FOUR STAR

Excerpt taken from
Cult Times #60

It’s back on TV! We met up with Stargate SG-1’s executive producers, Brad Wright and Robert C Cooper, to find out what lurks around the corner…

New character Anise: will she get her man?

For almost four years, countless souls have been throwing themselves through the stargate beneath Cheyenne Mountain with reckless abandon.

These apparently foolhardy missions are due solely to the imaginative efforts of a clutch of talented writers who beaver away at the Stargate SG-1 production offices in Vancouver. Well, they do work quite hard, once they’ve spent the morning entertaining journalists...

When I catch up with two of the longest serving members of the writing team, executive producer Brad Wright and co-executive producer Robert C Cooper, the latter flops down onto the sofa having chased the office pet around the room. Meanwhile Wright offers the last four heart-shaped chocs rattling around in an otherwise empty box. “We ate all the best ones,” he grins, before launching into an enthusiastic preview of what we can expect from the fourth season of MGM/Showtime’s award-winning Sci-Fi series.

Christopher Judge: ready for a re-take“We’re really, really excited about the show this year,” he beams. “We’ve had a little bit of a shift around, introduced some new members to the creative team, welcomed Robert aboard in a different role as co-executive producer and confidence is high. We feel Season Four is going to be our best season yet.” Characteristically mindful of spoilers he says, “We win some friends, suffer a loss, Teal’c gets kissed and all manner of surprises crop up along the way.”

Bubbling over with the enthusiasm that has become a trademark of those involved with Stargate SG-1, Cooper nods his agreement with Wright’s comments. “Throughout the previous seasons, we’ve been bold enough to keep trying new ways to keep the show as fresh and intriguing as possible. We hope our audience will agree that we’re going even further this year.” Supporting his colleague by not giving too much away, Cooper does reveal that the SG-1 team have adventures under every possible circumstance – underground, underwater, under ice and under duress.

The SG-1 team’s forays have become prescribed viewing in over 40 countries. Says Wright, “From the very beginning one of our aims has been to try to incorporate new characters into the mix. This year will be no different. We’re very excited about the fact that one new character, a Tok’ra maid called Anise [Vanessa Angel] will make several appearances at the start of this year.”

Eyes twinkling, he goes on, “We’ve been having a look at the Internet and listening to what folk have been saying about the relationships... Many of the fans' comments meshed with the ideas we were tossing back and forth so we thought it was time to integrate a few of those ideas. Anise is a very strong, intriguing, very beautiful young woman and it will be interesting to see what the SG-1 team and Jack O’Neill [Richard Dean Anderson] in particular think of her.” Laughing outright he suggests, “I think there could be some… er… tension there. A little frisson.”

The phrase ‘many a true word was spoken in jest’ springs to mind at his prophetic words. “A little frisson” is nothing compared to the volume of feedback that followed Anise’s first few shows, which caused such a commotion on the Internet that Wright eventually had to step in to calm fears that she would ride off into the event horizon with the lovely O’Neill. In fact, so many feathers were ruffled that Wright felt compelled to remind objectors that it was unlikely anyone would run off with the dashing colonel – a sentiment he’d shared prior to the Internet response.

“Part of the appeal of the show is that we strive for realism, particularly with regard to our military pursuits. In accordance with current regulations, it would be highly irregular for two serving officers such as O’Neill and Major Sam Carter [Amanda Tapping] to have an on-going personal relationship. So in the context of SG-1 it’s unlikely to happen.

“But we haven’t ruled out some romantic involvement for some of the other characters,” suggests Cooper. “Christopher Judge is fairly happy at the moment. We’ve just shot an episode where Teal’c gets to have a bit of a dalliance with an old flame. It took us a while because Chris really threw himself into the part and insisted on re-doing several shots several times...”

Thomasina Gibson

• Buy Cult Times #60 for the full feature • Anise's first episode, Upgrades, is a highlight in this month's Out of the Box listings

Images © Showtime / MGM
Feature © Visual Imagination 2000. Not for reproduction.