We’re looking back at the ten-year run of Stargate SG-1 in our Thirteen Weeks for Thirteen Years (13-4-13) series, and now we’ve arrived at Season Six. There were changes both on screen and behind the scenes after MGM’s Hank Cohen saved the show from its cancellation from Showtime at the end of Season Five by selling it to the US’ Sci Fi Channel for Season Six. In addition, the Sci Fi Channel got the rights to show reruns of older seasons, so a new audience was opened up to them. The move from Showtime to the Sci Fi Channel turned out to be a boon for both the cable channel and the production.
Another major change for the show was the introduction of a new member of the SG-1 team: Jonas Quinn, played by Parker Lewis Can’t Lose lead actor Corin Nemec.
The return of Daniel Jackson as an ascended being also played into three pivotal stories of the season, one of which was “The Changeling,” Christopher Judge’s first script for the show.
At the beginning of Season Six’s production, plans were in place to end SG-1 with this season and go on to a feature film that would act as a bridge between the adventures of SG-1 and the non-military team in the spin-off. At the time that Season Six was starting its principal photography in February 2002, Brad Wright said, “In a perfect world, which this isn’t, we would roll into the feature after a relatively short hiatus immediately after the end of the series. So, we would wrap season six, take a very short break, then go into prep for the feature. You have to get the feature ready so that you can then roll into a spinoff series.” By June 2002, the spin-off had a name: Atlantis.
And then something unexpected happened late in 2002: they were renewed for a seventh season!
SG-1 Season Six
Are you rewatching at home on your DVDs or through Hulu? However you’re doing it, once you’re done, come back here for our poll:
From “Perfect 10” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: The Official Magazine, issue #17 (Jul./Aug. 2007):
“I respect good notes. I listen to good notes—but I’m not changing the series just for the sake of change. [Sci Fi] didn’t want to do that. To their credit, they knew what they were buying. And obviously, at that point we had done over 100 episodes of it. We seemed to know what we were doing, so they were very hands-off and quite respectful of the show for what it was. And at that time it was doing very, very well for them in re-runs. So it had a significant value for them.
“Season six was the first season that we thought was likely our last, but it wasn’t. Who knew that resurgence of season six [would happen]? Basically, the show found an audience that had never seen it before. That’s one of the reasons we were able to grow, to expand the show even more. It was a watershed year.
“‘Abyss’ I would have to call my highlight episode. There was a lot of fun scenes in that and it was nice to see the spark between Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks on screen.”
Richard Dean Anderson
From “SFX Profile: Richard Dean Anderson” in SFX (Jun. 2002):
“Given that there was a request of six years for me to do the show, and I’d done a series before for seven years, I was kind of…well, not running out of gas, but… I have a three-year-old daughter, and I wanted to spend some time with her. That was my only requirement about doing a sixth series: I needed more time at home. I didn’t need more money or anything like that, I needed time.”
From “Stargate SG-1 Goes Even More Sci-Fi” at Zap2It.com (Feb. 22, 2002):
“I couldn’t be greater, except that I twisted my knee yesterday carrying my kid to ballet class. I’ve been aggressively skiing since December, not an incident, then I’m carrying my baby … . Anyway, I have to go have it looked at. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.”
From Live with Regis and Kelly (Jun. 7, 2002):
“Listen, we had General Ryan come on and do a little cameo for us, and he’s a real live four star, one of the big guys, and he came on. And I had to ask him point blank, because there’s a certain irreverence that I bring to the character, and denseness, but while we were doing this scene, I just looked at him and said, ‘Do you have guys like me in…?’ and he stopped me and said, ‘Yes, and worse, and you’re doing a fine job, son.’ So I guess that was license to misbehave. You gotta have fun.”
From an interview in TV Zone #158 (Jan. 2003):
“I’m very happy with how this year went. We dealt with the introduction of a new character [Jonas Quinn, played by Corin Nemec] as well as the loss of an old one [Daniel Jackson, played by Michael Shanks]. Everything just seemed to fit. It was a comfortable transition and, I felt, a credible one, too.
