This article covers the episodes of the spin-off Stargate Atlantis as it crosses stories with Stargate SG-1.
An elite team of explorers from Earth have embarked on a one-way trip to the Pegasus Galaxy to the legendary Lost City of the Ancients, Atlantis. Their mission is to explore the galaxy and seek contact with advanced alien races, perhaps even the Ancients themselves, and acquire the technology to return home with increased weaponry and knowledge to aid in the defense of Earth.
Several million years ago, in a beautiful alien city in Antarctica, a man and a woman in silver clothing—two of the Ancients who created the Stargates—look out a window sadly as the city rises out of the encroaching ice and flies away to the stars, leaving behind only a small outpost.
Present day: At the Ancients' abandoned outpost (discovered in the episode, 7.22 "Lost City Part 2"), Dr. Elizabeth Weir, head of the Stargate Atlantis project, rides an elevator with Lt. Aiden Ford down a deep shaft bored in the ice. Reaching the research facility below, they find Dr. Rodney McKay and Dr. Carson Beckett arguing over the fact that Beckett is afraid to sit in the Ancient chair that controls the most powerful weapons known to humankind — even though he possesses (and is the one who discovered) the mutant gene to which Ancient technology automatically responds. As Weir points out, only a handful of people have the gene, and every time one of them sits in the chair they learn more about the Ancients.
Dr. Daniel Jackson of Stargate Command then tells Weir and McKay of a remarkable discovery he's just made: The Stargate address to the Lost City of Atlantis is incomplete. On a white board he adds an eighth symbol—indicating that Atlantis is not on Earth nor even in their galaxy, but on a planet far, far away. And they can 'gate there.
As Gen. Jack O'Neill races to the outpost in a helicopter flown by Maj. John Sheppard, McKay convinces Beckett to sit in the chair. It activates and launches an Ancient drone weapon that almost destroys the helicopter. But thanks to Sheppard's fancy flying and Beckett's new-found ability to turn off his control, the chopper lands safely.
At the outpost, Daniel tells O'Neill that the Ancients flew their entire city to a dwarf galaxy called Pegasus. In order for an expedition to 'gate that far, they need to boost the Stargate with the Earth's sole ZPM (Zero Point Module), an Ancient energy source currently powering the outpost's defenses and is vital to Earth's defense against an alien attack. The 'gating may totally drain the ZPM.
And even if it didn't, there wouldn't be enough power to 'gate back.
O'Neill says no. But Daniel convinces him that by visiting the Ancients' city they could find more ZPMs and who knows what else to protect Earth. The expedition's a go, though O'Neill insists Daniel is too valuable here on Earth to join them. Weir is in charge, with Colonel Marshall Sumner as her military commander. After some reluctance, Sheppard—who, it has been discovered, has the most potent variable of the Ancient gene—joins the offworld expedition along with McKay, Beckett, a military compliment and a full crew of the best and the brightest representing more than dozen countries.
- Brig. Gen. Jack O'Neill
- Dr. Daniel Jackson
- Dr. Carson Beckett
- Lt. Aiden Ford
- Dr. Rodney McKay
- Maj. John Sheppard
- Col. Marshall Sumner
- Dr. Elizabeth Weir
- Antarctic Outpost
- Lost City of the Ancients
- Stargate Command (SGC)
- Stargate Program Disclosure
- Zero Point Module (ZPM)
--DeeKayP 20:43, 28 Oct 2004 (PDT)