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07 JUN 03:
Spoiler-free version>>>>

Executive Orders
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 is 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.

(c) 2003, Cult Times.  All rights recognised.  No infringement intended.  This extract appears with permission.  Buy Cult Times Special #26 online: there's much, much more!

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