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Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping in Stargate SG-1)

Lieutenant-Colonel Samantha Carter


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Sam Carter was one of the core characters of the Stargate SG-1 TV show. SG-1 was one of the main genre shows of the turn of the century, running from 1997 to 2007. It depicted the adventure of an elite military unit operating alien technology capable of instantly travelling to other worlds.

The show has 10 seasons, 2 movies, and was a spin-off from the original, 1994 Stargate movie. This profile covers the first eight seasons of Stargate SG-1. It includes some S P O I L E R S for those seasons.

For more context, please refer to our Stargate Command article.


Background

  • Real Name: Lieutenant Colonel Samantha “Sam” Carter (USAF), Ph.D
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Jacob Carter (father, deceased), Debra Carter (née Nielsen, mother, deceased), Mark Carter (younger brother)
  • Group Affiliation: Stargate Command, SG-1
  • Base Of Operations: Stargate Command, Cheyenne Mountain, WY
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Eyes: Grey Hair: Ash blonde


Powers and Abilities

Sam Carter is a brilliant astrophysicist and engineer. Her extensive study and experience with the Stargate has made Sam the leading expert on Stargate technology and wormhole physics.

Carter can quickly determine the operation of alien devices. She has been consulted for her technical and scientific expertise on numerous occasions by planets that already have much more advanced technology than Earth’s.

Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) with a pistol

She has also managed to reverse-engineer Ggdgets built with technology far beyond that of modern-day Earth. It is not uncommon for Carter to make proper deductions regarding unusual and complex events or phenomena despite having very minimal data to work with.

In numerous cases, her conclusions are often contrary to those other scientists’ (many of which have had more time and resources to study the items in question), yet her conclusions are inevitably the correct ones when such disputes arise.

Carter is qualified as a flight officer with special training in the F-117  (presumably as a Electronic Warfare Officer). She is a skilled field operations officer as well as an excellent marksman. In one training exercise she was able to shoot through a swinging rope at 70 yards with the first shot using iron sights.

Carter has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to lead SG-1 very capably in circumstances ranging from off-world exploration and combat to covert operations on Earth. This led to her becoming the team’s commander when Jack O’Neill was promoted out of field operations.

After her temporary blending with Jolinar, Sam was left with trace amounts of naquadah in her body and some of Jolinar’s memories. These allow her to sense the presence of Goa’uld symbiotes, use Goa’uld personal devices, and sometimes recall knowledge possessed by Jolinar.


Video

Stargate SG-1 season 1 trailer. It’s just 480p, so it’s prolly best watched small on this page.


History

Samantha Carter always had great respect for her father, but their relationship was strained after her mother’s death during Sam’s youth. Jacob Carter was supposed to pick up Sam’s mother at the airport but he was running late. Sam’s mother took a taxi instead and was killed in an accident.

Sam blamed Jacob for her mother’s death for a long time, though they eventually reconciled.

She followed in her father’s footsteps and became an officer in the US Air Force. She graduated at the top of her class from the USAF Academy and earned a Ph.D. in quantum mechanics. She then distinguished herself both as a scientist and an officer very quickly, including logging over 100 combat hours as a flight officer in Operation Desert Storm.

The Stargate Project

When the Stargate Project was reopened in the 1994 Carter was one of the scientists assigned to study the artifact. She was ultimately responsible for designing the dialing computer that allowed use of the Stargate without the DHD (Dial Home Device) typically used by Stargates.

After Stargate Command was formed in 1997 in response to Apophis’s attack on Earth, Samantha Carter was brought back. She became second in command of the first field unit, SG-1. Her scientific and military skills have been a critical part of the success not only of SG-1 but the SGC as a whole.

Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) with a FN personal defense weapon

During an early mission Carter temporarily hosted the Tok’ra Jolinar as it tried to hide from a Goa’uld assassin. The assassin was defeated but Sam was gravely injured. Jolinar used its regenerative abilities to save Sam’s life, dying itself in the process.

As a result of her time blended with Jolinar, Sam has abilities no other human possesses including the ability to sense the presence of Goa’uld symbiotes and to use Goa’uld devices.

Further adventures

Sam made another friend in Cassandra, an orphan child found on one of the planets SG-1 was exploring. Cassandra was a Trojan horse, unknowingly carrying an explosive device within her chest. Carter defused the device and became a godmother to Cassandra when Dr. Fraiser adopted the youth.

