"What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment."
―David Telford[src]

David Telford is a Colonel in the United States Air Force. A lifelong military man, he was originally chosen to lead the expedition through the Stargate when they acquired the ability to dial the ninth chevron. However, due to the unforeseen invasion of the base, Colonel Everett Young became the new leader, but not by choice. After being exposed as a Lucian Alliance mole due to brainwashing, Telford joined the expedition for a time. Due to unique circumstances, Telford was killed on an alternate timeline Destiny and was replaced by the version of himself from the alternate timeline who made it home to Earth.[2]


Background information

"Before he was assigned to Icarus, Telford spent the better part of a year undercover, infiltrating the Alliance. Eight months into his assignment, there was an attack on a planet that we had a large team working on: P2S-569. Thirty-seven people were killed. Now, we later found out that Telford knew about the attack, and decided to do nothing. Stargate Command let him off the hook. And everything was swept under the carpet."
―Everett Young[src]

Before he was assigned to Icarus Base, Telford spent a year infiltrating the Lucian Alliance. At some point during his mission, he was discovered and brainwashed by presumably captured Goa'uld brainwashing technology to believe in the Lucian Alliance cause. Eight months in, the Lucian Alliance attacked a Tau'ri base that killed 37 people, which Telford knew was coming but did not report. Telford claimed it necessary to protect his cover, and was let off the hook. As a result of his completed mission he was given command of the Destiny expedition, following Colonel Everett Young's refusal of the position. (SGU: "Subversion")


"I wanna know what's really going on aboard this ship."
―David Telford[src]

Telford in an F-302 fighter-interceptor.

Sometime in 2009, during his six-month tenure at Icarus Base, Telford had MSgt. Ronald Greer detained for striking him. Later, with Greer still detained, Telford piloted an F-302 fighter-interceptor in defense of the Icarus Base during an attack from three unknown Ha'taks and Death Gliders. During the battle, the planet's core became unstable and the Tau'ri defense forces were forced to retreat. Telford was ordered by the commander of the George Hammond, Colonel Samantha Carter, to recall his F-302 squadron within two minutes, before the jump to hyperspace. As such he was separated from those who went through the Stargate to the Destiny and feels they are not qualified to survive on their own. Telford briefly switched places with Colonel Young when the latter used the Long-range communication device to contact Earth. Telford took command in Young's absence, but was hampered by the injured state of Young's body. He was sedated by Lt. Tamara Johansen when his behavior began to threaten Young's health, and he subsequently returned to Earth. (SGU: "Air, Part 1", "Air, Part 3")

Telford spent much of his time near the Long-range communication device in Homeworld Command, waiting any Destiny expedition member to switch bodies with him. Finding himself once again in the body of Young, Telford, unsatisfied by Young's leadership decisions, attempted to have Lt. Matthew Scott stage a mutiny. However, Young ended the transfer in the middle of the conversation and Telford found himself back on Earth without a response. A short time later, Young admitted to MSgt. Ronald Greer that he enjoyed the look on Telford's face when Greer struck him. Though he agreed with the decision to detain Greer for the assault, he also admitted that Telford had deserved it. (SGU: "Darkness", "Light")

Telford aboard Destiny.

When the International Oversight Advisory devised a plan to return those on Destiny home, he used the Long-range communication device to take control of Young's body and took command of the ship as Young was reluctant to implement the plan. However, Telford's actions drew some concern, particularly from Dr. Nicholas Rush and Dr. Adam Brody, who felt that it posed the risk of destroying the ship. During the time he was in command, communication disruptions from the ship's Faster-Than-Light engine would result in Telford and Young momentarily switching back into their own bodies for a few seconds. During the first of these interruptions, Telford witnessed Colonel Young having sex with his wife, Emily, in his body. After Rush and Brody faked a catastrophic chain reaction in the Stargate, Telford and his crew turned off the communication device to escape the ship. Young used this fact against him in a later meeting, claiming he removed any sense of command from the Destiny when he "cut and ran". (SGU: "Earth")

Young beats Telford.

