Episode 3EPISODE #103
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), Salome Azizi (Aset), Philip Alexander (James Beal), Sarah Navratil (Ava Reinhardt), Shvan Aladdin (Wasif), Derek Chariton (Heinrich), Justin Michael Terry (Gunter), Lincoln Hoppe (Stefan), Catherine Salazar (Aset’s Child), Ghadir Mounib (Renisenb), Connor Trinneer (Professor Langford)
Professor Paul Langford stumbles out of the Stargate on shaky legs, taking in his alien surroundings. Though he is momentarily alone he is still a prisoner: his hands are bound as two Nazis, Gunter and Stefan, emerge through the gate behind him carrying a crate. Soon the documentarian Ana Reinhardt arrives, training her camera on their leader Dr. Wilhelm Brücke. Triumph!
They take a moment to consider their surroundings, including a large device near the gateway that is evidently to be used to dial it much more easily than they have just done on Earth. They push into the temple in search of local inhabitants and soon find a throne room. There an alien woman, dressed elaborately in an ancient Egyptian style, cradles an infant child.
Pressed by Brücke, Dr. Langford tries awkwardly to mutter a few words of ancient Egyptian in the hopes of communicating. The alien — Aset — seems to respond with recognition. But Brücke is impatient and orders Gunter to seize her. As he approaches Aset raises her hand, blasting the man backward with a hand device. He is dead. Langford, Reinhardt, and eventually Brücke fall to their knees in submission.
Back on Earth, Langford’s daughter Catherine has convinced her boyfriend James — a Captain in the British military — and his Egyptian friend Wasif to return to the warehouse with guns drawn. They get the drop on Heinrich, the Nazi soldier that Brücke left behind, and knock him out.
After connecting power cables to a vehicle they attempt to repeat the dialing procedure that Catherine had witnessed Brücke achieve (“Episode 2”). While James and Wasif manually turn the Stargate’s inner ring, Catherine revs the engine and calls out symbols.
The gate shoots to life, astonishing the two men. But despite the miracle they are reluctant to follow her through the fantastical portal in search of her father. Catherine convinces them — not merely to help her, but to do their duties in opposing the Nazis. After a bit of nervous dialogue in front of the gate, they press through …
- Travel through the wormhole leaves tiny ice crystals on the faces and hair of travelers, matching the effect seen both in the original feature film and also the pilot episode of Stargate SG-1, “Children of the Gods.” In the latter, Samantha Carter explains that this phenomenon is caused by “the compression your molecules undergo during the millisecond required for reconstitution.” It was quickly eliminated from the weekly show, without any explicit explanation offered.
However it could be related to the “rough ride” through the wormhole in the film and the pilot, which would eventually be explained in “Red Sky”: It was caused by the margin of error in calculating planetary shift, but this was fixed by Stargate Command. In Stargate Origins, however, there is no rough ride that throws travelers off their feet when they arrive on the other side.
- The planet that Brücke gated to is indeed Abydos, the same planet visited by the first military team (“Stargate” the Movie) and by SG-1 (“Children of the Gods”). The Stargate address is visible when Catherine is looking at Brücke’s journal in this episode, and it matches the address on the cartouche found with the Stargate at Giza. The planet’s three moons (seen in the 1994 film, just as the team emerges from the pyramid) are also visible out the window of Aset’s temple.
- Brücke not only deciphered that the Stargate’s symbols could be used to dial up a specific address like a combination lock; he also knew that each symbol represents a star constellation. The symbols in his journal are labelled “Taurus,” “Saggitarius,” “Orion,” etc.
- Brücke’s team finds a dial-home device in front of the Stargate on Abydos, and he notes that it is “exactly like the one we have in Berlin.” The Giza D.H.D. was discovered by the Germans in 1906, and taken by the Russians after World War II (“Watergate,” “The Tomb”). Having access to this device for more than three decades prior to finding the Langfords’ Stargate would have also put Brücke in a good position to decipher that the symbols on his device are, in fact, star constellations.
- The Stargate appears to be located in a different facility than it will be five and a half decades later, when a full-size pyramid sits atop the building. It is possible that this pyramid has not yet been constructed — but more likely that the Stargate will simply be moved at some point in the intervening years.
- The alien ruler encountered on the other side of the Stargate is credited as “Aset.” In ancient Egyptian mythology this was another name for Isis — though we know from Stargate lore that a Goa’uld symbiote by that name was locked in a canopic jar on Earth and eventually died when the jar’s seal was damaged (“The Curse”). More than likely, Aset is simply a different Goa’uld. (Perhaps in-universe the Egyptians came to confuse two different Goa’uld as the same over the course of many millennia.)