There was another falling out between Jacob and Sam when Jacob secured her a position working with NASA (Sam’s dream job prior to her joining SG-1). When she refused without explanation due to security regulations, Jacob took it personally and stopped talking to her.

This was especially hard on Sam because Jacob was terminally ill and she did not want their relationship to end on such unfortunate terms.

Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) with her black Atlantis uniform

Collage from Cybermage.se .

A short time later Samantha recalled the location of one of the Tok’ra bases as Jolinar’s memories began to emerge. SG-1 traveled to the Tok’ra and forged an alliance with them. At the same time, Sam and General Hammond convinced Jacob Carter to blend with Selmak, a dying Tok’ra who needed a host.

Selmak’s regenerative abilities healed Jacob’s cancer and their time together helped Sam and Jacob begin a tentative rapprochement. The two eventually became close again, aided greatly by Jacob learning from Selmak’s perspective and emotional maturity.

Additional exploits of note include:

  • her time assisting the Asgard with war plans against the Replicators
  • blowing up a star to destroy Apophis’s fleet
  • single-handedly repairing the damaged starship Prometheus while suffering from hallucinations due to head injury
  • providing technical assistance during an interplanetary space race and an underground tunneling vessel’s mission on Kelowna

Promotion

When O’Neill was promoted General and left SG-1 to take command of the SGC, Carter took his place as commander of SG-1. She also received a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.

Carter continues to be a valuable member of SG-1 and the SGC as a whole.


Description

Samantha Carter is an attractive, physically fit white woman with short blond hair. Her large grey eyes and usual friendly expression project warmth and openness while conveying that she is someone to be respected.

In the field she wears the standard SG team olive drab fatigues (or whatever attire is mission-appropriate) and on-base prefers the alternate dark blue fatigues, with the usual officer’s uniform reserved for formal events.

When off-duty, Sam usually wears casual clothing that suits her active lifestyle such as blue jeans and a leather jacket. She has some very tastefully understated stylish clothing for civilian social occasions, but seldom has the opportunity to wear it.


Personality

Carter is very focused on her research concerning the Stargate and the alien technologies the SGC has discovered. She will spend most of her free time in her lab studying such devices, even when she’s on leave.

Her enthusiasm for new technologies is so great that she’ll often begin lengthy analytical discourses regarding them. Even when the people she’s talking to don’t share her excitement or don’t have the expertise to understand what she’s saying.

Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) with her custom assault carbine

Even when she’s away from work she’s a gearhead who enjoys working on her motorcycle or continuing to compile her research on wormhole physics into a book. As part of her enthusiasm for engineering, she owns and maintains some vintage vehicles, including a 1961 Volvo sports car, a 1940 Indian motorcycle, and a Harley Davidson.

Lt. Colonel Carter also takes her responsibilities as an officer very seriously. She sometimes becomes a sort of den mother, redirecting the maverick tendencies of the other members of SG-1 into more responsible courses of action. She’s not a slave to rules by any means, but she does her best to respect the chain of command.

Love life

Sam’s romantic relationships have been problematic throughout her time at the SGC. The men she takes an interest in have an unfortunate tendency to die before the relationship ever gets off the ground. She also shared a strong attraction with Colonel O’Neill though they have never acted on it for professional reasons, O’Neill being her superior officer.

She held on to the hope of something developing between them for a very long time. This hope was likely spurred by the meeting of an alternate universe Carter who hadn’t joined the Air Force and was married to her universe’s O’Neill after they met through the Stargate program.

However, she recently came to realize that though the attraction to O’Neill was genuine, her reasons for holding on were not sound. She was simply afraid of being hurt again, especially after seeing what her mother’s death did to her father when she was young.

After that she began a relationship with a local police officer named Pete Shanahan. Pete was almost killed soon after they met… but Sam managed to save him. The two dated for over a year, but have recently ended the relationship. Pete wanted to get married and Sam simply did not feel that strongly about him. She also still has some unresolved feelings regarding O’Neill.

Other relationships

The rest of the SG-1 team are also close to Carter. She shares a love of new discoveries with Daniel Jackson and appreciates his different perspective on issues.

