Alternate Timelines

From StargateWiki
Revision as of 15:20, 5 September 2007 by DeeKayP (talk | contribs) (Actors)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Time Travel and Alternate Timelines

Summary

Stargate SG-1 has presented two major timeline theories over the run of the show: (1) alternate realities, and (2) alternate timelines. Alternate Realities are presented when various versions of SG-1 live in parallel universes, some almost identical; others, so extremely different so as to be unrecognizable. Alternate Timelines are presented when it appears that the timeline in which "our" SG-1 is modified by a time traveling event.

This article presents Alternate Timelines in which SG-1's timeline appears to be changed due to one or more time traveling event.

Methods of Time Travel

According to Albert Einstein, "The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." His theories in special relativity, as well as those of the mathematician Hendrick A. Lorentz, propose that time and space are somehow bound together in a four-dimensional space-time continuum. Einstein's general relativity theories propose that velocity and gravity warp space-time in ways that cause time to be relative to the observer measuring it. Through special and general relativity, travel to the future is more easily accomplished than that to the past, but because Stargate SG-1 is science fiction, traveling to either the past or the future is possible.

Physicists have proposed various theories on how time travel could be made possible in our reality, but in the Stargate SG-1 universe, it is already proven as fact.

Wormholes and Solar Flares

The idea of using wormholes as time machines has been explored by Kip Thorne, in his book Black Holes and Time Warps. Various problems exist in maintaining a wormhole long enough to be used to travel through, but since this is the Stargate SG-1 universe and stable wormholes are a given, then traveling through a wormhole in order to travel through time is no problem at all. In the near-instantaneous nature of stargate travel, SG-1 basically covers a large distance in a relatively short period of time, whereas light would take a while to travel that same distance.

Interference with the formation of the wormhole through the magnetic discharge of solar flares is one way in which Stargate SG-1 proposes that SG-1 could travel through time. In the episodes, 2.21 "1969" and 4.16 "2010", the wormhole is bent by solar flares. Depending on which side of the sun the wormhole is formed, the traveler is either transported to the past or to the future.

The computations done normally by the Dial Home Device (DHD) to compensate for stellar drift had to be accounted for by Carter in her dialing computer software. These computations also had to account for how close the wormhole formed to the sun. Carter had done research into other uses of the stargate technology, including time travel. In her research, she investigated the impact solar flares would have on a wormhole and proposed that these flares, if predicted, could make time travel via the stargate possible. A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released. This magnetic energy along with Earth's gravitational field, according to Carter, would bend the wormhole and cause it to return to Earth. Basically, they wouldn't travel through space as much as they would time in the space-time continuum.

The exact time of the occurrence of a solar flare is not predictable because of the amount of time it takes light to travel to Earth from the sun. In the episode, 2.21 "1969", General Hammond used Carter's research to record the times of the solar flares which we observed in the year 1969, so Carter didn't have to predict those. The manner in which Cassandra sent them back to the present when they overshot their return and were flung into the future was not identified in the episode, but it could be assumed that by the time Cassandra was an elderly woman, solar flares were predictable. It could also be assumed that another form of wormhole manipulation was performed by Cassandra's use of advanced technology to get them back to their time.

Time Machines

Technology was the means of time travel in the other time travel episodes of Stargate SG-1. Both the technologies used were created by the Ancients, a race of humans who lived millions of years before humans on Earth. As a matter of fact, in the Stargate SG-1 universe, the Ancients were the ones who seeded the Milky Way Galaxy with our present life forms after a plague swept the galaxy millions of years ago (8.18 "Threads").

One such time machine was developed by the Ancients who lived on the planet designated P4X-639. They took advantage of the geomagnetic disturbance which occurred every fifty or so years to power the device. Unfortunately, the machine only generated a short-term continuous loop. The creators of the machine attempted to fix it, but were unsuccessful. They shut down the machine, recorded their failure on the walls surrounding the device, and let the end come. Daniel translated the text and determined how to shut down the machine which had been activated by an alien archaeologist named Malikai. Malikai did not have the same translating skills as Daniel and didn't realize that the machine would never work in the way he intended—to go back in time over twelve years to see his dead wife alive once more. The machine was never able to send the traveler back further than ten hours, and as long as the machine was operational, the traveler looped in time for those ten hours. (4.06 "Window Of Opportunity")

The second time machine built by the Ancients was in the form of a small space craft with a time machine built in. This small craft is able to fly through the wormhole of a stargate, and thus, it was nicknamed a "puddle jumper" by Major John Sheppard (because the event horizon of a stargate's wormhole looks like a puddle of water) when he discovered a bay full of them on Atlantis. The term "jumper" was also used by Carter (8.19 "Moebius Part 1"). (In real life, there is an ultra-light aircraft named "puddle jumper".) This time machine generated a field of some kind around the spacecraft rather than using the wormhole to travel through time.

