Gallery Episode Transcript

"The Defiant One" is the twelfth episode of the first season of Stargate: Atlantis.


While exploring the Lantean system, Major John Sheppard and his team find a Wraith supply ship that crash landed on another planet 10,000 years before. While investigating it, the team discover that they are not alone, as the lone Wraith survivor who lived for 10,000 years by feeding on fellow Wraith awakens.


Ancient satelite.JPG

Major John Sheppard, Dr. Rodney McKay, Dr. Brendan Gall, and Dr. Abrams are surveying a Lagrangian Point satellite, when they detect a distress call. On further investigation, they find a Wraith supply ship on the surface of a planet that was shot down by the satellite ten thousand years earlier during final stages of the Lantean-Wraith war. They land the Puddle Jumper on the surface to investigate.

Stasis pod room.jpg

Sheppard's team finds the Wraith ship dead and devoid of life, but are shocked to find evidence that indicates the Wraith crew of the ship resorted to cannibalism by feeding off each other - most likely out of desperation due to the lack of food supply on the barren desert planet. Further investigation of the ship reveals hundreds of stasis chambers for storing humans, thus indicating that the Wraith ship was actually a giant supply vessel.

Unknown to Sheppard and his team, a single Wraith survivor from the ship's original crew was still alive. The Wraith was not detected on any Life signs detector because the Wraith was hibernating. Once Sheppard's team entered the derelict Wraith ship, the ten thousand year old Wraith reawakened from hibernation and kills Abrams and drains the life force from Gall, but still leaves him alive. Leaving Gall alive provides the Wraith with a tactical advantage, because it forces McKay and Sheppard to split up: instead of both going after the Wraith, one has to stay behind to look after the weakened Gall. Gall reveals that he told the Wraith the location of the jumper and gave it his remote. McKay and Sheppard agree the Wraith won't be able to fly the jumper, but worry that it might be able to use the subspace communicator to contact more of his fellow Wraith...

The Wraith finds the Jumper and Sheppard unsuccessfully tries, single-handedly, to reclaim the vehicle. Sheppard calls the Wraith on the radio and tells it that the Atlanteans won the war and it is the last Wraith left. The Wraith does not believe him, but does come out of the ship to attack him. Sheppard finds it impossible to kill the Wraith as the creature had survived for ten thousand years and therefore was a formidable opponent. The Wraith also possesses strong regenerative abilities because he had just fed twice, very recently. Even when Sheppard unloads an entire magazine from his FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon, the Wraith is only temporarily stunned before springing back to life. Not even a close quarters blast from a Wraith grenade kills the creature, or causes any kind of permanent injury, although he is shown to be weakened and somewhat limping after the latter. Sheppard however caught a shot in the upper arm, and almost blows himself up.

The Wraith remains stranded on the planet, despite being in control of the Jumper, because it does not possess the Ancient Technology Activation gene and therefore cannot activate the vessel's controls.

While Sheppard tries to retake the Jumper from the single Wraith, McKay stays with weakened, somewhat paralysed and severely aged Gall. During that time, Gall tries to persuade McKay to go help Sheppard. McKay refuses to leave, so Gall takes the decision out of McKay's hands by shooting himself (after having seen before just how much he'd aged, seen in a small mirror McKay had reluctantly showed him.)

During a break in the fighting, Sheppard eats an energy bar and discovers that it attracts a swarm of the local light bugs. He shakes them off and goes back to the fight.

In a last ditch effort to retake the Jumper, Sheppard then distracts the Wraith with a flare and makes a dash for the Jumper only to be foiled when he almost knocks himself out by bouncing off the shield which the Wraith activated before it left the Jumper unattended. Sheppard's failed plan causes the Wraith to smile. The Wraith then taunts Sheppard over the foolishness of his tactics - the Wraith's military tactical senses had been sharped by over ten thousand years of survival on a barren desert planet, with nothing left to feed on but its own Wraith crew.

Wraith survivor dead.jpg

Out of ammunition, Sheppard engages the Wraith in a futile and short lived knife fight during which he manages to stab the Wraith through his feeding hand. The Wraith is about to kill Sheppard when McKay shows up and distracts the Wraith by shooting it, further weakening it but still not killing it. Sheppard and McKay continue to distract the Wraith until Lt. Aiden Ford and Teyla Emmagan arrive in a second Puddle Jumper. Sheppard plants an energy bar on the Wraith while it is distracted by McKay and it causes the Light bugs to swarm around the Wraith, giving it a larger lifesign, the larger of the three, for the crew to target. On Sheppard's order, the rescue Jumper targets the Wraith from orbit and blows it up with a Drone weapon, finally killing it. Ford confirms the kill and Sheppard and McKay head to the Puddle Jumper, with Sheppard promising to let McKay drive once he deactivates the shields and puts it back together.


