13-4-13: Stargate Atlantis Season Two

Stargate Atlantis Cast for Season Two

Our next stop on the Stargate Atlantis side of our Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years (13-4-13) series is Season Two.

One of the biggest differences between this season and its predecessor was the change in the regular cast. Paul McGillion was added after his character’s remarkable contribution to the first season and Jason Momoa was added once his character Ronon Dex entered the scene in the season’s third episode “Runner”.

SGA on cover of TV GuideUp until Momoa’s reveal, Rainbow Sun Francks appeared in the opening credits, but afterwards, he was noticeably absent. His character Lt. Aiden Ford left Atlantis after he underwent a life-altering ordeal at the hand of a Wraith. Discussing this change, the actor confided in an audio interview for the “Ramble with Russell” Podcast at the Polaris 22 convention in Toronto in July 2008 that he was at first hurt by the decision but eventually came to understand it. “You know, Ford didn’t really get any meat on the character’s bones until late in the first season, to be honest, and we talked about that—me and Brad—and tried to figure out what to do and then, I mean, really in the second season is where he—I knew what I was doing once I became a junky! That’s when all of a sudden it clicked for me! It was like once I was a killer junky that was when it worked, but I think I didn’t know what the hell was going on for the first while.”

It didn’t take seven years for Stargate Atlantis to make it to the cover of the TV Guide (on the July 10, 2005, issue), since it was breaking all kinds of viewing records for the Sci Fi Channel. With the trend still going, the show was renewed for a third season in October 2005.

Atlantis Season Two

We’d love to hear from you about this season! Please cast your votes in the poll and leave your comments in the box at the bottom of the article.

Joe Flanigan

From “In Sheppard’s Care” in Stargate SG-1: The Official Magazine (Jan. 2005):

John Sheppard in 'The Siege 3'“Well, first and foremost you can’t possibly give enough credit to Stargate SG-1 [for Stargate Atlantis‘ success]. It paved a very comfortable place for a spin-off, so there’s no doubt we have an edge on a lot of shows in that regard. We’re probably going to get a greater audience flow than a new science fiction show would, so that helps quite a bit.

“But on top of that, to give Stargate Atlantis its own credit without the outside help, I would say that Brad [Wright] and Robert [C. Cooper] are phenomenal creators and producers. They have a real knack for knowing what people want to see.

“I’d also give the cast good kudos. All the cast members have created very distinct characters. It’s gone berserk on the Internet—every character is pushing buttons. There actors have made very specific choices and it’s great, because they’re having very specific reactions from the audience. One of the big problems with a lot of new shows—whether it’s science fiction or anything else—is that they introduce far too large a cast. [The producers] want to introduce everyone under the sun, and the audience never really gets to know anyone in particular. What they want to do is see which one the audience likes and then start focusing on that character in stories, which I definitely think is a bad approach. They have to get a small group of people and let those become known to the audience and stick with those people.

“We’re fortunate in that regard. The last series I was on, we had 15 regulars! It’s impossible to service each character. Consequently, each actor finds it very difficult to obtain some three-dimensionality for their character, because they’re just not given enough to do.

“So I think those are the three main elements. Stargate SG-1 was just a big boon for us; [then there’s] Brad and Robert, just as a producing force; and we have a cast that I think people like to see in their living room every week. At least that’s how it appears to be so far.”

From “Exclusive Profile: Stargate: Atlantis Star Joe Flanigan” with iF Magazine (Jan. 5, 2006):

John Sheppard in 'Conversion'“I once had a bug attached to my neck for the entire episode. That was very uncomfortable. This season I had to turn into a bug, which was challenging. There were a lot of prosthetics and that was interesting. I wouldn’t want to be under prosthetics for too long, but the guys who do ours are such artists and it’s nice to watch them work. As an actor it’s fun to morph physically into something else.

“Being morphed into a bug was something interesting. I had been asking for the character to have a real arc, in a couple of episodes where he would go through a really serious transformation of some sort. There are two schools of thought about the dramatic parameters of a hero on the show. Some of us feel that the character should go through all sorts of difficulties and see all sorts of adversity. Then there is a group of people who wonder at what point a hero stops being heroic in exposing the character flaws. A hero can’t have too many character flaws. For the bug we came up an ingenious way to do it so that we didn’t lose the heroic qualities. At the end of the episode you see he’s still the leader and can continue to lead; his judgment is not skewed.

