Note: This Entry contains spoilers For later seasons.
It started in 1994 with the science fiction film Stargate starring James Spader (Dr Daniel Jackson) and Kurt Russell (Colonel Jack O'Neil), which revolved around a stone ring (the 'Stargate') that had been discovered in the 1920s in Giza, Egypt. After years of trying to discover its purpose, the USAF, through Dr Catherine Langford, recruit maverick archaeologist Daniel Jackson to translate the symbols, which he does.
Using six symbols as triangulation points, and a seventh as a point of origin, the Stargate establishes a stable wormhole to a gateway on another planet.
The first mission reveals that the pyramids were built by aliens who removed humans from earth to use as slaves. The alien encountered in the film had taken the identity of the Egyptian God Ra and inhabited the body of a human. Of course, our heroes defeat him and free the slaves. The team returns back to Earth, minus Jackson who has married a native woman.
It's not all as simple as it sounds, however, otherwise it would have been a boring film, and the scenario on which the series is based would be pretty flat and flimsy.
The film also sets the tone of the relationship between Jackson and O'Neil: Jackson wants to know everything about everything, and bluffs his way sometimes, which leads to conflict with O'Neil who, as a good military man, likes everything planned to the last minute detail.
Stargate SG-1 - The TV Series
In 1997, MGM brought us Stargate SG-1, the TV series that follows on from the film. Sort of. There are some minor differences: the name of O'Neill's son changes; the planet to which the team in the film gated miraculously moves to our galaxy; the Colonel's name mysteriously acquires a second 'l' - little things like that. Some differences are major: all the actors are different (with the exception of those who played Skaara and Kassuf) and the location of the Stargate Command (SGC) moves to Cheyenne Mountain. There is also the addition of a female character, Captain Samantha Carter (now Lt Col) and the alien Teal'c... oh and a different general. However, apart from that it carries on seamlessly!. A tenth series is being made in 2006 as well as a special 200th episode, this will make it the longest running Sci Fi TV series to date. Two spin off's have resulted from the series, a short lived animated series called Stargate-Infinity and Stargate Atlantis
The pilot is set one year after the return of O'Neill and his team and begins with the disused Stargate being 'guarded' by bored, poker-playing USAF personnel. The gate activates, and one of the female guards is taken through by aliens in full armour. Colonel O'Neill is called out of retirement to head up the team to investigate. The investigation is to start with their return to the planet where they left Daniel Jackson. It then becomes clear that O'Neill falsified Jackson's death in order to avoid complications and because of this, his relationship with the new Commanding Officer (CO) doesn't start well. There follows reconnaissance, capture, daring escape... all of which nicely sets up the action adventure series.
And there we have the basic idea. The SGC is resurrected to investigate the threat of aliens to the planet Earth, which comes mainly in the form of humans taken over by Goa'uld (qv) parasites. They are easy to spot, as they have mostly taken their names from ancient (usually Egyptian) gods, and have a penchant for flashy clothing.
Which brings us neatly to...
The Flagship Team - SG-11.
Colonel Jack O'Neill USAF (Richard Dean Anderson) - Shortly before the events of the film, Jack's small son accidentally killed himself with his pistol. His reaction to this, including an inability to communicate with his wife, leads to their separation. Over the course of the film, and the subsequent series, Jack comes to terms with this, but it does come back to haunt him. He is revealed to be a sarcastic 'career soldier', who does not always follow conventional methods, and is at times insubordinate almost to the point of having disciplinary action taken against him. As the Commanding Officer of SG-1, O'Neill feels it is his duty to ensure that everyone under his command returns to the SGC, disobeying orders to do so at times. One criticism by the show's fans is that he is portrayed as 'dumb' (he does get left behind by Carter and Jackson when they spout techno babble, but he's not alone in this) whereas the reality is that he can think very well on his feet and displays much more common sense than the so-called clever members of his team. Over the years, O'Neill has developed a deep respect for all the members of the SGC but especially for the members of SG-1. Jack has been responsible for ridding the galaxy of no less than seven Goa'uld, been implanted with a Tok'ra symbiote called Kanan after being infected with a virus, Kanan then used Jacks sense of 'No-one Gets left Behind' to rescue a woman he'd used to access Baal’s2 private quarters so he could steal secret information. Baal captured Jack/Kanan and tortured him by killing him and reviving him in the Sarcophagus. He also had the knowledge of the Ancients down loaded into his brain, been in the debt of the Asgard High Council more times than anyone cares to remember (They even named one of their battleships after him) and saved the world from destruction by Anubis by using an Ancient defence weapon found in Antarctica. O'Neill is promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in season 8 after General Hammond is given a job in Washington and after that to Major General and then given a job in the higher echelons of the SGC programme3. He is also a rather obsessive fan of The Simpson’s. Anderson plays the Colonel's character very differently from the way Russell played him in the film. Indeed Richard Dean Anderson has said in the past that he would not have been able to do the film version because the character has no humour.
