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THE STARGATE FAQ

New to the Stargate universe? This FAQ may contain minor spoilers for all episodes aired to date in the U.S. Click here to read the original Stargate SG-1 FAQ, written in 1998 by alt.tv.stargate-sg1 founder Sean Fitzgibbons.


MERCHANDISE
  When is the newest season of Stargate coming out on DVD?
  What Stargate merchandise is available?
  Where can I buy licensed Stargate merchandise?
  What do I do with a defective DVD?
  Where can I find the watch / jacket / hats / etc. that they wear on the show?
  Is there an official Stargate fan club?
  Where can I find out about Stargate fan conventions?

GATEWORLD
  Who are you? Is this an official site?
  May I use GateWorld's episode info / character descriptions / reviews / interviews / etc. on my site?
  May I translate GateWorld's content into another language for my site?
  May I use images from GateWorld on my site?
  Why don't you publish summaries / transcripts / schedules for episodes airing first in Canada or the U.K.?
  Will you publish my fan art / video / idea?
  How can I change my GateWorld Forum username?
  How can I close my GateWorld Forum account?
  How can I support this site?

THE CAST AND CREW
  Why did Richard Dean Anderson leave the show? Will he be back?
  Where can I write to the cast or crew?
  Can I tour the set of Stargate?
  Where can I send a story idea? Can you give me the producers' e-mail address?
  How can I audition for the show? Or become an extra?
  What happened to Daniel in Season Six? Why did Michael Shanks leave the show?

GENERAL
  What is the right order to watch each SG-1 and Atlantis season and movie?
  Why does everyone in the universe seem to speak English?
  What will become of Sam and Jack's relationship in the future?
  When will we meet the Furlings?

BROADCAST INFORMATION
  Who makes Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis?
  Where are the shows first aired?
  Why isn't SCI FI Channel airing Season Eight reruns?
  Are the episodes I am watching edited?
  What is the correct order of episodes? (Why am I seeing episodes in a different order than you list here?)
  Why are there different opening sequences?
  Why is my station a year behind SCI FI?
  For how long will SG-1 and Atlantis be produced?

THE STARGATE
  How many chevrons are on the Stargate?
  Is the Stargate wormhole one-way or two-way?
  How did Apophis walk back through the open Stargate in "Children of the Gods?"
  How do probes send signals back through the gate?
  What is the "whoosh" effect we see when a wormhole is established?
  How many symbols are on the Stargate?
  How many symbols are on the dial-home device (D.H.D.)?
  How does the Stargate address system work?
  Can't you pinpoint an exact location with only four points?
  How many planets can be reached by the Stargate?
  How does the Stargate know when to shut off the wormhole?
  Why doesn't Earth have a D.H.D. (dial-home device)?
  Why doesn't the gate room shake anymore when the Stargate is activated?

THE IRIS
  Why does Earth's Stargate have an iris?
  What is the iris made of?
  Has anyone ever penetrated the iris?
  Why is the iris not disintegrated by the wormhole?
  Doesn't SG-1 risk being splattered against another planet's iris?

THE GOA'ULD
  Who are the Goa'uld?
  What is the life cycle of a Goa'uld?
  Does Teal'c's symbiote control him?
  Who are the Tok'ra?

'STARGATE' THE MOVIE
  What differences are there between the movie and the TV series?
  Isn't Abydos suppose to be in another galaxy?
  What's this about missing footage?

THE NEWSGROUP
  Is there a Stargate newsgroup on USENET?
  What is spoiler space, and how do I use it?
  How much spoiler space should I use?
  Can I post pictures, video clips, or sound clips?



GATEWORLD

Who are you? Is this an official site?
GateWorld is an independent news and entertainment site. We have no official connections to MGM, the SCI FI Channel, or Stargate Productions. In short, we do what we do for love of the shows! Read more about the site's history and staff.

May I use GateWorld's episode info / character descriptions / reviews / interviews / etc. on my site?
We are not currently granting permission for other fan sites to reprint original content from GateWorld. Instead, we encourage fan site webmasters to create their own content (or ask visitors to contribute), to make their site a unique and valuable contribution to online fandom!

May I translate GateWorld's content into another language for my site?
We are not currently granting permission for other sites to translate and reprint original content from GateWorld, except in rare instances. Instead, we encourage fan site webmasters to create their own content (or ask visitors to contribute), to make their site a unique and valuable contribution to online fandom!

May I use images from GateWorld on my site?
Most of the images on this site -- photos and screen captures -- are copyrighted by MGM Television and SCI FI Channel / NBC Universal. We cannot give permission for you to use them. Other images that are owned by GateWorld may not be reused.

