Can you believe that we’ve been traveling down memory lane for 10 weeks?! We’ve arrived at Season Ten of Stargate SG-1 in our Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years (13-4-13) series in our look back at all the years of Stargate since it started in 1997. We’ve still got three more years to go, though, and that says a lot about the incredible journey the writers, crew, and actors have taken us on. Having run ten seasons wasn’t overlooked by the editors of the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records when they submitted an entry for SG-1 as the “Longest Consecutive Running Sci-Fi TV Show.”
Richard Dean Anderson returned to the sets to do two episodes, the most notable being the show’s 200th. Michael Shanks told TV Zone, “In general, it was just great to have Rick with us once again. He was a huge part of the show for such a long time and it was only right that he was here for the 200th to share in its success and that of the franchise. An added bonus was Rick agreeing to do another SG-1 and three Atlantis episodes. He brought along his sense of humour and irony together with the other stuff that makes him who he is. The moment he stepped back onto the set, it was like he’d never left.”
Season Ten was the last for SG-1, and the announcement of its non-renewal brought the most comments that our blog has ever had as fans expressed their surprise, anger, and disappointment.
Robert C. Cooper named the series finale “Unending” because he knew that even though the show was not returning in its television form, the stories and characters would continue, first in the two direct-to-video movies—Stargate:The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum—and next in the spin-offs.
SG-1 Season Ten
Our last SG-1 poll for 13-4-13! Make it a good one! Make sure to vote for your favorites here:
From “Perfect 10″ in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):
“I knew it was going to be it for me. I knew it was possible that we would continue, but I also saw the writing on the wall. Ten years is a very, very long time in television and it’s a gift. I think to squeeze out another year might have even harmed the franchise. So I was quite happy. In some ways you are disappointed, but I was sanguine in myself that it was going to be my last year. But yet again, it was a very strong season of television with some great writing from Robert and from Paul and Joe. Martin Gero actually wrote an episode [too].
“‘The Pegasus Project’ was very strange because I was schizophrenic the entire time! I didn’t know if I was writing a Stargate Atlantis or a Stargate SG-1! I enjoyed the cross-over, and obviously that opens a door in future seasons of Atlantis to bring SG-1 people over. And of course we all wrote the 200th episode! That was so much fun.
“I think [‘Unending’] is incredibly moving and very good television, very good science fiction. I was intending to [be there to see filming wrap], but Robert was directing it and he went on a little longer the last day. Wrap was at three in the morning! I knew at that point we were going to be doing two movies. So I thought to myself, ‘You know what? I’ll go to the wrap for those!’ It’s funny, I knew we were going to be doing the movies, I knew it wasn’t really the end. It was the end of an era certainly, but not the end entirely. And so I didn’t get as misty as everyone else, because I guess I had a little more inside information. But there were a lot of hugs, a lot of congratulations. There were a lot of good feelings, and not all television series end that way. When you’re together for this long, there is quite often enmity, anger, bitterness and terrible things said on the last day. ‘Oh, I’ve always hated you.’ I’ve seen it happen! With this cast, this crew—there was a desire to continue to be together, and that allows us to do the movies. That says a lot.
“Though Stargate SG-1 hasn’t been a huge hit domestically, by network standards, it is certainly a hit worldwide. We’re not Lost, we’re not a 25-million-people-per-week show. But we certainly are important to a lot of people, and I think those ten years are going to stand up for many years and decades to come. I’m going to be an old man and I’m going to flick onto a channel and Stargate SG-1‘s going to be on somewhere. That’s going to be cool.”
Robert C. Cooper
From “Ark Welding” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #21 (Mar./Apr. 2008):
“Well, unfortunately the SCI FI Channel called us the week before the 200th episode celebration party in August 2006, and told us we were canceled. We had sort of been prepared for it, but we weren’t necessarily expecting it. We were kind of hoping for an 11th season. One of the contingency plans that we had discussed with the studio was to do two, or three, or more TV movies and turn it into a movie franchise. With the unfortunate timing of the cancellation of the series, we thought the 200th party was going to be kind of a bummer if we didn’t have something positive to announce, so Charlie Cohen, who is the executive in charge of Stargate at the studio, stepped up and said he would announce that MGM was going to produce two straight-to-DVD movies.
