Vala Mal Doran

Vala Mal Doran

Stargate character

caption=Vala Mal Doran played by Claudia Black in "Stargate SG-1"
name=Vala Mal Doran
family=Tomin (ex-husband)
Adria (daughter)
Jacek (father)
Adria (step-mother)
tv=Claudia Black
first=Prometheus Unbound

Vala Mal Doran is a fictional character in the American Sci-Fi Channel television series "Stargate SG-1", a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices. Played by former "Farscape" actress Claudia Black, Vala was created by Damian Kindler and Robert C. Cooper as a guest character for the Season 8 episode "Prometheus Unbound" (2004). Because of the on-screen chemistry between Black's Vala and Michael Shanks' character Daniel Jackson, and the character's popularity with the producers and the audience, Claudia Black became a recurring guest star in Season 9 (2005–2006) and was promoted to main cast status in Season 10 (2006–2007).

"Prometheus Unbound" introduces Vala as a sexy and mischievous human with a Goa'uld background from an unnamed planet. In Season 9, Vala and Daniel set off the arc of the show's new villain race, the Ori. After giving birth to the Ori's new leader in Season 10, Vala joins the SG-1 team to stop the enemy. Claudia Black resumed her role in the 2008 direct-to-DVD film ', which finishes the Ori arc. Black also appeared as Vala and her Goa'uld alter ego Qetesh in ', released on DVD July 28, 2008. For her portrayal of Vala, Claudia Black was nominated for a 2006 Saturn Award in the category "Best Supporting Actress on Television", and won a Constellation Award in the category "Best Female Performance in a 2006 Science Fiction Television" in 2007.

Role in "Stargate"

Character arc

Information about Vala's past is revealed over the course of several episodes of Seasons 8 through 10 of "Stargate SG-1". sgcite|Family Ties gives insight into Vala's background with her father Jacek, a con artist who had left her and her mother to pursue his scams. As mentioned in sgcite|Avalon, Vala also had a stepmother named Adria, whom she held in little regard. [cite episode | title = Family Ties | episodelink = Family Ties (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Peter DeLuise | writers = Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 10 | number = 18
* Vala: "Mother raised me." / Jacek: "Which one?" / Vala: "My mother."
* Vala (to Jacek): "You were never there for Mother! Even though you always expected us to be there for you, whenever you needed a place to hide or capital to help set up one of your latest scams!"
] cite episode | title = Flesh and Blood | episodelink = Flesh and Blood (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Will Waring | writers = Robert C. Cooper | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 10 | number = 1
*Vala: "She [the Orici] wanted me to give her a name." / Daniel: "And..." / Vala: "Adria. I told her it was my mother's..." / Daniel: "Not?" / Vala: "Stepmother. Witch of a woman."] Vala became an involuntary host to a Goa'uld named Qetesh in her adult life, but the Tok'ra were able to remove the symbiote.cite episode | title = The Powers That Be | episodelink = The Powers That Be (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Will Waring | writers = Martin Gero | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 9 | number = 5
* Vala: "This was one of the many planets that Qetesh ruled over when I was her host. As you know, a Tok'ra eventually removed the symbiote but not before her people rebelled and tortured me thinking we were one in the same."] cite episode | title = Prometheus Unbound | episodelink = Prometheus Unbound (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Andy Mikita | writers = Damian Kindler | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 8 | number = 12
* Vala: "Ten years ago, a Tok'ra incited a rebellion on my planet. When people rose up against the ruling Goa'uld, and once the Jaffa had been overcome, the Goa'uld was captured alive, tortured, and beaten for days on end. I was host to that Goa'uld at the time. The people didn't understand that it was the symbiote that had ruled over them so harshly. I guess the Tok'ra felt responsible. He rescued me, removed the Goa'uld symbiote, nursed me back to health."] At the time of Vala's first encounter with SG-1 team member Daniel Jackson in the Season 8 episode "Prometheus Unbound", she has become a thief and a con artist. She attempts to steal the Earth ship "Prometheus" for her own purposes, but when Daniel evades her sexual advances and thwarts her plans, she escapes.

