My take on the upcoming changes in Stargate Atlantis.
Okay, the rest of this contains spoiler information, so if you’re a spoilerphobe, don’t want to know about who’s in, who’s out, depart now….
Okay, I’ll admit I wasn’t even a fan of Atlantis when it was first proposed, mainly because of the Stargate SG-1 writers involved. The Mallozzi-Mullie ‘regime’ hasn’t impressed me overall. I usually will watch all episodes of SG without reading the credits of who wrote it; ignore it in spoiler info, etc. and then when I’m done watching an episode and go “geez, they ripped off another movie?” and then go to the credits to see who did it, most times it’s Mallozzi, so, no, I’m not a fan of his style. He’s done some good ones, but he’s done too many “yech” ones for my taste.
But back to Atlantis. I became a fan off the pilot “Rising” – because of the chemistry between all the characters/actors. I also gave it a chance because I’ve liked David Hewlett’s work since his days as Nicky the cute coroner in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. The series has had its ups and downs. There are episodes I absolutely love, others I cringe at, yet I won’t erase any.
When word came down the pike that Rainbow Sun Franks was leaving (and it’s always been said by TPTB, etc. that the decision was mutual although I’m sure if was the more the producers than anyone), it didn’t bother me too much as the writers hadn’t developed the character, and for a Marine lieutenant, he drove me nuts with how he didn’t handle some situations (which falls back to the writers, who have probably never met a Marine). I mean, I know zip about Ford, except he had a grandmother, otherwise, he was very underdeveloped.
The character of Ronon Dex was very similar to the dreadlocked guy in the defunct Andromeda series. I was very leery of the casting process, but I did watch “Runner” and was impressed with Jason Momoa’s portrayal, although have hopes he’ll get more dialogue as time goes by.
I LIKE the cast of Stargate Atlantis. I like the Sheppard-McKay banter, which we finally got back in season 3 after losing its during “secondseasonitis” when the TPTB decided to ‘experiment’ (sigh). The show’s not perfect, it needs work, but it’s a solid base to work with but TPTB don’t shore up the writing, they keep screwing around with the cast….
Paul McGillion is leaving. CONFIRMED Half true. The rumors came out months ago, with some folk leaving tidbits on Gateworld that Beckett gets snuffed and then departed to let fandom immolate (if you’re going to do that, at least stick around to say “no comment”). I like Beckett, and don’t see why they’re ditching him unless it's one of those lame things where they're adding an actress to draw in the male 18-25 demographic.... According to producer N. John Smith, who dropped the news to a fan at a UK con a few weeks back, yes, McGillion will not be in the main credits anymore, but will be (really) demoted down to recurring status of some kind and make some future appearances (hopefully not in the same vein as Rainbow Sun Franks). Carson’s not dead but ‘disappears.’ If he’s not on screen, Carson fans won’t be happy. That’s like telling someone, “oh, your pet’s missing, but not dead, so don’t worry, he'll show up eventually.” Scifi fans are notorious for being very devoted to their shows, as the producers really should know by now.
Jewel Staite is joining the cast.CONFIRMED Jewel posted this information on her site – http://jewel-staite.net/ - and it came out two months ago (links: http://fan-elune.livejournal.com/143454.html - http://sg1-atlantis.com/?p=501 - . A fan at a UK convention said that Joe Flanigan reportedly said she’d be doing 13-15 episodes, but an MGM casting person (the people who deal with the contracts) confirmed Jewel is contracted to 12 episodes, and those episodes depend upon how the character works out. Could be more, could be less. Viewer reaction, etc. will determine the longevity of Dr. Keller, her character (and she told me the name face to face at a con, so, that name isn’t rumor). I don’t hate or dislike the actress, but never got into Firefly and really haven't seen her in much else.The biggest problem that could occur is that the producers/writers will introduce this character into the show and that Keller will immediately just ‘gell’ with the rest of the characters, which realistically, doesn’t even happen in an office situation. Everybody sorta feels each other out. Having seen the writers drop the ball on killing Daniel and introducing Jonas in the same episode, I don’t know if I can give this writing staff any faith in doing this properly. Plus, will this character just be a replacement expert in genetic stuff like Carson? Hopefully not. But, just want to know: why is Beckett being removed?
