SGA 5.20 "Enemy At The Gate" Episode Guide

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Todd warns Atlantis about a sophisticated hive ship and encourages the team to attack the vessel before it can pose a threat to Earth.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/ Official Summary

Todd contacts Atlantis and reveals that a Wraith subordinate has managed to acquire several zero point modules that he has used to power a formidable new hive ship. He urges Woolsey to attack and destroy before it becomes a threat to Atlantis.

On board the Daedalus, Colonel Caldwell, Colonel Sheppard and the rest of the team, rush to engage the new hive ship. But the ZPM powered vessel proves itself an impressive opponent, crippling the Daedalus before making a sudden and inexplicable jump into hyperspace.

Puzzled over the Wraith’s sudden departure, the team picks up a weak subspace signal in Wraith code. McKay is quick to recognize that the communique was sent, through subspace, from another reality. Once deciphered, their worst fears are realized. The Wraith message contains a familiar set of coordinates. The hive ship is on its way to Earth!


Guest Stars


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Stills Galleries

Production Galleries

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

Production Notes

  • "It really hit home this afternoon when I glanced up at the whiteboard and saw the big, empty space beneath the Season 5 heading and beside the numbers 1 through 20. Marty G. helpfully filled in areas with the following titles: Premiere, Mid-Season Two Parter, and Finale. Awesome! 4 down and 16 to go!" — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, October 24, 2007.
  • This episode will be the show's 100th. When asked if it will be like the 100th episode of Stargate SG-1 "Wormhole X-Treme", which was not too serious, Joseph Mallozzi replied, "Since it will be the season-ender, it will not be comical." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, October 27, 2007.
  • PG15 writes: "Who’s getting the great honor of writing the 100th episode of Stargate Atlantis, 520?" Answer: "Right now, it looks like Paul will be doing the honors." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 23, 2008.
  • "To those asking - no, the 100th episode will not be a comedy. We have something big in mind and are already in the planning stages. Speaking of episodes…" — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 29, 2008.
  • "Robert Cooper actually came in and he pitched an idea for episodes 19 and 20, which we thought was great, so we know what we’re working towards." — Joseph Mallozzi in MGM interview, April 29, 2008.
  • "...and that season finale I was talking about. Which leaves one mystery slot." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 29, 2008.
  • "We’re talking about shooting some of it (and #19) on location." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 18, 2008.
  • "The upcoming fifth season of SCI FI Channel's original series Stargate Atlantis will focus heavily on the Wraith--with a side trip to Las Vegas to commemorate the show's 100th episode, producers told SCI FI Wire during a visit to the show's sets in Vancouver, Canada, on May 16. ... Not everything is about the Wraith though. Flanigan said it's his understanding that filming for the show's upcoming 100th episode will take place in Las Vegas. Though Flanigan claimed to have no more details than that, he surmised that this would probably mean the episode will have to do with the replicators." — Sci Fi Wire: Atlantis Focuses on Wraith, May 20, 2008.
  • The Fez writes: “I thought you said that the 100th episode? What’s up with the Replicators and Las Vegas?” Answer: "Replicators?" — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 20, 2008.
  • "Season 5's 100th episode will be a milestone that the Atlantis production team are gearing up for with major plot developments and set and vfx preparation." — Sci Fi Pi Blog: Stargate Atlantis: A Day at the Office, May 22, 2008.
  • "Between the long stretches spent seated at my desk staring blankly at my laptop screen, I did find the time to - Discuss a potential game plan for episode 20 and beyond." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 4, 2008.
  • CSI: Atlantis and the season finale are "two very different stories, but they’re linked." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 7, 2008.
  • "Episode #20’s episode title remains a mystery. Hopefully, Paul (who will be writing the episode) will come up with something over the hiatus and save us the trouble." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 12, 2008.
  • Shirt ‘n Tie writes: “How go the thoughts/ideas for Episode 100?” Answer: "Very well. We were in the office today spinning." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 20, 2008.
