Incursion, Part 1

Summary | Analysis | Production | Transcript | Fan Reviews

The Lucian Alliance manages to board Destiny, taking several crewmembers hostage in a bid to wrestle control the ship.

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OUR RATING -
NIELSEN - 1.178 mil. 
EPISODE #119
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 06.04.10
SYNDICATION AIR DATE: 05.09.11
WRITTEN BY: Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
DIRECTED BY: Andy Mikita
GUEST STARS:

Rhona Mitra (Kiva), Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter), Mike Dopud (Varro), Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody), Patrick Gilmore (Dale Volker), Jennifer Spence (Lisa Park), Julia Benson (2nd Lt. Vanessa James), Lou Diamond Phillips (David Telford), Richard Dean Anderson (Jack O’Neill), Michael Shanks (Dr. Daniel Jackson), Haig Sutherland (Sgt. Hunter Riley), Kirby Morrow (Bridge Officer), Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Pvt. Darren Becker), Patricia Cullen (Scientist), Primo Allon (Koz), Ilan Srulovicz (Squad Member), Ian Butcher (Dannic), Conan Graham (Calvos), Ken Tran (Chen)

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Colonel David Telford takes a final breath as the air in his makeshift cell vents into space. Everett Young checks his watch as Camille Wray and Lt. Matthew Scott peer through the porthole at Telford, fighting for his next breath. Twenty seconds elapse before Young opens the door and radios Adam Brody to restore the atmosphere. Administering CPR, Young brings Telford back from unconsciousness.

Gasping for breath, Telford warns of an impending incursion onto Destiny by the Lucian Alliance. Young immediately briefs the crew. They prepare Destiny by securing the Gate Room console, planting a kino to monitor the area, and locking down the egress corridors. Brody also prepares to vent the atmosphere.

Young talks to Telford, whose consciousness is actually still in the body of Dr. Nicholas Rush (by means of the communication stones). Telford had once been a mole inside the Lucian Alliance, only to be turned to their side — likely using Goa’uld brainwashing technology. The near-death experience has broken the Alliance brainwashing, and Telford is mortified by his past actions.

Now armed against the enemy with Telford’s knowledge, General Jack O’Neill orders the U.S.S. George Hammond, under the command of Colonel Samantha Carter, to attack the Icarus-type planet where the Lucian Alliance strike force is attempting to dial the 9-chevron Stargate address to board Destiny. The pyramid on the surface is protected by an anti-beaming shield, so Carter orders her F-302 fighters to assault the enemy base.

When Rush’s body was being suffocated on Destiny, Telford’s body at the Lucian Icarus planet (currently home to Rush’s consciousness) went into convulsions. Once Telford’s body recovers, Alliance Commander Kiva puts him back to work powering the Stargate from the planet’s rich naquadria reserves and dialing the 9-chevron address. Shortly, they are pummeled by the first round of F-302 ordinance. With only one avenue of escape, Kiva dials the Stargate. When it becomes obvious that the procedure will cause the planet’s unstable core to explode, Kiva evacuates all personnel through the gate.

Safely in his quarters, Eli Wallace monitors the Gate Room even as he replays Daniel Jackson’s recording on the Lucian Alliance. As Chloe Armstrong comes in, Destiny drops from F.T.L. flight. The Stargate begins to spin. Eli alerts Young, who is with Brody and others in the Control Interface Room.

Young is poised to vent the Gate Room’s atmosphere when he spots Rush emerge through the event horizon (in Telford’s body). He is unwilling to sacrifice the two men to stop the enemy incursion before it starts. Furious about their forced departure, Kiva decides to shoot Rush/Telford. Telford’s consciousness, however, has returned to his own body — evidently a result of gate travel. He forestalls her by shouting his password.

Demanding surrender, Young watches as Alliance personnel don breathing masks and attach a device to the door, which opens it. Gas canisters are tossed into the corridor. Faced with aggressive assault, Scott’s team retreats. Hearing weapons fire, and determined to help, Rush (also back in his own body) runs from the infirmary. Lt. Tamara Johansen (T.J.) follows. They enter a corridor controlled by the Alliance, where T.J. is captured. Thanks to Brody remotely closing a set of doors, Rush manages to escape.

Elsewhere, Sgt. Hunter Riley is wounded as the Alliance advances through the ship. Chloe and Eli leave his quarters unawares, and step into crossfire. Although they reach the safety of a nearby transporter, Chloe is shot through the thigh. Destiny‘s military personnel retreat even further into the ship.