Why don't you publish summaries / transcripts / schedules for episodes airing first in Canada or the U.K.?
GateWorld has historically been a U.S.-based site, though a significant portion of our visitors come from the U.K., Canada, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. We hope to expand our offerings to the specific interest areas of viewers in other countries down the road.

On some rare occasions, new episodes air first in Canada or the United Kingdom. For the time being, we've decided to continue to publish only U.S. air dates and schedules, and to not publish full episode summaries, transcripts, and reviews until after they have aired in the States. Much of this is pragmatic, since the site's creators live in the U.S. and haven't seen the episodes until they air on SCI FI. But we encourage fans in the U.K. and Canada to chat about the new episodes after they've premiered there at GateWorld Forum!

Will you publish my fan art / video / idea?
We're considering a fan art and possibly a fan film section for self-publishing down the road (as we currently have for fan fiction). Till then, we recommend that you upload your work to a free file hosting service and post a link at GateWorld Forum. That's also the best place to chat with other fans about your ideas for the show!

How can I change my GateWorld Forum username?
E-mail webmaster@gateworld.net requesting and authorizing your name change. The e-mail must come from the address you used to register, to prove your identity. Be sure you are happy with your username when you sign up -- changes will be made at the webmaster's discretion, and only if the requested username is not already taken. Multiple requests from the same user will not be met.

How can I close my GateWorld Forum account?
E-mail webmaster@gateworld.net requesting and authorizing your account to be disabled. The e-mail must come from the address you used to register, to prove your identity. Your account will be disabled, but all posts you have made and private messages you have sent will remain.

How can I support this site?
That's an easy one ... visit! GateWorld is here for you to enjoy. An occasional click on a banner ad for one of our sponsors also helps our ad revenue. If you'd like to help financially support the site more directly, buy something nice for yourself! The site receives a percentage (usually between 5 and 7 percent) of every dollar you spend when you visit Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk through GateWorld's links. (Your cost for the item is exactly the same -- GateWorld just earns a commission.)


THE CAST AND CREW

Why did Richard Dean Anderson leave the show? Will he be back?
Anderson ("Jack O'Neill") departed the regular cast of Stargate SG-1 after Season Eight, in order to spend more time with his young daughter at home in California. (Stargate films on an arduous schedule in Vancouver, British Columbia.) In fact, Anderson originally did not intend to continue the show past Season Five, but continued on in an increasingly reduced capacity for three more years because of the cast, the crew, the fans, and the show's newfound success on the SCI FI Channel.

The writers promise that Jack O'Neill will remain very much alive off-screen, and Anderson has kept his options open for one day returning to the franchise (be it in a feature film, a TV appearance, or a guest spot in later seasons). He appeared in small roles in the ninth and tenth seasons (and the third season of Atlantis), and in the movie Stargate: Continuum.

Where can I write to the cast or crew?
   The Bridge Studios
   Stargate Productions
   2400 Boundary Road
   Burnaby, British Columbia, V5M 3Z3
   Canada

Can I tour the set of Stargate?
The production studio does not offer public tours of the Stargate sets in Vancouver. If you'd still like to give it a shot, please contact the studio for more info! Fans who attend Creation Entertainment's annual Stargate convention in Vancouver do have the opportunity to tour the set.

Where can I send a story idea? Can you give me the producers' e-mail address?
The producers of Stargate, like those of most shows, for legal reasons do not accept unsolicited ideas or scripts. The best approach for aspiring writers is to approach the studio through a reputable agent. Please contact the studio for more info. GateWorld cannot forward material or put you in direct contact with any of the producers.

How can I audition for the show? Or become an extra?
We can't help you here, unfortunately. Please contact the show's casting agency (the names are available in the show's credits) through a reputable agent. The show does not take fan volunteers, no matter how talented.

What happened to Daniel in Season Six? Why did Michael Shanks leave the show?
Actor Michael Shanks chose not to renew his contract at the end of the show's fifth season. There is a wealth of published articles and interviews on the subject. The short of it is that Shanks was not happy with the direction that his character had taken in Seasons Four and Five, and that his unique talents as an archeologist were not being utilized (there were more Earth-based conspiracy stories, and fewer explorations of ancient cultures on other planets). Shanks has stated that he approached the producers about it, but was not met with a willingness to accommodate his request.

For reasons that fans will no doubt speculate on until the sun goes nova, Shanks returned as a full-time cast member for Season Seven. He also made three guest appearances in Season Six: "Abyss," "The Changeling," and "Full Circle," and provides the voice of Thor in "Prometheus," "Unnatural Selection," and "Disclosure."


