- "Carter, you're one of this country's natural resources, if not national treasures."
- ―Jack O'Neill
Samantha Carter is an astrophysicist, engineer and pilot who has been the operational leader of the Atlantis Expedition for one year, after playing a key role in bringing the Stargate program into existence. Considered Earth's leading expert on the Stargate and a host of other alien technology, Jack O'Neill once emphatically proclaimed her brain to be a national resource.
Carter is the daughter of General Jacob Carter (Air Force). She was born on December 29, 1968, although Orlin seemed to believe she was born in the month of May. (SG1: "Entity", "Ascension") She has a brother named Mark Carter, who is married and has children. Her mother died when she was a teenager. She blamed her father who was supposed to go pick her up at the airport but didn't, forcing Mrs. Carter to take a taxi and have the accident that killed her. Eventually, Sam forgave her father, although Mark didn't. (SG1: "Seth", "The Devil You Know") Her service number is 366349.
She was exceptionally bright and went on to get a Ph.D. in astrophysics and joined the Air Force. She worked at the Pentagon for 2 years, logged over 100 hours in enemy space during the Persian Gulf War. She was assigned to work on the Stargate Project in 1992, two years before Dr. Daniel Jackson had the opportunity, and was a prominent member of investigating the sciences behind it and developing the Earth dialing program.
It's not known whether she was the leader or just an important member of the team that designed the dialing computer. Captain Carter believed she should have been part of the first team to go to Abydos with Colonel O'Neill and Dr. Jackson. The reason why she ended up not going is unknown. (SG1: "Children of the Gods")
A year after the first Abydos mission, however, Carter, being the foremost expert on the Stargate, was able to join Colonel Jack O'Neill, as his second-in-command, when returning to Abydos to discover if the Goa'uld attackers who arrived on Earth previously were from the planet. Though she had great scientific knowledge on the Stargate, she was not prepared for her first transport and was caught off-guard when arriving on Abydos.
However, almost immediately she started investigating the Abydos Stargate, and its DHD. After meeting the missing Daniel Jackson, Carter, along with him and O'Neill, visited the Abydos cartouche, discovering that the "gate" could go to several hundred worlds and the reason why Earth's Stargate could not dial any planet other than Abydos. She discovered that she could easily make the dialing computer do the necessary calculations.
Along with the rest of the team and Jackson, she returned to Earth after Apophis attacked the Abydos pyramid through the gate. After retrieving the gate address of Apophis' homeworld, Chulak, from Ferretti, she was assigned to O'Neill's SG-1 team. After the meeting, she and the team, along with Kawalsky's SG-2 travelled to Chulak. Upon discovering a village, Carter, along with the rest of SG-1, were thrown into a large cell with other Abydonians. The work of O'Neill was able to get the Jaffa Teal'c to join them and allowed Carter, along with the others, to escape and return to Earth, along with the Abydonians. (SG1: "Children of the Gods")
She remained with SG-1 after that mission and became one of the SGC's best officers. She's also their most brilliant scientist and expert on alien technology. She was engaged to Captain Jonas Hanson, later also of the SGC, but returned the ring when she realized he wasn't right for her as he had very domineering side. She was right to have broken it off as he took over a world and started acting like a god to its people. (SG1: "The First Commandment")
Carter bonded very tightly with a little girl from a planet named Hanka, Cassandra, and risked her life to provide her with some comfort when they thought Cassie was a time bomb. Cassie was eventually adopted by Dr. Janet Fraiser which allowed Sam and Janet to become really close friends over the years. (SG1: "Singularity")
During her second year at the SGC, she was taken over by a Tok'ra symbiote, Jolinar of Malkshur, who sacrificed herself to save Sam from the Ashrak, a high rank assassin sent after Jolinar. This experience left her with memories of the Tok'ra and a protein marker in her blood allowing her to use Goa'uld technology such as hand and Healing Devices. (SG1: "In the Line of Duty", "Need", "Thor's Hammer")
Using the memories left by Jolinar, Captain Carter led SG-1 to a planet where the Tok'ra were hiding. She'd learned earlier that her father, General Carter, was dying of cancer. She offered him as a host for the dying Tok'ra Selmak as a show of good-will between the Tok'ra and the Tau'ri. She also made friends with the Tok'ra Martouf. (SG1: "Secrets", "The Tok'ra")