In the Season 9 opener sgcite|Avalon, Vala seeks out Daniel at Stargate Command. Needing his linguistic skills, she uses a bracelet to bind them together for a treasure hunt on Earth. The discovery of an Ancient communication device transports Vala's and Daniel's mind to a village in a distant galaxy where the local villagers kill Vala in a trial by fire, but a Prior, a servant of a race named the Ori, resurrects her. [cite episode | title = Avalon | episodelink = Avalon (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Andy Mikita | writers = Robert C. Cooper | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 9 | number = 1–2] After Vala's and Daniel's safe return to Earth, the removed bracelets cause temporary after-effects that prolong Vala's stay at Stargate Command. In an attempt to stop the Ori from invading the galaxy in sgcite|Beachhead, Vala goes missing and appears to have died. [cite episode | title = Beachhead | episodelink = Beachhead (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Brad Turner | writers = Brad Wright | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 9 | number = 6] Vala re-appears in the late Season 9 episode "Crusade" and informs SG-1 via the communication device that she is in the Ori galaxy. The Ori have impregnated her against her will many months before, and Vala saw herself forced to marry a local villager named Tomin to make the pregnancy plausible. When Vala tells SG-1 about the Ori army approaching, the communication link is severed. [cite episode | title = Crusade | episodelink = Crusade (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Robert C. Cooper | writers = Robert C. Cooper | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 9 | number = 19] Vala is last seen onboard one of the invading Ori battlecruisers in the closing scene of the Season 9 finale "Camelot" when she senses going into labor. [cite episode | title = Camelot | episodelink = Camelot (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Robert C. Cooper | writers = Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 9 | number = 20]

Season 10 opens with Vala giving birth to a female. The Ori call the rapidly growing child Orici, but Vala gives her the name Adria after her stepmother. Attempts to turn the child away from the Ori remain unsuccessful. Having escaped the Ori, Vala is allowed sanctuary at Stargate Command and joins SG-1 on several missions, during one of which she comes face-to-face with her fully-grown daughter. [cite episode | title = Counterstrike | episodelink = Counterstrike (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Andy Mikita | writers = Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 10 | number = 7] Vala's provisionary acceptance on Earth is only lifted in the eighth episode of the season, sgcite|Memento Mori, in which she is made a full member of SG-1. [cite episode | title = Memento Mori | episodelink = Memento Mori (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Peter DeLuise | writers = Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 10 | number = 8] Vala meets Tomin again in sgcite|Line in the Sand and tells him the true story behind the Ancients and Ori. [cite episode | title = Line in the Sand | episodelink = Line in the Sand (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Peter DeLuise | writers = Alan McCullough | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 10 | number = 12] A final showdown in the series between Vala and Adria occurs in "Dominion", which leaves Vala with the loss of her daughter. [cite episode | title = Dominion | episodelink = Dominion (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Will Waring | writers = Alex Levine & Alan McCullough | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 10 | number = 19] In "Unending", the last episode of the series, SG-1 gets stuck in a time dilation field aboard the Earth ship "Odyssey", and a romance between Vala and Daniel comes to fruition. Before the time dilation field is reversed after fifty years, erasing all linked memories in the process, Daniel and Vala express their feelings for each other. [cite episode | title = Unending | episodelink = Unending (Stargate SG-1) | series = Stargate SG-1 | serieslink =Stargate SG-1 | credits = Robert C. Cooper | writers = Robert C. Cooper | network = Sci Fi Channel | season = 10 | number = 20] The Ori story surrounding Vala, Tomin and Adria concludes in ',cite web |last=Sumner |first=Darren |url= |title=New pictures from The Ark of Truth | |date=December 18, 2007 |accessdate=2008-01-27] and Vala and her alter ego, Qetesh, will appear in the 2008 film '.cite web |last=Fetter |first=Sharon |url= |title=Shanks reveals Continuum spoiler | |date=August 14, 2007 |accessdate=2008-01-27]


