Battlestar Wiki:Official Communiques/Archive2

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To what extent does the writing staff keep track of the fleet's limited resources? Ronald Moore has identified the disregard that Star Trek: Voyager showed to resource issues to be one of his pet peeves with the series, and I'm curious to what extent the BSG staff try to address this. Notably,

  • Although survivor count figures throughout both seasons are broadly consistant, the off-screen casualties sustained in several second-season combat situations seems suspiciously small. The opening credit survivor count reveals that 11 people are killed offscreen during the boarding action in "Valley of Darkness", 4 in the Battle of the Resurrection Ship, and none during "The Captain's Hand".
Two ways to look at this: 1) The casualties aren't updated on Laura's board in as timely a fashion as she'd like (so they were factored in later). OR 2) We screwed up. The staff (post, writing, and art) took a hard look at that question at the end of season 2 and then again at the beginning of season 3 to come up with a reasonable number... Ngarenn 19:59, 19 June 2006 (CDT)
  • The size of the Fleet changes from 40 FTL capable ships in the miniseries to (apparently) around 75 during the second season.
My best information is that there were 57 ships listed on the board for the election that Laura tried to steal. Ngarenn 19:59, 19 June 2006 (CDT)
  • Galactica is able to deploy six Raptors simultaneously in "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II", during which only two are destroyed. Oddly, in "Fragged", which seems to take place late in the same day, Lee Adama orders a raptor scrapped for parts to make up a two-ship rescue party, then a few days later in "Resistance", Tigh is able to have five raptors standing by to board ships protesting his policies.
As is usual in Fleet Air operations, the availability of operational aircraft is affected by scheduled maintenance, exceeded TBO's (Time Between Overhauls), pilot squawks, parts on hand (or due to be fabricated), glitches, etc. These headaches are why Tyrol looks frazzled a lot of the time. Ngarenn 19:59, 19 June 2006 (CDT)

Do you keep informal track of statistics such as crew totals and raptors/vipers on hand? Is there a list of pilot and ship names to avoid verbally identifying more people or craft than are supposed to exist? --Peter Farago 00:39, 18 June 2006 (CDT)

The list does exist, but it reflects only one moment in the history of Galactica. With so few people and so much to do in a fleet under seige, accountants and future historians get the short end of the priority stick. It's been one of the President's complaints for over a year. Ngarenn 19:59, 19 June 2006 (CDT)

Red Line

What is the definition of the "Red Line"? As you can see on the discussion page for Red Line, there has been some confusion over if it means "the maximum safe distance a Colonial ship can Jump" or "the imaginary line separating explored for unexplored space". --The Merovingian (C - E) 19:31, 27 June 2006 (CDT)

As originally defined, the Red Line is the distance beyond which Jump calculations have an unacceptable uncertaintly factor. I'm sure Kevin Grazier (our Tech guy at JPL) could put it more accurately, but the calculations involved at that distance involve so many variables that we're not always sure where we'll end up -- such as in the center of a star, for example. We've been using five light years as a rule of thumb, but the actual capabilities of Colonial jump calculation computers are classified. The Cylons, however, are considerably better at making those calculations - Ngarenn 15:47, 28 June 2006 (CDT)

Human sacrifice

I've been wondering about this for some time: in "Valley of Darkness", Number Six shows Baltar a pile of old human skulls on the surface of Kobol, and tells him that human sacrifices used to be performed on Kobol, and the Sacred Scrolls are really just a bunch of lies to cover up the brutality of humanity's past. --->Should this scene be taken at face value? That is, did this entire scene "actually" happen, were there actually skulls there, or did all of this occurr as a Number Six induced manipulation inside of Baltar's head, to manipulate him and turn him more and more against humanity? --->Or (of course), is this one of those "we intentionally wanted the audience to be confused as to whether that scene was "real" or not, and it's still an open question with no answer" things? ---->Or, another possibility, were the skulls themselves there, but Number Six was just lying about them? I mean just by looking at them (assuming they were actually real) Baltar couldn't confirm Number Six's statements that they were the result of human sacrifice rituals: they could have been just bones lying around from some old war or cataclysm. (We don't need a definative answer given away, we just need to know if this was intentionally open to interpretation)...was what Number Six saying meant to be actually true, or is there the *possibilty* that she was lying about the skeletons Baltar found and it's open to audience interpretation?--The Merovingian (C - E) 21:50, 21 June 2006 (CDT)

The question at the bottom of this is: "Who is Six?" In such cases, I'm not going to embellish what Ron & David have put on the screen. - Ngarenn 18:39, 22 June 2006 (CDT)