Captain Samantha Carter USAF (Amanda Tapping) - Introduced in the pilot episode of the series as Captain Carter, she has a doctorate in theoretical astrophysics and flying experience during the Gulf War. Carter is cleverer than almost anyone and the world’s foremost expert on the Stargate. Having missed out on being selected for the original Abydos mission (the destination in the film), she is at first aggressive and confrontational, but her character mellows a little and settles down. In one episode that had repercussions for the rest of the series, Carter was taken as a host by a Goa'uld during a mission. The symbiote Jolinar, which later revealed itself to be a member of the resistance movement, the Tok'ra, was wanted by the Goa'uld as a terrorist. Jolinar was being hunted by an Ashrak (a Goa'uld assassin) and after they were attacked, allowed itself to die in order to save Carter's life. This event left a protein marker in Carter's blood, and Jolinar's memories in her mind, which pop up now and again to help the team out of (and into) trouble. Another side effect of the blending is that her blood also contains trace quantities of the Stargate element Naquadah, giving her the ability to detect the presence of a Goa'uld, and to operate Goa'uld technology. Over the years she has been bought back from the dead by the Nox, been sold into slavery, blown up a sun4, met herself in an alternative reality, met a Replicator version of herself, saved the Asgard from the Replicators at least twice, been kidnapped and nearly dissected, flown in an alien space race and has been very unlucky in love. Sam is not able to keep a relationship going for too long, due to the face a lot of her prospective lovers get themselves killed. Narim was killed when Goa'uld attacked his planet Tollana, Martouf was the host of Jolinar's mate Lantash and Sam experiences some of Jolinar's feelings for him, he died after being 'Brainwashed' by the Goa'uld into sabotaging the Earth/Tok'ra alliance. A future version of Sam Carter married an Ambassador called Joe Faxon but the earlier version of him allowed an alien race called the Aschen to capture him so allowing Sam to escape their clutches. She did get engaged to a Cop called Pete Shanahan but she called it off because of her deep feelings for Jack O'Neill5. She was Promoted to Major in season four and Lieutenant Colonel in season nine. A strong female role, many fans are relieved that she's more than just 'eye candy'.
Doctor Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) - At the beginning of the film it becomes clear that his theories about the pyramids (that they are far older than we have hitherto suspected - leading more than one of his peers to ask if he thought they were built by aliens) have (ahem) alienated him from the academic community. When the USAF makes him an offer, he seizes it with both hands. He is a quick thinker and often has difficulty communicating his current thinking to his teammates, often taking action in the expectation that they will trust him and follow. Jackson is often described as childlike in his quest for knowledge. Daniel was 8 years old when his parents were killed in an accident in a New York museum, he was taken in by foster parents when his grandfather, explorer Nicholas Ballard, refused to take him in. His primary reason for being at the SGC is to search for his wife who was taken as a Goa'uld host in the first episode. During the year he was on Abydos Daniel discovered a room that contained gate addresses to other planets in the galaxy, the SGC use these to begin their exploration. A year after she was kidnapped Sha're is found on Abydos pregnant with Apophis' child (Two Goa'uld producing a human child is Taboo because the child will automatically have all the knowledge of the Goa'uld). Sha're/Ammonet hid the child on a planet called Kheb where it was cared for by an alien entity called Oma Desala. In order to find the child Daniel studied a form of Buddhism to communicate with Oma to prove he was capable of protecting the child, in the end he left the child with Oma but his link with Oma continued up to the point where he died. During a mission to Langara Daniel was exposed to a lethal does of radiation, as he is dying Oma comes to him and offers to help him ascend to a higher plane of existence where he can watch over his friends but not interfere with their lives, He accepted the offer as he believed he could do more to protect his friends as an ascended being. Unfortunately the other ascended beings (Who are the Ancients) had rules which prevented them intervening in the affairs of mortals, Daniel struggled to keep the rules after stepping in to help Teal'c and Jack cheat death. After learning that Anubis was going to destroy Abydos, Daniel declared he didn't care and used his power to stop him but he was stopped by Oma and left naked and with amnesia on a planet to be found by Sg-1.
Proving to be as unlucky in love as Sam Carter, Daniel has seen his wife killed by Teal'c and old girlfriend Sarah Gardener taken as host to the system Lord Osiris, saying this he does seem to have a way with women as most alien women find him the most attractive of the team. In the pilot episode, it is remarkable to watch how Shanks plays Spader playing Jackson. Gradually the Jackson character changes and evolves from being a bumbling geek to a hard assed warrior, but at the beginning he is a very good link to the film.
Teal'c (Christopher Judge) - Teal'c is a Jaffa, that is, he carries a larval Goa'uld in a pouch in his stomach. Not just any Jaffa, Teal'c was the First Prime (the head of the army) of one of the most powerful System Lords (qv), Apophis. In the pilot episode Teal'c deserts Apophis and joins the SGC in their fight against the Goa'uld. A man of few words but great wisdom, he manages to convey his thoughts and feelings with the use of body language and facial expressions. He is revealed to have a wife, Drey'auc and son, Rya'c who he was forced to leave behind on his home world of Chulak, and who became outcasts as the family of a shol'va - a traitor. Drey'auc died after refusing to take another symbiote this led to Rya'c blaming his father for her death, father and son were reconciled after helping the SGC defeat Anubis' attempt to destroy Earth with an Ancient weapon. As soon as he was able Rya'c joined the rebellion. Apophis managed to capture Teal'c and brainwash him into believing he was still his First Prime, he had to go through a cleansing ceremony called Rite of Malshuraan to break Apophis's hold over him. Teal'c and Bra'tac once attended a meeting with rebel Jaffa only to find themselves ambushed and many symbiotes destroyed to make death more painful and lingering. Teal'c used his symbiote to keep himself and Bra'tac alive, passing it between the two of them, during this time he started suffering delusions, and he was convinced he was a firefighter waiting for an operation to donate a Kidney to his 'Father' Bray. Fireman Teal'c was convinced he was suffering delusions about being an alien in a crack Special Operations squad of the USAF, as it turned out it was 'Ascended Daniel' using his powers to watch over Teal'c and it was Daniel, using his powers, who convinced SG-1 to look for them. As a result of losing their symbiotes Teal'c and Bra'tac started to use the drug Tretonine which helped replace the symbiote. Love in SG-1 never runs smooth and it doesn't for Teal'c either, as well as Drey'auc he lost Shaun'ac and Ishtar, and had a short-lived relationship with his next-door neighbour Krista. Teal'c now sits on the Jaffa High Council after he and Bra'tac (With the help of SG-1 finally won the freedom of the Jaffa after a final battle between the System Lords and the Replicators. He is also over 90 years old, and has been kicking butt and taking names in the service of Apophis for much of that time. Consequently, he has many enemies, both among the Goa'uld and those they have oppressed.