The timeship discovered by SG-1 on Harry Maybourne's planet could only make jumps of at least a few hundred years or more at a time, so a traveler, for example, couldn't travel to 1912 from 2005 (8.13 "It's Good To Be King", 8.19 "Moebius Part 1"). The technology of the two timeships presented in the Stargate universe are so nearly identical that it is possible that they were both built by the same Ancient, Janus, who was introduced in the Stargate Atlantis episode, 1.15 "Before I Sleep". Janus' machine was used to travel back in time 10,000 years in the Pegasus Galaxy and was destroyed in the past in a crash. Janus, however, was one of the Ancients who returned to Earth 10,000 years ago and he could have built a second machine which was found in Harry's planet in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Time Dilation Fields

Not quite a time machine, the Asgard's time dilation technology has been used to slow down time, to advance the speed of time, or to reverse time in a localized field, which means that the time is only altered within that field and not throughout the entire universe. For example, the Asgard created a limited-range time dilation field around the planet Hala in order to keep the Replicators isolated until a solution to the problem could be found. They slowed down the progression of time such that one year to the Replicators would be about ten thousand years outside the field. The Replicators managed to turn the device in the other direction and advance their evolution into human form. They later used the time dilation device to escape the effects of a black hole that resulted when the Asgard purposefully destroyed Hala's sun. The same type of time dilation device was about to be used to send a Mark IX Gatebuster bomb into the Kallana Singularity in order to close multiple inter-universal bridges (between alternate realities) when wormholes passed through it, but a way was discovered to reverse these bridges and close them off individually. (6.12 "Unnatural Selection", 8.01 "New Order Part 1", 9.13 "Ripple Effect")

After the Asgard gave the SGC their entire legacy of knowledge and technology, the ability to create a time dilation field (or "bubble") was given to the starship Odyssey. Carter activated this field in order to buy some time to figure a way to save the Legacy and to avoid destruction by an Ori warship's energy beam. Approximately fifty years passed inside the field, but a mere 0.86 seconds were all that stood between the ship and the Ori's destructive beam outside the field. During those fifty years, Carter used the Asgard's knowledge base (the Asgard Core) and eventually configured a field in which time was reversed. In order to not repeat the events that caused them to go into the time dilation field in the first place, Teal'c volunteered to isolate himself outside of the time reversal so that he could give Carter the program contained on a crystal to save the ship. (10.20 "Unending")

Time reversal and traveling back in time are not quite the same thing. Those inside the reversal are not aware of the "alternate timeline" they experienced while Teal'c is. Their time in the field is a version of an alternate timeline for their own futures, but not for Teal'c, who has aged those fifty years and remembers the events inside the field. (10.20 "Unending")

Terminology of Time Travel

Parallel Universes (Alternate Realities): In the Stargate SG-1 universe, the concept of parallel universes or alternate realities was established before any of the time traveling episodes were shown. The first episode which introduced alternate realities was 1.20 "There But For The Grace Of God", in which Daniel Jackson crosses over into a parallel universe via a "Quantum Mirror". The theory states that for every decision, a new universe is created so as to satisfy each possible outcome. The number of universes, therefore, cannot be calculated and is nearly infinite.

Causality and Temporal Causality Loop: The basic idea of causality is that a cause must always come before its effect. In relation to time travel, there is the possibility that the traveler might be involved in a temporal causality loop where the actual act of going back in time is what causes an event to happen and that resulting event is what causes the time traveler to go back in time (Event A causes Event B causes Event A). One of the most popular illustrations of a temporal causality loop was that presented in the movie Terminator in which John Connor sends back Kyle Reese to save Connor's mother, Sarah, from the terminator (a biomechanical android) who went back in time to prevent his birth. While in the past, Kyle and Sarah conceive John. The Event A in this illustration is John's sending Kyle back in time. The Event B is John's conception and birth with Kyle as his father. The fact that John exists, then, is what leads to the time traveling scenario, and, thus, Event B, John's birth, causes Event A, the need to go back in time to allow John to be born because his father is the time traveler Kyle.

