Richard Woolsey

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Richard Woolsey
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Richard Woolsey - List of Appearances

Portrayed by

Robert Picardo

Richard Woolsey is a male Tau'ri, a former member of the National Intelligence Department, a former member of the International Oversight Advisory and the leader of the Atlantis expedition.


Early life

He got a degree from Columbia Law School. (SGA: "Broken Ties") He was Harvard Law Review. (SGA: "Inquisition") He attended Harvard and obtained an MBA and an LLB. He served for ten years as lead counsel for the United States Army Corps of Engineers and then sat on the Defense Policy Board. He was asked to step down when it was disclosed that he had financial ties to a large corporation that had been awarded over $800 million in private sector defense contracts by The Pentagon. (SG1: "Heroes, Part 2") He lived in New York City and was an appellate advocate for Hartshorne & Slaughter. (SGA: "Inquisition") He was married and had a pet Yorkie but he ex-wife took the dog in the divorce and he never got a chance to say goodbye. (SGA: "Broken Ties") His father had Alzheimer's disease and had a moment where he recognized his son. (SGA: "The Shrine")


He joined with the NID and wrote a memo on the economics of the Stargate Program where he assigned a dollar value on the life of an SG team member. He was sent by Senator Robert Kinsey to Stargate Command after a rescue mission for SG-13 resulted in the death of Dr. Janet Fraiser. He interviewed several members involved in the rescue and was met with hostility. Major General George Hammond let him know he knew of the memo he had written and Woolsey told him that he would have Hammond locked up if details of the memo got out due to it being classified. (SG1: "Heroes, Part 2") Kinsey brought him to the White House to speak with Henry Hayes about removing Hammond and SG-1 from the SGC. When he went to see Kinsey later, Kinsey told him that Hayes will see things his way or else "things happen". Woolsey was appalled and went to speak to General Francis Maynard about Kinsey. He went to the SGC to ask Hammond if he had anything on Kinsey. Hammond gave him a disk that had information on Kinsey's involvement with the Rogue NID. He turned this disk over to Hayes and remarked that he hoped history would remember he tried to do the right thing. (SG1: "Inauguration")


Woolsey began working with the International Oversight Advisory and he came to the SGC to see that Khalek be kept alive for study to find a way to stop the Priors as well as learn more about human evolution, despite warnings that he was dangerous, and stating that the International Committee providing funding to the SGC was in support. Khalek was able to read Woolsey's mind but still wanted him studied even after he attempted to escape. After Khalek escaped and was killed, Woolsey told Daniel Jackson that he would personally be seeing to the families of the soldiers that Khalek killed. (SG1: "Prototype")

He was apprised of a mission for SG-6 to P2X-885 and signed off on it. (SG1: "The Fourth Horseman, Part 2") He came with three representatives from the IOA - Shen Xiaoyi, Jean LaPierre and Chapman - to the SGC and introduced them to SG-1 who escorted them through the Stargate to the Gamma Site. Woolsey asked Carter if there was a possibility of him being reassembled incorrectly when going through the Stargate. After their tour of the base, it was overrun by the R75 bugs and Woolsey insisted that SG-1 escort them to a remote research outpost while the situation on the base was contained. As the other representatives grew anxious when the Gamma Site was destroyed, Woolsey asked Carter to reassure the others but she refused as it didn't help the situation. Once reaching the outpost and Carter began working on sending a rescue signal, Woolsey told the other representatives to shut up and let her work. Back on Earth he told Landry and SG-1 that the IOA was actually quite pleased with how things were going at the SGC. (SG1: "The Scourge")

