Gallery Episode Transcript

"Underground" is the eighth episode of the first season of Stargate: Atlantis.


With their food supply running low, Teyla Emmagan suggests to the Atlantis expedition to make a deal with an Athosian trading partner, the Genii. However, the team discovers that they are not what they seemed, a militaristic civilization with a plan to destroy the Wraith.



Major John Sheppard's team open negotiations with the Genii due to a food shortage at Atlantis. The Genii seem to be a simple Amish community and Teyla Emmagan has known them as such through previous trade deals with the Genii. They are coldly greeted at the Stargate by Tyrus and his daughter Sora Tyrus, dressed in 'old-world' farmer-like attire. But later, unseen by the others, Tyrus covertly speaks into a more advanced-looking wrist communicator, announcing they're bringing the visitors over. As they sit down to negotiate, Sheppard asks Cowen, the Chief of the Genii, for food/crops in turn for medical supplies. However the Genii are not happy with this arrangement, since they claim they would not have enough food for both themselves and the Atlantis crew, and it would now take too long to clear more fields for increased planting before the season is over. He tells Sheppard, "You know a simple way of uprooting the stump of a 300-year-old tree?" Sheppard replies, "As a matter of fact, I do.", then shows them a demonstration in how their C-4 can quickly and easily blow out said stumps. Upon seeing this, the Genii decide to trade some of their food for medical supplies and some C-4. Sheppard is a little surprised that the Genii were relatively unfazed by the demonstration, but brushes it off. Lt. Aiden Ford and Teyla stay behind with the Genii while Dr. Rodney McKay and Sheppard head back to Atlantis to confirm the deal with Dr. Elizabeth Weir.

Upon heading back to the Genii, Sheppard gets lost with McKay. McKay then picks up a significant amount of radiation coming from what appears to be an old building. Upon entering the building they find a shaft which leads down to a huge Underground Bunker, but suddenly both Sheppard and McKay are captured by armed security dressed in military clothing. After being stripped of their weapons Cowen appears, his previous Amish farmer façade stripped away to military attire, and tells them he would usually kill people who stumble upon their secret; but the Genii still want the C-4 explosives from the Atlantis team. McKay figures out they want it to use as a trigger for a Nuclear warhead, much to Commander Cowen's surprise. Sheppard and the Commander come to an agreement, to rather form an alliance against their common enemy - the Wraith. They will help them build an atomic weapon and the Genii will supply the Atlantis team with the wished for crops, and continue trading.


The Genii and the Atlantis team have a meal to celebrate their new alliance. The Genii inform them that they are planning to finish their atomic bomb by the time of the next Wraith culling. Teyla encourages Sheppard to tell them about how they've actually already awakened the Wraith. Cowen is surprised and outraged, as they'd expected to have their bomb ready only in five years time; so decides to shut down all work on the atomic weapon for fears that the Wraith will detect the radiation just like McKay had. Sheppard convinces them that they can still help; he explains to the Commander that they have weapons far greater than that of C-4 explosives, and tells them that they have a ship which can travel through space, much to the skepticism of the Commander. They then agree to land aboard a Wraith Hive ship and collect intelligence about the location and number of the Hive ships, if Sheppard could supply a spaceship. The rest of the team stays with the Genii while Sheppard tells Weir about the predicament. She agrees to let Sheppard scout out the Hive ship. They head off in the Puddle Jumper with the Atlantis team, Cowen and Tyrus. They manage to sneak into the Hive ship with the Puddle Jumper's cloak on. They split into two groups with Cowen going to collect the intel with Sheppard and McKay while Tyrus with Teyla trying to see what they could do about the humans captured by the Wraith for feeding. Suddenly Teyla is startled by arms reaching out and begging for help, from within one of the cocoons. Teyla wants to rescue him, but Tyrus stops her, insisting that the Wraith must not discover that they've ever been there. Teyla can't believe he's so ruthless, and not at all the man she believed. So in order to stop Teyla attempting to save him, Tyrus shoots him dead. This alerts one of the wraith guards who surprise them and shoots Tyrus. Teyla kills the Wraith but needs to leave Tyrus behind, as she attempts to escape back to the ship.

