Daniel Jackson embodies the passion of SG-1, and brings to his team not only his skills as an exceptional linguist and archaeologist, but also a curiosity and a sense of wonder and discovery. Daniel was born on July 8, 1965, the son of archaeologists Dr. Melburn and Claire Jackson. He has no known siblings, and when he was only 8 years old, his parents were crushed to death when a temple exhibit collapsed in a freak accident at the New York Museum of Art. His grandfather, Nicholas Ballard, also a renowned archaeologist who had discovered the crystal skull of Belize two years before, chose not to adopt his young grandson, and pursued his career instead. Daniel was raised by foster parents, and chose archaeology as his own career as well.
Daniel has earned Ph.D.s in archaeology, anthropology, and philology, his particular area of expertise being ancient cultures and languages. He studied under Dr. David Jordan in Chicago, and his colleagues while at university included Steven Rayner, who grew resentful of his abilities, Robert Rothman, who served as his research assistant as he prepared his dissertation, and Sarah Gardner, with whom he had been romantically involved until his obsession with his research had destroyed their relationship. At first highly respected in the field of archaeology, Daniel was eventually laughed out of academia for his controversial theories of alien involvement and cross-pollinization in ancient cultures and his hypothesis that Egyptian civilization is not only thousands of years older than suspected, but that the great pyramids were built as landing pedestals for alien ships. His grandfather, Nick, also ridiculed for his similar theories about the crystal skull, had committed himself to a psychiatric institution. They had kept in touch regularly for years until they had a falling out, neither able to accept the theories of the other, and neither realizing they were both right.
At the lowest point of his career, Daniel was recruited by Catherine Langford to work on the stargate project. It was Daniel who solved the mysteries of the gate, and the Stargate Program was born. He participated in the first mission to Abydos under Colonel O'Neill, and chose to remain behind on the planet, taking Sha're, a native of Abydos, as his wife, after she had been offered to him as a gift and the two had fallen in love. Shortly after settling on Abydos, Daniel discovered a map room near the pyramid and an ancient cartouche that held the key to the stargate addresses known to the Goa'uld. His theory that the stargate could dial many planets beyond Abydos was confirmed a year later when he was reunited with O'Neill during a second mission to Abydos, and calculations to adjust for stellar drift made dialing other planets possible. However, when Apophis also arrived through the gate and captured Sha're and Skaara, Daniel left his adopted home and returned to Earth to become a member of SG-1 and join the battle against the Goa'uld.
Daniel was reunited with Sha're on Abydos the following year when she had returned to give birth to the child of Apophis, and Daniel himself delivered the infant before Amaunet, the Goa'uld who possessed her, reemerged and Sha're was once again taken from him. A year later SG-1 encountered Amaunet on P8X-873, and as she held Daniel in the grip of her ribbon device, Sha're communicated through the device her message of forgiveness and concern for her child. To save Daniel's life, Teal'c was forced to kill Amaunet, taking Sha're's life as well. Daniel had joined SG-1 driven by his search for Sha're and later for her infant son, the Harsesis, yet despite his devastating loss, Daniel found the capacity to forgive and to redirect his life.
For five years, Daniel's passion to explore the mysteries of the universe as well as his expertise and compassion helped to guide the missions of SG-1. Daniel's facility with languages is extraordinary, and he claims to speak 23 different languages including German, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, Latin, Phoenician, Babylonian, Mayan, and ancient Egyptian. He also has the ability to interpret hieroglyphics, cuneiform, and Nordic runes, and his natural gift for languages has allowed him to acquire a fluency in several alien languages including Abydonian, Goa'uld, Unas, and Ancient. As an archaeologist, Daniel has provided invaluable insight into the cultures SG-1 has encountered, and he has exhibited an exceptional ability as a diplomat, having helped to broker numerous important negotiations with alien cultures as well as the agreement with the Russians for shared interest in the Stargate Program, the treaty with the Tok'ra, and the Protected Planets Treaty with the Goa'uld.
Daniel is highly respected by his teammates. As a scientist, he shares Carter's passion for exploration and thirst for knowledge, and he has come to admire Teal'c's quiet strength and sense of purpose. O'Neill and Daniel share a mutual respect and admiration strengthened by the contrast in their personalities, O'Neill's decisive leadership skills balanced by Daniel's tendency to approach issues through diplomacy and negotiation. Following the mission to the planet Oannes, SG-1 was led to believe that Daniel had been killed, and during the memorial service O'Neill voiced his admiration for his teammate. "Daniel Jackson made this place happen. As a member of SG-1, he was our voice, our conscience. He was a very courageous man. He was a good man. For those of us lucky enough to have known him, he was also a friend."
