Catherine Langford

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Catherine at 21
Catherine in 1969
Catherine in 1997

Summary

Dr. Catherine Langford was the daughter of Professor Langford who found the Stargate in Giza in 1928. She approached Daniel Jackson about translating the glyphs on the coverstone of the Stargate which opened the universe to those of Earth.

Character Biography

Catherine was a very young girl when her father, Professor Langford, discovered the Stargate under its coverstone in Giza, Egypt, near the Great Pyramids, in 1928. She was allowed on his dig site and she found an amulet on the artifacts table that she really liked. It was made of gold and had the Eye of Ra engraved on it. She was permitted to keep it and she always wore it as a necklace for good luck.

Professor Langford got a research grant in 1945 from the United States government, under President Roosevelt. The President thought that the Stargate might have been a weapon. Catherine was not aware that they successfully activated the wormhole and that her fiance, Ernest Littlefield, had been the one to step through it. When the wormhole disengaged and they were not able to get Ernest back, Professor Langford told Catherine that there was an explosion at the lab and that Ernest was killed. She was 21 years old at the time.

Catherine never married after that. She, instead, pursued her career in her father's field, archaeology. She lived in New York in 1969 and it was there that SG-1 tracked her down when they were thrown into the past. Capt. Carter and Daniel Jackson disguised themselves and visited her in order to find the location of the Stargate so that they could get home. Catherine revealed to them that the Stargate was stored in an armory in Washington, D.C., after World War II ended. SG-1 got home, back to their time, with her help. It was not long after this incident that Catherine resumed her study of the Stargate, going through several presidential administrations to get research funding. She was successful and in the 1980's they built a super computer system to dial the Stargate. The Air Force was overseeing the project and that is when Samantha Carter met Catherine.

The next time we see Catherine is when she recruits Daniel to translate the coverstone found with the Stargate in Giza. She knew of him because of his far-out theories about the pyramids—theories which got him ridiculed and pushed out of the archeaological community. Catherine took a chance on him because he reminded her of Ernest in his enthusiasm and passion for his chosen field. She was right to recruit him, as it turned out, because he was indeed the one who was able to solve the riddle and open the Stargate. Catherine gave him the amulet she wore for good luck when they were successful at establishing a wormhole to Abydos. The amulet necklace helped Daniel establish relations with the Abydonians and even with Ra himself. When Daniel decided to stay on Abydos, he gave the amulet to Jack so that it would be returned to Catherine.

When Daniel was looking through old film recordings of the Stargate research Professor Langford conducted in 1945, he found out about Ernest Littlefield's going through the wormhole. He went to Catherine with this news and she was absolutely shocked by it. She was shocked that her father lied to her, but even more disappointed that Ernest didn't talk with her about going through the Stargate. She felt that he put his research above her. Even so, she insisted on going to the planet which Ernest had been sent to in 1945 to find out what happened to him. Much to everyone's amazement, Ernest was still alive. It was soon realized, however, that he had no way of getting home and that he had spent more than 50 years alone on that planet. He remained true to his nature and made copious notes about his findings there on the planet—findings which proved to be valuable later during the SGC's existence. After having to rig the Stargate on the planet to dial out, everyone left the planet and returned home with Ernest and his research. The love that Catherine and Ernest shared from 1945 had remained; Catherine decided to retire to spend the rest of their lives together.

As far as we know, Catherine and Ernest enjoyed the few years of her retirement together. When she died, however, there was no mention of Ernest and whether or not he survived her. Daniel was asked to speak at her graveside. His eulogy was short, but heartfelt:

Catherine Langford was more than just kind and generous. She had a gift… of an endless, open minded, childlike curiosity. She saw the world not for what it was, but for what it could be. And she saw potential in people that others failed to recognize. Like her father before her, her contributions to science have changed the world more than most people know. I, for one, have no idea where I would be today if I'd never met her. She changed my life in more ways than I ever could have imagined.

After the ceremony, Daniel was approached by Catherine's niece, Sabrina Gosling. Up until this point, it was thought that Catherine was an only child. Sabrina gave Daniel the Eye of Ra amulet, telling Daniel that Catherine wanted him to have it because she thought of him as a son. Daniel was reluctant to accept the necklace, but took it graciously. Catherine had also left Daniel several Egyptian artifacts from her collection which Sabrina had delivered to him at the SGC base. It was from one of the books from this collection that a future version of Daniel discovered the existence of a Zero Point Module (ZPM), an Ancient power source powerful enough to establish a stable wormhole to the Pegasus Galaxy where the Atlantis Expedition Team was stranded. This future version of Daniel convinced the rest of SG-1 to go back in time and retrieve the device using an Ancient timeship. The time traveling team left the ZPM in a First Dynasty Tomb in 3000 B.C., and the current timeline version of the team found it and used it to help the Atlantis Expedition Team.

Since Catherine's death was depicted in a future version of the lives of SG-1, it could be argued that she did not die, that Daniel did not speak at her funeral, and that he did not inherit Catherine's collection, but most probably, the case is that the only differences between the two timelines are the existence of the ZPM in the First Dynasty Tomb and that the current SG-1 did not travel back in time to retrieve it.

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--DeeKayP 19:39, 29 Jun 2004 (PDT)