Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Male On Monday - Michael Shanks

This Monday at The Pink Heart Society our very own Trish Wylie introduces us to another of her potential hero discoveries from her love of Science Fiction shows. And this time it's a certain Mister Michael Shanks...

I've always loved Sci-Fi shows. I like to tell myself I'm not *geeky* about it but that'd kinda be a bit of a fib... 'cos when one show winds up another show I can usually tell you exactly what show it was and I can follow character arcs and series spin-offs with the best of them. I'm just not one of those people who has ever felt the need to dress up and go to a Sci-Fi convention...erm... so far (to the latter part - After all - I'm the gal took some arm twisting for the Harlequin pyjama party dress-up/or down as the case may be at a Romance writer's convention so the chances of me dressing as something sci-fi are slim!)

But then when you can trip across some hero inspiration along the way then technically it's still *cough* research *cough* And after ten full seasons of researching by watching Stargate SG1 I had a potential hero to add to my database in the form of Michael Shanks...

Michael Garrett Shanks, the younger of two brothers, was born on the 15th December 1970 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and grew up in a place with the fabulous name of Kamloops...

Describing himself as an overachiever at school, he played hockey, rugby, was a member of the Student Council and joined the theatre group (where interestingly enough he played the role of The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz - a role he would play again in the final season of Stargate Sg1 when they parodied the 1939 movie in the episode "200".)

As well as acting in the theatre group, he also dabbled in some directing but an acting career didn't seem to be in his future so at 16, he had to decide whether or not to become a professional hockey player. He chose not, (But continues to support the Canucks - which I'm sure makes sense to someone somewhere...to this wee Irish gal - not so much...) So, having decided that pro hockey was not for him, Michael went to the University of British Columbia to study business; financing his studies by taking laboring and lumberjack work. But when Math proved to be his downfall (man after my own heart!) and he failed a calculus course it meant he was a half credit short of getting a Business degree so switched to Theatre and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts.

So it kinda looked like the acting was in his future after all! Isn't it funny how fate works???

Michael then spent two years at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, taking on a number of small roles (he has said that his dream role would be Henry V). Following a number of small roles in TV shows such as Madison, The Commish and Highlander, in 1997 Michael auditioned for the role of Dr Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1, the TV spin-off of the original Stargate movie. Michael went into the audition with his spot-on impersonation of James Spader (who had played Daniel Jackson in the movie and who he bore a darn close resemblance to for those in the know and in my personal opinion from my *not a geek about the show* land!) and got the job. He could also, as Brad Wright said, "do humor". (again - my kinda guy!)

In 1999, between seasons two and three, Michael took on the role of Hamlet in a short run of the production and after five seasons of Stargate SG1, he left the series, citing lack of use of the character of Daniel Jackson as the reason behind his decision. He had a number of roles in movies such as Suddenly Naked, Suspicious River, Mary Higgins Clark's All Around The Town and the Emmy-award winning Door to Door and he did a number of guest appearances on shows such as Outer Limits and Andromeda. In addition, he took the opportunity to meet fans at conventions in the US, Australia and Europe. Although not part of the main cast of Stargate SG1 during Season 6, he did reprise the role of Daniel Jackson in three episodes, however by then a fan campaign to return Michael - and Daniel Jackson - to the show had already started and sure enough, a year later it was announced that Michael would return as a full-time member of the cast for season seven.

During what eventually turned out to be a ten-year run of Stargate SG1, Michael also turned his hand to directing and writing for the show from time to time. His directorial debut was a complex season 4 episode "Double Jeopardy" but while the result was an episode that was well received, for Michael the experience of directing was bittersweet...

"Everyone was prepared for the idea of me directing, but no one, especially me, was prepared for the situation that I ended up in. I knew I was going to be like a fish out of water, but I never imagined how much so. However I learned a lot more directing an episode like that then I would have doing a far more simpler one. It pretty much introduced me to all the ups and downs of production. I'm glad to say the experience has not discouraged me in the least from directing."

During the mid-season filming hiatus in 2006, Michael completed a made-for-TV film for the Lifetime Network, Under The Mistletoe and at the end of filming for the tenth and final season of Stargate SG1, he flew to Bulgaria to film MegaSnake, a movie for the SciFi Channel. Keeping busy, upon his return to the US, he began work on a second movie for the Lifetime Channel - Judicial Indiscretion - and then went on to a 3-episode recurring role on the hit TV Show 24, as Mark Bishop. Likes to keep out of mischief, doesn't he really??? I'm tired just typing all this!

In mid-April this year he began filming the first of two Stargate SG1 DVD movies, The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum. Both of which I will be right there to buy when they come out - well, 'cos I have a collection... and I hate it when a set of something isn't complete - okay?!

In real life, 6ft tall Michael has a daughter with his former partner and in 2003, he married Lexa Doig who he met on the set of Andromeda when he guest-starred as Gabriel. The couple have two children, a girl and a boy and seem to be blissfully happy which let's face it, we all love to see, don't we?

