Stargate Atlantis

Season 3 Episode 6

The Real World

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Aug 18, 2006 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
431 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Dr. Weir awakes in a sanitarium outside Washington, D.C., and is told that Atlantis and the Stargate program exist only in her mind.

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  • Been there, seen it, done it!

    Although Stargate Atlantis has never captured my imagination as much as its predecessor, there is still much to enjoy. The special effects are pretty good, most of the characters are likeable and some of the stories have been excellent. This is not one of those episodes. To dedicate an entire episode to a character that has gone from the lead, to the background in the space of two seasons is never going to be an exciting prospect. Add to that, a plot that has been done better everywhere else. You know you are in for a pretty boring ride (even before you reach the opening credits).

    Anyway,if you want a really excellent false reality episode, watch Farscape's "won't get fooled again"moreless
  • boring...

    Dr. Weir wakes up in a pysciatric (I know I spelled that wrong) hospital and, apperently, the last two years of her life never happened. Jack appears in this episode in a pretty pointless role, which is annoying because Jack is my favorite character and they just brough him back just to bring him back. Oh well. This episode reminds me of one in season 6 where Teal'c was at the edge of death (I think the episode name was Changling of Methamorphisis) and Daniel helped him get through it (at the time Daniel was ascended). I hated that episode and I hate this one. John helps Weir fight off the nanites and, of course, she makes it. Overall, boring, annoying, bad episode...I'm just disappointed...moreless
  • Dr. Weir is taken over by microscopic nanites that make her believe that the Stargate program is fake. She is lead to believe that the two years spent in the Pegasus galaxy were a fantasy conjured up to escape the pain of Simon's death.moreless

    I believe that it was a great way to see into the mind of Elizabeth and learn more about her character. This is my favorite episode because we get to see her as a "person" more than a "leader" and that rarely gets to happen for her.

    The writers did a fantastic job in tying in the fantasy of the dream like state and the horror of the truth behind the nightmare. The best part was when Elizabeth kicked those nurses asses in the psych ward. If I were in her shoes, I would have done the same thing. To add to that, notice how Liz can kick some ass when she has to, that is some major strength points for her.moreless
  • See Summary

    This episode was a definite side track and not really vital to the over all story. It was a little slow, and not terribly fun to watch, but it had some interesting parts. We atleast learn how the Replicators planned to destroy the Wraith, at a time of their choosing of course. It was also neat how we did see the return of the replicator who was left in space after the others reboot him and he attacked Weir. This type of episode has been done in just about every series, especially anything supernatural or syfy, so its not too original. It was done, I've seen, and now moving on, thankfully!!!moreless
  • Weir gets to steal the stage

    While I agree this episode is a bit slow and not especially original - it did provide an acting showcase for Torri Higginson (Dr. Weir). I usually find her parts wooden, but in this episode she seems like a real character you can relate to. She also gets to act like a woman and not have to put on the tough-leader facade that is so tiresome. Some of the "creepy nightmare" effects (bed, face) worked well, including the score, and provid hints to Weir she is in a nightmare. I would have liked to have learned more of Weir's back-story, since this episode was the perfect vehicle to do so.moreless
Joe Flanigan

Joe Flanigan

Major / Lt. Colonel John Sheppard

Rachel Luttrell

Rachel Luttrell

Teyla Emmagan

David Hewlett

David Hewlett

Dr. Rodney McKay

Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa

Ronon Dex

Paul McGillion

Paul McGillion

Dr. Carson Beckett

Torri Higginson

Torri Higginson

Dr. Elizabeth Weir

Alan Ruck

Alan Ruck

Dr. Adam Fletcher

Guest Star

John O'Callaghan

John O'Callaghan


Guest Star

James Bamford

James Bamford


Guest Star

Richard Dean Anderson

Richard Dean Anderson

Major General Jack O'Neill

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Nitpick: Jack O'Neill, before he got promoted to General, was a special forces Colonel who, basically, did the jobs that no one else would and no one wanted to or could talk about. Why would Elizabeth, who knows this, not find it strange that he is the one in charge of something as huge and important as a nuclear non-proliferation treaty?

