|Out of universe information|
- "Look, as much as I hate to say it, Zelenka’s not infallible."
- —Rodney McKay
Radek Zelenka is a scientist from the Czech Republic and a member of the Atlantis expedition who is assigned to the science department and also presumably the second-in-command under Chief Science Officer, Dr. Meredith Rodney McKay with both Zelenka and McKay having often performed miracles with Ancient technology over the years of the expedition's operation.
Also, in times when McKay is incapacitated, Zelenka will automatically become the temporary Chief Science Officer, and at other times he appears to function as Rodney's 'second in command' in the science contingent.
Radek grew up with a fairly poor family back in his home country, where he had a brother and a sister. When he was younger, his brother burnt down his home with one of the lit candles, forcing his family to live in a tent through the cold Czech winter until the house was rebuilt. After growing up, his sister had a son, who, as Radek pointed out "breaks things and smears thing on furniture". He also raised racing pigeons. He became a gifted scientist, and was once offered a job at Masaryk University. However, when he was offered a chance to join the Atlantis expedition, he turned down the offer at the University and joined a team going to the Pegasus Galaxy, where he was to work under Dr. Rodney McKay. He may also have a wife as well. (ATL: "Letters from Pegasus", "Critical Mass", "The Return, Part 1", "Echoes", "Tao of Rodney")
One of his first major duties was to help Major John Sheppard, Dr. Rodney McKay, Teyla Emmagan, Lt. Aiden Ford, Sgt. Markham and Sgt. Stackhouse, when their Puddle Jumper was damaged, and one of their drive pods didn't fully retract, which made them stuck halfway through the Stargate. He went to work in another Puddle Jumper to try to isolate the control pathways of the engine pod so McKay could retract the damaged pod. Zelenka managed to find a way to increase the odds of McKay's success from a one-in-a-million chance to one-in-a-thousand. (ATL: "Thirty-Eight Minutes")
After this, he proceeded to work closely with Dr. Rodney McKay on several occasions, including discovering a command sequence in the Puddle Jumper which would open the roof of the Jumper bay. (ATL: "Suspicion")
A few months later, he was working on a way to protect Atlantis from a massive storm that strikes Lantea every 20–30 years, heading its way to the city. He and Dr. Rodney McKay figured out that the storm's lightning could be used to power Atlantis' shield, but Zelenka left for Manaria, leaving McKay, Dr. Elizabeth Weir and Major John Sheppard to implement the plan before the city was taken by a Genii strike team. (ATL: "The Storm")
He was inspecting the storm-damaged parts of the city and was in the same group with Dr. Rodney McKay, Dr. Hays and Lt. Aiden Ford. He was infected with the Ancient nanovirus and did not have the Ancient Technology Activation gene, and the Ancient Technology Activation gene therapy doesn't work on him, since only 47-48% of recipients actually receive the gene successfully. The nanites were rendered inert when Major John Sheppard overloaded a Naquadah generator over the city. (ATL: "Hot Zone")
While working on what he believed to be a piece of malfunctioning technology in Stargate Operations, he inadvertently discovered Atlantis' Long range sensors. He detected three Wraith Hive Ships that were making their way to the city as well as a Wraith Dart that was entering the system. (ATL: "The Brotherhood")
When the expedition was preparing to send a message back to Stargate Command, he recorded a personal message to his family. This proved difficult for him as he revealed classified information. (ATL: "Letters from Pegasus")
When they thought they would have to evacuate the city, he devised a computer virus that would destroy the highly redundant Atlantis database, should Atlantis become lost to the expedition. Dr. Elizabeth Weir told him to save what information they have on the database. However, Zelenka told her with all the computers and data-compressing technology, only as much as 9% of it could be saved. He also aided McKay in completing the Genii A-bombs, which would be used to destroy the two Hive Ships when delivered by a cloaked Puddle Jumper that was remotely piloted using the Control chair. Unfortunately the Mark II Naquadah generator was depleted and Sheppard had to fly it himself. However, due to the timely arrival of the Daedalus Sheppard was beamed out before the Jumper destroyed the first Hive Ship. After the arrival of the Daedalus, he assisted McKay in plugging in the newly arrived Zero Point Module and raising the shield. He then used the sensors to locate Lt. Aiden Ford who had fell into the ocean. When the Long range sensors were repaired, he detected twelve more Hive Ships heading for Atlantis. When the Wraith arrived, he helped McKay convert the city's shield into a cloak. (ATL: "The Siege, Part 1", "The Siege, Part 2", "The Siege, Part 3")
