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The Road Not Taken

10.13 Episode 207
Airdate: April 27, 2007

Hoping to expand the range of Merlin's phase-shift cloaking device, Carter is running tests when she and the contents of the lab are unexpectedly drawn into an alternate universe. There, her counterpart had been attempting to extract energy from parallel universes, but had been killed in the accident that had pulled Carter through. In this reality, General Hammond commands the SGC, and Hank Landry has been president since the attack by Anubis three years ago had revealed the stargate program to the world and forced the government to declare martial law from its base at Cheyenne Mountain. Not only that, the Ori have attacked Earth and will return within five days.

Carter's research might provide the means to defend Earth from the Ori, and Hammond offers the resources of the SGC to return Carter to her own universe in exchange for her help. As five Ori ships appear in orbit, Carter and Dr. Lee draw upon the US power grid to activate Merlin's device and expand the inter-dimensional field to shift the entire planet out of phase. Ori weapons fire passes harmlessly through the planet, and Earth is spared. For her role in saving Earth, Carter is hailed as a hero by President Landry, who presents her at press briefings and formal receptions, but also detains her in an attempt to secure his presidency.

As Carter comes to recognize the loss of freedom under martial law, she turns for help to Rodney McKay, her ex-husband in this reality, and to Cameron Mitchell, now an embittered alcoholic veteran confined to a wheelchair. Despite their warnings, Carter uses her position to speak out about the need to restore civil liberties, but she is quickly silenced by the administration, who finally decides she is more of a liability than an asset. At last, Landry permits her to return home, and with McKay's help she recreates the inter-universal bridge. Urging McKay to be the voice of change after she has gone, Carter returns to her reality from the world that might have been.

Written by: Alan McCullough
Directed by: Andy Mikita

Guest Starring: David Hewlett as Rodney McKay, Don S. Davis as General Hammond, Kavan Smith as Major Lorne, Kendall Cross as Julia Donovan, Bill Dow as Dr. Lee, Michael Chase as Chief of Staff, Billy Mitchell as Senator, Lisa Bayliss as Senator's Wife, Travis Woloshyn as Protestor, Robert Mann as Dr. Bennett, Alexander Boynton as Floor Director

Reference: Alternate Dimension, Alternate Reality, Alternate Reality - Universal Bridge, Area 51, Dr. Bennett, Samantha Carter, Charlie, Julia Donovan, Force Field, George Hammond, Inside Access, Invisibility, Hank Landry, Bill Lee, Major Lorne, Rodney McKay, Merlin's Phase-Shift Device, M-Theory, Multiverse Theory, Naquadah Generator, Ori, Ori Warship


Destinations & Inhabitants

Alternate Reality Earth

Destinations & Inhabitants

Ori Attack on Earth


  • Daniel remains a prisoner of Adria.
  • General Hammond is retired from active service.
  • According to M-Theory, there are a fixed number of alternate dimensions existing in parallel with our known universe (alternate dimension/phase). The Multiverse Theory posits the existence of an infinite number of alternate universes, each evolving concurrently with our own (alternate reality/parallel universe).
  • Carter of the alternate reality had been developing a process by which energy could be extracted from parallel universes, a process which leads to the creation of exotic particles in one or both universes. She found a way around that by designing the machine so the bridge would only open for a microsecond in order to steal small amounts of energy from thousands of different universes, thereby minimizing the fallout in any single one.
  • In the alternate reality:
    • Carter is a major, Hammond is a major general in command of the SGC, Mitchell was an F-302 pilot who went down over Antarctica and has since quit the military, Daniel was captured by the Ori, Teal'c went back to the Jaffa several years ago, Vala is currently occupying a cell at Area 51, Lorne is the leader of SG-1, Landry is president of the US with an office at the SGC, Rodney McKay is a dot-com millionaire smart-ass who was married to Carter and then divorced, Prometheus has become Air Force One, Merlin's phase-shifting device had not yet been discovered, and Earth has abandoned the Alpha Site and cut ties with the Jaffa and most other explorations and alien alliances.
    • Three years ago, Anubis attacked Earth, the US was forced to reveal the existence of the Stargate Program to the world, people panicked and rioted, the President declared martial law, diplomatic fallout was critical, and the Ancient chair was removed from Antarctica to Area 51. Three weeks ago, the Ori attempted an attack on Earth, the ship was fought off with the Ancient chair, but the ZPM was nearly depleted in the process.
  • To power Merlin's device to take all of Earth out of phase, 700 gigawatts of power are needed, roughly 80% of the power generating capacity of the continental US.
  • Carter was missing in the alternate reality for two weeks.



  • Injuries:
    • Carter: drawn into parallel universe, temporarily unconscious, shot once by zat gun