Gallery Episode Transcript

"Common Descent" is the seventeenth episode in the second season of Stargate Universe.


Destiny discovers the survivors of an interplanetary expedition who claim their civilization, Novus, was founded two thousand years earlier by Destiny's crew.


A group of people are forced to evacuate to Destiny after an attack on Icarus Base by the Lucian Alliance, and are now trapped there. Dr. Nicholas Rush breaks the master code and discovers the Bridge. After the rest of the crew discovers the bridge, Rush asks Colonel Everett Young to embrace Destiny's mission. After a failed Alliance invasion, Homeworld Command believes an attack on Earth is being planned. Young is grief-stricken over the death of Sgt. Hunter Riley. After discovering a battlefield, Destiny awakens several Berzerker drones that launch an attack. Before an attempt to dial Earth inside a Star, an alternate Dr. Nicholas Rush is found on an Ancient shuttle and convinces the expedition to abort the attempt. In the Alternate timeline, Colonel David Telford is the only one to make it to Earth.


Destiny's CO2 scrubbers are running low on lime, and are at only 20% efficiency. Lt. Tamara Johansen reports to Colonel Everett Young that a couple of people sleeping on the fourth floor have reported headaches and nausea, which Young assumes to be a result of the scrubbers. He tells TJ about the lime problem. The ship drops out of FTL. Young radios for an update. Dr. Dale Volker notes that two gates are in range, but only one is active. The active one looks promising, so Young prepares a team.

Eli Wallace wanders on to the observation deck, where Chloe Armstrong and Camile Wray are talking. He tells them that the team has found supplies they can use. Chloe wonders if they found any more purple fruit, which they apparently came across a while ago. Eli is confused, as the fruit tasted horrible, but both imply some sort of alternative use for it. As Eli tries to get an answer out of them, Chloe calls his attention to some movement in the distance. Unexpectedly, six Berzerker drones descend upon the ship.

Young, Lt. Matthew Scott, and MSgt. Ronald Greer arrive on the bridge, the latter two taking over navigation and weapons, respectively. Dr. Lisa Park notes that there must be a Control Ship nearby, which will have more. Meanwhile, Eli meets up with Dr. Nicholas Rush in the Control interface room. He is routing power to shields and weapons. Greer manages to take out the drones, but Park states that they will not be able to fight off an entire armada, and they cannot jump for another two hours. Scott detects the Control Ship, which is closing in. Young orders Scott to push the engines to maximum, but this doesn't give them enough speed to outpace the Control Ship. Furthermore, they will not be able to sustain acceleration for the full two hours.

Young meets with Rush in the control interface, curious as to how the drones have followed them. Rush isn't sure. Young suggests the inactive drone as the cause, and though Eli insists it to be dormant, he orders it jettisoned just in case. Park radios in to inform him that the engines have shut down to prevent an burnout. The Control Ship has slowed, too, but will still catch them in less than an hour, while FTL will not be available for another hour and nine minutes.

The drone is jettisoned out of the third, unused docking bay. A shot from the turrets destroys it. Eli pessimistically states that it will do no good if the drones destroy them, assuming the drone was sending some kind of signal in the first place. Rush stares at him critically, so he apologizes for "panicking out loud." The Control Ship moves into range with five minutes left on the clock. It launches its drones, which begin their assault. Rush diverts all remaining power to the shields, allowing Destiny to jump with minimal apparent damage.

Eli joins Scott, Greer, and Chloe in the mess hall. Chloe asks about the repairs, and Eli laments the fact that they only have two repair robots. Scott thinks they should be lucky to have that many, while Eli finds their mere survival to be lucky, aware that they cannot survive another attack like that. Scott hopes the drones will not be able to track them again.

Destiny comes across a viable planet and is preparing to stop. Young is hesitant to leave FTL, but Dr. Adam Brody points out that they need lime for life support. Young would like the ship to be repaired further, but Rush assures him that the critical issues have been dealt with. While he cannot guarantee that they will be safe, they will have trouble breathing if they ignore the lime. Young agrees to investigate. No drones are detected when they drop out.

Scott leads a small team through the Stargate. Greer spots movement in the bushes, and two humans, Jason and Ellie, emerge shortly thereafter. Scott orders them to freeze. He is surprised when they respond in English, while they are surprised that they used the Stargate. They recognize Scott and Greer, proclaiming them to be their ancestors.