Paradox: The temporal causality loop is an illustration of a paradox. Another popular paradox among time traveling examples is the grandfather paradox in which a time traveler goes back in time before his grandfather meets his grandmother and then kills him. If the time traveler's grandfather is dead, then he cannot meet his grandmother, and therefore, he is never born. So, if the time traveler is never born, then he cannot go back in time to kill his grandfather which would then lead to his birth.

Moebius: A moebius strip is a physical representation of the infinity symbol used in math (looks like an 8 on its side). In time traveling terms, a moebius is a temporal causality loop in which all the events are locked together to form an infinite loop in which time travel is necessary in order to establish events which make time travel necessary. The only way to break out of the loop would be to stop the need to travel back in time.

Because parallel universes have been established by Stargate SG-1 to exist in the SG-1 universe, the viewer is left with a way to deal with these time traveling events which otherwise might cause a paradox. Instead of there being one timeline which is always changing because of a loop, there are different realities in which various scenarios and conditions are met which would prevent a paradox. Therefore, the history in one reality is different from the history in another from the moment the time traveling event impacted the timeline. That leaves us with a version of SG-1 which have come out of all loops, prevented catastrophes, or experienced all necessary events which make their existence optimistic.

2.21 "1969"

Lt. George Hammond in 1969
Catherine Langford in 1969
Cassandra of the future

We are given the perspective of SG-1 as they are flung into the past when the wormhole is bent by a solar flare. When they go through the wormhole from the SGC, they emerge momentarily existing in two times, and then the wormhole disengages and the embarkation room reverts to a missile silo. A missile's rockets are about to be test fired, but Teal'c disables the rocket's electrical systems with a blast from a zat gun.

The team is confined and their belongings are confiscated. They are interrogated, assumed to be Soviet spies.

One man, however, finds a note given to Carter by General Hammond before they leave. He opens it to find that it is in his own handwriting and is addressed to him personally. "Help them." Lt. Hammond is amazed, but is finally convinced that SG-1 are actually from the future and that he had written the note to himself so that they could get back home.

While Jack and Teal'c investigate the date and times written on the note, theorizing that they must be solar flare events, Carter and Daniel disguise themselves and visit Catherine Langford. She welcomes them into her home, thinking that Daniel is the son of one of her father's contemporaries, and tells them where the stargate is located. Daniel had revealed earlier that it was soon afterwards that Catherine revitalized the stargate research.

SG-1 finds the stargate and dials it close to the time of the second solar flare listed on the note. They are under fire by security personnel, but manage to enter the wormhole which flings them into the future (the wormhole is on the opposite side of the sun to the one which sent them into the past). When they exit the wormhole, they are in the SGC, but too far into the future. They are met by an elderly Cassandra Fraiser, who uses advanced technology to engage the wormhole and send them back to their time. Cassandra said that Carter told her that they would be flung into the future and would need help getting back, so Cassandra knew where and when she had to meet them. She sends them back to their time through the stargate and SG-1 returns home with many questions which General Hammond happily answers.

Return to top

4.06 "Window Of Opportunity"

Alien Archaeologist Malikai
Malikai's Wife
Daniel and Malikai share interests

The Ancients on P4X-639 designed a time machine which took advantage of the geomagnetic storm which occurred about every fifty years. Their intentions were to go back in time to prevent a plague which swept through the galaxy millions of years ago (the plague is referenced also in 6.04 "Frozen", 6.22 "Full Circle", and 8.18 "Threads"). Their design failed and they gave up and wrote of their experiment on the walls surrounding the console. The planet was found by an alien archaeologist named Malikai who discovered the machine and attempted to use it to go back in time twelve years so that he might see his deceased wife one more time. He was obsessed with this endeavor.

SG-15 had first been to P4X-639 and recorded their observations of the solar activity. Carter was interested in setting up an observatory to gather data from the massive solar eruption which was building up. While SG-1 was on the planet, Daniel befriended Malikai and they shared their common interest in the ruins. Daniel took rubbings of the inscriptions on the wall while Malikai studied the console. They discussed their translations and it became evident that Daniel had more experience in translating Ancient text and he was refining his translations much more accurately than Malikai. If Malikai had been able to translate the writings as Daniel did, he would have known that the machine did not work. Instead, he most likely had concentrated solely on the writings on the console panels which controlled the machine.

