Stargate Atlantis TV Poster Image

Stargate Atlantis



Formulaic space saga is fine for older tweens.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The team is based on a rigid military hierarchy that follows orders, though some maverick characters will occasionally defy orders to follow their gut instincts and are later praised for making such brave and unorthodox choices.


Rather mild combat scenes using blasters that tend to stun people, or aliens, into submission without any gory aftereffects.


No explicit sexual scenes or nudity, just occasional mild flirtation.


No offensive language. In this alternative future, in addition to all sorts of wild technological advances, humans have also managed to learn to control their tongues.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In the future, humans seem to have learned to control desires for such unpleasant vices.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Premiere date:July 16, 2004
Cast:Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, Torri Higginson
Networks:Syfy, Syndicated
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 8 and 9 year old Written byDrowlord October 6, 2010

Very safe for children old enough to be interested in it.

Alien monsters and violence might be a bit much for younger kids. It is fundamentally a military-friendly show and has some messages that some will find objectionable. Overall, the violence isn't intense, there is relatively little reference to sex, the language is okay, the role models are positive, and messages generally revolve around treating people fairly.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byCommanderC April 9, 2008

Not as good as SG-1.

A good stand-alone show, but more enjoyable if you are a fan of Stargate SG-1. As with most spin-offs, Atlantis is not as good as the original.
Parent of a 11, 13, and 13 year old Written bysay NO to forni... August 5, 2009

stick with the original

A bit more violent that original SG, has more disturbing monsters, and has unpleasant levels of politically "correct" notions.
What other families should know
Too much violence


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