Stargate Planner: Week of May 10-16

You might be interested in these news tidbits and announcements that have been noted on this editor’s calendar and notebook for this week. If you’ve got more to add, please don’t hesitate to announce them in the comment section below.

Calendar

Monday, May 10
Tuesday, May 11 Stargate Universe “Lost” on the UK’s Sky One at 8:00 PM.

Claudia Black guest stars as Velvet Road on NCIS in the episode “Borderland” on CBS at 8 PM ET.

Paul McGillion guest stars as Dr. Lawrence Parker on V in the episode “Fruition” on ABC at 10 PM ET.

Wednesday, May 12
Thursday,
May 13
Friday,
May 14
Stargate Universe “Sabotage” on Australia’s Sci Fi Channel at 8:30 PM.

Michael Shanks, Alaina Huffman, and Britt Irvin reprise their superhero roles in the season finale of Smallville, “Salvation”, on The CW at 8 PM ET. To see the network’s promo, visit our LJ Companion.

Stargate Universe “Pain” on Syfy at 9 PM ET and on Space at 10 PM ET.

Saturday, May 15
Sunday, May 16 Beau Bridges and his daughter Emily will close their play Acting: The First Six Lessons tonight at Threatre West. The two did a segment on The Bonnie Hunt Show concerning this play, the video for which can be viewed in our LJ Companion.

News Notes

Last week, we posted a few background articles in our LJ Companion that you might be interested in. These articles don’t have a companion piece in our News Blog here:

Reminders

For news as it happens, make sure to visit the Stargate Twitter Superfeed for tidbits directly from the Stargate stars and production crew. And don’t forget our new feature Beyond the Event Horizon, which consists of “home pages” with dynamic feeds from our LJ and Blog for the stars of SG-1 and Atlantis.

Our LJ Companion has news bites, polls, and glimpses into the lives of the actors that we don’t necessarily cover here in our more formal news blog. Make sure to visit the LJ’s feed on our front page or visit the site directly to see its mostly fun little tidbits.

For the latest in convention appearances, which are subject to change, make sure to visit Stargate Actor Appearances.

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Claudia Black Guest Starring on "NCIS" May 11

Claudia Black on NCIS (CBS)
Claudia Black (left) on NCIS (Eric McCandless/CBS ©2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc.)
Daemon’s TV has posted an announcement, complete with on-location pictures, that Stargate star Claudia Black will be guest starring on the popular CBS Television Network show NCIS, which stars Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs who heads the team of special agents in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Major Case Response Team (MCRT).

Black’s episode will air on Tuesday, May 11, at 8 PM ET/PT and is titled “Borderland” (episode 7.22).

The summary for the episode comes from ShareTV.org: “Gibbs goes to Mexico to confront a drug cartel intent on revenge; Gibbs has to make a devastating decision.” Currently there’s no more information on Black’s character, so we’ll have to keep our eyes open for more information as it becomes available.

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

SG-1 Cast - Season Ten

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.”

200th Episode CelebrationRichard 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:


Brad Wright


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):

STARGATE: THE ARK OF TRUTH“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.

STARGATE: CONTINUUM“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.”


Ben Browder


From “Southern Comfort” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):

Cameron Mitchell in FLESH AND BLOOD“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.

Cameron Mitchell in action in INSIDERS“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.”

Cameron Mitchell in the explosion in THE ARK OF TRUTHStargate: 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.”


Michael Shanks


From “A Decade of Daniel” from Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #12, excerpted at Solutions (Sept./Oct. 2006):

Daniel Jackson in THE PEGASUS PROJECT“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.

Daniel Jackson in MEMENTO MORI“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!”

Daniel Jackson has lost hope in TAOTStargate: 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):

Daniel Jackson (AOT)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!'”


Amanda Tapping


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

Samantha Carter in INSIDERS“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.

Samantha Carter and Daniel Jackson in MORPHEUS“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.

Samantha Carter and Teal'c in THE QUEST“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):

Samantha Carter in CONTINUUMStargate: 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…”


Christopher Judge


From “Living Among the Gods” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):

Teal'c in THE SHROUD“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):

Teal'c in TALION“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.

Teal'c on the mountain in TAoT“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!”


Beau Bridges


From “Follow the Leader” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis/Universe: The Official Magazine #33 (Apr./May 2010):

Hank Landry in MEMENTO MORI“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.

Landy and the team in the cabin in UNINVITED“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):

Hank Landry in CONTINUUMStargate: 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.”


Claudia Black


From “Grand Mal” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):

Vala Mal Doran in THE PEGASUS PROJECT“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.

Vala Mal Doran and Daniel Jackson in Farscape scene in 200“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.

Vala Mal Doran jumps onto Teal'c in LINE IN THE SAND“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):

Vala Mal Doran in THE ARK OF TRUTHStargate: 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.”


Solutions


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

SG-1 and General Hank Landry in 'Ripple Effect'

If you’ve been keeping up with us in our trip down memory lane in our Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years (13-4-13) series, you’ve probably noticed all the warning signs that Stargate SG-1 was heading toward a major change for a season that they didn’t even know they were about to have. Richard Dean Anderson had been cutting back his time with the show for several years prior to the renewal, aiming to have more time with his young daughter in California, and finally he declared that Season Eight was his last. With his exit and the show’s renewal, as well as the fact that many of the storylines were ended in Season Eight, the show had to make a fresh start.

In addition to needing a new leading man, the show also had to accommodate Amanda Tapping’s multi-episode absence at the start of the season while she was on maternity leave. With only two members of the SG-1 team remaining, show-runner Robert C. Cooper made the choice to have the legendary team disband. As a matter of fact, because of all of these changes, Cooper felt that the show should have been ended and replaced with another spin-off. “I’m sure many of you have heard how season nine was at one time supposed to be season one of a new series,” Cooper wrote in the Afterword in Stargate SG-1: The Illustrated Companion: Season Nine. “If you hadn’t heard, you’re now up to speed. We even had a title: Stargate Command….However, for various reasons a nondisclosure agreement does not permit me to discuss, the show continued on as Stargate SG-1.”

Farscape‘s Ben Browder finally said ‘yes’ to the producers and became the show’s new leading man. His character Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell also became the new commander of SG-1, even if for a little while, SG-1 as just “SG-Me” as Mitchell had to pick the members of his new team. As fate would have it, that would change as the new threat was revealed in the Ori and the talents of the original remaining members were needed on the front line once again.

Another new cast member was seasoned Hollywood actor Beau Bridges. His Maj. Gen. Hank Landry became the new commander of Stargate Command to replace Anderson’s O’Neill who had received another promotion and had become the new commander of Homeworld Security in Washington, D.C., replacing the retiring Lt. Gen. George Hammond.

And finally, Claudia Black returned as Vala Mal Doran from the previous season’s ‘Prometheus Unbound’ to make life difficult for Daniel Jackson and the rest of the galaxy. She was given several episodes at the beginning of the season to not only fill in for Amanda Tapping’s absence, but also to drive the story forward. Tapping didn’t want her pregnancy to be written into the show’s storyline, but interestingly enough, Black’s own pregnancy was made a crucial part of the show’s main story arc. Although her name didn’t appear in the opening credit sequence for this season, Black’s valuable contribution is acknowledged with a section of her own in this article.

This season also saw the debut of Robert C. Cooper as a director as he helmed an episode that he wrote, ‘Crusade.’

Going on to Season Ten seemed a sure thing, given all of these changes and a new story to tell. Apparently MGM and Sci Fi agreed, and news of the renewal for a record-breaking tenth season was announced in October 2005.


SG-1 Season Nine


Please make sure to vote in our poll for your Top 5 favorite episodes of Season Nine.


Brad Wright


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

Michael Shanks, Claudia Black, Christopher Judge, and Ben Browder play behind-the-scenes“I would argue season nine is season one of a new series. In fact, Robert and I pushed very hard for that to be the case. We thought it would have more of a chance of running more than one or two years if it were re-branded and altered. We would have changed it even more significantly than we did. But Sci Fi wanted it be Stargate SG-1 and they had their reasons for that. And actually, it was MGM that wanted it to be Stargate SG-1 more than anything else. At the end of the day it didn’t matter, because it was still going to be a continuation of the same mythology.