Captain Carter was later promoted to Major. (SG1: "Fair Game") Once again, Jolinar's memories were needed to go rescue her father who had been captured by the Goa'uld Sokar and put on the prison moon Ne'tu, a moon modeled after Hell. (SG1: "Jolinar's Memories", "The Devil You Know")
Carter, along with Teal'c, was beamed up by O'Neill when Thor's ship was infested with Replicators. After they destroyed the vessel and gated back to Earth, Carter went to Othalla to help coordinate its defense against the Replicators. Carter came up with the idea of using the O'Neill to lure the Replicator ships away, and to destroy the ship in hyperspace, which also destroyed the Replicators. (SG1: "Nemesis", "Small Victories")
Shortly afterwards, the Tok'ra Anise convinced Carter, O'Neill, and Jackson to use the Atanik armband. The armbands increased their physical abilities, but also impaired their judgment. The three hijacked the Stargate, but the armbands fell off. Afterwards, it was feared that O'Neill and Carter had been made za'tarcs. It was only after they admitted that they had feelings for each other that they were absolved, but Carter was forced to zat Martouf. (SG1: "Upgrades", "Divide and Conquer")
After stealing Cronus's ha'tak, SG-1 intended to use the vessel to evacuate the Tok'ra. Tanith, a spy serving Apophis, sent word to Apophis, who brought his fleet. Carter and Jacob came up with a plan to destroy Apophis' fleet: they blew up Vorash's sun. The plan worked, but the ha'tak Jacob and SG-1 were on was sent to another Galaxy, along with Apophis' mothership. The Replicators managed to capture and infest both ships, but SG-1 caused the ha'tak to crash into Delmak, killing the Replicators and Apophis. (SG1: "Exodus", "Enemies")
Afterwards, Carter was doing research on a weapon on Velona, she encountered an Ascended being, who accidentally caused to faint. After returning to Earth, Carter went on leave, but the Ascended being, named Orlin, followed her to Earth, and the two began to fall in love. However, the NID was watching Carter, and Orlin returned to Velona to destroy weapon, which resulted in his death. (SG1: "Ascension")
Carter was kidnapped by men hired by Adrian Conrad, who is terminally with a rare desease. He had her captured because he had a Goa'uld symbiote and wanted to use it as a means to cure him. He wanted Carter because of the incident with Jolinar, believing she has a means to kill the Goa'uld without risking the host's life, not knowing Jolinar actually gave up her life to save her three years previously. She was eventually rescued by O'Neill. (SG1: "Desperate Measures")
After Daniel Jackson's death, O'Neill and Teal'c retreated into themselves, causing resentment for Carter. She was not as hostile to Jonas Quinn, though still opposed to allowing him onto SG-1. Around that time, Earth was attacked by Anubis, who attempted to cause the Stargate to overload. After Jonas gave Carter the idea to send the gate into space with the X-302, Carter argued for Jonas to be allowed onto SG-1, and O'Neill finally agreed. (SG1: "Redemption")
When Human Form Replicators emerged on Halla, Carter bonded with Fifth, who was convinced to help stop the other Replicators. O'Neill, however, ordered Carter to leave Fifth behind, which Carter felt guilty over. (SG1: "Unnatural Selection")
Commanders of SG-1
| Jonathan J. O'Neill (1997-2000) |
Robert Makepeace (2000)
Jonathan J. O'Neill (2000-2004)
Samantha Carter (2004-2005)
Cameron Mitchell (2005-Present)
After O'Neill had the Ancient's repository of knowledge downloaded into his brain, he was put in stasis to preserve his life. Carter was able to convince Elizabeth Weir to allow Teal'c and herself to travel to the Ida galaxy, to seek the assistance of Thor. Carter was captured by Fifth, who tortured her and sought to convince her he loved her, but was eventually convinced to free her. She was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and given command of SG-1 as Colonel O'Neill was promoted to Brigadier General and given command of the SGC. Shortly afterwards, Pete proposed to Carter, and she accepted. (SG1: "New Order", "Affinity")
The Atlantis Expedition had an opportunity to send a very brief data transmission to Earth. The "intergalactic e-mail" is successfully sent to Stargate Command and received by Lt. Colonel Carter. (SGA: "Letters from Pegasus")
When the Replicators, lead by a Replicator duplicate of Carter, invaded the Milky Way, they wiped out most of the System Lords. Carter worked with Thor to make the Replicator disruptor viable again, but was unable to succeed. After learning of the Dakara superweapon, Carter and Jacob were able to use the device to destroy every Replicator in the galaxy at once, wiping them out, which also resulted in the destruction of the Goa'uld Empire. Afterwards, Carter began to doubt her decision to marry Pete, and when her father died, she ended the relationship. (SG1: "Reckoning", "Threads")
