13-4-13: Stargate SG-1 Season Five

SG-1 in battle in '48 Hours'

Next in our Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years (13-4-13) series is Stargate SG-1 Season Five, one of the most shocking of the seasons for long-time fans as they suffered through the death of a team member. Dr. Daniel Jackson began his year-long journey as an Ascended Being after dying from radiation poisoning saving a world. The team had up to this point been solid and extraordinarily fortunate to still be intact after this long, and after losing Daniel, they had to deal in the only way that they could during a time of war: by moving on.

The show itself also had to move on after being effectively cancelled by Showtime at the end of this season. Why? Brad Wright stated in a chat with fans at that time, “I suppose it was because Stargate appears so much in syndication that Showtime thought the series was no longer identifiable with them. I was surprised because we were still among their highest rated shows. But the Sci Fi Channel has been very welcoming to us and we’re happy to have a home.”

So at the end of this season, the producers were aware that they’d be moving to the Sci Fi Channel and getting Season Six, which they then thought would be their last, with the hope that a movie, or even a movie franchise, would follow close behind.


SG-1 Season Five


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Brad Wright


From “Perfect 10” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine, issue #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):

The TV team of 'Wormhole X-Treme'

“[‘Wormhole X-Treme’] was a highlight of that year, [but] I think all of the actors felt a little bit as though the 100th episode should have been about their characters. At first I thought, ‘that’s silly’—because we were trying to put the entire crew into the story, and to laugh a little bit at ourselves. That was the goal. I think that was a good idea, [but] I think Michael and Amanda were right in pointing out to us that it would have been nicer to be a little bit more front-and-center, because it was the 100th episode. Who knew then, of course, that we would get a chance to fix that in the 200th!”

Daniel departs

From “Brad Wright on Michael Shanks’ Departure” in Cult Times #74 (Nov. 2001):

“It’s not an easy thing just to say goodbye to a character who in many ways is the heart and soul of your series. Richard (Dean Anderson) is the name above the title but Michael Shanks’s Daniel character carried the morality of the show and that is something we will simply have to struggle to replace…ultimately it will be up to the fans to decide how successful we are. Of course, the method by which Daniel is leaving completely leaves the door open, and if things work out he will return.”


Joseph Mallozzi


From interview at SF Signal (Oct. 2, 2009):

“At the beginning of each year, we would sit down and discuss a general arc for the upcoming season. One of the great things about SG-1 was that it lent itself [to] a variety of stories – arc-driven vs. stand-alones, off-world vs. Earth-based, dark mythology vs. comedic outings, etc. The sandbox was wide open. We just had to find a spot and dig.”

From “Joseph Mallozzi’s Weblog” (Feb. 4, 2007):

Ba'al in 'Summit'

“As much as I’d love to take credit for Ba’al, he’s a character that owes as much to Cliff Simon’s portrayal as he does to all of the writers who developed him over the years. When I wrote ‘Summit,’ I did so with a mind to making it a try-out of sorts for the various system lords. Ba’al certainly stood out amongst them.”

From “Joseph Mallozzi’s Weblog” (Apr. 15, 2008):

“In SG-1’s ‘Summit,’ I introduced about a half dozen system lords and used the episode as an audition of sorts to find out which of the characters would pop—and have potential to come back. Cliff Simon’s turn as Ba’al was great and, based on his performance in ‘Summit,’ we brought him back. Many, many times.”

Favorite Moments and Episodes from Season Five in “Q&A” with sg1_hc Yahoo! List (Jan. 12, 2002):

“Moment #9: Watching the dailies of ‘Threshold’ and seeing Chris lying, shirtless in the snow, solemnly delivering his lines, then, the second the director yells cut, seeing him jump up and ‘eloquently remark’ how cold it is.

“Moment #10: Michael pokes his head into my office and informs me Jelly [Mallozzi’s pet pug] ate his tuna sandwich.

“Episode #4: ‘Summit’: One villain is cool. A whole host of villain is just indescribable.

“Moment #11: Going down to check out the set of ‘The Tomb,’ taking a wrong turn and briefly getting lost. Now THAT is an impressive build!”


