The new Apollo commanded by Colonel Abe Ellis arrives at Atlantis equipped with a weapons delivery system called “Horizon” armed with six naquadah enhanced mark 9 nuclear warheads, fly by data over the Asuran homeworld indicates they are building a fleet of ships and the belief is that their target will be Earth itself so a pre-emptive strike has been ordered by the President, SGC and IOA. The mission with reservations goes well with the vast majority of the targets destroyed but soon after an object appears in the Atlantis system and within a Stargate is activated, the “satellite” fires on the Apollo and the energy beam sweeps around to target the city from orbit and it soon becomes apparent nothing will stop this beam from wearing it the cities shields and destroying Atlantis. The single ZPM will not sustain the shield and even submerging the city only gains them a small respite but in an out of the box solution they drive an asteroid into the path of the energy beam and use the energy from the geothermal complex to initiate the star drive and launch the city. Initially it all goes well but the city starts to stall the shield is dropped and the city once agains powers upwards and as the leave the atmosphere the shield is once again raised but moments from full coverage the energy beam strikes causing damage to the tower. The city enters hyperspace but soon after the star drive shuts down and they are left floating in normal space light years from anywhere and anyone with no immediate means to call for help and with many injured including Elizabeth who is in critical condition.
Duck & Cover
First Strike is a pretty epic third season finale and yet has no direct input from the Wraith which seems strange on the surface but it is part of the desire to deal with the Asuran “replicators” and we do get to see the ingenuity of the Ancients through their creation as they deploy a Stargate equipped satellite very very quickly which would in time have destroyed the city if not for the hail mary solution which itself has consequences. The episode also always a soft introduction to the new chief medical officer Dr Jennifer Keeler (Jewel Staite) and sets the stage for the departure of Elizabeth (Torri Higginson) as a full time character for good or bad depending upon your point of view. All that aside the writers and production staff put together a fantastic episode and there is no question a lot of money was spent especially as the episode is very effects heavy, you don’t get to see the city fly that often and well the final stunt work performed by Ky Furneaux doubling Elizabeth was if anything more impressive than any of the CGI. It was good to see the ship builders are still hard at work as the Apollo makes her debut along with her new commander Colonel Abraham Ellis played by Michael Beach and the dynamic was certainly an interesting approach to take but it made a lot of sense, the civilian and military will always be at odds over the Stargate programme.
First Strike is a great episode and gave us a quality cliffhanger as the fate of some characters and the city itself hangs in the balance.
So that’s the final season three episode done and dusted, thank you to everyone who has been directly involved or supported us via all the ways social media allows. Many thanks to Brad for joining us for First Strike and he will be back from the two wrap up shows the first of which will be for Atlantis and that is due to be released on the 30th of May. This weeks promo is for the Sci-Fi Movie Podcast who have just celebrated their 100th episode with a look at Return of the Jedi, great podcast well worth listening too.
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