Beware of spoilers below for Atlantis‘s upcoming episode “The Real World.”
On the set, Anderson has had to play a little catch-up with the Stargate Atlantis characters. He’s filming the Season Three two-part mid-season cliffhanger, “The Return.” But first, Anderson guest stars opposite Torri Higginson in “The Real World.”
In the episode Dr. Elizabeth Weir is in a coma, believing she is back on Earth and crazy. Anderson said it was a little surreal to be back in that capacity.
“All of a sudden I was thrust into filming two series and playing the same character, but for the Atlantis script I was supposed to portray O’Neill as seen by Dr. Weir in her coma / dream projection,” the actor told TV Zone magazine. “However, I didn’t have a very clear idea of what they wanted. So I was basically there to give Torri someone to bounce off of and collaborated with her a bit on where her character was and what was going on with Dr. Weir in the story.”
After a hiatus of a year, Anderson says he’s ready to get back to work. He makes his year off sound boring, jokingly almost a year of sloth.
“I’ve been relaxing quite nicely,” he said. “Whenever I’m not with [daughter] Wylie I just go horizontal and rest. I’ve discovered this great invention called a nap. I wish I had stock in those things. And then not too long ago I got a phone call from the guys here at Stargate to do the 200th episode and I didn’t even hesitate. It was a no-brainer.”
Anderson returns as Major General Jack O’Neill in the August 18 episode of SG-1, and four additional episodes of the two series.
“They subsequently asked me, ‘Would you like to do four additional episodes this season?’ and I said, ‘Sure.’ It was just perfect timing all around.”
Anderson left Stargate SG-1 in 2004 after eight seasons, in order to spend more time with his young daughter at home in California.
“Wylie came to me one day and said, ‘You know, Dad, if you want to go back to work you can because I’m OK now. We’re good,,” Anderson told the magazine. “I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ and she said, ‘Yes.’ My reply to that was, ‘Well, what about me? What if I miss you too much?’ That’s when she put her hand on my shoulder, looked me square in the eye and said, ‘Dad, you’ll be OK.’ She’s such a wise and sensitive soul for a seven-year-old.”
Read more about Richard Dean Anderson’s return on the set in the newest issue of TV Zone (Special # 71). The new Stargate special issue covers the first part of the new seasons of SG-1 and Atlantis and is on news stands this month! (In the U.S., look for it at major retailers like Borders or Barnes & Noble.)
The new seasons of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis premiere Friday, July 14.
(Thanks to Morjana for the tip)