Trivia / Stargate Atlantis

  • Actor Allusion:
    • In "The Kindred Part 2", Beckett mentions feeling like "A Dog's Breakfast", a reference to the independent film Paul McGillion starred in with several other Stargate alumni, written by David Hewlett.
    • In "Brain Storm" Jennifer Keller, played by Jewel Staite, references her previous role (Kaylee of Firefly) and her fascination with strawberries.
    Dr. Jennifer Keller: Seriously, have you tried these strawberries?
  • The Cast Showoff: Yes, that really is Rachel Luttrell singing in the episode "Critical Mass". They actually had to fly her to Los Angeles to re-record her singing in that episode because her first take sounded too good, that is, too much like a classically-trained singer (which Rachel Luttrell is, but Teyla Emmagen is not). She's also an accomplished dancer, which allowed the producers to give Teyla a much more theatrical fighting style than most other characters.
  • The Danza: Chuck the Technician, played by Chuck Campbell. He got his name when Torri Higgenson accidentally called him by his real name in a scene instead of his character's rank (Sergeant) and it was left in as Ascended Fanon.
  • Development Hell: Production for the direct-to-DVD film Extinction has been put on hold indefinitely due to the cancellation of Stargate Universe.
  • Fake American: Most of the main cast are Canadians playing Americans. In the original cast, only Joe Flanigan (American playing an American) and David Hewlett (Canadian playing a Canadian) were actually playing their correct nationalities. They are, by coincidence, also the only characters to appear in every episode of the series.
  • Fake Brit: Fake Scotsman, specifically. While Paul McGillion himself is Canadian, he was born in Scotland to Scottish parents and lived there at various times during his childhood. His accent is affected however.
  • Fake Nationality: Sort of. Many of the actors were born in the countries that their characters are from, but they emigrated to Canada at young ages. For example, David Nykl is Canadian, but Czech-born and a native speaker of Czech.
  • Fan Nickname: The Chucknician for Chuck.
  • Image Source
  • The Other Darrin: Elizabeth Weir was played by Jessica Steen during her first appearance on Stargate SG-1. Torri Higginson took over the role in the SG-1 Season 8 two-part premiere. Higginson was then replaced by Michelle Morgan as a Replicator version after the Asurans destroyed her body.
  • Prop Recycling
  • Real-Life Relative: David Hewlett's sister Kate Hewlett plays Rodney McKay's sister Jeannie Miller. In "Hot Zone", McKay was orginally supposed to mention he had a brother, but David Hewlett asked if he could change the line to sister, in the hopes that he could get his real-life sister to star alongside him.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • When Col. Samantha Carter leaves SG-1 to become leader of the Atlantis Expedition, she says, "I know I am going to miss this place, and all of you," to old friend Teal'c. The tears in Amanda Tapping's eyes were likely not faked; she herself was saying goodbye to SG-1 after ten years.
    • Jason Momoa got a large tattoo on his left forearm between the filming of seasons two and three, forcing Ronon to likewise get a tattoo in the series. This was applied in "Reunion", where the application apparently hurt and forced Ronon to lightly slap the person doing the inking; Jason had not told the producers about the tattoo, and they were unhappy to learn about it after the fact.
    • Teyla became pregnant in the fourth season when Rachel Luttrell became pregnant in real life.
    • Amelia Banks, one of the recurring control room technicians, is a proficient student of kickboxing. Her actress, Sharon Taylor, is a kickboxer in real life, and when the producers learned this about her they wrote it into the character.
  • Recycled Script: Many episodes reused plots from SG-1. It is always lampshaded.
  • Throw It In: After Torri Higginson accidentally called the Gate Technician by his real name, "Chuck", the producers decided to keep it in and make it has official name, since he had not had one until that point.
  • You Look Familiar
    • Craig Veroni, who played Dr. Peter Grodin, first appeared in Stargate SG-1 as an unnamed weapons officer aboard the Prometheus in the episode "Grace". It was never confirmed if the two were the same character, or if Craig had been re-cast as a different person.
    • The Lord Protector from "The Tower" originally appeared twice in SG-1 as Harlan, the amazingly annoying inhabitant of Altair who turned SG-1 into robots.
    "Komtraya!"
    • Jewel Staite was a Wraith before she was Dr. Keller. Not very noticeable however, since the Wraith part required full prosthetic make-up that made her virtually unrecognizable.
    • In a fairly ludicrous example, an actress in the early episode "Poisoning the Well" ended up playing the exact same role to one she did in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Cure" where Tretonin is discovered.
    • Christopher Heyerdahl played a character named Pallan on SG-1, and the Athosian Halling on Atlantis. His largest role is the Wraith Todd. At one point he even portrayed both Halling and Todd in the same episode (without any shared screentime however).
    • Paul McGillion, who plays Dr. Carson Beckett, first appeared in the Stargate 'verse as Young Ernest Littlefield in the SG-1 episode "The Torment of Tantalus". Incidentally, he was the first human to travel through Earth's Stargate in modern times.
    • Garwin Sanford played the Tollan Narrim in the SG-1 episode "Enigma", and also plays Dr. Elizabeth Weir's fiancé Dr. Simon Wallis.
    • Captain Alicia Vega, introduced in season five, had previously appeared in "The Tao of Rodney" as a scientist that Rodney overhears (telepathically) saying that Ronon is "hot". After Vega died, her actress joked that she still has a twin sister serving on the city that could appear in future episodes.
    • Mike Dopud played a Runner named Kiryk in SGA, but he also played a Bounty Hunter in SG-1 and a Lucian Alliance member in SGU. Amusingly enough, the bounty hunter and Lucian Alliance member worked for the same organization. There has been fanfiction that speculates they were the same character.
    • Richard Kind (Lucius Lavin) played Dr. Gary Myers (the guy whose translation Daniel corrected) in Stargate.
    • Megan Leitch played both Ke'ra (a de-aged version of Linea, a biochemical terrorist/mad scientist) and Helia, the arrogant Lantean warship captain.