“I got to work with Michael Shanks a couple of times this season, even though he wasn’t a regular ’employee.’ We had the opportunity to do some fairly intense scenes where they threw our two characters together in a paper bag and shook them up. I really enjoy acting opposite Michael, partly because of his awareness of rhythms coupled with his propensity for speed and reaction. The relationship between Jack and Daniel has, I think, found a really nice levelling off place this season.
“I thought it [Jack’s relationship with Jonas] unfolded nicely. Certainly, the seed was sown for conflict and distrust between the two of them. However, throughout the season, Jonas proved himself to O’Neill, who also had some revelations about Jonas’s relative innocence in regard to Daniel’s death. Oddly enough, we’re shooting a scene today that I think further proves that O’Neill has come to accept Jonas. My character actually says something complimentary to him such as, ‘Get well soon, we need you out there.’ That’s O’Neill’s mid-western way of saying ‘You’re OK, kid.’ [Note: ‘Prophecy’ was the last episode to film for Season Six, even though it was the penultimate episode.]
“Martin [Wood] did a wonderful job with ‘Full Circle.’ It was a big production and we wanted to make sure that it was in the hands of somebody who’s used to doing our show. I really enjoy working with him and Peter DeLuise [writer/producer], who also directs several of our episodes each year. Along with being great human beings they’re also very talented and innovative people. Both Martin and Peter aren’t afraid of exploring new ways of doing things and I truly appreciate as well as admire that.
“I’ve received so many compliments about the sixth year. The Sci-Fi Channel really lucked out and got qualitatively a wonderful season’s worth of work. Hopefully, we’ll be able to give them that again and more in Year Seven.
“I have some pressing issues on a personal level as well as career-wise that I have to deal with that will affect my future on Stargate. In fact, last night I jotted down some points in an effort to clear my head as far as what my objectives would be with regard to a career move. Because I tend to write honestly to myself, I concluded that the ideal situation for me would be to stay on this show for a seventh season, albeit in an abbreviated form. I’d rather do that than the alternative, which would be to say goodbye and look for something else down the road. Honestly, I’m not interested in doing that, and with good reason. In this cast and crew of Stargate I’ve got a spectacular sense of community and virtually a family. There really is a warm feeling on our set. So it would be great to somehow work out an arrangement in which we do a seventh season.”
From “The Carter Command” in XPosé (Oct. 2002):
“It’s all gone to Hell in a handcart—the whole show. Honestly, it is so much fun. This is probably the most fun we’ve had in the show since Season One. Not to say that the others haven’t been great. I mean every season had its own personality and it’s always been fun but this year… maybe because we know it’s our last… we’re just digging it. We’re loving each other, we’re laughing our asses off. We’re having a great time.
“It’s been a good season actually. There’s a lot more humor in Carter this year. She’s cracking a lot of jokes, or at least she’s attempting to and we get to see a lot more humor in Teal’c too. Part of it is that we’ve got this new team member in Jonas Quinn and we’re all still a little wary of him. He, maybe, in some ways has bonded the three of us together more. It’s kind of like ‘Watch out for this guy!’ because, you know, he makes mistakes based on his naiveté and we’re all rolling our eyes.
“For Carter it’s been a cool season. For example, Richard and I got sunk underwater in one episode [‘Descent’]. Actually, we nearly drowned in this set that goes underwater. The set was meant to go underwater but it flooded. However, aside from the near drowning experience, the episode had a major cool factor for us.
“Richard had an episode off whilst he went down to Chile so Carter led a mission. It took place on Earth so Teal’c, Jonas and Carter got to wear real clothes and, I swear, we were like the Men in Black. We got to wear these long, black coats just like MiBs and that was very cool. We have all these little aliens on Earth and was such fun to do. It was one of those episodes where Christopher and I are finding ways to make the relationship between Teal’c and Carter lighter. Especially with Jonas in ‘Nightwalkers,’ you’ll see a lot of looks between us that just sort of show how solid the relationships are.
“Then, of course, my dad [Carmen Argenziano as Jacob Carter] has been back and is coming back again—which is a huge treat—and we’ve been to the Antarctic [‘Frozen’]! So yeah! All in all it’s been a really cool season so far.
