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

SG-1-S2-Team

Continuing in our Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years (13-4-13) trip down memory lane, we arrive at Season Two. The producers and cast already knew that they had Season Two when they got the green light for Season One. As Brad Wright said, that was a rare thing. And then, Showtime gave them two more seasons after that!


SG-1 Season Two


Get out those DVDs or visit Hulu (US readers) to rewatch Season Two and then make your picks in this poll:


Brad Wright


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

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“Robert Cooper proved himself on season one and I got my hooks into him as deeply as possible! He’s one of those guys who puts up his hand and says, ‘Give me as much as you can.’ Some producers come in and it’s just a job. They’re not thinking of it as something they’re going to invest in for a number of years. It’s just their job for a year and they move on. Robert loved the idea, loved the franchise, [and] saw the potential. It was me, Rob and Jon who were at the center of that season, and again it was very difficult because we were still doing The Outer Limits. But there were very good episodes—Robert pitched a show called ‘In the Line of Duty.’ It was actually based on a notion that I had about what would happen if a good friend of O’Neill’s became a Goa’uld and Jack had to deal with that? Then Robert got an idea that was better, and it was what if it was Carter? This was after he had already written the first draft, and the remarkable and admirable thing about that was that he knew he was going to have to throw away his first script. But he also knew that the idea that had just come out of his mouth was a much better idea than the script he had written. So he did it again and ‘In the Line of Duty’ is one of the strongest episodes of season two.

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“We introduced lots of creatures and beings that just don’t play. The reason the Tok’ra were so effective was that they were essentially a fifth column inside the Goa’uld, and what that gave us was an ally—someone that would share with us, to a certain degree, their power. You never know when a race you introduce is going to take off and become part of the canon for years to come. …

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“I think my favorite season two stories are ‘Secrets’ and ‘Serpent’s Song.’ They’re just so full of heart—there is lots of character bonding. But I also quite enjoyed ‘1969’, because it was the first time that we actually succeeded in setting out for the entire episode to be funny instead of just instilling humor throughout a dramatic episode.”


Richard Dean Anderson


From “TV Gen Chat” (Sept. 9, 1998):

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“We are in a position now where we have been extended to 88 episodes for Showtime. And of course, with the syndication package, who knows how long that will go on? Now that we have the liberty and freedom to delve into one of the earthbound elements of our earthbound character’s past, we can go home with him. What was established in the movie was the fact that Jack O’Neill had lost his son, so we had dealt with the emotional side of that, and how O’Neill confronted his own sense in a kind of science fiction manner. So obviously the door is open to us to do that for all our characters. And to address things like what happens to O’Neill when he goes home at night, when he disappears from Cheyenne Mountain, who is he with and where does he go. Those kinds of stories we’ll have the ability to explore from this point forward, which in my opinion will be a lot of fun, because of all of the special effects involved.

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“What happened when Mike [Greenburg] and I signed on to be part of the project, we had a couple of important meetings with the brass at MGM. We were essentially being asked to be a part of the project. I had done my research, having seen the movie a couple of times, and realized in order to portray the character of Jack O’Neill, there was no way I was going to be able to replicate what Kurt Russell had done. First of all, my hair would not do that, he actually has a jaw, and the character as portrayed by him really didn’t have much of a sense of humor. So for me to be entering into a project that had a future of four years or so, I had to make sure that MGM was amenable to my bringing my sense of humor to the role because life is just too short to be serious for that long. And so, a lot of, some of, the written dialogue gets a little manipulated. I know the voice of the character better than anyone, and bless Jonathan Glassner and Brad Wright, Mike, and the other writers, for allowing me the freedom to bring some humor and a slant on the character that I need. Because it’s not easy to be around me sometimes when the process is taking place, basically, because I tend to try and find things as we are rehearsing.”

From “Meet the Universal Good Guy” in the Vancouver Sun (Oct. 17, 1998):

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“I made it a lot easier for myself by bringing my quirky slant on life to the role. Life’s too short not to have a sense of humour about what you do for a living. With me, it manifests itself in a sarcastic sense of humour, which is a little inordinate for a military man. … You don’t see sarcasm a lot in the military.”

From “Stargate Trooper” in Sci-Fi TV (Oct. 1999):

“That show [Season One’s “Within the Serpent’s Grasp” and Season Two’s “The Serpent’s Lair”] incorporated all the elements of what Stargate is supposed to be about. We used the Stargate. We’re out in space. We have the bad guys all around us. You had the cliffhanger aspect that kept you wondering whether or not we would blow up Earth. I was very pleased with it.

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“I had a ball [with the Asgard in “The Fifth Race”]. Even though my conversations with the aliens weren’t quite as deep as I would have liked, just the idea of talking to superior beings, the overseers of Thor’s people, was great. These people were telling O’Neill that human beings have the potential to be the Fifth Race, to survive and contribute to the universe. That was fun to do.”


Michael Shanks


From “Through The Looking Glass” in TV Zone #109 (Dec. 1998)

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“In the movie Jackson is a bit of a loner and he establishes this dichotomy from the whole military way of doing things. In the show I think he’s become more of a team player. He picks and choose his battles now and is learning to work with a group of individuals that sometimes do things the way he does and sometimes don’t. So he’s become less of a loner and part of a group.

“There’s an episode called ‘Need’ that we did at the start of this season which I really enjoyed because it allowed me to take an emotional journey when Daniel is faced with an addiction. It was something totally opposite to what I’m usually asked to do so I appreciate that story for the stretch and the push it gave me as an actor.

