Mission 100 – Atlantis reaches a milestone.
Running time: approx. 14 minutes
Man 1, “It’s the last day on the set.”
Man 2, “Is it?”
Last Day on Set, September 17, 2008
Man, “Are you focused?”
Gero, “All right, we’ll start with the handshake.”
Man, “Okay.” [they shake hands]
Gero, “Come on now, big guy, big hug.”
Man, “aww, better than arguing – wait, wait, wait.”[Group hug with two more of the producers I guess]
Gero, “It’s taken five years, and it finally happened. It finally happened. Fantasy fulfilled. All right, guys, shut her down. Shut her down.”
Andy Mikita, “Yeah, I mean, there’s always a lot of build-up, you know, towards the 100th. It’s a milestone and it’s a big event, and we’re all, on set, really proud to have reached that point. So, it was pretty cool.”
Paul Mullie, “We wanted to do something that was kind of full circle, which turned out to be a good way to end the series, as well. We knew it was the 100th episode. We always knew that. We didn’t know it was the last episode when I actually started writing it. So I wasn’t writing it to be the last episode of the series, I was writing it to be the 100th episode. It kind of worked out to be just as good, either way.
Andy Mikita, “Yeah, I mean it comes with a certain degree of added pressure, I suppose, because there’s just more attention on it, but we kind of essentially treated it like another episode. You know, the mood was light but reflective at the same time. And the toughest thing was just keeping everybody focused.”
Paul Mullie, “Andy was in a difficult position because he had to shoot this big finale episode, at the same time he was dealing with the fact that it was the last episode, and everybody knew it.-"
"It was a long episode to begin with, those action-driven episodes where there’s a lot of intercutting between different things and everything’s happening fast; they tend to write longer. You have to write more material to fill the time, because everything happens very fast. That’s extra material that needs to be put on the schedule, so it makes for a long day because there’s a lot of pages per day to be shot, on top of the fact that everyone is moving a little bit slower because there’s all these goodbye moments every two seconds, cause it’s the last episode and everybody’s emotional and all that kind of stuff.”
Andy Mikita, “But at the same time, it wasn’t like some of the SG-1 milestone episodes in the past, you know, that were very, very different in tone. They were comedy episodes basically. But this one was more of a straight-up episode of Atlantis.
Saying goodbye to some old friends…
Andy Mikita, “For the 100h episode, it was a big deal to have Amanda Tapping back on the show, no question about it. I mean, the season opener this year, “Search and Rescue”, we had Amanda and that was the last time we’d seen her this season, so to have her to come back to finish the show, I thought was fantastic. It was great seeing her. She’s such a pro. And you can just rely on her to be a solid, great performer, every time.
Paul Mullie, “When she wasn’t going to be in part of season five, we knew we wanted to have her in some episodes, so we essentially did a deal for her to do two episodes minimum and we knew we wanted her for the first episode, and we knew it made sense to have her back in the last episode, because that was the last episode of the season, and the 100th episode, and then it turned out to be the last episode of the show, as well. That’s one of the things you do, when you do a 100th episode or some kind of special episode, an anniversary episode, or whatever. You try to bring back characters you’ve had before. So we brought back Kavanaugh. We brought back a character from SG-1, actually, Major Davis, and Gary, who plays Walter Harriman –You know, guys like that, who are just familiar within the franchise. It’s nice to bring them back for those kinds of episodes.-"
"Originally we were just going to do a card at the end saying, you know, “In memory of Don Davis.” But we talked about it, and we wanted it to be a little bit more than that. We wanted it to be the characters honouring the character that he played so what we had to essentially say was that the character of General Hammond had died and have a scene in which the characters react to that fact. And then I created this sort of fictional new ship, the Phoenix, in the alternate timeline that was the end of season four. And when we knew that we were going to need ships to deal with the threat in the 100th episode….Í thought, “Okay, well, they could make that a reality,” what was originally an alternate timeline, a sort of different future. Okay, now we’re meeting up with that future in this reality and there IS a ship called the Phoenix that’s about to come out but we talked about the idea, “What if they changed the name?”
Sheppard, “The Phoenix?”
Carter, “Actually, we’re renaming it, the General Hammond.”
Sheppard “Oh yeah, I heard about that.”
Paul Mullie, “We thought that that was kind of a fitting tribute for the character, for Don obviously, but I thought it was kind of neat to have it be within the world of the show, have the characters honouring the character, as opposed to just a card at the end honouring the actor, you know. I think it... I don’t know. It just had a cool kind of feel to it. It felt like something that Don would like, basically.”
One by One, they go…
Joseph Mallozzi, “This is the last shot of the episode, and frankly, the last shot of the series. We’ve come full circle. We’re going to start on everyone on the balcony, and we’re going to pull away and reveal that the ship, the City, is on Earth. And, you know, we’re going to pan off and see the Golden Gate Bridge. And obviously, it’s a bittersweet moment for all of us, but for me especially.”
Andy Mikita, “Generally speaking, the more people you have in the scenes, the longer it’s going to take. And certainly, this episode was no exception to that. You know, having said that, I generally like team episodes. They just tend to be the better ones, in my opinion. But they’re certainly a lot more difficult to shoot, because they do take more time. It’s just gathering everybody up and just getting them all onto the set and on their marks. It takes a heck of a lot longer than when it’s only two or three people.”