Centurion armor

In "Valley of Darkness", the boarding-party Centurions can only be destroyed with exploding rounds, but in every episode before or after that (like Home, Part I) we've seen them destroyed with regular bullets--->Do different Centurions have heavier armor than others? I mean it would be logical that a boarding-party Centurion would be expected to see heavy combat, and would thus have more armor. (If you check the "Home, Part I" podcast, Ron and Dave seem to mention that there was a lot of discussion about this point in the writers room). --The Merovingian (C - E) 21:21, 19 June 2006 (CDT)

The Centurion in "Downloaded" was also immune to normal ammunition, Anders shot it for a long time, but only the bomb seems to have worked on it. It's probable that the Centurions we've otherwise seen (the ones harassing Helo) were given weaker armor for the purpose of the experiment, while the typical armor is the strong variety. --Sauron18 22:09, 17 June 2006 (CDT)
Centurions are constantly being upgraded - new ones come out with better armor, quieter servos, better battle software. Some are designed for different uses (the ones designed for submarine use have REALLY heavy armor but are exceptionally slow, and have reduced ammunition carrying capacity.) Not to mention that the Colonials have remarkably bright backyard engineers -- they've been hot-loading our small-arms rounds, coming up with better armor-piercing projectiles -- it's the constant ebb-and-flow of wartime technology. - Ngarenn 21:13, 20 June 2006 (CDT)

Tom Zarek / Ellen Tigh involvement

"Colonial Day" made it very clear that Ellen Tigh furnished Zarek with the information he needed to have Valance killed, and later intended her husband to meet with his agents afterward. Why was this plot thread dropped, after making such a big deal of it in the episode? --Peter Farago 00:09, 18 June 2006 (CDT)

Zarek also stated that he had no connection with the death of Valance. And though we're not privvy to all of Tigh's bedroom conversations, we might assume that Ellen's machinations failed to gain her husband's co-operation. After all, she couldn't even get him to shake hands with the ex-terrorist. Ngarenn 19:40, 19 June 2006 (CDT)
There are many plausible in-continuity explanations for why this wasn't followed up - I was more interested in what was going on in the writer's room, and if you all had plans to pursue this thread before the course of season 2 was settled upon. --Peter Farago 15:14, 20 June 2006 (CDT)
Peter - There were many arguments pro and con as to where this would go. But events passed us by and we haven't returned to it. Sometimes we plant seeds without knowing whether they'll sprout. Like Boxey - who was written into several early episodes, then left on the cutting room floor because of time constraints. Giving Baltar a nuke was one of those seeds, and throughout the first two seasons we constantly wondered what he'd do with the thing. There were some pretty whacky ideas. But having it in our back pocket was really useful when "Lay Your Burdens Down" came up. It's part of the fun of writing the show - Ngarenn 21:01, 20 June 2006 (CDT)
Thanks. Your clarification will be helpful for closing out that line of speculation on Ellen's article. --Peter Farago 03:57, 21 June 2006 (CDT)
That isn't to say that WE have closed it out. :) - Ngarenn 16:50, 21 June 2006 (CDT)


In "Downloaded", the Number Six that seduced Baltar is in-story referred to as "Caprica-Six" (as the Cylons didn't really have "celebrity" individuals before and simply no need to destinguish individuals before her, they say it's sort of an ad hoc name).---->There's an online fan convention which sort of developed over time for differentiating Cylon copies: Galactica-Sharon, Caprica-Sharon, Caprica-Six, Pegasus-Six, etc. (I've searched around and this is a true gestalt: no one person or website created this, but it simultaneously aggregated on many sites at the same time, to the point that by Season 2 it had simply become the common way to tell them apart: i.e. on the official messageboards we routinely call them "Galactica-Sharon" and "Caprica-Sharon"). --->Was naming the Caprica-based copy of Number Six "Caprica-Six" a referrence to this fan naming convention which developed? I thought it might be because that joke is included where Number Three points this out and says "They call you "Caprica-Six" if your the only Six on the planet!"....which I thought might be a little jest at the fans, because to be honest we'd seen in "Colonial Day" etc. that there were many other copies of Number Eight/Sharon Valerri on Caprica, but still called the one with Helo "Caprica-Sharon"...when she was only one of many on the planet. (As you can see on this section we were already discussing the "Location-Name" identification nomenclature when I (using my old screename, Ricimer) made up this hi-larious send up of the whole thing, in which I already refer to her as "Caprica-Six" in November of last year). --The Merovingian (C - E) 23:41, 14 June 2006 (CDT)

