Paul Simpson, SFX, Jun 03
"Anubis is going to create a
much more efficient soldier than the Jaffa," Robert Cooper says excitedly.
"In his mind, it's because the Jaffa re being turned against him.
The new soldier is going to be a little more palatable for us to fight.
We wanted to create something that would not only be a much more powerful
adversary than the Jaffa, but one that would relish the challenge of dealing
with, and have a little more fun with. We don't mind shooting this
guy; he's bad and deserves to be destroyed. In fact, whether he's
even alive is going to part of the question of the show."
The biggest change of the year
is the return of Dr. Daniel Jackson. Michael Shanks hints that "there's
about a four to five episode arc where Jackson is reintegrating himself
into his life. He's finding things out, and he really can't remember
certain things. At core, Daniel Jackson is still going to the same
character, but Rob Cooper wanted to make him more proactive, and I agree
with that. It allows him to become more involved by taking a more
active approach, and it's a great part of the ascension arc."
So Daniel Jackson didn’t really
enjoy Ascension? “We have to justify why he would come back down,” Shanks
says, “and it’s because he saw what the Ancients’ inactivity would lead
to. We’re not going to press the reset button and make it seem like the
last year never happened. We’re going to find out what he learned from
this experience. He doesn’t remember at the outset, but in Peter DeLuise
‘s episode, ‘Orpheus’, it starts to dawn on him gradually that he made
a decision to come back down. He wasn’t kicked out. He realised he could
do more good here.”
Everyone is pleased that Jackson
— and Shanks — is back. “I was truly happy to hear that Michael was coming
back,” Amanda Tapping recalls. “When we’re out on missions, Michael and
I would carry the ball for the technobabble. During season six, I felt
very much like the technobabble speaker, and I facilitated the story without
having any real heart vested in it. With Michael gone, it was like, ‘Crap!
I’m meant to be explaining this one!’ But now he’s back, and that’s one
of the many reasons I’m glad he’s here. It’s the Three Amigos again.”
“I said all along through his
absence that he was missed,” series star Richard Dean Anderson says firmly.
“His energy, his talent and his humour, particularly. I missed the banter.
There was an acknowledgement of rhythms between us, and from it came a
shared sense of humour, which the writers jumped on and wrote towards.
We had a sand-papery relationship as characters, which was genuinely fun.
Ultimately, I’m really glad he’s back and I told him so!”
Richard Dean Anderson has cut
back on his schedule to spend more time with his daughter and the reality
is he's now not available one week in every four as well as normally being
away either side of the weekend. “It’s a mad scramble to make the cogs
fit,” he admits. “I know all the guys will say that it’s cool, but I know
it’s been difficult. I sat down with everyone before I made the final call
to MGM, to make sure that they were amenable.”
“I’ve got three scripts in my
bag,” Amanda Tapping points out. “We’re doing a lot of running about between
second unit and main unit. It’s insane, but I don’t think the quality of
the show has been compromised at all, because this is a great season.”
Tapping is also looking forward
to some character development during the upcoming season. “I really want
to find the heart of Carter, and see what makes her tick,” she says. “What
gets her juices flowing and her blood boiling? ‘Space Race’ doesn’t show
any deep hidden secret about her but we get to see her having fun. She’s
an adrenaline junky. She’s got a much better sense of humour now. There’s
also the potential for her to get a boyfriend. It’ll be someone off
the base, and that creates a million problems. It’ll be about this person
not understanding what she does for a living, and her not being able to
tell him. It will force her to take a long hard look at how she’s lived
her life and the choices she’s made.”
Chris Judge has enjoyed the
chance to “make Teal’c a tad bit more human. He’s not so stoic. This year
he actually reacts to a lot more, and says a lot more! He’s affected by
things around him, and expresses his happiness that Daniel is actually