Time machine console
Malikai attacks Daniel
Jack, Teal'c, and Malikai get caught in energy blast

As the solar event began to build up, Malikai tried to get rid of SG-1 so that he could operate the machine secretly. He tried to get Daniel to leave the machine's area, but Daniel said that Carter would let them know when they should leave. Malikai grew impatient and he fired an energy weapon at Daniel. Daniel collapsed and Malikai hid his body behind one of the pillars as the machine began its power build up. The team called out to Daniel and he did not respond, so they went looking for him. Carter discovered his body and began to examine him just as the machine activated, enveloping Malikai, Jack, and Teal'c in a bright energy blast. The next thing Jack knew, he was sitting in the SGC mess hall eating his cereal just as Daniel was asking him a question. Teal'c experienced a door being opened in his face by an unsuspecting airman.

Jack at the start of the loop
Teal'c at the start of the loop
The worlds enclosed in the loop

Jack and Teal'c were the only ones who were aware of the time loop on Earth. The machine had dialed fourteen worlds and enclosed them inside the same time loop. They were in a bubble, cut off from the normal passage of time in the rest of the universe.

The machine never worked the way it was intended. Somehow, those persons exposed to the energy discharged at the console were transported back into their bodies wherever they were ten hours into the past. This was how Jack and Teal'c were aware of the loop and the others were not. What exactly happened to their bodies at the time the loop was activated is anyone's guess.

Eventually, Jack and Teal'c learned how to convince the others that they were in a loop. During each loop, Jack and Teal'c helped Daniel translate the writings on the wall. According to Daniel, these inscriptions were equivalent to over 400 pages of alien text. It was up to Jack and Teal'c to remember the translation from one loop to the next so that they could eventually translate the entire inscription. Once they were finished with the translation, they discovered the history of the machine and that it did not work, and they learned how to shut it down.

General Hammond sent SG-1 back to the planet to stop the loop. They encountered Malikai and Daniel told him that the machine never did work. Malikai responded, "It never did? You're living proof." Whether or not he was speaking directly to Daniel and implying that Daniel had been killed by the energy weapon Malikai used on him is not certain. Malikai might have meant that SG-1 was living proof that the machine worked because they were talking about the very time loop produced by the machine. Malikai was convinced that he merely had to find the right settings, but the writings Daniel translated spoke against that assumption. Jack finally convinced Malikai to deactivate the machine which was building up once again, and thus, the time loop was broken.

The amount of time which passed outside the bubble was not specified other than being at least three months. This was how long the Tok'ra had been attempting to contact the SGC. According to Carter, there was no telling how long it was before the Tok'ra realized they were first cut off. Changes in the timeline include: Daniel is alive at the end of the loop whereas he was most likely dead before the loop began; Jack has improved his pot throwing and golf skills, as well as developed a dislike for fruit loop cereal; Teal'c has demonstrated that he does have an end to his patience; the SGC has gained more information about the Ancients' language and history in a "relatively" short period of time.

Return to top

4.16 "2010" and 5.10 "2001"

Dr. Samantha Carter Faxon
Ambassador Joe Faxon
Dr. Janet Fraiser

In the future, in the year 2010, Samantha Carter is the wife of Ambassador Joe Faxon and they are attempting to conceive a child, but have failed. Carter has barely aged, thanks to the medical technology of the advanced race, the Aschen, with whom Earth has joined into a confederation. The Aschen helped Earth defeat the Goa'uld and wipe out disease. The stargate is public knowledge and people travel freely to other worlds within the confederation, including Teal'c's homeworld of Chulak. SG-1 is recognized for their contributions in establishing the alliance, but Jack O'Neill refuses to take part in the celebrations because he was the lone voice of dissension concerning the trustworthiness of the Aschen.

Soon, Carter and Dr. Janet Fraiser (who is still alive in this version of the future because the events of the episode, 7.18 "Heroes Part 2", did not happen since the Aschen wiped out the Goa'uld) determine the reasons for Carter's inability to conceive. She is infertile, a condition hidden from her by her Aschen physician. Suspicions arise and soon they discover that the Aschen's medicines have rendered an over 90% drop in the world's birthrate and Earth's population will be wiped out within the next hundred or so years. The Aschen conquer the worlds of their "confederation" by patiently waiting for the population to die to free up the resources, mainly the land, for their own version of galactic domination.

Dr. Daniel Jackson
Teal'c
Jack O'Neill, USAF retired

Daniel, Janet, Teal'c, and Carter decide that they need to do something about this situation, feeling somewhat responsible for it. They devise a plan, based on their experience with time travel and a sun flare's influence of a wormhole (from 2.21 "1969"). The plan is to send a note back in time to before they meet the Aschen (in the year 2001) and prevent the SGC from ever making contact with them. After Carter visits Jack at his cabin, Jack decides to get involved with the plan.