Official "Stargate" sources advertised Vala as a "scheming, unscrupulous, thieving con artist", "feisty" and "occasionally fickle", with a "mysterious agenda" and a seemingly "amorous interest in Dr. Daniel Jackson".cite web |url= |title="Vala – Claudia Black" | |accessdate=2008-01-23] Genre magazine "TV Zone" subtitled Vala as a "thief, arms dealer, mercenary" who, when given an inch, will "take a mile, and whatever else she can get her hands on."Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=SG-1/Atlantis – The characters |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #64 |pages=6–11 |date=July 2005] "SFX" described Vala as a "mischievous minx",Citation |last=Gibson |first=Thomasina | title=Claudia Black |newspaper=SFX |issue=#137 |date=December 2005] whereas "The San Diego Union-Tribune" interpreted Vala as "ethically challenged". [cite web |url= |title="TV – July 14, 2006" |publisher="The San Diego Union-Tribune" |date=July 14, 2006 |accessdate=2008-01-27] Steven Eramo of "Starburst" gave Vala the attributes "sexy, smart and always resourceful".Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=The New Black |newspaper=Starburst |issue=Special #76 |pages=82–88 |date=July 2006] Claudia Black characterized early Vala as "sassy", "intelligent", "manipulative", and "mercurial", but found it "very hard to tell what the real core of Vala is."cite web |url= |title=Black Guests On Stargate | |date=September 22, 2004 |accessdate=2008-01-13] Black later described Vala as "a new, weird element", "irritating",cite web |last=Sumner |first=Darren |url= |title=I, Claudia – GateWorld talks with Claudia Black | |month=July | year=2006 |accessdate=2008-01-14] "very vibrant", "sort of the hair-pulling variety", "really infuriating" and " [hopefully] funny".cite web |url= |title=Black, Browder Talk New SG-1 | |date=May 6, 2005 |accessdate=2008-01-13] With Vala being a departure from Black's former "Farscape" role as Aeryn Sun, Black regarded Vala as a comedic and energetic character with streaks of irreverence and naughtiness who "says everything that everyone else is thinking, but doesn't dare say", although both characters share "being damaged goods [in the beginning] and on a path to becoming a better person". Robert C. Cooper thought of Vala as "a bit of a wild card" and "a very sexy character, who isn't afraid to take whatever she wants in any given situation." Cooper and Black believed the character had a moral compass to her actions.


"Prometheus Unbound"

"Stargate SG-1" supervising producer Damian Kindler wrote sgcite|Prometheus Unbound as a second-unit bottle episode for the middle of "Stargate SG-1"'s Season 8 in 2004. The main cast's availability was limited, as Richard Dean Anderson had a reduced season schedule, and Amanda Tapping and Christopher Judge filmed sgcite|Gemini in parallel to "Prometheus Unbound".cite video |people=Peter Woeste and John G. Lenic |year2=2005 |title=Audio Commentary for "Zero Hour" |medium= DVD |publisher=MGM] Kindler therefore centered the episode on Michael Shanks' character Daniel Jackson and created Vala, a human character from an unnamed planet, as Daniel's one-episode adversary. Not fully content with Kindler's conservative approach, producer Robert C. Cooper amplified the character's cheeky and sexy personality in his own passes of the script. Although Cooper tried to respect "Stargate SG-1"'s reputation as a sex-free family show, he was aware that the character's sexiness might cause a strong audience reaction.cite web |last=Read |first=David |url= |title=Visions of Sanctuary – GateWorld talks with Damian Kindler | |month=March | year=2007 |accessdate=2007-01-08] cite video |people=Robert C. Cooper and Andy Mikita |year2=2006 |title=Audio Commentary for "Avalon" |medium= DVD |publisher=MGM]

Robert. C. Cooper suggested Australian actress Claudia Black for the role of Vala and contacted her agent two days before the filming of "Prometheus Unbound" began.cite video |people=Claudia Black, Andy Mikita and Damian Kindler |year2=2005 |title=Audio Commentary for "Prometheus Unbound" |medium= DVD |publisher=MGM] The "Stargate" producers had approached Black several times before, but she had always been busy with other projects.Citation | title=Vala Unveiled |newspaper=Official Stargate Magazine |pages=20–21 |date=April 2006 ] At "Prometheus Unbound"'s casting stage, the actress had just finished dialogue looping sessions for "" in Australia.cite web |last=Sumner |first=Darren |url= |title=Black Is Back – GateWorld talks with Claudia Black | |month=August | year=2005 |accessdate=2008-01-14] She thought the script of "Prometheus Unbound" was funny and self-contained enough for creative experiments, so she accepted the role and called the episode's director, Andy Mikita, in advance. He suggested an "Out of Sight"-kind chemistry for Vala and Daniel, and encouraged the actress to push the character as far as possible. On set, Claudia Black and Michael Shanks decided to make one of their first scenes, a fight sequence, as funny and non-machismo as possible to mirror Daniel's non-military background. In the meantime, Black tried to transform her day-long jetlag and lack of sleep into humor. When the producers saw the on-screen chemistry between Black and Shanks, they decided to make the character a bigger part of the show.cite web |last=Read |first=David |url= |title=Executive Decisions, Part 2 – GateWorld talks with Brad Wright & Robert C. Cooper | |month= July | year= 2005 |accessdate=2008-01-08]