“It allowed Robert to recreate and bring in new life and new blood, and thank God for it. For me it was exciting. One of the highlights was being on the phone with Beau Bridges and having him say he’d like to come on board. I’ve always been a fan of his work. And Stargate Atlantis was going on too, so there we were, struggling [doing] two seasons again back to back. We said we could do it for one year, and of course season nine was the year we did it for the second year! It was quite exhausting, but very rewarding too.

“Obviously I liked ‘Beachhead,’ because I wrote it! It was the one that I was most involved with. But I think the first three episodes were incredibly strong. ‘Origin’ and ‘Avalon’ are very, very strong. I think Claudia brought something to the show that was wonderful and really ensured a season 10 with her spark. Claudia Black was—I wouldn’t say a surprise, because we all knew she had it in her—but we weren’t quite sure how much life she would be breathing into the show. And that really helped us, and when Amanda came back in my episode, that was another breath of life. Like I keep saying, people come and go and it adds something. It’s emotional when they leave and it’s joyful when they come back.”


Robert C. Cooper


From “Writer/Director/Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper Answers Your Ark of Truth Questions – And Then Some!” at Joseph Mallozzi’s Weblog (Jul. 27, 2008):

Daniel Jackson and the Doci face the Ori in 'Origin'“Hey, we thought we ended SG-1 several times. For me, the last chapter was ‘Moebius.’ It was a new story after that. The show just happened to have the same name and some of the same great characters and I was happy to have a job. I don’t ignore criticism but at the same time, I can’t obsess about the fact that some people don’t like everything I do. If I did, I would be paralyzed to the point of inaction. I’m not always happy with everything either. Or the circumstances under which things unfold. Or the way they ultimately turn out. But I do the best I can at the time, try to understand what I can do better and make choices that will hopefully satisfy me when I look back in the future.

“If I write one thing for too long I tend to get bored. That’s how Vala happened. Doesn’t mean I don’t like the old stuff. I loved it at the time. I still love the old SG-1 characters but when things start to get stale it always helps to mix in a new personality. Vala for example. Daniel has always been a great character. Early on, it was his passion for finding Sha’re that drove him. But eventually that was resolved. I think Michael Shanks would agree, Vala reinvigorated the character of Daniel. In general, I do love writing the bantering dynamic of two characters at odds. Like Daniel/O’Neill or Daniel/Vala. Two people who always agree might as well be one.”

From “Stargate SG-1 Finale Focus: Robert C. Cooper, showrunner” at M2tv (Jun. 2007):

Daniel Jackson holds Vala Mal Doran in 'Avalon 2'“I think we’ve been consistent [with the touchstone moments]. Right out of the gate in Vala and Daniel bonded in a way that made their characters interwoven. They have a depth to their relationship that happened right out of the gate. The moment she was burned [in ‘Avalon Part 2’] he went over to her and held her. It was incredibly powerful; it was very well directed and acted. Michael did a wonderful job, Claudia did a brilliant job. Vala’s façade was gone for just a few moments. That’s what I wanted to play with and expand upon in ‘Crusade,’ to see what Vala was like when she was around the team and what would happen when she fell into a situation where she really did start to feel comfortable again, even though there was something wrong with the situation.

“Some of this [consistency] is just the talent of the cast and they know that’s what makes the show work. … It doesn’t just happen naturally, it’s work, you have to work at it. It comes a little bit from the chemistry of the cast. The moment is there on the page but it was made into a powerful moment on screen by Michael and Claudia. And there are times where you write and it just doesn’t happen and it doesn’t work the way you imagined it. And there are other times you haven’t imagined it. You’ve written it but you haven’t imagined it quite that way and it happens and it’s a surprise and it’s wonderful and natural. So, I do think there have been those moments in Stargate.

Cameron Mitchell battles the knight in 'Avalon 1'“When Mitchell—this was something that happened as much off screen as it did on screen—but when Mitchell is fighting the knight in ‘Avalon Part 2’ and he’s unwilling to quit and absolutely killing himself and giving his all to get past this challenge, the other characters felt like, hey, this guy is a good guy to have in your foxhole. He’s willing to go to the ends of the earth. That was a thing that happened on set as well, Ben just went all out, physically and energy-wise, to actually do that sword fight. He nearly killed himself throwing himself around the set that day.

“And the other actors kind of looked at him and thought, ‘[This guy cares.] This guy is the kind of guy who isn’t just doing a job, punching a time clock.’ That was that something that helped the chemistry between the actors. He watched all the previous episodes. We said there were some we would prefer he didn’t watch but he said ‘no, no, I want to see the dogs too. I want to see the failures as well as the successes’ because sometimes the failures are the result of reaching. You’re trying to do something that either ends up being too esoteric or production-wise didn’t ultimately work out or is something that you thought would work but just didn’t. In many cases, some of our lesser episodes are really more a result of trying to do something that ultimately just didn’t work as opposed to not caring.”

From “SG-1: Directors Series: Ep: 919 ‘Crusade'” in the Season Nine DVD set:

Robert C. Cooper directs 'Crusade' - his directorial debut“I always wanted to be a director; that’s what I grew up wanting to do. I went to the movies and I saw the director as the guy who was kind of making the movie, and that’s what I wanted to do.

“I was seven years old when my dad took me to see Jaws, which was an odd choice, but I didn’t sleep for the next two years, and that is when I realized that I needed to control the power that the director had to affect people’s lives.

“Writing was always a part of that, but it was not necessarily the thing I even thought I would do best, so I think having worked on the show for nine years really prepared me for the process of directing. I didn’t feel as though I was completely a babe in the woods when I appeared on stage. It was still a very exciting and challenging experience and I recognize that it requires a tremendous amount of skill and talent, and I spent a lot of time with our regular directors—Andy Mikita, Peter DeLuise, and Martin Wood—picking their brains and planning what I was going to do.

“I have to give a tremendous amount of credit to Peter Woeste who was the director of photography on this episode and one of our regular directors as well. … He has a tremendous eye, he’s a brilliant cinematographer, and he was like a right arm in this process and invaluable in helping me to get what I want and sometimes tell me what I should want.

“Good directing tells the story without drawing too much attention to the camera; you don’t want to make people aware of the directing. You want to be able to keep people immersed in the story, but at the same time use all the ‘magic tricks’ at your disposal to try and be as inventive and tell those story points in an interesting way.

“There’s always challenges, and I think I always understood those challenges as a producer, but living through it as a director is a different experience.”


Ben Browder


From “Work in Progress” in TV Zone Special #64 (Jul. 2005):

Ben Browder as Cameron Mitchell“I had met Brad Wright at Comic Con back when we were promoting The Peacekeeper Wars. Prior to that, I’d met Joe Mallozzi as well as Paul Mullie at the Saturn Awards, and had also shared a plane ride from Los Angeles to Canada with Michael Shanks. Then Claudia Black happened to call and told me that she thoroughly enjoyed her experience working on Stargate, and that speaks quite highly of them. She’s a discerning lady and we know each other pretty well having worked together on Farscape.

“So when the character of Cameron Mitchell was first being talked about, I got on the phone with Brad, Rob Cooper and a few other people involved with the series. Things sort of took off from there. Eventually they felt it would be a good idea for me to fill the fourth slot on the SG-1 team, so here I am today.”

From “Sci-Fi Guy” in Starlog Magazine #344 reprinted at Ben Browder Portal (Feb. 2006):

“I did have copies of the Stargate Illustrated guides, and I also watched the series from the beginning to the end in one giant couch-potato session. I literally viewed the entire series, Seasons One through Eight, which was more TV than I’ve seen in the last decade. It’s quite an experience to sit down and watch that amount of work in a relatively short space of time; it’s almost surreal. But that’s what I did to familiarize myself with the Stargate mythology. I had a conversation with Richard [Dean Anderson] while I was still in LA, just to touch base, say hi and maybe pick his brain a little bit to see what advice he might have for me. I don’t know if it was useful; it was probably more comforting than anything else. He spoke very highly of everyone up there, and everything he said was true.”