Amanda Tapping is joining the cast. SORTA CONFIRMED. She’s confirmed she’ll be in either a couple or a few episodes. It depends upon which fan you talk to who said that AT said “couple” or “few” at a recent con and whether the producers will change their mind and add or decrease episodes. SG1 had ten years, a full decade, of time on the screen. Which as we all know is basically a record, so in some respects it wasn’t a no-brainer that SciFi pulled the plug due to declining rates and rising costs, although the manner and timing in which they did it was, well, sucky. Anyway, I always loved McKay when he showed up those couple times on SG1, before SGA even came around. It was the short but sweet, snarky and never-to-be-fulfilled sexual lust on Rodney’s part and Sam’s total repulsion that was so amusing. To bring Sam over to SGA for more than a couple episodes – do I have faith that the writers still won’t go that route? Um, no. I haven’t been totally impressed with Sam’s evolution on SG1 in recent seasons, but I still like the character, but I just don’t want to see one character from SG1 come over, then another, then another, till it’s a guest star revolving door (we already had Woolsey and Jack in Return part 1 and 2 and they mostly just sat around, no joke!). The thing is – I want Stargate ATLANTIS, not SG-1. It reminds me of how cast members from one Trek (cancelled) went over to another, and characters on the newer show got ‘wallpapered’ for lack of a better description, due to bringing over the other characters.
Michael Beach joining the cast. PSUEDO CONFIRMED. This LJ - http://athenaktt.livejournal.com/231502.html?view=1423182#t1423182 - has a good account of the entire Burbank con and where I supposed a chunk of stuff came from. Apparently Michael Beach (of ER fame) will be in at least one episode (had four pages of dialogue). Fans theorize he might be the captain on the new ship Apollo (what? A BSG reference??) as Mitch Pileggi is pretty busy acting wise and may not be as available as the show would like (he’s doing Daybreak on ABC). NOV 27th UPDATE: Michael Beach will be playing a one-shot (thus far) character in the season 3 finale episode. He'll be the commander of the Odyssey (another Earth-based spaceship). The script sides (which many fans have gotten their hands on) state that this character might be recurring.
Torri Higginson will not be back. NOT CONFIRMED. I’ve heard this rumor from a couple sources, one of them non-fan but in the ‘business.’ Apparently though Torri said on an online site (sorry, don’t have it) that she was going back to Vancouver for season 4. So far, there’s no way to prove/disprove this rumor.
Sure, the fans are gonna react to these rumors. They always tend to pop up during that dead time SciFi saddles us with between ‘seasons.’ The Daniel is dead rumor was true; the Janet is dead rumor was true, so, many rumors with SG tend to pan out, so fans do get nervous. Scifi fans love their shows (but probably not to the extreme of soap opera fans). Yeah, the rumors will get discussed to death on the boards cuz there are no new episodes (unless you live in Canada). However, there will be a few fans who are whacko, the ones who need to get a reality adjustment (like that fan who coined the derogatory term “Dannyranter” and applied it to anyone who said they liked Daniel Jackson) and they’ll be the ones who end up attacking other fans for not agreeing with them. We can all discuss, sometimes heatedly, but without coming to virtual blows. Some fans just can’t. Keep wondering how they behave off the net! ;)
I like the cast as it stands – don’t want to see it changed again, evolved, improved, or whatever term the network marketing folks will spin (please, please, do not use the word ‘fresh’) When network people start to meddle with shows, 9 times out of 10 they go downhill. SG-1 stayed solid for a long while on Showtime, which is a rarity these days, but once it went to Scifi the cast began to change – but in virtually all those instances, Michael Shanks voluntarily left, Richard Dean Anderson voluntarily left. In this case, Paul McGillion doesn’t seem pleased with the situation (what actor would be?).
If I want to watch SG1, I’ve got it all on DVD. I want to watch Atlantis. I want to watch it grow, or sink, on its own merits, and not be forced (by producers, whoever) to constantly accept actors, re-treaded plots, etc. from SG1.
Um, okay, psuedo-not-really-rant over. Just getting it out of my system.