The Long Patrol (Book)

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The Long Patrol
The Long Patrol
A book of the Berkley Books line
Book No. 10
Author(s) Ron Goulart
Adaptation of The Long Patrol
No. of Pages {{{pages}}}
Published November 1984
ISBN 0425071057
Chronology
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Experiment in Terra The Long Patrol The Nightmare Machine
Paperback Version
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Audiobook Version
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Review

I usually enjoy novelizations more when the author takes liberties with the story and does not do a straightforward adaptation of the episode. This book is the one case where I wish the original story had been left alone. Ron Goulart makes a lot of changes to what was one of the better one-hour episodes of Battlestar Galactica, and virtually all of his changes are for the worse.

To Goulart's credit, he does write Starbuck better here than in the previous two novels. But his constant need to pair Starbuck up with a woman gets tiresome. Robber is now a gorgeous black-haired woman instead of a man. There are numerous extra scenes thrown in which aren't all that interesting. What is strange is that Starbuck drops his anger at Robber for stealing his ship pretty quickly. He believes her to be in danger even though he never is given a good reason, and so he goes off to rescue her (like the true hero he is!). There is a rather large plot hole in the fact that C.O.R.A. just happens to force Robber to land on a planet in the exact area where she has enemies. Of course, this is not the most believable of coincidences. A couple of other new characters are introduced, but none of them are interesting.

What comes across as a rip-off is when Goulart decides to rehash the "Fire In Space" episode by having kamikaze Cylon raiders attack the Galactica at the end and people trapped inside a lounge (How original!). Three Cylon fighters ram the Galactica, but the damage they do is pretty minimal compared to what happened in the episode when only one Cylon raider rams the ship.

We are given more space battles with the Cylons in the book than we did in the actual episode, but they are pretty dull as Goulart isn't very good at writing them. The Cylon kamikaze attack at the end is also fairly dull (and it shouldn't be). The Colonials beat the Cylons fairly easily each time they attack, so there is little suspense.

Perhaps the best thing about his book is the cover art, although there is a mistake as Starbuck is in a colonial uniform and Apollo is wearing a disguise. Of course, it should be vice-versa. Bottom line, if you miss this book, you're not missing much.

Notes

  • This is the last of the Berkely novelizations. The remaining Berkely books would have original stories.
  • When Athena walks in on Starbuck, she sees a second glass on the table. Starbuck tells her he took out a second glass because he had a feeling that someone would soon be joining him.
  • In the midst of switching rooms, Starbuck trips on the carpet while looking around to see if Cassiopea is coming.
  • When Adama says to keep tracking Starbuck because he may be on to something, Athena says to herself, "Probably a blonde."
  • Croad lands his fighter next to the shuttle. Starbuck drops a crate on Croad's foot and then knocks him out and steals his fighter. He tracks down C.O.R.A., and the viper is empty. C.O.R.A forced Robber to land on a planet in the middle of territory where she has enemies. Starbuck goes after her and falls into a large pit. A woman named Candy approaches and pulls a gun on him. Then a man with a metal arm named Scrapper zaps her, knocking her into the pit with Starbuck. He helps Starbuck out and agrees to help him find Robber. They soon rescue Robber from a gang of thugs and then head back. Apollo and Boomer land and learn from C.O.R.A. what is going on. They head off to look for Starbuck. Not long after, Starbuck returns alone to scout the place out and Croad arrests him and takes him to Proteus.
  • The Galactica does not alter its course.
  • Imperious Leader, not Baltar, launches three Cylon raiders to investigate the signal.
  • In the battle above Proteus, none of the Cylon raiders crash into the ambrosia, although Starbuck does black out.
  • Two dozen people stay behind on Proteus.
  • Imperious Leader launches three more Cylon raiders who attack the vipers and the shuttle on their way back to the Galactica. The Cylons are easily destroyed, although Starbuck pushes his luck and almost rams into one.
  • Athena and Cassiopea declare a truce and hang out with each other, wondering who Starbuck has hooked up with.
  • Robber changes her name to Roberta.
  • Starbuck, Roberta, and the other people from Croad go to the Galactica's rec lounge when fifty Cylon raiders attack.
  • Three Cylons raiders ram the Galactica. The rec lounge loses air. Roberta passes out, but she managed to help several people and is declared a hero.
  • Starbuck takes Roberta out to the Rising Star and meets the same waiter again. Athena and Cassiopea are in a booth next to where their reserved table is, so Starbuck has the waiter take them to another area.