From “Work in Progress” in TV Zone Special #64 (Jul. 2005):

SG-1 and Vala board Prometheus in 'Beachhead'“What I can speak about with certainty is the fun I’m having working with the SG-1 cast. Chris Judge is a terrific presence on set. Anyone who thinks he’s anything like his character of Teal’c is sorely mistaken. In fact, I’m always trying to draw a little more Judge out of Teal’c. Michael Shanks is a consummate professional who works diligently at his craft. Because he’s played his role for so long, he has a great perspective on the show and is very much the pace and rhythm of the series. As for Amanda [Tapping], I think she’s amazing to be back at work and be a mom at the same time. She has an incredible ability to focus on the task at hand as well as remember her lines and do everything that she actually does. To top it off, she’s a real sweetheart.”

From “Creating Cameron” in Stargate Official Magazine Yearbook (Mar./Apr. 2006):

“I think I came in without expectations. My first job was to figure out where to fit in and to figure out the routine. It takes a while to do that. Even now, six or seven months later, some days I’m still figuring it out. The last six months have flown by. You get into a rhythm of shooting the show, and after a while it’s like watching a deck of cards being shuffled: they blur in front of you. It’s gone by very quickly.

Cameron Mitchell leads his team in 'Babylon'“Mitchell has been busier in the second half of the season. In the first six episodes they were not yet a team so there was no team to lead. There was less adventuring, as it were. So, once you get the team back in place there’s more for all of SG-1 to do, in a way. As team leader, if SG-1 is busy, then Mitchell is busy.

“He doesn’t really have a standard interaction with any of the characters. He has a fairly clear response in a different way to each. So, depending on the situation and who he’s interacting with he has a very different way of operating. For the team as a whole the question is, where is Mitchell’s place, what is his voice? He is kind of back to the roots of the show, in his enthusiasm for getting out there, and a certain naivety and innocence, even though he is neither particularly naive or innocent. So it’s fun to play, because you have characters he’s surrounded by who have saved the world 160 times. So for me there’s a fun element in being able to go, ‘Wow! Check that out!’

“He’s an interesting sort of hybrid leader. His leadership style within the context of the team is not how most people perceive the military to be, which is a regimen of orders. His leadership style is more akin to what occurs in elite teams like Delta units, where everyone participates to the fullest of their abilities and when you need a specialist, you defer to the specialist, and defer quickly. It’s an interesting thing because Mitchell doesn’t have much in the way of technical expertise, and certainly has no technical expertise above and beyond any of the other characters. The only thing he has is enthusiasm and the ability to be a pivot point for the team. That’s an element of all forms of leadership. When you’re dealing with a team it has to do with adjusting to the team. A really good coach is always adjusting his form of leadership. Mitchell is in a very unusual situation, and he has a rather unusual team to ostensibly be leading. Hopefully, he’s done a good job of it.

SG-1 beam in ready to fight in 'Off the Grid'“I like the guy, which is a good thing. No self-loathing for Mitchell! Especially as the series has gone on… I think he’s revealed a bit more of his foundation as the year has continued. The more it goes on, the more interesting a character is. Not necessarily the ‘dark side’ either, but here’s this beat, here’s that beat. It informs you as you move on to the next stage of playing him.

“I am always wary of saying where the series is going. Particularly with introducing a character like Mitchell into the fray of these already well-established characters. I worry about concocting a definition of the character too early, and saying, ‘This is what the guy is.’ Then you’re locked into a place which may or may not work for the breadth of the story. You trust the writers and the other actors, and that the story will unfold at an appropriate time.”

From “Lights…Cameron…Action!” in Dreamwatch #138 (Feb. 2006):

Cameron Mitchell in the mud in 'Camelot'“I think ‘The Scourge’ turned out well. Ken Girotti came in as a director for that and I’ve got a lot of time for Ken. He directed [season one’s] ‘Cold Lazarus,’ which is an episode I really liked. ‘The Scourge’ was one of the scripts I wasn’t too sure about when I got it because it skirts into different territory for us, but I think it’s going to be a good episode. It’s got a great guest cast, which includes Robert Picardo.

“I also like the season ender, ‘Camelot,’ a lot. There’s a good mix of team stuff, where all four people accomplish tasks. I think we’ve all got a really good feeling about ‘Camelot.’ I had the best day I’ve had on the Stargate set doing that episode. I had 40 pounds of mud on me and I was carrying a large sword. That’s my idea of a good day! It was great. And, of course, I had a much higher level of comfort doing that episode than I did when I first joined the show.

“It’s a big galaxy out there, so there’s a lot of ground to explore. We’re in the early days of Cameron Mitchell—the very early days of Cameron Mitchell. It will be interesting to see how he develops, because I’m not a fan of static characterization. I don’t believe in it. As people know from Farscape, I believe characters should evolve and change. I like to see the effects of the story as they play out on the character.

“For me, the more interesting days as Cameron Mitchell are to come. And I’m excited about doing a 10th season of Stargate because of that.”


Michael Shanks


From “Curious Mind” in TV Zone, Special #64 excerpted at MSOL (Jul. 2005):

Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran examine puzzle in 'Avalon 1'“We bring back Vala, played by Claudia Black, an amazing actress, and our two characters spend a great deal of time kind of joined at the hip and doing their frick-and-frack routine, which you saw a bit of last season. They end up going to the Ori galaxy and crossing paths with these guys, and in doing so bring their wrath to bear upon Earth’s galaxy. Yes, Daniel inadvertently unleashes this threat as only he can do it. He’s like, ‘I’m just so curious about you. Oh, oh, wait, it’s a mistake! It’s a mistake!’

“Throughout the years, my character’s naivety and curiosity has always been a key factor in creating all sorts of obstacles for the team. This time around, he creates a massive one for our galaxy and introduces this little black cloud of a nemesis that will hang over their heads this season. Not only does Daniel have to accept responsibility for this, but he also has to help try to clean up the mess. Naturally, that’s easier said than done.”

From “Daniel Dares” in Stargate SG-1 * Atlantis Official Magazine Yearbook excerpted at Solutions (Mar./Apr. 2006):

“There’s a lot that’s been based around the character [this season], especially with this new villain. It’s based a lot on what Daniel’s through-line has been for the last several years, which is all about these Ancients, and Atlantis being their original home. We’ve taken that detail a little bit further and thought, if we’ve got this good group of Ancients, we must also have this bad group of Ancients.

Daniel meets the Ori in 'Origin'“I really like this villain. I think they’re far more interesting than the Goa’uld, just because they’re veiled in mystery. There’s a wonderful way to peel away layers and keep finding out different things. It keeps the audience interested.

“With Daniel’s knowledge of the Ancients, he takes a central role in terms of how we’re going to deal with them and all the technologies that we’re going to find—especially at the beginning of the year, when he opens Pandora’s Box by visiting that galaxy with Vala and letting them know we exist on this side. A lot to do with our main antagonists has to do with what Daniel dredged up, and so it’s been a lot of fun from that perspective.

Daniel Jackson and 'New Guy' Cameron Mitchell in 'Prototype'“We’re also breaking in a new colonel, so to speak. Ben [Browder] and I have talked about this. As much as his character being the leader of SG-1, it’s kind of in title and theory only, because in actuality he doesn’t lead by dictatorship, he leads by suggestion. He’s leading a group of people who are far more experienced than he is, one of which is equal rank with him in the military, one’s an alien, and one’s a civilian. So there’s not really a lot of hierarchy for him to draw on because of his lack of experience in certain sectors. With O’Neill, Daniel was able to trust that [the action] side of things was looked after a lot more. So Daniel’s had to take a little bit more of a leadership role in certain sectors of the storytelling, not just as an advisor who sits back and watches but to make sure and saying, ‘No, we’re not going to do it that way, we’re going to do it this way, I understand your point of view but you don’t really know the lay of the land.’ It’s been a balancing act all season, I think, to find when those moments are. We’re also finding where those voices mesh together.