“It’s kind of like being in your very last semester at school. It’s like everyone has grown up and now we’re like—wow—we can just sit back and enjoy. Plus the episodes seem bigger. The scope of that seems bigger. The sets are bigger and we’ve been on lots of locations. I can’t stress how great it’s been so far because when all is said and done, all things come full circle and we’re back to how we were in Season One which is—’This is it! Let’s just have blast and enjoy each other.’ One thing that’s always made working on Stargate SG-1 such a pleasure is that we really are a family. It’s the one thing that I so appreciate about our show. I adore the way that not only does this apply on set, but in the way that our producers and our writers foster that. For instance, Brad Wright and Robert Cooper and Michael Greenburg are never too busy to listen. Our producer John Smith is on set first thing every morning and he’s the last face you see here at night. It’s full on for him. I get my hug in the morning, then he’s around for the remainder of the day and like the rest of us, he really does enjoy what he’s doing.”
From “Amanda’s Army” in Starburst (2003):
“The season as a whole I thought was fantastic. I thought that it was such an interesting dynamic bringing Corin in, or bringing this Jonas character in, and it changed the relationships of everyone and it sort of infused the show with new life. It was a really strange season for us, but I think that it was a really good one.
“[For] Sam’s development, no, but I’m not complaining. Her job in Season Six was to help move the story forward, doing a lot of explaining or taking us to places. She facilitated stories, but she didn’t have a huge emotional mark in Season Six. She was the go-to girl. You need the information, go to Sam. You need something explained, go to Sam. You need some back-story, go to Sam. There wasn’t a lot of character development for her. There were certain episodes that I thought were fun to play, like ‘Nightwalkers’ and ‘Smoke and Mirrors,’ which were sort of Earth-based stories about ‘Who do you trust and who don’t you trust?’ I certainly had a great time shooting Season Six, but I don’t feel that the character of Sam had a huge amount of development.”
From “Amanda’s Q&A with Fans” (Oct. 30, 2002):
“We’re all cautiously optimisitic about a seventh season. It’s a double edged sword in terms of feeling the need to move on creatively and loving the family and security of Stargate. But, the show is still great fun and the character is still interesting to play so I guess we wait and see what happens. If there were a seventh season I would like Sam to expand her emotional base. She is much warmer and nurturing than she was in the beginning but there is always room to grow. I would like more stories that show us as a team in real peril.”
From “Passion of the Chris” at Blockbuster.co.uk (Aug. 2008):
“The first years of the show, you’re just so giddy about getting something like a Stargate, it’s all about having a good time…and I wasn’t alone. Oh no—I had some knuckleheads with me! It’s just when you get to the point that you don’t ever grow up, that’s when it becomes a problem. But I was very fortunate. Our producers were very patient with me for a number of years and, frankly, had more faith that I would come around than I did. I had a talk with [series co-creator] Brad Wright and told him of my desire to write, and he not only facilitated that but encouraged me as well. From that point on I started to see the possibilities of a future writing, producing and things like that, and I pretty much owe that to Brad.”
From “This Alien Warrior” in Starlog #308 (Mar. 2003):
“We’ve had a great year, but I had my doubts going into it, because Michael Shanks left, and he’s one of my best friends, and Teal’c had such a good relationship with Daniel Jackson. It ended up that the stories were good, Michael came back a few times and Season Six was one of our best years ever. And as for Teal’c, I had always said I wanted him to have a slow and steady evolution, and in Season Six he evolved even further. Now my only worry is: Where do I go next season?
“There’s so much going on with this guy. I wanted him to have this slow evolution, and now that we’re in Season Six, we’re starting to see that pay off. This year, we’ve seen him finally have some resolution with his wife and some closure with his son, Rya’c. He had left his family and now he finally got his son to understand the ‘why’ of it. That was definitely a defining moment.
“For me, personally, ‘The Changeling’ was the most important show. I wrote it, and Brad did such a brilliant rewrite on it. And what [director] Martin Wood brought to the table just far surpassed my own personal vision of the script. Every department had suggestions and input. I felt that on that episode, everyone and every department just went above and beyond the call of duty. It was so touching to be a part of it. And not only that, but my girlfriend and two of my sons were in it. We had a bunch of old friends in it, too. Tony Amendola was there as Bra’tac, and so were Peter Williams [Apophis] and Musetta Vander [Shan’auc]. It was a fantastic experience on every level, just so satisfying to me personally and professionally.
