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The Night the Cylons Landed, Part I

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The Night the Cylons Landed, Part I
"The Night the Cylons Landed, Part I"
An episode of the Galactica 1980 series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 7 (discuss)
Writer(s) Glen A. Larson
Story by
Director Sigmund Neufeld Jr.
Assistant Director
Special guest(s) Wolfman Jack as Himself
Roger Davis as Andromus
Production No. 1.7
Nielsen Rating
US airdate USA 1980-04-13
CAN airdate CAN {{{CAN airdate}}}
UK airdate UK
DVD release
Population survivors
Extended Info {{{extra}}}
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Spaceball The Night the Cylons Landed, Part I The Night the Cylons Landed, Part II
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
[[frakr:{{{frakr}}}|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr]]
Promotional Materials
Watch this episode's promo (on-wiki)
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA


Contents

Overview

After a renegade Cylon fighter crash-lands on Earth, Troy and Dillon rush to New York believing the craft a recon Viper. What they find is far worse and must stop the surviving Cylons from using powerful radio equipment to contact the rest of the Cylon fleet.

Summary

Act 1

  • Recon Probe Delta, which consists of a two-man Viper crewed by Captain Kanon and Lieutenant Briton, is on patrol when it picks up a slow-moving object. Kanon orders a scan, which reveals details that point to a Cylon craft. Another more detailed scan shows up on the warbook, which quickly reveals the craft as a Cylon fighter. It is heavily-armed and larger than a pursuit craft.
TV Guide ad for The Night The Cylons Landed
  • Briton reports that it's also much faster, as the ship is now approaching them. Kanon orders him to raise Galactica, Priority Red. Before he can do so, Briton visually sights the ship coming at them. The Viper manages to evade the advanced Cylon fighter's volleys. Briton tells Kanon that they're not even close to the ship and they must find out what's inside so they can tell Galactica.
  • Kanon can't believe the firepower and moves to close on the ship, so that the scanners can probe the Cylon ship. Briton continues his attempts to raise Galactica, but he surmises that the Cylons are jamming any transmissions in the area.
  • The advanced Raider continues its attack, but doesn't damage the Viper. Still, Briton yells that they have to pull out, which is overruled when Kanon notes that they have to get close to do a scan.
  • After making the scan, Kanon sees that the outline of the occupants is human. Kanon also says that they can't let the Cylons continue on their present course, which will lead them to Earth. They're the only ones who can stop it, since they're the only ones who know.
  • Since a Viper's firepower is ineffective against the craft, the ship rams into the underbelly of the Raider, causing both ships to be damaged beyond use (although structural integrity remains intact on both craft). Kanon tries to contact Galactica, but is unable to. When he checks on Briton, he finds that Briton is unconscious.
The advanced Cylon 'A-B' Fighter displayed in the Warbook
  • On Galactica, Doctor Zee informs Adama that he's detected an unpowered ship heading towards Earth. Adama replies that he's tried to reach Recon Probe Delta, but they don't respond, and they assume that the ship experiences complete power shutdown. They assume that the object heading towards Earth is the Viper.
  • Adama notes that it will obviously be detected by Earth's defense system. Zee tells Adama to contact Troy and Dillon so that they may intercept the craft when it lands. Adama notes that they are still with the children and is sure that they are helping them adjust to "Earth life".
  • On Earth, the Super Scouts and the Warriors are watching This Island Earth in a theater that is reasonably full. Dillon remarks to Troy that the picture is frightening and wonders "where they get pictures of things like that". Troy remarks that he hasn't seen anything like it since the planet Gorkon.
  • During the movie, Troy's wrist computron beeps. As Troy begins talking into it, a young boy looks at Troy with interest. Adama notes that the message is a Priority Red condition and asks if he can talk freely. Troy replies that he can't. Adama then makes mention of the noise, which Troy explains as an "Earth entertainment".
  • Adama quickly briefs him on the situation with the craft heading toward Earth. Adama believes the craft is their own recon Viper and tells him that he'll be further briefed once he gets to a safe transmission zone. Troy assures him that they'll leave as soon as possible, all the while the kid impolitely stares at Troy.
  • Troy tells the children they have to leave, which meets with protests. Starla says that the movie is funny, while Wellington notes that the creature looks like the Gorkons. They are summarily disappointed when the creature stumbles then falls over.
A-B Raider
