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04 JUN 03:
Spoilers for Season Seven below>>>>

Seventh Heaven
Paul Simpson, SFX, Jun 03 #105

"Anubis is going to create a much more efficient soldier than the Jaffa," Robert Cooper says excitedly.  "In his mind, it's because the Jaffa re being turned against him.  The new soldier is going to be a little more palatable for us to fight.  We wanted to create something that would not only be a much more powerful adversary than the Jaffa, but one that would relish the challenge of dealing with, and have a little more fun with.  We don't mind shooting this guy; he's bad and deserves to be destroyed.  In fact, whether he's even alive is going to part of the question of the show."

The biggest change of the year is the return of Dr. Daniel Jackson.  Michael Shanks hints that "there's about a four to five episode arc where Jackson is reintegrating himself into his life.  He's finding things out, and he really can't remember certain things.  At core, Daniel Jackson is still going to the same character, but Rob Cooper wanted to make him more proactive, and I agree with that.  It allows him to become more involved by taking a more active approach, and it's a great part of the ascension arc."

So Daniel Jackson didn’t really enjoy Ascension? “We have to justify why he would come back down,” Shanks says, “and it’s because he saw what the Ancients’ inactivity would lead to. We’re not going to press the reset button and make it seem like the last year never happened. We’re going to find out what he learned from this experience. He doesn’t remember at the outset, but in Peter DeLuise ‘s episode, ‘Orpheus’, it starts to dawn on him gradually that he made a decision to come back down. He wasn’t kicked out. He realised he could do more good here.”

Everyone is pleased that Jackson — and Shanks — is back. “I was truly happy to hear that Michael was coming back,” Amanda Tapping recalls. “When we’re out on missions, Michael and I would carry the ball for the technobabble. During season six, I felt very much like the technobabble speaker, and I facilitated the story without having any real heart vested in it. With Michael gone, it was like, ‘Crap! I’m meant to be explaining this one!’ But now he’s back, and that’s one of the many reasons I’m glad he’s here. It’s the Three Amigos again.”

“I said all along through his absence that he was missed,” series star Richard Dean Anderson says firmly. “His energy, his talent and his humour, particularly. I missed the banter. There was an acknowledgement of rhythms between us, and from it came a shared sense of humour, which the writers jumped on and wrote towards. We had a sand-papery relationship as characters, which was genuinely fun. Ultimately, I’m really glad he’s back and I told him so!”

Richard Dean Anderson has cut back on his schedule to spend more time with his daughter and the reality is he's now not available one week in every four as well as normally being away either side of the weekend. “It’s a mad scramble to make the cogs fit,” he admits. “I know all the guys will say that it’s cool, but I know it’s been difficult. I sat down with everyone before I made the final call to MGM, to make sure that they were amenable.”

“I’ve got three scripts in my bag,” Amanda Tapping points out. “We’re doing a lot of running about between second unit and main unit. It’s insane, but I don’t think the quality of the show has been compromised at all, because this is a great season.”

Tapping is also looking forward to some character development during the upcoming season. “I really want to find the heart of Carter, and see what makes her tick,” she says. “What gets her juices flowing and her blood boiling? ‘Space Race’ doesn’t show any deep hidden secret about her but we get to see her having fun. She’s an adrenaline junky. She’s got a much better sense of humour now. There’s also the potential for her to get a boyfriend.  It’ll be someone off the base, and that creates a million problems. It’ll be about this person not understanding what she does for a living, and her not being able to tell him. It will force her to take a long hard look at how she’s lived her life and the choices she’s made.”

Chris Judge has enjoyed the chance to “make Teal’c a tad bit more human. He’s not so stoic. This year he actually reacts to a lot more, and says a lot more! He’s affected by things around him, and expresses his happiness that Daniel is actually back.”

(c) SFX, 2003.  All rights recognised.  No infringement intended.  This extract appears with permission.  Buy SFX #105 online: there's much, much more!

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