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Where's the 'Stargate Atlantis' cast now? Jason Momoa, Amanda Tapping & more
Jason Momoa, Amanda Tapping, Joe Flanigan & more - where'd the Atlantis cast go?
Hard to believe, isn’t it? Though it seems like just a blip in time ago, we’re 15 years beyond Stargate Atlantis’ epic galactic quest to learn the secrets of the Ancients. Through five seasons and more dramatic twists than even a Wraith could scheme, the SYFY series kept fans attuned to the farthest reaches of the burgeoning Stargate small-screen universe, thanks in no small part to the show’s memorable ensemble cast.
Let by Joe Flanigan as Lt. Colonel John Sheppard, the humans who connected across space to forge new interstellar relationships kept Stargate Atlantis at the top of the sci-fi TV watch list throughout the series’ 2004-2009 run. Along the way, viewers got an early glimpse into Jason Momoa’s charismatic appeal in any galaxy, while bringing together an eclectic mix of well-established actors who lent the show a deserved reputation as must-see weekly television — regardless of its spaced-out genre trappings.
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With Stargate Atlantis commemorating 15 years since its final series farewell, there’s no time like the present to drop in on ten of the series’ biggest stars, all to see how they’ve fared across screens both big and small since saying goodbye to the Pegasus galaxy.
The glue that held Atlantis together, Joe Flanigan anchored the series as Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, leaving his Earthbound military past behind to star in all 100 episodes of the series as the intrepid lead human explorer of the Pegasus Galaxy. After Atlantis, Flanigan continued his small-screen run with a string of TV movies and numerous single-episode drop-ins (including Warehouse 13 and Stargate SG-1). More recently, Flanigan had a stint on the cast of General Hospital’s 2019-2020 season, and starred in recurring guest spots alongside Jason Momoa in the dystopian sci-fi drama See at Apple TV+… a screen pairing that segues nicely into the next Atlantis star on our big list.
Set to launch the Fast Saga toward an explosive close with the upcoming Fast X as Dom Toretto’s new nemesis Dante, Jason Momoa already has a lengthy recent acting rap sheet: He’s Game of Thrones’ Khal Drogo, DC’s Aquaman, Dune’s Duncan Idaho, and that one weird impish dude with goaty horns in Netflix’s fantasy flick Slumberland. But long before any of that, the muscled one landed one of his earliest roles as Ronon Dex, Stargate Atlantis’ resident long-locked Runner refugee from the Earth-like civilization of Sateda.
Though he’d previously held down mainstay small-screen roles in Baywatch: Hawaii (from 1999 to 2001) and North Shore (from 2004 to 2005), it was Atlantis that propelled Momoa and his signature dreads into fan-favorite character status, spotlighting the appeal of his high-T machismo and lighthearted gift for subtle comic relief. As his current A-list appeal suggests, it’s proven a durably winning formula — one we can’t wait to see how Fast X mines for maximum Momoa-esque action mayhem.
Already well known for horror turns in pre-Atlantis flicks like Scanners II: The New Order (1991) and Cube (1997), David Hewlett became a key presence in the wider Stargate TV-verse not only through all five seasons as Dr. Rodney McKay on Atlantis, but as a central presence in the concurrently-running Stargate SG-1 at SYFY.
Hewlett’s since maintained high visibility in both big-ticket movies and on the small screen, appearing in Guillermo del Toro’s Best Picture-winning The Shape of Water (2017) and the “Graveyard Rats” episode of Netflix anthology Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities — not to mention a steady string of feature gigs highlighted most recently by del Toro’s Nightmare Alley (2021). Like fellow Atlantis alums Flanigan and Momoa, Hewlett also went on to score a recently-recurring role on See at Apple TV+.
As Dr. Elizabeth Weir, Torri Higginson crossed over from Stargate SG-1 (where she inherited the part from original Dr. Weir actor Jessica Steen) to Atlantis, emerging as a civilian leader among her military colleagues thanks to her more refined slate of non-martial diplomatic skills. Higginson has stayed close to the small screen ever since Atlantis’ 2009 sign-off, most notably in recurring roles on NCIS (as Dr. Jordan Hampton), Dark Matter (as Cmdr. Delaney Truffault), and currently as ER nurse Claire Malone on NBC’s Transplant medical drama series.
