The actor’s first appearance on Stargate SG-1 was as the young Ernest Littlefield in Season One’s “The Torment of Tantalus.” When Stargate Atlantis launched in July, 2004, he got a recurring role in the first season as Dr. Beckett, and became a regular cast member in Season Two.
McGillion said that the Scottish accent isn’t his usual one, and that it presents many improvisational opportunities on the set. “We improv a lot after the scene’s over,” he told the site, “and sometimes they’ll keep some of the material and sometimes they won’t. I’ll often throw in little things like ‘Ya cheeky little bugger’ (said in Scottish accent).”
McGillion has great hopes that Atlantis Season Three will continue the character’s development. “I think Beckett is one of the more fully developed characters in the ensemble cast at this point,” he said. “And if he can continue doing that, that would be fantastic.”
McGillion also thinks more backstory on Beckett would be interesting. “We haven’t seen Beckett’s quarters yet at all. So that would be kind of neat to see that in Season Three. A little bit more history about where the character comes from, more personal history, because we’ve never seen where he lives in Atlantis yet, not once.”
|Paul McGillion got an early chance to shin in Atlantis‘s first season episode “Poisoning the Well.”|
Reminiscing about his first role, McGillion realizes that it was more significant than he had thought at the time as a guest star.
“I had no idea what was going to happen with the series. Looking back at it now, it was a very significant role, because I was the first one to go through the Stargate. Different in the sense that I was just a guest star on the show and not a regular character. Interesting because I got fitted with a special diving suit and vintage clothes and that was pretty cool at the time.”
Now that shooting has started for the show’s third season, McGillion said that the workdays are long. But he likes the challenge and the work. “Toward the end of the season, they miss days so sometimes you pick up,” he said. “There’s a call to do, maybe three episodes at once. So one day I could shoot a scene from an episode we shot a month and a half ago that we didn’t finish and it just so happens that myself and Joe Flanigan (“John Sheppard”) are together that day and we need to get a scene finished, so we’ll have to go back and shoot that scene while we’re shooting this episode.”
Be sure to read the full interview at The Scifi World! The season finale of Stargate Atlantis airs this Friday, March 10. Season Three kicks off this summer.