Daniel Jackson and Cameron Mitchell in 'The Fourth Horseman 2'“They did a very good job of making sure that Ben’s character didn’t walk in and was given too much assumptive knowledge. I think the audience would have rejected the idea that this person was just embraced wholesale. He’s got to earn his stripes, and both Ben and the character of Mitchell have slowly evolved that. This guy can hold his own, he’s got his own strengths. There’s a layer of reality in the characterization—we play these characters so many times for so much of the year that, obviously, some of our own personal dynamic has to take hold of these characters. I think that they did a good job of making sure that his character is as Ben is—very enthusiastic and gung-ho about stuff, but very uncertain about a lot and it’s up to us to advise him. It’s been a very natural dynamic.”

From “Team Player” in TV Zone Special #67 excerpted at Solutions and MSOL (Dec. 2005):

Vala Mal Doran is comforted by Daniel Jackson in 'Avalon 2'“With the first six episodes of this season it was almost like a completely different TV show. Richard Dean Anderson was, of course, no longer there, we had Claudia Black replacing Amanda [Tapping] in our first five stories, and Ben Browder, Beau Bridges and Lexa [Doig] had come on board, too. After those initial episodes we headed back into more familiar territory, but at the same time it was somewhat confusing ground because we had established a new rhythm when we started the year. So in the remaining 14 episodes of Season Nine we were still trying to find our sea legs and mine the depths of our new characters.

“Working with Claudia is like working with an old best friend even though the two of us had never acted together before doing ‘Prometheus Unbound.’ So the relationship between Daniel and Vala in those first six episodes this year was a very easy one because it was one that Claudia and I had previously discovered.

“Establishing Daniel’s dynamic with Ben’s and Beau’s characters was far more challenging. With Daniel and Mitchell it would have been extremely cliché to go back nine years to the original dynamic of Daniel and Jack O’Neill, which was the military versus the diplomatic. None of us wanted to be repetitive in that regard, so we tried to figure out a way for Daniel and Mitchell to work side by side, find some commonality and still have an entertaining rapport with one another.

“With Beau’s character, he started out as someone who was frustrated with Daniel’s exposition, technobabble or whatever. General Landry quickly got beyond that, though, and was able to see the person he was working with, so he warmed up a bit to Daniel. Even so, there wasn’t a strong bond that I could list all the dimensions of. I revere Beau Bridges as an actor and sometimes I’d be sitting there like a little kid doing a scene with him and thinking, ‘Don’t kick me out of your office.’

Samantha Carter, Daniel Jackson, Cameron Mitchell in 'Arthur's Mantle'“It was especially tricky working with Amanda and Ben in this episode [‘Arthur’s Mantle’] because Daniel isn’t supposed to acknowledge their characters’ presence. There were scenes, however, where Carter and Mitchell are having a conversation with each other and Daniel is in the same room and talking with someone as well. We had a few good guffaws where Ben would improvise a line that I wouldn’t expect, so I’d just sort of look at him and say [jokingly], ‘Shut up already.’

“The one [episode] I enjoyed most is probably the last story, ‘Camelot.’ You have SG-1 fighting the bad guys, solving riddles, and interacting with aliens from different cultures. It just felt like good old-fashioned classic Stargate.

“I certainly enjoyed the different character interactions this year and I’m just hoping we can take those relationships to the next level next season. I want to see more of who these people are, and I’m sure the fans do as well.”


Amanda Tapping


From “Maternal Instinct: Amanda Tapping” in TV Zone Special #64 excerpted at Solutions (Jul. 2005):

Samantha Carter in 'Babylon'“Obviously, Sam had been away … and during that time a whole new dynamic had built up among Daniel, Vala, Teal’c and Mitchell and with the actors who play them. For the first couple of days I felt like the captain of the school chess club trying to hang out with the football players, do you know what I mean? I can make jokes about the captain of the chess club, seeing that my twin brother was one.

“Sam has to be slightly different because I’m quite a bit different. Last year we focused a great deal on her soul and the woman who is Carter, and I’m pleased that this season we’re somewhat suppressing that and taking her back to her roots, those being the scientist and the soldier and what makes her strong.

“However, having done so much exploration into her heart and soul, she has a softness to her now. We’ll see what happens, though, the next time she’s in battle. By that I mean with me, Amanda, there’s the mother lion in me now. I’ve realized that for the first time in my life I’m actually capable of killing, and that makes me cry. If anyone tried to lay a finger on my child I’d kill them, and that’s quite a revelation. I relate that to work insofar as there’s a new level of fierceness to Carter that we’ll see. I always knew that as a soldier she could kill, and she has, but now there’s an entirely new drive behind it, because as an actress I can bring that to the table.”

From “Carter and Co.” in Stargate Official Magazine, Issue #6 excerpted at Solutions (Sept./Oct. 2005):

Samantha Carter studies alone in 'The Fourth Horseman'“I just feel like the strength of this character and the joy of playing this character is the fact that she’s a strong, capable, smart and powerful woman. I love the fact that there are so many sides to her—I loved the Pete side, because I loved working with David Deluise, and the whole ‘Jack and Sam’ thing was fun to play at times and a bit of a pain at other times. We were exploring all of the different sides of her, which is great. Now we know that she’s capable of love and she’s capable of hurt and all these things to do with her heart and soul. We know all that, so now lets [sic] get back to what made her the character that she is!

“So I think it will be interesting. As long as I don’t become exposition girl—because that’s what I was for a while. … I want to have a pro-active role on the team. She’s back, so let her be back. Let her be pro-active. We know enough about her backstory now. It’s there, it’s settled. We don’t have to show her breaking up with her boyfriend and making eggs in the morning. It’s time to go back to the old Carter. I was starting to feel a bit that the whole angst over Jack was weakening her, and I think the fans were finding that too. We’re going to go back to what SG-1 was about, with a new vigor.”

From “Sam Kind of Wonderful!” in Stargate Official Magazine, Issue #07, excerpted at Solutions (Nov./Dec. 2005):

Samantha Carter and Daniel Jackson in battle in 'Stronghold'“You know, I have an interesting thing about [Mitchell’s] being the leader of SG-1, because Ben and I have this constant thing—hey, we’re both of equal rank, but I’ve been on SG-1 much longer. How come you get to lead? I actually went up to Rob Cooper after this one episode that I had just read and said, you know, Carter kind of takes control of this mission and does all the intel on it—how come Mitchell comes in and ends up calling in the troops and leading them? That seems terribly unfair, you know, when they’re both the same rank. And Rob said, no, no, you’re right, — you’ll be leading that mission.

“And I think that we were doing that [sharing command] last year when Carter was ostensibly the leader of SG-1. She always deferred to Daniel and Teal’c out of necessity and pure respect. You know, you can’t know everything. And I hope that’s the way the show is going.”

From “Coming Home” in TV Zone reprinted at AmandaTapping.com (Jan. 2006):

SG-1 in leather! in 'Off the Grid'“This past Spring I really did question whether or not I’d made the right decision as an actor, a mom, and a person to come back to work. Character-wise, I definitely felt Sam Carter needed to return. For me, though, as I sit here now with only seven days left until we finish filming Season Nine, I know that, yes, I made the right choice. This season of SG-1 has gone really well, and I’ve had my daughter here with me every day and we have a wonderful nanny on set. I’m lucky in that Olivia is such an easy-going baby and is much-loved as well as treated wonderfully by this cast and crew.

“Acting-wise, this season has been about me trying to figure out how Sam fits into this new dynamic without making it obvious that I’m trying to do so, if you know what I mean? My character has always been so centred at the SGC. Sam is comfortable there and so aware of her surroundings and how she deals those surroundings. It felt good for her to walk back into such a familiar place again.

