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COVENANT
 
RATINGS SCORECARD
GATEWORLD - * * *
FAN POLL - 7.30
SCI FI RATING - 2.1

Season Ratings
EPISODE NUMBER - 808
DVD DISC - Season 8, Disc 2
ORIGINAL U.S. AIR DATE - 08.27.04
SYNDICATION AIR DATE - 11.07.05
STORY BY - Ron Wilkerson
TELEPLAY BY - Ron Wilkerson & Robert C. Cooper
DIRECTED BY - Martin Wood
GUEST STARRING - Charles Shaughnessy (Alec Colson), Tom O'Brien (Brian Vogler), Kendall Cross (Julia Donovan), Chris Sheilds (Capt. Mike Shefield), Ingrid Torrance (Staffer)
A businessman threatens to expose the secrets of alien life to the world, forcing Stargate Command to bring him into the loop.

Alec Colson, President and C.E.O. of Colson Industries, calls a press conference to dispute the meteor shower incident that cost the lives of thousands five months ago. "We are being lied to, and the truth is being covered up," he tells a room of reporters. He then gives the world governments who are concealing the truth 24 hours to reveal the real story to the public -- or he will do it for them.

General O'Neill orders Colonel Carter and Dr. Jackson to Colson Industries to meet Alec in person and attempt to dissuade him from going public with whatever information he has. While there Colson shows them images his satellites have taken, including Anubis's fleet and the battle over Antarctica. He assures them that he has far more information, and has no intention of backing out.

Twenty-four hours to the minute, Colson reappears in his press room. The governments have only responded with silence, forcing him to go to the next level. As the crowd turns around to the back door of the room, an Asgard enters. Blinded by the camera flashes, he covers his eyes. O'Neill and SG-1, watching the live broadcast, wonder what their next move will be.

Stargate Command gets a message back from Thor. He knows no Asgard currently operating on, or in orbit of, Earth, and surely no Asgard would allow himself to be used in such a manner.

Back at Colson industries, Alec and his team monitor as the media crazily lines up for interviews with the creature (which has the capability of speaking, but not the brainpower). It was a genetic experiment, and the DNA was acquired from the department of defense. Essentially, it is an empty shell until an Asgard consciousness is transferred inside.

The Pentagon orders Stargate Command to deal with the problem, and immediately Thor is summoned. He uses his beaming technology to transport the clone and all of Colson's research aboard his ship, away from their hands. Shortly afterward Carter appears on Julia Donovan's program, Inside Access, and explains how Colson's alien was a holographic trick. Thor appears as a hologram and plays along to solidify her position to the viewers.

Shortly afterward Colson's airplane is forced into an emergency landing after takeoff. The plane had depressurized in mid air. Colson calls Sam. He is safe, but he questions if Washington had something to do with the incident. She says she would have never went on-air to discredit him if she knew he was going to die.

Before O'Neill and Thor meet with the President, Carter proposes they let Colson in on everything; show him why it's so important not to go public. Meanwhile, Colson is not stopped. He intends to go forward with the images and pieces of the downed Goa'uld craft from Antarctica. Brian Vogler, his closest assistant, urges him not to go forward. "They tried to kill us," he says. In the midst of their argument Alec is swept away to the S.G.C. by Thor. He is soon introduced to the "real" Asgard and the Stargate.

Carter provides him with a uniform and takes him to the Alpha Site, where he meets some of the officers and is introduced to the F-302, a ship his company helped build with multi-engine controls. Sam takes him up for a little fun, and in mid-flight he gets a chance to take the stick, but when he gets control he plummets the craft back to the surface in a crash-dive. Carter switches back over in the nick of time and pulls up, gliding the 302 back to base.

After they land, Colson states that the lecture and the joyride he got in the air will not dissuade him from telling people what they have a right to know. Colson clearly believes knowledge of the Stargate and aliens would unite humanity, but Carter proves that global disaster has happened on other planets who received the exact same knowledge ("Icon").

When Carter and Colson return to Earth Daniel reports a story broke out showing that Colson's businesses are now being investigated for financial fraud. Back at Colson Industries, Brian admits to doctoring the financial statements to pull the company down. The Trust -- powerful people once connected to the defunct rogue N.I.D. -- got to him six months ago. Somehow, they knew the evidence Alec had. Vogler's word alone will not be enough to bail the company out of debt, or them out of jail.

After Brian's family is put into protective custody. O'Neill receives a phone call saying that Vogler hanged himself in his bathroom.

Carter visits Colson, who is obviously distraught, toying with a pistol. He feels directly responsible for his best friend's death. Sam says congress is ready to provide relief to the company's work force so that they will be able to survive, and informs him that her superiors have given her authorization to make a proposal. Since there is nowhere on Earth that he will be able to hide, they have offered him life on another world.

- D. Read

ANALYSIS
  • Alec Colson has a net worth of over 60 billion dollars and is Number 8 on the Fortune 500 list. His wife and daughter died in a plane crash when he was 24. It is why he developed Colson Aviation.

  • Colson's father was a newspaper reporter who was jailed during the McCarthy era. His family has a strong history of believing the person has a right to know about what their government is doing.

  • As far as the general public is concerned, over 2,000 American servicemen and women were killed when a meteor shower disrupted global communications and hit a United States naval group on maneuver in the Pacific Ocean. In reality, it was Anubis' forces ("Lost City, Part 2").

  • Colson Aviation developed the multi-engine control (M.E.C.) systems for the F-302s. They were also called to Antarctica to aid in the cleanup of the wrecked Goa'uld and Earth craft that had recently engaged in battle over Atlantus outpost, though no one was informed that most of the debris was of alien origin.

