Well, if SG-1 had a gigantic loss in their column in the previous episode, Atlantis came out ahead in this one. I really enjoy “The Tower” because it hits the ground running. It has to; there is a lot going on in this one.
So our heroes find a feudal planet where the villagers are being horribly exploited by their ruling class. Their lord protector, and his bloodline for many generations, can enforce absolute loyalty while also protecting everyone from the Wraith because they live in a giant city-ship, a mostly dormant sister to Atlantis that has been overgrown by the forests; its purpose and history long forgotten. Unlike Atlantis, they’ve got a healthy stock of the drone missiles. They’ve also got a crazy amount of court intrigue as the vulgar, scheming, stupid, and conspiracy-minded royals jockey for the next place in line. The lord protector is played by Jay Brazeau, who had appeared in a couple of SG-1 installments, starting with “Tin Man” back in season one. One of the scheming members of the court is played by Chelan Simmons, who had played Gretchen in a couple of episodes of Wonderfalls the previous season, and whose bare back is shown below as Sheppard continues his drive to be more like Kirk.
Despite the smooching, our son really enjoyed this one as well. It’s a fun story with an unexpected twist and a great resolution. Obviously a little money was saved by simply redressing the main Atlantis set as the interior of the Tower, but our son was glad that they returned to Atlantis at the end. He prefers to see the place without all the candles and tapestries.