Samantha Carter comforts Cameron Mitchell in 'Collateral Damage'“Conversely, there’s this brand new dynamic she’s dealing with when it comes to the Colonel Mitchell character and what he’s all about. At times, he’ll say something and Carter will think ‘What?’ and then other times she’ll be like, ‘OK, I get it.’ It’s interesting because he leads very differently than Jack O’Neill did, and then, of course, there’s the question of why is Mitchell and not Sam in charge of SG-1. That’s something I hope the writers will explore further next season. After all, it could be an ensemble team where there is no patriarchal line of command, or maybe Mitchell and Carter could share the leadership responsibilities. However, because Sam is military and a good military girl, she will do exactly what she’s ordered to do. It wouldn’t be so bad, though, to see her rebel every now and then against an order she truly does not agree with.

“One relationship I thought was going to be fleshed out and explored in Season Nine was the one between Carter and Dr. Lam [Lexa Doig]. The show’s producers and writers had talked about doing that but, again, there just wasn’t time. I’m hoping we can address that next season because I always enjoyed the dynamic between my character and Teryl Rothery’s [Dr. Janet Fraiser]. They had such a beautiful and special friendship and I think it would be neat if Sam could strike up a similar type of rapport with another woman at the SGC.”

From “Got Carter” in Stargate SG-1 * Atlantis Official Magazine Yearbook reprinted at AmandaTapping.com (Mar./Apr. 2006):

Samantha Carter hugs AU Janet Fraiser as AU Martouf stands nearby in 'Ripple Effect'“Because of the nature of ‘Ripple Effect,’ it wasn’t our Dr. Fraiser and Martouf. There is a clear recognition, but somewhere the lines of communication are not the same. It’s not the same perspective, and we don’t speak in the same vernacular because we’re dealing with different experiences. So it was weird. It was like, ‘But Janet, come on, it’s me!’ The one thing that I wished for in ‘Ripple Effect’ between Carter and Janet. I think it was a matter of telling as good a story as we could in the short period of time as we had. We had a big story to tell in 44 minutes. There wasn’t time to show all the interpersonal relationships. Carter had to deal with Martouf. So if we had had a Carter and Fraiser scene, then we wouldn’t have dealt with the story as well. But that’s the one thing with ‘Ripple Effect’ that I missed. That was a scary one. I looked at that [script] and went, ‘Oh, crap. No sleep for the next seven days.’ Up at 4 o’clock in the morning, sitting with a breast pump trying to learn my lines…”

From “Coming Home” in TV Zone reprinted at AmandaTapping.com (Jan. 2006):

“The SG-1 episode we’re filming at the moment [‘Camelot’] is big, really big. I was speaking earlier with [director] Martin Wood and we have something like a half million dollar visual effects budget. This is also an interesting story in that, and I don’t believe I’m giving away any spoilers by saying this, it’s a cliffhanger in the truest sense of the word. Any number of things could take place. It could signal the end of a particular character or even characters, and then again, everyone could survive.”

Samantha Carter at the Supergate in 'Camelot'From “Woman of Substance” in TV Zone reprinted at AmandaTapping.com (Jul. 2006):

“I think that [my scene in ‘Camelot’] was the final thing we shot last year, and it was me in space and wearing a full NASA spacesuit. They even have a specialist who comes up and helps you get into it. The suit itself is quite heavy and it really weighs on your shoulders. Afterwards I literally felt like my back was permanently curved because you’re sort of crunched into the thing, so it’s really uncomfortable but it looks great on screen.

“Martin Wood directed this episode and for these scenes he had me up on a platform and lying on a jib arm or camera crane [long pole] that they hoisted up in the air. I’m not a big fan of heights, but it was kind of cool. The difficulty with a scene like this is that it was all green screen and one tiny piece of set, which was the Ori Supergate. There I was ‘floating in space,’ and meanwhile poor Martin is down below yelling, ‘And there’s a battle going on overhead, and one ship blows up! Now they’re firing on each other, and then the gate kawooshes. Oh, my God, look at that!’ You have to react not only to Martin who, God bless him, is just amazing, but also to something that’s clearly not there. It’s really tough to know whether you’re going over the top or what you’re doing is enough.

“The trickiest part about doing Sci-Fi and dealing with green screen is paying the proper credence to it. The idea is to give it the right amount of weight without making it look hokey. So you basically have to dial in and put 110% belief in what you’re saying and what’s happening, all the while praying that you don’t look like a fool. That’s the nature of the genre, I guess.”

From “Got Carter” in Stargate SG-1 * Atlantis Official Magazine Yearbook excerpted at Solutions (Mar./Apr. 2006):

“I don’t know what the line up is going to be next year—who will be here and who won’t be here. But we’re looking at going to 200 episodes, and I want to be here for that! It’s worked this year with Olivia, and it’ll be easier next year because I won’t be breastfeeding.”


Christopher Judge


From “Judge for Yourself” in Stargate SG-1 * Atlantis Official Magazine Yearbook excerpted at Solutions (Mar./Apr. 2006):

Teal'c in 'Babylon'“The last thing I thought they were going to do was turn Teal’c into an orator! It’s been fun, getting to do scenes with all these great actors and actually talk during them. I never envisioned that. I’ve said more in these last two seasons than I have in the previous seven put together. I had a talk to the writers about getting Teal’c back to the ‘less-talk, more ass-kicking’ character he was before. So I think for next season, he will talk when it is appropriate, but he’ll also do a lot more ass-kicking!

“Getting to work with Lou Gossett was wonderful. I had it in the back of my mind that Gerak was really Teal’c’s father. I think that would have been a very interesting thing to explore, because they seemed to have a very uneasy relationship. I would have loved for that to have happened. But I think him going over to the Ori was also very interesting, and it shook the relationship up.

“Teal’c realizes that there are some limitations as to how day-to-day he can be with the outside world. He has to be respectful of the fact that the populus of the Earth doesn’t know that we have made contact with aliens. He’s learned that through his time off base [in season eight’s ‘Affinity’]. And I just think he’s being respectful of the situation and that the time will come [to move off base], there’s no need to push it. He just thinks that it will take some time. Whether or not that will become a reality or not depends and how many more years we go!

“I think it’s been one of our best seasons. We’ve just scratched the surface of this ensemble, and I think we’ve got another few years in us.”

From “Loyal Warrior” in TV Zone Special #67 excerpted at Solutions (Dec. 2005):

Teal'c in 'Camelot'“I’m ecstatic to be doing yet another season of SG-1, and I can’t wait believe we wrap next week.

“I’m enjoying the mythos that we’re delving deeper into now that our heroes have come to what they think or hope to be Camelot. They’re in search of a device that Merlin may or may not have left behind and in the process become entangled with some of the townsfolk. There are other things that also happen during the episode which I’m not at liberty to speak of, but the climactic scene is truly just that. It’s a terrific way to end the year, and will leave fans on the edge of their seats for next season.

“This episode [‘Camelot’] is a wonderful example of how our characters have come back together as a team this year. The first few stories were really to establish our new characters, including Ben Browder’s Colonel Cameron Mitchell, with viewers, as well as reintroduce them to the Vala character, played by Claudia Black. Once everyone got to know a little bit about just who these people are, we were then able to focus on the team dynamic.

“I’m happy that our old characters have found the beginnings of their relationships with our new characters and vice versa. Ben and I have discovered our onscreen niche, which is that Mitchell and Teal’c are both warriors and leaders. I think in those first few episodes my character was a bit taken aback by how gung-ho and yippie-io-ki-ay he was. That’s because Jack O’Neill was more reserved. However, I feel Teal’c has grown to appreciate those attributes in Mitchell, and I certainly have grown to appreciate them in Ben as an actor.