Later, Carter was convinced to allow SG-1 to use the Time-Jumper SG-1 found on Harry Maybourne's planet to travel back in time to take a ZPM from Ra. However, Horus Guards found the Puddle Jumper they used, stranding SG-1 in the past. SG-1 attempted to form a rebellion, but Carter, O'Neill, and Teal'c were killed, and Ra took the Stargate from Earth, changing history. However, an alternate Carter, O'Neill, and Teal'c travelled back in time, and managed to repair history with the help of Daniel. (SG1: "Moebius")
With the collapse of the Goa'uld Empire, SG-1 disbanded itself. Carter did not join Cameron Mitchell's efforts to reunite the team, but came back when SG-1 tried to stop an Ori beachhead from forming on Kallana. (SG1: "Avalon", "Beachhead")
When an Ori plague descended on Earth, Orlin descended himself to help the Tau'ri develop a cure, and Carter helped him. Their efforts eventually succeeded, but resulted in Orlin suffering brain damage and amnesia. (SG1: "The Fourth Horseman")
While studying Merlin's datalog, Mitchell, Carter, and Daniel were shifted into an alternate dimension. Daniel read the log, and learned of the Sangraal a weapon designed to kill ascended beings. Later, Carter went out to a Supergate to dial the Ori home galaxy, but was temporarily stranded when the gate activated. She was saved when Mitchell guided the Odyssey to bring her into the F-302 bay. (SG1: "Arthur's Mantle", "Camelot", "Flesh and Blood")
She was once shot by an Ori soldier while attempting to protect a village from Ori forces by taking it "out of phase" with one of Merlin's. She did make a full recovery (SG1: "Line in the Sand"). Later, she used the same device to attempt to cloak an entire planet, but accidentally travelled to a Alternate reality where Ori motherships headed towards Earth. She managed to send the entire Earth out of phase by using up to 95% of all of the USA's power. She eventually made it back to her own reality. (SG1: "The Road Not Taken")
Commanders of the Atlantis expedition
| Dr. Elizabeth Weir (2004-2007) |
Sometime after those events, she was promoted to full-bird Colonel and was responsible for the final stages of the completion of the Midway space station along with Dr. Lee. During the course of which she joined the search for the missing Atlantis onboard the Apollo. (SGA: "Adrift") After helping to locate the city, she assisted in its landing on M35-117 before returning to Earth to brief Gen. Landry. (SGA: "Lifeline") She was later sent back to Atlantis to take command of its operations after Dr. Weir went missing on Asuras.
She recalled both the Daedalus and the Apollo, now fitted with Asgard beam weapons to defeat the Asurans once and for all and worked with McKay to destroy their homeworld. (SGA: "Be All My Sins Remember'd")
When trying to evacuate a civilization from a planet prone to earthquakes, she ended up trapped in an old Genii mining station with Drs. McKay and Keller underground. During several attempts to escape, she broke her leg, but made it out eventually and recovered. (SGA: "Trio")
Soon after rescuing Teyla from the hands of Michael, she returned to Earth for an "exhaustive review of her first year in command", but instead she was informed that she was removed from command and being followed up by Richard Woolsey. (SGA: "Search and Rescue")
Service Awards and Decorations
Throughout her years in the Stargate Program, Sam's romantic life has taken several interesting twists and turns. Several of the men she has been involved with to some degree are as follows:
- Captain Jonas Hanson
- Before she joined the Stargate Program, Sam was engaged to Hanson. When she discovered how controlling he could be, she broke off the engagement with him.
- A member of the Tok'ra, Martouf/Lantash had been the mate of Jolinar. Upon meeting host and symbiote, Sam could feel the residual emotions left behind by Jolinar. Over time, she herself grew to become very fond of Martouf.
- One of the Tollan that was rescued by Sam and SG-1. They grew close during their time together and remained so until his supposed death. She even gifted him with her cat.
- An Ancient who fell in love with her and followed her home to Earth, where he Descended in order to stay with her. He was forced to Ascend again when his presence became known and members of the NID sought to capture him for interrogation. Several years later, he returned to Earth to aide them in discovering a cure for the plague brought upon them by the Ori.
- Joe Faxon
- An Ambassador assigned to negotiate with the Aschen. He offered to buy Sam dinner and was very keenly interested in her. Upon discovering the Aschen's plans to destroy Earth, he forced her to leave him behind so that she could return through the Stargate and close the iris before a bomb could be sent through.
- In an alternate timeline, Sam and Joe were happily married to one another until she discovered that the Aschen had managed to sterilize nearly the entire population of Earth. Upon her revealing this to Joe, he revealed that he had known about the sterilization, had even agreed to it in return for the Aschen's protection extending to Earth.
