"Scorched Earth" is the ninth episode of the fourth season of Stargate SG-1.


SG-1 has relocated the Enkarans to a planet suitable for them. However, at the same time, the Gadmeer, a sulfur-based lifeform also claims the planet, by igniting the planet with their terraformer.


After several months of searching, Stargate Command finally locates a planet suitable to the unique requirements of the Enkarans. The Enkarans are very sensitive to solar radiation, and thus need a planet with a high ozone concentration in order to survive.

However, two weeks after resettling the Enkarans on P5S-381, SG-1 discovers that an alien ship is terraforming the planet, making it suitable for a sulfur-based life form. These changes will kill the carbon-based Enkarans, when it reaches their village the following day. The Enkarans refuse to leave, since they are too many and because there is no other planet they can settle on.

After Major General George S. Hammond refuses to grant the ammunition required to mount an offensive against the enormous vessel, Colonel Jack O'Neill decides that their only option is to try and communicate with whatever lifeforms might be on the ship. SG-1 sets up a radio transmitter and within a short space of time they are transported on board the alien vessel.

They are greeted on board by a biomechanical life form generated by the ship to appear in the image of the Enkarans. The creature calls itself Lotan. He explains to them that the ship was built by the last of a now-extinct race known as the Gadmeer.

The Gadmeer were a 10,000-year-old, highly advanced race of sulfur-based creatures, overcome by a stronger military power. Rather than embrace extinction, the Gadmeer filled the ship with genetic samples of its race, and of plants and animals from their world. The ship's computers were filled with all the knowledge, art, music and philosophy of the Gadmeer. The ship's computer was programmed to search for the most suitable planet where the Gadmeer civilization could be reborn. Now that the terraforming process has started it can't be stopped because there is not enough energy to start on a new planet. So the team is caught in the position of deciding whether to help the Enkarans or let the spaceship terraform the planet.

Jack O'Neill is adamant that the Enkarans be saved, stating that they shouldn't care about an already extinct species but Dr. Daniel Jackson remains convinced that there is a way for both races to survive. Whilst Daniel goes back to try and convince the Gadmeer to find another planet to terraform, O'Neill tries to devise a way to launch an attack on the ship. After much hesitation, O'Neill orders Major Samantha Carter to convert the Naquadah generator, which was going to power the Enkaran village for the coming year, into a Naquadah bomb which will detonate when the ship passes the location of it.

Meanwhile, Daniel convinces Lotan to see the Enkarans and to see what he will destroy. Although Lotan agrees that he doesn't want the Enkaran civilization to be destroyed, he has to follow his program and so the terraforming continues. However Daniel is finally able to convince Lotan to stop the terraforming temporarily, shortly before the ship reaches the village of the Enkarans. Then the ship detects the Naqahdah bomb, briefly brings it inside to see if it can be disarmed, then is ejected into the atmosphere where it detonates harmlessly.

It is revealed that, while searching for a planet suitable for the Gadmeer, the spaceship had located another planet that would be well-suited for the Enkarans. The planet was rejected as a suitable candidate for the terraforming process for three reasons:

  1. The planet was too large for the ship to terraform due to its limited supply of raw materials
  2. The planet had a core temperature too high and, as the planet the SGC moved the Enkarans to was quite cold, this would only benefit the people
  3. There were already intelligent lifeforms on the planet. As it turns out, this planet is Enkara, the original Enkaran home world.

The team manages a compromise that satisfies both sides. The alien ship will carry the Enkarans back to their homeworld, which has no Stargate, and the ship can return and continue with its terraforming. Jack sarcastically says in reference to Lotan "and he's mentioning this now?", to which Daniel responds that he didn't know, and "technically he is only a day and a half old". Lotan then decides to stay with the Enkarans on Hedrazar's invitation, since he was created in their image.


Appearances for Scorched Earth





Sentient Species




Notable quotes[]

Carter: The atmosphere in the wake of the ship shows a high incidence of sulfur dioxide.
O'Neill: Chemical warfare?
Carter: I don't think so, Sir. Take a look at this.
(Jack looks into the microscope)
O'Neill: Oh yeah. Little... fuzzy orange things.

(Discussing what to do about the alien ship)
Jackson: Any intelligence capable of engineering something like that must be capable of reason.
Carter: Question is will they listen?
O'Neill: Or the real question is, will they have ears?

(On board the alien ship)
O'Neill: Carter?
Carter: Sir?
O'Neill: Should we really be opening drawers and things?
(Daniel touches the alien symbols, opening up a drawer)
O'Neill: What did I just say?

Lotan: The beings that built it are called the Gadmeer.
O'Neill: Not exactly E.T.

Jackson: You say that they were an advanced civilization. 10,000 years of history.
Lotan: Yes.
Jackson: They had laws, justice?
Lotan: Yes.
Jackson: A respect for life?
Lotan: Yes.
Jackson: Then how can their world be recreated through an act of mass murder? Wouldn't that be a betrayal of everything they stood for? You said you were made to communicate. You're not here simply to serve life on this ship. You're here to protect the integrity of life on this ship. There's a big difference. Are you really fulfilling your true function by allowing this to happen?

Jackson: We found the original Enkaran homeworld.
Hedrezar: What?
Carter: How?
Jackson: It was one of several million planets scanned by the ship before it settled on this one. It was rejected partly because of the presence of intelligent life forms.
O'Neill: He's telling us this now?
Jackson: Well he didn't know... and technically, he's just a day and a half old, so... give him a break.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • The Enkarans were first mentioned (albeit in passing) at the beginning of "Watergate".
  • Mallozzi told fans in an online chat that the original ending of "Scorched Earth" was quite different and much darker. In the original version of the script, Lotan blew up the ship and destroyed the Gadmeer civilization. There was to have been some closure dialogue between Colonel Jack O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson, along the lines of O'Neill saying, "When all is said and done, I'm glad I didn't blow up the ship." Jackson replies, "I'm glad you didn't either." They share a smile, and walk out.
  • The set of the interior of Lotan's ship is the same set (although redressed) as Thor's ship the Biliskner in "Nemesis" where Teal'c and Major Samantha Carter are beamed into. The lighting panels are also the same but positioned horizontally.
  • The computer consoles on the ship are later re-purposed to other consoles in "Exodus" when Carter is dialing the gate from the mother ship.


  • When Major Samantha Carter holds a briefing about the Gadmeer terraformer at the beginning, the depiction of the ship labels it as a terraformer even though they haven't actually determined that yet. It is not until the next scene that Carter decides that they are dealing with a terraforming ship from looking at microbe samples.
  • When Carter hands the photos to Major General George S. Hammond, a line can be seen on the bottom of the photo: "This photograph is the property of the U.S. Airforce. Duplication or distribution of this item will result in court marshal...." It should read "Air Force" and "court martial."

Other languages[]

  • German: Die Enkaraner (The Enkarans)
  • French: Terre Brûlée (Scorched Earth)
  • Italian: Terra Bruciata (Scorched Earth)
  • Spanish: Tierra Arrasada (Destroyed Earth)
  • Czech: Spálená Země (Scorched Earth)
  • Hungarian: Felperzselt fold (Scorched Earth)
  • Russian: Выжженная земля (Scorched Earth)

Links and navigation[]

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Scorched Earth (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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