Introduction: Stargate: Alpha is set on P4X-650, the Alpha Site in the Milky Way. Its leader is Colonel Ben Pierce, a longtime member of the Stargate Program. Though Colonel Pierce is the leader, the show follows Alpha-1, the team stationed to guard the Alpha Site, with Colonel Pierce taking more of a background role. The team has to contend with everything from natural disasters to pockets of Ori-worshippers to rogue Goa'uld invasions on a day-to-day basis. However, things change for them when their Gate stops working entirely after an attack by an unknown enemy, leaving them with no way to communicate with, let alone travel to, their home planet.
Colonel Ben Pierce (Rob Lee)
Stargate Wikia page on Colonel Pierce
Five original characters:
Major Lindsey Arvis (Gigi Edgley)
Major Lindsey Arvis is the leader of Alpha-1. She is 34 years old, and was recently promoted to Major after surviving a pretty brutal attack on SG-13, of which she had been a member. Lindsey is the only surviving member of that attack, and she suffers from a lot of survivor’s guilt about it. She’s determined to keep her new team from meeting the fate that her old team did, even though everyone agrees that there’s nothing that she could have done for them. Lindsey is from a military family; her father, Paul, was involved with the Stargate Program as well. Lindsey feels like she has to live up to her family’s expectations, but she doesn’t realize that she’s putting more pressure on herself than her family puts on her.
Captain Martin Lucas (Robin Dunne)
Captain Martin Lucas, often shortened to ‘Luke’, was born and raised on a farm near Hazel Green, Alabama. He’s an only child. He’s your stereotypical Southern boy, complete with a drawl, farm references that nobody understands, and a deeply-ingrained sense of chivalry that drives Major Arvis insane. Martin is a sharpshooter; he spent several years in Afghanistan before being chosen for the Stargate Program. He instantly takes to the Stargate Program, and confesses early in the show that he wanted to be an astronaut but didn’t think he’d make it through the training. He follows orders to the letter, even when he doesn’t agree with them, but he’ll complain about it the whole way through if he doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
Sergeant Amanda Jennings (Summer Glau)
Sergeant Amanda Jennings is a cheerful person by nature. She’s a pilot, the only one on the team, and spends a lot of her downtime tinkering with various systems on the F302 that she’s designated as her own. Nobody else understands what Amanda’s doing to the ship, but hers always flies faster, farther, and smoother than any others, so they let her do it. She’s always upbeat, and she takes Jimmy under her wing pretty much the second he steps through the Gate, half big sister and half tour guide. She’s fiercely protective of her team, and enemies often underestimate how dangerous she can be because of her personality; they all learn quickly, though, that Amanda isn’t someone to be messed with.
Lance Corporal James (Jimmy) Meldin (John Francis Daley)
Lance Corporal James Meldin, better known as Jimmy, is the newest addition to the Alpha Site. He’s only two months out of the School of Infantry, and he graduated near the top of his class. He’s very bright and great with explosives, but he hasn’t quite settled into how things work in the military yet. He’s the youngest of four children, all raised by their grandparents after their parents were killed in a car crash when Jimmy was three. He’s used to being the little brother, which is good, because that’s how he’s treated as the newest member of the team.
Dr. Mackenzie (Kenzi) Syan (Kerry Washington)
Dr. Mackenzie Syan, better known as Kenzi, is the chief medical officer assigned to the Alpha site. She’s a military doctor through and through; she’s been with the Air Force since she got her medical degree, and she served for twelve years in some of the toughest war zones on Earth. Kenzi was with Stargate Command for two years before being stationed at the Alpha site, where she’s supposed to be overseeing research. However, when the Alpha site is cut off from Earth, Kenzi finds herself having to run an entire medical ward with what she can make or find, and even though it’s a different kind of medicine than any she’s practiced before, she does the best she can.
The show opens with an introductory shot of P4X-650, showing the scenery before going inside the base. We see day-to-day operations for a little while – Marines doing drills, kitchen staff making up lunch, the main team (though we don’t know it yet) sitting at a table eating and talking. The camera moves on, down hallways and elevators, until we arrive in the office of Colonel Ben Pierce.
Colonel Pierce is reading through a thick file on his cluttered desk. As he flips a page, his intercom buzzes and the gate room technician announces an incoming wormhole form Earth. Colonel Pierce stands and walks out of the office, and we follow him down to the control room. It’s set up much like the control room in the SGC; it looks down into the Gate room, just as the one under Cheyenne Mountain does. When the wormhole connects, a screen lights, and Walter Harriman begins to give Earth’s side of the report.
