|Original air date|
David Nykl as Dr. Radek Zelenka
|Atlantis Season 2|
|Season 1||Season 3|
The team find an outpost on an uninhabited planet, and find that the Ancients were researching a power source which would render Zero Point Modules obsolete. Meanwhile, Ronon Dex learns that not all Satedans were killed during the Wraith attack.
When Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team finds a planet with a destroyed Wraith fleet in orbit, they decide to investigate. They find a devastated planet and on it an intact Ancient outpost. Dr. Rodney McKay discovers that it is a Lantean science lab conducting experiments, as part of Project Arcturus, to create the successor to the Zero Point Module. While in the lab several Lantean bodies are found and questions about the safety of the experiment are asked. McKay in his usual bravado believes he can succeed where the Lanteans failed. McKay's rationale was that the scientists were under stress from the on-going Lantean-Wraith war and were pushed to failure.
However on the first test of the experiment, Dr. Collins, a technician, is killed by a burst of Hard radiation. The safety of the experiment is reevaluated. However, McKay believes that the formulas used by the Ancients were wrong, thusly leading to the accident. He convinces Sheppard to talk to Dr. Elizabeth Weir in allowing him one more chance to test the device. Colonel Steven Caldwell backs him up, stating that they need this power source to eliminate the Wraith, run Atlantis' shield and even eliminate fossil fuels.
While they are gone, Dr. Radek Zelenka realizes why the hard radiation is being created and why the experiment won't work. The reason why the project failed was because by attempting to withdraw vacuum energy from our space, it creates exotic particles that interact with the energy field in unpredictable manners. He attempts to convey this to McKay who retorts back that Zelenka is jealous of his brilliance, and charges forward. McKay starts up the experiment correcting what he believes were the Lanteans mistakes when the experiment begins to accelerate out of control. McKay continues to attempt to compensate for this uncontrollably when Sheppard finally quips that he's seen this behavior before when fighter pilots who tried to fix a crippled plane instead of ejecting and end up flying straight into the ground. This anecdote seems to set McKay back on track when he looks Sheppard in the face and says "We need to go, NOW!".
As they leave in the Puddle Jumper the Dorandan firing unit on the top of the lab (presumably used for both defense and for bleeding off excess energy) begins firing non stop and targeting the Puddle Jumper (luckily with Sheppard flying they avoid the worst of it). Yet even with Sheppard's skills, it would be difficult to fly through the Stargate, in orbit, without being shot down. As Sheppard attempts to figure out a plan, the Daedalus suddenly rises between the weapon and the Puddle Jumper, Caldwell having decided to drop by and check on their progress on his way back to Earth. Caldwell has the Daedalus run interference for Sheppard's Puddle Jumper, enabling Sheppard and McKay to get through the Stargate safely. The Daedalus then escapes into hyperspace moments before the explosion destroys 5/6 of the solar system.
Meanwhile, Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex have been on a diplomatic mission to a Belkan city to foster a trading relationship. While at the local tavern Ronon runs into Solen Sincha an old comrade and discovers that not all the people of his planet Sateda had been captured or destroyed by the Wraith. The remaining people of his planet, three hundred or so, are scattered across several different worlds. He also learns that Kell, his old mentor, is also in the city and arranges to meet him. The meeting is over rather quickly when Ronon, upon seeing his old mentor, kills him instantly with a shot to the chest. Teyla, horrified by his actions, confronts Ronon, who explains that during their stand against the Wraith, Kell acted with extreme cowardice and sacrificed entire squads of soldiers to save himself. Upon hearing his explanation Teyla agrees that she would probably have done the same thing if she were in his shoes, but that Weir and the others would not be so understanding of his actions and they should keep this incident a secret.
Ancient; Athos; Athosian; Belkan (people); Belkan (planet); Belsa; Canadian Forces; Coffee; Daedalus; Harry K. Daghlian; Doranda; Doranda outpost; Doranda system; Dorandan; Dorandan firing unit; E-mail; Hard radiation; Hive ship; Hot dog; Inertial dampener; Influenza; Lantean-Wraith war; Los Alamos; Manaria; Manhattan Project; Nobel Prize; Optican; Particle magnum; The Pentagon; Plutonium; Project Arcturus; Puddle Jumper; Radiation poisoning; Sateda; Satedan; Sateda military rifle; Vogel; Wraith; Zero Point Module
McKay: This is definitely Ancient design. Their latest stuff. (blows a large amount of dust off the console) Their latest stuff being ten thousand years old.
Sheppard: Best case scenario?
McKay: I win a Nobel Prize.
Sheppard: Worst case scenario?
McKay: We tear a hole in the fabric of the universe. (Sheppard looks horrified) Which is much less likely to happen than the Nobel Prize. I mean, look, the risks are nothing compared to the potential benefits. Elizabeth will listen to you. I have never asked this of you before, but I think I've earned it. Trust me.
Caldwell: A weapon that could effectively eliminate the Wraith threat is very attractive to me, and to the people that I work for. I'm not hiding that fact. But there's more to it, isn't there? No more hunting for ZPMs; the shield at full strength; faster, more powerful ships. How 'bout a power source that could provide the energy needs for an entire planet? No more fossil fuels.
Weir: I get it! And if it worked as advertised, it would be wonderful. I'm trying to tell you I know Rodney McKay and there are times when I have to protect him from himself.
