The set for this episode was impressive as hell and, to this day, I regret not having helped myself to a faux stone before the whole thing was torn down. One of the critiques directed at this episode was Jack’s old world Cold War mentality directed at the Russian team. This kind of mystified me because it was pretty clear in the episode that Jack didn’t have a problem with them because they were Russian, he had a problem with them because they were operating under secret orders that seemed to run counter to SG-1’s mission. The fact that they were Russian was beside the point.
Between Two Fires…
Man, this one had all sorts of problems at the outline stage, so much so that it earned the nickname “Between Two Acts”. Once the structural problems had been addressed, Ron wrote and delivered a first draft of the script. I remember we were sitting in Rob’s office, giving copious notes, when John Lenic’s dog hopped up onto the couch and relieved himself on a copy of Ron’s script. “That dog pissed on my script!”said Ron. To which Brad replied something the lines of: “He wasn’t the only one.”. Anyway, in the end, the script came together – as did the episode which we wound up shooting on the grounds of Simon Fraiser University.
The sequel to season four’s 2010 sees the calculating race known as the Aschen make their first (chronological) appearance as seemingly genial, albeit suspicious, emissaries looking to forge a new intergalactic alliance. The episode ends with one major story point unresolved. What of Ambassador Joe Faxon? I’m sure we would have received the answer to that question had the third part of this planned trilogy seen the light of a t.v. screen. In part three, Brad imagined the remnants of the Aschen race, seeking revenge for the events of 2001, launching a ship-based attack on Earth. Alas, I don’t recall why the story never came to fruition, but I have no doubt it would’ve been great.
No concept art 🙁
A couple of things stand out for me about this episode. The first was that ridiculously long search sequence near episode’s end that included endless shots of Teal’c and Daniel going up and down stairs. Yes, the episode was short! Another thing was a slight dialogue change in O’Neill’s scene with the homeless man. In the original version, O’Neill says “Yeah, and I’ve got a closet full of Playboys…”, but after some consideration (aka – getting a note requesting we change it), we elected to go with “National Geographics” instead which, while less Jack O’Neill, was certainly more Richard Dean Anderson. Also the original draft of the script had a couple of very funny exchanges between the doctors who perform the procedure but after further consideration (aka – we received a note that O’Neill provided more than enough comedy for the episode and we didn’t need the guest stars delivering as well) we decided to love them.
Oh, boy, where to begin? Over the years, I’ve referenced the multitude of in-jokes in this episodes, from the red spray-painted kiwis (a dig at Director Peter DeLuise who used those very alien-looking fruit in Beneath the Surface) to Hank Cohen’s cameo as a studio executive who suggests the show needs “You know what this show needs is a sexy female alien.” (art imitating life). There’s our faux t.v. hero trying to negotiate a veritable minefield of corpses (a call back to The Fifth Man), someone ridiculing the one shot stuns, two shots kills, three shots disintegrates abilities of the alien weapon (Hello, zat guns), further ridiculing of doing an episode involving “out of phase” physics (we did plenty), another character’s assertion that they’ll surely win an Emmy…for visual effects (the best any scifi show can hope for), and much, much more. The part of Grell, the Teal’c clone, was actually played by Chris Judge’s stand-in, Herbert, while the episode offered a host of cameos from behind-the-scenes personnel including a much heavier yours truly who demands to know “Hey, what happened to all the doughnuts?!”. I recall Director Peter DeLuise making me do three takes, directing me: “You’re hungry! You want some doughnuts! But there are none! You’re really hungry!” then “No doughnuts and you’re REALLY hungry!” and then: “Okay! REALLY HUNGRY!”. The day that scene was shot, I found my wardrobe awaiting me in the office: a lime green shirt and a pair of atrocious lime green plants. I wore the shirt but passed on the pants. Apparently, our Costume Designer did not take the news well. “Writers,”she apparently muttered with a roll of her eyes.
I would love to dig up the outtakes and extra footage on this one. One scene that ended up on the cutting room floor involved the character of Teal’c. SG-1 and Hammond are watching the Wormhole Xtreme trailer at which point we do a PAN OFF the screen, across the briefing room table to Teal’c laughing uproariously and enjoying the hell out of the show – much to the bewilderment of his fellow team members.
No concept art 🙁
Some episodes you hate at the pitch stage but end up warming up once the story has been broken. Others, you hate at the outline stage but end up actually liking once the script comes in. Still others, you may hate at the script stage but love once the episode is completed. This is one of those rare episodes that I took issue with from start to finish and, to this day, ranks as one of my least favorites. Why? Because it’s not about our characters. That and the all-too predictable late twist that anyone who has ever watched television before will see coming a mile off. On the other hand, the episode was notable for an appearance by a then relatively unknown Grace Park as one of the young cadets.
No concept art 🙁
The working title for this episode was Teal’c Interrupted, but later changed to 48 Hours. I was extremely disappointed. I figured, hey, if you can call an episode Watergate, you should be able to call another one Teal’c Interrupted! The episode kicks off with the shocking death of Tanith, shocking insofar as he was a mid-major villain who suddenly and all too quickly buys it in spectacularly unspectacular fashion. From what I recall, we were unable to reach a deal with the actor on another episode and, rather than leave the character dangling, elected to write him out instead. This episode also saw the introduction of one Dr. Rodney McKay (“Rodney?”I remember asking Rob at the time. “Is that the name you want to go with?”), an insufferable ass who, over the course of the franchise’s run, ended up redeeming himself in surprising fashion.
Matcha Chocolate Salami? Yes/No https://t.co/g4pUVi9xJd
— Joseph Mallozzi 🏴☠️ (@BaronDestructo) January 30, 2023
2 thoughts on “January 30, 2023: Stargate SG-1 Season 5 concept art and episode insights!”
Wonderful memories! I really enjoyed all the behind the scenes and concept art. Very talented people.
Hubby and I got a big kick out of “Wormhole X-Treme”. We’re going to need another SG rewatch to get all those little details you talked about.
Suji Sunday pictures were very good, also.
A small ice storm hit today. I have to get out later. Wish me luck!
it’s like ttime traveling getting the behind the scenes, at the episode wasn’t called Chasing T’eal’c, The Good Teal’C or Teal’c Nights. Been a while since I rewatched some SG, I need to check out the fan vids on youtube.