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Robert Picardo joins Atlantis cast

Tuesday - February 5, 2008 | by Darren Sumner

MGM and SCI FI Channel today announced the cast changes for the fifth season of Stargate Atlantis! Here are the highlights:

  • Actor Robert Picardo will join the cast as Richard Woolsey assumes command of the Atlantis expedition. Says the press release: "The team, led by Lt. Colonel Sheppard (Joe Flanigan), Dr. Rodney McKay (David Hewlett), Teyla (Rachel Luttrell), Ronon (Jason Momoa) and Dr. Jennifer Keller (Jewel Staite), must adjust to his unique leadership style."

  • Paul McGillion ("Carson Beckett") will return appear in five episodes. McGillion was made a full-fledged regular for Seasons Two and Three, before his character was killed off in the third season episode "Sunday." Beckett will return to life under still unexplained, no doubt very sci-fi circumstances in the upcoming two-part episode "The Kindred" (airing February 22 and 29 in the U.S.).

  • Michael Shanks ("Daniel Jackson") will guest star in an unspecified number of episodes. The release does indicate that it will be more than one.

  • Amanda Tapping ("Samantha Carter") will guest star in several episodes. A regular during Season Four, Tapping will depart the show for her new SCI FI series Sanctuary (story). She will guest star in "several" episodes of Atlantis Season Five, according to the network, beginning with the season premiere, "Search and Rescue."

  • The inclusion of Jewel Staite in the list above would seem to imply that she may be elevated from "recurring" to "regular" cast member status. This has not yet been confirmed, as it has not been uncommon in Season Four for Staite to be included in this way in press materials. Stay tuned.

  • Today's press release from the network makes no mention of the actor to play Captain Alison Porter. It is likely that the character will simply be an on-going guest -- or the character has not yet been cast.

    Richard Woolsey visits Atlantis. From "The Seer"
    Veteran actor Robert Picardo is most famous for his 7-year role as The Doctor in Star Trek: Voyager, and as Dr. Richard on China Beach. He also played Coach Cutlip on The Wonder Years, and has made guest appearances on a host of network series, such as The West Wing, C.S.I.: New York, and The O.C.

    Picardo has appeared in five episodes of Stargate Atlantis to date, as well as seven episodes of Stargate SG-1. He was most recently seen interfering with Colonel Carter's command in Season Four's "The Seer," and will return for the season finale, "The Last Man."

    Richard Woolsey was first introduced late in SG-1's seventh season, as a scrupulous N.I.D. agent and ally of Senator Robert Kinsey ("Heroes, Part 2"). He turned on Kinsey and impressed himself to the S.G.C. in "Inauguration," and later left the N.I.D. to join the International Oversight Advisory -- the organization that oversees the Atlantis expedition.

    Season Five of Stargate Atlantis goes before cameras later this month for a full, 20-episode season. The show is expected to premiere later in 2008 on SCI FI in the United States.

    Stay tuned to GateWorld for the latest news as it develops!

    The full press release and comments thread follows on Page 2 of this story.
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