HUB Productions Stargate 2010. March 6-7, 2010
Convention, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia
Richard visited Australia for the first time when he joined fellow "Stargate" cast members Christopher Judge, Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Dan Shea, David Nykl, Connor Trinneer, and David Blue for the HUB Productions Stargate 2010 convention. The weekend consisted of two separate conventions, the first in Sydney on March 6th, and the second in Melbourne on March 7th. Each event featured photo sessions, autograph sessions, guest panels, and an auction which offered a selection of props and memorabilia to raise money for HUB's designated charities, the Hemophilia Association and the Starlight Foundation. Richard Dean Anderson's appearance was in support of his own charities, including the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Guests and fans alike enjoyed an outstanding weekend of memorable moments, and some of the highlights and photos of Richard's appearance are featured here.
Richard arrived in Australia a few days before the convention began, and on March 4th he took advantage of the opportunity to be a tourist in and around Sydney. His sightseeing included a visit to the Sydney Aquarium and the Sydney Wildlife World, where he was given a private guided tour by the curatorial staff. During his visit, he was introduced to Jay the koala, who seemed to be less than enthused about meeting MacGyver and Jack O'Neill.
During Richard's panel, the final one of the day, he appeared on stage alone and delighted fans with O'Neill-like mannerisms. Freely admitting that he is no expert on the storyline of "Stargate," he often met questions from the audience concerning plot details with a blank stare, joking, "Don't you know who you're talking to?" When asked for his favorite O'Neill-ism, he paused for a moment before offering his trademark deadpan, "…What?" to rousing applause. He referenced the wonders of the comic pause, and mentioned that "for crying out loud" is more of a Minnesota-ism, before being prompted by the audience to offer O'Neill's, "Ya think?"
Recognizing that he has gained weight since leaving "Stargate," he acknowledged the change in appearance upfront, explaining that several surgeries, and semi-retirement, and enjoying time at home with his 11 year old daughter have contributed to less activity in recent years. Someone from the audience called out, "You're still a legend, Richard!" which brought a flattered smile from Richard and a warm reaction from the crowd.
Perhaps trying to settle more comfortably in his chair, Richard stood up inexplicably during one of the questions and began emptying out his pockets, placing a little pile of items, including a stress ball, a camera, lollipops, and various papers and pens, on the stage beside him. As he sat down again, someone called out, "Are you going to make something?!" That brought a huge laugh from Richard, who acknowledged the "MacGyver" joke by responding, "That's very good! And…. NO."
During the session, Richard frequently moved about the stage, sometimes fidgeting with the microphone or the items from his pocket, and often turning to view himself on the huge live feed video screens behind him. Checking out his clothing and his hair, he joked that it had to be the most expensive way to see the back of one's head. When a little boy tried to make an inconspicuous exit, Richard joked with him, asking if he was leaving to use the bathroom. Then, concerned that the boy might have been uncomfortable having attention drawn on him, Richard made a point later of stopping to talk personally to the boy after his panel had ended.
Richard answered a question about his favorite TV shows by mentioning titles like "The Simpsons," "Family Guy," "Community," "The Middle," "The Office," and "Parks and Recreation." He admitted that he lets his daughter watch "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy," with his finger poised on the mute button. He talked about Dan Castellaneta's appearance on "Stargate" and how it led to his "dream come true" appearance on "The Simpsons." He also mentioned his earlier series, "Legend," which is still a favorite of his, though it aired for only 13 episodes in 1995 before being canceled. Someone called out that it had aired in Australia, to which he quipped, "Oh, that's where it went."
During the panel, Dan Shea, Richard's stunt double since the "MacGyver" days, reentered the auditorium and did a bit of playful heckling from the audience. When asked whom he would choose if he could go back in time and get rid of any one character from the beginning of "Stargate," Richard said he couldn't think of anyone, but a voice in the audience called out, "Dan Shea!" and Richard laughed when he recognized Dan's voice. Asked what his hardest stunt had been, Richard joked, "getting out of bed to go to the set," then he gave Dan Shea credit for making his life easier when stunts were called for, adding that Dan had been punished so much on the set over the years that he no longer looked like Richard. He mentioned that no one ever got hurt by the weapons on the show, "except dear Amanda," who had been hit in the helmet by some stray casings.
Many of the scenes in "Window of Opportunity" had been Richard's own inspiration, so a fan asked him what had been the best part of that episode for him. He replied, "Kissing Amanda… in all twenty takes." Then after considering some of the other moments from the episode, he added that he liked, "kissing Amanda, with a mouthful of Froot Loops, while riding a bike." A question about the Sam and Jack relationship was met with the typical explanation that their relationship had always been kept within the guidelines of the Air Force. He also mentioned that he would gladly appear on Amanda's new series, "Sanctuary," if asked, but that he felt that might be unlikely given the restrictions that govern hiring within a Canadian production. He also said that he hoped to return for a third "Stargate" movie, but he seemed somewhat less optimistic than in the past that the planned movie will be made.
Richard also spoke about his support of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and he mentioned that he was hoping to stop at Hobart during his stay in Australia to welcome the two Sea Shepherd ships, the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, which had just come in to dock that same day after completing their anti-whaling campaign in the oceans off the Antarctic.
As Richard's session came to an end, he picked up all his items from the floor and returned them to his pockets, all the while being cheered enthusiastically by the audience. He also used his camera to take a few of his own pictures of the roaring crowd, who snapped more pictures of him in return. Then he made his way to speak to the young boy in the front row before joining the autograph session, where he donned a white hat and warmly greeted the hundreds of fans who lined up for his signature.
Photos courtesy of Sydney Attractions, Deense, Belthazar, Castle Photography, LisaW/@PaganX, Arrietty, and Michelle. With many thanks!
Transcript written by KateR. HUB Productions Stargate 2010. Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. March 6-7, 2010.