Continuum Made Character Suffer

The upcoming straight-to-DVD movie Stargate: Continuum, based on SCI FI Channel’s original series Stargate SG-1, gave producers a chance to wreak havoc on a main character to serve the exigencies of the film’s location shooting. (Major spoilers ahead!)

Writer and executive producer Brad Wright told SCI FI Wire that the script called for Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) to lose a leg–but not simply to serve the writer’s whim.

Rather, Jackson had to become disabled to meet the needs of the production, which shot several scenes in the Arctic when Shanks was unavailable.

“I had to finish the Arctic scenes first, before we started to shoot [Stargate: The] Ark of Truth,” Wright said in an interview in Vancouver, Canada, last week. “It was kind of weird. We shot all the Arctic scenes, and then took a long, long break, shot another movie and then did Continuum.”

The plot required Col. Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder), Col. Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) and Shanks’ Jackson to be together on a wrecked ship in the Arctic. But because of a scheduling conflict, “Michael wasn’t available to do the Arctic shoot,” Wright said. As a result, Jackson isn’t in any of the early footage of Mitchell and Carter struggling to survive on the ice.

“I knew I had to separate Carter and Mitchell from Daniel,” Wright said. “But he was on the boat! I didn’t know what to do. I thought, ‘How do I keep him there?'” After a little research on the effects of exposure, Wright found his answer.

“I called Ben to discuss the script, and he asked what I was going to do with Shanks,” Wright said. “I told him I fixed it by having him step in the water, and he gets frostbite. He asked, ‘What happens next?’ I said, ‘We cut off his leg.’ He said, ‘Man, you are harsh!'”

It’s an accusation Wright’s heard before, especially after an SG-1 episode in which he killed off the entire cast. “But it’s fun to watch your characters sacrifice themselves for what they believe in,” Wright said.

The catch, of course, is that Continuum tells an alternate-timeline story, suggesting that Jackson’s infirmity may not be permanent.

“There’s a nobility of the character, and that’s fun to do in a time-travel story, because you know you can get away with it, and it will be OK,” Wright said. He added with a nasty grin: “What I did to O’Neill [Richard Dean Anderson] was pretty harsh, too.” Pre Order Your Copy From The Online Store

News Article Courtesy Of Sci Fi Wire