“Because we heard about the cancellation of Stargate SG-1 so late in the process of producing season 10, we couldn’t really wrap up all of the loose ends that we left hanging out there—it would have seemed rushed to try and defeat the Ori and deal with all of the issues that we had to deal with. The SCI FI Channel really wanted us to come up with an ending that would provide some closure for the end of the series on the network, so that’s why we wrote ‘Unending.’ Even though that didn’t deal with the Ori storyline, we thought it was a fond farewell to the fans in the form of the series.
“I had already been thinking ahead to season 11, should that come about, and had come up with a story that I thought would introduce that element, the Ark of Truth, that potentially would help us defeat the Ori. The idea was that we wouldn’t find it right away—should we be doing season 11—it would be more like the Sangraal was in ‘The Quest’ in season 10. So when the show was canceled, I just took the idea for that two-parter, and really condensed everything.
“We really didn’t want to start stretching the story out and making the movies serialized. Stargate: The Ark of Truth is very much a conclusion to the series, but then we also wanted to show that the movies could be a new beginning for the franchise, as well as be a continued series of one-off Stargate SG-1 movies. The first one is a resolution of sorts to the season 10 storyline and the second movie, Stargate: Continuum, is a stand-alone adventure, a time travel thing that Brad Wright came up with.”
From “Southern Comfort” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):
“You know, there is no Mitchell centric episode this season. We have Carter episodes, Teal’c episodes, we have Vala episodes, but there’s no Mitchell episode, so you’re not going to point to that as an actor and go, ‘That was a great moment.’ The writers did that last year, and Mitchell settled in and grew up in a way. There wasn’t the need to address any major issues, and with a cast as large as ours, you don’t necessarily have time to address all the stuff as an actor or as a storyteller. Even with 20 hours, you don’t have a chance to address all the issues that you might want. So that lives out in the minds of the audience. ‘Where does Mitchell live?’ ‘Does he have an office?’ Simple questions like that. ‘Where are the bathrooms in the SGC?’ The salient issues of life! [Laughs]
“The last episode has been fun. We’re doing things that we don’t usually do, and as an actor it’s always good to step up and do something different. It’s a lovely gift that Robert gave us, the last episode. Hopefully the audience will feel that way as well.
“The fact that Stargate SG-1 has been going for so long says a lot about the audience. The great mystery is why things work, why they stick. Some of it is timing, some of it is luck, a lot of it is skill and determination.
“We got past season nine and got into season ten and made it the longest running science fiction show in America. From my standpoint, it’s gratifying that we got the extra two years, and I say ‘we’ guardedly, because there are people who have been doing it a lot longer than me. I’m very hesitant of taking any kind of credit for the successes that Stargate SG-1 has enjoyed, because, in most places, two years on a show…you’re there every day, you can take a certain amount of credit; but this one, all of the groundwork had been laid and my job is to just not screw up too much.
“I’m thinking of the highlights, but often my highlights center around the people that I’m directly working with. When we get down in the action sequences, I cherish those because I really don’t know how many opportunities I’m going to have to do that. It may be that I’m unemployed for the rest of my life anyway, but if I do go to another job, it’s far less likely to contain a lot of the components that are so much fun on this show. I’ll miss my fellow cast mates and I’ll miss the people that I work with day-to-day on this.”
From “Military Precision” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #21 (Mar./Apr. 2008):
“I think the humor was spread out a bit in the last years. I think Vala is very funny. I think Teal’c had a lot more funny moments in the last years. The jokes got spread out a little bit, which is good. I wouldn’t want to be the sole joker, especially as the relatively new guy on the show. It’s odd to think I’ve been on the show for two years and I’m still the new guy, but Stargate SG-1 has been running since the Middle Ages!