eason 9

With actor Richard Dean Anderson's departure from the show in 2005, "Stargate SG-1" saw cast changes at the beginning of Season 9. Ben Browder and Beau Bridges joined the main cast as Lieutenant-Colonel Cameron Mitchell and Major General Hank Landry, respectively. At the same time, the producers re-introduced Vala in a six-episode story arc to cover for the maternity leave of "SG-1" regular Amanda Tapping (Lieutenant-Colonel Samantha Carter).cite video |people=Robert C. Cooper and Peter Woeste |year2=2006 |title=Audio Commentary for "Crusade" |medium= DVD |publisher=MGM] The producer intended to use Vala's unpredictability and wildcard status to break the bigger story arc and to acquaint the audience with the new characters. Claudia Black wished to broaden her horizon in comedic acting and agreed to the recurring role, but declined the producers' offer of a permanent role for personal reasons.

Because Ben Browder and Claudia Black were well-known for formerly starring as star-crossed lovers in the cult sci-fi series "Farscape", the "Stargate" producers refrained from emphasizing the pairing of Mitchell and Vala beyond in-jokes.Upon meeting Mitchell for the first time in the Season 9 premiere sgcite|Avalon, Vala remarks "I know we haven't met. That I'm sure I would remember." The episode "200" features a short parody segment where Vala imagines the SG-1 members playing various "Farscape" characters. Vala plays Black's old role of Aeryn Sun, while Mitchell (Browder) plays the "Farscape" character Stark. Daniel (Shanks) plays Browder's old role of John Crichton.] The producers instead opted to further the comedic chemistry between Claudia Black and Michael Shanks, who linked their characters' early relationship to a Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn dynamic of "not so much of tension, but rather constant antagonism".Citation | title=Black To The Future |newspaper=Verbatim |issue=#8 |date=October 2005] Despite the initial concern that their relationship would stagnate and dumb down their characters, Shanks felt Vala brought out a side of Daniel that he had not had the chance to play before, and Black advocated the slow revelation of Vala's layers of denial.Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=Michael Shanks – Curious Mind |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #64 |pages=40–42 |date=July 2005] Mirroring Vala's sexiness in Season 8, sgcite|The Powers That Be writer Martin Gero chose Qetesh, the Egyptian Goddess of Love and Beauty, as a fitting former Goa'uld identity for the Vala. Nevertheless, Black and the producers refrained from portraying the character as too sexually manipulative. A scene from "The Ties That Bind" which was later cut for time originally made clear that the sexual relationship between Wallace Shawn's character and Vala had not taken place the way he had described in the episode.

Claudia Black was brought back into the show for the last two episodes of Season 9, at which time the actress was seven months pregnant. Producer Robert C. Cooper, who wrote and directed sgcite|Crusade, used the circumstances to set the stage for Adria, Vala's future daughter and the new villain in Season 10.Citation |last=Rudolph |first=Illeane |author-link= | title=Black Is Back |newspaper=TV Guide |issue=February 27 – March 5, 2006 |pages=41 |date=February 27, 2006] According to Black, Vala's motivation to hide her miraculous pregnancy by marrying the local villager Tomin (played by Tim Guinee) stems from "genuinely car [ing] for the man. She does something wrong, but she must in order to survive." Against the audience's expectation, Vala and Tomin are shown as a seemingly functioning normal couple, and Vala makes several efforts to save him despite his deep indoctrination. Cooper explained that by Vala's contacting of Stargate Command about the imminent threat, she "has reached a point of honesty with [the SG-1] characters and possibly herself on a level that she's never had before." [cite video |people=Robert C. Cooper |year2=2006 |title=Director Series – "Crusade" |medium= DVD |publisher=MGM]

