Mallozzi and Picardo Discuss S5 and Beyond

As the Stargate Atlantis filming hiatus continues, there haven’t been very many episode spoilers coming from executive producer Joseph Mallozzi’s weblog, but there have been several to come out through an interview he conducted over the phone while vacationing in Montreal with his family. Even if the filming crew is away from the sets, other production team members are still hard at work prepping for the coming episodes, as was evident in the appearance of casting sides for Mallozzi’s own “Remnants” (minimal spoilers), which is scheduled to be filmed starting at the end of this month. And even Mallozzi has hinted at other Atlantis things, like the odds on there being a Season Six and whom he’d like to see return for new episodes.

Mallozzi and Picardo Talk Season Five

“The great thing about visiting Montreal is that it finally allows me the opportunity to relax and take my mind off work for a change,” Mallozzi wrote in his July 3 entry. “In the past two days, I’ve spent time with friends and family, walked the streets of my hometown, and, oh yeah, took part in a 90 minute conference call with 27 journalists from various print and media outlets eager to get the lowdown on Atlantis’s upcoming fifth season.

“Bob Picardo, bless his heart, committed to taking part weeks ago as did I, little realizing that the 1:00 p.m. EDT, July 1st call-in would find me enroute to my cousins’ house for an afternoon barbecue.” Mallozzi then related how his promise that the call wouldn’t take long ended up with everyone starting their meal without him and his fearing that the battery in his phone would die before the call was completed. He was told by Carol from NBC that that interview was the longest she had ever taken part in.

The results of this record-breaking interview are already showing up on the Internet. The whole interview has not been published yet, but there are bits and pieces scattered about (spoilers are therein!):

Season Six?

Even though Mallozzi was speaking positively about a renewal for Season Six on July 1, he was writing rather wistfully in his weblog on June 29: “Can it go 10 seasons like it‘s big brother? To be perfectly honest – it’s highly unlikely. It was a perfect storm of events (let’s call it a pleasant Summer squall) that came together to grant SG-1 an unheard of 10 season run: the timing of the move to SciFi, the performance of the first-run episodes, the performance of the repeat block, the performance of the show on DVD, among numerous other variables. Sure, some of those elements are in play for Atlantis but as a show moves past its fifth season, the odds are stacked against it.

“Ultimately, it comes down to the numbers – less the ratings and more the bottom line. The longer a show is on the air, the more expensive it is to produce. Throw in the resurgence of the Canadian dollar, once pegged at 63 cents to the U.S. greenback, it now hovers at par, an approximate 37 cent bump which adds a significant hit to the production budget.

“And yet who knows what the future holds. WE certainly didn’t nine years ago when we expected production on SG-1 to conclude after it‘s fifth season. But if and when Atlantis does come to an end, I don’t think it should be cause for anger or resentment. Both MGM and SciFi have been great supporters of the show and, if you go by SG-1’s example, fans can be assured that the end of the series will not be the end of Atlantis. Like SG-1, it will live on in longer form dvd releases.”

But, if Mallozzi and company do get a Season Six, what do they want to do with it? Besides having all of their Season Five cast return, Mallozzi is quite adamant about seeing Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) back for a visit. “If we do get a sixth season pick-up, he’s at the top of our list,” he wrote in his June 18 entry. And then he followed that up the next day with his personal sentiment of “The more Daniel, the better.”

But for What Remains and Beyond

And when it comes to steering the direction of the show in its possible sixth season, Mallozzi has been in discussions with co-showrunner Paul Mullie and series creators Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright. Mullie will be penning the Season Five finale (not yet titled) from an idea by Cooper, and they’re planning a “best of both galaxies” adventure that possibly includes filming in Las Vegas and the return of Amanda Tapping as Col. Samantha Carter. Mallozzi has been quick to point out that even though they wish to have Tapping return for the finale, he has to remind his weblog readers, “Again, it’s all dependent on Amanda’s availability. And we won’t know about that for at least another month.”

And as for beyond: “Next week is shaping up to be a wild one. We’ll need to break three episodes, give notes on Remnants, and hopefully discuss episode #20 and beyond,” Mallozzi wrote way back on June 5.

Along with “beyond”, the four have been discussing a “top secret” item called “Project Twilight”. What are your guesses as to what this secret project could be? Share with other fans in our LJ Companion where we’ve been keeping up with all its mentions to try to figure out what it’s all about.

For Now, Season Five

Season Five of Stargate Atlantis will premiere with “Search and Rescue” on the Sci Fi Channel this Friday, July 11, at 10pm ET/PT.

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