In a recent interview with the “Dreamwatch Presents Total Sci Fi” Web site, Michael Shanks (“Daniel Jackson”) makes several surprising admissions, including a major spoiler for Stargate: Continuum, the second of the 2008 direct-to-DVD Stargate SG-1 movies.
Because of his filming commitment to 24, Shanks could not join castmates Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, and Ben Browder on their recent Arctic shoot. To explain Daniel’s absence, writer/executive producer Brad Wright created a surprise twist for the character.
When SG-1 prepares to witness Baal’s execution, Baal manages to change history, stranding the team in a reality where the Stargate program does not exist, Teal’c is Baal’s First Prime and Vala, still host to the Goa’uld Qetesh, is Baal’s queen.
In attempting to restore their own history, the members of SG-1 pursue separate pathways. Dr. Jackson is not in the Arctic because his character has lost a leg, a problem he wrestles with throughout much of the film. This allowed Shanks to explore darker, more bitter territory than ever before. When the reset button is triggered, however, Daniel Jackson apparently ends the film hale and whole, ready for the next adventure.
Drawing upon childhood memories of his grandfather, who had lost a leg in World War II, Shanks recalled times spent pondering and observing the reality of life without a limb. He also spent considerable time practicing a one-legged walk.
Stargate: The Ark of Truth, the first of the DVD movies to be released, resolves the Stargate SG-1 Season Nine and Ten Ori storyline. In this movie, Daniel Jackson is more confrontational than ever. While his hallmark idealism isn’t gone, Shanks feels Daniel is even more frustrated than he was in “The Pegasus Project.” He likens Daniel to a man speaking with God who asks, “Why do you stand still, do nothing and allow all this evil?”
And finally, the last revelation pertains to the last day of shooting the final Stargate SG-1 episode, “Unending.” Just as they had when they first walked onto the Stargate set, Shanks, Amanda Tapping, and Christopher Judge stood in the control room marveling at what they had accomplished. Then, they took souvenirs. Shanks revealed that he now has the red phone that sat on the general’s desk.
Visit Dreamwatch’s Total Sci-Fi to read the full interview! Continuum and The Ark of Truth will premiere on DVD in 2008.