Daniel Jackson, Cameron  Mitchell, Vala Mal Doran, Teal'c in 'The Ties That Bind'“Because the Vala character is so ‘out there’ I wasn’t sure if Teal’c could ever truly like her. However, in one of the scenes we shot just the other day [in ‘Crusade’], Vala was talking about a man she’d met in another universe and had grown to love and what he’d been through and what he would be going through. What she was describing was Teal’c’s life. It was truly beautiful the way in which Claudia related this whole series of events, and it got to me not only as Chris the actor but as Teal’c as well. It was like a light switch had been turned on. Suddenly I realised that there is honour in this character and what she’s doing, so I finally had a platform from where I could take Teal’c’s relationship with her next season.

“It’s funny, you eventually find yourself in a place where you know your character and the other characters so well, you know what you’re going to do here, here and here, and no one rocks the boat. Well, that’s exactly what Ben and Claudia do, but in a totally good way. They love to challenge you and I love to be challenged as an actor. That’s a great thing they’ve brought to SG-1, and it’s increased everyone’s energy and focus. We still play around as much as ever, but I don’t think there’s been a time this year that we haven’t all been on top of our game. To have that level of professional commitment and still allow yourself to have fun, too; it’s the perfect work environment.”

From “You Be the Judge” in TV Zone Special #64 excerpted at Solutions (Jul. 2005):

Teal'c and Gerak face off in 'The Fourth Horseman'“So we started out SG-1’s ninth season with great hopes and dreams, and Ben and Claudia as well as Beau Bridges and Lou Gossett, Jr have not only met but far exceeded anything we expected insofar as how they would fit in and what their work ethic would be. It’s been absolutely terrific. … We’re having so much fun, and to have this new dynamic is incredible. It’s as if the first eight seasons we were building the rocket and now this year we’re blasting off to even greater heights.

“I used to think that being successful had to do with where your name is in the credits. Sure, that’s great, but in the big picture it doesn’t really matter. Nowadays, I wake up in the morning happy to be alive, happy to have my family, and happy to be working on a TV show like Stargate. So for me, I’ve got it all.”


Beau Bridges


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

Hank Landry in 'Avalon'“A couple of years ago Brad [Wright] and Robert [Cooper] called me and asked me if I would be the new general on Stargate SG-1, and I said, ‘Well fine, send me some of the scripts.’ I hadn’t seen too much of the show at that time, so they sent me a bunch of episodes from the past, and I really liked them. I liked the stories that Brad had written. About 10 years before, he had written a two-hour show that I was in, called Sandkings. It was a pilot for The Outer Limits, a series which also ran for almost 10 years, so Brad and I had that in our history.

“There was no script, so the character was really unformed. It was just a blank sheet of paper, but I knew they were a talented group of writers. I liked the actors, so I said, ‘Well, do you have any idea who this general is?’ We started talking and they invited me to be a part of thrashing out this guy’s back-story.

“Robert Cooper and I started talking about who we wanted this guy to be, and we kind of came up with the character between the two of us. It was a collaboration, and I really liked that—it was a lot of fun. We made him a fighter pilot in Vietnam. He’d flown a lot of missions, fell in love with a Vietnamese woman, they married and had a child, but he’s estranged from her because he’s never home, he’s flying all the time and getting into undercover stuff. That’s where he meets Jack O’Neill, and he spends even less time with his wife and daughter. He gets totally estranged from his family and divorces his wife. His daughter doesn’t speak to him, she goes off to medical school and becomes Dr. Lam [Lexa Doig], and Jack arranges for her to come to work at Stargate Command. I liked the whole story.

“I remember thinking, ‘Okay this is good’ because I think leaders have challenges in life just like everybody else. That’s what makes it possible to get into some interesting dynamics. Without it, I’m just the usual, ‘Go get the Ori,’ or whatever else is out there. He’s an interesting man. He’s a leader but he’s got a sense of humor. He can be tough when he needs to be, but he’s got problems at home, and that makes him more human.”

From interview at The SciFi World (Jun. 23, 2007):

Hank Landry greets Gerak in 'Origin'“And because I was stepping in a pair of shoes that I’ve not experienced—I’ve been in positions of leadership, but I’ve never been a general before—I went out and researched all the American generals from General George Washington up to present and made a collection of things they said and believed. Wrote it all down and then actually put it into categories, because the generals, I found out, were talking about things they had in common: like family, battle strategy, life, death, and all these things. So I categorized all my notes, my findings, and then I handed that into the producers and the writers and they used a lot of that in developing my character. I had played presidents before, the head of the CIA, and guys who were in positions of leadership, and have directed films before, so I have been in positions of leadership myself. I also had two men that really impressed me in my early life, who were leaders: that’s my dad Lloyd Bridges, who was an actor and kind of a leader in his field, and also my college basketball coach, John Wooden, who was one of the most successful college basketball coaches that ever lived. He won ten straight national championships. I use those guys as inspiration a lot. My father, my coach. That’s kind of how I came up with General Landry.”

From interview with About.com (2008):

Hank Landry in 'Origin'“He’s a man who really loves his service to his country, loves his job. He’s sort of married to that aspect of his life. And because of that, that’s one of the reasons he had problems personally, with his family—he loved his job so much, he kind of short-shrifted his wife and his daughter. And I think he’s the kind of guy who—if you meet him out on the field of battle, he’s the kind of guy who’s going to enjoy the fight. And the tougher the odds, the stronger the enemy, that just jacks him up, because he’s that kind of a warrior.

“And even though, because of his age, he’s not the young buck going out and killing the dragon, he still felt very motivated and very excited about the whole proposition of it and being a master tactician. And also he’s good at getting out of his troops the things that he needs, the people that work for him. I liked doing him. Because I think as a younger man, he had been there, done that. So it wasn’t a problem in terms of not being on the battlefield himself, because he’d been there. He felt that he owed it to the people he was sending out there to make sure they had what they needed, and gave them the best advice he could before the battle.

“And when I came into the show—yeah, it was a transitional period, and as the new general coming in I felt it was time to kick ass and take names [laughs], and tighten the ship. So I was a pretty serious guy and had a short temper. As the show went on I became more relaxed as an actor in the show, and so did my character, and more of the practical joker aspect of his character came out—it was neat, you don’t often have a chance to have that kind of evolution for a character.

Cameron Mitchell and Hank Landry in 'Origin'“I must say they were really gracious to me coming in in the ninth season. I didn’t really know anybody there. I had met Richard Dean [Anderson] years before, but he was not really doing them anymore. But the rest of the people, they were just so kind to me in welcoming me to the show, it made me feel really at home quite quickly. So it wasn’t a tough transition at all. And Ben Browder, who also was new to the show with me, we happened to live very close to each [other] in L.A., so we got together before I even came out, which was nice. And we’ve become good friends.

“…I think the whole milieu of science fiction is [‘very today’], the fun thing about is you can take on really heavy, modern problems and discussions and have fun with them, you don’t have to be so serious as you would if you were using the names and characters of people and cultures living today. And I think also what really stands out with Stargate is they have such a great sense of humor about it. Richard Dean was one of the guys who had the most hand in that, and I tried to bring as much of that in my own way as I could to Landry. Because I think that’s what the fans enjoy about it.”

From interview at The SciFi World (Jun. 23, 2007):

Hank Landry on his deathbed in 'The Fourth Horseman'“I had one [favorite], I really love an episode, I forget which season it was in, but it was with Dr. Lam, with Lexa Doig, and we were beginning to break through our estrangement and I had basically asked her for forgiveness when I thought I was going to die. And it was a good scene. One of those scenes that you never know quite how it’s going to turn out but you hope for the best. And in this case I thought it turned out pretty good.” [Note: Bridges is referring to ‘The Fourth Horseman Part 2’.]

“…I love Stargate. I enjoy watching it. And I hadn’t seen too many before hand. They sent me a bunch to watch and I liked them because of the stories. I think it’s fascinating how Brad Wright and Robert Cooper are able to create this whole world. It’s just amazing. And I think one of the things that drives them is they feel a responsibly, as all the actors do as well, to this incredible group of fans that we have that who are so dedicated to the show. So we always want to make it the best we can. It starts with the guys who write it. And I think Rob Cooper and Brad Wright and all the wonderful team of writers they have turned out some great stories.”


