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Michael Shanks finally came to Florida! Even better, he came to Altamonte Springs, where we live … right down the street from our house. Whoohoo! To add icing to the cake, Carmen Argenziano (Jacob Carter) and Gary Jones (Walter Harriman aka Chevron Guy) joined him as bonus guests at this convention. Other guests were Brent Spiner, Dean Haglund, Tom Braidwood, Greg Evigan, John Noble and Julie Caitlin Brown. I took close to 400 hundred photos (150 or more of Michael alone!) so they are spread out with a few things I remember about the convention across three pages.

There are spoilers about the upcoming season 9 of Stargate so if you don’t want to read spoilers then I suggest just looking at the photos and not reading the convention report, alas.

Gary Jones (Sgt. Walter Davis)

I had taken Gary Jones a calendar that he "signed" for us last summer in Vancouver at Gatecon. The problem was (and we didn't discover this until later), he had written a thought balloon on Walter with a funny comment ... and then he never signed/autographed his name! So I asked him if he would please add the actual autograph to the calendar now? He made a lot of jokes about how this was his "new" way of doing things. He would write something on there and then you had to come back next year and pay him again for the actual autograph! Needless to say, he didn't charge us for that autograph!

On stage, Gary talked some about working with Beau Bridges, who portrays one of the new characters, General Landry, in the upcoming Season 9 of Stargate SG-1. Leah even asked him about it when he was on stage and his answer was that Bridges was an amazing actor, and that during filming in the control room, between scenes, Bridges turned to him and asked him what kind of relationship the general and Walter would have to each other. Gary was as impressed as heck that Bridges cared enough about the character he was creating onscreen to worry about how he fit in with the characters who worked around him at the SGC. It sounded very hopeful.

He obviously adores Don S. Davis (and did funny impressions of him throughout the convention), but he said that working with Bridges has just been wonderful. Everyone is in awe of him as an actor. And he said that Bridges is the first "general" who has ever taken him aside and wanted to work on the character relationship between the general and Walter with him. He said Bridges actually approached him and said "Now, what kind of relationship do you think that my character and yours should have?" and so on. Gary was really taken aback but obviously impressed by it and also appreciative.

He made a lot of funny jokes about Walter suddenly being able to drive an alkesh -- and even knowing how to help fix it, as happened in “Prometheus Unbound.” He said that Walter must have found an owner's manual in the glove compartment! He loved getting to go off-planet on a mission and being so involved (in “Prometheus Unbound” and other episodes), but he was disappointed that Walter has still never actually been shown going through the gate. He asked if he would get to go through the gate and they told him it is too expensive to film and when he goes off-world he is suddenly "just there." He made sure to act out just how “upset” this made him!

He is very enthused about the new season, as was Michael.

Gary talked about doing episode commentaries with director/producer Peter DeLuise for the episodes Reckoning 1 and 2 (if I remember the episodes correctly). So apparently there will be episode commentaries on the DVDs at some point! In fact, it turns out that the German DVDs have now been issued with commentaries already on them. So they do exist and the early UK versions of the DVDs do not contain them ... which, yes, means that the British fans (and those of us who have imported the Region 2 DVDs) have paid more for the DVDs to get less features.

Gary did a lot of impressions and you can see him doing Marlon Brando in the photos at the bottom of this set.

We were privileged to have dinner with Gary at the banquet later Saturday night and you’ll find some commentary about what was discussed there (including some more spoilers and details about Season 9) along with photos of a surprise guest (Michael Shanks!) and more on page 2. Alas, we didn’t get any photos of Gary at the banquet since we didn’t want to take pictures while all of us were eating and relaxing and talking … and then Gary had to duck out right after dinner to do a live radio show with Dean Haglund!

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All Photos © Ann Wortham 2005, All Rights Reserved

The Lone Gunmen – Sort Of
Dean Haglund, Tom Braidwood and … Gary Jones?

Gary actually stayed on stage when Dean Haglund and Tom Braidwood (2/3 of the Lone Gunmen from X-Files) came out after him (at their request). It turns out he is really good, old friends with Dean and Gary had auditioned to be the third Lone Gunmen (Byers). Later, when Dean did his improv show and Tom joined him onstage as Frohike, Gary played Byers so that all three Lone Gunmen were there. More on that later.

I wish I had taken notes or something during this panel but, alas, I didn’t. I remember they talked some about how the Lone Gunmen might come back in a movie version of The X-Files. Dean said that the Gunmen supposedly should have had coffins made exactly to size due to the way that they died (something to do with the hazardous poison or something). And he pointed out that none of the coffins we saw were small enough for Frohike.

They said that there had actually been an episode of The X-Files earlier on where Frohike was due to get killed off and Tom was quite upset over it. They actually filmed Frohike getting shot in the head! If I remember correctly, it was Chris Carter who said that no, they couldn’t kill Frohike off and saved him, but the director insisted on filming him getting killed anyway! Dean said he knew someone who had the film footage of it.

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All Photos © Ann Wortham 2005, All Rights Reserved

Dean Haglund tried to kill us by making us laugh to death and Tom Braidwood and Gary Jones joined in on stage at his improv show. It turns out that Gary Jones actually auditioned to be one of the Lone Gunmen. So he played the part of Byers! They also made several poor audience members (pictured below) join them up on stage. Dean, of course, was Langley. They were trying to hunt down the vicious llama-cat-dog-fly that was murdering people ... unfortunately, they were severely hampered by the fact that Frohike was having his period and didn't have any tampons, was a he/she and also a leprechaun ... I’m sure you had to be there to understand that. But trust me, it was hilarious. The audience was literally falling around and laughing. I was crying so badly (from laughter) that it was difficult to take photos. Also, alas, we got there a little late so we were seated a bit to the back and one side. Therefore my flash couldn’t really cope in the poor lighting and the photos were a bit dark and grainy. I’ve fixed them but they still aren’t the best they could be. Still, you can see how silly they were all acting.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of Dean’s improv shows, take it. They are really a hoot. The two times I’ve attended, he set it up as a sort of X-Files type case and allowed the audience to shout out ideas about what kind of weird “creature” they would be looking for and such. There is a lot of audience participation … even a “press conference” with the audience providing questions at one point.

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All Photos © Ann Wortham 2005, All Rights Reserved

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