Friday, July 4, 2008

Don S. Davis Remembered 1942-2008

I'm geekin' out to share my cards with you. These are my two autograph cards from the Stargate SG-1 Card series. A2 [following on from Richard Dean Anderson's A1 card by the way] & A44. I really was a fan. He was absolutely the man!

I wanted to take time out to pay tribute to Don S. Davis. He died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack while I was away on June 29th. It's not new news. I just wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to the man's work as someone who just enjoyed his approach. Davis played the part of regular Cheyenne Mountain base commander for the SGC, Major General George Hammond, on Stargate SG-1. He was a big reason why I enjoyed Stargate SG-1 so much alongside Richard Dean Anderson and Amanda Tapping. He was a key cog to the inner workings of a show that had a real special quality and magic to it especially for those first seven seasons he contributed. He helped make SG-1 a huge success and was essential in lifting the quality and standards of the series culminating in Ten terrific seasons and generating enough popularity to spawn a spinoff franchise in Stargate Atlantis and two Direct-to-DVD films [the second of which, Continuum, he will appear in posthumously].

He even worked with the hotties!
I certainly can't speak to his entire career, but he's been a major asset to serial television to be sure for a long time. I will excuse him for those ocassional missteps, ie Beyond Loch Ness, the man has a family to feed, but that was dreadful. It's not his fault and when he was apart of such dreck his talent made even the garbage at least passable, but by and large there wasn't much of it from the man.

His career included roles in Twin Peaks, Highlander, MacGyver [where he met Richard Dean Anderson], The X-Files [father of Dana Scully], Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis. More importantly, he served in the United States Army and for that he was indeed an honorable man. It's fitting, unintentional, but well-suited that I should be writing about him on the 4th of July.

So as a fan of his work, especially in science fiction and in our favorite Stargate SG-1, I quickly reflected back to moments that stood out for me in his career on board that show and I grabbed whatever it was that quickly came to mind. One of my favorite performances can be seen here in Season Four, Episode 15, Chain Reaction. He has such an understated dignity and command quality. Here are two sequences from that entry that quickly jumped out from memory. There have been a number of other moments including his verbal sparring with Robert Picardo later in the show or when he piloted the Prometheus. If you've never checked out Stargate SG-1 it's worth your time.

I love his work with this fine cast especially when he worked opposite Richard Anderson. There were some special moments.

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So it's going to be bittersweet, as it will be to see Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, to see Don S. Davis one more time when Continuum is released on July 29 in which he will appear. He's another one of the good ones you hate to see go. I look forward to that new DVD if only to see him in action just one more time. Davis had such a natural way about him. His steady personality really shined through each character he portrayed that it never seemed like he was acting. His principles guided his work and it showed. He was comfortable with these people he brought to life. Don S. Davis was indeed the man and for many he will always be commander of the SGC.

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