When the senior members of the expedition returned to Earth, he stayed on Atlantis and discovered many new systems that had been activated after the Zero Point Module was installed. (ATL: "The Intruder")
After Dr. Rodney McKay and Lt. Laura Cadman were beamed into a Wraith Dart, he was called in to free them. With only enough power to free one life sign, he had Lt. Colonel John Sheppard choose and it ended up being McKay, Unfortunately Cadman's consciousness was transferred into McKay's mind. He then worked on fixing the damaged Wraith beaming device but was unable to regulate the power. Luckily, McKay was able to come up with a plan to use the Stargate's control crystal to regulate the power. (ATL: "Duet")
He worked alongside Dr. Rodney McKay while trying to make Project Arcturus work. While attempting to bring the power generator and weapon back online, Dr. Collins was killed when the reaction breached containment. Zelenka returned to Atlantis, and figured out why the Ancients had abandoned this technology; it was too unstable. He explained the situation to McKay, but he refused to listen to him. But after the power generator caused the destruction of 5/6 of the Doranda system, McKay apologized to him. (ATL: "Trinity")
Dr. Rodney McKay once called in Zelenka to repair the glitches on the Electromagnetic field generator on M7G-677, the planet predominantly populated with children. He was less than impressed with the proposal, reciting his experiences with his nephew. However, since the threat of a Goa'uld plot to destroy Atlantis, he was forced to stay on 677, where the inhabitants decorated his face and hair, and accepted him into their tribe. After the visit, he quickly washed it off. (ATL: "Critical Mass")
He worked with Lt. Colonel John Sheppard to help Dr. Rodney McKay, after his Puddle Jumper was sinking under the ocean. He was coaxed into sending a Jumper, to turn its cloak into a shield, so it could survive underwater, and rescue McKay, before his Jumper was either eaten by Sam, the Flagisallus, or took on too much water, which would make McKay drown. Fortunately, McKay was rescued. (ATL: "Grace Under Pressure")
When the Stargate on Taranis was destroyed by the Volcano, Dr. Elizabeth Weir ordered him to diverted the Daedalus on its way back from Earth. Later, he detected a Wraith Hive Ship on its way to Atlantis with the Long range sensors. (ATL: "Inferno")
When the Wraith proposed an alliance, they wanted the Iratus bug retrovirus to be delivered to the rest of the Wraith. Zelenka and Dr. Carson Beckett helped devise a plan by aerosolizing the gas to environmental systems of a Hive Ship, in exchange for information on Wraith technology. However, he learned of a computer virus that was able to delete all info on Wraith tech. He also discovered the virus managed to discover a way to upgrade their hyperdrives, as well as the location of Earth. (ATL: "Allies")
He then helped Major Evan Lorne in making the newly discovered Orion operational, to engage the two Hive ships in the void. During the battle, he was able to use the Drone weapons to destroy a Hive Ship, at the cost of the ship's shields. The Orion was destroyed, but Radek and the crew were beamed to Daedalus first. He then worked with Dr. Rodney McKay to fix the Life support systems on the Daedalus. (ATL: "No Man's Land")
He once detected a Wraith Hive Ship moving towards the same Black Hole the Odyssey was near, as her crew attempted to dial the Ori Supergate from the Pegasus Galaxy. Zelenka was unable to warn the Odyssey due to interference from the black hole, but Dr. Elizabeth Weir successfully relayed the message through Stargate Command. (SG1: "The Pegasus Project")
With the help of Jeannie Miller, Dr. Rodney McKay's sister, he was able to use her calculations on bridging alternate realities to perfect Project Arcturus in Atlantis. Jeannie was impressed and complimented him on his good work. When the experiment got out of hand, he worked with McKay and Rod to find a solution. (ATL: "McKay and Mrs. Miller")
