- "I feel very comfortable with my life in your hands; and at the end of the day, that means you’re doin’ a pretty good job."
- —Elizabeth Weir
Doctor Jennifer Keller is a female Tau'ri who became a doctor and joined the Stargate program, serving as part of the Atlantis expedition. After the death of Carson Beckett she became the temporary head of medicine on Atlantis, but found it difficult to cope with the pressures of the job. Despite this she helped to heal the wounded after an attack by the Asurans. However, her status later seemed more permanent. During her time in Atlantis, she has become widely accepted by the rest of the Expedition. In late 2008, she would start a relationship with fellow member Rodney McKay after he confessed his love to her while being infected with the Second Childhood. At one point before the start of the relationship, McKay was challenged by Ronon Dex, who also developed feelings for her.
- "I missed out on a lot of things – any kind of social event, you know, parties and dances. I don't ever remember a time in my life where I belonged."
- —Jennifer Keller
Keller was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, USA. During childhood, her mother died and she was all her father had left. (ATL: "Missing") During her educational years, she was always ahead of her class, having graduated from her high school at the age of 15 and earned a Bachelor's degree before she was 18. (ATL: "Quarantine") After university, she was training to become a doctor. During training, she made the mistake of confiding in her partner about her fear of the movie Alien, so her partner hid a live snake inside a cadavar she was working on as a joke. (ATL: "Doppelganger") Some time after she gained status as a medical professional, she then gained military clearance to the Stargate program; where she later joined the Atlantis expedition. She was chosen by Dr. Elizabeth Weir, due to her experience in the medical field. (ATL: "First Strike")
- "Someone had to step up and take over, and I’m glad to help out, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not qualified to run a department of this size. You — you need someone... better."
- —Jennifer Keller shortly after her arrival
After Dr. Carson Beckett was killed in an explosion, Keller became his temporary replacement. Despite her position as acting head of medicine on Atlantis, Keller did not consider herself qualified to run such a large department and soon began to lose sleep over her new responsibilities. As such, she asked Dr. Elizabeth Weir if she could be replaced. Weir, however, informed Keller that she had been doing an adequate job and let her know that she was happy to put her life in Keller's hands. In addition to this, Keller's colleagues had spoken highly of her skills although Keller herself was doubtful of the accuracy of these claims. Though Keller continued to voice that she wished to be replaced, Weir simply informed her that the International Oversight Advisory were already in the process of choosing a new candidate but that they were known to take time on their decisions.
Shortly after this, Keller was forced to take control of the medical department on Atlantis following the Asurans attack with their Satellite weapon. As Atlantis dropped the shields temporarily to escape from Lantea to M12-578, the Asuran beam grazed the tower and Weir was seriously injured. Keller was responsible for trying to save her life and preformed a Decompressive craniectomy. However, in the end she asked Dr. Rodney McKay to re-activate the Nanites in Weir's cells to save her life, which did the trick. (ATL: "First Strike", "Adrift")
After Lt. Colonel John Sheppard unwillingly brought an entity from the crystals of M3X-387, who had the ability to control its hosts' dreams, Keller became one of those who experienced a horrible nightmare, in which she dreamt that Teyla Emmagan was killed after an Iratus bug burst out of her stomach. She recounted to the team about the practical joke involving a snake and a cadavar while in medical school. (ATL: "Doppelganger")
During the Kirsan fever outbreak, Keller went to learn about what the outbreak was, where it was discovered that it could cause each patient with the fever to lose their memories. Eventually, her memories became lax enough to be taken the mess hall by Major Evan Lorne and his team, who became paranoid from the medication to slow down the fever's effects. After Dr. Rodney McKay was also taken to the mess hall without his memories, he proposed an escape attempt. The attempt succeeded, but as she was helping him, she got stunned by Lorne's team. After the outbreak subsided, she made a full recovery and returned to her duties. (ATL: "Tabula Rasa")
At one point, she and Teyla Emmagan went to New Athos on a medical check-up on the Athosians. Though she felt she wouldn't make the same impression the late Dr. Carson Beckett did, Teyla assured her that she would be welcomed by her people. When they arrive however, they find that the entire village was deserted and that the gate was guarded by Bola Kai. She was relying on Teyla to get through the night until the rest of her team could rescue them. However, it wasn't easy as she admits that she didn't know anything about fighting or survival, which somewhat slowed the two down. She soon found an injured man named Nabel Golan, who claimed to be a Genii. She brought him along and treated him while the two were hiding. The next day, the three were forced to flee when Bola Kai discovered them. However, in the process, she and Teyla were caught and was brought to be interrogated. Keller managed to give them a fake address which will not lead them to Atlantis, since they believed that the Bola Kai were Wraith worshippers and had the Athosians kidnapped. While, their team arrived, the two were rescued by Nabel. However, it was revealed that he was responsible for having the Athosians kidnapped, after he struck down Teyla and wanted Atlantis' address at gunpoint. After Teyla resisted, Keller was able to fight the gun off him, and after he refused to be out of the way so she could free Teyla, she shot and wounded Nabel. When she was finally rescued back to Atlantis, she was the first one to discover Teyla's pregnancy. (ATL: "Missing")