Jonas Quinn (Corin Nemec) - Jonas Quinn is an enthusiastic young scientist from the planet Langara. The three main powers on Langara had been at war for many years. Jonas' homeland Kelowna had been experimenting with a powerful derivative of Naqadah called Naquadria and was planning to use it as the core of a bomb they were making to use on their enemies. During an accident in the Lab, Daniel Jackson saved the day by stopping an experiment and so doing exposed himself to a lethal dose of radiation, ashamed of what had happened Jonas stole as much Naquadria as he could, as SG-1 had been trying to negotiate for a sample to study, and asked for asylum on Earth. Faced with the prospect of having a Russian Officer on his team Jack O'Neill reluctantly asked Jonas to replace Daniel after Jonas had provided the solution to stopping Anubis' plan to destroy Earth again!. Jonas was captured by Nirrti and she discovered that he was more advanced than most humans were with acute sensory abilities including a photographic memory and a keen attention to detail, Nirrti wanted to make him a 'Superhuman' so he could be her next host, he refused and helps in her downfall. Jonas was captured by Anubis who accessed his memories, including the Naquadria project on his home planet. Anubis went to Langara to take the naquadria and use it in his new weapon but he was thwarted. As a reward he was made a member of the Joint ruling council after Kelowna made peace with her enemies. Naive to the point of childlike Jonas was lucky to leave the SGC in one piece, he was also seen eating a lot. Actor Michael Shanks wanted a break from filming during the sixth season so the character Jonas Quinn was bought into the series to replace Daniel Jackson. This didn't go down very well with the fans and Jonas only lasted the one season before Daniel was bought back. Jonas reappeared in season seven when his countries naquadria project comes back to haunt them.
Lt Col Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder) - Lt Col Mitchell is now the leader of SG-1 after the promotion of Jack O'Neill to Major General. A fighter pilot flying F-302's6 at the battle over Antarctica with Anubis' fleet. Mitchell and his co pilot Banks were protecting a cargo ship being used by SG-1 from an enemy fighter when they were shot down, Banks was killed and Mitchell was badly injured. As a reward for his bravery General O'Neill promised him any posting he wanted when he recovered, Mitchell chose to lead SG-1. When he arrived at Cheyenne Mountain he found SG-1 had disbanded with Teal'c on Dakara with the Jaffa High Council, Sam Carter with Research and Development in Area 51 and Daniel about to leave for Atlantis. He managed to get SG-1 back together when a smuggler called Vala Mal Doran managed to attached a bracelet to herself and Daniel which prevented them being separated. He's a highly competent leader and dedicated to military life. All that's known about his family is that his mother is still alive, he has a younger brother and his Granny is a bit of a bible basher. After a much reduced role in season eight Richard Dean Anderson decided only to guest star in season nine, so the programme makers brought in Ben Browder to fill his shoes.Trivia Fact 1 - Browder is best know for his role as John Crichton in TV series Farscape.
Other Members of the SGC
General Hammond (Don S. Davis) - General Hammond is the SGC's Commanding Officer, replaced General West, who was in the film. Hammond has a good relationship with the President, which he calls on from time to time to pull the facility and his teams out of scrapes. During the battle with Anubis General Hammond was given command of the X-303 - Prometheus. He is a widower, with two daughters, and granddaughters.
General Hank Landry (Beau Bridges) - General Landry took over from General O'Neill, he is a personal friend of Jack's which probably helped in his selection for the job. A straight-talking-get-on-with-it type General Landry is impressed with how well the SGC runs and how well his staff get on with their jobs, which is something he's not used to and misses bawling out those who make mistakes. Separated from his wife and estranged from his daughter due to long absences, he hoped to mend his relationship with his daughter Carolyn by making her the SGC's Chief Medical Officer. Apparently she hasn't listened to him since she was twelve. Trivia Fact 2 - Beau Bridges is the son of Lloyd Bridges and brother of Jeff with whom he appeared in the film The Fabulous Baker Boys also staring Michelle Pfeifer.
Doctor Janet Frasier (Teryl Rothery) - Doctor Janet Frasier is the SGC Chief Medical Officer and Air Force Major and is introduced in the first season. She occasionally goes through the Stargate when there is a medical emergency, but generally stays on base. Married and divorced, she adopted an alien girl called Cassandra who's people had been killed by a plague caused by experiments performed by the Goa'uld Nirtti. Her appearances on screen increased from the occasional sighting in the first season to regular input in more recent times. She was killed by a Jaffa warrior while attending a wounded soldier, the soldier subsequently named his newborn daughter Janet.
Doctor Carolyn Lam (Lexa Doig) - A civilian, Dr Lam replaced Janet Frasier as the Chief Medical Officer of the SGC she is also the daughter of the new CO General Landry. She as a strained relationship with her father and told him she would have turned the job down if she knew he was in charge. She still has a good relationship with her mother whom she is closer to than her father due to his long absences when she was growing up. Trivia Fact 3 - Lexa Doig is the wife of Michael Shanks.
Sergeant Walter Harriman Davis (Gary Jones) - He's one of the support staff who operates the computer system that works the Stargate. He was, for some bizarre reason, often seen wearing a cardigan in the earlier series. Walter became a more regular character in later series, he seemed to be the one people turned to when they had Gate Problems when Sam Carter wasn't available. He also developed a 'Radar O'Reilly7' like tendency to anticipate orders a split second before they were given. The character was given the name Walter as a referrence to Radar from M*A*S*H.
