Of all the scripts I’ve written/co-written over the course of my 11+ years on the Stargate franchise (some 70+ scripts in all), season 9’s Ripple Effect remains my favorite.  It had all of the elements I love most in a story: humor, twists on classic SF tropes, character insight, What If’s, twists, turns, and a slew of in-jokes, call-backs, and winks to the audience (for the rest of my  Stargate Top 10: August 15, 2010: MY Top 10 Favorite Stargate Episodes).  I ended up packing so much into the script that the episode ran long and, as a result, a significant amount ended up on the cutting room floor (or on the page).  Although I posted these deleted scenes as part of my Making Of series on Gateworld way back when, I thought it would be fun to revisit them here as I continue my stroll down SG-1 memory lane…

Scene 1: Landry and Lam

In the episode as aired, the action begins with Landry stepping into the control room off Harriman’s “Unscheduled off-world activation!” In fact, the episode was scripted to begin with a Landry-Lam walk and talk. After their reconciliation of sorts at the end of “The Fourth Horseman,” I thought it important to show father and daughter finally starting to connect. With that in mind, I wrote the following scene which, unfortunately, had to be cut for time. Incidentally, it was also a nod to the infamous “Cheyenne Mountain Zoo” controversy of Season Eight


Landry and Dr. Lam head down the corridor. As they walk, Dr. Lam references the medical update file and informs Landry –

DR. LAM: I’m recommending Dr. Reinhart be cleared for return to active duty. Lieutenant Parker’s x-rays came back negative, but Colonel May suffered a fractured fibula that should keep him out of action for a while. And it turns out that rash Sergeant Hunter thought he had picked up off-world was — um, definitely not of alien origin.

She hands him the update. He gives it a once-over, throws her a sideways glance.

LANDRY: What are you doing Sunday?

DR. LAM: No plans. Why?

LANDRY: Want to go check out the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo?

DR. LAM: You know, come to think of it, the last time I visited a zoo was with you. I believe I was ten.

LANDRY: They’re not just for kids you know.

DR. LAM: No, I know. Alright. Sunday.

LANDRY: Great. While we’re there, we can take a ride on the Shongololo Choo Choo.

Off her look.

LANDRY: I’m kidding.

She smiles despite herself. Suddenly, the ALARMS SOUND.

HARRIMAN: Unscheduled off-world activation.

Scene 10: The Green Team steps through the gate to end the tease

With all of the different versions of SG-1 coming through the gate, the various departments were as confused as our onscreen heroes. In a revised version, I was careful to label each team by the color of their outfits: Green for the real team, Desert Camo for Janet/Martouf team, Tiger Blue’s for the team that steps through the gate at the end of Act I, and, of course, Black for the bad guys.

Now, one of the things I’m sure the nitpickers will seize upon is the change in uniform. The real SG-1 left in greens yet the first return team comes back in black. Surely someone would have noticed. Maybe — but, in reality, probably not. SG-1 could have headed off-world a day or two prior to returning and there’s no guarantee the same personnel would be manning the gate room.

Scene 13: Mitchell interviews Black Daniel

I had a lot of fun layering in subtle hints at the various AU relationships, and this was an opportunity to drop a clue about Mitchell and a certain someone-else. Unfortunately, in trimming the episode, the following exchange was lost for time.

Black Daniel takes a sip. Green Mitchell settles in, taking the seat across from him.

GREEN MITCHELL: So, can I get you anything else? Something to eat?

Black Daniel sizes Green Mitchell up, considers, then tests him –

BLACK DANIEL: Know what I feel like? The ginger beef from Hunan House.

Clearly, Green Mitchell doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

BLACK DANIEL: Hunan House on Academy Boulevard? Your favorite Szechwan restaurant? The first place you and …


BLACK DANIEL: Never mind. Check it out. I have a feeling you’ll love it.

Scene 20: Tiger Blue SG-1 come through the gate to end Act I

Alternate takes of the team coming through the gate included a confused Tiger Blue Mitchell asking “What the frell is going on here?!” and “What the frak is going on here?!”

