The Tok'ra are a fictional alien race on the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1. They first appear in the season 2 episode "In the Line of Duty". In the show, the Tok'ra are biologically the same species as the Goa'uld who inhabit human hosts in a symbiotic relationship, and are opposed to the evil System Lords. They are one of the major offworld allies of Stargate Command.
Biologically, the Tok'ra are the same species as the Goa'uld, though they are opposed to them in every way; their name "Tok'ra" literally means "against Ra," though it has gained the figurative meaning "resistance". The Tok'ra consider it an insult to be called a Goa'uld. They take only willing human hosts, providing long life and perfect health, and share the body equally. Most Tok'ra are spawned from a single Queen, Egeria, who fought the Goa'uld 2,000 years ago and was defeated by the Supreme System Lord Ra. A few other minor Goa'uld have joined the Tok'ra in the past, but the only one to do so in the past 1000 years was actually a Goa'uld spy and did not actually adopt the Tok'ra philosophy. Due to Egeria's death in "Cure", the Tok'ra are a dying race. Due to their small numbers and scarce resources, the Tok'ra favor infiltration and covert tactics meant to destabilize the System Lords and play them against one another, ensuring that no one Goa'uld becomes overwhelmingly dominant until such time as they can all be wiped out at once.
The SGC first learns of the Tok'ra in "In the Line of Duty", when Jolinar of Malkshur is forced to take Samantha Carter as a host in order to survive. Carter's memories from this experience allow SG-1 to make contact with the main Tok'ra base in "The Tok'ra", and to forge an alliance against the Goa'uld. The alliance is bolstered by the blending of High Council member Selmak and Jacob Carter of Earth, and is formalized via treaty in the season 4 episode "Divide and Conquer". On many occasions, the Tok'ra provide valuable assistance to Earth and vice versa. Nevertheless, the Tok'ra are reluctant to disclose their covert operations to the SGC, and in turn the details of several Earth projects are not revealed to the Tok'ra.
In the early seasons of Stargate SG-1, the Tok'ra are mainly concerned with preventing any one Goa'uld from achieving absolute dominance over the galaxy. Thus, they assassinate Sokar by blowing up his prison moon Ne'tu in "The Devil You Know", and sabotage a meeting between Apophis and Heru'ur in "The Serpent's Venom". In the season 4 finale, "Exodus", the Tok'ra wipe out Apophis' fleet by luring him to their base on the planet Vorash, where Samantha Carter uses a Stargate connected to another gate orbiting a Black Hole to siphon off so much hydrogen from the planet's sun that it destabilizes and becomes a Supernova. However, the Tok'ra resistance is dealt a major blow in "Summit", when the Goa'uld Anubis sends his lieutenant Zipacna to destroy their primary base on Revanna. Almost every Tok'ra on the base is killed in the attack. The only known survivor, Lantash, sacrifices himself to release symbiote poison over the area, eliminating Anubis' forces and allowing SG-1 to escape. In "Death Knell", the Tok'ra Delek informs General Hammond that Earth's policy of directly confronting the Goa'uld has cost the lives of more Tok'ra operatives in seven years than in the last hundred, and that their alliance may prove too costly to uphold.
The Tok'ra play a much diminished role in seasons 9 and 10 of the show, after the Ori are introduced as the main threat. They are mentioned to be searching for Supergates along with the Asgard in "Crusade", and their ships join the fight against Ori motherships in "Camelot". In "Dominion", the Tok'ra plan to implant one of their own into Adria in place of a Ba'al clone symbiote, though in the end Adria Ascends.
They are present in Stargate Continuum to oversee the extraction ceremony of the Goa'uld symbiote Ba'al from the host.
Society and culture
Secrecy is a way of life for the Tok'ra, as that is their only defense against the armed might of the System Lords. When they arrive on a planet, they immediately move underground into special self-constructing crystal tunnels. These tunnels are collapsed when the Tok'ra depart, thus leaving no trace of their presence. The Tok'ra regularly move their bases to avoid detection by the Goa'uld. Tok'ra tunnel networks have no doors, as the Tok'ra do not keep secrets from each other.