Claudia Black


From “None More Black” in TV Zone Yearbook excerpted at Solutions (Dec. 2004):

Vala Mal Doran in 'Prometheus Unbound'“Apparently, the casting people from Stargate were trying to track me down for a while. They had, in fact, contacted me last year about a part, but the timing didn’t work out. When you’re on a long running show such as Farscape, people discover you and want to use you in their project. However, you either never seem to be around, or are in the wrong country. If both sides are lucky, you’re eventually able to connect, which is what happened here.

“Initially, I didn’t think I’d be able to do Stargate. When I got the phone call, I was in Australia doing Automated Dialogue Replacement work for the Farscape mini series. Obviously the ADR work was a priority, but as luck would have it, I finished a day or two early. The Stargate people told my agent, ‘If you can get Claudia to the embassy, get her work papers, and on a plane to Canada, we can do this.’ So that’s what we did.

“Let me tell you, it was the worst case of jet lag I’ve experienced in my entire life. That said, I wouldn’t have missed doing Stargate for the world. It’s funny, when you’ve been a regular on a TV series, you sometimes forget how lucky you are to be working.

“When I guest starred on Stargate I was one of those people who was in awe of everything around me. It was an absolute blast and I was lucky enough to bring with me all that I had learn’t as an actress from doing Farscape. I mean, David Kemper has always said to me, ‘You were fine when you came on the show but everyone gets better with time.’ There are things that you won’t even realize you’ve learn’t and they will just come naturally to you now. It was wonderful to be able to walk onto a new set in a foreign country and be able to get on with the people and do the work quickly as well as deliver a solid performance. It was just an amazing experience and the cast and crew were very good to me.

“As soon as I read the script [for ‘Prometheus Unbound’], I fell in love with the character of Vala. She’s a hoot. Talk about a real piece of work. I’d never played someone who was that manipulative, and I thought it would be a wonderful acting challenge for me.”

From interview in Starburst #328 reprinted at Vala-Dictorians (Oct. 2005):

Vala Mal Doran in 'Avalon'“Vala tends to fit and suit the moment in terms of survival, and I think the textures and layers we saw of her in ‘Prometheus Unbound’ are typically all she’s willing to give away about herself. What’s interesting with her six story arc this season is that just when you think you’re peeling away another layer of the character, she’ll flip everything on its head again, which I believe is just a part of her survival mechanism. So she’s intriguing to me. At the same time, there’s a potential for the character to become a one trick pony. I was lucky though, in that she was important to the story. Vala drives the story forward in the beginning, because she brings the adventure to them, the SG-1 team, even though she’s not part of the group.

“One of the most memorable things for me is the spirit of the cast and crew. Everyone was extremely enthused about starting their ninth season with some new people in the mix, and I was very taken by their positive outlook. As for the episodes [‘Avalon 1 & 2’] themselves, I was impressed when I read the scripts and discovered how dense they were, how many layers there were to the story and the scope of it. In part one for example, Ben had to do this long and really exhausting fight scene on his own, and Vala is standing on the sidelines making the odd sarcastic quip. Going back to what I said earlier about her helping drive the story, if Vala wasn’t actually doing that, she had to then be saying something cheeky or else shouldn’t be in the scene at all. Vala is such a loud character that you almost expect something obnoxious and funny to be coming out of her mouth. She’s a total joy to play and such a total opposite in terms of character type, to Aeryn, that I was challenged by the comedic aspects of the role. However, that type of challenge, I enjoy.

Vala Mal Doran in the fire in 'Avalon 2'“I’m an adrenalin junkie, so I love doing slightly dangerous things, but in a controlled setting and around a team of professionals. When we were shooting this [death] scene, they to put a mat across the fire, rather than extinguishing it when it got too hot for me and I needed to get out of there. As I stepped on the mat though, all these flames sort of shot out from under the mat and towards Dan Shea. I said something not fit for publication. I ended up staying in the shot for quite a while. I remember thinking how cool this would look for director Andy Mikita and for his sake, let’s keep the camera’s rolling for as long as possible. Obviously they used a professional stunt person for the final bit, and then one of the stand-ins, Nicole, who had been doing a lot of stand-in work for me, was put into what someone referred to as the ‘crispy critter’ make-up. That’s when you saw Vala after she had been burnt, and Nicole did some incredible stuff. She got herself into positions that were both very uncomfortable and visually amazing. Much of the footage wound up being too brutal and violent so it didn’t make the final cut. However, we shot extensively and with real stakes, pardon the pun, in the sense that storywise it actually happened. Apart from Vala being resuscitated by one of the Ori minions, who are called Priors, she really does go through that death experience. There’s no wink to the camera about it at all.”

From “Vala Unveiled” in Stargate Official Magazine Yearbook (Mar./Apr. 2006):

Vala Mal Doran defends her people in 'The Powers That Be'“As we started to get into the more macabre elements, such as when she’s burnt [in ‘Avalon’], I was actually very impressed. I really didn’t think they would go that far with it. I know that that would have been disturbing, because it is an early time slot and it’s got a big family audience. So in terms of the story telling I was very impressed that they took that risk and they took it that far, because it’s rare to be surprised in television these days. So that’s when I started to feel as if I was edging more into the Aeryn territory, when things were getting a bit more tragic and serious. But it’s a welcome texture and shade to her as well, and I think it’s important for Vala to have those layers and levels of complexity. I think that she operates in a very childish way, on a superficial level. But she’s had to survive a lot. Robert [Cooper] and I have talked about this. She has been damaged. A good liar always keeps as close to the truth as possible, so I would say a lot of the time when she is talking about what’s happened to her, most of it is true. She will lie and steal and do whatever, but she has a moral compass.”

From interview in Starburst #328 reprinted at Vala-Dictorians (Oct. 2005):

“The producers have left it in such a way that it’s possible to bring her back if my schedule permits and if it appropriately fits their story. I as an actor and Vala as a character, are at our best when we’re heavily involved in the action. Michael Shanks would often joke with me and say I was spending all my time chewing the scenery and milking absolutely everything, but you kind of need to know what Vala is thinking and doing all the time because she reveals so little of herself. So the character was very alive in every shot in every story, and if she does come back and we can keep her at that same level it would be wonderful. But Vala is something to be treasured and perhaps, enjoyed in small doses.”


Solutions


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Stargate, Black Win Constellation Awards

Congratulations are in order for Stargate SG-1‘s Claudia Black and the Stargate franchise as a whole as they took home Constellation Awards this past weekend!

Here’s a portion of the press release:

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – July 14, 2009) – The winners of the 2009 Constellation Awards, honouring the actors and producers behind Canada’s favourite science fiction TV series and movies, were announced this weekend at ceremonies held at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel.

“Most of all, I thank you, the fans!” declared Ontario-born actor Michael Hogan as he accepted the trophy for “Best Male Performance in a 2008 Science Fiction Television Episode” for his role as Colonel Tigh in “Battlestar Galactica”. This highly competitive category also included nominees from “Stargate Atlantis”, “Fringe”, “Supernatural”, and “Sanctuary”.

The sentiment was echoed by actress Claudia Black as she accepted the trophy for “Best Female Performance in a 2008 Science Fiction Film” for her role in “Stargate: Continuum”. “To all who voted, I would like to say thank you very much,” she noted, acknowledging that all award winners were selected by popular vote. The Stargate franchise also picked up the most prestigious award of the night, “Outstanding Canadian Contribution to Science Fiction Film or Television in 2008” which was accepted at the ceremonies by Canadian actors David and Kate Hewlett from “Stargate Atlantis”.

The most competitive category of the evening was the award for “Best Male Performance in a 2008 Science Fiction Film”, where Robert Downey Jr.’s performance in “Iron Man” nudged out Heath Ledger, Neil Patrick Harris, Richard Dean Anderson and Ron Perlman for the win.

