- "You'd figure being stranded on this ship in the middle of nowhere would be the problem... but, that isn't it exactly. It's not so much being out here as it is... not being there - the birthdays, the weddings, the funerals. Simple things like taking your nephew to school on his first day or even taking the dog for a walk. Just not... not being there."
- ―Hunter Riley[src]
Riley was born sometime in late 1979. He grew up on a farm and had family that never left home, so he was happy to be part of the Stargate program, regardless of where it took him. His mother was a devoted Anglican but his father was not. He has a younger sister who married while he was aboard Destiny and a brother who died of cancer when he was finishing high school.
His young nephew started school while he was aboard the Destiny and he was upset that he could not keep his promise to take him on his first day. Furthermore, his uncle died during his time aboard Destiny and his grandmother was very ill. (SGU: "Darkness", "Aftermath") (Kino: "Not Being There", "Painful Moments")
Riley was a member of the Icarus Base team. He oversaw the operation of the dialing computer during the attempt to dial the ninth chevron address. When he was ordered to dial Earth, Dr. Nicholas Rush pushed him aside to dial the address to the gate using the ninth chevron. He was one of the survivors to make it to the Destiny in 2009. Aboard the ship, he was often assigned to the Destiny Gate room. He also participated in an inventory check and later discovered (and named) the recharging plate. With the help of some other scientists, he "tweaked" the plate to work with Earth technology. (SGU: "Air, Part 1", "Air, Part 2", "Air, Part 3", "Darkness")
Upon discovery the Destiny was bound for a star, his name was among those selected in the lottery to evacuate in the Ancient shuttle where he monitored a console. As the shuttle was bound for the planet, he noted it was after midnight and his birthday. (SGU: "Light")
When the International Oversight Advisory enacted a plan to bring the expedition home, he helped Dr. Adam Brody with repairs in a decompressed section of the ship. When a coolant leak erupted, he went in to fix it. He was thrown against a bulkhead while containing the leak. His injuries were apparent through the helmet faceplate due to the spattered blood. Lt. Tamara Johansen tended to his injuries, stating that it would be touch and go. (SGU: "Earth")
Riley survived his injuries, but while he recovered, his duties were temporarily assumed by others including Dr. Boone and Dr. Robert Caine. He eventually returned to duty, monitoring the active Stargate when Chloe Armstrong, Eli Wallace, Lt. Matthew Scott and MSgt. Ronald Greer were marooned on the Ruins planet. (SGU: "Life", "Space", "Human")
Riley took part in the defense of Destiny when Lucian Alliance forces invaded the vessel. His head was skimmed by a bullet while firing at the enemy with his sidearm. He was then captured along with several other Airmen and Marines that were attempting to withdraw. He was later hit when, Airman Armando Elsinor Von Spelker the Third tried to overpower an Alliance soldier and the soldier's gun went off everywhere, hitting him and Lt. Tamara Johansen. Riley was apparently not seriously injured and was treated by the doctors that were called in. Given his later limp, he was most likely hit in the leg. Riley was banished to another planet with everyone else and took shelter in a cave during a storm and returned to Destiny with the rest of the crew after Dr. Nicholas Rush, Dr. Adam Brody, Eli Wallace, Chloe Armstrong, Lt. Matthew Scott and MSgt. Ronald Greer retook the ship. (SGU: "Incursion, Part 1", "Incursion, Part 2", "Intervention")
Shortly after his return to Destiny, 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. He was trapped under the rubble and could not be freed. After Lt. Matthew Scott and the rest of the team unburied the Stargate, Colonel Everett Young came through to check on him. Knowing that he would not survive, Riley asked Young to end his suffering. Young placed his hands over Riley's mouth and nose and suffocated him as an act of mercy. Riley's death would haunt Young for some time. (SGU: "Aftermath", "Trial and Error")
- Contrary to spoken evidence, Riley's rank insignia indicates that he is in fact a Senior Airman, not a Sergeant - the USAF, since 1991, no longer has a "buck" Sergeant rank (Senior Airman is immediately followed by Staff Sergeant). However he may actually be a Staff Sergeant-select and just not have received his new insignia yet due to the line number system under the USAF promotion system. If so, his rank should be abbreviated informally as SSgt.
- His role in the series is similar to that of CMSgt. Walter Harriman, MSgt. Sylvester Siler and Chuck as a gateroom technician.
- His thirtieth birthday was during the events of "Light".
- Though he hadn't been seen in any episode since his injury in "Earth", he appeared in a recording made by Eli Wallace in the Kino webisode, "New Kind of Crazy", in which he explained how the Stargates can facilitate time travel. This is because Eli switched to a previously recorded segment which was taped before Riley's injuries. His recovery was not shown, and he reappeared in the series during the episode "Human".
- Haig Sutherland, like many actors from the Stargate franchise, was cast in a recurring role on Brad Wright's current Netflix project "Travelers" as Doctor Mori.
|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|