|Original air date|
Ming-Na as Camile Wray
|Universe Season 1|
- This episode is part 2 of 2; it is preceded by "Darkness".
On a seemingly unalterable collision course with a nearby star, and despite finding three suitable planets, Colonel Everett Young tells everyone that only seventeen people can go in the shuttle and that a lottery will determine their fate.
A group around of 80 unprepared soldiers, scientists and civilians evacuate Icarus Base to the Ancient space ship Destiny, located several billion light years from Earth, and are trapped there; the ship doesn't have enough power to dial such distances. After a couple of days since arriving, Dr. Nicholas Rush learns the ship's power reserves are critically low. Soon enough, the entire ship shuts down; all the power is gone. The ship is able to slingshot around a nearby gas giant to within range of three potentially habitable planets. However, instead it heads directly to the star.
Destiny is continuing on its collision course with a nearby star. Colonel Everett Young gathers the entire crew in the Gate room. Once they are all accounted for, he informs them that within a day, the ship will fly directly into the star and that there is no way to avoid it. There is a solution however; there is still one working shuttle, and that he believes the ship arrived in the system for a reason; there are three planets nearby, at least one should be habitable. However, the shuttle can only fit seventeen people on board. Though twice as many can fit, there would still have to be supplies on board and that life support can't handle anymore than seventeen. There will be a lottery where fifteen names will be chosen, while the other two will be selected by himself. However, Young meets some resistance from Sgt. Spencer, who believes Young is going to be one of them. Young, however, informs him that he has written himself out of the lottery. With a few hours left to determine if the planets are habitable, he dismisses the group and sends them to their quarters.
As they disperse, Eli Wallace notices from across the room that Chloe Armstrong and Lt. Matthew Scott are holding hands, and leave, which upsets him. Meanwhile, some of the crew select the supplies to be brought onto the shuttle. Chloe and Scott go into the latter's quarters. There, they start to kiss. They later lie down on the bed and proceed to make love.
Camile Wray visits Young in his quarters, and start arguing about the lottery. Wray believes he should pick everyone of those seventeen people, since it's the responsible thing to do, and if they need leadership, it will include Young going too. She also believes he should consider her too. Young tells her that selecting the names will not make it fair on the other people, and that everyone is the "wrong people." When she continues, Young warns her that if she doesn't leave, he will remove her name from the lottery. Beat, she complies.
In a flashback, Eli is sleeping during the middle of the day, after he was up all night playing computer games. His mother enters his bedroom and wakes him up, since he should be going for a job interview. However, Eli says it was canceled, since it was not his skill set. His frustrated mother, who is late for work herself leaves the room, slamming the door behind her. This makes Eli awaken from his sleep on board Destiny. Meanwhile, Scott and Chloe discuss what is to happen. He sounds sure that both he and she will be going, since he believes Chloe is the second person Young selected because of her political status. She however, doesn't think, and says she'll chance it on the lottery, since there is a one in six chance of being selected.
Eli visits several people in a room on board Destiny and tells them that when the shuttle leaves, they should send the Kino with them as a form of "message in a bottle", despite the fact that chances for an alien race finding it later are virtually nil. Chloe takes her chance with recording a message. She says that her father died to save the rest for another day, and points out that that is all he gave the rest.
Young visits Dr. Nicholas Rush as he is preparing the shuttle for departure. He had already checked two of the planets out of the three present in the solar system, the third planet being out of reach as it is on the other side of the star. One of the planets are too cold, and the other too hot. The third is orbiting in between in the "Goldilocks zone", meaning it is just right but recommends not to wait until Destiny will be close enough. Young suggests to use the shuttle engines to push Destiny off course, but Rush states that he has already done the calculations, and the shuttle engines aren't powerful enough for it. As Young departs, Rush requests to be excluded from the lottery list also, but wants to know who he selected; Scott and Lt. Tamara Johansen. Meanwhile, Wray records her message on the Kino. She says that who ever will find it eventually should tell Sharon Walker, that her last thoughts were of her.
Lottery time. Young arrives and declares that he and Rush have decided to exclude their names from the lottery list, and that Scott and Johansen are the two he selected. He shows a box with all their names on pieces of paper. After shuffling them, all those who are named should run to the shuttle. The first name chosen out of the box is Airman Darren Becker. He later picks up the names of David Walters, Camile Wray, Lt. Vanessa James and Dr. Lisa Park. The first ones run to the shuttle, and are seated under Scott's orders. After announcing the following eight other names, calls for Sgt. Hunter Riley, and Dr. Boone. Spencer, however, doesn't wish to accept his face at the hands of the sun, and tries to incite a rebellion. Before things escalate, Greer knocks him down with his weapon, and warns everyone else he will do the same. The others who were chosen enters the shuttle, and Young orders Scott to countdown a minute before launch.
