Heroes, Part 2

| Production | Transcript | Review

SG-1 is called into action while a film crew is documenting the Stargate program, but the S.G.C. comes under investigation after the mission goes terribly wrong.

FAN RATING - 8.69 
NIELSEN - 1.9 
DVD DISC: Season 7, Disc 5
WRITTEN BY: Robert C. Cooper
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
GUEST STARS: Saul Rubinek (Emmett Bregman), Robert Picardo (Richard Woolsey), Mitchell Kosterman (Colonel Tom Rundell), Gary Jones (Technician), Tobias Slezak (Dale James), Christopher Redman (Shep Wickenhouse), Julius Chapple (Simon Wells), Adam Baldwin (Colonel Dave Dixon), Teryl Rothery (Dr. Janet Fraiser), Jim Byrnes (Documentary Narrator), Katey Wright (Marci Wells), Christopher Pearce (Bosworth)
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  • "Originally, this script was intended as a fun, different, episode and, along the way, took a very serious turn. This one also resulted in a pretty heavy debate in the writer's room. Suffice it to say, not everyone was in agreement on how this episode should end. That said, I think Robert did a masterful job. It's one of the best scripts he's ever written and is a wonderful salute to the unsung heroes who serve our countries." (Our Stargate online chat with executive producer Joseph Mallozzi)
  • "The outgoing president sends documentary filmmakers to document the goings-on at the S.G.C. Originally, the story was pitched as kind of a light, fun, behind the scenes at the S.G.C., documentary style storyline where we follow around the camera crew and they interview SG-1 and various people involved in the Stargate program. Of course, because it's top secret, they can get close, but they can never get close enough. Then along the way, in the room, it kind of took a darker turn. An off-world mission takes place, and tragedy strikes. Not everybody in the room agreed with the direction the story took, but that said, I think it's an excellent story. Robert did a wonderful job on the script, and it's a tribute to the unsung heroes serving in the armed forces." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in an interview with the Stargate SG-1 Explorer Unit)
  • "'Heroes' is a very exciting two part episode that has finally finished shooting. This one will engender some very strong reactions from the fans." (Co-executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a chat at StarGateNews.De)
  • "I think so far this season, my favorite is the two-part episode 'Heroes.' I think it's the best television we've done on the series in seven years. It's the most compelling drama, it's the most topical, and it has a great cast, an absolutely great cast. We've got Robert Picardo, and Saul Rubinek, and of course our cast. It's just a really well-acted, special Stargate, because it's really good television. I put it up there with the West Wing, Practice kind of stuff." (Executive producer Michael Greenburg, in an interview with the Stargate SG-1 Explorer Unit official fan club)
  • "I'll tell you something, and I'd like to go on the record. 'Heroes' is the best show we've ever made. Andy did an amazing job of it. Saul Rubinek did an incredible job. Our ensemble cast came together in that one in a magical way that I haven't seen before. I loved watching 'Heroes.' I watched it with Amanda Tapping. Watching anything with Amanda is ridiculous. You can't watch a show with Amanda because she hates everything she does, and she just can't stand anything anybody else does when they're acting with her. She's just so self critical. In this one, she knows she did a good job. We were sitting there looking at it, and it ended, and both of us looked at each other afterward and went ... Wow. That's a very powerful thing.

    "You know what is the difference in 'Heroes' from everything else we've done? Robert Cooper sat down, and came up with a story that was a dramatic story, inside what we normally do. Inside the show that we normally do, is an oasis of drama in 'Heroes,' and it doesn't feel like anything that we've done before. Saul came in and acted his heart out, and Don Davis, the scenes with Don Davis in 'Heroes' are incredible. Michael's great, Chris is great, Amanda's great, and Rick's great. It's really well done. It was a beautiful way of doing what they did.

    "When you're going to take a major character, and take them out of the show, you have to do it that way, because it's the only way you can actually deal with that. And it is wonderful." (SG-1 director Martin Wood, in an interview with the Stargate SG-1 Explorer Unit official fan club)
  • What is your favorite team episode from Season Seven? "I would have to say 'Heroes,' just because it shows the team at their most vulnerable. It shows the team at their most dire, and I think emotionally for every single one of the actors it was a huge arc for all of us. I think it just shows what it means to be a part of this team and what it means to be a part of this organization, and how much you're willing to sacrifice, and what the emotional toll is when that happens."

