Back when Stargate was heading into it’s tenth season, I was feeling very good about its chances for a pick-up. And I wasn’t the only one. I remember standing on set one day while we were shooting The Quest II, chatting with actor Chris Judge (Teal’c) as the faux snow fluttered down around us (and stuck to the bottom of my shoes, never to be properly removed). Chris was talking about the logic of a season 11 pick-up. Well, he was talking about the logic of a season 11 pick-up while trying to convince me to buy a Bentley Azure. Anyway, his argument made perfect sense. Atlantis would, no doubt, go another season and, since the double-production benefited both shows immensely, it stood to reason that SG-1 would get another season as well. I believed it. After five years of having my doubts upended by a late season announcement of a surprise pick-up, I’d gone into SG-1’s tenth season with a certain amount of confidence. How fitting then that that confidence would be upended by a late season announcement announcing the show’s cancellation.
We got the news just prior to SG-1’s 200th episode party. It was a grand affair – probably the franchise’s best party – and not even the news that the show would NOT be back for another year could sour the mood. Well, in all fairness, it didn’t sour the mood because no one at the party heard the announcement. The acoustics in the room were terrible and even so, no one was really listening to the speeches. At one point, I turned to my writing partner, Paul, standing beside me and asked: “Did he just announce the cancellation?”. Paul shrugged, and said: “Have another cup of chocolate, buddy.”, referring to the liquid chocolate from the fountain that, technically I suppose, was only for dipping but I’d been sipping all night.
Anyway, we’d been cancelled and, eventually, the news spread. There was another season of Atlantis to look forward to, but this was small consolation to the cast and crew of SG-1 who had worked hard for many years (ten to be precise). At the time, all but the season (series) finale had yet to be written. And so, I suppose it was only fitting that Robert C. Cooper, would write the final episode, the appropriately titled Unending that concluded the series but left the door open for more adventures to come.
Looking back on the show’s tenth and final season, I have to say it was my favorite (or maybe a close second to SG-1’s ninth season).
Picking up where we left off the previous season, Robert Cooper managed to juggle all of the various storylines and characters in an episode at turns humorous, poignant, thrilling, and shocking, paving the way for the introduction of the season’s new Big Bad: Adria, daughter of the Ori (not “oreo” as one actress who auditioned for the role pronounced it). Prior to her reaching adulthood (the ultimate Adria played by the beautiful Morena Baccarin), we glimpsed our villainess in three stages of development: the ages of 4, 7, and 12. Seven year old Adria was played by Jodelle Ferland who returned to the franchise in Atlantis’s fourth season as the spoiled princess Harmony in one of my favorite SGA episodes. A lot of stuff going on in this episode and director Will Waring did a terrific job on what I believe was his first big season premiere.
On another note/production, here are some more of the terrific production personnel I’ll miss as I head westward…