SGA 5.08 "The Queen" Episode Guide

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Teyla poses as Todd’s Queen to represent his hive in negotiations with an allied hive, but tension escalates as the alliance’s territories are threatened by another Wraith hive.

Guide | Transcript

MGM/ Official Summary

Keller and the Atlantis team meet with the wraith, Todd, to deliver a startling proposition. Aided by her studies of Michael’s retrieved data, Keller believes she has found the means by which to “cure” the Wraith of their need to feed on humans. All she requires are some wraith willing to act as test subjects for this breakthrough treatment.

Todd is intrigued, but insists that they must first win the support of the Primary – the supreme Wraith Queen in the alliance. But to do so, Teyla must go undercover with nothing to rely on but her wraith DNA and an ally with a hidden agenda.


Guest Stars


  • Lani Gelara as Teyla's Stunt Double (also dressed as a Wraith Queen)


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:

Published by Sci Fi Pi Blog:

Production Notes

  • "Alan is mulling over a possible story to slip into the #9 slot as the script originally envisioned for that spot ran into a “creative snafu” that a) moved it into the back half and b) may necessitate a change in perspective." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, February 20, 2008.
  • "Yes, the extreme Shep-whump episode has been moved to the back half, leaving a big yawning empty space in the #9 slot. But we sat down for a couple of hours this afternoon and spun out a fantastic Teyla story. It’s one of those stories that, after you’ve finishing throwing out ideas and putting together a rough structure, you sit back and say: “Damn, I wish I was writing this one.” And with that, we have our first half mapped out. Much like last year, it’s a nice mix of individual and team episodes." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, February 22, 2008.
  • "Gave Alan notes on his beat sheet. Told him I thought it was going to be a fantastic episode. No pressure." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, February 27, 2008.
  • "Alan is off and running on the new episode #9, The Queen..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 4, 2008.
  • "Alan has gone to script on The Queen..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 13, 2008.
  • "The Queen will show off the Teyla character in a very interesting way." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 23, 2008.
  • "Alan continues work on the Teyla-centric The Queen." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 24, 2008.
  • Amy writes: "Also Teyla’s episode titled the ‘Queen’? I am guessing this has to do with Teyla again getting inside the mind of a wraith Queen. This story line is getting a little old is it not?" Answer: "If you say so. And you guess wrong." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, March 25, 2008.
  • "We gave Alan notes on his first draft of The Queen this afternoon." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 1, 2008.
  • "We ... gave Alan notes on the revised Queen..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 8, 2008.
  • "Meanwhile: Paul is doing a polish on The Queen... — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, April 11, 2008.
  • Hope writes: “I would like to know whether Teyla will be more involved with the different storylines in the coming Season 5?” Answer: "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.
  • "Finishing up "The Queen" (poor Rachel with all those prosthetics!)" — David Hewlett in his blog, April 28, 2008.
  • "I stayed late yet again, wandering over to Stage 2 where The Queen was being shot to take a few snaps of that creepy new wraith, check out the amazing sets,..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 2, 2008.
  • May 6 and 7: Photography David Strick took on-set and on-location (at Lynn Canyon Park) images from this episode and posted them at the Hollywood Backlot website (see Production Gallery for links).
  • "There’s this one episode coming up that everyone’s been rather hush-hush about. We’re going to be shooting in a couple of weeks and Teyla is going to be doing something which is extremely, extremely dangerous! I haven’t had an opportunity to read the script yet, but let’s just say it has a lot to do with her Wraith DNA and her link to them. It’s going to be something rather dark and challenging." — Rachel Luttrell in MGM interview, taken during the filming of episode 5 ("Ghost in the Machine") and published May 13, 2008.
  • "There are a number of standalone episodes that contain bigger arc elements (ie. The Seed, Broken Ties, Whispers, Tracker, The Queen) in addition to your one-offs (Daedalus Variations, The Shrine)." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 19, 2008.
  • "Teyla also sees her abilities get out of hand in an episode in which she touches the mind of a Wraith Queen, which activates her Wraith DNA. According to Luttrell, Teyla "embodies" the Wraith Queen--the actress will appear in full Wraith makeup--and becomes 'the leader of an alliance of Wraith.'" — Sci Fi Wire, Atlantis Focuses on Wraith, May 20, 2008.
  • "Back at the office today. Watched a director’s cut of The Queen ..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 20, 2008.