Sheppard: I can do that. Let me go back with him - just him and me. You can activate the Stargate any time you want to contact us by radio.
Weir: He really sold you.
Sheppard: He asked me to trust him.
McKay: Okay, we've been over this. I'm doing it maually, at half power. It's a cakewalk.
Zelenka: I don't think it matters how much cake you walk on.
Weir: ...putting your life and other people's lives at risk. You destroyed three-quarters of a solar system!
McKay: Five-sixths, but it's not an exact science.
Weir: Rodney, can you give your ego a rest for one second?!
Weir: (via radio) Rodney, I cannot afford to lose either one of you. Now tell me: can you do this?
Sheppard: Are you sure?
Sheppard: Are you sure you're sure?
McKay: I said yes!
Sheppard: Because if you're wrong...
McKay: I'm not!
Sheppard: (to his radio) I'll call you back after the test - how does that sound?
Weir: (via radio) You'd better.
McKay: (to John) I won't let you down.
Sheppard: Alright, that's it. We're outta here.
McKay: It's not safe! The weapon's firing at random targets above the planet. This is the safest place to be right now.
Sheppard: The place isn't gonna be safe for very much longer!
McKay: I can bring it back under control! Just give me a second!
Sheppard: No, you can't!
McKay: Just one second!
Sheppard: I've seen this before, Rodney: pilots who wouldn't eject when something went wrong - trying to fix their planes right until it hit the ground.
McKay: OK, we need to leave. I've waited too long - the weapon can't discharge enough power to avoid a catastrophic overload. This whole planet's gonna go up. Not that your speech wasn't working.
McKay: (to John) Don't you understand? This explosion is gonna take out three quarters of the solar system. There's no way we can fly far enough or fast enough. We have to head for the Gate.
McKay: Oh, Colonel! Colonel! I've been looking all over for you.
Sheppard: I heard.
(folds with arms as he turns back to face Rodney)
McKay: I suppose I deserve that. Look, I just, um, I wanted to apologise about what happened. I was wrong - I'm sorry. And I wanted to assure you that, uh, I intend on being right again - about everything, effective immediately.
(John smiles slightly)
McKay: That was a joke.
Sheppard: Good one.
McKay: I've already apologised to Elizabeth... and Radek... and I thanked Colonel Caldwell for, uh, caring enough to spy on the experiment from orbit. I sent him a nice little email, actually. But I saved you 'til last 'cause, um, honestly, I would... I would hate to think that recent events might have permanently dimmed your faith in my abilities, or your trust. At the very least, I hope I can earn that back.
Sheppard: That may take a while.
McKay: I see.
Sheppard: But, I'm sure you can do it, if you really wanna try.
(explaining an energy weapon to Sheppard)
McKay: The sticking point is that, ah, there is no tie between the power generator and the primary capacitor.
Zelenka: Meaning that they would have to channel the power directly into the weapon.
McKay: Which I'm sure that means nothing to you.
Sheppard: It means they could fire multiple bursts without having to store more power for the next firing sequence.
McKay: (surprised) Yes... very good.
Sheppard: Which leads me back to 'cool'!
McKay: You need to avoid flying predictably to prevent the weapon from locking onto us.
Sheppard: I know what I'm doing.
McKay: I'm just saying: be sure not to fly in a straight line.
Sheppard: Rodney, shut up!
McKay: Can I just say there's no way the Jumper can take even one direct hit?
Sheppard: I'll keep that in mind.
- The title of this episode is a reference to the Trinity test where the U.S. first succeeded in detonating an atomic bomb in New Mexico on July 16, 1945.
- On the screen when McKay is briefing Weir about Arcturus, only very basic physics equations are displayed (like F=MA), mocking McKay for being clueless as to what he is really talking about.
- According to writer Damian Kindler, Ronon Dex's lines in this episode were written before Jason Momoa was cast in the role.
- According to Director Martin Wood on this episode's DVD commentary, actor Jason Momoa insisted that the knife Teyla Emmagan used on Ronon have a real blade as opposed to a fake, plastic one, so as to add to the realism to the scene.
- The Doranda outpost set would be redressed and used as the set for the Ancient ship, Aurora, a few episodes later.
- Although he is referred to as Dr. Collins in the dialog, Mark Pawson is credited as Collinsworth in the episode credits. "Collins" could be a contraction/ nickname.
- Mark Pawson (Dr. Collins) previously played Reporter in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Chain Reaction" and Secret Service Agent in the episode "Lost City, Part 1".
- Sean Campbell (Solen Sincha) previously played SSgt. Bridges in the Stargate SG-1 episode "1969".
- Christopher Gauthier (Mattas) is best known for playing Vincent on Eureka.
- When Ronon Dex meets up with Solen Sincha he says "For years I believed I was the only survivor" But when he first got to Atlantis he was surprised at the images of Sateda destroyed, he was obviously expecting there to still be a civilization, with many survivors.
- When Dr. Rodney McKay goes to Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's room to pitch the return visit, during the entire scene his com link mic oscillates from against his face to one inch or more away from it. Several times.
- Corpses and clothing would have turned to dust after 10,000 years.
- The Skeleton's could only have remained intact for 10,000 years if the facility had remained hermetically sealed. Fatal weapon overload would have also killed al the bacteria and micro-organisms affecting the deceased Lantean scientists.
- GateWorld. on