“It’s amazing that Stargate lasted 10 years, it’s amazing that any show lasts 10 years—that’s a huge accomplishment for the people that worked on it for so long. Because there was so much work done on the show well before I got there, it’s very difficult for me to take any credit with regards to my contribution to the show, because other people did it for so long, and did it so well. I always feel like I’m talking about the show with an asterisk next to it, like ‘showed up late, should refer to others, ask Amanda Tapping!’
“A lot of the stuff that Stargate SG-1 does is arc driven, so instead of taking 10 episodes to tell a story, you do a movie, and it lends itself to it—it has big stories and short stories. When you go through a big blue puddle to another world, you can create two hours of material as easily as you can an hour.”
Stargate: The Ark of Truth: “Mitchell is taking a big o’ ass whoopin’! That’s what I remember of that! My last four days of shooting were literally about me getting my ass whooped. Rob Cooper’s wish fulfillment I think! ‘Give him more! Throw him against the wall one more time!’ It was tremendously fun. It was playtime, where I get to throw myself around and pretend I’m still a boy. At least I was the last time I checked!”
From “Commanding Presence…” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #23 (Aug./Sept. 2008):
Stargate: Continuum: “It’s not like Stargate: Continuum is Mitchell-centric, but he has some interesting beats in the movie. I think Brad Wright does a good job of writing interesting stuff for all of the characters, and he gave Mitchell some very nice moments. … We had a wonderful time shooting the movie. We had a whole refrigerated set, they built a freighter on the sound stage, there was so much cool stuff. And things that really we haven’t seen in 10 years of Stargate SG-1. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a submarine coming through the ice while we’re standing there, and it’s a real submarine. I don’t think there are many movies that could get a real submarine coming through the ice, if any! We spent a week shooting in the Arctic, again something exceedingly rare for actors and a crew to do.”
From “A Decade of Daniel” from Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #12, excerpted at Solutions (Sept./Oct. 2006):
“I’ve enjoyed the character development of Daniel. I think that if you play the character the same way and he reacts the same to situations, it’s absolutely absurd. He has to learn with experiences, grow with them. I think he’s become a little less idealistic, a little more cynical, a little more eager to get involved in the action aspect of things. Certainly, enough of Jack O’Neill rubbed off on him, as well as vice-versa, that they’ve become cross-pollinations of each other in a lot of regards. I’ve enjoyed making those changes. I like to grow with the character and, with every new script, decide what the ramifications are going to be. I’ve struggled with the idea of how excited he gets about certain things and how unexcited he is about other things and [how] that changes with time.”
From “The Book of Daniel” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #21 (Mar./Apr. 2008):
“I enjoy playing characters that have tremendous fallacies and problems, those are always much more—you know, when somebody talks about their character in glowing terms, I always go, ‘Really? Are you sure you understand that character?’ Because there’s not a person I know that goes ‘I love me! I’m so fantastic! Aren’t I awesome?’ With Daniel, especially with the way he was described in the movie—he’s the foster kid, disliked by his peers, sort of a loner, a social misfit, and I was like, ‘Wow, this guy’s got some issues—this is gonna be fun!’ Even he doesn’t realize that he’s so driven by something underneath all of that intelligence. For whatever reason, he seems to have this tremendous driving ambition to uncover the mysteries of the Universe, and has no idea why.
“He’s a fun character to play because he does occasionally get to use his smarts to overcome obstacles where aggressive force wouldn’t necessarily do it, and that’s a wonderful thing to play too—it’s a wonderful thing to teach, and be the intellectual, thinking man’s hero. It’s nice to have that and not be turned into a sneezing, fumbling over himself, oh-look-he-slipped-on-a-banana-peel, the bad-guys-beat-him-up-again, kind of joke. It’s nice to have a character with redeeming qualities and ability of spirit and all those other things. Those are the parts I really enjoy.
“Over the years, the character’s had to go through tremendous angst and drama and even make mistakes and say the wrong thing, react to a situation poorly—that’s the most fun to play. Actors always say heroes are boring, the villains are the fun ones, but its the same thing with the heroes, if they’re fallible, if they fail every now and again and have to overcome it, there’s a wonderful arc to play. To be the big guy that’s always right, as an actor that’s no fun. Daniel’s always been an interesting character, with so many faults—it’s great to keep inventing new ones too!”
