“He brings sexy back!” Hewlett joked about his co-star. “Picardo is a fantastic actor. He’s got fantastic mannerisms, [and does] all these beautiful little things. … He’s just really fun to watch.”
When Woolsey is assigned to replace Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) as the commander of the Atlantis expedition, McKay and the rest of the team are sure to clash with his bureaucratic management style. Woolsey himself will discover the challenge of being a “by-the-book” leader while dealing with crises in the field.
“What’s nice, from our perspective, is that he’s so ‘fish out of water,’ Hewlett said. “I mean, he’s the last person who should be in charge of Atlantis. And so there’s a lot of fuel for us to be unhappy, and to argue with his way of running the city. Especially after someone like Sam Carter, who so obviously is suited to this stuff.”
Woolsey and McKay, and likewise their real-world counterparts, share a similar path in the Stargate universe. Both were introduced as antagonistic guest characters in Stargate SG-1 (Woolsey got his start on SG-1‘s “Heroes, Part 2”), only to go on to be written more sympathetically — and finally to be added to Atlantis‘s main cast.
“That’s the beautiful thing about guest stars,” Hewlett said. “The thing is, Stargate is not afraid to play with those unlikable characters. … What is neat about the Woolsey character is that he’s not another obnoxious scientist. He’s a bureaucrat. And that’s the stuff that is just painful to deal with. It’s kind of hard to be a hero when you’re constantly checking the manual — which is funny, because that’s sort of what McKay was doing at the beginning, anyways. He was very academic in his understanding of what was going on. His hands-on approach hadn’t quite kicked in yet.”
Don’t miss GateWorld’s complete interview with David Hewlett later this week! The fifth season of Stargate Atlantis premieres Friday at 10 p.m. (9 Central) on SCI FI Channel in the U.S. In the United Kingdom, watch for the season premiere August 19 on Sky One, and in Canada July 14 on The Movie Network.