In case you hadn’t noticed, that long-awaited Atlantis season 5 press release finally came out today (check it out here: http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=2&id=48051)

For those of you who just got back from the moon and may have missed it, here are the salient points –

1. Woolsey assumes command of the Atlantis expedition!

I’ve always admired Robert Picardo’s work in shows like China Beach and Star Trek: Voyager and we had been looking to cast him for a long time. Finally, the opportunity presented itself in SG-1’s Heroes I and II in which he played the button-down Trust attorney Richard Woolsey. He was a fun, albeit not all-that-likable character, and it wasn’t until his next appearance, in the episode Inauguration, that we caught a glimpse of the man beneath the officious façade. Despite being innately hard-nosed and by-the-book, Woolsey redeems himself at episode’s end by allowing his own moral compass to guide him rather than blindly follow the directions of his scheming employer, Vice President Kinsey. In ensuing appearances (Prototype, The Scourge, Return I and II, and the Seer), he proved himself at times obtrusive, fastidious, and, yes, a pain-in-the-ass, but also loyal, intelligent, and above all, principled.

Way back at the end of season three when we were considering a new commander, Woolsey was one of the first names that popped into my head. I thought he would be a great choice – an established player in the Stargate universe and an interesting character that could offer much in the way of potential conflict. It also didn’t hurt that Bob is a nice guy, and a wonderful actor who has hit it out of the park every time he’s appeared on the show. After much discussion though, it was decided at the time that Carter would be a better fit. And we had a great season with her. But with Amanda having made the difficult decision to commit herself to another project, the opportunity to bring in Woolsey presented itself once again. And, this time, we took it.

Of course, his appointment does beg certain questions, the chiefest being: If Carter was appointed commander of the Atlantis expedition as a military response to the ongoing replicator and wraith threat, what has changed between then and now? Good question. Tune into season 5 to find out.

2. The beloved Dr. Carson Beckett returns for five episodes!

It’s impossible to write “Dr. Carson Beckett” without using the term “beloved” I’ve noticed. Anyway, yes, it’s true, Paul McGillion will be back with us for 5 episodes. It was great having him back on set in season 4 and we all look forward to seeing significantly more of him this year. “How is this possible?”you ask. “I thought he was dead!”you say. Hey, now that you mention it, he WAS dead! How does that work? Well, tune in to the last few episode of season 4 to find out.

3. Daniel Jackson will be guesting in some episodes.

So far, we’ve got a terrific, BIG two-parter planned. I suspect that the page count in the Daniel/McKay scenes (featuring the two fastest-talking actors in show business) will have the scheduling gurus doing back-flips. Remember that new enemy I mentioned? Oh, and Marty G. will be doing the honors on this one.

4. Samantha Carter will appear in several episodes.

Given Amanda’s upcoming commitment, it’s impossible to offer an exact number of episodes. As I said, it really has everything to do with a) her schedule and b) the types of stories we come up with. However, I can say that, at present, we do have her locked in for two.

5. No mention of the Weir character

I’ve already stated our intention to pay off the storyline we hinted at in Be All My Sins Remember’d. We have the story in place and, once a deal is closed, you’ll be the first to hear about it.

For those of you asking about which line in the teaser poem refers to Outcast:

“Wallace’s research a menace let loose.”

Today’s blog is dedicated to birthday boyorgirl Konman72 and Sara who sent Lulu a practical yet fashionable E-Collar.

Let’s tackle the mailbag –

Aquarian writes: “ Is the Michael storyline going to be revisited at all in S5?”

Answer: Although we’ve yet to slot a story (or two) into the schedule, you can be sure we’ll see him pop up at some point in season 5.

PG-15 writes: “Was Bill Dow really sunburned, or was all of that makeup just to set up the joke that Dr. Lee got called in from vacation?”

Answer: No, he wasn’t really sunburned. That was scripted.

RaeveAva writes: “Where did you and the rest of the SGA writers, get your sense of humors?”

Answer: We were born with them. Except in the case of Marty G. His was genetically engineered.

Thornyrose writes: “When the decision was made to cast Hewlett, was there a lot of revising of scripts early on?”

Answer: Definitely. The McKay character is very different from the character Brad and Rob originally envisioned for the role.