Scene 25: Green Mitchell interviews Desert Camo Daniel

This entire scene was lost for time, but it included a reference to this particular AU Daniel’s allergies, and a reference to his still very-much-alive wife –


Green Mitchell is seated across the table from Desert Camo Daniel. A glass of water and a pill dispenser sit in front of Desert Camo Daniel.

DESERT CAMO DANIEL: So how do we get back to our reality?

GREEN MITCHELL: We don’t know yet, but we’re working on it. In the meantime, I’d like to ask you a few questions.

Desert Camo Daniel nods. Green Mitchell turns on the tape recorder sitting on the table. Desert Camo Daniel opens up the pill dispenser, pops a couple, and washes them down. Off Green Mitchell’s look –

DESERT CAMO DANIEL: Antihistamines. I have terrible allergies.

Green Mitchell nods, moves on –

GREEN MITCHELL: Where were you gating in from?

DESERT CAMO DANIEL: Abydos, my wife’s home world. With her help and the support of our friends there, we were going to try and capture a Prior. But things didn’t go as planned …

Scene 26: Green Daniel and Green Teal’c interview Desert Camo Fraiser

This was a great little scene reuniting Teal’c and Daniel with Fraiser (albeit an alternate version of the good doctor). Again, due to time constraints, we had to lose some references to Cassie. Here is the exchange as originally scripted:

GREEN TEAL’C: You have been greatly missed.

Suddenly, she realizes –


GREEN DANIEL: She’s fine. She moved in with Sam after it happened.

DESERT CAMO FRAISER: I can’t imagine what she must have gone through.

GREEN DANIEL: It was tough for her — but she got through it. She managed to deal with her loss by focusing on her studies.(beat) She’s majoring in Biochemistry at UCLA.

Desert Camo Fraiser can’t help but smile.

DESERT CAMO FRAISER: She’s doing well back home too.(then, catching herself) I mean — my home.

GREEN TEAL’C: Hopefully you will be able to return to her shortly.


GREEN DANIEL: For the moment, it looks like your trip here was only one-way.

Scene 28: Green Carter talks with Desert Camo Martouf

This scene, as aired, actually picks up in the middle of the scene as shot. We had to cut about a minute of Carter getting this AU Martouf up-to-speed on how events played out in this reality –


Green Carter and Desert Camo Martouf re-connect.

DESERT CAMO MARTOUF: So I died, not once but twice?

GREEN CARTER: The second time was the symbiote, Lantash. He gave up his life by allowing himself to be captured so he could release the symbiote poison aboard a mother ship. The first time…(beat) The first time was the host. You were compromised by a Goa’uld mind control device. I killed you. I had no choice.

She tries to read him. His look betrays nothing.

GREEN CARTER: You died in my arms.

DESERT CAMO MARTOUF: Well, if I had to go …

She is surprised by his reaction.

GREEN CARTER: It doesn’t upset you at all?

DESERT CAMO MARTOUF: Why should it? With all due respect to you and the Martouf of this reality — it wasn’t me. I’m very much alive.

GREEN CARTER: (concedes)I suppose there is no reason why it should bother you.

DESERT CAMO MARTOUF: I didn’t say it didn’t bother me. To be honest, the prospect of you killing me is very unsettling.

Again, she tries to read him.

GREEN CARTER: So … How are things in your universe?

Scene 30: Kvasir, Landry, and Green SG-1 discuss a possible solution

In the original script, the scene ended with Landry’s “Shut this thing down.” However, Ben came by my office and requested Mitchell make some sort of comment on Kvasir. This was, after all, the first time his character had ever laid eyes on an Asgard — something the other members of the team now take for granted. After giving it some thought, I decided to parallel Sheppard’s reaction to Hermiod in “Intruder”

GREEN MITCHELL: Even though I read all the mission reports, the Asgard are a whole lot different than I’d imagined them.

GREEN TEAL’C: And what were you expecting?

GREEN MITCHELL: Well, pants for starters.

