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Feature: Stargate SG-1

Nine Lives

More tales for Daniel He’s been there and done pretty much everything in the last eight years, but Michael Shanks insists that there are still plenty of new places for Daniel Jackson to explore in Stargate SG-1

Michael Shanks wasn’t the least bit surprised when the powers that be decided to renew Stargate SG-1 for at least another year. Back as the indubitable Dr Daniel Jackson, Shanks is delighted with the upsurge of life and vitality injected by the latest additions to SG-1’s illustrious crew. Describing his initial reaction to the news of a ninth year, Shanks says, “Well, the idea of Season Nine took a long time coming about. We [as in everyone at Team Stargate in Vancouver] had every confidence that we could do it, but I think in television and the entertainment industry, when money is involved, executives like change and once certain things like the new characters were defined and once we started to decipher how the new dynamics would work, it became very exciting. It kind of became like we were treating it like a pilot of a brand new show.”

With 10 episodes ‘in the can’ Shanks is pretty happy with how things are shaping up in the new, improved Stargate SG-1. “Everybody has been much more ensemble this year. We have the central brain trust of the writers and they are also the producers and they are the bosses. Then we actors are trying to figure out where all the different pieces of the puzzle work together and we are trying to be very open and give everybody as many avenues as possible. It’s an interesting process because everybody is so new. Everybody is feeling their way round in the dark trying to find out what other people are like to work with and how the characters are going to interact and what kind of stories are going to be written. It’s like a blind man walking with a stick in a minefield. Fortunately we haven’t stepped on anything big yet, but there have been a few close calls. But it’s been exciting regardless and interesting to see that.”

Although the season began with Shanks and best buddy Christopher Judge being the only long-term regular cast members on set, Shanks insists, “There is no hierarchy per se. Christopher and I represent the most experienced in terms of working on the show but we’re certainly not working with any rookie actors. Our ‘new’ cast all have strong backgrounds. With Lou Gossett Jr (Gerak) and Beau Bridges (General Hank Landry) there, you certainly know you have your work cut out for you. And we have had a lot of wonderful guest stars so it’s been very exciting, and if anything our part at the early part of the show was just to open the door and make people feel comfortable and make sure everybody got as many chances as possible and didn’t get too big for their britches too early. I don’t mean getting too big for their Bridges,” he quips. We sigh and say we know what he means.

by Thomasina Gibson

Get the full interview in
Cult Times #118

Photo © Sci-Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #118
July 2005
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