Stretched beyond what they can hold, Kiva’s people regroup. Prisoners are assembled in the Gate Room. Riley glances toward the kino, revealing its location to the enemy. The intruders destroy it. Young, Rush, Brody, Lisa Park and Dale Volker confer in the Control Interface Room. Brody locks various sets of doors in order to buy some time. According to Scott’s head-count 12 of their people are missing, including Riley, T.J., Chloe, and Eli.

Kiva radios Colonel Young, inviting him to surrender and join her team or be dropped off at a habitable world. Young counters with an empty threat to vent the atmosphere. As a demonstration of her power, Kiva prepares to kill Riley, T.J., and an Airman — but Telford stops her. He offers to assist her in taking control of Destiny, suggesting that he knows a way to get to the Control Interface Room. Kiva provides him with a team. He also tells her that the obviously pregnant T.J. is a medic. T.J. is immediately given the difficult task of saving the wounded Varro, one of Kiva’s chief henchman.

Before Telford’s team moves out, Camille Wray offers to negotiate an exchange of prisoners, which Kiva considers.

Meanwhile, still in the transport chamber, Eli has stopped Chloe’s bleeding. The transporter has taken them to an uninhabited and unexplored area of Destiny. When she regains consciousness, they try to find their way back. Too weak to walk further, Chloe allows Eli to carry her.

Confident that Telford will help them, Young apprises O’Neill of the situation via the communication stones. Telford’s team cuts a hole into an adjacent corridor. Spotting an interface panel, Telford highlights their route as a signal to Young. Young repositions Lt. Scott and others ahead of the assault. Using their special device, an Alliance member starts to open the final door. From a thinly-shielded hull breech, a beam of light fries the man to a crisp. When the team runs away, Telford opens the door. He consults with Young before heading back to the Gate Room.

All over Destiny, lights flicker in response to a power overload that has caused a temporary disruption of all ship’s systems. Kiva believes Young is responsible, but Brody and Rush are puzzled. Nor do they understand why Destiny hasn’t resumed F.T.L. flight.

Kiva has T.J. request medical supplies. Wray argues for providing them and the prisoner exchange. Rush is dead-set against it. Young decides that now, while everyone is on edge, it is time to act.

– S. Fetter

ANALYSIS

  • Young’s plan to break Colonel Telford of the Lucian Alliance’s brainwashing was akin to the Jaffa Rite of M’al Sharran, once used by Stargate Command to free Teal’c from Apophis’s brainwashing (“Threshold”). It seems likely that Young was aware of this event from the S.G.C.’s past, and deliberately suffocated his friend in order to free his mind.

    Young’s strategy hinges on his confidence in his friend’s true loyalties to Earth: if Telford simply had been a traitor rather than brainwashed, the gambit would have failed.

  • The Lucian Alliance is likely in possession of Goa’uld mind-control technology, which it would have acquired (along with Goa’uld ships and other technology) after the fall of the Goa’uld some five years earlier (“Reckoning, Part 2”). Various System Lords possessed a variety of methods for brainwashing their victims, including a hand-held device used by Baal and za’tarc conditioning that created sleeper agents who were unaware of their deadly programming.

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • “There has been some discussion of making the story idea Rob pitched out for episode 17 the season finale. I think it would be a wonderfully Holy ****! way to cap off the Universe‘s first year. Blazin’!” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “I eventually made my way back up to the offices and where I chatted with Brad about episodes 18, 19, and 20. He and Rob have some fantastic notions for the stretch run that promise to cap off SGU‘s first season with a bang! And plenty of surprises.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “Normally, when I’m given the green light on a story idea, I can head off on my own, spin it and beat out an outline inside of a week, but I seem to have hit the wall with episodes 19 and 20. Part of the problem rests with the fact that, when I break a story, I start at the beginning and work my way through. Unfortunately, the idea pitched out for episode 19 [Paul Mullie’s ‘Subversion,’ now #18] is fairly complex and full of TBD’s (‘To Be Decided’s’ for those not in the know).