Afterwards, she was sent to Vedeena after the team came across Davos, who could apparently see upcoming events. While Richard Woolsey of the International Oversight Advisory was in Atlantis at the time, she wondered if she was sent to save his life, since she diagnosed him with lymphatic cancer, or if the IOA want to experiment on him about his evolution. She eventually found why Davos was able to see in the future; his brain showed a high synaptic activity which stayed constant. She tried to save his life, but he eventually died. (ATL: "The Seer")
During a Quarantine lockdown of Atlantis, she was stuck in the infirmary with Ronon Dex. Though they had to wait until the lockdown passed, Ronon felt adamant to leave. Eventually, they form a plan to escape after hearing the self-destruct alarm, by using an oxygen tank to blow a hole in the door, which did not work. In the meantime, the two started to develop a romantic interest. They almost kissed until all the doors opened again, ending the lockdown. (ATL: "Quarantine")
She investigated the planet M5V-801, where a village was located near an abandoned mining facility, and showed to have unsafe air quality, as well as frequent tremors. She went with Dr. Rodney McKay and Colonel Samantha Carter to talk the villagers into moving to another part of the continent, but fell through a hole and were trapped with the other two in an underground Genii mining facility. After several attempts to escape, the facility was going to collapse. In one attempt, Keller fell down a seemingly bottomless pit, but held on for her life with a rope. She managed to see light and found a way out by swinging to the tunnel. She, Carter and McKay made it down and escaped before the facility fell several hundred feet underground. Back on Atlantis, Keller asked McKay out for a drink, seemingly charmed by his child-like obliviousness to her request at first. (ATL: "Trio")
She later investigated a mysterious plague that ravaged at least eight random planets across Pegasus, which killed 30% of all inhabitants. She soon discovered that an improved version of the Hoffan drug that was distributed by Michael Kenmore was the cause. (ATL: "The Kindred, Part 1")
After the team found Dr. Carson Beckett, who was supposed to have been killed in 2007, she soon discovered that he was a clone after finding out that his telomeres were 30% shorter than normal for a man of Beckett's age. When he suffered from a degenerative condition, and finding the cure didn't lead far, she sent him to a stasis pod, where she promised that she had a team working on his condition, and will find a cure for him. (ATL: "The Kindred, Part 2")
After several expedition members were trapped in one of Michael's facility, which self destructed on M2S-445 while trying to find a kidnapped Teyla Emmagan, she along with Colonel Samantha Carter, Captain Alicia Vega and a team of combat engineers were sent to the planet, so Keller could tend to the wounded, but unknown to her, she and the others contracted a Wraith pathogen. After Michael brought his cruiser to investigate, and blocked off the Stargate to prevent the Humans from escaping, she went inside the Puddle Jumper and to the orbiting Daedalus. Before the rest of the team went to rescue Teyla from the cruiser, Keller patched up Lt. Colonel John Sheppard so he could participate in the mission. After it was a success, she returned to Atlantis to operate on Sheppard. (ATL: "Search and Rescue")
She spent more time trying to find a cure for Dr. Carson Beckett's condition after acquiring Michael's database on the planet M2S-445, when she noticed a gelatinous substance around her hands, not knowing they were the first symptoms from the Wraith pathogen. She also experience lack of sleep. One night, after Beckett was cured, she was unable to wake up, and tendrils started growing around her. Teyla Emmagan found her like this when she did not report for duty. She did remain lucid enough, though she heard other voices, until the tendrils took over the tower, where Jennifer no longer had control of her mind. Beckett uncovered the pathogen, which was designed to create Wraith ships. He developed a Phage that could neutralize the pathogen and save Keller. Sheppard was able to take the phage and injected her with it, which killed the tendrils, and Keller later made a complete recovery. (ATL: "The Seed")
After the Satedan Tyre was brought into the Atlantis infirmary, she had him restrained to go through Wraith enzyme withdrawal. After a recovery and the safe return of Ronon Dex, who was captured by the Wraith, she had him restrained to go through the withdrawal as well. (ATL: "Broken Ties")
When Dr. Rodney McKay became infected with Second Childhood after a mission on M44-5YN, she did everything she could to try to save him, and was present when McKay did his own video diary, including one entry where McKay admitted to be in love with her. After finding the properties of a shrine on Talus, she decided not to take him there, since it was a Wraith stronghold, but after Jeannie Miller overruled her decision, she went there with McKay and the team, where she discovered that the shrine emitted radiation that shrunk the parasite enough for the victim to revert to his or her normal self again. With improvised tools, she was able to operate the parasite from McKay's brain and saved him. (ATL: "The Shrine")
