Episode 2EPISODE #102
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 02.15.18
WRITTEN BY: Mark Ilvedson & Justin Michael Terry
DIRECTED BY: Mercedes Bryce Morgan
Ellie Gall (Catherine Langford), Aylam Orian (Wilhelm Brücke), Philip Alexander (James Beal), Sarah Navratil (Eva Reinhardt), Shvan Aladdin (Wasif), Derek Chariton (Heinrich), Justin Michael Terry (Gunter), Lincoln Hoppe (Stefan), Connor Trinneer (Professor Langford)
Professor Paul Langford and his daughter Catherine stand helpless inside their home. Their hands are bound while a Nazi soldier (Heinrich) holds them at gunpoint. Dr. Wilhelm Brücke commands two other men — Stefan and Gunter — to dial the Stargate. Nearby, Eva Reinhardt films the historic proceedings, working to capture Brücke’s “good side” for the Führer.
Having connected the gate’s mechanisms to the battery of their vehicle, Stefan revs the engine while Gunter strains himself to turn the gate’s inner track. One after another, seven symbols lock into place — and the ancient device comes alive, a pool of energy that looks like water bursting forth and then settling into a gently rippling pool inside the vertical ring. It is beautiful.
Catherine and her father are astonished. The artifact they have spent a decade studying now stands before them activated, a portal to another world — or so Brücke claims. The Professor objects that they know nothing about it, and the energy could kill them all. The German commander uses one of his men as a test subject, pushing Stefan’s hand into the event horizon. He is momentarily terrified, but unharmed.
The Germans grab Professor Langford, intent on dragging him through the gate. He consents to go, but only if Brücke will give him his word that Catherine will not be harmed. Brücke consents, and sends Stefan and Gunter through behind him carrying a crate of supplies. He turns his attention mockingly toward Catherine, who bites him on the hand and threatens much more.
Brücke leaves his valuable journal — filled with his secrets about the gate, include the address to dial — in Heinrich’s hands, ordering him to keep Catherine safe at their embassy. After Brücke and Eva go through the gate it deactivates, and the soldier loads her up in the vehicle. But she quickly hits him in the back of the head, sending him forward into the steering wheel and knocking him unconscious.
Catherine drags the man’s body out of the vehicle, takes Brücke’s journal out of his pocket, and flees. She arrives at a small British military outpost, where Captain James Beal and a local Egyptian soldier, Wasif, play dominoes and discuss the perils of love. They are stunned when she rushes in, her hands still bound, asking for their help.
- Viewers have seen a car battery used to power the Stargate before. SG-1 used this trick to dial the gate when they located it in storage in 1969, and returned home (“1969”). In that case, however, it was a much larger military vehicle.
But it is clear from various episodes that the Stargate does not require all that much power to establish an active wormhole (e.g. “Prisoners”).
- After ten years of study the Langfords evidently never considered the possibility that the ring artifact is a piece of advanced alien technology — a gateway to another world. They had theorized about the material it is made of (naquadah), and certainly would have realized that the inner ring turns.
- Brücke came to the Langfords’ facility not only armed with a gate address and the knowledge of how to dial the Stargate (including the fact that it needed to be powered), but also with a plan to go through it. His men Stefan and Gunter carried a crate of supplies through with them.
But what Brücke apparently did not know is that gate travel is one-way — meaning that he would have to find a way to dial back to Earth from the other side if he was to return (including a valid address). Instead he seems to assume that the gate can simply be reactivated from Earth, evident when he hands his journal to his soldier and warns him that the gate may need to be reopened from this side.
- Brücke ordered Catherine to be held safely at the German embassy in Cairo, which is presumably where the soldier was preparing to take her when she hit him over the head and escaped.
- Paul Langford – Professor Langford is understandably stunned and unsettled to discover the truth about the artifact he has spent so much of his career studying, but to no avail. In a matter of minutes, the German occultist has shown him its true purpose — and forced Langford to be the first modern person to step through the Stargate and into the unknown. He has agreed to go in the hopes that this sacrifice — possibly a one-way trip — will protect his daughter.
- Wilhelm Brücke – After many years of searching and studying, Brücke’s theories about the ring device have proved to be spot-on: it is a piece of advanced technology capable of reaching other worlds. He has risked much, including his own life, to step through the gate in hopes of finding something — gods? power? immortality? — on the other side.
- James Beal – James tells his friend Wasif that he and Catherine are getting closer, but that she wants to move to the next level, physically — though he worries that they may not be ready.
- What planet did Brücke and his men dial? Have they gone to Abydos, or had he come upon the address to a different planet? What (or who) is it that he expects to find there?
- Why did he take Professor Langford through the gate with him? Does he somehow know what to expect on the other side? Or will he depend upon Langford’s knowledge of ancient languages and cultures to find a way to dial the Stargate back to Earth?
- What is inside the crate that the Germans took through the Stargate?
- Will Catherine be able to convince Beal and Wasif to help her? Will they go through the Stargate?
- Origins‘ production design deliberately favors the 1994 Stargate feature film over the television series in some noticeable ways. In Episode 2 we see the Stargate dialed, and when a chevron locks on a symbol the sound effect matches that of the movie. Also matching are the gate’s visual effects, from the reverse-kawoosh to the white shimmer of the event horizon to the interstellar travel sequence (Episode 3).
- The Stargate is often shot from the side in this episode — so that the area in front of and behind the gate is visible to the viewer, but the event horizon itself is not. This is an easy way for the production to save money — not only on visual effect of the puddle itself but especially the “puddle pass,” i.e. people and objects passing through the event horizon. Throughout the run of Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe the puddle pass was a notoriously expensive effect, as it required the effects artist’s painstaking work by hand. (Those shows also occasionally cheated on the puddle pass, cutting to or away from travelers just before or just after they had passed through the gate.)