Richard Dean Anderson


From “Jack of All Trades” in Cult Times #75 (Nov. 2001):

“O’Neill has looked to Daniel for the greatest camaraderie and certainly [Michael] and I have had a lot of fun with the banter for which we’ve become famous. As actors we do have fun in the little snippets of scenes that Michael and I have been able to play with. He’s very quick and I enjoy that. But for O’Neill it will have to be life as normal without him. Life goes on.

Jack alone with his thoughts in 'Revelations'

“In fact, in the script we’re shooting right now [‘Revelations’] there’s a reference where Carter brings up Daniel’s departure and O’Neill is very pragmatic about it. That’s not to say there won’t be moments of reflection or of sentiment, but O’Neill is a soldier. He’s been through this. He’s been through this stuff with his kid, which is the most emotionally wrenching. With Daniel, it’s a comrade in arms that’s gone down. If you can remotely make a correlation with what’s going on in the world now [with 9/11], I’m sure that the guys who are dealing with the aftermath of the devastation have all shed tears within their personal families and within their ‘other’ families—their teams—but they pick themselves up and get on with it. That is what O’Neill has to do.

Jack O'Neill in 'Meridian'

“I talked to Brad Wright quite a bit about the future and how we should proceed with the franchise. The thought was that after the fifth year we could possibly have developed a feature film. Brad approached MGM about that but they dragged their heels and weren’t real forthcoming because what they ultimately wanted was a sixth season of the TV series in order to raise as much capital as possible and then they would consider it.

“The major focus of my life is my daughter, Wylie. She’s three years old now and in the last year I’ve been away from her so much that it’s very important that I re-establish a stronger bond with her, especially now when the groundwork of our relationship is being done. She truly is the light of my life and if any interesting projects come up I will have to work them around Wylie. If it’s the Stargate movies, great, if there isn’t anything for a while, even better. I’m actually putting some serious thought into the time management of my career and for the rest of my life. I can actually tell you that I’m informally retiring after Season Six. It’s time to pursue the things that interest me and that is first and foremost Wylie, then the Rivers Project and the Sea Shepherd Society—two non-commercial ventures I hope to become more involved with. It’s the right time for me to do this. I’ve been working my ass off for years and now it’s time to reap the benefits of the life I’ve been leading.”


Michael Shanks


From “Through the Gate and Home” at Stargate SG-1 Solutions (Mar. 2003):

“Daniel is a kind of loner. He was an adopted kid and probably was very disappointed in what he saw around him. I think that over time he decided to make up his own set of rules, to trust himself. At the same time he is very anti-social. He’s not very good at expressing himself without stepping on toes. So he is very ethical because I think he doesn’t know quite how he fits in with humanity.

Daniel cries for the loss of Reese in 'Menace'

“I think his job with the team itself operates like his conscience. He is the person who, when dealing with a military organization, is bent on resolving that organization’s agenda. He’s in the back row reminding them of the human factor, reminding them that they are ambassadors of their people. We have to operate in terms of how we can mediate and dispel the differences between us, to recognize what we want and what is best. Each member of the team shares that responsibility, and Daniel thinks he has to be that voice reminding them not to wave flags. He has to be the one to suggest that maybe there’s a better way.

“He’s the team’s squeaky wheel. And I think he’s a bad dresser! Daniel’s sported a lot of different hairstyles throughout the series, too. His taste is improved, though. He’s a very sensitive New Age guy. Most of my friends probably say I’m not! But there’s a certain shyness and sensitivity within him that’s also in me. He has passion and idealism, and I like to think I do, too. Maybe together we make one good parallel.”

From “Problem Solved” in TV Zone (Aug. 2001):

Daniel hands Chaka a zat in 'Beast of Burden'

“Last year, whether by design or not. I’m not quite sure, Daniel became a voice of morality for the SG-1 team. His is a non-military viewpoint, and I think that’s very important given the nature of the military hierarchy. If an officer says, ‘Jump,’ a soldier will ask, ‘How high?’ However, a person who doesn’t fall under that hierarchy or who can’t be court-martialled may ask, ‘Why am I jumping?’