While looking through Michael's database, she was able to find a gene therapy that could remove the Wraith's dependence on feeding. Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team took her to the Hive Ship "Todd" was located, and presented her findings, though it could take weeks to implement. In order for a proposal to the Primary (the head Queen) to be a success, and with "Todd's" queen was killed in 2007, she managed to perform a certain surgery to turn Teyla Emmagan into a Wraith Queen. She later used a similar surgery to turn Teyla human again. (ATL: "The Queen")
She went to M33-985 to investigate an influenza-like illness on the planet, with Dr. Rodney McKay and Ronon Dex, but during the visit, she was quickly captured by a runner named Kiryk. Though she tried to escape at first, she learned that Kiryk wanted her to treat his 10 year old companion, Celise, who became extremely sick from an infected wound on her leg. Keller convinced him that she knew a former runner, Ronon and managed to disable his tracking device with a defibrillator on the way to the Stargate to take the girl back to Atlantis for better treatment. On the way, they run into Ronon and McKay and come into conflict with the Wraith. Keller goes one on one against a hunter and managed to hold on until McKay reloaded his pistol and killed the Wraith with it. When asked how she was able to do that she revealed that she had been taking sparring lessons with Ronon. After Kiryk sacrificed himself by gating to another planet so Keller and Celise could return to Atlantis, she was successful in treating her upon returning and the girl survived. (ATL: "Tracker")
She further worked on the gene therapy, and came aboard the Daedalus to finish her work with "Todd". Ronon Dex, who had an infatuation towards her and so decided to join her, claiming that his presence was needed in case of some Wraith incursion. She worked with "Todd" to finalize the therapy, where she heard that the Wraith may not want it, since feeding on them gives them dominance over the galaxy, and without that, they wouldn't know what to do. Meanwhile, the Attero device was activated, "Todd" suspected an ambushed and held the ship hostage. While locking it down, Ronon found Keller and he wanted him and her to arm themselves and stop the ship. After Ronon sabotaged the ship, "Todd" threatened to kill the crew if they did not surrender. Keller turned herself in, and learned that he took over the ship to find and destroy the Attero device. She was later rescued by Ronon and fired a P90 for the first time outside a firing range to dispatch some Wraith. She and Ronon rescued the crew and took back the ship, where the Wraith abandoned it so the ship could crash the ship on Janus' research outpost to destroy Ahe attero device. Fortunately the ship was saved and the device was disabled by the efforts of Dr. Rodney McKay and Dr. Daniel Jackson. She later found out that Ronon had feelings for her, and told him that she was interested in someone else. (ATL: "First Contact", "The Lost Tribe")
While she stayed with Dr. Rodney McKay who went around Janus' lab, she noticed two Long-range communication stones and held one of them, until McKay told her to let go of it. This would become significant to her in a few months time. (ATL: "Identity")
Weeks later, she examined Richard Woolsey, who thought to have hallucinated. She found nothing wrong with him, and advised him to rest. It was later revealed that other members experienced similar things after finding a probe belonging to the extinct Sekkari. (ATL: "Remnants")
She planned to spend her two weeks of vacation to visit her father in Chippewa Falls, but in the end went with Dr. Rodney McKay for a conference hosted by his nemesis Malcolm Tunney. There, she discovered that Tunney used McKay and Jeannie Miller's idea of a multiversal bridge to send Earth's excess heat from global warming to another universe. After a demonstration went wrong, she tried to find outside help, and used a cell phone. However, while attempting to contact help, the area she was in was sealed due to freeze lightning, and cold water rushed to her corridor, where she started to freeze. McKay was eventually able to rescue her, and discovered that Keller loved him as well. On the way back to Stargate Command, they spent most of the time in their private jet kissing. (ATL: "Brain Storm")
After "Todd" returned on his Hive Ship, it was revealed that the gene therapy caused an illness amongst the Wraith. Keller and some teams went on board the Hive, where Keller works on what is responsible, and how to cure it. Though she didn't know what to do, McKay told her that she will find a solution, and after working with "Todd", was able to find one, by him going to retrieve an Iratus bug. (ATL: "Infection")
After touching the stones in Janus' lab, thief and murderer Neeva Casol from another part of the galaxy held another stone and placed on a long-range communication device, which activated, and both bodies were swapped. Keller, now in Neeva's body was abandoned by Neeva's two accomplices, Bordal and Jannik and was caught by the planet's authorities. Her attempts to convince the Magistrate the situation failed, and was sentenced to execution. Fortunately, she was saved by Bordal and Jannik, who quickly became suspicious of "Neeva". Meanwhile, the Atlantis expedition discovered that Neeva was in Keller's body, and she brought them to the planet, where she ran off and discovered the three. She convinced her accomplices about mentioning events in their pasts, but the two decided to take both of them, and sort them out once they escaped the planet. On the way, Bordal was killed by villagers, and fearing for her life, Keller fled, only to be eventually found by Jannik. He knew she wasn't Neeva, but Keller convinced him she wasn't her enemy. However, Jannik attempted to kill her. Fortunately, Ronon Dex was able to disable the communication device, and Keller returned to her own body, while Neeva's fate was unknown. (ATL: "Identity")
- "We could find ourselves in the middle of a combat situation rather suddenly. You and your staff need to be ready."