After becoming aware of Colonel Young's interaction with Emily Young, Telford began a friendship with her, eventually gaining her trust. He attempted to undermine her relationship with her husband, telling her that Young was still having an affair with Lt. Tamara Johansen aboard Destiny. Young learned of the meetings through Lt. Scott, who had picked up traces of Telford's memory during the time that they inhabited each other's bodies, and interrupted a meeting between Telford and Emily. While Young spoke with Emily, learning about what Telford told her, Telford quickly arranged to have the Long-range communication device shut off, disconnecting Young as he was about to attack him in anger. Later, Young, posing as Dr. Dale Volker during a scheduled use of the stones, ambushed Telford as he was leaving home, giving him a quick but brutal beating. (SGU: "Life")

Telford and Kiva shoot each other.

After having swapped bodies with Telford, Dr. Rush saw flashes of Telford's memory in a dream, revealing him as a Lucian Alliance spy. As something similar had occurred before, between Telford and Scott, it was found to be due to the effects of a Goa'uld brainwashing technique. Rush swapped bodies with Telford again and attempted to infiltrate the Alliance in his body. Rush was captured by Kiva while Colonel Young interrogated Telford, in Rush's body, aboard Destiny. Young later freed Telford from the effects of the brainwashing technology by suffocating him to death in a vacuum and resuscitating him. He quickly told Young everything he knew of the Lucian Alliance plan to capture Destiny, including the location of the Icarus-like planet they would dial from. With his brainwashing broken, Telford was truly horrified at what he had done, stating that he remembered all of it. As the Lucian Alliance boarded Destiny, Rush (still in Telford's body) was taken through the Stargate to the ship and the communication link was instantly severed. Kiva initially moved to kill him, thinking he was Rush, but Telford convinced her of his identity using his code-word identification and pretended to still be brainwashed. Telford eventually hatched a plan to separate Kiva from the hostages so the military could retake the ship, but was caught in the act by Kiva. Telford quickly shot Kiva and fatally wounded her but not before she could also return a shot, injuring but not killing Telford. As a result of Kiva's death, Telford's betrayal was never revealed to the Lucian Alliance, although Simeon seemed suspicious of his story of he and Kiva being ambushed. Later Telford, in intense pain from his wound, tried to convince a now insane Dannic to surrender, but he was beyond reason and went to kill Telford after Telford accused him of wanting Destiny for himself. However, before he could, Ginn, realizing that Telford was right, shot Dannic in the back four times, killing him and surrendered on behalf of the Lucian Alliance causing Telford to give her a grateful nod. (SGU: "Subversion", "Incursion, Part 1", "Incursion, Part 2", "Intervention")

Shortly after the invasion, Camile Wray interviewed several of the captured Lucian Alliance members to determine if they could be trusted. He and Wray developed a list of those who could prove valuable and reported to Homeworld Command without Colonel Young's knowledge. Homeworld Command then ordered Young to keep the members on the list and leave the rest on the nearest planet. (SGU: "Aftermath")

Following the departure of the Lucian Alliance prisoners, and the death of Sgt. Hunter Riley, Destiny dropped out of FTL near an familiar object. As it approached, the expedition realized it was an Ancient Seed ship that had been sent prior to Destiny to manufacture Stargates and place them on the worlds that Destiny would later encounter, explore and collect resources from. Initially the expedition believed that Destiny would collide with the Seed ship, but they were quickly proven wrong as Destiny in fact docked with the ship. Colonel Young dispatched a team to the ship to explore while Destiny downloaded information from the Seed ship onto its database. While the away team was aboard the Seed ship, Telford requested that Young keep him informed as he had been unaware of the Seed ship and the assembly of an away team. Young reminded Telford that he's the commanding officer on Destiny and doesn't need his authorization nor approval to conduct missions. Telford agreed but said he can't do it alone and he needs help. Young agrees and brings Telford up to speed so that he can catch up on some much needed sleep. However, before he can do so, a new situation presents itself as an alien presents itself to Dr. Dale Volker, around the same time that Eli Wallace and Dr. Lisa Park discover that the Seed ship's energy reserves would be more than enough to dial Destiny's gate back home to Earth.

Telford is surrounded by the Ursini.