Disney/Pixar’s “Wall-E” was another multiple winner, picking up the awards for “Best Technical Accomplishment in a 2008 Science Fiction Film or Television Production” and “Best Science Fiction Film of 2008”. However it was the British Science Fiction series “Doctor Who” that ended up the biggest winner of the evening, picking up three trophies including “Best Science Fiction Television Series of 2008”.

The complete list of voting results is available at http://constellations.tcon.ca

For further information: For more information about The Constellation Awards, please visit http://constellations.tcon.ca or email constellations@tcon.ca

Contact:
Andrew Gurudata
416-684-2433
constellations@tcon.ca/

Congratulations to Ms. Black and all the folks behind the impressive Stargate franchise!

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Claudia Black on Voice Role in Uncharted 2

We haven’t heard from Claudia Black (Vala Mal Doran) in a while, at least not visually! She just gave a video interview about her voice-over role in the new video game, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. She doesn’t talk about Stargate at all, but it’s interesting to hear her take on how she and her colleague Emily Rose approach being both the voices and the motion-captured movement of two characters in the video game.

Watch the interview here at kotaku.com.

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Stargates Nominated for Canada’s Constellation Awards

Coming right after the many Leo Awards nominations announcement, the list of the nominees in the 2009 Contellation Awards has been made available! According to their official website, “The Constellation Awards are Canada’s annual science fiction awards focused on rewarding excellence in science fiction film and television. Now in its third year, The Constellation Awards celebrate and honour the actors, writers, and technical artists behind the best of today’s science fiction film and TV works – with an added focus on Canadian contributions to science fiction film and television. The Constellation Awards are also the only Canadian science fiction film and TV awards where YOU, the Canadian viewing public, get to select the nominees and winners in all categories.”

The categories in which Stargate has nominees:

Best Male Performance in a 2008 Science Fiction Television Episode: David Hewlett, “The Shrine”

Best Science Fiction Television Series of 2008: Stargate Atlantis

Best Male Performance in a 2008 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, or Mini-Series: Richard Dean Anderson, Stargate: Continuum

Best Female Performance in a 2008 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, or Mini-Series: Amanda Tapping, Stargate: Continuum; Claudia Black, Stargate: Continuum

Best Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, or Mini-Series of 2008: Stargate: Continuum

Best Technical Accomplishment in a 2008 Science Fiction Film or Television Production: Digital Effects (Rainmaker Digital Pictures), Stargate: Continuum

Best Overall 2008 Science Fiction Film or Television Script: Brad Wright, Stargate: Continuum

Outstanding Canadian Contribution to Science Fiction Film or Television in 2008: Amanda Tapping, Canadian Actress/Producer; The Stargate Franchise, Canadian Produced Series/Films.

Additionally, Tapping’s Sanctuary was also nominated in several of the same categories as Stargate.

The awards will be presented at Polaris 23 on July 11th, 2009. Congratulations to all nominees!

Here are the instructions on voting, which is now open until June 8, 2009:

In order for you to be eligible to vote, at least one of the following must be true:

1) You are either a Canadian citizen (not necessarily living in Canada) or a permanent resident of Canada,

OR

2) You were a member of the TCON Promotional Society during the Polaris 22 convention in July, 2008,

OR

3) You have purchased a membership to the TCON Promotional Society which does not expire before Polaris 23 (July of 2009).

Ballots missing voting information or payment will not be counted. Note that you do not need to vote in all categories.

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Claudia Black Answers Fan Questions

A little while back, the Claudia Black Online Forum opened the floor to fan questions that the Stargate star would answer personally whenever she was able to stop by. So far, Black has answered well over half of the questions that range in subject from Aeryn to Vala, sushi to hobbies, and other works besides Farscape and Stargate.

Black’s life has changed since her days on these two television shows, including becoming a mother of two sons. Her family life is important to her, as was evident when she honestly answered a question about her plans to continue acting, “If the right jobs come up! I love acting, I love being creative, we’ll just have to see what this economy dishes up. I don’t want to spend the next ten years not seeing my children so fingers crossed the right opportunities will present themselves because the hours in TV can be appalling. …

“And in the event that I am asked to conventions my husband and I discuss how it will affect the family, if the timing is ok, etc., and if the money is right, I am there! I tend not to do too many each year as I only go when I have something new to talk about… I get bored of myself easily. 🙂 ”

Chloe Frazer

Black talked about working on two projects: the new Uncharted 2 video game…

Let me first say that the team from Naughty Dog who are making this game are the nicest bunch of people ever. Gordon Hunt the director is also amazing to work with and the cast keep me laughing all day. Nolan [North] and I get on like twins separated at birth. When the guys at Naughty Dog told me how Chloe was going to look I asked if i was going to have nice boobs. That didn’t appear to be a problem 🙂 They say that they get inspired a little by what the actor looks like but she is way prettier than me and I love the way she looks. I love the way Nate looks! What a handsome dude! Pity he’s not real or I would introduce him to some of my friends 🙂

The character was very well conceived before I came along. The audition asked for Australian or English or South African accent and I asked , “Which one? I can do them all?” So Gordon just asked me to do my neutral accent.

And we do get to improvise. They are very willing to try things out if we have ideas. The body stuff is locked in but the lips and faces are done manually by them so it doesn’t matter what we say we can also ADR after as well. I can’t tell you enough how great it is to work with that whole group of people. I am a lucky girl.

…and an independent film:

As a matter of fact, I am just working on a project which may or may not see the light of day which involves music. I am working with a very talented young music producer on what could be a soundtrack for an indie movie I have involvement with. We are starting to raise funding for the film and in the meantime we want to get working on the soundtrack. I promise to keep you all posted if anything comes of it.

Vala (Sci Fi)

Concerning the third SG-1 movie in which writer Brad Wright said that Vala Mal Doran won’t be appearing, Black stated, “They certainly didn’t ask me to be involved but I am in no way upset about it. I never expect to be asked back to anything. 🙂 ”

To read all of the questions and answers, including Black’s take on the Daniel and Vala relationship, visit the Claudia Black Online Forum: Q&A with Claudia Black (February/March 2009).

[Read our follow-up article in our LJ Companion.]

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Black Plays New Character in "Uncharted" Game Series

Claudia Black as Chloe Frazer

Stargate star Claudia Black is portraying a new character in the second installment of the Uncharted PS3 game series, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (from Sony Entertainment’s Naughty Dog development franchise), according to her dedicated fan site, Claudia Black Online.

According to Naughty Dog, the Uncharted franchise’s 2007 debut on the PS3 has received worldwide critical acclaim for its “engaging storyline, solid gameplay and compelling visuals.” It stars Nolan North as the “irascible treasure hunter Nathan Drake.”

Black’s character is Chloe Frazer, “a tough but reckless treasure hunter who cooperates with Drake on his quest to unravel the mystery of Marco Polo’s missing fleet.” Like Black, Frazer is Australian, so expect to hear her wonderful accent in the game.

In an excerpt from Game Informer Magazine supplied by CBO, it appears that Black not only provided the voice for the character, but also her moves: “To act out the cinematics of the game, Naughty Dog performed full body motion capture on the characters and recorded extensive voiceover sessions on set as the actors delivered their scenes. Frequently, motion capture is completed separately from voiceovers, sometimes even by other actors. Naughty Dog went to the expense and difficulty of recording dialogue live to capture the real moment-to-moment chemistry between the actors.”

Here’s the premiere preview video (doesn’t include Black, though):

Uncharted 2 is expected to have a fourth quarter 2009 release.

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Sample Black and Shanks in "Shell Game"

"Shell Game" Audio Drama from Big Finish

Big Finish now has a sampling of the next SG-1 audio play featuring Claudia Black and Michael Shanks as they read James Swallow’s “Shell Game”, the third episode in the publisher’s first season of Stargate stories.

The Season Ten story: “Vala Mal Doran finds herself in a particularly sticky situation when an old foe catches up with her. With only Daniel Jackson able to fight her corner, Vala may have to do something that’s really not her style — tell the truth.”

Visit Shell Game to play the audio sample (the “play” button is under the cover art and the words “play trailer”). The CD and download are scheduled for release next month.

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