Close Up With Torri Higginson

When we left the Pegasus galaxy at the end of season three, no one knew what fate had in store for Dr. Elizabeth Weir. Injured during Atlantis’ frantic flight into space in ‘First Strike’, viewers have had to wait until now to find out – literally – just what was going on in her head. Revived from her severe head injuries by means of the Replicator nanites that had already tried to kill her once, Weir found herself in a difficult position. She was alive, but only by the unintentional grace of Atlantis’ most advanced enemy. And though she found a way to use this fact to help her team, the mid-season finale ‘This Mortal Coil’ reveals an altogether less positive outcome for Weir herself.

Returning to the character to wrap up Weir’s story is Torri Higginson. For the actress, clues of what was going to happen to the character were planted in ‘Lifeline’, as soon as Weir discovered what had been necessary to keep her alive.

“I think Weir, once she knew what the situation was, absolutely fast forwarded to the inevitable,” says Higginson frankly. “Once she understood what her situation was she knew the only thing for her was to die. She knew that there was no way to live with that side of her. She knew how difficult it was to get rid of them [and] she knew how hard it would be to be part of her world with that threat inside of her. So then she was just looking for a way to help as much as she could before she had to separate herself from everyone. I think that was the weight for that whole episode. There were scenes where she was just sitting there quietly, thinking about that.”

Weir’s courage allowed Sheppard, McKay and Ronon to escape, despite being stranded in enemy territory herself. It wasn’t until mid-season finale ‘This Mortal Coil’, however, that the Atlantis team discovered what had happened to their friend and colleague. In addition to learning of Weir’s demise, the team are shocked to discover clone versions of themselves, created by the Replicators – with Dr. Weir among them.

“It was strange,” the actress laughs, describing the scenes she filmed as ‘clone’ Weir. “That whole episode, everyone kept saying, ‘Hey, am I a Replicator, or what? What exactly am I?’ They told us that we weren’t actually Replicators, we were clones. But to be honest it was a hard thing to grasp. It was such a finite distinction to make, and I think it was more difficult for the other actors than for me. Because there was only one of me at that point, and she knew. She’s already gone through that. There was no ego grappling with her at that moment, whereas the other characters were still [struggling] with it.”

Of course, just because we have been told that Weir is no more doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. So perhaps this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Dr. Weir after all. And anyway, what’s the old saying? No one every really dies in science fiction…

“That’s the thing with sci fi, right?” Higginson laughs. “In television, you can do whatever you want and sci fi definitely opens that up a lot more. There are many leaps of logic that you can jump and have fun with. So I think the opportunity is always there – but they haven’t talked to me at all about it, so I have no sense of it whatsoever. But we’ll see.”

Though there may be no current plans to bring Weir back to the screen, the actress reveals that she would be happy to revisit the character, at least in a limited capacity.

“I wouldn’t go back to do a regular thing, but I’m more than happy to go back to do one or two episodes,” she says, content to now have time to devote to other projects instead of working on a hectic television schedule. “As long as Weir had something to do – was there for a reason and was emotionally and intellectually engaged with the story, then it would be a lot of fun. Because it’s great – it’s a great job, it’s great to go to work up there [in Vancouver].”

Interview  courtesy of the Official Stargate Website