Redemption Part 1
Appropriately enough, Dr. Rodney McKay makes a return visit to the SGC and takes another giant step toward redemption – a process that would be completed by the time he assumed a lead position in the Atlantis expedition. This episode was also notable for the introduction of the Jaffa Shaq’rel, an otherwise inconsequential but for the fact that the part was initially written for a certain NBA star who, according to Chris Judge at the time, was interested in doing the show. Well, that never worked for whatever reason and while I won’t reveal the name of the basketball player, it really shouldn’t be that hard to figure out.
Redemption Part 2
Looking back, this was the episode that cemented David Hewlett as a favorite guest star – so favored, in fact, that years later, when we were trying to cast the part of a medical doctor for the new spin-off, Atlantis, he immediately came to mind and Brad and Robert decided: “Screw that! Let’s put McKay on the team!”. And the rest, as they say, is history. Also in this episode, the role of Shaq’rel was played by Aleks Paunovic, who also returned to the franchise years later, but in a different role – playing Ronon’s former Satedan buddy, Rakai, in SGA’s Reunion.
One sequence had Carter and O’Neill trapped in a chamber that was slowly filling with water. We achieved this by actually doing the opposite. We lowered the specially designed set into a pool, giving the impression that the water was actually rising. We shot at Vancouver’s Olympic pool and it was a tough day. Rick and Amanda were very wet and very cold, and had to sport wet suits underneath their clothing to keep warm. This episode also marked yet another cameo by Director Peter DeLuise, this time offering a tip of the hat to his old show, Seaquest, by playing the part of “Lieutenant Dagwood”.
Early in the episode, one of the scientists claims his grandfather was “one quarter Cherokee”. This was an in-joke and poke at actor Chris Judge who had made the same claim. Also, at one point, Jack laments having forgotten to tape The Simpsons. This, of course, paralleled RDA’s love for the long-running animated series. There were many times he would swing by my office to check out the collection of Simpsons talking figures I kept in my office. Eventually, Rick’s love for the show culminated in a guest appearance by the voice of Homer Simpson himself, Dan Castellaneta – which was soon followed by Rick being asked to guest on The Simpsons.
This was one of my favorite episodes of the show’s sixth season simply because it was so different from other episodes we’d done – an old-fashioned small-town alien invasion story. Loved the gang all decked out in leather. Vincent Gale, who would later play the part of the cranky
Carl Binder Morrison on Stargate: Universe, appears as Agent Cross. The role of Sheriff Knox is played by the terrific Blu Mankuma, a good friend of the late Don Davis (General George Hammond). Blu and I shared an affinity for ribs – lamb ribs in particular. I loved them so much, in fact, that I was “the lamb rib” hotline. Whenever my favorite barbecue joint, The Memphis Blues BBQ Restaurant made a batch, they would give me a call and I’d drive right over. I remember one night sitting down to a platter of ribs. So wholly focused was I on devouring them that I didn’t even notice Blue until he was standing right beside me. “Breathe,”he cautioned.
This was a great episode for all sorts of reasons, but chiefest among them was the terrific onscreen dynamic between RDA and Michael. I know that both of them had a great time, as did Brad Wright who wrote and produced Abyss. Brad, as the show’s co-creator and longtime show runner, had written some of the best Jack-Daniel scenes in the series, so I was surprised and disappointed when angry fans targeted him. I thought it immensely unfair given all he had done to build the friendship between the two characters but, this business, it’s often less of “Thanks for what you did for us in the past.” and more of “What have you done for me lately?”.
One issue I had with the script was the idea of Jack being killed, then brought back from the dead. I thought it opened a can of worms re: memories of the afterlife. I was told the ship had sailed on that particular subject. I don’t know if I agree. I always considered ascension a very different matter, an experience specific to an isolated group.
No concept art 🙁
When Dean Stockwell came to Vancouver to guest on the show, Brad took advantage of the gorgeous summer weather to treat him to a round of golf. Apparently, they spent their afternoon enjoying the game and chatting about Married to the Mob. Most of the Stargate producers were avid golfers (Brad, Rob, Paul, John Smith, Michael Greenburg) and so, over the course of my many years on the franchise, I had to put up with endless Monday morning chatter about everything from everyone’s weekend scores to rehashings of recent airings on what I refer to as the Old Golf Channel. It became so annoying for me that I started to follow Japanese Professional Baseball (Pro Yakyu) just so I could interject equally annoying details about teams like the Orix Blue Wave, the Nippon Ham Fighters, and the Yakult Swallows.
— Joseph Mallozzi 🏴☠️ (@BaronDestructo) February 20, 2023