Daniel never remarried following Sha're's death. He has lived alone in several homes since returning to Earth. His first apartment was closed following the memorial service and mission to Oannes, but he took a new apartment at 1152 Mainland Street in Colorado Springs. He later moved to another apartment, number 8-3, with a balcony overlooking the city, and eventually settled in a single-story detached home, house number 4075. Daniel's interests focus on the area of academics. He has a passion for reading, and even his taste in television tends toward the History Channel, although he has been known to take advantage of the gym facilities at the SGC and enjoy the occasional game of basketball. He has exhibited a number of hidden talents, including a familiarity with midwifery which he learned during a dig in the Yucatan and which he has used twice since, delivering the baby Dan-ell on Argos, and the infant Shifu. He easily uses the computer as a research tool, and has even demonstrated a familiarity with the computer systems aboard the Prometheus. He owns a piano, and a tank of tropical fish. Although gate travel aggravated his allergies when he first joined the Stargate Program, he has since overcome the problem with regular doses of antihistamines. He is an avid coffee drinker, although he has been known to have the occasional beer, he enjoys a good steak, loves chocolate walnut cookies, and is considerably less fond of heights.
On a mission to Kelowna during the fifth year of the Stargate Program, SG-1 encountered a civilization developing a naquadria weapon of mass destruction. A laboratory accident threatened to destroy the planet, and Daniel risked his life to disarm the device, exposing himself to lethal radiation. As his body succumbed to radiation poisoning, Oma Desala helped to guide him toward enlightenment, and Daniel chose ascension, taking on the non-corporeal form of the Others, to continue his journey on a higher plane of existence. As an ascended being, Daniel became energy and had the power to accomplish great tasks, but he was not permitted to intervene in human affairs. However, he continued to monitor those he had left behind. When O'Neill was captured by Ba'al and repeatedly tortured to death, Daniel appeared to him and offered him a means of escape. As Teal'c lay dying on the battlefield following the Ambush of Kresh'taa, Daniel appeared in his dreams, offering him strength and courage until help could arrive. When Anubis threatened to destroy Abydos, Daniel made the decision at last to violate the most sacred rules of the Others and take action to stop him. However, as Daniel confronted Anubis and prepared to use his powers to destroy him, he was drawn away by Oma Desala, and vanished. Daniel had come to realize that it was Oma Desala who had unknowingly helped Anubis to ascend, and that the rules of noninterference were her punishment. Angered by what he perceived to be injustice, he had made the decision to act, but Oma had intervened, knowing the wrath he would face from the Others.
Daniel chose to return to human form, to continue to fight for humanity, but at the cost of losing all that he had learned as an ascended being. In a brilliant flash of light on the planet Vis Uban, Daniel was returned to human form, naked, alone, and with no memory of his past. He was found by the nomad inhabitants of the planet, who took him in and gave him the name Arrom. There after two moon cycles he was reunited with SG-1 when their mission brought them to the planet, and although he had no memory of them, he agreed to return with them to Earth. Slowly the memories of his past began to return until eventually he was able to recall most of his life except for his time as an ascended being, and Daniel returned to his place as a member of SG-1.
Two years later, Daniel once again faced the choice of ascension when he was captured by Replicator Carter, who probed his mind seeking the knowledge of the Ancients locked in his subconscious that he himself was unable to access. As she entered his mind, however, Daniel was able to enter hers, and through her he gained control of all the Replicators across the galaxy just long enough to allow the activation of the Ancient weapon on Dakara that would eliminate the Replicators. In the moments before her destruction, Replicator Carter stabbed Daniel in the heart to release his control, and as he faced death, Oma Desala once again stepped in to offer him a second chance to make the choice between death and ascension. On another plane of existence, a place drawn from his memory as the diner where his grandfather had taken him for waffles after his parents' funeral, Daniel encountered Oma Desala, who appeared to him as a waitress, and Anubis, who had taken the form of "Jim." Faced with the difficult choice of achieving enlightenment but being bound by the rules of noninterference, Daniel slowly came to realize what he had learned once before, that the rules of the Others prevented Oma from reversing her terrible mistake in helping Anubis to ascend. Without having achieved ascension, Daniel was powerless to intervene, but this time Oma Desala made the choice to take action, and she confronted Anubis as they both vanished, locked in eternal struggle. In the same instant, Daniel was returned to human form, appearing this time in General O'Neill's office, naked once again, but with most of his memories intact. Oma had warned that he would not be offered the chance for ascension a third time, but Daniel returned to his place on SG-1 knowing that there he would be able to do the most good.
