Smithson catches up with Richard Dean Anderson who is executive
producer as well as portraying the role of Colonel Jack O'Neill
on Stargate SG-1...
Nick Smithson: How did you get involved
with the Stargate project?
Dean Anderson: John Symes [president of MGM Worldwide television]
called me and said: "I've got this project on the go
at the moment and I would like very much for you to be involved
with it". I asked him what it was and he told me that
MGM had bought the rights to the Stargate franchise
and that they were in the middle of developing a series, He
told me that he wanted me to be a part of it. So I went and
watched the movie a couple of times and thought, straight
away, that it had great potential for a TV series - all the
elements involved could really work on the small screen. So
I signed on for what was originally a two year run. Showtime
had ordered around 44 episodes and then in the middle of the
first season they ordered another 44, and the ball started
rolling from there. But my involvement was by request. But
once the pieces were put into place to create the series the
next task was to create a story that stayed true to the original
Stargate movie, while at the same time being unique
in its own way. I think they managed to pull that off quite
Did the fact that you were asked to star in the show allow
you to have any input from the beginning? And if so was there
any thing that you pushed for?
I had to make sure that the producers were willing to - or
in this case endure -my sense of humour because I very much
wanted to bring that into my character.
You had some mighty big shoes to follow though? Did that frighten
you at all?
Kurt Russell is just the most phenomenal actor and he did
such a good job of portraying the original O'Neill in the
movie. But I knew, just by looking at his hair, that I couldn't
do that. I mean, who can do that with their hair?
(Laughs) What make you laugh?
The type of humour I appreciate the most is, on the whole,
British humour. But my favourite show on television has to
be the Simpsons. I love this show, partly because it
is so smart. Sure it's a cartoon but there are many different
levels to the humour which mean kids and adults can appreciate
This has got anything to do with the fact that Patti and Selma
Simpson fancy you is it?
(Laughs) Errr. Oh, yeah that too. Yes they do have a thing
for McGuiver don't they.
Moving on from humour to romance. Do you think there will
ever be any romantic involvement between your character and
First of all I don't want to totally dismiss the idea that
there would ever be a future between the two of them... who
knows? But I don't think it will move on beyond the flirting
stage. We have had episodes were we have meet an alternative
reality O'Neill and Carter and they are romantically involved.
I just think that it would distract from the main elements
of the show and I think that the chemistry works rather nicely
as it is at present. There is also the fact that it would
not be received well by the powers higher up, especially the
chief of staff.
You actually had the real Air Force chief of staff play himself
in the series didn't you? What was that like?
Yeah, General Michael Ryan was on set briefly and that was
quite strange. I got to talk to him briefly on the set during
filming - I tried to relax him a little as he was very tense.
I took him aside and asked him is they actually had colonels
like O'Neill in the real Air Force and before I even finished
the sentence he said: "Yes... and worse." He told
me: "You're doing a fine job son."
Thank you for your time.