Former Farscape star Claudia Black told SCI FI Wire that her character in the upcoming ninth season of Stargate SG-1 will bedevil Michael Shanks' Daniel Jackson for the season's first six episodes. Black reprises the role of the mischievous Vala first introduced in last season's "Prometheus Unbound." "I've come to make Michael Shanks' life a misery," Black said in an interview at the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles this week. "The character I'm playing is sort of the hair-pulling variety. She's really infuriating, but, I hope, funny."
Black added: "She's the naughty kid that says everything that everyone else is thinking, but doesn't dare say. She's irreverent. Everything she says is to get a rise or reaction out of someone. ... She's also a highly comedic character. She provides a lot of energy and comedy. And that was something. ... Aeryn [her Farscape character] was a very dramatic, weighty serious character, and I think smiled once a season. Vala is completely the opposite from that perspective alone."
Black finds herself again sharing a show with Farscape's Ben Browder, who joins the regular SG-1 cast as Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell, a new member of SG-1. But Browder said that he won't share much screen time with his former Farscape on-screen flame. "They're trying to keep us apart," Browder said. "But we'll break them down eventually. They've got to give us one [scene together]!"
Black added: "There's a good reason, though, [for keeping us separated]," she said. "It underlines how obviously different our characters are this time around. It's a whole different ballgame."
Browder said that the SG-1 cast has been nothing but welcoming. "The interesting thing about joining a show that's been going on for such a long time is, really, when you work on a show after a period of time, it's actually refreshing to have new people come in and mix it up," he said. "At least, that was I think our experience on Farscape. As long as they didn't take me away from scenes with [Black], that was fine. So they've been very gracious and welcoming. You know, it would be hard to ask for much more in regards to the cast taking us in."
Black and Browder added that they hope Farscape lives on, though it ended its run on SCI FI Channel last year with the miniseries Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars. (The miniseries won three Saturn Awards.) "I'd love to see a Farscape feature film, but for now I'm very happy launching the ninth season of Stargate [SG-1] with Beau Bridges [who joins the cast as Maj. Gen. Hank Landry]." He added: "Beau Bridges is running the show. Every time he comes into the room, I stand at attention."
"We all do," Black added. Stargate SG-1 has resumed production at its base in Vancouver, B.C., and returns to SCI FI Channel in July.
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