As Wraith-sensitive warrior Teyla Emmagan, Rachel Luttrell was a Stargate Atlantis mainstay, combining strength and a certain refined Athosian style of leadership and trust whenever Sheppard needed a reliable ally to hold down the fort. Luttrell’s on-screen appearances since her 91-episode Atlantis stint have remained steady, if small: She’s shown up in guest spots on everything from NCIS to Arrow, with TV turns most recently in Bravo’s Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce and Netflix’s 2019 sci-fi event series The I-Land.
Real-life Scotsman Paul McGillion brought a gregarious Caledonian flavor to the role of Stargate Atlantis' Dr. Carson Beckett, gifted with the Ancient Technology Activation gene and hand-picked by Dr. Weir to be a part of the core group from the early Antarctic expedition onward. Beyond Atlantis, McGillion himself may be a more familiar genre face than fans might realize:
He’s turned heads in tons of fun TV guest spots, especially during a busy early-2000s stint that saw appearances in Sanctuary, Fringe, sci-fi event series V, multiple episodes of Supernatural, and, more recently, in a three-episode arc on The Flash. McGillion’s also had a steady stream of small parts in big movies, including minor roles in 2009’s Star Trek, 2015’s Tomorrowland, and 2018’s action thriller Skyscraper opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
If any actor’s synonymous with Stargate on the small screen, it’s Amanda Tapping. As Dr. Samantha “Sam” Carter, Tapping brought continuity (along with a deep and rich SG-1 backstory) to Atlantis, threading one of the series’ mainstay characters across Stargate installments that also included later spinoff series Stargate Universe as well as SG-1-connected standalone movies Stargate: The Ark of Truth (2008) and Stargate: Continuum (also 2008).
As a perennial Stargate favorite, Tapping’s easy to spot these days whenever she shows up at fan conventions or in a still-robust string of genre roles: Confining her biggest post-Atlantis parts mostly to TV, she's held down a main role in Sanctuary as Dr. Helen Magnus, showed up in multiple Supernatural seasons as the angel Naomi, and popped up in the time-tripping sci-fi drama Travelers. Tapping’s also been busy behind The CW’s small-screen camera, having directed later episodes of Supernatural, The 100, The Flash, and Batwoman — not to mention a chilling chapter in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
A late addition to the Stargate TV-verse with his memorable Season 7 SG-1 debut in the extended “Heroes” double episode, Robert Picardo served as Atlantis’ all-seeing government eye Richard Woolsey, an American emissary of the International Oversight Advisory Committee (IOA).
With previous roles in Gremlins, Star Trek: First Contact, and tons of meaty small-screen parts including Alice, The Wonder Years, and China Beach, Picardo enjoyed a high-profile TV and film career well before his Stargate days, and he remains recognizable far beyond the confines of the Pegasus galaxy today. Just since 2015, you’ve likely seen him in episodes of Lucifer, The Orville, Quantum Leap, Grey’s Anatomy, The Flash, NCIS, and many more can't-miss TV character walk-ons.
Wherever they've spotted her, fans have tended to root for Jewel Staite’s endearing sci-fi characters — whether as soulful ship’s mechanic Kaylee Frye on Firefly or as Dr. Jennifer Keller from Season 5 and onward on Stargate Atlantis. A bright young medical mind who stepped in to succeed Dr. Carson Beckett on the series, Dr. Keller was only one among several shared-DNA SYFY roles for Staite: She’d already played a Wraith in Atlantis’ Season 2, while crossing over to other SYFY projects for appearances in both Warehouse 13 and the 2010 standalone feature Mothman.
Staite’s only gotten more acquainted with TV viewers in the years since her Atlantis acting turn, most notably starring in AMC’s crime series The Killing, a four-episode stint on SYFY’s The Magicians, a recent guest spot on NBC’s new Quantum Leap, and as a main cast member of The CW’s ongoing legal drama series Family Law.
Rainbow Sun Francks
Marine First Lieutenant Aiden Ford probably had one of the bleakest character arcs among all the core Stargate Atlantis characters. Played by Rainbow Sun Francks until his seemingly tragic Season 2 fate as a recently-escaped Wraith captive, Ford was a youthful and idealistic USMC soldier…until that is, he developed a taste for the super-powered Wraith enzyme.
Francks’ Stargate story might’ve ended too early, but the actor himself has stuck around for plenty of subsequent genre action on the small screen: He’s shown up in sci-fi western series Defiance, an extra-chilling episode of FX’s The Strain, Hulu’s music-themed romantic comedy series High Fidelity, and in a recurring Season 1 role as Detective Chuck Beaman in Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy.