One of my criteria for judging an episode guide is: Does it have anything to say about various minor recurring characters? Because typically I like them more than the main cast. So my question in reading this book was, did it find time to include an entry on Dr. Zelenka? Yes. Yes, it did. And all was right with the world.
This is a guide to the first season of "Stargate Atlantis", a spin-off, of course, to the popular "Stargate: SG-1" series. In this show, our group of heroes and heroines is stuck in the Pegasus Galaxy after a one-way transgalactic hop via a super-powered gate dial-out from the SGC on Earth. They hope to find the lost city of Atlantis, home of the long-ago-ascended Ancients, and find it they do. Unfortunately, they also discover that the Ancients bailed out of Pegasus some 10,000 years ago after accidentally creating their own nemeses in the form of the Wraith, who really enjoy treating humans as tasty lifeforce snacks. And while there are various human-settled worlds still to be found, not all of them are delighted to see the folks from Earth show up, especially once word gets around that the Stargate team sort of accidentally woke the Wraith back up way before schedule.
This book presents a brief summary of each episode of the first season, along with some minimal cast and crew notes. There's also commentary provided by cast and crew about what went on in the making of the episodes, what their original intentions had been, what worked and what didn't. There are brief character sketches of the main cast, which really have much more to do with details on the actors and how they got the roles and how they approach them.
Also included is a section on the development of the show and another on some of the departments or key players (stunts, production design) behind the scenes. A lot of photos are provided, mostly in black and white but a few publicity stills in color.
I had very low expectations for this book based on previous Stargate episode guides, but it very much exceeded them. It's not a classic of its kind nor indispensable, but if you're a keen fan of the show and you really want to know some of the details about what it takes to put together an episode, you won't be disappointed.