|There But for the Grace of God|
|Original air date|
|SG-1 Season 1|
While exploring an alien complex, Daniel touches a mysterious device and soon realizes that he has landed in an alternate reality where everything and everyone Daniel knows is completely different. Even worse, the Earth is under attack from the Goa'uld. Daniel must find a way to get home so that he can ensure that the devastating attack that is slowly destroying the Earth in that reality doesn't happen in his main reality.
Dr. Daniel Jackson stumbles onto an alien artifact resembling a mirror. He touches the artifact and unknowingly enters an alternate reality. Finding the complex suddenly abandoned, Daniel concludes that the rest of SG-1 returned through the Stargate without him, and dials home.
Upon his return to Earth, Daniel discovers that Stargate Command has suddenly become quite different, not least of which is the fact that nobody knows who he is. He is arrested by Colonel George S. Hammond and is held captive. Catherine Langford, in charge of the gate program, confronts him and demands to know how he acquired SG-1's code to open the iris. Daniel, still believing that he is in his own reality, insists that he is a member of SG-1.
Through his encounter with Catherine, Daniel quickly discovers several differences in this reality, including the fact that he turned down the offer to work on the Stargate program and that Samantha Carter is a civilian astrophysicist assisting the Stargate Association, having never joined the United States Air Force or risen to the current rank of Captain.
When Daniel tells Catherine that she was retired and living with Ernest Littlefield she is shocked and confronts Brigadier General Jack O'Neill, who is now commanding officer of the SGA. Daniel uses his probing knowledge of O'Neill, such as his knowledge that O'Neill was contemplating suicide after the death of his son, to get his attention. When Dr. Carter enters, she explains that they "lost" Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.
Asking what they mean by "lost", Daniel learns that Earth is under attack by the Goa'uld, One and a half billion people are dead, and most of the world's major population centers have been destroyed; including the Egyptian city that was the last known residence of Daniel's counterpart.
Dr. Carter soon concludes that Daniel is from an alternate reality, triggered by the "Quantum Mirror". Analyzing a transmission received from the planet he returned from, Daniel, Carter and Catherine realize that the transmission is actually a Stargate address, apparently for the source of the current attack on Earth. O'Neill wants to send a bomb through the 'gate, but Daniel points out that, while this won't stop the problem here, his Earth still has a chance. Despite the fact that he will be the only person they can save, as they lack the time to dial the gate more than once, the alternate SG-1 agree to help Daniel.
However, Apophis' Jaffa, led by Teal'c, who in this reality never met SG-1, invade the SGA in retaliation for the destruction of Chulak, making it even more difficult; they have around twenty minutes before the Stargate can be dialed again, and it may be impossible to hold the Jaffa back for that long. Fortunately, Daniel offers O'Neill a video recording of his mission back in his reality, suggesting he show it to Teal'c to buy them time.
Before O'Neill confronts Teal'c, Carter fondly embraces him. Catherine explains to a confused Daniel, "I take it they're not engaged in your reality."
One by one, the alternate members of SG-1 die as they try to buy Daniel time to escape; O'Neill dies first, shot by Teal'c in revenge for O'Neill sending the bomb through the Stargate to Chulak in an attack that ultimately killed Teal'c's wife and son.
In the Briefing Room, Carter announces that she's surrendered before triggering a grenade that kills her and several Jaffa while Catherine is presumably struck down and killed by Jaffa after programming the Stargate for Daniel.
As Daniel rushes for the Stargate, the alternate Teal'c heads in and shoots Daniel with a staff weapon blast. Despite that, Daniel heads through the Stargate and rushes back to his own reality.
Seconds later, the SGA is destroyed in a blast that also wipes out the invading Jaffa force.
Daniel later emerges from the Stargate and uses the Quantum Mirror to return to his own reality.
In the complex, Jack, Sam and Teal'c regroup, reporting that they haven't found Daniel when they heard Daniel yelling. They rush in and find Daniel lying on the ground, his right arm injured.
Carter takes the address and wonders what it is.
As they prepare to take Daniel back to the SGC, Daniel suddenly awakens and frantically tells his team that they're all in very big trouble before remarking that they are coming.
Abydos; Air Force One; Albert Einstein; Alternate reality; Ancient Egyptian; Beta Site; C-4; Camcorder; Cheyenne Mountain; Chulak; Colorado Springs; Egypt; Fragmentation grenade; First Prime; Giza; Goa'uld; Handcuffs; Iris; Jaffa; Korush'nai; Ernest Littlefield; London; MRI; Naquadah; New York City; Nuclear warhead; Charlie O'Neill; P3R-233; Paris; Peterson Air Force Base; Philadelphia; President of the United States; Quantum Mirror; Quantum Mirror control; Radar; Rya'c; Skirmish on Alternate Earth; Staff weapon; Suicide; Theory of Relativity; Washington D.C.
Jackson: Well, it sounds like I theoretically, possibly, actually found one!
Catherine: One what?
Jackson: One of those things Sam was talking about, an alternate reality!
Carter: What makes you think the Goa'uld are even going to attack your Earth?
Jackson: Oh, I'd say we've pissed them off at least as much as you have.
Carter: I surrender! I have information that can help Apophis! There is technology he will want to know about! This is a remote control to an interdimensional portal. I can tell Apophis how to find it!