GENERAL

What is the right order to watch each SG-1 and Atlantis season and movie?
We've assembled a Recommended Viewing Order to answer this question.

Why does everyone in the universe seem to speak English?
This is an unfortunate byproduct of having to tell a story in less than an hour. Just think if Daniel had to spend time every episode learning the aliens' language, or teaching them English! It's a sacrifice that the producers make in order to tell a new story on a new planet every week, and actually have alien characters who someone can understand.

A very few human cultures on other civilizations speak English because they were taken from Earth by the Goa'uld from an English-speaking country -- such as the medieval Christian village in "Demons."

What will become of Sam and Jack's relationship in the future?
The writers have expressed that the characters' relationship has been essentially dealt with by the end of Season Eight. Because actor Richard Dean Anderson is no longer a regular on the show, viewers should not expect their relationship to find its way into many stories. A veiled reference here and there, such as Carter's comment to N.I.D. Agent Barrett in Season Nine's "Ex Deus Machina," imply that they may have a continuing personal relationship now that she is no longer under his direct command.

When will we meet the Furlings?
The Furlings -- never really seen but only mentioned in Season Two's "The Fifth Race" and Season Six's "Paradise Lost" -- have become perhaps the most asked-about topic in Stargate history. Writer Robert C. Cooper reportedly made up the species name because he needed a fourth member for the ancient alliance, since "the fifth race" sounded better than "the fourth race."

To poke fun at the insatiable desire of fans to see the Furlings, the writers put them into the opening of the 200th episode as part of a fake "Previously On Stargate SG-1" segment. They were short, furry, Ewok-like creatures who were technologically advanced, and whose planet was apparently destroyed due to SG-1's arrival. The sequence was followed by Sam Carter stating, "That never happened!"


MERCHANDISE

What Stargate merchandise is available?
A Stargate SG-1 patch, cap, T-shirt, dash compass, sweatshirt, glass mug, CD case, DVDs, and more are currently available for sale at MGMStore.com. Be advised that, at last look, MGM does not accept international orders (outside the United States).

Trading cards are available from Rittenhouse Archives, Ltd., and novels are available from Fandemonium Ltd. (StargateNovels.com). The series has also spawned toys, action figures, magazines, a comic book series, calendars, and much more. Hopefully, other toys will be available soon.

Where can I buy licensed Stargate merchandise?
Check out the MGMStore.com and Creation Entertainment for official Stargate T-shirts, sweatshirts, patches, hats, photos, calendars, glassware, and much more! Individual licensees also often sell their own products online.

When is the newest season of Stargate coming out on DVD? Blu-ray?
Watch the News > Products section of GateWorld for the latest info on DVD, Blu-ray, and other product releases. Note that the full-season boxed sets are typically not available until several months after the U.S. broadcast has concluded.

What do I do with a defective DVD?
We'd recommend returning your disc(s) to the place of purchase for an exchange. Most retailers are used to dealing with the occasional defect, and won't scoff -- especially if you still have your receipt. Otherwise, contact FOX Home Entertainment or MGM customer support for instructions on replacing your disc.

Where can I find the watch / jacket / hats / etc. that they wear on the show?
Check Creation Entertainment's online store to see what licensed clothing items are currently available (including SG-1 patches). If you want something on the show but it's not yet available, send them and e-mail and let them know you'd buy it!

Real-world military items including uniforms, watches, weaponry, etc. might be found at your local military surplus store.

Is there an official Stargate fan club?
There is! The official club (currently a low-key affair) is operated by Creation Entertainment.

Where can I find out about Stargate fan conventions?
Visit GateWorld's Conventions section for a list of upcoming events around the world with Stargate-related guests! Full details on the officially licensed Stargate convention tour can be found at Creation Entertainment's Web site.


BROADCAST INFORMATION

Who makes Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis?
SG-1 was produced by Kawoosh! Productions. Atlantis was produced by Acme/Shark Productions -- different production companies, but the same producers, writers, and office. They are filmed at The Bridge Studios near Vancouver, British Columbia. Both series are distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Television.

Where are the shows aired first?
The shows air on SCI FI Channel in the United States. (For its first five seasons, SG-1 was aired commericial-free on the Showtime subscription cable channel in the U.S.) They are later aired on Sky One and Channel Four in the United Kingdom, Channel Seven in Australia, TV2 in New Zealand, Global, Movie Central, and other stations throughout Canada, and in many other countries. Several months after a season has concluded, it makes its way to the general syndication market in the U.S. Sky One is usually several months behind SCI FI from July to December, and some years a week or two ahead from January to March (when the season concludes in both countries). Sky One typically starts the new season in October, and airs all 20 episodes straight through with no reruns.