- Pete Shanahan
- A cop from Denver that Sam's brother Mark set her up with. Early on in their relationship, he grew suspicious of her mysterious job and odd work hours and did a background check on her through the FBI. He even started following her and landed himself in the middle of a battle with Osiris. As a result, Sam received permission to reveal the Stargate Program to him. Several months later, he proposed to her, which she accepted, but after the death of Jacob Carter, Sam ended the relationship.
- Jack O'Neill
- Perhaps her most interesting and most enduring relationship. For seven years, Jack was her commanding officer, but this did not stop feelings from developing between the two. These feelings were revealed in the midst of the Za'tarc crisis, but both chose not to act on them given their working relationship. Sometime after, Jack is stuck in a time loop and decides to enjoy himself. But we won't say anything more about that incident. One reoccurring incident was Jack inviting her to go fishing at his cabin, something she always turned down until shortly after the death of her father.
- In two different alternate timelines, Jack O'Neill and Sam Carter were engaged or married to one another, respectively. In a third alternate reality, where Sam was married to Joe Faxon, they were clearly estranged from one another given their difference of opinion concerning the Aschen Alliance. One reoccurring theme is the fact that Daniel seems to be oblivious to Jack and Sam's feeling for each other. On many occasions Teal'c has pointed out the fact that Sam seems to worry about Jack as much as he worries about her to Jack, but Daniel remains unknowing, and Jack doesn't express these feelings to Sam. Jack has also stopped her from stating her feelings to him when he was thought to be dying frequently.
- Rodney McKay
- On first glance there is not much of a relationship, but listening to him gives the clear impression that at least he was and is very interested in Carter, the one person he considers brilliant and possibly smarter or at least wiser than he is. In the Stargate Atlantis episode Grace under Pressure they even make out with each other - though this is only in a special alternate universe, namely that of McKay's subconscious mind. The Pegasus Project brings them closer together and Carter will be responsible for introducing a second McKay into the Stargate universe. The future, as both actors have hinted at, holds more in store for this (non-)couple as a team.
Another reoccurring theme with these men is that most of them have died. Hanson was killed off-world by a people he had manipulated into worshiping him as a god, Martouf was killed when, under Za'tarc programming, he attempted to kill the President, Lantash following him roughly a year later when he sacrificed himself to save SG-1. Narim is presumed dead along with the rest of his people, as is Joe Faxon. Orlin ascended once and died again after descending. Jack O'Neill and Rodney McKay seems to be the only ones whom hasn't yet died.
During her off hours, Sam likes to work on her motorcycle (sometimes helped by Master Sergeant Siler), work on her Naquadah generators, play chess with Cassie on Saturdays (when she is on Earth) and has lately discovered that she does, indeed, like fishing. (SG1: "Rite of Passage", "Threads") She also talks to her plants. (SG1: "One False Step")
Some evienence does seem to imply that she may be at least somewhat religious. For example, in 1997, she stated that she hadn't heard church bells for a long time and in 2001, when a brainwashed Teal'c asked her whether she believed in a god, she refused to give a straight answer. (SG1: "Bloodlines", "Threshold")
Behind the scenes
Amanda Tapping stated in a December 2005 interview that the dog tags Carter wears throughout the series state she is Roman Catholic. In the same interview, Tapping stated that, in her mind at least, Carter is religious, but that she probably doesn't follow organized religion. However, the writing on her dog tags is not legible in any episode, so none of this is conclusive.