Stargate: The Ark of Truth: “The main thing I can say about Daniel’s role is that his role as the ascended being he used to be and arguing with the Ancients comes to a climax in the movie. It becomes a part of the evolution of the story—the argument that Daniel had with Morgan Le Fay in ‘The Pegasus Project’ comes to a peak as well. There’s a great scene that Rob Cooper wrote between Daniel and Morgan that really illustrates his frustration in a very different way than we’ve seen before. I thought it was a nice way to bring a climax to that storyline.”
From “Action Jackson” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #23 (Aug./Sept. 2008):
Stargate: Continuum: “I remember specifically when we were filming going, ‘Wow! I don’t really do much expositing of previous storylines!’ I’m actually just reserve comic relief, so in that way, it was kind of fresh. … I couldn’t go to the Arctic and they had to find a way to justify me not being in certain shots. Brad threw this [Daniel losing a leg to frostbite] in and I remember reading it going, ‘Well, it gives me something to play!’ It gave me not only a different thing to play, but in terms of the story it gave me a different dimension of the character to latch onto, and gave it a far more interesting turn than it would have been had I gone along for the ride with Ben and Amanda’s characters. When I watched the movie it resonated as an interesting thing to see too, so I was happy with the end result.”
From “The Book of Daniel” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #21 (Mar./Apr. 2008):
“It’s wonderful [to play Daniel], and it’s always nice to come back and play the character. It’s not like I sit and talk to Daniel in my head or anything like that, but when I read scripts it brings the character out of me, ‘Oh, there he is again—he’s lurking around there!’ I’ll never truly say goodbye to him—I’ll end up in an asylum, just rocking back and forth going, ‘But Jack, this is the way I feel about it—what do you think?!’ The character has been such a big part of my life for the last few years—I think he’ll always be there in some way. To hear that we may do more, I’m like, ‘Well, let’s put him over here, in the waiting room and he can rumble about my noggin that way!’ I have no intention to say goodbye to the character. The best part of the strange animal that is Stargate is before we were even done shooting Stargate: Continuum, there were already rumblings of ‘Hey, if they like these, we might do another one—we might do two more, what the heck!’ so it’s just like, ‘Wow! This is the show that never ends!'”
From “The Genius Club” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):
“As we talk, it’s the last day of shooting and I’ve just finished the final scene of shooting for an episode called ‘The Road Not Taken,’ which we started shooting a couple of months ago. It has David Hewlett in it, so it’s been a matter of co-ordinating his schedule with ours, but that sticks out for me as an important episode for Carter. I had a lot of fun with that and it was very challenging.
“‘Line in the Sand’ sticks out as a challenging episode for me, but then there are episodes like ‘The Quest, Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’ when we’re all together, and we had Cliff Simon as Ba’al. You know, there were seven of us in every scene and it was really fun, so that sticks out for me in season 10. It’s this massive two-parter where we’re running around all over the place. But it was really cool to hang out with all the actors. We all get along so well.
“In a way, [Carter’s growth] mirrors me, because I feel I’ve come into my own as a woman especially in the last few years, especially since having a child. But prior to that, I just felt like I came into my own. I felt like I suddenly stopped trying to apologize for my faults and my weaknesses and I stopped trying to be something that I wasn’t.
“You can’t please everyone. I’m not perfect, Sam Carter is not perfect, and that’s OK, our imperfections are what makes us all interesting. I feel like in a lot of ways, my growing up has been channeled into Sam Carter. There’s definitely a symbiotic relationship now, the lines are so blurry between the two of us, whereas it was very delineated before. But is was bound to happen after 10 years, I mean it would be interesting to play another character and see what I bring with me, to her, and how hard I think it’s going to be letting go of Sam.
