8.19 "Moebius Part 1" Episode Guide

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Précis

When Catherine Langford dies, Daniel inherits her collection. He finds reference to a Zero Point Module (ZPM) in a book about Ra in Egypt in 3000 B.C. SG-1 use the Ancient time machine to go back in time to retrieve the ZPM but when their ship is discovered, they create a different future in which the SGC does not exist and their alternate selves lead very different lives.

Guide | Transcript

SciFi.com Official Summary

The world has lost one its unsung heroes: Catherine Langford, Daniel's mentor and one of the pioneers of the Stargate Program, has passed away. She has left Daniel Jackson her vast collection of archaeological tomes and artifacts.

Among the items, Daniel finds an original 1889 edition of The Eye of the Sun, the only one in existence. The book details the customs and rituals observed by the ancient worshippers of the sun god Ra. More important, it contains a reproduction of a wall painting, discovered by German archaeologists near Giza in 1885, that depicts a ceremony over a religious artifact, which Ra's worshippers referred to as "The Heart of Light." It is clearly a Zero Point Module (ZPM)—the Ancient power source that could power not only Earth's defenses, but also open a wormhole to the Pegasus Galaxy.

Satellite sweeps of the Giza plateau show no traces of the ZPM's energy signature. Whether Ra took it with him when he left Earth is unknown. The SG-1 team might not know where the ZPM is, but they know where it was: Giza, in the year 3000 B.C. Against Carter's better judgment, she, O'Neill, Daniel and Teal'c take the Puddle Jumper equipped with the Ancient time-travel device (discovered in the episode, 8.13 "It's Good To Be King") back to 3000 B.C., with O'Neill—the only one who possesses the Ancient gene required to fly the craft—at the controls.

With the Jumper landed and cloaked in ancient Egypt, the team infiltrates Ra's temple and treasure chamber and takes the ZPM. There's just one problem: A sandstorm occurs during the heist, partially burying the cloaked Jumper and rendering its outline visible. The Goa'uld discover the craft but can't operate it because they lack the Ancient gene. Regardless, they keep it under guard, preventing the SG-1 team from escaping.

With the preservation of the timeline being Carter's chief concern, she suggests that the four of them live among the people until the uprising against Ra occurs. Then, with the uprising for cover, they can fly the Jumper out—hopefully without seriously altering history. In the event that they don't make it back, Daniel proposes that they bury the ZPM, so it can be found during an archaeological dig that uncovered a First Dynasty tomb near Giza a month before they made this time-journey. That way, their future selves might not have to undertake this mission at all.

Flash back to the future: Egyptologist Dr. Daniel Jackson is teaching English as a Second Language, and Dr. Samantha Carter works at the Department of Aerospace Research in Washington, D.C.—proofreading other scientists' papers. They are both surprised when they are summoned to the secret base at Cheyenne Mountain on a matter of national security.

Gen. George Hammond greets them and shows them a videotape unearthed with the ZPM during a recent dig near Giza. Daniel and Carter are flabbergasted to see themselves as part of the SG-1 team, explaining about the Stargate program and how, in some alternate timeline, they've saved the Earth several times from alien invasions through the use of the stargate. The purpose of this tape, the future Dr. Jackson explains, is to provide their counterparts with the tools they'll need to go back in time and set things right in the event the timeline has been changed, which by now is obviously the case. If, for whatever reason, the stargate has not been discovered, they will have to find it and get it up and running.

Hammond tells them that his teams haven't found the gate, but in 1934, an archeologist named Langford unearthed a tablet inscribed with hieroglyphics that no one has yet been able to translate. Daniel jumps at the chance to try. Later, after examining the tablet, he offers his translation: There was an uprising, during which Ra escaped and took the stargate with him. But there is a reference to a second gate somewhere in Antarctica.

Meanwhile, attempts to coax the bereaved Col. Jack O'Neill out of retirement have failed.

Carter and Daniel are now shown something new: the Jumper, found at the excavation site. Attempts to dial the stargate address (mentioned by the Daniel Jackson on the tape) using the jumper's DHD produce no effect. But Carter notices that several seismic events in Antarctica coincide with the time that the DHD was dialed and pinpoints the location of the second gate.

The Antarctic gate is excavated and brought to Cheyenne Mountain. The gate is placed in position, the Jumper is ready, but Carter and Daniel are told that they are to be left behind. In an alternate timeline, they might be part of SG-1 and universal heroes. Here, they're just brainy scientists, without military training, about to be sent back to their ordinary lives ... but Carter and Daniel might just have other ideas about what their future holds.

Modified for clarity

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Egypt of 3000 B.C.:

Alternate Timeline:

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--DeeKayP 16:55, 23 Feb 2005 (PST)