- "...that made it war, and that's what we do."
- ―Tamara Johansen[src]
Tamara Johansen, also known as "T.J.", is a 1st lieutenant in the United States Air Force and a field medic in the Stargate Program. She is a member of the team sent and later trapped aboard the Ancient vessel Destiny.
Tamara Johansen was born sometime in 1983 and came from a modest background. She has both surviving parents, and a sister. Her father worked as a tailor; he actually taught her how to do stitches, after he stitched himself in an injury. He had since retired. Johansen used to go camping with her father in the Olympic Peninsula. She is also an aunt to both her sister's children, and is quite fond of them. (SGU: "Darkness", "Time", "Faith")
At some point, she trained to become an officer in the United States Air Force, and became assigned to the Stargate Program, where by 2009, she would be assigned to Icarus Base, working under Dr. Simms, the lead medic at the base. She once noted that she saw at least one gunshot suicide. She had an affair with her commanding officer, Colonel Everett Young, a married man. The two would later conceive a child. After some time, she decided to end it, and to avoid any further complications, (During Season 1 ep 20, she was in a fire fight aboard Destiny. (the ship) During the fire fight she got shot, doctors from SGC, used the communication stones to help her. They managed to stop the bleeding and get the bullet out. But the baby's heart rate was dropping significantly. While unconscious she found herself on the planet where Dr. Caine and other crew members had stayed behind, her daughter alive and healthy. She wasn't allowed to go back with her daughter. TJ eventually recovered. Sadly, the baby didn't make it in the real world.) decided to leave the Air Force after her scholarship to a Seattle University was approved. This raised suspicions by the base's International Oversight Advisory representative Camile Wray. (SGU: "Air, Part 1", "Air, Part 2", "Earth", "Justice", "Faith").
One night, the base was under attack by the Lucian Alliance. The attack fatally injured Dr. Simms, despite her attempts to save him. After they evacuated to the other end of the nine chevron address, she and around 80 others arrived on Destiny, and cut off from Earth. Since Simms died, the responsibilities of becoming the lead field medic fell to her hands. Immediately, she tended to Colonel Everett Young after he arrived unconscious, and later to Senator Alan Armstrong after he collapsed from internal bleeding, which accelerated from the warfarin from his heart medication. While a team was sent to a desert planet to find lime to repair the ship's life support, she looked after Young, who at the time was occupied by Colonel David Telford. He put Young's body through more physical stress, forcing her to sedate him until Young returned to his own body. (SGU: "Air, Part 1", "Air, Part 2", "Air, Part 3")
A day after repairing the life support, Colonel Everett Young officially reinstated her as a medic. She tended to Dr. Nicholas Rush after he collapsed from a nervous breakdown, caused by a caffeine withdrawal, when the ship's power reserves failed. After a while, the ship was sent to an unalterable course to a Star, Young chose her and Lt. Matthew Scott as the two people in charge of another 15 on Destiny's last remaining Ancient shuttle and live on another planet. After the shuttle left, T.J considered those stuck on Destiny lucky, as they faced the prospect of spending the rest of their lives on a desolate planet. When it was revealed that Destiny went to the star to refuel, the shuttle returned in relatively one piece, as were the occupants. (SGU: "Darkness", "Light")
After more time passed, Lt. Matthew Scott and Colonel Everett Young went to an ice planet to replenish their water supply after half of their reserves mysteriously disappeared by what would later turn out to be the Dust bugs swarm Scott inadvertently brought back from the desert planet. Young appointed T.J in charge of the Destiny expedition during his absence. Despite this, she still looked to Dr. Nicholas Rush and others for guidance. She discovered the dust bugs and planned to rid of them after they took more water and severely wounded Cpl. Gorman. She successfully lured them to a water barrel and sent them to "Hoth". However, despite her best efforts of saving Gorman, he later succumbed to his injuries. (SGU: "Water")
