Thomasina Gibson, Cult Times
Special #26, Jun 03
One of the first major decisions
that the executive producers had to make [for Season Seven] regarded the
re-introduction of one Daniel Jackson, aka Michael Shanks. "It was
one of our better decisions," admits Cooper, "And the transition, between
Michael Shanks and Corin Nemec riding off into the sunset, obviously provided
us with a good jumping-off point for stories."
"Michael Shanks has come back
with a wonderful attitude and a whole renewed energy," Michael Greenburg
confirms. The man who spends most of the time on the set and on location
during the actual filming of each episode, Greenburg knows better than
anyone how the cast and crew react to any given situation. "What
has been great is that everyone did welcome Michael back with open arms,
and when we first started seeing the dailies we could see that Daniel had
this fresh perspective. I think that the way we reintegrate him into
the show allowed Michael to kind of justify his re-introduction in his
own mind as far as performance is concerned. He wiped the slate clean
and started afresh."
Richard Dean Anderson offers,
"In a way we, as in the producers and the writers, are kind of satisfying
what Michael's original problem was in that he felt the character was being
somewhat under-utilised. The fact is that circumstances mean I have
chosen to take a slightly reduced role in the show this year, so inevitably
the weight of the stories is going to fall on the other actors' shoulders,
which means Michael is having to do more and is getting to be more instrumental
in the key scenes and storylines." All of which makes perfect sense
however you look at it.
"On a personal level," says
Anderson, "I am delighted Shanks is back. I've missed him.
There is no doubt there is a certain chemistry between us and we both enjoy
the interplay between our characters and enjoy our scenes together and
have fun with the roles." Giving a modest shrug, "Feedback suggests
that the people who watch the show also enjoy what we do so it's all good."
Richard Dean Anderson chips
in with, "I think the greatest thing about the whole concept of Stargate
that we have this wonderful prop, this ring that we start with every week,
and who knows where it's going to go or what kind of story is going to
unfold. Sometimes we do stuff that is out and out fun. Sometimes
the story leads us to investigate some strong moral dilemma issues and
sometimes we delve into stuff that is very poignant."
"I'm around for everything except
the pre-production process, but I'm fortunate enough to have surrounded
myself with intelligent, competent people. The other guys are so
good at what they do, it makes sense for me to leave them to it."
Getting on with things is exactly
what they've been doing with a vengeance this year. The schedule
and progress has been such that Stargate's seventh season will be completed
way ahead of time.