  • At an Air Force operations center, Major Harvey Jensen is on the phone to Colonel Briggs. He tells Briggs that an object of unknown origin or purpose is coming down; Briggs comments that it is "Skylab all over again". Briggs says to keep a lid on it for he'll have "50 reporters on my back" if he doesn't, but it is too late for that, since it is on every observatory's scopes. Briggs asks if Jensen is sure that it isn't an American satellite. Jensen assures him he's positive and that the current "odds-on guess around here is that it's Russian".
  • Briggs is more relieved to hear that, since he would rather explain a Russian mistake than an American one. Jensen dampers Briggs elation, saying that the "worst is yet to come": the object is headed straight for the middle of New York.
  • Now truly concerned, Briggs asks how much time he has. Jensen replies that the object is coming down tomorrow night. This would be October 31, Halloween night.
  • At the Griffith Park Observatory, the Super Scouts and the Warriors are looking at a foucault pendulum. When Jamie Hamilton arrives, Troy tells the Scouts to follow a nearby tour group.
  • The tour guide, Marcy, points out a map of the Solar System, noting that there are nine planets rotating around the sun. She mentions the possibility of a tenth planet, which prompts Starla to correct her, but she is shushed by Moonstone before she can do so.
  • Marcy mentions that man has only set foot on the moon and notes that robot probes have explored other planets in the Solar System.
  • Meanwhile, Hamilton leads Troy and Dillon to the telescope dome of the observatory. She tells them that the phones haven't stopped ringing and she notes that she was glad they called, since she had assumed that they were somehow involved. She tells them that every observatory in the world has spotted it and, having checked with Caltech, it should come down within the next twelve hours according to their calculations. They project it will land in the Tri-State Area.
  • Dillon asks about Doctor Donald Mortinson. Hamilton replies that Mortinson was unable to receive anything on the frequencies they've asked him to monitor. Dillon notes that this is strange, since the Viper should be broadcasting a distress signal.
  • Troy feels that they'll be able to locate it. Hamilton asks what "it" is, telling them that people think the object is Russian. Troy assures her that it is not, telling her that the craft is one of theres and notes that they regularly patrol the corridors to Earth for Cylon craft.
  • Concerned, she asks about how close the Cylons are to Earth. Dillon replies that they've learned to be cautious. She asks what happened to the Viper, which Troy replies that it broke radio contact and hasn't returned from their patrol. They assume that some malfunction caused the ship to drift into Earth's orbit.
  • Dillon notes that their mission is to get to the ship and its crew before anyone else. She asks them how they're going to New York, to which Troy replies that they're going to use their Viper to get there. Hamilton warns against that, since she was visited by Colonel Briggs of the Air Force, who was looking into them. He didn't go as far as to say that they were not of Earth, but Briggs is assured that he will find them. Troy thanks her for the warning.
  • Back at the tour, Marcy is telling the group about the galaxy, telling the group that there are over 100 billion stars. Wellington corrects her number, saying that there are 114 billion. She replies that this isn't what the scientists say, but says that he brings up an interesting point, as the number changes yearly as more stars are discovered.
  • Marcy begins pointing out constellations, such as the Big Dipper. Moonstone says that it looks backwards, but is quickly corrected by Wellington, noting that they've seen it from the other side. Marcy continues, saying that of these stars, there are planets that can support carbon-based life, even though there is no evidence of extraterrestrial life.
  • Starla asks Wellington if Marcy is a frimp. He shushes her.
  • Hamilton tells the Warriors that the Vipers keep showing up on USAF radar. She tells them that they're going to have to go to New York by airplane. She then asks about the children. Dillon replies that they were hoping she'd ask that question. Hamilton notes that they can spend a couple of days at Billy Eheres' camp. She tells them to call her if they need her and says she'll make the travel arrangements for the airlines.
  • Dillon appears excited at the prospect, saying that a flight in one of "your flying machines [...] should be a great amusement".
  • The next morning, they arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport and approach a ticket master at the front desk. She tells them that if they've checked in their baggage, they can go directly to the front gate. Troy tells her that they're going to New York on "9 AM". She is confused, but says they have a Flight 2. She looks at the piece of paper that Dillon pulls out, seeing that they are on Flight 2, which departs at 9 A.M. She asks if they're ticketed, Dillon mentions that he is to mention "pre-paid".
  • She then asks for the names, which Troy offers as "Jones and Smith". When she goes off to retrieve the tickets, Dillon asks about the use "Smith and Jones", to which he reminds his friend that there's a bulletin with their names on it. Dillon expresses a hope that the terminal's computers don't appear in these computers, to which Troy agrees that this would make things difficult.