So there ya go - my gift to you as potential hero inspiration this time out - Michael Shanks... Can anyone feel a spark of inspiration in there??? Oh - and any Stargate comments then feel free to bring them on! I betcha I can join in that conversation... ;)

For more info and pics I can heartily recommend the Michael Shanks Online site or the Michael Shanks.com site and if you're a fellow Stargate fan then there's always Gateworld or the official Stargate SG1 site... See, you can't say I don't do my research...

H's & K's

Trish hits us with double releases this month - The Return Of The Rebel (which is a follow up to Breathless!) in Modern Extra - and Bride Of The Emerald Isle in Romance...

The Return Of The Rebel is available from Amazon UK or from Mills & Boon ! And Bride Of The Emerald Isle is available from Eharlequin or Amazon in the USA & Canada and Mills & Boon or Amazon UK in the UK.

You can also buy it as an E-Book here!!! For more info you can visit her Website or her Blog.


  1. I used him! Last years NaNo - SURE THING. Which...I need to do something with. Actually...Anyone remember my MX JUST ONE SPARK? I made him Mason's brother, Derek!

    Good one, Trish!

  2. Love Michael! In Stargate, you think he's just this speccy geek and then he gets his kit off and you see he's got this hot bod! But Stargate has got quite a few hotties, I think. Richard Dean Anderson is great and I've loved the will-they/won't they storyline he had throughout with Carter. And then of course, you've got the other gorgeous possible Male for Monday, Joe Flanagan, who plays the lead in Stargate Atlantis.

    Well done Trish for inaugurating Michael into the coveted Hall of Fame!

  3. I don't have a clue who this guy is, but, boy, is he cute! And I think I've got just the role for him...in my christmas-themed erotic short!!

    Woohoo! Off to "research" pics... :)

  4. JENNA! I can sooooooooo see him as Derek!!! Why didn't I know that before??? Cos you know what a fan I am of Just One Spark!

    Nicolette oh yes indeedy... now I have to say that in the first few series Michael's Daniel was James Spader-ish enough to carry us through from the film, n'est pas? But after a while Daniel became Michael's Daniel and the character development was fabulous! There's just enough moments of the quieter *geeky-ish* Daniel for us to believe it's still him but all the storylines have naturally changed his personality and so we've seen him become stronger along the way - now THATS GOOD CHARACTER ARC imho!!
    And anyone in the know will know I've been an RDA fan since his MacGyver days (ahhhh shades of my youth in there... sigh...) and as for Joe??? OOOOOOOOOHHHHHH don't-for-one-second-think-I-don't-have-him-in-my-sights... And we could talk about Jason Mamoa's Ronan Dex too... ;)

    Sally! Oooohhhhh!!!!

    Actually this is one of those shows that has a large contingency of Shippers - remember we've talked about shippers in the past??? And there are SCORES of fans out there creating stories *outside* of the shows stories... Some of the more shall we say *risque* ones involving him and...erm... Jack... even getting a bit of a ribbing in the episode '200' when in a faux Jack marrying Sam scene Daniel and Jack are at the altar and Daniel mentions that some people might think it was him and Jack getting married LOL!!! Just goes to show how much the shows writers listen to what the fans are saying...


  5. Ooooooooooh very nice. I've just added him to my personal data-base.

  6. Want to tell you that this is the best article I've seen on Michael Shanks's history. Great job you did. I thought I already knew everything that was out there on him and yet, you managed to surprise me.

  7. Natasha - YES ISN'T HE *INSPIRATIONAL*... there's a hero or two in this chap I feel...

    And CRYSTAL THANKYOU!!! I got most of my intel from the sites I mentioned and from Imdb of course - tho the sites were MUCH MUCH better but then I tend to find that anyway every time I research a Male On Monday - you wanna know something - you check out the fan sites - cos amazingly - and with very little or no recompense - all these people are there to celebrate the actors and honour their work and are quick to share the info...

    Fan sites and the Romance writing community have a lot in common when it comes to camaraderie (sp?) I feel... ;)

  8. Nice article. I've been an SG1 and Michael Shanks fan since Season 5. But the real reason I'm commenting is to tell you that you don't have to dress up to go to a convention! I never do. They're fun. Give it a shot!

  9. Hi Rosalita! And thanks for popping in!!! I can't tell you how TEMPTED I AM by a Sci-Fi conference! I've even made up a short list of some of the ones I just know I'd enjoy... now if I can just find one on in the States next year around about the time I'm there for the RWA Conference then I'm sold...

    Nice to know I can go as *me*. Though some people might tell you that's a little *unusual* on it's own ;)

  10. I have been to many a Stargate con, never dressed up as anyone but me and met the delicious Mr Shanks, among others, and they are the best fun!