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- After the Fleet finds water ice to replace that which was lost in sabotage, Galactica and the Fleet face a shortage of manpower to mine the ice, turning to their prisoner barge for help, with unexpected complications.
In the Fleet
- After Galactica's extensive water supplies are sabotaged (TRS: "Water"), a source of water is found on a nearby moon—but it is in the form of ice, and must be mined, which will require a crew of around 1,000.
- As that number cannot be spared from Galactica's crew, and it is unlikely civilians will volunteer, it is determined to try and enlist the help of the prisoners on Astral Queen.
- Roslin won’t have the prisoners forced into the work, so Lee Adama suggests the prisoners who volunteer could be awarded points to go towards their freedom.
- This idea does not go down well with Commander Adama, who is already at odds with his son over his new position as "special advisor" to the President.
- However, Roslin decides to send a delegation led by Lee Adama to Astral Queen to put the idea to the prisoners. To address Adama's fears that they might inadvertently release dangerous prisoners into the Fleet's community, Billy Keikeya is selected to go as well and screen the prisoners prior to selection.
- As a further snub to his son, Adama insists military personnel also go – one to assist in the screening, who will report directly to him – and one to ensure the selected prisoners can handle the equipment that will be used to extract the ice.
- Anastasia Dualla is "volunteered" by Billy Keikeya for the first role, Cally Henderson is eventually selected for the second.
- On Astral Queen, Captain Adama outlines the deal to the prisoners: help us and earn points towards your freedom. No one volunteers.
- The nominated leader of the prisoners politely refuses the offer. Billy Keikeya recognizes him as Tom Zarek, a political agitator from Sagittaron.
- While Dualla and Keikeya argue the merits of Zarek as a "prisoner of conscience" or terrorist, with Keikeya almost idolizing him, Adama meets with Zarek to try and persuade him to help the fleet.
- On Galactica, Commander Adama meets with Gaius Baltar, who is still equivocating over his Cylon detector. When Adama pushes Baltar into a corner, the doctor tries to admit he can’t actually build the detector.
- This releases a torrent of anger from Baltar’s virtual Six, which terrifies him into submission. She instructs him on what to ask for in order to make the detector: a nuclear warhead.
- When virtual Six only reveals a part of how this can be used to make the detector, Baltar is forced to think things through himself, and realizes it will actually work. Adama agrees to let Baltar have a warhead.
- On Astral Queen, Zarek's elaborately orchestrated break-out takes place, and Galactica’s delegation is taken hostage.
- With the ship in his control, Zarek demands the immediate resignation of President Roslin and her government on the grounds that, having never been elected, they do not represent the people.
- As Zarek uses Lee Adama to try and gain insight into the dynamic between Roslin and Commander Adama, an assault mission consisting of Marines and led by Kara "Starbuck" Thrace is assembled. A crack sharpshooter, Thrace is ordered by Adama to kill Zarek if she gets the chance.
- Commander Adama tries to negotiate with Zarek himself, but is rebuffed. Lee Adama realizes the truth: Zarek wants the commander to send in the troops, believing a bloodbath aboard Queen will bring down Roslin’s government through scandal.
- The Marines and Starbuck arrive in the Raptors and cut their way into the ship.
- In the cells, a prisoner, Mason, decides he doesn’t like the way Cally Henderson has been “mocking” him, and decides to teach her a lesson.
- Matters escalate as Mason attempts to rape Henderson, who bites off a piece of his ear. He shoots Henderson in retaliation, wounding her.
- Lee Adama and Zarek rush to the cell where the prisoner holds Henderson at bay. In the confusion, Captain Adama takes a sidearm and puts it to Zarek’s head, giving him a choice: die immediately, or work with his men to supply the Fleet with water, and in return he’ll get to keep Astral Queen and get his elections.
- The Marines then make their presence felt, as Thrace takes a shot at Zarek – who is saved by Lee Adama.