They commence the process of siphoning the extra power to Destiny so they may dial the gate. However, the expedition soon learns the alien that appeared to Volker was not alone and there were in fact at least a dozen more. They overcame Dr. Rush and his security detail and reversed the flow of energy from Destiny back to the Seed ship, seemingly intending to leave Destiny in the same shape as the Seed ship when Destiny arrived. Lt. Scott and Sgt. Greer lead the away team back to Destiny as per the instructions of Young. By the time they return, Rush has regained consciousness and departs from the away team. Meanwhile, Telford has remained behind in the Seed ship's control room in an attempt to disrupt the flow of energy from Destiny to the Seed ship. However he's unable to move fast enough and Destiny's energy reserves near the point of critically low (meaning they would be stranded). However, Rush intervenes just in time (unbeknownst to the rest of the expedition) by severing the connection via physically disconnecting Destiny from the Seed ship. Telford had been sealed in the control room and was unable to return before Destiny had disconnected. Young informed him of the situation and Telford asked Young to take care of the expedition and himself. Destiny jumps into FTL, leaving Telford alone on board the Seed ship surrounded by a dozen or more aliens. (SGU: "Awakening")

When Lt. Scott was hallucinating due to being bitten by an alien creature, he dreamed that Telford was the town sheriff of Cloverdale, and gave Scott, Everett Young and Ronald Greer a ride home when they were severely intoxicated after Scott's Bachelor's Party. (SGU: "Cloverdale")

Telford later returns, rescuing Destiny from attack by the Berzerker drones by leading them to a nearby star while apparently piloting the Seed ship. Docking with Destiny he told the crew of his adventure in the month they had been separated. It turns out the aliens they encountered on the Seed ship were not hostile just desperate. While not exactly the friendly type, the aliens were curious and through the use of their hibernation pods, Telford was able to learn about them and vice versa. The Ursini as they called themselves had previously run into the drones' territory and were attacked. A small contingent had discovered the Seed ship and had been researching it for a possible edge in battle. Unfortunately the research team had never been picked up leading to the encounter with Destiny. Telford explained that they only drained power from Destiny due to desperation and misinterpreting the crew's intention. During the Drone attack on Destiny he manned one of the consoles on the bridge, acting as a liaison to the Ursini and was saddened by their sacrifice to save Destiny and her crew. (SGU: "Resurgence", "Deliverance")

Telford had been killed by accident

Telford is all for a plan to dial Earth from within a star while Destiny is recharging and doesn't believe it's a good idea for anyone to stay on the ship. When another Dr. Nicholas Rush comes from the future to warn the crew against the attempt, as they will all die, Telford suspects that this Rush may have done something to sabotage the attempt. During a salvage mission to the future version of Destiny, Telford voices this belief. The future Rush denies any such action and blames Telford for the deaths of the crew in the previous timeline. Rush, in a fit of anger, accidentally throws Telford into a live power conduit, electrocuting him fatally. (SGU: "Twin Destinies")

Alternate timelines

In an alternate timeline, Telford became angry when there were volunteers to remain behind on Destiny when the crew returned to Earth and led the return. Telford went through the Stargate first, but the wormhole became unstable afterward and despite Dr. Nicholas Rush's best efforts, everyone who followed him through didn't make it. Due to a solar flare and the attempt to dial Earth, Destiny ended up twelve hours in the past. Rush switched with him using the Long-range communication device and learned the fate of the rest of the crew while Telford saw what was happening to the ship. Camile Wray would later contact Homeworld Command to inform them that the crew was still alive, where Telford insisted on switching with himself to learn what had happened. This version of Telford is the only living Telford in the main timeline, the other having been killed, seemingly by accident, by the alternate Rush. (SGU: "Twin Destinies")