Later, when some of the Lanteans aboard the Tria came back to reclaim the city, the entire expedition was forced to leave. Radek was thinking of taking up the offer to work at Masaryk University. (ATL: "The Return, Part 1")
After the Atlantis expedition returned to Atlantis after the thwarted Asuran attack, he and Ronon Dex went on a camping trip to the mainland. He preformed ground-penetrating radar tests to test the dielectric permittivity of the region's subsurface. This angered Ronon as it scared off the game he came to hunt. When a group of Flagisallus surrounded Atlantis and their sonar began causing damage to the Atlantis expedition, he worked with Dr. Rodney McKay to stop the Coronal mass ejection that was about to destroy Atlantis. (ATL: "Echoes")
While attempting to learn about the Ascension machine Dr. Rodney McKay was zapped with, a power surge forced Radek to flee, but a bolt of electricity severely wounded him. However, McKay, with his new found abilities, was able to use his healing powers to heal him. Zelenka was touched by what McKay did and promised to keep working to find a solution. As McKay knew he was going to die soon, he made some amends with Zelenka for the way he treats him, leaving Zelenka shocked. (ATL: "Tao of Rodney")
Later, when learning of a simulation Dr. Rodney McKay and Lt. Colonel John Sheppard were "playing", he did the same with Major Evan Lorne on another planet, until an argument between them forced Dr. Elizabeth Weir to ban the activity. During their game, Lorne and Zelenka seemed to share a relationship similar to the one between McKay and Sheppard. (ATL: "The Game")
On the mandatory rest day, he was playing chess when Dr. Carson Beckett asked him to go fishing with him because Dr. Rodney McKay canceled on him. Unfortunately, for Beckett he declined. After Dr. Harriet Hewston exploded, he was sent in to determine the cause. When Beckett died, he was one of his pallbearers to take the coffin back to Earth. (ATL: "Sunday")
He later accompanied a science team to explore the Ancient Mobile drilling platform located at the bottom of Lantea's ocean. After a Wraith Queen activated the emergency forcefields throughout the base, he worked with Dr. Rodney McKay to deactivate them. (ATL: "Submersion")
He was instrumental in the attempts to repair Atlantis when it was stranded in space, after the Asuran Stargate satellite damaged the city's power conduits. He attempted to patch them up with secondary conduits to activate the Stardrive again. However, after passing an asteroid belt, the stardrive crystals were damaged, and he had to fix it. However, in the process, a micro asteroid hits him in the leg, but did not hit a major artery, and recovered enough to walk, and helped McKay build a hyperdrive in a Puddle Jumper, which was used to steal a Zero Point Module from M7R-227. (ATL: "Adrift", "Lifeline")
During the city's bout with the homicidal alien entity, he traveled to M3X-387 to collect a crystal with a live entity inside. Once back on Atlantis, he helped Dr. Rodney McKay find a way to force it back into its crystal. (SG1: "Doppelganger")
During the Kirsan fever outbreak, Colonel Samantha Carter ordered Radek to remove the Stargate's Control crystal, as Gate travel was suspended. However, he started to lose his memories, and became paranoid when Major Evan Lorne and his team searched for him. He was able to knock one out and acquired a Wraith handblaster. However, he helped Carter and Dr. Rodney McKay, who also lost their memories, to save Teyla Emmagan, and stop the outbreak, by aerosolizing the Enchuri plant, curing the entire city. (ATL: "Tabula Rasa")
He then began working with Dr. Rodney McKay in his effort to shut down the Asurans attack code. When they hit a block, he urged McKay to contact his sister Jeannie Miller for help. (ATL: "Miller's Crossing")
A short time later, he helped Dr. Rodney McKay develop a tracking system for Asuran Aurora-class battleships from the Core drive that was given to them by the Organic Asuran copies of the team. (ATL: "This Mortal Coil")
After the completion of the tracking system, he moved on to the creation of the nanite block intended to fuse all Asurans together. This proved difficult and then he was summoned to Section Seven to repair the Naquadah generators. When he returned, Dr. Rodney McKay had given up on creating a block and created FRAN instead. (ATL: "Be All My Sins Remember'd")