Woolsey went to the SGC after Ori Warships invaded through a Supergate, informing Landry that the IOA was considering recalling the Zero Point Module from Atlantis to power the Antarctic outpost. (SG1: "Flesh and Blood") He was part of the IOA group to interview Elizabeth Weir about her decision to work with the Wraith. He later told her that the IOA was still debating what to do and Weir told him that they wouldn't as they didn't want to be responsible for what happened. (SGA: "No Man's Land") He was chosen to go with Weir back to Atlantis to write a detailed report on the situation in the Pegasus galaxy. He spoke with Colonel Steven Caldwell, hinting to Caldwell that he suspected the Colonel wouldn't speak out against Weir until he was sure of the outcome. He had some interviews with various personnel and later he told Weir that he intended to write in his report that Weir had made the decision to stop the Wraith who knew about Atlantis still existing, despite her not being aware at the time, telling her that the IOA didn't want to know details and that her position was safe...for the moment. (SGA: "Misbegotten")

He took part in a test for Vala Mal Doran, telling her that he could ensure she passed her psychological assessment to join the SGC if she would relay information to him and the IOA. Landry later revealed to Vala that it had been a test and she lied and asked Landry if Woolsey's sexual advances were part of the test. Woolsey told Landry that she was lying but Landry glared at Woolsey. (SG1: "Morpheus") When Lanteans returned to Atlantis and took control of the city, Woolsey went with Jack O'Neill to speak with their leader, Captain Helia. He and O'Neill asked that the expedition be allowed to remain but Helia refused. Woolsey remained behind as a representative but later O'Neill returned to help. When the Asurans attacked and killed the Lanteans, Woolsey escaped with O'Neill to a damaged area of the city. (SGA: "The Return, Part 1") When Sheppard's team, Weir and Carson Beckett returned to rescue them, Woolsey and O'Neill were captured and the Asurans entered their minds and discovered what Woolsey knew. John Sheppard and Meredith Rodney McKay tried to rescue them and McKay told them the plan to destroy the shield emitters so Daedalus could destroy the city. The Asurans later entered their minds again and learned what McKay had told him. When the Asurans stopped their plan and activated the shield, Woolsey realized that he had been lied to so when the Asurans entered his mind they would be misdirected. (SGA: "The Return, Part 2")

When Jackson was converted into a Prior, Woolsey was sent by the IOA to tell Landry that they recommended Jackson be terminated as it was too risky to keep him alive. Woolsey said that he had recommended it based on his previous experience with Khalek. Woolsey was convinced to allow Jackson to be put in stasis to confirm the things that he had told them and Woolsey went aboard the Odyssey to inform Jackson of the plan. Jackson overcame the Anti-Prior device and took control of the ship, lifting Woolse up against a wall with his telekinetic abilities to intimidate him. Woolsey was beamed down to the SGC. (SG1: "The Shroud") When the Horizon weapon was to be used against the Asuran fleet, Weir contacted him to try to convince him to call the mission off but he refused. (SGA: "First Strike")

Woolsey came to Atlantis to perform a three month review on Carter's command, stating that he was to be an observer only. He voiced his concern about sending Sheppard's team into a potential trap despite a vision of the future by a man named Davos, which showed them being captured. He advised the IOA that Carter was considering working with the Wraith Todd. When another vision showed Atlantis being destroyed, Woolsey wanted to stop working with Todd as the other vision happened exactly as was shown. Todd's Hive ship arrived in orbit and when another Hive ship arrived and they both began arming weapons, Woolsey ordered Sheppard to open fire on them but Carter belayed his orders, and the two hives instead opened fire and destroyed one another. Woolsey finished his review and as he met with Carter and remarked that he felt awkward about what he had done but said that he was going to keep out of his review how Carter really didn't know what the Hives were going to do. (SGA: "The Seer") When Jeannie Miller was kidnapped, Woolsey asked Agent Malcolm Barrett to help in finding her. (SGA: "Miller's Crossing") After Michael Kenmore had been stopped, the IOA chose to remove Carter from command of Atlantis and install Woolsey. He informed Carter of this when she came back to Earth. (SGA: "Search and Rescue")