- Roslin and Adama are initially less than pleased at Captain Adama's arrangement, who is not concerned. The prisoners are helping with the water, even if they have control of Astral Queen they are still reliant on the Fleet for supplies, and under Colonial law, Roslin would have to face elections in seven months.
- Later, Captain Adama informs Roslin that he didn’t mean to offend her with his views, and that when the elections come, he’ll vote for her. His honesty causes her to reveal the truth about her cancer and the fact that she might not be alive to run for re-election.
- Helo and "Valerii" reach a relatively undamaged city.
- As they explore the city, they are observed by a Number Five and Six from a rooftop.
- The Five and Six discuss their heritage as Cylons - the "children of humanity". While Six expresses regret that humans must be destroyed, the Five is less compassionate, citing that parents need to die to let the children come into their own.
- Events here take place 2 days after those of "Water".
- In the Miniseries, Astral Queen is apparently a liner, rather than a prison ship.
- During a briefing, Billy informs President Roslin that: "The Captain of Astral Queen wants you to know that he has nearly 500 convicted criminals under heavy guard in his cargo hold. They were being transported to a penal station when the attack happened."
- In the re-cap clip shown at the top of this episode, Keikeya's lines are re-dubbed so that he says, "The Captain of Astral Queen wants you to know that he has 1,500 prisoners under heavy guard."
- Instead of being taken to a penal station, as in the Miniseries, Lee Adama states that the prisoners were being transferred to Caprica for parole hearings.
- For the purposes of the increased number of prisoners, Astral Queen becomes a prison ship.
- The Colonials will face a fuel shortage at some point.
- Major Cottle, Galactica's ship doctor, is first mentioned in this episode, although he will not appear until the next episode.
- President Roslin's hair style changes starting with this episode, from the straight-down hairstyle she had since the Miniseries, to the swept-back style which she would sport through the end of Season 2.
- Galactica is referred to by Viper pilots as the "Big G." This mirrors the nickname pilots have given to the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the "Big E". The introduction of Pegasus would later change this; Galactica would be nicknamed "The Bucket," with Pegasus being nicknamed "The Beast."
- Richard Hatch played the character of Apollo in the Original Series and is the first cast member of the 1978 show to participate in the Re-imagined Series.
- This is one of only two Season 1 episodes to deal extensively with another ship in the Fleet. The other is "Colonial Day, which features Cloud Nine heavily and has few scenes on Galactica. Originally this was planned to happen more often, but building new sets turned out to be much more expensive than anticipated.
- This is the only regular-series episode in which Boxey appears, outside of his appearance in the Miniseries. According to the podcast, when the Miniseries was created, the writers envisioned Boxey as being a major recurring character in most episodes of the series. However, on a case-by-case basis, they found that inserting a child like Boxey did not harmonize with many of the dark scripts on the series, and once the show got underway and found its flow, they simply couldn't think of ways to write him into upcoming scripts. By the beginning of Season 2, they realized they hadn't been using him, and officially decided to simply abandon the character and consciously never tried to use him again.
- Starting with this episode, Cally Henderson started to become a larger character on the series, as noted by Moore and Eick in the podcast (see Official Statements, below). Originally she was supposed to die, but instead they rewrote the scene to give her an attention-getting grittiness and in turn, survival.
- The quip made by Astral Queen's captain, "I'm a bus driver, not a warden", is a homage to the original Star Trek television series. It is similar to Doctor Leonard McCoy's trademark quote, "I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer", or whatever fits at the time in the latter portion of the statement.
- The setup for this plot might have been inspired by the TOS episode "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero, Part I". In both episodes, a group of criminals was conscripted from a prison ship to work on the icy surface of a hostile planet. A notable difference between the two episodes lies in how the workers were chosen. While the workers in "Bastille Day" were chosen in part for their expendability, the conscripts in "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero, Part I" were chosen for their expertise in harsh environments and in demolition work. Also different was the prisoners' motivation to take on the work. In "Bastille Day", the prisoners are offered the possibility of earning their freedom, whereas the prisoners in "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero, Part I" were offered nothing overtly other than the fear that the fleet might be destroyed without their services. A number of them take the assignment in the hopes of escaping during the action.
