SPOILERS: Stargate Atlantis season 4 casting
There has been discussion bouncing around the net about Weir's apparent demotion in Season 4 of Stargate Atlantis. Her role's reduction to 'recurring character' has been likened to Lt. Ford's write-off and the sudden and seemingly unnecessary death of Dr. Carson Beckett.
But it really irks me when some fans start campaign groups to get characters back on shows, seemingly with the intent of cheating the very nature that said shows are attempting to convey.
I don't know if I'm talking specifically about Weir or not, but I don't mind when they kill off a 'good' or 'popular' character because the intent is to make the audience feel the loss of the other characters. Of course no-one wanted Paul to be kicked off the show: no more than Rodney or John wanted Carson to die. That's just how the world works and any show that vies to be semi-realistic in terms of characterisation is, in my opinion, obligated to show death as well as life.
That said, I dislike when some shows — Atlantis in particular — kill a character just because they can't think of anything more to write for them.
As for which category Weir's 'demotion' (show-wise at least) falls into, I'll leave that up to everyone's individual opinions and tastes.
Before anyone else brings this up, let me clarify that Michael Shanks left Stargate in Season Five of his own free will and thus his writing-off is not covered by the ideas stated in this article. I'm talking about production/writer decisions.