Sergeant Siler (Dan Shea) - Another of the regular peripheral characters, Sergeant Siler seems to be a jack-of-all-trades and is regularly injured and rarely seen without his wrench. After 9 year Sergeant Siler's first name is still unknown. Trivia Fact 4 - Dan Shea is also Richard Dean Anderson's stunt double.
Major Paul Davis (Colin Cunningham) - Major Davis is the liaison officer between the Pentagon and the SGC, often the bearer of bad news. Over time his character developed from Pentagon lackey to something approaching diplomat, he was sent to Russia to negotiate for use of the Earth Dial Home Device when Teal'c became trapped in the wormhole, he also sent by Earth to help the Jaffa set up their governing council. He was also duplicated by aliens intent on conquering Earth, a group calling itself The Trust obtained the mimic device used by the aliens and one of their operatives used it to try and assassinate Senator Kinsey as Major Davis. Major Davis is also something of a computer expert, showing his skill when he accompanied SG-1 to an abandoned Goa'uld Mother ship.
Colonel Reynolds (Erik Breker) - Originally a Major at Area 51, Reynolds turned up in the SGC as a Colonel and leader of SG-3. Reynolds and SG-3 usually accompany SG-1 off world as backup or rescuers, whatever the need is at the time.
Dr Elizabeth Weir (Jessica Steen and Torri Higginson) - Dr Weir is a diplomat well known for working on treaties for the United Nations, also well known for her dislike of the military. She was asked by President Harry Hayes to take control of the SGC as a 'Friendly Face' for when the programme was made public. She was in command of the SGC when Anubis made yet another attempt to invade Earth. She resisted an attempt by Vice President Kinsey to remove her from office and take control himself. She and Daniel held a meeting with three of the System Lords who wanted her to use the Antarctic Weapon to destroy Baal, who had seized power after Anubis was destroyed. After the promotion of Jack O'Neill to Brigadier General she took command of the scientific base at the site of the Ancient Outpost searching for the lost City of Atlantis. When the location of the city was discovered she led the expedition to the Pegasus Galaxy, she is still there. Actress Jessica Steen only played Dr Weir for the last two episodes of season seven, Torri Higginson took over for the first two episodes of season eight as she'd been cast to play Weir in Stargate Atlantis.
Senator Robert Kinsey (Ronny Cox) - He's the archetypal slimy politician, who doesn't trust the military one inch, and prefers to have everything under the control of the democratically elected government i.e., slimy politicians. He became the Vice President of the USA after funding the Presidential candidate's campaign but was sacked when he tried to gain control of the SGC from Dr Elizabeth Weir who'd been given command of the SGC by the President.
The People of Abydos
Sha're (Vaitiare Bandera) - Daniel Jackson's wife was given to him as a present for saving the people of Abydos from Ra. In the pilot episode she is chosen by Apophis to become the host for his Queen Ammonet, thus setting up the reason for Jackson's involvement in the proceedings. Sha're was killed by Teal'c as Ammonet was trying to kill Daniel.
Kassuf (Erik Averi) - Sha're's father.
Skaara (Alexis Cruz) - Sha're's brother. He is chosen by Apophis to become host to his son, Klorel. It seems unlikely that Klorel really is Apophis' son, since the Goa'uld appear to spawn. Skaara and Klorel stood trial on Tollana for who had the right to ownership of the host's body, Skaara won and Klorel was removed. Skaara and the people of Abydos ascended, with Oma Desala's help just before Anubis destroyed the planet.
The 'Baddies'First We Have.....
The Goa'uld - The Goa'uld are snake-like life forms that require a human host to join with. Once joined, they suppress the human personality, although it is possible for the two to co-exist as in the case of the Tok'ra.
Feudal in nature, the Goa'uld would dominate the entire universe if they were not so busy trying to destroy and out-manoeuvre each other. The Goa'uld have an insatiable lust for power - they enslave whole worlds and impersonate Gods demanding that the native population worship them. The Goa'uld 'clans' are presided over by the System Lords, each having his own symbol and usually having taken the name of an Earth - often Egyptian - God (Heru'ur, Hathor, Osiris and Sokar to name but a few). Over the course of the series Apophis gradually defeats most of his System Lord rivals, absorbing their armies into his own.
Totally ruthless, the Goa'uld possess technology far more advanced than that of the human race. However, this technology is stolen from other races, although there is some evidence that the Goa'uld research and improve on it in some ways.
One of the biggest differences between the Goa'uld and the Tok'ra8 (see under Allies below) is that the former are totally evil, interested only in the acquisition of power and influence. Unlike the Tok'ra they do not change hosts unless it is necessary, regenerating themselves in a sarcophagus - a highly advanced device, closely resembling an Egyptian funerary sarcophagus. This enables them to live for thousands of years (at one point Apophis' host states that he was a simple scribe in ancient Egypt). During an early Season 1 episode it becomes clear that a sarcophagus can heal injuries and revive people from death. However, a healthy individual using one will become evil. Repeated use of the sarcophagus has an addictive, narcotic effect, suppressing the conscience of the user and removing their ability to empathise. The Tok'ra refer to this effect as 'draining the good' from the user.