He was stuck with Colonel Samantha Carter in one of Atlantis' transporters during a false quarantine lockdown. Major Evan Lorne and Lt. Colonel John Sheppard were able to free them. When he learned of the city's self-destruct being activated, he went through the city's air vents, and went to the Main power room to deactivate the power and save the city. (ATL: "Quarantine")
After Dr. Jennifer Keller was infected with a Wraith pathogen, and grew to the power conduits, Radek attempted to stop this and look at the damage the tendrils caused. However, one of them took a hold of him, and tried to kill him, but was saved by Teyla Emmagan, who shot the tendrils, releasing him. (ATL: "The Seed")
During the events when a Daedalus appeared above M35-117, Zelenka was observing the alternate Daedalus from Stargate Operations with Major Evan Lorne and stood as lookout for them. After a few hours, the alternate Daedalus reappeared and Lorne and Zelenka took a Puddle Jumper and "picked up" Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team. (ATL: "The Daedalus Variations")
When a Puddle Jumper lost power because of a power surge on its way back to Atlantis, he and Dr. Rodney McKay could not find anything wrong with it. When Atlantis began to suffer from the same malfunction, he worked in the Main power room and the scientist next to him was killed by a bolt of energy. (ATL: "Ghost in the Machine")
When the Vanir attacked Atlantis, he attempted to remove the Armored exoskeleton of the deceased invader but triggered the self-destruct. He then discovered the location of Dr. Rodney McKay and Dr. Daniel Jackson. He dialed the Stargate to a planet that was close to the Daedalus so Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and Teyla Emmagan could contact them. When he finished dialing, he detected a build up of power in the Gate. He determined it would overload and explode in less than a minute. Sheppard ordered him to collapse Atlantis' shield around the Gate. Unfortunately, the shield emitters began to fry and failed before the blast had completely subsided with he and Sheppard still in Stargate Operations but they were able to move to the balcony and only suffered minor injures. Shortly after, Katana Labrea arrived and offered to take Sheppard and him to M6H-987 in her her ship. He worked with the ship's chief engineer, Mila, to upgrade the Hyperdrive and beat the Daedalus there. They were successful but the drive was almost burned out. (ATL: "First Contact", "The Lost Tribe")
When Michael Kenmore invaded Atlantis, he was sent to the Main power room by Dr. Rodney McKay and Lt. Colonel John Sheppard to restore power to the city. He was able to get power to McKay's lab and some transporters. Later, he was able to crack some of the lockout codes Michael implemented and drop the Stargate shield so McKay could destroy Michael's Puddle Jumper with the Unstable vortex of the Stargate. (ATL: "The Prodigal")
He startled thief and murderer Neeva Casol, who was in Dr. Jennifer Keller's body at the time, though she was at first unaware of it. Zelenka suspected she did not feel very well and insisted she come into the infirmary. However, thinking she was caught for her crimes, she picked up a pair of pliers and stabbed him in the side, lacerating his liver. Expedition members soon learn of this, and attempted surgery. Dr. McBride was able to stop the bleeding, and he was in a light coma, but fortunately, he would make a full recovery. After Keller got her body back, she apologized to him, but he insisted it wasn't her fault. (ATL: "Identity")
After a while, Todd contacted Atlantis to apprise them that there is a Zero Point Module powered Super-hive in the Pegasus Galaxy. After Daedalus' defeat at the Hive Ship, Lt. Colonel John Sheppard convinced Todd to tell the location of two ZPM's he acquired from the Asuras. He worked to integrate the ZPM's into Atlantis' power in order to fly it to Earth. When Atlantis dropped out of hyperspace, Richard Woolsey ordered him to recalibrate the Stargate so he could inform Stargate Command of the situation. Once they dialed the Gate and realized they were connected to the Hive, Woolsey sent Major Evan Lorne, Ronon Dex, Dr. Rodney McKay, and Teyla Emmagan were sent on a mission to conduct sabotage. Zelenka then informs Woolsey that the city's Wormhole drive could get them to Earth in seconds but the calculations were very complex and a slight miscalculation could vaporize the city instantly. Woolsey agreed they had no choice and ordered him to activate it. Fortunately, Zelenka's calculations were correct and they arrived on Earth in time to stop the Hive from attacking and allowed Sheppard to detonate his Nuclear warhead and escape to the Alpha Site. (ATL: "Enemy at the Gate")
