|Letters from Pegasus|
|Original air date|
Amanda Tapping as Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter
|Atlantis Season 1|
- This episode is a clip show: it is largely composed of clips of previous episodes.
In the wake of discovering a fleet of three Hive Ships zeroing on Atlantis, Dr. Rodney McKay manages to give the Stargate enough power to dial Earth for one second, which is more than enough time to send compressed data, including the team members' messages to their families.
Previously on Stargate: AtlantisEdit
A Wraith Dart arrives at Atlantis and scans the city and sends a message into space before self-destructing. Dr. Radek Zelenka aims the Long range sensors to where the message was sent and discovered three Hive ships that will arrive at Atlantis in two weeks.
After Atlantis discovers three Wraith Hive Ships coming in their direction, the leading team discusses what to do. Lt. Aiden Ford suggests they take the Zero Point Module from M7G-677 but Dr. Elizabeth Weir refuses to back such a suggestion. Dr. Rodney McKay reveals that they can use the whole of their energy resources to open a wormhole to Earth and send a high-compression data burst. Though risky, the team decides to do it. After the meeting, Dr. Radek Zelenka informs the team where the Hive ships will leave hyperspace and Major John Sheppard and Teyla Emmagan decide to personally oversee the threat. They travel to a planet which Teyla knows via Puddle Jumper and meet an old friend of hers named Orin. After warning him of the threat from the Wraith, Teyla tells Orin that they will rescue his family although Sheppard can make no promises.
At Atlantis, McKay suggests that since space will remain after the initial data transfer, everyone should include a personal message to be sent to Earth as well. Weir decides that every member of the team should have the possibility to send a video message to their loved ones (given they do not reveal classified information). Ford takes on this task by filming a message intended for his grandparents.
Meanwhile, Teyla and Sheppard quarrel about Teyla's promise of help to Orin when the Wraith abruptly appear. Each Hive ship is escorted by three Wraith cruisers, making the force invading Atlantis much worse than they'd expected. They shower the planet with a flurry of Wraith Darts. Before the Jumper can escape through the Stargate, it is dialed by the Wraith, so they unable to leave return to the predetermined location to meet Orin and wait for him.In the meantime, the Atlantis members continue to forge their messages. Dr. Carson Beckett, although inarticulate at first, sends a sentimental message to his mother. Zelenka recounts (in Czech) Atlantis' Rising. Sgt. Bates sends a message to his younger brother and Weir informs the families of fallen servicemen about the fate of their family members as well as an additional personal message to Simon. McKay even films a lengthy message on his own while Dr. Peter Kavanagh sends a message to Brigadier General Jack O'Neill in which he lists all the mistakes Weir has made (in his opinion)(although ironically and somewhat humorously, its very likely that not only would O'Neill not care enough about an arbitrary supplemental procedural complaint video from a scientist to watch more than a few seconds, but that he'd most likely agree with all of her decisions anyway, so make no effort to take the complaint into any consideration). During these clips, several flashbacks occur from former episodes which outline ambiguous details and facilitate a clearer understanding of the past months; including the events during the storm around Atlantis, the attack of the Genii, and several battles with the Wraith.
On the planet, Sheppard and Teyla can only watch in horror while the Wraith cull the population en masse. Suddenly, a dart deposits something on the planet which emits a strange beam so Sheppard intrigued resolves to investigate regardless of the danger. While he is away, a Wraith passes right by the Jumper, oblivious to its presence but highly suspicious he only just misses the shield by less than a yard. When he finally walks away a relieved Teyla can hardly believe her luck. Thankfully, minutes later, Teyla is able to collect a few escaping inhabitants who wander by. When Sheppard returns a short while later, he adamantly wants to escape immediately (since the gate is deactivated) but Teyla insists that if he does leave she will stay behind and wait as she had promised to do. So Sheppard reluctantly agrees to wait a little longer for Orin and his family, in the hopes they've still managed to escape the massive Wraith culling going on. After what seems like forever, Orin finally arrives accompanied by several other denizens. Sheppard worries there's too many for the Jumper to cope with, but on witnessing a few get culled by the beams right before their eyes, Sheppard is shook into consenting to take as many as possible. They're able to flee through the gate but not without some unfortunate human loss to the Wraith.