eason 10

Claudia Black joined the cast full time in Season 10. Had "Stargate SG-1" not been picked up for a new season, the producers would have considered the character for a spin-off series. To justify the character in a regular capacity, the producers toned her down and tried to find a suitable balance of sexual tension, fun and friendship. [cite web |last=Spelling |first=Ian |url= |title=SG-1's Shanks Talks Romance | |date=June 2, 2006 |accessdate=2008-01-13] Claudia Black was convinced that Vala's actual stay with Stargate Command was justified despite the character's personality. Vala's renegade qualification to infiltrate the Ori served as a useful complement to the military-oriented SG teams, and Vala had already proven a degree of allegiance through her actions in "Beachhead", holding off an immediate invasion of the enemy. The writers tested this loyalty through confrontation in the story, and writer Damian Kindler later compared Vala's character growth in Season 10 to smuggler Lando Calrissian from "Star Wars", a "former swindler who's gone legit". Careful to never have Vala become too earnest, Kindler never saw Vala "as the type of character who should be on the show for five, six, seven years. But definitely the sort of character who could come in for a couple seasons, spice things up and then move on and come back and forth." In hindsight, Claudia Black would see Season 10 as a personal challenge as her baby deprived her of sleep during the filming period.Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=Actress Claudia Black – Vala-ble Ally |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #74 |pages=40–42 |date=January 2007] Her relocation to Vancouver and sickness in the family put her on a self-confessed personal and professional low.Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=Actress Claudia Black – Latch and Hatch|newspaper=TV Zone |issue=#226 |pages=60–66 |date=March 2008] She nevertheless tried to stay true to her character "and not go for the cheap laugh".

The writers continued to develop the friendship between Vala and Daniel throughout Season 10, aiming not to lose their sexual chemistry. Michael Shanks stated that by sgcite|Memento Mori, "Daniel legitimately cares about Vala and has seen some sort of redemption in her and wants that process to continue."Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=Actress Amanda Tapping – Woman of Substance |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #71 |pages=20–23 |date=July 2006] From Black's point of view, Daniel offers "an interesting window" into "Vala's external façade to be playful with people". He helps Vala grow as a person and forces her to "develop coping mechanisms that allow her to be more adult and learn that it's OK to be honest and talk how you feel."Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=Actor Michael Shanks – Cause and Effect |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #71 |pages=28–31 |date=July 2006] Describing Vala's attitude towards bonding with other characters as "in a strange way quite level-headed" and "quite honest", Black interpreted Vala's behavior as a reaction to growing attached to people where the relationships never seem to work out. Throughout the season, Vala has to come to terms with her maternal feelings for Adria (as adult played by Morena Baccarin), well knowing from the beginning that Adria embodies a destructive entity that must be fought. Black believed Vala had to "try her best to connect with her daughter in the hope of finding ways to humanize her", despite her own lack of maturity. When Vala meets her father Jacek (Fred Willard) in sgcite|Family Ties, Vala shows "a slightly more dramatic and vulnerable side" that was new to the audience.

Evolving Vala's relationship with her team members, the producers grew comfortable with pairing Browder's and Black's characters more often, and even teased (and misled) viewers about them "end [ing] up in a motel room bed together" in the episode "Memento Mori", involving underwear, "handcuffs as well as creamy Twinkies".Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=Preview Season 10 |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #74 |pages=40–52 |date=July 2006] A scene in the milestone episode sgcite|200 also parodied the show's connection to "Farscape". From the beginning of Season 10, Claudia Black and Amanda Tapping requested a similarly positive camaraderie between their characters as male characters have. Tapping noted Carter's respect for Vala despite them being at opposite ends in their actions; Tapping also thought Carter finds Vala amusing rather than annoying. A scene in sgcite|Morpheus that was intended to establish this relationship was cut for time, and until the late Season 10 episode sgcite|Family Ties (when the two walked into the SGC with several bags, having just been on a shopping trip together) would accommodate this, the actresses acknowledged their connection through looks and subtle nuances. [cite web |last=Sumner |first=Darren |url= |title=A Decade With Sam – GateWorld Talks with Amanda Tapping | |month=May | year=2006 |accessdate=2008-01-27] By joining SG-1, Vala also shared a spot with stoic warrior Teal'c as the only alien members of the team, and actor Christopher Judge (Teal'c) explained that his character's amusement with Vala contributed to Teal'c's loosening up.Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=Actor Christopher Judge – Out of the Box |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #74 |pages=24–27 |date=July 2006]

