stargate sg-1 feature  
Richard Dean Anderson: Gate Crasher     Colonel O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) makes One False Step
selected from TV Zone #117
In the Eighties Richard Dean Anderson portrayed the brainy espionage agent MacGyver. Now the actor is fighting interplanetary bad guys as the cocky but dependable Air Force Colonel Jack O’Neill.

Jack O’Neill is the leader of the SG-1 team, which travels via an ancient space portal, the Stargate, to other planets. They search for evidence of activity by the evil Goa’uld and make contact with the inhabitants of the places they visit, including descendants of people taken from Earth long ago.

Although he has played everything from a sexy Soap Opera surgeon to a crazed abusive husband, Stargate SG-1 marks Anderson’s entry into the world of Science Fiction. “My credo is, ‘I’ll try anything once,’ well, virtually, so I would have been a hypocrite if I had said, ‘Nah, just forget about it,” says Anderson. “It was high time that I gave Sci-Fi a shot and this show provided me with the perfect opportunity.

“I’m having a lot of fun with the dialogue and the whole concept and especially with my portrayal of O’Neill. An actor couldn’t ask for any more freedom than I have on this show,” notes Anderson. “Also, as one of the executive producers I’m obligated to the franchise. If you want to keep an actor in line make him a producer and he won’t rush off to race cars and jump out of airplanes on the weekends. It’s called responsibility!”

It was John Symes, President of MGM Worldwide Television Group, who approached Anderson about playing the lead, after acquiring all rights to the 1994 StarGate movie“ (starring Kurt Russell as Jack O’Neill).

"John and I had worked together on MacGyver. He hired Jonathan Glassner and Brad Wright [the show’s executive producers and writers] to develop the programme and called me and said, ‘I want you to do this. Do your homework, as I know you will, and over-analyze it, as I’m sure you will,’ which I did,” he laughs. “I watched the movie a few times and saw it had the phenomenal potential to be a great series. We were going to be limited only by our imaginations..."

Steven Eramo
Have you seen our Stargate SG-1 coverage in these recent issues of TV Zone?
Don S. Davis
(Gen. Hammond) interview
TV Zone #116
Christopher Judge (Teal'c) interview
TV Zone #115
Season Two episode guide, six pages
TV Zone #114
Amanda Tapping (Sam Carter) interview
TV Zone #111
Michael Shanks
(Daniel Jackson) interview
TV Zone #109
Jonathan Glassner (Executive Producer) interview – cover story
TV Zone #103
Please note: links are to details of each issue. Features are not necessarily on-line

More from this interview hereGet TV Zone #117 for the full interview

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