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In Season 9's "Ripple Effect", a desperate version of SG-1 from an alternate reality hatches a plot to break into our reality, travel to Atlantis, steal a ZPM, and take said ZPM back home to power their own Antarctic defences.

How did this team know that the Universe they were travelling to:

  • had a ZPM?
  • had a presence on Atlantis?
  • had a ship to get to Atlantis?
  • had an Atlantis?
  • had a Stargate program?
  • had breathable atmosphere on Earth?
  • had an Earth?

Seems like a bit of a pot luck draw. One might argue that they were hedging their bets on most of that by calibrating their explosive to result in a bridge to a relatively close universe; but, by that logic, they'd only be increasing the chances of finding themselves in a Universe that had exactly the same problem that they did.

Did the script address this in a way that I missed? Did the producers ever address it?

Because when the team first takes over the Prometheus, we're expected to assume that they were just taking advantage of their surroundings, and using what they'd learnt about the universe in which they found themselves … but the reveal that powers the episode's final plot elements is that they've literally engineered the entire thing.

The only explanation I can come up with is that they didn't know, but were extremely desperate to try anyway, and astronomically fortunate that they landed in a universe that had what they wanted. And then, of course, rather unlucky that their plan then failed regardless…

5

By trial and error

The universe had a way to orchestrate how to create the issue to visit another reality and how to get back.

There is nothing saying that they didn't try this before. And even if this was their first attempt, my guess is they are just hoping to get lucky. If they couldn't get a working ZPM, they go back to their reality and try connecting to another.

In off-scene, I wouldn't be surprised if they were interviewing all the other SG-1's that popped in to see if they had ZPM's to steal.

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    +1 As they mention in the episode there are numerous similarities between universes. The "black SG1" depleted their ZPM somehow and hoped "we" had not done so. In addition, as mentioned, they planned the whole thing. It is possible, though not mentioned, that they used the quantum mirror to somehow determine and travel to a reality that was more similar to theirs and increase their chances. Still, there is likely good odds that the one of infinite realities you travel to would have at least one good ZPM... and assuming how your plan works, this might not be the last time you use that tactic... – Odin1806 Mar 6 '18 at 21:15

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