Fans Forced Actors Return

Considering he’s also Scottish, McGillion thought the stars were aligned for the part. But he wasn’t crushed when Pegg got the call (Pegg also had a small role in Abrams’ “Mission Impossible 3”).

“I can’t say enough good things about what a terrific guy (Abrams) is,” he said. “He came up to me immediately and said, ‘Paul, thank you so much for doing this – I wish I had something bigger, but we just wanted to have you part of this movie.'”

A former top-ranked wrestler with Brock University, McGillion has rarely found himself out of work since leaving Niagara in the early ’90s for an acting career.

After nabbing bit parts in two fan favourite episodes of “The X-Files” (‘Duane Barry’ and ‘Small Potatoes’), he popped up in “Twilight Zone,” “Cold Squad” and “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” along with films like “A Guy Thing” and Saving Grace.”

In 2004, he landed the part of Carson Beckett in the pilot episode of “Stargate Atlantis.” His character – a medical officer who discovers a way for humans to interact with ancient Atlantis technology – proved so popular, he returned throughout the season and became a regular during seasons 2 and 3.

Attempting to shake up the storyline near the end of Season 3, Beckett was killed in the wrenching episode ‘Sunday,’ which aired last June.

“I said ‘Thank you for the opportunity – I had a great time doing it.’ At that time, I had done 50-something episodes of the character. That’s how it works. That’s how show business is.”

But the outcry from fans convinced producers to bring him back for the Season 4 episode ‘The Kindred – Part 1,’ airing today in the U.S.

For the upcoming fifth season, McGillion has been confirmed for five episodes.

Supporters actually held a rally in the rain, complete with a pipe band, outside the production studio last March to save McGillion’s character. It reaffirmed to him how committed sci-fi fans are to their shows.

“It’s a really niche market and they’re super, super loyal. I’ve met some interesting people and it’s a really cool part of the business.”