“This is the longest relationship as an actor that you could ever imagine having, I mean 10 years… We’re journeymen, we expect to do a gig and move on, three months here and three months there, and you never get 10 years. When you do, well, you’ve just got to grab it, and realize how special it is. It informs everything, it informs all your relationships. I think it’s a blessing in some ways that we’ve had this much time.
“Christopher and I or Michael and I, because we’ve worked together for so long, it’s just a look now, and it means and it says so much more than any words any writer could ever come up with. We create these looks and they are just there because of the depth of the friendship and the depth of the emotion that we shared together.
“We did try to create a sense of family, and I think people who come on the show, guest stars that come on, journalists, feel that hopefully. That chemistry, not even just between the cast, but that chemistry from the top down, translates on to the screen. There’s something about it and you see it on the screen. I don’t know what, I don’t know why. I don’t know why this particular idea works so well. … But for some reason we’re just this little show that could, this little sci-fi show that did it, and 10 years later it’s still got some sort of spark.”
From “Get Carter!” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #21 (Mar./Apr. 2008):
Stargate: The Ark of Truth: “Well, in Stargate: The Ark of Truth, [Carter is up to] not a lot to be completely honest! It’s a continuation of the Ori storyline, which is really Vala’s story, and Daniel’s very involved, but Carter and Teal’c are around! We’re peripheral in some ways in terms of just helping to facilitate the story, but the story is not about us.”
Stargate: Continuum: “In Stargate: Continuum it’s a bit more about us, especially Carter, Mitchell and Daniel. It’s about what happens to us—it’s more of an autonomous storyline. There’s an alternate timeline and we actually go back in time when things have changed. There’s a sense of loneliness, there’s a sense of ‘oh shit, how do we get out of this?’ There’s a huge sense of imbalance in the universe, and we have to set it right. Then we meet Ba’al, who comes back and he’s such a great bad guy, because he’s so smarmy! So he’s back and Cliff Simon is great, he’s so lovely to have around, but his character is such a dick! Filming Stargate: Continuum, for me, it felt like there was so much happening, especially because I went up to the Arctic to shoot part of it. You know she gets to fly again. It’s quintessential Carter—it’s great—she’s a true adventure woman!”
From “Tapping into Carter…” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #23 (Aug./Sept. 2008):
“Now I am able to watch the early seasons and step back from them without being so self-critical. I look back and am blown away by the production values and the chemistry that was apparent right off the bat. Even though I was living it and loving it, when I watch it, I can see the friendship. That is cool to me. And the fact the show still stands up after all this time…”
From “Living Among the Gods” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):
“Well, I had some conversations with Coop [Robert Cooper], Brad [Wright], Joe [Mallozzi] and Paul [Mullie]. I thought seasons seven through nine were great, but Teal’c had become so much of an orator that it kind of took away from the essence of who he was, and that’s a warrior. And I think [in season 10] they really made an effort to get him back to his roots, more doing instead of talking about it.
“I think ‘Talion’ [was the highlight of the season]. For me that was the one that really stuck out last year. That was the last episode that I was actually heavy in for the season. It represented a lot of closure for me personally. It not only got back to who Teal’c truly was, but there were a lot of other things about it—it was directed by Andy Mikita, who we started with. He was a first AD [assistant director] on the pilot and it was just really wonderful to do my last episode where Teal’c was the ‘A’ story with Andy.
“I think it became increasingly difficult to write ‘A’ stories for Teal’c. And because the omega of his storyline was the freedom of the Jaffa, for a year we explored what happens when slaves become free. When that was wrapped up with the rebuilding of Dakara, it became increasingly difficult to find new avenues of expression for Teal’c—from a writer’s standpoint and also from my standpoint. There were such narrow parameters that I had built for him as a character. He couldn’t be a Vala character [for example] that could shoot from the hip and was gregarious, because that wouldn’t be believable as Teal’c. So I really think it had come full circle for him in all the different ways that he [could] be explored.”
