Despite a legion of devout and adoring fans, a constant stream of critical acclaim, and the title of longest running series in US television history, Stargate is to this day unfairly maligned as the redheaded stepchild of science fiction. Born at a rather unfortunate time when Star Wars prequels were making sci-fi fans weep, and Matrix sequels were making them sleepy, Stargate Atlantis came and went without anyone really noticing. Which is a shame, really, because it's bloody brilliant. A rip-roaring adventure romp through deep space, blending ancient mythology with advanced technology in the finest sci-fi traditions.

A natural evolution from the SG-1 universe to a parallel, ongoing storyline Atlantis is to this franchise what Voyager was to Star Trek, taking its title from the fabled city located discovered in the distant Pegasus Galaxy. Lead by the typically square-jawed Jarhead Major john Shephard (Joe Flannigan), Atlantis follows the exploits of a lost and lonely crew stranded beyond the stars, forging new and pragmatic alliances as they explore then origins of The Ancients, search for a means of survival, and eventually, a way home. This series also introduces a new enemy into the Stargate universe, the malevolent and powerful Wraiths, a race of near indestructible creatures who roam the universe using worlds as Wal*marts, looking like something Anne Rice might come up with if she started designing costumes for the WWE.

In addition to being a classic boys adventure tale in the style of a war comic, Atlantis also dabbles in thematic waters that could be construed as politically relevant to the here and now. With it's high-minded mission gone awry, literally no exit strategy available, and its people locked in a struggle with a powerful foe numbering in the legion that their very presence awakened, Atlantis certainly has as much to say about current geo-political events as the likes of Battlestar Galactica and Caprica.

Now, courtesy of Fox, can enjoy all 100 episodes of this first rate action-adventure in this high definition blu-ray box set. Elegantly packaged and much more convenient to store than the bulky, infuriatingly shaped DVD set, complete with all the extra features and commentaries available on the individual release. Extras are lifted directly from that set, with nothing new included. But if you are still clinging to individual seasons then this might be worth an upgrade, containing as it does an all new bonus disc containing two brand new featurettes. Mission 100 features a behind the scenes look at the making of the final episode, while Stargate Atlantis: A Retrospective is a lengthy look back on the entire series from conception to completion. There are also set visits, creature features, actor profiles, and the usual blooper reels and deleted scenes. All told, including commentaries, there is something approaching 50 hours of extras on this set.

So, why now considering the DVD has been available for almost two years already? Well, there was talk for sometime about several planned movies to continue this franchise, but those were perminantly shelved in April of this year, giving no reason to wait any longer.

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