The Lost Warrior

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Overview

After engaging a group of Cylon Raiders, Apollo is forced to crash-land on a planet, where a law-deriding thug is in control of a seemingly indestructible henchman.

This is an "Apollo episode".

Summary

  • Apollo, pilot of Recon Viper 3, leads a Cylon task force away from the Fleet.
  • Boomer and Starbuck want to go after Apollo; Adama stops this, telling them that Apollo expects no help and that going after him would only undo what Apollo is hoping for.
  • Apollo runs out of fuel for his turbo engines, crash-landing on a planet in the Hatari Sector.
  • Apollo is found by Vella and her son, Puppis, after hearing his Viper flyby.
  • Vella tells Apollo to leave, though this is impossible without fuel; the second best option is to hide the Viper and Apollo.
  • With no one having the heart to tell Boxey what happened to his father, Starbuck and Boomer keep him occupied by killng time in the Officers Quarters, playing pyramid and drinking fruit juice.
  • Apollo learns that a man, Lacerta, has been taking "tribute" for 10 yahrens, leaving enough ovines for a family or person to live from. None have stopped him because of Lacerta's henchman, "Red-Eye".
  • Red-Eye -- a Cylon Centurion -- questions Vella and Puppis, inquiring about the noise; Bootes (Vella's brother) arrives to visit his sister, contradicting Puppis' story. However, Red-Eye learns nothing more about the noise and departs.
  • Bootes meets Apollo, recognizing him as a Colonial Warrior, and a captain with a laser pistol.
  • Apollo learns that Martin was a warrior that crashed more than 10 yahren prior; he was killed 9 yahren ago by Red-Eye.
  • Bootes grows angry at Apollo's inaction. Apollo is wary of revealing himself, as he believes there may be additional Cylons present. Apollo requests native clothing so that he may enter town and learn more.
  • Onboard the Galactica, Boxey is winning at pyramid, much to Starbuck's chagrin. Boxey is pulled away from the game by Cassiopeia, who chastizes the pilots for teaching Boxey how to drink, gamble and smoke.
  • After Boxey leaves, Boomer and Starbuck hatch up a plan to find Apollo, with or without the Commander's blessing.
  • In a saloon on Equellus, Lacerta and Martin are playing a card game; Lacerta is winning. Apollo attracts his attention after Lacerta saves Apollo from Red-Eye's wrath.
  • Apollo leaves, after learning little more about Red-Eye or Lacerta, returning to Vella's ranch. He learns that a lupus attacked the herd and that Puppis snuck out a window to go after it.
  • After Puppis kills the lupus with his numo, Apollo gives Puppis a pep-talk; they return to the house much to Vella's relief.
  • Commander Adama refuses to mount a rescue for fear of reprisal; he believes that the Fleet's survivors will see Adama's attempts as favoring his son. However, Tigh convinces him otherwise and Adama orders a patrol be launched.
    • Apparently, there were already two Vipers ready to launch. (Boomer and Starbuck)
  • Apollo reveals to Vella that Puppis reminds him very much of Boxey. He realizes that he is running out of time (until the fleet is too far out of range) and is eager to discover Lacerta's connection to the Cylon Empire.
  • Jason arrives at Vella's, telling her that Red-Eye took half of Bootes ovines and that he went to town to drink.
  • Bootes engages in a gunfight with Red-Eye; he looses. When Jason and Puppis attempt to shoot, Apollo disarms them, much to their chagrin.
  • As a result of disarming them, Puppis "hates" Apollo and Jason despises him. Vella, however, understands and tells him that she is certain that he did the right thing.
  • Apollo learns from Macy that Marco is out to kill him. He also learns that Lacerta, Marco and Macy discovered Red-Eye after his Cylon Raider crashed. Ever since, Red-Eye has obeyed Lacerta.
  • Marco wants to challenge Apollo to a duel. However, Apollo has armed himself with his laser pistol, prompting Lacerta to call for Red-Eye.
    • Red-Eye is subsequently destroyed.
  • After the fight, Apollo tells Puppis that there was nothing heroic about the act. Red-Eye's destruction was something he had to do and that he was scared.
  • Vella volunteers the information on the location of Martin's crash site. It has the fuel that Apollo's Viper needs.
    • If it weren't for Boxey, he would have stayed.
  • After almost abandoning all hope, Starbuck and Boomer receive Apollo's transmissions and guide the Viper to Galactica.
  • On Equellus, Vella and Puppis look up into the stars, awaiting Apollo's return...

Questions

  • If the Cylons had encountered Colonial resistance in the Hatari Sector before, why had they not swept through the area?
  • How did Red-Eye kill Martin? Was it with a numo?

Analysis

The issue with this episode is not that this was a character-piece; it was a short character piece that went on too long. In essence, it was a Western episode set in the backdrop of the Galactica universe with a plot that could have been easily solved in two acts, if not less.

