Carter and Teal'c go in search of the Asgard to try and save Colonel O'Neill, but discover that the Asgard's enemy has returned with a vengeance. The System Lords seek an alliance with Earth against a common enemy.
It has not been long since SG-1 saved Earth from Anubis's armada ("Lost City, Part 2"). Now there is fear of a new attack, and Prometheus remains on guard in orbit. Tensions are running high between the nations seeking control over the newly-discovered Ancient base in Antarctica, as it lies within international territory. The Asgard are out of reach, and Jack is still frozen in Antarctica.
With diplomatic negotiations at a standstill, Dr. Elizabeth Weir, the new leader of Stargate Command, is unable to relinquish control of the Stargate for the purpose of contacting the Asgard (who are likely monitoring the Replicators on Halla), and the enhanced cargo ship is too valuable to relinquish to SG-1. Still, Major Samantha Carter presses Weir, who eventually agrees to allow her and Teal'c to take the ship to try and find help for Colonel O'Neill. Sam calculates that a trip to the Asgard galaxy of Othalla will take 10 days.
Back on Earth, the S.G.C. receives a text message from the Goa'uld Camulus: The System Lords wish to send representatives to Earth to discuss negotiations for a new treaty. President Hayes agrees to the meeting, and Daniel transmits a response. Camulus, Amaterasu, and Yu (who is suffering from old age now more than ever) arrive on Earth.
Carter and Teal'c successfully reach the Halla system but are almost immediately pulled into a massive black hole. Halla's star has collapsed and is absorbing all surrounding matter. With the hyperdrive burned out following the long voyage, they are unable to escape the gravitational field. Just as a hull breach destroys the ship, Thor arrives and transports them aboard his Asgard vessel. Carter and Teal'c plead O'Neill's case to Thor, but he must remain in the Halla system to ensure the destruction of the remaining Replicators. But the Asgard-created black hole is not enough: a mass of Replicator blocks form together into a ship and use the Asgard time dilation device to escape the gravity well. As Thor's vessel retreats, the Replicators fire a spear of blocks that breaches the ship's hull.
Negotiations with the Goa'uld have commenced at the S.G.C. Weir and Jackson learn that all but one of the System Lords have formed a brittle coalition, dividing Anubis's territories amongst themselves. The remaining Goa'uld, Baal, managed to locate Tartarus, where Anubis was building his army of Kull warriors, and now poses a serious threat over the rest of the Goa'uld collective. The System Lords wish Earth to use its new Ancient weapon to defeat Baal and prevent him from ruling the galaxy.
As Carter and Teal'c work to destroy the Replicators that have boarded the ship, Sam is taken by a transporter beam. The Replicator ship enters hyperspace headed for Orilla, the new Asgard homeworld where the last of their race is attempting to reconstruct their shattered civilization. Carter soon learns it was Fifth who captured her, and that he is unfathomably angry at her for deceiving him and ultimately leaving him behind on Halla ("Unnatural Selection"). Fifth wastes little time in probing her memory, a torturous process for humans.
Weir tells the System Lords that Baal's threat against them is not Earth's problem, but they are insistent that Baal believes the Asgard can no longer defend the worlds in the Protected Planets Treaty and is prepared to take them as his own. In exchange for aid from Earth, the Goa'uld offer hyperdrive technology as powerful as that of their Ha'tak-class motherships. At first Weir rejects the proposal, saying Earth will not fight the Goa'uld's war for them; but she proposes that they will agree -- if Earth gets all of Baal's territory in return. The System Lord representatives require that they send a message to the others before agreeing.
Released from Fifth's painful memory probe, Carter defends herself by telling Fifth that he can see when reading her thoughts that she did not wish to betray him. But he is intent on revenge, and probes her mind again.
Thor and Teal'c pursue the Replicator vessel, but just as they are within reach a single Replicator remaining aboard their craft cuts the ship's power. Thor manages to send a warning to Orilla to give the other Asgard ships a fighting chance to destroy the Replicator ship upon its arrival, before it is too late.
