"One False Step" is the nineteenth episode of the second season of Stargate SG-1.


SG-1's efforts to communicate with some strange inhabitants causes an outbreak of illness. They soon discover an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle crashed into one of the planet's plants, which hurts and upsets it, spreading the illness to the natives.


After an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is sent to the mysterious flora-covered planet PJ2-445 but, a few minutes after take-off, the plane does not respond to controls and begins to go down. The video from the UAV shows that it has crashed into a plant, and a curious alien appears in the camera's view, and drags the UAV away. SG-1 must travel there to recover it.

One False Step 1

SG-1 on PJ2-445.

After arriving on the planet, SG-1 soon discovers a primitive people who do not talk. After recovering the UAV, the people immediately begin to fall ill to unknown "illness". As Colonel Jack O'Neill and his team try to help the villagers comfort the increasing number of sick, Dr. Janet Fraiser arrives to assess the situation. Teal'c and O'Neill check villages nearby to see if the disease has spread.

Skirmish on PJ2-445

Daniel and Jack arriving back on Earth.

While en route, O'Neill nearly collapses and is coming down with a headache. When the headaches worsen O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson return to Earth and the headaches stop.

After taking one of the sick aliens back to Stargate Command for medical attention, Captain Samantha Carter and Fraiser discover that the plant the UAV crashed in was releasing a sound at a certain frequency. This sound made the humans feel ill and irritated. It also made the native inhabitants seriously ill. Furthermore, they discover that the natives relied on this sound that the plants released in order to survive.


Carter sets up a special sound system to cure the natives. With SG-1 watching the village from afar, the natives release a sound that causes the plants to bloom. Carter realizes that the natives and the plant had a symbiotic relationship. While the plant released one sound, the natives released a different sound to help the plants survive. SG-1 returns to Earth.


Appearances for One False Step





Sentient Species



  • Dog (Mentioned)



Notable quotes[]

(The UAV takes off and flies through the wormhole.)
O'Neill: That never gets old. I love that.

Jackson: Deja vu!
Teal'c: I am unfamiliar with that term.
Jackson: Um... it means I feel like I've been here before.
Teal'c: That is correct, Daniel Jackson. Yesterday, when we first arrived on this planet.
Jackson: Right... What was I thinking...?

Jackson: You know, I thought the alien on the video looked very docile, more curious then harmful.
O'Neill: I thought it looked bald, white, and naked.

Teal'c: Since it is their planet, is it not we who are the aliens?
Jackson: Actually the word 'alien' refers to anything characteristic of a very different place or culture, anything really strange relative from our own perspective.
O'Neill: Think we call you 'alien' because you're from Chu'lak?

Fraiser: (after traveling through the Stargate to help with a medical emergency) Now this is a house call.

Jackson: Well, we need to do something.
O'Neill: I agree with you, but I haven't had the brilliant revelations you seem to have had.
Jackson: Well, maybe you could try coming up with something a little bit better than inappropriate sarcasm.
O'Neill: You want sarcasm? Nice to meet ya.

O'Neill: What's up?
Jackson: The plant... or at least, it was.
O'Neill: What?
Jackson: Well, it had grown to over 6 feet tall, and when I came up to it, it just shrank back down into the ground. I'm gonna back up again, see if... see if it does it again.
O'Neill: (nothing is happening) Witness if you will: squat.

O'Neill: You're videotaping a plant.
Jackson: Well, I think this might be important.
O'Neill: Well, I think you might be losing what's left of your mind.
Jackson: What's that supposed to mean?
O'Neill: It means that on a good day you can be a little flaky.
Jackson: And on a good day you can be a little ignorant and condescending.
O'Neill: Not condescending. You're obviously misreading a basic philosophical opinion on how to handle a crisis.
Jackson: Oh, please! We have a difference of opinion on just about everything.
O'Neill: Give me an example.
Jackson: I don't know, pick something! How about mythology!
O'Neill: Rumors, lies, fairytales.
Jackson: See, see, see, see, see, see! Mythology is one of the primary motivations for cultural development!
O'Neill: Maybe it is! What's that got to do with filming a plant?!
Jackson: Exactly!
O'Neill: What does that mean?!
Jackson: I don't know!
(they silently look at each other)
O'Neill: (calmly) Okay. What was that?
Jackson: I don't know. I don't feel so good.
O'Neill: I've got a headache.

