While I’ve seen a fair number of Stargate SG1 episodes, over time, I just grew out of the show. Don’t get me wrong, if I saw an episode, I enjoyed it, but if I never see another episode in my life, I won’t even miss it. Still, when given the chance to see Cliff Simon, who plays the villain System Lord Ba’al, I took it.
Cliff is from South Africa and told us a bit about his dance background. He told us of his love for scuba diving and other outdoor activities. He recently became an American citizen and one of his current projects is a series of affirmations about America which will be sent to the troops. As someone coming from outside the U.S., he feels that all this anti-American sentiment in the world shows that people have forgotten all the things that the U.S. has done for the world and continues to do for the world. So, he wants the troops to not just be told the negatives about how we are hated, but all the good we do (which in this writer’s opinion, is rarely mentioned in the press).
Naturally, he talked of his time on SG1 and how his knowing the producer of the series is what ultimately led him to the series. He really had no idea that he would get to play Ba’al for five years and he thanked the fans for that, as it is fan response to guest characters on the show that helps determine if they are brought back. He further discussed how he enjoyed playing the role of Ba’al as it allowed him to do those evil things which we humans normally suppress (no matter what it is). He stated that he brings a part of himself into the character, which he feels makes the character “more human.” As such, the writers picked up on things (such as Ba’al’s humor) and away they went.
Cliff’s time was shortened due to Nichelle Nichols arriving so late and staying over somewhat in her alloted time. However, since not a lot of people asked questions, I suppose it was for the best. He was an entertaining guest and I am glad to have met him.