  • The lady returns to ask them who is Jones. Both reply that they are, with Dillon quickly correcting himself, and pointing to Troy. She gives them the tickets and then tells them to proceed to Gate 43 and through the scanner.
  • Concerned, they inquire about the scanner. She answers their question, noting that they must not fly much, telling them that they use metal detectors to prevent hijacking. They are unfamiliar with the term and, despite repeating the term to her, she wishes them a nice flight.
  • After they leave the counter, Troy checks his wrist computron to look up the word. After Dillon asks what one would do after they seized an airplane, Troy remarks that Earth is a strange place that they'll need to get used to.
  • Before entering the scanner, Dillon asks about their lasers, but Troy tells him that they're carbon synthetic and shouldn't be detected by the metal detector. A couple with a baby cut in front of Troy and Dillon. The husband apologizes for holding them up at the detector, telling them that "this is what happens when you have a baby". One of the guards at the detector wheels the metal baby carriage around the detector.
  • They approach a second ticket master, to whom they give their tickets. She asks them whether they prefer a smoking or non-smoking seat, which leads Dillon to ask, "Which way does the plane run best?" She thinks this is cute and places them in the non-smoking section. She tells them they can go directly on board, hands them their tickets, and points out the gate to them. After sending them on their way, the couple the Warriors encounter earlier rushes to the desk and the lady says they made it just in time before the gate closed.
  • They board the plane. Dillon remarks that it looks comfortable. A stewardess greets them, tears off their ticket stubs, and points them to Row 14, seats B and C. After they leave her, she talks to the couple, takes their ticket stubs, points out their seats in the same row as Dillon and Troy, and takes their baby carriage.
  • As the Warriors buckle in, they are told about the oxygen masks dropping from the overhead compartment. As these instructions are demonstrated by the flight attendant, Dillon remarks that he's not used to other people flying and hopes they are good. Dillon then asks Troy if he thinks that they'd let him take the controls for a while. He replies he wouldn't even let him. He hands a dejected Dillon a pamphlet on New York, telling him to review it.
The Cuban male hijackers masquerading as a married couple with child.
  • Flight 2 lifts off. In mid-flight, Troy is asleep while Dillon is reading. The couple in the cabin's middle seats look silently at each other, then around the cabin. The "wife" hands the baby to the "husband" and makes way to the back of the plane to retrieve the baby carriage. In a seat over to his right, the hijacker puts the baby down on the chair next to him: the baby is a doll.
  • From the carriage, the hijackers begin assembling a gun. After the gun is assembled, the "wife" rips of his wig and they take the stewardess (who was handing out earphones) hostage. The "husband" aims the gun at the crowd, telling the passengers to remain calm and are taking the airplane to Cuba, which Dillon looks up. Troy says they don't have time to go there and Dillon moves to get his laser, but Dillon tells him that they might get somebody hurt by going gun-ho on them. Troy surmises that the deployment of the oxygen masks must act on some sort of electrical impulse.
  • The lead hijacker tells the second stewardess to contact the cockpit to make their demands known to the crew there, threatening to use violence if she fails to do so.
  • Troy uses the wrist computron to trick the sensors in deploying the masks. The hijackers react confused, while the stewardess tells them that the masks deploy automatically. She tells them that the plane must've lost pressurization and they'll have to use the masks in order to not pass out.
  • The Warriors pull out their lasers and shoot the hijackers. They quickly hide the weapons back under their coats.
  • The co-pilot comes to the cabin and asks what happened, prompted by the indicator light that the oxygen masks dropped (the stewardess believes that they dropped the masks to trick the hijackers). He sees the stunned people, asks who they are, and is told that they were hijackers who wanted to take control of the plane. The co-pilot takes the gun from the stunned terrorist. They don't know what happened to them, but an observant tyke points out that Dillon and Troy had something to do with it with their "flashing light". Dillon and Troy attempt to convince the inquisitive co-pilot that the boy has an overactive imagination, though the boy protests, saying that they really had something to do with it.
  • The co-pilot tells them that they want to talk to them once the plane lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He tells everyone else to just relax and that everything is under control. He tells the stewardess to tell the captain that they need priority clearance and have the Federal Bureau of Investigation meet the plate upon landing, then asks if she's O.K. She nods, then goes to the cockpit.
  • Troy ruefully speculates that Cuba may have been better, but Troy assures him that they'll be all right.

