- "We can't all be Mozarts, right? Some of us are Salieris. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I like Salieri..."
Dr. Dale Volker is a Tau'ri astrophysicist; he considers himself a "pretty fine" one at that. He became stranded on the Ancient ship, Destiny, along with many others after the attack on the Icarus Base.
Volker was born some time in 1975. He had shown some interest in classical music, and recognized the works of Mozart, Salieri, Schubert and Elgar. He also suffers from claustrophobia and high blood pressure. He later participated in the Icarus project and was stationed at Icarus Base. (SGU: "Pain", "Hope")
In 2009, the base fell under attack by three Ha'tak ships. He was forced to evacuate to the Destiny several billion light years away instead of Earth. In the process, he broke his right arm. He later participated in an inventory check after arriving on board the ship and was dismayed to find that all the boxes were marked with a bar code and that there was no bar code reader. He found a bag of seeds in a crate. He was in the Control interface room when Dr. Nicholas Rush and Colonel Everett Young decided who would be on the off-world team that was going to be sent to the desert planet. However, he was not selected for the team. (SGU: "Air, Part 2", "Air, Part 3")
A day after he arrived on the ship Colonel Everett Young ordered him to find a solution to the ship's power shortage by helping Dr. Nicholas Rush. Volker went reluctantly to help him but because of Rush's nicotine and caffeine withdrawal, he threw him out of the room after a brief conversation. He and Young went back to the Control interface room when Destiny jumped out of FTL and discovered that all the power was disappearing. Volker, Young and Rush went into the Gate room and Rush declared that all of the ship's power reserves were depleted. He recorded a message on a Kino that was later sent into space as a "message in the bottle". He was in the Observation deck when Destiny flew through Big Bertha's atmosphere. The following day, he was in the Gate room with the rest of the expedition when Young said that the ship was on a collision course with a star and that they would have a lottery to choose 15 people who would go on the Ancient shuttle to a habitable planet to survive. He was not elected in the lottery and after the shuttle had left Destiny he sat in a room alone, playing cards. (SGU: "Darkness", "Light")
A few days later, Dale was in the mess hall and talked to Dr. Jeremy Franklin, and Franklin said that forty thousand liters of water had disappeared from the ship's water tanks. Volker also said that they had not been drinking it. Franklin responded that it was not a surprise that there was more to what the military personnel are telling them and they might be controlling the water supply, so as to control the civilians. (SGU: "Water")
Several weeks later, when the International Oversight Advisory developed a plan to get home, he was optimistic about the plan. He was sitting in the mess hall when Eli Wallace was talking to Lt. Matthew Scott, Lt. Tamara Johansen, Chloe Armstrong and MSgt. Ronald Greer about the plan, commenting that it would take months to drain the ship's energy reserve at the current rate. (SGU: "Earth")
Over the next few weeks, he continued to help repair and run the ship. He was a member of Lt. Matthew Scott's training program to keep in shape. After the discovery of the Destiny interface chair, Volker, alongside Dr. Lisa Park and Dr. Adam Brody discovered that they could not use it. He was interviewed by Lt. Tamara Johansen about how he got on board the ship and he thought it was okay, especially after hearing the news of the Icarus-type planet Dr. Nicholas Rush had found. (SGU: "Life")
After Sgt. Spencer was found dead, he became suspicious of the rest of the expedition. He was part of the team who tried to crack the Destiny interface chair. Camile Wray put him in charge of the team that was sent off-world to the Gravel pit planet and they discovered an extraterrestrial spaceship. (SGU: "Justice")
He was on the Observation deck when a Nakai mothership showed up and began to attack Destiny. When the civilian personnel started the coup against the military personnel, he was in the Hydroponics lab with Dr. Adam Brody. He was with the rest of the civilians on the observation deck when three Nakai motherships attacked Destiny. (SGU: "Space", "Divided")