Why isn't SCI FI Channel airing Season Nine reruns?
Season Nine is currently airing in U.S. syndication. Since only one network may have the rights to any given season at any time, SCI FI can't air Season Nine until it finishes its syndication run in September, 2007.

Are the episodes I am watching edited?
Some episodes contain profanity and nudity, which is edited out in most broadcasts. (These are exceedingly rare; there is nudity and profanity in the uncut version of "Children of the Gods," and one swear word in "Within the Serpent's Grasp." Occasionally, viewers have noted where their local broadcast has been slightly trimmed from the original Showtime episode (for time constraints or for excessive violence), especially where the show airs before 10 p.m.

Different countries also have different standards for violence and profanity on television. Stations in the U.K., for example, have been known to trim short bits out of episodes.

What is the correct order of episodes? (Why am I seeing episodes in a different order than you list here?)
Both Stargate series air first on cable in the United States, then in national syndication (your local FOX / CW / etc. station) a little over a year later. The show also airs in dozens of countries worldwide, and is released on DVD. Each of these may have a slightly different order for some episodes. Why? Because, for most shows, there is no single standard. There is really no such thing as a "correct" order. There is often (but not always) an order intended by the show's producers, which account for issues of story development and references to recent episodes. Often, though -- and especially with stand-alone episodes -- there is not.

For various production reasons, even the original airing order may not reflect the producers' intended order. In SG-1 Season Eight, for example, Daniel knew about "the Trust" in "Affinity" (#807) because it was originally intended to air after "Covenant" (#808) -- in which the organization's name is revealed. The continuity hiccup is only noticeable by fans who intensely scrutinize the show.

GateWorld's episode guide lists episodes in the order of their first run on U.S. cable. Other airing orders, especially syndication, tend to differ very slightly (two episodes reversed about once per season is typical). DVD releases tend to follow the slightly altered syndication order.

Why are there different opening sequences?
Episodes that aired on Showtime in the United States began with the "movie style" introduction, as the camera slowly pans across the statue's features. In the syndication market, the original introduction was a little more fast-paced. It shows the actors and multiple scenes from the show's first season -- a more traditional intro, probably to appeal to the average viewer. Showtime subscribers already pay to watch the show.

On the SCI FI Channel, the first three episodes of Season Six began with a new (short-lived) intro, with multiple close-up shots of the gate spinning, seen from different angles. It was replaced with a new intro (beginning with "Frozen"), based on that, but includes shots of the actors intercut with scenes from the series. Beginning with "Metamorphosis," the shot of O'Neill awaking in a sarcophagus (from "Abyss") was replaced with him firing his pistol (from "Paradise Lost"). The intro was altered again for Season Seven, with Michael Shanks replacing Corin Nemec and a few new shots being added.

Seasons Eight and Nine also got brand new intro sequences, the latter to account for major cast changes. The first 10 episodes of Season Nine originally aired on SCI FI with a severely shorted, 10-second sequence, only to be replaced with the full version when fans complained. The same was true of the first half of Atlantis's second season; the full, new intro premiered in January 2006 in the U.S.

These new intro sequences for later seasons also aired in syndication. Outside the U.S., introductions vary -- though it seems that the syndicated versions are more common. These versions also appear on the DVD releases, and have become more standardized since Season Six.

Why is my station a year behind SCI FI?
Syndicated episodes are a little more than a year behind the first-run on SCI FI, because of the network's agreement with MGM/Sony (who distribute the series). Contractually, episodes cannot be run in the syndication market until the season has been completed on cable. So, it takes a year for the first run and reruns to air on cable before the syndicated market can get them.

The syndicated season begins in fall (usually mid-September) after having finished its run on cable the previous summer. MGM then staggers the air dates of the show to appear like a normal, made-for-syndication program -- a few new episodes, then reruns, then new episodes, then reruns, etc., until the season finale is shown in May.

For how long will SG-1 and Atlantis be produced?
Season Ten and Season Three are now in production! Though Atlantis has been picked up for a fourth season, SCI FI regrettably SG-1 this year. According to current news, the show will follow the season finale next fall with a pair of SG-1 movies, probably direct-to-DVD (but perhaps televised as well). Stay tuned to GateWorld for the very latest.