MaryA writes: “I was wondering if you would be so willing as to confirm or deny Acastas Kolya’s reappearance in Season 5?”

Answer: Funny you should mention Kolya. I had a conversation with Robert Davi last week (coincidentally, a day after I spoke to Richard Kind, aka Lucius, concerning a chocolate article he came across recently). Although there are no stories in the works for either character – hey, this is scifi. Anything is possible.

Maren Sievert writes: “ I’ve herad that dogs like yours are prone to have breathing problem because of the way the nose is. Can you confirm that?

Answer: Confirmed. Jelly is particularly bad. She even snores when she’s awake.

Iamza writes: “have you read Susannah Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell yet?”

Answer: It’s sitting on my bookshelf. I’ll get around to it – eventually.

Marko writes: “I’m glad that he’s going to remain the team leader, but as for there being no discussion about promoting him… why on earth not? Carter made lieutenant colonel one year before he did; wouldn’t it then make sense for him to be promoted to full colonel one year after her, that is, in season 5?”

Answer: It would make sense if it was simply a matter of putting in the hours but, in fact, merit has a lot to do with it. Does Sheppard deserve to be made full bird Colonel? I guess you’d have to argue your case to the promotions selection committee.

Grace writes: “ You can say that Michael Shanks will ‘guest star’ in several episodes, but you can’t give the same statement for Torri.”

Answer: Yep, that’s about it. Michael Shanks will be in two episodes. So far.

Mark B writes: “Can you confirm if Jewel Staite will be regular or recurring next season?”

Answer: Jewel will be a regular next year.

Lea writes: “Woolsey’s so incredibly annoying…”

Answer: So was Dr. Rodney McKay the first time we met him in Redemption I and II.

Inpa writes: “The mysterious character Porter, was an announcement about her *not* included because the actress hasn’t been decided, because she won’t be *significant enough* in the show, or some other reason?”

Answer: She has yet to be cast and we have yet to see how significant a role she will play in season 5.

Inpa also writes: “Also how was the decision to bring Woolsey over made, I know the writers have said it was considered when thinking who would be in charge for season 4. Was it a quick obvious decision or did it require a lot of thought?”

Answer: It took us approximately three seconds.

Emily writes: “I finished reading Bright of the Sky. I was a little concerned about it since it kind of straddled the line between sci-fi and fantasy (imo) and I’m not a huge fan of fantasy, but overall I thought it was a good read. My least favorite storyline was actually Quinn’s…”

Answer: Funny you should say that. I was all onboard with the Quinn storyline until the narrative shifted to Sydney. At that point, Quinn’s quest became secondary to the far more interesting, character-driven Sydney storyline. Although there were interesting elements in Quinn’s drive to rescue his daughter, I found myself thoroughly engrossed in Sydney’s plight.

Farscapefan writes: “what the hell are you thinking sending Daniel to Atlantis WITHOUT Vala? You know very well that these two are totally incomplete without another around! And I swear, I’m gonna hate you forever if you make Daniel act like Vala doesn’t exist at all and there won’t be at least one mention of her.”

Answer: Done and done. I’ll cross you off my Christmas card list.

Mrs.B108 writes: “Will Season Five introduce new enemies alongside its new Atlantis personnel?”

Answer: Yep.

Amyfo writes: “Joe look what I found, I think you’ll enjoy this.
http://www.linein.org/media/screenclean.swf

Answer: Yeah, that’s how I keep my monitors clean. Jelly can’t get enough.

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Pauline
Pauline

Whoa! Woolsey who’d a thought? Great choice some one known to us but with still a lot to be discovered if you see what I mean.

I like your style give’em what they don’t want and they’ll come back for more, just to say “I told you so.”

Season five ratings in the bag!

Can’t wait to see you turn Woolsey into a guy everyone wants to sit around the table having coffee with.

At least McKay won’t be the only man people love to hate on the base.

Will he go off world with the team occasionally?

Will he ever over come his fear of….well everything really?

Will he grow a back bone and break free of certain government agencies?

Will we get some good back story on him?

Woolsey was sent to Atlantis to evaluate both Weir and more recently Carter.
Who would be sent to Atlantis to evaluate him after he takes up the post…I vote O’Neill!