When an International Oversight Advisory delegation enacted a plan in an attempt to return the Destiny expedition home, Sgt. Hunter Riley was seriously injured whilst attempting to fix a leaking pipe that ignited. TJ attended to his injuries, though due to the severity, he was "touch and go"; Riley would eventually recover. (SGU: "Earth", "Human")
Weeks later, Colonel Everett Young wanted her to perform Psychiatric evaluations on the crew to determine their mental states. After questioning a few reluctant volunteers, news of this spread, and the others attempted to avoid being questioned by her about how they are coping. Those that attended the evaluations either said something calmly or angrily as shown by Dr. Jeremy Franklin and Dr. Lisa Park. (SGU: "Life")
After Sgt. Spencer was found dead, T.J. determined when he died. Until then, she didn't know about Spencer's addiction to sleeping pills, and believed she would have helped him should she have known about it. She also believed his death to be the result of a suicide, even though the gun wasn't found. When a trial was made in order to determine Colonel Everett Young's guilt or innocence after the weapon was found in his quarters, TJ still believed the death was a suicide, but pointed out that with the lack of forensics equipment, they can't prove it. Ultimately, Spencers death was ruled as suicide after finding the Kino footage with his suicide note. Later, she attended to Dr. Jeremy Franklin after he sat on the Destiny interface chair; he was left in a catatonic state. (SGU: "Justice")
Following the incident where Colonel Everett Young abandoned Dr. Nicholas Rush on a planet (though Young lied that he was trapped in a rock slide), she offered to talk to Young about it, but he refused. After Young used the Long-range communication device, only to be sent to an alien ship, TJ believed this was in his imagination; the tale was revealed to have actually happened. The aliens were alerted to Destiny's location and started an alien attack. After it subsided, TJ tended to the wounded. She later talked with Dr. Robert Caine, who earlier heard that Lt. Vanessa James had a crush on him, and wondered if he would pursue a relationship her; he didn't want one, but reserved the right to change his mind. (SGU: "Space")
Unknown to her, after the initial attack, and the return of Dr. Nicholas Rush, several civilians were planning to overthrow Colonel Everett Young. When the mutiny initiated, TJ was in the Hydroponics lab checking for any plants with medicinal purposes; the lab was part of the civilian side after Rush locked both civilians and military is separate parts of the ship. After learning of the mutiny, she and Airman Dunning, who was also in the wrong place at the wrong time, were disarmed and sent to a makeshift brig. After some time, the aliens returned and started attacking again. After Young's people took back the ship, and learning of a tracking implant in Rush's chest, TJ aided Dr. Brightman in removing it; Destiny later jumped into FTL out of sight of the aliens again. (SGU: "Divided")
Because the mutiny was about the civilians wanting to take some power and be recognized, Colonel Everett Young ordered his people, including TJ to make an effort reconciling with them. When Destiny dropped out of FTL to an Uncharted star system, TJ began to display symptoms such as light headedness, vomiting and exhaustion, with many people voicing their concerns that she was becoming ill. TJ joined a team as a part of a reconnaissance mission to check out the only planet in the system. After declaring it safe, and knowing Destiny would take a month until it would enter FTL again, TJ was one of many who volunteered to stay on the planet during the four weeks. Chloe Armstrong was the first person who found out about her condition. By the time Destiny was in range again, she was 15 weeks pregnant. She wanted to stay on the planet rather than going back to Destiny, believing that her baby would have a better life on the planet than going back to the ship. However, under Young's orders, who was not aware of her condition, she was forced to return to Destiny. Many others also wanted to stay behind with her including Lt. Matthew Scott who vowed to stay and protect her after she told him she was pregnant with Young's child. (SGU: "Faith")
When Dr. Nicholas Rush willingly sat in the Destiny interface chair in order to learn the master code and control Destiny, TJ was assigned to look over his vitals and report to Colonel Everett Young about the change in his condition. Rush would eventually exit the program before his life was at too much risk. (SGU: "Human")