Daniel and Jack write notes to send back. The note is a warning not to go to the Aschen homeworld (P4C-970) under any circumstances. In their plan, they would forcibly take control of the stargate and establish a wormhole at the same time a solar flare occurs, predicted by the advanced computer system of the Aschen to which Carter has access through her work. First Teal'c and his Jaffa friend fall, then Jack, then Daniel. The automatic laser defense system surrounding the stargate kills each one with brutal precision. Finally, Carter leaves her husband's side, grabs the blood-stained note from Jack's hand, and throws it through the wormhole just as she dies.

Carter sends note
SG-1 receives note
Aschen homeworld is locked out

In the year 2001 (5.10 "2001"), SG-1's IDC is transmitted through an incoming wormhole, but all of SG-1 are present. They open the iris anyway, and out comes the note. General Hammond immediately has the planet's designation locked out of the dialing program. SG-1 meets the Aschen on the Volian homeworld and based on the fact that the Aschen do not have a DHD, the SGC knows that the Aschen can only dial to planets close to their own because they cannot compensate for stellar drift (1.02 "Children Of The Gods Part 2"). With that information in mind and the desire to determine the Aschen homeworld's identity (because the Aschen refused to divulge it), the SGC discovers that P4C-970 is one of four likely planets. Even though their suspicions are valid, the President of the United States told them to stop their investigation so that diplomatic relations could be established with this very advanced race. Daniel and Teal'c, however, do their own investigation and uncover the identity of the Aschen and their goal to wipe out the population of any planet in their confederation. Earth is spared from the Aschen.

Return to top

8.13 "It's Good To Be King" and Stargate Atlantis: 1.15 "Before I Sleep"

Atlantis floods
Timeship discovered on Atlantis
Dr. Weir among ZPMs 10,000 years ago

In the Stargate Atlantis episode, 1.15 "Before I Sleep", we learn that originally, the city-ship Atlantis flooded when the Atlantis Expedition Team entered it because they drained the power which was holding up the shields protecting the city against the water in which Atlantis was submerged. All members of the team drowned, except for Dr. Elizabeth Weir, Dr. Radek Zelenka, and Maj. John Sheppard. In their effort to find an escape, they discovered a bay full of small spacecraft. Maj. Sheppard was the only one who could pilot the spacecraft because he had the Ancients' gene. They flew into orbit and accidently activated the time machine incorporated into this unique craft's systems. The timeship sent them back 10,000 years and then crashed into the ocean. Dr. Weir was the only one to survive.

Dr. Weir told the Atlanteans about the Expedition and one of the Ancients, Janus, told her that he was the one who built the timeship. The Ancients had submerged the city in order to preserve it from their enemies who had laid siege on the city for several years. After submerging the city, the Ancients escaped through the stargate back to Earth. Janus and Dr. Weir worked out a failsafe so that when the Expedition came to Atlantis 10,000 years in the future, the city's computer systems would detect their arrival and raise the city from the water. The only problem with this scenario was that Dr. Weir had to stay behind to distribute the power over the 10,000 years by rotating three Zero Point Modules (ZPMs) manually. Her stasis chamber was programmed so that she'd awaken to rotate the ZPMs and one last time when the Expedition Team arrived 10,000 years in the future.

Alternate Dr. Weir
Janus, builder of the timeship
Atlantis floating

The plan worked and when the Atlantis Expedition Team arrived, the city-ship rose from the depths of the ocean when the city's computers detected their arrival. They discovered the alternate Dr. Weir in her stasis chamber and revived her. She lived long enough to give them an explanation of her presence and a list of five stargate addresses to Ancient outposts where they might find ZPMs to reconnect them with Earth. This altered timeline is the one which is currently the one being presented in the Stargate universe.

Janus and the other Ancients living on Atlantis left Dr. Weir alone for her 10,000 year slumber. He returned to Earth and the Milky Way Galaxy and, apparently, he built another timeship (the time machine's design was identical to the one found in the Pegasus Galaxy). This timeship was discovered by SG-1 on a planet to which Harry Maybourne had been taken by the Tok'ra after the events of the episode, 6.16 "Paradise Lost". An unidentified Ancient time traveler used the timeship to observe the history of the planet. Relative to SG-1's present, the traveler had gone into the future and observed various events, such as an earthquake and the return of the Goa'uld, and then gone back into the past approximately 200 years ago. The traveler inscribed his/her observations near the ruins of an old temple. When SG-1 went to Harry's planet, they were there to help him evacuate because the Goa'uld Ares was on his way to reclaim his territory and find a safe haven against the aggressions of the Goa'uld System Lord Ba'al.