Act 2

  • Adama broaches the topic of Recon Probe Delta, which has been located by one of their squadrons who found it adrift. Zee notes that he already knows this and they've towed it in a short while ago. Adama notes that Briton and Kanon were wounded in the ordeal, but proudly proclaims that they performed admirably as Warriors.
  • Zee notes that they bring them distressing news.
  • On one of the screens, Kanon, who is in the sickbay being tended to by a medtech, tells them that they couldn't stop the advanced Cylon ship. He supposes that there isn't anything in the galaxy equal to it.
  • Adama realizes that they haven't been tracking a Viper back to Earth, but the Cylon craft. He cries that the Cylons will "walk the Earth". Zee offers the hope that Troy and Dillon will be able to intercept the Cylon vessel at the landing site. Adama notes that they don't even know they're going to rendezvous with the Cylons.
  • As the Cylon craft nears Earth, Dillon tells Troy it took them five hours to travel a "miniscule 3,000 miles". He computes it at 10 miles a minute and notes that they can fly to Pluto in less time. He claims to have overheard it from the lady at the observatory.
  • The stewardess announces over the intercom that they're caught up in a "little heavy traffic" over JFK and will be circling around until they get their turn at the landing field. She announces that the beverage service will be open until they're cleared in. The delay will be around 30 to 40 minutes in duration, which places Dillon in a state of disbelief. Troy assures him they'll be at the site in plenty of time.
  • Jensen contacts Briggs, who is on a private jet headed towards New York. Jensen informs him that the craft will hit around 9 P.M. Eastern Time. Briggs asks if he's got a better idea of where the craft will hit, but Jensen replies that "NASA missed by an entire continent when Skylab came down". Briggs says that Jensen "better be a whole lot closer on this one". Jensen notes that this is up to the hardware coming down, saying that it could land in one piece or break up in the atmosphere. If it holds together, he can put it in a two- to three-hundred mile radius. He grimly tells Briggs that if it breaks up, Briggs will be lucky if he isn't knocked out of the sky.
  • Briggs tells Jensen his words of encouragement are the reason he likes him and thanks him for the update.
  • Briggs' aide, Butler, asks him if "it's Canada all over again", but Briggs replies in the negative. They knew what it was and how long it had been hanging above Earth before the Russian satellite came down. Briggs notes that they have no clue what the object is.
  • Zee tells Adama that he's examined the scans from Recon Probe Delta and has alarming news for him. He has proof that the Cylons are evolving beyond their greatest fears in the past 30 years. When Adama asks why they haven't outright destroyed the Galactican Fleet, Zee speculates that the Cylons want to test their new machines on living targets.
  • Andromus, one of the new Cylon androids that look human, notes that they're "slowly but inexorably being drawn to orbit" around Earth. They are initially unaware that this is the last outpost of human civilization. He notes that to land at their current speed is to "invite certain destruction" and must "exploit the increasing density of the atmosphere" of Earth in order to reduce their velocity. Andromus reads off the statistical information regarding Earth and asks the Centurions for a projection of a landing zone after three atmospheric braking skips. They do not answer.
  • Andromidus gives further details on Earth regarding the molten metal core and crust of the planet, as well as the atmospheric composition. After being asked about the maximum skin temperature upon hitting the atmosphere, Andromidus replies that it'll be 2,000 degrees chronic, which does not please Andromus.
  • Before they approach for landing, the stewardess notes about the problems they had during their flight and, as such, FBI agents will board the plane before anyone can disembark. She assures people that it won't take long and they'll be able to attend all the Halloween parties in plenty of time.
  • Dillon tries to look up the term, but Troy tells him to look up the term FBI instead. They discover that the FBI is a law enforcement agency, which they can't afford to talk to.
  • As they make their landing approach at JFK, the stewardess asks the Warriors to come to the rear galley as soon as they land, since the officials will want to question them. She assures them that it's necessary and is quite sure that they'll be an army of newsmen there, saying that they are "regular heroes".
  • Dillon asks Troy how do they "get into these messes". Troy replies, "How do we get out of them?"
  • Flight 2 lands at JFK. The New York Police Department officers are at the exit to the plane, waiting for the passengers to get out. The officer tells his men to make a path through the crowd so they can bring them out without hassle.
  • The stewardess approaches the Warriors as they land, asking them to come with her to the back galley, telling them to stay there until the FBI comes onboard.
  • Dillon asks if he can use the restrooms. The stewardess assumes that he wants to comb his hair for the cameras, which Dillon and Troy seize upon. In reply, she lets them go ahead to do so, making the point that men can be just as vain as women regarding their appearance. She chuckles and walks away.
  • Troy and Dillon enter the restrooms and activate their invisibility fields. They leave the bathrooms and hold hands as they begin to leave the craft.
  • Two FBI agents and NYPD officers board the plane. The stewardess tells them that the hijackers are in the upstairs lounge with their senior purser. The ranking officer tells his men to get the hijackers while he waits for Dillon and Troy. Immediately after they leave, the ranking officer suddenly stumbles into the stewardess. The officer tries to tell her that he was pushed, but she didn't see anyone and assumes that he was being frisky and walks away offended.
  • The crowd at the gate finds themselves being pushed out of the way by an invisible force.
  • Dillon and Troy become visible outside the building and head towards a cab waiting at the curb. Before entering, Dillon tells Troy that his scanner detects that the Viper is coming down 60 miles The cabbie notes that they don't have luggage and becomes curious. Upon being told to head north to no particular destination, he asks them if they have the "bread" to pay him. Dillon replies that they don't have bread, but have money. He shows it to the cabbie, who agrees to take their fare.
  • In ever-descending orbit, a Centurion reports that they are encountering signals from the planet below. Andromius confirms that they are detecting life forms below, hoping that it is a life form advanced enough to help repair their ship. They see transmissions of Earth entertainments and Andromus orders that they home in on the largest communications center and compute the distance between it and the expected point of impact.
  • He notes that they've done what no Cylon before them has ever done: find the lost human civilization. After asking for survival figures, they discover that the ship's survival is less than 3%, the Centurion survival is 1% (which they react to by turning to see Andromidus, but the advanced forms may reach Earth's surface in a functional state.
  • Andromus conducts a countdown to impact. 20 seconds later the crash.
  • Jensen calls Briggs to tell him that the craft will crash 60 miles north of New York City.
  • Two cops in car seven on Interstate 5, Max and Leroy, notice the crash in the distance. He alerts Leroy to it and they run to check it out while contacting their headquarters.
  • Meanwhile, Dillon and Troy tell the cabbie to continue heading north. Suddenly, a string of cars comes whizzing by and Dillon pays the cabbie more money to follow the cop cars. The cabbie accepts, saying that "as long as you want to run towards the law, I'm your man".
  • At the crash site, Andromus "awakens" and looks around. He sees Andromidus who is damaged beyond repair. He calls out for the Centurions. One of them, Centurion 9 (Centuri), activates and tells Andromus he is functioning. Andromus asks him his priority, to which Centurion 9 replies, "To protect you." Andromus commmand Centuri to rise and he successfully does so.
  • At a fire road leading to the mountain, firefighters are cutting down a fallen tree. Max notes that fire roads are to be kept clear and also adds they can lose the whole mountain to fire.
  • Troy sees the fire from the craft and tells the cabbie to turn off. Despite the cabbie's protestations about there not being a road, Troy tells him to stop. Dillon pays the cabbie and they leave. They begin running towards the crash site. The cabbie remarks "there goes a couple of odd fellows", but is liking the money he has in his hand. They super-run through the woods to the crash site.
  • Centuri lifts a beam pinning down Andromus. Now free, Andromus notes they need to find a way out and set the automatic detonator so that the ship doesn't fall into human hands. He takes a portable distress beacon and attaches it to Centuri's belt. He tells Centuri they only have microns before the ship explodes and Centuri punches a hole through the side of the ship.
  • Andromus and Centuri leave the ship to take in the blazing scenery.

