10.20 "Unending" Episode Guide

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Précis

Trapped in a time dilation field, SG-1 experience 50 years onboard the Odyssey and see what their possible futures may hold.

Guide | Transcript

SciFi.com Official Summary

Aboard the Odyssey, SG-1 and Gen. Landry answer a summons to the Asgard galaxy. There, SG-1's old friend Thor announces that his people are dying of an incurable disease. Before they suffer this extinction, they wish to bequeath all their advanced knowledge to Earth by installing technology and libraries aboard the Odyssey.

After the Asgard finish this solemn task, Ori warships harry the Odyssey throughout its trip back to the Milky Way. They attack repeatedly, and even Asgard weaponry can't defend the Earth ship forever. Nonetheless, SG-1 and Landry decide to fight for the precious legacy that the Odyssey now carries. They beam the rest of the crew down to a planet to 'gate home, then join in battle with their pursuers.

All too soon, the Odyssey's shields fail. With a killer blast from an Ori ship incoming, Carter desperately activates an Asgard time-dilation field. The Ori blast seems to freeze as time slows down for SG-1 and Landry. Outside, only seconds will pass as years go by for them.

Over the next few weeks, Carter searches for a way to escape that final Ori blast, but even the vast wisdom of the Asgard contains no solutions. Asgard technology can, however, provide unlimited food, water and oxygen. Sustained by this, the team endures a weary existence as months slowly turn into years. They cultivate new skills, refine old ones, and stand by each other through bouts of frustration and despair. Carter immerses herself in a near-impossible task: discovering how to reverse time so she could turn back the clock on their lonely fate. Daniel and Vala, meanwhile, dare to begin an intense romance that matures into committed love.

Many decades later, with the team elderly and Landry long dead, Carter's lifetime of research pays off: she discovers how to turn back time and save the Odyssey from its enemies. One member of the team, however, must remain old in order to carry that information back to the past. Teal'c, whose long Jaffa lifespan means that he has aged more slowly than his friends, volunteers. Carter initiates her plan and, in a blaze of action, time flies backward for everyone but Teal'c. Just as the Ori fire the fatal shot, Teal'c executes Carter's escape maneuver, sending the Odyssey safely into hyperspace.

Back home, although SG-1 burns with curiosity to know what this possible timeline held in store for them, Teal'c dares say nothing about the decades that only he remembers. Daniel, Carter, Mitchell and Vala must turn their faces toward their new futures. With their next mission awaiting them, the five teammates gear up and, together, step through the Stargate once more.