  • What Could Have Been:

    • Pre-Production:

      • Atlantis was originally planned to supersede SG-1, not run alongside it. Brad Wright and co. planned to end SG-1 after the sixth season finale "Full Circle" and conclude the series with a threatrical film "The Lost City", which in turn would lead into Atlantis. Atlantis would have been discovered under Antarctica, the Goa'uld would have been totally defeated, the Stargate Program would have been made public knowledge and all operations would have been transferred to Atlantis. After SG-1 became a surprise hit after its move to the Sci-Fi Channel, the series was renewed for a seventh season, after which plans for the film were scrapped, and the "the Lost City" was changed into a series finale, which was changed into a season finale after SG-1 was renewed for an eight season. By that time, it became clear SG-1 was not going anywhere, and Atlantis was converted into a spin-off to run alongside SG-1.

      • The Replicators were originally planned to be the villains of the series, but after SG-1 was picked up for an eight season, and Atlantis's setting was moved into another galaxy, the Wraith were created to fill their place. The Asurans (Pegasus Replicators) were inspired from this original plan.

      • Martouf/Lantash was originally planned to be a major character(s) on Atlantis, but after both characters were killed off (Martouf was originally supposed to survive his ordeal in "Divide and Conquer", but the actor who played the character, JR Bourne, was unavailable for further episodes, so the character was killed off) the plans were axed.

      • The original released information for Stargate Atlantis months before the show premiered mentioned that translator devices were among the technology the team would find in Atlantis. This was never seen or mentioned in the series, however, perhaps because it would have caused confusion as to why no such device was ever necessary in SG-1.

    • Post-Production:

    • Joseph Mallozzi, showrunner for the series, pitched a number of detailed episode ideas that never got off the ground:

      • During Season 2, he pitched an idea about the Atlantis expedition running into a little girl being chased by a frenzied mob on a planet. They rescue the girl, bring her back to Atlantis, all is well until mysterious accidents and happenings begin occuring to anyone who crosses the little girl in the wrong way. The team investigates her home planet, and discovers the same happened there, hence the mob chasing her. They then discover an Ancient lab with a long dead Ancient corpse within a statis pod, and discover that this Ancient has transferred his consciousness and powers into the little girl, so they go back to Atlantis to stop her. No one else on the show liked the idea, so it was axed.

      • During Season 3, he pitched a story about a civilization called the Drazia, humans who like the Genii have carefully hidden their advanced technology from the Wraith, and have even discovered a way to prevent being culled. Turns out their method involves transferring their consciousness into old, decaying bodies, leaving their young, healthier bodies to be culled, and then when all is over, they prey on visitors to their planet, stealing their bodies. It was probably rejected for how weird it was.