Atlantis expedition

He arrived on Atlantis and immediately wanted to go over reports of the last three weeks he spent on the Daedalus. He was against allowing the former hybrids from being released until they were sure they were no longer serving Michael Kenmore and he insisted that Jennifer Keller test out her solution to cure the clone of Carson Beckett. After Keller was found to be infected with a Hive ship pathogen, Woolsey broke the rules by allowing Beckett to remain to help. He later allowed Ronon Dex to try to deliver the cure to Keller even though he was also infected. Keller was cured but Woolsey was disappointed at himself for violating so many rules as he believed they were there for a reason. (SGA: "The Seed")

Woolsey authorized Sheppard's team to go in search of information after Tyre took Ronon. He asked Teyla Emmagan if she intended to rejoin Sheppard's team. After Tyre was found and went through withdrawal from the Wraith enzyme he wanted to help them find Ronon who had been taken by the Wraith and Woolsey was unsure about trusting him. He authorized the mission to go after Ronon and Teyla decided to join in, giving Torren John Emmagan to Woolsey as she went to get geared up, much to Woolsey's surprise. After rescuing Ronon, Teyla came to see Woolsey and officially asked to be reinstating on Sheppard's team. (SGA: "Broken Ties") When Sheppard's team disappeared investigating the Daedalus that arrived in orbit, Major Evan Lorne had Woolsey informed when the ship came back. (SGA: "The Daedalus Variations")

When an entity came to Atlantis and claimed to be Elizabeth Weir, Woolsey didn't want to risk helping it as it could be a trick. Weir created a nanite body and Woolsey had McKay disabled the Nanite creation machine. Niam's group came to the city, wanting bodies as well and took over the city's systems, causing it to begin sinking. Woolsey told Weir to communicate with them that they should sink the city and destroy any chance they have to regain bodies. A deal was made to give them temporary bodies and allow them to work on making human bodies instead. After one of them attempted to escape, Weir said they were too dangerous and got help in tricking the others into going through a Spacegate where they were disabled in the vacuum of space. (SGA: "Ghost in the Machine") After McKay became infected by a Second Childhood parasite and Ronon wanted to take him to the Shrine of Talus, Woolsey didn't believe Ronon's story about the shrine. (SGA: "The Shrine")

He went aboard the Daedalus to meet with Todd who was examining Keller's Gene therapy. He wrote a speech for the occasion but Todd dismissed him, wanting to get to work. When two of Todd's cruisers were destroyed going into hyperspace, Todd blamed them and stunned them. (SGA: "First Contact") Woolsey awoke and Todd threatened to feed on him unless Sheppard gave him the location of the Attero device. He was later freed by Ronon and Keller and they took back control of the ship. (SGA: "The Lost Tribe") When Sheppard's team was taken captive and put on trial for crimes of the Atlantis expedition, Woolsey was introduced to Myrus who told him what was happening and Woolsey made a deal to go with him and take over their defense. He argued that they couldn't be held responsible for the actions of the Wraith and Asurans. When he learned that one of the judges, Kelore, was from Latira, he figured that a deal had been made with the Genii. He approached Kelore and offered for the expedition to take on the military role for the Coalition of Planets instead of the Genii and bribed Kelore into thinking as their advocate he would be rewarded. Woolsey got the team a not-guilty verdict. (SGA: "Inquisition")

Woolsey gave Ronon a Voice recorder to complete his mission reports as Ronon was not doing them. A Jumper arrived on Atlantis and released a stun field that knocked Woolsey and everyone in the control room out. He awoke later to learn that Michael Kenmore had invaded Atlantis. Luckily they were able to take back control and defeat Michael. (SGA: "The Prodigal") With a performance evaluation coming up, Woolsey ran into a new member of the expedition, Dr. Vanessa Conrad who he became attracted to. Shen Xiaoyi arrived and Woolsey took her on a tour then she explained that he was being sent back to Earth for a promotion, much to his dismay. He felt that his work would be left unfinished on Atlantis. Conrad helped him figure out that Shen had been sent for another reason and he surmised she was to replace him after she gave him a less-than-favorable review. After he found that there was no record of Conrad, she came to him and explained she was an AI from a Sekkari Seed carrier and had communicated with him to learn if he would help it reach its destination to restart the Sekkari civilization. Woolsey agreed and when Shen was leaving, she remarked that she was going to give him a favorable review as she would not be used by the IOA either after her last communication with them. He asked Amelia Banks what communication she was talking about but Banks had no idea; Conrad said she had done it as a going away present for Woolsey. (SGA: "Remnants")

