Series: Stargate SG-1Somewhere or Other, 1945. A bunch or workers are rotating the Stargate around while Professor Langford watches. He's apparently rather hands-on as he stands there and tells them when to stop over a particular symbol. He then gives a little nod to some guy, indicating it's time for an electric charge. The first chevron is now engaged. Yes, Engaging Chevrons took even longer in those days.Cheyenne Mountain, 1997. Daniel is watching old footage of this experiment when Jack enters. Jack tells him it's time for some exciting physical assessments, but Daniel is watching the tape in total awe and insists that he finish this reel first. Apparently, the tape was included without any notes so the only way to find out why they gave up is to watch the whole thing. The reason they gave up, however, soon becomes very clear. It turns out they actually managed to turn the gate on and send a man through wearing an old-fashioned diving suit, but the gate shut off after he entered it. The footage ends. "Holy cow," Jack mutters. Cut to Title Sequence.Daniel meets up with Catherine Langford, the old lady who acted as his Herald in The Movie except now she looks different and has a different accent. She tells him all about the experiments performed on the gate by her daddy and her beloved fiancÚ Ernest Littlefield (the young Ernest seen in Flashbacks is played by a pre-Stargate Atlantis Paul McGillion). Catherine never knew they turned it on (they basically shut her out and told her to Stay in the Kitchen) so Daniel shows her the tape, which is now edited differently. Turns out the man sent through the gate was Ernest and Catherine's dad lied to her about that in order to protect her from the Awful Truth.Back at the base, Hammond has been handed a Conflict Ball and is outraged that Daniel would dare tell top-secret information to a civilian, even one who already knows all about the gate and, in fact, used to run the entire program. He gets over this rather quickly though and agrees that a rescue mission should be mounted. Sam informs us that the address Ernest went to was not on the Abydos cartouche which she takes to mean the Goa'uld haven't charted it since an ancient list of Stargate addresses on some remote planet obviously comprise the entirety of Goa'uld knowledge. The mission is a go and SG-1 heads to the planet with Catherine, who they evidently somehow managed to convince Hammond to let them bring along.They arrive in an abandoned castle perched precariously on a cliff overlooking a stormy ocean. Ernest shows up and he's not only old, but totally naked as well. He's overjoyed to encounter real people (he at first thinks they're hallucations), but he reacts blasÚly to seeing Catherine. Ernest, after being convincing to get dressed, explains that "she found me long ago". Apparently he's been hallucinating that Catherine was with him all this time and he went so far as to recount her feelings about the proceedings in his journal. A storm approaches, so Jack decides it's time to go home, but it turns out the DHD has been damaged. Now they're all stuck, this being before they had naquadah generators.Sam and Teal'c set about trying to fix the DHD while Ernest shows Jack, Daniel and Catherine a room filled with writings from four different alien races, which, we will discover in later episodes, include the Asgard, the Nox, the Furlings and the Ancients. The room also has a holographic display of all the atomic elements, including some which haven't been discovered yet. Daniel excitedly gushes that this is "a true universal language" and that it may record The Answer To Life The Universe And Everything. Of course, Ernest hasn't figured out how to read this language in the fifty-two years he was stuck there, but Daniel isn't deterred.Unfortunately, the DHD falls into the ocean and so the hunt is on for a new power source. Much to Daniel's chagrin, they try to get at the power source of the hologram machine, but it turns out to be impenetrable to Teal'c staff weapon. Therefore, they decide to harness 1.21 gigawatts from a bolt of lightning as lightning bolts are flashing around the castle in abundance. It's about here that the Jacob Marley Warning comes into full fruition. If Daniel doesn't tear himself away from this latest discovery, he might not make it to the gate before it falls into the ocean, leaving him trapped on the planet just like Ernest. "No prize is worth attaining if you can never share it," Ernest tells him, "There would be no point. Believe me... I know!"Daniel still doesn't want to leave, even after they get the gate activated. At the last minute, Jack convinces him to leave and they make it through Just in Time. After getting back to the base, they have Walter redial the planet, but he can't get a lock. (Ernest must be really lucky that they figured out what happened to him just before that particular storm came through.) "Look at it this way," Ernest says sagely, "if you ever run into those aliens that made up the language you can ask them what it means." (They never do this, by the way, even though they do meet those aliens.) The episode ends with Jack and Daniel looking on as Ernest and Catherine hug.
Episode: Season 1, Episode 10
Title: "The Torment Of Tantalus"
Previous: "Thor's Hammer"
Recapper: Insert Witty Name Here