The Goa'uld are blessed with a genetic memory. This is useful in that all information acquired about enemies and technology is passed down the generations without having to go through the tedious teaching/learning process. However, their long memories and power-hungry tribalistic attitudes lead to some spectacularly long feuds. It is forbidden for two joined Goa'uld to procreate and produce a human child as this child would possess all of the knowledge of the Goa'uld. Such a child was born to Sha're and Apophis. Daniel was able to converse with his wife while she was pregnant as the Goa'uld have to remain dormant during a pregnancy.Some Noteworthy Individual Goa'uld
Apophis (Peter Williams) - Apophis was the first Goa'uld the SGC encountered in the series, he came through the gate and kidnapped a female guard in the hope of making her the host for his Queen Ammonet, that dubious pleasure fell to Sha're. The Nemesis for the first few series Apophis died at least 3 times at the hands of SG-1, he met his final end at the hands of the Replicators when his ship crashed into his home planet.
Baal (Cliff Simon) - Baal made his first appearance in season 5 and during his time has had a fairly odd relationship with SG-1, wanting to destroy them one minute and wanting their help the next. Baal voted, with the other System Lords, to allow Anubis back after banishing him for unspeakable crimes. He once held Jack captive and tortured him to death before reviving him in the sarcophagus, this incident set the tone for their relationship over many series (including some great one-liners from Jack). After the defeat of Anubis, Baal broke an agreement to share Anubis' domain equally made by the remaining System Lords and eventually became the most dominant. Backed by a resurrected Anubis, Baal was told to find an Ancient Weapon with which Anubis intended to destroy the Galaxy. Instead Baal turned to SG-1 who, with his help, turned the weapon into a means of defeating the Replicators. After the defeat of the System Lords, Baal ended up on Earth where he plots to regain his power.Trivia Fact 5 - Cliff Simon was once voted Mr South Africa and wanted to represent his country in the Olympic Games as a swimmer.
Anubis (David Palffy) - Anubis was once a powerful System Lord but was banished by the others for his crimes. He ascended after tricking Oma Desala, the others sent him back but not completely so he was stuck somewhere between ascension and mortal. He partitioned the System Lords Alliance to return and take his rightful place, they agreed out of fear because he had returned more powerful, thanks to his knowledge of Ancient technology. In the first of many attacks on Earth, Anubis set an asteroid on a collision course with the planet, foiled, of course, by SG-1. The second time he used an Ancient device to turn the stargate into a weapon so it would blow up Earth, SG-1 used an X-302 fighter to launch the gate into hyperspace where it exploded. Anubis also destroyed Abydos while he was looking for the Eye of Ra, he was confronted by and ascended Daniel who threatened to stop him, as Anubis revealed his true identity as an Ascended, Daniel disappeared. After accessing Thor's mind, he was able to use Asgard technology such as the beaming ability. In his final attempt to destroy Earth He launched a full-scale attack on Antarctica which was the location of an Ancient Weapon, Jack O'Neill used this weapon to destroy Anubis, so he thought. Anubis appeared again after the final battle with the Replicators looking to use an Ancient device that could kill all life in the Galaxy, he was finally(?) defeated by SG-1, Baal and Oma Desala.
Replicators - The Asgard (qv) mentioned during one of their early meetings with the humans that they were fighting an enemy far worse than the Goa'uld. These beings originate from another galaxy and are, basically, techno bugs which were created by a girl-android called Reese to be her toys. Formed from individual blocks of 'smart' metal, they resemble insects which feed on technology - like locusts, they consume everything in their path. In the case of ships in space they consume as much technology as possible before the vessel becomes unstable, then use it to travel somewhere else. They cannot be destroyed by the Asgard's technologically advanced weapons, but the simple Earth projectile weapons (i.e., machine guns) are very effective. It does, however, take two blasts to destroy a replicator; after the first blast the small pieces simply slither together and re-form. They can join in an infinite number of combinations and sizes to perform whatever function is necessary for their survival. They may look familiar - it seems that these days no self-respecting sci-fi film or TV programme is complete without some kind of techno bug. The Asgard trapped the Replicators on the Asgard's home planet Halla with a time dilation device to trap them in a time bubble, only the Replicators got to it first and allocated themselves several hundred years that passed in a matter of weeks. During this time they consumed all the technology on the planet and evolved into human form Replicators. One of these, Fifth, was persuaded by Sam Carter to reverse the time dilation device to stop the others leaving, Sam was made to break her promise to return for Fifth and take him away with them, This was to have repercussions for Sam later. In an effort to save Jack O'Neill from the effects of having the Ancient Repository of Knowledge overwrite his brain again, Sam and Teal'c went searching for Thor and the Asgard, knowing that they would be keeping an eye on the Replicators trapped on Halla they flew there only to find the planet being sucked into a black hole. After being rescued in the nick of time by Thor they watched the Replicators fly off to the new Asgard home world after kidnapping Sam on the way. Fifth then tortured her in revenge for leaving him behind. The Replicators were defeated by SG-1 (Who else!!) and as the remainder left on their ship a brand new human form Replicator was born, in the shape of Sam Carter. The Replicator launched a final attack on the galaxy led by Replicator Carter, overthrowing the Goa'uld on the way. Replicator Carter then tortured Daniel to learn the secrets of the Ancients, he turned the tables and managed to stop their march giving the real Sam and Jacob/Selmak time to reconfigurate the Ancient device that eventually destroyed them. Only the Replicators in the Milky Way were destroyed so they may be back in the future.Notable Individuals
Fifth (Patrick Currie) - SG-1 encountered Fifth on the Asgard planet Halla, considered 'flawed' because he was the most human of the human form Replicators, he saw himself as betrayed when SG-1 left him behind, after being promised that they would take him with them when they left. The hatred he had for Sam Carter festered for years, when his finally broke out of the time dilation device the first thing he did was kidnap her, after that he made a duplicate of her. The two of them used Replicator Carter to trick SG-1 into showing them how to overcome the weapon the Asgard had built to destroy them.
