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Name: Parrish
Occupation: botanist
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
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Dr. Parrish is a Stargate Atlantis character who is remarkable for how many appearances he's made in fanfiction compared to his time onscreen. The large number of fanworks (co)starring Parrish compared to the short time he spent on-screen make Parrish a fairly typical example of an unexpectedly popular one-shot character.

Parrish is played by actor Jonathon Young.

The Character in Canon

Parrish appears very briefly in two episodes: the season two episode Runner, the episode that introduced Ronon Dex. He is identified as a Botanist, and is conducting some kind of science mission with Evan Lorne. Parrish appeared again very briefly in the season five episode Remnants, where he is excited about an alien begonia.

His first name is never given in canon, but fanon is near-unanimous in the choice of David.[1]

The Character in Fanon

The character of Parrish is the ultimate blank slate. He was onscreen so briefly in Runner that beyond his enthusiasm for Botany and a slightly tetchy response from Lorne, fans could give him any background and personality they liked. His character can fill a niche for a fanwriter that is usually relegated to OCs, without the negative connotations an OC can have in fanfic.

Some fans have said that his performance, as brief as it was, was coded as gay. Since SGA has never had a canon gay character, he is the closest fans could get to an out gay man on Atlantis. This interpretation is controversial because it can call into play stereotypes about gay men when fans interpret the actor's mannerisms and voice as a sign of the character being gay.

Many fans simply wanted to have a second gate team to play with in their fanfic, and since Parrish was the only scientist seen in canon with Lorne, he became the scientist on Lorne's team. The slash pairing of Lorne/Parrish then seemed inevitable as a mirror of the ubiquitous Sheppard/McKay.

Parrish is most often characterized as from the US, openly gay, and while happy in his job in the Botany department on Atlantis, not very suited to off-world danger. This is a marked contrast to the usual male character in canon who is either a traditionally masculine member of the military or an intellectual powerhouse hard scientist. He is often shown as a close friend and confidant of Katie Brown.

A fan in 2011 wrote:
Dr. David Parrish holds a PhD in Botany. He is canonically very enthusiastic about plantlife. He is often assumed to have arrived on Atlantis after it reconnected with Earth, but there are a few fics where he's been there from the beginning. David is a fanon name so he will occasionally be called something else. On what is widely seen as his first mission, he found a dead Wraith and was dragged away by Lorne. And based on those few seconds, the internet extrapolated hot sexing. Good for the internet! [2]

Parrish Pairings in Fanon

Parrish is primarily and frequently paired with Evan Lorne, and the Lorne/Parrish pairing draws on the brief slightly antagonistic scene in Runner as viewed through slash goggles.

The second most common pairing for Parrish at Crossroads and on the AO3 for Parrish is Sheppard/Parrish, for which around a dozen stories exist.[3][4]

A very few Parrish/Brown and other extremely rarepair stories featuring Parrish exist.

Some Parrish Fiction

External Sources


  1. ^ Perimeter by casspeach, a Lorne/Parrish story, was posted less than a month after Runner first aired and gives Parrish the first name David. (Accessed April 6, 2011)
  2. ^ from untitled post by ungratefulwench] (January 26, 2011)
  3. ^ Stories tagged Sheppard/Parrish at Crossroads
  4. ^ Fanworks tagged Sheppard/Parrish on the AO3