"Prometheus Unbound" is the twelfth episode of the eighth season of Stargate SG-1.


Lt. General George S. Hammond returns and offers Dr. Daniel Jackson to go with him on board the Prometheus to find the missing Atlantis expedition. However, on the way they pick up a distress signal and investigate. There, a Kull warrior makes its way on board, and imprisons Jackson and leaves the rest of the crew trapped on a damaged Al'kesh.


Dr. Daniel Jackson and Brigadier General Jack O'Neill are arguing about whether or not Daniel can go on the upcoming mission to Atlantis. Daniel wants to go but Jack refuses, stating that he needs Daniel right here.

They're surprised to find Lt. General George S. Hammond in O'Neill's office chair. On noting that he's missed it, O'Neill hopes he means he's returning to command the SGC, but Hammond dashes those hopes by clarifying that it's the actual chair he's missed and will be taking it for himself back to Homeworld Command (O'Neill can requisition a new one). As for Atlantis, he solves the issue by telling O'Neill that Daniel will in fact be taking part in the mission, as Hammond himself is going to be in command of the Prometheus, and therefore, the mission. MSgt. Walter Harriman will also be going.

On board the Prometheus, Daniel briefs the command crew on where they're going. He meets Dr. Lindsey Novak, who apparently turned down the opportunity to go on the first mission to Atlantis. As they are talking, an alarm goes off on the ship. Daniel goes to the bridge, where they are picking up a distress call.

They drop out of hyperspace, and find a suspicious-looking Al'kesh, sitting dead in space. SG-3 is sent to investigate; however, the team is stunned and a Kull Warrior transports over to the Prometheus. It rings the entire

Prometheus Unbound 1

Vala attacks the ship.

crew (except for Daniel) to the Al'kesh, then pilots the Prometheus away.

Daniel finds his way to the bridge, having grabbed a FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon with the Kull disruptor embedded in it. He sneaks up on the Kull and shoots it twice in the back but to no avail. The Kull Warrior then turns round and shoots Daniel with a Zat'nik'tel.

Meanwhile, the Prometheus' crew attempts to get the Al'kesh running again.

Daniel wakes up on the bridge of the Prometheus, tied up in the command chair. Daniel attempts to make small talk until the Warrior removes "its" helmet, revealing Vala Mal Doran. She attempts to extract the Prometheus command codes from Daniel, but he resists, eventually managing to break free of his bonds and regain control of the situation. However, the computers have been programmed to accept commands only from Vala, and an Al'kesh suddenly appears on their radar. (Unbeknownst to Daniel and Vala, it is the Al'kesh containing the Prometheus crew.) Vala explains that she has commandeered the vessel only as a means of helping her people, who are refugees because of rebellion against Goa'uld. She and Daniel struggle for control of the ship and Daniel gains the upper hand, but not before the Prometheus jumps into hyperspace.

Planet (Prometheus Unbound)

The Prometheus arrives at its coordinates.

Daniel puts Vala in the brig and returns to the bridge, but cannot figure out how to access the navigational controls. When she wakes up, he tries, unsuccessfully, to get her to tell him how to turn the ship around. When the ship arrives at the given coordinates, Daniel disembarks, only to find out that there are no refugees at all. Apparently, Vala instead planned to trade the Prometheus for a large quantity of refined, weapons-grade Naquadah. While Daniel attempts to explain the situation to Vala's trading partners (members of the Lucian Alliance), a pair of Death Glider begins strafing their position. Daniel Zats the two traders and returns to the Prometheus.

Daniel is forced to allow Vala out of her cell so that she can fly the ship. They lift off, and attempt to go to hyperspace, but the hull has taken too much damage. They raise the shield and activate the automatic weaponry, but the shields soon fail when more Gliders and some Al'kesh arrive. As they are running out of ammunition, they notice that one of the Al'kesh is firing on the other ships. It proves to be the crew of the Prometheus. Daniel persuades Vala to unlock the Transportation rings, and the crew rings aboard.

Vala asks Daniel what he intends to do with her, and he admits that he's not sure. However, as she begins to make some conciliatory remarks, he shoots her with the Zat again.

Finally, it turns out that the Prometheus has sustained too much hull damage to make the trip to Atlantis. The crew plans to return to Earth to make repairs. As this discussion concludes, another alarm sounds: Vala has escaped. She rings to the Al'kesh and escapes into hyperspace.


