‘Stargate Atlantis’ Stars Reminisce On First Comic-Con As Collaborators During Reunion Panel

On Saturday, seven of the stars of Stargate Atlantis reunited for a panel at Comic-Con@Home, reminiscing about their their first Comic-Con appearance as cast members, many years ago.

Actor Rainbow Sun Francks (who played Lt. Aiden Ford) kicked off discussion of the cast’s first convention appearance, noting that it was “crazy.” David Nykl and others subsequently chimed in with further details.

“It was really daunting,” said the actor, who played Dr. Radek Zelenka. “You’ve got to develop this sort of onstage convention personality, which is like a hybrid between your character and yourself. We had to learn that.”

Actress Torri Higginson (Dr. Elizabeth Weir) recalled that “the studio gave us all free liquor the night before.” Naturally, then, she and her co-stars ended up with “a hangover that only new actors with free liquor would have.”

The actress added that she wasn’t expecting people to turn out for the panel, to the extent that they did. “I thought, ‘No one’s going to be at that convention because they’re all mad at us, because they think we’re killing SG-1,’” she admitted. “Then, we walked out and it was like a football field of people.”

Like Higginson, Rachel Luttrell (Teyla Emmagan) came to Stargate with little in the way of expectations. While she’d seen Roland Emmerich’s 1994 Stargate film, she hadn’t seen the series SG-1, which preceded Atlantis. “I came in completely naïve, which I think was really, really good because I didn’t feel the pressure to take on this enterprise, this huge fandom,” she said. “It took me probably until episode number five before I realized the impact of Stargate…and once I did, the pressure did kind of settle in. But…of course, I was thrilled to be a part of it.”

Actor David Hewlett (Dr. Rodney McKay) celebrated the fact that Stargate‘s “fandom survives and thrives,” even as the show continues to age. He said his favorite memories of his time on set were of laughs he shared with cast and crew. “Honestly, of all the stuff I remember, it’s just those belly laughs where you just can’t stop,” he said, “[where] you’re feeling so fortunate for having such a great job.”

Stargate Atlantis was a Stargate SG-1 spinoff series that earned four Primetime Emmy Award nominations during its five-season run on Syfy, between 2004 and 2009. The series from creators Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper centered on an international team of scientists and military personnel who discovered a Stargate network in the Pegasus Galaxy, coming face-to-face with a new, powerful enemy, known as The Wraith.

Today’s panel moderated by David Read (of the Dial the Gate YouTube channel) also featured appearances by actors Paul McGillion (Dr. Carson Beckett) and Robert Picardo (Richard Woolsey).

To check out the entire conversation on Stargate Atlantis, click above.

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