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Feature: Stargates

Quips away…

A familar face returns to both Stargate series, but more in one than the other, as Richard Dean Anderson explains…

After eight years of helping right intergalactic wrongs and keeping Earth safe from alien incursions, Richard Dean Anderson decided to take a break from his duties as Brigadier General Jack O’Neill on Stargate SG-1 in order to spend more quality time with his little girl Wylie. The actor did make a couple of brief appearances at the beginning of the show’s ninth season to help usher in a new chain of command, but otherwise he pretty much put his professional life on hold. Recently, however, Anderson returned to the Stargate fold, thanks in part to his daughter’s encouragement.

“Wylie came to me one day and said, ‘You know, Dad, if you want to go back to work you can because I’m OK now. We’re good,’” recalls Anderson. “I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ and she said, ‘Yes’. My reply to that was, ‘Well, what about me? What if I miss you too much?’ That’s when she put her hand on my shoulder, looked me square in the eye and said, ‘Dad, you’ll be OK’.” She’s such a wise and sensitive soul for a seven-year-old,” smiles the actor.

“So I’ve been relaxing quite nicely. Whenever I’m not with Wylie I just go horizontal and rest. I’ve discovered this great invention called a nap. I wish I had stock in those things. And then not too long ago I got a phone call from the guys here at Stargate to do the 200th episode and I didn’t even hesitate. It was a no-brainer. They subsequently asked me, ‘Would you like to do four additional episodes this season?’ and I said, ‘Sure’. It was just perfect timing all around.

“Of course, no one mentioned that I’d doing more Stargate Atlantis episodes than SG-1’s, but that’s cool. Right now I’m in the middle of filming my next Atlantis story [The Return] and things are going great. Brad Turner is up here as well. He’s a very good friend of mine and an amazing director, so I’ve been working with him and Robert Picardo [Richard Woolsey], who is also guest starring in this episode. Robert is one of my favourite actors and I’ve been trying for years to do a project with him, and it finally came together here.”

Although he shot SG-1’s 200th episode and the first of his three Atlantis episodes, The Real World, at the same time, it was on Atlantis that Anderson first stepped back into the role of Jack O’Neill. “That was interesting,” notes the actor. “I’d been away for over a year and kind of lost the rhythm of production. All of a sudden I was thrust into filming two series and playing the same character, but for the Atlantis script I was supposed to portray O’Neill as seen by Dr Weir [Torri Higginson] in her coma/dream projection. However, I didn’t have a very clear idea of what they wanted. So I was basically there to give Torri someone to bounce off of and collaborated with her a bit on where her character was and what was going on with Dr Weir in the story."

by Steve Eramo

Read the full interview and much, much more about the new seasons in
TV Zone Special #71

Stargate © Sci-Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

Taken from
TV Zone Special #71, see below for ordering options
TV Zone Special #71
Stargates New Seasons 2006
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