Asked about a possible romance between Vala and Daniel before the filming of the series finale, Black predicted that a consummation of the relationship would end badly in terms of both story and on-screen chemistry. When Robert C. Cooper presented his preliminary script for "Unending", both Black and Shanks protested his intended story of having Vala and Daniel sleep together without a confrontation. Shanks felt that " [t] here's always been this underlining, keeping [Vala] at arms length because of the fear of getting too close." After Cooper rewrote the scene to increase Vala's vulnerability to Daniel, and have Daniel truthfully explain his feelings of a relationship, the actors decided to play the confrontation scene as genuinely as possible, with both characters being neither completely in-character nor totally out-of-character.cite web |last=Read |first=David |url= |title=Turn Of The Page – GateWorld talks with Michael Shanks | |month=June | year=2007 |accessdate=2008-01-08]

Other appearances

The Ori story surrounding Vala, Tomin and Adria concludes in ', and Vala and her alter ego, Qetesh, will appear in the 2008 film '. Claudia Black's work on "Continuum" was limited on strict doctor's orders after a miscarriage scare during the first movie, and although Black considered the film "not a Vala-centric piece" as she only "makes a brief appearance", [cite web |url= |title=Slice of SciFi Interview With Claudia Black | |date=July 15, 2007 |accessdate=2008-02-07] "Stargate" producer Joseph Mallozzi thought "she's got some great, juicy scenes".cite web |last=Mallozzi |first=Joseph |authorlink=Joseph Mallozzi |url= |title=Joseph Mallozzi's Weblog – January 10, 2008 – A Mix and the Mailbag | |date=January 10, 2008 |accessdate=2008-02-07] Claudia Black mentioned interest in portraying her character in the future, [cite web |url= |title=Claudia Black interview (2) | |date=February 11, 2008 |accessdate=2008-02-13] but Mallozzi rated the chances of her appearing in the planned "Stargate Universe" spin-off series as "not so good". [cite web |last=Mallozzi |first=Joseph |authorlink=Joseph Mallozzi |url= |title=Joseph Mallozzi's Weblog – August 19, 2007 | |date=August 19, 2007 |accessdate=2008-02-07] The producers have not given thought to a "Stargate Atlantis" Vala story as of February 2008, [cite web |last=Mallozzi |first=Joseph |authorlink=Joseph Mallozzi |url= |title=Joseph Mallozzi's Weblog – January 22, 2007 – Awwww, puppies! Awwww, schnitzel! | |date=January 22, 2008 |accessdate=2008-02-07] despite Michael Shanks guest-starring in the fifth season of "Atlantis" [cite web |url= |title=Press release: Atlantis To Start Season 5 | |date=February 2008, 2008 |accessdate=2008-02-07] , along with multiple appearances made by Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping and Christopher Judge in the past.

