This episode is part 1 of 2; it is followed by "Light".
Gallery Episode Transcript

"Darkness" is the fourth episode of the first season of Stargate Universe.


Dr. Nicholas Rush tries to figure out why Destiny's power reserves are critically low. Colonel Everett Young orders everyone to limit the power consumption. Eventually everything apart from the life support goes down. Fortunately, Destiny reaches a solar system with three planets, giving the crew hope to live another day.


A group of around 80 unprepared soldiers, scientists and civilians evacuate Icarus Base to the Ancient space ship Destiny, located several billion light years from Earth, and are trapped there; the ship doesn't have enough power to dial such distances. They quickly find that the life support system is failing. The ship does, however, dial a planet with the lime needed to refresh the ship's CO2 scrubbers. A team goes through the Stargate, and is able to find what they need.


One day after the expedition repairs the life support, a tired and shaken Dr. Nicholas Rush works on an Ancient console. He grows frustrated when he discovers something on the console. He walks to a nearby area, passing Sgt. Hunter Riley. Riley asks for his attention, only to be rebuffed. Rush arrives at a room to find Dr. Lisa Park and others working on the room's systems. Rush tells her to shut the room's systems off and keep them off, which she does.

The crew meet in the Destiny mess hall.

Meanwhile, Colonel Everett Young talks with some members of the expedition in the Destiny mess hall while Pvt. Darren Becker distributes food rations (powder mixed into water). Camile Wray supervises the group, which includes Eli Wallace, Lt. Matthew Scott and Chloe Armstrong. Crew morale heightens when Dr. Adam Brody informs the team that they have discovered over 90,000 liters of water in the ship's hold. Young reminds those present that this is not a large quantity, but Wray argues that it should loosen rations. A few of those present begin to joke about taking showers, though Eli points out the Destiny showers don't appear to use water. Rush's arrival interrupts the conversation, and Young breaks off the meeting. Most of the others leave while Young and Wray sit with Rush. He informs them that through the night, he noticed power reserves dropping. After the lights flicker, he tells Young to stop everyone from activating anything and thus draining even more power, and Young agrees.

Rush takes his rations and walks back to the console he worked on previously. Riley interrupts him again, but Rush snaps partway through Riley's explanation and throws him against the wall, warning Riley not to interrupt Rush. Another flicker of the lights changes his focus, and he continues back to the console. Elsewhere, Eli activates a Kino and decides to record some of the crew members messages for posterity's sake, should someone (or something) find their recordings if they die or are no longer aboard the ship.

Vanessa James records her message on the Kino.

Another team enters the mess hall. Young, Wray and Becker are still present, but this time with Lt. Tamara Johansen, MSgt. Ronald Greer, Dr. Dale Volker and others. Young and Wray tell them that they need to help Rush, but they don't want anything to do with him. Young also informs them that Scott is working on the second shuttle, which may be operational. After they leave, Wray asks Young what they are to do to Senator Alan Armstrong's body, but Young hasn't any plans on him yet. Becker asks Young his assignment, and Young asks fervently for recipes to make the rations more palatable. Meanwhile, Lt. Vanessa James is the first to record a message on the Kino. After introducing herself, she simply says that she does not want to die out there.

Wray catches Young in the corridors, and wants to know of TJ's role, since she resigned, but under the circumstances, she is reactivated as the ship's medic. He then enters a room with Riley, Park and a few others, who show him a new interesting discover; recharging plates. Riley was able to tweak it to be compatible with Tau'ri technology. He demonstrates by putting a flashlight with a dead battery. A few seconds later, it is recharged. Though he finds it impressive, Young orders it be shut off, since it's draining power. When a solution is found, they can reactivate it.

Matthew Scott activates a shuttle.

Scott is in the working shuttle, and is joined by TJ and Greer, who wish to help, and noting Scott has no flight experience, apart from flight simulations on an F-302 fighter-interceptor. Since he can't figure out the controls, because they're in Ancient, he asks for them to fetch Brody to help translate the buttons and switches. In another section, Chloe notices Eli is closely following her. When he stops, Chloe asks him to keep her company anyway. After they return to walking, Chloe asks Eli if she could check out the showers, which he reluctantly directs her to.

Back in the control room, Young tells Rush everyone has stopped exploring until they are clear. Knowing he is working by himself, Young wants someone to assist him, but Rush says he can do it himself, since it would be a waste of time to bring anyone else up to speed. As he leaves, Young remarks "Volker it is." Later, Sgt. Spencer records a message into the Kino, and tells it that all he wants is to get off the ship. Chloe relaxes in one of the showers. Eli, who is standing outside the room is approached by James, who wishes to talk with him alone.

Volker arrives in the control room. Rush says he doesn't want help. When Volker reminds Rush that Young will just send him back to Rush, Rush relents and asks him to look over data on another console. Rush tells him that the ship is on the verge of losing power, and that if it weren't for their arrival, power would last a little longer on the ship, but their presence increased the draw on power from their interfacing with consoles, the Stargate, and even basic light systems. When Volker argues with him, Rush angrily demands that he leave. Meanwhile, Eli and James arrive at the Observation deck, where several people are waiting. They insist that they wish to talk to him. They wonder if he knows anything about what is going on and if there is any way to dial Earth. Eli denies he or anyone else knows anything about it. Since the group appoint him their "inside man", Eli promises to tell the crew anything that Rush and Young tell him.