    “Paul suggested we work backward from episode 20, but that is easier said than done given that 20 is fraught with TBD’s as well. Working backward is the right idea, but our starting point should actually be Season Two. Sometime in the next two weeks, we’re going to have to sit everyone down and establish a game plan for the back half and beyond. That way, we can all head off on hiatus with a script assignment — and, more importantly, come back from hiatus with SGU‘s first season stories locked down.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

  • “With three days to go before the official start of our summer hiatus, I was back in the office today, trying to figure out the beat sheet for the big SGU Season One finale (hint: the title rhymes with the name of the preceding episode). Lots going on in this one and this first pass was really just an attempt to establish the major beats, who is where doing what and why, and the general escalation of the action. Tomorrow, I get down to details and start running the character through lines, ensuring that all the individual beats track and, hopefully, dovetail in step with the plot. Some wonderful shocks in this one, big and small.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “A rare burst of creative energy today! I revised the Tease and Act I of episode 20, getting the latter down to a more manageable 16 pages, then made some significant headway on Act II, shaping up to be a robust 14 pages. All the characters are in play but two so, tomorrow, I’m going to go over what I’ve got and make them a little more prominent, thread them into the existing story a little better. This being the season finale, I think it’s important that all of the characters get their turn to shine.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “Yes, it will be a bigtime cliffhanger.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “I had only planned on finishing up Act IV of Script #2 today but, as expected, got on a roll and ended up sailing through Act V to finish the darn thing. The second script is a robust 53 pages (52 full) and contains what is, without a doubt, the biggest HOLY #%&@! ending I have ever written. I mean, I knew what was going to happen but, as I was writing toward it and the different pieces of the story were falling into place, I decided to go with a little something different in the lead-up and … well, it’s quite the eyebrow-raiser. Actually, the double eyebrow-raiser. Hell, the truth is, you don’t have enough eyebrows to make it work. Trust me.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “[Carl Binder] dropped by my office today to offer his opinion. Yes, I agreed, the B story will require some rethinking and there are a few sequences that will need some tweaking but, happily, Carl found it exciting, well-paced and seemed quite intrigued by the ending. And, most importantly, he felt it worked well as two scripts. Hopefully, the others will feel the same.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “Finally received notes on both scripts today. Thankfully (and most importantly) everyone agrees that it’s a two-episode story. ‘I can’t believe we thought this was only one episode’ were Paul’s words. Anyway, some terrific suggestions that will help clarify certain elements, address a few outstanding issues, and generally tighten things up. I tend to hate rewrites, but this one (technically, these two) actually looks like it could be a lot of fun.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “Some discussion on ‘Incursion’ I and II this afternoon (episodes #19 and #20 — as if you didn’t know!). Brad will be taking over duties on both scripts as he’ll be producing the episodes. We discussed, among other things: clarifying who is where doing what (a special request from Paul), the challenges of guest casting, and the workings of alien tech.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “Brad will be starting his pass on ‘Incursion’ I and II this weekend. In retrospect, I reconsidered my earlier critique and told him that, believe it or not, I had no notes and thought the scripts were pretty good as they were. He thanked me and pointed out that I’d written them so he wasn’t really expecting me to have notes. On the other hand, Paul and Carl had a few. And Brad had some terrific ideas that will make the finale one helluva ride. I wish I could watch the reaction of the cast as they read the scripts. NO ONE IS SAFE!” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “This afternoon, we watched Brad’s producer’s cut of ‘Incursion I.’ Plenty of suspense, lots of action, and some outstanding performances make it a terrific precursor to the season finale. Wow.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • Amanda Tapping returns as Samantha Carter at the end of the season. “I’ve done two episodes. I did their first two-parter and I’m at the very end of their season. And I just shot that a few weeks ago. So I started their season and I’m ending their season, which was very cool. But I didn’t get to play with anyone. If they were ever to have me come back, I’d want to be with people! I’m kind of off on my ship, which I think is awesome.

    “I have to say, when I got to work, and I saw the uniform and the General Hammond crest on it, I teared up. I think it’s a great honor to, not only Don, but to the character. So that was very cool. But I’m up in my ship and I don’t get to play with anyone.” (Actress Amanda Tapping, in an interview with The Huffington Post)

  • “Today, we watched the Day 1 mix of ‘Incursion I.’ Magnifique! An episode full of action, anguish, intrigue and suspense. And Joel’s score is phenomenal. Can’t wait to watch ‘Incursion II’ to find out how it ends.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “Wray is a civilian with a background in Human Resources and while, at first blush, the skills she possesses may seem impractical in a space-faring scenario, Camile will step to the fore later this season, especially when all hell breaks loose in the show’s two-part season finale. And then there’s that hate-hate relationships she’s got going on with Greer. We’ll be exploring that throughout — and in very interesting fashion later.” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)
  • “This afternoon, we watched the Day 2 Mix of ‘Incursion I.’ Action! Suspense! Cameos! And a most atypical death!” (Writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)