In Atlantis, Sheppard and Teyla divulge to Weir the threat which the Wraith fleet poses. Both are shown to be disturbed by what they have witnessed and upset with Sheppard finding a little consolation in the fact that they saved some people. Soon after, Weir asks him to record a message to the family of Colonel Marshall Sumner which he promptly accepts and thoughtfully carries out.
A surprised Carter then informs Harriman that it's from Atlantis...
Abrams; Atlantis infirmary; Basketball; April Bingham; Binoculars; Canteen; Carson Beckett's mother; Culling; Dumais; Gandhi; Geneva Convention; Grease; Peter Grodin; Hive ship; Kiwi; M7G-677; Sgt. Markham; Meredith Rodney McKay's cat; Meredith Rodney McKay's father; Jean Miller; Mononucleosis; Naquadah generator; Olivia Newton-John; Niagara Falls; Brigadier General Jack O'Neill; Orin's people; Orin's planet; Puddle Jumper; The Sixth Sense; Colonel Marshall Sumner; Torren; Unknown Wraith Beam; Simon Wallis; Wraith; Wraith cruiser; Wraith Dart; Wraith warrior; Zero Point Module
(Weir has just briefed Atlantis' scientists about the approaching Wraith fleet)
Weir: So, recommendations?
Beckett: Other than panic?
Weir: Other than panic, yes.
Ford: I could tell my grandma what I've been up to all this time.
Weir: Well, if your grandmother had security clearance, yes, you could! But for now you can tell her that you're well - and that you miss her.
(Ford is recording video messages of each expedition member to send home)
Beckett: What shall I say?
Ford: Uh…uh…"I miss you"? "I wish you were here"?
Beckett: I wish who was here?
Ford: I don't know. Who do you wish was here?
Beckett: Nobody! I wish I wasn't bloody here!
Zelenka: Na dně moře máme „fail safe“, mechanismus. Obrovskou silou vytrhl kotvu města ze dna oceánu. My jsme.. Zhrozili jsme jsme.. Zhrozili jsme se. Neuveřitelný, co se to děje a ten hluk; celé město se třáslo jako při zemětřesení. To bylo něco neuvěritelnýho. A najednou... se hneme. Celé město stoupalo. Stoupalo nahoru, nahoru k hladině. To, to bylo něco neuveřitelnýho a a a věže prorazily hladinu a vyjeli jsme nahoru nahoru a vody, vlny, vodopády, všechno teče z těch vejšek. A my... vystřelili jsme nahoru, úplně, úplně na vršek.. Slunce.... Sluníčko, prostě.... proudilo do všech oken. Do smrti, do smrti na to nezapomenu. (On the bottom of the sea we have a failsafe mechanism. It pulled up the anchor of the city from the bottom of the sea with great force. We.... we were.... we were scared. That was incredible, what happened? And that noise. The whole city was shaking, it was like an earthquake. That was so incredible. And then we were moving. The whole city was rising. It was rising up, rising up to the ocean surface. It was, it was really incredible and the towers broke through the surface. We were going up. Water, waves, waterfalls were falling down from the heights. And we... we were shot up, right to the top. Sun... just shine... It was shining through all the windows. I'll remember it for the rest of my life... for the rest of my life.)
Ford: You didn't say anything that would require security clearance, did you?
Zelenka: Security clearance?
McKay: (adjusts hair) Right. And in five, four, three-
(he stops speaking and holds up two fingers to signify the “two” count, then folds his arms and looks serious.)
