Dr. Jackson joined the SG-1 team on a voluntary basis to study the cultures of other planets. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology as well as a Ph.D. in Linguistics, and has prior experience with the culture of Abydos. He is an expert in ancient cultures and languages in addition to current ones; he speaks over 20 languages including ancient Egyptian. Originally he was contracted by the military to decipher a mysterious hieroglyphic cartouche. His subsequent translation of the cartouche allowed the Stargate to be opened for the first time. He married Sha're, an off-world human and native of Abydos, after he chose to stay behind on the planet following the first mission, and he became something of a deity to the people of Abydos. His humanistic, liberal approach is often in conflict with O'Neill's militaristic approach. Some see him as a soft, brainy, clumsy scientist who carries a wide-eyed enthusiasm with him through every mission.
Played by MICHAEL SHANKS
A native of Vancouver, Michael Shanks studied commerce before deciding to pursue his true passion, acting, at the University of B.C., where he graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Upon graduation he performed at the world renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival for two seasons. His performances there included Lorenzo in Merchant of Venice, Menteith in Macbeth, as well as roles in King Lear, Amadeus, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Other theater credits include Love of the Nightingale, Translations, Wait Until Dark, and Loves Labors Lost.
One of Shanks' first episodic television experiences occurred while on his way to his first theatre school auditions where he happened upon the set of the television series MacGyver. Stopping to observe, Shanks was struck by the professionalism of the crew and cast. How could he know that several years later he would find himself co-starring with the star of MacGyver, Richard Dean Anderson, in Stargate SG-1. Shanks reprises the role of Daniel Jackson in the series which was originated by James Spader in the StarGate feature film.
Shanks made his film debut in the feature Call of the Wild and has guest starred on such television series as The Commish, The Highlander, University Hospital and the critically acclaimed The Outer Limits. Television movie credits include A Family Divided and the mini-series Eye Level, and most recently, Escape From Mars for UPN. During the 1998-99 hiatus from Stargate SG-1, Michael starred in the acclaimed Arts Production of Hamlet which ran for five weeks.