Stargate Atlantis - Season 4 (Part 2)
Premieres: January 4 at 10:00 p.m. EST
Network: SciFi Channel
Creators:Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper
Starring:: Joe Flanigan, Amanda Tapping, Rachel Luttrell, Jason Momoa, David Hewlett, Jewel Staite

The fourth season of Stargate Atlantis kicked off in September with producers promising to make tons of changes to the Stargate: SG-1 spinoff. New cast members entered and a few fan favorites made their exits, including Torri Higginson, who played Atlantis head honcho Elizabeth Weir. SG-1 vet Amanada Tapping took Higginson's place leading the Atlantis expedition as Colonel Samantha Carter. Firefly alum Jewel Staite came on board as Atlantis' new doctor after Dr. Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion) was killed off in season 3.

The mid-season finale, which aired on Dec. 7, marked the return of Higginson as a Weir clone in a two-part cliffhanger that will be resolved on January 4. McGillion will also return as Beckett for a two-episode arc set to air in late February. The upcoming half-season will also feature more team-ups with the deadly Wraith, more battles with the Replicators, a trip back to Earth for John Sheppard (Flanigan) and what the producers are promising will be a shocking finale.

Atlantis has always been my favorite Stargate series. It's fun, features great special effects and it definitely has a great cast dynamic. I especially love watching Flanigan and Hewlett argue and try to explain their endless pop culture references to their alien buddies. That being typed, I wasn't too thrilled with the cast changes in season 4. Tapping is a bore and McGillon's big heart and Scottish accent is sorely missed. Like most fans I'm really looking forward to McGillon's return in February, and I hope we'll see less of Tapping and more episodes taking place in technologically-advanced worlds instead of the usual one-horse planets.

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