When she was almost 22 weeks along, Lt. Matthew Scott, Chloe Armstrong, Eli Wallace and MSgt. Ronald Greer were left behind on a planet. TJ attempted to tell Colonel Everett Young about the pregnancy, but they were interrupted by Dr. Nicholas Rush bringing them the bad news. She was successful in her second attempt when she blurted it out. She assured Young that he was the father, and told him that she planned to keep it. Young said he would never suggest that she end the pregnancy and promised to work out a way to make things work between them. At that point, Young, Scott, Chloe and Dr. Lisa Park were the only ones aware of the paternity of the baby. (SGU: "Lost")
By the time Destiny left the galaxy, TJ became visibly pregnant, and no longer worn her usual uniform because of it. When one of the ship's Faster-Than-Light engines exploded, causing Destiny to shake violently, injuring several people, her fellow officers and civilians became concerned with her, but she insisted she was fine. Later, following the return of Lt. Matthew Scott, Chloe Armstrong, and Eli Wallace, Destiny was able to dial to a planet back in the galaxy, TJ requested to check out the planet, since she wanted to leave Destiny anytime she can, also claiming "maternal instinct", should the ship be stranded forever. However, she had to stay on board when it is discovered the Nakai have been using the planet to track Destiny again; the ship was repaired and jumped into FTL before the aliens could take control of the ship. (SGU: "Sabotage")
Sometime after Destiny arrived at the new galaxy, some members started exhibiting hallucinations, including Lt. Matthew Scott, Chloe Armstrong, Lt. Vanessa James, Dr. Dale Voker and Airman Dunning. Eventually, TJ discovered an Alien tick embedded on their scalps after their previous off-world mission. Using the Squiggler venom, she was able to remove the bugs safely from those who were infected with it. (SGU: "Pain")
The crew held a baby shower for her sometime after that. She was given a baby-sized USAF shirt sewn by Chloe Armstrong and a toy truck built out of scrap by Sgt. Hunter Riley. After the shower, she was despressed at the notion of her child not having a normal life aboard Destiny, but Chloe assured her that many on the crew would be there to help her. (SGU: "Subversion")
After receiving credible information from Colonel David Telford concerning an impending attack from the Lucian Alliance, Colonel Everett Young ordered the military personnel to prepare. TJ was ordered to stay in the infirmary to tend to any wounded during the battle. While she tended to Telford, who was in Dr. Nicholas Rush's body, the Lucian Alliance strike team arrived from an Icarus-like planet, along with Rush, who was in Telford's body. When the Lucian Alliance, with Rush, boarded the Destiny, Rush and Telford returned to their own bodies due to the Stargate travel. Rush, against TJ's wishes, left her to find Young. While Johansen gave chase, she was captured by several Lucian Alliance soldiers and brought to the Gate room as a hostage. Kiva, the commander, was prepared to execute her, when Telford reasoned to keep her alive, citing her usefulness a medic. Kiva wanted to see if this was true, by sending her to her Lieutenant, Varro, who was wounded during the attack. TJ was able to stabilize him, and later tended to the other wounded, including Sgt. Hunter Riley. When Kiva herself was shot by Telford, she was forced to treat her. Upon hearing all military personnel will be gathered together by Dannic, TJ refused to treat Kiva further. Then, Airman Chen struggled with one of the Alliance soldier's weapon, during the fight, TJ was shot in the abdomen and collapsed, unconscious.
When she "awoke", TJ found herself in a wooden cabin on the Eden, her baby safe in a bassinet next to her bed. She was greeted by Dr. Robert Caine, who explained to her that the cabins suddenly appeared, a gift from the Obelisk builders to survive the winter. The aliens had transported TJ and her baby to safety and mended her wound, and though he doesn't understand how, Caine is aware of everything that is happening on Destiny. When two other former expedition members (Dana and Peter), arrived to see the baby, Caine and TJ went for a walk. Caine showed her a phenomenon in the sky, similar in appearance to a nebula or the Northern Lights. Caine thanked TJ for going back to the ship so the others could stay on the planet. He explained that this is why the aliens chose to bring her baby to the planet, however TJ has made her choice; while the baby can stay, T.J. must return to the ship. Distraught, she ran back to the cabin to find her baby.