Act 3

  • Andromus asks Centuri if he knows what landing on Earth means. He says they have no way back and are alone. Two against a world of millions. Centuri assures him that he will protect him as per the first order.
  • From the transmissions they received, Andromus surmises that the humans do not know of both the Cylons and the Galactic war. He says that after the ship self-destructs, there will be no trace of their presence on Earth. He says he will be able to move freely amongst the Earth people for he is made in man's image. Since he looks like a human, he'll be able to go places freely to study the Earthlings' transmission centers and affix their distress beacon to summon the Cylon Empire. Centuri again tells Andromus that he will protect him. He notes that the Cylon is well-meaning but his form does not blend.
  • After repeating his first order, Centuri turns to the tree line. He tells Andromus that he detects life forms approaching the ship. Andromus notes that anyone approaching the ship would be destroyed and they leave.
  • Troy and Dillon arrive, seeing that, much to their surprise, the wreck is Cylon. Troy orders Dillon to scan for electronic tracks.
  • Troy darts to the wreck, much to Dillon's protestations. They enter the ship to discover that Cylons look like humans and that a self-destruct timer is going off. Dillon moves to grab Andromidus' body, but they don't have time. They run out of the ship and are thrown back by the explosion.
  • After dusting themselves off, they see that nothing is left of the ship and hear sirens approaching. Soon they are besieged by firemen and state troopers.
  • Max runs up to them in a state of disbelief, since he believes they couldn't have been in the crash. He asks a fireman to check them for shock. He tells Leroy of his disbelief. However, Leroy has more news. Their chief wants the area sealed off. Max tells Leroy to check the crash site and, if they find drugs, they can get all the credit they can.
  • Max asks the Warriors if they want to tell me about it. Troy replies that "this isn't the time to be talking" and that they just arrived. Max believes they arrived on the ship (in his mind a plane) that crashed, even though they tell the truth about arriving to the location by cab.
  • Leroy arrives back, telling Max that there's nothing left of the plane. He says it's going to be tough checking their flight plan. Max says that's not necessary, since "these boys were on unscheduled business". He tells Leroy to watch them closely.
  • Dillon asks if there's some place they can go so as to make a statement. Leroy assumes that they want to come clean and tells Max, who begins to get on the radio. They soon frisk the Warriors, finding the lasers. They assume they're fancy cigarette lighters until Max fires one on a tree, which splits in half.
  • Distracted by the immense firepower of the lasers, Troy and Dillon are easily able to take their lasers back, change the settings, and stun them.
  • Troy and Dillon take the car and speed away. Fire fighters and troopers go to see the frozen-in-place troopers.
  • Troy finds the button to deactivate the siren. Dillon looks behind for signs of pursuit, but there aren't any. Still, Troy remarks that they may have been better off telling them about the Cylons. Troy replies that this would not have helped, as they believe the Warriors are criminals and would have thought the story of Cylon invaders a falsehood.
  • As ordered, Dillon turns on his scanner to the Cylon distress frequencies. He detects the signal, which is a Cylon distress code. Since Mortinson had been monitoring Colonial frequencies, he did not pick this up.
  • He notes that the Cylons' distress beacon is too weak for the Cylon Empire to pick up. Even Galactica couldn't pick it up.
  • Troy surmises that they'll use one of Earth's powerful transmitters to boost their distress beacon. Troy notes that they don't have much of a lead on them and they have an advantage: they know Earth and have a police car.
  • On the side of a highway, Andromus and Centuri are walking along the highway. Andromus says that their topography scans serve them well, he believes that they are within 1,000 metrons of "the primary communications center". He believes they can walk to the location "within a single period of darkness followed by light".
  • As Norman Blore (as a sad clown) and his wife, Shirley (as a female vampire in the vein of Elvira), drive down the highway listening to Wolfman Jack, Shirley tells Norman to stop the car. He does so, confused and irate over what Shirley sees. Shirley points out Centuri's "incredible" costume, much to his immediate, furious chagrin. She correctly surmises that the Cylons must have broken down somewhere and calls them over, asking if they want a lift.
