All week long we’re counting down to the series finale of Stargate Atlantis, airing Friday night on SCI FI Channel in the U.S.! Five seasons, five days of marathons on SCI FI, and here at GateWorld it’s our favorite five episodes for five Atlantis team members. Today we look at the best of Dr. Elizabeth Weir! Come back tomorrow for our favorite five McKay episodes.
When Atlantis began pre-production late in 2003, the producers had already cast the role of Dr. Weir. The character — an experienced linguist and successful international diplomat — had been introduced in the recently aired SG-1 season finale, “Lost City.” But rather than bring actress Jessica Steen into the spin-off series, the producers chose to recast the role with Ontario native Torri Higginson. After studying at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Torri appeared in a wide variety of TV series and movies — notably, for sci-fi fans, the movies and short-lived television series based on William Shatner’s “TekWar” novels.
Elizabeth was a complex balance of strength and confidence on the one hand, and vulnerability and disquiet on the other. When she was written off the show in 2007, fans of the character mourned (and petitioned). But Torri and Elizabeth leave a terrific legacy that will forever be a part of Stargate history. Here are our five favorite episodes:
5. THE RETURN, PART 1
(Season Three, Episode 11)
From Day 1 Elizabeth was a strong and capable leader of the Atlantis expedition, but her personal issues are forced to the forefront when the Ancients return to their city and ask the team to leave. They resettle back on Earth, but Elizabeth finds returning to her old life unsatisfying. After Atlantis, how can any other job measure up? She works on her memoirs (which she admits could probably never be published) and stays mainly to herself, even avoiding contact with her friends from Atlantis — until Carson Beckett comes calling and encourages her to join them for dinner.
When they learn that Atlantis has been taken by the Replicators, Weir joins the team in defying orders, stealing a Puddle Jumper, and returning to the Pegasus Galaxy. After years of responsibly following the mandates of Stargate Command and the I.O.A., it is nice to see her demonstrate her priorities with a little defiance.