Stargate Atlantis 4.06 Tabula Rasa review

Original US airdate: 2/11/07

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Written by: Alan McCullough

Directed by: Martin Wood


The One Where: A deadly infection that gradually wipes people's memories infiltrates Atlantis, and the only people unaffected are Teyla and Ronon because of a mild illness they had as children. Ronon takes an amnesiac Sheppard to the mainland to get some curative herbs while Teyla tries to keep order, but when Lorne's men start taking people hostage, it's up to McKay to save the day.

Verdict: After last episode's absurdity, this is a welcome drama piece, with McKay's recorded message setting the tone beautifully at the beginning of the ep (in much the same way as the Doctor's message in "Blink"). I can't help but think it might have been better with fewer flashbacks, though: it would have been way more tense.

Influences: This is very reminiscent of Memento, especially with the use of a Polaroid photo at the end to convince Lorne that Sheppard is who he says he is.

Trivia: "Tabula Rasa" means "blank slate" and refers to the philosophical theory that humans are born without any innate knowledge. By coincidence, the day this episode premiered in the US saw the launch of unrelated MMORPG Tabula Rasa.

Best Line:
McKay’s message: "I need you to listen. It is vitally important that you find this woman. I don't know where she is, but you have to find her. She can help. Check the mess hall, or maybe they took her to the brig. I don't know, but you just have to keep looking. Don't worry about anything else – and for God's sake don't trust anyone. Just find her, and do it fast, because if you don't, hundreds of people are gonna die – including you."

Leah Holmes

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