The others, apart from an unconscious Spencer walk to the Observation deck to see the shuttle taking off. As they take off, Scott says his farewell, and promises to be thinking of them. Young ends the transmission with his final orders; to look after those in the shuttle. Using the images from the Kino, he shows those in the room, what Destiny looks like from the outside, before light engulfs the screen from the remote control. Now with the ship gone, Young plans on taking a walk, and offers Greer to join him, which he accepts. Rush, meanwhile, announces he is to finish reading a "truly mediocre" book. He then apologizes to Eli for involving him. Chloe is curious about how they are to die. He says that there will be turbulence from the solar wind, heat, and intense G-force, which will tear the ship apart, but also hopes their deaths will be quick.
Facing imminent destruction, the crew tries to find solace in their final moments. In their walk, Young admits that although he doesn't condone any bad behavior, he thought the look of Colonel David Telford's face when Greer assaulted him before he was detained was "priceless," and that also got away with it. Greer then apologizes for disappointing him, but they continue laughing about; Young even remarks that Telford deserved it. They then say their farewells, and go separate ways. Possibly before the shuttle left, Young records his Kino message. He wants to say something to his wife, but hesitates at it for so long, he ends the recording.
Spencer eventually comes round and gazes around the empty Gate room. He wonders around to see a group of Dr. Dale Volker and others playing a card game. He then walks past a room full of people praying before their end. Meanwhile, Rush starts reading the book and listening to classical music in his quarters. Eli and Chloe spend their last hours together, gazing at the sun getting closer and closer. Young sits in his quarters and takes off his wedding ring. Greer strips in his quarters and meditates, awaiting his fate.
In the shuttle, Riley looks at his watch and notices it has gone passed midnight; Wray knows it his birthday. Scott then asks Brody to check the readings of the planet. Brody says that there is a breathable atmosphere, but only has trace amounts of carbon dioxide, meaning there will be little vegetation, and the temperatures will barely reach above zero, so it is habitable, just not the paradise they were expecting.
Destiny starts burning up on the star's corona. Rush finishes his book and notices they aren't dead yet. He gets out of his quarters and walks to the control room. There, he notices that one of the consoles is online, and laughs when he reads what is on the monitor. He races to the Observation deck, and laughs again. He turns and tells Eli that they will all live, because the ship would have been destroyed by now, because they are so close to the surface. He explains the shield is protecting them, and that since he thought there was no power, he was never so happy to be wrong for the first time. Just then, Destiny deploys her energy collectors to harness the deuterium from the star's photosphere. The lights start turning on all over the ship. Power is restoring. Eli also realizes that they are inside the sun. When Young wonders what is going on, Rush explains that all he could think of, is that the ship came to the sun for the reason of recharging the power on board. However, their joy quickly turns to concern; they have to recall the shuttle, especially, since the jump countdown has begun. Rush works on restoring communications to the shuttle.
Approaching the planet, Scott plans on taking it in high orbit and find a place to land. TJ realizes that those on Destiny are gone, and think that they are the lucky ones. Fortunately, they hear Young calling in, telling them that they are still alive, but wants them to head back. The shuttle crew are amazed to see Destiny still flying nearby. However, as they plot an intercept course, Brody notices the ship is gaining speed, and they cannot keep up. Rush has an idea; Destiny went around Big Bertha to perform an aerobraking maneuver, and that Scott should use the planet's gravity to perform a slingshot maneuver to go faster. Since Eli is a mathematical genius, he completes the calculations to work out the correct course for Scott to take.
He is able to input the calculations, and sends the ship on a slingshot course. The shuttle shakes violently, but stays intact. Now gaining speed, the shuttle is heading straight for Destiny. Eli runs to the Observation deck, and sees the shuttle approach. However, there is another problem; the shuttle is going in too fast. To compensate, Scott fires up the maneuvering thrusters. The shuttle crashes straight onto the airlocks, but it makes it in one piece. After they engage the docking clamps, the crew on the shuttle leave relatively in one piece.
