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Saga of a Star World
"Saga of a Star World"
An episode of the Original Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 1
Writer(s) Glen A. Larson
Story by
Director Richard A. Colla
Alan J. Levi (uncredited)
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 50280/1/2
Nielsen Rating
US airdate USA 1978-09-17
CAN airdate CAN {{{CAN airdate}}}
UK airdate UK
DVD release 2004-12-28
Population survivors
Extended Info Series Premiere
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
None Saga of a Star World Lost Planet of the Gods, Part I
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
[[frakr:{{{frakr}}}|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr]]
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA | UK

The Human-Cylon peace accords are a ruse by the genocidal Cylons, determined to exterminate all humanity. Only the battlestar Galactica and a ragtag Fleet survive, journeying across the galaxy in search of a long-lost sister civilization, Earth. On the first leg of their journey, the Fleet is lured to the planet Carillon for fuel and relaxation—and barely survives a trap by the Ovions, an underground, insectoid species in league with the Cylons.


Prelude to Destruction

  • The episode opens with a shot of five battlestars that comprise the Colonial Fleet assigned to the Peace Treaty. They are the battlestars Galactica, Atlantia, Acropolis, Pacifica and Triton.
  • As the Seventh Millennium of Time approaches, President Adar toasts his Quorum of Twelve on the celebration of peace between humanity and the Cylon Empire. In the Quorum are Adama and Baltar.
  • Aboard Galactica, Lieutenant Zac, Apollo's younger brother, convinces Starbuck to let him take his patrol with Apollo so he can prove that he is a worthy warrior. Apollo, aware of the deception, agrees and Apollo and Starbuck reminisce of their younger days and Apollo teases Starbuck about his stomach (the "ailiment" that Starbuck uses in front of Zac and Apollo as the excuse to allow Zac to fly).
  • Flight Corporal Rigel clears Apollo and Zac for launch and the two launch on their patrol of the Lianus Vector.
  • Aboard Atlantia, Adar congratulates Baltar on his work on the armistice. Adar later meets with Adama, who gives his misgivings about the peace treaty and the Cylon's hatred of humanity and freedom. Adar assures him that the Cylons have sued for peace.
  • On patrol, Zac notices two targets above the old moon of Cimtar. Apollo flies ahead and identifies one target as an empty Cylon tanker. On reaching the second ship, a freighter, Apollo's scanners are jammed. Suspicious that the freighter is hiding something, Apollo continues flying through the mist and encounters a huge armada of Cylon Raiders.

Battle of Cimtar

  • Apollo and Zac engage four pursuing Raiders, but Zac's top engine is damaged in the attack. Apollo assures him that they can easily handle four to one odds. Zac's scanner soon shows the odds are worsened to a thousand to one. Zac tells Apollo to warn the fleet of the impending Cylon ambush. Apollo reluctantly leaves his younger brother behind.
  • Commander Adama and Athena return to Galactica to find the whole ship on alert. At Core command, Colonel Tigh informs Adama that their patrol ran into some trouble but the reports are being jammed. Adama reports this to the President and asks to launch a patrol to intercept. Baltar convinces Adar not to launch fighters due to the delicate nature of the peace treaty. Adama then asks that the fleet be brought to a state of alert. Adar says he will consider it.
Adama and Tigh survey the situation nervously
  • Tigh informs Adama that the patrol is under Apollo's command and that Zac is with him. Adama now realizes the gravity of the situation.
  • Zac continues his journey home ahead of the Cylon fighter fleet, but his damaged Viper is slowly losing ground.
  • Ignoring orders, Adama begins a battle station drill to avoid direct violation of the President's orders while allowing him to scramble his fighters for an initial defense.
  • Starbuck enjoys a game of Pyramid with some Gemonese warriors. His hand, a full Pyramid, wins. The alert klaxon sounds just as he tries to collect his winnings.
  • Zac's Viper is destroyed by the Cylons in sight of the fleet. When Adar asks what that explosion was, Adama sadly answers, "That was my son, Mr. President."
  • The Cylons commence their attack on the battlestars. Only Galactica is in a sufficient state of readiness to fight; none of the other battlestars can launch their fighters.
  • Apollo returns to the bridge and reports on the Cylon ambush and asks to go back to escort Zac back in. He is informed of Zac's death.
  • Apollo informs Tigh and Adama that he found no basestars in the area that supported the fighters. They realize that the tankers were used to re-fuel the fighters, allowing the basestars to be elsewhere.
  • Adama realizes the basestars are gathering to attack the Colonies themselves. Adama contacts Adar and requests permission to leave the battle in order to attempt to defend their home planets. During this transmission the Cylons bear down on battlestar Atlantia and destroy her.