  • Excerpt from Rachel Luttrell interview at Sci Fi Wire, Luttrell is Atlantis' Mom, May 22, 2008:
It's not surprising that Luttrell's two worlds are starting to overlap. Preparing for an episode in which Teyla physically transforms into a Wraith, Luttrell realized that she would have to nurse her baby while wearing full Wraith prosthetic makeup. She was extremely nervous about it. "I was going to look like a monster," she said.
Luttrell's castmates weren't much help. "I thought it was hilarious," admitted Joe Flanigan, who plays John Sheppard. "I was giving her a hard time. I was saying, 'No, your child's going to be permanently scarred.'"
Luttrell was so worried that she tried working up to the Wraith makeup. "I'd spent the two weeks prior to that putting on avocado [colored makeup], and ... 'Look, crazy Mommy!'" But in the end, everything turned out OK, she said. "I like to believe he is incredibly enlightened," she said. "But perhaps all babies are. I went into the trailer, and he laughed."
  • "Another praiseworthy performance comes compliments of Rachel Luttrell in The Queen. A really nice range of emotions for Teyla in an episode chock full o’ crosses, double-crosses, and an atypically ruthless turn for the new mom. Throw in Todd, an intriguing proposal, and that creepy new-look wraith and you’ve got one of the best episodes of the front half." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, May 28, 2008.
  • "It’s a Friday afternoon in May at Bridge Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia and the weekend getaway is looming, but there is still work to be done on the Stargate Atlantis set before the cast and crew can head home for a quick break – or some line learning, just as likely. Christopher Heyerdahl, who portrays the show’s resident Wraith Todd, heads back to Stage 2 for his next scene, along with another actor who is making his début as Atlantis’s first bald Wraith commander. Close behind them is Rachel Luttrell, looking quite unlike her usual style as Teyla. It is all in aid of the fifth season episode The Queen, where she disguises herself as a Queen Wraith to gain the confidence of the enemy and, in doing so, carry out a plan that could change the Wraith’s feeding habits and help save Humankind." — TV Zone #229 interview excerpt, accessed May 29, 2008.
  • Airelle writes: “How many queens do the wraith have, or are they in different hives?” Answer: "It’s impossible to tell how just many they have, but there is a Queen for every alliance. More on wraith politics in The Queen." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 1, 2008.
  • "Falling on some stuff we culled from Michael's research, we make a proposition to Todd later in the year. The episode I'm just finishing right now, it's called 'The Queen'. We set up the episode. We go to Todd with a gene therapy we've managed to develop using Michael's research, which we believe will make the Wraith able to process food and thus not have to feed on humans anymore. ... Like Michael did! Exactly. So this is something that obviously would be very valuable to us and we're trying to pitch Todd on it to help us develop it further and test it. Of course, Todd, who's always got his own agenda, asks us to do something in return, which is what then the episode becomes about. It becomes a very Teyla-focused story. Essentially what Todd requires is he's joined an alliance of other hives, but the only way you can be -- he's had to fake his way in and lie and say that he had a queen on board. I don't want to say more. Perhaps I've already said too much. But it goes in an interesting direction after that. It's a combination of a story that I pitched and a story that Alex Levine, our story coordinator, pitched last year. He pitched a story where there was a Wraith summit and we tried to infiltrate it. We were trying to infiltrate a Wraith summit and we needed to go in undercover. Using that pitch, as well as some story elements that I pitched this year, we built the story. ... It helps that she [Teyla] has some Wraith DNA already." — Alan McCullough in Gateworld interview, published June 4, 2008.
  • "It's funny, in 'The Queen', the one I'm writing right now, he [Woolsey] wasn't in it in the first draft and we're talking about possibly using him for a scene in the second draft, but again it's just a scene, and we're hoping maybe we can figure out a way to do it in a believable fashion where we can be on the base but not have Woolsey sitting in on the discussion." — Alan McCullough in Gateworld interview, published June 4, 2008.
  • DasNdanger writes: “However, Ellia proved that - in the right environment - a Wraith can be different.” Answer: "Yes. This and several other instances suggest that the wraith’s arguably “evil” disposition is not genetic but shaped by their upbringing and their environment. Check out The Queen for an interesting lesson on wraith politics and diplomacy." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 16, 2008.
  • “So this is a doozy of an episode for Teyla and she undertaking quite a bit. I’m getting to work with Chris Heyerdahl, who is a wonderful actor. The majority of my scenes as the Queen are with him and we’ve got some really fun ones. At one point a Pygmalion-type thing is happening where his Wraith character Todd endeavors to teach Teyla how to be a Wraith Queen, and there's a scene involving her learning how to sit on the throne.” — Rachel Luttrell, TV Zone #230, July 2008.