The defeat of the System Lords brought changes to SG-1 as O'Neill was reassigned to Washington, DC, Teal'c devoted his energy to building the new Jaffa Nation, and Carter took command of Stargate Research and Development out of Area 51. With SG-1 disbanded, Daniel enthusiastically requested reassignment to Atlantis. As the word's foremost expert on the Ancients, Daniel had looked forward to visiting the Pegasus Galaxy since the departure of the Atlantis expedition, but when Vala arrived and used a pair of Kor Mak bracelets to create a physiological link between herself and Daniel, he was forced to postpone the journey and join the mission to Glastonbury instead. There the team discovered an Ancient terminal capable of communicating across galaxies, and as Daniel and Vala used the device, their consciousnesses were transported to temporarily inhabit the bodies of Harrid and Sallis Cicera in the galaxy of the Ori. Their contact in the distant galaxy alerted the Ori to the existence of the Milky Way, and as Priors arrived to prepare for invasion, Daniel rejoined SG-1 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell.
As the team sought a means to defeat the Ori, Daniel's knowledge of the Ancients guided them on their quest for the Sangreal and Merlin's weapon, and he became an expert on the Book of Origin as well, able to recognize and quote from it fluently. The search led to the discovery of Merlin, who awakened from stasis and agreed to recreate his weapon to destroy ascended beings, however he recognized that he had grown too weak to complete the device. Knowing his death was near, Merlin uploaded some of his memories and knowledge into a repository so that when Daniel interfaced with it, he acquired telekinetic abilities as well as Merlin's memories of Earth and Atlantis, and the knowledge to complete the weapon. Using Merlin's knowledge, Daniel continued constructing the device holographically, but the effort was exhausting, and with each stage he grew weaker. When Adria arrived on the planet, Daniel summoned the power of nature to defeat her army and withstood Adria's powers, enabling SG-1 to escape. In his weakened condition, however, Daniel's powers were no match for Adria, and as he collapsed, he became her prisoner.
Aboard the Ori ship, Daniel earned Adria's trust and allowed her to transform him into a Prior of the Ori. Unable to survive for long with the knowledge and consciousness of two distinct people in one mind, Daniel knew that Merlin had used the repository to genetically program his body to revert to its original state, and he devised a plan to use his special abilities to complete Merlin's weapon before those powers were lost. Jack O'Neill and SG-1 were convinced that Daniel's plan was worth the risk, and together they embarked on the mission that would complete Merlin's weapon, overpower Adria, and send the activated device aboard her ship through the supergate to the Ori galaxy. Although there was no way to know if the Ori had been defeated, Merlin had sacrificed himself for the plan to work, and as the knowledge and powers that Daniel had gained began to fade, his body returned to its original state. Once again Daniel returned to his team to continue the battle against the Ori.
Portrayed by: Michael Shanks
Cross Reference: Abydonians, Ancient Communication Stone, Ancient Communication Terminal, Ancient Repository, Anubis, Arrom, Ascension, Nicholas Ballard, Samantha Carter, Harrid Cicera, Janet Fraiser, Sarah Gardner, George Hammond, Harsesis, Claire Jackson, Melburn Jackson, The Daniel Jackson, Jim, David Jordan, Kelowna, Kor Mak, Hank Landry, Catherine Langford, John Lenic, Vala Mal Doran, Merlin, Cameron Mitchell, Naquadria, Oma Desala, Jack O'Neill, Others, Prior, Jonas Quinn, Steven Rayner, Replicator Carter, Robert Rothman, SG Teams, Sha're, Shifu, Teal'c, Time Dilation Bubble, Time Travel 3000 BC
First Introduced: Children of the Gods
Significant Episode Reference: The Gamekeeper, Secrets, Forever in a Day, Crystal Skull, The Curse, Meridian, Abyss, The Changeling, Full Circle, Fallen, Chimera, Reckoning, Threads, Moebius, Avalon, Origin, The Pegasus Project, The Quest, The Shroud, Unending