Unlike the Goa'uld, Tok'ra symbiotes prefer to enter a new host through the mouth rather than burrowing through the back of the neck. This is because the Goa'uld wish to avoid remembering the look of horror on their host's face every time they look in a mirror. The Tok'ra have no such need as they take willing hosts, and they find the implantation scar unsettling. The human host of a Tok'ra speaks in a normal voice, while the symbiote speaks with the flanged, bass-augmented "Goa'uld voice". When switching between one and the other, Tok'ra bow their heads and close their eyes to avoid showing the Goa'uld "eye flash".
Among the Tok'ra it is customary for the more volatile of the blended Tok'ra and host to defer control of the body to the calmer of the two, which is usually but not always the symbiote. An exception to this is Martouf, who is usually calmer than his symbiote Lantash. Thus, the other Tok'ra tend to address him as Martouf rather than Lantash. When one Tok'ra is mated to another, typically both the host and symbiote are in love with his/her partner's host and symbiote.
The Tok'ra dispose of their dead by placing the body on a pedestal and allowing it to be vaporized by the unstable vortex of an activating Stargate. They do not use the Goa'uld sarcophagus, believing that its psychological effects are one of the main reasons for the Goa'uld's evil.
As shown in Stargate: Continuum, the Tok'ra have apparently given up their ways of secrecy after the destruction of the System Lords and are shown to have built an above-ground, permanent city, in contrast to their previous habit of living in temporary, hidden, underground, grown-crystal tunnels.
Science and technology
The Tok'ra are master scientists despite the necessity of maintaining secrecy and the resulting lack of resources. Tok'ra forces rely on zat'nik'tels, as they lack the naqahdah necessary to build staff weapons. They have access to many technologies used by the Goa'uld, such as force-fields, memory devices and transphase eradication rods. The Tok'ra often assist the SGC in developing new technologies, and they have provided many pieces of their technology to Stargate Command when required. Tok'ra one-way force-fields are installed in the SGC's isolation rooms. Some of the most significant Tok'ra advancements are symbiote poison, tretonin, and the Kull disruptor.
William deVry played Aldwin, a member of the Tok'ra who has several dealings with the SGC. During SG-1's mission to rescue Jacob Carter from Ne'tu in "The Devil You Know", the Tok'ra High Council orders Aldwin to launch a weapon at the planet's core that would destroy the moon as well as Sokar's Ha'tak in orbit in a chain reaction. However, the plan would also claim the life of SG-1, Martouf and Jacob Carter, and Aldwin realizes that the only option is to help SG-1. Aldwin is later sent to the SGC to verify that after SG-1 Shifu is indeed the supposed Harcesis by using the Za'tarc-detecting device. Several years later, during the Tok'ra's plan to eliminate the System Lords during their high-level meeting, Aldwin guides SG-17 through the Tok'ra base on Revanna. Aldwin is killed when Zipacna attacks the planet, destroying the Tok'ra base.
Anise (meaning "noble strength") appears in a mini-arc early in season 4 as a member of the Tok'ra resistance group. Her host is named Freyja, and is played by Vanessa Angel. Anise is a gifted scientist and historian. Researching the Atanik armbands, which are rumored to give the user great strength and speed, Anise tests the devices on SG-1 and, if the test prove successful, wants the SGC to send them on a dangerous mission to destroy Apophis' new prototype mothership. Anise visits Earth again when a Jaffa named Shau'nac believes to have convinced her symbiote to join the Tok'ra, and is present when the symbiote, Tanith, is given a willing host body. When Teal'c discovers Tanith's duplicity, Anise explains that by allowing Tanith to believe he has succeeded in infiltrating their ranks, the Tok'ra hope to deceive the Goa'uld and feed them misinformation. Anise later assists the SGC in uncovering possible Za'tarcs within the SGC ranks. She improperly diagnoses O'Neill and Carter, who unwittingly lied during the test to conceal their feelings for each other. Freya is attracted to Jack O'Neill, although her symbiote prefers Daniel Jackson.