From “Judging Teal’c” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #21 (Mar./Apr. 2008):
“I’ve liked him from the beginning, I always have. He’s an honorable, honest character and being an alien, there’s really no wrong way to do it! To have him be able to progress and become more human over time, and we were able to articulate what he was thinking over time in a very natural fashion— let’s face it, over 10 years, nothing had to be rushed!”
Stargate: The Ark of Truth: “I had to do a lot of stuff that I’ve never done before, and probably will never do again! In a couple of scenes I get to traverse an actual mountain—it’s not CGI’d, I’m actually on the peak of a mountain, running across a snowy mountain-top—it really as a real mountain! That was quite an experience. I’m not saying that I’m in a rush to do it again, but it was a new experience and I think that sums up the entire movie. When I first read the script, I was talking to Coop [Robert Cooper] and I said, ‘Are you on drugs? There’s no way that we can shoot this in 16 days!’ It was quite an ambitious undertaking. Two weeks ago I had the chance to do the behind-the-scenes commentary, with Coop and Producer Pete Woeste, and when you see up on the screen what Coop’s vision was—it’s quite phenomenal, and I must say, he pulled it off! It was so absolutely impressive. I refer to it as Stargate SG-1 on steroids! It’s just so much bigger and so much more expansive than the show.
“It had been the plan, from probably season five, to start doing the movies and we kept getting renewed. I think this larger scale format had been in Coop and Brad Wright’s minds for a very long time, and to see what they did with it is absolutely incredible. Sometimes while we were doing scenes, and some of the shots were quite elaborate, you’d sit there, because a lot of the stuff was going to be CGI’d in afterward, and go ‘This is weird!’ But seeing it, I’ve got to give Coop all the credit in the world, that he knew in his mind what it was going to be, and it is exactly that. To see on screen what Coop’s vision was, it’s quite fantastic.”
From “Teal’c of the Town” at Total Sci-Fi Online (Aug. 20, 2007):
Stargate: Continuum: “It was very interesting to revisit where Teal’c initially started from. That is the good thing about the alternative reality aspect of it. You can be in the same situation but your reality can be altered. I really took enjoyment in finding little moments where Teal’c, as we know him, would have reacted in certain ways but this Teal’c, who is in the same predicament of being a slave to the Gou’ald, reacts completely differently.
“I really liked that entire concept and let me tell you, the stuff they did in Continuum like going to the Arctic, is incredible. It is incredible that we were able to do the amount of things we are doing in 18 days. I really think our next step is to do features. Certainly, their imaginations are limitless when it comes to different avenues to take the show.”
From “Living Among the Gods” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):
“I don’t ever think you can thank the fans enough for 10 years of unwavering support and love. It’s greatly appreciated. I’d like to say it’ll be greatly missed—but I expect all these fans to be with me on my next show too!”
From “Follow the Leader” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis/Universe: The Official Magazine #33 (Apr./May 2010):
“I felt in terms of how the General came into Stargate, it was with an attitude of cleaning the house and making sure everything was being done the best it could be and nobody was dragging their heels. That’s what I was asking for. Landry was a hard ass in the beginning, but I also wanted him to have a sense of humor. That’s what I thought Richard Dean Anderson brought to the show that made it so unique and wonderful. I wanted Landry to be a bit of a practical joker and have a fun side to him too, which we got into more in the second year.
“Then I thought it would be interesting to give him some personal problems. That’s one of the things I learned about the generals I read about. In the end, they were all human beings with tremendous challenges. How they dealt with that was almost as important as how they were on the battlefield. I thought Landry should be a Vietnam fighter pilot who had married a Vietnamese woman. They had a child, and they were estranged. That’s when we decided to have my daughter work at the SGC, which upped the ante and made it even more awkward for Landry.
“What I finally ended up doing was I took all this stuff about various generals, and handed it to Rob, who gave it to all the writers so they could glean whatever they wanted. One of the things that grew out of that is Landry is a history buff of warfare and generals. If you recall, I was quoting a lot of the old generals.
