SG-1 discovers the village of Camelot on an alien world, and must face Merlin's security system when they go in search of an Ancient weapon. Elsewhere, Earth and its allies assemble a fleet when a working Ori Supergate is discovered.
Out looking for Merlin's anti-Ori weapon ("Arthur's Mantle"), Colonels Mitchell and Carter, Teal'c, and Daniel Jackson come upon an Arthurian-style village. Passing through its gate, Jackson spies a sword in a stone, a sword identical to the one Mitchell removed from a stone under Glastonbury ("Avalon, Part 2"). Meurik, the governor of the village, welcomes them to Camelot.
Antonius, the village historian, explains that Merlin -- regarded by their people as a wizard of darkness -- is rarely mentioned. His library has remained sealed since his departure, about the time Arthur left in pursuit of the Sangraal -- the Holy Grail. The library is protected by a powerful curse -- a Black Knight. Mitchell, having defeated one of Merlin's knights before ("Avalon, Part 2"), is not impressed, although Teal'c and the others suggest this challenge left by the once ascended Ancient scientist may be different.
Searching for the library, Mitchell and Jackson spot a teenage girl and a young boy engaged in sword-play. Mitchell offers the girl, Valencia, a few pointers and asks if they know where Merlin's library is located. The pair take Jackson and Mitchell to the library. The door is protected by magic, but Valencia tells them that the key is in the archive. Antonius initially refuses to help ... but his own curiosity and Jackson's explanation prompt him to help SG-1 secretly enter the library.
Daniel immediately starts scanning the many texts and dusty scrolls stashed everywhere. He suggests that any kind of technology could be hidden in the room. Dubious, Mitchell pulls a book from a shelf, inadvertently opening a secret door.
Clutching a book, Antonius takes his leave and returns home as SG-1 heads into the hidden chamber. As in the Avalon cave under Glastonbury in England, fires in the fireplace and wall sconces ignite. SG-1 examines a large stone structure in the middle of the room -- an Ancient control pedestal, similar to those the team has previously encountered ("Window of Opportunity," "Reckoning, Part 2"). It activates as Daniel steps onto the platform at its base.
Back at the old historian's home, the Black Knight appears and slays Antonius.
Mitchell wanders out to the sword in the stone. Valencia reveals that only he who is pure of heart and true of spirit can pull the sword from the stone. Arthur will not return from his quest until someone in the village can remove the sword.
When Antonius's murder is discovered, Meurik orders SG-1 out of town even as Jackson tries to explain that there is no magic involved. As he utters the words, SG-1 is beamed aboard the Odyssey. The Jaffa have located the Supergate near P3Y-229 -- a gate that will allow the worshipers of the Ori to bring their assault fleet into our galaxy. An assault is being planned.
Jackson and Mitchell decide to stay behind to search for the anti-Ori weapon, and beam back into the library. They will be picked up by the Russians in their new space vessel, the Korolev ("Crusade"), on its way to the Supergate. While Earth marshals a fleet of its allies -- the Asgard, the Tok'ra, and the Free Jaffa -- to meet the invaders at the Supergate, Teal'c takes an unmarked cargo ship and heads off in pursuit of other potential allies.
When Jackson locates the code for (hopefully) deactivating the Black Knight, the pair proceed to the control panel and activate it. Screams alert them to the appearance of the knight outside in the village. Convinced he can handle the holographic warrior, Mitchell dashes off. But shots from his P-90 has right through the knight.
Valencia sees Mitchell unsuccessfully battling the knight. She rushes to the sword in the stone, pulls it out, and tosses it to Mitchell. Caked in mud, he fights while Daniel manipulates the device, which activates the Merlin hologram and reveals a room full of hidden treasure. But the knight persists. He is about to kill Mitchell when Daniel finds the control crystals, and decides to destroy them with his handgun.
Meanwhile, Teal'c allows himself to be captured in order to bring the Lucian Alliance into the fray. He confronts their leader, Netan, and convinces him to bring the Alliance fleet to the Supergate.
As the Odyssey arrives at the Supergate, the Asgard scientist Kvasir transports aboard. The Asgard have analyzed the data from the phase-shifting device ("Arthur's Mantle"). They believe that Merlin's anti-Ori weapon is a device that can shift energy to the dimension occupied by ascended beings -- killing the non-corporeal entities essentially like one wave cancelling out another. Hopefully the followers of the Ori will cease their invasion of our galaxy if their gods are dead -- but first they must find a way to get the weapon to the Ori galaxy, assuming Daniel and Cameron manage to find it.
Carter and Kvasir conclude that the Supergate can dial out and send the weapon to the Ori galaxy, if they can activate it before the Ori followers do. Since the gate draws its power from a singularity and doesn't have the 38-minute time limit of a normal Stargate, just dialing out could prevent the Ori from dialing into the Milky Way indefinitely. Carter puts on an E.V.A. suit and beams over to the gate to exchange control crystals.