Appearances for The Defiant One





Sentient Species




Notable quotes

Sheppard: Try to fly this baby in a straight line.
McKay: I am flying in a straight line.
(HUD comes up, showing that the jumper is zig-zagging)
Sheppard: Not so much.
McKay: Well, in space, all motion is relative.

Sheppard: Son of a bitch beat me to it. He's fast.
McKay: Then you should get back here.
Sheppard: Negative.
McKay: There's no point being out there...
Sheppard: He's aboard my ship.
McKay: What are you, Captain Kirk? What good's it gonna do him?
Sheppard: I don't know, maybe he can hot-wire the thing.

Sheppard: If we're going to play the waiting game, the guy who's been around for ten thousand years is gonna win!

McKay: Major, what the hell was that?
Sheppard: I almost blew myself up!
McKay: What?
Sheppard: Stay off the radio, I'm busy!

Gall: You wanna get out there and help him, don't you?
McKay: What? Me go up against a Wraith? Are you kidding?
Gall: You do. I can tell. You've changed. You really wanna get out there.
McKay: Shut up!
Gall: Don't get me wrong. I'm impressed. You want in the fight. The Rodney McKay I knew would never ...

Sheppard: (into radio) Hey, you. Over here. On the ground: the radio.
(The Wraith turns to spot the radio lying next to him on the ground)
Wraith: (speaking aloud) The days on this planet are long, but the nights are cold. Sooner or later, I will have you.
Sheppard: I can't hear you threatening to suck the life out of me ‘til you hit the button on the radio.

Sheppard: You need me to get off this planet! I'm the only one that can fly that ship!
Wraith: I will use your dead hands to operate its controls!

McKay: Major!
Sheppard: McKay!
McKay: What do I do now?
Sheppard: Keep firing everything you've got!
(McKay empties the whole magazine into the wraith.)
McKay: OK, what now?!
Sheppard: Reload!

Sheppard: We'll have to put the ship back together, provided you can disarm the shield.
McKay: Fine. As long as we get to go home.
Sheppard: You can drive.
McKay: Oh, thank you!


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This episode was filmed at the Richmond sand dunes, a location used in several episodes of Stargate SG-1.
  • This episode is the first time that Dr. Rodney McKay refers to Major John Sheppard as "Captain Kirk" which is a recurring joke in the series. It refers to Sheppard's protective nature to the Puddle Jumpers and his tendency to hit on alien women.
  • As the team is leaving the Jumper after landing on the planet, Sheppard says "All right, let's remember where we parked," just before activating the Jumper's cloak. This is reminiscent of Admiral Kirk's line in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, "Everybody remember where we parked", during an almost identical situation. McKay's aforementioned reference to Sheppard as "Captain Kirk" indicates that this was likely an intentional reference.


  • When the Wraith survivor is lying down in the Puddle Jumper after having been shot by Major John Sheppard, the green makeup of the actor can be seen to have worn away on the right thumb and under the left armpit, exposing the regular skin color of the actor.
  • Sheppard's pants in this episode have several gross continuity errors, they are changed several times, four to be more precise: he wears a dark grey/almost black pants when he leaves the Puddle Jumper, light grey when he is walking down the path where there are several hives of the tiny bugs, military green when he approaches the Wraith ship and finally blue when he enters it. He would hardly spend that walk changing pants four times, those continuity errors continue for the rest of the episode, until the episode ends with him wearing the light grey pants.
  • After Sheppard is shot by the Wraith he hides behind a rock. He brushes the rock several times and it moves.
  • The Wraith should not have been able to shoot Sheppard. The M9 pistols would've been stored with the safeties on, and the Wraith would not have known how to disengage the safety on the weapon he just picked up.
  • The Wraith fires at Sheppard with the second gun, at least 30 shots are heard before he is out of ammo. This is impossible as the standard issue USAF weapon (Beretta M9) only has 15 rounds and at no point do we see the wraith swapping magazines.


  • Nominated Leo for "Dramatic Series: Best Direction" (Peter DeLuise)
  • Nominated Leo for "Dramatic Series: Best Screenwriting" (Peter DeLuise)

Other languages

  • French: Duel (Duel)
  • Russian: Непокорный (Refractory)
  • Hungarian: A dacos (The Defiant One)
  • German: Der Überlebende (The Survivor)

External links

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