“Lexa [Doig] and I had a lot of fun. I think the most successful episodes about our relationship were in the very beginning when they first introduced her. There was a lot of good dramatic stuff to mine for two actors. Then it kind of fizzled out. I don’t know what the reasoning behind that was, it wasn’t really my place to ask. I thought the writers knew the material better than anyone. I also know in her private life that Lexa was having a baby at that time and maybe needed to be a mommy at home because her husband, Michael [Shanks], was also working on the show. Lexa is a wonderful actress.
“One of my favorite episodes was where I take everybody to the cabin in the woods [in ‘Uninvited’]. That was a lot of fun. I wish he could have gone out more, but that really wasn’t his place. He was sending the young bucks out to fight the good fight. There was enough dramatic stuff back at the base to keep me happy.
“I was happy with everything they gave me. One of the strengths of the show was the team of writers. I was amazed at the ideas they came up with. I also like the fact they were open to suggestions and invited everyone to the creative party. There was really nothing I can think of that I missed out on. It’s not easy to juggle all those characters and give them full representation [dramatically]. They pulled that off pretty well.
“It was just a really well-oiled machine. Stargate was a hugely successful show and they all knew that, so they had confidence in it. They were very relaxed to the point of goofing around a lot, which you have to get used to. Once I did, I realized they were bringing their best to the show. They were really professional and when it came time to work, they were prepared. I like them all and they were so gracious to me when I first came on, and made me feel welcome. The set itself is so imposing and I remember seeing that actual Stargate [prop] for the first time. It was pretty profound.
“I really was [happy with how Landry evolved over the two seasons I was on the show]. I felt it was really good run and enjoyed it thoroughly. … I had a great time and it really opened me up to a whole new audience. I dabbled a little in the sci-fi universe and found fans are such a wonderful loyal group of viewers. I’ve enjoyed going to a few of those Stargate conventions, too.”
From “Interview: Beau Bridges” at About.com (2008):
Stargate: The Ark of Truth: “I was really pleased that they—at that point we knew that the series had been canceled, so to be able to come back and do some more was exciting. Because I felt that the fans were sort of owed that. So to come back and search for that ancient artifact and defeat the Ori knowing that the Ori are going to launch their final assault on Earth, that was great. And I think like most of them it was very well written. … I love the look of it. I was pretty much relegated to the sets and the SGC. The guys went up to the Arctic and got into the underground passages there, that was pretty wild, but I didn’t get involved in that.”
From “Legendary General” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #21 (Mar./Apr. 2008):
Stargate: Continuum: “Well, the one where I have the most to do is Stargate: Continuum, where I get to play Landry in a different timeline, it was a lot of fun. When you catch up with this Landry, he’s kicked back, he’s retired, he’s not excited about doing anything, and SG-1 come and try to get him involved, and he basically blows them off—it was really a lot of fun! We filmed out at the airbase so we had some of the fighter planes, you know with the real guys out there. It’s always a good time when the Air Force guys come out. That was one of the things that caught my attention about the series right from the beginning—we had the blessing and the input of the US Air Force, which I thought was kind of unique for a sci fi show. They’re really big fans of it and it’s always good to see the real guys out there.”
From “Grand Mal” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):
“Well, I’m doing this interview on the penultimate day of season 10 filming, and tomorrow will be the last day of filming for the series in the current incarnation. It’s been fantastic. Vala’s an amazing character to play, she’s very different to the last character I played—that’s always a real incentive to accept a role, to extend yourself and do something different, to take risks. Rob Cooper’s been very supportive of that, so I play with Vala a bit, and what they keep, they keep and what they don’t, we still had fun doing on the day. I love my new buddies and I’m not prepared to say goodbye, I refuse to say the word tomorrow, I shall see them all again.
“We’ve seen a lot more of Vala’s back-story revealed this year. She of course had a child this season and got married, so she’s changed from being a single renegade who always flies solo. She’s now got quite the entourage from when she started. I think her friendship with Daniel is a genuine friendship now, and it’s really sweet to see the show go that way, because they really obviously do care for each other. He’s been a huge influence on her ability to open up and be vulnerable, and clear some past issues that she hadn’t had the time to, because she’s been too busy trying to survive, and being on the run.