Jackson: Will you do me a favor? Will you keep your eye on this plant thing for me?
Teal'c: I will keep both of my eyes on it, Daniel Jackson.
Jackson: Thank you.

O'Neill: (O'Neill and Jackson are in the infirmary. They have just had a major argument on the planet) Listen I, uh...
Jackson: No, no. Um... sorry, you were gonna say...
O'Neill: No, it's just that, uh... Well... you know...
Jackson: No I know, I know. I know. You know that I...
O'Neill: I know. It's obvious there's something...
Jackson: Something, something wrong with us.
O'Neill and Jackson: Physically!
(Fraiser enters the room)
Fraiser: Well, there's nothing wrong with you.
Jackson: What?
Fraiser: Well, I've run every test I could, short of exploratory brain surgery and you're both in perfect health.
O'Neill: Huh.

Carter: I had a feeling that there was some sort of symbiotic relationship between the aliens and the organism. They probably don't even realize it.
Jackson: How did you realize it?
(long pause)
O'Neill: Captain...?
Carter: I talk to my plants, okay?


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This episode is Dr. Janet Fraiser's second trip through the Stargate. The first was in Season One's "Singularity". However, this is the first time that she is seen going through the Stargate.
  • Fraiser is surprised that SG teams haven't infected alien populations with Earth diseases more often. She theorizes that because humans have been transplanted from Earth to many planets throughout the Milky Way galaxy, most of the contaminants carried by SG teams are already out there.
  • Stargate SG-1 co-creator Brad Wright described filming the episode as one of his scariest moments, saying: “We were putting these people that were dressed in virtually nothing but makeup outside in temperatures that were pretty much zero and asking them to act and act in an alien sort of way […] And I thought, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to kill somebody. They’re going to freeze to death.” [1]
  • The Pod people were taught how to move by acrobat Colin Heath, a performer with the Cirque du Soleil and a student of the National Circus School in Montreal. [2]


  • As Dr. Daniel Jackson attempts to communicate with the aliens inside one of their huts, his jacket patches switch from the usual SG-1 and Earth symbol designs to two Earth symbols between shots.
  • We rarely see the Pod people close-up for extended periods of time in this episode. However, early on in this episode, a camera catches the back of some of them, and invisible zipper seams running up the back of the costumes are clearly visible.
  • At around 34:50 mark, Captain Samantha Carter mentions there are long amplitude waves. Judging by the image on the screen, she is talking about long wavelength, which also has high amplitude, but the terms are not interchangeable - wavelength represents frequency, and amplitude is the strength of the signal, in this case the volume of the sound at a particular wavelength/frequency. Also, consumer grade camcorders do not have a dynamic range larger than that of human senses, in case of sound the range humans can hear is, at best, from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and camcorders do not really go as low as that, more like 200 Hz, and definitely not to subsonic range (below 20 Hz). That said, it is not possible for the camera to record sub bass frequencies.
  • When Teal'c returns through the Stargate the announcement can be heard declaring off world activation followed by the noise of the Unstable vortex but the Stargate can already be seen active in the background.
  • The organism on the planet is more a fungus than a plant. Despite the blooming at the end of the episode, the organism is not green, so it can not feed by photosynthesis. On the other hand, it has threads in the soil, similar to the vegetative body of fungi.

Other languages[]

  • French: Faux Pas (False Step)
  • German: Tödliche Klänge (Deadly Sounds)
  • Italian: Un Passo Falso (A False Step)
  • Spanish: Un Paso en Falso (A False Step)
  • Czech: Jeden chybný krok (One False Step)
  • Hungarian: Egy rossz mozdulat (One Wrong Move)
  • Russian: Один неверный шаг (One False Step)


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