She’s earned Teal’c’s respect despite Teal’c coming from a somewhat sexist culture where women don’t fight. Teal’c will follow her orders without hesitation and was greatly incensed when Carter was not made commander of SG-1 after O’Neill had apparently retired.

Carter was also a good friend of SGC physician Dr. Fraiser until Fraiser’s death in the line of duty. Sam and Fraiser shared a bond through Fraiser’s adopted daughter Cassandra, whom Samantha found as an orphan on one of her SG-1 missions. General Hammond has also become very fond of Sam and in some ways acts as another father figure in her life.

Despite two periods of estrangement, Sam had reformed an excellent bond with her father Jacob Carter in recent years. This reconnection was greatly benefited by Jacob’s blending with the Tok’ra Selmak, who shared the wisdom of his long life and helped Jacob see some of the mistakes in his behavior regarding his daughter.

Though Jacob only visited Earth on official Tok’ra business now, he tried to arrange such opportunities as much as possible to visit his daughter. While Sam mourned Jacob when he recently passed away, she focused on how grateful she was for the time they had to reconcile their differences and work together.


Quotes

“Maybourne ! You are an idiot every day of the week ! Why couldn’t you have just taken one day off ?!”

Tonané: (Speaking to the wolf spirit) “My, your coat shines beautifully today.” (To Sam) “A little flattery doesn’t hurt.”
Sam: “My, what big eyes you have.”

O’Neill: “Something wrong ?”
Sam (Looking a little anxious): “No… I’ve just never blown up a star before.”

(Discussing the note sent from the future by Jack O’Neill)
Jack: “Well, technically I haven’t sent it yet. But if I get a chance again I’m sure I’m gonna fill it with a lot more detail.”
Sam: “Well, you were probably wanting to limit the causality violation by keeping it simple.”
Jack (looking at Sam): “I wonder whose idea *that* was…”

Carter: “Well, sir, the time dilation is a result of the intense gravity which is directly proportional to their proximity to the…”
Hammond: “Captain !”
Carter: “Sorry, Sir.”


DC Universe History

Ted Knight, the original Starman, was one of the scientists brought in by the Pentagon to assist with the post-WWII study of the Stargate. When the Stargate Project was restarted in the 1990s and SG-1 learned of the WWII-era program, Carter contacted some of the old researchers including Knight.

They got along famously and have worked together on occasion since then. Knight sometimes get invited to the SGC to share his expertise on cosmic energy and Carter sometimes volunteering parts of her leave time to help tackle Ted tackle one of his scientific projects.

Knight has even given Samantha one of his cosmic rods as a token of respect. Both Sam and Ted subsequently received Jaffa staff weapon training from Teal’c to incorporate those techniques into their use of the rods (add Weaponry (Melee): 04*).


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Lt.-Col. Sam Carter

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Upholding the Good
Int: 08 Wil: 08 Min: 07 Occupation: Commander, SG-1
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 020 HP: 055

Powers:
Detect (Goa‘uld symbiote): 02

Skills: Acrobatics (climbing, Dodging)*: 04, Detective (Clue Analysis): 06, Gadgetry: 07, Medicine (First Aid, Forensics): 05, Martial Artist*: 04, Military Science (Field Command): 06, Scientist (Computers): 06, Scientist (All other Subskills): 10, Thief (Locks and Safes, Stealth)*: 04, Vehicles (Air, Land, Space)*: 04, Weaponry (Heavy, Missiles)*: 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 06

Advantages: Area Knowledge (SGC Base), Confined Headquarters (13 AP lab in the SGC), Military Credentials (Medium, Lieutenant Colonel in USAF), Scholar (Astrophysics, Goa‘uld/Tok’ra technology, quantum mechanics, plasma/particle physics, Stargate technology) Special Credentials (Medium, Stargate Command)

Connections:
General George Hammond (High), SG-1 (High)

Equipment:

