“For whatever reason we’ve had to change over a lot of cast members of the show,” Atlantis co-producer Martin Gero told Slice of SciFi. Gero is partly referring to the loss of Dr. Carson Beckett in Season Three’s “Sunday.”
Beckett was since replaced with Atlantis Chief Medical Officer Jennifer Keller, played by Jewel Staite of Firefly fame. “As for Jewel, if anyone had any doubt … [it] will be completely gone after an episode called ‘Missing.’ She is phenomenal. I could not be more excited to have Jewel on the show.
“We’re going to develop her character like we would every character,” said Gero, “and as the season goes you learn more and more about those characters. Like I said there’s an episode called ‘Missing’ where we really get to know a lot about her back story.” “Missing” aired on November 9 in the United States with a 1.1 Nielson rating, and was rated an average 8.2 out of 10 by fans.
An extensive campaign was conducted on behalf of Carson Beckett, even prior to the airing of “Sunday,” hoping to prevent the loss of the Scottish doctor from the show. The fans who participated will be hardest to convince that Keller is the right character for the role
“I’m not looking for her to be better than ‘Beckett’ or worse than ‘Beckett,'” said Gero. “When we’re breaking forward, it’s got to make sense for her to be in episodes and she’s got to deliver and Jewel’s a consummate professional and the warmth and brains that she brings to the show and I think she’s an awesome role model for young girls.
“I have friends that have just started watching the show in Season Four and they love her and people that are expecting ‘Beckett’ are slower to embrace her, but again I have zero concerns and in the next couple of episodes, everyone’s going to be ‘Keller’ fans, regardless of your thoughts on ‘Beckett.’
“These shows have an arc to them and you can’t just bring him back … we wanted to do it in a way that would feel organic with what we were doing for the rest of the season and I don’t really know what the hurry is. I think the fans would prefer that they be great episodes then they be right now. They’ve waited this long, another couple of months isn’t going to kill them.”
Beckett will return in the two-part episode “The Kindred” slated to air on SCI FI Channel in February of 2008. Martin explains that the seeds of his return were planted even before the close of Season Three. “We planned how we were going to bring him back at the end of Season Three and no one caught it,” he said, “and that’s how we would like it to stay and that story doesn’t come to a boil until the end of Season Four. That’s when we’re going to bring him back.”
The complete interview with Martin Gero is available now at SliceOfScifi.com!
(Thanks to Morjana for the tip)