McKay: (dramatically) This is Doctor Rodney McKay speaking to you from my base of operations in the lost city of Atlantis, located deep within the Pegasus galaxy. I record this message on the eve of our darkest hour. As I speak, an alien armada of biblical proportions is on its way, bent - dare I say hellbent, in keeping with the metaphor – on our destruction. We will do our best to stave off their attack but I am afraid that defeat is all but inevitable. I, and the other members of my team, face the most horrific deaths imaginable, as our very lives are sucked from our chests in a, in a, horrific - Okay, uh, start again. Start again.
Weir: We have to warn Earth.
Sheppard: Even if it's the last thing we do?
Weir: Especially if it's the last thing we do.
(Weir records a message to everyone's family)
Weir: Finally I would like to say something to the families of every member of this expedition. I wish I could tell you more about what your loved ones are doing and someday I hope you find out, because you will be amazed. But I will tell you that I could not be more proud of each and every one of them. Their heroism has amazed me. Their resourcefulness has staggered me. We face a terrible enemy and an uncertain future. But if we are never heard from again, know that your loved ones did not face that uncertainty alone. We are facing our future together.
- Rachel Luttrell (Teyla Emmagan) read the "Previously on Stargate: Atlantis" line.
- The episode is largely a clip show containing scenes from previous episodes as a way to save money for the upcoming finale. Clips from the following episodes were included:
- It has been several weeks since the events of "Hot Zone" and several days since those of "The Brotherhood".
- The title of this episode was inspired by the 1987 PBS TV documentary Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam.
- Dr. Kavanagh refers to the events of "Poisoning the Well" and "The Storm".
- This is Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter's first appearance on Stargate: Atlantis. At the end of the episode, she and SMSgt. Walter Harriman are briefly shown at Stargate Command when they receive the data burst from Atlantis.
- The final transmission to Earth would have consisted of: city specifications, mission reports, tactical assessments, a ton of data that they had deciphered from the Atlantis database and hours of personal messages.
- This is the last of nine episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis directed by Mario Azzopardi.
- Terence Kelly (Orin) previously played Miles Hagan in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Space Race".
- Its later revealed that McKay's message didn't get through to his sister. However, Sheppard shows it to her in McKay and Mrs. Miller and it helps change her view of her brother.
- Considering all the precautions taken with security clearance a number of mistakes are made. The highly classified naquadah generator is clearly visible behind Dr. Radek Zelenka and numerous members of the team have "Atlantis" clearly visible on the shoulder of their jackets in their personal messages.
- This is not necessarily a mistake made by the creators of the show, as various militaries around the world employ staff for the editing of real personal messages from enlisted men and women serving in combat zones. To protect sensitive information, the military would simply edit anything that is classified as secret from personal messages and allow the rest to be delivered to its destination. Since it would be quite difficult to speak to a loved one(s) without getting emotionally affected and accidentally revealing too much information, it is plausible that the expedition mistakenly video taped classified information.
- A lot of Dr. Elizabeth Weir's messages would get edited or removed as she continues to say things like "I wish I could tell you more about what your loved ones are doing..." or to infer that every member of the expedition told their loved ones that they were going to be part of an "expedition" vs making something up that would better suit their personal background to be more believable.
- Dr. Elizabeth Weir says "Not a day goes by that I don't think of you, Simon. There's so much I wanna tell you, and share with you, but I can't." Even though its been previously established that he was given security clearance by the president.
- In regards to Dr. Radek Zelenka's message it becomes apparent immediately afterwards that everything he said (which was all classified info) will likely be deleted as Lt. Aiden Ford questions him about saying anything that would require security clearance.
- Also, some of the messages will likely go to personnel family members that do, in fact, have security clearance.
- Teyla disabled the cloak on the jumper and reactivated it for the first family group that showed up. Teyla does not have the Ancient gene but actually has Wraith DNA. It is previously shown that the cloak is controlled by the neural interface so Teyla would not be able to control the cloak. (As show in several episodes the cloak can be controlled by a remote control somewhat like a key fob that does not require the ancient gene, in fact a Wraith is seen uncloaking a jumper in "The Defiant One").
In other languages Edit
- Russian: Письма из Пегаса (Letters from Pegasus)
- GateWorld. on