Harry had used the predictions of the future to his benefit and had become the society's king. As their ruler, he tried to convince them to evacuate, but they had believed that the prediction he made of their success in driving away the Goa'uld with the help of off-worlders was a guarantee that they would be victorious and they refused to leave.

Daniel translates time traveler's inscriptions
SG-1 discovers timeship
Jack battles Ares with timeship

When Harry showed the predictions to Daniel, Daniel translated the Ancient text and found reference to a timeship. They searched the area and Teal'c found the craft in the overgrown vegetation. Jack joined the team on the planet because he had the Ancients' gene and was able to interact with the timeship's technology. Carter disconnected the time machine from the ship's systems, and when Ares arrived, Jack flew the timeship into orbit and engaged the ha'tak in battle. The Ancient energy weapons breached the ha'tak's shields and struck the ha'tak in vital areas. The ha'tak was destroyed and Harry's planet was saved—just as was predicted in the time traveler's inscriptions.

SG-1 took the timeship back with them to Earth and it was studied at Area 51, but the engineers there were not able to get it to work. However, Jack had demonstrated that he had complete control of the technology and they discovered that he could operate the timeship with great ease. They decided to use the timeship to go back in time to 3000 B.C. to retrieve a ZPM which was needed to power the stargate to make a connection with the Pegasus Galaxy where the Atlantis Expedition Team was stranded (see the next section on 8.19 "Moebius Part 1" and 8.20 "Moebius Part 2" for details on how that time traveling event created alternate timelines).

Return to top

8.19 "Moebius Part 1" and 8.20 "Moebius Part 2"

Daniel finds reference to a ZPM in 3000 B.C.
SG-1 uses the Ancient time machine
SG-1 gets stuck in Egypt in 3000 B.C.

At the start of the episode, 8.19 "Moebius Part 1", Catherine Langford has died and Daniel inherits her collection. He finds reference to a Zero Point Module (ZPM) in a book which describes the worship rituals of the ancient Egyptians in 3000 B.C. Knowing that Ra was still on Earth in 3000 B.C., the team uses an Ancient timeship (discovered in the episode, 8.13 "It's Good To Be King") to go back in time 5000 years to retrieve the ZPM, hoping to power up Earth's defenses in the Antarctic as well as establish a stable wormhole to the Pegasus Galaxy where the Atlantis Expedition Team is stranded. They find the ZPM in one of Ra's treasure rooms and head back to their cloaked timeship. While they were gone, a sandstorm blew sand over the timeship, making its form visible to Ra's Jaffa patrol. Fearing that they would alter the timeline too much, Carter advises that they "do nothing", thus stranding them in 3000 B.C. They decide to place the ZPM in a First Dynasty Tomb, which Daniel knew had been uncovered a month before their trip back in time, along with a video explaining that they might have messed up the timeline. They placed the ZPM into the tomb so their future selves will discover it and never decide to go back in time to retrieve it. They recorded the video so that whoever discovered it might know what the timeline was supposed to be and learn how to operate the stargate.

Alternate Daniel Jackson
Alternate Samantha Carter
Alternate Jack O'Neill

We then return to present day to see that the future has indeed been altered. The stargate was taken by Ra in his spaceship rather than being buried by the Egyptians in a rebellion and, therefore, there is no Stargate Program. Other than that, the same people exist, but they live very different lives because the stargate never influenced them. Daniel is still a Ph.D. who was shunned from the archaeological community because of his theories concerning the pyramids, and has become a teacher of English as a second language. Carter is still a Ph.D. in astrophysics, but she never joined the Air Force, but instead she reviews other people's papers for scientific accuracy in the Department of Aerospace Research. Jack O'Neill is a retired Air Force colonel, who has no ambition other than running a touring/fishing boat. Teal'c is assumed to be living on Chulak as the Goa'uld System Lord Apophis' First Prime.

