- "What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment."
- ―David Telford
David Telford is a Colonel in the United States Air Force. A lifetime military man, he was originally chosen to lead the expedition through the Stargate when they gained the ability to dial the ninth chevron. However, due to the unforeseen invasion of the base, Everett Young became the new leader, but not by choice.
- "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
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 Everett Young's refusal of the position. (SGU: "Subversion")
- "I wanna know what's really going on aboard this ship."
- ―David Telford
Sometime in 2009, during his station at Icarus Base, Telford had Sgt. Ronald Greer detained for striking him. Later, with Greer still detained, Colonel Telford piloted an F-302 in defense of the Icarus Base during an attack from unknown Ha'taks and Death Gliders. During the battle, the planet's core becomes unstable and the Tau'ri defense is forced to retreat. He is ordered by the commander of the Hammond, Samantha Carter, to recall his F-302 squadron within two minutes, before the jump to hyperspace. As such he is separated from those who go through the Stargate to the Destiny and feels they are not qualified to survive on their own.
Telford briefly switches places with Icarus Base commander Everett Young when the latter uses the communication stones to contact Earth. Telford takes command in Young's absence but is hampered by the injured state of Young's body. He is sedated by Tamara Johansen when his behavior begins to threaten Young's health, and eventually returns to Earth. (SGU: "Air, Part 3")
He spends 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 Colonel Young, Telford, unsatisfied by Young's leadership decisions, attempted to have Lt. 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. (SGU: "Darkness")
A short time later, Young admitted to Sgt. Ronald Greer that he enjoyed the look on Col. 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: "Light")
When the International Oversight Advisory devised a plan to return those on Destiny home, he used the communication stones 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 Nicholas Rush and 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 FTL resulted in Telford and Young momentarily switching back into their own bodies. During these occasions, Telford saw Young's wife, Emily, and realized his body was being used so that Young could reconnect with her. After Rush and Brody faked a catastrophic chain reaction in the Gate, 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")
Following this incident, Telford began a friendship with Emily Young, eventually gaining her trust. At this point, he told her that her husband was still having an affair with Tamara Johansen aboard Destiny. Young learned of the meetings through Matthew Scott, who had picked up traces of Telford's memory during the time that they inhabited each others' 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 communication stones shut off, disconnecting Young as he was about to attack him in anger. Later, Young, posing as 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")
- "We know that you are a traitor, and a murderer. Now we know you're a coward too"
- ―Everett Young
After having swapped bodies with Telford, Nicholas 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 Matthew 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 Everett Young interrogated Telford, in Rush's body, aboard Destiny. (SGU: "Subversion")
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 him 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 suspisous 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 greatful nod. (SGU: "Incursion, Part 1", "Incursion, Part 2", "Intervention")
Post Alliance Invasion
- "Come on coach, I'm tired of being on the sidelines. Put me in the game."
- ―David Telford
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 Everett 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 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 it's 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 Dale Volker, around the same time that Eli Wallace and Dr. Lisa Park discover that the seed ships energy reserves would be more than enough to dial Destinys gate back home to Earth.
They commence the process of siphoning the extra power to Destiny so they may dial the gate. However, the 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. Lieutenant Scott and Sergeant Greer lead the away team back to Destiny as per the instructions of Colonel Young. By the time they return, Rush has regained consciousness and departs from the away team. Meanwhile, Telford has remained behind in the seed ships 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 Destinys 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")
Behind the scenes
- Telford is the second human revealed to be brainwashed. The first was Agent Malcolm Barrett of the NID.
- Telford was originally named Collins but this was changed to Telford before the character appeared in Stargate Universe.
- Per the 17 July, 2009 entry of Joseph Mallozzi's weblog, the original first name was Zak, Zach, Zac or Zack.
References and notes
- GateWorld's article on