Halfway through the Alpha site’s side of the report, muted explosions are heard from the surface. Colonel Pierce calls Alpha-1 over the radio and orders them topside to check it out, and as he’s talking, the screen with Harriman’s face on it flickers and goes out. A few seconds later, the wormhole spontaneously shuts down. Colonel Pierce radios to Alpha-1 for a check-in, and we switch to them.
Topside, we get our first introduction to Alpha-1 in action. Sergeant Amanda Jennings and Lance Corporal James Meldin are crouched behind a few large rocks, providing cover while Major Lindsey Arvis and Captain Martin Lucas are creeping forward. Amanda is reassuring Jimmy that everything’s probably fine while making sure they’re both keeping their eyes peeled. Lindsey and Luke are communicating with hand signals as they make their way forward. Luke stops to sign something really complicated, and Lindsey rolls her eyes at him as she taps on her radio to report back to Colonel Pierce. She assures him that they’re okay and that they’re making their way to where the explosions are still going on. He tells her that the Stargate has cut out, and the conversation ends.
Alpha-1 makes their way to the explosion site, which had been a peaceful river valley seen in the opening shots of the show. Now, it’s a smoking, charred crater, and as the team watches, a small spaceship flies into the atmosphere at high speed, aiming directly for the center of the crater. The team watches in horror as the ship impacts the ground and explodes in a fiery wreck.
Amanda wants to go down to check for survivors, but Lindsey makes the team wait. Sure enough, a few moments later another small ship enters the atmosphere and crashes, just as the one before had done. Lindsey reports back to Colonel Pierce, who mobilizes the F302 squadron for a reconnaissance mission.
As Alpha-1 hurries back to the base, we switch over to the infirmary, where we see Dr. Mackenzie Syan for the first time. Kenzi is snapping out orders to the medical team, who hurry to get things the way she wants them. It becomes apparent that she’s getting ready to receive incoming wounded.
We next see Amanda jumping into an F302. There are photos and stickers and decorations in the cockpit, and we see her give it a fond pat and talk to it as she straps herself in and gets ready to take off with the rest of the pilots. Amanda's ship rises more quickly than the rest and sails smoothly into the outer atmosphere. We hear her check in with Control, reporting a massive ship that’s sending out the smaller ships that are still crashing into the planet.
In Control, Lindsey is pacing while Luke sits by Jimmy, who is clearly nervous. Luke tries to reassure Jimmy that Amanda’s going to be fine, and that nothing’s going to happen to the base. Lindsey walks over to talk to Colonel Pierce, who is studying telemetry from the F302s.
The ship is unfamiliar: large, made of a light-colored material, with veins of glowing red and yellow all over. The small ships are coming out of what is probably a ship bay; they’re sleek and smooth, made of a black material, and they easily avoid basic intercept maneuvers when the F302s try to engage. We see Amanda fly her ship into position and take one of the other ships down with her onboard weapons.
The space battle continues, occasionally interrupted on the ground by explosions as the F302s occasionally miss a mark. Two of the F302s are shot down by the enemy ship, breaking into the atmosphere and crashing around the planet. The three grounded members of Alpha-1 suit up to attempt rescue, bringing Alpha-3 and Alpha-5 with them as backup. Scenes of the battle are interspersed with scenes of the teams finding both pilots severely injured and getting them back to the infirmary, where Kenzi evaluates their conditions and begins surgery on one of the pilots.
Amanda and the remaining F302 pilots get into a formation and fly at the bigger ship, trying to get a read on what might be vital to attack. A target is picked and the ships get into position to fire on it; as soon as the first shot hits the enemy ship, the bay doors close up and the ship moves away impossibly fast, opening a hyperspace window and escaping.
The F302 pilots come back to land in the base, wondering why the bigger ship had just run off like that. When they land, Amanda runs up to Control, where the rest of her team has been sitting since the rescue attempt. Colonel Pierce takes her report, then tells the gate technician to dial Earth so they can report in. The technician tries, but the Gate just spins around and around without locking. Colonel Pierce tries to dial the Beta site, with no luck. They try to dial several addresses before they agree that something is wrong with the Gate and bring a science team in to examine it.
Meanwhile, in the outer atmosphere, one of the small missile-ships that had been crashing into the planet before is drifting in orbit. The camera slowly zooms into the cockpit to show that the ship is completely unmanned. The music rises as we cut to a ‘to be continued’ screen.