  • PG15 writes: “1. Are you currently accepting pitches from freelance writers? 2. Will the Wraith be involved in Episode 100? Will Episode 100 end on a cliffhanger?” Answer: "1. The end of the season is the least likely time we would be looking to freelance pitches. There is only one more episode to break - #20 - and Paul will be writing it. 2. My lips are sealed." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 24, 2008.
  • "For one, that rumor about the 100th outing being set in Earthly Las Vegas has some teeth to it. "We've yet to break the episode," says exec producer Joseph Mallozzi. "[But] in our initial spinning, we have discussed the possibility of having the best of both worlds — or galaxies, as the case may be." That's just one of more than 20 reader questions Mallozzi answered for me the other day. Watch for the rest as Premiere Night nears." — Matt Mitovich, TV Guide News, June 25, 2008.
  • "For me, we're looking forward to episode 100 this year. It's a hundred hours that we've spent with at least three of these characters. That's an incredibly satisfying thing. We don't want to make it feel like an end, I don't think. It's a neat landmark to hit, definitely, in your characters' life. We're doing our best to make everything feel like it's leading organically to that last episode. ... It's going to be great. That's all I'm going to say. It will be very special and it's going to be very big. I couldn't be happier that it's our season finale. I think that's great. There is a roundness to it that I enjoy. Those first five seasons are 100 episodes. I think, probably never been done. No one does only 20 episodes a year. It's a strange thing to do. It's great because those are the episodes that you can usually convince people to give you a little bit more money for, and it's not even so much an arc for this season but we're coming full circle. Let me put it to you that way." — Martin Gero in Gateworld interview, published June 26, 2008.
  • "Also, schedule permitting, we would love to have Colonel Carter (Amanda Tapping) put in an appearance for the show's 100th episode (our Season 5 finale)." — Joseph Mallozzi in TV Guide Blog interview, posted June 30, 2008.
  • "We’ve yet to break the 100th episode. However, in our initial spinning, we have discussed the possibility of having the best of both worlds — or galaxies, as the case may be [by filming in Las Vegas]." — Joseph Mallozzi in TV Guide interview, posted June 30, 2008.
  • "I went into the office today for a couple of hours and spun Episode #20 with Paul. When all was said and done and we had our five acts, we sat back and studied the beats we put up on the board. No one said anything for almost a full minute and then, finally, Paul summed it up: “It’s jam-packed.” Indeed it is. FREAKING HUGE would be another neat turn of phrase that would apply. Perhaps a big too freaking huge? Well, we’ll run it by the rest of the gang when we get in on Monday. Our VFX supervisor Mark Savela is either going to be thrilled, or he’ll suffer an aneurism. It could go either way." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 10, 2008.
  • Les Fez writes: “ I was wondering, with the 100th episode apparently being so huge, what are the chances that MGM/SciFi will let you guys make it an extra-long episode like threads?” Answer: "Most unlikely." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 15, 2008.
  • Brendan writes: “Do you know which episode Amanda Tapping will be in, in Season 5 and is it still just one episode for her?” Answer: "Provided she is available, we would love to have her appear in our 100th episode." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 15, 2008.
  • Masterchief writes: "Will Sam’s current job, after leaving Atlantis, (SG team, head of some facility, R&D at Area 51 etc) be mentioned in the 100th ep?" Answer: "Yes - provided Amanda is available to appear in the episode." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 17, 2008.
  • "Many fans are interpreting the I.O.A.’s decision to replace Carter as coming about because of a failure on her part but just the opposite is true as evidenced by the team’s conversation at the beginning on The Seed. Under Carter’s command, the human form replicators were destroyed and the wraith severely weakened. At the beginning of season four, she was brought in because the military felt that the dangers the Atlantis expedition faced were too great to allow the city to be run by civilian hands. One year later, she had dealt with those threats, making the Pegasus Galaxy a much safer place, indirectly setting up an opportunity for the I.O.A. to re-assume control of the expedition. In any case, you’ll get to find out all about Carter’s new command position in episode 20." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 19, 2008.
  • "Alan finished his rewrite of Infection, Martin is prepping Brain Storm, Carl is poised to prep Identity, and Paul has broken ground on #20. With less than two months to go, it looks like it’s going to be a mad dash to the finish line." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 23, 2008.
