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20 DEC 02: STARGATE IN 2002 - XPOSE SPECIAL #22 YEARBOOK 2002-2003.
It was a year of anger and grief for fans of Stargate SG-1, but eventually there was a happy ending with a Daniel-rich seventh season in prospect, as Diane McGinn recalls.


The flood of letters had begun in December 2001, but showed no sign of letting up as the New Year dawned, with the self-styled Danielites being particularly incensed by MGM’s reluctance to announce his departure in a formal press statement, and the decision to introduce his replacement, Corin Nemec, in the episode chronicling Daniel’s death. That MGM had put out a press release describing Nemec as the ‘handsome hunk’ joining the team didn’t help, as Daniel’s fans felt slighted by the implication that Michael Shanks’s good looks had been the core of his appeal. Letter after letter stressed that the protesting fans were devoted to the whole team, and shared Shanks’s concern that the balance between the characters had been neglected since season four.

That said, these letters then tended to stress how essential Daniel was to the team, having opened the Stargate in the first place and was the heart of the team, before dismissing conspiracy theory episodes as alien to the show...Inevitably this flood of emotion provoked a backlash of correspondents who were upset to see Daniel go, but felt the show would go on, and perhaps benefit from new directions offered by new characters.


At SG-4, Michael Shanks gave a series of outspoken interviews discussing his departure from the show. Speaking to Xposé's Sharon Gosling on the Saturday, he seemed ‘an angry young man’, but still restricted himself to discreetly commenting, “I found the last two years of the show to be a winding down of the character’s usefulness, and the lack of desire of the producers to use him properly was very frustrating for me.”

By the following Tuesday, after a gruelling series of interviews conducted while he was also battling flu, he’d become more outspoken, telling Starburst, “It shows their complete disrespect to the character of Daniel Jackson and to me as an actor, it shows they don’t think that he was that important to the show.”

Within the month Dr Jackson’s return in Abyss was confirmed.


Stargate SG~1 returned to the air in America after an unusually long break.  Fan artist ‘Lady Littlefox’ had her request for a license to produce T-shirts featuring her work turned down ‘because an animated series is in the works’


Verdicts on Meridian were mixed. On the one hand, most viewers felt that Daniel had got a suitably emotional send-off, albeit a rather rushed one, but even those fans willing to give Corn Nemec a chance felt that introducing him in the same episode had been a bit of a mistake.


Stargate SG-1 returned to the screen for a new season  [on new broadcaster] The Sci-Fi Channel.  On the whole, the verdict on the new-look show was positive, [Solutions sidebar: um, no, it wasn't, not outside the Visimag stable of scifi magazines, the MGM newsletter, a less than representative online forum and a few Yahoo lists populated by the usual suspects.  Online fandom was so dead it seemed we'd never recover.]  with comments that Jonas was being forced too crudely into the Daniel-shaped hole in the team being mitigated by O’Neill and Carter’s hostility towards him.


The big news should have been the first definite details of the "Stargate: Infinity" animated spin-off.  But of course, this was totally overshadowed by the return of Daniel Jackson in Abyss, and the near-universal comment that the sheer chemistry between him and O’Neill was something very special which had been a great loss to the show helped to heal some of the wounds from the spring.


A quiet month for news, save for rumors that the Stargate SG-1 movie might be dead due to low ratings for the new season.


With the show off the air for its fall came that Christopher Judge would once again be writing an episode, which would include a cameo from Michael Shanks, while Shanks would be back in force for the final episode, Full Circle. At the SG-5 convention in Blackpool, executive producer N John Smith hinted that Anubis would finally be revealed in the series finale, but then suggested that, having spent a year setting him up as the villain for the movie, it now looked as if they’d going on to a seventh season after all...

Within weeks, the news was confirmed: there would be a seventh season, and everyone would be back. Richard Dean Anderson’s concerns about being separated from his family had been allayed by a considerate schedule, Amanda Tapping would be directing an episode, and Christopher Judge and Don S Davis would also be back. But for many fans, the best news of all was the thing for which they’d campaigned so ardently: the return of Michael Shanks as a full regular with Corin Nemec also around in a recurring role.

(c) Xpose, Visimag 2002.  All rights recognised.  No copyright infringement intended.  Extracts from published interviews and features appear with permission.

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