"Avatar" is the sixth episode of the eighth season of Stargate SG-1.


Teal'c tests the Virtual reality pods from P7J-989 SG-1 encountered six years ago, to simulate a Kull invasion of Stargate Command as a training tool for SG personnel. The test is a success, but when Teal'c asks them to make it harder he gets stuck in the simulation, and it turns out that the more he dies the more the likelihood that he will die in real life.


Avatar 1

A Kull warrior invades Stargate Command, in what would turn out to be a simulation.

Stargate Command is under attack by a Kull Warrior, one of Anubis' super soldiers, who wreaks havoc in the Embarkation room and even kills Brigadier General Jack O'Neill. However, Teal'c is able to destroy him with a Kull disruptor from a fallen soldier. It then turns out that this attack was only a simulation. Using one of the Virtual reality pods from P7J-989 (seen in "The Gamekeeper"), modified by Dr. Bill Lee, Teal'c is testing a program meant to simulate a security breach in the SGC. After completing the simulation, he comments on how easy it was compared to actual combat with a Kull Warrior, and volunteers to improve it by allowing it to learn from him while he runs through a scenario.

Unfortunately, it absorbs a great deal from Teal'c's combat experiences, and Teal'c soon finds himself losing multiple times in a row. In addition to simply providing more skilled opponents, the game begins compounding previously encountered difficulties throughout the game. After he believes he has completed one objective, the program adds an additional objective, and even places multiple Kull Warriors into the scenario and provides one warrior with a Goa'uld cloaking device.

In the real world, Teal'c is being shocked by electricity every time he is wounded in the game, simulating the injuries he is sustaining at the hands of the Anubis drones. Though each individual shock is rather minuscule (a safety feature designed to prevent the chair from killing its user prevents it from delivering individually lethal jolts) the cumulative effects begin to worry Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter. Over time Teal'c's adrenaline level rises, as well as his heart rate and blood pressure. If the program isn't stopped, Teal'c will eventually suffer a cardiac arrest and major organ failure. Within the game, Teal'c is progressively improving his style of play each time he has been killed, donning armor and more powerful weaponry when he had previously charged directly into battle.

However, when he has planned an ambush for the Anubis drones and it finally seems that he and the simulated SGC personnel have the upper hand, the game adds another challenge and renders the Kull disruptor useless; negated by newer drone armor. He is again killed and, when the simulation begins again, the simulated Carter reveals that she has been working on a new device to counter such armor, providing Teal'c with the ability to again kill the Kull Warriors. Unfortunately, when it seems that they have won the next round and eliminated all Anubis warriors, the base self-destruct is activated and the game reset. In the next round, although he begins the game by having Carter deactivate the self-destruct, he is unable to eliminate all the Anubis drones. After a fierce hand-to-hand struggle with the third Warrior, he decides it is time to end the simulation.

Unfortunately, the fail-safe built into the game designed to allow a player to quit at any time, activated when the base elevator is taken to the surface of Cheyenne Mountain, instead simply resets the game. The game, which has been learning from Teal'c the entire time, has determined that if this were a real situation (Teal'c wanted it to be as real as possible), Teal'c would never quit under any circumstances. In the next round, instead of the base self-destruct, a Naquadah generator overloads and Dr. Daniel Jackson is revealed to be a Goa'uld, yet another obstacle that the game introduced when it seemed that Teal'c had overcome all the others. Eventually, the constant battles, frequent deaths, and seemingly never ending supply of new challenges overwhelms Teal'c, who simply gives up playing the game, sitting against a base wall and letting the Anubis drones repeatedly destroy the base unopposed.

In the real world, the doctors are discussing various methods of forcibly extracting Teal'c from the chair, a possibly fatal action, and whether or not they can keep his adrenaline levels artificially high for the duration of the game. Meanwhile, Carter is working with another chair simulator and a brain-imprint of Teal'c from six years ago (when they had originally been trapped on P7J-989). She discovers that at the time of their original entrapment, despite what he had told the SGC personnel, Teal'c did not truly believe that the Goa'uld could ever be defeated, and the game appears to be acting upon that belief by continuously adding newer and more challenging obstacle to the game. Though Teal'c had changed his beliefs in the years since, after seeing so many Goa'uld fall and watching a Jaffa Rebellion spring from nothing, he still had a core of doubt that the game is acting upon, even adding new variations to prevent him from winning even when he seems to have earned an advantage.

