Stargate SG-1: "Point of View"
Total Episodes: 7 Viewing Time: 5.25 hours
If you just want the episode list without any pesky plot details to spoil you, click here!
We love a good, classic science fiction trope — whether it’s time travel, or alien invasions, or robot duplicates. So far the Stargate franchise has tallied up more than 350 hours of storytelling, and it has done its share of all of these on more than one occasion.
But this time we are focusing in on that other-worldly storytelling vehicle that is the parallel universe. What if our heroes lives, or the history of the entire planet, had turned out very differently? So here we present seven great Stargate episodes that feature one or more alternate realities — perfect for your next binge!
Here we’re going to limit our list to just the actual parallel universes in the Stargate multiverse, which have been breached (or from which characters have come) during the franchise’s 17 seasons. We’ll leave aside dreams and hallucinations, like Teal’c’s fire house in “The Changeling” or Lt. Scott’s small-town life in “Cloverdale.”
No, these should be universes that exist somewhere in the multiverse, beyond but alongside our own. (That’s the parallel part.) So we’re also excluding alternate lives lived within our universe as the result of time-travel shenanigans, like “Moebius,” “The Last Man,” “Common Descent,” or Stargate: Continuum. In Stargate lore, when the time travel incident is corrected then (as far as we know) those versions of reality cease to exist. But don’t worry! Those are for a future list.
Ready to take the road less traveled? Here’s the watch list:
THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD
Stargate’s first gimmick for crossing over into another reality was the Quantum Mirror — which Daniel Jackson finds amidst a collection of alien relics on another world. Just like the Stargate allows you to step through to another planet, the mirror lets the user dial up another reality and move back and forth with a touch.
In this instance, Daniel touches the mirror and then returns to Earth without realizing what has happened to him. He finds all his friends at the S.G.C. … only they’re not quite right, and they don’t know who he is. Daniel realizes he’s on a different version of Earth, in the middle of a full-scale Goa’uld invasion. He has to escape back to his own world, hoping to warn his people before the same thing happens to them.
POINT OF VIEW
Sticking the Quantum Mirror in an Area 51 storage closet will work out totally fine … right? In this episode, alternate versions of Sam Carter and Charles Kawalsky come through to our Earth. They are fleeing a similar Goa’uld invasion (where Sam’s husband, Jack O’Neill, has been killed), and are given permission to stay on our Earth — until an entropic cascade tremor threatens to kill Dr. Carter.
With help from our SG-1 the two use the mirror to return to their universe, hoping to liberate their S.G.C. and planet Earth from Apophis. After this, General Hammond ordered the Quantum Mirror destroyed. Stargate‘s writers would have to come up with other ways to cross universes.
Incredibly, it took a whopping six years for the series to go back to the well of parallel realities — this time, thanks to the Stargate itself. SG-1 comes through the gate, only to be followed some time later by another SG-1. One of them is native to our world, while the other team members seem just as confused as anyone about how the Stargate sent them to a different universe. Then another SG-1 arrives. And then another. And another. Aaaaand … another.
It’s really fun to see the multitude of different Carters, Jacksons, Mitchells, and Teal’cs, as well as teams that have other members altogether. There’s a Jaffa version of SG-1, and one with some dear friends we have lost. But in the end our team uncovers the truth: one of these teams is up to no good!
MCKAY AND MRS. MILLER
Here’s another example of a story where a duplicate of one of our main characters comes through from their reality to our own. In this case it’s “Rod” McKay — a cooler, more confident, equally brilliant version of Rodney. Our McKay has called upon his sister Jeannie (guest star Kate Hewlett) for help in creating an interdimensional bridge to another universe, meant to produce an incredible amount of power (functionally, a larger version of a Z.P.M.).
Instead Atlantis connects to an inhabited universe, threatening to destroy it. “Rod” finds a way to travel across the bridge (fully clothed Terminator style) to try and shut it down, and hilarity ensues — crossed with some really heartwarming scenes as Rodney and Jeannie come to terms with their relationship.
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
SG-1‘s tenth season brings us to a quintessential parallel universe story. What might our world be like if things had played out just a little differently? Samantha Carter is fiddling around with Merlin’s tech and ends up pushing herself into another reality, where the Ori threat to the planet is imminent. But on this Earth Hank Landry is President, McKay is a millionaire tech mogul, and the Stargate program is public knowledge.
This one is a fascinating and important look at how things might have worked out if our own gate had gone public three years earlier, when Anubis attacked Earth. Priorities have shifted (and so have alliances), and after saving this planet from the Ori Carter finds herself a reluctant celebrity.
THE DAEDALUS VARIATIONS
The fifth season of Stargate Atlantis took the idea that there are multiple realities all layered on top of one another in the multiverse and cranked the dial up to 11. This story is set on board the Earth ship Daedalus … but after the team boards the ship they find that it isn’t our Daedalus. The crew is missing, a copy of Sheppard’s team is lying dead on the deck, and an alternate reality drive is causing the ship to skip from one universe to the next like a stone across a pond.
This is a cool episode, not only for the high-concept premise and character interactions but for all the different universes that the ship sees (including the hostile aliens attacking the ship). It’s also fun to see McKay’s resolution, which requires the team to move backward through the universes they’ve already been to in an attempt to get home and jump ship.
Atlantis‘ penultimate story isn’t actually one where our characters go to another reality, or someone from there comes over to our universe. From the first frame to the last shot, “Vegas” is set entirely on a parallel Earth with different versions of the characters we know and love. Instead of a Colonel leading his team through the Stargate in the Pegasus Galaxy, John Sheppard is a washed-up police detective on the hunt for a murderer in the Nevada desert.
The twist here is that the man he is hunting is no man at all, but a Wraith whose ship has crashed. Now he’s dressing up as a human in the city of Las Vegas, and trying to signal his kind. That’s the important crossover into our universe at the end of the episode: the Wraith sends out a signal with the location of Earth, which crosses the rift into our reality. This sets up the next, and final, episode of the show — when that Wraith signal is received.
If you make use of this guide in your viewing, let us know! We’d love to hear how you are watching (or rewatching) Stargate according to individual story arcs.
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