Jumpers Cloak.jpg

Sheppard and his group managed to collect the data but the other group's discovery is quickly alerting all the more Wraith guards. They return to the Puddle jumper and escape, however the Commander suspects Teyla of killing the Genii. Even if not, were it not for her actions, or the fact she left him behind when perhaps only stunned, as far as he's concerned she as good as killed him. Upon landing back on the Genii homeworld the Genii ambush the Atlantis team and demand they hand over whatever C-4 they have and they're stealing their ship. However, Sheppard, also not having trusted the Commander, had set up an ambush of his own. He orders the two Puddle Jumpers to de-cloak, which had been cloaked hovering above them, and surprise the Genii, forcing them to surrender. Sheppard then takes the intelligence information from Cowen, stating they're not leaving empty-handed now that they've been betrayed by them. Cowen tells Sheppard "You do not want to make an enemy of the Genii", to which Sheppard responds the same goes for them. The Atlantis team then returns to Atlantis, where they determine from the acquired data that the Wraith have in fact over 60 ships...


Appearances for Underground





Sentient Species




Notable quotes

McKay: What is it you said they grow here anyway?
Teyla: Many things, but they are best known for a bean known as Tava.
McKay: Java?
Sheppard: Ta-va!

Tyrus: My daughter, Sora.
Sheppard: You must be very proud.
Tyrus: (squints at him) She's betrothed.
Sheppard: I wasn't hitting on your daughter.

McKay: Maybe we should offer a sense of humor in trade.
Sheppard: Sure. They can have yours.
McKay: Oh, Major. My side. You slay me.

Sheppard: Ever tried to clear a stump by hand?
Weir: (sarcastically) Yes, it's a hobby.

McKay: You have no idea which way to go, do you?
Sheppard: I'm just trying to get my bearings.
McKay: Translation: I'm lost. They were very clear which route to take.
Sheppard: I prefer a straight line.
McKay: Of course, 'cause everything's a shortcut in Sheppard's world.

McKay: You know, if people could just learn to keep their secret underground hatches locked…

Sheppard: Look, what you people do with your C-4 is none of our business. We just need food. As far as your little secret down here goes…well, uh…
McKay: We say, "What giant underground bunker?"

Sheppard: You can build an A-bomb?
McKay: Major, most of my high school chess team could design an A-bomb.

McKay: You do realize that long term exposure to these levels of radiation is extremely dangerous?
Cowen: Our scientists tell me otherwise.
McKay: Well, they're wrong.
Sheppard: (nervously) Are we in danger now?
McKay: Oh, it would take days or weeks at these levels of radiation — but I assume the Genii spend days or weeks down here?
Cowen: Many of our people have spent their entire lives here.
McKay: Their entire short lives. (to John) We'll be fine - just as long as you weren't planning on having children.

McKay: I built an atomic bomb for my grade six Science Fair exhibit.
Ford: They let you do that up in Canada?
McKay: Yeah, then I was questioned by the CIA for six hours.

Sheppard: But we have something they need and they have something we need, and I thought that's what negotiating was all about.
Weir: Oh, well, it is. Personally, I stop short of offering nuclear weapons.
Ford: They were building 'em anyways.
Weir: Oh, well if they were building them anyway, why didn't you just say so. You do realize that I originally sent you out for food?
Sheppard: I think we can still get that.
Ford: I don't see why not.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • Before learning that they are more advanced than they appear, Dr. Rodney McKay compares the Genii to the Amish.


  • When Major John Sheppard detonates the C-4 in a demonstration to the Genii, the video frame background jumps to the right immediately before it explodes.
  • The Life signs detector that Dr. Rodney McKay uses to open the door clearly shows the Start menu button and status bar of Microsoft Windows for Pocket PCs that the prop HP IPAQ 5555 runs on.
  • In the scene where Teyla Emmagan attempts to convince Tyrus that they should save the cocooned man, he says that they cannot save him because his absence would reveal that they were there. However, less than a minute after saying the latter Tyrus takes a much more radical action by shooting and killing the cocooned man (which instantly reveals their presence to the Wraith).

Other languages

  • French: Apparences (Appearances)
  • Russian: Подполье (Underground)
  • Czech: V podzemí (Underground)
  • Hungarian: A felszín alatt (Under the Surface)
  • German: Im Untergrund (Underground)

External links

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Episodes and Seasons
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Season 8 1234567891011121314151617181920
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Season 10 1234567891011121314151617181920
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Season 2 1234567891011121314151617181920
Season 3 1234567891011121314151617181920
Season 4 1234567891011121314151617181920
Season 5 1234567891011121314151617181920
Season 1 1234567891011121314151617181920
Season 2 1234567891011121314151617181920
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