  • Shirley leaves the car despite Norman's protestation. She comes up to them and tells them that she and her husband will give them a lift to New York City. She's approaching them with a false set of vampire choppers, which raises concern from Andromus who shirks away defensively. She removes them and says that she's not really a vampire. She tells them that she ha a costume on just like them and is going to a party. She takes a look at Centuri and comments on his costume, expressing her thought that "anyone who'd go to the trouble to make a costume like that has got to be a good guy".
  • She mentions that tonight is Halloween and that everyone's going to have a blast tonight. Centuri enter through the back seat and manages to take up most of it.
  • Norman begins speculating aloud that "these people are waiting for a tow", but is shocked speechless by Centuri's appearance. Shirley muses that they wouldn't be able to find a phone out here. Andromus carefully approaches the vehicle and, as suggested by Shirley, sits shotgun.
  • Norman comments that Centuri must be hot in his getup. The Cylon merely looks at him. Norman turns around slowly and drives.
  • Troy notes to Dillon that the signal is getting weaker and must be moving away in some kind of vehicle. He notes that they're almost back on the highway and can go faster then.
Andromus and Centuri ride with Norman and Shirley.
  • Andromus tells Norman and Shirley that he is grateful for their assistance. In response to a question posed about where they are headed, Andromus replies they are headed toward the "large population center'. She notes that he even talks like he looks, adding that she wishes Mildred and Arnie can see the two Cylons. Norman replies in the negative. She chastises him for not having fun, saying that everyone goes to two or three parties on Halloween.
  • She then continues her conversation with Andromus, saying that she knows that they'll have a terrific time there. Everyone will be there, she says, even Wolfman. In response to his question about Wolfman, she turns the radio on to one of his broadcasts, where he is introducing the song "Disco Inferno". She finally introduces herself and Norman, who is the general manager of the station they're listening to. Norman adds that it's 150,000 watts, boasting that "on a good night, they can hear us in the next galaxy". Andromus ponders this.
  • Over the radio, Troy and Dillon hear the APB put out on them, as well as they're last reported location Hudson River Parkway. Dillon notes that their advantage is gone and are in trouble.
  • Back in the other car, Shirley tells Norman that they're humoring them, surmising that since they do not know of Wolfman Jack they "must be classical buffs" and will likely not be impressed in meeting him. Andromus replies that they would be "delighted to meet this Wolfman Jack" and would like to hear more about the radio station.
  • Shirley decides the issue of their involvement in Arnie's party is settled and comments again that she can't wait to see Arnie and Mildred's faces when they arrive with the two Cylons.
  • Now on West 12th Street heading towards Westside Drive in the stolen patrol car, Troy and Dillon are being pursued by the NYPD. They can't stop to deal with the cops, since they would lose time they can't afford to lose, particularly with the two Cylons ahead of them.
  • Dillon suggests they can tell someone, like the Air Force, what's going on but Troy says it wouldn't do any good. All the Cylons need to do is gain control of a transmitter for a few minutes and then Earth would be discovered by the Cylon Empire.
  • Andromus comments that he is amazed at the people in the city. Shirley replies that she always feels that way when she comes into Manhattan.
  • Norman asks the Cylons what party they're going to, to which Andromus replies he needn't concern himself with them. She asks Norman if he believed they were cute, noting yet again that Arnie and Mildred are going to love them. Norman hopes they feel the same when Arnie forces his "famous meatballs down their throats". She angrily replies that he shouldn't start on the meatballs again this year. He compares their affect on the digestive tract to Vida Blue's involvement with the San Francisco Giants. She tells him to calm down so he doesn't frighten the Cylons. He replies that this would be a good thing, for if "they had any sense, they'd go to their own party." He adds that the only reason he's going is because he considers Arnie to be the best program director in radio. Then he tells a tale about Arnie's sister, Mildred, and her being "so desperate for a husband, [that] she once proposed to a mugger in Central Park".
  • She replies in the negative and tells him that he's terrible. She looks to Centuri, who seems to nod his head. Norman tells the fellas that "between Arnie's food and his sister's romantic malnutrition, you could be in for the night of your life". Andromus assures Norman that he needn't be concerned, as they are more than capable of defending themselves, then asks Centuri if that is correct. Centuri replies in the affirmative: "By your command."
  • The married couple look back at Centuri, exchange looks, then look forward. Norman is pensive, saying: "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea."