THE STARGATE

How many chevrons are on the Stargate?
Nine, spaced at 40-degree intervals, though only the top seven are usually visible (theramp in the S.G.C.'s gate room and the pedastals on most planets hides the lower two). In "Stargate" the movie, you can see the tip of one of the lower chevrons just to the left of the smaller ramp in the Abydos Stargate chamber, as Daniel puts on his cap soon after arriving.

Though some have claimed that there are only seven chevrons on the gate, the bottom two are clearly visible in some episodes (most notably "Nemesis," when the gate is transported to Thor's ship, and "Redemption, Part 2," as the gate is raised out of the S.G.C.).

Is the Stargate wormhole one-way or two-way?
One-way, as has been established in the film and in multiple episodes ("Prisoners," "Serpent's Song," "A Hundred Days", "Watergate" and "Prodigy" are a few).

How did Apophis walk back through the open Stargate in "Children of the Gods?"
Look closer -- you can see in one brief shot that the Stargate has deactivated. Apophis may have had a hand device that reactivates the Stargate automatically. (We see the gate activated similarly by Lya in "Enigma," by Cassandra in "1969" and by Thor in "Small Victories.") While there's no direct evidence, it's a possible explanation for a series discontinuity.

Another possible (and perhaps more like) explanation is that Apophis ordered his Jaffa to dial the gate by manually pulling the inner track around, something SG-1 has been forced to do on occasion ("Prisoners").

How do probes send signals back through the gate?
Radio waves are unaffected by the wormhole's uni-directional nature, perhaps because they are not matter and thus would not be "swept away" by the wormhole's gravity "currents." Two-way radio communication is possible through the Stargate. This is also the means by which the M.A.L.P. probe send back audio and video to the S.G.C.

What is the "whoosh" effect we see when a wormhole is established?
It's an unstable vortex generated by the formation of a wormhole between two Stargates. The "whoosh" is seen whenever a wormhole is established (unless the iris is closed over the gate -- see below), and disintegrates anything in its path. The wormhole is not stable until the vortex retreats.

How many symbols are on the Stargate?
Thirty-nine: 38 remote constellations, and one for the point of origin. Occasionally, the point of origin has been a different symbol than the ones normally shown ("Children of the Gods," "Solitudes," "The Gamekeeper").

How many symbols are on the dial-home device (D.H.D.)?
Thirty-eight: two concentric rings of nineteen symbols each. This would suggest that the point of origin is hardwired into the D.H.D., but D.H.D. users have been clearly shown to enter seven symbols before pressing the red "button" in the centre, meaning that it might not be possible to reach all destinations from every gate. This is also a probable point of inconsistency in production, since on occasion DHD users dial only six symbols before pressing the center panel.

How does the Stargate address system work?
There are 39 symbols on the Stargate, each representing a constellation of stars -- or more accurately, a point in space. Six points are required to pinpoint an exact location in three-dimensional space (three lines that intersect from the X, Y, and Z axes at a single point). A gate address consists of seven symbols -- these six, plus a seventh: the point of origin, which is always the same when dialing from Earth.

Can't you pinpoint an exact location with only four points?
Yes. Four points can define the angles of two lines in three-dimensional space, which (if they intersect and are not equal) will meet at one and only one point, which can be calculated with relative ease. However, given the distribution of constellations on the Earth Stargate, it is fairly apparent that this is not the method used by the Stargate to calculate destination addresses.

How many planets can be reached by the Stargate?
Theoretically, there are thousands of planets in the Stargate network -- though the S.G.C. has addresses for only a few hundred of them ("Prisoners"). But the Stargate addressing system allows for several million unique addresses.

How does the Stargate know when to shut off the wormhole?
The wormhole apparently disengages automatically when the last person or piece of equipment in transit has emerged through the receiving gate. However, the wormhole can be maintained for a maximum of 38 minutes ("Serpent Song," "Chain Reaction," and others).

Why doesn't Earth have a D.H.D. (dial-home device)?
The D.H.D. for the original Stargate was missing from the dig at Giza ("Stargate" the movie, "Children of the Gods") -- though it later would come into the possession of Russia ("Watergate"). When it was briefly loaned to the S.G.C. to rescue Teal'c, an overload destroyed the D.H.D. It took Earth scientists 15 years and three supercomputers to "MacGyver" a way to dial the gate.

A D.H.D. was discovered with the second Stargate in Antarctica ("Solitudes"), but was not used by the S.G.C. Carter informed us in "Frozen" that it eventually just stopped working; it had a limited power source. Regardless, it would likely pose too great a security risk to install a D.H.D. in the S.G.C. (for example, an enemy could escape easily, without having to know how to operate the base computers).