Costumes and make-up

Claudia Black made her entrance in "Stargate SG-1" in a full-body Kull Warrior costume, not dissimilar to her first appearance as a Peacekeeper in "Farscape". For her entrance in Season 9's sgcite|Avalon, however, the costume designers intended her to wear a dress that the producers later deemed too revealing. Leaving the dress for Vala's appearance as Qetesh in sgcite|The Powers That Be, Vala's outfit for "Avalon" was switched to a black fetish leather gear which a costume designer described as "a dominatrix outfit". Black admitted the wildness of her "Avalon" wardrobe was not for her liking. But since it mirrored the attention-seeking personality of the character, and because the character does not spend much time in the same outfit anyway, the actress did not mind wearing it.Citation | title=Black Is Back |newspaper=Ultimate DVD |date=April 2006] Vala started wearing the normal SG team uniform in sgcite|Origin, the third episode of Season 9. Claudia Black was later included in the design process and was given full control over her wardrobe for scenes that required civilian clothes. As such, Black chose Vala's underwear for the seduction scene in sgcite|The Ties That Bind and her shopping tour outfit in sgcite|Family Ties. The latter episode also showed Vala with seven distinctly different hairstyles and outfits in total. Fearing the lack of seriousness, the producers opposed the make-up department's decision of having Vala wear curlers, but the scene could not be reshot.cite video |people=Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie |year2=2007 |title=Audio Commentary for "Family Ties" |medium= DVD |publisher=MGM] cite video |people=Will Waring, Joseph Mallozzi and Martin Gero |year2=2006 |title=Audio Commentary for "The Ties That Bind" |medium= DVD |publisher=MGM] Similarly, a scene showing Vala unpacking her hair dryer and curling iron during an offworld mission in sgcite|The Quest was deemed too silly and was trimmed to the basics; it would have been cut if the footage had allowed it.cite video |people=Joseph Mallozzi |year2=2007 |title=Stargate SG-1 Season 10: Deleted Scenes with Joseph Mallozzi |medium= DVD |publisher=MGM] Due to Black's pregnancy during the filming of the films, the costume department needed to hide Black's bump with appropriate dressing.


The character of Vala was immediately popular with the "Stargate" writers, producers and crew. During the filming of "Prometheus Unbound", people on set responded "very well" to the chemistry between Vala and Daniel. Director Andy Mikita called executive producer Robert C. Cooper during the first lunch break and told him to "hire this gal", and Cooper thought Vala/Black "was absolutely wonderful. The character really worked out."cite web |url= |title=Black And Browder Reunite In SG-1 | |date=December 27, 2004 |accessdate=2008-01-13] Writer Damian Kindler "really loved" what Black brought to the show, believing that "her character, when used properly, is just absolutely wonderful grist for the mill on SG-1." "Stargate" writer Martin Gero called Vala "so much fun to write, almost too fun. You do kind of get carried away."cite video |people=Andy Mikita, Jim Menard and Martin Gero |year2=2006 |title=Audio Commentary for "The Powers That Be" |medium= DVD |publisher=MGM] Michael Shanks repeatedly stated in interviews that Claudia Black revitalized his interest in acting. [cite web |last=Van Horn |first=Jason |url= |title=IGN Interviews Michael Shanks | |date=December 18, 2006 |accessdate=2008-01-27] [HypaSpace: Stargate SG1 turns 200. April 27, 2006. Retrieved on 2008-02-02.]

In interviews with Claudia Black, GateWorld's Darren Sumner commented on Vala's "warm reception [...] by fans", while TheScifiWorld's Gilles Nuytens called her "an instant hit with fans of the show".cite web |url= |title=Claudia Black interview | |date=September 6, 2006 |accessdate=2008-01-23] The actress however was not as confident; similarly, Robert C. Cooper advertised Vala's last Season 9 appearance as the return of "a much loved and much hated character."Citation |last=Eramo |first=Steven |author-link= | title=SG-1 Season Nine Part 2 - Alien Siege |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #67 |pages=6–18 |date=December 2005] A Season 9 poll among over 8000 GateWorld readers showed 71 percent rating Claudia Black's portrayal of Vala as "perfect". [cite web |url= |title="Poll results: What do you think of Claudia Black as Vala Mal Doran so far?" | |year=2006 |accessdate=2008-01-24] In a later poll among over 12000 participants, 51 percent answered that Claudia Black becoming a main character was "about time!", while 22 percent were concerned or had no opinion. [cite web |url= |title="Poll results: Claudia Black will be a full-time member of the SG-1 cast next year. What do you think?" | |year=2006 |accessdate=2008-01-24] Vala Mal Doran ranked second (25%) out of five behind "SG-1"'s Cameron Mitchell (27%) in the viewer-voted 2006 Spacey Awards for "Favourite New TV Character", [4th Spacey Awards. Presented by Space on May 27, 2006. Retrieved on 2008-01-23.] and was voted third (22%) out of five places in the 2007 Spacey Awards for "Favourite Character You Love to Hate" (26% "Battlestar Galactica"'s Gaius Baltar, 28% "Smallville"'s Lex Luthor). [5th Spacey Awards. Presented by Space on June 10, 2007. Retrieved on 2008-01-23.] Per popular demand, Diamond Select Toys included Vala in their third series of "Stargate" action figures. [cite web |url= |title=Stargate SG-1 Series 3 "Avalon" Vala Figure | |accessdate=2008-01-27] [cite web |url= |title=Stargate SG-1 Series 3 Vala Mal Doran Figure | |accessdate=2008-01-27]

