and the entire planet is just a bunch of panicked confued people.

    while i was dissapointed in the fact i think this episode needed MORE confused panicked people i reacon they did an awesome job.

    As a deviant to most episodes this one did not have a twist, although there were some clever add-ons to this one, like zelenka hding the DHD crystal so no one could dial out.. and everyone forgot where he put it.

    Ronon was very much at ease in this one. it seems he has settled down, i half expected him to beat the crap out of john when he challenged him but he dealt with him with rational though.

    loved it.
  • Better episode

    This was a good episode, probably the best of the last four episodes. Maybe fillers are the norm now, and they shouldn't be called fillers anymore. The thing I liked about this one is that it involved many people instead of focusing only on Sheppard and/or McKay. Off the top of my head, I remember only one stargate episode with global amnesia - early on when a wicked, planet-destroying woman accidentally blocked the memories of a civilization (not SGC though). I do remember the Star Trek TNG episode where the entire crew got their memory blocked. Anyway, the episode worked for me. It kept me interested thoughout, although the resolution part seemed too quick and simple at the end. Of course there are questions, like why one picture convinces the major, one keystroke convenience, and why some didn't prepare more for the doomsday scenario, especially Teyla and Ronon who were not affected, but I don't care. I still don't know how large Atlantis is, but at least it sounds like there are hundreds stationed on Atlantis, from what Rodney says on the tape. And, I wonder if Ronon (or the botanists) encountered the large, particularly venemous snake-like creature on the mainland!
  • A wonderful episode, for a lot of good reasons

    First, there was the story: a virus causes amnesia and the whole City is infected. Though very simple, it brings a new light on each character. How they react when they lose their grip on the present things and how they try to organize themselves.
    Then, the structure of the episode itself ; the opening, with McKay speaking to his amnesiac self through a video, was teasing and the whole flashbacks structure created dynamism in this rather slow episode. Each thing was getting in place slowly but the alternate scenes, between present and past, conveyed a sense of urgency, it enlightens the fact they are running out of time.
    Third reason for which I rated it 10, is the use of the City as a playground. In my opinion, the great thing with SGA is the fact they don't even need to go off world to have a good episode. It creates a suspenseful atmosphere, and the sets are more and more realistic. (The scene where Carter and McKay get to a balcony when they are searching for Teyla whereabouts and have a view of the immense illuminated city left me speechless.)