In our exclusive interview with writer and co-executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, he talks about what’s coming in the back half of SG-1 Season Six, the show’s big renewal for a seventh year, and the return of actor Michael Shanks to the main cast.
He also shares some insight about the inner-workings of the show behind-the-scenes, and speculates about whether Season Seven may be SG-1’s last …
GateWorld: Let’s start at the beginning — or rather, the end! How did Season Six production wrap up?
Joseph Mallozzi: Season Six wrapped with no one really knowing what the future held for Stargate SG-1. We kept hearing potentially “good news” rumors, a strong possibility that we would be picked up for a seventh season. We kept hearing, “Soon! Soon!” But as the production wrapped and reality set in, we were faced with the prospect that this was, in all probability, the end. Paul and I scheduled a trip to L.A. to check out other opportunities, and it wasn’t until the day before our departure that we heard the show was coming back.
GW: What’s your favorite episode in the 11 that fans haven’t seen yet?
JM: I’d have to say “Unnatural Selection.” Brad has a knack for pitching out an idea in the room that will have us all wondering, “Okay. Now what the hell is he going to do to make that work … for an hour?” And, time and again, he comes through. Seriously, though, Brad really excels in writing strong, character-driven stories and, in my opinion, once all the mother ships have exploded and disasters averted and alien races saved / destroyed, those are the stories that stay with you.
“2010” is a good example of the type of episode I’m talking about. After watching, you feel like you’ve run the emotional gamut, ranging from disbelief to incredible anticipation to utter delight to an overwhelming sense of relief (usually tinged with a sense of sadness when all is said and done).
GW: Can you explain the big delay in the Season Seven announcement? Why did it take so long — after the last episode had been written and filmed, after the cast and grew had gone their separate ways for the year — to confirm that the show would be coming back?
JM: A lot more elements had to fall into place to ensure season seven happened. I can’t claim to know what all of them were, but, of course, chiefest among them was ensuring we would have our team leader, Jack O’Neill, back for another season.
GW: The return of Michael Shanks (“Dr. Daniel Jackson”) has both stunned and delighted. How did this turn of events — virtually unprecedented in television history — come about?
JM: Very quickly. The last time I spoke to Michael was some time in late October after we had packed up our offices and assumed that, for all intents and purposes, that was it. Paul and I had made plans to go to L.A. and start looking for work, while Michael was off to South Africa to start work on his latest project. Paul and I had a project that had garnered some interest south of the border (no, not Mexico) and Michael and I were looking ahead, discussing the possibility of his involvement in said project if things came together. We agreed to stay in touch, get together once he got back into town, and that was that.
Weeks later, when rumors of a seventh season began to circulate once again, Robert Cooper threw out the possibility of having the Daniel Jackson character back. I told him I thought it was a great idea. The next thing I know, Robert and Michael have had a chat, and word is he’s on his way back.
GW: With the news of Shanks’ return comes word from Sci-Fi that Corin Nemec (“Jonas Quinn”) will be reduced to a “recurring role.” What does this mean for his participation? How many episodes can we expect to see Jonas in? Will he remain a part of SG-1?
JM: It’s way too early to tell how many episodes the Jonas character will appear in. We like the character a lot but the reality is, with Doctor Jackson rejoining the show, you have two different personalities that make very similar contributions to the team.
Killing him off or turning him into a villain would, in my opinion, be a slap in the face to fans of the character. Instead, we will evolve the character and his continuing arc in such a way that we will leave the door open for his return.
GW: So rumor has it that Season Seven will kick-off with another big two-parter. What can you tell us about it? Is this where we’ll see Daniel return to his corporeal self?
JM: We have a lot of territory to cover in the first two episodes, a two-parter being scripted by Robert C. Cooper (who’ll be writing the first part) and Paul and I (who will be writing the second part). Yes, Daniel will be returning the show, the team, and to life as a flesh and blood mortal.
GW: What other stories are in the works for the new year?
JM: Too early to tell. We have about half the season’s stories mapped out more or less. The opening two-parter will be one of those events that’ll have the fan community abuzz, I’m sure.
GW: How will your day-to-day roles be changing, as executive producers?
JM: With Brad gone, Robert steps into his shoes as show-runner and Paul and I will step into Rob’s shoes as co-execs. Essentially, we’ll be overseeing half the Season Seven episodes, guiding them from prep to post.
GW: Is there a sense yet as to whether or not Season Seven will be the show’s last … or could it keep going? Does the cast and crew want to keep going as long as there are good stories to tell (even if it means changing the cast a bit, as shows like The X-Files have done) — or is the goal now to deliberately wind down the story and pave the way for the film and spin-off?
JM: I’m 99 percent certain that this will be the show’s last season (as certain as SG-1 is that Apophis is dead). I don’t have any inside scoop, just my gut feeling given the down-to-the-wire announcement re: Season Seven. I feel like we’ve just succeeded in taking out an entire armada of mother ships and escaped by the seat of our pants. One miracle is, well, miraculous. Two is pushing it.
Then again, if I was a betting man, I would have bet Season Six was our last season. Nevertheless, last season or not, there’s still talk of a spin-off and that SG-1 movie …
Joseph Mallozzi is a writer and executive producer for Stargate SG-1. Along with writing partner Paul Mullie, he has penned such episodes as “Window of Opportunity,” “The Tomb,” “Descent” and “Prometheus.”