Replicator Carter (Amanda Tapping) - Know as Repli-Carter to the fans. After the Replicator version of Carter was activated, Fifth attempted to drive out all of the feelings and emotions of the real Carter from his creation only to discover he'd created a monster. He'd created the ruthless killing machine that he wanted but she developed a lust for power of her own to achieve her goals she destroyed Fifth and went across the galaxy increasing her army's numbers, when she had enough troops she launched an all out offensive on the Goa'uld and the Humans. She was destroyed along with the rest of the Replicators by SG-1.
New Baddies On The Block
The Ori - Someone had to replace the Goa'uld in season nine so the new baddies were evil Ancient called the Ori. The Ori were of the same race as the Ancients but believed more in religion rather than science so stayed behind when the others left for the Milky Way, they also learned to ascend, as they believed they were the creators of life they demanded worship from their creations. Believing that all the knowledge of the Ancient race should be shared the Ori oppose the secret ness of the Ancients. They created the religion of Origin and wrote down their thoughts and practises in the Book of Origin, the 'Word' of Origin is spread by Priors who have been enhanced by the Ori to perform 'Miracles', they can heal, prevent disaster, but also kill in the name of Origin. The Ori use the Priors to convince lesser races that Origin is the only true religion and that non-believers should perish. Fanatical believers in Origin are convinced that following the Ori will help them ascend, this fervent belief is what the Ori use to survive, the more beings that worship them the stronger they become. The Ori have been thwarted on a number of occasions by SG-1. Once they planned to build a giant stargate in space so they could invade our galaxy. Another time they used a plague to infect the population, only with Earths capitulation to origin would the plague be lifted. Sam Carter and a 'Humanised Ancient' called Orlin managed to create an antidote.
The Ones We're Not Sure About....
A brief word about Jaffa - The Goa'uld Queens can spawn their young by the dozen and have a rather odd way of caring for them until they are mature enough to take a host for themselves. For a short while it appears that they are tended in tanks (rather like fish tanks) by priestesses. Then, older larval Goa'uld are nurtured by the Jaffa, humans technologically altered by the Goa'uld to have pouches in their stomachs. When strong enough, the Prim'ta (the word for both the young larva and the ceremony of implantation) is placed in the pouch of a Jaffa and stays there until it is fully-grown. This process takes eight years, after which the Jaffa receives a new Prim'ta (if he is lucky) and the mature Goa'uld takes a host, if one is available. So, the Goa'uld get efficient incubators for their young, but what do the Jaffa get out of the deal? The Prim'ta becomes the Jaffa's immune system. The Goa'uld heal their hosts, and the larvae keep their Jaffa incubators in perfect health. The downside is that once the Prim'ta ceremony is completed, the Jaffa has no immune system except the larva, and should the Jaffa somehow lose his larval Goa'uld he will become ill and die in a very short time.
The Jaffa are a warrior race who provide the Goa'uld with their armies. Each soldier has a tattoo on his forehead showing the device of the 'God' he serves. The First Prime is the leader of the army and has a gold tattoo. The Jaffa can reach a great age: when O'Neill meets Teal'c's mentor, Bra'tac, it is revealed that he is over 130 years old. Later on, during a search for the harcesis child (a child born of two Goa'uld hosts), Bra'tac mentions that he is getting too old to receive another Prim'ta and will die. He hopes that his spirit will be accepted into Kheb, the Jaffa heaven. It is one of the little niggles of continuity that in one episode some stranded Jaffa are worried that after their Prim'ta mature they will die unless they obtain another. Yet when Teal'c is questioned about his larval Goa'uld during a mission he states that on maturity, if no host is available, it will take him as a host.
It is also worth noting that when a Jaffa is killed, no attempt is ever made to see if the larva has survived or to rescue it. In fact, when a Jaffa is executed, the larva is presented to the Goa'uld who ordered the execution as proof of death. Finally, the most severe punishment a Jaffa can face is to have the Prim'ta crushed within his body, allowing the Goa'uld's highly toxic blood to mix with the Jaffa's own, bringing about a most excruciatingly painful death. A rebellion had been brewing for sometime thanks to the actions of Teal'c, Bra'tac and others, the Jaffa finally won their freedom after the battle with Replicator Carter and the defeat of the Goa'uld. After a few problems the Jaffa finally organised themselves into a government presided over by a ruling council.
The One Jaffa We Can't Leave Without Mentioning...
Master Bra'tac (Tony Amendola) - Teal'c's predecessor as First Prime of Apophis, he was also Teal'c's mentor, making regular appearances in the programme. Bra'tac is about 140 years old. He led the Jaffa resistance movement for many years and was part of the final uprising. He lost his symbiote after he and Teal'c were ambushed, he now take tretonin to replace the symbiote. Bra'tac now sits on the Jaffa High Council.
Alright, the NID aren't really 'baddies'. However, they're not exactly 'goodies' either. They are a highly shadowy, secretive organisation who may or may not be affiliated to the CIA, or some other such agency. The initials NID do not actually stand for anything, but many of the online lists and boards spend many happy hours, weeks... months discussing what those letters might mean.
The most loved/reviled (depending on the viewer's, ahem, viewpoint) of the NID is Colonel Harry Mayborne (Tom McBeath) with whom Jack O'Neill has to work for the common good on a few memorable occasions. He was last seen on the arm of a pretty girl in the Caribbean after Jack 'looked the other way'.