From “Being John Sheppard” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine, Issue #24 (Sept./Oct. 2008):

John Sheppard firing at a Wraith dart in 'Duet'“I tend to be more in the Harrison Ford vein [motions to taking out a gun and makes a shooting sound]. That’s pretty much where my skills come in. I have a sloppier, more improvisational approach to winning battles. They’re not well choreographed. It’s funny because James Bamford, our stunt coordinator, and I talked about that. In the beginning of the show, he was like, ‘Oh, you know this guy is going to be like, ‘Waaa Waaa” [Mock karate sounds]. I thought, ‘I don’t think this is actually the character. I think the character is a more regular guy in extraordinary circumstances who just feels like he is flying by the seat of his pants, and will be lucky if he pulls this thing off, as opposed to ‘Waaaaa….” It’s fun to have those characters on the show, but I just thought my character is not going to be that. Chances are, on his off-time, he won’t be sparring… He’ll be drinking beer or playing golf.”

From “In Sheppard’s Care” in Stargate SG-1: The Official Magazine (Jan. 2005):

“I think he’s definitely recalibrated into finding a home in Atlantis, using it as a base. [At first] he had one foot back on Earth and one foot in Atlantis, but now both of his feet are firmly planted in Atlantis. He’s attached to his team and he’s very excited about all the elements of exploration. There’s so much to discover, jusst in the City alone. So he’s far more comfortable. He’s also a lot more comfortable being in charge of the off-world teams. That was thrust upon him, and it’s something [about which] he’s learned his potential.”

From “Exploring Atlantis with Joe Flanigan” at UGO (Dec. 2005):

John Sheppard in 'Epiphany'“I pitched Brad Wright a number of different ideas, some of which had already been done, because they’ve done five million episodes of SG-1. The ones that I came to him with had been done in one form or another. I had another idea and he liked the basic concept and he had some other ideas with it, so we just collaborated. I came up with the storyline and he wrote the script. … I had an idea that there was a void that I walked into and got stuck in. I didn’t think of doing it as a different time dimension. Robert came up with that idea and it was a good one, so we ran with it [in ‘Epiphany’].

“I have said before that I feel science fiction is as profound as you want it to be. If you choose to look into it, there are quite a few layers and it’s interesting. There are very many eerie parallels and those are generally intentional. The type of analysis that’s applied to the show is interesting and I certainly think about it when I read it, which is kind of nice because in science fiction you can get away with all sorts of stuff. People don’t recognize you’re making commentary about society, most people don’t and then a few people do and some people are wildly off track. I believe that science fiction is as profound as you want it to be or it can be very simple entertainment, and I’m all for very simple entertainment. Every now and then we all need to come home, veg-out, watch something and not think too deeply about it. It’s what you want it to be. We tend to steer clear of being pedantic; it’s entertainment first, otherwise we’d be on a lecture circuit.

“I’d like to see [Sheppard] face a little more personal adversity. I think that would be interesting and probably bring up more backstory. Now that we’re into a third season, we’ll have the opportunity to explore the characters’ backstories a little bit more, but I wouldn’t want to get too much into that. I like to be forward looking and I like to keep things in the hard and real. I like to keep plotlines moving forward and the place that we’re at, as opposed to going back too deeply into personal lives.”

David Hewlett

From “Rodney’s Dangerous Field” in Cult Times #120 archived at David-Hewlett.co.uk (Sept. 2005):

Rodney McKay in 'Trinity'“Fortunately, the more you see of McKay the more you realize, yes, he’s incredibly arrogant, but he’s also incredibly daring, and there are other facets to the guy as well. Last year my character was put in situations where he got to be a hero, a villain, a Space explorer, etc., and that’s something we’ll be doing more of this [second] season. From a character arc standpoint it’s a dream come true for me. McKay has gone from being a bookworm to a full-fledged member of the Atlantis team. Throughout it all, though, we haven’t lost the fact that McKay doesn’t play nice with others. Not that he doesn’t want to. It’s just that sometimes he forgets to try because he’s far too busy in his own little world.

“There are limits to just how far intuition will take even the most brilliant of minds, including McKay’s. In this story [‘Trinity’] we find a piece of technology that the Ancients screwed up and with fatal results. It’s something that will literally change the way we would live our lives, not only on Atlantis but also on Earth, and McKay is so close to unlocking its secret. He’s convinced he can do it, but ends up being wrong.

