TV Zone Special #77 celebrates Stargate SG-1‘s ten-year history with interviews with actors, producers, and crew. One of the features is an interview with James Bamford, stunt coodinator for Stargate Atlantis and fight coordinator for Stargate SG-1. Bamford talked about one of the fights he choreographed for Robert C. Cooper’s Stargate: The Ark of Truth, the first of the two direct-to-DVD movies to be released in 2008.
Stargate: The Ark of Truth closes the Ori story arc that was started in Season Nine. Already described as being like a feature film in scope, the movie includes something for everyone as SG-1 goes directly to the Ori’s home galaxy to finish the war. The team appears to split for a time, as Michael Shanks said in Starlog #358 (see MSOL for quotes), “So one side of the story is Daniel and Vala looking for this ark, and the other deals with some enemies at home – people who appear to be helping us, but decide to do things their own way and cause lots of problems for Mitchell and Carter.”
Cooper revealed in a Gateworld interview that someone fools around with the technology left behind by the Asgard (10.20 “Unending”) and it nearly means galactic disaster. Possibly, the IOA has something to do with this misuse of the technology, and Carter and Mitchell have to address the problem, along with the IOA’s representative, James Marrick (played by Currie Graham). Amanda Tapping recently revealed in Issue #18 of the Official Stargate SG-1/Atlantis Magazine that “Carter spends a lot of time on the Odyssey, fixing a major problem there because we’re dealing with Replicators and a whole myriad of other nasties.”
Whether or not Marrick himself is one of the nasties or is also fighting against them remains to be seen, but Bamford gave some interesting details in the TV Zone Special about the big fight he coordinated for the movie. “Finally, we brought Ben Browder and Currie Graham in to rehearse and they were just so gung-ho. When we were done rehearsing, I felt confident that they knew the fight, and if necessary we could fit in some extra rehearsal time.”
They were given three days to film the fight, which would have normally been given four hours during episodic television filming. The stunt involved coordinating with production designer James Robbins concerning the set, three wire gags, interactive lighting, visual effects, and blood. As a matter of fact, there was enough blood in this fight sequence for Bamford to comment, “It’s probably the bloodiest stunt we’ve ever done on Stargate.” Fans can get a glimpse of how bloody Mitchell gets by checking out the behind-the-scenes pictures Atlantis executive producer Joseph Mallozzi published in his May 9th entry in his personal blog.
In the end, they shot the whole fight in under two days, and Bamford concluded, “I attributed that to the preparedness of the actors, who did a lot of the work, the crew and all the departments involved.”
TV Zone Special #77 hit the stands on August 21 and may still be available. Or, you may order the magazine online from their website.