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Guest Stars

Production

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Production Notes

  • Gateworld reports that the final two episodes of Season Ten are "Dominion" and "Unending". — Gateworld, September 29, 2006.
  • Ivon Bartok, DVD Special Features Producer, was present on the last day of shooting for both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis on Thursday, October 5, 2006. He wrote in his blog about some of the events and provided a few hints as to the type of action taking place in the episode:
    • "I came in this morning and headed right to stage 1 where Chris Judge and Ben Browder were engaged in a fight... on camera that is. It involves some great staff work. You'll have to wait a year to see the misses, and accidental hits that happened."
    • "I'm still running back and forth between the two shows, and SG-1 has been a little cooler today with fights, and green screen work, but Atlantis is sure to pick up this afternoon. The truth is that Atlantis has moved into the same set that SG-1 has been in for the last 5 days and I was looking forward to getting out of the "Ship", but it's the last day, so no complaining."
    • "I have to shoot Ben Browder jogging in front of a green screen."
    • "Well we just oficially wrapped season 3 of Stargate Atlantis at 7:00pm Pacific Standard time... with hugs, and high fives all around the crew were all smile as Martin Wood called out 'that's a wrap on season 3.'"
    • "Well... one more to go. I am heading over to see Robert Cooper and the cast and crew of Stargate SG-1. I will keep the last shot of the show a secret, but I can tell you that everyone will be together for the last shot before wrap, and that is the way it should be."
    • "So there is one more scene left for the season and maybe forever in the show's current incarnation... and the feeling around set is getting quite sentimental." [9:36pm Pacific]
  • "We filmed the final episode the other day. Rob Cooper was directing and arranged for the final shot to be a "team shot". They wrapped at about 1:30 a.m. and it was a very emotional time. Apparently, a number of people involved in the production had their own impromptu wrap party." — Joseph Mallozzi, Eclipse Magazine interview, October 16, 2006.
  • "The last episode, appropriately enough titled Unending, was written and directed by Robert Cooper. Rob saw to it that the last scene to be shot would be one in which [our] team went through the gate. The episode was running late and the estimated time of shooting this scene was pushed from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. In the end, production ended up wrapping at about 1:30 a.m. and after a few speeches, the bittersweet party commenced. I missed the festivities but when I came in the next morning, I learned that two individuals were still sleeping on the set." — Joseph Mallozzi, Solutions Forum, October 19, 2006.
  • "Robert Cooper (Executive Producer) has written and is also directing the last SG-1 script and it's a cool story. I can't tell you too much about it other than we travel into the future and then back again into the past. Probably the biggest challenge for us is putting our regular cast in period make-up. First we age their characters 20 years and then 40 years. It's very interesting to look in Photoshop and see that 40-year transition. It's going to be quite an eye-opener for the fans." — N. John Smith, producer, Starburst #343, October 2006.
  • "It's very much a bottle episode in itself, and you get to see how the characters evolve over the course of the rest of the show— without necessarily seeing. You get to see how they will be in the future. It doesn't resolve the Ori storyline, since that will be left to the DVD movies. He [Michael Shanks] later added that they explore a bit of Daniel and Vala at the end of the season in the sense that you see how they might end up." — Solutions Features: Burbank Con Report by Michelle, November 2006.
  • Thor will be in the series finale. — Solutions Features: Burbank Con Report by Michelle, November 2006.
  • IGN Interviews Michael Shanks, published December 18, 2006:
IGN TV: Before the movies happen, we've still got the rest of season 10 to look forward to. What can we expect for the rest of the season, in particular with Daniel's involvement?
Shanks: [...] There is obviously more Ori and stand alone stuff, and at the very end of the season you kind of expect some sort of finale episode, but we did an episode that is more like a "bottle show" and it has nothing to really do with the tying up of any loose ends and is actually one of these strange episodes were you get to see these characters and how they might age and grow in the future and whether or not that is how they stay is the big question mark.
  • "The last episode of this season, which we just finished shooting, was set 90 percent of the time in the spaceship The Odyssey. There were a lot of challenges there because we were creating new areas out of ones we had used over and over again and dressing them to look different." — Robert Cook, art director, Official Magazine #14, December 2006.
  • "I'm sitting here on Stage 1 this morning listening to a concert cellist play for us on camera. She is body/hand doubling Col. Carter and I have never heard the sound stage so quiet. If you have never heard a cello it makes quite a haunting sound, and this lady is very good - she has been playing since she was four years old. The crew just broke out into applause when Robert finally yelled, 'Cut'." — Vince Coates, Notes from the Set, Official Magazine #14, December 2006.
  • "We watched a Day 1 mix of Unending. A great season-ender (I’d say series ender but, really, that’s up to the fans. So long as they keep supporting the DVD’s, the longer we’ll keep telling stories) that offers some truly poignant moments and finally offers up some major satisfaction for members of “that” fan contingent." — Joseph Mallozzi in his blog, January 9, 2007.
  • "I can confirm that the character of Jack O'Neill will not be making an appearance in the season ten finale." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, January 10, 2007.
  • SG-1’s final episode, “Unending”, will have the team trapped on board a ship, within a time dilation field, for 50 years. We will see how the relationships might develop and evolve. It represents one possible future given a certain set of circumstances. RCC wrote and directed the episode because he wanted to be on set during the emotional final days of filming. He feels it is a fitting end to the 1-hour series era of SG-1. At the end of the episode, the events will be “undone”. — Cooper, Wright Talk Stargate's Future, Solutions Blog, January 14, 2007.
  • Michael Shanks closed out his TV Guide Celebrity Blog on June 21, 2007, with a tribute entitled "Unending". He thanks the fans for their love and dedication:
"'Unending.' An appropriate name for a show that has ended, been critically bashed, changed its cast and been written off by so many. And still we survived with a new tomorrow. Forgive me, but…NEENER-NEENER-NEENER! I am so proud of the cast, the writers, the crew, the producers, and yes, even the executives who endured many whips and scorns, only to show up ever day and make this journey possible. But most of all, I am proud of you, the viewer, who really has made all of it feasible. Without you, we as ‘players’ truly have no purpose. You are sincerely what has made the gate spin week after week. Be proud.
"I know that not all of you have supported every decision that the storytellers have made. Fandom, has become over time like a dysfunctional family: separated in agenda, but united in a love for what is, what was, or what simply could be. It’s all OK now. I believe that the entire family can now embrace, mourn or celebrate the end of an era. Together, whether some like it or not, we have made television history. Be very proud."
  • Alex Levine also acknowledged "the end of an era" in his scifi.com blog on June 22, 2007: "Robert Cooper didn’t have any parting words, but he did tell me about the last night of shooting. He was directing, and the day went quite late. He had arranged for the last shot to be a shot of the team going through the gate (see? unending!). It was about 1 a.m. and many of the office staff returned to the studio to be there for that last shot. Apparently it was a very emotional, even tearful moment. Rumour has it Christopher Judge choked up. Rob thought it was a fitting end for the family that SG-1 has become."

Further Reading


--DeeKayP 15:21, 29 September 2006 (PDT)