Window of Opportunity (Stargate SG-1) - Production


"Window of Opportunity" was the second Stargate SG-1 script by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, and their first episode to air. The writing duo's first script, "Scorched Earth", would air three episodes later. Choosing "Ad Infinitum" as the episode's working title, Mallozzi and Mullie originally pitched "Window of Opportunity" as a darker story from the finished episode. SG-1 would encounter a world whose scientists work feverishly on preventing an imminent apocalypse, but after being unable to find a solution in time, they initiate a time loop that would trap the SG-1 team. Executive producer Brad Wright however noted the similarities to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Cause and Effect", and writer Robert C. Cooper suggested a lighter direction similar to the feature film Groundhog Day, which O'Neill would briefly reference in the episode. To simplify continuity in the shooting process, Brad Wright encouraged chaos-theory-type fluctuations in the story as early as in the episode's concept meeting. Director Peter DeLuise asked the prop department to glue the Froot Loops to O'Neill's breakfast spoon to have the same loops in the same spots in each take. According Paul Mullie, having Froot Loops as O'Neill's breakfast was not scripted, and he is unsure if the loop reference was intentional.

The off-world scenes were filmed on an interior sound stage, using occasional lens flares and off-camera fans to simulate weather. A matte painting by the in-house visual effects department later served as a sky replacement for the used greenscreen. The Vancouver-based company GDFX was responsible for almost all visual effects shots, some of which were re-used within the episode to save money. Other visual effects clips were re-used from previous episodes. "Window of Opportunity" was the first episode to feature a rear-screen projection in the briefing room. To speed up the shooting process, scenes were filmed in thematic blocks instead of in a story-chronological order, and short sequences were re-used to help the audience with a visual recall in new scenes. Sound effects were later added to give the wooden altar prop the impression of being made of stone.

It became evident by the third day of production that the episode was going to run significantly short, partly caused by the time-efficient filming style. The scene in which Daniel informs Jack and Teal'c of the opportunity to do whatever they like, was a late pitch by Brad Wright, who had also had the idea for some time to show someone golfing through the Stargate. Preliminary discussions about computer-generating the golf ball to not break the US$100,000 Stargate prop were later overturned, and the actors used a real golf ball. Many of the other humorous scenes in "Window of Opportunity" were improvised on set during filming. With juggling being one of Richard Dean Anderson's earlier careers, director Peter DeLuise filmed the juggling sequence in a last effort to fill the episode's time slot. "Window of Opportunity" has no deleted scenes.

As the first episodes of season 4 addressed the attraction between O'Neill and Carter, its after-effects were chosen to be still noticeable in "Window of Opportunity". The progressing frustration of Teal'c, "the man of infinite patience", is shown by his Kel'no'reem'ing (a fictional meditational state) during the briefing. The episode's main guest star was Robin Mossley as Malikai; Mossley would play a different character in the season 10 episode "Morpheus". Several crew members make cameo appearances in "Window of Opportunity". Nicole Forrest, the show's head of accounting and director Peter Woeste's wife, appears as Malikai's wife on a photographic device. One of Anderson's stand-ins on SG-1, Bill Nikolai, plays the technician in O'Neill's bicycle scene. Director Peter DeLuise briefly appears as an airman who helps Daniel recover from being repeatedly knocked down by Sgt. Siler in each loop. Siler himself is played by stunt coordinator Dan Shea. The name of writer Joseph Mallozzi appears as the author of the book that O'Neill and Teal'c use to study the Ancient language.

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