    Many have said that "Heroes" is two of Stargate's best hours ever. "I think so, and I think that all the actors felt that way. It's just a really special episode. It's a departure in a lot of ways, I mean especially the first part with the documentary crew and seeing each of the team members out of their element, you know, in front of the cameras and having to talk about what they've kept secret for so long. But then it's got great action and great drama coming up."

    What did you find appealing about the episode? "To play that emotional arc. And also what I found appealing for me was Sam Carter on the edge. You know, Sam Carter, first of all, in the first part being so nervous and so tentative in front of the cameras, and that's just kind of fun to play that sort of angst and that nervousness. And then, of course, in the second half it's just a highly charged emotion the whole time." (Actress Amanda Tapping, in an interview with GateWorld)
  • "Saul Rubinek brought something to 'Heroes' that nobody expected and it was just amazing." (Actress Amanda Tapping, in an interview with GateWorld)
  • "I think probably you will see a lot of what our characters ultimately are in 'Heroes' – what makes who these people ultimately are, I think is going to happen in 'Heroes.'" (Actress Amanda Tapping, in an interview with GateWorld)
  • "I feel Robert Cooper did a wonderful job of showing the sacrifices the men and women of the military make. If you have ever attended a con that I have been at, [you know that] I am a huge supporter of the military. And to quote Don S. Davis, it's not the soldiers that start wars, it's the politicians. My character was used as a tool, to show that tragedies do happen. Sad, but true." (Actress Teryl Rothery, in a message at the Wolf Events Chat Room)
  • "The heartbreaking conclusion to the 'Heroes' two-parter sees Stargate Command suffer a huge loss. The writers' room was divided on the death of Janet Fraiser, the S.G.C.'s long-time C.M.O., but, after much heated debate, it was decided that since this was going to be the final season anyway (!), it was the perfect time to tell this story – a salute to our armed forces, those who fought, and those who've lost their lives in the service of their country." (Writer / producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • Executive producer Brad Wright expressed regret over the decision to kill off Janet Fraiser, years after the show went off the air. "We thought when we killed Dr. Fraiser that it was going to be the final season," he said. (Writer and executive producer Brad Wright, in a 2022 Reddit AMA)
  • "When they shot the episode where Janet takes the staff blast to the chest, we were shooting out of sequence. Michael [Shanks] and I were shooting an episode, we had lunch and after lunch we changed, shuttled off to the location to do that particular scene, I die in that scene and then I get, ‘Okay, your call time tomorrow Teryl is going to be …’

    "So I died in that episode, but what was my saving grace as a person was knowing I get to come back again tomorrow. It wasn’t like, I died, bye-bye, see you later."

    "When you get a staff blast, in my mind it’s like game over, that’s it. I didn’t have to go to any challenging place because I was just gone. We had to keep bringing in special effects to make it look freshly wounded, right? I’m lying on the wet ground and as the special effects man is bringing in the smoke machine to look like it’s fresh, he was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is happening. Why? Who did you piss off?’ It made me laugh. You could see the emotion, it affected him and he was a crewmate." ("Dr. Fraiser" actress Teryl Rothery, in an interview with The Companion)
  • Killing off Dr. Fraiser in this episode "was obviously a big point of contention in the writers’ room. Certainly, it wasn't just the fans that were opposed. There were a number of people, both in the writers’ room and on the show that were opposed, for various reasons.

    "But look, I stand by the decision. I love Janet, but we had characters die all the time and come back to life. And at some point, the stakes of the show evaporate. It’s just like, there’s no real jeopardy if people’s lives aren't real. Particularly in an episode where we were going to honour people who died in our fight for freedom, I wanted the audience to feel that in an emotional way. This isn't just some thrill ride, you know, there’s real people putting their lives on the line and sometimes those people die."

    "Saul [Rubinek] took ownership of the character in a way that a lot of guest stars don’t often do. He thought about it from a lot of different perspectives and I think it was a great idea to make sure that he was able to emotionally respond to her death, as well as the other characters. Our audience was going to be upset, no matter what, but to see the other characters reacting in a commensurate way to the tragedy and include him in that was a smart idea on his part." (Writer-producer Robert C. Cooper in an interview with The Companion)