Gallery Episode Transcript

"Inferno" is the nineteenth episode of the second season of Stargate: Atlantis.


On Taranis, the Atlantis expedition encounter an Ancient outpost currently used by the Taranians to protect themselves against the Wraith. However, the outpost's use of Geothermal energy awakens the planet's supervolcano, which is set to blow any minute.


Taranis outpost.jpg

Atlantis is contacted by a planet that claims to have Ancient technology and is in need of their help to fix it. When Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and his team arrive on the planet they find that there is actually an Ancient outpost which is protected by an Atlantis size shield, but that the inhabitants have apparently run into a problem operating it.

The problem, however, turns out to be much bigger than merely powering the shield. As it turns out, the outpost has Long range sensors just as Atlantis does, and after detecting the increased Wraith activity a year ago, the people in the outpost began running the shield continuously. The problem was, however, that the shield was powered by Geothermal energy and never designed to be used continuously.

As Dr. Rodney McKay discovers, what the people thought to be a simple geothermal pocket was in fact a Supervolcano, and what they thought was a large valley, turned out to be the caldera of this volcano. Because of this revelation, McKay determines that the extended use of the shield over the last year, and the resulting drain on the geothermal energy of this volcano, has critically accelerated the eruption which would normally not have occurred for up to 100,000 years.


McKay is now in a hurry: he not only has to fix the shield generator but also an Ancient warship that is docked in an underground bay, which is of the same class as the Aurora (see "Aurora"). After this discovery Dr. Elizabeth Weir offers to evacuate the populace to Atlantis, but Chancellor Lycus is skeptical. However, he agrees when the earthquakes become more frequent and the ground rips open.

While transferring the first wave of refugees, a lava pocket opens up directly under the Stargate, burying it under molten rock. Because of this, Atlantis contacts the Daedalus, which is just returning from Earth, and re-routes it to this planet. The Daedalus, however, cannot evacuate everyone at once, and must make four trips. McKay believes this will take too long and while the Daedalus evacuates the most important people he decides to try to repair the engines of the Ancient ship and simply fly off of the planet. Unfortunately, some of the natives grow impatient, and take their chances seeking refuge in the wilderness because they don't believe that the eruption of the volcano will destroy the entire continent. Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex try to evacuate the last of the natives, but the tunnel leading to the Ancient ship is blocked and Sheppard gets separated trying to reach them and barely makes it back in time with the last group of natives.

On the surface, Teyla, Ronon and the last natives take refuge in the barn with the collapsed tunnel entrance, realizing that they would never make it back to the base on foot with the ash cloud. Despite their dire situation, Ronon and Teyla attempt to remain hopeful. On the verge of suffocation, Ronon, Teyla and the last of the natives are beamed out by the Daedalus which returns just in time to save them. However, the Daedalus is unable to pick up any life signs elsewhere on the planet and cannot help Sheppard's group in the shielded base. While unable to do anymore, the Daedalus crew chooses to remain and monitor the eruption in hopes McKay will fix the Orion in time.

Meanwhile, in Atlantis, the expedition team learns from Dr. Radek Zelenka that a Wraith Hive Ship is on its way towards the city, increasing the pressure on McKay to successfully repair the Ancient ship. However, they know that even with their resources they might not be able to defeat the enemy ship.

Orion over Taranis.jpg

In the end, however, McKay is unable to make the repairs in time and has found that a river of lava has overrun the bay doors, making it impossible to fly out anyway. Instead he re-routes power to the hyperdrive engines and activates the shield. But, due to the high temperatures and pressures of the lava that will soon envelop them, the shield will only last for four seconds. These four seconds will give McKay enough time so that the explosion of the volcano will thrust the ship, which Sheppard named the Orion, high enough to engage the hyperdrive for a microsecond, propelling them into orbit, and saving everyone on board. Upon returning to Atlantis, McKay and a team of scientists begin working on the Orion in hopes of fully repairing it.


Appearances for Inferno



  • Rescue of the Taranians



Sentient Species



Notable quotes

Weir: Hopefully we can establish an alliance with them. A ship like that...
Sheppard: ...would come very much in handy now that the Wraith are probably on their way: I know. Uh, I'm gonna get back there now, make sure he's not distracted.
Weir: Distracted?
Sheppard: Ah, well, the lead scientist, uh, she's very, um...
Weir: Hot?
Sheppard: I was gonna say attractive. But McKay is acting very, uh...
Weir: Smitten?
Sheppard: I was gonna say pathetic.
(He turns to leave)
Weir: Wait. I should head back with you and begin negotiations with the Taranan leader. What's he like?
Sheppard: Oh, you know. He's a guy. Didn't pay much attention. Sorry!
(He turns and walks away.)

Sheppard: The ship in the hangar. Maybe McKay can fix it.
McKay: Oh, maybe I can fix it. Place the pressure squarely on my shoulders for a change.
Sheppard: Well, I've discovered you're pretty good under the threat of impending death.
McKay: (to Norina) I am, actually.

McKay: And, I've discovered the ship's name... It's the um... Hippaforalkus.
Sheppard: The what?
McKay: Yes, well it appears to have been named after an ancient general... Hippaforalkus.
Sheppard: Well we're not calling it that!
McKay: Oh good...then what about...
Sheppard: ...And we're not calling it the Enterprise either!

