Tamara Johansen

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Tamara Johansen
Tamara Johansen SGU.jpg
Alaina Huffman as Tamara Johansen
First appearance "Air"
Portrayed by Alaina Huffman
Occupation United States Air Force
US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant
Medical Officer
Family Carmen (daughter, with Everett Young; deceased)

First Lieutenant Tamara Johansen, USAF (also known as T.J.) is a fictional character in the Canadian-American Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer-Syfy television series Stargate Universe, a military science fiction serial drama about the adventures of a present-day, multinational exploration team unable to return to Earth after an evacuation to the Ancient spaceship Destiny, which is travelling in a distant corner of the universe. She is portrayed by Canadian actress Alaina Huffman.

Johansen is a US Air Force medic who comes from a poor background. Not able to afford medical school, she considered the US Air Force her best option. Johansen made her first appearance in the pilot episode, "Air", first broadcast in the United States and Canada in 2009. It was later revealed Johansen is pregnant with Colonel Young's child after the two had an affair before being stranded on the ship.

Character arc[edit]

Johansen comes from a modest background and dreamed of being a doctor, but couldn't afford medical school. Instead, she joined the Air Force. However, after receiving a scholarship, she elected to leave the Stargate program to attend medical school, much to the dismay of IOA representative Camile Wray. After Doctor Simms dies during the attack on the Icarus Base, she is the only medically trained person aboard the Destiny, and is forced to assume doctor-like responsibilities over the rest of the people aboard ship.[1] Lieutenant Johansen is third in Destiny's chain of command, after Colonel Everett Young and First Lieutenant Matthew Scott.

In the pilot episode, it's said that TJ resigned from her position as paramedic, and although it's not revealed why, it's obvious Col. Young knows more about it. It's later revealed via a dream Col. Young has that he and TJ were romantically involved with each other prior to arriving on Destiny, and that when their affair ended, TJ decided to resign. While visiting an Earth-like planet, TJ tells Chloe that she is pregnant with Colonel Young's child, and that conception occurred about 15 weeks earlier, while they were still at the Icarus base. It is unclear if the pregnancy prompted her desire to resign her commission. In any event, although she was scheduled to leave two weeks before the evacuation to the Destiny, she did not leave as planned for reasons never made clear. Eventually she tells Young about the pregnancy, and he promises her they will make it work.

Weeks later, Destiny is taken over by the Lucian Alliance, and battle ensues. In the finale of the first season, TJ is shot in her abdomen, and although she survives, her very premature daughter does not. However, while unconscious, TJ sees a vision of her baby being kept safe by Dr. Caine and some other Icarus refugees who had remained behind on the alien Earth-like planet (named "Eden" by the crew) in the episode "Faith". This leads TJ to believe that some kind of mystical, religious force has protected her baby. However, some time later, Caine and the others return, without any memory of the baby in "Visitation" (episode 2.09). The people of Destiny believe that all of the people who had been left behind on the planet died, and the aliens who had made the planet resurrected them and returned them to the Destiny, but that they could not resurrect their souls, so all of them die again, after remembering the circumstances of their first death. Young believes that the Destiny implanted the memory into TJ in order to help her to cope with her baby's death. TJ still holds out hope that there was some truth to her vision.

TJ is well liked by everyone of the crew. Chloe starts to see TJ as her friend, and even Dr. Rush and Master Sgt. Greer, who generally do not like people, seem to have the utmost respect for her. As their time on the Destiny lengthens, TJ begins performing increasingly complicated medical procedures, including a kidney transplant. Nearing the end of the series she finds out that the alternate her on Novus died of ALS which cannot be cured, though they download some of the archives from the planet there is no cure found in the archives.

Conceptual history[edit]

In the character breakdown for the series, Tamara Johansen was originally named Tamara Jon,[2] and was of Asian descent.[3] After Huffman was cast for the role, the character's surname was changed to Johansen and her ethnicity was changed to European.[4] Joseph Mallozzi, executive producer of the two prior Stargate TV shows, considered Huffman's audition in December 2008 "so good that, quite frankly, we would've been crazy not to cast her".[5]



  1. ^ Andy Mikita (director); Brad Wright & Robert C. Cooper (writers). "Air". Stargate Universe. Season 1. Episode 1-3. Syfy. 
  2. ^ Mallozzi, Joseph (August 28, 2009). "August 28, 2009: Deciphering the Results! Actor Peter Kelamis! And Random Set Pics!". josephmallozzi.wordpress.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  3. ^ Sumner, Darren (September 17, 2008). "Meet the Stargate Universe team!". Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Lou Diamond Phillips in Stargate Universe". The Hollywood Reporter. September 17, 2008. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  5. ^ Mallozzi, Joseph (February 25, 2009). "February 25, 2009: Finally, That Cast Announcement!". josephmallozzi.wordpress.com. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 

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