“This episode was amazing for me because it gave me the opportunity to do so many things with my character. You see McKay conniving, wheedling and doing everything else possible to get a crack at this device. At the same time everyone is trying to talk him out of it. However McKay is like ‘Look, when am I ever wrong? No one understands this the way I do.’ So they let him at it and that’s when you really get to see how McKay’s mind works. When he’s convinced he’s right there’s nothing you can say to discourage him and even when he knows he might be wrong, his response is always the same unabashed arrogance and single mindedness.

“In this case, that sends him and all the other characters in different directions. Suddenly their trust in McKay and his ‘don’t-worry-I’ll-figure-it-out’ attitude is gone. It was getting to the point where Major Sheppard was literally saying ‘McKay has a plan; let’s just go with it’ type of thing. Now the Major looks at him and says ‘Shut up’. McKay even pushes his boundaries with Weir and she has to sort of come down on him and once again remind him who’s in charge.”

From “Geek Unique” in Stargate SG-1: The Official Magazine, Issue #5 , reprinted at David-Hewlett.co.uk (Jul./Aug. 2005):

Rodney McKay hung upside down in a tree in 'Runner'“It’s like the monkey’s paw…If you make a suggestion, all of a sudden it shows up in a script and it’s just not what you planned. Last episode [‘Runner’] they had me hanging upside down in a hazmat suit, hanging from one leg, in the middle of a forest at night, while it’s pouring with rain. Which was fine—until they started spinning me. And then it sort of fell apart for me. That’s when McKay leaves and David just fights nausea! I’ll just say something like ‘Could it possibly be more miserable that shooting ‘The Storm’?’ And then Robert Cooper will step up to the plate and go…’Sure! It can be! You can be wet, dead and upside down!’ So that’s the monkey paw aspect of it. Useful comments that I make are very few and far between!

“My life becomes sort of disrupted [in ‘Duet’]. I’ve got these two people fighting for control of my body. Every time I fall asleep she keeps wandering off and going for runs and things—with my body! And she’s trying to give me tips on dating and how one should act with a woman. I’m kissing everybody in this show. There’s nobody I don’t kiss. I don’t know what happened but Martin Gero [writer] has fallen in love and started writing lots of kissy episodes. It’s a non-stop cavalcade of kisses!

“I love the idea of McKay trying to date, because there’s something very, very funny to me about how woefully inadequate he is—but that might just be based on my own inadequacy! I’ve heaped all my inadequacies onto McKay now! But it’s one of those things with romance, the fun of the show is the stuff leading up to it, and I think that it’s something these guys are smart enough to handle. They’ve kept it at bay in Stargate SG-1 for years and it’s great! That’s the kind of tension that really helps.

“What I like about it is that it’s actually less written funny than it is about the ludicrous situation. As always with Stargate SG-1, it’s more about how people, like you and me, would react to this ridiculous science fiction situation. What are the politics of having two people vying for control of a body, and of course, it being McKay’s body, who’d want it anyway?”

From “Man of Science” in TV Zone Special #67, reprinted at David-Hewlett.co.uk (Dec. 2005):

Rodney McKay and his imaginary Samantha Carter in 'Grace Under Pressure'“[‘Grace Under Pressure’] has some great banter between Carter and McKay which began for me and my character back on Stargate SG-1. It was, of course, a total pleasure to work again with Amanda. I couldn’t believe how full of energy she was considering all she had to do work-wise plus taking care of her new baby. To top it off Amanda was filming both SG-1 and Atlantis at that point. Even with all that on her plate she still came to the table with so many ideas.

“The biggest challenge with ‘Grace Under Pressure’ is that I had an awful lot to say and no-one to blame except myself if I messed things up. So there were plenty of monologues I had to do and I’m not a big fan of those. One of the things I love most about acting is bouncing ideas off and reacting to other actors and what they do. That said, Martin Gero wrote this script and his dialogue rolls off the tongue nicely. In this episode there’s even some funny stuff as well. The same is true of Brad Wright’s writing. He’s like the king of comedy but its comedy that comes out of the situation and not just comedy for the sake of it. Funny things happen all the time in horrible situations, especially to McKay.