Jolinar of Malkshur is an influential member of the Tok'ra resistance. According to Teal'c, she once led an army that was about to defeat a System Lord, until Apophis and Ra joined the fight. She appears in "In the Line of Duty" in the body of a Nassyan man (played by an unknown actor), before transferring into the body of Samantha Carter (played by Amanda Tapping). She also appears in flashback in the body of her former host Rosha, played by Tanya Reid, in "The Devil You Know" and "Jolinar's Memories". While blended with Rosha, Jolinar carried out a romantic relationship with fellow Tok'ra Martouf/Lantash for over a century.
Sokar once captured Jolinar, imprisoning her on the hell-like prison moon Ne'tu and torturing her. She escaped by seducing Sokar's underling Bynarr and stealing the key to the prison's ring transporter while he slept. These events caused her great shame and she never spoke of them to Martouf.
In "In the Line of Duty", Cronus sends an Ashrak, a powerful Goa'uld assassin, after Jolinar. She hides in the body of a Nassyan man, but is forced to transfer herself to Samantha Carter after her host is injured. The Ashrak tracks her back to Earth, where Jolinar gives up her life to save Carter. As a result of the blending, Carter gains the ability to sense Goa'uld symbiotes and control Goa'uld technology. She also acquires some of Jolinar's memories and personality, which avails her on several occasions and influences her attraction to Martouf. Samantha has since forgiven Jolinar for the forced blending.
Martouf, played by J. R. Bourne, is a leader in the ranks of the Tok'ra. Martouf had been the mate of Jolinar, and her host Rosha, for almost a century. SG-1 first meet Martouf during their first encounter with the Tok'ra in season 2. Since Jolinar was once blended with Samantha Carter, Martouf develops an interest in her. Martouf is later present when Apophis seeks asylum at Stargate Command and recommends that the Goa'uld should be handed over to Sokar. Several months later, he joins SG-1 on a mission to rescue Jacob Carter, the host of the Tok'ra Selmak, from Ne'tu. They are captured and tortured, but Martouf, Jacob and SG-1 can escape when a new Tok'ra weapon destroys Ne'tu. However, Martouf is unwittingly subjected to Goa'uld mind control, turning him into a Za'tarc. His attempt to assassinate the President of the United States ends in failure, and Carter is forced to kill him.
Martouf's symbiote, Lantash, survives and is placed in a Tok'ra stasis chamber. Nearly two years later, when Lantash is still very weak, the Goa'uld attack and bombard the Tok'ra base. When his container is destroyed, the new SGC recruit Lieutenant Elliot (Courtenay J. Stevens) blends with Lantash to keep them both alive. Lantash and Elliot give their lives to save the rest of the team when they realize that Lantash does not have the strength to repair Elliot's injuries. Elliot/Lantash are left behind with a vial of symbiote poison, powerful enough to eliminate the entire invasion force. An alternate version of Martouf arrives at the SGC when many SG-1s from alternate realities start coming through the Stargate. That universe's Martouf had joined the SGC to be closer to Carter. However, their relationship did not last. According to Martouf, Carter eventually ended up with someone else, with whom she would one day have a child.
Selmak is one of the oldest and wisest of all Tok'ra, and a member of the High Council. His first host on the show, seen in "The Tok'ra", is Saroosh, played by Joy Coghill. Saroosh had been Selmak's host for most of her life, during which she enjoyed his good company and humor. As Saroosh is dying of old age, Samantha Carter suggests to her father Jacob Carter (played by Carmen Argenziano) that he become Selmak's next host, as Selmak will be able to cure Jacob's terminal cancer. After speaking with Saroosh on the experience of being a host, Jacob agrees to the transference.
The blending of Selmak and Jacob creates a bridge between the SGC and the Tok'ra. Jacob/Selmak provides critical assistance to SG-1 on numerous occasions, including against renegade Reetou, the Goa'uld Seth, and the Kull Warriors. However, he also warns the SGC against their attempts to reverse-engineer Goa'uld technology and provoking open conflict with the System Lords by building warships. Over time, some of the other Tok'ra become concerned that Selmak is being unduly influenced by Jacob into compromising Tok'ra operations to the Tau'ri, and begin to exclude him from high-level decisions.