Carter continues to plead with Fifth for mercy, truly sorry for what SG-1 had done to him. Fifth refuses to give in to forgiveness, one of his human traits he is still unable to comprehend. But as Carter breaks into tears he forgoes entering her mind again, at least for the time being.
Six Asgard motherships defend Orilla as the Replicator vessel emerges from hyperpsace and is obliterated. Thor apologizes to Teal'c for the apparent loss of Major Carter.
Meanwhile, Daniel has managed to decipher the message the System Lords sent to the rest of the Goa'uld, confirming that they believe Earth is bluffing about its powerful new weapon. The representatives are recalled, stating that Earth's terms are ridiculous. But before they can step through the Stargate, Daniel orders the gate shut down. He has deciphered the return message: the Goa'uld are sending a mothership to attack Earth.
- D. Read
Eleven Earth nations make up the coalition fighting for control over the Atlantus outpost in Antarctica.
Much of Anubis's surviving army has been seized by Baal -- including the nearly unstoppable Kull warriors -- making him the most powerful of the System Lords. This follows the well-known pattern that when one powerful Goa'uld is knocked off, one of his enemies quickly takes his place.
Thor's science vessel is called the "Daniel Jackson," and is at least the second Asgard ship named after a member of SG-1. The "O'Neill" was an advanced prototype ship built to combat the Replicators, destroyed in the defense of Thor's homeworld four years ago ("Small Victories").
The Asgard's time-dilation device that SG-1 managed to activate a year and a half ago ("Unnatural Selection") was deactivated by the Replicators. As Fifth was so close to the device, it was likely he who eventually managed to deactivate it.
It is likely, though not certain, that the other humanoid Replicators -- including First -- were destroyed either in the destruction of the Replicator ship over Orilla, or were sucked into the black hole. Fifth is apparently now in command of the surviving Replicator forces.
It is estimated that there are a dozen high-ranking System Lords at this time.
Replicators have previously boarded Asgard vessels by firing a projectile of Replicator blocks through Asgard shields.
Actor Steve Bacic ("Camulus") previously played Major Coburn, an SG team leader ("Maternal Instinct," "The First Ones").
"We will see the ramifications of 'Unnatural Selection' -- when, exactly, is still to be decided. ... The new improved Replicators are definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with the next time we see 'em."
(GateWorld chat with co-executive producer Joseph Mallozzi)
"Finally! Watch for a Japanese Goa'uld (the sun goddess Amaterasu) to make her appearance in Season Eight's opening two-parter, 'New Order.'"
(Co-executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at the TVGroove.com message board)
"Baal has stepped into Anubis's power vacuum, taking over his powerbase of super-soldiers," co-executive producer Joseph Mallozzi said. "He's kicking butt, and the System Lords are reeling and they go to us for help, because we have a common enemy. We'll see Yu and we'll see a couple of new System Lords: Camulus and Amaterasu. Yu has fallen on hard times, and his First Prime does a lot of the speaking for him.
"So these three representatives come to convince us to help them take down Baal. But, of course, we have problems of our own -- the biggest being that we can't use the weapon. We've used up all the energy (or most of it), and O'Neill is the only one who can use it."
"The System Lords noticed that we wiped out Anubis's fleet in five minutes or less," co-executive producer Paul Mullie said, "and the other System Lords are interested in how we managed to do that. That's one issue that has to be dealt with.
"Fifth realized we had betrayed him, and he was literally reaching for that device when they got 'frozen' -- or just really slowed down -- in time. And the Asgard figured out that it was only going to take them, in real time, a couple of years to reach that device and turn it off. For O'Neill's sake we go seek out the Asgard, and we happen along just when their new plan for dealing with the Replicators is about to fail miserably."
(GateWorld interview with co-executive producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie)
"In 'New Order,' O'Neill has to be brought back, as you know, because he was frozen, Han Solo Guy. So that has to be dealt with. Of course we can't keep him frozen the whole time. He's got to be reanimated. O'Neill gets upgraded in rank to brigadier general, but we just say 'general' because it's easier, and he takes over the S.G.C. He's in charge. Carter gets promoted as well, to lieutenant colonel, but we just say 'colonel' because it's easier, and she is made head of SG-1, and it stays a three-person team.