“Since the start of the season, McKay has been right in the thick of things and it’s just been episode after episode of incredible amounts of dialogue. It’s a weird double-edged sword thing, though. I go home at night and learn all my lines and I’m having such fun doing it. At the same time I can still come to work the next day and [jokingly] complain about how much I have to do. How sweet is that?

Steven Caldwell, Rodney McKay, Carson Beckett in 'The Long Goodbye'“The reality of it, however, is that I’ve been given so much great material to sink my teeth into with this role. If I’d written this I couldn’t have written myself a better part. I keep saying this and it sounds so cheesy, but there are always a couple of scenes in every episode where I get to cackle to myself while rubbing my hands together and thinking ‘Ooh, I can’t wait to do this.’ There’s a fantastic scene in this season’s ‘The Long Goodbye’ where our two leaders Dr Weir and Colonel Sheppard have gone ballistic and are shooting at each other because they’re possessed by alien beings. Meanwhile, me, Mitch Pileggi [Colonel Steven Caldwell] and Paul McGillion are up in the Atlantis control room and, in this particular scene, are yelling at each other and going ‘OK, I’m in charge now! No way, I am! Shut up, you’re like so not in charge!’ To me that dynamic was just so hysterical and we had a ball shooting that scene. It was one of the best days I’ve had on Atlantis.

“That’s the beauty of an ensemble show, though, in that there’s plenty to go around. You definitely do get stories that are heavier for some characters than others, but there’s always a B-story and other stuff going on that makes you still feel part of things. I think the scripts have worked out beautifully this year and what’s nice is they’ve all thrown us for a loop. The producers and writers set up the parameters of our characters last year and we’ve spent season two tearing them apart. That really adds to the whole sort of turmoil of these people and the friction between them. In the best TV shows and movies it’s all about characters butting heads and sometimes not getting along, and one of the strengths of the Stargate universe has been that prickly dialogue between characters.”

From “Inside Stargate Atlantis” Q&A in Sci Fi Magazine reprinted at Solutions (Feb. 2006):

Rodney McKay faces a Wraith in 'Allies'“I sound like such a suck when I say I really don’t have a favourite episode. Off the top of my head, in no particular order: ‘Duet,’ ‘Grace Under Pressure,’ ‘Runner, ‘The Long Goodbye.’ There are some that are my favourite action shows, and others that are my favourite acting shows, and then there are some that just ended up being my favourite episodes to shoot.”

From interview with Stargate Reunion reprinted at David-Hewlett.co.uk (2005):

“Like I said, the second season is a hard one for McKay (or maybe just the poor bastard playing McKay!) I’m loving it! The range of perils seems much more diverse than last year and it’s definitely darker in some areas than season one. The first season of any show requires a lot of groundwork to establish characters and the new environment and all. The second season we get to break all of those things down and play with the expectations…that and blow stuff up! I really don’t have a favourite episode, they all do something else for McKay and they all have different strengths. It seems like my favourite is always the one I’m working on at the time, each time!”

Torri Higginson

From interview at sci-fi online (Dec. 2004):

Elizabeth Weir not quite herself in 'The Long Goodbye'“I’d like to be out there doing the exciting stuff.

“I did a lot of action films in Toronto for a while. I did about five or six “d” movie action films over about two years over there. I had great fun doing them. I find that stuff is enjoyable—the jumping and running and shooting guns and all that kind of stuff. It’s a lot of fun. It’s very childlike—like playtime again.

“I miss that to a certain degree, but I understand that my character, Elizabeth Weir, will never do that. She comes from a point of criticising the military. I think she would like, and I would like her, to go out more often in terms of meeting the different cultures. I think her interest is in human nature and having different cultures see each other as individuals and learning from each other’s cultures. I think she’s missing doing that. Right now she does feel stuck in this place and she can’t leave. She’s missing, what comes naturally to her—human relations.

“The first season is a learning curve for everyone. These guys that do the show are amazing. They are a great bunch of people and you can go up to them and say: ‘I want to do this…’ and they’ll say: ‘No! It’s never going to happen.’ [laughs] ‘Get that out of your head! It’s never going to happen.’ And then you can go up to them with something else and they’ll go: ‘Oh, okay that’s interesting, maybe. Maybe we can use that.’

“So they’re very open but they won’t pander to you. They’re not afraid to say: ‘Get out of your head right now,’ and they’re not afraid to say: ‘I hadn’t though of that. That’s a good idea.’ Or sometimes they’ll say stuff like: ‘Yeah, we have thought of that, but we’re waiting until the end of Season Two because that’s an arc and we want to get there slowly because we have these other ideas of how we are going to get there.’

