"Meridian" is the twenty-first episode of the fifth season of Stargate SG-1.


SG-1 have discovered that the Langarans have Naquadria, a more volatile version of Naquadah, and they plan to use it as a weapon, since the planet's three nations are on the verge of war. Dr. Daniel Jackson prevents an accident, but is stricken with radiation poisoning in the process, and will die if they don't save him in time.


The episode starts out as SG-1 returns to base, Major Samantha Carter hastily tells Major General George S. Hammond that Dr. Daniel Jackson has been exposed to radiation. Hammond asks for an explanation as Daniel and the rest of SG-1 head for the infirmary, meeting a medical team part way there. Daniel cautions them not to touch him and Carter explains that he may still be radioactive. Colonel Jack O'Neill and Teal'c tell Hammond that they did not witness Daniel's exposure and aren't aware of exactly what has transpired. Once Daniel reaches the infirmary Dr. Janet Fraiser asks Carter for details, Sam explains that Daniel was exposed to a device containing an unstable radioactive variation of Naquadah and that the dosage was lethal.

A briefing is called and Carter explains to Hammond that the world Langara they were visiting has three superpowers in a situation roughly analogous to that of America and Russia in the Cold War, though the countries have yet to develop Nuclear warheads. Langara's Stargate is located in Kelowna, one of the three Superpowers.

Jonas Quinn

Jonas Quinn, an advisor to the First Minister of Kelowna, the Head of State.

The first of three flashbacks begins, introducing Jonas Quinn as an advisor to the First Minister of Kelowna, the Head of State. Jonas shows SG-1 a high security project he is overseeing, testing of a radioactive isotope called Naquadria for use as a weapon, with the aim of creating a deterrent. The flashback then cuts back to the briefing, and Jack explains that the Kelownans are accusing Daniel of attempting to sabotage their research.

Jack visits Daniel in the infirmary, where Daniel explains that because of the intense exposure to radiation he will begin to die in the next 10–15 hours, and there is no cure. Jack implies a request for help from the Asgard or Tok'ra, but Daniel responds that his life is no more important than anyone else's and they would not go to such lengths for others. Jack changes the topic and asks Daniel directly what happened, but receives the reply "That doesn't matter", but Jack insists. Daniel reveals only that there was an accident and that the scientists working on the project blamed him to avoid repercussions.

Jack speaks to Hammond in his office, where it is explained that the Asgard and Tok'ra cannot be contacted and there are no other feasible options. O'Neill then checks in on Carter in her lab, she informs Jack that she has calculated Naquadria is much more powerful than Naquadah, allowing them to generate enough energy to achieve Hyperspace and Shield technologies. General Hammond decides to send a letter to the Kelownans apologizing and requesting trade for the Naquadria, using Colonel O'Neill as the courier. While on Langara, Jack speaks with Jonas Quinn, appealing to him to admit to his government that Daniel did not attempt sabotage, Quinn replies that he could not clear Daniel's name even if he tried, which would result in the cancellation of the Naquadria project, which Quinn feels is vital to the survival of Kelowna.

Back on Earth, Janet Fraiser tells Carter that there's nothing she can do for Daniel, except sedatives and painkillers. Carter volunteers to attempt to heal Daniel with a Goa'uld healing device, admitting that she is not entirely sure how to use it. The attempt sends Daniel into a seizure and causes his health to deteriorate. While the doctors try to stabilize Daniel's condition, he slips into a sort of dream, where a suited woman approaches him in the gate room with a cryptic message.

Jack visits Daniel while he is conscious, and tells Daniel that he won't let the Kelownans defame him as a saboteur, Daniel inquires as to why, and Jack admits that he respects and admires Daniel. Daniel re-enters his 'dream' and realizes the woman is Oma Desala. She speaks in Zen koans and encourages him to ascend in characteristic roundabout way. Daniel asks how, and Oma tells him to "Release [his] burden", Daniel says he has released his burden and asks for the next step, but Oma just provides another Zen koan and Daniel wryly comments that he didn't expect ascension to be easy.

Meanwhile, Jonas Quinn has had a change of heart and realizes how destructive a Naquadria bomb would be. Jonas brings an amount of Naquadria with him and informs Jack that he has told his government the truth and then defected.

The second flashback occurs, and Daniel is observing the Naquadria experiment with Jonas.

Suddenly the experiment goes awry and enormous amounts of hard radiation are released. The researchers flee as the Naquadria begins to go supercritical (reaching critical mass). Daniel draws his sidearm and begins firing at the glass window separating the observation room from the lab.

Daniel then breaks through the glass and removes the top half of the device with his bare hands, exposing himself to radiation in the process of preventing a nuclear catastrophe. (This incident is much likely based on Louis Slotin's one, except it was plutonium that caused the radiation poisoning instead of fictional Naquadria).

