Elizabeth Weir (Stargate)

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Elizabeth Weir
Torri Higginson as Elizabeth Weir
First appearance "Lost City, Part 1" (SG-1)
Last appearance "Ghost in the Machine" (Atlantis)
Created by Brad Wright
Robert C. Cooper
Portrayed by Jessica Steen (SG-1 7.21-7.22)
Torri Higginson
Michelle Morgan (Human-Asuran)
Species Human, later Human-Asuran hybrid
Occupation Diplomat, Commander of the Atlantis Expedition
Family Simon (ex-fiancé), Mom
Nationality American

Dr. Elizabeth Weir is a fictional character in the Canadian-American Sci-Fi Channel television series Stargate Atlantis, a military science fiction show about a military team exploring another galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices. Elizabeth Weir is introduced as a recurring character in the Stargate SG-1 season seven two-parter, "Lost City". She does not hold any military rank since she is a civilian. Weir is the leader of the Atlantis expedition in Stargate Atlantis until the last episode of season three, titled "First Strike".

The character was primarily played by Torri Higginson, although when introduced in the Stargate SG-1 two-parter "Lost City", she was played by Jessica Steen. In the season 5 Atlantis episode "Ghost in the Machine", the consciousness of Elizabeth Weir, having been transferred to sub-space by a group of Replicators hoping to ascend, was transferred to a Replicator template, and portrayed by Michelle Morgan.

Role in Stargate[edit]

Character arc in Stargate SG-1[edit]

Dr. Elizabeth Weir first appears in the episode Lost City being portrayed by Jessica Steen. She was put in command of Stargate Command (SGC) by President Henry Hayes, replacing Major General George Hammond to put a "civilian" face on the organization. Vice-President Kinsey wanted to use Weir as a civilian "puppet" to achieve his goals to gain control of the Stargate program. Dr. Weir, however, proved to be an ideal choice, quickly learning not to trust Kinsey and to put her faith in SG-1.[1]

She was in charge of Stargate Command during Anubis' attack on Earth, and suggested deploying Prometheus (under the command of Weir's predecessor, Gen. George Hammond) and the Allied powers' combined air forces to Antarctica, in order to defend the newly discovered Ancient outpost. Earth repelled the attack thanks to weapons deployed from the Ancient Chair in the outpost. Dr. Weir remained the Chief of Stargate Command during the fallout from the battle, and impressed her senior staff when she successfully bluffed Earth's position during tense negotiations with a delegation of System Lords. Not long afterwards, Dr. Weir accepted reassignment to the Antarctic Research Outpost and its international staff, which she felt was better suited to her skill set. She took particular delight in informing Jack O'Neill of his appointment as her successor – and his accompanying promotion to Brigadier General. O'Neill remained in command of the SGC for the remainder of the eighth season.[1]

Character arc in Stargate Atlantis[edit]

Some time after Dr. Weir was sent to lead the research envoy studying the Ancient defense facility that had been discovered in Antarctica, Daniel Jackson realized that lost city of Atlantis was located in the Pegasus Galaxy. Dr. Weir was placed in command of the multinational expedition that was sent through the Stargate to explore Atlantis.[2] As a diplomat, Weir sought treaties with the human populated worlds in Pegasus, one of them being the Athosians. There was often tension between her and the leader of the Athosians, and the latter eventually left the city to live on the mainland of the planet Atlantis was hidden on.[3]

Weir approved several projects throughout Atlantis in season two including the Wraith retro-virus that she later gave as part of a treaty to a sect of Wraith looking to replace the human food source with Wraith infected by the virus. The retro-virus suppressed the Wraith genetic material in the DNA of a Wraith, leaving only the human DNA.[4] Weir became infected with the consciousness of an alien soldier named Phoebus that was at war with another consciousness called Thalan who also overtook John Sheppard. Both rampaged through the city, triggering a hostage situation which was caused by the aliens's desire to defeat one another for good. After nearly 24 hours, the rogue consciousnesses were subsequently expelled, resulting in both Sheppard and Weir returning to normal once again.[5]

In season 3, Weir's leadership abilities were questioned by the International Oversight Advisory (IOA) Committee after two Wraith hive ships attempted to attack Earth. Although she managed to stop both hive ships, the IOA was divided over whether Dr. Weir should be allowed to remain leader of Atlantis, and it was only with some help from Richard Woolsey that Weir was able to keep her position. She also unsuccessfully tried to negotiate an alliance with the Asurans, and was infected with Asuran nanites. They later tried to assimilate her body, and she nearly didn't survive. In the final episode of season 3 ("First Strike") Weir was critically injured by the Asuran Satellite Weapon, leaving the city without a leader and adrift in space.[6]