Scene 33: Desert Camo Fraiser makes her case before General Landry

Thematically, this was, in my opinion, the linchpin scene of the entire script. Throughout the episode, we’re offered glimpses of the hardships faced by the various AU realities and the seemingly insurmountable odds they are facing. The question begs asking: To what lengths would you be willing to go to save your Earth? In the case of Black SG-1, they’re obviously willing to go very far — but that doesn’t make them bad people.

In fact, in the later scene on the Prometheus in which Black Mitchell explains to Green Mitchell why they’re doing what they’re doing, its very hard not to feel some sympathize with his position. It’s clear that when push comes to shove, sacrifices will be made as evidenced by Landry’s refusal to delay the mission, thereby stranding these various AU SG-1’s and potentially damning their realities. As Fraiser rightly argues in this scene: “How can you prioritize the lives of one group over those of another? What makes my Earth any less important than yours?”

Scene 38: Black Mitchell and Black Carter scheme and disappear into the elevator

We were watching the dailies of this scene over lunch one day when I saw something that made me choke on my turkey club. In more than one take, Black Mitchell and Black Carter discuss as they head toward the elevator and then, inexplicably, take one another’s hand and step inside. As the elevator doors close, they lean in for a kiss … What the hell? I went down to set and asked Peter DeLuise, the episode’s director, what the thinking was behind that scene. He explained that he was just offering up a visual cue to the relationship being hinted at throughout the episode.

Apparently, Peter had assumed that the references to AU Mitchell’s dinner at the Hunan House (which didn’t make the cut), AU Carter’s pregnancy and honeymoon, all pointed to the fact that these two were “an item.” An interesting interpretation I’d never thought of — and not the one intended.

Scene 40: Green Daniel and Black Teal’c walk and talk / Green Daniel and Green Teal’c walk and talk

Hated to lose these scenes as they contained a bit of foreshadowing re: a later Season Nine episode. Also, it was fun exploring the feelings of the various SG-1 members to their AU selves, and I liked contrasting the Teal’c’s discomfort and refusal to talk with one another with the Mitchell’s great comfort and animated exchange.


Green Daniel and Black Teal’c head down the corridor.

BLACK TEAL’C: In truth, the familiar aspects of this world have proven more disquieting than comforting. This ship in particular.

GREEN DANIEL: How’s that?

BLACK TEAL’C: In our reality, the Prometheus was recently lost in battle.

Before Green Daniel has a chance to follow up with a question, the real Teal’c (Green Teal’c) turns the corner in front of them. He informs Green Daniel –

GREEN TEAL’C: We should be arriving at the singularity shortly.

BLACK TEAL’C: I will inform the others.

As Black Teal’c moves off, he and Green Teal’c exchange the briefest of looks. Green Daniel and Green Teal’c make for the bridge.

GREEN DANIEL: Can’t help but notice you and the other Teal’c haven’t exchanged a word since he got here.

GREEN TEAL’C: Why would I wish to engage him in conversation?

GREEN DANIEL:I don’t know. You guys must have a lot in common.

GREEN TEAL’C: So much so that I’d imagine it would be not unlike talking to myself. I fail to see the point.

GREEN DANIEL: Okay. Never mind.

They continue on their way.

Scene 54: Black Daniel suffers a crisis of conscience

Here’s another scene I hated to lose. The Black Team has just sprung their trap, assuming control of the ship. But I wanted to make it clear that, rather than being evil versions of SG-1, this team has simply been pushed to the point where they have no other option if they are to save their galaxy. But it doesn’t sit well with Daniel who, ever the voice of reason, even in an alternate universe, makes his feelings known.


Black Mitchell rejoins the rest of his team waiting out in the corridor.

BLACK MITCHELL: Alright. We did good.


Black Daniel walks away. Black Carter moves to go after him, but Black Mitchell stops her.

BLACK MITCHELL: I’ve got it.

He goes after him.

BLACK MITCHELL: Jackson, hold up!

He catches up with him.