“It would be great to see her have to deal with a situation that went against everything she believes in—if she had to physically defend herself, or another person. I think that would be a really fun episode to explore—making the decision, having to go back on what her politics might be and then the repercussions of that decision and whether she was able to pull it off. I think that would be a fun thing to explore.”

From “Ascension au Soleil” video interview, conducted and transcribed by Gateship-One.net (Jul. 2008):

Elizabeth Weir as the troubled leader in 'Allies'“I always thought it would be interesting to have the episode where you see all of the characters at 3 in the morning, right? Lying awake in bed and worrying about the decisions that they made that day or regretting choices that they didn’t make and I always thought that would be very interesting. Because I think Doctor Weir made some very tough choices and she was in a world that she didn’t know existed a year before she was put there. You know a year before it’s like somebody says to one of us, ‘You know, you’re going to work on another planet,’ and you’re like, ‘What?!? You’re crazy, that doesn’t exist!’ So she went from that to all of a sudden living that and I think she made some bad mistakes too. You know, in order to learn you make mistakes and I think she is a very compassionate person and I think that was hard for her to deal with the guilt of having made certain mistakes and hurt some people because of those mistakes.”

Rachel Luttrell

From interview with Gilles Nuytens at The SciFi World (Jan. 25, 2006):

Rachel Luttrell and James Bamford train “I will say this about bringing Teyla to life, she presents so many challenges, but one of the biggest ones to me is that she is meant to be human, but is meant to be other worldy from a different galaxy. So there has to be something about her that sets her apart, though she is human. That was a particularly interesting challenge for me when I started to portray her to make sure there was always that balance, the fact that she was human, but she’s different. And then the second largest challenge, to me, was learning the martial arts and starting to incorporate that into who Teyla is. The physicality of that was also challenging. But both of those have added to my enjoyment of portraying her. They were two things that I had to surmount, but I’m still finessing them but when it comes to the physical element.

John Sheppard kisses Teyla Emmagan in 'Conversion'“I’ll share this funny (story), or I think it’s funny, the day we shot the kiss [in ‘Conversion’], it was a day when my parents happened to be up visiting me from Los Angeles. They had come up for a few days and they wanted to be on set. (So) they were there front and center, and even though I love them and they are so supportive, it was very very nerve-wracking, and it was a particularly challenging scene to shoot because it was a fight sequence that ended up in a kiss, and my parents were right there watching every moment, so that that was a unique situation…They thought it was great, they were champions of it, they thought it went wonderfully well. They thought Joe looked great. They’re big fans. They were happy, they were pleased.

Teyla Emmagan sings in 'Critical Mass'“I [was the one who came up with the idea for me to sing], because I love to sing, and it was always something that I thought we would be able to use in terms of a link [to] her people, to Teyla’s people. It would be very interesting, kind of a historic look into who her people are, and their beliefs. I went and I talked to Brad Wright about it, and how I thought song and dance have been historically used for funerals and grief, and spiritual purposes, in various different cultures. I thought it would be an interesting way to incorporate it, and also to get to know a little bit more about the assertions. Which I’m always anxious to learn more about, Teyla’s history and their people. (Brad) was game, and incorporated it [into ‘Critical Mass’]. Something that I brought forth.

Teyla Emmagan“They flew me to Los Angeles twice. I had a few conversations with [composer Joel Goldsmith] over the phone about the feel of the piece, what I had envisioned, what he had envisioned, and we came to a common ground. I had a lot of fun working with him. It was really exciting, because we built the song from the ground up, put various instrumentation to it, and discussed how we wanted the song to feel. It was really, really good. The funny thing is, I flew to Los Angeles and recorded the song with him, then immediately flew back to continue shooting in Vancouver. Then one of my producers, John Smith, came up to me on the set, and said, ‘Rachel, we’re going to have to fly you back to Los Angeles to re-record the song because it sounds too good.’ So they then sent me back to Los Angeles to rerecord it and to not to make it sound quite as polished. That’s what we ended up with. It was a very interesting experience working in a sound booth, and working beside the composer, the musicians and what have you. There is a lot that goes into recording a song, but I really did enjoy working with him.”

