Stargate SG-1

The Torment of Tantalus

Season 1, Ep 11, Aired 10/3/97
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  • Episode Description
  • Daniel discovers that there was a previous Stargate explorer - Dr. Ernest Littlefield, who went through the Gate in 1945. But he never returned, so SG-1 sets out to recover him.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Richard Dean Anderson

    Colonel/Brigadier General Jonathan J. "Jack" O'Neill

  • Christopher Judge


  • Robert C. Cooper

  • Jonathan Glassner

  • Elizabeth Hoffman

    Catherine Langford

  • Fan Reviews (20)
  • Sweet

    By SFBarbear, Nov 19, 2012

  • Reveiw.

    By CTUBauer24, Feb 10, 2008

  • SG-1 learns the truth about the Stargate, when they investigate an experiment conducted in 1945 in which the Gate was opened.

    By MurrayTheJaffa, Jun 04, 2008


    By THEICEFIRE, Jul 29, 2008

  • The team finds out that the Stargate had been made to work before ... in 1945!

    By zampognaro, Feb 23, 2009

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (13)

    • Catherine: You speak? Teal'c: When it is appropriate.

    • Jack: It's a piece of cake. Ready? (all go through the Stargate) Daniel: Are you okay? Catherine: Huh, that was some piece of cake.

    • Jack: All right, basic survival training. We know what we have, what do we need? Teal'c: We have the Stargate. We need the dial-home device. Jack: Thank you, Teal'c.

    • Daniel: (looking at the hologram of the four races) What's up, guys? Jack: Step away from the pedestal, Daniel. Daniel: What? Why? Carter: The Dial Home Device just fell through the floor into the ocean. Daniel: So what are we going to do? Carter: That thing may have a power source in it that we can use to get the gate working. Daniel: Ah... No. You don't understand. This book may contain knowledge of the universe. I mean, this is... meaning-of-life stuff!

    • Daniel: The Pentagon said this was everything. Jack: Oh please! The Pentagon's lost entire countries.

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    Notes (4)

    • The role of Catherine Langford played by Viveca Lindfors in the movie is now being played by Elizabeth Hoffman.

    • Paul McGillion (Young Ernest Littlefield) would later play Dr. Carson Beckett in Stargate Atlantis.

    • Syndication air date: November 9, 1998.

    • This is Michael Shanks' (Daniel Jackson) favorite episode.

    Trivia (7)

    • Trivia: Heliopolis was designated P3X-972 by Stargate Command.

    • During the mission to rescue Ernest, Catherine wears the standard green jacket used on the show, but she also wears a SG-1 mission patch. She is not a member of SG-1 or even part of the SGC. Her jacket should be devoid of all such markings.

    • The flashback has the scientists decades earlier calling the stargate the "Door to Heaven", a reference to what the stargate was incorrectly translated as before Jackson fixed it. But in the movie it was Richard Kind's character who says he performed the inaccurate translation.

    • As established in subsequent episodes and in the Stargate: Atlantis episode "Thirty Eight Minutes," a Stargate must have all the information for an item to go through the event horizon before it transports someone to the other end. Then how could Dr. Littlefield have been transported when the hose for his suit had not fully passed through the event horizon?

    • How did Dr. Littlefield survive on that planet if he'd been there since 1945? A supply of food and water can't last that long.

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    Allusions (1)

    • Title:
      In Greek mythology, Tantalus was a king who was punished for all eternity by having cool, clear water just below his chin and ripe, delicious fruit hanging just beyond his reach. His crime was generally said to have been dismembering his son Pelops (who, by the way, was mentioned as a Goa'uld in "Brief Candle") and serving him to the gods for dinner. His name is the basis of the word "tantalize".

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