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Feature: Stargate SG-1

You’re Grounded!

Gloomy mystery

After a year as an ascended being, Daniel Jackson’s been returned to Earth and the welcoming embrace of Stargate team SG-1. Actor Michael Shanks couldn’t be happier…

Michael Shanks made his permanent return to Stargate SG-1 this year not so much in a blaze of glory as with a flash of teeth and… um… other attributes. “Yeah!” laughs the delighted actor. “I return to the fold with nothing more than my birthday suit, but don’t blink or you’ll miss it.” Nekkid or fully clothed, the other members of SG-1 weren’t the only people thoroughly pleased to see him. Legions of fans heaved a collective sigh of relief and got on with the job of enjoying their favourite show once more. “I was in South Africa making this movie called Sumuru [a fun Space/Sci-Fi type romp] and I got a call saying they wanted me to come back and I was thrilled. Michael Greenburg [one of Stargate’s executive producers] told me that the people at The Sci-Fi Channel had a big hand in bringing me back, so I am totally grateful to them for that.”

For those catching up with the intrepid SG-1’s saga, Daniel Jackson, archaeologist, anthropologist and all-round good guy bit the bullet to save a planetload of people at the end of Season Five and, blow me down, did the same thing again at the end of Season Six. Only instead of going to Heaven, he gets short shrift for his trouble…

“When Daniel confronts Anubis [David Palffy] and is whisked away, that’s not Anubis doing anything. That’s Oma Desala, Daniel’s boss in the ascended realm, grabbing him and tugging him away. What ends up happening is he is left to make a choice because the Ascended code says he can’t interfere with what’s happening in the world and he has to work through his issues before he can really join the ranks of Enlightened Beings. It’s kind of a philosophical thing that Robert Cooper [executive producer] and I discussed, about the difference between Daniel realizing what he thought was ‘Heaven’, ie what he thought was his ideal world, was actually full of politics and dos and don’ts and bullshit, and that by swapping one set of rules for another he’s not actually accomplished much. What Daniel does realize is that the guys at the SGC are still his friends, that he cares for them deeply and that he still has an unfinished job to do on Earth. So he chooses, rather than stay and maintain this spiritual journey, to go back and finish unfinished business in the corporeal world. So we find he’s basically been thrown out of Heaven. The episode is entitled Fallen, but in fact he’s been tossed out on his tush and we see him butt naked in the middle of some park in Surrey, British Columbia with no memory of who he is nor how he got there. No memory of what happened in his previous life, and the journey sort of picks up from there.”

by Thomasina Gibson

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Cult Times #99
December 2003
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