Avalon 2006. November 24-26, 2006
Convention, Wells, England
The Saturday afternoon session began as the others had, with Richard doing the catwalk to allow photo opportunities for those seated in the back row, and joking with the audience. He has been known for avoiding conventions in the past, mostly because the anonymity of large crowds feels uncomfortable, but he said that these smaller sessions of about 120 people were far more intimate and just the way he liked it.
A question to Richard was if people still ask him if he knows how to do all the science tricks that MacGyver could do. He talked about how long ago the series had been, and he admitted that he loves fixing things, although he would prefer to hire someone to do the job for him. He even mentioned the MasterCard commercial he had done, joking that it gave a glimpse of what MacGyver would be like today, someone who colors his hair and buys the things he needs from a store. He spoke for some time, and then stopped himself in mid sentence asking, "What was the question again?" before turning to Amanda and asking, "I didn't answer the question, did I?" When someone repeated the question for him, he answered simply, with a grin, "Yeah, people still ask me that!"
Both were asked about the kissing scene in "Window of Opportunity," and how many takes were necessary to get it right. They both joked that it was a wonderful excuse to kiss someone else. As Richard pointed out, "She is married, and I am… not," Amanda added, "It's just my job, honey!"
Another question to both guests was, "Have you ever been in any really dangerous situations while shooting 'Stargate SG-1'?" Amanda described a scene in the episode "Family" in which Daniel and Carter were supposed to run past a mark just before an explosion. They rehearsed the timing of the explosion as "Daniel, then me, then boom." The special effects operator was prepared to release the explosion after the second person ran past the mark, however in the real take, the two actors were preceded by a cameraman, so as the scene was shot, "It was Cameraman, Daniel, BOOM!" As the audience laughed at her retelling, she called out, "I was fine, thank you for asking!" She also mentioned the scene from "Solitudes" in which Carter emerged from the ice cave, which was actually filmed on a glacier north of Vancouver. Amanda was alone on the ice and the crew was "waaay oooover there," as the glacier made ominous creaking noises. She also referenced the scene from "The Enemy Within" during which Kawalsky threw Carter against the wall and Amanda suffered a slight concussion. When it was Richard's turn to reminisce, he spoke about a few examples, such as firing the weapon that required him to pull back the catch so quickly and so often that his fingers bled. However, he concluded that he couldn't recall anything particularly serious, admitting that after all the stunts on "MacGyver" in which it seemed he was bleeding almost every day, "Stargate" was "a tea party, a walk in the park!"
Both were asked how much of their own personalities had become a part of their characters. They said that over time both their characters had taken on more and more traits of their own personalities, but they both agreed that more than any of them, Jack O'Neill was Richard Dean Anderson.
One fan asked Richard, now that he had appeared on "The Simpsons," was there anything else he would like to do to complete his career. In the past Richard has often joked that his "Simpsons" appearance was the culmination of his career, and he talked at length about the experience, how he loved the show, how much fun he had had, and how he has always been the first person to poke fun at himself. Finally he mentioned his other favorites, suggesting he'd like to appear on "The Office," or "Extras" with Ricky Gervais, or on "Family Guy." Amanda said she'd love to appear on "Coronation Street" or "The Vicar of Dibley," and she talked again about meeting her idol, Dawn French, at the "Vicar of Dibley" wrap party.
They were asked if they could pass one law to save the world, what would it be. Amanda asked, "Just one?" and they considered carefully, saying it was hard to narrow it down. Richard talked about his charities to protect the waters of the planet. Finally Amanda said she would ban the use of fossil fuels. Richard, in an attempt to outdo her, announced, "I'd forbid the use of fuel!" then turned to Amanda and grinned, "Beat THAT!" In response, Amanda said she'd ban breathing, and Richard countered in a funny voice, "So, you have lungs, do you?"
A young boy in the audience asked about the scene from "Unnatural Selection" in which the team was in the cargo bay of the Prometheus eating Ben and Jerry's ice cream. He wondered if they liked Ben and Jerry's, and if so what their favorite flavor would be. At first Richard tried to recall if the ice cream had indeed been Ben and Jerry's, thinking that he had requested Häagen-Dazs. He couldn't remember what flavor they had eaten in the scene, but he thought he recalled something with chocolate chunks. As for his favorite, Richard said, "I think I would go for Cherry Garcia or vanilla. Yes, just plain boring vanilla." Amanda added that she was very disappointed that she wasn't in that scene and didn't get to share the ice cream, then she asked the boy what his favorite flavor is. When he answered "Vanilla Caramel Swirl," they were both very impressed and asked, "Do you have any on you?"
When the preset questions had been completed, the floor was opened for additional questions from the audience. One fan asked why Jack and Sam weren't together after ten years, given that both Richard and Amanda had some influence over the directions of their characters. Their answers echoed what has been said in the past, that while the actors do have some say in the minor decisions affecting their characters, they do not direct the storylines. All of the scripts are approved by the Pentagon, and the Air Force would never approve a relationship between officers in the same chain of command. They pointed out the supportive relationship they have had with the Air Force during the run of the series and how they have always strived to be realistic in the development of the characters.
Another fan asked if they would have done anything differently had they known that the series would be so successful and last so long. Richard told the story about how the series was picked up by Showtime for two seasons immediately, and then for two more before the first season had completed airing, so they knew early on that it had potential. As to what she might have done differently, Amanda joked, "I should have started having babies earlier!"
Another young boy asked them both how they thought the series should end, if they could write the ending themselves. Richard answered simply, " 'The End!' " Then he admitted that he hasn't been following the series closely since he left, so he didn't really know what to suggest. When asked by Richard what he preferred, the boy said he hoped for an explosive violent ending, which earned him a handshake from Richard. At first Amanda agreed that the show should go out "in a blaze of glory," but then she added that the writers had done such a good job in the past that she would be happy with whatever the writers would develop. Finally they suggested that perhaps the best ending should involve a big bang - and fishing.
Many thanks for the additional photos from:
Carmargue Ltd., Legends Memorabilia, UgzY, Trekkie, Astra, Raquel, Teresa, Beverley J Barrett, dove0709, DMD, Wendy & Kelly & Scott, Diana, Gator101, Marieta, and Gabriele Gerritsen
Transcript written by KateR. Avalon 2006 is a production of Carmargue Ltd. Wells, England. November 24-26, 2006.