      • Another story pitched during Season 3 involved Sheppards team returning from a routine mission to find the entire crew of Atlantis turned into Wraith-Human hybrids, and discovering that, according to Atlantis, they've been gone for several months. They learn that the Wraith Michael is behind this, using an modified aerosolized version of the Beckett retrovirus to turn the entire crew into Wraith-Human hybrids to do his bidding , and that he is planning an invasion of Earth. The story was apparently rejected because of the time travel angle, however the concept of Michael creating Wraith-Human hybrids did eventually appear in Seasons 4 and 5, and a very similar plot of Michael turning the crew of Atlantis into hybrids was apparently planned for season 6.

      • During Season 4, a story was pitched about a joint operation between Atlantis and the Genii infiltrating a Wraith compound, with the Atlantis team suspecting that the Genii are not totally forthcoming about the operation, eventually discovering they weren't and why: the compund is a Wraith nursery housing 12 would-be queens. The Atlantis team would then have to decided whether to murder the children, and thereby crippling and even possibly destroying the Wraith, or sparing the children who would inevitably grow up to terrorize and kill millions of people. It's a plot that would have made Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (and a lot of modern day television for that matter) proud. The story was rejected because no matter what option was taken, the Atlantis team would not come out as heroes. Moral exploration and ambiguity was a no-no on Atlantis apparently.

    • Various other episode ideas, both throughout its run and for the planned sixth season, were considered:

      • An episode involving Samantha Carter facing a court martial and dismissal, described as a take on Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon" was pitched in Season 4, but was rejected. Interestingly, it's similar to a pitch Ronald D Moore made for Star Trek: Voyager involving Captain Janeway in a similar situation.

      • The sixth season premiere would have involved Atlantis having to get back to the Pegasus Galaxy after an auto-destruct feature that the Ancients left to activate if the city left Pegasus is turned on, by using the Wormhole Drive featured in "Enemy At The Gates" which would have accidentally sent them to another galaxy. After the series was cancelled, the season premiere was to be re-worked as either a straight-to-DVD or TV movie called "Stargate Extinction" but it was shelved after MGM's bankruptcy and Stargate Universe's cancellation.

      • An episode was planned involving the Daedalus finding a derelict ship with children in stasis, who upon being revived ask the Daedalus to take them to their homeworld. A mysterious ship soon appears afterwards and constantly attacks the Daedalus, with the crew eventually wondering if the children are behind this.

      • An episode involving a witch (yes, a witch) cursing Shepard for being an asshole to her, which causes him to have a streak of bad luck, was planned but rejected.

      • An episode was planned involving the Atlantis team running afoul of an alien species, who ends up using some sort of temporal effect that sends them several months into the future, where they were presumed missing and replaced by a new team. The team would have to find a way to adjust to this, with the alien species eventually coming to pay Atlantis a visit.

      • An episode involving Mc Kay experimenting with a time traveling jumper (presumably Janus's) and accidentally sending the team backwards, forwards (to a future where the Wraith control Atlantis) and back to the present over and over again with constant changes to the timeline was planned but shelved because it was considered too confusing.

      • The Vanir, the rouge Asgard from "First Contact" and "The Lost Tribe" were slated to return as a serious threat.

      • The unnamed aliens from "The Daedalus Variations" were considered for a re-appearance.

      • Joseph Mallozzi mentioned in an AMA that a scenario involving Goa'ulds taking over Wraith was briefly considered, but rejected because the writing staff didn't "want to open that can of worms".

      • According to Joe Flannigan, after the series was cancelled and Stargate Universe began airing, he, alongside some investors, approached MGM to buy the franchise to continue Stargate Atlantis. MGM was not willing to sell, but agreed to lease the franchise to him, with sets in Europe set up to start filming episodes again. MGM then went bankrupt however, and was bought by Spyglass, who prompty cancelled the faltering Stargate Universe and cancelled any plans to lease the franchise to Flannigan, preferring instead to approach Roland Emmerich about a reboot film trilogy, totally disregarding the entire television franchise. Flannigan also claims that the purportedly planned Atlantis film "Stargate: Extinction" never had great sincerity behind it, and that the announcement of it was a "trial balloon" to appease the fanbase who felt insulted by SGU and its advertising ("we're going for a younger, sexier audience", for example).
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