In "Threads", Jacob reveals that Selmak is dying of old age after living for 2,000 years. During the events of "Reckoning", Jacob insists that Selmak hold on so as to complete their calibration of the Dakara superweapon to defeat the Replicators. As a result of this effort, Selmak slips into a coma and can no longer exert the necessary will to save Jacob's life when he dies. Jacob tells Samantha of his intention to die with Selmak, and that he considers his years spent with him as a gift. Jacob passes away shortly after Selmak in the SGC.
- Cordesh (host name unknown, played by Winston Rekert) gets revealed to have been captured and his host taken over by a Goa'uld spy in "The Tok'ra" when a long-range communication device was discovered in his quarters.
- Delek (host name unknown, played by Sebastian Spence) is a leader among the Tok'ra resistance movement, with limited dealings with Earth. He is a member of the Tok'ra High Council, and a personal friend of Selmak. Delek visits the SGC in "Death Knell" to answer General Hammond's question about Anubis' attack on the Alpha Site. Delek believes that Selmak has been compromised by his feelings for the Tau'ri. Delek eventually motions for the Tok'ra-Tau'ri-Jaffa alliance to be dissolved until a new plan can be forged.
- Jalen (host name unknown, played by Kirsten Williamson) is first seen as "Tok'ra #1" in "Exodus" and last seen in "Fail Safe" when she responds to SG1's distress call.
- Egeria The Queen and mother of all Tok'ra, who rebelled against the other Goa'uld 2,000 years ago. She was imprisoned by Ra on Pangar and later unearthed by the Pangarans, who use her progeny to produce tretonin. Egeria sabotaged her offspring in the hopes of stopping the Pangarans, which leads to a medical crisis after tretonin becomes widely used. After she is discovered by SG-1 in "Cure", the Tok'ra Kelmaa gives up her life so that her host can blend with Egeria. As her last act, Egeria gives the Pangarans the information needed to cure their people.
- Garshaw of Belote (host name Yosuf played by Sarah Douglas) Leader of the Tok'ra High Council in "The Tok'ra", and the most hunted Goa'uld of all time. She initially expresses disinterest in an alliance with Earth, after seeing SG-1's revulsion at the idea of becoming hosts. However, she becomes more amenable after SG-1 uncovers a Goa'uld spy amongst the Tok'ra ranks and helps them escape an attack.
- Kelmaa (host name unknown, played by Gwynyth Walsh) sacrifices herself in "Cure" so Egeria can use her host.
- Kanan (Jack O'Neill as host, played by Richard Dean Anderson) infiltrates Ba'al's secret base but falls in love with his lo'tar, Shayla. He used O'Neill's body to return to rescue her but they are pursued. Before he is captured in "Abyss", he leaves O'Neill's body.
- Khonsu of Amon Shek (host name unknown, played by Adam Harrington) masquerades as a minor Goa'uld loyal to Anubis in "The Other Guys" and seeks to make contact with SG-1. He is killed by his own First Prime, Herak, who then becomes First Prime of Anubis.
- Korra (host name unknown, played by Mark Holden) poses as a minor Goa'uld loyal to Sokar using the alias Keltar in "Deadman Switch". Sokar sends a bounty hunter after him after discovering his duplicity, although he is eventually able to escape after SG-1 convinces the bounty hunter to release him.
- Malek (host name Devlin, played by Peter Stebbings) An influential member of the Tok'ra resistance. In "Allegiance", he and a group of other Tok'ra are forced to evacuate to the SGC's Alpha Site after their outpost is attacked by Anubis. In "Cure", Malek and Kelmaa travel to Pangar investigate the drug tretonin. Although initially unperturbed by the use of Goa'uld symbiotes in the drug, he is outraged when he learns that the Queen spawning them is Egeria, mother of all Tok'ra. Malek demands her immediate release, though the debate is rendered moot when the Kelmaa sacrifices herself to provide a host to Egeria.
- Ocker (host name unknown, played by Kimani Ray Smith) is a Tok'ra Security Chief who flees to the Alpha Site after their base was attacked in "Allegiance". He is eventually killed by an Ashrak in an attempt to create mistrust between the Tok'ra and the Jaffa Rebellion.