Young holds a meeting with Rush, TJ, Eli, Chloe, and Wray. Jason and Ellie claim to have descended from Destiny's crew, who founded a civilization 2,000 years ago. TJ wonders how this could have happened, and Eli realizes that it must have been the duplicate crew created when they attempted to dial Earth from within a star. Since there was no Destiny to receive them that far back, they went to a nearby gate instead. Eli marvels at the fact that an entire civilization descended from them, seeing little appreciable difference in the fact that their duplicates are the ones responsible. He is curious to know how they developed, and wants to speak to them. Young confirms with Rush that the drones are nowhere in sight. Rush reminds Eli of their need for lime. Young allows Chloe, Eli, Scott, Greer, and Wray to go.

The team meets with Jason and Ellie at the gate. They are amazed at the crew's presence, considering they all died a long time ago. Eli assures them that there's a good reason they're alive, and Elli makes mention of a testament which foretold Destiny's arrival. Eli assumes he wrote this. They offer to take the team to their settlement. Wray is surprised when they radio ahead, a much more sophisticated technology than she would have expected. They explain that their civilization was founded on Novus, another planet. This settlement is one of several on various worlds, looking for viable colony sites. They have been unable to dial Novus for a long time, decades at least, and cannot dial anywhere else.

Jason introduces them to Yaozu, their leader. Camile notes that "Yaozu" was her father's name. He shows them inside one of the tents for tea, introducing them to Landon, Abigale and Betty. Betty compliments Greer on his appearance, which he is flattered by. Yaozu reiterates that they never thought Destiny would come. Eli would like to see their written history, but Wray encourages him to take it slow. Yaozu begins by reciting a Chinese greeting, which Wray translates as "May all things go according to the wishes of those who hear it."

The team arrive to the Novan camp.

As concurrently explained by various members of the crew, the colony only numbers about 100 people, but Novus has millions and advanced technology. The colony teams were sent out due to a natural disaster on their homeworld, but Novus has been out of contact for 30 years. In addition to the natural disaster, political tensions were rising between the two dominant countries: Tenera and Futura. The Tenerans, from who this colony is descended, followed the writings in the testament, written by some of the crew. Tenera loosely translates as "Land of Young". The Futurans, in turn, worshiped Rush, having come to believe he was still on Destiny and would rescue them. Volker thinks the name is stupid, though Brody disagrees. Eli reveals that Brody was the one to invent it. He has a copy of Kino footage recorded during the founding of Novus, explaining that the Kinos are analogous to the Dead Sea Scrolls on Earth. Rush's only concern is the supplies, and Park expresses disbelief that Brody would found an entire country on the idea that Rush would save him. Volker continues to mock the name he picked.

Scott and James help organize the supplies being brought in from the colony while Wray gives Yaozu, Betty, James, and Ellie a tour. They come to the bridge, where Rush, Park and Volker are currently working. Rush is quick to leave. James and Ellie are scared by Rush, so Yaozu explains how the Tenerans have demonized Rush into a soul-stealing monster. Wray assures them that Rush is not so bad. When they mention how Rush is seen as God-like to the Futurans, she adds that they won't mention it to him.

Eli plays the Kino footage he was given by the Tenerans. He watches with Chloe and TJ. The first entry is Eli showing off the site where Novus will be founded. The name is a shortened form of Novus Mundus, "New World" in Ancient, which Volker suggested.

Wray leads her group back to the gate room. They exchange thanks for the help they have given each other. Yaozu has something more to ask. He would like Destiny to transport the colony back to Novus. They are unable to sustain themselves without support from Novus, and thus need a way back home.

Eli urges Young to take the colony on board, since, regardless of their relationship to the crew, they are human. Wray notes that the colony has done everything to help Destiny despite their own desperate situation. Young isn't convinced they could transport that many people, but Eli believes it would be possible. The trip would take a week and it would drain most of their lime reserves, leaving them right back where they started, but they'd make it. Rush argues against the idea, since they have no guarantees that Novus would possess the needed resources, or even be habitable after all this time. He asks about the cause of the problems on Novus, which is suspected to be a rogue black hole. The entire solar system could be torn apart, though such a process could be hundreds of years off. Rush adds that they don't know how the drones followed them, so they can't risk a drain on resources. Young decides against taking the colony, but will stop by Novus to repair the gate if possible.

