While it didn’t receive the same kind of critical attention as other sci-fi TV shows like the Battlestar Galactica remake, Stargate SG-1 garnered a strong fanbase that kept the series going for ten seasons straight, which, in turn, led to multiple spin-off shows. Its cast was central among the elements that people liked about the show; the boasted solid chemistry and developed very well over the course of the series.
Despite this, because there were many seasons dedicated to these characters, some details about them either got lost or ignored. Then there are the details that most people missed, some of which are highlighted down below.
10 Henry “Hank” Landry - Served In The Vietnam War
Henry “Hank” Landry became the new commanding officer of Stargate Command from the ninth season of Stargate SG-1 to its last. Originally a Major General for the United States Air Force, Landry’s combat experience dates all the way back to the Vietnam War (which was part of the show’s timeline).
During the conflict, he met the future mother of his daughter Doctor Carolyn Lam, who ended up serving as Stargate Command’s Chief Medical Officer following the passing of Janet Fraiser. Landry had a strained relationship with Carolyn, which eventually healed as they worked together in the Stargate program.
9 George Hammond - Intended To Be Nothing More Than A Stereotype
Before Landry was the commanding officer of Stargate Command, George Hammond was the one in charge, starting from the first season of Stargate SG-1 up until Season 8. Since he was the one assigning missions to the SG-1 team, he could’ve easily been written as a two-dimensional order-barking stereotype, though Hammond’s actor Don S. Davis managed to make the character more humane.
Yet, during the initial writing of Hammond’s character, the director for the pilot episode of Stargate SG-1 “wanted him to be the stereotype,” according to an interview with Davis on GateWorld. Fortunately, Davis was allowed to go beyond this initial characterization by drawing on his own experiences from the actual Vietnam War.
8 Sha’re - Was Originally Named Sha’uri
Though most of the characters in Stargate SG-1 were original, a few of them came from the Stargate movie made by Roland Emmerich. Among those characters was Sha’re, a member of a group of Ancient Egyptians that were abducted by the extraterrestrial tyrant Ra thousands of years prior to the movie.
With that said, her name in the movie was actually Sha’uri. It's unclear why her name was changed to Sha’re, though SGCommand claims it may have been done because Michael Shanks (Daniel’s actor on the show) had a hard time pronouncing Sha’uri’s name.
7 Vala Mal Doran - Introduced As A One-Time Villain
Besides Sha’re/Sha’uri, the original Stargate movie hardly had any female characters. In stark contrast, Stargate SG-1 had a lot of female characters, whose roles varied in significance.
One of the more popular was Vala Mal Doran, a mysterious humanoid female with former ties to the Goa’uld alien race. According to one of Stargate SG-1’s writers, Damian Kindler, he originally envisioned Vala as “a Lando Calrissian” type of character. This is why she appeared as a space-faring thief in her debut episode “Prometheus Unbound.”
6 Cameron “Shaft” Mitchell - Nickname Is A Shortened Version Of The Word “Camshaft”
Following the temporary departure of certain characters such as Jack O’Neill and Samantha “Sam” Carter in later seasons, several new characters were brought into Stargate SG-1, including Vala Mal Doran and Cameron “Shaft” Mitchell.
His nickname “Shaft” brings to mind a certain iconic character who also goes by that name, but there's a simple reason behind it. It’s actually short for the word “camshaft,” in reference to Cameron's talents.
5 Jonas Quinn - Is More Evolved Than An Earth Human
A member of the human-like Langaran race of extra-terrestrials, Jonas Quinn joined the SG-1 team during the middle seasons of Stargate SG-1. Originally a scientist, Jonas’ main ability was being able to memorize things faster than a normal human.
While there’s debate over whether this trait existed in Langarans in general or not, it was implied in the episode “Metamorphosis” that Jonas was more 'advanced' than humans from Earth when a Goa’uld scientist named Nirrti scanned him. However, this plot point wasn’t further developed in the show, adding to the mystery of Jonas’ unusual ability.
4 Teal’c of Chulak - Star Wars Is One Of His Favorite Movies From Earth
One of the Stargate SG-1 characters who stuck around the longest, Teal’c of Chulak was a member of the Jaffa: genetically modified humans created by the Goa’uld to serve them and incubate the parasitic symbiotes they rely on. After Teal’c’s defection from the Goa’uld, he became a permanent member of the SG-1 team and played a major role in the Jaffa Rebellion.
Apart from being tough and stoic, Teal’c has his quirky elements, such as being a fan of certain movies made on Earth, like Star Wars. Now, he doesn’t specify which movie is his favorite, though a subtle reference to Darth Vader/Anakin means he must have watched the 'first' installment, The Phantom Menace, which came out two years after Stargate SG-1 first aired in 1997.
3 Samantha Carter - Is Able To Sense Goa’uld Symbiotes
Much like Starbuck from the Battlestar Galactica remake, Samantha “Sam” Carter is a tough female military officer who is respected by her male peers and tries to get the job done no matter what. As a result, she was one of the most popular characters on Stargate SG-1.
Apart from her military prowess, she also possessed unusual abilities after she was temporarily taken over by a symbiote of the Tok’ra. This briefly gave her the power to sense Goa’uld symbiotes nearby, as well as use their technology.
2 Daniel Jackson - Can Speak 23 Languages
Another character that originally appeared in the Stargate movie, Doctor Daniel Jackson arguably underwent the most change in terms of his character as the Stargate SG-1 series progressed. Initially portrayed as a nerdy scientist, Daniel’s main skill is his ability to interpret alien languages, due to having extensive knowledge of those spoken on Earth.
In fact, during the episode “1969,” where the SG-1 team find themselves stuck in that very year and have to find a way to get back to their own time, he claims to know 23 languages in total. This skill didn’t get much focus, though, as Daniel became less nerdy and more action-oriented.
1 Jack O’Neill - Haunted By The Loss Of His Son
Originally played by Kurt Russell, Jonathan “Jack” O’Neill went from being the secondary protagonist in the Stargate movie to arguably the main protagonist in Stargate SG-1 ,where he was played by Richard Dean Anderson instead. One element that transitioned between the movie and the show was the guilt he felt over his son’s death.
In the movie, it’s revealed early on that Jack’s son found a gun of his father's and accidentally shot himself with it. His whole character arc in the movie revolved around his coming to terms with this tragedy, in relation to liberating Sha’uri/Sha’re’s people from Ra. This element continued into the show, where certain episodes focused on it.