For example:

  • Apollo crash lands on planet.
  • Apollo discovers that the people are being terrorized by a lone Cylon.
  • Apollo shoots Cylon. Threat eliminated.

Obviously, the episode wouldn't have worked; there would be other acts to fill.

Depsite the performances of all the actors involved, the episode fell flat. There was truly no tension throughout the episode and all the roadblocks the writer, Don Bellisario, set in place were logical, but superficial at best. Apollo's fear of additional Cylons was ludicrous -- and easily dismissed by Bootes.

Bellisario was essentially filling up space between Apollo's landing on Equellus to Apollo's final showdown with Red-Eye. The posturing, as listed, is horribly obvious:

  • When first discovering Red-Eye, Apollo is hiding in a room. He had a clear shot.
    • Puppis claimed that Apollo didn't shoot for fear of hurting himself or his mother. This is felgercarb spewed from the writer, using Puppis as a mouthpiece.
  • Bootes confronted Apollo regarding his inaction. Apollo claims that he doesn't know how many more Cylons are around and he didn't want to reveal his presence on Equellus, for he feared that the Cylons would sweep in and kill every human.
    • Bootes countered this by saying that Martin also had a laser pistol, which Red-Eye took from Martin, and that no other Cylons have come. Also, the Cylon clearly follows a human commander, who is clearly more worthless than Baltar.
  • Apollo wants to learn about Lacerta's connection to the Cylon Empire.
    • Obviously, the Cylons are logical creatures and it would not be in their best interest to use Lacerta as a mouthpiece of their own. They would have least found someone else.

Then there is the B-story about Vella's hatred of guns. It is an overt attempt to add a layer to a story that is structurally deficient to begin with. While the actress in question did a wonderful job with the source material she had to deal with, the story about Puppis, her hatred of fighting, and his "rite of passage" (in killing a lupus with his numo), are all contrived and offer little storywise.


There are a few token memorable moments, though, which include:

  • Boxey's playing pyramid with other pilots;
  • Cassiopeia's (uncharacteristic) demosntration of motherlike behavior;
  • Starbuck's pledge to not have Boxey lose two parents;
  • Adama and Tigh's argument about finding Apollo, and Adama's hesitation because of being the "Commander's son".

Though these moments, finely executed by the actors involved, are noteworthy and touching, they are not enough to keep the episode going.

As a character piece, the story fails on many fronts; not due to the actors but due to the material. There is no true conflict to test Apollo's morallity against Bootes' pro-violence views. The episode is, act by act, a means of filling an episode via posturing and throwaway dialogue.

Episodes such as The Hand of God (TOS) and War of the Gods do more to establish characters and believable conflict.

Besides the flaccid story structure, there is also the underlining questions that should be looked at. In particular, Boomer and Starbuck's willingness to disobey orders and go after Apollo. Unauthorized missions are, at best, misuse of military property and are court martial offense, particulary in a state of emergency.

However, the real concern is the consequences. The Colonial military no longer exists. Galactica and her Fleet cannot afford to throw Boomer and Starbuck in the brig, they have proven their worth to the fleet. The Fleet isn't in any true position to simply replace experienced Viper pilots (they had enough trouble with this in "Lost Planet of the Gods"). So what does one do to a Viper pilot that disobeys orders or steals military property? More to the point, what would happen if the offenses are repeated?

Yes, you could arrest the pilots in question and throw them in the brig. Eventually, they'll have to earn their keep somehow and any action taken against them could, potentially, mean damaging the Fleet in other ways: such as a drain on resources and issues of protection from the Cylons, for instance.

Notes

  • Equellus was apparently a fringe colony, descended from the Colonies, given their language and customs.
  • Wolves are called "lupus". "Lupi" is apparently the plural form of the word.
  • In a deleted scene, Apollo rushes out with his laser pistol poised to kill a lupus, only for the lupus to be shot by Puppis.
  • In another deleted scene, Bootes escorts Apollo to the edge of town. Bootes refuses to enter for fear that his anger be his undoing. In that same scene, it is told that Lacerta owns most of the town and that he could be found if one followed the sound of the music.
  • The Colonials have detailed maps of the Hatari Sector (which Adama looked over). Clearly, they had knowledge of the system. Why not of the inhabitants?
  • The Colonials are still in their known space.
  • Starbuck and Boomer are loyal to Apollo, clearly willing to risk their careers to go after him.

Noteworthy Dialogue

Official Statements

Statistics

Guest Stars


Writing & Direction

Production Notes

  • Series X (1978 / 1979)
  • Production Number: X.X
  • Airdate Order: 4 (of X)

First Run Air Dates & Releases

  • UK Airdate: Date
  • US Airdate: 8 October 1978
  • DVD Release: Date