SGA 4.01 "Adrift Part 2" Episode Guide

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Précis

With only 24 hours of life support remaining, the city-ship Atlantis is suspended somewhere in space without the use of the Stargate.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/SciFi.com Official Summary

The city of Atlantis is adrift in deep space after narrowly escaping a Replicator assault. With Elizabeth Weir badly injured, John Sheppard assumes command of the city, and Jennifer Keller, Atlantis's new chief medical doctor, fights to keep Weir alive.

Meanwhile, Rodney McKay and Radek Zelenka discover that, although Atlantis's Z.P.M. power source is functioning, the Replicator attack damaged the main conduits that carry power into the city. The power being pumped through these conduits is hemorrhaging into space, and soon the Z.P.M. will be drained.

Worse, in an effort to save power, the city's automated systems are relentlessly decreasing the size of Atlantis's shield. Several people perish in the vacuum of space after the shield abandons their part of the city.

Soon after McKay and Zelenka initiate patchwork repairs on the conduits, an asteroid field looms up on the city's sensors. Without propulsion or shields, Atlantis will take a terrible beating.

Sheppard herds all available pilots — including McKay — into the Jumpers, then leads his small armada out into the asteroid field to blast open a path for Atlantis. The inexperienced pilots overcome their nerves and triumphantly prevent all but a few small asteroids from impacting the city.

Unfortunately, Atlantis just can't catch a break. An overlooked asteroid damages one of the hyperdrive's control arrays, dealing the city another crucial setback. Sheppard and Zelenka space-walk out to the exposed array to fix it. A microscopic asteroid rips through Zelenka's leg like a bullet, but with Sheppard's support, the scientist heroically finishes his repairs.

Meanwhile, Keller approaches McKay with a strange proposal. Weir is near death, and Keller believes only one thing can save her: the inactive nanites that were left in Weir's body by a failed Replicator attempt to take her over. If McKay can reprogram the nanites to repair Weir's injuries without summoning their dangerous cousins the Replicators, Weir might survive. Sheppard opposes the plan, but McKay and Keller can't bear to let Weir die. They activate the nanites.

All this time, the city has continued to leak power like a dripping faucet. In the end, despite everyone's hard work, they fail to finish all the repairs before the power levels drop too low to initiate the hyperdrive. They're trapped in space aboard their dying ship. Then, suddenly, Weir awakens. The nanites have healed her and now form part of her body. On the heels of this apparent success, McKay has a daring idea: They might be able to fly a Jumper to the nearby Replicator homeworld and steal a Z.P.M. It's a long shot, but given their grim situation, Sheppard's inclined to take the risk.

To be continued...

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Production Notes

  • This episode is paired with "Lifeline" as a two-parter, but more like "Progeny" and "The Real World", with "several like story elements that will run through a number of episodes in the show’s fourth season." (Joseph Mallozzi's March 2 blog)
  • Joseph Mallozzi's one-word description of this episode is "desperation". (Joseph Mallozzi's March 5 blog)
  • "They are both big episodes [Adrift and Lifeline], offering much in the way of eye candy visual effects, character moments, and major revelations." (Joseph Mallozzi's March 21 blog)
  • "Since Martin Wood is Up north shooting scenes from Continuum, Andy Mikita will be stepping in to direct some days from Adrift and Lifeline." (Joseph Mallozzi's March 22 blog)
  • "Carter’s first appearance will be in the season four premiere, Adrift." (Joseph Mallozzi's April 16 blog)
  • "After being regaled by the other producers’ golf tales (“I used my sand widget to chip it in from the bunker flats!”), we gathered in Robert’s office to watch the producer’s cut of Adrift. Lots going on in this episode with some terrific visual effects sequences, some hard decisions made, and even an opportunity for Dr. Z to shine." (Joseph Mallozzi's May 22 blog)
  • "The afternoon was dedicated to notes [...] and the Day One Mix of Adrift (spectacular visual effets + heartfelt character moments + funny moments = best season premiere ever)." (Joseph Mallozzi's July 21 blog)
  • "Watched the final mix of Adrift this morning. Simply put: Best Season Premiere Ever." (Joseph Mallozzi's August 15 blog)
  • "These two episodes were fun to do, and there are some big surprises in store for our viewers. I love the idea of the city having to leave home and be marooned in space. I actually wanted us to be out there for seven or eight episodes. That would have been cool. I'm not why we didn't do that, but there must have been a good reason. Then, of course, we eventually had to land the city. When we did that, I hoped we would end up on a planet that was distinctly different from the last one, so that it perhaps felt like we were in an inhospitable place that would make survival a bit more challenging. However, we landed on a planet similar to the previous one and looks not unlike various areas surrounding Vancouver." — Joe Flanigan, Starburst interview, published August 2007.

Further Reading


--DeeKayP 06:20, 1 June 2007 (PDT)