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Feature: Stargate Atlantis

Joe Flanigan

Lead Joe Flanigan reveals his surprise and delight at staying in the same job for three whole years!

Joe Flanigan didnt know quite what to expect from Stargate Atlantis. The show, he figured, might run a year or it could carry on for a decade like its mothership, Stargate SG-1. The producers might be willing to listen to his thoughts, or they might not. As it turned out, Atlantis is on to Season Three and the future looks promising for the Sci-Fi series. Plus, Flanigan notes, executive producers Brad Wright and Robert C Cooper do hear him out when hes got something to say.

I actually didnt even try to anticipate how long Atlantis would run because the nature of television these days is so tumultuous, notes Flanigan, who stars on Atlantis as Lt Colonel John Sheppard, alongside Torri Higginson as Elizabeth Weir, David Hewlett as Rodney McKay, Rachel Luttrell as Teyla, Jason Momoa as Ronon Dex and Paul McGillion as Carson Beckett. I thought that Id just go with it. I knew wed get at least a season out of it and I thought that if we did it reasonably well wed probably go to a second season. I think that the hurdle now is to get to a fourth season, and once we get to a fourth season I think well get through to at least six seasons. In terms of the business model and the network and studio look at the business model I think the numbers would make sense that if you go into a fourth season youd probably try to get at least six seasons in.

Whats been strange for me is returning to the same character for three years. Thats new for me. Id bounced around to so many different shows that Im used to creating different characters every time. Going back to the same character on the same show is a little bizarre. You have to become a little bit more imaginative about where you want the character to go and everything else. Actually, Ive enjoyed Season Three the most, for a number of reasons. One, I have finally adapted my lifestyle to our fairly rigorous schedule. I feel like Ive got a grasp now on the hours I work and being able to manage family life with work, which has been pretty tricky for me. Im finally getting a grip on that, which makes it a little easier. Two, Brad and Robert, and Brad in particular, have been really great to work with this year. Theyve been very receptive about working together on some ideas. Theyre just very receptive about the comments I have about Sheppard and the show and everything else. That, psychologically, gives you a lot of comfort. You feel like youre collaborating instead of clocking in at work.

by Ian Spelling

Read the full interview in
Cult Times #132

Photo The Sc-Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #132
September 2006
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