With his third appearance on Stargate SG-1 now in the books, actor Robert Picardo (once the Emergency Medical Hologram from Star Trek: Voyager, and now N.I.D. Agent Richard Woolsey on SG-1) spoke with GateWorld shortly after shooting the Season Nine episode “Prototype.”
“My character was sort of introduced as a villain, as a hatchet guy to come in and threaten the status quo in Stargate, so that heads might roll,” Picardo said. “And then in my second appearance they redeemed him, then sort of showed that even though he’s fairly uncompromising and can be very difficult and adversarial, they at least showed in the second one that he came from a true commitment.”
Originally Woolsey arrived to investigate the catastrophe that was the mission to P3X-666 (“Heroes, Part 2”), and to address the overall implications of the Stargate program to U.S. taxpayers. Since then, some fans have at least partially sided with Woolsey’s opinion. In the character’s words, he believed it was “reprehensible that the tax payers of this country are paying enormous sums of money to wage a war they know nothing about and are getting little if anything in return.”
“He felt that civilian oversight even of a top secret thing — which seems to be a contradiction in terms — but that oversight was a very good thing and a very important thing,” Picardo told GateWorld. “They were not on check on how they chose to use their incredible resource there. So they basically made him a guy who meant well. This show (‘Prototype’) recapitulates that mini-arc.”
Now Woolsey is back and proving that he still means business. “I come in again facing Beau Bridges’s character (General Landry) and saying, ‘Here is another opportunity, and if it’s not handled well then it calls into question the resources we’ve given you guys and the leadership.’
Feeling responsible for the death of several officers, Woolsey looks to Dr. Jackson for forgiveness.
“It’s a great guest start turn for this young British actor who plays a character named Khalek. A very good new villain. Terrific.”
GateWorld has also learned that Woolsey will return once again in the second half of the season, in the episode “The Scourge.” Fans who saw “Prototype” may have been left with an ‘I want more!’ feeling in the Woolsey department.
Fortunately, Picardo brings good news. “[Executive producer] Joe Mallozzi mentioned to me that he had just pitched a story that involved my character, so that I think the status is that it’s not definitely going to script but they were reviewing an idea.”
The script likely became “The Scourge,” an episode that will bring back Woolsey and allow Picardo to let his hair down — so to speak. “He told me briefly about it and it sounded like a lot of fun, so I would suspect I’ll be back,” he said. “How soon, I don’t know. I hope it’s this particular story because it sounded like it had a lot of opportunity to expand.”
So far Picardo’s character has only had a singular mission from episode to episode. Interestingly, “The Scourge” will knock Woolsey’s condescending attitude down a peg.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to do anything — those who know me from Star Trek know that I have a pretty good sense of humor, but I haven’t had the opportunity to really do anything amusing with this role. He’s come in with a very set agenda. But if they were to do this next story, and I hope they do, I think it’d be a chance to flex some muscles.”
Picardo also took a moment to give props to Mallozzi. “We’ve become good friends,” Picardo says. “He’s a great guy. Very unique. For someone in his position on a major television show — I know he works very hard, but he seems very relaxed, easy going, easy to talk to. He’s got a whole mellow air to him, an accessibility that is certainly far from the norm in people that are show-runners in television, because that is a very high-pressure job. I keep forgetting that he does what he does on that show. Whenever you bump into him he takes the time to actually talk to you, not ‘I’ve got to get over this before I can get on to what I really have to do,’ which is the way most TV producers are.”
Picardo fans rejoice! Production on “The Scourge” should be completed soon, and the episode will air in early 2006 on The SCI FI Channel. GateWorld will bring you more on this episode when information comes available!