Fans have speculated about the move for months based on subtle hints from various cast and crew, even establishing a campaign at SaveCarsonBeckett.com before the news was confirmed, to try and change the producers minds. The news was confirmed by executive producer N. John Smith at last week’s Collectormania event in England.
Smith reportedly told fans that Dr. Beckett won’t be killed off, but instead will disappear in the second half of the current season. Though McGillion will not be a regular in Season Four, he may return for future episodes.
The producers made a similar move in Season Two, with actor Rainbow Sun Francks (“Aiden Ford”) departing the show but returning for multiple episodes.
“I think each character is beginning to find the different layers and sometimes the darker side of the characters,” McGillion recently told Eclipse Magazine. “I can tell you one thing for Beckett as a character in the second half of the season, there’s a lot of major plot lines that are developed throughout with Beckett in mind and I think the fans will be in for some big surprises.”
As a guest star, Paul McGillion played a key role in Stargate Atlantis‘s premiere episode, “Rising.”
Though the actor refused to comment on Dr. Beckett’s rumored fate until after the episode has aired, he did stress that the show’s producers “do listen to what the fans say.”
McGillion was a recurring guest star in the show’s first season, and promoted to regular cast member in Season Two. His role on the show as Atlantis’s chief medical officer is rumored to be replaced by actress Jewel Staite (Firefly), who will play the recurring role of a medical doctor named Dr. Keller (story).
He said that filming the 2-hour pilot movie, and working with co-star David Hewlett (“Rodney McKay”), have been among the highlights of his three years on Stargate Atlantis. “Working with David Hewlett has been a tremendous experience,” he said. “I just love working with David; we have a really great chemistry acting-wise on the show and he’s become such a good friend of mind as well, so that’s something else that I’ll treasure.”
Visit Eclipse Magazine for the full interview with Paul McGillion. New episodes of Stargate Atlantis are now airing in Canada, and will begin on SCI FI Channel in the U.S. in March.
(Thanks to sueKay and others for contributing)