In the cabin, TJ, in honor of her mother, named her baby Carmen. Caine reassured her that the baby will always be taken care of, and explained to her why no one would believe her story: A different series of events has occurred aboard Destiny. From the perspective of everyone else, TJ has been unconscious since her injury. Doctors brought to the ship from Earth via the Long-range communication device were able to save Tamara's life, but were unable to save the baby. Caine tells TJ it is up to her to decide whether the baby remaining on the planet is a "blessing or a curse". He said goodbye, and TJ awoke aboard Destiny. Camile Wray told T.J. that her baby had died. Sometime later, when the ship had arrived at its intended destination, TJ walked to the Observation deck and saw the same spacial phenomenon she had witnessed on the planet Eden. The revelation that the Destiny can interfere with its crew's unconscious minds makes these events of further dubious authenticity. (SGU: "Incursion, Part 1", "Incursion, Part 2", "Intervention", "Trial and Error")
Shortly after the invasion, she was part of a team that was sent to an unnamed planet in the Ancient shuttle to replenish the food and water supply. During reentry the shuttle lost power and crashed on the planet. After Lt. Matthew Scott and the rest of the team unburied the Stargate, she returned to Destiny. (SGU: "Aftermath")
Upon the return of the settlers they left behind on Eden without Carmen, TJ came to terms once-and-for-all that she indeed lost Carmen when she was shot during the Alliance invasion. (SGU: "Visitation")
- In an alternate timeline, she was part of an expedition to a Jungle planet to gather fruit and its seeds to grow more food. However, some of the other members, including Dr. Dale Volker and Chloe Armstrong, started collapsing from an illness that was, at the time, unknown. That night, the team were ambushed by Squigglers. She was able to survive the first night, but despite their best efforts to defend their position the following night, she was violently killed by one of the creatures. (SGU: "Time")
- From another alternate timeline that was itself altered from the first, she stayed on board Destiny, where she worked out that the illness was not caused by the planet, but from the water they brought back from Hoth. She exhausted the ship's entire supply of antibiotics. After viewing the Kino footage, she determined the venom from the Squigglers served the key to curing them. However, four people, including Dr. Dale Volker, Chloe Armstrong, Lt. Vanessa James and Dr. Jeremy Franklin died; she found their deaths too much to bear. (SGU: "Time")
- In an alternate timeline, instead of choosing to return to Earth with everyone else, TJ volunteered to remain behind on Destiny as part of the group that were staying to complete the mission. When things got too unstable, she and the rest of the volunteers headed through the Stargate too, but like everyone else except for Colonel David Telford, got thrown back in time 2,000 years to the planet Novus. TJ ended up having a son by Colonel Everett Young while there, the first child born on the planet. The two would also have a daughter together, by five years after settlement on the planet in which TJ recognized symptoms of Lou Gehrig's Disease. TJ died of the disease a few years after the symptoms began. (SGU: "Twin Destinies", "Common Descent", "Epilogue")
|Appearances for Tamara Johansen|
In chronological order:
Behind the scenes
- Tamara Johansen originally had the surname of Jon and was of Asian descent, but her surname was changed to Johansen and her race was changed to Caucasian before she appeared in any episodes of Stargate Universe. Her first name would suggest a Slavic or Cornish origin, whilst the -sen ending suggest Nordic descent, since -sen-surnames are very common in Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Norway. Johansen would mean 'Son of Johan (John)'.
- In real life, Alaina Huffman became pregnant shortly after production of Stargate Universe began. Instead of concealing it the producers decided to write her pregnancy into the plot.
References and notes
- Lou Diamond Phillips in 'Stargate Universe' on The Hollywood Reporter
|Prominent Destiny Expedition members|
|Military||Ronald Greer · Vanessa James · Tamara Johansen · Hunter Riley · Matthew Scott · David Telford · Everett Young|
|Civilian||Chloe Armstrong · Adam Brody · Lisa Park · Nicholas Rush · Dale Volker · Eli Wallace · Camile Wray|