  • "I get scared just thinking about episode 100. Nah, it’ll be amazing." — Mark Savela, Visual Effects Supervisor, in Joseph Mallozzi's weblog, July 24, 2008.
  • Andy writes: “If I may, why hasn’t #20 been named yet? Is the story so complex you’re still considering the name, or is it you just don’t want to release it yet for drama?” Answer: "Nothing quite so intriguing. We just haven’t come up with one yet." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 24, 2008.
  • "Well, it’s a race to the finish line ... while Paul continues work on the big season (series?) finale." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 31, 2008.
  • "Now I can't tell you exactly what is said in the writer's room, but I can tell you that these are some witty guys and the jokes always come fast and furious. Today's topics included: ... the future title of episode 20 (I suggested "Untitled" - less work for me)..." — Alex Levine in his blog, July 31, 2008.
  • "Paul is writing episode 100 as we speak. Looking ahead at the schedule, we’ll wrap production here in Vancouver, then shoot our outstanding Vegas days down south to wrap the season." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 5, 2008.
  • "One of the things we wanted to make sure of was that Carter’s being relieved of the Atlantis command isn’t seen as a demotion because, as our team pointed out in The Seed, she was actually a victim of her own success. As such, the next time we see Carter (in episode 20), she’ll have assumed another command position." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 7, 2008.
  • "The character of Carson Beckett will be appearing in five episodes this season. They are - The Seed (written by Paul Mullie), Whispers (written by me), Outsiders (written by Alan McCullough), Identity (written by Carl Binder), and episode #20 (written by Paul Mullie)." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 9, 2008.
  • "This is going to be more of a spectacular. This one's going to be huge. A lot of fun. A lot of exciting ... That was one that the idea came up when I wasn't [here], I was on the picket line. When I came back I said "What are we doing?" and they pitched it to me and I was like "Oh, that is cool!" Cause Robert, I think, is doing nineteen. And nineteen will set up twenty. So there will be like -- not really a two-parter -- but one sets up the other. ... At least I believe it is a cliffhanger. You've got to have ... you always have to have some sort of cliffhanger element, so that you can move on to Season Six! ... The show just keeps going and going and going. And then who knows about the third one. So we'll see..." — Carl Binder in Gateworld interview, August 9, 2008.
  • "Paul has reached the fourth act of the still untitled Episode #20." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 12, 2008.
  • "Speaking of titles - we finally got one for our 100th episode: Enemy at the Gate. Looks like it will shoot in the #19 slot, meaning we’ll wrap in Vancouver and finish shooting season five in Las Vegas. It’s 60+ pages of intergalactic fun and Marty G. is looking to add to the page count by pitching out a certain scene that has divided the writers’ room. That’s Martin and Carl for, Paul and I against, and Alan firmly straddling the fence. Hey, I love the idea. I’m just not crazy about the timing. If the scene boards, we may compromise by shooting it anyway and deciding later whether or not it makes the final cut." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 15, 2008.
  • "Well, this is an interesting time of year. All the scripts have been written so we know where the season and story arcs are going, and there's no more pitching or spinning to be done. Paul is collecting notes on the final episode of the season, entitled "Enemy at the Gate"." — Alex Levine in his blog, August 18, 2008.
  • "Episode 20, Enemy at the Gate, will mark our 100th episode and, contrary to online speculation, we will not be ending things with a cliffhanger. Regardless of whether we got the pick-up or not, we had always planned a clean conclusion to our 100th episode, one that would hopefully leave fans satisfied yet eager for more. And that “more” will come in the form of the Stargate Atlantis movie…" — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog after the announcement that this season is the last for the show, August 21, 2008.
  • "Depends what you mean by "cliffhanger." [Laughter] Not so much. Not so much. It's a great story that Paul and Joe wrote. It's a terrific script, and there's a "What now?" aspect of it. That's for sure. But there's no fingers dangling on the edge of a cliff, as we have done in the past." — Brad Wright in Gateworld interview, August 21, 2008.
  • "Episode 20 will remain as originally scripted." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 25, 2008.