The scene changes to Daniel conversing with Oma in the dream-gate room, where Daniel confesses that he feels his entire life has been a failure. Carter intrudes in the dream-gate room and tells Daniel how his perspective of life has changed her and many others. Oma Desala tells Daniel that to ascend, one must believe they are worthy of it. Daniel replies heavily that they have a large obstacle in the path of his ascension. Teal'c then expresses to Daniel what great effect he has had on the course of Teal'c's life and the course of history as a whole. Daniel is now in a dream-version of his office, where Oma asks him why he feels like a failure, Daniel explains he felt he was unable to make a real difference, but concedes that he was able to make a small difference occasionally. As Daniel battles with his own inadequacy, Oma explains to Daniel that because of the size and scope of existence, the only thing that a person really has control over in life is whether they are good or evil and instructs Daniel to judge his worthiness on that basis.


Daniel ascends to a higher plane of existence.

Jacob Carter/Selmak arrives and uses the Goa'uld healing device to assess Daniel's condition, stating that he is unsure if the device will be successful due to Daniel's extensive injuries. Jacob/Selmak then begins to attempt the healing process but Daniel intervenes: he pulls Jack into his dream and explains that he has decided to ascend. Jack stops Jacob/Selmak and Daniel ascends as the group look on.


Appearances for Meridian




Sentient Species




Notable quotes[]

Oma: Why do you feel you have failed on your journey? You opened the Stargate for your world.
Jackson: I cracked the code, a lot of other people made it work.
Oma: The very next thing you did was help free the people of Abydos from evil.
Jackson: I had the chance to live out my life with her. I couldn't leave it alone. I was the one that unburied the Gate. What happened to her was my fault. I couldn't save Sha're, I couldn't save Sarah. Every Goa'uld I helped eliminate, another one took its place. Maybe I did something good every now and again, but nothing I've ever done seems to have changed anything.

Jackson: You said I was the only one qualified to judge myself. So no matter how much I want to achieve enlightenment, or whatever you call it, what happens if I look at my life and I don't honestly believe I deserve it?
Oma: The success or failure of your deeds does not add up to the sum of your life. Your spirit cannot be weighed. Judge yourself by the intention of your actions, and by the strength with which you faced challenges that have stood in your way.

Oma: The universe is vast and we are so small. There is only one thing we can ever truly control.
Jackson: What's that?
Oma: Whether we are good or evil.

Carter: [Jonas] had several degrees from their most honored education institution. Social Studies, Ancient Kelownan history...
O'Neill: He was a nerd, sir. He and Daniel got along great.

O'Neill: You're not gonna take the fall for this. I don't care what's at stake.
Jackson: Why do you care?
O'Neill: Because despite the fact that you've been a terrific pain in the ass for the last five years I may have...might have grown to admire you a little, I think.

O'Neill: All right, let me be clear about something. I think this is the point Daniel was trying to make. A weapon of mass destruction can only be used for one thing. Now you might think it will ensure peace and freedom but I guarantee you it'll never have the effect you're hoping for until you use it at least once. Now just for the record, the reason we want that stuff is because we think it could be used to create defense shields. But you just go ahead, blow yourself to hell with it.

Teal'c: If you are to die, Daniel Jackson, I wish you to know that I believe that the fight against the Goa'uld will have lost one of its greatest warriors. And I will have lost one of my greatest friends.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • The events leading to Daniel Jackson's death are similar to the those involving the 1946 demise of Louis Slotin, a Canadian physicist who perished while attempting to manually dismantle two half-spheres of plutonium. In the episode "Trinity", Dr. Rodney McKay would later refer to a similar incident involving the death of American physicist Harry K. Daghlian. The same core was involved in both tragedies while working on the Manhattan Project in New Mexico.
  • Kelowna is a city in the southern interior of British Columbia. This marks several locations named after BC areas in the show in seasons five and six, including White Rock in the episode "Frozen" and Steveston in the episode "Nightwalkers". British Columbia is the Canadian province where the show is filmed.
  • This episode marks the final on-screen performance of Michael Shanks (Dr. Daniel Jackson) as a principal cast member before he leaves the series for the next year.


  • When Major Samantha Carter is describing how much radiation Dr. Daniel Jackson was exposed to she states: "We think his right hand was exposed to the equivalent of over 8 to 9 Greys of neutron radiation." The Grey is a unit for the absorbed dose that is used internationally. An American would quantify radiation with the Rad.[1]
  • In the cityscape seen at about 12:52, the video seems to be running backward, as the smoke in the left smokestack is going into it, not out of it.

Other languages[]

  • French: Zénith (Zenith)
  • Italian: Meridiano (Meridian)
  • Spanish: Meridiano (Meridian)
  • Czech: Velká cesta (Great Path)
  • Hungarian: Meridián (Meridian)
  • German: Die Entscheidung (The Decision)
  • Catalan: Meridià (Meridian)

Links and navigation[]

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Meridian (Stargate SG-1). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with SGCommand, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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