Flight to Caprica

  • The Imperious Leader, on a basestar near the Colonies, orders the planetary attack to begin.
The infamous Lights of Caprica scene!
  • Adama orders Galactica to head for Caprica to defend the colony. Viper pilot Greenbean and other pilots notice the battlestar leaving the battle zone.
  • As Galactica closes in on the Colonies, the jamming clears to allow them to view a news report from the surface of Caprica from Serina. As the attack begins, Serina ends her report abruptly to find her son Boxey, whose daggit is killed. Galactica's crew watch helplessly as the destruction of the colonies continues. Even the outer colonies such as Sagitara are not spared.
  • Adama elects to go down to the surface of Caprica in his shuttle. Fearing for his father's safety, Apollo convinces Adama to accompany him in his fighter.
  • Rigel informs Tigh that 67 fighters returned from the battle; only 25 belong to Galactica. Omega informs Tigh that they are also the only surviving battlestar.
  • Starbuck returns with battle damage and crash lands successfully. Angry over Galactica leaving during the battle, Athena tells him of something more serious: the Colonies are destroyed.
  • On Caprica, Adama finds the ruins of his home. His wife, Ila, is presumed dead, and Adama's grief overwhelms him temporarily.
  • Apollo is confronted by angry colonists. Adama informs the colonists that only Galactica is left to guard the survivors.

The Exodus Begins

  • Adama tells the colonists to assemble the people in every ship that will carry them. In all, 220 ships leave the ruined worlds to gather behind the last battlestar.
  • At a ship's representative meeting aboard Galactica, Adama tells them of their destination: The home of the Thirteenth Tribe on a planet called Earth.
TV Guide ad for Saga of a Star World
  • Starbuck apologizes to Athena (who is in the process of taking off her pressure suit) for his behavior in the landing bay. Starbuck realizes they may have only tomorrow to live, for but Athena says she cannot commit to a relationship.
  • Boomer and Starbuck are on fleet maintenance on the freighter Gemini to check for battle damage. Apollo is also there, checking for solium leaks with Beta company.
  • They head below decks to find the sad condition of colonists living there. The warriors are told of food and water shortages.
  • As they attend to the wounded, one colonist, Cassiopeia, attempts to help by translating for an ill Geminese man, but is ridiculed for being a socialator.
  • The warriors learn that some people on board the liner Rising Star are living in luxury with hoards of supplies.
  • Apollo re-routes the shuttle to Rising Star and finds Jolly, who indicates most of the food there has Pluton poisoning. They try to salvage some of the food but are told to keep it quiet in fear of a mutiny.
  • The Cylons become aware of Galactica and her escape with survivors. Imperious Leader instructs flight leader Serpentine, a Centurion, to inform Count Baltar of his displeasure, ordering Baltar to deliver either Galactica or his own head.
  • Aboard Rising Star, Serina asks Apollo to help cheer up Boxey. Apollo gives Boxey one of his rank insignia and promises to find him a daggit. Serina thanks Apollo for his help.
  • Boomer and Apollo find Sire Uri and his party. They are appalled by Sire Uri's gluttony and celebration. Ignoring Sire Uri's refusal to give up his supply of food, Apollo orders Boomer to instruct Jolly to gather a crew to distribute the food to others. Boomer asks Apollo if he hasn't overplayed his hand since Sire Uri is a newly elected member of the Council of the Twelve.
  • Cassiopeia's arm is healed by Galactica medical staff and Starbuck agrees to help her find somewhere else to go in lieu of the freighter Gemini.
  • Rigel reports to Tigh that long range patrols report no signs of Cylon pursuit.
Serina, Athena and Cassiopeia