“‘Memento Mori’ was really fun to do, and even though I wouldn’t say it was Vala-centric, because her story was the B-story, I think it was a terrific thing to play.
“‘Family Ties’ in the second half of the season was Vala-centric. She gets to go on lots of missions now! It’s the ultimate job for her really, it’s the ultimate job for the wild child who’s settling down, she still gets to go on adventures, but it’s funded by the government [laughs], and with a group of people that she quite likes hanging out with. So I think it’s a really good place for Vala.
“Any opportunity I have to do the Daniel and Vala scenes [are personal highlights], because I really love working with Michael [Shanks]. We have a great laugh together. I haven’t seen him that much this season on set, we haven’t done as much stuff together. Just all the laughing we’ve had every day, you know, no matter how bad the hours are, we still find a way to giggle our way through it. Every guest [star] that’s come to play and do stuff with me, they always bring something fun and playful to the table. I got an opportunity to work with Fred Willard and Wallace Shawn, just terrific people this year.
‘200’ was fun. I was sort of on the periphery of that emotionally. I said to Coop [Robert Cooper] that I didn’t feel like I’d earned my right to be there, I felt like the player that gets the medal, even though they were on the bench the whole time. But it was fun creatively, to see all the departments that make this show possible—as hard as they worked—they still managed to throw something additional in to that episode and then some. I was impressed to see the energy and enthusiasm that was put into that. The overriding thing for me was pretty much just been the laughter, it’s terrific.
“I’ve been a part of it but I really am on the reserve bench as far as that accomplishment [of a record-breaking series] is concerned. I have been a part of it and I’m so delighted for everyone working on it. I worked on a show with Ben Browder and we ended up working together on this show, and I said to the guys it’s not goodbye because, so far, Ben’s and my track record is one of continuity and working together. It has been an incredible year. I think that Vala’s such a fun, brilliant character to play, and that makes it a lot easier to get through the day. It was tough on Farscape because I played the tragedienne and she carried the weight of the story on her shoulders in terms of the drama. Ironically on Farscape, my character informed my life and made it harder to stay positive. [Stargate SG-1] has had the opposite effect; Vala is so positive and such fun that it informs my life in a really positive way. For the most part, it’s definitely kept me in good spirits.”
From “Slice of SciFi Interview with Claudia Black” at Slice of SciFi (Jul. 15, 2007):
Stargate: The Ark of Truth: “There are some nice little details that Tim Guinee and I were able to explore in the Vala-Tomin arc. I liked how that wrapped up. Or at least how it did on the day. Not sure what made the cut! In general the loose ends which we tie up seemed to be in keeping with the style/tone of the series: things wrap up as they need to in order to restore order. … I think the writing was probably on the wall where Adria and Vala were concerned. No room for a grey area. So there are two ways things could go for them at story’s end; Happy families or see ya later!”
Stargate: Continuum: “I think they [the SG-1 team] are aware of her strengths and moral limitations and keep her on a leash for the sake of national security and damage control while trying to capitalize on her resourcefulness in the meantime. She is not part of the team out of pity. She certainly has proved more than useful. In Continuum we see a hint of that give and take but she really only makes a brief appearance in this one.
“[Filming] Ark of Truth as good as killed me. We did way more overtime than I ever have on the show before. Continuum I was outta there in just over a week.”
From interview in TV Zone #226, excerpted in the Solutions Blog (Mar. 2008):
“Vala was low-ish maintenance in Continuum … I was on strict doctor’s orders to work limited hours with Continuum due to a miscarriage scare during the first movie, so that put a lot of pressure on production to get me out every day on time… On both movies I struggled monumentally with shocking morning sickness. If anyone mentioned food I started to cry, and then dug my knuckles into my palms until they were close to drawing blood… Cliff [Simon] was incredibly sweet and careful about what he consumed around me, but one day I caught a whiff of something and gagged through my lines ’til I heard Martin Wood yell, ‘Cut!’ and then raced to a trashcan just next to set. I hope Cliff didn’t take it personally.”