    • Nitpick: If it wasn't for the Stargate Program, which the Nanites wanted Elizabeth to believe was a figment of her imagination, Jack O'Neill would have killed himself after his son died. The only reason he didn't was because he was offered the suicide mission to Abydos (the original Stargate movie). Of course, in a timeline where the Stargate is not discovered, or at the very least, not successfully brought to America, O'Neill's son may not have accidentally shot himself (as witnessed in Stargate: Continuum). Or, O'Neill just simply didn't commit suicide (as witnessed in the SG-1 Season 8 finale, "Moebius").

    • Goof: Dr. Elizabeth Weir was introduced to Colonel Jack O'Neill for the first time in Stargate SG-1's seventh season episode "Lost City (1)." She was the one who informed him of his promotion to General in the second episode of that show's eighth season ("New Order (2)"). Dr. Weir certainly did not know him two years early during her treaty negotiations and, even if she had, O'Neill would only have been a Colonel.

    • Ever since season two, Dr. Weir's office has slowly become more personal as she has been able (presumably via the Daedalus) to obtain some more of her own favored personal items from Earth. However, ever since season one, when very few personal items were brought to Atlantis by individuals, the most noticeable ornament in her office - and always on her desk - was a silver pocket watch. It remained there amongst her other, newly acquired items throughout season 2 and 3. This pocket watch is now addressed in "The Real World". It was inherited by Dr. Weir from her father.

    • General Jack O'Neill was clearly shown as having two silver stars on his uniform, marking him as being a Two Star General in the air force, or rather a Major General, which is a senior officer to a Brigadier (Brigade Leader) General (One Star), and a subordinate officer to a Lieutenant General, General, and General of the Air Force (Three, Four, and Five Star Generals respectively), and is considered to have the same rank as a Rear Admiral (Upper Half; RADM) in the U.S. Navy. His military grade would be 0-8.

    • Dr. Weir claims to know nothing about football. And clearly knows nothing about hockey, either.

    • The Atlantis gate address that Weir gets on her playing cards doesn't match the one Dr. Jackson established in "Rising". The symbols themselves are correct (though symbols 1 and 4 are at different orientations) but symbols 5 and 6 are switched from Jackson's address. However, the symbols Weir writes on the pad later are correct in relation to Jackson's.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • O'Neill: I don't know anything about Atlantis...except that it was a fairly mediocre Donovan song, not one of my favorites.

    • Fletcher: (to Weir) Imagine you were in my position, listening to your story. Traveling to another galaxy through a Stargate. Leading an expedition to the lost city of Atlantis. Would you believe it?

    • O'Neill: Now, just to be sure we're on the same page, we're against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, right?
      Weir: Got it.

    • (Sheppard appears in the nanite illusion)
      Sheppard: Elizabeth?
      Weir: John.
      Sheppard: You've been infected by nanites. They're trying to take control of your mind and body. Don't let them do it. You have to fight them. So fight.
      O'Neill: Elizabeth. You have to come with us. I'm sorry.
      Sheppard: You know which way you have to go. Run.

    • (In Weir's fantasy world)
      O'Neill: Dr. Weir. It's okay. You're safe now.
      Weir: Where am I?
      O'Neill: Stargate Command. it's okay. Follow me.
      (Sheppard appears)
      Sheppard: Elizabeth. Don't listen to them.
      O'Neill: What's wrong?
      Sheppard: This way.
      O'Neill: I'm not going to hurt you.
      Weir: The hell you aren't.