- In an alternate reality Dr. Samantha Carter, Ph.D was a civilian doctor engaged to General Jack O'Neill. She met Daniel Jackson during a Goa'uld invasion of Earth and correctly determined he was from another reality. She committed suicide rather than surrender to Apophis' forces. Like her counterpart in our reality, she seems to be analytical and unflappable. She wore her long hair with barrette. (SG1: "There But for the Grace of God")
- In an alternate reality Samantha Carter was a civilian doctor who discovered how to make the Stargate work. She was married to Jack O'Neill for a year when Apophis overthrew Earth. Jack was killed and his death had a huge effect on her. With Charles Kawalsky, she journeyed through the Quantum Mirror to our reality and met her counterpart. When entropic cascade failure occurred, due to two of the same person existing in one reality, the SGC decided the alternates of Samantha Carter and Charles Kawalsky had to return to their own reality. The Carters repair the device that allowed them to contact the Asgard in their reality. The Carter from this reality seems to be much more emotional than her counterpart in our reality, though they seem to be equal in the scientific realm. She also wore her hair long, but without a barrette. Though she is married to Jack O'Neill, she still refers to herself as Samantha Carter, rather than Samantha O'Neill. (SG1: "Point of View")
- A version of Carter (it is unknown if her first name is the same) was briefly glimpsed by Daniel Jackson when he was attempting to find our reality on the Quantum Mirror. He thought this was our own reality, until he noticed Carter was still a Captain. (SG1: "Point of View")
- In an alternate reality where Earth became an ally of the Aschen, Samantha Carter stayed faithful to her decision to support the alien race until she discovered the sinister actions behind the scenes. In the last ten years of her life, Carter eventually rose to the rank of Colonel before retiring from the Air Force, married Joe Faxon, Earth's Ambassador to the Aschen, and worked on several major projects (one of which included the transformation of Jupiter into a sun). When Carter and her husband were having difficulty conceiving a child, she along with Janet Fraiser began an investigation that led to the discovery of the Aschen's efforts to sterilize Earth's population through the anti-aging vaccine. The two women promptly told Teal'c, Daniel Jackson, and later, Jack O'Neill. The group soon formed a plan to send a message through the Stargate and back in time ten years previous, warning their past selves to avoid the mission that would have brought them into contact with the Aschen. But finding that they needed a GDO to make the plan work, Carter confessed what she had discovered to Joe, who then revealed that he had known about the sterilization all along (although not to such an enormous extent). Nevertheless, he obtained the GDO for them, but gave it up only after O'Neill gave his word that Carter would have no further part in what they were planning. Despite Joe's efforts, however, Carter turned away from her husband and rejoined her team in the plan's final execution. Even though the area around the Stargate was under heavy fire and O'Neill, Jackson, and Teal'c all lay dead around it, Carter ran to the Stargate to finish what they had begun. Picking up the message, she stumbled the last few feet to the Stargate and sent it through as she fell under the fire of the automated defense system. (SG1: "2010")
- In an alternate reality created through interference with the timeline, Dr. Samantha Carter worked at the Department of Aerospace as a copy editor. Carter, Daniel Jackson, and Jack O'Neill traveled to Chulak to recruit Teal'c. They traveled back to ancient Egypt to fix the timeline. (SG1: "Moebius, Part 1", "Moebius, Part 2")
- A version of Samantha Carter, specific rank unknown, came to our reality in an attempt to steal a ZPM and return it to their reality for securing their Earth. She is married and has been on a honeymoon. (SG1: "Ripple Effect")
- In an alternate reality Samantha Carter was not part of SG-1 in January of 2006, but home for maternity leave. She was involved with Martouf, but according to him, had moved on and was now with someone else, though he did not specifically say who it was. (SG1: "Ripple Effect")
- One Carter was still a Major and was married to McKay, until a divorce. She was killed during an experiment to protect Earth against the Ori the same time the Carter from our reality entered. (SG1: "The Road Not Taken")
- Carter was trapped with SG-1 on the Odyssey trapped in a Time dilation field to figure out a way to avoid the ship's new Asgard upgrades, since the Ori can track them. It took her 50 years to figure out a way by sending Teal'c back in time. During the 50 years, she looked over all the Asgard upgrades and learned to play the cello. She was killed temporarily as the ship was destroyed, but Teal'c traveled back in time to about a few seconds before the Odyssey got destroyed in normal time condition. (SG1: "Unending")
- After Michael Kenmore controlled and ruled the Pegasus Galaxy, Carter tried to stop him by constructing the Phoenix and attacked Michael's fleet Guerilla-style a few times. However, luck ran out as some of Michael's ships tipped off Carter and her ship was attacked, losing shields, hyperdrive and weapons, Carter evacuated the crew, but the transported were out of use before Carter could evacuate. In a last ditch effort, she set the Phoenix on a collision course with one of the enemy ships. Three hive ships were destroyed, as well as the Phoenix, killing Carter. (SGA: "The Last Man")
- In an alternate timeline where Earth's Stargate was lost in Antarctica, she became an astronaut for NASA and Mission Commander of the Intrepid. During one of her missions in 2004, she risked her own life trying to save the rest of her crew. She was killed, but her body was never found. She was deemed a hero and had a funeral ceremony on the front lawn of the White House. (SG1: "Continuum")
|Current members||Cameron Mitchell - Daniel Jackson - Teal'c of Chulak - Vala Mal Doran|
|Former members||Fred Buonarotti - Samantha Carter - Castleman - David Dixon - Hagman - Robert Makepeace - Mathison - Jonathan J. O'Neill - Jonas Quinn|
Jonathan J. O'Neill
|Commander of SG-1|
| Succeeded by|
|Commander of the Atlantis expedition|
| Succeeded by|