Why doesn't the gate room shake anymore when the Stargate is activated?
Probably for the same reason the SG-1 team doesn't arrive with ice crystals on their faces anymore (as they did in the pilot episode, "Children of the Gods"). Or, maybe General Hammond ordered them to install shock absorbers. It is stated in a conversation between Jackson and Hammond in the first season episode "Solitudes" that the frequency dampeners had been installed in the base. The second Stargate on Earth was located by the seismic tremors that it caused.


THE IRIS

Why does Earth's Stargate have an iris?
The iris was installed in the first episode ("Children of the Gods") as a protection against unwanted arrivals. Once it was determined that anyone on another planet could dial up Earth, and that many of the people who would want to do that were hostiles, it was decided that some form of protection was warranted. On a planet like Abydos, the answer was simply to bury the Stargate, but Earth wanted to explore -- and so needed to find another way to control incoming traffic.

Every member of an Earth SG team carries a G.D.O. (short for "garage door opener"), which allows the team member to transmit a numerical ID signal to Earth so that iris will be opened.

What is the iris made of?
The original iris, installed in "Children of the Gods,", was made of titanium. After it was destroyed by a blackhole's gravity in "A Matter of Time," a new iris was installed. It is composed of a titanium-trinium alloy. (Trinium is the metal found on the Salish Indians' world in "Spirits," and is approximately 100 times stronger than steel.)

Has anyone ever penetrated the iris?
Multiple times, actually. The Goa'uld Sokar bombarded the iris with a partical weapon, threatening the iris' integrity and broadcasting an image and sound ("Serpent's Song"). A Re'tu called "Mother" deactivated the iris herself from the SGC computer to let Charlie enter the S.G.C. ("Show and Tell"). The Tollan -- an advanced and nonhostile race -- used their phase-shift technology to walk right through the iris ("Pretense"). And the Asgard caused a power drain at the S.G.C. and prevented the iris from being closed ("Small Victories").

Why is the iris not disintegrated by the wormhole?
There is a microscopic gap between the iris and the wormhole event horizon -- less than a few microns ("Serpent's Song"). Just as the iris does not allow matter to reintegrate, so also does it not allow whatever it is that makes up the "whoosh" to burst forth. Though the Stargate is occasionally activated with the iris already closed, the "whoosh" does not reintegrate and affect the iris. It is apparently not necessary in order for a wormhole to be established.

Doesn't SG-1 risk being splattered against another planet's iris?
After making first contact with a new Stargate, the S.G.C. always sends a M.A.L.P. probe through to check the area. Missions are only considered if the planet appears safe and a D.H.D. can be found near the gate, so that the team can return home.


THE GOA'ULD

Who are the Goa'uld?
The Goa'uld are a parasitic race who came to Earth thousands of years ago to take humans as hosts. The Goa'uld pose as gods, ruling planets throughout the galaxy through fear and with their advanced technology. They have lived on Earth in centuries past, assuming the personas of various dieties. The Goa'uld are ruled by the System Lords, a few dozen of the most powerful among them, who live in a tenuous relationship with some Goa'uld and war with others.

What is the life cycle of a Goa'uld?
A Goa'uld queen must find a suitable host race. She extracts that race's DNA (as seen in the first season episode "Hathor"). The Goa'uld queen uses that DNA to create infant Goa'uld larvae suitable for melding with that race. These larvae can then be stored in special chemicals in revered areas ("Bloodlines").

These infant Goa'uld larvae need to be protected and nurtured to maturity. They are placed within Jaffa (specially adapted members of the chosen species) in a ceremony known as the "prim'tah" (the word also refers to the larval symbiote implanted). The Jaffa have a pouch in their stomach (created during the ceremony or by a device such as the one Hathor used in "Hathor"), containing essential nutrients for the Goa'uld infant. The cost to the Jaffa is the loss of their immune system, which is now provided by the Goa'uld. In return, they gain increased strength and longevity. Without the larval symbiote, the Jaffa will die within hours ("Bloodlines") and vice-versa.

The Goa'uld therefore serves as the Jaffa's immune system, though the two beings have no other connection. The Goa'uld stays in this state until it reaches maturity -- a period of about eight or nine years. The Jaffa has several prim'tah throughout the course of his life. But a Jaffa can only carry so many primta before they wear out ("Maternal Instinct", "Threshold").

The mature Goa'uld is removed from the Jaffa and a suitable host body is chosen. It usually enters the body through the back of the neck, wrapping itself around the spinal chord ("The Enemy Within") and worming its way into the brain. It takes over the host's body, supressing the host's personality but not destroying it. It is very difficult to remove without killing the subject or leaving parts of itself still embedded in the brain (Kawalsky -- "The Enemy Within"). The Goa'uld is normally evident in the body due to a glowing of the eyes and a deep, distorted voice. However these can both be masked by the parasite ("The Enemy Within").