Another addition to the ranks of the NID is Agent Malcom Barrett (Peter Flemming), who is the exact opposite of Col Maybourne, is the legitimate face of the organisation. He has often helped SG-1 track down the darker elements of the NID and expose their shady dealings, he was given orders by the President to track down those behind a group of business men called 'The Committee' who wanted Alien technology to use to boost their products and make a huge profit. He also helped Sam Carter track down a Committee hit man who was posing as Major Davis. Agent Barrett has a long-standing crush on Sam.
Vala Mal Doran (Claudia Black) - Originally a host to a Goa'uld, Vala is a thief, con artist, smuggler, arm's dealer and uneasy ally of SG-1, especially Daniel with whom she has a love/hate relationship, she loves him, to a degree, he hates her with a passion. After a Tok'ra rebellion on the planet her symbiote controlled, Vala was tortured, the Tok'ra felt sorry for her and removed the symbiote and nursed her back to health. Daniel first met Vala when she hijacked the Prometheus which was on it's way to Atlantis. After transferring the crew to her disabled ship, Daniel and Vala battled for the ship, involving a lot violence, innuendo and sexual tension. Daniel won the day and the crew were transported back to the ship, Vala disappeared back to her ship and disappeared, for a while. She turned up, like a bad penny, a year later when she discovered Ancient treasure was hidden on Earth, she bound herself to Daniel by using a set of bracelets which meant that the two of them couldn't be more than a few feet from each other before one or both becoming unconscious. When the effect of the bracelets wore off Vala sacrificed herself when she used her ship to block an invasion by the Ori. Claudia Black was asked to reprise her role as Vala for the first five episodes of season nine while Amanda Tapping was on maternity leave. Fans were impressed with Vala's return and the storylines that went with her return, so much so that the character becomes a regular in season ten. Trivia Fact 6 - Australian born Claudia Black starred alongside Ben Browder in Farscape as his love interest Peacekeeper Aeryn Sun.
The Ancients - The Ancients were a race of advanced humans who created life in our galaxy, they also built the stargate network in the Milky Way and Pegasus Galaxy. A plague swept across the Milky Way, those that could leave did and started again in the Pegasus Galaxy, the ones who were left behind learned to ascend to a higher plane of existence where they watched over the second evolution of humans. They made a rule that prevented them interfering in the development of humans, not all obeyed that rule, some like Oma Desala helped humans ascend. Both the Milky Way and the Pegasus Galaxy is littered with abandoned Ancient technology, some was acquired by the Goa'uld, some has been used by the Asgard. On certain planets they left Repositories of Knowledge, which activated when someone looks into it, it then downloads all the knowledge into the person's brain, if the brain cannot cope it will shut down. Jack O'Neill has done this twice. A heliopolis was discovered which was a meeting place for a coalition races the Nox, the Furlings, the Asgard and what was left of the Ancients.
Oma Desala(Mel Harris) - Oma Desala was one of the ascended Ancients who broke the non-interference rule to help beings ascend. Oma was given charge of Apophis and Ammonet's human child she taught him to ascend and he became very powerful. Oma came to Daniel when he was dying from radiation poisoning and offered him the chance to ascend, he took the offer but was unable to resist interfering in SG-1's affairs, he was punished by Oma just as he was about to destroy Anubis. She offered ascension to him again after being on a Replicator ship when it was destroyed. He discovered she was tricked by Anubis into helping him, when it was discovered he was an evil Goa'uld he was sent back and as a punishment Oma had to watch him try and destroy all life in the galaxy, egged on by Daniel she stood up to the others and took matters into her own hands.
The Tok'ra - during the second season we are introduced to a renegade bunch of Goa'uld: the Tok'ra. They are a resistance movement, who also have the symbiote/host relationship, but in which one does not dominate the other. They only take volunteer hosts - this is their biggest problem, since willing hosts do not grow on trees. The hosts generally live twice as long as normal humans and often volunteer because they are close to death (due to injury or illness). The Tok'ra have the ability to remove a symbiote from a host. This procedure is, apparently, very painful for the symbiote. The Tok'ra are arrogant in their belief that they are superior to normal humans and do not like to share their information with the SGC, a matter which causes Colonel O'Neill much ire. When the Tok'ra arrive on a planet the grow underground tunnels in which the set up their bases, these tunnels are grown using special crystals. The Tok'ra Queen Egeria was discovered on the planet Pangar, the Pangarans were using her offspring to produce a drug called tretonin with which the Pangaran's couldn't live without, in a habit forming way, due to a marker Egeria had placed in their system. When the Tok'ra discovered what was happening they took steps to rescue Egeria, before she died the Pangaran's apologised for their behaviour and Egeria promised to help rectify the 'clause' she'd placed in her offspring. The Tok'ra's numbers have dwindled due to old symbiotes dying and attacks by the System Lords. The Tok'ra finally saw their plans fulfilled when the Goa'uld were decimated by the Replicators.
The more well known are:
Jacob Carter/Selmak(Carmen Argenziano) - An Air Force General, he's an old friend of George Hammond. Jacob Carter (Sam's father) is introduced in Season 2. Shortly after SG-1 encounter the Tok'ra Sam discovers that her father is dying of cancer. He is persuaded to become a host to Selmak, one of the oldest and most experienced of the Tok'ra, whose current host is reaching the end of her lifespan. Jacob agrees and becomes the main liaison between the Earth and the resistance. Jacob and Selmak caused concern among the members of the Tok'ra High Council by the amount of time they spent on Earth among humans and were bought back into the fold. Jacob and Selmak were the one's who helped get the Ancient weapon on Dakara to work which wiped out the Replicators, during this time Selmak, who was about two thousand years old by then, fell into a coma, Jacob, thankful that Selmak gave him 6 years of his life back, died with him surrounded by his daughter and friends from the Tok'ra.
