Stargate Atlantis

Season 1 Episode 12

The Defiant One

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 28, 2005 on Syfy
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Episode Summary

Sheppard's team investigates a downed Wraith ship, and find themselves stuck on a planet dealing with a lone Wraith survivor.

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Joe Flanigan

Joe Flanigan

Major / Lt. Colonel John Sheppard

Torri Higginson

Torri Higginson

Dr. Elizabeth Weir

Rachel Luttrell

Rachel Luttrell

Teyla Emmagan

Rainbow Sun Francks

Rainbow Sun Francks

Lt. Aiden Ford

David Hewlett

David Hewlett

Dr. Rodney McKay

Richard Ian Cox

Richard Ian Cox

Dr. Brendan Gaul

Guest Star

Paul Magel

Paul Magel

Dr. Abrams

Guest Star

Joseph May

Joseph May

Sgt. Markham

Guest Star

James Lafazanos

James Lafazanos


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Goof: When the Wraith is lying down in the puddle jumper after having been shot by 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.

    • This is the first episode to identify the Ancients as the "Lanteans".

    • Nitpick: It seems highly unlikely that the handgun the Wraith finds in the Jumper would be loaded with a round chambered, cocked and having its safety OFF seeing as it was stored among the supplies.

    • Goof: When Major Sheppard set up that trap using a Wraith grenade, he use it like it was a landmine, using a lightweight radio as the trigger, so when the Wraith pick it up, the grenade would go off, the problem was that the radio was too light to hold any trigger, not to mention we see Major Sheppard clearly using the first grenade, it didn't work as a landmine with a step-on trigger, but you rather had to pull it open and turn around and then it became activated.

    • Goof: Major 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 end with him wearing the light grey pants.

    • The little light "bugs" that Sheppard sacrificed are similar to the ones in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Prodigy". The creatures in this episode appear to be harmless where the ones in the other episode were not.

    • We can see that a Puddle Jumper has 12 seats in the rear compartment and 4 command seats in the front compartment.

    • When Major Sheppard hits the shield on the Puddle Jumper, if you look closely, his feet go beyond the shield as he falls. In the voice-over commentary, it is revealed that the shield is the same shape as the jumper -- the back end of which angles like this: / -- thus making his feet closer to the jumper than where his head and torso impacted the shield.

    • Goof: McKay refers to 1,000 meters as "almost half a mile". No physicist or mathematician would say that because it implies that 1,000 meters is less than a half mile. He should say "(just) over half a mile".

    • Sheppard's P-90 gets shot, rather than it jamming, in Sheppard's first firefight with the Wraith. This would explain why he left it behind as unusable.

  • QUOTES (29)

    • Wraith: This ship is Lantean.
      Sheppard: Yes, it is.
      Wraith: The Lanteans are on the verge of defeat.
      Sheppard: Oh, you weren't around for the end of the war. Your side lost.
      Wraith: Impossible.
      Sheppard: It's true. You're the last of your kind.
      Wraith: Their city was under siege. Atlantis was all that remained. Victory was inevitable.

    • McKay: And if all doesn't go well ...
      Sheppard: It will.
      McKay: Well, things haven't gone all that well thus far.

    • Sheppard: (over radio) Gaul, Abrams, this is Sheppard.
      Gaul: (into radio) Major, are you trying to scare me to death?

    • McKay: You wanted fieldwork. This -- this is fieldwork.

    • Sheppard: Whatever it is, it took a hell of a hit.
      Gaul: Score one for the Ancient satellite.

    • McKay: What are you doing?
      (Hands him an extra 9mm)
      Sheppard: Here.
      McKay: I already have a gun.
      Sheppard: Now you have two.

    • Sheppard: OK, this is different.
      McKay: Wraith cannibalism?
      Sheppard: Looks like it.
      McKay: They feed off each other?
      Sheppard: Probably as a last resort.
      Abrams: I guess some of them tried to survive as long as possible.
      McKay: OK, that is incredibly disturbing.
      Sheppard: No kidding.

    • Sheppard: What if he can use our subspace radio to signal his friends?
      McKay: He might be able to do that.
      Sheppard: Not if I can get there first.
      McKay: He's got a head start.
      Sheppard: I can be pretty fast.

    • Gaul: You're not gonna let me die out here, are you?
      McKay: No. Don't be ridiculous.
      Gaul: You know, cause people would talk.
      McKay: Why would they do that?
      Gaul: It's obvious. You're afraid I'll outshine you; my mind, my youth ...

    • Sheppard: Try and stay positive. How's Gaul feeling?
      McKay: He can move his toes.
      Sheppard: See? Things are looking up.

    • Sheppard: How long do you think the Wraith could feed on all those humans back there?
      McKay: Well, they're capable of hibernating for hundreds of years at a time. But if you think about it, ten thousand years ago? Roughly the dawn of human civilization.
      Sheppard: So there's no chance that, uh ...
      McKay: No, no, no, no, no. Are you kidding? Well ... maybe.
      Sheppard: McKay.
      McKay: No. No. No living thing could survive that long under those conditions. It's ridiculous.
      Sheppard: OK.
      McKay: It would require an incredible power source capable of sustaining those poor humans in suspended animation almost the entire time.
      Sheppard: So it's possible.
      McKay: Oh my God, it is possible! We've gotta get out of here.

