"Prodigy" is the nineteenth episode of the fourth season of Stargate SG-1.


Cadet Jennifer Hailey gets Major Samantha Carter's attention after noticing her intelligence, which rivals Carter's. She decides to send her on a mission with an expedition team on M4C-862. There, the teams manage to anger a group of Small energy beings, which can literally pass through solid matter with fatal consequences for the teams.


While Colonel Jack O'Neill and Teal'c are visiting an off-world research facility on a moon and Dr. Daniel Jackson is on a mission with SG-11, Major Samantha Carter is sent to the Air Force Academy to give a lecture on wormholes. During her stay, Carter meets Cadet Jennifer Hailey, a cocky, insubordinate, brilliant cadet, who even finds a mistake in one of Carter's equations. Carter believes that Hailey would be a great asset to Stargate Command and tries to convince her stay in the academy, although she always gets in trouble and is even threatened with expulsion for breaking an upperclassman's nose.

O'Neill and the scientists stationed at the facility in the meantime begin to butt heads. The scientists are irritated that O'Neill seems paranoid about everything, while O'Neill believes that the scientists are not being careful enough in their research. While exploring the moon, the team discovers an alien lifeform similar to a Will o' the wisp that can fly, pass through solid matter, and act intelligently. Despite O'Neill's protests, the scientists capture one for further study. The scientists believe that it may be an energy based life form and that it would be one of the greatest discoveries for mankind.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Carter discovers that most of Hailey's negative attitude stems from boredom and frustration with the courses she is taking. Hailey is so brilliant that none of the classes at the academy challenge her. However, Hailey is also angry about being constantly compared to Carter who managed to get a high score in every class she attended and even win a lot of awards during her own time at the Academy.

Carter gets permission to reveal her work and gives her a tour through the SGC with Major General George S. Hammond expressing disapproval, simply because Hailey's file says otherwise. Carter, on the other hand strongly disagrees, stating that if Hailey can get one glimpse of her possible future, then Hailey will graduate at the top of her class and also become an officer worthy of serving under Hammond's command.

Hours later, Sam and Hailey prepare to go off-world with Hailey being left stunned when she sees the Stargate in action for the first time.

They arrive at the same moon as the research facility where O'Neill and Teal'c are located.

At the facility, things are not going well. Two scientists venture out into the forest to find more wisps, but the wisps are apparently aware that one of their numbers had been captured, and the scientists are mercilessly attacked. One scientist, Dr. Bill Thompson, is killed when the wisps pass through him several times and every time they do so burn the person. The other, Dr. Bill Lee, is injured, but manages to run and warn the others. In the fight, a zat shot aimed at wisps also hits a man, and the wisps leave that man alone afterwards; it is guessed that it is due to temporary electrical change in the skin caused by being zatted. The team on the moon is forced to take shelter in the main building. Carter runs an electric current through the aluminum walls of the facility to keep the wisps out, but since it was last serviced by the scientist who was killed, no one else knows how long the power should last, and it could cut out at any minute.

There Carter and Hailey clash about what to do. Carter thinks the wisps are angry at one of their number being imprisoned; Hailey thinks they turned violent as a result of substantial changes in the magnetic field present around the moon, caused by the moon passing over a magnetic pole of the gas giant. If Hailey is right, the creatures should return to being peaceful in a few hours. But if Carter is right, waiting will only make things worse. There isn't enough evidence to decide whose hypothesis might be correct either way, nor is each mutually exclusive.

Finally O'Neill decides to let himself be shot with a Zat'nik'tel, to reproduce the effect that happened to the man zatted, so that for some time he shall be immune to the wisps and can run to the Stargate. Hailey doesn't understand why O'Neill is risking his life since if it turns out she is right, time should solve everything. Carter explains that assuming Carter is right means O'Neill risks his own life; assuming Hailey is right means risking everyone else's. So for O'Neill, the choice is easy. He will have Teal'c zap him, then run to the Stargate and use its energy to create a field large enough to give the others safe passage from the building to the gate.

The plan works, although Teal'c has to use the zat a second time on the wisps to give O'Neill time to complete the protective field. That done, the team run for the gate as the wisps flee into the forest. SG-1, Hailey, and the remaining scientists escape to Earth, and an excited Hailey decides to stay in the Air Force so she can work at the SGC after graduating.