Pauline

kiltedassassin
kiltedassassin

When I first heard Carter wasn’t going to be in charge I thought, y’know who would be awesome? Woolsey. I just didn’t believe it could really happen. Robert Picardo is great in everything he’s in, and I think you guys give him a lot of great material. I am super excited about next season already.

JimFromJersey
JimFromJersey

Joe,

I just noticed in that closeup shot of Lulu that it looks like her identification tattoo starts with 007. Is she demanding her martini’s shaken, not stirred?

CheekylilDevil
CheekylilDevil

*waves*

What no slap upside the head Mr M? You’re slipping. wink Okay i’ve calmed down after my PMS hissy fit, could you at the very least pass me over some chocolate? razz

*hugs*

ms. carol
ms. carol

I guess my favorite show would not be too exciting if the writers did everything I secretly wished for. Yes, I am not thrilled at all about the Woolsey character…Ho hum… The actor is great. The writing is great too. I love to hate Woolsey!

RaeveAva
RaeveAva

Well, I don’t know about most people, but I think that allowing Woolsey to head up Atlantis should be an interesting change. With the amazing writers we have on this show, I’m sure this will prove to be another great season! Keep it up with the subtle humor please!!

Livingstone
Livingstone

So Weir is going to be back? LOL just kidding. The 100th episode should include Weir hopefully…

What was your first (music) single ever bought and do you regret it?

firefly827347
firefly827347

…I noticed a disctinct lack of the name “Kavan Smith” on your part in today’s blog. Care to correct that on the next entry? wink

susanthetartanturtle

If CheekylilDevil gets chocolate from you for her PMS hiss fit can I get some too?

Woolsey – I will wait and see how it develops.

Another female character – me wants more men!

Jewel as a regular – not really happy with this, nothing against her personally. I feel that her character is pretty insignificant.

Lorne and Zelenka – yummy, hope they are back.

Carson – He is back and he is alive which are both great. I was hoping for more episodes, but I am thankful for 5. I hope that you utilise Paul’s acting talents and use him as an Atlantis doctor and give him quality scripts to work from. I am sure that his wee turtles (Hamish and Edie) will be glad to get out of Rodney’s quarters.

Susan

smile

Lyn
Lyn

Woolsey – the man I love to hate, though he has certainly shown some redeeming qualities in later eps. If we can’t have Elizabeth back, I’m happy with Woolsey.
And Daniel on Atlantis for at least two eps, that makes me happy.
Five eps with Carson. I’d have loved many more than that, but it’s a good start.
Looking forward to the rest of season 4 and season 5. Keep up the good work, crew!

gater101
gater101

Duuuude!

That was such an unexpected twist! Woolsey you say? This is bound to be interesting… wonder how he and the main characters (i.e. John Sheppard) will get on. A few instances of not quite seeing eye to eye, I wonder.

Ha. As much as I love Daniel, I’m almost disappointed he’s coming over to Atlantis. I hope I’m proven wrong smile BUT the fact you mentioned scenes with him and McKay? This I can’t wait to see – so I’m at a bit of a cross roads with my feelings on that one!

Ugly Pig
Ugly Pig

“Woolsey’s so incredibly annoying…”
“So was Dr. Rodney McKay the first time we met him in Redemption I and II.”

…and even more so when we met him before that in ’48 Hours’. grin

voodoolizzy
voodoolizzy

I’m so pleased Robert Picardo is going to be a regular. He has such a great sense of comic timing – I imagine we’ll get to enjoy that from time to time. I loved his imagination run rampant in Voyager – like the Emergency Command Hologram???

Oh – and Happy Mardi Gras! We wore beads and ate King Cake today.

Kristen
Kristen

Would love to see Kolya back in a real dark, actiony episode. He took over Atlantis, bullied Rodney and tortured Sheppard.

In turn Sheppard killed 60 of his men and ruined him to the Genii. We should get a real-drag-down fight between the two, it was such a great feud.

But please don’t ever bring back Lucius.

As for the cast changes I’ll trust the writers, but please give us a Sheppard arc this time. He always has great moments, but always seems to be skipped when it come to an overall arcs.

