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Feature: Stargate SG-1
Season Eight of Stargate SG-1 has, in executive producer Michael Greenburg’s opinion, been the show’s best yet – but, as he assures us, the excitement isn’t over yet…
Michael Greenburg may be all grown up, but when it comes to his job, he’s still a kid at heart. After all, not many people can say they go to work and “play” in the make-believe world of Stargate SG-1. As one of the programme’s executive producers, Greenburg spends most workdays on set observing each episode being shot. He’s done that since the first frame of film passed through the camera back in 1997 and this season, the show’s eighth, is no exception.
Production on year eight began in March 2004 and, by the end of June, filming of the first 12 stories was complete. After taking their summer break, the Stargate cast and crew began work on episode 13, It’s Good to be King. Naturally, Greenburg was on hand to watch.
“This was a story that [supervising producer] Peter DeLuise and I originally came up with,” he says. “We wanted to write a sequel to [Season Seven’s] Fragile Balance that included the young O’Neill character, played by Michael Welch, along with Harry Maybourne [Tom McBeath]. It also was going to be a little lighter in the workload department for Richard Dean Anderson [General Jack O’Neill]. Unfortunately, Michael wasn’t available because he’s in Joan of Arcadia, which is a big hit now. So the story had to be restructured but we managed to keep the heart of it, and it has plenty of surprise twists and turns.
“After finishing It’s Good to be King, we began filming an episode called Full Alert. It was directed by [co-producer Andy Mikita] and written by [executive producers] Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie. This story is sort of a Sci-Fi mystery about who is trying to get two nations on Earth worked up to such a fevered pitch that they might blow each other up and the planet as well. Obviously, we’ve made plenty of enemies over the years, and one of them is masterminding this global plot.”
Greenburg’s face lights up when talking about the two-part Reckoning. “This is one hell of a story,” enthuses the executive producer. “It brings together our key antagonists of Anubis [Dean Aylesworth], Baal and the Replicators. It’s always great to work with Cliff Simon [Baal], who plays one of our favourite bad guys. Then, of course, there are the Replicators. Michelle Comens [VFX producer] and her people do a phenomenal job creating those bugs, and their work is always being nominated for various awards.
“Reckoning also sees the return of Replicator Carter, who we last saw in Gemini. I think Amanda Tapping [Colonel Sam Carter] is so skilled in her ability to portray variations of her character. She plays the Carter that we all know and love as well as Replicator Carter, and then another version of Carter in our season finale, Moebius. That Carter is from a different timeline and somewhat of a nerd. Watching Amanda at work this past year has been such a treat as she has managed to keep all these Carters well-defined, separate and entertaining.”
by Steven Eramo
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