Notes

  • This episode marks the introduction of humanoid Cylons, which would become a defining convention of the Re-imagined Series. Unlike the biological versions that would appear in 2003, however, Andromus is more of an android, an automaton that resembles a human.
  • Sheila DeWindt, (flight attendant) played Deitra in the Battlestar Galactica episode Lost Planet of the Gods.
  • In the movie theater, the film that Troy, Dillon, and the children watch is the Universal picture This Island Earth.
  • This is the third episode of the series to be set on a specific date: October 30-31, 1980. "Galactica Discovers Earth, Part II" and "Galactica Discovers Earth, Part III" took place in take from June 4 to June 6, 1944.
  • The appearance of popular 1970s disc jockey Wolfman Jack in this and the following episode is the only time that the Battlestar Galactica universe has featured an actor playing themselves.
  • Troy mentions that the names for the pre-paid tickets are "Jones and Smith", aliases that Hamilton had suggested they'd use since the names of Troy and Dillon are known to Earth's authorities. This is a likely reference for the show Alias Smith and Jones, one of writer and creator Glen Larson's first television shows. Coincidentally, Roger Davis (Andromus) had narrated and acted on the series as a series regular.
  • The Cylons inside the A-B Raider have readouts that use standard English.
  • The license plate on Norman's car is 538-DIP.
  • The term "metron" is incorrectly used in this episode by Andromus, using it as one would use a hectometer instead of a meter in the metric system.
  • While Wolfman Jack is credited as a guest star in this episode, he is only mentioned by name and heard briefly on the radio in Norman's car; he does not physically appear in the flesh until "The Night the Cylons Landed, Part II".
  • Norman compares Arnie's meatballs being to the digestive tract to baseball player Vida Blue's involvement with the San Francisco Giants: a stopper.
  • Arnie and Mildred are seen on screen in "The Night the Cylons Landed, Part II".
  • In the 2009 Galactica 1980 comic series, issue #4 is titled The Night The Cylons Landed, an obvious nod to this episode.

Analysis

  • The use of the Viper would have been far more logical, considering that the mission was urgent and the fact they had an invisibility field that could easily avoid detection from military radar.
  • In a twist of irony, Troy (played by Kent McCord) is driving a stolen police car; McCord previously portrayed a cop in Adam 12.
  • The point where Dillon and Troy discuss hijacking is for educational purposes, however the way it is played off is unintentionally humorous at worst -- at best it is inaccurate. The general theme of their dialogue indicates that they don't know why anyone would want to hijack a flying craft; however, there are notable instances in the Fleet's history (from the Original Series) where ships have been hijacked:
    1. In the episode "Baltar's Escape", Baltar, the Borellian Nomen, and the Eastern Alliance enforcers attempt to hijack Galactica. In addition, they hijack a Colonial shuttle from Sheba and Boomer, using it to sneak aboard Galactica unawares.
    2. In "Murder on the Rising Star", Karibdis hijacks a shuttle piloted by Captain Apollo in order to kill Baltar, who is the only person in the Fleet of survivors that can identify him; he is subsequently thwarted by Baltar himself, as an act of self-preservation on his part.
  • An interesting aspect of this episode is the cross-dressing hijacker, particularly given the sentiments of the 1970s and, more importantly, the "kiddie-hour" timeslot the show aired in.
  • Intriguingly, the famous Big Dipper group of stars "looks backwards" to the Super Scouts. This suggests the Twelve Colonies must be located on the other side, i.e. ~200 light years from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major. Unfortunately, this would create yet another inconsistency as other episodes already have established that the journey to Earth took 30 Earth years at sub-light speed...
  • Dillon comments that they could fly from Earth to planet Pluto in less than five hours. This is yet another confirmation that at least the fastest Colonial ships are capable of traveling at almost the speed of light as, in October 1980, Pluto was approximately 4.3 light hours from Earth.

Questions

  • Why didn't Troy and Dillon simply fly their Viper with the invisibility field on?
  • Why didn't Troy and Dillon wash their hands before exiting the bathroom?
  • Why did Troy and Dillon need to push the NYPD officer on board the plane out of the way?
  • How does Troy know that two Cylons survived the crash?