BLACK MITCHELL: What’s wrong?

BLACK DANIEL: What’s wrong? How about what we’re doing. What we’re about to do.

BLACK MITCHELL: Come on. We’re not the bad guys here.

BLACK DANIEL: Oh. And you’re telling me that they are?

BLACK MITCHELL: It isn’t that easy on this one. There’s no black or white here. Just a whole lot of grey.

Black Mitchell turns and steps in front of Black Daniel, stopping him.

BLACK MITCHELL: If there was any other way to save Earth, we wouldn’t be here — but the fact is we’re out of options and we’re running out of time. So I’m sorry if our tactics don’t mesh with your code of ethics, but we don’t have a choice.

BLACK DANIEL: Yeah. I’m sorry too.

Black Daniel walks off. Black Mitchell glances back down the corridor at Black Carter and Black Teal’c watching. He slams his fist against the wall in frustration.

49 thoughts on “June 14, 2011: Ripple Effect! The deleted scenes!

  1. What a treat!! Ripple Effect was one of my favorite episodes from Season 9. Thanks for sharing!!!

    Have a good evening!!!!!

  2. Sam and…Cam?! From PdL?! I think my heart just dropped. I always thought the pregnancy and other mentioned “Sam situations” were her and Jack! Of course I’m wondering who Mitchell is with?? *is clueless* I did very much enjoy this episode. Thanks for the deleted scenes!

  3. very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    i suspected that black team sam & mitchell were together. which didn’t mean that sam & jack weren’t together in other realities. maybe in the black team universe jack is till married and his son is still alive. and speaking of jack….

    did anyone involved with this episode ever consider working in a line about why jack wasn’t on the black or desert camo teams? like he retired, got promoted or killed?

  4. Hi

    Thanks for the script snippets – enjoyed!

    Thanks, too, for the Q&A with J Moran – loved reading more from the creatives in UK. Which reminds me: how’s your project coming along that may have a pitch into the UK?

    What about a round-up update on all your creative projects? Please!

    best wishes, PJR

  5. RED HOT Joe! Thanks so much…it was a real shame about the Landry/Lam deletion, I was always looking for further clues about them. Cheers!

  6. Hi Joe,

    So…query on Ripple Effect….

    That “almost” kiss between Green Sam (“our” Sam) and Camo Martouf. Was that another interpretation by PDL? Or…as I’d often tried to assume (and persuade other horrified shippers of…)…was it meant to be a momentary resurgence of Jolinar’s feelings for Martouf…which Sam was truly most grateful to have Kvasir interrupt? Because if you (personally) assumed that Sam and Jack had been together since Threads (and the hint in Ex Deus Machina with Sam’s “Not exactly” reply to Barrett’s hopefuly query about her being single…), then I’m coming up short on any other explanation for why Sam would even be tempted….

    Could you please clarify?



  7. Loved Ripple Effect, very good episode, you know you rank in the top 3 best Stargate writers to a lot of people Joe right?(Well not the haters but the fans yeah) lol

    I really wish SG1 went on for another few Seasons, forget Atlantis, SG1 will always be the best.

    I really wanted to see SG1 exploring the Ori Galaxy some.

  8. Re the Facebook page titled “Stargate SG2″…”producer” has confirmed it is a fan film, in response to my question on the referenced page.

    Re PDL’s confusion: Guess he was one of the persons needing the color-coded uniforms. As I recall, it was in the desert-camo AU that Carter was on maternity leave.

  9. Also “Ripple Effect”: Thought it interesting at the time that “desert camo” Martouf apparently. adopted North American accent during his time at the SGC. Deliberate choice by actor /director /producer?

    Alexis Cruz CROWED when I told him I’d noticed Ska’ara’s changed accent in his final appearance–“Lost City”?–end of SG1 S6.

  10. Sigh, wish they had filmed all those and put on extended dvd versions! Must be hard as a writer to have to let critical or at least important parts get cut.

    Frack, twice now in last month or 2 I have been logged out of wordpress. what’s up with that? Had to log back in to post.