  • M9 Pistol [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 15, R#02]
  • FN-P90 Personal Defense Weapon [BODY: 04, Projectile weapons: 06, Sharpness (projectile weapons): 01, Ammo: 12, R#02, Advantage: Autofire, Limitation: Can only use SLAP ammunition (already factored in)]
  • Carter Special [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 06, Sharpness (projectile weapons): 01, Ammo: 06 (12 with dual-drum clip), Telescopic vision: 01, R#02, Advantage : Autofire; This rifle also had a small tactical light for close-quarters combat, providing Flash: 02 with the Limitation: Only for Steady Illumination]
    Carter began using this custom weapon in her seventh year with the SGC. It turned out to be no more effective than any other firearm, so she eventually went back to using a standard P-90.
  • Tactical Radio [BODY 02, Radio communications (scrambled): 07]
  • GDO (Garage Door Opener) Emitter [BODY 02, Radio communications (scrambled): 00, Limitation : Can only send an unlocking code to the iris on the SGC Stargate – the current code is never stored in the GDO and must be typed by memory, Note: Assume GDO has 6 APs for Scrambled purposes]
  • Sam also employs other standard SGC equipment as appropriate (See the Stargate Command write-up for details). The SGC has also captured copies of Goa‘uld personal devices which Sam can use, though she seldom does.
    • GOA‘ULD HAND DEVICE [BODY 02, Mind Blast and Paralysis: Linked to INT of wearer, Super Breath: Half-Linked to MIND of wearer, Limitations: Mind Blast and Paralysis have a 0 AP Range, Mind Blast can only be used on Paralyzed targets, user must have naquadah in their bloodstream to operate the device (such as former or current hosts of Goa‘uld or Tok’ra symbiotes]
      Goa‘uld hand devices (a.k.a. “ribbon devices”) are glove-like implements that can emit two different blasts of energy. The first blast is a rippling distortion wave that knocks targets back (Super Breath). The second is a short-ranged ribbon of orange energy that paralyzes targets and then inflicts mental damage (Paralysis, Mind Blast).
      A very skilled operator can use the telepathic connection forged by Mind Blast to create an illusionary world in a target’s mind, Ammonet/Sha’re once did to Daniel Jackson. Treat this use of Illusion as a Trick Power of Mind Blast.
    • Goa‘uld Healing Device [BODY: 2, Medicine (Surgery): Linked to user’s MIND]
      This palm-held mechanism projects an energy that promotes healing in humanoid subjects. Carter usually does not use this device because she’s not capable enough with it to provide any medical assistance over and above that of the SGC medical staff. She has resorted to it on two occasions when standard medical intervention was insufficient, but was unable to achieve any better results than those of current medical methodology. Goa‘Uld and Tok’ra users have had better results, owing to their typically higher MIND attributes.

Jolinar’s Memories

Carter has residual memories and minor biochemical alterations from her temporary blending with the Tok’ra Jolinar. In addition to her abilities to detect the presence of Goa’uld symbiotes, Carter can also access some of Jolinar’s knowledge and use Goa’uld devices. For a 15 HP fee, Carter can do the following for the rest of the current scenario:

  • Retrieve Jolinar’s memories. Treat each attempt at this as a Perception Check against an OV/RV of 8/8, applying the RAPs as to the Detective (Clue Analysis) results table to determine how much of Jolinar’s memory she retrieves regarding the subject at hand.
  • Use Goa’uld personal devices. This requires having naquadah in one’s bloodstream (which Sam has as a result of her time blended with a symbiote ) and understanding the techniques involved. Sam doesn’t have to make a Perception Check to use the devices — paying the HP fee above is sufficient to recall how to operate the devices.

Though spending the HPs is a choice on the player’s part, it need not be a conscious effort of Sam’s. The first time Jolinar’s memories emerged was in a recurring dream of Carter’s that led SG-1 to the current Tok’ra base. A Tok’ra memory disc [BODY 01, Mind Probe: 08] can also give Carter access to Jolinar’s memories without an HP fee.


Previous Statistics

Sam had a High Connection with Dr. Janet Fraiser up until Fraiser’s death shortly before Anubis’s attack on Earth.

Carter’s rank was Captain during her first two years with SG-1 and Major in years three through seven, though these still fell into the Medium Military Credential range.

Carter only had 35 HPs during her first four years with SG-1. This increased to 40 during the fifth year, 45 during the seventh year, and to the current level in Sam’s eighth year with SG-1.

Samantha has a High Connection with Jacob Carter/Selmak from the time of her father’s blending with Selmak until the recent death of the two due to natural causes.

By Roy Cowan

Source of Character: Stargate SG-1 (TV series), character played by Amanda Tapping

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, KalEl el Vigilante, Eric Langendorff, Jay Myers

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