“So in the SGC, Daniel tends to be the voice of morality. However, there are some moral dilemmas that have no right or wrong solution and this is true in ‘Beast of Burden.’ My character has to face the fact that his way is not always right and people don’t always have to accept the ‘right’ way. Some things aren’t going to change no matter how hard you try. I think you’ve got to take a stand, though, when it comes to an issue. It may not necessarily be the most popular one, but it’s what you believe in at the time for whatever reason. Daniel is forced to do just that here. There are some ramifications that follow from the action SG-1 takes in this episode and I hope we have the opportunity to revisit this planet in a future story to see what’s happened.

Daniel solves the puzzle to open the ziggurat in 'The Tomb'

“The episode we’re shooting now [‘The Tomb’] is a great one for Daniel. As the archaeologist on the show he gets a big charge out of being in his element, and for me as an actor, the character is the most fun to play when he’s feeling that way. So this story plays perfectly into that. Our heroes are sent on a mission to investigate an ancient Babylonian temple or ziggurat. In order to uncover the mystery surrounding the tomb, they first must decipher an archaic Earth language. This is where Daniel’s problem-solving skills come in handy. Even the door to the place itself is a puzzle and one that my character is able to solve. Of course, once he and the others eventually get inside they find a surprise or two waiting for them.”

From “So long, Daniel Jackson, until we meet again…?” in TV Zone #146 (Dec. 2001):

Daniel and Janet in 'Rite of Passage'

“Because we’d work together for so long, the four of us—Richard, Amanda, Christopher and myself—had become a squabbling, playful family. If you came in off the streets and saw us you’d think, ‘They’re so unprofessional,’ but we were just having a good time. When you’re with the same group of people so much you have to tease each other like that, otherwise you’d go crazy. Luckily for her, Teryl Rothery [Dr Janet Fraiser] wasn’t with the rest of us all the time. So she’d come in every now and then and be this wonderful professional. It was great to have that sort of grounding or calming influence. At the same time, it was fun to throw Teryl off every now and then and watch her sweat it out because she was so concerned about doing a good job. She always had a good sense of humour about it, though.

“I enjoyed playing Daniel. I think what I liked most was his excitement whenever he discovered something new. We saw this in the episode ‘The Tomb’ with some of the discoveries he made. Certainly they were less important to the story once we got through the front door of the ziggurat but it was fun for a while to see the character in his element. It was the same in ‘2001’ when he put together the pieces of the puzzle to solve a mystery. Daniel never lost his passion for exploration and I’ll always be grateful for that.”


Amanda Tapping


From “Tapping Talks New SG-1” with Sci Fi Wire(Jan. 15, 2002):

Sam Carter in 'Desperate Measures'

“I actually issued myself a challenge at the beginning of season five, because I knew the character had developed so much over the four years, and I didn’t know what was going to happen to her in season five. And so I sort of issued myself a challenge of finding a new way into the character. Which meant everything from the way she walks to rediscovering her whole physicality to rediscovering her love of certain things and what makes her tick. … It helped me to reinvent her in my own mind, which made it interesting then to play her.”

From “Who’d Live in a House Like This?” in Cult Times (Jun. 2001):

“[‘Ascension’] is a huge, huge episode for Carter. We get to see where she lives. I get to wear normal clothes. I drive an amazing car. It’s sweet. You know what? I think Carter is very cool. She has a 1940 Indian motorcycle; a 1961 beautiful, mint, vintage Volvo and she’s got a Harley in her garage that she’s working on, too. How great is that?

Sam Carter and Orlin in 'Ascension'

“I have a man. Of course, at first nobody believes he exists. He’s a bit like ‘my imaginary friend’. Actually it’s a great episode for me because everyone thinks I’m crazy and plays into the fact that Carter has no life outside the SGC. They play into the fact that she never relaxes, so they keep saying things like ‘take it easy’, ‘rest’ and ‘go home’. So you get to see her house and see that she does have a normal life. It’s not like she’s a complete loser, you know. Well, she might be a little bit of a loser, but not totally.”