  11. @Sandra M

    Oh wow, I love the concept pics on that website link, could imagine speanding the entire flight just watching the view and stuff.

    Unfortunately it says 2050, in 39 years time I’ll likely be too old and boring to fly.

    Wish that kind of tech would come sooner..

  12. @Randomness
    It would be amazing – perhaps Das needs to let her friend out to speed things along.

    I doubt you will ever be to boring to fly. Remember geting older is compulsary – growing up is optional. as quoted by O’Neill (if my memory is right)

  13. I’d be more than willing to pay extra money to have all the cut scenes of all sci-fi series in their dvd box sets.

  14. I have a fondness for well done AU stories, and the stargate franchise has done them better than most.. Ripple Effect is one of my favorites, giving us as it does so many AUs packed into a single episode, with the bonus of lots of good cameos. Your deleted scenes peek is especially appreciated. Just a shame that the cuts were made before filming. It would be terrific if some of them had made it to celluloid, to possibly surface in the future. Anyways, thanks for the smiles, and hope Bubba is improving.

  15. I have an SG-1 question I was always meaning to ask but never did.

    One of the things that bugged me about the asgard core computer is that if it did contain their entire knowledge, it would surely contain the physics and math knowledge that separated humans from advanced races like the Tollan. If such knowledge was available you would see rapid technical progress (much faster than what it seems like we saw in the proceeding SG years). Was that ever considered when developing this idea of an all the info in the world device?

  16. Hey Mr. M.

    A friend sent me a link to a missile silo, and of course I thought of you.. Well, that’s not exactly true, I thought, “That would make a great location”. Then I thought of you.
    So if you ever find yourself in need of a ICBM Silo, here is one.


    Yes, I know. Now that you and your productions are located in Toronto, and not Vancouver, it isn’t the closest. But hey, Mrs. Tapping could always use it for her show.

    Have a good one.

  17. Loved that you posted some of the cut scenes. I can imagine this episode being a two parter, it was that good. I just love when writers do AUs and do it right. Sam and Cam? You probably just made a few of my friends happy with that snippet. Hey, no Daniel and Sam? I think the highlight of the show was Janet. So glad to see her once again.

  18. I’m really confused now, I remember seeing some of those scenes?? Perhaps it was in an alternate universe. On that note, great work on season 14, loved Apophis’ return and the revelation that Jack’s dog was a tok’ra.

  19. Wow, that last scene would have really done the episode justice! I’d love to see an uncit version of the episode.
    Also, Cam and Daniel perhaps?

  20. All I can say is the same thought I had while watching the episode for the first time; I bet the cast were really sick of changing uniforms for Ripple Effect by the end of shooting.

    How do you pronounce “Culinary”, with a hard ‘u’ as in Cue-lin-ary, or a soft ‘u’ as in Cull-in-ary?


  21. I remember watching that episode and thinking that something was wrong with the hue of my tv screen… Teal’c was green, Daniel was black, Mitchell was tiger blue… it’s great to know that it was just scripted that way and not my tv being on the fritz!

  22. Yay! I ask only little question about Ripple Effect and two day’s later i get this. Thanks a lot, a fun read!!!

  23. @ Sandra M & Randomness – I asked Todd about that plane, and he heartily approves. He calls it a see-through lunch box. 🙂


  24. Awesome post, always loved Ripple Effect, one of my favorites from season 9!

    During the early development stages of the episode. did any of the writers think about bringing any Atlantis characters across in the alternate teams (maybe Shepperd still leading a team after the Ancients reclaimed Atlantis, or McKay replacing Carter as science officer in the team after she went to the Prometheus)? Was there any talk of having Jack, Jonas or Vala in any of the alternate teams?