Another Kino video shows TJ giving birth, the first child born on Novus. Young is apparently the father. The next video is Eli in front of a group of cabins. It has been ten years since they arrived. Eli has had a child by this point, although with who is not stated. While he believes that their time on the planet has been worthwhile, he wishes his mother could see it. The next video is set far enough ahead that Young is now an old man. Young speaks of a group wishing to break off, presumably the start of the two countries that would eventually form. He admits that he may not have been the best leader, but as a group they will survive and prosper as long as they work together. Young has joined TJ and Chloe in viewing the videos. Eli hopes that this will sway his decision regarding the colonists, but it doesn't. He would like to help, but doesn't see how they can do it safely.

TJ's first child is born.

Eli, Wray, Scott, and Greer return to the planet to inform Yaozu of the decision. Eli expresses hope that they'll be able to get the Novus gate working. An explosion sounds in the distance, and a drone darts overhead. Knowing what is coming, Scott ushers the colonists to the gate. Drones are also attacking Destiny. Young wants Scott to be brought back, but Scott has already dialed in, asking to bring the colonists. Young reluctantly agrees. Unfortunately, the drones shoot a section out of the Stargate, disabling it before the evacuation can finish. Scott, Greer, Wray, Eli, and the majority of the colonists are trapped. Young is forced to retreat, leaving them behind.

On the planet, Eli states the obvious about their situation. Wray believes they might come back, but both Eli and Scott know they won't return as long as they suspect the drones are still there, unaware that the drones have since retreated. When Jason asks about the drones, the team explains their purpose to him. Greer is confused as to how the drones knew to attack the planet as well as Destiny, and Eli realizes that they must have found a way to track the active Stargates Destiny uses. Wray calls attention to the colonists' additional settlements, which would have similar technology. Jason and Ellie leave to warn them, but Greer knows that it's too late.

The gate is broken.

On Destiny, Rush has made a similar deduction about the Stargates. Rush recommends switching to shuttle use until they get far enough away that the drones likely won't be able to detect further gate activation. Park is worried about the team on the planet, but Rush points out that going back would risk the ship and its crew. Young agrees, and passes this decision on to Yaozu, who made it though.

Scott finds Eli working on the damaged gate. The gate will never be functional again, but its subspace transmitter could be used to contact Destiny to send a message. Scott is worried that the signal will attract the drones, but Eli is relatively sure that it is weak enough not to provoke them but strong enough to reach Destiny. For now all he can do is it on and off, but this gives Scott an idea.

On Destiny, Brody berates Volker's name for Novus, "Novus Mundus", though Volker is quick to point out Brody's own poor name choice. Young comes in with Park. Brody and Volker have been watching the colony's gate activate and deactivate seemingly at random. Young recognizes the pattern : it is morse code. He calls Rush and Chloe to the bridge.

Eli wakes up on the planet. Wray is worried that they won't be going back to Destiny, but Eli isn't ready to give up. Scott runs up to tell Eli that his plan worked. As confirmation, Destiny's shuttles fly overhead. Young has radioed in, and intends to move the colonists.

Novus from space.

In the Destiny mess hall, Eli moves through the crowd to join, Scott, TJ, Chloe, and Park. Their journey is almost over, and Eli is glad they'll be able to offload the passengers. Scott has enjoyed the time, though Park notes Rush is quite upset that they've used up all the lime they collected in taking them home. Some of the colonists have expressed a desire to stay, a request Eli wonders if Young will grant. TJ is concerned that the planet won't be there, but Eli is sure that it will be some time before the planet is destroyed. Chloe is concerned that the political situation might have resulted in war, and both sides had nuclear weapons. Eli is confident that they would have worked out their differences, but the others aren't so sure. Young comes in to retrieve Scott. The will reach Novus soon and he is to take a shuttle down. Eli asks to join him, and Young allows it.

The abandoned city on Novus.

Jason, Ellie, Yaozu, Greer, and Wray have joined the shuttle mission. As they approach Novus, Scott can detect no radio signals. Passing through the atmosphere, Scott hits a layer of dust and ash, and the surface temperature is low. Listening from the bridge, Park believes this to evidence of a nuclear winter. Passing through the cloud cover, the shuttle teams sees an intact but apparently abandoned city. There is no radiation, no detectable power signatures, and no signs of life. Rush clarifies Park's assessment to a volcanic winter, likely the result of a super volcano. Scott makes a lower pass, but there is no sign that anyone has lived there for a long time.


Appearances for Common Descent





Sentient Species




Notable quotes

Eli: That was close.
Chloe: Yeah. How are the repairs going?
Eli: Could be worse, I guess. We could use a few more of those robots.
Scott: Shoot, you're lucky you have two.
Eli: No, we're lucky we're still alive. This ship can't possibly hold up against another attack like that.
Scott: Well, hopefully they can't track us anymore.
Eli: Don't you hate having to start that sentence with 'hopefully'?