"TV Guide" called Vala a "saucy [and] bodacious babe who immediately clicked with viewers", while "The Sun Herald" thought of the character as "a thoroughly charming intergalactic thief famed for using her allure to get what she wants." [cite news |last=Prescott |first=Jean |title=Sci Fi duo reacquainted on 'Stargate'|publisher="The Sun Herald" |date=July 12, 2006 |accessdate=2008-02-02] Matt Roush of TV Guide called Claudia Black "great fun to watch in [Seasons 8 and 9] ". [cite web |last=Roush |first=Matt |url= |title=Roush Dispatch: Stargate Turns 200: Good for a Laugh | |date=August 18, 2006 |accessdate=2008-01-17] Concerning Ben Browder's and Claudia Black's on-screen reunification in "Stargate SG-1"'s "Avalon", "TV Zone"'s Stephen Graves believed that their first post-"Farscape" encounter was "somewhat underplayed – but Black makes up for this with her sparky, snarky characterization of Vala."Citation |last=Graves |first=Steven |author-link= | title=Season Nine episodes 1–10 Reviews |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #67 |pages=20–22 |date=December 2005] He welcomed the producers' decision to not cast a carbon copy of Samantha Carter, and thought that Claudia Black's Vala in her six-episode arc remained "the best thing in the series". By Season 10's sgcite|Memento Mori, "TV Zone"'s Anthony Brown felt that "Ben Browder and Claudia Black have [...] reached a point where they can play out an amusing take on "Misery" without you feeling that [their "Farscape" characters] have somehow starbursted onto "SG-1"'s Earth".Citation |last=Brown |first=Anthony |author-link= | title=Stargate SG-1 Season 10 Reviews On the Air... |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=Special #74 |pages=18–20 |date=January 2007] Maureen Ryan of the "Chicago Tribune" called Browder's and Black's interaction in Season 10 "great fun; the rapport they developed on the stellar "Farscape" was still much in evidence, even though they played radically different characters on "SG-1."cite web |last=Ryan |first=Maureen |url= |title=Time's not on the side of 'Stargate SG-1,' which ends Friday | |date=June 21, 2007 |accessdate=2008-02-22]

Maureen Ryan described the chemistry between Black and Michael Shanks as "sparky" and "one of the most diverting parts of the latter seasons of the show". According to "Ultimate DVD", the scenes between Vala and Daniel as the object of her affection resulted in "some of the freshest and funniest scenes in the show for some time". In reviewing sgcite|Unending, Anthony Brown called Vala "a character who's always had a little too much of comic relief [getting] torn apart by the nice guy of the team."Citation |last=Brown |first=Anthony |author-link= | title=Reviews On the Air... |newspaper=TV Zone |issue=#215 |pages=66–67 |date=June 2007] SyFy Portal attributed "Stargate SG-1" not going stale after ten years to Black, as she "quite literally steals the show from the existing cast of heroes". [cite web |url= |title=Claudia Black Steals The Show | |date=July 18, 2006 |accessdate=2008-02-02] For her portrayal of Vala, Claudia Black was nominated for a Saturn Award in the category "Best Supporting Actress on Television" in 2006, [cite web |last=Fetter |first=Sharon |url= |title="SG-1" earns three Saturn nominations | |date=February 21, 2006 |accessdate=2008-04-07] and won a Constellation Award in the category "Best Female Performance in a 2006 Science Fiction Television" for the episode "Memento Mori" in 2007. [cite web |url= |title=Looking Back At... The 2007 Constellation Awards | |accessdate=2008-03-04]


External links

* at Wikia
* [ Vala Mal Doran] at GateWorld
* [ Vala Mal Doran] at

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