David Hewlett, who plays Dr. Rodney McKay on SCI FI Channel's Stargate Atlantis, told reporters that former Stargate SG-1 star Amanda Tapping has brought a new energy to the show since joining the cast for season four. Tapping's Col. Samantha Carter joins the team.
"It was great for me, because that's effectively how I started, with SG-1 and Amanda," Hewlett said in a press conference on the set in Vancouver, Canada, last week. "Those scenes were really what I think brought me into this whole sort of franchise. So it's fantastic to have her back, both personally and as a character. McKay has such a great sort of repartee with the Tapping character. So, really, it has definitely changed the feel. ... And [there's] more tension as well, which is nice, too: just the interaction with the characters."
Tapping originated the Carter character on Stargate SG-1 when it premiered in 1997 and remained on the series through its 10th and final season. Carter will make the journey to Atlantis in the coming season (spoiler ahead!), replacing Dr. Elizabeth Weir (Torri Higginson) as the commander of the Atlantis expedition.
Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi said in the same press conference that Tapping's presence has also inspired the show's writers. "Just from a creative standpoint as well, it offers us sort of a wealth of opportunities," he said. "She's so multifaceted. She's got the science background, so she can take some of the heat off of McKay and his gobbledygook. She's got the military background, so if she needs to head offworld, she can head offworld with the team. She's also got the leadership background to basically settle in quite nicely as the new commander of the Atlantis expedition."
Mallozzi added that the show will spend the first few episodes exploring Carter's relationships with the other characters. But she won't be the only new regular on the show. Jewel Staite, best known for her role as Kaylee on the Fox show Firefly and the feature film Serenity, is also joining the cast as Dr. Jennifer Keller.
"Whenever you introduce a new character, especially one like Amanda, you are able to explore also different facets of the existing characters," Mallozzi said. "Like McKay, and now we're working on her relationship in regards to [Lt. Col. John] Sheppard [played by Joe Flanigan]. And we did an early season episode called 'Reunion' where her and Ronon [Jason Momoa] get into it, because, of course, she's military by the book, and he clearly is very off-book. So she brings a lot of that to the show. And of course, Jewel Staite, who will be joining the cast in season four, brings sort of a whole new take on that position as well." Stargate Atlantis returns with all-new episodes later this year. —Cindy White
*snickers at the idea of the inevitable Carter/Ronon.*
And the TorriToes are all, like, ooh I hate her lets scratch her eyes out!