Aset is a Goa’uld, evident from her voice (which matches the way in which Ra’s voice was altered in the original film) and her use of the Goa’uld hand device technology.
- Aset has starkly yellow eyes, the first time this look has appeared in the Stargate franchise. It is unlikely that this has any relation to Goa’uld being able to make their eyes glow. More likely is that she has taken a host whose species evolved this way (similar to the Enkarans, who also had unusual eyes due to environmental sensitivities).
The sound effect associated with the Goa’uld eye glow can be heard as Aset sits down, though with her mask and yellow eyes the visual effect is not evident.
- Also quite remarkable for Aset’s introduction is the fact that she is holding an infant, and in a maternal way. The baby appears in the credits as “Aset’s Child,” evidently ruling out the possibility that she has merely taken an interest in the offspring of the Abydonians she rules over. This suggests that either: (1) that Aset has mated with a human servant, virtually unheard of among the Goa’uld leadership; or (2) that Aset has mated with a fellow Goa’uld and given birth to a Harcesis. The human child of two Goa’uld hosts is strictly forbidden, as the child would possess all the knowledge of the Goa’uld (received from their genetic memory) but without a symbiote controlling it (“Forever In a Day”).
- The Supreme System Lord Ra would still be ruling over Abydos at this period in time, making Aset a lieutenant stationed on the planet to rule its people in his stead. Abydos is relatively important to Ra’s empire, as it is home to a productive naquadah mine.
- It is somewhat surprising that a single concussive blast from Aset’s hand device left Gunter dead. As seen in the past these devices are generally powerful enough to throw people backward (e.g. Osiris’ hand device in “The Curse”), but they do not kill (unless you’re using it to, say, drive a victim’s frame into the ground — as was the villain’s fate in “Seth”). Is Aset’s hand device more powerful than others?
The unofficial material on the Stargate Command Web site may provide an explanation: Aset is a scientist and engineer. In that case, she may have found a way to alter the technology to make it more lethal.
- Is it feasible for Catherine and her friends to power the Stargate with the Germans’ light-weight vehicle? Just how much power a Stargate needs to establish a stable wormhole has not been established in series continuity — though there are times where it evidently does not take much. While it’s true that the large truck batteries used by SG-1 in “1969” may well have had a higher electrical output, we don’t know that this much was the bare minimum needed to dial the gate at the time. We’ve also seen alternative power sources such as the “cold fusion” of plant life stimulated by Linea’s “activators” (chemicals) used to power the gate (“Prisoners”).
In this scene, note that a generator (beneath the flood lights) also appears to be connected to the cables running to the gate.
- Wilhelm Brücke – The Nazi occultist has met his first “god” — a Goa’uld — and perhaps gotten more than he bargained for. Unwilling to put in the time to learn to communicate with Aset he ordered his men simply to seize her, and saw one of them killed for his trouble. In response to this display of technological power and ruthlessness, Brücke was forced to bend the knee.
He is gratified to discover, however, that his theories about aliens and their relation to ancient human cultures apparently has been proved right: “Beings like her created the past.”
- Catherine Langford – Convincing James and Wasif to help her, Catherine has stepped through the Stargate — without hesitation — in order to try and rescue her father. But will she remember any of her adventure when it is over?
- Wasif – An honorable and enthusiastic young soldier, Wasif was astonished to see the gate open — but understandably reluctant to step through it, putting his life on the line with no certainty that he would be able to return. He was finally convinced to do so not merely to help Catherine but to stop the power-hungry Nazis he no doubt perceives to be a threat to the world.
- James Beal – James too agreed to go with Catherine through the gate. For him it is perhaps less about stopping the Nazis than it is giving support to Catherine. Though their relationship is still young, his feelings for her run deep.
- Origins‘ production design deliberately favors the 1994 Stargate feature film over the television series in some noticeable ways. Here in Episode 3 that is evident in Catherine’s trip through the Stargate, which is shot to match Daniel Jackson’s first experience with gate travel in the movie. The visual effects depicting the interstellar travel sequence also match the film.
- While a new Stargate (more closely matching the movie gate) was constructed for Origins, the D.H.D. on Abydos should look pretty familiar. It’s actually the original prop from the filming of Stargate SG-1, on loan from the fan who purchased it at auction after the series’ conclusion.
- There’s a bit of a visual inconsistency when Catherine plunges her face into the event horizon at the episode’s end: her hair goes from hanging down next to her face to, inside the event horizon, being pulled “forward.” It’s a result of the fact that the effect is filmed with the actress bending downward to put her face into a pool of water.
- Episode 3 has a post-credits scene: His hands and feet bound, Heinrich awakens to see the active Stargate after Catherine, James, and Wasif have gone through. He tries to get to the gate but falls over as the wormhole disengages.