GateWorld: I imagine that it will be hard, and kind of a fun dynamic to write for, to have McKay specifically having to take orders from her now.
Carl Binder: McKay taking orders from her. In Joe [Mallozzi]’s script “Reunion,” she comes in and McKay is like, “It’s going to be great working with you. You know, I’m involved with somebody now!” He’s quick to tell her. So, that whole dynamic between the two … he’s always concerned because “we have a past.” And she’s like, “We do?” And he’s like, “Oh, OK…I know it’s going to be uncomfortable.” “Yeah, OK, I guess it’s going to be uncomfortable.” It’s a lot of fun to play that whole dynamic.
And it’s interesting seeing her interact with Teyla. Seeing her interact with Ronon, you know, those first clashes with Ronon. Ronon and Teyla, especially. They’re kind of nervous. Because they had grown very close to Dr. Weir and now somebody else is coming in. These are huge shoes to fill. So there’s a little bit of wariness, maybe at first, as to who this new person is. There’s some dynamics there that we are going to be exploring that are going to be fun.
GW: It’s been made known now that Dr. Weir is going to be a recurring character in Season Four.
CB: Mmm-hmm …
GW: It’s wonderful to gain a couple of really excellent actresses. At the same time this year we lose a couple of the show’s regulars from last year. And you’ve written quite a bit for Elizabeth, I know, especially “The Real World” last year. Tell us your thoughts about losing that character and that actress.
CB: It’s difficult. Every show goes through periods of transition where changes are made. And there are people that disagree with the changes, and other people that welcome it. And people that say, “Well, let’s see what this new dynamic brings.”
From Season Three to Season Four, Atlantis itself is being shaken up. The actual city is being shaken up. And to go along with that, there’s a shake-up in the leadership in which Samantha Carter is brought in. So I’m approaching it from that opportunity, to look at how we can take Atlantis in a new direction, and the challenges that presents, and the new dynamics that are presented by bringing in a new leader.
The people of Atlantis are aware of this dramatic change that is being made. So Season Four is also about the transition of that. Because Torri will be coming back periodically, in various episodes, we have a plan for her character. So it will be our team, the people of Atlantis, adjusting to this new way while still trying to figure out, without trying to give away too much … [Laughter] … that’s always a fine line to walk.
She is away from us, but she is not out of the Atlantis universe. So that hope is being held out that we can figure out a way. She’s not gone from Atlantis … no one’s gone from the Atlantis universe when they leave the show. And we’re just looking at it as a new direction in the show and embracing it.
GW: Do you have episodes that are emerging as a favorite yet?
CB: For Season Four?
GW: From Season Four, at least from the script stage.
CB: From the script stage in Season Four … well … of my own? [Laughter]
GW: From everybody.
CB: Of everybody’s. I really love “Travelers.” What’s interesting is they’re all so different. There is not any, so far, any real light episodes. There’s kind of a darker edge to the show this year. So “Missing” is very dark. I like the feel and I love being teamed up with Andy. We’ve done several episodes together in the past and he creates a real nice feel and mood in episodes. Like with “Vengeance” last year. So he’s going to be doing “Missing,” which I’m really looking forward to.
“Travelers” is a lot of fun. Paul [Mullie] wrote that one. That one’s really good. “Doppelganger,” Robert’s [C. Cooper] is really weird and wild and cool. And we’re just beginning work on the mid-season two-parter. Joe’s starting work on it, and part one is really wild.
GW: He said on his blog that it’s going to be unlike any two-parter you’ve ever seen.
CB: It is. We always say, as writers, when you’re breaking a story in the room, “If everyone wants to write the episode, then you’ve succeeded.” Because sometimes, you break the episode and everyone goes, “OK, that’s good, that’s good. Well, have fun.” And then there’s those that you break, and as soon as you’re done — like this one — I pulled Joe aside and said, “Are you sure you want to do this one? Because I’ll be happy to do it.” Because I love it. I think it’s really, really cool.