Alternate Brig. Gen. George Hammond
Alternate Maj. Paul Davis
Alternate Maj. Samuels

Brig. Gen. George Hammond sends Air Force personnel, led by Maj. Paul Davis (sporting a mustache) and Maj. Samuels, to retrieve Daniel, Carter, and Jack. Daniel and Carter respond, but Jack refuses. Hammond shows the tape to them and immediately they go to work in carrying out the mission to fix the timeline. They meet with an alternate version of Dr. Rodney McKay who leads the investigation of the timeship left in Egypt from 3000 B.C. Daniel translates a tablet found by Dr. Langford in 1934 (rather than 1928) at the same site where the stargate had been before the timeline had been altered. This tablet, it appears, was chiseled by the time traveling Daniel Jackson, who told them where they would find the second stargate in Antarctica. Using seismic readings as a guide, Carter and Daniel help the Air Force uncover the stargate, thus establishing a Stargate Program. General Hammond, however, makes it clear that Daniel and Carter will not be part of the Program.

Alternate Dr. Rodney McKay
Alternate Maj. Charles Kawalsky
Alternate Goa'uld System Lord Apophis

This story is then continued in the episode, 8.20 "Moebius Part 2". Jack O'Neill has changed his mind and decides to get involved with the mission. He joins up again with his old service buddy, Maj. Charles Kawalsky (who is still alive in this timeline because there was no Stargate Program and he did not get killed as in the episode, 1.03 "The Enemy Within"). Jack persuades Gen. Hammond to allow Daniel and Carter to go with them on the mission to Chulak to retrieve Teal'c. They use the DHD on the timeship's dashboard and fly the craft through the stargate to Chulak. There, they are taken captive and Apophis tortures Daniel with the ribbon device, not believing that they are from the Tau'ri. Daniel stubbornly resists the torture, so Apophis implants a Goa'uld symbiote in him to obtain the necessary information and sends Daniel back to his team as a spy. Teal'c is impressed with Daniel's strength and courage and decides to see the tape on which Teal'c describes the newly-formed Jaffa Nation. Teal'c decides to help, but is forced to kill Daniel. There is a firefight and only Jack, Carter, and Teal'c remain to go to Egypt of 5000 years ago.

Alternate Teal'c
Daniel in ancient Egypt
Egyptians succeed in rebellion

Upon their arrival in the year 2995 B.C., they meet the time traveling Daniel, the only survivor of the original team. Jack, Carter, and Teal'c were executed for attempting to start the uprising to bury the stargate, a plan which was doomed to failure because they lacked the necessary numbers. Daniel was angry at his teammates for their actions, leaving him alone to fix the problem. When the alternate Jack, Carter, and Teal'c arrive, he realizes that the future had been impacted significantly. However, he had already started planning the rebellion once again and the alternates had come before Ra had left with the stargate, so there was still a chance that they could change events to correct the timeline.

Teal'c aids Daniel in the strategy of the rebellion, while Jack and Carter work on the cloaking device on the timeship. Each is successful and Ra's forces are overtaken and the Egyptians gain control of the stargate. The rebellion was a success, but the timeship was damaged. We're left thinking that the "original" Daniel and his alternate teammates are destined to live out the rest of their lives in the past.

The time travelers' tape
The uncovered ZPM
Fishing at Jack's cabin

Next, we're back in our own time and see that SG-1 has the ZPM and the tape from the First Dynasty Tomb. Comparing their events in history to the ones cited on the tape, they decide that there is no need to go back in time to fix the timeline. Then, they all go fishing at Jack's cabin, just as they had in the final scene in the episode, 8.18 "Threads". We are led to believe that the tomb with the ZPM and tape were discovered between Daniel's return from his second ascension and the team fishing trip to Jack's cabin, where Jack said there were no fish in his pond to catch. The First Dynasty Tomb had been uncovered one month prior to the start of the events of "Moebius Part 1", so the assumption is that we have backed up a few weeks before Catherine Langford dies and the time traveling mission was undertaken. The timeline has been fixed, except, now Jack's pond has fish (which is a private joke to Jack and shouldn't be taken seriously).

Return to top

10.20 "Unending"

Time dilation device activated to avoid destruction by an Ori energy beam
SG-1 and Landry share meal as the only people inside the bubble
Aged General Landry
Aged Mitchell, Vala, Daniel
Aged Mitchell and Carter
Aged Teal'c outside time reversal

The Asgard invited General Landry, SG-1, and the crew of the Odyssey to their homeworld Orilla in another galaxy to receive the gift of all of their knowledge and technology before they destroyed themselves to avoid painful deaths due to their cloning problem. They didn't wish for anyone else to have access to this knowledge and technology, so they utterly destroyed Orilla after they installed their Computer Core on the ship and integrated new energy weapons capable of penetrating Ori warships' shields and destroying them. With the upgrade to their hyperdrive systems, however, every time the Odyssey dropped out of hyperspace within the Milky Way, Ori warships attacked them by using the energy emissions given off by the Asgard Core to track their movements. Right as an Ori energy beam was about to hit and destroy the ship, Carter activated a time dilation field around the ship and some of the surrounding space. She configured the field to advance several years while only fractions of a second elapsed outside the field.

