Ben Browder talks about finding the rhythm of the show’s production crew as its newest cast member. “I’m sort of familiar with the technical aspects of a sci-fi show, how to do all the green screen work and all that,” he said in the interview. “The hardest thing is to learn everyone’s name, when they all know each other. It’s getting into the rhythm and feel of the show, the style, so that you can find your way in, so you can figure out how they work as opposed to how you used to work.
“Farscape was constructive chaos, but it was chaos we understood. They’re much more efficient up here; it’s a matter of getting used to the pace and the feeling of the show. It’s getting to know people and learning to trust one another and getting a sense of what someone else is going to do [in a scene].”
Gary Jones describes his experiences during the casting process for “Chevron Guy” more than eight years ago, and how he has grown beyond just calling out chevrons. “Now my character is a little like Radar O’Reilly [from M*A*S*H],” he said. “He knows how things run and he’s handing [Beau Bridges’s character] files before he needs them and doing stuff for him before he knows he needs it done. They gave me a promotion to Chief Master Sergeant; it’s the highest rank I think you can be without being an officer.”
Jones also revealed that he will crossover to appear in the Stargate Atlantis episode “Critical Mass.”
Dr. McKay finally finds someone with whom he can get up close and personal in “Duet.”
David Hewlett told the paper that he is excited about the shake-up in character relationships in the second season of Atlantis. “Season One set up the characters and what they’re supposed to do, like any good first season,” he said. “Where were going in Season Two completely messes with that. Rain [Rainbow Franck’s character, Lt. Ford] drops off to the dark side and comes back to make our lives miserable. All of the sudden all the trust and stuff built between the characters is broken down.
“[Up until now] McKay could just be the guy who babbles and solves the problem and then it’s solved. What’s great is this year right near the beginning McKay hits a wall. All of a sudden he doesn’t have all the answers. His arrogance and self confidence paid off [until now] but he hits a wall and screws up. [Various developments like that] bring back the friction between all the characters.”
Hewlett also appreciates the new role played by Mitch Pileggi (The X-Files), whose character Colonel Steven Caldwell introduces even more friction. “Mitch has this great character, this guy with a quest for power who’s been overlooked for running Atlantis,” he said. “He’s constantly butting heads with Weir; she’s a diplomat and he’d rather just blow things up. He’s constantly looking for things that will be of use for his superiors, so every new weapon or alien being or ancient discovery is of potential interest to him.
“McKay is aware of that. He doesn’t see himself as being slimy … but he’s willing to play off the military and Weir and Shepherd and everyone else, because he thinks his ultimate goal is to make discoveries and prove himself right. He’s been an academic for so long, he’s read all the reports, he feels he can handle things better.”
Hewlett also talks about his “love scene” with co-star Paul McGillion (“Dr. Carson Beckett”) in the August 5 episode, “Duet.”
Vala enjoys playing a god in “The Powers That Be.”
Last, but most certainly not least, Claudia Black discusses her six-episode stint as a guest star at the center of attention in SG-1‘s ninth season. “Vala is instrumental in kickstarting the story for the season,” she revealed. “I was very spoilt in that regard. It was wonderful to be in the eye of the storm as far as the story was concerned and also to be given so much comedic work to do. It was such a joy for me to do those scenes with Michael Shanks, who is a fantastic comic sparring partner.”
Will Vala go out in a blaze of glory, or have the writers left the door open for her possible return? “The window isn’t closed on Vala,” Black said. “That’s for sure. It really depends on if I’m available, and they can get what they want [storywise]. It’s a nice position to be in, to be in love with a character you’ve played, who may live on again, who you want to go back to.”
(Thanks to Tribune columnist Maureen Ryan for passing this along!)