In today's Sci-Fi Blast From The Past, Stargate SG-1's Michael Shanks (Dr. Daniel Jackson) talks about working on the first two seasons of the show.
In its travels to different worlds through the Stargate, the SG-1 team discover living crystals that duplicate O’Neill (Cold Lazarus), meet the ancient Viking god Thor (Thor’s Hammer) and help Teal’c save his son before the boy is implanted with a Goa’uld larva (Bloodlines).
"There’s an episode called Need that we did at the start of this season which I really enjoyed because it allowed me to take an emotional journey when Daniel is faced with an addiction. It was something totally opposite to what I’m usually asked to do so I appreciate that story for the stretch and the push it gave me as an actor,” says Shanks. “In another episode we did fairly recently [Holiday] I spent over six hours being transformed by all this prosthetic makeup into a completely new character, so I like that for the acting challenge as well.
“My favourite story as it stands so far is one called The Torment of Tantalus, which we did in the first season. It is one of the first episodes that really allows my character to carry the ball, but beyond that I think everything that’s good about this series is represented in that episode. All the elements fit perfectly into place in terms of problem solving, ensemble work and a great story [by Robert C. Cooper] that keeps you hooked right up to the end.”
While Colonel Jack O’Neill’s (Richard Dean Anderson) people and the other Stargate teams never know what awaits them on the other side of the portal, some of the biggest surprises often take place when the cameras are not rolling. “Christopher Judge [Teal'c] has this fear of bears,” explains Shanks. “He’s from Los Angeles and we’re up here in the wilds of British Columbia where I’m from and where bears live. He’s a big guy and the old adage, ‘Bears are more afraid of you than you are of them,’ is very true, so he really doesn’t have anything to be afraid of.
“On one episode there was a grip working in the forest. He was dressed completely in black and throughout the day I kept saying to Christopher, ‘Did you hear something? Did you see that?’ He’d give me a punch or whatever and say, ‘Quit messing with me.’ Finally there was a point where this grip was bent down in a ditch and I said to Christopher again, ‘Did you see that?’ Of course, I had him looking in the right direction so when this grip in his black outfit stood up Christopher jumped probably three feet in the air. He was ready to run for his trailer until he figured out at the last second it was just a grip,” laughs the actor.
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