|Original air date||
August 13, 2004
|Atlantis Season 1|
Major John Sheppard's team's Puddle Jumper goes down on a routine mission due to electromagnetic interference. The team also make first contact with the inhabitants of M7G-677, who mostly comprise of children, since they believe that in order for the Wraith to leave them alone, they must kill themselves the night before their 25th birthday.
Major John Sheppard's team suddenly loses control of their Puddle Jumper and crashes. Investigating the Electromagnetic field that made them crash, the team discover that the planet they've landed on has no one over the age of 25. They soon learn that upon turning 25, the people of this society commit suicide because they believe it keeps the Wraith from coming back to the world on the grounds that the population are not old enough to interest them.
The team discover this isn't the case when they try to find out what brought their Jumper down. They find a device powered by a Zero Point Module which acts as a sort of an Electromagnetic field generator which disables all electrical devices within the radius, including those of the Wraith and the Lanteans; the Wraith have never returned because, even if they simply landed outside the field, they would subsequently lose their technological advantage.
Dr. Rodney McKay believes that the ZPM will allow the Atlantis team to power the Atlantis shields and takes it upon himself to bring it back to Atlantis, but Sheppard tells him to be quick, as one of the natives he has befriended; Keras, one of the village 'elders'; is going to kill himself the next day. However, upon returning, he is ordered by Dr. Elizabeth Weir to return it; the ZPM is effectively useless to Atlantis, as it only has enough power to keep their shield running for a few hours, while it is the planet's only defense and could maintain its shield for at least several more years. McKay also deduces that the suicide pact is actually connected to the device; the shield has only a limited range, so the suicide pact was created as a means of population control to stop them expanding too far and thus being deprived of the shield's protection.
Prior to McKay's re-activation of the emitter, a Wraith relay device, long deactivated due to the emitter's activity, becomes active and begins broadcasting a distress beacon.
Wraith probes are immediately dispatched, nearly resulting in a confrontation between Sheppard's team and some of the natives who believe they are responsible for this change, but McKay reattaches the ZPM, the emitter is re-activated, and the probe are unable to broadcast any data back to their hive ship of origin. As they depart, McKay reveals that, although the ZPM's power is limited, he has managed to work out a means of expanding the shield, allowing for population growth and rendering the suicide pact unnecessary; at least for the next couple of generations. As he departs, Sheppard gives Keras a present of a bag of chocolate, commenting that such a thing is traditional on birthdays back on their planet.
Ancient Technology Activation gene; Ancient Technology Activation gene therapy; Arrow; Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter; Chocolate; City of M7G-677; Council of Elders; Electromagnetic field; Electromagnetic field generator; FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon; M7G-677; Magnetic compass; People of M7G-677; Puddle Jumper; Tree House; Suicide; Veal; Wraith; Wraith Dart; Wraith relay device; Wraith probe; Radek Zelenka; Zero Point Module
(the sensors have discovered a powerful energy field)
Sheppard: You think it's worth checking out?
McKay: Any significant energy emission generally indicates technological civilization.
Sheppard: So... you think it's worth checking out?
McKay: (sarcastically) I'm sorry. Yes. Energy field good.
(the ship begins to shake violently)
McKay: (seriously) Okay, maybe not.
Weir: Rodney! We can't just visit planets, take away their defenses, uproot their cultures and bring ‘em all back here to Atlantis!
McKay: If they have a ZPM, yes we can.
Weir: Oh my God! How morally superior you must feel!
McKay: What are we going to tell them, Teyla? "Listen, kiddies, everything you believe is wrong, and trust us because we've been here for-" (checks watch) "-almost an hour!"
McKay: Let's play a quiet game. Let's see who can be quiet the longest.
Casta: I'm not a quiet person.
McKay: That's not quiet. That's talking.
Casta: Well, I'm not a quiet person. I talk a lot.
Casta: You're mean!
McKay: Thank you for finally noticing. (gets mad and starts to shake Casta) Oh, you wanna go? You wanna go do you?!
Ford: Okay (picks up Casta) You have a real gift with the kids. You do birthday parties?
- SciFi veteran David Winning directed only this one episode in the Stargate franchise. The first season episode of Atlantis won three international awards for directing; New York, Chicago, and Houston.
- On the DVD commentary for this episode, writer Martin Gero compares Aries to a villain in The Incredibles. In the scene of the final confrontation with Major John Sheppard, he begins "monologuing," which is a key feature of villains in the film.
- According to Gero, the inspiration for the "guards", Casta and Cleo, came from a rather long airplane ride in which he was sitting behind two hyper twins.
- This is the first episode without Dr. Carson Beckett; one of only four during the first season despite the fact that he was not yet a regular.
- The crossbow-like weapon with which Keras is shot is the same one used by the warriors of Juna SG-1 encountered in "Double Jeopardy".
- A point has been made that since the range of the electromagnetic device was increased by 50% near the end of the show, the Puddle Jumper would then be well within range and hence disabled once more. However, McKay and Lt. Aiden Ford probably took the Puddle Jumper back to Atlantis once the device was disabled and parked it a safe distance away when they returned to the planet.
- The first few seconds of the episode shows the Jumper flying over a lake near a forest. This same footage is later recycled to the exact in the episode "Sanctuary", merely episodes after when they fly toward the people of Proculus. As far as recycled footage goes - for example: overhead footage of Atlantis, this use of recycled footage could be in violation of canon, for it is extremely unlikely the two locations are exactly the same.
- When McKay deactivates the shield and Sheppard is forced to destroy the Wraith homing beacon, and he is held by the boys. A scene just after this was cut - it involved Sheppard being hit by stones. Rachel Luttrell in the DVD commentary says that she remembers Joe Flanigan getting hit in the head.
- The title of this episode is a reference to the book Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke.
- The fact that no one in this planet is not allowed to live past 25 years of age is very reminiscent of Logan's Run, a novel, film and TV series, in which the members of a futuristic society are not allowed to live beyond 30 years. The members of the society in this planet and the ones in Logan's Run see their deaths as necessary for the survival of their people.
- Courtenay J. Stevens (Keras) previously played Lt. Kevin Elliot in the Stargate SG-1 episodes "Proving Ground", "Summit" and "Last Stand".
- Julie Patzwald (Pelius) previously played Naytha in the Stargate SG-1 episode "A Hundred Days".
- Shane Meier (Neleus) previously played Garan in the Stargate SG-1 episode "A Hundred Days".
- Keras is 24. He states that the next day will be the first of his 25th year. This is incorrect: his 24th birthday is the first day of his 25th year. The next day, his 25th birthday, would be the first day of his 26th year. The birthdays are hold at the end of every year we live, so even if Keras is 24 that means he is living on his 25th year.
- Unless the years on M7G-677 are exactly as long as Earth years, which is highly unlikely, the team should be unable to directly compare their ages to the planet's inhabitants' using absolute numbers without converting the units. For instance, Ford, being 25, is implied to be slightly older than Keras, but if M7G-677 years are longer, Keras would actually be older than Ford. It could be argued that, like the language, the units of time are "translated" for the benefit of the viewer.
- Official Stargate Atlantis site. MGM. Visited June 8, 2006.
- Transcript from GateWorld. Transcribed by Callie Sullivan. Visited May 14, 2006.
- David Winning interview (director) SCIFIWORLD
- Review from GateWorld. Reviewed by Taylor Brown. Visited May 14, 2006.
- Production from GateWorld Visited May 14, 2006.
- David Winning (director) official web site
- Gatenoise from Moon-catchin'. Visited June 23, 2006.