SG-1 Spoilers: Shanks on Daniel in the Movies

Massive Spoiler Warning

The following are from an interview with Micheal Shanks at Dreamwatch’s Total Sci Fi website. If you don’t want to know about Daniel in the two direct-to-DVD movies, then don’t read any further!

To read the full interview, visit Dreamwatch’s Total Sci Fi: Shanks for the memories.

The Ark of Truth

In the last few seasons, Daniel had been killed, ascended, and turned into a Prior. Have you been put through the wringer again in the movies?

In season 10, he confronts an Ancient directly, whereas before he would seek to negotiate and find the idealistic approach. This time, he confronts them and says, “You need our help as much as we need yours because after they are done with us, they are going to come after you. Helping us also means helping yourself.”

In The Arc of Truth, he gets another confrontation. You see him at his weakest, where he says, “Enough! Help us!” The way Daniel would have done things before, and the way he handles it in that situation, is much more confrontational. Going and talking to God and saying, “Why do you stand still, do nothing, and allow all this evil to happen” is a nice scene to play.


In the last few seasons, Daniel had been killed, ascended, and turned into a Prior. Have you been put through the wringer again in the movies?

In the second one, Continuum, while I was doing 24, these guys went up to the Artic so I couldn’t come. Rats. As a result of that, the way the original script was written, that all the characters are walking through the Arctic, they couldn’t have that anymore. So Brad wrote something that justified Daniel not being there. The way he does that is there is water coming into this ship that they are in and it is sinking. Daniel steps in it, is going to lose a leg, and be without it for most of the film.

Brad asked me afterwards, “How do you feel about that?” and I went, “Oh, this is great. It gives me something very different to play with the character, where he’s thrust back into a changed reality with a missing leg and is forced to live his life as a normal civilian.” So we get to see more of a dark, bitter aspect of the character than we’ve seen before.

And it must have been a good opportunity to show a greater range…

Absolutely. And then the psychology of what goes into that…To be told to live your life missing a leg, as a normal civilian, can lead you down a dark path. The character has always been so idealistic and optimistic about things, so we see him go to a darker, bitterer place.

Did you have to do any research to realistically portray this alternate Daniel?

Yeah, my grandfather, who actually fought in World War II, had been missing a leg. He’s gone now, but as a kid, I remember thinking in terms of what he had to deal with on a daily basis. This was a really great opportunity to access those memories and bring some of that back.

Of course, I worked on the walk…It was a little bit tough, but we got through it. It was nice to play that realistic scenario as opposed to using your imagination and wrapping your mind around this possibility.

Was it hard to leave Daniel in such a dark place when he is usually so hopeful and optimistic?

Well, the good thing about that script is it is resolved. It doesn’t necessarily become an aspect of the character for a long term basis. That gets reset so it is a nice thing to play, and then you go back and play the character you’ve become attached to.


2 thoughts on “SG-1 Spoilers: Shanks on Daniel in the Movies”

  1. Wow, that’s fascinating! I can’t believe Michael let all of that news out, but I’m glad he did… I guess. I’m sure it was a very interesting acting challenge, although I’m not sure I want to see a bitter, solo Daniel for too long. Wow!

  2. This was fascinating to hear, I agree! I think it will be very interesting to see Michael play the lovable well known Daniel, in addition to a bitter darker Daniel who is permanently scarred like that. I don’t WANT Daniel to be injured in that way, but as far as seeing MIchael play something that challenging, I know he can pull it off. Plus, Michael was nice enough to tell us that Daniel will not stay that way. I’m grateful that Solutions spotted this interview and shared it with us! I can’t wait to see the movies, plus Michael admits that there is talk of even more movies! That makes me happy.

    Galadria (what a silly name…it’s really me, Kristie)

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