SGA 5.05 "Ghost In The Machine" Episode Guide

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Surviving human form Replicators wish to achieve ascension by uploading their consciousnesses into subspace to live indefinitely as fields of energy, but Atlantis is put into danger when their experiment yields some surprising results.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/ Official Summary

Returning from an exploratory mission, the team is mystified when an arc of blue energy causes the puddle jumper’s primary systems to shut down, slamming them into an active stargate. They narrowly make it home, only to be greeted by similar erratic anomalies within the city itself. Soon, nearly every system in Atlantis is affected by ominous power disruptions.

Suddenly, a puzzling message appears on McKay’s computer screen. Its author claims to be a former friend long thought dead. Now an incorporeal presence, she begs Rodney to utilize the Ancient’s technology to build her a new body.

Highly skeptical, the Atlantis team is faced with an impossible decision. To create the means to release an entity who may, or may not be a friend, or stand by as it systematically destroys the city’s technological infrastructure.


Guest Stars


Related Articles



Related Links




Stills Galleries

Production Galleries

The following are links to images concerning the production of this episode and were published by Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog:

The following are links to images concerning the production of this episode (perhaps) and were published by David Nykl in his personal blog:

Production Notes

  • "With the writers’ strike hopefully over, Carl will finally be delivering his masterpiece which we’ll be fast-tracking into the #5 slot." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, February 11, 2008.
  • "And - hey, look who’s back! Yep, with the Carl Binder turned up for work today! And he brought us a present: his first draft of Ghost in the Machine." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, February 12, 2008.
  • "Carl is doing another rewrite of his script (Ghost in the Machine)..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, February 20, 2008.
  • "Paul does a pass on Ghost in the Machine..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 4, 2008.
  • "Carl just put out the blue pages on Ghost in the Machine." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 13, 2008.
  • Sheppard's Delight writes: "I know it is early days but I just wondered as a Shep fan (& whumper ) do you think that there are any eps in s5 that we should look forward to in particular?" Answer: "I am certain the true Shep fan will get their fix in season 5 ... "Ghost in the Machine" will make you very happy as well..." — James Bamford, stunt coordinator, in his GW Q&A thread, March 23, 2008.
  • "Prep continues on Ghost in the Machine." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 24, 2008.
  • "Two huge playback-heavy episodes in The Daedalus Variations and Ghost in the Machine will have that department on their toes for the next few weeks." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 25, 2008.
  • "Carl is prepping Ghost in the Machine." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 1, 2008.
  • "There are no finished episodes (we are still several months away from finals). At present, we are shooting episode 5 (Ghost in the Machine) and prepping episode 6 (The Shrine of Talus)." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 5, 2008.
  • "Shooting now: Ghost in the Machine." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 11, 2008.
  • "I've just finished a nice six-day run out at the Bridge Studio (did you know that the Golden Gate bridge was manufactured in the same building we have our puddle jumper set? - It's true. It was shipped down to San Francisco for assembly) Two episodes in those six days: Ghost in the Machine and The Shrine. Some nice McKay/Zelenka scenes in there. Two great eppies too." — David Nykl in his personal blog, April 16, 2008.
  • "We’ll certainly see more of Teyla than we did in season four. As a fan of the character, you’ll no doubt love Search and Rescue, Broken Ties, and The Queen, and no doubt enjoy The Daedalus Variations, Ghost in the Machine, and The Shrine." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 28, 2008.
  • "I know Carl's working on a story this year called "Ghost in the Machine." There's just some great comic bits for Woolsey." — Alan McCullough in Gateworld interview, published June 4, 2008.
  • "Only my two days into hiatus and I suspect I may have underestimated by reading capacity. I’ll pick up some more titles on Wednesday since I’ll be dropping by the offices anyway to watch the Ghost in the Machine day one mix and the Broken Ties final mix, and begin discussions on Project Twilight." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 15, 2008.
  • "At about 10:00 a.m., everyone else got in and we retired to the writers’ room for a quadruple feature: ... Ghost in the Machine (Day 1 Mix - Overall a pretty good mix. A few ADR requests, a desire for a less instrumental CLANG off the top)..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 18, 2008.