Caldwell: And plan B is what?
Sheppard: We've found a sister ship to the Aurora called the... Orion.
McKay: Aw.
Sheppard: McKay's trying to get the sublight drive online.
Caldwell: Really? Well, a ship that large, you should be able to get everyone else out in one trip.
Sheppard: Yeah, well, whether or not we live or die is all up to Rodney.
McKay: This is so unfair!

(Ronon, Teyla and a group of villagers are trapped and on the verge of suffocating)
Ronon: What are we gonna do?
Teyla: There is no place to go.
Ronon: I'm not good at sitting around waiting to die. Maybe we could make it back to the base on foot.
Teyla: Outside? We would never make it! As long as we can breathe, there is still hope. We may be able to last a few minutes longer in here than out there.
Teyla: (breathlessly to Ronon about the villagers) They are still alive, but just barely. Perhaps you were right. We should've tried to make it back to the base on foot.
Ronon: (just as breathless) No, you were right. We'd be dead. As long as we can breathe, there's still hope.
(the group suddenly beams out)
Teyla: (entering the Daedalus bridge, to Caldwell) We owe you a debt of gratitude Colonel!

McKay: (to Beckett, who thinks the rest of his team is dead) Alright. Tell the people to get on the floor and secure themselves. I think the eruption is imminent. We're... just about ready.
Sheppard: Ready for what?
Beckett: Oh, thank God!
McKay: (smiling) What took you so long?!
Sheppard: Just about ready for what?
McKay: To activate the shields.
Sheppard: You said the blast from the eruption would wipe out half the continent.
McKay: It will, and after 4.1 seconds of those extreme temperatures and pressures, our shields will be depleted.
Sheppard: As much as I'm all for living for another four seconds...
Beckett: That's not very much time for anything, Rodney.
McKay: It's plenty of time to open a hyperspace window.
(Sheppard stares at him blankly)
McKay: That's my plan. Didn't I tell you about that?
Beckett: No.
Sheppard: No, you didn't.
McKay: Well, you were too busy running around looking for people.
Sheppard: Well, tell us the damn plan!
McKay: Fixing the sublight engines was impossible in the amount of time we had left. They were just too badly damaged, but I devised a sort of a patch that in effect diverts auxiliary power to the hyperdrive. Only enough for a fraction of a second, mind you.
Sheppard: That won't get us very far.
McKay: We don't need to go far. Any old orbit will do.
Sheppard: And then what?
McKay: Well, then, Norina and I were planning a small dinner for us all, nothing fancy ...
Norina: Rodney.
McKay: Well, what does he mean, "Then what"?! Then we won't die horribly!
Sheppard: So your plan is to not blow a hole in the hangar but to sit here and wait for this cataclysmic eruption to take place.
McKay: With the shields and inertial dampeners at full strength, yes.
Beckett: I think I may be missing something. Correct me if I'm wrong, but when the volcano erupts, don't we as well?
McKay: That's the plan.
Sheppard: That's the plan?
McKay: That's the plan!
Sheppard: That plan sucks!
Beckett: Aye!
McKay: This ship will be ejected along with the magma and stream several thousand feet into the air.
Sheppard: The ship can survive that?
McKay: For exactly 4.1 seconds, yes. Look, the hangar should disintegrate. The moment we're clear we open a brief hyperspace window, jump to space before the explosion depletes our shields and incinerates us.
Sheppard: Okay.
McKay: What?
Beckett: Very clever, Rodney.
McKay: Hmm. Well ... don't thank me 'til it works ... which it probably won't. 'Scuse me.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • Though largely identical to its sister ship, the Aurora, the Orion's bridge featured several seats of the type used on Puddle Jumpers, whereas the Aurora had only one chair for the Captain. These were added at the insistence of Director Peter DeLuise.
  • Kevin McNulty who plays Chancellor Lycus also appeared in the movie Supervolcano as the Secretary of Homeland Security who had to deal with a super eruption of the Yellowstone National Park supervolcano.


  • One of the eruption scenes includes the Stargate intact in the far distance while it was already engulfed in lava long ago.
  • In the opening shot of the Taranis gate, its front is facing away from the Ancient facility. When the refugees are later being evacuated, the gate is suddenly the other way around, facing the facility.
  • When the gate falls over into the lava, it falls in entry-side down but lava is shown flowing up through where the open wormhole should be and should have passed through the wormhole rather than passing through the physical gate until the wormhole closes. When the perspective switches to Atlantis, the sound of the lava hitting the shield is heard but it could not have passed through the wormhole and remained on the planet to flow through the physical hole in the gate.
  • During some of the scenes in the Orion's engine room some glass panels clearly show schematics of a City-ship likely left over from "The Tower".
  • It is unclear why the Daedalus didn't just beam the population to the other side of the planet as a stop-gap measure between evacuations. The super-volcanic event would have eventually caused global problems, but the entire planet was not instantly imperiled.

Other languages

  • Russian: Ад (Inferno)
  • Hungarian: Pokol (Inferno)
  • German: Inferno (Inferno)

External links

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