Beware minor SPOILERS for the
Atlantis two-parter, "First Contact" and "The Lost Tribe," in the interview below!
Even after Stargate SG-1
's cancellation, and the successful release of the first two in a series of planned SG-1
DVD movies, Michael Shanks
continues to remain in the public eye. In addition to his current recurring role in the series Burn Notice
, the actor returns to the role that truly launched his career when the character of Dr. Daniel Jackson
comes to Atlantis in the mid-season two-parter, "First Contact" and "The Lost Tribe."
GateWorld's Chad Colvin sat down with Michael at the end of August, while Shanks was a guest at Creation Entertainment's
Chicago Stargate Convention. In the interview, Michael discusses his final thoughts on Continuum
, the Atlantis
episodes in which he features, his memories of Don S. Davis, Burn Notice
, and Rage of Angels
GateWorld's interview with Michael runs nine minutes. Listen online at your leisure, download it to your MP3 player, or subscribe now to the iTunes podcast
! The full interview is also transcribed below.
GateWorld: For GateWorld.net, this is Chad Colvin, and I'm here once again today with Mr. Michael Shanks. Michael, thank you again for taking time to talk with us.
Michael Shanks: My pleasure.
GW: How are Lexa and the kids doing?
MS: Very good! The kids [are] a bit neglected at the moment because Lexa's working, and I'm here. But I'll be back tonight. She's actually shooting nights. But everybody is doing fine. [We're] in good health and everything's great.
GW: Now that Continuum is out, we can talk about it in a little bit more about it without the "red tape." Were you happy with the finished product and Daniel's role within it?
MS: I loved it! I thought that, certainly, it was one of the strongest things I think the show has ever done. I knew reading the script that it was a good show. And then when I saw the first screening of it I absolutely loved the finished product. It was everything we could have hoped for, given the time that we shot it in and the budget. And I'm not even saying that facetiously. We exceeded expectations in that regard. I think there's a lot more stories to tell and a lot of stuff down the pipe. In terms of a good testament to the people that worked there and what that show is capable of, I think it's a great calling card for it.
Shanks found himself very satisfied with the outcome of Stargate: Continuum.
GW: Fans are looking forward to seeing you in the upcoming two-parter on Atlantis with "First Contact" and "The Lost Tribe." How easy was it stepping back into Daniel's shoes after such a long period between the end of Continuum's filming and now?
MS: You know what? Daniel is like a comfy sweater. It's never too difficult. As long as the writers can remember how to write for him, the voice comes really easily to me. It was odd with such a big break to step into that character, stepping into a different world, to not have the usual players from SG-1 there but to actually go to Atlantis after not playing the character for close to a year was a little bit odd. But fortunately, in regards to Daniel's fast talking, David Hewlett managed to warm me up relatively quickly.
GW: [You are] the two fastest Stargate characters ... [Laughter] What brings Daniel back to Atlantis?
MS: There's a specific character. I don't know the episode very well, but there's a character named Janus, who's an Ancient, who had done some research. Is it Jaynus? Or Janus?
MS: We said Janus. Jaynus? Hmmm. Something about "anus." I don't know! [Laughter] But there was a character called Janus who was an Ancient who was a scientist for the Ancients on Atlantis. And Daniel, as his hobby of studying the Ancients, has been doing some research and comes to Atlantis with the idea that he might actually be able to track down this secret lab that Janus had that has is yet to be discovered on Atlantis. And he needs some help doing that. So he enlists Rodney McKay to help him track this thing down.
GW: Let the butting of the heads commence?
MS: Yeah, exactly! Well, I don't think Hewlett's character gets along famously with anybody. So it's kind of inevitable that there'll be a bit of butting of heads. That's why Daniel comes there, to search for this lab and the possibility that there is Ancient weapons knowledge or otherwise that they haven't discovered, somewhere locked within the city itself.
GW: Will we get a chance, in addition to the McKay and Daniel interaction, a chance to see some interaction between him and the other characters? Are there any stand-out scenes?
MS: No, there's very little interaction. I worked near just about everybody on the show, except for Rachel [Lutrell]. I worked near Jason Momoa and Joe Flanigan. And of course, Robert Picardo. And Jewel Staite. I worked near them. And I do say near because we crossed paths literally in a hallway once. And Joe is in it for a couple of scenes. So there's not any famous interaction with those characters. We sort of cross paths.
Most of Daniel's scenes in the Atlantis two-parter were spent with Rodney McKay.
I realized very quickly that my character had never actually met either Jewel or Jason's characters in the history of Stargate mythology. I treated them like they were extras when they went walking by. They were having this scene and I can't even -- usually with McKay or something, you can at least nod and go kind of "Hey, how you doing?" in character. And I went ... I don't even know that my character knows these people exist so I'm just going to walk by like they are just people in a hallway.