Joseph Mallozzi had this to report about his dinner and drinks out with Michael Shanks, who is in Toronto shooting the pilot for Saving Hope:
[Note: There are a few pictures, so visit the link for those.]
Hey, look who it is! It’s Michael Shanks (Stargate’s Dr. Daniel Jackson, Smallville’s Hawkman) who’s in town shooting Saving Hope with Erica Durance (Smallville’s Lois Lane). Michael texted me last week to let me know he’d be in Toronto and that I should set aside a night for catching up. He suggested drinks, I countered with dinner, and we ended up covering both. He left it up to me to choose the restaurant and, after much consideration over countless choices, I ended up going with my go-to place: Scarpetta. There we enjoyed a great meal and an even better conversation, three and a half hours spent talking about past and future projects, life on the home front and, of course, Stargate. About the only topic we didn’t cover was the Vancouver Canucks. I figured it was too soon.
After Toronto, Michael heads back to Vancouver (lucky!) to work on yet another project. It’s great to hear he’s been keeping busy between work and family (he received text updates on the latter from the lovely Lexa). He knows T.O. fairly well – apparently having lived here at one point – and assures me that once the summer events kick into full swing, I’ll be much happier here. Yep, as soon as they finish with all that construction, I’m sure I’ll be a lot happier.
At one point, we were discussing the fantastic Alaina Huffman (who, coincidentally, I had dinner at Scarpetta with just last week). Michael explained how, during one of her convention appearances, he had sensed her nervousness and sought to put her at ease, reassuring her that, despite the online vitriol directed at SGU, the con fans would be polite to her. They were sitting on the panel when Michael said something to her along the lines of: “You look worried.” At which point some fan in the front row piped up with: “She should be.”
Oooh, scary. Please, angry fan – don’t lasso me with your Dr. Who scarf!
Heard this story before from three other sources, but thought it warranted repeating since there are a few doubters out there.
Speaking of cons, I finally cleared up a mystery that has dogged fandom for years: The Mystery of the Script Surprise. It went something like this: the SG-1 (minus RDA) are onstage at a con preparing to auction off a signed SG-1 shooting script when Amanda flips through the pages and has something catch her eye. She gives it a quizzical look, then shows it to Michael who seems equally mystified. Ultimately, they tear out the curious page, toss it, and auction off the script. This odd incident has given rise to conspiracy theories, conjecture and countless rumors. What WAS on that mysterious page? Some say it was the offensive ramblings of some embittered actor. Others say it was a set of incantations I had scribbled into the margins in a failed bid to curse the winning bidder. Still others claim it contained the alternate ending to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows in which Snape is redeemed through a final heroic act and it is revealed Dumbledore faked his own death. Alas, it was none of the above. At first, when I asked him about it, Michael drew a blank. And then, casting his mind back, he remembered: nothing anywhere near as exciting. It was actually personal information in the form of a director’s contract that had been mistakenly included along with the script. Damn. And I was really pulling for Snape!
Anyway, after dinner, we grabbed a seat in the lounge and reminisced some more. Even though I’ve known Michael for years, I never really had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him one on one until last night, and it was great to get his perspective on his time with the franchise, from the early years through the controversial mid-stretch to the fun and incredibly satisfying final two seasons (and on this we are in total agreement). It was a terrific night.
So terrific, in fact, that we’re doing it again on Monday, hopefully, this time, with Paul, Rob, and Marty G.