  25. OK, I’m a bit clueless here. WRT the Hunan House reference, who was Black Mitchell supposed to be with?

    Also, I am SO glad that you intervened and deleted the Sam and Cam elevator scene. We all know that Sam and Jack are together… in ALL realities 😉

  26. It was supposed to be Mitchell & Lam wasn’t it? Especially after that one scene in that one episode where it was heavily implied the two of them had been making out on the elevator moments before…

  27. Here is a car song to celebrate Transporter; it’s sadly been used way too much in US car commercials but still such a fun song:

  28. Ah yes…. As Teal’c once said, ours was the only reality of consequence.

    I’m re-watching Atlantis and we recently got to the Carter episodes and I noticed that there was a picture of Cassie behind her on the desk along with Jack and some others that I couldn’t make out (dad maybe? Mitchell?).

    Once again, I think that not sticking Cassandra on Destiny was such a missed opportunity!

  29. Such cool stories…thanks.
    LOL…only DAS…with the “see thru lunchbox” but how appropriate, eh?

  30. I re-watched Ripple Effect a few weeks ago. It’s one of my all-time SG-1 favorites. Thanks so much for all this extra info.

    I really appreciate your Stargate memory lane trip. Eventually I will get my questions together and send them in. A group of us just started a weekly Atlantis re-watch and I am eagerly awaiting your Atlantis comments.

  31. Thanks for the background on Ripple Effect, Joe. It’s my favorite season 9 episode. I appreciate the comments about the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Academy Blvd. I’ve lived in Denver since I was a little kid, and I have to laugh at how Colorado Springs is inaccurately portrayed, although its probably not a big deal to most who aren’t familiar with the city. Those two mentions are a nice touch.

  32. Wow. All those scenes would have been a lot of fun to see. Too bad you couldn’t pull a ‘Heroes’ and turn it into a 2-parter.

    I kind of love that you (almost) made Daniel and Mitchell canonically bisexual. There just isn’t enough boy-kissing on TV. 🙂

  33. Joe,

    I’ve become active in a fan-fic archive and am encountering writers who don’t understand why pro creative talents do not read fan fiction.

    Searched your blog for “fan fiction” references and found only your short answer, “for legal reasons”. Would you please expand on that answer, so I can quote a direct source to the fan writers?

    Also googling for definitive expanded answers from other resources.


  34. DISREGARD last, Joe. I think the following, which I’m posting at said archive, sums up the issue. Let me know, please, if I missed something? Thanks.

    I. NY TIMES article, 1997, archived at http://www.severalunlimited.com/coolarts.shtml#nytimes97
    ” But several television producers, worried about their own potential liabilities, said they avoided reading fan fiction — in the same way they ignore unsolicited scripts — so that an amateur writer could not later contend that a story was stolen.”

    II. http://www.screenwritinggoldmine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4593

    Post # 2 dated Sept. 2010 from “Hollywood Scribe” is the clearest and most honest explanation I’ve found in quick research. ’nuff said.

    “What studios, producers, directors, writers or prodCos are afraid of is a lawsuit from a writer. This happens so often it’s only very rarely news. If Cameron or anyone connected to him were to read your script and then you saw a scene, or a character or idea in the finished movie you might feel they took that from your script. Some writers would be thrilled – many would want some of the money the film has made.

    Defending a lawsuit can be expensive and can bring bad publicity to a director, producer or prodCo – even if they win. So they do not read unsolicited scripts.”

  35. Sorry but I’m afraid I’m with PdL, the impression I got was that Black Mitchell and Black Carter were a couple too, even with the additional stuff cut. I’m still not entirely sure what you intended. Daniel and Cam? Cam and someone else?

    In any case, it certainly makes an interesting point about authorial intent and the audience’s reading of a text don’t you think?

  36. Thanks for sharing “the scene that wasn’t.” I’ve always suspected that you wonderful writers come up with material that the viewers don’t always get to see. Personally, I’m still majorly bummed out about the cancellation of Stargate Universe. While it was more character-oriented and “low budget,” the writes were doing a great deal with it and the show kept getting better and better. What will I do for my Stargate fix now? Sniff! This is my homage to the dearly departed SU: http://www.jennifershepherd.com/love-and-light-raves/louis-ferreira-stargate-universe.html

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