- —Richard Woolsey
At the start of the year, she prepared the Atlantis infirmary for the planned to return to Earth to stop a ZPM powered Hive Ship. When the battle was over, she admired the view of San Francisco with her teammates as Atlantis had landed in the bay, just outside the city. (ATL: "Enemy at the Gate")
- In an alternate reality in 2009, she worked as a coroner in Las Vegas, but actually worked out of Area 51. She autopsied the body of Thomas Green, who was a victim to a lone Wraith after he crash landed on Earth during a failed invasion. This Keller may have been married to Dr. Rodney McKay as McKay is shown to be wearing a wedding ring and given their reaction to each other in the halls of Area 51. (ATL: "Vegas")
- In an Alternate timeline in 2008, when Michael Kenmore took over the Pegasus Galaxy, she tried to save all the affected worlds ravaged by the upgraded Hoffan drug by attempting to lower the mortality rate, but failed. She was eventually forced to stop when the International Oversight Advisory wanted all the Atlantis resources to protect the city. She later resigned from the Atlantis expedition with Dr. Rodney McKay, and spent three weeks traveling back to Earth on the Daedalus. In those three weeks, she began a relationship with McKay. However a year later traces of the Hoffan drug were discovered in her system when she suddenly fell ill; she died a few days afterward. (ATL: "The Last Man")
Though Keller was not much for relationships, she appeared to be a part of a love triangle between herself, Ronon Dex and Rodney McKay. Ronon appeared to have an interest in her while they were trapped in a quarantine lockdown of the city. (ATL: "Quarantine") Later, it becomes more apparent after Ronon taught her in sparring sessions and when McKay confronted him about whether or not he did have romantic intentions with her. (ATL: "Tracker") Meanwhile, McKay also appeared to have feelings for her, particularly after the break-up with Katie Brown. She asked McKay for a drink after he lost a bet with her while stuck in an underground mining facility of the Genii, but later asked him out, since it really wasn't about the bet. (ATL: "Trio") Months later, McKay, who was dying from Second Childhood, admitted to be in love with her, and said it to her in case he would forget, or may never be recovered. (ATL: "The Shrine")
McKay and Ronon, who realized that each other had feelings for her, decided not to challenge each other, since it would ultimately be her choice alone in who she would want to be with. (ATL: "Tracker") Ronon appeared to be in the lead while he went with her to the Daedalus. Later, it would seem that Keller realized that Ronon had feelings for her, and told him that she was interested in somebody else. (ATL: "The Lost Tribe") That somebody turned out to be McKay, and after he rescued her in Kramer Innovations, admitted that she was in love with McKay too. After admitting she had feelings for McKay, the two shared a passionate kiss. On the private flight home, McKay and Keller kissed, then had sex. This is further confirmed by an interview Jewel Staite gave in 2009. (ATL: "Brain Storm") The two started a relationship, which became known amongst the rest of the expedition; however, they were still somewhat surprised that Keller would actually go for McKay. (ATL: "Identity")
Behind the scenesEdit
- Jewel Staite previously played Ellia in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Instinct".
- She is among one of three actors from Firefly and Serenity who appeared in Stargate, the others being Adam Baldwin, who played Colonel David Dixon, and Morena Baccarin, who played the Orici Adria.
- In a deleted scene of "Search and Rescue", Captain Alicia Vega asked Dr. Keller out.
- It would seem that due to a picture on "Identity", her father was played by writer Carl Binder.