SGA 4.10 "This Mortal Coil Part 1" Episode Guide

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A rogue group of Replicators creates duplicates of Sheppard's team and Dr. Elizabeth Weir in the hope of discovering how to ascend like their creators, the Ancients.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/ Official Summary

Several strange events in Atlantis — the crash and subsequent sabotage of a satellite that McKay believes was built by Replicators, and Sheppard's discovery that he can heal improbably quickly from injuries — put Sheppard, McKay, Teyla and Ronon on their guard.

After Dr. Keller dismisses Sheppard's self-healing with suspicious carelessness, he and Teyla run their own medical tests and learn that their bodies can heal quickly because they are swarming with Replicator nanites. Meanwhile, McKay discovers that Atlantis's scanners show only five human life-signs — Sheppard's team, plus one — even though the city appears to be full of people.

When McKay and Ronon investigate the fifth life sign on the city's outskirts, they're shocked to find Elizabeth Weir, disoriented but alive.

Just then, the team is confronted by Dr. Keller and Maj. Lorne, who reveal that this isn't the real Atlantis. Keller, Lorne and most of the Atlantis personnel are actually renegade Replicators who are pursuing the spiritual process of Ascension.

Because they believe that they must study humans as part of this process, they have populated a duplicate Atlantis with duplicate flesh-and-blood versions of Sheppard, Weir, McKay, Teyla and Ronon. They've been given the memories of their real counterparts (stolen during mind-probes when the real team was once captured) and infused with nanites to keep them healthy.

The Replicators tried to prevent the duplicate team from finding out that they weren't real, but events have exposed the truth. As if that isn't shocking enough, Keller adds that the real Weir died at the hands of her Replicator captors.

As the team, now locked in a cell by their creators, struggles to absorb all this, the planet comes under attack. The renegade Replicators have incurred the wrath of their mainstream brethren, who have come to wipe them out. Hurriedly, Weir talks Keller into demonstrating compassion — an essential trait for Ascension — by setting the humans free. Liberated, the team escapes as the Replicators battle each other.

The duplicates contact the real Atlantis and invite their counterparts to a meeting on a neutral planet so they can share the Replicator intel they've gained. The real Sheppard, McKay, Teyla and Ronon are grieved to learn of the original Weir's death … and unnerved by their duplicates. For her part, Weir is pensive, convinced that she and the other duplicates face an uncertain future, because they can never fit in at Atlantis.

Then a fleet of Replicator warships arrive. They've tracked down the escapees and plan to kill all the humans, original and duplicates alike. Weir's musings must take second place to a life-or-death fight.


Guest Stars


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Production Notes

  • "Brad [Wright] will probably be too busy to write an episode of Atlantis this season but has come up with a terrific story that should figure into the mid-season two-parter." (Joseph Mallozzi's February 21 blog)
  • "No hints but I will say that it will be very different from previous mid-season two-parters." (Joseph Mallozzi's March 19 blog)
  • "I put out the outline of the first part of the mid-season two-parter, an episode Carl Binder is particularly [looking] forward to." (Joseph Mallozzi's March 21 blog)
  • "As for which episodes fans should be looking forward to most for each member of the team - it's tough to say only because my opinion could be very different from fan opinion especially when you start factoring in the different fan factions. But, in my opinnion, I’d say: [...] This Mortal Coil for Weir [...]" (Joseph Mallozzi's April 15 blog)
  • "I do a final re-read and pass on This Mortal Coil and hand it off to Alex Levine who will proof it and then put it out to the writing department." (Joseph Mallozzi April 18 blog)
  • "James [Robbins, Production Designer] and Tom [Wells, Supervising Art Director] pop in for an impromptu meeting with Paul and I, looking ahead to possible builds for the next few episodes. No major construction for The Seer, but we will marry some of the exterior scenes from this episode to the This Mortal Coil shoot. James and Tom also pitch out how they’d like to pull off the “horrific reveal” at script’s end. I love it!" (Joseph Mallozzi's April 18 blog)
  • "Well, we started prep on This Mortal Coil today with a nice line-up of all-day meetings." (Joseph Mallozzi's May 4 blog)
  • "Paul finished his pass on This Mortal Coil and did a great job. The script is much clearer and cleaner." (Joseph Mallozzi's May 7 blog)
  • "A short walk over to the FX stage found Will Waring shooting one of the This Mortal Coil walk and talks." (Joseph Mallozzi's May 22 blog)
  • "I was in editing most of the morning, working with Rick Martin on This Mortal Coil [picture included]. It’s coming along swimmingly and still only two minutes short. I already picked spots for the two scenes I’ll be writing - one with the entire team, the other a McKay/Zelenka scene - both nice character moments for all." (Joseph Mallozzi's June 6 blog)
  • "One gate malfunction coming up. Check out This Mortal Coil." (Joseph Mallozzi's July 17 blog)

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 07:54, 1 June 2007 (PDT)