Destiny drops out of FTL.

Volker returns to Young who, exasperated, takes tells Volker to go back and work with Rush. When Volker tries to explain that Rush is insistent on being left alone, Young leads Volker back himself. When they return to the Control Interface Room to speak with Rush, lights all over the ship suddenly go out, and Destiny exits FTL. By the time Rush explains that he saw several systems fail very quickly, and that FTL was the last to go out. None of the ship's systems are available to them because Destiny used every last unit of power available to it.

Volker is the next to record a message on the Kino, in the dark. In the message, he compares Rush to Mozart, Schubert or Elgar, and himself to Salieri. Eli walks up to Chloe in the shower, who is struggling to get dressed in the dark. He uses his iPhone as a flashlight as an aid. She insists she is fine and tells Eli to find out what happened, but as he leaves, she changes her mind, and asks him to wait for her first.

Nicholas Rush collapses after a nervous breakdown.

Rush, Young and Volker travel through the ship. Rush tells them that none of the ship's computer terminals work, and that he could not have access to the core systems. As they arrive in the Gate room, Rush grows increasingly irate, launching into an all-out rant about everybody wasting power, including the pointless attempt to dial Earth. As he grows angrier he becomes disoriented at the same time. After he collapses unconscious on the floor of the gate room, Young radios for TJ to assist. Meanwhile, Destiny slowly approaches a star system. Eli records Riley's message on the Kino, and says his relatives never left his home state, and he has "no regrets" about being stranded billions of light years away.

In a dark room, Young, Eli, Volker and Brody surmise what has happened: everything but life support is dead, and Rush isn't expected to wake up anytime soon. They wonder how they can find a way to power up the ship again. While Brody and Volker are unable to think of any solutions and suggest the situation is hopeless, Eli tells Young he sent a Kino around the ship, and then suggests they find a way to integrate the shuttle's power to Destiny's power. The others think it is a good idea, so Young tells them to work on it. They leave as Young prepares another contact with Earth on the situation. Later, Scott is recording a message on the Kino, who starts to pray.

As Young places a stone into the Long-range communication device, Colonel David Telford is reporting back to his shift on Earth, relieving Peter. Moments later, the two connect. Telford awakens on the Destiny, and abides by TJ's note over the rifle, saying "use the crutch." Outside the room, he encounters Riley, identifies himself, and wants to talk to Rush. However, he learns Rush had a nervous breakdown, so he has to settle with Scott. Meanwhile, on Earth, Young finishes his debrief with Lt. General Jack O'Neill. He then asks Major Peterson to send him to his wife. When he arrives, he's disappointed to see that Emily is distant and doesn't want to be touched because he is in someone else's body.

On the Destiny, TJ records a message into the Kino, and tells it that she actually resigned a few weeks ago, before sarcastically remarking "to think I could have missed all of this." Back in the present, Telford enters the operating shuttle to find Scott and TJ inside. Telford seems a little uneasy to see that only the shuttle has power, and wonders why Young would let this happen. Meanwhile, Emily hears what happened to Young, and finds it ridiculous. The conversation does not go well, and fairly quickly, he leaves, but tells her that he loves her. As he is about to leave, Emily exits her house as well, and wonders if he is coming back. After he says he doesn't know, Emily leaves him, and tells him to leave her alone, but hopes he is going to be OK.

Back on Destiny, Telford orders Scott to do something, Scott disobeys the order saying it is a waste of time and the ship was there for a reason. As Scott is explaining the situation to Telford, Young returns to his body, and wonders what Telford ordered Scott to do. He replies that Telford wants Scott to use the communication stones and contact Earth to have Young replaced, something Young himself somewhat agrees to. He then wonders what reason the ship came here for.

Lisa Park explain the ship's current situation onto the Kino.

Park is recording her message on the Kino, and explains the odds of the ship dropping out of FTL right outside a star system is astronomical, even more so to find one with three potentially habitable planets. She continues to explain that because the star is a red dwarf, two of the planets may have a short orbital radius, and may be tidally locked; one side would face the star indefinitely, increasing the geological instability. This makes her reminisce her bad experience with an earthquake when she was 13 years old.

Rush awakens with TJ tending to him. She informs him that nothing happened while he was unconscious, which lasted 10 hours; the first decent sleep he had since he got to the ship. Rush admits that he feels embarrassed about his outburst earlier. Learning he drinks over five cups of coffee a day, TJ tells him he had a breakdown from caffeine withdrawal; several crew members are going through similar withdrawals, as are the smokers on board, which Rush himself is as well. He gets up after hearing Young wants to talk to him. Sometime later, Eli tries to get him say something on the Kino recording, but he has nothing to say, though he does look into the camera for a moment, showing his exhaustion.