Caprica Six was named by the writers, either in the room, on the page, or in rewrites. I'm not sure when that appeared , but my best guess is that it was Ron. I doubt that it was because of the boards. We certainly weren't conversant with them when we wrote the show. Ngarenn 21:31, 17 June 2006 (CDT)

Cylon Homeworld

I've listened to the Writer's room podcasts on so I understand that exact details about the Cylon homeworld are very much a work in progress (For all we know it's just a bunch of Tylium-rich asteroids lashed together), but I've got a question about its location which was brought up in season one: In "The Hand of God", the following exchange takes place between Apollo and Gaeta:

Gaeta: "They'd build a refinery this far from their homeworld?"
Apollo: "Why not? They need fuel out here just as much as we do"

Judging from this dialogue, do the Colonials actually know where the Cylon Homeworld is? Roughly speaking at least? I mean they may have never set foot on it or seen it, but do they have a general idea of where it is? If Galactica has fled into deep space, far from the Twelve Colonies, and while in this same deep space location Gaeta said that they were also very far away from the Cylon Homeworld, does this mean the Cylon Homeworld is relatively close to the Twelve Colonies? I would assume so; that when they left the Twelve Colonies at the end of the Cylon War they didn't travel half way across the galaxy, but went somewhere relatively near.

We assume Armistice Station was built near a border that we promised not to cross as part of the cease-fire terms. Space is BIG. The Cylons vanished beyond these borders. Gaeta and Apollo are probably using Armistice Station as a house number for where that home world might be -- and that's a long way from where they are at the time of Hand of God. So either the Cylons have to truck their fuel all the way out, or they live off local resources they've found in this section of space they've guessed the resource-poor Colonials may try to exploit. Ngarenn 19:32, 19 June 2006 (CDT)

While I'm on the subject, they said that in the region of deep space Galactica and Pegasus had fled to by "Pegasus (episode)", they were out of "downloading" range from the Cylon Homeworld. In "Downloaded" they say that Cylons killed in the cafe will be reborn, and we also see that during the events of the Miniseries 9 months before, Caprica-Six was also reborn.--->Is the Cylon Homeworld close to the Twelve Colonies, and thus the Twelve Colonies are within downloading-range from it? That is, downloading worked fine on them and they didn't need the support of the Resurrection Ship to download while on Caprica?--The Merovingian (C - E) 21:41, 14 June 2006 (CDT)

The Cylons either built a downloading facility on Caprica or detailed one of their few Resurrection Ships to Colonial occupation duties. By "Pegasus," Galactica's a long way from both. Downloading is very touchy (and highly classified technology). Ngarenn 19:32, 19 June 2006 (CDT)

Galactica Chain of Command

in "Scattered", Commander Adama is shot so his XO Colonel Tigh takes command, while Captain Aaron Kelly then becomes his acting XO. Is Captain Kelly normally third-in-command of Galactica (well, before the many promotions and shifting assignments in Season 2.5 post-"Pegasus")? Or is Apollo normally third in command, but because he was arrested for mutiny, he was removed from the normal succession?--The Merovingian (C - E) 22:11, 14 June 2006 (CDT)

Captain Kelly would undoubtadely be the "third in command", or more correctly, the "Second Officer". Captain Adama is the Commander of the Air Group- if, as much of the rest of the show suggests, the Colonial Fleet closely follws the US military's organization, then Apollo would not be directly involved in the day-to-day running of Galactica herself, merely the air group stationed aboard her. Thoughts? --Madbrood 14:48, 12 July 2006 (CDT)


The season two timeline discontinuity left us all a bit baffled. Can you help clarify matters? --Peter Farago 00:40, 18 June 2006 (CDT)

