SGA "Travelers": Friend or Foe?

Sheppard and Larrin kiss in 4.05

Tonight’s episode of Stargate Atlantis, “Travelers”, tells a classic story of boy meets girl, but with a bit of a twist: this isn’t your ordinary boy and this certainly isn’t your ordinary girl. Her name is Larrin and she’s the leader of her people, the Travelers.

“We introduced a new race called the Travelers just because we wanted to introduce a technologically advanced [race] to the Pegasus galaxy,” writer Joseph Mallozzi told MSN TV Blog. “It was something that was a little difficult to do because the Wraith tend to destroy technologically advanced races. So we created this race that are nomadic and live on ships, so they’re never in one place long enough for the Wraith to catch up with them. What they essentially do is they travel from planet to planet that has been recently culled and they scavenge the technology that has been left behind and they use it to upgrade their ships.

“This race is a loose cannon. On the one hand, they’re on the run from the Wraith. So obviously they’re no friend to the Wraith. But on the other hand, they are on the lookout for new technology. So they take a particular interest in Atlantis and Sheppard in particular […] He’s on his way back to Atlantis in a puddle jumper and his puddle jumper gets ambushed. The fact that he has the Ancient gene is of particular interest to them because there’s plenty of Ancient technology in the Pegasus galaxy and he could prove useful.”

How useful? Larrin, played by Jill Wagner (see Solutions Blog casting story), wants Sheppard to cooperate in bringing an Ancient warship, similar to an Aurora class, back to life, so that its advanced technology can be used by her people and against the Wraith. While Sheppard is her prisoner, Larrin uses all types of pursuasion, including opening her ship’s cargo bay doors right under his feet — basically suspending him and his Puddle Jumper over the vastness and the vacuum of space with only the ship’s shield as an invisible barrier. But, he gets a bird’s eye view of the Ancient ship and then the adventure really gets going. (Fans can see a preview of this scene at Yahoo TV – video #66, “Sheppard is caught in a compromising position”).

Larrin of the Travelers

“How can I describe her?” Mallozzi continued, “A lot of the fans who have heard about her have compared her to Vala. I guess in some respects she is Vala-esque in that she’s a loose cannon and independent. But she’s a lot more grounded, a lot more no-nonsense, not as flighty as Vala. She’s not a thief. She’s the leader of her people. ‘A tough cookie’ would be a good way to describe her.”

Joe Flanigan spoke to Starburst about how much of ‘a tough cookie’ Larrin is. “I wanted to have a strong female character that was difficult for us to get a handle on, but who Sheppard had to rely on for his own strategic ends. So Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie wrote Travelers, which introduces a character who I think is going to become incredibly popular on the show. Her name is Larrin and she’s this very sexy woman who kidnaps my character, beats the c**p out of him, then he beats the c**p out of her. They need each other and have to learn how to deal with one another.”

Get introduced to Larrin and her people tonight at 10pm Eastern on the Sci Fi Channel (repeats at midnight). Those recording the episode need to set their timers to go over because the episode is running about two minutes late (i.e., 10:02-11:02pm), because “flashback” scenes for Battlestar Galactica: Razor are being shown during the lead-in show Flash Gordon. (The midnight airing could be offset by as much as five minutes). Once you’ve watched, please visit our on-site forum to cast your vote and discuss the episode.