Life after Stargate SG-1
cancellation goes on for Dr. Daniel Jackson
, as Michael Shanks
returns to the role in this year's two DVD movies -- Stargate: The Ark of Truth
and Stargate: Continuum
. Now that both films are available, we wanted to catch up with the actor once again to get his thoughts on these two projects.
GateWorld's Chad Colvin actually sat down with Michael in April, just hours after he had sat down to watch Continuum
with the cast, crew, and a handful of fans from Creation Entertainment's
Vancouver Stargate convention. In the interview he talks about both DVD movies and Daniel's role in those stories, and also gives us a status update on Rage of Angels
, his upcoming project with former co-star Christopher Judge.
GateWorld's interview with Michael runs 8 minutes. Listen online at your leisure, download it to your MP3 player, or subscribe to the iTunes podcast
. The full interview is also transcribed below!
GateWorld: For GateWorld.net, this is Chad Colvin, and I'm here today talking with Mr. Michael Shanks. Michael, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
Michael Shanks: My pleasure, Chad.
GW: Congratulations are in order. The Ark of Truth has jumped out of the gate with extremely strong sales, and it's continuing to perform very well. How do you feel about its success?
MS: I think it's great. I don't think anybody knew what to expect with us going out into the DVD format. I know that, obviously, we were aware of the sales for the boxed sets of the seasons. But to have something that didn't have the pre-condition of a release on TV, as well as a limited advertising budget, we weren't sure what to expect for domestic sales. As far as I know it's been fantastic. I was just hearing from our audience members here in Vancouver. That they're dying to see being released more internationally in other markets in the U.K. and Europe and Australia.
So I think with those as added bonuses to the bottom line as far as MGM, I think that bodes very well for the future of the franchise.
GW: Many reviews have mentioned your performance as Daniel as the "heart" of the movie. Most dramatically, the scene where Morgan Le Fay comes to Daniel in the prison cell and tries to get him to do even more. We see a Dr. Jackson that is ready to give up and is spent, both emotionally and physically. Do you feel that the character had truly reached that point?
The most optimistic member of SG-1 considers himself defeated in The Ark of Truth.
MS: I think when I read that scene, from reading the script, and seeing what had proceeded with the torture and whatnot, I think that was the only place to go. In an episode we did in the tenth season, "The Pegasus Project," he had a very similar conversation with Morgan Le Fay. About asking her to drop all their "high-falootin'" values. He's had that conversation numerous times with Oma Desala beforehand. In this environment, it seemed like the natural place to take the character. To this place where -- oddly, this being the climax of the storyline -- it seemed like a good place for that character to be.
To have that conversation with (Morgan). To have Daniel, who's the ultimate optimist out of the group, to be at that place of ultimate despair, seemed like the best place. In order to convince her to take the step that she does. Which is basically to sacrifice her own life to take on Adria in that light. That was the only weapon left in the arsenal to take that character to that place.
So, in that way, we're not doing the same old, same old over and over again. It was a way to take the same argument to a different place, emotionally.
GW: One of the underlying issues Daniel raises briefly in the film is the concept of the Ark itself. Using it may have saved millions upon millions of lives, but Daniel feels that it isn't a right that they had, to use it. It's a thought provoking concept. What is your opinion of it?
MS: I would certainly have loved to have seen more emotional ramifications, both before and after, when using that piece of technology. I think that, in light of the circumstances, with the impending invasion of the Ori army, that whatever tools we have at our disposal you'd have to use. But I think there's certainly room afterwards for the moral discussion about whether that was the right thing to do.
Oddly enough, and I don't know if anyone has ever talked about this, there was a scene cut from Ark of Truth. I haven't seen or heard anything discussed anywhere. The scene where Daniel talks with (General) Landry about what's happening with the Ark and where it's going to be. It's somehow very incongruous with "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Where they take the Ark and put it away in some storage facility. There was a scene after that (with Daniel and Landry) which was cut. Where the team actually goes to Area 51 to retrieve the Ark and take it away. It ended up not being in the finished product. I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about that, but it's out there, so ... [Laughter] Yeah!
I don't know if there was something left in that argument, meaning there's still a future there for that storyline. Or if we were just simply telling an ending too many times for the ending of the movie. That there were too many endings and we just wanted to cut one of them. Because it's more interesting sometimes to wonder what's going to happen than it is to tie it up in a nice little bow. So there's a little tidbit for you. That there's a missing piece in there. That conversation leads somewhere -- where Daniel convinces the team to steal the artifact out of Area 51.
Jackson's conversation with Landry led to a raid on Area 51 in the original script.