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“In another episode [“Holiday”] we did fairly recently I spent over six hours being transformed by all this prosthetic makeup into a completely new character, so I like that for the acting challenge as well.”

From “Removing the Chains of Gravity” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine, issue #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):

“There are other episodes, like ‘Secrets,’ where my girlfriend at the time was pregnant with our daughter, who played Sha’re in the show.”

SG-1-S2-DJ-Tokra

From “Walk Like an Egyptian” in Frontier (1999):

“I think the stand-out element is the characters. The chemistry between Daniel, Jack O’Neill, Sam Carter and Teal’c. There is an interesting dichotomy between them, an interesting balance. Each character is different, unique. It’s a case of opposites attracting. Daniel’s an innocent, naive optimist whose curiosity often kills the cat and whose energy and excitement are contagious. He’s a little boy who’s opened the biggest Christmas present you could imagine, constantly excited and enthused.

“At the moment, I don’t know where they’re going to take him. I’m curious about what direction the character and the show are going to go in. I have no idea what the writers have in mind. We’re so busy here, working on the show we’ve just filmed, on the one we’re filming now, on the next one, there’s no time to think about it. It’s completely out of our control. I have a much larger dark side than Daniel. It would be fun to explore that in him a little, but not too much. And not regularly. Just a little. What I really like is Daniel’s genuine quality, his caring for people. His honesty and compassion. If they changed that about him then I wouldn’t want to play him any more.”


Amanda Tapping


From “Sense and Sensibility” in TV Zone (Jan. 1999):

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“In the second season I enjoyed doing ‘In the Line of Duty.’ Something quite extraordinary happens to my character and she’s possessed by a Goa’uld, so we see how Sam deals with that.”

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

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“Episodes like ‘Secrets’ when I first meet Carmen [Argenziano] who played my dad … I don’t think I’ll ever forget the moment I first met him, ever. There was just an amazing chemistry between us, I liked him instantly and he’s still a good friend.

“‘1969’ was such a road trip for us all and we had such a good time shooting it.”

From “Sense and Sensibility” in TV Zone (Jan. 1999):

“Sam is very strong, smart and singular character in that she’s very focused on what she does. She’s highly dedicated to her job and to the team, so, consequently, she has no life beyond Stargate, which is not dissimilar to me at times. I think the beauty of what has happened with the character over the last two seasons is that the writers have really opened her up and made her warmer and more accessible. I told them that it was important to me that she have a sense of humour and they’ve started to develop that side of her personality more.

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“I also feel that my character has changed simply by virtue of the fact that the relationships among the show’s four major characters have grown. Because of this our [Stargate]team has become more cohesive and I think Sam’s a better person for it. I’m constantly striving to keep her interesting not only to the audience but to myself as well.

“I didn’t like my character that much in the first episode. I didn’t dislike her but I thought that her feminist diatribe was a little tiresome and I didn’t want her to be angry all the time. All I could see was this, ‘I’m out to prove myself,’ woman. I wanted her to be a well-rounded individual who is accessible and warm and someone who, especially young girls, could look up to and think, ‘Yes, I can relate to this person.’ Sam has become just that but she still has a ways to go. I think she needs to have a bit more of a personal life and maybe that will come in time, but right now she’s growing and becoming more fun.

“I got quite a bit of mail from women and little boys and the letters from women are pretty amazing because they tell me they’re thrilled to have such a strong female character like Sam on television and I think it’s terrific. I also receive many letters from Europe and British Isles and now I’m starting to hear more from men, which is neat. The fan reaction has been wonderful and for the most part it’s been very much about the pivotal role my character plays in the show and that makes me feel good about what I’m doing.”


Christopher Judge


From “IGN Interviews Christopher Judge” (July 11, 2006):

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“[O]riginally, I’m not sure how heavily Teal’c was supposed to be involved from the beginning, but fortunately he was a very popular character just right out of the gate, and I think what has kept him around is his continued evolution and you kind of have to change from year to year, whereas most of the other characters, you know, they come from Earth, so their perspectives will always be an Earth perspective, and I play the only character who does have a perspective that is outside the Earth-based perspective.

“Well, I just don’t know how heavy a role he was originally intended to play. I really don’t know. I know that in the pilot I wasn’t as heavily written in, then I joined the team, so I didn’t know if it was originally intended that he would be a weekly member or if he was a fellow who would come and go, but fortunately for me he is someone who has stayed. (laughs)”

From “Judge not silent about ‘Stargate SG-1’” (Aug. 20, 2006):

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“You’re always in a good position when you’re the alien on the sci-fi show. You’re going to have fans strictly from that.

“I think it’s because everyone’s pondering, ‘Is there life out there?’ Well, you are the incarnation of what people wonder about. So how you behave, how you move, everything is something people have debated forever. I think there is a natural attraction to the alien character because you are the visual personification of what they are still wondering about.”

From “TV Gen Chat” (Sept. 9, 1998):

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“Actually, this year, I’m trying to… It’s not that Teal’c doesn’t have a sense of humor, it’s that he is very straightforward of purpose. And I think until his super objective of freeing his people and being reunited with his family is achieved, I don’t really think he finds all that much humorous. I don’t think that Teal’c is one to dabble in quips and smart-alecky sayings, because he has so much to achieve, which is the freeing of his world. But this season, as he is achieving his goals, I think you will see a bit of sense of humor appear. I don’t know, though, if you will ever see Teal’c guffaw!”


Solutions


[Many thanks to Joanna of Unofficially and Unequivocally Christopher Judge for help in finding quotes for Christopher Judge’s section of this article.]

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