Official Statements

  • Chris Bunch discusses the censorship that the series faced:
Chris Bunch: [T]he censor, an utterly braindead woman named Susan Futterman, questioned a line that said there were more than X number of stars in our galaxy (this was in a planetarium sequence, and one of the kids heard the lecturer say this, and she giggled and said, boy is [s]he full of hamhocks. Dumb little joke, very dumb, very little). She called and said where did we get the facts. We said, the new edition of the Britannica which we’d just sprung for a week earlier (true). She said, ‘that’s not good enough.’ Now, ignoring the fact that the Britannica does, indeed, contain some whoppers, we tried to restrain Major Hilarity and asked her if she minded putting that in writing. She may be dumb, but she wasn’t THAT dumb. We could’ve had such a nifty thing to frame….[1]
  • Bunch discusses the meatball jokes:
Bunch: Another neat [Susan] Futterman story--[Glen] Larson dumped a REALLY dumb joke about meatballs into [this] episode. Futterman swore it was dirty. It wasn’t. She said the show won’t get on the air unless that line’s out. Larson put in THREE MORE meatball jokes, even stupider (they’re in the episode the way it aired) and said it goes like this or it doesn’t go. Since he’d delivered the edit TWENTY MINUTES before it went up to the bird from Universal to New York and then on the air, it went out….[1]
  • Allan Cole discusses the shooting of the observatory scene in this episode:
Allan Cole: Do you recall the episode where all the kids from the mother ship troop into the Observatory? That was shot at night. And the only thing harder and more expensive than shooting at night (except for water, never, never do a water show) is shooting at night with children. They can only work a few hours at a time as it is. And night is golden time when it comes to wages -- for both them, the teachers, and, obviously the rest of the cast and crew. This also means you can't shoot anything early the next morning. So if you don't have enough night stuff in your script to warrant another setup the following evening, you lose a whole day. The only way around it is to shoot on Saturday night, which gives you a natural Sunday "break."
In this case, because of the craziness on the show, neither option was open. Plus the kids were either all sleepy, or hyper -- laughing hysterically or weeping; no inbetween. Or getting lost and you had to track them down again. Driving the planetarium staff out of their gourds.[2]
  • Kent McCord (Troy) on the production chaos:
McCord: [It] was the day we were shooting the scene on the Universal 747 stage. The episode was The Night the Cylons Landed, and we had probably 30 or 40 or 50 extras plus a crew. About noon, on this day with all this very difficult stuff, one of the associates producers came down and handed Barry and me eight pages of dialogue and said, 'At 4:00, you have to go to stage 25 and you have to shoot these eight pages. And no matter where you are here, you have to be over there to do this because we need this stuff to finish cutting a show that's being done.' So at 4:00 Barry and I had to go over to a different stage and leave all these extras and the whole crew...on this 747 soundstage and shoot eight pages of dialogue in a Viper. That dialogue had no reference to anything. It was Galactican language written for us. It's not easy stuff to learn. We had eight pages, and we didn't have time to learn it because we were shooting another show in another stage! That pointed out a couple of things. We had that unit shooting on a 747 stage and we had another unit shooting with us on stage 25, and I even think there was another unit out shooting with the kids or something. That's the way the show was done--to make airdates. It's very unusual.

Noteworthy Dialogue

Troy: The act of seizing a vehicle for illegal purposes.
Dillon: Heh. I wonder what someone would do with an aircraft once they'd seized it.
Troy: Strange place. It's going to take a lot of getting used to.
Ticket Master: Smoking or non-smoking?
Troy: I beg your pardon?
Ticket Master: Would you prefer smoking or non-smoking?
Dillon: (shrugs) Which way does the plane run best?
Shirley: Aren't they [ Andromus and Centuri ] cute? Mildred and Arnie are just going to love this.
Norman: Well, I hope they feel the same way after Arnie forces a couple of his famous meatballs down their throats.
Shirley: Now Norman, don't get started on those meatballs again this year!
Norman: They are to the digestive tract what Vida Blue is to the San Francisco Giants: a stopper.
Norman: And as for that sister of his, she's so desperate for a husband, she once proposed to a muggah in Central Park.
Norman: The only thing I can tell you fellas, to be on guard. Between Arnie's food and his sister's romantic malnutrition you could be in for the night of your life.
Andromus: You don't need to be concerned, we're quite capable of defending ourselves. Right Centuri?
Centuri: By your command.

Guest Stars

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Paxton, Susan J.. Battlestar Zone Interview: Chris Bunch (backup available on Archive.org) (in ). Retrieved on 11 August 2007.
  2. Larocque, John (28 Feburary 2005). Interview with Galactica 1980 story editor Allan Cole (backup available on Archive.org) (in ). Retrieved on 11 August 2007.


Galactica 1980 Episode List


Galactica Discovers Earth ( Part I | Part II | Part III ) | The Super Scouts ( Part I | Part II ) 

Spaceball | The Night the Cylons Landed ( Part I | Part II ) | Space Croppers | The Return of Starbuck 


Other Series : Original 1978 Series | Re-imagined Series | Caprica | List of Episodes



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