If the host body dies, the Goa'uld must find another host body, or it too will die ("In the Line of Duty"). If the Goa'uld dies first, the host body usually dies as well ("Serpent's Song"). Occasionally, a Goa'uld will die but leave its host alive ("Thor's Hammer," "In the Line of Duty"). In this case, the symbiote shrinks and is absorbed into the body, leaving behind a protein marker. This allows the previous host to detect the presence of Goa'uld and to use Goa'uld technology ("Thor's Chariot"), and allows other Goa'uld to detect that he or she once was a host.

Goa'uld can sustain a human host approximately 203 years. After that, it must find a new host or use a sarcophagus. With sarcophagus technology, a Goa'uld can sustain a human body indefinitely.

Does Teal'c's symbiote control him?
No, Jaffa only keep larval Goa'uld as they mature. Think of a Jaffa as an incubator. They keep the immature Goa'uld safe, and in return the restorative abilities of the Goa'uld give the Jaffa health and long life. The symbiote is Teal'c's only immune system -- he cannot live without it. Unlike the Goa'uld-host pairing, the Jaffa pairing is much more symbiotic.

After the larval symbiote has matured (a process that takes about eight years), it is removed from the Jaffa and implanted in a host. The Jaffa is given a new symbiote, so long as he remains young and capable. If a symbiote matures and cannot find a host, it takes over the Jaffa as its host ("1969") -- though this is probably a last resort ("Crossroads").

Who are the Tok'ra?
Tok'ra literally means "Against Ra" ("The Tok'ra, Part 1"), but specifically refers to the Goa'uld resistance movement. The Tok'ra resemble the Goa'uld -- they both take hosts and are both worm-like creatures. However the patent difference is that the Tok'ra do not take hosts against their will -- and generally only take hosts who are dying (thus offering their hosts something in return). They will never supress their hosts mind and live in a truly symbiotic relationship (as opposed to the Goa'uld, who are parasitic).

It was the work of Ra, the first System Lord to go power hungry, that made the Tok'ra band together to try and overthrow the System Lords (and hence the Goa'uld way of life). They are guerillas of a sort, and go from planet to planet, with no central location to avoid detection, destroying and rebuilding their bases as need. They are a tremendously valuable ally of Earth and the S.G.C.


'STARGATE' THE MOVIE

What differences are there between the movie and the TV series?
Many of the inconsistencies listed below have been explained in the series, especially the pilot episode ("Children of the Gods"). The following list should be relatively complete.
  • The original movie was created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich under Centropolis Entertainment, but they have no involvement in the series -- and are actually rather upsetat the way it has been developed. It strays dramatically from their own vision of the story (much of which can be found in the series of "StarGate" novels by author Bill McKay).

  • Colonel Jack O'Neil was played by Kurt Russell. Colonel Jack O'Neill (two L's) is played by Richard Dean Anderson.

  • Dr. Daniel Jackson was played by James Spader. He is now played by Michael Shanks.

  • Sha'uri was played by actress Mili Avital in the film. In the series, Sha're (note the difference in spelling and pronunciation) is played by Vaitiare Bandera.

  • Viveca Lindfors played Catherine in the film. She is portrayed in the series by Elizabeth Hoffman (beginning with "The Torment of Tantalus").

  • Kawalsky and Ferretti were played by John Diehl and French Stewart, respectively. In the series, the same characters are played by Jay Acovone and Brent Stait.

  • The Stargate program was housed deep inside the Creek Mountain facility, a converted missile silo. It is now housed deep inside the remarkably similar-looking Cheyenne Mountain Complex, several floors under N.O.R.A.D. (also a former missile silo).

  • The Stargate program was commanded by General West in the film. It has been handed over to Major General George Hammond in the series.

  • Jack O'Neill's son is named Charlie in the series. In the film, an award certificate can be seen in the child's room, identifying him as "Tyler O'Neil." (Fans have supposed that he may have gone by his middle name.)

  • Ra's race has been identified as "the Goa'uld" in the TV series -- and he wasn't the last of his kind. The Goa'uld are a dominant species in the galaxy, and multiple System Lords compete for power.

  • Ra's race are not bipeds that bear a resemblance to Roswell Greys in the series, as Ra himself appeared to be in the film. The Goa'uld are parasitic worms who control the host body (usually a human). Roswell Greys in the series are the Asgard.