- In one alternate reality, he was getting along with McKay of that reality, known better as "Rod", and Radek even taught him some Czech. (ATL: "McKay and Mrs. Miller")
- In another alternate reality, he was working with McKay at Area 51 to find the Wraith that crashed on Earth. (ATL: "Vegas")
- In an alternate timeline, Radek Zelenka traveled to Atlantis, while the power began to fail and the city began to be flooded by the ocean. He was radioed by John Sheppard to check out a Puddle jumper different from the others. Zelenka, Sheppard, and Elizabeth Weir were thrown back in time to the siege of Atlantis by the Wraith at the end of the Lantean-Wraith war. They came under attack by a pair of Wraith Darts and were shot down. Zelenka and Sheppard were killed in the crash, but Weir survived. (ATL: "Before I Sleep")
- In an alternate timeline, he may or may not have been helping McKay build the Phoenix, since McKay was "too busy to remember", although he was seen delivering him a coffee. (ATL: "The Last Man")
Personality and traitsEdit
Radek works under Rodney McKay, who at first, doesn't remember his name, but eventually does. He also has to put up with all of McKay's condescending behavior, but seems very patient with him, most of the time, venting generally in Czech when he can stand it no longer. He is also very intelligent, and claims that no one can beat him in Chess. Despite that, McKay still thinks he is not as intelligent as he is, but did once acknowledge his intelligence. Zelenka also heads his own group, but McKay however, refers to his group as the "B team". He is highly respected among his peers, but is a socially awkward person. Dr. Keller once pointed out that she found it a little weird when he kept complimenting her on the smell of her hair. However, it should be noted that he is among the most resourceful and competent Atlantis personnel even under seemingly impossible conditions, as shown when he is the only known member of the expedition not to be caught at any time by the soldiers in during the Kirsan fever outbreak, despite the near-complete loss of episodic memory. (ATL: "Thirty-Eight Minutes", "Tao of Rodney", "Sunday", "Trio", "The Seed", "Tabula Rasa")
Radek's first language is Czech, and he often has his outbursts, when he is either surprised, panicked, or frustrated, the last being most frequently provoked by McKay and his condescension.
- Můžeš mi dát ty nejnovější data, prosim? Já se s tímhle nemůžu hnout.: Could you please give me the latest data? I can’t seem to get anywhere with this. (ATL: "Thirty-Eight Minutes")
- Ne, tak aspoň, aspoň tři mi dej.: No, give me at least... at least three. (ATL: "Thirty-Eight Minutes")
- To je ono, my to máme.: That's it, we have it. (ATL: "Thirty-Eight Minutes")
- Ježiši, já s těma hercema nemůžu dělat: Jesus, I can't work with these actors. (ATL: "The Brotherhood")
- (Inadvertently breaking security clearance on a message to his family) Na dně moře máme „fail safe“ , mechanismus. Obrovskou silou vytrhl kotvu města ze dna oceánu. My jsme.. Zhrozili jsme jsme.. Zhrozili jsme se. Neuveřitelný, co se to děje a ten hluk; celé město se třáslo jako při zemětřesení. To bylo něco neuvěřitelnýho. A najednou... se hneme. Celé město stoupalo. Stoupalo nahoru, nahoru k hladině. To, to bylo něco neuveřitelnýho a a a a a věže prorazily hladinu a vyjeli jsme nahoru nahoru a vody, vlny, vodopády, všechno teče z těch vejšek. A my... vystřelili jsme nahoru, úplně, úplně na vršek.. Slunce.... Sluníčko, prostě.... proudilo do všech oken. Do smrti, do smrti na to nezapomenu.: At the bottom of the sea we have a failsafe mechanism. It pulled up the anchor of the city from the ocean floor with great force. We.... we were.... we were scared. That was incredible, what happened? And that noise. The whole city was shaking, it was like an earthquake. That was so incredible. And then we're moving. The whole city was rising. It was rising up, rising up to the surface. It was, it was really incredible and, and, and... the towers broke through the surface and we shot up onto the surface. Water, waves, waterfalls were falling down from those heights. And we... we shot up, right to the top. Sun... just shining... It was streaming in through all the windows. I'll remember it for the rest of my life... for the rest of my life. (ATL: "Letters from Pegasus")