- According to the DVD commentary for the episode, the startling scene when Number Six yells in Baltar's face that "they're going to throw you out of an airlock!" was a visual homage taken from the film "Jacob's Ladder", which has a similar startling close up shot. Tricia Helfer was given scary makeup for the shot, but in such a slight way that it is difficult for the eye to see what's wrong with the shot, but the audience can tell on some level that something's wrong. If you pause during her close-up shot, you can see that she's wearing contact lenses that make her eyes look unnaturally bright, and a mouthpiece of fake teeth which are bent out of shape and unnaturally large.
- The building seen in the first scene with Helo and Sharon is actually the Vancouver Public Library, one of the most recognizable buildings in the city of Vancouver.
- The scene where Lee Adama holds his pistol to a kneeling Tom Zarek is a recreation of Dirty Harry, according to David Eick's comments in the DVD commentary. "That is the 'I know what you're thinking, punk' shot, down to the move, the lens, the distance of the camera away from the actor."
- The Cylons didn't nuke every city on Caprica, although they did nuke most of them (including Caprica City). Ron Moore points out in the podcast that at first this was just a plot expediency: Helo needed an environment to interact with. Helo verbalizes the issue, saying "Why are some cities not nuked?" The answer to this question comes in the episode "Downloaded", when viewers see the Cylons rebuilding and inhabiting a city themselves. The intense radiation exposure killed most humans on Caprica without the necessity of destroying all infrastructure.
- It seems strange that Helo would be shouting loudly to see if anyone might hear him, as this might draw Cylon attention. However, viewers can't tell how many hours Caprica-Valerii and Helo might have spent discovering that the city is (apparently) empty. Moreover, it has only been 12 days since the Cylon attack, and Helo has no idea how far over Caprica they have spread yet.
- The flight briefing Starbuck gives as acting-CAG seems a bit "out of character" compared to her personality as developed later in the series. She is in full "Top Gun" mode: wearing aviator sunglasses, sporting a cigar, and giving a very irreverent briefing. Actress Katee Sackhoff and the writers have said that after the first few episodes they learned to start adding "more of Katee into Starbuck", and Starbuck's character smoothed out a great deal by the middle of the season.
- Another oddity with this scene is that Boxey's presence seems a bit forced (Moore and Eick point this out in the podcast). Why would Starbuck bring a 10 year old to a flight briefing on a military ship? The concept was that Boxey is an orphan kid adopted by the pilots, who lives with them and is sort of their mascot/gopher/helper. But that plot point was never fleshed out, leaving the impression that this kid is helping Starbuck give a briefing.
- At the end of the Miniseries, Tigh chooses to quit drinking. In "33", Commander Adama notes how good it is that Tigh isn't drinking anymore. However, Tigh has a relapse, having a few shots, and is a little tipsy in front of some crewmen (although he is not slurring his speech and stumbling over furniture).
- The notion of Starbuck being a sharpshooter, "best shot in or out of the cockpit" stretches the credibility of these scenes: shooting in a Viper and shooting a sniper rifle are entirely different things. The force of moving the plot forward and trying to include a major character becomes a bit obvious. Ron Moore conceded this point in his blog entry of April 11th, 2005:
"Kara might be the best shot in the fleet...but being a good shot is far from being a trained sniper. And she missed in that episode, a huge faux-paux for a scout sniper. In addition, she could not have been conducting unit training and sustainment training with the Marines...and fly her Viper.
In the season finale, with the Marine boarding party assaulting into the President's office...her guards would have had to put down their guns..or they would have been shot quickly..or at least physically detained at gunpoint. There is no way a standoff that close would ensue."