SG-1 is Love
SG-1 is Love

I think it’s great that Daniel will finally stop by Atlantis. Superb. I don’t suppose you could get Teal’c or Jack to accompany him? Someone a couple of days ago posted about how they’d love a big, blowout SG-1 visit to Atlantis. Count me in, too.

With the 300th episode of Stargate coming up this year, too, it would be the perfect opportunity. What better way to say thank you to the four pillars of the Gate verse?

Jack, Sam, Teal’c, and Daniel for the all out win.

Claire
Claire

Hmm, so Woolsey huh?

I’m actually looking forward to that. Will we get any back story on him (how he came to work for the IOA, any family he may have things like that)? ANd can we please have him say ‘please state the nature of the medical emergency’ atleast once?

I know it’s a challenge but I;m sure if anyone can write it, it’s you.

sueKay

Hey Joe!

Another question:

Will Jewel and Paul share any scenes in s5?

Shipperahoy
Shipperahoy

Seriously, don’t you ever get scared by some of the fan comments. I mean some of the ones you’ve approved scare me (i.e. “I’m going to hate you forever if you don’t give me what I want) so I can’t imagine some of the ones that you DON’T approve.

julianthered
julianthered

*tsk*tsk* “48 Hours”, Joe!

Vonni
Vonni

I think Woolsey as leader of Atlantis is a great idea, because it will probably lead to some interesting conflicts between him and Sheppard. He is a great character.

As for Carson’s return: YEAAAHH!!! Wait a minute, only 5 episodes? Well, I hope that is not to set in stone yet.

Lea
Lea

“Lea writes: “Woolsey’s so incredibly annoying…”
Answer: So was Dr. Rodney McKay the first time we met him in Redemption I and II.”

It may come as a shock to you, but I never thought of McKay as someone who’s incredibly and particularly annoying, not even in the first SG1 eps. Sure, he does have lots of flaws, but at the same time he has always been an interesting and versatile character, right from the beginning. He was loud and rude, and I see that some people think of that as annoying, but for me there are also other things that can be annoying in ‘hero characters’, so maybe that’s why I didn’t mind Rodney’s attitude in SG1 that much. You could see that there was lots of potential for that character to develop, he had a background without having a background if you know what I mean, and as annoying as he might have been, he was also strangely endearing right from the beginning (maybe because there is a little McKay in all of us and everyone can relate to that or wishes he could be as straight forward as him)

For me, Woolsey is just annoying and working for the ‘wrong side’. Sure, as I said, there might be interesting storylines because of that, but I’d rather have a teamplayer. There are enough problems out there with the numerous enemies they have. And the whole “but the IOA wants…” conflict is also getting boring, and the “Earth is more important than Atlantis” stuff too. Ah well, but I’ll manage. I’d rather have Woolsey on the show than, for example, Dr. Keller.

Ltcolshepjumper
Ltcolshepjumper

Farscapefan writes: “what the hell are you thinking sending Daniel to Atlantis WITHOUT Vala? You know very well that these two are totally incomplete without another around! And I swear, I’m gonna hate you forever if you make Daniel act like Vala doesn’t exist at all and there won’t be at least one mention of her.”

Well, Daniel got along fine for 8 years without her. he can do it again.

Also, for JoeM: Woolsey is the new commander. However, his background is not unlike Weir’s. Will you develop that political background in Woolsey? It was a shame that you didn’t develop it in Weir.

Also, how important of a role will the Wraith have in Season 5?

londongirl
londongirl

Hi Joe,

quick Carson question:

Is it a final decision that Carson Beckett will appear in only 5 episodes or is there a chance he might return to recurring (10+ ep.) or regular status?

Thank you for taking the time to answer.

narellefromaus
narellefromaus

Hi Joe,

I’ve decided to read another Iain Banks novel. You recommend both The Player of Games and Use of Weapons. Do you have a preference of one over the other?

Thanks!

Trek_Girl42
Trek_Girl42

Quite happy with the announcement- glad to hear that Jewel’s now a regular, she’s been lovely on the show! Also am very excited for the potential that Woolsey has- he’ll certainly be very different from Carter and Weir.

Any word yet on how much Zelenka will be in this season?