Back in Camelot, Meurik and the villagers enter Merlin's secret room. Jackson asks if they recognize the pendant Merlin wears. Merlin's holographic recording has led Daniel to suspect that the anti-Ori weapon may be the pendant itself -- but it is not to be found among the treasure in the room. Meurik tells them that it is the Holy Grail, and that Arthur went seeking it. And now that the sword has been pulled from the stone, Arthur will soon be returning.
As Jackson again tries to explain there is no magic involved in the Black Knight, he and Mitchell are beamed aboard the Korolev.
Carter begins initialization of the new control crystal. But suddenly the massive gate activates, preventing Odyssey from beaming Carter back aboard. The Korolev drops out of hyperspace just as four Ori warships come through the gate. The Ori transmit a passage from the Book of Origin regarding the coming decimation. Daniel, familiar with the holy book ("Origin"), sends a counter passage, suggesting they are wrong to do this.
Odyssey fires as the Ori ships power up their weapons. A full, pitched battle ensues. The Odyssey loses sub-light engines while the Korolev loses its hyperdrive. The massive Milky Way fleet -- comprised of Earth's two battle cruisers, Goa'uld Ha'tak vessels, Al'kesh bombers, and an Asgard mothership -- fire volley after volley at the invading ships, but cannot penetrate their mighty shields. The Ori followers return fire with powerful beam weapons, cutting the ships to shreds.
And they believe that these four ships are only the first wave, or perhaps even a scouting party. Mitchell receives permission to scramble the F-302s aboard the Korolev. Jackson takes a navigation console chair just as Teal'c and the ships of the Lucian Alliance arrive. The Ori ships withstand the combined assault. From her vantage point in space by the gate, Colonel Carter watches as one of Earth's Daedalus-class ships is destroyed.
On board one of the Ori ships, Vala Mal Doran watches with the same horror welling within. Her child, "the will of the Ori," will soon be born.
- S. Fetter
The people of the village of Camelot regard Merlin as a wizard of darkness. He may have tried to do good, but there was always a potential for great mischief in his heart. Merlin had a library in Camelot and was provided sanctuary by the people, but he has not been seen there for hundreds of years, since Arthur and his knights set out from Camelot on their quest for the "Sangraal" -- the holy grail.
It's possible that Merlin dabbled in time travel technology, giving rise to the legend that he could see the future because he aged backwards. He wouldn't be the only Ancient from Atlantis to do so: the Ancient scientist Janus also studied time travel when he lived in Atlantis (Atlantis: "Before I Sleep").
Teal'c convinced Netan to commit three Lucian Alliance Ha'tak ships to the defense of this galaxy from the Ori ships.
We have met Cha'ra, the Jaffa whose ship discovered the Supergate, before. He was in the service of the Goa'uld Moloc before his defeat ("Sacrifices"), and later joined the Free Jaffa Nation ("The Fourth Horseman, Part 2").
Carter and Kvasir believe that by installing a new dialing control crystal in the Ori Supergate, they can dial out to the Ori galaxy before the Ori's armies dial in. Because wormhole travel is one-way, this would allow us to prevent them from dialing in -- and give us a way to send Merlin's weapon as soon as it is found.
It is said that Arthur and his knights journeyed to three distant lands on their quest for the Sangraal: Castiana, Sahal, and Vagonbrei. These may well be the names of three planets, meaning that Arthur and his knights were gate travelers hundreds of years ago.
The people of Camelot believe that Arthur will return to them soon, now that the sword has been removed from the stone.
Four Ori warships have come through the gate -- only a first wave -- and the fleet of human, Tok'ra, Asgard, and Lucian Alliance vessels could do little to stand up to them.
Ori warships have energy shields, and a powerful cutting beam weapon. The weapon is able to cut through the shields of Earth and Goa'uld vessels in little time.
One of Earth's battle cruisers has been destroyed by the Ori. If it is the Korolev, Daniel Jackson may have perished on the ship's bridge (where he was last seen). If it was the Odyssey, Mitchell may or may not have made it to the F-302 bay in time to escape the blast with a fighter.
The Asgard believe that Merlin's is an energy transfer device similar to a Zero Point Module, but instead of drawing energy from sub-space it transfers energy into the plane of existence where ascended beings live. If they are right, the weapon only needs to be activated and sent to the Ori galaxy -- and it will eliminate the Ori.
The Russians have launched their new 304 battle cruiser ("Crusade"), christening it the "Korolev." The ship is commanded by Colonel Chekov himself.
Vala is on board one of the four invading warships, and apparently about to give birth.
Is there any way that Arthur is still alive? Will he truly return to Camelot, as its people believe?
Where is the Sangraal? Is it the anti-Ori weapon itself, or rather the key to finding the weapon?
