Why did Weir leave Stargate Atlantis?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Weir’s departure from Stargate Atlantis can be attributed to a combination of narrative choices and real-life circumstances. The character of Elizabeth Weir, played by actress Torri Higginson, started off as the leader of the Atlantis expedition. However, as the show progressed, various events led to her leaving the series.

One of the primary reasons for Weir’s departure was the decision of the show’s producers and writers to introduce a new character, Samantha Carter, played by Amanda Tapping, as the new leader of Atlantis. This creative choice was made to bring in a familiar face from Stargate SG-1 and add a new dynamic to the show. As a result, Weir’s character was gradually phased out.

In the storyline, Weir’s departure can be traced back to the events of the third season. In the episode “The Return,” the Atlantis expedition successfully brings the city back to Earth to defend against a powerful enemy known as the Asurans. However, during the battle, Weir is critically injured by an Asuran Satellite Weapon. This injury leaves her in a coma and unable to continue leading the expedition.

Following Weir’s injury, the decision is made to remove her from the series altogether, which is revealed in the final episode of season 3, titled “First Strike.” The Asurans, an advanced race of human-form replicators, attempt to assimilate Weir’s body in an effort to gain control of Atlantis. This perilous situation forces the remaining characters to make the difficult decision to detach the city from Earth and send it adrift in space, leaving Weir behind.

It is worth noting that Weir’s departure from the show was not initially intended to be permanent. The producers and writers had plans to bring her character back in a recurring capacity. However, due to contract negotiations and other factors, Torri Higginson ultimately decided not to return to the series as a regular cast member. This real-life circumstance cemented Weir’s departure from Stargate Atlantis.

Weir’s departure from Stargate Atlantis can be attributed to a combination of creative choices and real-life circumstances. The introduction of a new leader character, Samantha Carter, and Weir’s critical injury by the Asuran Satellite Weapon led to her character leaving the series. Additionally, Torri Higginson’s decision not to return as a regular cast member further solidified Weir’s departure.