STARGATE ATLANTIS: Higginson's out, Porter’s in (plus Vega)

The other day we reported on the rumors surrounding the fifth season of Stargate Atlantis, and the absence of Alison Porter's name from any news coverage. Well, now we know why! Also, sadly, Torri Higginson will not be coming back.

We’ve got two stories today, and depending on who you are, one of them will be big and one of them will be small.

First off, is the news that Torri Higginson – once the actress behind Atlantis’ base-commander Dr. Elisabeth Weir – will not be returning in the fifth season of Atlantis. Apparently she was offered the chance to come back, at the beginning of what was billed as “a potentially bigger arc,” but politely refused.

"But it may be that in some settings, it has an adverse consequence because it restricts the growth of the fetus, and perhaps causes abnormal development of the brain, which makes it more susceptible to diseases, such as schizophrenia.""As Season Four wrapped, Carl [Binder] and Paul [Mullie] got to spinning and came up with a terrific storyline that picked up where that last scene of ["Be All My Sins Remember'd"] left off," executive producer Joseph Mallozzi said. "We had a story in place for one episode, the starting point of a potentially bigger arc. The script was written and we eventually contacted Torri who, after much consideration, turned down the offer to reprise the role of Elizabeth Weir for the episode.

"We are, of course, disappointed, but nevertheless respect Torri's decision and wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

Higginson’s actions are not entirely surprising, considering what appears on the surface to be negligible treatment of her. When she was cast back in 2004 she was provided a 6-year deal and subsequently relocated to Vancouver (where Stargate is filmed).

"The very last day of filming Season Three, as I finished filming the last scene on the last day, I was called up to the office and was told that my character was going to become recurring if I chose to be," Higginson recently said in an interview with DTRN's "SciFi Guys" Internet radio program. "So, I thought that was not a very dignified way to deal with it, and I was a bit surprised. So my reaction was -- I was a little bit surprised. I was a little bit upset by how it was dealt with."

So, all we can do now is hope that she may change her mind, especially considering the dramatic events at the end of the January’s top-rated episode, "Be All My Sins Remember'd.”

That is probably the big news, but for those rumormongers amongst you, this will soothe your aching hearts. News of Captain Alison Porter were trundling around the internet last week, and billing her as a major recurring character. Today however a press release has turned everything on its head.

Captain Alison Porter has been renamed Captain Alicia Vega, and she will appear prominently in the Season Five premiere, “Search and Rescue.” She is described in the script as a 28-year-old, fiery new addition to Atlantis's military contingent. Vega will be portrayed by Leela Savasta, who has already appeared on Atlantis as Dr. Esposito – the one who thought that Ronan was hot, not Mackay!

Savasta "did a bang-up job and caught our attention," Mallozzi said on his blog. "'We should bring that actress back,' I suggested at the time. And now we have."

As to what is happening to the Porter character? On his blog, Mallozzi deals with that as well; “The character in Search and Rescue has been changed to Captain Alicia Vega. Now DOCTOR Allison Porter will be making her debut in Whispers.”

It is at this point, with a season 5 already about to begin filming later this month, that I hope that there will be a season six… and seven, eight, ok… yes, I want this to go on forever!

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