Todd's Hive ship arrived in orbit with the crew in stasis after Keller's Gene therapy giving them a virulent disease and Woolsey relayed that the IOA wanted all the information on it to see if it was still viable for use. After the ship broke in half and crashed into the ocean, Woolsey was convinced by Sheppard to let Todd go to attempt to cure himself as he would either die in the process or would owe them. (SGA: "Infection") After Zelenka was found stabbed, Woolsey had Sheppard run an investigation. When Keller attempted to steal a Jumper and pulled a gun on McKay, they confronted her and she revealed she was a woman named Neeva Casol and had switched after using a device. Woolsey had Sheppard's team and Beckett take her to find her body. (SGA: "Identity")

Todd contacted Atlantis to inform them that one of his underlings who he tasked with integrating a Zero Point Module to a Hive ship has turned against him. Woolsey met with him to ask if this underling knew of Atlantis' location and Todd confirmed he did but Woolsey wouldn't believe him but couldn't take the risk anyway. Sheppard's team went aboard the Daedalus to find the Hive and were almost destroyed before the Hive suddenly left. They learned it was had received the location of Earth and had began heading there. Atlantis was to leave to help defend Earth and before leaving Pegasus, Woolsey asked Teyla and Ronon if they wanted to leave as Earth was not their fight but they wanted to remain. Atlantis' Star Drive failed so they dialed Earth only to reach the Hive that had taken a Stargate aboard. Sheppard's team and Lorne went through and Zelenka told Woolsey about the Wormhole drive which might be able to get them to Earth in an instant. Arriving at Earth, they engaged the Hive and its weapons fire pushed Atlantis into a lower orbit. Beckett told Woolsey there was only enough power to readjust their orbit or keep firing and Woolsey chose to keep firing. The Hive was destroyed but Atlantis was forced to land on Earth. Woolsey joined others on balcony to overlook the Golden Gate Bridge. (SGA: "Enemy at the Gate")


Woolesy took part in negotiations at Homeworld Command with the Langarans. He met with Ambassador Ovirda and tried to negotiate for using Langara to dial the Ninth Chevron to Destiny. Woolsey brought McKay in to explain but Ovirda refused to listen, stating it was too dangerous. Meeting with Everett Young and Colonel David Telford, Woolsey was against a plan to infiltrate Langara and dial the Ninth Chevron to prove it could be done, despite the evidence that the Lucian Alliance may be trying to form an alliance with the Langarans. Despite his objection, he took part in the plan, taking two Communication stones which allowed Young and Matthew Scott to swap bodies with Administrator Halperin and a Captain. Woolsey searched Halperin's office and found evidence that the Langarans had been refusing an alliance with the Lucian Alliance. Woolsey wanted to dial back to Earth but the plan continued until Ovirda arrived and Young was convinced to stand down. (SGU: "Seizure") Woolsey continued to try to negotiate with the Langarans to use the planet to dial Destiny but made no progress. (SGU: "Gauntlet")

Alternate Realities

  • In an alternate reality, Woolsey came back to Earth to help deal with a Wraith on the planet. He met with Detective John Sheppard who had been tracking a serial killer who was the Wraith. He later collected Sheppard and took him to Area 51. When Sheppard found the location of the Wraith, Woolsey ordered an attack. (SGA: "Vegas")

Alternate Timelines