The Path to Carillon

  • The Council of Twelve debate the Fleet's destination. Believing Carillon is too far to travel because of the food shortage, Uri suggests the planet Borallus, but Adama believes it too dangerous. Apollo suggests a shortcut to Carillon via the Nova of Madagon. However, the Cylons had mined the passage, so Vipers are needed to clear a path for the Fleet. Starbuck and Boomer are "volunteered" for the mission.
  • Apollo gathers Serina and Boxey. Apollo and Doctor Wilker surprise Boxey with Muffit Two, a mechanical daggit. Apollo and Serina share an embrace.
  • Cassiopeia and Starbuck spend some intimate time on the flight deck before a jealous Athena activates a steam purge in the area and burns Starbuck.
  • The Vipers launch with shielded cockpits to protect from the brightness of the nova. They succeed in destroying the mines, and the fleet reaches Carillon.
  • Adama orders landing operations to begin at once with mineral ships and Landrams. Blue Squadron is ordered to vector in the landing parties.
  • Aboard the main basestar, Baltar appears before the Imperious Leader. The Imperious Leader alters his bargain to spare Baltar's colony and orders Baltar's immediate execution, but stops short and orders him removed for public execution.
  • Boomer and Starbuck come upon strange bright lights and startle a female Tauran coming out of what is apparently a chancery. The woman's excitement over her winnings make it apparent that she is completely unaware of the Colonies' destruction. Starbuck and Boomer enter the casino to investigate.
  • Apollo, Jolly, Serina, Boxey and Muffit travel to the old mine.
  • Boomer questions the validity of the chancery and is amazed that Starbuck can think about making money in light of their plight.
TV Guide cover - Sept. 16, 1978
  • Boxey chases after Muffit when he escapes the landram, with Jolly not far behind. Serina and Apollo share a tender moment alone. Muffit and Boxey are "kidnapped" by the Ovions.


  • Jolly, Apollo and Serina search for Boxey but are also taken captive by the Ovions and brought below the surface to the Ovion's domain. They are re-united with Boxey, Muffit, Starbuck and Boomer. Apparently the Ovion Queen has offered her friendship and all that Carillon has to offer.
  • On hearing of the events on Carillon, Adama questions the Ovion's hospitality and notices that only small amounts of fuel are arriving from the surface.
  • Cassiopeia and Athena both attempt to rendezvous with Starbuck on Carillon. They discover each other, and Starbuck is left without a companion.
  • Some guests of the hotel enter an elevator to go their rooms, but the elevator takes them below to Ovions, who capture them.
  • Adama and Tigh realize that they have been deceived about the amount of tylium on Carillon, and suspect Cylon involvement.
  • Aboard Galactica, the council meets with Adama to discuss the dismantling of arms. During this meeting the history of the war and the humans involvement with the Hasari is discussed. Adama balks at the discussion of laying down their arms and leaves the meeting. The council decides to let the colonists decide their fate at a function to award Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer for their heroism in leading the Fleet through the Straits of Madagon.
  • Cassiopeia enters an elevator on Carillon and is also captured by the Ovions. She witnesses the three previous colonists being cocooned by The Ovions.
  • Aboard Galactica, Tigh meets with Adama in secret to devise a plan to keep their warriors battle ready while fooling Sire Uri and the Ovions, giving the impression that actual warriors are in attendance. To aid in the ruse, Adama decides to launch routine patrols to appease the Council, but will be used in truth to await a Cylon trap. Tigh is put in charge of gathering uniforms and people to fill them.
  • Starbuck, Boomer, and Apollo gather on the surface. Uri is satisfied that most of the warriors are in attendance. Boomer motions to Starbuck that there are three unknown men wearing the insignia from Blue Squadron. Starbuck goes to investigate and runs into Apollo. Starbuck reports the imposters, and all enter an elevator to head below the surface.
  • Uri impatiently informs Boomer to find Starbuck and Apollo.
  • Starbuck and Apollo continue their search for the imposters while a Cylon Centurion receives a report from an Ovion of the warrior count at the party.
The Anthem scene - A deleted scene occurring after the flight from Carillon in which the entire cast attends a ceremony, and Apollo learns of Serina's illness.