    • McKay: Okay. We think we've found a way to uncouple the nanite cells from Elizabeth's cells.
      Beckett: We?
      Teyla: How?
      McKay: We create a distraction.
      Beckett: It finally occurred to me why I wasn't having any success.
      McKay: What were the nanites originally designed to do?
      Ronon: Fight the Wraith.
      McKay: Exactly. So, that's what we'll get them to do now.
      Beckett: We think by implanting a small amount of Wraith tissue into Dr. Weir's body...
      McKay: It's like a tumor.
      Beckett: Aye, a small tumor, yes. The nanite cells will essentially...
      McKay: Will attack it. They have to. It's what they are programmed to do. Which will draw them away from Elizabeth's cells, effectively unbinding them.
      Beckett: It will only last a few seconds or so, mind you, before the nanites attack the Wraith tissue and return their focus to Dr. Weir's cells.
      McKay: But that's all we need. Momentary distraction to draw them away from her so we can zap them with the EM pulse.
      Sheppard: Okay, let's do it.

    • O'Neill: Have you given any thought to coming back to the negotiating table? That non-proliferation kind of left us hanging mid-sentence there. It'd sure be nice to hear the punchline someday.
      Weir: And the U.N. would be okay with that?
      O'Neill: Not just okay. They're insisting.
      Weir: Really?
      O'Neill: When you're the best, you're the best. Even if you've had a little...setback, so to speak...he said awkwardly.

    • O'Neill: And so...we're the fantasy?
      Weir: Yes.
      O'Neill: You know I don't mind being fantasized about occasionally...

    • Sheppard: You know, if Carson's right, and you can hear me, I suppose I should say something profound. (slight pause) Okay, I'm not so good at profound, but you should know, we're doing everything we can to get you through this. These...these nanites, I don't know what they're putting you through. I don't know what they're doing to you, but don't let them get to you. We're doing everything we can to bring you back, but you've got to do your part. You've gotta fight this.

    • (when referring to Atlantis' gate address)
      O'Neill: Dialing sequence? Like a phone number?

    • O'Neill: Well maybe you've got to work your way up into playing shape. Spend a little time doing short shifts before you work your way up to the front line.
      Weir: I know nothing about football.
      O'Neill: Nor hockey apparently.

    • Weir: It is a relief to see a friendly face.
      O'Neill: Yeah... I was going for friendly.

    • (Beginning of episode):
      Weir: When did I get back (to Earth)
      Fletcher: You never left

      (End of episode):
      Wier: I'm back to Atlantis
      Beckett: You never left

    • McKay: What?
      Beckett: What?
      McKay: It's that look. That's the same look I get when I have a brilliant idea.
      Sheppard: How would you know how you looked?
      McKay: Cause it's happened more than once in front of a mirror, ok?

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Air Dates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on September 18, 2006 on Movie Central and October 16, 2006 on The Movie Network.
      -This episode aired in the UK on November 22, 2006 on Sky One.
      -Syndication Premiere: October 27-28, 2007.
      -This episode aired in Australia on April 3, 2008 on Channel 7.
      -This episode aired in the Czech Republic on May 6, 2009 on AXN Sci-fi.

    • Richard Dean Anderson is billed as "Special Appearance By."

    • Alan Ruck is the second Spin City veteran (after Richard Kind) to appear on Stargate Atlantis this season.


    • Willoughby:

      When Dr Weir wakes up in the opening, she is told that she is in Willoughby State Hospital. Episode 130 of The Twilight Zone is called "A Stop At Willoughby". It is about a man on a commuter train who falls asleep and dreams of a peaceful town called Willoughby, which exists only in his dream.

    • Jack O'Neill: I don't know anything about Atlantis! Except that it was a fairly mediocre Donovan song...not one of my favorites.

      Donovan is a Scottish singer/songwriter who was popular in the 60s and 70s and known for such hits as "Mellow Yellow" and "Season of the Witch". He released a song entitled "Atlantis" in 1968, which hit the top 10 in both America and Australia. Apparently it was not in Jack's top 10.