- Drž se, miláčku.: Take care, honey. (ATL: "Letters from Pegasus")
- No jo... Tak jo děcka, do toho, jdeme, jdeme, jdeme, musíme tohle dodělat, pojďte už, honem!: Yeah... Okay kids, come on, go, go, go, we have to finish this, come on, get a move on! (ATL: "Duet")
- Ty vole "Say hi to the kids for me", já ti dám, ty seš takovej vůl.: Damn it, 'Say hi to the kids for me', I'll show ya, you're such an ass. (ATL: "Critical Mass")
- Do prdele, to je na hovno tohle to, kdo to vymyslel že budeme pod vodou tentokrát?: "For cryin' out loud", "this sucks it does" (phrases in quotes are sanitized; original is rather explicit). Whose idea was it that we're gonna be underwater this time? (ATL: "Grace Under Pressure")
- I am trying, do prdele!: "Do prdele!" is a vulgar (yet common) expression of anger and frustration. It literally means, "into the ass", and is used in situations where an English speaker would use either the 'S-word' or the 'F-word'. (ATL: "No Man's Land")
- To je frajer teda, to je...: Man, what a guy! Oh yeah... (alt.: "Way to go, man! (...)") (note: the intended meaning is one of admiration for another's conduct or manner) (ATL: "Irresistible")
- On letí, on tak krásně letí...: He's flying, he's flying so beautifully... (ATL: "Irresistible")
- Měj se.: Take care. (said to Radek by "Rod") (ATL: "McKay and Mrs. Miller")
- Zaplať Pánbůh.: Thank goodness. (lit.: "May God our Lord reward this.", though the original religious connotation of the phrase has mostly dissipated through frequent commonplace use by the modern day, to the point that the composite "Pánbůh" (from "pán" - here "lord", and "Bůh" - "God") is now considered too colloquial for addressing God in formal prayer or service) (ATL: "Echoes")
- Tak takhle to nejde teda, tohle je na prd.: Well this doesn't work; this is useless. (lit.: "(...) this ain't good for jack") (ATL: "Tao of Rodney")
- Já s ním nebudu dělat. Já se už na to můžu vysrat.: I'm not gonna work with him. Screw this!
- Second sentence literally says "I might as well take a dump on this" (sanitized), containing the phrase "vysrat se na (...)", which is a vulgar expression of frustration used in contexts where an English speaker would use "Screw it (- this; - sth.)" or a more profane equivalent. (ATL: "Tao of Rodney")
- That's it. Já ho zabiju. To je magor, naprostej idiot.: That's it. I'm gonna kill him. He's wack, a complete idiot. (ATL: "Tao of Rodney")
- No jo no, zase je to na mě.: Yeah, well, once again I'm the one who has to do it. (ATL: "Doppelganger")
- I'll have the power off in no time. Ježiš, to je neuvěřitelný, já jsem takovej debil! Si bude myslet, že jsem naprostej idiot. (peeps in) Nó, tak co mně zbejvá, no... Tohleto né...(groaning) Se sem nevejdu...fuj to smrdí! (looks down) Ježišmarija... (looks around) Jéžiš, to snad né...: I'll have the power off in no time. Jesus, that's unbelievable, I'm such a moron! She'll think I'm a total idiot. (peeps in) Well, what else can I do, huh? This suuucks...(groaning) Can't fit through here... yuck, this place stinks! (looks down) (looks around) Jesus, I don't believe this! (ATL: "Quarantine")
- I should have stabbed him. That would be best. I've had enough of this. (ATL: "Identity")
Behind the scenesEdit
- David Nykl was born in Prague in what was then Czechoslovakia.
- Nykl originally auditioned for a role of a Russian character. However, due to his Czech background, the producers gave him a Czech part.
- He was originally given the part of Zelenka for just one episode. However, due to good reception from the fans and the Atlantis production team, his status was upgraded to a recurring character.
- Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis both aired in the Czech Republic and have acquired a sizeable fan following there. When the character of Zelenka was introduced, he (and actor David Nykl) predictably became the darling of the Czech fans (more so because it is quite unusual to have a Czech character on an American TV show).
- In a deleted scene in season 5, Radek is seen arguing with Rodney McKay over the use of the 9th chevron, arguing it could send someone across the universe . (ATL: "The Shrine")
- Along with John Sheppard, Rodney McKay, Elizabeth Weir, Teyla Emmagan, Samantha Carter, Chuck and Walter Harriman, he is one of only eight characters to appear in all five seasons of Stargate: Atlantis. However, Carson Beckett appears in Season One to Three while his clone appears in Seasons Four and Five.