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Dr. Elizabeth Weir

Stargate Atlantis
by Artemis

I've been sitting here for fully twenty minutes trying to think of something fun and interesting to say about Dr. Weir to open the review. That says it all, really.

Dr. Weir Dr. Elizabeth Weir was already an accomplished diplomat before learning of the existence of the Stargate Atlantis expedition. She quickly accepted command over the facility and has been responsible for averting catastrophes of a galactic scale, thanks to her tireless dedication and unwavering commitment.

Okay, that sounds harsh. It's not that Atlantis is bad, it's just that it's the Stargate equivalent of store-brand food - basically the same commodity, but bland and generic rather than interesting and unique. Still, Dr. Weir should be able to save some face - after all, when she first turned up, she was Pilot from Captain Power. That's kind of cool, even if it's of limited relevance to her nowadays.

They may have starships and ray guns and aliens, but Stargate isn't Star Trek - our human heroes don't have flashy form-fitting bodysuits, wrinkly they have military uniforms and fatigues that'd look quite at home in any Earth army base. Dr. Weir isn't a soldier by trade, so she gets around in a fairly nondescript work uniform, with lots in the way of utility pockets and heavy-duty stitching - unlike the SG-1 team, the Atlantis expedition ventured forth with no idea when, if ever, they'd be able to get back to Earth, so everything they took with them is made for hard-wearing durability, not aesthetics. The body of Weir's jacket is made of soft rubber, but the sculpt and paint renders it indistinguishable from its sleeves, and her pants. There are wrinkles everywhere - clearly fighting the Wraith takes precedence over doing the ironing - which makes the whole outfit look drab, and the jacket (unlike the one normally seen on the show) is sculpted with no zipper or waist, and instead just hangs limply, making it even more drab.

The facial sculpt is good (very good, even), but I can't quite bring myself to call it great. good lord, she looks terrible! Torri Higginson (the one who wasn't Pilot) is a fairly attractive woman, and while the sculpt captures her features accurately, it doesn't flatter her. This looks like Weir after a really long day filled with cantankerous aliens and having to listen to McKay a lot - she still looks determined, but she also looks tired and worn. There's some slight puffiness under her eyes, and the minimal lower eyelash line leaves them standing out a bit more than they should, while the flat skin tone is lacking a bit of a healthy glow that'd make her look better. Her hair isn't wonderful either - the sculpt is decent, but the minor highlight doesn't give it much volume, and the finish is a touch too glossy.

Compared to the prototype photos, her uniform is much darker - it's not that far off the real costume, but since that's life-sized it looks lighter too. The highlight catches all the crinkles fairly well, but in the process it makes the outfit look yet more drab, aided by shading in the creases, and the red patches on her jacket, which are likewise dark, and don't cover the base colour enough, making them even dirtier-looking. USA #1 okay mister! Her shirt underneath is a consistent dark burgundy, but in the end the only points of colour on her, aside from her skin, are the patches on her shoulders - the Atlantis badge on her right, the United States flag on her left, both reasonably well painted and crisp against the dark uniform. Like her face, the uniform is fairly accurate to the real thing, but still an unflattering representation of it.

Weir has quite a few points of articulation, but not a lot that you'll actually find useful. Her balljoint neck is restricted by the jacket collar pressing against her hair - she can turn side to side, but the other two axes are limited to barely a millimetre of travel. Her shoulders are balljoints, but also very restricted by the jacket, and just the internal design of the joints - you get about 15-to-20° of lift out of them, and that's it (and when I speak of the internal design I know what I'm taking about, since I accidentally popped her arm off trying to lift it further - luckily it went back on fairly easily). They are true balljoints though, so for what it's worth you can rotate her shoulders forward and backward at the shoulder a little.

She has swivel biceps, which with the narrow upper arms are really obvious when turned, and peg elbows good for about 70° of turn - her right arm is sculpted straight, the left with a slight bend in it already. Swivel wrists finish off the arms, concealed within the sleeves. Her waist is actually pretty good, since her jacket hides most of it from sight, but below the waist she's not very mobile either - her peg hips can't swing back at all, so unless you've got something for her to step up onto, there's not much you can do with the swivel thighs and peg knees. She has swivel ankles, but the legs of her pants sit down so snugly on the tops of her shoes that they might as well be glued in place.

As a diplomat rather than a soldier (putting aside her Field Ops variant for the moment), Neo! We've got Sentinels! it's no surprise that Dr. Weir doesn't have much of an arsenal when it comes to accessories. Well, that's not quite true - she has a Drone Weapon, which, for all that it looks like one of Galactus's sperm, is arguably one of the more powerful weapons Stargate's stumbled across. But it's not like Weir can use it by herself, unless she intends to swing it like a club. It's a nice piece though, almost five inches long, cast in multiple pieces and combining transparency, blended paints, and metallics to create an accurate and attractive replica.

She also comes with a Zero Point Module, one of the newfangled power cores Stargate came up with when they needed something rarer than Naquadah, which had become so common that Carter was running her cellphone off the stuff. It's a solid transparent gold piece with a few small paint apps some more stuff and a dark wash to bring out the detail of the sculpt, and is a fair if unremarkable representation of the real prop. There's also a copy of War and Peace, though if I recall rightly it was Sheppard who was reading that, not Weir - then again, it's the kind of thing she probably would have read at some point. And lastly there's a chunk of the Atlantis stargate, a sleeker, more advanced model than the Milky Way versions - the other figures in the series come with the other pieces, you know the drill. Given that the actual gate prop has internal lighting for all the constellation panels, and the accessory doesn't, it's not a bad effort - crisp white highlights pick out the constellations, which is about as close as you can get to the real thing without getting some fibre-optics involved.

Even ignoring the BAF (BAA? Build-An-Accessory?) piece, it's not a bad spread of accessories so far as they go, but Weir's a bit hamstrung in that she can't actually use any of them in any kind of meaningful way. Her hands are sculpted to grip - clearly for a weapon in the right - but the book is too thick to get into her hands, Look, when you invited us to this girls' night in, we thought it was for a Tupperware party... and there's no way for her to hold the ZPM or drone. The best I could come up with was to wedge the Tolstoy under her arm, and considering that it's not even her book, that's not great so far as adding liveliness to the figure goes.

That's kind of the verdict for the whole figure, really - she's a reasonable (if dull) representation of Dr. Weir, but you just can't do anything with her. If you want a Dr. Weir figure, this isn't a bad one, but if you just want an action figure, there are a whole heap of more interesting ones out there.


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