Appearances for Prometheus Unbound





Sentient Species



Notable quotes[]

O'Neill: General!
Hammond: Jack. I let myself in. Hope you don't mind.
O'Neill: Absolutely not. Welcome.
Hammond: Thank you.
O'Neill: Miss the chair?
Hammond: Actually, I do.
O'Neill: Want it back?
Hammond: As a matter of fact, I do. My new one just isn't the same.
O'Neill: That's not exactly what I meant...

Jackson: I'm sorry, what was I saying?
Novak: Oh, you were assuming the Lost City was at the other end of this field trip. (She hiccups) Ignore me.
Jackson: It's hard to.

Jackson: It's little strange, isn't it? See, that weapon I shot you with should have killed you. What's even stranger is you guys usually don't take prisoners either. I mean it's kind of kill first and... No, that's generally just about it. Just the killing.

Jackson: You're a Goa'uld.
Vala: No, but I was once a host to one.
Jackson: Which would explain the naquadah in your blood that lets you use Goa'uld technology.
Vala: And how I can quickly learn to fly this rather primitive ship.
Jackson: Yeah, so primitive I wonder why it was worth the bother.
Vala: Well in this case it's the size that matters...I think that's pretty much in every case.

Jackson: (to Vala) You're a fruitcake!

Vala: Did you have fun taking off my clothes?
Jackson: It was your idea.
Vala: I meant when I was conscious. You know, so I could distract you and kick you in the head.

Jackson: Hi guys.
Tenat: Who are you?
Jackson: Ah... The name's Olo. Hans... Olo.

(Reynolds has just rescued Hammond from the hull, but Hammond is unconscious)
Reynolds: General? General? Sir!
Harriman: Is he breathing?
(Reynolds shakes his head no)
Novak: He may need mouth-to-mouth.
(Reynolds looks dismayed at the prospect; she glares at him impatiently, so he reluctantly moves Hammond's head. Just as he is about to start mouth-to-mouth, Hammond coughs)
Reynolds: Oh, excellent! Excellent waking up, sir!

Vala: Come on Daniel. You've seen me naked, the least you could do is cook me dinner.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • On the European and Australian DVD release of Season 8, this is the 11th episode, not the 12th.
  • This episode does not feature a Stargate.
  • This episode was also aired before "Gemini" on the Russian channel TV-3.
  • The Tel'Tak's interior is depicted using a radically different set compared to all other on screen appearances.
  • When Jackson meets the two aliens, he introduces himself as Hans Olo, a homophone of Han Solo from Star Wars.
  • Wearing the Kull armor minus the helmet still gives the wearer invulnerability to energy weapons. It is unknown if this would still be the case if Jackson had been shot in the head without the helmet, though.
  • One can see, when Jackson is shown watching Vala Mal Doran eat, that behind him the screen is showing news stories from Earth. It is unclear whether this was intentional, or an oversight.
  • The Al'kesh clearly formerly belonged to Ba'al as when on the bridge, the standard of Ba'al is seen in the background.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Vala Mal Doran (Claudia Black) on the series. As noted on the DVD audio commentary for the episode, Vala's appearance mimics that of the first appearance of Aeryn Sun, Claudia Black's role on the TV show Farscape, with both characters revealing themselves by removing imposing armored helmets. Vala later returns as a recurring character in season 9 and would later become a fully-fledged, permanent member of SG-1 in season 10.


  • When fighting with Vala Mal Doran in the engine room Dr. Daniel Jackson is knocked backwards into, and over, the control console making the set piece move.
  • Vala claims that the bodysuit of the Kull armor will still protect her from a zat'nik'tel discharge. She is either bluffing or this is a continuity error as Jackson uses it effectively twice against her and both times the discharge struck the bodysuit itself, not her exposed head.
  • Vala, despite being only slightly over 5 feet in height, is able to wear armor that requires an extremely muscular Kull Warrior of almost 7 feet in height to operate. Despite having no visible musculature, Vala not only moves about in the armor without difficulty, but physically moves people twice her own body mass while wearing the armor. This is also a literal impossibility.
  • It's mentioned that it would take 20 minutes to go 50 light years. The Pegasus Dwarf is ~3 million light years from Earth, being a satellite galaxy of M31. This would mean it would require roughly 1,200,000 minutes or 833 days to travel the distance.

Other languages[]

  • French: En Détresse (In Distress)
  • Italian: Prometheus Sciolta (Prometheus Unbound)
  • Spanish: Ataque Al Prometeo (Attack on the Prometheus)
  • Czech: Upoutaný Prometheus (Confined Prometheus)
  • German: Vala (Vala)
  • Hungarian: A megszabadított Prométheusz (Prometheus Unbound)

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