From “Amanda’s Q&A with Fans” (Dec. 5, 2001):

Sam Carter smiles at her counterpart in promo for 'Wormhole X-Treme'

“We laughed our fool heads off [during ‘Wormhole X-Treme’]!! There was a great sense of joy on the set because our crew was so involved in it. Many of our crew were extras and they had a blast. Michael and I, unfortunately, were not in a lot of the show. We shot most of our scenes separately from Rick and Chris. The briefing room scene when we were watching the promo for the show was a lot of fun.

Sam Carter in 'Between Two Fires'

“More now than at the beginning [my personality is in the character Samantha Carter]. I think it’s impossible to play this character without putting some of myself in her. She is much more serious than me, though. I laugh way easier than she does. But the line is definitely blurrier than when the show started. I’d like to think we have the sense of loyalty and the same level of commitment.

“My biggest strength, I guess, is my commitment. I am a workaholic and will spend a huge amount of time doing research and homework. I commit 110% to any project I’m involved in. My biggest weakness is my lack of self esteem. I don’t always fight hard enough for my ideas and I am easily bullied by directors. That is the thing that has changed the most since Stargate started, but I have a long way to go.”

From the interview in Starburst #284 (Mar. 02):

“There are times when you feel creatively frustrated, and I guess that I’m feeling it a bit at the moment. This year has been very mixed. In this season, we’ve had a lot of emotional episodes for Carter, and some great stories. But, there’s also been a lot of techno-babble that I’ve had to speak, and if that’s all this character is going to be next year…”


Christopher Judge


From interview in Xposé reprinted at Jaffa Kree (Aug. 2001):

Teal'c in '48 Hours'

“Five years down the line I am more enthusiastic about the show than I have been for a long time. During the third and fourth seasons I was kind of looking forward to the gig being over, but with season five it seems that everybody has come back really fresh and excited. I know I was looking forward to coming back more than I had for ages. It really is fun again. It’s a lot lighter and everyone is getting along really well.

“Seasons three and four were like the dog days of summer when you just wanted to get through it. Seems now there’s a real vibe, a real sense of adventure again. It’s a bit like a relationship between two people. You start off and everything is wonderful and then you get into a deeper understanding and things aren’t always that great but then you rediscover what it is that brought you together in the first place and it’s fantastic again. We’re really going for it this year.

Daniel Jackson and Teal'c in '2001'

“Daniel and Teal’c are spending more time together, which is great because really, the only relationships that have been fleshed out previously are Teal’c’s relationships with O’Neill and Bra’tac. Teal’c’s relationships with everyone else were pretty unsubstantial. But the writers are spending more time actually getting into his relationships with Daniel Jackson and Carter, which is something that we welcome very much. The whole relationship between the entire group is getting more attention and focus. I don’t just talk to O’Neill.

Teal'c before becoming First Prime in 'Threshold'

“The first two episodes of season five are really tremendous for me as an actor and for Teal’c as a character. ‘Enemies,’ which was the first episode we shot when we came back, was the continuation of the cliffhanger from the last season and also the first part of the second episode called ‘Threshold.’ Combined, the two really deal with my character’s whole back-story and lead in from and tie up directly with the show’s pilot episode. In ‘Children Of The Gods’ there was basically no development as to why Teal’c chose to help SG-1. So what ‘Threshold’ really does is kind of deal with my life and how I came to feel like I did about the Goa’uld; why I was teamed up with Bra’tac and about my training with him. It also focuses on my life as a young warrior before I was Apophis’s First Prime.

Teal'c in the snow in 'Threshold'

“[‘Threshold’] really was a fun episode to do and I got to work a lot with Tony Amendola [Bra’tac], who is a delight to work with. We had to shoot this thing in the snow, which was interesting, especially as I had my shirt off again. However, there are no photographs because none were taken. Our publicist didn’t think it was important enough to have a photographer on set that day so there are no photos of me, near naked, freezing my ass off.”


Solutions


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