Jaffa: Hashak Kreyak!
Carter: (pulling out a grenade) Thank you. Oh yeah. I also wish to blow us all to hell.
(SG-1 finds Jackson on the ground with a staff weapon wound)
O'Neill: Daniel! What the hell is this?
Teal'c: It appears to be caused by a staff weapon.
(O'Neill pulls out the yellow piece of paper with the Goa'uld coordinates out of Jackson's hand.)
Carter: This looks like a Stargate address.
O'Neill: Alright, let's get him back to Earth.
(Jackson suddenly awakens.)
Jackson: No! Jack! We're all in very big trouble! They're coming!
- The title refers to the quotation "There but for the grace of God go I", by English preacher John Bradford referring to the distinct possibility that, if only a bare few occurrences had been different, one's own reality could have walked the same path as any other one.
- The dividing point seems to be that, when approached by Catherine Langford to join the original Stargate Program, Dr. Daniel Jackson declined, to the extent that he was apparently "quite rude" to Catherine. However, other details such as Dr. Samantha Carter having never joined the United States Air Force and Jack O'Neill and George S. Hammond having the opposite ranks suggest that there were earlier divergences from the reality we know. Since Jackson was the one who dissuaded O'Neill from detonating the nuclear warhead on Abydos, that planet was never fully explored and many of their continued adventures did not occur. This also explains the difference in O'Neill's personality as the original trip through the Stargate to Abydos had a recuperative effect on O'Neill and greatly softened him from being a cold military man to the O'Neill we see in the SG-1 series. Also, as Jackson never met Sha're, then there would be no reason to go to Chulak to attempt to rescue her (if she was ever taken in this reality). As a result, the team never met Teal'c, hence him lacking from SG-1.
- The customary 38 minute window that a Stargate can remain open without extraordinary measures is first established here, as is the fact that Earth's dialing computer dials notably slower than a Dial Home Device.
- The events of this episode resonate contiguously through "The Serpent's Lair", and information gained within this episode is the first indication of an imminent Goa'uld attack.
- It has been approximately two years since the events of Stargate and one year since the events of "Children of the Gods".
- This episode takes place one day before "Politics".
- It should be noted that O'Neill in the alternate reality has a scar on his left eyebrow which is similar to the injury his main timeline self would receive in the Season 3 episode, "Demons" with the injury later leaving O'Neill and the actor, Richard Dean Anderson with a permanent scar above his left eyebrow.
- The Quantum Mirror is later seen in "Point of View", when visitors from an alternate reality similar to the one shown here contact the SGC for help in escaping the Goa'uld invasion, and mentioned and dismissed as a possibility for the unusual circumstances in "The Fifth Man". It is also dismissed as a way to send the alternate SG-1s home in "Ripple Effect", as Hammond has had it destroyed.
- This is the only episode of Stargate SG-1 written by David Kemper. He would go on to be a major contributor to Farscape.
- This is the first of twelve episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis directed by David Warry-Smith.
- Dr. Daniel Jackson puts his Camcorder on the table in the "lab" so he can take off his back pack. He then starts stuffing artifacts into his backpack. Before he picks up the second artifact, we can see the recorder on the table, along with another artifact. The camera pans up to Jackson stuffing his backpack, then back to the table where the artifact and the recorder are gone.
- Catherine Langford shows Jackson a world map on which cities destroyed by the Goa'uld are marked by red dots. In a close-up of the map there are red dots in northern and central Europe. In other shots these dots are not present.
- The map of Europe showing the Goa'uld occupation is outdated; it shows Czechoslovakia, which split into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic in 1993.
- This could be explained away so that in the alternate reality the split did not occur (it was an amicable split by political agreement and public opinion at the time was mixed, so the historical divergence required for it to have gone the other way could be argued to be relatively small), however, the timeline otherwise seemed to have had the same large-scale political history as the show's main timeline.
- More likely, a map dating from before 1993 (but after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, which is clearly seen to have dissolved into successor states on the map) was used as a prop. Similar maps showing Czechoslovakia, a united Yugoslavia (fell apart in the early 1990s), etc. continued to occasionally pop up on television and in film through the early 2000s, until newer atlas editions achieved sufficient circulation (and later online maps, updated continually, made atlases largely obsolete).
- While dialing the gate on the alternate Earth to send a nuke to Chulak, MSgt. Walter Harriman announces "Chevron Three encoded!", but his lips are clearly not moving. While dialing the gate in an attempt to reach the Beta Site, Harriman announces "Chevron Five encoded!", but 13 seconds later, a close-up of the dialing computer shows Chevron Five being encoded.
- The alternate SGC acts like they can only dial out to one place. While true, they could flee to P3R-233 and from the safety of there, dial out to multiple places.
- Within the alternate Earth, the second chevron locked when they dial the planet on which the Quantum Mirror is located is the Earth symbol.
- The Earth symbol is seen on the Stargate on P3R-233.
- French : Une Dimension Trop Réelle (An all too real dimension)
- German: Die Invasion, Teil 1 (Invasion, Part 1)
- Italian: Universi Paralleli (Parallel Universes)
- Spanish: Mundos Paralelos (Parallel Worlds)
- Czech: Paralelní svět (Parallel World)
- Hungarian: Isteni kegyelem (God's Grace)