  • NOTES
  • Julia Donovan's show, Inside Access, was only mentioned in "Prometheus," but it is shown in action in this episode.

  • After Colson breaks the initial news, Daniel gets 13 messages from Emmett Bregman -- the reporter who did the behind-the-scenes look at the top secret Stargate program on behalf of the U.S. government ("Heroes").

  • P4X-650 is the planet where the new Alpha Site is based (deep inside a mountain, like the S.G.C.). It is 640 light years from Earth.

  • PRODUCTION
  • Kendall Cross reprises her role as the plucky Julia Donovan from Season Six's "Prometheus".

  • Alec Colson's character was originally named Andrew Colson, and is intended to be a recurring character.

  • "Alec Colson gets to fly in this super-sonic sort of plane that he's semi-designed, but it's been taken on by the Stargate people and some alien technology added to it, so it now actually flies between planets. But it's built like a jet fighter, and we got to play in it. I actually got a scene with Amanda Tapping in this thing. And Alec, my character, gets to fly it for a while. And it really did feel like being in an F-18.

    "It's an interesting episode. It deals with an interesting subject. It deals with the responsibility of a government: What responsibility does it have to tell the people all the truth when it feels that the truth might not be best for them to know? In other words, if there is a truth out there, if there is something going on, to what extent does the government have a right to decide that it's better for the people of the planet of Earth to not be aware of this particular fact? My character is one who believes that the truth is always right, should always be told, and I guess the Stargate people and the government rather feel that if the truth were out it would be a bad thing for the planet Earth.

    "Alec Colson is an adventurer and a real enthusiast for life. He's someone who's made a lot of money in the technology industries, aeronautics particularly. He's a billionaire. And rather like Richard Branson -- he's kind of based on Richard Branson -- he uses his money to do really adventurous and exciting things, and to keep pushing the envelope of his experience and knowledge." (Actor Charles Shaughnessy, in an interview at his official Web site)

  • "I asked the Air Force a long time ago what would happen if somebody did find out, and did want to go public. They said, 'Well, we would bring them in. We would show them everything, and then say, now that you've seen everything, you see why we can't tell the world.' Because that happens. I mean, that happens in war. Reporters see stuff they're not supposed to see, and they're asked not to reveal it, and they don't. But in this case, the twist on this story is that, they do bring him in, and he goes, 'Now I want to show the world even more'." (Executive producer Brad Wright, in an interview with the Richard Dean Anderson Web Site)

  • "'Covenant' is about a very rich philanthropist who is insistent that the government come clean. He's sick of the lies, and he wants everyone to come clean. And we are in a position to try to get him to understand that if you reveal all of the truth, then life as we know it on Earth will stop. There will be mass chaos, most likely Roman orgies in the street. Which is not necessarily a bad thing! But you just can't put it on television! They should probably just show the philanthropist the 'Icon' episode, so that he can see how crappy it can get.

    "And Joe [Mallozzi] and Paul [Mullie] thought that we were overusing too much the phrase 'Rogue N.I.D.,' because it seemed like they were nothing but rogue. There was just nothing but bad guys in there, even though they were a standup organization. So they gave themselves a name that they start using in earnest, and they're referring to them as 'The Trust' now. The Rogue N.I.D. have gone off and they actually refer to themselves as The Trust. We never completely wiped out [The Committee], that table full of cigar smoking elderly gentlemen. You know, you can't ever wipe them all out." (Director and consulting producer Peter DeLuise, in an interview with the Richard Dean Anderson Web Site)

  • "[Colson] is one of the more fun characters I've gotten to play and I'd like to find out more about him. I mean, I talked with the show's producers and writers about how Colson's wife and daughter were killed years back in a plane crash. How did he deal with that, and is his carefree life just a little bit of a denial? We even discussed if Alec would still be wearing a wedding ring. I decided on the spur of the moment that he's be the sort of person who would say, 'I've mourned enough. It's time to get on with life,' and off the ring would come.

    "So there's a great deal left to explore with him. The good thing is Colson isn't dead. He's out there somewhere in TV land. Perhaps one day we'll see him again." ("Alec Colson" actor Charles Shaughnessy, in an interview with TV Zone magazine [Special #58])

  • "Hmmmmmm. Not one of my favorites. We really dig ourselves into a hole only to dig our way out and go back to square one. During the big press conference, I wanted one of the reporters to ask: 'Hey, does this alien thing have anything to do with that aircraft carrier that mysteriously disappeared last year?'

    "Stargate Command was in a tight spot, with the truth about its entire operation -- and alien connections -- about to go public. How were we going to get out of this one? Well, while we were brainstorming ideas, someone (won't say who) suggested Thor offer the S.G.C. time travel technology that would allow them to go back in time and undo everything. Wha-huh? The Asgard have time travel technology? Why had Thor been holding out on us? More importantly, with this convenient new technology, the S.G.C. could simply go back in time whenever things didn't go their way (i.e. someone got killed, SG-1 didn't save the day, the Nuggets failed to make the playoffs). Needless to say, that idea didn't fly." (Writer / producer Joseph Mallozzi, in a post at his blog)

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    The Stargate OmnipediaThe Stargate Omnipedia
    SHIPS
    F-302
    mothership, Anubis'
    Prometheus
    TECHNOLOGY
    holographic projection, Asgard
    MISCELLANY
    Alpha Command
    Colson Aviation
    Colson Industries
    Inside Access
    IWN
    Trust, The

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