Teyla Emmagan and Michael Kenmore in 'Michael'From interview at SciFi Brain (Mar. 2006):

“The ones that stand out for me are probably pretty obvious. I mean, like ‘The Gift’ first season was a really good one for me—for Teyla. And then this past season, I really enjoyed ‘Michael,’ for whatever reason. It stood out in my mind, it had a different rhythm, for me, than any of the other episodes did. I like seeing the characters in situations where they are uncomfortable and no precedence has been set, so they really don’t know how to operate. I like those kind of episodes, and that one was definitely one of them.

Ronon Dex and Teyla Emmagan in 'Trinity'“I think in the first season I had more fight sequences, and in the second season they had to establish Jason’s character, Ronon, as being kind of a go-getter, scrapper, fighter—will throw himself into the fray at any given second. So yeah, that has definitely changed the dynamic a little bit. It’s also a good thing for Teyla from the perspective of character that she now has somebody onboard the team who shares her references, and being that he has grown up with a similar background, and that has been a good thing for her. Ultimately, it will be a good thing for the show. I think he definitely has changed the dynamic for the best.”

Teyla Emmagan From interview with Gilles Nuytens at The SciFi World (Jan. 25, 2006):

“I’m so anxious and excited about really looking into [Teyla’s] past, why she became the leader, how she really feels about it, who are her relatives, where are they, what happened to her father and mother, and does she have siblings. I mean there is so much that we could dive into, and hopefully will. I take my hat off to the writers, its tricky for them because they have a lot of pressures that they have to cater to, and I think that although she presents many wonderful possibilities, she also is maybe a little more difficult to write for because there are endless possibilities for her. Where do we begin, whereas some of the other characters, it’s a little more easy to write for them because the writers can obviously think, ‘OK, they are from Earth, their history is similar to something that I would understand.’ Their sense of humor is something that perhaps mirrors me, so yeah, I’m hoping that this year there will be a bit more. I’m going to be up in the office more this year, talking to (the writers), helping them with ideas! … Our writers and producers are quite open to any ideas we might have, or hopes where we see the character going. But I don’t know, I don’t know what the season is going to bring. Hopefully good things.”

Jason Momoa

From interview with Stargate Project (Feb. 2006):

Ronon Dex picked by the Wraith in 'Runner'“I went to high school in Iowa before moving to Hawaii where I worked on the shows Baywatch Hawaii and North Shore. … I auditioned for the role of Ronon, but I had met the casting director, Paul Weber, about a year before on something completely unrelated. So he thought of me for the part of Ronon Dex when it came up and I was immediately attracted to the whole package. I had never done any action based roles before and Ronon is my complete opposite—I’ve never shot a gun in my life! So this has been a totally different mindset for me.

“Ronon is kind of like a Native American Mad Max. He’s a real rebel and he’s very primal. He was captured by the Wraith and tortured and they planted this tracking device in his back then released him so they could hunt him down. It’s part of the Wraith’s ritual to find out how humans work. So Ronon has to be smart and keep moving so he can avoid being caught. He was a weapons specialist so he has an affinity to guns and weapons of course—and he definitely knows how to use them! He also is an expert at martial arts so I had to train a lot to take on that part of his character.

“Because he was always on the move, he’s a real loner and he certainly doesn’t trust anyone… he goes on his instinct. The Atlantis crew is always trying to tone him down, to stop him from just pulling out his gun and shooting someone because he doesn’t trust them or he doesn’t think they have time to find out! He’s had to live very defensively for the past seven years, so he can’t just turn that off.

Ronon Dex“I’m actually the opposite to Ronon Dex. We’re the same height and have the same hair, but other than that, we have nothing in common! So where Ronon’s intimidating and gruff, I’m kind of a softie and a goof ball! He’s more comfortable with a gun or a sword in his hand and I’m happiest doing my art or writing. We both like action though…I just prefer to be out in nature rock climbing or something, and Ronon prefers to be fighting someone!

“I had watched the Stargate movie with Kurt Russell, but to be honest, I never really watch TV at all. I still don’t even own a television! … When I got the role, they gave me all the tapes of season one so I could watch them and get caught up on what had been happening. I went over to a friend’s house to watch them—because of that not owning a TV thing! The season opener for season two is really exciting, but you don’t meet Ronon until the third episode. Then it REALLY gets exciting!”