A now calmer Rush enters into the shuttle with Young, TJ, Greer and Scott. Rush remarks that some of the stickers with the translations Brody added were backwards. With the ship going to pass through a Gas giant (which Young names Big Bertha), they speculate it will use the planet's gravity to perform an aerobraking maneuver and slingshot the ship deeper into the star system, hopefully finding out if any of the planets are habitable. As they prepare to make contact with the planet's atmosphere, officials around the ship warn everybody to brace themselves for the turbulence which could injure them.

Destiny performs a slingshot around Big Bertha.

Brody is the next to record the message on the Kino. However, unlike the others, he keeps wanting to do the message again. On the fourth take. There, he says that ever since he stepped through the Stargate, he knew he would die in deep space, and just knew that what they went through would happen. Meanwhile, Young and Greer walk across a corridor, where Greer takes out his sidearm, only to find the Kino following them. The commotion is heard by James, who notices the Kino, and accuses Eli and Riley of spying on her while she sleeps, though they claimed they took a wrong turn. Young orders her to spread the word to everyone to sit tight for the next few minutes.

Destiny is drifting towards the system's star.

By the time Destiny is close enough, Eli and Chloe walk to the observation deck, to find several crew members shared their idea of viewing Destiny's pass from there. Young orders them to stay away from the walls to avoid serious injury from the turbulence. By then, the ships starts to shake, indicating the slingshot is taking place. After a moment of strong vibrations on the ship, it starts to subside. Rush tells those in the shuttle that they should determine if any of the planets are habitable. However, he quickly notices that their trajectory has changed more than they anticipated, and they are in a lot of danger. An external view reveals that Destiny is now aligned on a collision course with the system's star.


Appearances for Darkness




Sentient Species




Notable quotes

(the crew in the mess hall discuss the current water supply)
Wray: It's enough to loosen the rationing restrictions, isn't it?
Young: Camile, I think I know where you're going with this and believe me when I say that I too could use a shower.
Eli: (after everyone laughs) I don't think the showers use water. They just spray a sort of mist that you kind of stand in and it sort of beads up. There's one in the compartment off the crew quarters.
Scott: How do you know all that if you haven't tried it?
Eli: How do you know I haven't tried it?
Scott: Oh, we know.
Eli: Thank you, Lt. Rose Garden.
Chloe: Oh, he's right, you're worse than he is.
Young: Oh, you can tell them apart.

Rush: I had been standing here for the past few minutes watching systems fail all over the ship, and there's nothing that I could do to stop that. The FTL drive was amongst the last to go!
Volker: We could be in range of a Stargate.
Rush: You see what I mean? No, there's no countdown. (points to the countdown clock, which is inactive)
Young: Well, there's gotta be emergency reserves.
Rush: I don't think you seem to understand what's going on here, Colonel! Our "reserves" are gone! All of our power is gone!

Franklin: The lights went off in my compartment.
Eli: Yeah. It's the same all over.
Franklin: Well, why?
Eli: Why does everybody think I know everything?!

(Young looks at Brody and Volker, who are stumped about what to do, but Eli has an idea)
Young: Does the computer hacking drop out have to save our asses?
Eli: Uh, the drop out is still here.

(After Young debriefs O'Neill)
Peterson: That was quick.
Young: Doesn't take long to say "we're screwed."

(Adam Brody records a message on the Kino)
Brody: Adam Brody, engineer. I like football and I... (hears Eli laughing) What?
Eli: Dude, this isn't for a dating service!

Spencer: What's going on, Eli?
Eli: You mean right now?
James: Don't be an idiot.
Eli: Wow, you must be getting to know me because I respond really well to that.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This episode was originally titled "Fire", however, since the script ran for 20 minutes longer than any episode, it was extended to cover two episodes mostly by adding in several Kino scenes, and was renamed "Darkness", and "Light".
  • According to this episode, only a day has passed since the events of "Air, Part 3".
  • "Darkness" marks the return of veteran Stargate director Peter DeLuise, who left the franchise at the conclusion of Stargate SG-1's tenth and final season (two years previous). DeLuise had been a regular director, writer, and consulting producer since that show's third season. The Peter that Colonel David Telford took over for at the communication stones is none other than Peter DeLuise. Like Alfred Hitchcock, Peter DeLuise is well known for having little bit parts in many of the shows he directs.


  • When Sgt. Hunter Riley was making a Kino recording, the rank displayed on his collar is for a Senior Airman (three stripes). Air Force Sergeants are four stripes or more.
  • When Chloe Armstrong is taking a shower, in some shots it is obvious that she is wearing a sports bra and biker shorts.
  • When Young trades places with Telford and exits the Homeworld Command Communications Room, we see a close shot of a SF's sidearm holster with an M9 pistol safety off and slider in reverse position in it. That is in not a safe or proper way of keeping your loaded gun in holster. Berettas do that when last round is fired - the slide locks in rear position to load the first round in the newly inserted mag while remaining cocked and ready to shoot more. Most probably that was the case with the gun prop.

Other languages

  • Hungarian: Sötétség (Darkness)

External links

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