  • Ra's soldiers in the film did not have symbiote pouches. In the series, the Jaffa and their role as incubators for Goa'uld symbiotes is established.

  • Ra's right-hand man (or First Prime) in the film is called "Anubis" in the credits. In the series, Anubis is a powerful Goa'uld System Lord who has been absent for a thousand years.

  • In the film, the Abydos gate had a completely different set of symbols. In the series, all gates appear to have relatively the same set (symbols based on constellations as seen in Earth's night sky).

  • The Stargate, it has been discovered, goes to many different planets, not just Abydos. There are potentially thousands of gates in the network.

  • Isn't Abydos suppose to be in another galaxy?
    In the movie, while tracking the M.A.L.P. probe's progress through the wormhole, one of the operators in the control room states that it is on a planet located in "the Kaliem galaxy." However, in "Children of the Gods," Captain Carter postulates that stellar drift has caused other addresses to become inaccurate, but Abydos may still work because it is the closest destination in the stargate network. It should be kept in mind, though, that this statement was made "off the cuff," without being able to compare data from any other worlds (as Abydos was, at that time, the only planet to which Earth had connected).

    Based on the fact that almost all of SG-1's travels are within our own galaxy's Stargate network, this does seem to be an inconsistency.

    What's this about missing footage?
    The "Special Edition" and "Ultimate Edition" of "Stargate" the movie are available on VHS and DVD, and contain nine minutes of film that was cut from the theatrical release. One replaced scene at the beginning of the film shows Ra arriving on Earth and abducting his human host 10,000 years ago. Another shows the corpse of a Jaffa guard found in the dig at Giza in 1928, which O'Neil later looks at at the base -- evidence that the Stargate may indeed lead to a threat to Earth.


    THE NEWSGROUP
    Is there a Stargate newsgroup on USENET?
    Visit alt.tv.stargate-sg1 for daily discussion of all things Stargate! If your Internet service provider doesn't carry it, e-mail them and request that it be added.

    Please observe common Net etiquette when posting:
    - Include spoiler space and warnings when appropriate
    - Do not post images or HTML messages
    - Only quote the portion of a message to which you are directly replying
    - Stay on topic
    - Avoid excessive profanity and flaming

    If you'd like to post or receive Stargate images, sounds, video and other files, visit the binaries group at alt.binaries.stargate-sg1.

    What is spoiler space, and how do I use it?
    Spoiler space is required in the discussion group when posting plot points about a specific episode. It is a courtesy shown to those who have not yet seen the episode, so that they don't have anything "spoiled" for them. (This is especially important because Stargate SG-1 is broadcast in at least five countries -- others lag behind the U.S. broadcast several weeks or months.) Spoiler protection allows people who have seen the episode to discuss it with you, and wards off those who haven't seen it and don't want to view the message accidentally.

    Announce your intention of the episode you will be discussing (including the season number helps, too), scroll down in your composition window approximately 15 to 20 lines, and begin your comments. It helps to count rows with numbers, so that people browsing through the newsgroup do not overlook your message below.

    Also, never give away plot details in your subject line. Don't say things like, "Oh, no! They killed off Daniel!" or "How long have Fraiser and Hammond been romantically involved?" The subject line on a spoiler post should read something like, "Nemesis Question - Possible SPOILERS" or "SPOILERS for Nemesis." This tells the reader what you plan to discuss, and that it will contain details of that episode.

    Use common sense: if a guest character shows up as a plot twist, you're still spoiling others by simply titling your post "Nemesis - Colonel Maybourne."

    The first line of your post should also note the episode title and season (regardless of season number), with spoiler space following. Don't assume that people will always read the subject line.

    How much spoiler space should I use?
    When posting material that may spoil a particular episode or event for someone who hasn't seen it, include enough blank lines to force your post to scroll down below the first screen on the average monitor, so that readers must scroll down to read it. Fifteen to 20 lines is usually sufficient.

    Can I post pictures, video clips, or sound clips?
    No -- it is a violation of Internet etiquette to post binary files (that's pretty much anything other than plain text, including HTML-formatted text) to a standard newsgroup. There are separate groups for binary files. Visit alt.binaries.stargate-sg1 for Stargate images, sounds, video and more!



    FAQ Contributors: Darren Sumner, Jeff Lee, Iain Clark, Richard Lister, nepvetm@worldnet.att.net, Kailin Yu, Aidan McGuinness, Robin Moore Fiscoe, Matthew Berg, Carl Waring, Robin Tibbs, Shelley.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed, even if your name is not listed here!




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