  • “Probably the biggest obstacle is the extraordinary amount of special effects makeup. First of all, Teyla is for the first time disguising herself as a Wraith Queen and in order to do so must undergo surgery. It helps that she’s got some latent Wraith DNA and is able to convince the real Wraith Queen she’s genuine. But only that can only happen with the help of Todd. Teyla has to carry herself as a Wraith Queen, so we have a bit of a Pygmalion thing going on where our Wraith ally Todd must instruct her on how to act like a Wraith Queen. Again, the challenge here is the makeup. Teyla as the faux-Wraith Queen along with our new Wraith Queen. Then there’s Todd as well as another new character, a bald Wraith commander, who looks magnificent. [Todd Master and his crew] have done an extraordinary job of handling all this and creating unique characters within the genre. Like with our new hive set. It’s huge and truly captures the scope of the Wraith Ships." — Director Brenton Spencer, Starburst Magazine #364, July 2008.
  • "Mucho angst for Teyla in The Queen and later Prodigal." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 8, 2008.
  • "We just finished shooting that episode, that was the last episode that I finished shooting [prior to the spring hiatus] so I haven’t had a chance to bite into the next episodes and see how that colour will play through, but it certainly will. It’s heightened her connection to the Wraith and heightened her abilities that she already had. Now that she’s kind of embodied the Wraith queen. Not only that, but at the end of this particular episode, she is now the leader of an alliance of Wraith. There’s a lot going on. ... Not one [leadership role for a new group] that she hopes to revisit, but one that she knows that if she has to, she would. She leaves it in the hands of Todd, but the truth of the matter is that the Wraith are a very matriarchal society. The queens rule supreme and she is the Queen, so who knows." — Rachel Luttrell in Cinema Spy interview, August 4, 2008.
  • TBA writes: “When you write scenes for major Wraith characters, do you usually give them names?” Answer: "Not usually. They’re simply referred to as Wraith Commander unless one of our characters names them - as was the case with Kenny." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 7, 2008.
  • "I do love a good AU story, but I’m also drawn to stories where our characters are isolated, trapped away from each other, e.g. Line in the Sand, Road Not Taken, Tabula Rasa and the upcoming “The Queen”." — Alan McCullough, Joseph Mallozzi's weblog, August 8, 2008.
  • Re: Wraith: "But they're still nasty. And we're continuing down the line of the character of Todd. Giving him more personality and having them have their problems too. So I think they're going to continue to become more of the ... more "characters" rather than just "the villains." Last year we learned a lot about them. How they're made. We have this episode "The Queen," where we're going to discover more about this alliance that is being built up. And Todd's place in it, and how we infiltrate it. It's going to be evolving." — Carl Binder, Gateworld interview, August 9, 2008.
  • "LED lighting is coming on strong in professional fixtures. ‘The Queen’ is the first episode where I have used it in a fairly big way. Because the fixtures contain red, green and blue lights you can color mix to get any color you want without gel. This allows us to change the color of a set from the dimmer board." — Director of Photography James Menard in Q&A in Joseph Mallozzi's weblog, August 13, 2008.
  • "There’s a Todd and a Bob and a Steve, and now this year there’s a Ken. Ken was a weird one. I was like, “Where’s the Barbie?” [pause] We pick up with Todd and try to come to some type of a deal, an agreement, where he can help us and we can supposedly help him. Surprisingly, it backfires. Which makes a very interesting 44-minutes of entertainment: When plans go badly. That’s what we just finished shooting, and Chris Heyerdahl, who plays that character as usual - he plays a lot of different Wraith, he’s one of our best Wraith, if not the definitive Wraith. Much to his chagrin, ‘cause he’s a great actor. I think we should introduce him as himself on the show somehow. We just generally have fun with those characters. It’s an interesting thing, the only thing we try to keep an eye out for is not becoming so familiar." — Joe Flanigan, Cinema Spy interview, August 18, 2008.
  • MrsB108 writes: “In “The Queen”, does Teyla’s abilities exceed what is expected of her?” Answer: "Very much so. Yes." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, August 26, 2008.
  • "We go to Todd with a gene therapy we've managed to develop using Michael's research, which we believe will make the Wraith able to process food and thus not have to feed on humans anymore. ... Of course, Todd, who's always got his own agenda, asks us to do something in return, which is what the episode becomes about. It becomes a very Teyla-focused story. Essentially Todd has joined an alliance of other hives, but the only way he can. He's had to fake his way in and lie and say that he had a queen on goes in an interesting direction after that." — Alan McCullough, Official Magazine, Issue #24, Sept/Oct 2008.

Further Reading

--DeeKayP 21:01, 3 April 2008 (PDT)