10.02 "Morpheus" Episode Guide

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Still searching for Merlin's weapon, the team visits a world where going to sleep might mean never waking up. Meanwhile, Landry is faced with having to decide whether or not Vala can be trusted to remain at the SGC and has her submit to a psychiatric evaluation.

Guide | Transcript

SciFi.com Official Summary

The armies of Origin push deeper into the galaxy, conquering planets with terrifying ease. Earth's best hope for defense is the legendary weapon that Merlin developed to destroy Ascended Beings [Sangreal], so SG-1 can't gear up fast enough when Daniel discovers a 'gate address to a world where the device might be hidden.

Vala wants to accompany them, but Gen. Landry insists that she pass a psychiatric evaluation before joining Stargate Command as an official off-world explorer. Vala, of course, sets out to beat the tests by lying shamelessly. When her usual schemes don't work and she senses herself failing completely, however, she becomes truly discouraged. Only then does she finally consider confessing how much SG-1 and their mission truly mean to her.

Mitchell, Carter, Daniel and Teal'c, meanwhile, 'gate to the planet Vagonbrei, where they stumble upon a village full of skeletal corpses. After summoning Dr. Reimer and his medical team to investigate, they continue their search for the weapon, which Daniel believes that Morgan Le Fay, another Ancient, might have hidden in a nearby cave. The cave, however, is empty. Worse, one of Dr. Reimer's men, Ackerman, suddenly falls into a deep sleep — and they can't wake him up.

Tests reveal that his brain is producing too much melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep. As SG-1 and the medical team begin to feel drowsy, they realize that whatever killed the villagers has infected them, too. They institute a quarantine, request that Stargate Command send them every stimulant drug and cup of coffee available, and get to work on a cure.

In the last entries of the town records, Daniel finds references to a sleeping curse that Morgan cast on the villagers. With that clue, Mitchell and Teal'c explore her cave more thoroughly while Carter and Reimer discover a microscopic parasite living within the cave's soil. After Ackerman dies in his sleep, an autopsy reveals that an identical parasite, now grown large enough to cause a fatal aneurysm, has been gorging itself on the melatonin in Ackerman's brain. Morgan's curse is clearly biological — not magical — and absolutely deadly.

When Reimer abruptly dies of a heart attack caused by a stimulant overdose, Carter and Daniel are left waging a losing battle to keep each other conscious. Meanwhile, at the cave, Mitchell and Teal'c discover a critical clue. But even if they muster the energy to carry it back to the village, the four can't engineer a cure without medical help….

Modified by Solutions.