  • "The whole final scene of "Be All My Sins Remember'd" is 'Listen, they're kind of still alive, but in a much more manageable form because there's one ship left.' That's got a very interesting story coming up in Season Five that Carl has written. Carl can tell you about that one." — Martin Gero in Gateworld interview, published June 26, 2008.
  • "I don’t remember the number of it. Joe Mallozzi will have to help me out with it. But I think it’s Ghost in the Machine where Woolsey has to basically play his first poker hand. When the chips are down and the danger is very high, he calls the bluff of the enemy and he’s clearly - we’ve never seen Woolsey be that kind of controlled and confident before. And I think that that moment, kind of catches Dr. McKay’s attention as boy, this guy has something that we didn’t expect him to have." — Robert Picardo, Monsters and Critics interview, July 7, 2008.
  • "I try to create what the writers have placed in front of me. I think they have very intelligently broad-stroked his development as a leader very quickly. There's another episode that happens early on, I think it's episode five, where he faces his first major crisis where he has to put on the poker face and call the enemy's bluff, in one of those very dramatic situations. And what was interesting for me as an actor is that it echoed completely an episode from season four where Col. Carter is making the call, and Woolsey panics and tries to assume control from her, tries to wrest -- tries to basically countermand her order ["The Seer"]. And this time, because it was staged in exactly the same place, I walked to the same point on the set where I had "learned the lesson" from Carter, and I basically succeed in her game. It's like witnessing someone play a great hand of poker and saying, "Okay, now it's my turn." And I have to be so convincing, that I have to hide whatever fear or doubt or trepidation that I have, and win the day. So it was very nice, I think, in the way that it echoed, both in the writing and the playing and even the exact point on the set I was, that moment of discovery for him." — Robert Picardo on Richard Woolsey, interview, early July 2008.
  • "We're currently working on "Ghost In The Machine." A lovely Police song, and now a fantastic episode of Atlantis. We're bringing Fran back. Yeah! We're bringing a few things back ... which I'm sure I probably shouldn't say anything about. It definitely threw a number of curves at us. It was fun to read because, you know, I like those episodes where you go, "What?! Oh my God!" And then you're eager to go to the next page. As opposed to the ones where you don't." — David Hewlett, Gateworld interview, posted July 11, 2008.
  • "Sometimes an artist will run with a sequence and bring back something completely different than what you had in your head but is still very cool. Check out the first 8 min of “Ghost In The Machine”. Except for some minor tweeks here and there, that was all Alec McClymont from Atmosphere VFX." — Mark Savela, Video Effects Supervisor, Joseph Mallozzi's weblog, July 24, 2008.
  • "Ever since "Be All My Sins Remember'd", when I saw and read the script, I was like "We have to ... we can't leave this hanging." We've got to figure this out. So it's finding out what happened to Weir, and where we go from here. Originally, it involved bringing Torri [Higginson] back, but then she declined. So we had to step back and figure out a new way to tell the story, which -- I don't know who came up with the idea -- but it was a great way to do it. So I'm really happy about that. ... I have Woolsey in "Ghost In The Machine", and he gets to show some spine, which is nice. Robert Picardo has been a blast. A lot of fun. It's a real tech-heavy episode. The good thing is that we get to find out what happened. What that last scene in "Be All My Sins Remember'd" was all about." — Carl Binder in Gateworld interview, August 9, 2008.
  • "I was going into Martin's office and saying 'Be real careful how you cast this character [of FRAN in Be All My Sins Remember'd].' Because she's got to be just right. She can't go over the top. She can't be robotic. She's got to have humanity, but at the same time an innocence. All these various things that she had to do in a very short period of time. And I thought she just knocked the ball out of the park. I was like 'How can we bring her back?' And now, there's a way. I was just talking to her yesterday about it. The template, the "Fran" template is stored in the machine. Whenever we need a Replicator, whenever we need to create something... And you can alter it to whatever you need. I don't know how much the Replicators will continue to play a part in this series, but in this episode we will revisit it, and kind of wrap it up. But also keep the door open. In science fiction, the door is always open. Look at "Beckett!" He's back." — Carl Binder in Gateworld interview, August 9, 2008.

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 18:12, 18 March 2008 (PDT)