“Storywise, I got to touch on some things I had wanted to see for a while. Many people had forgotten that the Jaffa were originally taken from Earth, so they’re actually descended from humans. Teal’c is very much like a human man. Yes, he has certain advanced physical abilities and healing and recuperative powers, but in his heart and is his mind he’s very much a man, and he dreams and aspires to things just like human men do. I wanted to make him human for a bit and go into his mind and see some of the things that he has been thinking and dreaming and wondering about. And I think we did that.
“Several people have said to me—and I agree with this—that Season Six has been about taking Teal’c forward, whereas Season Five was about exploring his past. It’s the furthering of his journey. It’s even more about his evolution and getting back to his humanity, if you will. It really continues on down to the season’s end. Whereas in the past Teal’c used to kind of sit on the sidelines while everyone else made decisions, he has now become a part of the decision-making process. He’s an active part of the group and not an observer anymore.”
From interview in TV Zone Special #46 (Jul. 2002):
“The casting people from the Sci-Fi Channel just happened to be walking through the courtyard [at MGM’s Santa Monica offices while I was preparing to audition for a feature film]. I’d worked on two projects last year for the USA Network. They own the Sci-Fi Channel, which now airs Stargate. Apparently the Sci-Fi people were looking for an actor to play Jonas Quinn, a new character being introduced into the show to fill the void being left by the departing Daniel Jackson. So they came over to me and introduced themselves. We started talking and they briefly mentioned something to me about Stargate. I didn’t give it a second thought. That afternoon my manager called and told me that they were interested in me for Stargate.
“I met with Hank Cohen [President of MGM Television Entertainment] along with several other people to find out a bit more [about] the part because I’d never seen the show. I was familiar with the Stargate film but not the TV programme. They picked out videotapes of four episodes that they liked and gave them to me to watch. I remember enjoying the movie a great deal but obviously I didn’t know what to expect from a spin-off series. Well, I was blown away. The production design, the cinematography, the acting, etc, were all top notch. That truly impressed me as I love Sci-Fi and action-adventure types of shows. I was also fascinated with the mythology they’d come up with. I thought it was neat how it weaves right in with our Earth mythology and supports Stargate‘s overall story arc.
“Having watched the tapes I called MGM and said, ‘This is definitely a project I’d like to become involved in.’ After a couple of more meetings I was cast as Jonas Quinn in the episode ‘Meridian.’ As far as my long-term involvement with the programme, we agreed to wait and see how the character looked on film and how everybody worked together in that one episode. Once the final edit had been done on ‘Meridian’ and it looked like everything had turned out OK, I got a call from MGM saying, ‘We’re very pleased. If you are, too, then let’s more forward.’ So we did and here I am.”
From video interview conducted by Movie Geek Feed at the Trek Expo in Tulsa, OK (posted on YouTube on Jun. 27, 2009):
“But coming to the show, you know, replacing [Daniel Jackson], it could have been harder. Because everyone was so cool—all the cast, the crew, the producers—everybody was just really welcoming and really laid back, so it made the transition for me really easy. The actors, the entire crew, all the directors—everybody on Stargate was like a big family, and just like a family, they were very welcoming.”
From interview conducted by “Fist Full of Comics” at the Mid-Ohio Comic Con (posted on CorinNemec.com Dec. 19, 2006):
Well, [there was] not necessarily any training [to prepare for the role] really, except only for my own workout regimen, because I had to put on a lot of weight. For myself, personally, I wanted to put on a lot of weight—a lot of bulk—in order to be able to fit in with the look of the entire group, especially with Chris Judge. He’s such a big guy, you know, and if you don’t bulk up, you’re gonna disappear on screen next to a guy like that. And Richard Dean Anderson is like 6’3″, so the fact that he’s so tall it’s also easy to lose youself on screen with someone like that, even though I’m six feet. So I put on about 20-some-odd pounds in muscle mass, really, and a little fat, to be able to [fit in]. So I did that for the show in order to—just for myself—in order to get the look I wanted.
“[By] the time that I started on Season 6, I did watch every single episode of all of the first five seasons within like two-and-a-half to three weeks of having started up on the show. So, like by say the second or third episode, I was completely familiarized with everything that was going on storyline-wise.”