The season 4 premiere episode "Adrift" revealed that Weir had suffered massive injuries. She was later healed by the Asurans Replicator nanites that were left dormant in her body from when she was infected by Niam.[7] As a result of this treatment, she became part-Replicator (part-Asuran). She took part in a mission to save Atlantis by stealing a ZPM from the Asurans, and sacrificed herself to allow the team to escape. Before that, however, she was able to control Oberoth and the collective for a short time. She ordered Col. Sheppard to leave her behind and escape. She was left on Asuras, and it was later stated that she was killed by the Asurans shortly afterward.[8][not in citation given] Showrunner Joseph Mallozzi mentioned the possibility that a Replicator lied or misinformed the Atlantis team when she said that Weir was killed.[9]

An organic copy of Weir, possessing all of her memories and personality, was created by the Replicators, along with similar copies of Sheppard, Ronon Dex, Teyla Emmagan, and Rodney McKay. This clone of Weir is believed to have been killed by a contingent of Asurans when she sacrificed herself to allow the original Sheppard, Ronon, Teyla and McKay to escape. At the end of "Be All My Sins Remember'd", Weir was seen as the commander of an Aurora class ship with what appeared to be a rogue faction of Asurans. After the replicator planet was destroyed, she said, "now we can finally get to work without having to look over our shoulders."[10] Her last appearance is in the episode "Ghost in the Machine", in which she is portrayed by Michelle Morgan.[11] Here, she and her faction of replicators had found a way to "digitally ascend" by downloading their consciousnesses into subspace. They planned to ascend from there, only to fail miserably. Once they determined that they needed organic bodies to ascend, they sought out technology that would allow them to regain solid form. But when they couldn't find the technology they needed, Elizabeth infiltrated the Atlantis system. She downloaded herself into a F.R.A.N. body and the rest of her faction followed suit. Once Elizabeth convinced Col. Sheppard and Mr. Woolsey that they would not be a threat to Atlantis, they proceeded to work on creating organic bodies into which they could download themselves. However, one member of the replicators believed that he could ascend from a replicator body, and with eons of time he thought he would eventually succeed. The replicator wreaked havoc on Atlantis to escape, but Elizabeth deactivated him before anyone could be hurt. Deciding that the incident proved they could no longer be trusted, she lured the remainder of her faction through a space gate to prevent it from happening again. The episode ends with Elizabeth closing her eyes and drifting through space.

Conceptual history[edit]

Jessica Steen was the original choice to play Weir, but ultimately only filmed the character's first appearance before deciding she didn't want to relocate to Vancouver to film the series. Higginson was written out of the series in part to allow Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) to take over as leader of Atlantis. Towards the beginning of February 2008, it was revealed that Torri Higginson would not be reprising the role of Elizabeth Weir in season 5. Due to Higginson's absence, actress Michelle Morgan was brought in to replace her in the episode "Ghost in the Machine".[12]


  1. ^ a b Martin Wood (director); Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper (writers). "Lost City". Stargate SG-1. Season 8. Episode 21 and 22. Sky One. 
  2. ^ Martin Wood (director); Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper (writers). "Rising". Stargate Atlantis. Season 1. Episode 1 and 2. Sci Fi Channel. 
  3. ^ Mario Azzopardi (director); Paul Mullie and Joseph Mallozzi (writers). "Suspicion". Stargate Atlantis. Season 1. Episode 5. Sci Fi Channel. 
  4. ^ Andy Mikita (director); Treena Hancock and Melissa R. Byer (writers). "Instinct". Stargate Atlantis. Season 2. Episode 7. Sci Fi Channel. 
  5. ^ Andy Mikita (director); Damian Kindler (writer). "The Long Goodbye". Stargate Atlantis. Season 2. Episode 16. The Movie Network. 
  6. ^ Martin Wood (director); Martin Gero (writer). "First Strike". Stargate Atlantis. Season 3. Episode 20. The Movie Network. 
  7. ^ "GateWorld - First photos from ‘Lifeline’". GateWorld. September 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  8. ^ Martin Wood (director); Martin Gero (writer). "Adrift". Stargate Atlantis. Season 4. Episode 1. Sci Fi Channel. 
  9. ^ Joseph Mallozzi (December 8, 2007). "Thoughts and tirades, rants and ruminations". Joseph Mallozzi's Weblog. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  10. ^ Andy Mikita (director); Martin Gero (writer). "Be All My Sins Remember'd". Stargate Atlantis. Season 4. Episode 11. Sci Fi Channel. 
  11. ^ Ken Girotti (director); Carl Binder (writer). "Ghost in the Machine". Stargate Atlantis. Season 5. Episode 5. Sci Fi Channel. 
  12. ^ Darren Sumner (February 9, 2008). "Higginson Out for Season 5". GateWorld. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 

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