At first, Carter wished to take the ship out of phase in order to avoid the energy beam, but found that she couldn't design Merlin's phase shifting technology from scratch. Every scenario she ran all came back with insufficient time to deactivate the time dilation field and activate the escape plan (such as disconnecting the Asgard Core from the hyperdrive systems). Even using the F-302s or beaming technology were not feasible options.

As weeks turned into months, it became apparent that a solution was not soon forthcoming. Each of the six people trapped in the bubble tried to adjust to this uncertain destiny, some better than others.

General Landry supported Carter in all of her proposals, giving her encouragement to take all of the time she needed to come up with a solution. He wanted to save the Asgard Legacy, as well as preserve the lives of his crew. He dismissed any ideas that meant the destruction of either. He grew and nurtured plants as a way to pass his time, but he also stood and kept a silent vigil on the Ori energy beam that was creeping ever so slowly toward them. After about twenty years, Landry died. Carter was at his bedside when he passed away and up to the very last moments of his life, he encouraged her not to give up in finding a solution.

Carter spent most of her duty hours with the Asgard Core, learning about the technology left by the Asgard. She used her laptop interfaced with the Core to devise theories on how to escape from the energy beam once they deactivated the time bubble. Sometimes she interacted with an Asgard avatar, but after hearing the avatar telling her that what she was thinking wasn't possible too many times, she turned it off. Carter used the matter conversion technology to create a cello and during her off-duty time, she learned to play it. The idea of reversing time in a localized field came from Vala, and Carter held on to this idea throughout the several years once her original plan proved infeasible. She was successful in implementing this course of action about fifty years after activating the time dilation field.

Mitchell went stir crazy, literally running in circles as he jogged the finite length of the ship's corridors day after day. His anger and frustration were manifested in his aggression during practice sparring sessions with Teal'c and when he ransacked his quarters. He calmed down some as he played chess regularly with General Landry, but he'd also sit alone inside of an F-302, which had been his lifeboat from the destruction of the Korolev. After General Landy's death, Mitchell took his place on the bridge of the ship as he monitored the progress of the energy beam. It was his idea to use this same Ori energy beam as a power source to enable the activation of the time reversal field.

It was at Daniel's insistence that the team stay onboard the Odyssey and fight for a way to preserve the Asgard Legacy. After SG-1 and Landry dropped off the rest of the crew at the nearest planet with a Stargate, Daniel manned one of the stations on the bridge during the Ori warship attack. Inside the time dilation field, Daniel studied the Asgard's history database in order to keep himself from going crazy. He shared what he learned with the others, most likely at their joint meal. The team used the mess hall as a type of family room, where they celebrated holidays and gathered to mourn Landry's passing. As for their other meals, it appeared that sometimes they chose to eat alone in their quarters. After three months in the bubble, Daniel and Vala broke through the final barriers each had been keeping up to avoid forming an intimate relationship, and they became life-long lovers.

Teal'c stood as he always did: as a silent, but unending tower of strength. He sparred with Mitchell, kept food inventory with Vala, and provided emotional support, as well as his strong, tender embrace, to Carter. When it came time to implement the time reversal plan, Teal'c volunteered to isolate himself from the field so that he could prevent Carter from activating the time dilation field and instead separate the Asgard Core from the hyperdrive systems. He sacrificed fifty years of his life to save the Asgard Legacy and his friends (who would be restored even after their deaths when the beam hit the ship).

The time reversal and escape from the Ori energy beam succeeded, and the crew returned to Earth with their upgraded Odyssey and Asgard Legacy. Although his teammates were curious and prodded Teal'c for some kind of hint as to what happened during those fifty years on the ship, Teal'c refused to tell them because their futures were still ahead of them. He admitted that it was "torture," but that "good things come to those who wait." Sporting a streak of grey hair over his right ear, Teal'c solemnly walked up the ramp with his young teammates, carrying inside his mind and heart the memories of living those fifty years with their now deceased alternate timeline selves.

Return to top

Episodes

Related Characters

Related Articles

Further Reading

Actors

Various Versions Of Established Characters:

Alternate Versions of Established Characters:


--DeeKayP 20:01, 4 Mar 2005 (PST)