Thomasina Gibson, Sci Fi
Magazine Vol 9 No 2, Apr 03
"Robert Cooper and
I have talked about what supposedly happens off-camera [between the end
of Full Circle and the beginning of Season Seven] and, in true Stargate
tradition, Daniel is left to make a choice. Basically, it comes down to
the philosophical difference of Daniel realizing that what he thought of
as Utopia is actually full of dos and don'ts, and he's not actually going
to accomplish much by staying on the path he's currently on. "So, rather
than stay and continue his spiritual journey, Daniel chooses to go back
and conclude the unfinished business in the 'real' world, as it were. So
in the episode entitled 'Fallen,' we find that he's basically been tossed
out of heaven, and we find him buck naked in the middle of some park with
no memory of who he is or how he got there or what happened in his previous
life. So the journey picks up from there."
Michael Shanks is forever grateful
for the support from everyone who made his return to the fold possible.
"I'm truly delighted to be a part of the team once again. I was filming
in South Africa when I got the call from Hank Cohen at MGM asking if I
would like to return to SG-1 for the seventh season. I don't know who to
thank most, between the people at SCI FI and the fans and the guys at Stargate
Productions but, of course, the only response I could give was a resounding
'Yes!' I've had a great year travelling and filming other projects and exploring
other avenues but am truly delighted to be working with the SG-1 team once
"Rick is in fewer days per
week," explains Shanks, "and one of the main factors contributing to my
wanting to come back was the fact that I knew I was going to get the chance
to be involved in the individual episodes a lot more. Obviously we all
support Rick's decision to take that quality time with his child, and the
benefit to all of us is that all the other characters get the chance to
do a lot more. I think that all the dynamics between the characters, i.e.,
between Daniel and Carter [Amanda Tapping] and Carter and Teal'c [Christopher
Judge] and Teal'c and Daniel, have all been underdeveloped during the first
five years of the show. Last year and for sure this year, all those dynamics
are getting a chance to grow and bear fruit, and that'll be great for the
audience and for the actors, too."
"When he's [RDA] not there we
miss him a lot," Shanks smiles. "We shot the first week of the show without
him, and though we were all doing a great job and were really pleased to
be working together, something was missing. It felt kind of empty. But
then Rick showed up and we all went, 'Ah! OK! There we go. We're getting
back to it. I guess you could say there's just a palpable chemistry between
the actors. You can really feel it. Having been away for most of last year,
I certainly felt it when I got the chance to come back and play with everybody
"We've just shot 'Fragile
Balance,' which is a fun one. It involved a young actor playing Col.
O'Neill as a younger version of himself. It was a lot of fun to work with
a kid who was trying to get all the O'Neill-isms we all know and love so
well. [Director/producer] Peter DeLuise, of course, was right in there
giving line readings, which I have to tell you weren't off the mark. It
was hilarious, because in doing a character for so long you almost become
caricatures, and watching somebody do Rick's character for a whole episode
was a lot of fun."
Another episode high on Shanks'
list of forthcoming attractions is entitled 'Orpheus.'
"It involves the ramifications of Daniel's ascension and the effects of
what happened to Teal'c from 'Changeling.' The results of these two situations
unfold independently and they'll sort of culminate in a climax that involves
a third story. It's very multi-layered and there's a lot of interesting
interaction between Teal'c and Daniel. As actors, Christopher and
I get to bite into a rather large sandwich with that one, and to see what
we do with it should be fun. We don't often get the chance to play off
one another, so I'm looking forward to dealing with some tougher emotional
"I'm in the process of hashing
out an outline for a script that should show up around episode 13 or 14."
The multi- talented Shanks ventures, "Writing is a whole other arena that
is both exciting and sometimes frustrating, but it's great to see the other
side of the coin. As I learned when I did my director's stint, being actively
involved in another aspect of television production gives you insight into
what the writers go through to get things to a point in time where an actor
can breathe life into their words."
Before then, though, he's just
happy to be back enjoying his time with the cast and crew, hopeful that
once his episodes start to air his fans will think getting him back was
worth all their effort.
© 2003, Sci Fi Magazine.
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