"Then there is the issue of the human form Replicators that have to be dealt with as well, because there's quite a lot of them. There's not just Fifth. There's more than just him. We have to figure that out as well, and they're a force to be reckoned with. We can't just go, 'Ah, the Asgard will take care of them,' because that's not really working out. They've been fighting a losing battle for a very long time. But, 'Fifth is back, and he's very upset. This time it's personal.' And he has a horrible crush on Carter. But then, who doesn't?"
(Director and consulting producer Peter DeLuise, in an interview with the Richard Dean Anderson Web Site)
"This was an interesting episode for me to film, in more ways than one. As always, it was fun working with the Thor puppet, and I enjoyed the scenes with Teal'c and Sam. Of course, we get O'Neill back, but Sam doesn't find out until almost the end of the story. By that point it was, 'Hey, good to see ya,' but so much has gone on that 'good to see ya' doesn't quite cover it. However, it seems the only appropriate thing to say given the situation. We don't get to interact that much in this story with Daniel because he's back at the base helping Dr. Weir, who's now played by Torri Higginson. Torri is such a lovely person and a talented actress. I'm sure fans are really going to like her on Atlantis."
("Samantha Carter" actress Amanda Tapping, in an interview with TV Zone magazine [Special #58])
"As a diplomat, Dr. Weir took on a big challenge when she accepted command of the S.G.C. in 'Lost City.' She was learning as she went along, and that's still the case this year in 'New Order.' Oddly enough, Daniel can identify with that. He was no different when he began his travels through the Stargate.
"In Dr. Weir, my character sees a version of his younger self, someone who is very idealistic as well as innocent about what's 'out there.' Daniel has to give Weir almost cynical wisdom in order to help her deal with the Goa'uld. He's like, 'There aliens are bad, very bad. They will kill you if they really want to. You can't just walk into the room and expect to start a conversation with them as you might have done in the past with other ambassadors.
"I think it's a neat way to have Daniel come full circle, if you will. Here's a woman who possesses some of the naive characteristics that he once had. However, before Weir can make the same mistakes as he did, Daniel is able to tell her, 'Sorry, but the universe doesn't quite work that way.'"
("Daniel Jackson" actor Michael Shanks, in an interview with TV Zone magazine [Special #58])
"My character and his 'associates,' Amaterasu [Kira Clavell] and Yu [Vince Crestjo], want to make a trade. They're being bullied by one of their own kind, but naturally won't come right out and say that. Instead, they play a good old-fashioned poker game of wits with Daniel Jackson and Dr. Weir. Camulus tries to keep his hand close to his chest so as not to reveal too much. Basically, he wants to convince Daneil and Dr. Weir that they're getting the deal of a lifetime and they should take it. Naturally, the two are suspicious.
"Those scenes were a lot of fun to do. I had worked with Kira Clavell before and I enjoyed doing so again. The gentleman who played Yu was a riot. His character is supposed to be senile and he kept nodding off, so his First Prime usually wound up taking care of things for him. I thought we made a nifty trio. It was also a pleasure working with both Michael Shanks and Torri Higginson. As for Andy Mikita, he's an awesome director. He pretty much let me do my own thing and was always open to any suggestions I might have had."
("Camulus" actor Steve Bacic, in an interview with TV Zone magazine [Special #58])
"Finally, after years of behind the scenes begging and badgering, actor Chris Judge got his wish -- and Teal'c got hair. Brad had long-resisted Chris's requests but finally broke down since it seemed this was going to be it, the show's final season. I didn't think it was such a big deal, especially considering Teal'c had undergone other notable changes over the course of the series run. Remember that gold tinge his skin possessed, making him look like he was a professional dancer working an all-night rave? Given the fact that certain scenes from this show's first four episodes were shot out of sequence, Teal'c's hair is somewhat inconsistent -- but I'm sure Chris will tell you it was a small price to pay for not having to shave his head every morning.
"With Brad and Robert looking ahead to Stargate Atlantis, a late change was made to the script's first draft. Initially, Richard Woolsey was supposed to take over at Stargate Command but the decision was made to have Elizabeth Weir step into the role instead."
(Writer / producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
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