When last I left off my Stargate reminiscences…
An acting tour-de-force for Michael Shanks who delivers a multitude of terrific performances in an episode that sees him playing several different characters. Guest star James Park’s portrayal of the doomed Pharrin is also incredibly touching and the perfect compliment to Michael’s multi-layered turn. Brad had the idea for this story back in season six but, since he’d constructed the story for Daniel who had since left this mortal coil, he’d shelved it indefinitely. When Michael came back to the show the following year, however, Brad was able to dust it off and put it back in play. It’s one of those self-contained pure SF stories, like Revisions (and the episodes Brad used to produce in his Outer Limits days), that always appealed to me in much the same way that I always preferred the stand-alone horror X-Files episodes over the arc-driven entries.
ENEMY MINE (706)
Enemy Mine was the working title of this episode which, like Watergate before it, went from placeholder title to official title before anyone could do anything about it. FYI, past placeholder titles that didn’t make it to official status include: Teal’c Interrupted, Turn of Events, Dark Gambit, Flowers for McKay, CSI: Atlantis, Ad Infinitum, Remember When, and Beckett Returns.
Writer/Director Peter DeLuise excelled at stories that, like this one, focused on the show’s rich mythology, building upon the races and characters established in previous episodes and developing them in interesting, often surprising, ways.
SPACE RACE (708)
Working on Stargate was a writer’s dream in that it offered a host of wide-ranging opportunities when it came to scripting an episode. The stories could be arc-driven or standalone, Earth-bound or off-world centered, mythological in nature or purely scifi, dramatic or humorous. And, every so often, we occasionally did those departure episodes that stood out all the more in the uniqueness of their narrative or execution. Space Race was one of those episodes and, as a result and to no one’s surprise, was a little divisive went it came to fan opinion. Some fans loved it. Others hated it. Still, whatever negative response it may have received online paled in comparison to the scorn heaped upon…
AVENGER 2.0 (709)
Okay, in retrospect the title was one of the best things about this episode. We shot Felger’s apartment at the Accent Inn across the street from The Bridge Studios (where we also shot Ronon and Sheppard watching BSG on motel t.v., Teal’c enjoying the thousand finger massage in Point of No Return, and the scene of Kinsey’s shooting in Smoke and Mirrors). In the original script, Felger is painting his Warhammer figures but the gang at Warhammer nixed the idea because they felt suggesting a character like him (ie. brilliant scientist) played Warhammer would depict the game in an unfavorable light. So we went with Stargate action figures instead.
At one point in the episode, Felger makes reference to an old science professor of his named Mr. Hoffman. This was a salute to one of my own high school teachers, Mr. Hoffan, a knowledgeable man in his own right. Once, during a class, he informed me that the chocolate bar I was snacking on could contain a maximum of three hairs and one rat turd according to regulations set down by the Canadian Food and Drug Administration. For my part, I always avoided Charleston Chews which seemed to allow for roughly twice that.
Actor Chris Judge’s second foray into scripting sees him tackle Jaffa cultural constraints, sexism, and uneasy alliances. Apparently, he wrote the part of Ishta for Jolene Blaylock. Thankfully, she was available to play the role. The episode also features a cameo by Executive Producer Michael Greenburg’s wife, Nicky. At one point in the episode, she rides by on a horse and shouts something.
Season Seven Episode Guide
Crew Family Members in Stargate