One of the characters that has come up a great deal in episode discussions is Major Lorne. Lorne's become something of a fan favorite since his introduction in early S2 and rather a fixture on Atlantis. (At least when his actor, Kavan Smith, wasn't off taping episodes of The 4400...)
When I was discussing ideas for VS 402 with the crew, one of us brought up a good point: what is Lorne's actual role on Atlantis? Is he really the "second in command" after Sheppard? Is his team really the equivalent of the same?
It certainly seems that way on the show, if only because Lorne's team seems to be the de facto one whenever Sheppard and team are gone -- I'm thinking of S2's "The Lost Boys" which I just watched in syndication -- and there's something about his place in the show that makes me want to think of him to Sheppard the same way I think of Zelenka to McKay.
What do we know about Major Lorne? Not much. In fact, I don't even think we know his first name. (At least, I don't, but there are a few late Season Three episodes that I haven't watched...) I know there's a healthy fanon!Lorne out there even though I don't know much of it.
Most of what I know about Major Lorne, I learned watching him on SG-1, which is where he started. Major Lorne was one of the SGC members involved in the mining operation on P3X-403 which is eventually disturbed by conflicts with the native Unas on the planet. (For more information, here's the ep's Wikipedia entry.) This first appearence tells us a little about him, if only that he's been with the SGC program for at least two years before he took a posting in the Pegasus Galaxy. (I'm counting SG-1 S7 as a year, and SG-1 S8 (SGA S1) as another.)
I also thought that maybe this assignment meant he had some background in geology or a related earth-science. It would seem that the SGC would need people with real expertise in this to be on-site and I don't remember any scientists, per se.
But that's mostly speculation, which is all we have. In fact, I have a burning list of questions about Lorne, which include the ones listed above but also --
Is his ATA gene real or artifical? I know he can fly a jumper but which is it? Also, does he fly because he's a pilot (like Sheppard) or does he just happen to fly? Before SG-1, I didn't even realize AF officers could be anything other than pilots. (Why, yes, I am a sad, un-informed slob!)
The point is -- as much as we love him, we don't know much about him, except for what he didn't learn in "Major School," LOL. And this is exactly the kind of thing that makes virtual seasons so great, is that I can take the time to discuss this with people and make an effort to rectify it. I want to know what we should know about Lorne. Perhaps y'all can tell me?
So, yes, please -- comment, discuss, disagree, whatever. I'd love any and everyone's opinion and speculation on Lorne and what depths we may have been missing in canon that should be addressed in alterna-canon such as a virtual fourth season. The problem with this kind of exercise is that in alterna-canon, we don't want fanon as much as we want a way to create new and more "canon." With fanon -- and fanfiction -- you can take certain risks and try certain things. In something like this, you're more typically restrained by what has actually happened in the show.
This becomes a big problem with something like this. We need to have more than fanon, more than "what ifs" to flesh out a loved character like Lorne in a realistic way. RL and canon concerns come into play, such as "Does it make more sense for Lorne to have a natual ATA gene or a synthesized one?" given what we know about the ATA gene and the way people were/weren't chosen for the Atlantis mission. Each of the questions that I've asked have these kinds of concerns attached to them, hence the difficulty here. It makes me wish that TPTB had done a little more of this on their own!
Remember: The SGA: VS4 is always looking for more writers, editors and various helpers. If you think you'd like to be involved, contact regann or join the community at sga_virtual!