Stargate: Atlantis (2004–2009)
23 user
The killings of a Wraith in Las Vegas are investigated by Detective John Sheppard - who knows nothing about life-sucking aliens from another galaxy.


Robert C. Cooper


Brad Wright (created by), Robert C. Cooper (created by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Flanigan ... Detective John Sheppard
Rachel Luttrell ... Teyla Emmagan (credit only)
Jason Momoa ... Ronon Dex (credit only)
Jewel Staite ... Dr. Jennifer Keller
Robert Picardo ... Richard Woolsey
David Hewlett ... Dr. Rodney McKay
Neil Jackson ... Wraith
David Nykl ... Dr. Radek Zelenka
Christopher Heyerdahl ... Todd the Wraith
Gary Jones ... Chief Mst Sgt. Walter Harriman
Frank Vincent ... Poker Player #1
Steve Schirripa ... Poker Player #2
Jody Thompson ... Hospital Nurse
Mark Burgess Mark Burgess ... Sick Guy
Chris Nowland ... Crime Scene Guy


In an alternate universe, Detective John Sheppard is with the Las Vegas Police Department and begins to investigate a strange series of murders. This Sheppard is a bit down on his luck, over-promoted and barely getting by. What Sheppard is dealing with is a Wraith who has made it to Earth and is building a device to send out a signal of some sort. Of course, he has no idea what a Wraith is but a senior member of the Atlantis expedition, Rodney McKay, decides to take Sheppard into their confidence and tell him about the Pegasus galaxy and their fear that the Wraith is trying to send out a signal with Earth's location. While they succeed, they may have opened a rift with other parallel universes. This Dr. McKay, who is cool and smooth, actually visited Atlantis in another dimension once and wonders what may now happen there. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Release Date:

19 December 2008 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)| DTS (5.1 surround)



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Detective John Sheppard has the same poster of Johnny Cash on the wall of his office area as is on the wall of John Sheppard's bedroom in Atlantis. See more »


A dishonorable discharge from the military disqualifies an individual from police/detective service. Dr. McKay reveals the fact that Detective Sheppard was dishonorably discharged after a botched attempt at rescuing a medic from behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. However, he also stated that the record was expunged for political reasons. See more »


Dr. Radek Zelenka: [Discussing a fugitive Wraith] He could have abandoned whatever resources he had and just gone into hiding.
Dr. Rodney McKay: Oh yes, he probably got a job as a Klingon at Star Trek: The Experience.
Richard Woolsey: That shut down.
Dr. Radek Zelenka: Really? Damn, I wanted to see that.
See more »


Solitary Man
Performed by Johnny Cash and Tom Petty
Written by Neil Diamond (as Neil Leslie Diamond)
Courtesy of American Recordings
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Published by Tallyrand Music Inc. (SESAC)
See more »

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User Reviews

CSI: Atlantis
7 September 2015 | by XweAponXSee all my reviews

This episode parodied and homaged the CSI franchise to death, including an appearance of bad-guys Frank Vincent and Steve Schirripa. I was upset that the usual Atlantis Title Set was used, they should have used another song by The Who.

The thing I loved about CSI was the little CGI vignettes showing how a particular victim is Murdered, how their heart exploded, etc. Only here, it's the result of a Wraith Feeding Frenzy. One particular Wraith, who is messing with Ionizing Radiation, making people sick around him- Unless he feeds on them and kills them outright.

In this alternate CSI-Atlantis Timeline, John Sheppard is a loser who works as a detective in Vegas. He is a good detective, but he follows no rules. "A Solitary Man" as the Johnny Cash song says. In fact, he probably bopped "Lady Heather" on the side, when William Pederson wasn't doing it. John has been following a series of odd murders with tenacity.

In CSI, we usually get to see the Detectives talking to Coroners and the like, as the story progresses to reveal how a particular murder was accomplished. Same thing happens here, this iteration of Sheppard runs into a new Coroner, "Dr. Keller" - And she shoves some false info on him in an attempt to give him a bum steer.

Of course it didn't work, it had the opposite effect, bringing him right to the murderer's door. And if you thought the Strip Strangler was bad, this guy's even worse.

Unfortunately, this ain't really CSI, it's Stargate, and John just bumbled into a world o' hurt! A gaggle of Black Unmarked SUV's cart him away to where a calm and rational sounding Rodney Mackay gives him the lowdown- And a starved Todd the Wraith tells him his Future - And also how to find the Wraith in question.

In the end, maybe it worked out for that universe, but what effect will it have in the Atlantis 'Verse? This was a new direction for Stargate stories, we did not see it end here, this type of story was also used in Stargate Universe, in fact that whole show was done a lot like this one "novelty" episode. I was surprised that SGU was canceled quickly, there was a lot of potential.

But this one episode was the key that unlocked the creativity gates. Robert C Cooper himself directed it.

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