Eli: The people in the expedition were all from one country, called Tenera. They follow the teachings of this book, the Testament, which apparently some of us wrote.
Park: Wait, Tenera. That's Ancient. That means 'the land of the young'.
Brody: Or, the land of Young.
Eli: There was also another group of evacuees, who blamed the other me for what happened. They thought Rush was still on board Destiny and would one day come and rescue them. Eventually, he became some kind of a savior figure. They broke off and formed a country of their own.
Brody: Called, let me guess, Russia?
Volker: That's funny.
Eli: They called it Futura.
Volker: Really?
Brody: What's wrong with Futura?
Volker: It's a dumb name.
Eli: (indicating Brody) Apparently, he came up with it.

Park: (to Brody about Rush) I can't believe you helped found an entire country based on the hopes that he would come and rescue you.
Volker: I can't believe you named it Futura.
Brody: Shut up.
Volker: Seriously, isn't that a font?

(Wray brings Jason, Ellie and Yaozu to the bridge)
Wray: This… is our bridge.
Jason: This is awesome!
Volker: (to Park) He said awesome.
Wray: I'd like you to meet Dr. Rush.
Rush: Hello. (Jason and Ellie become quiet and uncomfortable and look at the floor.) I was just leaving, actually... Well, you can stay as long as you like. I'm sure Drs. Volker and Park have many amusing stories to fascinate you with.
Wray: Um, is everything all right?
Yaozu: There are those somewhat less enlightened among our people who believe he is a demon, who rips souls from human bodies and takes them to hell, where they suffer for all eternity.
Park: Oh it's funny how things have a way of getting twisted and exaggerated over time.
Volker: Well, others don't.
Wray: Uh, he's not that bad.
Ellie: Many Futurans worship him like a god!
Wray: We…won't tell him that.

Alternate Eli: This is the spot where we're going to break ground. Hard to imagine now, but one day, hopefully, this will all be one big city. Oh, and we took a final vote last night to name the planet. I suggested it should be something Ancient. Volker said 'Novus Mundus', which means 'New World'. While appropriate, nobody really liked the sound of 'Mundus', except Volker. Anyway, 'Novus' ended up winning out. Which, it's kind of strange. 'Cause it just-it means 'New'. Like, new what? Well, new everything, I guess… So, Novus it is.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This episode indicates that the other Seed ships (excluding the one they encountered) are at least 2,000 years ahead of Destiny.
  • Destiny type Stargates appear to be far less durable than their Milky Way and Pegasus cousins, which were shown to be survivable against meteor strikes and all but the most powerful Nuclear warheads. A Berzerker drone's energy weapon is shown to blow a hole through a section of the Stargate in this episode. This is most likely because the others are made of Naquadah which makes them able to absorb massive amounts of energy whereas these ones would only be made out of the materials collected by the Seed Ships.
  • The description of the two countries that formed on Novus during their history is vaguely reminiscent of the two factions that arose within Alteran society. Those who followed Colonel Everett Young's philosophy (the Tenarans) seem to be scientifically inclined while those who originally agreed with Dr. Nicholas Rush (the Futurans) ironically had a more religious bent as he was described as representing a "messianic figure" to them. This is not unlike the path that lead to the division of the scientific Ancients from their religious counterparts, the Ori.
  • While discussing their first contact with the People of Novus, Eli Wallace argues for further exploration, citing how "cool" it is that they are the Destiny crew's descendants. Chloe Armstrong remarks that Eli must've played a lot of SimCity growing up, though he responds that the scenario is more like SimEarth. Both games are part of a popular franchise by Maxis that allows the user to develop various forms of society scaling from individuals to cities to entire worlds.


  • During the initial battle with the drones at the beginning of the episode, MSgt. Ronald Greer shoots one of the Berzerker drones down and it plummets into Destiny's hull. In a zero-gravity environment like space the body of the drone would not have dropped downward as it did, it likely would've continued its original trajectory due to the drone's inertia or an altered trajectory due to the impact of Destiny's pulse weapon. In either case, the drone should not have dropped as if it were in-atmosphere (or as if Destiny were large enough to produce its own gravity well).

Other languages

  • Hungarian: Közös eredet (Common Lineage)
  • Russian: Общее происхождение (Common Ancestry)

External links

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