The second Telford connects with one of Destiny's crew to find out what happened and is informed of the events, with his other self's death being explained as an accident. Telford didn't seem to entirely buy it, but let it go and warned the crew about the upcoming visit by Senator Michaels and Dr. Andrew Covel before leaving. When Camile Wray and MSgt. Ronald Greer switched with the two, Telford met with them and explained that they were under threat from the Lucian Alliance and were so at a heightened state of alert. Telford refused Greer's help and left. A Lucian Alliance Tel'tak carrying a Lucian Alliance naquadria bomb crashed into Homeworld Command building, but Telford safley made it out. At a command center outside, he was contacted by Wray and Greer over the radio and explained what had happened to them. When Wray and Greer couldn't get out and Telford told them the bomb sqaud couldn't get in, they volunteered to disarm the bomb themselves. Telford originally wouldn't let them, but they convinced him to let them try. Once they reached the bomb, Wray tried to contact Telford, but couldn't as the radiation from the bomb was blocking the signal. Later, after over six days of trying and failing to make a connection to Earth, Telford switched with O'Hara to inform Destiny that there had been a problem with the Long-range communication device on the Earth end that was now fixed and the bomb was successfully disarmed. (SGU: "Alliances", "Hope")

Telford tried to negotiate with the Langarans to use their power facility to dial Destiny to send supplies and extra personel to Destiny, but Ambassador Ovirda refused until his scientists checked out Dr. Rodney McKay's solution. Due to spy satellites picking up transmissions between the Lucian Alliance and the Langarans, Telford believed the Langarans to have made a deal with the Alliance and advocated taking over the facility by force to dial the ship anyway. Using a trick and the Long-range communication device, the facility was taken over and Telford, who was eager to return to Destiny and invited McKay to join the crew. The plan failed due to a soldier ovehearing the truth and Telford was captured but later released. (SGU: "Seizure")

When the crew decided to recharge Destiny in a blue giant star, Telford switched with Lt. Matthew Scott to be informed of the plan. He promised to try to sell it to the people on Earth, but wasn't sure he could do it but was informed that the crew was just letting him know what they were doing. After learning that the blockade was also on all planets in Destiny's path, Dr. Nicholas Rush and Colonel Everett Young let Telford know about the situation and asked about supplies from Earth. Telford revealed that wasn't possible as the Langarans were still refusing to help and there was no other known planet with Naquadria on it. Later, when the crew was saying their goodbyes to their family and friends, Telford was the one Young said goodbye to. Telford apologized for his role in the breakup of Young and Emily Young's marriage, but Young forgave him, saying that the marriage was broken long before Telford intervened. Telford promised Young that he wouldn't give up on the crew which Young appreciated. (SGU: "Blockade", "Gauntlet")


Appearances for David Telford

In chronological order:

Personality and traits

Although clearly a skilled military leader, Telford has often been shown to be highly arrogant, often arguing with non-military personnel or those lower in rank to him who disagree with his perspective, giving the impression that he believes that he is in the right and they are wrong even if evidence suggests otherwise.

Although Colonel Everett Young stated that he regarded Telford as a good man, Telford has nevertheless shown a strong fixation on ensuring that his orders be carried out that have sometimes risked endangering the mission facing him; when he initially swapped bodies with Young using the Long-range communication device after the Battle of Icarus Base, he continued to try and lead Destiny despite Lt. Tamara Johansen's warnings that his actions were further damaging Young's injured body, and ordered MSgt. Ronald Greer into the brig when he took command during Destiny's first attempt to dial Earth inside a star despite the time that had passed since Greer's original offence simply because Greer's offence had been attacking him. Although his brainwashed state at the time suggests that his attempts to seize control of the ship may have had to do with his alliegence to the Lucian Alliance, he continued to demonstrate his fundamental arrogance when he was convinced that Dr. Nicholas Rush was responsible for the failure of a plan to dial Earth on a second occasion that resulted in the crew's apparent deaths in an alternate timeline, rather than accept the possibility that the plan he supported simply hadn't worked. (SGU: "Air, Part 2", "Earth", "Subversion", "Twin Destinies")


This section requires expansion


Other equipment



  • Telford is the fourth human known to have been brainwashed. The first three were Major Thomas Graham and Lt. Louise Astor of SG-14 and Agent Malcolm Barrett of the NID. Telford was brainwashed by the Lucian Alliance while the other three were all brainwashed by the Goa'uld, though in all four cases the same technology was used since the Lucian Alliance commandeered must of the technology left behind by the Goa'uld.
  • Telford has the distinction of being the sole person stranded aboard Destiny to physically return to Earth.

Behind the scenes

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References and notes

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