New series regular Robert Picardo and producer Joseph Mallozzi recently held a press conference to discuss the upcoming fifth season of the SCI FI series Stargate Atlantis (July 11th at 10pm). The topics included how the new season kicks off, whether Tori Higginson will be returning to reprise her role as Dr. Elizabeth Weir and more. Check out the highlights after the jump.
- The outlook for season 5: Now that the Wraith are weakened, season five is looking at the bigger picture that is the Pegasus galaxy. According to Mallozzi, a couple of new races will be introduced. They will be taking power in a big way as they begin to form into a galaxy-wide version of the United Nations and take Atlantis to task for all the trouble that they have caused. Mallozzi hopes to build on the momentum that season four had with the events that will take place in season five.
- Episode specifics: The season premiere, “Search and Rescue”, starts off where the season four finale left off. By the end of the episode Colonel Carter will be out and Richard Woolsey will be in. By the second episode Woolsey will learn that he can’t always use the rule book to solve issues. It is a very dramatic role for Woolsey, said Picardo. In the third episode, “Broken Ties”, Woolsey will learn a bit about the technology of Atlantis, which will lead to some unfortunate circumstances..
- Concerns about filling the leadership shoes of Colonel Carter: Of course he’s concerned about filling her shoes, both the actor and the character. Picardo said that it was very similar to his feelings when he was cast as The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager. At that time he was concerned that fans were going to measure him against Brent Spiner’s character of Data. Luckily, he was defined as differently as he could be from Data. Although it’s daunting to replace such a popular character, Picardo’s hoping the audience will eventually accept the character. He’s also hoping to bring what Star Trek fans that haven’t watched Stargate yet to come over and sample the show because it’s a great time to come into the series since his character is starting out as the leader.
- On the return of Tori Higginson: “To be honest, I think it’s highly unlikely” that Higginson will come back, Mallozzi said. “She did a couple of guest spots last season and was excited about finishing up the Replicator storyline and was very excited about coming back.”
- On the return of Jill Wagner: Wagner, meanwhile, will be back. Indeed, producers had wanted to bring Wagner’s Larrin back in season five, but scheduling conflicts got in the way. “We wanted to bring Jill Wagner back, but she was working on something else,” Mallozzi said. “I talked to her, and she was awesome in the past season, and we haven’t killed her off. Even if we had, our track record doesn’t necessarily mean she’s gone for good. There is in season six a potential to bring her back. So, yeah, why not?”
- How Picardo looks in the command uniform: Picardo said wearing the command uniform is a bit of a change for a character who has worn a business suit for the last 30 years. Saying that, he looks okay in the uniform. “It’s good to have a trim butt in science fiction.”