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05 DEC 03:

Stargate SG-1 star Richard Dean Anderson disccuses the death of a SGC officer in the upcoming seventh-season adventure Heroes, written by Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper.  For fans, this is Stargate's biggest open secret.

Writer Robert Cooper told CFQ magazine [Aug/Sep 03], "I wrote Heroes.  There is an incident in this two-parter that I think we ultimately expect to be very significant to the fans.  It's about a documentary crew that comes to the SGC to do a sort of expose on what's been going on.  This is going to give fans a chance to see the characters they love being 'interviewed'.  It's going to be great."

In an interview for TV Zone's Stargate Special [Special #52], Cooper expanded on the premise for the episode.  Heroes finds the President of the United States asking news producer Emmet Bregman to shoot a documentary about the goings-on at the SGC.  "Much of this episode is told from the point of view of the documentary cameras," says Cooper.  "It's a chance to see your favourite Stargate characters interviewed.  The story wound up into a very topical one given the events in Iraq.  I'm specifically referring to the way news reporters were embedded  along with the military and how that affected coverage of the war.

"The SGC, although part of a fictional world, is a top-secret facility and Bregman is caught in a situation in which he feels responsible  to tell the truth about the SGC, yet he's fighting that military agenda to keep it all secret.  The producer is only given access to certain places and feels as if he's not reporting the full story.  An event unfolds at the SGC that involves our heroes in a very serious way and both Bregman along with the viewer want to find out what's happening.  I think it's going to be a very special episode." 

Heroes guest stars Saul Rubinek as Bregman, along with Robert Picardo [the Doctor in Star Trek Voyager] and Adam Baldwin [Firefly].

Dreamwatch asked Richard Dean Anderson:  What did you make of Heroes, the episode in which Dr. Fraiser is killed off?

RDA: Please don't take this as a dispassionate comment, but as familial as we are - and we all adore Teryl [Rothery], we all adore each other, it's kind of obnoxious, actually - it's part of what's needed sometimes in the telling of a story.  You have to shake some things up dramatically.  So as much as there was a sadness about losing a regular castmember, we're okay.  I think it was handled pretty dramatically."

Stars Michael Shanks and Amanda Tapping have both singled out the episode for special praise. "Heroes has probably some of the best work we've ever done,"  Shanks told Dreamwatch [#11, Nov 03]. "We have the culmination of some great guest stars mixed with some of our funnier moments and some of our most angst- and pathos-ridden moments. I think they all blend together into a wonderful combination, and the story allows us to see a side of the SGC we've never seen before. The episode puts you on a bit of a sentimental roller coaster  and I think the audience will really get a kick out of it. We enjoyed making it and I think it's turned out rather well."

At Comic Con, Tapping told fans, 
"Heroes...its got everything. It is now a two-parter. It started out as a single episode and now it's become a two-parter because it grew and grew. I watched my fellow cast-mates, and it's just astounding. The story is heartbreaking and funny and angry-making - that's a new word, "angry-making." You can also be "crazy-making." This one is angry-making. It's got everything, and I think it's going to be one of our best in terms of a full-arc story."

Actress Teryl Rothery, who plays Dr. Janet Fraiser on the show, remained coy about her character's fate in a recent interview with BBC Wiltshire when she was in the UK forhe  Wolf SG6 convention:

BBC to TR: How do you feel about the death of Janet Fraiser in the up and coming two-part episode Heroes?

TR:  She dies?  No!  Are you serious?  Oh, my gosh!  Um.  Well, to reiterate Don, I'm not in fact sure if that two-parter has aired yet so I'm quite surprised by that question.  Again, there are some surprises, some great fun surprises for all the fans to look forward to in Season 7 and some excitement to look forward to for Season 8 so I say stay tuned and all your questions will be answered.

Director Peter DeLuise admitted that it was his idea to kill off Janet.  
"I think Teryl's a wonderful actress, and I love it when she's on the show,"  DeLuise, who's reluctant to give too much away prior to Heroes' premiere, told Dreamwatch. "To say the lines that she does - she makes them sound so easy, but she's talking about technical things with lots of syllables! Sometimes I just go, 'Thank God that we've got people like Teryl and Amanda Tapping to say those lines!' We'd be filming late into the night [otherwise], because a lot of actors can't handle those lines. Teryl will be sorely missed."

Heroes Part 1 and 2 are now scheduled to be episodes 17 and 18 of Season Seven, expected to air in February next year.

If you'd like to send a letter to Stargate's producers expressing your appreciation of actress Teryl Rothery and your desire to see her again in the show, check out Save Janet Fraiser.

© 2003, Dreamwatch, BBC Wiltshire, CFQ, TV Zone.  All rights recognised.  No copyright infringement intended.

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