Stargate SG-1

Season 2 Episode 15

The Fifth Race

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 22, 1999 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
381 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

While on the planet P3R-272, SG-1 comes across an ancient device that downloads a vast amount of knowledge into Jack’s brain. Jack has the task of helping Daniel solve ancient mysteries while trying to save himself from braindeath due to the overwhelming stress.

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    Daniel and the rest of the SG-1 team travel to an ancient room that houses alien inscriptions in an attempt to decode alien language discovered by a probe. When O'Neill peers through a viewer in the ancient room, he is caught momentarily in its grasp. Shortly after this imposed trance, alien words begin appearing in his speech. Before long, his entire brain is taken up with a superior knowledge virtually indecipherable to the rest of the SG-1 team. Daniel is certain that O'Neill now possesses the knowledge of the Ancients, the alien race who invented the Stargate, but realizes the knowledge is too complex for the human brain and will likely cause O'Neill to lose his mind. In an attempt to save himself, O'Neill must access his subconscious mind to uncover forces with a greater knowledge than his own, forces that may also have important knowledge about the destiny of mankind.moreless
  • The first perfect-ten episode of Stargate SG-1

    I am watching the series for the first time, and so far this is the best episode I have seen. It has everything I have already managed to love in the series: unique climate I haven't seen in other sci-fi shows - like blending scientific elements (other mysterious planet, aliens, ancient language), feel of mystery and military parts, with humour and its overall message about our race.

    Series' portrayal of alien race - the Asgard is wonderful. It is a mixture of aliens we know from other shows, movies, comic books and video games and something new - they are not a hostile race, they are willing to help us, share their knowledge.

    I am really looking forward to the rest of the series, cause I've heard it gets even better.moreless
  • An overly complex story line, over-dramatic music, cheesy graphics, and, quite frankly, one of the best episodes I have ever seen.

    What I said up there is true. Everything about this episode is over trodden and cliched. Yet somehow I absolutely love this episode. So the music is a little over dramatic. So the graphics are a little cheesy. So the Asgard are portrayed as the grays from Roswell. Who cares? This episode is just so awesome. There are several episodes that I would prefer to skip next time I watch this series (mainly Season 1 Episode 4, I think you all agree with me), but this one is probably one of the ones I am going to watch over and over again. Yes, it is just that good. It's really funny, suspenseful, you gotta love Teal'c. And Daniel's comments about Jack are priceless. Simply put, this episode rocks.moreless
  • Just bend your Kozars...

    I'm not to afraid to say that this was probably one of the best episodes of the season. We have already seen the asgard earlier in the season but this episode really introduces us to more of who they are. We learn a great deal here like the fact that there is or was Four great races, The Ancients, The Asgard, The Nox and The Furlings. As it so turns out The Ancients are the ones who built the Stargates, so you know they must be advanced. I like the fact that this episode went back to that season one episode with Ernest and explored the "Meaning of life stuff." Also this episode plays a part in what will happen in the series finale.moreless
  • Jack has trouble speaking after having his head sucked by one of those Ancient...head...suckers...

    Everything about this episode was just about bang on. Especially Jack and Daniel's interaction, which were both funny and inspiring, depending on the scene. This episode also had a great plot line, the mystery of the gate-builders, as the Ancients are known at this time in the series. But far more important than the new information about the gate-builders, is Earth's first contact with the Asgard, as Jack unconsciously builds a device from the ancient knowledge in his mind to seek out the help of the Asgard. Jack's meeting with the Asgard is perhaps one of the best done "discovery moments" of the entire series. Definitely not an episode to be missed.moreless
Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks

Dr. Daniel Jackson

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

David Adams

David Adams


Guest Star

Teryl Rothery

Teryl Rothery

Dr. Janet Fraiser

Recurring Role

Tobias Mehler

Tobias Mehler

Lieutenant Graham Simmons

Recurring Role

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks

Thor (voice)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • The wormhole engaged way faster than it normally does when they sent SG-1 through without Jack and Daniel.

    • In this episode when we see O'Neill writing the instructions on how to fix the DHD, he's using a pencil. However when we see the completed instructions later on, they're written in purple ink.

    • Daniel called P3X-972 (Heliopolis) PB2-908.

    • In "Children of the Gods", it was stated that the SGC dialing computer needed 2 months to give 1 or 2 addresses from the Abydos cartouche, but they said it only took days in this episode.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Sam: Colonel! What are you doing?
      Jack: (playing with a little tube) I need this.
      Sam: What for?
      Jack: I have no idea.

    • Hammond: Colonel, are you sure you're okay?
      Jack: I am absolutely fine. There is nothing cruvus with me. (they all look at Jack puzzled)
      Jack: What?
      Daniel: You just said there's 'nothing cruvus' with you.
      Jack: I did not.
      Daniel: Yes, you did.
      Jack: No I didn't.
      Daniel: Yes, you did.
      Jack: Didn't.
      Daniel: Did.
      Jack: Didn't.
      Daniel: Did.
      Jack: Cruvus, what is that!?

    • Jack: (to the Asgard) Uh... Look... you all seem to be quite wonderful... people... And I don't want to sound ungrateful because I really, really appreciate you getting all that stuff out of my head. But you folks should understand... that we're out there now, we might not be ready for a lot of this stuff, but we're doing the best that we can... we are a very curious race.

    • Jack: Daniel, how long you figure we ought to hang out here and scratch our cosmic heads?

    • Daniel: I think the circle means 'The Place of Our Legacy'. Um...Or it could be 'A Piece of Our Leg,' but the first seems to make more sense.

    • Daniel: No idea. Well, actually not no idea, just not much of one yet, but work on it.

    • Jack: Well, this was an intergalactic waste of time.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Syndication air date: January 31, 2000.

    • This episode marks the first direct reference to the Ancients, the builders of the Stargates, on the series. The Ancients created the Stargate system and were in an alliance of four great races: the Nox, the Furlings, the Asgard, and the Ancients. They once resided in the galaxy of Ida, (where the Asgard live), and our galaxy but moved on from these regions of space leaving an archive of their knowledge, The Place of Our Legacy, on P3R-272.


    • Asgard Runes:
      The homeworld of the Asgard takes its name from the rune meaning, appropriately enough, "Home" and similar concepts.