Later, the crew are celebrating their survival and reunion in the mess hall. Young jokes to Scott that he had done the worst shuttle docking he had ever seen. He then commends Rush on his efforts and thanks him for their survival, but Rush dismisses it, saying their situation isn't any better than before. Young tries to convince Rush that he did a good deed by sacrificing himself, but after he leaves, Young soon starts suspecting that Rush had probably known about Destiny's plan all along.
Aerobraking maneuver; Ancient remote control; Ancient shuttle; Carbon dioxide; Christianity; Corona; Crew quarters; Destiny Gate room; Docking clamp; F-16 Fighting Falcon; G36K; Goldilocks zone; Goldilocks zone planet; Hamilton; Jump countdown; Kino; Life support; Lottery; Maneuvering thruster; Mess hall; Methane; Nitrogen; Observation deck; Oxygen; Playing card; Red dwarf; Sharon Walker; Slingshot maneuver; Smith; Solar power; Star (Light); Colonel David Telford; Turbulence; Sharon Walker; David Walters; Water; Emily Young
Wray: My name is Camile Wray. My age is, none of your business, Eli. If um… If anyone finds this within the next, I don't know, forty years. Tell Sharon, my last thoughts were of her.
Young: And while I don't condone behavior of that kind in any way, shape or form, I've gotta say, the look on Telford's face when you put him down was priceless. Complete and total shock.
Greer: He was surprised, yes, sir.
Young: I guess you can say you even got away with it.
Greer: Just, sorry that I... that I disappointed you, sir.
Young: You're a good man, Sergeant, I know that. Besides, the bastard had it coming.
Greer: Yes, sir, he did.
Chloe: My father gave his life so all of us can survive another day. And we did. Another day.
Eli: Uh, what are we so happy about?
Rush: We're gonna live, Eli.
Eli: What about the turbulence and the heat and the death?
Rush: No, all of that would have happened by now. The shield is protecting us.
Chloe: But you said we were out of power.
Rush: I was absolutely certain of that, and I've never been more pleased to be wrong in all my life.
Rush: The ship is powered by the stars themselves. Solar powered - quite literally. There is no other explanation.
(Eli quickly works out a course for the shuttle to take)
Eli: I got it.
Rush: Whoa whoa whoa, Eli, there's many variables here. Are you sure about this?
Eli: Math Boy! Send it.
Rush: OK, Math Boy.
Eli: Why am I watching this on TV?
- People who left Kino messages in this episode were MSgt. Ronald Greer, Camile Wray, Chloe Armstrong and Colonel Everett Young.
- It is suggested that Greer was detained for assaulting Colonel David Telford and that, while Young didn't condone Greer's actions, he agreed that Telford deserved it.
- This is the first episode Wray's partner, Sharon Walker is mentioned.
- This and the previous episode share some similarities to the first season of Stargate: Atlantis. Firstly both new locations had been alright until their relative expeditions found them and caused systems to start up and drain the remaining power. Secondly both had a failsafe mechanism: Atlantis surfaced, Destiny entered a star, though this could have been a regular thing for Destiny. Finally, when it looked like there was little chance of survival: First Wraith invasion for Atlantis crash into star for Destiny, video recordings were made for others to see, though the Atlantis recordings were sent back to Earth and seen.
- This episode was originally titled "Fire", however, since the script ran for 20 minutes longer than any episode, it was extended to cover two episodes mostly by adding in several Kino scenes and expanding the Ancient shuttles return, and was renamed "Darkness", and "Light".
- Dominic Zamprogna (Dr. Boone) previously played Aries in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Childhood's End".
- When you perform a slingshot maneuver it is actually not wise to touch the atmosphere, as it slows you considerably. Also, if you need to be not too fast, you can always use a trajectory further away from the planet. Doing that, you could circumvent the issues of the dangers of entering an atmosphere and the intrinsic impredictability of turbulent aerodynamics.
- In the previous edition they performed a slingshot maneuver around a blue giant (for goodness sake). Initially they would have appeared to be on a head-on collision course for it, so why the concern when they next appeared to be on a similar course for the red drawf? The ship was very low on power in the first instance (it dropped out of FTL) so the concern would have been the same.
- As soon as power was restored to the ship, why didn't they immediately try to work out the ninth cheveron to dial home?
- Won Leo for "Best Screenwriting in a Dramatic Series" (Brad Wright)
- Nominated Leo for "Best Cinematography in a Dramatic Series" (Jim Menard)
- Nominated Leo for "Best Direction in a Dramatic Series" (Peter DeLuise)