This one gives me a headache. We were advised by post-production that we may have goofed in the timeline. There were large pow-wows between writers and post trying to sort this out. If memory serves (and it is highly suspect), the issue was a chyron that was subsequently changed -- or not changed -- for the DVD release of Season 2.5. But don't hold me to that. These discussions went on for days and I'm not anxious to revisit them. I do know that what we came up with made sense at the time. Ngarenn 20:05, 19 June 2006 (CDT)
Those are actually two separate things: yes, there was a mistake in post for "Downloaded": the card at the beginning says "10 weeks ago", which would have been impossible. The messageboards were in an uproar, and apparently, Joe (owner of BattlestarWiki) e-mailed the post production office and showed them our Timeline article, showing how it was a clear mix up in post: They sent us an e-mail back saying that it would be fixed in the Season 2.5 DVD and all subsequent international airings: Fans in the UK have confirmed to us that when "Downloaded" premiered in the UK, the sign was changed to "10 weeks later".----->However, what we've dubbed the "season 2.5 timeline discontinuity" is different from that, but I think it's more something we're waiting for Ron to explain in his blog. --->Basically, there was a jump in time of about 2-3 months between "Pegasus" and "Res Ship I", which we've been trying to explain but can't: All dates within season 2.5 are consistent with each other, but not with the earlier half of season 2. That is, we worked out that "Pegasus" must take place around three months post-attack, but then in "Res Ship I" Admiral Cain said "Six month" had passed since the attack: at first we thought it was a random dialogue error, at first, but then the rest of Season 2.5 consistently used this, i.e. in "Downloaded" Hera is born 9 months after the Cylon attack (one month premature, as she was conceived on Day 24). The reason we encountered the "season 2 timeline discontinuity" is that there are a few things that are not really reconcilable, which are:
A) Caprica-Sharon is not visibly pregnant in "Pegasus" while wearing a tight tank top, but by "Epiphanies" (at most, two weeks later) she is visibly into her second trimester. Her "Pegasus" appearance fits our initial "three months" dating, while her "Epiphanies" appearance appears to have fast fowarded three months.
B) The Presidential elections are stated to take place Nine months after the Cylon attack, however in "Bastille Day" Apollo said they'd take place in Seven months, and one month later in "Colonial Day" they said they would take place in Six month (so season 1 consistently says they're 7 months post-attack). ***Ron himself actually says in the LDYB I podcast, "we said in "Bastille Day" that elections were due in Nine months", so we think not even Ron noticed this.
C) The last point is a bit complicated, but follows our detailed Timeline: the last firm date we got from the Helo-on-Caprica ticker was that season 2 begins Two months after the attack. Scattered through Fragged span a day or two, then Resistance (ground team wasn't on Kobol very long). In "Resistance", Cally killed Galactica-Sharon and was sent to the brig for 30 days as a result. Cally gets out in "Flight of the Phoenix". --->Colonel Tigh was in command of Galatica for less than two weeks, more probably one, a command which ended in "Resistance" when Adama returned. Anyway, in FotP Roslin is told she has one month at the most to live. That means at most one month passes between this scene and "Epiphanies", when she's dying. --->It is stated that "weeks" pass during FotP while Tyrol builds the Blackbird, and this is actually the episode which includes the longest amount of time from beginning to end; we assumed it took maybe 2, but it could have taken many weeks. In any event, we figured out that Flight of the Phoenix starts about two and a half months after the attack, a lot of time passes during the episode, and by the end, Roslin has one month to live. "Epiphanies" states it took place Six months post-attack, subtracting one month for Roslin life expectancy, the end of Flight of the Phoenix would have to be at Five months poast attack....which would mean that during the episode, 2 months pass while Tyrol builds the Blackbird (which would be a lot given that all of season 1 lasted just two months).
Actually, Tyrol could conceivably have spent that long building the Blackbird, Caprica-Sharon's gestation could have just been really fast because she's a Cylon, and some Canadian viewers have pointed out to us that when an election "is called" in a Parliamentary system isn't the same as when the actual voting is held, and that in like Canada and the UK 2 months can pass after an eleciton "starts" and the voting, which could explain all of this (although Ron states in the podcast that as he remembers it, Bastille Day actually just said "Nine").------->We actually don't want to split hairs and be the Comic Book Guy pointing out how in a Xena episode, in one frame she's riding a winged Andalusian horse, while in the next shot she's riding a winged Arabian, and surely we must demand explanation: (this is from a Simpsons episode guest starring Lucy Lawless in which she appears as herself at a convention, and her answer is: "Every time something like that happens, a wizard did it. Wizard!" We've had a hard time keeping track of things ourselves and we appreciate everything the production team is doing on BSG....we take hours upon hours away from friends and family to update this dang encyclopedia (nay, we are compelled)! --->We just want to know what to do in our Timeline. --The Merovingian (C - E) 21:17, 19 June 2006 (CDT)
Unfortunately, you're going to be forced to the conclusion that wizards did it. At least for now. - Ngarenn 21:05, 20 June 2006 (CDT)