  • "Reminder! You have until tomorrow night to post your questions for Andy Mikita. I’ll be sending them his way on Wednesday morning because he starts prep on the series finale, Enemy at the Gate, on Friday." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 26, 2008.
  • "Meanwhile, we’ve still got a show to produce. Identity is shooting, Enemy at the Gate is prepping, and various cuts and mixes abound." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 29, 2008.
  • "“I’m super-excited and honored that they [the show’s producers] gave me that episode to direct, and hopefully I’ll be able to do it justice." — Andy Mikita, interview, excerpted in Solutions blog, September 4, 2008.
  • "Hard to believe but this will be my last week on Atlantis the series. Three days this week, two on "Enemy at the Gate", the finale; and a day on "Vegas" the penultimate Atlantis adventure. Whew. Those five years went fast! It seems like only yesterday a hapless doctor with a weird accent told his commanding officer to "stop talking please". That was way back. Atlantis old school." — David Nykl in his blog, September 6, 2008.
  • "First day on the last episode. In the Control room and in peril... the more it changes the more it stays the same ;-)" — David Hewlett in his Twitter, September 8, 2008.
  • "Well, things are winding down here for us at The Bridge Studios. In a little over a week, we’ll be wrapping up production in Vancouver before shifting focus to our location shoot in Vegas for a few days. After that, we’ll strike the sets, say our goodbyes, put the production assistants to sleep, and mark the end of a glorious five year run with a special Milestone Episode/End Of Series Wrap Party - our second in three years! Before then, however, some familiar faces will be dropping by. Actor Michael Beach was on set yesterday. Today, it was Mitch Pileggi. Amanda Tapping and Christopher Heyerdahl will be joining us in the days to come." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, September 10, 2008.
  • "I would call it a satisfying ending, yes. It goes in big style. It really does. The last one, everybody's in it. Let's put it that way. ... Some things get resolved, some things don't. I think "satisfying" would be a good way to characterize it." — David Nykl in Gateworld interview, September 13, 2008.
  • "And, among the other Stargate-related things to look forward to next week: Amanda Tapping, spinning the movie, completing production on Enemy at the Gate, Thursday’s final Vancouver wrap, and, of course, the 100th Episode/Series Wrap Party." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, September 13, 2008.
  • "You’ll never guess who dropped by my office today. Go ahead. Guess. You’ll never…Oh. Yes. Right the first time. Amanda Tapping. Who told you? She was at The Bridge for her Enemy at the Gate costume fitting. Also in for the day was Paul McGillion who was kind enough to record a video thank you to the fans." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, September 15, 2008. McGillion's video posted on September 16, 2008.
  • "Production on Stargate Atlantis wrapped today for most of our cast and crew. As the sets go dark here at The Bridge Studios, the scene shifts to Vegas for a few more days of filming after which work on the series is finally complete. Well, almost complete because work continues for post, viz, the producers, and Joel Goldsmith who still have weeks to go before they can sail off into the sunset." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, September 19, 2008.
  • Joseph Mallozzi, September 19, 2008:
Final scene as per today’s call sheet:
INT. F-302 COCKPIT 1: Sheppard
Push in on the screen, word ARMED flashes
  • On having dyed her hair for her new role as Helen Magnus in Sanctuary and returning to the Atlantis set for the finale: "I just shot the final episode of Atlantis last week and I walked onto the set and half the crew didn’t know who I was. And I was like sweet - I have accomplished what I set out to accomplish. And then of course I came back with a blonde wig and they went, “Oh - hey Amanda!” It was funny." — Amanda Tapping, Q&A, September 29, 2008.
  • "Our big two-part premiere would have picked up where we’d left off after the shocking events of our fifth season finale: Enemy at the Gate. Would have picked up? What am I saying? WILL pick up since the idea originally conceived for the opening two-parter will now be the basis of the first Stargate: Atlantis movie, the difference being that we’ll be able to tell our story on a much bigger, visual effects-laden, character-centered canvas." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, September 30, 2008.
  • "I just got done doing the final episode, and I'm still flying around the Daedelus. I'm just a cab driver. [Laughs] Just more space battles and saving Sheppard and the others." — Mitch Pileggi in TV Guide Online interview, October 1, 2008.

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 10:09, 16 August 2008 (PDT)