Anyway, the press release on The Return of Carson Beckett (it deserves bold and underscore) is under the cut, along with various news organizations' spin on that news.
Skiffy, via NBC/Universal (http://www.nbcumv.com/release_detail.nbc/scifi-20070808000000-paulmcgillionretur.html), put out the following press release today…
PAUL MCGILLION RETURNS TO 'STARGATE ATLANTIS'
Fan Favorite Returns for Two Episodes Torri Higginson and Christopher Judge Also Guest Star in New Season
NEW YORK – August 8, 2007 – Reports of Dr. Carson Beckett's untimely demise last season on SCI FI's Stargate Atlantis have been greatly exaggerated…or have they? Paul McGillion will reprise his role as everyone's favorite Scottish physician in a two-episode arc during the series' fourth season, which will premiere on Friday, September 28 at 10pm ET/PT.
It was the fan cry heard 'round the Pegasus galaxy when Dr. Beckett was unexpectedly killed in an explosion at the end of season 3. His return to Atlantis promises to be every bit as shocking.
In addition to McGillion's return, Atlantis viewers can also look forward to season 4 guest appearances by Torri Higginson ("Dr. Elizabeth Weir") and Stargate SG-1's Christopher Judge ("Teal'c").
Stargate Atlantis is executive produced by Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie. The series is currently in production on its fourth original season in Vancouver, BC. with Mallozzi and Mullie sharing the reins as showrunners.
The Stargate legacy continues to burn bright on SCI FI with the fourth original season of Atlantis. Amanda Tapping, one of the most beloved stars in the Stargate universe, travels to the Pegasus galaxy to join the Atlantis cast by reprising her role as television's most adored astrophysicist, Colonel Samantha Carter. Firefly's Jewel Staite also joins the cast this season as "Dr. Jennifer Keller." Taking the torch from SG-1 as television's most thrilling adventure series, Atlantis, promises to up the ante this season by introducing a powerful new race, welcoming new cast members and mourning the loss of some beloved friends.
The press put their own spin on it (relevant passages cited):
"Stargate Atlantis" fans wanted it, and thus it shall be. At least for two episodes.
Dr. Carson Beckett (played by Paul McGillion) will be back for two installments of the Sci Fi Channel show. … That's a shrewd way to tease fans. And there's more from Sci Fi: "It was the fan cry heard 'round the Pegasus galaxy when Dr. Beckett was unexpectedly killed in an explosion at the end of season 3. His return to Atlantis promises to be every bit as shocking."
Make of that what you will. But it's a way to keep fans talking.
Sci Fi Channel said the series also will feature guest appearances by Torri Higginson and Christopher Judge.
This isn't the first tiime that Stargate producers have nixed a favorite doc., however. Fans are still stinging from the death of another well-liked Stargate physician, SG-1's Dr. Janet Frasier (Teryl Rothery). Beckett's demise touched off an on-going and well-organized protest headquartered at savecarsonbeckett.com
McGillion was a critical favorite too. I thought he added great warmth to the ensemble cast. Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan called the move to kill off his character "boneheaded." (Nevertheless, "Sunday" was one of Stargate Atlantis' better episodes. It was an intimate look at the Atlantis crew on a rare day off, written Rashomon-style by Martin Gero.)
In a nice nod to the fans, SCI FI Channel acknowledged the viewer effort. "It was the fan cry heard ‘round the Pegasus galaxy when Dr. Beckett was unexpectedly killed in an explosion at the end of season 3. His return to Atlantis promises to be every bit as shocking," stated the net in their press release.
Recently, I bumped into an acquaintance of mine - a thirty-eight y.o., highly paid political consultant from Oakland. He broached the subject of Atlantis, then carried on. Unbeknownst to me, he's a big Atlantis fan. He had no idea that Carson Beckett was being offed and he was upset. "I watch that show for the ensemble," he complained, "and relationships develop among all the characters. They're screwing with the dynamic. When you slice out that character, you disrupt the dynamic. It starts to fall apart."
So there you have it - from the cherry demographic. Young male, high income. It's not just us ladies.
In the Season 3 episode titled "Sunday," Beckett had unsuccessfully tried to dispose of an explosive tumor he had removed from a patient.
When the fans vehemently protested his undignified death, the producers reconsidered their action and figured out a way to bring him back in the flesh, and not as a flashback or a Beckett from the past or an alternate universe. According to executive producer Joe Mallozzi, a late Season 3 episode offers a "clue" about Beckett.
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