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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the show's main villains, the Wraith, are an alien race that feed on humans' life-energy. With their pale, sunken faces; washed-out, stringy hair; and clawlike hands, they look pretty creepy, and the process they use to drain victims of their life force isn't pretty. The overall effect could be scary for young children. But older tweens, teens, and adults may enjoy the fright-show, as well as the notion that a race of pseudo-vampires lives in the far reaches of space.
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What's the story?
In STARGATE ATLANTIS, a team of hardy researchers volunteer to board a Stargate ship discovered in Antartica, in order to explore the far reaches of space. The Stargate deposits them in the fabled lost city of Atlantis, which was built on Earth eons ago by the Ancients -- a long-extinct, ultra-advanced species that created the Stargate network to seed the universe with humanity and later used it to zap Atlantis away from the planet. Led by Doctor Elizabeth Weir (Torri Higginson) and Major John Sheppard (Joe Flanigan), the team sets out to uncover the mysteries of Atlantis and to use the Stargate to explore the nearby planets. In the process, they also discover the Wraith, a terrible race of vampire-like creatures that feed off of humans' life-energy. The small contingent from Earth is joined by two locals from the Pegasus Galaxy, Teyla (Rachel Luttrell) and Ronon Dex (Jason Momoa), who have spent their entire lives fighting the Wraith.
Is it any good?
There's plenty of fodder for thoughtful storylines in this compelling, if somewhat derivative, sci-fi drama, which was spun off of the popular Stargate SG-1. Stargate Atlantis sometimes seems like many other space operas, with noble heroes, evil villains, and a predictable crisis that's conveniently wrapped up in about 57 minutes. But it also poses some interesting questions about the origins of mankind and our place in the galactic food chain.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether they, like the crew of the Atlantis, would volunteer for a one-way trip that could be a suicide mission ... or the ticket to a lifetime of adventure. Do kids believe that Atlantis ever really existed? How do legends and myths get started? How are they sustained?