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Feature: Stargate SG-1 Season 8
Something Old, Something New…
After an exciting seventh season cliffhanger that left one of them near death, our heroes are back for an eighth year of adventures on Stargate SG-1. It’s time for the briefing to start…
At a time when genre shows are struggling to stay on the air, there a few, such as Stargate SG-1, that continue to grow in popularity. Since moving from Showtime to the Sci-Fi Channel at the start of its sixth year, the programme has become a ratings hit for the network. Now in its eighth season, Stargate also has the distinction of being the second longest-running Sci-Fi drama on American TV. It has surpassed all five Star Trek series and is second only to The X-Files. There are a number of factors that contribute to a TV show’s success or failure. It’s a bit like putting together the pieces to a puzzle, as Stargate’s leading man, Richard Dean Anderson (General Jack O’Neill), points out.
“We’ve found a formula that apparently works and is attractive to an audience,” says the actor. “Stargate has a good balance of fantasy and reality with its storytelling. It also has a group of well-defined, likeable characters. Such a combination is bound to garner and sustain an audience, which is what we’ve been able to do. A lot of the credit for that goes to [executive producers] Brad Wright and Robert Cooper as well as all the writers. They’ve been doing this show going on eight years now and for them to still be putting out quality storylines is just beyond my comprehension.”
Co-executive producer John Smith adds, “Hopefully down the road there will be an order for a ninth year of Stargate, but right now we have no idea. That said, we don’t want the series to look like it’s the last season, do you know what I mean? Production-wise, this is like any other year and everyone has gone into his or her job with that in mind. If the show doesn’t get an order for next year we don’t want it to be the responsibility of anyone in this building. To that end, Brad’s and Robert’s mandate is to crank out the same kind of production values that we have over the past seven years. So far so good,” he smiles.
Production on Stargate’s eighth season began in early March with the episode titled Lockdown. It was written by series co-executive producers Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie and, as the title implies, most of the action takes place at Stargate Command (SGC). “Back in the sixth season story Disclosure it was established that we would open up the SGC to various other countries,” notes Mallozzi. “Russia, however, had already been extended that privilege. They have their own SG units but we’ve seen them only occasionally, like in The Tomb or Metamorphosis, where a Russian soldier came along with SG-1.
“In Lockdown, a Russian officer, Colonel Dimitri Karpov [Gavin Hood], arrives at the SGC and is very eager to get in on the action. As we know, O’Neill has been promoted to , so SG-1 is now a three-person team and presumably there’s a spot open on the team. Karpov thinks that he would be a perfect candidate for this post. O’Neill, however, is taking a go-slow approach with this guy and, as it turns out, for good reason…"
by Steven Eramo
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