From “Nemec Previews ‘Stargate'” in Sci Fi Wire (Jun. 6, 2002):
“‘Redemption, Part I and II,’ is a really wonderful show. Essentially what it does is it introduces the audience to Jonas Quinn, to his abilities, and it gives you a glimpse of what he has to offer, what he brings to the table. [It] shows his enthusiasm about wanting to do all he can to assist the SG-1 team. It’s also like a trial period for him, because he’s trying to convince the rest of the team that he’s a good candidate to be on SG-1. He’s got to prove himself to O’Neill and the others. Over the two episodes he achieves most of his goal. They finally say, ‘OK, we’ll give you a shot.’ But that’s only the beginning. He’s got to keep proving himself and proving his credibility and prove that he’s actually got something to offer. It’s exciting and a little scary, because I think the audience will be watching him just as closely and going, ‘Can this guy really be worked in? How can he help?'”
From interview conducted by “Fist Full of Comics” at the Mid-Ohio Comic Con (posted on CorinNemec.com Dec. 19, 2006):
[There’s] only one [acting challenge] that developed over time, which is kind of funny because I really don’t talk about it too often, but the use of props as a character became an issue close to the end of Season 6. It came from somewhere on high that they no longer wanted me to use any props and that, to me, was really disconcerting as an actor and confining because suddenly I was not allowed to explore as an artist in the scenes and find what’s organic and natural to me in the beats and moments. I felt that the allowance of that previous to the last like maybe…three episodes of the season where they put that rule into effect, the character had developed these interesting quirks because of the use of props: the eating of things, the experiencing of all of the new and the interesting kind of items that exist in this new world.
“For instance, there was an episode [‘Descent’] early on in Season 6 where me and Teal’c are in outer space and I produce a banana partway through the scene and we have this alien-on-alien conversation in outer space while I eat this banana. That was purely just an idea I came up with at the craft service table because the scene to me lacked—it was just two guys talking, which is fine, but there was nothing really happening for me that was of interest outside two guys talking. So, when I saw the banana, I was like, ‘Now that’s interesting.” And Pete DeLuise, the director of that episode—who is Dom DeLuise’s son and, you know, he’s a brilliant comedian in himself and he really understands humor—and he loved the idea and it turned into one of the most memorable moments. In fact, out there in the web world and fandom, there’s a group of young fans called The Order of Jonas’s Banana—The OJBs and they’re mostly European—but there’s a whole group of them and they go to the European cons and they wear these banana-colored capes and stuff, and it’s all because of that one moment. That came out of having the freedom to explore and discover moments, so that [the restriction concerning props], to me, was very, very strange and confining at the tail end there.”
From “Stargate – Interview with the cast and crew of Stargate SG-1” by Cyberex Online (Jan. 2003):
“It was fun to swim on the set and hold my breath a minute and a half. I’m enjoying the action aspect of the show. Jonas has become a contributing member of the team. It’s just a balance around background, so as the storyline develops more, the character becomes more involved in the storylines. It’s becoming more exciting for me as an actor.
“Jonas is absolutely based on a part of me. He has a number of attributes true to me. I’m bringing those aspects of myself to the character because it works with him. Of course he’s an alien, but I just imagine myself in those fantastic situations and act accordingly, whatever they are.”
From interview in TV Zone Special #46 (Jul. 2002):
“Carter is the first character that the producers had warm up to Jonas quicker than anyone else. Jonas and Teal’c end up bonding because they have similar backgrounds. Both are aliens who left their worlds as well as their lives behind to join SG-1’s cause. As for O’Neill, the nice thing about him is he’s a loyal guy. He’s loyal to his team mates, his mission and he was and still is loyal to Daniel Jackson. They went through a lot together, so he can’t just blindly accept this new guy taking Daniel’s place. Jack is the person that Jonas has to prove himself to the most, and even when he’s allowed on the team, the colonel doesn’t automatically accept him.
“As I said before, Jonas still has to get out there in the field and pay his dues. So his relationship with O’Neill is a bit strained but I like that because it makes things all the more interesting.
“I have a feeling that by the time this season ends we’ll have a pretty refined character in Jonas and one that’s in a position to develop further. If I get the chance to do that with him, cool. If not, I’ll be grateful to have at least walked in Jonas’s boots for 23 episodes.”