Stargate SG-1

Season 4 Episode 9

Scorched Earth

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Aug 25, 2000 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
247 votes

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Episode Summary

SG-1 helps transfer the residents of a Goa'uld slave planet to a new world, but soon find the planet is the target of a terraforming effort that will wipe out its new inhabitants.

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  • SG-1 The mediators!

    Usually SG-1 encounters civilizations with advanced evolution and superior technology (Asgard, Tollun etc) or encounter civilizations who are primitive.

    But in this episode, they encounter both, which really makes this such a philosopher's delight.

    Star Trek : Next Generation often had these philosophical sci-fi stories and we get that here too in Stargate SG-1, to our delight!

    SG-1 act as mediators between an advanced civilization and a primitive one and thanks to Daniel Jackson, help resolve a potential disaster for the primitive beings.

    As a philosophical story, this episode really delighted me and all those wonderful characters of SG-1 , who save another world! Humanity wins ultimately!moreless
  • This particular episode was just cool. Not action packed, or character drive, it was cool.

    I enjoyed this episode mostly because of the alien ship. It's very interesting when they meet advanced races, since they don't very often. It's very unfortunate that this species lived in a completely different environment, preventing SG-1 from returning to visit after the terraforming was complete. That would have been amazing, from the projection that was shown, they were a very different looking species. I also loved the whole Noah's Ark thing, although it has been done before, it was still cool. And as usual, Daniel was everyone's conscious in this episode. But at least he is usually right and accomplishes something, especially in this episode. He saved Lotan and all the people of the planet. Not only saved them, but had a part in finding their home Planet. It was such a happily ever after episode.moreless
  • Excellent political allegory reminiscent of the original Star Trek

    Excellent political allegory reminiscent of the original Star Trek

    Political allegory with implications about European colonialism and the plight of Native Americans and other Aboriginal peoples, as well as the establishment of Israel and the plight of the Palestinians.

    Fortunately with vastly more propitious results.
  • Why is Oneil willing to kill Daniel?

    This episode is a mish mash of good and bad. It really annoyed me after everything that SG 1 have been through as a team and all the times they have saved each other, Jack was so willing to blow up the ship when Daniel was on it. This and the fact that they dont talk about it afterwards, like they just assumed Daniel had made a choice to die.

    Also the race of people they wanted to save annoyed me, the happy ending was just too predicatable, as if the computer program would not have considered the other option in the first place!!! And then he had the time to stop changing the planet and take all the people home!!! There could not have been that many people on the planet if the ship could take them home all at once and therefore I thought screw em, just colonise the planet, theyll go blind anyway!!!

    Totally out of character for Jack to sacrifice one of his team.

    On the other hand, liked the whole way Daniel negotiated with the computer program, how Carter followed orders and the special effects. it could have beena lot better and some witty lines made it bearable.moreless
  • SG-1 encounters a ship that appears bent on destroying their friends...

    This is another one of those episodes where I just want to smack Daniel. I can appreciate how he wanted both the Enkarens and the "freeze-dried aliens" to go on, but I find myself siding with Jack through the episode. However, I did really like how the episode progressed once the ship created its avatar and they situation was remedied in the best possible way. My main problem with Daniel here is that sometimes I think he can be a little too philosophical and produce too little practical ideas. Fortunately this case turned out differently. Don't get me wrong I like Daniel, but sometimes I just want to pull him back down to earth, so to speak.moreless
Richard Dean Anderson

Richard Dean Anderson

Colonel/Brigadier General Jonathan J. "Jack" O'Neill

Christopher Judge

Christopher Judge


Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping

Captain/Major/ Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter

Don S. Davis

Don S. Davis

Major General George S. Hammond

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks

Dr. Daniel Jackson

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Carter hands the photos to General 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."

    • In the first computerized shot of the ship in the board room during the opening credits, we see the title "Terraform Progression." However, they don't decide that the ship is terraforming until a few scenes later.

    • Apparently, Major Carter is trying to avoid possible court martial action by requiring Colonel O'Neill to order her to build a bomb out of the reactor. She seems to have forgotten that General Hammond has ordered Colonel O'Neill not to attack the ship, and therefore the Colonel's order is illegal and she is therefore bound under military law to refuse it. (one contributor, arkless, noted that it doesn't matter what Hammond ordered O'Neill to do, if the Colonel gives Carter an order she is obliged to follow it, even if it is in direct violation of an order he himself has received. A junior officer has to obey any order given by a superior one.)

    • Technically, the term "Terraforming" is used incorrectly here (and in many other SF films and shows as well). To "Terraform" means to change an environment to make it earthlike (Terra = Earth). (section editor's note: sometimes it is used simply as an easy term for reference and for the viewers' convenience - much as s.f. characters on TV often refer to quakes on other planets as "earthquakes")

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Jack: He's telling us this, now?
      Daniel: Well he didn't know, and... technically he's just a day and a half old, so give him a break.

    • Jack: Daniel, come in.
      Daniel: I read you, Jack.
      Jack: Tell me, tell me you're not on that ship!
      Daniel: Okay. I'm not on the ship.

    • Jack: Carter?
      Sam: Yes, sir?
      Jack: Should we really be opening drawers and things?
      (Daniel accidentally opens a drawer)
      Jack: What did I just say?

    • Daniel: You say that they were an advanced civilization. 10,000 years of history.
      Lotan: Yes.
      Daniel: They had laws, justice?
      Lotan: Yes.
      Daniel: A respect for life?
      Lotan: Yes.
      Daniel: 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 for the integrity of life on this ship. There's a big difference. Are you really fulfilling your true function?

    • Daniel: What're you doing?
      Jack: Thinking, Daniel. Don't worry about it too much.

    • Lothan: However, by the time I was completed the Enkarans in the immediate vicinity seemed to have disappeared.
      Jack: Yeah, see, that's called "running away". What one does to avoid being slaughtered.

    • Sam: ...and when the microbes decay they release sulfur dioxide.
      Jack: So the big mean alien ship is trying to stink up the planet?

    • Sam: Take a look at this.
      (Jack looks through a microscope)
      Jack: Oh yeah... little fuzzy orange things!
      Sam: They're microbes, sir.

    • Daniel: Any alien race that's capable of engineering this must be susceptible to reason.
      Sam: Question is--will they listen?
      Jack: Well, the real question is--will they have ears?

  • NOTES (2)

    • 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 Jack and Daniel, along the lines of Jack saying, "When all is said and done, I'm glad I didn't blow up the ship." Daniel replies, "I'm glad you didn't either." They share a smile, and walk out.

    • Syndication airdate: November 5, 2001.


    • Jack: Not exactly E.T.
      E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 movie about an alien life form that visits earth. The movie was an enormous commercial success, and lead to the creation of a video game with the same title.