Thankfully, after an innocent suggestion by O'Neill, Carter realizes that, by hooking up a second chair without using the data recorder that allowed them to monitor Teal'c progress in the game, she would be able to give the second player two seconds of virtual precognition, since they would receive the data before Teal'c's brain can process it. After a short argument about who should enter, it is decided that Dr. Daniel Jackson should enter the virtual simulation via the second chair.

Unfortunately, the first time Daniel finds Teal'c, Teal'c believes him to be a Goa'uld spy (as this had happened in a previous simulation) and quickly shoots him. This happens repeatedly before Daniel convinces Teal'c (whom he has shot with a Zat'nik'tel) that he is there to help. The two decide to work together to end the program but, when Teal'c is again killed by a Kull Warrior, his heart stops beating. Though a doctor in the real world manages to restart Teal'c's heart, such an action will not work again and if Teal'c dies one more time it will likely be permanent. Fortunately, in the last scenario Teal'c and Daniel manage to eliminate all Kull warriors while the virtual Carter deactivates the overloading reactor, and Teal'c kills the Goa'uld infested MSgt. Sylvester Siler when Daniel 'sees' him begin to rise, thus finally ending the program.

In the real world, an obviously exhausted Teal'c weakly exclaims that "We have won", which prompts O'Neill to reply "It's what we do."


Appearances for Avatar




Sentient Species




Notable quotes[]

O'Neill: How was it? Was it fun?
Teal'c: Indeed. You died well in battle, O'Neill.
O'Neill: Obviously there's something defective with this thing.

O'Neill: There we go. Just make sure there's a beginner's level for the rest of us.
Lee: Oh yeah, we can always make it easier … not-not that we'd have to, for you, certainly. I mean, for others, but you-you'd be fine, uh...

Lee: I don't get it. That should be the end.
Jackson: You're saying he should have won?
Carter: That was the conclusion of the originally programmed scenario.
Carmichael: But the chair is not disconnecting.
Lee: Yeah, and the game's not resetting the beginning either.
Jackson: Well that's not fair. You can't win a race if someone keeps moving the finish line.
Lee: He said he wanted it to be harder—more realistic.
Jackson: In reality, we haven't defeated the Goa'uld.

(After Dr. Lee explains how the simulator works with different people.)
O'Neill: Carter, all I heard was "matrix", and I found those films quite confusing.

Teal'c: You possess the ability to see into the future?
Jackson: Yeah, two seconds into the future. And to be honest with you it's kinda freaking me out.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This episode was rated TV-14V instead of TV-PG.
  • This is the only episode in which a Kull Warrior is seen firing both of its Plasma repeaters simultaneously—though this is just in the simulation/game that Teal'c plays.
  • Brigadier General Jack O'Neill makes reference to The Matrix series. In the series, even though a person's mind is linked to a computer, injury in the computer could cause real physical damage to the person. Teal'c was in a similar situation, as every death and injury was putting physical trauma on him in reality. The difference is in the Matrix, if you die in there you die in real life. While whenever Teal'c died in the game, his heart rate would increase more, which would eventually kill him if he died too many times.
  • In the final scene with the Naquadah generator, the glow of it overloading seen in closeups is absent in wide shots. This scene was filmed on a day when the prop was being shared with Stargate: Atlantis and the battery was about to die.


  • In the first simulation when the Kull warrior is killed you can see the Vibram logo on the bottom of his boot. Vibram makes boot soles.
  • In one of the early iterations of the "game", Teal'c's computer avatar is seen scanning his card to get into room 2067-95, labeled "ARMOURY". While this spelling is correct for the residents of Sydney, Australia, where the computer images were produced and British English is spoken, the correct spelling for the United States is "Armory" (American English). Although it's easy to see why this was overlooked as U.S. English is the only variant to not use the "U".
  • When Teal'c is about to throw the Smoke grenade it can be seen that as soon as he removed the safety pin the grenade starts smoking yet the arming lever is still flush with the side of the grenade.

Other languages[]

  • French: Avatar (dubbed in English)
  • Italian: La Simulazione (The Simulation)
  • Spanish: Avatar (dubbed in English)
  • Czech: Nebezpečná hra (Dangerous Game)
  • German: Avatar (dubbed in English)
  • Hungarian: Avatar (dubbed in English)

Links and navigation[]

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Avatar (Stargate SG-1). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with SGCommand, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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