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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Michael Shanks

Shanks for the Memories
Ian Spelling, Starburst Issue 339, June 2006

"The longevity is due to Viagra! No, the longevity is anybody's guess. I think the biggest clue is that we're not a network show, so we didn't get canned right off the bat, which happens to a lot of genre shows on the networks. A show like Firefly is an example of that. We were a cable show and we wer syndicated, so we were off the radar and quietly able to build a fan base. I think the longevity is also attributable to some good executive deals and good partnerships with Showtime and Sci-Fi in terms of the financial aspects. In terms of the creative aspect, we've had a lot of continuity behind the scenes. Brad Wright has been there throughout, and Robert Cooper as well. We've had a lot of writers, like Joe (Mallozzi) and Paul (Mullie), who've stayed around, and it's the same with the actors and crew. Most of us have been here a very long time, and that's where a lot of shows falter. They lose people here and there and the continuity, which is so valuable, goes by the wayside. We also keep a good sense of humour."

[Regarding Season 9] "I liked it for the most part," Shanks notes. "It was such an odd, eclectic year. We had six episodes where Claudia was with us full-time and then we had Amanda come back. So it was a weird mix-and-match year. But overall, I think it turned out well and I think some of the strongest episodes of the season were some of the stronger episodes from the whole run of the show."

[Regarding the Ori] "We've created this very strong nemesis and they'll be led by this very strong villain character who is actually Vala's daugher, Adria. She ends up becoming the head of the Ori invasion, and we have to deal with the ramifications of that. What's great is that with the storylines involving the Ancients and the Ori, there's a lot for Daniel to do because of his connection to that background, with his experience of ascending. So it's a nice place for the character. He's sort of thrust into the centre of the action."

[Regarding Shanks not appearing in four episodes] But make no mistake, Daniel will figure prominently on SG-1 this season and, in fact, his impending short absences led the wirters to forge a storyline everyone prommises will be remarkably controversial. "We're definitely heading there," Shanks notes. "I would say that our mid-season two-parter ends up with the character ina rather unexpected circumstance. It's a way to justify the two episodes in the summer that I'm taking off, but at the same time it's a great story development idea where Daniel kind of goes over to the other side for a little bit and everbody has to deal with the ramifications of that."

Shanks was delighted to have Richard Dean Anderson back in the fold. "To have him come back and be so happy to be there, that was nice," he says. "He missed everyone genuinely. And to have him in the 200th episode was perfect, because it was so in his wheelhouse to do an episode like that. It was good to see him there and being utilized in the right fashion."

Visit Starburst Magazines to order your back issue, read the entire interview, and see all the pictures.

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