He was in the Control interface room when Dr. Nicholas Rush and Eli Wallace discovered the planet Eden and its Uncharted star and commented about how at the age of the star, the planet should be a ball of molten lava. (SGU: "Faith")
Some time later, when Destiny had jumped out of FTL and dialed the Ruins planet, he was in the Gate room. After that, Eli Wallace and Chloe Armstrong saw the video feed of a Kino they had sent to the planet and noted the first evidence of civilization of all the planets they visited. Then he went to the planet to rescue Lt. Matthew Scott, Eli, Chloe and MSgt. Ronald Greer. When they failed, he went back to the Density before it jumped back to FTL. (SGU: "Human")
Two days later, he was in the Control interface room and met with Dr. Adam Brody, Dr. Nicholas Rush, Colonel Everett Young and Camile Wray when Rush said that Destiny will not cope with the void between galaxies. When Brody suggested they should increase engine speed, Dale replied that it could be dangerous, as they did not know how the engine works. (SGU: "Sabotage")
Shortly after the invasion, he was part of a team that was sent to an unnamed planet in the Ancient shuttle to replenish the food and water supply. During reentry, the shuttle lost power and crashed on the planet. After Lt. Matthew Scott and the rest of the team unburied the Stargate, he returned to Destiny. (SGU: "Aftermath")
After feeling unwell for a month, Volker goes to Lt. Tamara Johansen for something to help him sleep and collapses. TJ discovers his high blood pressure problem, which he admits he covered up because he ran out of medication soon after arriving on Destiny and didn't think TJ could do anything about it. TJ explains they have medicinals that would've worked and runs tests on him. TJ's tests reveal that Volker has end-stage renal failure and the only option on Destiny is a kidney transplant. MSgt. Ronald Greer volunteers after discovering he was a compatible donor, and before the procedure, he takes Volker to the Destiny garden as Volker was reminiscing about his garden back at home. The surgery goes well at first and TJ gets the kidney, but as she's about to put it in Volker, a power surge knocks out the Destiny database. Thanks to the help of Dr. Amanda Perry, whose consciousness is now part of the ship, TJ successfully completes the transplant. It seems to work, and Volker later goes for a walk with Dr. Lisa Park's help. (SGU: "Hope")
- In an alternate timeline, Volker was part of the off-world team that went through the Jungle planet in search of food. After three hours on the planet he began to feel sick and had vomited. Afterwards, a few others started to feel sick as well, forcing them to remain on the planet for the night. Volker died of the disease caused by the tainted water from Hoth. (SGU: "Time")
- In another alternate timeline, he was one of the four who died of the disease. (SGU: "Time")
- In another alternate timeline, instead of choosing to return to Earth with everyone else, Volker volunteered to remain behind on Destiny as part of the group that were staying to complete the mission. When things got too unstable, he and the rest of the volunteers headed through the Stargate too, but like everyone else except for Colonel David Telford, he didn't make it to Earth and was presumed dead. However, he ended up on a planet that he and other survivors called Novus, 2,000 years in the past. Six weeks later, Volker's suffers from renal failure and he becomes the first fatality on Novus as there is nothing Lt. Tamara Johansen can do for him on Novus. MSgt. Ronald Greer and Dr. Lisa Park name their first baby after him. (SGU: "Twin Destinies", "Common Descent", "Epilogue")
Behind the scenesEdit
- Dale Volker began as a simple side character, but actor Patrick Gilmore's excellent portrayal of Volker impressed show-runners and Volker has subsequently been given more screen time and more back story. A similar situation occurred with the character of Dr. Carson Beckett, played by Paul McGillion.
- Patrick Gilmore previously played Lt. Bernie Ackerman in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Morpheus" and Genii soldier in Stargate: Atlantis episode "Harmony".
- GateWorld's article on
|Prominent Destiny Expedition members|
|Military||Ronald Greer · Vanessa James · Tamara Johansen · Hunter Riley · Matthew Scott · David Telford · Everett Young|
|Civilian||Chloe Armstrong · Adam Brody · Lisa Park · Nicholas Rush · Dale Volker · Eli Wallace · Camile Wray|