Appearances for Prodigy





Sentient Species





Memorable quotes[]

O'Neill: (to General Hammond) General, I'd like to talk to you about this mission upon which we are about to embark. It seems a bit ridiculous doesn't it?
Hammond: Have you met General Ryan?
Ryan: Hello Colonel.
O'Neill: (stares in disbelief) The General Ryan? Chief of Staff?
Ryan: That's right.
O'Neill: (to General Hammond) Shouldn't there have been a memo or something?
Hammond: You were off-world.
O'Neill: Ah yeah! So uh what brings you to our little secret base sir?
Ryan: That would be the ridiculous mission you just mentioned.
O'Neill: Of course.
Hammond: I'm proposing that M4C-862 become a permanent research station. I'd like you to make an assessment.
O'Neill: The General Ryan?
Ryan: I have read a lot about you colonel. From General Hammond's reports.
O'Neill: Yes sir?
Ryan: Thus far, we like your work.
O'Neill: Thank you sir. I like yours. Your air force. The air force. I love the air force.
Hammond: Anything else, Colonel?
O'Neill: No sir. Well actually, I'd like to know how Jackson and Carter got out of this... very important mission.
Hammond: Dr. Jackson is off-world with SG11. Major Carter is giving a lecture at the air force academy in theoretical astrophysics. If you'd care to take her place?
O'Neill: No.
Hammond: Then you're dismissed.
O'Neill: Thank you sir. Sirs. Sir... both of ya.
Ryan: (after O'Neill leaves) Got your hands full with that one, eh George?

Hamilton: Hey, I didn't come halfway across the galaxy to wait for permission to do my job!
Lee: I know, but... Colonel O'Neill...
Hamilton: Colonel O'Neill doesn't have a clue what we're trying to accomplish here, he's too busy polishing his M16.
O'Neill: (Who was out of sight of the talking scientists and is in-fact polishing his weapon) Actually, it's a P90!

Hamilton: This is typical military thinking. You encounter something you don't understand, you immediately assume it's a threat.
O'Neill: Well. Until we determine there is no threat, I will assume there is one. Do we have a problem here?
Hamilton: Colonel, with all due respect...
O'Neill: Really?
Hamilton: When I agreed to this assignment, I was under the impression that I was going to be in charge.
O'Neill: You are in charge. Of the other scientists.
Hamilton: That you even think you are qualified to decide what we can and can't do around here is...
Teal'c: Colonel O'Neill is indeed qualified, Dr. Hamilton. Having encountered many alien species, as have I since before you were born. I strongly suggest you do what Colonel O'Neill says.
O'Neill: Thank you, Rocco.

Teal'c: Are you ready O'Neill?
O'Neill: No. Give me a warning.
Teal'c: I am going to shoot you.
O'Neill: I was thinking more along the lines of "on three". One... (Teal'c shoots him) Two!


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • During the DVD commentary for this episode, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie sing lyrics they made up to the tune of the show's theme.
    • Stargate! Its a great big world, with a great big swirl that you step inside to another world. We're talking Stargate! Its a crazy trip! You can go quite far and you don't need a car or even a ship. There's Colonel O'Neill and Carter. And Daniel and Teal'c. Look out for that g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-goa'uld.
Young Kerrigan

The photo of Paul Mullie as young Michael Kerrigan.

  • This episode marks the appearance of General Michael E. Ryan, the actual Air Force Chief of Staff at the time, playing himself. This appearance is part of a long running participation by the real American Air Force due to the positive way it was portrayed on the show throughout its run.
  • When Major Samantha Carter is speaking to Cadet Jennifer Hailey her striking an upperclassmen and asks what Hailey was thinking, Hailey answers "Swing High." One of the Air Force recruiting slogans around that time was "Aim High."
  • An actress by the name of Jennifer Halley tried out for the part of "Jennifer Hailey", but didn't successfully win the role. She later appeared in the episode, "The Tomb" as the Russian soldier Lt. Tolinev.
  • Michael Shanks (Dr. Daniel Jackson) does not appear in this episode due to the fact that Shanks was preparing to direct the episode "Double Jeopardy" during the filming of this episode. This is the first episode of the series in which he does not appear. Consequently, it is also the first episode to feature only one character from the original film.


  • When the scientists discover the swarm of the alien beings, a minivan can be seen driving by in the background. This can be seen on the DVD at approximately 23:20 (to the viewer's right/scientists' left).
  • Hailey is supposed to have broken the nose of an upperclassman, leading to her possible expulsion. However, she is shown to be wearing the insignia of a USAFA Cadet 1/c, and is thus a "senior" by civilian terminology. It is possible, as she is an "unranked" 1/c, as judged by her insignia, that she struck a higher ranked cadet. This is also supported by the fact that she appears in Season 5 as a Second Lieutenant. If she had been in a lower class, she would not have been commissioned in time to appear at that rank.
  • After Hailey enters Brigadier General Michael Kerrigan's office, you can notice that there are drawer pulls facing Hailey & Carter. Presumably Kerrigan would sit behind his desk with the desk between himself & the door. The desk is turned backwards & nobody on the set dressing staff noticed.
  • The two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. The creatures could have become more agitated due to the magnetic position of the moon, then triggered by the capture.

Other languages[]

  • French: Prodige (Prodigy)
  • Italian: Prodigio (Prodigy)
  • Spanish: Prodigio (Prodigy)
  • Czech: Zázračné Dítě (Miracle Child (Prodigy))
  • Hungarian: Őstehetség (Indigenous Talent (Prodigy))
  • German: Das Wunder (The Miracle)

Links and navigation[]

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Prodigy (Stargate SG-1). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with SGCommand, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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