- Per'sus (host name unknown, played by Andrew Jackson) is the Supreme High Councilor of the Tok'ra. He is almost killed by a Za'tarc during a meeting with the US President in "Divide and Conquer".
- "Raully" (played by Samantha Ferris) An undercover operative within Hathor's ranks, seen in "Out of Mind" and "Into the Fire". She poses as a futuristic SGC doctor in an elaborate plot to obtain information from SG-1. She averts Hathor's plan to implant a symbiote into Jack O'Neill, and helps SG-1 escape her base. Hathor uses a hand device on her after she discovers her duplicity.
- Ren'al (host name unknown, played by Jennifer Calvert) A member of the Tok'ra High Council. In "Enemies", she travels to the SGC to inform General Hammond that, though their plan to destroy Apophis' fleet was successful, no trace of SG-1 or Jacob/Selmak has been found. In "Summit", Ren'al briefs the SGC on an upcoming summit of the Goa'uld System Lords and the Tok'ra plan to assassinate them using symbiote poison. When the Tok'ra base on Ravenna comes under attack by Anubis' minion Zipacna in "Last Stand", Ren'al is killed by falling debris.
- Sina (host name unknown, played by Johannah Newmarch) provides the SGC with valuable intelligence regarding Ba'al in "Prophecy".
- Thellas (host name unknown) informs the SGC in "Avenger 2.0" that the entire Stargate network is down following the deployment of Dr. Jay Felger's "Avenger" computer virus.
- Tas'eem (host name unknown) is the chief surgeon responsible with the extraction of the Ba'al symbiote from its host, the Orici Adria, in "Dominion". He may be the Tok'ra that removed Qetesh from Vala as well as he has knowledge of Vala from her time as Qetesh and knew her as Qetesh as well.
- Thoran (host name unknown, played by Dorian Harewood) is a loyal member of the Tok'ra resistance movement and a close friend of the Tok'ra Kanan. Thoran suggests to save O'Neill from his life-threatening illness by blending him with Kanan in "Frozen", and subsequently supervises the blending. After Ba'al captures O'Neill during a covert mission to rescue his lo'tar in "Abyss", the Tau'ri hold Thoran at the SGC against his will until he is willing to drop his demands and is willing to help.
- Zanuf (host name unknown) is a symbiote that would have replaced the Ba'al symbiote within the body of the Orici Adria in "Dominion".
- Zarin (host name unknown, played by Brandy Ledford) is a Tok'ra operative who poses as a minor Goa'uld serving Ba'al on P3S-114 in "Endgame". Teal'c and M'Zel try to clear up several symbiote poison attacks on Goa'uld planets that also killed millions of Jaffa, and allow themselves to be captured and are brought before Zarin. She assures them of the Tok'ra's innocence, but the Trust strike again with a symbiote poison attack, killing Zarin.
- "The Tok'ra". Stargate SG-1.
- "Cure". Stargate SG-1.
- "Summit". Stargate SG-1.
- "Abyss". Stargate SG-1.
- "Death Knell". Stargate SG-1.
- "Divide and Conquer". Stargate SG-1.
- "Allegiance". Stargate SG-1.
- "Prototype". Stargate SG-1.
- "The Devil You Know" (Stargate SG-1)
- "Absolute Power" (Stargate SG-1)
- "Summit" (Stargate SG-1)
- "Upgrades" (Stargate SG-1)
- "Crossroads" (Stargate SG-1)
- "In the Line of Duty". Stargate SG-1.
- "Jolinar's Memories". Stargate SG-1.
- "Thor's Hammer". Stargate SG-1.
- "Last Stand". Stargate SG-1.
- "The Tok'ra" (Stargate SG-1)
- "Serpent's Song" (Stargate SG-1)
- "Jolinar's Memories" (Stargate SG-1)
- "Last Stand" (Stargate SG-1)
- "Ripple Effect" (Stargate SG-1)
- "Show and Tell". Stargate SG-1.
- "Seth". Stargate SG-1.
- "Evolution". Stargate SG-1.
- "Tangent". Stargate SG-1.
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