Martouf/Lantesh (J. R. Bourne) - Without wanting to give too much away to anyone who hasn't yet had the viewing pleasure that is Stargate SG-1, Martouf/Lantesh was very close friends with the Tok'ra Jolinar who briefly used Sam as a host. Martouf was killed by Sam after being used as a Za'tarc9. Lantash was kept alive in stasis, he died after trying to heal a member of the SGC who'd been seriously hurt during a Goa'uld attack, not before he declared his love for Sam Carter.
Freya/Anise (Vanessa Angel) - Worried that viewing figures among the young male demographic was falling, Stargate's 'powers that be' introduced a character who became quickly known - among female fans at least - as Tok'ra Spice. Freya/Anise is a scientist with a penchant for ridiculously skimpy leather outfits and for using SG-1 as guinea pigs. She appeared in a few episodes at the beginning of the fourth season and then vanished.
Aldwin (William deVry) - A member of the Tok'ra High Council, Aldwin makes a few small appearances. Aldwin was killed in the same attack as Lantash.
The Asgard - The Asgard are a race of aliens, with the appearance we traditionally associate with Roswell-type aliens: large heads with huge, slow-blinking black eyes, skinny bodies with long arms and hands. The Asgard are more powerful than the Goa'uld and have reached agreement with them to give protected status to some planets. This status, which is not without conditions, is eventually extended to the Earth. This protection does not extend to SG teams caught by Goa'uld System Lords off world. The Asgard are Earth's strongest allies over the years they have provided technology and expertise to help the Humans build their own intergalactic battleships, as thanks for helping them defeat the Replicators.
Thor (Voiced by Michael Shanks) - Thor is the Asgard seen most frequently and has a deep respect for SG-1, especially Jack O'Neill (Who calls him 'Buddy'). Over the years Thor has developed his own sense of humour, probably due to being friends with Jack.
The Nox - The Nox are a peaceful people who appear to grow grass and moss in their hair. The Goa'uld use their planet as a hunting resort, so the Nox use their strange powers of illusion to hide themselves. It is not made clear if the Goa'uld can use them as hosts or not, but given the Goa'uld penchant for flashy clothing, together with the Nox's abilities, it seems unlikely. Another race who consider the Tau'ri (humans from Earth) to be very young, they do not share their technology (such as it is) with humans, although they do appear to have a soft spot for the SG people. They can revive living beings from the dead - when SG-1 first encounter the Nox it is after they have been revived from being killed by Apophis' henchmen. The Nox also revived one of his Jaffa. There is some discussion among Stargate fans that the Nox may actually be fairies. Bearing in mind that the makers of Stargate SG-1 borrow freely from Earth mythology, not just Egyptian, it is worth pointing out that a lot of the ideas connected with the Nox tie in rather well with the pre-Christian religion about the green man. The Nox were never been seen again after season two although they have been mentioned a few times.
The Tollan - Highly developed technologically, the Tollan have no need of personal weapons, possessing the technology to defend their planet, Tollana, from the Goa'uld. They refuse to share this technology with less developed peoples. Their reasoning for this is that they once gave some weapons to a people to help defend themselves - they destroyed themselves instead. Since then the Tollan have refused to share their weapons, and even though SG-1 once saved them from destruction by the Goa'uld, they maintain this line. One of the roles the Tollan adopt is that of arbitrators of justice for other races. Thus when a host manages to get to Tollana they can appeal to have their Goa'uld symbiote removed. The Tollan work with the Tok'ra for this if their courts find in favour of the host. Tollana was destroyed by the Goa'uld when their High Chancellor was in collusion with a Goa'uld called Tanith.
As Jack O'Neill is portrayed as a big fan of The Simpson's, Richard Dean Anderson has guest starred on the show. In return Dan Castellaneta (The voice of Homer) has appeared in an episode called Citizen Joe.
Don S Davis appeared as Scully's father in the X Files, he also appeared in McGyver with Richard Dean Anderson. Amanda Tapping, Peter Williams and Teryl Rothery have also appeared in X Files along with Mitch Pileggi and Robert Patrick from Stargate Atlantis.
Lexa Doig appeared in Sci Fi series Andromeda where she met soon to be husband Michael Shanks when he guest starred.
Producer and director Peter DeLuis is the son of comic actor Dom DeLuis, his father and his two brothers Michael and David have appeared in the show. He often makes candid appearences in the show, often as a soldier on duty in the Gateroom.
In the episode Wormhole X-Treme all but one member of backstage crew appeared on screen as it was the show's 100th episode.
For more information take a look at the official MGM Stargate SG-1 Web site.
As of 7 June, 2002, in the United States, the Sci-Fi Channel has taken over from Showtime in broadcasting the latest season.
Of course, a programme with such dedicated viewers is bound to bring forth a slew of Web sites. These are great if you're looking for episode summaries and reviews, as well as images, general information about the actors and discussion forums. Among others:
Simply enter Stargate SG-1 in your favourite search engine to pull up plenty more.
Fan Fiction - A User's Guide takes a comprehensive look at the subject, so there's no need to repeat the information here. Instead, here are some links to a few good places to start if you want to read fan fiction about Stargate SG-1:
The biggest archive is at Heliopolis.
Another Big site is FanFiction.net.
Septembers past have seen fans heading in droves to Vancouver (where the programme is filmed) for the Gatecon. This is held very close to the studios and members of the cast and production team attend. Richard Dean Anderson never attends such events after a bad experience at a MacGyver convention. However, Don S Davis, Teryl Rothery, Amanda Tapping, Peter Williams (Apophis) and Cliff Simon (Baal) are regular attendees.
In the UK Wolf Events have organised conventions, stunning attendees in February 2002 by snagging not only Amanda Tapping but also the fan-shy Michael Shanks.