From “Chasing Jason” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine, Issue #24 (Sept./Oct. 2008):

“The stunt work has been interesting because I knew what I wanted for the way he would look. And with Stunt Co-ordinator James ‘Bam Bam’ Bamford, it went to a whole other level. I didn’t know how to do any stunts when I came on. I didn’t do any stunts on any other shows. He called me up when I was in Australia and he was like, ‘Uh, have you done any fights? You know any karate? What kind of sports do you do?’ And I said, ‘Well, I’ve only been in fights and been beat up.’ I grew up on an island where I was always getting beat up, and being in bar fights, so he had no idea what he was going to get. And to me, doing the fight scenes are like dancing, because I know how to dance, so it’s just an aggressive, violent dance. Find the way Ronon moves was basically it.

Ronon Dex with his gun in 'Condemned'“When I first showed up on set, I was grabbing Ronon’s gun and spinning it. If you feel a real gun, it weighs three or four pounds. I came up with this idea right on the set, to just spin it, do these shots, and they loved it. I just made it a part of my thing, that he was to be flash in some ways, and it’s just like watching old Samurai movies and getting into that, ‘I’m an action hero.’ It’s great, man. I’m never going to play a cowboy. I will probably play the Indian, or the bad guy in some way, but I’m not going to play John Wayne. I’m not going to play that, so it’s fun to play a gunslinger and be able to do all this kind of stuff And with it being a laser gun, I can do all kinds of stupid stuff that no one would do with a 9mm gun. I’m not going to play SWAT team but it’s going to have that flash. With swords, I’m not going to play a Samurai either but we have a great action adventure show where we do stuff very fast like, bam, bam, bam. Something that should take a couple days to shoot, or should be at least eight hours, we get in two to three hours sometimes. We cram it in.”

From interview with Stargate Project (Feb. 2006):

“I’m having so much fun working on Stargate Atlantis so I hope it goes on for many years. I have some ideas of where I hope Ronon Dex will go, but my character has been mapped out already for this season. He has to be introduced and integrated into the Atlantis team properly first. So I’m happy being the new guy for now and developing the character as the writers see fit.”

Paul McGillion

From interview with Gilles Nuytens at The SciFi World (Oct. 21, 2005):

Rodney McKay's body is used to kiss Carson Beckett in 'Duet'“Dr. Carson Beckett is a very interesting and complex character who wears his heart on his sleeve. He is passionate about his work and has a very moralistic backbone. The character has developed greatly since the pilot—thanks to his interactions with all of the other characters and great story lines from great writers. From comedy to drama—Carson has seen it all and will hopefully continue to get bigger and broader with every encounter and challenge.

“In the episode ‘Duet’—when we rehearsed the infamous kissing scene between myself and David Hewlett, he surprised me by planting me right on the kisser for REAL in the rehearsal—everyone on set lost it! I’m still in therapy for it.

“My favorite episodes are the pilot ‘Rising,’ ‘Poisoning the Well,’ ‘Duet,’ just to mention a few. All the episodes show a different side of Beckett and give me, as an actor, the ability to portray range in the character. … The continuous medical jargon can be challenging at times. But overall, he is a JOY to play.”

From interview with The SciFi World (Feb. 24, 2006):

Carson Beckett in 'Critical Mass'“I love my cast mates, they have become really great friends. Again not to sound cliché but it is like a family in a lot of ways and I really learn to respect all their individual talents as well as their friendship. David Hewlett is one of my closest friends now and I wouldn’t have met him if it wasn’t for Stargate.

“Also I love the character and being able to get great scripts. Like Martin Gero’s ‘Duet’ is a fun script, Damian Kindler’s ‘Poisoning the Well,’ for me, and working with Brad and Robert; those guys really took a chance on giving me Beckett and I just hope that I can step up to the plate every time I get a chance, every opportunity. And the food’s good too!

“My expectations for season three are to continue as season two has been going. In season one I think the character’s getting more fleshed out as the seasons go on. I think Beckett is one of the more fully developed characters in the ensemble cast at this point and if he can continue doing that, that would be fantastic. I’d also like to see, personally maybe see, a little bit more of Beckett’s back story. We haven’t seen Beckett’s quarters yet at all. So that would be kind of neat to see that in season three. A little bit more history about where the character comes from, more personal history, because we’ve never seen where he lives in Atlantis yet, not once, and I think everybody else we have. Except for Beckett. So maybe that’ll happen in season three.”


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