Guns nomenclature

(BTW, thank you for taking the time to read all of these.): A matter which has come up is what to refer to the guns in BSG as. That is, on Star Trek we'd have an article title "Phasers", and have subsectios talking about ship-mounted phasers and various models of hand phasers. On BSG, are the ship-mounted guns railguns, officially? Do Cylon Basestars have gun batteries like Battlestars? In our own analysis, we thought they didn't (except for missiles) and that while both Battlestars and Basestars are Carrier/Battleship hybrids, a Battlestar is more battleship than a basestar and a basestar leans more towards carrier: that they rely on sheer weight of numbers and hundreds upon hundreds of Raiders, at the expense of having no room left over for railgun batteries (so if you lure the hundreds of Raiders away, they're at a disadvantage to Battlestars, as in the Battle of the Resurrection Ship). ---->Meanwhile, like I said in Trek we'd have an article for "hand phasers", but on BSG we've just got "guns". And for Vipers, what do Vipers have? ---->My point is, we've been using the term "Kinetic Energy Weapons" for the name of an article on all of this, but we're not sure if this is in anyway what the show itself uses. This many seem like a minor point, I know, but after we started using "KEW", simply as a term of convenience on the Viper articles and such...other fansites and messageboards I've seen read BattlestarWiki and I think they assume it's an official term. So if this is not what people in the BSGverse refer to their guns as, I think I should add a disclaimer or something (just like "Note: KEW is not an official term"). --The Merovingian (C - E) 21:35, 21 June 2006 (CDT)

In short, is "KEW" a correct termology of the "guns" of Battlestar(s)? --Shane (T - C - E) 21:39, 21 June 2006 (CDT)
[Spock]I believe that is what I said, Mr. Shane [/Spock]--The Merovingian (C - E) 21:52, 21 June 2006 (CDT)
Just a simple explain. --Shane (T - C - E) 22:17, 21 June 2006 (CDT)
During rewrites of Epiphanes, we ran into this same question, at least in terms of Viper ordnance. The writing staff originally proposed chemically propelled projectiles (easier to sabotage) but Gary Hutzel protested. He preferred rail guns, and that's what we adopted, but nobody's said it on screen. Which means there is no canon on our cannons yet ;) Ngarenn 18:23, 22 June 2006 (CDT)
The plot thinkens. --Shane (T - C - E) 18:25, 22 June 2006 (CDT)
The visual evidence on Epiphanies seems to suggest chemically propelled projectiles. However, since railguns are still a form of KEW, do the production staff ever refer to them as KEW? We are trying to verify if the term Kinetic Energy Weapon is an "official" term. --FrankieG 18:50, 22 June 2006 (CDT)
I'm pretty sure it's just something one of us came up with. It's been proposed that we go to a more generic "Weapons" over on the talk page of that article. It's not like we have an article for each different "kind" of weapon at this point.--Steelviper 07:46, 23 June 2006 (CDT)
The broken cartridge (with what appeared to be gunpowder spilling out) did seem to point to chemical propulsion. And not even caseless (as had been proposed during the miniseries). Oh well. As long as something comes out whenever they pull the trigger, I suppose. The (rail gun/Gary Hutzel discussion) is an awesome piece of trivia! --Steelviper 07:50, 23 June 2006 (CDT)

"Kinetic Energy Weapon" and "KEW" are terms I first saw used by the US Air Force in a book called MILITARY SPACE FORCES commissioned by the US Congress and published in 1989. As to its "official" nature on Galactica, I'm sure they'd use the term where appropriate, just as they use the terms "nuclear weapon" or "noodle." The Rail guns aboard the Vipers fire a mix of tracer/incendiary, armor piercing and explosive rounds, in various ratios depending upon mission requirements, so not all their projectiles are strictly kinetic. - And the powder in the degraded projectile might have been chemical explosive used in the HE rounds. - Ngarenn 16:14, 28 June 2006 (CDT)

Can I ask, then, why chemically-propelled ordnance was rejected? I ask mainly because rail guns as we know them (theoretically) propel ordnance at a percentage of the speed of light- which, it stands to reason, would be far faster than any chemically-propelled weaponry, such as missiles. However, in the Miniseries, when the fleet is escaping Ragnar, the shells fired by both Galatica and her Vipers do not seem to be travelling much faster than the missiles fired by the enemy vessels.--Madbrood 14:57, 12 July 2006 (CDT)
Here we're stuck with what we can actually SEE in order to make exciting visual storytelling. Just as the Vipers and Raiders have been slowed down and moved closer than they would "really" be so we can enjoy cool shots, the weaponry has also been made viewer friendly. - Ngarenn 20:43, 27 July 2006 (CDT)