A veteran of the first exploratory team from the movie
Stargate, Dr. Daniel Jackson is an anthropologist, linguist and expert in ancient and current cultures; he speaks more than 20 languages, including ancient Egyptian. He had originally been contracted by the military to decipher a mysterious hieroglyphic cartouche. His subsequent translation of it allowed Earth's first discovered stargate to be opened. As a member of SG-1, Jackson's humanistic approach was often in conflict with Col. Jack O'Neill's militaristic style.
Some saw Dr. Jackson as a soft, brainy, clumsy scientist who carried a wide-eyed enthusiasm with him through every mission, but he earned the heartfelt trust and respect of O'Neill and all the others never more so than after sacrificing his worldly existence to save millions of lives in Kelowna, a country on the planet designated P9Y-4C3. He didn't die, however, so much as he "Ascended" to a higher spiritual plane of noncorporeal existence. Even before this, he had been considered like a deity to the people of Abydos, the planet on which he'd chosen to stay following the first SG mission. Later banished from Ascension, with no memory of the experience, he returned to human form and rejoined SG-1.
A native of Kamloops, British Columbia, near Vancouver, Michael Shanks
studied commerce before deciding to pursue acting at the University of British Columbia, from which he graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He went on to perform for two seasons at the renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival, essaying such roles as Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice
and Menteith in Macbeth
as well as roles in King Lear
and The Merry Wives of Windsor
. His other theater credits include Amadeus
, Love of the Nightingale
and Wait Until Dark
Shanks made his TV debut in an episode of Highlander
, "The Zone," and went on to guest-star on such series as The Commish
and SCI FI's The Outer Limits
(the episodes "Mary 25
" and "Manifest Destiny
"). He played a college student who helped commit a shocking crime with his fraternity brothers in A Family Divided
, his telefilm debut, and has appeared in films released internationally, including Suspicious River
and Suddenly Naked
. Among his science-fiction credits are the telefilm Escape from Mars
and guest appearances on UPN's The Twilight Zone
revival series and the Andromeda
" and "Day of Judgement, Day of Wrath
," alongside Christopher Judge. Shanks directed the Stargate SG-1
episode "Double Jeopardy
" and scripted "Resurrection."
His other work includes the South Africa movie Sumuru
, the Emmy Award-winning telefilm Door to Door
and special guest appearances in the seventh-season Stargate SG-1
episodes "The Abyss," "The Changeling" and "Full Circle." In addition, Shanks provides the voice of the Asgard supreme commander, Thor.