I think both comments are well taken and I concede the points. In both instances, we chose to go with the dramatic needs rather than the "real" choices. Making Kara the sniper was simply a way of providing more tension and drama into the final sequence of "Bastille Day" rather than going with a brand-new Marine sniper who the audience would have no investment in or identification with. Likewise, the stand-off aboad Colonial One would've probably never occured with real Marines and Secret Service agents, and indeed, early drafts of the script had the final beats playing out on either side of a barricaded hatch that separated the two sides. However, the feeling was that separating Laura et al from Tigh et al dissipated the drama and felt less suspenseful, so we decided to go for the stand-off. It's a judgement call, frankly. We're always striving to keep things as "real" as we can make them, but we are still producing a television series and we're telling a story, so sometimes we bend the rules to make the show more compelling or to avoid awkward scenes that actually slow it down and dissipate the momentum.
- For answers to the questions in this section, click here.
- None yet.
- David Eick: Nicki Clyne, who you see here playing Cally, was somebody who in the Miniseries, I remember Michael (Rymer) and I cast just on the basis of her look, 'cause we thought she was really cute, she kind of reminded us of a young Shelley Duvall. [...] she turned out to be so good that we— in launching the series we started talking about ways to involve her and I'm very proud of a moment coming up where she does something rather nasty, that...
- Ronald D. Moore: Well she almost died! She was gonna die in the intial drafts of this.
- Eick: That's right! He kills her! He rapes and kills her! And they're telling us we're too dark this year.
- Moore: Oh, I know. The second season is so much darker. And I don't think they even care. Yeah, Cally, Nicki, I hate to tell ya, but the bullseye was on Nicki here. And I can't even tell you why we decided it was, no I take that back I think it was your note; you said you wanted Cally to fight back and really show some balls in this scene. She bit his ear off...
- Eick: I said, "She bites his frakking ear off" and I was totally being...you know, just illustrative! I didn't really mean it!
- Moore: And I wrote, "she bites his ear off"!
- Eick: "And I got the draft, and she bites his ear off! I was like "that's great!"
- Moore: And from that moment on, I think, she really became part of the show. In a real sense, once she had gone through that and survived, and you know Tyrol and the gang come in and see her in the hospital at the end you kind of felt like she is one of the family.
- "They used this mixture of corn syrup and coloring for the blood, which was extremely sticky...I had to squeeze this sponge of icky goo all over myself, and I had it on whole day. I couldn't wipe off the blood for lunchtime and put it back on, because of continuity reasons. So for the entire day I had my shirt completely stuck to me, and my face was all sticky — it wasn't a nice feeling. When I ate my lunch, no one wanted to sit with me. I even forgot I had this guck on me. I was walking around, throwing popcorn in my mouth and everyone was backing off and staring at me. I'm going "Hey, what's your problem?" Then it occurred to me, "Oh yeah, I look like Death! Right. OK!""
- Tom Zarek and Apollo share a tremendous passion to make a difference in the world around them and to protect human rights. Both very idealistic. But Tom due to his painful history and paying such a huge price for his fight against injustice has crossed over to the darker side of his nature. He struggles with that as he has truly lost faith in the political system, government, and the law..
- William Adama: Every man has to decide for themselves which side they are on.
- Lee Adama: I didn't know we were picking sides. [walks off]
- William Adama: That's why you haven't picked one yet.
- On Cylon-occupied Caprica:
- Doral: She's good.
- Six: So far.
- Doral: Jealous?
- Six: This all makes me so sad.
- Doral: (matter-of-fact) They would have destroyed themselves anyway. They deserve what they got.
- Six: We're the children of humanity. That makes them our parents in a sense.
- Doral: True - but parents have to die. It's the only way children come into their own.
- Later, aboard Astral Queen, in a broadcast by Tom Zarek:
- Tom Zarek: I make these demands not for me....but for you, the people. The survivors of the holocaust and the children of humanity's future. I am Tom Zarek, and this is the first day of a new era.