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Stargate SG-1 Crew Interviews: Peter DeLuise

Checking the Gate: Peter DeLuise
Ian Spelling, Dreamwatch #102, March 2002

How has the show's scope changed since you came on board?

I came on at the end of the second season and most of the stories at the time were stories that went, more times than not, with the premise that we would go to a planet and find oppressed people that used to be slave labour of the Goa'uld and who have now been left to their own devices and were screwed up. They had false god beliefs and we'd have to challenge their religion. For one reason or another, there'd be conflict and they'd almost all die, but then they'd live at the end.

Now, there are a lot more episodes that involve devices and time travel, things that evoke the original formula but look elsewhere for the action and the drama. We've gotten more into alien races. We've gotten more into our regular characters. We've got into explaining who the Ancients are.

By the time this series ends, whenever that is, I think there will be almost no unanswered questions from the original mythology. You'll understand who the Ancients are, why they exist, and what they believe.

This past year Michael Shanks moved on and Corin Nemec arrived. How did that impact on Stargate?

We felt the loss of Daniel Jackson, as a show. We mourned his loss. In the same way, we mourned Michael leaving the show. That's one dynamic that has been lost. But loss happens in real life. If we don't have loss, rebirth and regeneration, then we're not reflecting reality and we're just a cartoon. In life, you have pets and they die. You have relatives and friends and they die. You go through school and you graduate. There's a beginning, middle and ever to everything. If everyone just has a happy, peppy life, it doesn't resemble anything that's real. And that's certainly the case on a TV show. Stargate isn't real. It's a TV show. It's a SF show. But it's got to resemble human behaviour and reality. One of the things that happened that resembled human life is that one of our characters moved on. Our characters are mourning his loss and trying to move on, which makes them more real.

In terms of Jackson's role on the team, someone had to pick up the slack. So you've got Corin trying to fill someone else's shoes. That's what he's doing in real life and on the show. Jonas should have gotten killed in the episode in which we introduced his character, so he's taking on that burden as well as Daniel's responsibilities, and he's also got to prove himself to the team, which he's been doing. He's not just incredibly smart, but he's got a Sherlock Holmes-like power of observation. He can recall that you had a certain colour mud on your shoe and that kind of mud is only found in this particular place. His character's been paying off in that way.

What's really great about this character, especially in the sixth season of a show, is he's new. We have to explain stuff to him. Instead of having to make O'Neill forget something conveniently and have to be reminded by somebody else, the characters can fill Jonas - and as a result, the audience - in on things. Jonas has an excuse for not knowing: he wasn't here. We can bring him and the audience up to speed at the same time, and that's been a very helpful tool.

(c) dreamwatch, Titan Publishing, 2003. All rights recognised. No copyright infringement intended.

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