When Stargate: Atlantis return to SciFi later this month for its fifth season, fans can expect to see a few changes.
One of the most notable will be some new sets for the hit series. During a recent press visit, reporters were given a behind the scenes look at some familiar sets as well as new standing set for a Wraith hive-ship.Â (Standing sets are those that are used in multiple episodes). The ship includes a “distinctly insectile throne for the Wraith Queen” and is “more elaborate than earlier Wraith ships.”
In addition to the set changes, there will be some changes to the regular cast. Amanda Tapping is bowing out of the fifth season of the show to work on the recently picked up series Sanctuary. Taking her place as the head of the SG:A team will be genre-favorite Robert Picardo. Picardo is reprising his role as Richard Woosley from previous appearances in the franchise.
Also this season, Jewel Staite will become a full-time cast member as Dr. Jennifer Keller. Staite described Keller as growing more comfortable with her place in Atlantis this season. “She steps up to the plate a little bit more,” Staite said. “She’s becoming more courageous.”
And Atlantis fans will be happy to hear that actor Paul McGillion has signed for four to five episodes this year. No word yet on exactly which role he’ll be playing–Carson Beckett or the clone of Beckett we met last year.
Finally, Tori Higginson who plays Elizabeth Weir has left the series. Weir was initially schedule to appear in a recurring role this year on Atlantis. However, Higginson will not be returning to the series according to reports. There’s no word yet on how this departure could impact several on-going plotlines on the long running series.
The fifth season of Atlantis kicks off later this summer on SciFi.