Stargate: Atlantis premiered ten years ago today. I’m celebrating with a look back at my Top 10 favorite SGA memories.
In no particular order…
#10. RODNEY MAKES THE CUT. BUT JUST BARELY!
Production on the new Stargate spinoff was fast-approaching, but we were scrambling to cast one crucial role: the part of the intrepid, dedicated team doctor. Multiple auditions yielded no suitable candidates and the producers were at a loss until… Robert Cooper suggested a different tact. Instead of casting a new character, why not bring in an established one – namely, Dr. Rodney McKay who had already put in a couple of appearances on Stargate: SG-1? To say that this last minute switch “worked out quite nicely” would be an enormous understatement. Could you imagine Atlantis without him?
#9. ENTER GOLDEN BOY MARTIN GERO
Faced with the prospect of 40 episodes of television a season, we sought out new talent for the writers’ room. Enter young Martin Gero who proved himself with his first script, Childhood’s End – and then went on to become the most prolific writer on the show.
#8. ENTER CARL BINDER
Later in SGA’s first season, we added one more writer to the room, a veteran of Punky Brewster with a penchant for schnitzel and off-colour humor. He proved himself with his first script, Before I Sleep – and then went on to become the most prolific writer of ghost-themed episodes on the show.
#7. ENTER RONON
The show saw several cast changes over the course of its five year run, but perhaps none quite as significant as the introduction of the rough and ready Satedan, Ronon. A great onscreen presence, Jason Momoa was also a hell of a lot of fun to work with.
#6. INTRODUCING…TODD THE WRAITH
There’s nothing I enjoy more than an interesting, multi-layered villain and, while the show had them in bunches, none (in my humble opinion) matched the depth and color of Todd the Wraith, a soul-sucking alien with a devilish sense of humor.
#5. GOODBYE, CARSON
This one rivals the closing moments of SG-1’s Meridian as one of the most touching scenes of the franchise. Rodney says goodbye to his friend who fades away to close the episode and Carson’s story…for a little while anyway.
#4. WOOLSEY IN CHARGE
I loved Richard Woolsey’s evolution from pencil-pushing bureaucrat to principled suit, so when Amanda Tapping’s departure opened up the position of Expedition Commander, the first name that came to mind was: Bob Picardo. I called him up, made him the offer and we closed the deal that afternoon. One of my favorite characters to write for.
#3. BEHIND THE SCENES FUN
It’s hard to pick one moment among the countless great ones I enjoyed as a member of the Atlantis writing team. Amid all the story sessions, script notes, cut screenings and mixes, there was much hilarity. More often than not, it involved Carl being “tricked” into eating something awful (https://josephmallozzi.com/2007/06/08/june-7-2007/).
#2. MY FIRST SAN DIEGO COMIC CON
#1. ALL GOOD THINGS….
Although it wasn’t planned as a series finale, the show’s last episode served nicely as a nice send-off, wrapping up existing storylines yet leaving the door open for further adventures. The final group shot on the balcony overlooking San Francisco Bay was an emotional one for all. We’d had five great years – but, dammit, we could have had so many more!