Michael Shanks was gone for one season (though he did a few guest appearances during that time, and still did the voice of Thor, so he wasn’t really very gone). I’ve read various explanations. He wanted to expand his career, or he didn’t feel that his character was developing, or something.
There are threads every now and then. Not every week. They don’t always include “Stargate” in the subject line, though, and you can’t search for “SG-1.”
The story I heard was that he quit because of “Barbie Tok’ra”.
You know, the Tok’ra. The nice-guy Goa’uld. The season before Shanks quit, the Tok’ra got a new leader- a really hot blonde. Apparently, she was hired for no reason other than she was, well, a hot blonde.
Supposedly Shanks took exception to this. “Either I quit, or she does.”
So he walked, and they wrote him out of the story.
But then Barbie Tok’ra stopped appearing. And Jackson came back.
I don’t know how true it is, but that’s the story I heard. I just wish they’d bring back Jonas “Parker Lewis” Quinn, who briefly replaced Jackson. He really got a raw deal.
I would say that’s shaky, since she was written out a year and a half before he quit. I’ve heard contract dispute. His character was (and is) extremely popular, and he tried to use fan leverage to get a raise and more of a starring role. The Powers That Be said no way, he quit, and, I assume, came crawling back a year later. He does numerous convention appearances now, and has all the macinations of a whipped puppy.
When you said “Pretty Tok’ra,” I thought you meant Martouf!
Ironically, now that Richard Dean Anderson has taken a reoccuring salary, Michael has more of an opportunity. I’d say Amanda Tapping and Chris Judge are getting more action, plot-wise, but:
Prometheus Unbound was all Daniel and Claudia Black, so there’s good potential there.
Interestingly, two days ago at a con in D.C., Don S. Davis (General Hammond) pontificated on Michael Shanks’ acting career, how he deserves to be a big star, and how Stargate is beneath him. So I suspect there’s still bad blood over the whole issue.
If you watch the series chronologically, you can see how the plots changed to give Shanks less and less of a part so he kinda had a point. Supposedly that rankled and TPTB took the opportunity to get rid of him when he protested. I get the impression from what’s not said in interviews that he’s kinda a difficult guy to work with, being an artiste and all.
But he sure is pretty. Stargate is one of the few sci-fi series that has a significant female following and Shanks is a large part of the reason. When he left/was canned the fandom went beserk. This was right when the SciFi network bought Stargate from Showtime and they were not happy with the changes. So I think both the show and Shanks wanted to see the character come back.
Very very very pretty. Mr. Jeeves gets jealous, but Michael Shanks is one of the hottest guys on TV. Unfortunately, we don’t have cable, so I have to buy the seasons as they come out on DVD, but it is so worth it. Now, if Paul Gross would have a show again, my life would be complete.