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!

mckay_redemptionProduction 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

1Faced 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

dsc09906Later 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

62149The 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

stargateatlantis-s05e17There’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

1This 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

p185051_n1357_cc_v4_aaI 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

2It’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

2Meeting 5000 Stargate fans – simultaneously.

#1. ALL GOOD THINGS….

sg520mainAlthough 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!

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whoviantrish
whoviantrish

Those are fantastic moments. Yes we had five great years and absolutely could have had so many more.

Thanks for helping to make the show that I’ll always love more than any other.

Andrea
Andrea

10 years since Atlantis started?! Holy crap I’m old.

Ponytail
Ponytail

I cannot argue with any of those. You all had a great casting eye and huge talent behind the cameras in every area. Such a great show.

gracey

The secondary/supporting characters are some of my favorites from any show: Lorne, Zelenka, Hailing..and even annoying Kavanaugh….who I just saw in something being a jerk..and shouted out..”Don’t do it Kavanaugh!” Chuck, Amelia…I could go on…

gforce
gforce

And I do wish there had been so many more..

Thanks so much everyone for your kind thoughts and words about my step-mom yesterday. This is such great community here, and Joe is an ever gracious host. I’m so thankful. We had to clean out her room at the nursing home today at it was pretty tough, I had more that a couple of little meltdowns but got through it okay. After my father passed away three years ago, I made it my goal to make sure she was as well taken care of as possible, in respect of his memory. I hope I fulfilled that promise, but in the meantime she became a true friend. She’ll be sorely missed by so many.

@Bella&Kasper: “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

This quote was a big help today, thank you so much.

arcticgoddess

You and the rest of the producers have a penchant for picking winners when it comes to cast and stories. Atlantis was a great series. I miss it.

Elminster
Elminster

Hey Joe
I can remember way back then thinking “If you screw up SG-1 with this off-shoot show, Mr. Wright, there’ll be hell to pay”. Well, I can happily say he didn’t. Thanks for all the memories, Joe.

Elminster

Sparrow_hawk

Good times, good times…

And TODD!

Bailey
Bailey

I like most of your ten, although that “touching moment” with Rodney and Carson always puzzled me because I never got the impression they were all that close. Oh well…

Some of my top moments were The Beer on the Pier scene (I have never, in my life, seen such chemistry (friendship or otherwise) as that between McKay and Sheppard. Hewlett and Flanigan just shone together). The entire episode Vegas, John and Todd’s meeting, John and Teyla’s “feelings” scene, discovering fanfic (in particular McShep), Atlantis rising from the ocean with Radek describing it, the pure joy of The Team and a hundred other character moments from some of the most memorable characters ever created.

Of course Sheppard is my favorite fictional character of all time, so discovering John Sheppard was extremely fortunate for me. SGA created in me a lasting fan of quite a few of the actors and writers, whereas before I just enjoyed SG1 but didn’t devote time and energy into following it. I don’t think I will ever enjoy a series and become so passionate about everything surrounding it as much as I did Atlantis. It’s been a huge presence in my life for the past 10 years! Thank you to everyone involved!

Airelle
Airelle

A great show for sure, and all those young faces..yea, even Todd, So many have gone on to many other projects, so you gave them a great start and us some great entertainment. thanks. Good friends and lots of memories.

rileyo
rileyo

Ahhh, I miss it. We’ve been watching an episode a week, starting season two tonight. Love my team.

Jenny Horn
Jenny Horn

I’ll take McKay for spots 1-10. Great, great, great character.

sylvia
sylvia

Ditto what rileyo said…miss it.
Nice selection of memories…savoring each and every one.

Nola Shingledecker
Nola Shingledecker

Rodney McKay proved to be more multi-faceted than the citrus phobic irritant that he started off as. Bob Picardo made a very good commander after all the upheaval on Atlantis.

skua2013
skua2013

I miss it terribly. What great memories.
I can only agree with zelenka words: “Until I die…I don´t forget it, until I die.”

francozitto

I just have a word for what I think : TABARNAK! And I know you know what I mean… Franco

FargateOne
FargateOne

Oh yes! we have just finished to re-re-rewatch all 5 years Atlantis! Boy I miss a good sci-fi show !!

JimFromJersey
JimFromJersey

Great recap, Joe. Atlantis has always been kind of special to my wife and I. I had been a SG-1 fan for years, but she and I started dating just around the time Atlantis premiered, so that became “our” show. I and Atlantis introduced her to Sci-Fi.

So as we celebrate our 10th year together, and today our 4th wedding anniversary, we also celebrate and miss Atlantis.

Thanks for the memories!

shinyhula
shinyhula

SGA is such a great show; humor, action, cool effects, awesome fight sequences and great characters. To this list I’d add “Vegas” because it was cool and because it’s a perfect example of the multiverses that Neil Degrasse Tyslon and Brian Greene lecture about. String Theory, cool action, muscle cars and Wraiths, what could be better?

Jay

Question…how do you pronounce Carl’s last name?

Is it Bin-der or Byne-der?

dasndanger
dasndanger

AAAAHHHahahahahahaha!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-0TEJMJOhk

grin

das

dasndanger
dasndanger

Uh…Joey…Todd was not a ‘villain’. He was the antagonist, the adversary, the opponent…”someone who offers opposition”. A villain is “a wicked or evil person; someone who does evil deliberately”…which in no way describes Todd. Kolya – now, he was a villain, but Todd was simply a worthy opponent, one who offered a challenge, but was no more ‘evil’ in his intentions than the Atlanteans in theirs (which was to not die, of course).

das

Jen Draves
Jen Draves

I REALLY loved that series!!! It was our family’s favorite. Even Mushu, our dog, would look up at the tv when the Stargate would go “whoosh”. Your choices of actors and their characters was spot on! Thanks Joe and the rest of the gang from all 3 series for giving us such entertaining shows to make the day better. smile Need some of those back.

Just to let you know, my 16 yo daughter Bethany (she’s the one were trying to raise money for her service dog) was in the ER the last couple of nights. They are calling it Dystonias (facial contractions) and they thought it was her meds. Her regular dr didn’t feel so because she is on very low doses but is taking her off 2 of her meds and ordered an MRI. Her eyes are very dilated and she goes back and forth with symptoms of her eyes not being able to be open, not seeing well, and a smirk kinda like Elvis. She has been battling illness in one way or another for over 4 years now. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks!

stargateatlantisseasonsix

Great picks, all of them. A lot of introductions which goes to show how much Atlantis evolved into a stand only series unto itself and not suffer some of the debilitations that other spin-offs do.

Funny you mention the behind-the-scenes fun in the writing room, my blog entry for tomorrow introduces Atlantis’ writing staff as actual personnel in the series as Woolsey’s Senior Staff. Hope you like it. Akemi’s in there too as your love interest. wink

dasndanger
dasndanger

Awww…very sad:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/17/showbiz/obit-johnny-winter/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Hubby and I saw Johnny two years ago in a small, intimate concert here in town. Glad I had (and took) the opportunity to hear him play live at least once. He was truly a great (and very underrated) guitarist and bluesman. He will be missed.

das