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Production Notes

  • "I've always been better pitching on paper than delivering verbal pitches, so I wrote up a bunch of story ideas for both shows: Extreme Measures, In the Darkest Recesses, The Kindred, Suffer the Children, Yesterday Today and Tomorrow, The Tainted, and Morpheus. I do know that Brad [Wright] liked Morpheus." — Joseph Mallozzi, GateWorld Blog, November 13, 2005.
  • "As pitched, both Suffer the Children and Orpheus [sic] are Carter stories. Extreme Measures is an SG-1 team episode. The Darkest Recesses a "Daniel in peril" episode." — Joseph Mallozzi in the Comments section for his GateWorld Blog entry of November 13. As of right now, "Suffer the Children", "Extreme Measures", and "The Darkest Recesses" have not yet been slated for production.
  • Morpheus is from Greek mythology. He is the god of dreams and usually takes on the form of humans, while his brothers take on the form of animals and inanimate objects. (Mythography and WikiPedia)
  • "I and/or Paul will be writing the second episode, formerly Morpheus but since some are worried that fans may confuse it with Orpheus or Moebius, I've decided to change the title to: "Before I Sleeping With the Enemy at the Gates of Heaven Can Wait Until Dark Water World" (Feel free to run with it. Knock yourselves out)." — Joseph Mallozzi, GateWorld Blog, November 21, 2005.
  • "A refashioned Morpheus will be episode 2." — Joseph Mallozzi, SG1Solutions Forum, November 28, 2005.
  • "Episode 2, Morpheus, finds the team going off-world and getting in a mess of trouble." — Joseph Mallozzi, Gateword Blog, November 28, 2005.
  • "Morpheus, for instance, has elements of the overall arc that will drive season 10, but is, for all intents and purposes, a stand-alone episode." — Joseph Mallozzi, SG1Solutions Forum, November 30.
  • Concerning Vala's past untrustworthiness and her role in Stargate Command: "It's funny you should bring this up since, just this morning, I was writing a scene in which Daniel and Landry have this very conversation. There are strong arguments on both side of the debate, and an added little element you all won't be aware of until much later." — Joseph Mallozzi, SG1Solutions Forum, December 3, 2005.
  • "Claudia [Black] will be in all 20 episodes and will have a major role in season 10. As to what her [Vala Mal Doran's] position will be at Stargate Command, check out episode #2, tentatively titled Morpheus." — Joseph Mallozzi, Aust Sci Fi interview, December 9, 2005.
  • "I wrote up the four outlines over two days (Atlantis episode #2, Morpheus, Counter-Strike, and Memento Mori), then started work on Morpheus which will be SG-1's second episode. It was a lot of fun but required a heady amount of research: Arthurian lore, Gwalchmei, the different stages of sleep, how the brain functions during sleep, and, of course, psychiatric evaluations. With Vala on board for all of season 10, we have to ask ourselves: Why would she want to join Stargate Command? Why would we want her to join Stargate Command? And, of course, do we feel that we can trust her? All of these questions come up in this episode and are answered, temporarily at least." — Joseph Mallozzi, Gateworld Blog, December 14, 2005.
  • "Well, take Morpheus for example which, initially, was intended as a Carter-centered potential cross-over episode. After some discussion in the room, it was decided that it would work better as an SG-1 team-centered story." — Joseph Mallozzi, SG1Solutions, December 21, 2005.
  • "Two of the things that stand out about Morpheus for me are: 1) the great Carter/Daniel sequence late in the episode [described by Mallozzi as "angsty" in the comments section of his December 21 Blog entry] and, 2) Teal'c getting the opportunity to step up in a non-Jaffa story. As I mentioned in a previous post (somewhere), this is the episode where we're faced with the prospect of Vala's continued involvement in the Stargate Program and must ask ourselves some hard questions. By "we", of course, I'm referring to the SGC. [...] Anyhow, this is the episode where those in charge of the SGC [...] weigh in on Vala's worth, character, and past actions. Who knows what the future holds?" — Joseph Mallozzi, Gateworld Blog, December 21, 2005.
  • "Finished the rewrites on Morpheus and Counter-Strike and will be reviewing them both this weekend." — Joseph Mallozzi, Gateworld Blog, January 19, 2005.
  • In answer to whether or not Daniel will be showing more patience and compassion toward Vala in Season Ten, Joseph Mallozzi stated, "There are some really nice moments along these lines in Morpheus, Counter-Strike, and Memento Mori." (SG1Solutions, January 20, 2006)
  • "We're also not just throwing Vala on the team. One of the things that we all agreed we loved about her character was the fact that she's a bit of an outsider with an attitude, and that that attitude doesn't necessarily fit right in immediately. And if you just suddenly had her change her personality and join the team and be accepted, it wouldn't feel right. It would probably not be nearly as interesting as keeping her character as a bit of a wildcard. [...] There's a great episode early on, in which she has to undergo a psychiatric evaluation just to be able to participate in the S.G.C. program. And it's a lot of fun moments in that. That was actually Claudia's idea. She said, 'Wouldn't it be great if Vala had to have a psych evaluation?'" — Executive producer Robert C. Cooper, interview with GateWorld, April 14, 2006.
  • "One of the things I like most about working on this show is that we're able to tell a variety of stories. I mean, there's Morpheus, which is the first episode that Paul Mullie and I wrote for SG-1 this season. It's off-world, weird, kind of quiet mystery juxtaposed with this comedic B-story involving the Vala character. I'm so happy with how it turned out. [...] ...she [Claudia Black] has excellent comedic timing. Claudia has the rhythm down and is wonderful opposite a psychiatrist played by Ben Ratner, who also does a great job in the episode. The back and forth banter between them is quite funny." — Joseph Mallozzi, TV Zone 203, June 2006.
  • According to the TV Zone 203 issue, there is an opportunity to use the chemistry that Ben Browder and Claudia Black demonstrated on their old series, Farscape, in which they played lovers John Crichton and Aeryn Sun. — TV Zone 203, June 2006.
  • "I personally think Morpheus is one of the best looking SG-1 episodes ever. The backstory is this: at the start of the year, there were some changes with the Art Department/Production Design team, and modifications were made to our village set which… well… let’s just say not everybody was a fan. But we have some absolutely superb painters and set dressers. They did a paint overhaul, and added a lot of vegetation set decoration. And then Peter Woeste – well all I can say is he is one hell of a photographer. He added just the right amount of atmosphere (read: smoke), and did his photographic magic, and made the village set look amazing for this episode. I think you’ll agree when you see it." — Alex Levine, Script Coordinator, SciFi.com Blog, July 21, 2006.
  • "Also get a load of the VFX lizard. Very cool. I was talking to the producers about the VFX for the show. The show has an in-house VFX department, of course, but sometimes we have so much going on they have to outsource certain effects, and with varying degrees of success. Rob Cooper was mentioning how you can usually tell if the VFX are going to be great at the initial modeling stage – when the VFX artists come in with their rough models of the character or ship and its related action. It’s either “Yeah!” or “Uh oh.” But all the shops put a lot of effort into it. And Image Engine did a superb job on this lizard!" — Alex Levine, Script Coordinator, SciFi.com Blog, July 21, 2006.

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 18:38, 11 February 2006 (PST)