Will Netan face any repercussions for committing ships to this seemingly hopeless battle?
Which Earth battle cruiser was destroyed? Did any of its crew survive?
Where will the Ori ships go first?
When will the second wave of invading ships come through the Supergate?
When will Vala's child be born? What role will it play for the Ori?
"We won't get definite word about a renewal until well after the season finale has been written. Cliffhanger it is." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
"Well, we're in the stretch-run script-wise. We have a good sense of how both shows will end their seasons and what our finales will be. The back half of SG-1 sees the return of several old friends (and one not so old friend), the loss of an ally, and a major blow to Earth." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"[SG-1] will be gaining an unlikely ally at the end of Season Nine. Keeping that ally will be the problem." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
"Thought you'd like to know that Paul and I will be writing the big SG-1 season finale. Rob pitched out his idea to Paul (while I was finishing up "The Scourge") and it's going to be fantastic. You already know we'll be ending this season with a cliffhanger -- but what a cliffhanger! Stay tuned for more information about our final two SG-1 episodes: 'Crusade' and 'Camelot.'" (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at his GateWorld blog)
"The director's cut of 'Camelot' will soon follow. Speaking of which, Michelle showed us the animatics for the space battle and EVA sequence today. They're going to be great. Also, checked out dailies today. Ben getting was getting good and muddy showing off his mad sword skills. John Noble (a.k.a. Denethor from 'Lord of the Rings') and Katharine Isabelle ('Ginger Snaps') guest star." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"Just finished watching the director's cut of 'Camelot.' Well, not exactly. I just got off the phone with Martin Wood, congratulating him on the terrific job he did on 'Camelot' -- which I just finished watching. It's huge in scope and really feels like a two-parter. There's so much going on including that sword fight I mentioned in a previous blog. HOLY CRAP does Ben take some punishment in this one. He lays it all out and, well, kicks ass. He's been an incredible addition to the show.
"Michael is also great in this one -- determined, occasionally flustered, occasionally cool, and funny. Amanda gets to play both the scientist and the adventurer, while Chris gets to do some throwing down himself. Overall, a terrific season (let's hope not a series) ender." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"The Asgard drop in to lend a hand in 'Ripple Effect' and 'Camelot.'" (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
"It was great. I had Kvasir (pronounced with a silent K) get really grumpy and at the end of every take he would swear at the crew. He called us all 'stupid motherf*****s' when he appeared on the deck of the Odyssey." (Director Martin Wood, in an interview with Stargate-Project)
"Earth's ships and several allied vessels flex their collective muscles in 'Camelot,' the big SG-1 Season Nine season finale." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a message at GateWorld Forum)
"Saw the almost-finished visual effects for 'Camelot' and they are amazing. We screened the Day One mix the other day and Carl said it was the best episode of SG-1 he's ever seen. I'm kind of biased because I wrote the episode and feel the need to display some of my trademark humility (ha ha), so I will NOT say its the best episode of SG-1 ever. But it's certainly in the top ten." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
"Meurik was governor of Camelot (yes that Camelot). The villagers live in fear of the return of the Black Knight. Enter the Stargate team seeking information. Meurik clashes with them, expels them, and finally relents and the village is saved by them. Great fun. Meurik is a terrific character. He is a patriarch who wants desperately to protect his people. ... He is the main guest [character] for the episode. I have wonderful scenes with main cast members. Yes, he is a good guy, although he appears to be a bit misguided at first.
"No, the character probably won't be recurring. I think we tied the story up in the episode. Pity. It was fun." (Actor John Noble, in an interview with The SciFi World)
"I did loose my footing in the mud on Stargate and had a very very long stumble trying to not fall flat on my face in three inches of mud. I did eventually go down, but only on my hands, otherwise filming would have been held up while they tried to clean my velvet imperial clothing. There was so much mud, and a cable was buried in it. That was what I tripped on. At the same time Ben Browder was battling the Black Knight and getting coated from head to toe in the mud. He did great in that scene." (Actor John Noble, in an interview with The SciFi World)
"One of my top ten favorite episodes owing to the cliffhanger to end all cliffhanger endings: Earth's battle cruisers and their allied Asgard and Lucian Alliance ships are getting their asses kicked, Daniel and Mitchell aboard a doomed Korolev, Carter floating alone and vulnerable in space while a pregnant Vala -- carrying 'the will of the Ori' -- watches it all from her vantage aboard one of the Ori ships. See ya next season!
"On the day we were to shoot the big Mitchell vs. the Black Knight sword fight sequence, it was pouring rain on location. Most any other actor would have complained, but not Ben Browder. He embraced the rain and the mud, going all out -- stumbling, slipping, falling, rolling -- to outstanding effect. It couldn't have turned out better had we planned it. The sequence was mentioned in a piece done by our old buddy, Ross Hull, for the Weather Channel." (Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
How would you rate SG-1's "Camelot?"
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