“Illness I can handle — the bloody volcanoes, that’s what I’m worried about!”
Doctor Beckett and the Atlantis team embark on a mercy mission when they are contacted by Archus of the planet Kraan. His people are endangered by the imminent explosion of a supervolcano, but have been unable to find help from any other inhabitants of Pegasus. Once infamous for harbouring a terrible disease, the small community has been ostracised, though Archus assures Doctor Weir that the sickness is no more. Doctor Beckett, after running tests on the population, agrees. But as the evacuation begins, it seems that Archus may have been hiding a deeper truth. Horrified by Archus’ actions, Carson Beckett finds himself racing against time – and the volcano – to save the people of Kraan… and himself.
Dr Beckett is a character that just calls out to be put in terrible peril, doesn't he? He's the everyman that we can all identify with, who isn't afraid to voice his fears at the weird and wonderful concept of setting foot on another planet - not to mention living in another galaxy. But for all that, he's a genius, too, and a genius who'll go to the ends of the... well, galaxy to do the right thing and help his patients, whether or not he's terrified. With this story I wanted to show how far a character has evolved since those early days as the 'Cowardly Lion' (Paul McGillion's words!), and how willing he is to put his life in danger for the sake of his parents, however dubious they are.
Paul McGillion is a joy to work with, talented, generous and dedicated - which is why I had so much fun with the story, and I hope you'll enjoy it too.
- Stargate Atlantis: The Kindness of Strangers at BIG FINISH
- An extract from The Kindness of Strangers read by Paul McGillion and Neil Roberts at the Wolf Pegasus 4 convention.