Exclusive Interviews: Picardo and McGillion Talk Stargate Atlantis Finale (and a little Star Trek) January 9, 2009by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Interview,Sci-Fi,Star Trek (2009 film),VOY , trackback
Tonight five seasons of Stargate Atlantis comes to an end. Ushering in the finale as part of the SGA crew are Robert Picardo, veteran of seven seasons of Star Trek Voyager and Paul McGillion, who has a small role in the new Star Trek movie. TrekMovie decided to check in with both for exclusive interviews talking about the SGA finale and a little Trek as well.
McGillion’s on quite a ride
Another new face in Star Trek appears in tonight’s SGA finale. Paul McGillion’s Dr. Carson Beckett has been an on again off again and now back on again character over the five seasons. TrekMovie talked to Paul about it all coming to an end, and about his Trek spotting.
TrekMovie.com: Now that it is over, how do you feel about the arc of Beckett through the series?
Paul McGillion: I think Beckett had a tremendous arc over the five years of SGA . In the first season he was a guest character and by the end of that season he appeared in almost every episode. Season two came along and the character was made a main cast member (much to do with the fan support) and in Season three the good doctor went out in a ball of flames only to be resurrected at the end of season four, thanks to all those ‘Save Carson Beckett’ fans. In season five Carson comes back as a clone but still the same heart and had some great episodes to take part in including the series finale! So Yes I think Beckett has had quite a ride.
TM: So what can you tell us about the finale and beyond?
PM: I can’t say much, but I will say that Beckett helps in a big way due to one of his special traits! As far as the character being involved in the DVD movies I think it looks Good for Beckett !
TM: How did you feel about your appearance in the new Star Trek trailer?
PM: I went to see the new James Bond Movie with a Friend in L.A. and the trailer came on for Star Trek – (an amazing trailer, I’m super excited to see the film). I did catch a glimpse of myself up there on the big screen — it was very cool!
Paul McGillion hands out ship assignments in the ‘Star Trek’ trailer
Picardo gets the last word
Star Trek’s favorite Holographic Doctor had been a recurring character on both Stargate SG-1 as well as Stargate Atlantis for years, but for this last season he came on board as a regular with his stiff but lovable Richard Woolsey being made the leader of the Atlantis expedition. TrekMovie checked in with Bob to see how the year went, and what is next.
TrekMovie.com: With only one year on the show, how do feel about the arc you were able to take Woolsey on.
Robert Picardo: Thanks largely to the shows writers and producers, they had the outline for Woolsey’s transformation from a briefing room guy with bad people’s skills into a very credible leader who trusts his principles. I think he grew most impressively in his ability to listen and to make judgments simply by the rule book. I think it was a good arc as a leader and a person and I am happy with it. I think it was done in very quick moments where we established he had a bit of a sense of humor. I think we got some of the audiences sympathy with the fish out of water elements. ‘I am here to run the expedition but don’t quite to know how to use the briefing room door…’
TM: Do you feel they took better advantage of your skills as an actor this year, especially your comedic skills?
RP: Yes. There has always been humor in the Stargate shows, but I think they liked the idea of being able to laugh at the commander, that he didn’t have to fit the brave mold. He is the opposite of the rogue — Stargate was founded on Richard Dean Anderson’s O’Neal who is sort of the rogue military guy who goes his own way but always saves the day, and Woolsey is the exact opposite.
TM: Can you tease a little bit about what is in store for the finale?
RP: I can say this unequivocally…Woolsey gets the last word! [laughs] I have the final spoken line in the 100 episodes of Stargate Atlantis, which I am proud of. I said in another interview that I thought it was ‘well-crafted’ and I was criticized by some other website, one of the ‘blogspots,’ who criticized me for calling it well-crafted,. Even though they acknowledged that the show was very high-paced and had perhaps too much plot for one hour, like we tried to do a two-hour show–all the things that I think are pluses, but they said ‘Picardo has been in enough quality television to know what well-crafted is’ insinuating that I didn’t know what well-crafted was. Having said that, I will certainly say that their commentary was…well-crafted. [laughs]
TM: Is this the last word from Woolsey? Or can we expect to see him in the DVD movie?
RP: Yes you can expect to see him in the DVD movie. I am confident of that and Woolsey will be in command. I have been told it is definitely happening and will shoot in the first half of next year. And also there will probably be guest star opportunities in the new show [Stargate Universe]. Let’s put it this way, it seems likelier I will be doing more Stargate than more Star Trek [laughs].
TM: Speaking of Trek I noticed they have dropped some Trek references this year, including one about Star Trek the Experience in the "Vegas" episode.
RP: I sold that little bill of goods to [executive producer] Robert Cooper. He thought it was funny. We shot it and he put it in. It is one of those things I love about Stargate. Not only do they not take themselves too seriously, but they are quite irreverent at times. I thought to make a reference to the other franchise simply because the show was set in Vegas was real tribute to their rogue soul.
Trek ref in last week’s episode of SGA "Vegas"
Catch the SGA finale tonight
"Enemy at the Gate," the series finale of Stargate Atlantis, airs tonight on SciFi at 9 PM. You can also catch a repeat of last week’s episode "Vegas" at 8 PM. In fact SciFi is running an SGA Season 5 marathon all day long, more info at SciFi.com. For much more (including spoilers) check out Gateworld’s full briefing on the finale.
SGA "Enemy at the Gate" finale promo
Here is a recent video interview from UGO of Bob Picardo answering some Trek fan questions. Our friends at UGO are geeks, but the guy they had asking questions is clearly not up on his Trek…which is part of the entertainment value of this clip.