The recent reshuffling news on Stargate Atlantis alerts fans to the latest casualty. After two solid announcements concerning the casting of 'regulars' Robert Picardo and Jewel Staite it was reported that the lovely Torri Higginson who played Dr. Elizabeth Weir will not return for Season 5 of the show. The news comes amidst a swirl of strained relations after Higginson was not properly picked up as a 'regular' for Season 4. Higginson had signed a 6 year deal when she was cast in 2004 and made her first appearance on Stargate SG-1.
Here is Jessica Steen playing Dr. Elizabeth Weir in the character's first appearance on SG-1 for Lost City Part 1 at the end of Season 7.
Jessica Steen (Earth 2) was lovely, but fortunately the creators had the good sense to recast the role and give the part to Higginson who infused the complex part with a touch more finesse. Higginson was perfect for the part. Would the real Dr. Elizabeth Weir please step forward?
This was Higginson's first appearance at the start of Season 8 in New Order Part 1. I was a bit tentative initially about her part, but the actress expertly handled command. Stargate Atlantis showed a great deal of promise with Higginson at the helm.
Higginson had these comments (taken from Gateworld): "The very last day of filming Season 3 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, 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" (extracted from DTRN's Sci Fi Guys Internet radio program). To quote Weir in the first clip above, "well there's gonna be a lot of changes and not everyone's gonna be happy about them." Steen discovered this after just two episodes. Unfortunately, Higginson, too, sees the character part come to a close.
Coupled with the loss of Amanda Tapping from the show as a regular, Tapping will make appearances, the latest blow results in losing Higginson completely. There was indeed a sexy, commanding coolness about her and I will miss her presence on Stargate Atlantis. Her role was noticeably absent in Season 4, and from the sounds of it, the relationship between her and the creators ends on a sour note. It doesn't appear she'll be back.
Still, does Jonas Quinn ring a bell? Michael Shanks came back from the wilderness following his own grievances. It's certainly unlikely for Higginson, but never say never in science fiction.
Update: Higginson made an appearance on Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie's Dark Matter (2015-present). Given Mallozzi and Mullie's connection to Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe it would seem time does indeed heal all wounds.