    • McKay: I think you should get back here.
      Sheppard: Negative.
      McKay: There's no point in you being out there.
      Sheppard: He's aboard my ship.
      McKay: What are you, Captain Kirk?!

    • Sheppard: There's a very good chance it's gonna be dark before another Jumper can get here. If we play the waiting game, the guy who's been around for ten thousand years is gonna win.

    • Sheppard: (speaking into his radio) Hey, you. Over here. On the ground: the radio. (The Wraith looks around and sees the radio lying near him on the ground.)
      Wraith: (talking out loud) The days on this planet are long, but the nights are cold. Sooner or later, I will have you.
      Sheppard: (again speaking through the radio) I can't hear you threatening to suck the life out of me 'til you hit the button on the radio.

    • Sheppard: It's too small to be a hive ship.
      McKay: Well, it's been here for a very long time. Maybe they've discontinued that model.

    • Gaul: Why didn't we just land next to the ship?
      Sheppard: Just a precaution.
      Abrams: Precaution for what? The Wraith ship crashed thousands of years ago.
      Sheppard: Automated defences.
      Gaul: I never thought of that.
      McKay: Don't worry, Brendan. We weren't all built for fieldwork. (To Sheppard) Seriously, we're almost there, right?

    • McKay: What's that?
      Gaul: Is it a bug?
      Sheppard: A space bug.
      Abrams: It's giving off a pretty strong life signs reading.
      McKay: Uh, okay, did I mention how allergic I was to bee stings?

    • Sheppard: All right, knock it off, guys. I've spent the last fifteen hours listening to you two. Are we ready? All right, let's remember where we parked.

    • McKay: (mimicking Gaul): "Radio communication could be difficult."
      Gaul: Hey, she said yes, didn't she?
      McKay: And not thanks to you.

    • McKay: We'll be fine.
      Weir: Major?
      Sheppard: I agree with McKay.
      Weir: Of course you do. How could either of you resist exploring a crashed alien spaceship?
      Sheppard: Exactly.

    • Weir: Are you sure it's Wraith? In this solar system?
      McKay: I know. Celestially speaking it's right in our backyard.

    • Abrams: You getting any energy readings?
      Gaul: Negative.
      Sheppard: So, it's dead.
      Gaul: Well, it warrants closer scrutiny but... Yeah.

    • Gaul: It's as large as a Goa'uld mothership. This might be the single largest weapons platform ever constructed.
      McKay: Probably the Ancients' last line of defence before Atlantis.
      Sheppard: Any chance it's still operational? Because that would be a very good thing.

    • Sheppard: Are you okay, Doctor Gaul?
      Gaul: I.. I get, uh, motion sickness.
      Sheppard: These things have inertial dampeners. You shouldn't feel a thing.
      Gaul: Well, I.. I.. I know we're moving. That's enough for me.

    • Sheppard: Try to fly the baby in a straight line.
      McKay: I am flying in a straight line. (A screen appears superimposed over the windshield. It shows a straight line in comparison to the route that Rodney is flying, which is all over the place.)
      Sheppard: Not so much.
      McKay: Well… in space all motion is relative.

    • Sheppard: Maybe (the alien) smells food?
      Gaul: (looking at McKay) Maybe he just smells the girlish fear?

    • Sheppard: I took some fire.
      McKay: Are you injured?
      Sheppard: Yeah, that's what I mean by "I took some fire."

    • Sheppard: Don't let go of the controls!
      McKay: Snapping doesn't help!
      Sheppard: This is why parents get someone else to teach their kids how to drive.
      McKay: I'm both insulted and touched by that.

    • McKay: I'm just seeing what this baby can do.
      Abrams: Did you just say 'this baby'?!
      McKay: That's perfectly appropriate space pilot parlance.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Awards:

      -Peter DeLuise was nominated for a Leo Award for Best Direction in a Dramatic Series and Best Screenwriting in a Dramatic Series for this episode.

    • This episode was shot on location at the Richmond sand dunes.

    • In the DVD commentary Peter DeLuise mentions that Joe Flanigan performed most of his own stunts - notably the run into the Puddle Jumper shield and the roll down the sand dune.

    • This is the first episode of the series directed by Peter DeLuise, who is known as a producer and director for Stargate SG-1.

    • Richard Ian Cox (Dr. Gaul) played Nyan in the Stargate SG-1 episode "New Ground."

    • International Airdates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on November 15, 2004 on The Movie Network and Movie Central.
      -This episode aired in the UK on January 4, 2005 on Sky One.
      -This episode aired in Australia on June 2, 2005 on Channel 7.
      -Syndication Premiere: January 28-30, 2005.


    • Title:

      The title derives from a film called The Defiant Ones, in which two escaped convicts must learn to get along in order to elude capture. The plot was inspired by the Film Hell in the Pacific with Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune.

    • McKay: Who are you - Captain Kirk?

      He was referring to William Shatner's iconic Star Trek character. Sheppard somewhat fills a similar role on this show.

    • Sheppard: All right, let's remember where we parked.

      This quote pays homage to a similar scene in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in which Captain Kirk and his party leave a cloaked vessel.