The Battle of Carillon

  • Apollo and Starbuck jury rig the elevator to go lower below Carillon. They encounter the Ovions and Cylons.
  • Starbuck questions the connection between the surface and the Ovions below. Starbuck suggests that Apollo go back up and gather the colonists while he stays below to set fire to the tylium. Apollo refuses, remembering his abandonment of Zac.
  • Boxey comes out of an elevator in pursuit of Muffit. As a Cylon aims his weapon at Boxey, Apollo and Starbuck intervene.
  • In the battle, the warriors find the cocoons of the humans that the Ovions are feeding on, as well as Cassiopeia, who they rescue in the nick of time.
  • The Imperious Leader orders the springing of the Cylon trap.
  • Starbuck and Apollo, with Cassiopeia, Boxey and Muffit in tow, begin their escape, while the Cylons begin their attack run at Galactica and the Fleet.
  • Boomer joins in with Starbuck and Apollo as they escape back to the surface to warn everyone of the danger. Apollo and the others reach the surface and warn the others to leave. Uri balks at this idea until a Cylon appears, and hastily changes his mind.
  • Jolly and a series of Landrams arrive to help in the escape. Apollo and Starbuck find out that the Landrams were ordered in place by Adama.
  • Boxey tells Serina that he wishes Apollo could be his dad. Starbuck kisses Cassiopeia goodbye.
  • The warriors launch from Carillon as the attack on Galactica begins, engaging the Cylons as Galactica takes heavy hits.
  • Apollo, along with Starbuck, goes after the lone basestar with Imperious Leader hidden behind Carillon. Adama refuses to authorize the warriors to chase the base ship but Apollo and Starbuck continue their pursuit using the Cylon frequency to give the impression of four squadrons (Blue and Green, Red and Yellow).
  • The Imperious Leader receives news of the counterattack and orders the baseship behind Carillon.
  • Adama is astonished at the ruse that Starbuck and Apollo are planning.
  • The Imperious Leader is given a report of the six squadrons approaching them and the destruction of their entire Raider complement. He orders the basestar lower to the surface but is warned of the temperature reaching critical points.
  • Starbuck and Apollo reach the baseship. Tigh reports the planet reaching vapor point.
  • The Cylons now realize that the plan is a deception and open fire on Apollo and Starbuck. Starbuck and Apollo escape just as the planet and basestar are destroyed.
  • Baltar is brought before another Imperious Leader, who explains he has examined Baltar's epistle and spares his life: Not to serve the Cylon Empire, but to serve his people. Baltar is given the task of extending the hand of truce to the humans. Baltar explains that the humans are not likely to be receptive.
  • The Imperious Leader gives Baltar command of a basestar with an IL-Series Drone named Lucifer to serve at his aide to accomplish this task.

Adama's Notes

And the word went forth to every outpost of humanity, and they came - the Aries, the Gemons, the Virgos, the Scorpios, the Pisceans and the Sagitarrans. In all, two hundred and twenty ships, representing every colony, color and creed in the star system. The human race might have one more chance, but first it would have to survive the alliance, the elements and the unknown dark and sinister threats that would lie ahead.

We've come so far, so quickly. There's been little time for reason. What is the secret behind the existence of this outpost on the outer rim of our star system? There are many such oases for intergalactic travelers, but none so far off the known arteries of trade, and none so curiously close a tylium mine. Fuel has begun to arrive from the Ovion mines, but in curiously small quantities. Now I feel the growing need for extraordinary measures of precaution. The ships continue to hover over the planet, supported by maintenance crews whose spirits are depleted as their numbers. Everyone seems to have forgotten our flight from the Cylons. The beauty and wiles of Carillon hold our people spellbound.



  • There are (at least) three different versions of this pilot episode: a theatrical release originally shown in movie theaters around the world, a three-part pilot for television, and the original 1978 home video release (in addition to the original 3 hour television broadcast). The DVD box set includes this episode complete -- with all the parts restored that were deleted, shortened, or altered to some degree.
  • The original transmission of this episode was interrupted on the East Coast for more than an hour due to the signing of the Camp David Peace Accord between Israel and Egypt. President Jimmy Carter hosted the signing between Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egypt's President Anwar Sadat. ABC chose to continue the transmission from the exact point of the interruption since it had heavily promoted the show and was committed to the new series.
  • Saga of a Star World aired as a tv movie in a single installment on September 17th, 1978, and was thereby the only episode of the show which did not have a running time of approximately 50 minutes. With commercial breaks, the episode ran 3 hours. For subsequent television showings, in the USA and overseas, it was re-edited into three 50-minute episodes.
  • The 3-hour television movie with which the show premiered has always been known (unofficially) as Saga of a Star World, but this title nowhere appears on screen. The title credits describe the production only as Battlestar Galactica. In the course of production, early in 1978, Glen Larson signed a contract to hire virtually the entire special effects team who, until 1977, had been employed by George Lucas on the movie Star Wars; but Lucas, worried by the similarity of the term Star World to the title of his hit movie, threatened legal action if Larson used the term in connection with the proposed project, then known as The Galactica. Lucas would later hire back most of his original effects team, to work on his proposed Star Wars sequel, due out in 1980, making it impossible for them to continue working on Galactica project after the initial mini-series, and forcing Larson to re-cut the effects footage from the 1978 feature film and re-use it on all of the following 18 episodes, instead of new footage.
  • Carol Baxter, who portrayed the talkative woman in the elevator on Carillon, would later portray Macy in "The Lost Warrior."

Behind the Scenes

  • Galactica's Warrior uniforms were still being manufactured during filming of this episode, thus the pyramid game scenes featured Boomer (Herb Jefferson Jr.) and Jolly (Tony Swartz) with the creative use of towels. For Jefferson, while he had both pants and boots, his tunic was still being assembled and thus he had a towel around his neck. As for Swartz, he did his first day of shooting with a towel around his waist, as neither tunic nor pants were available.[1]

Changes and Sub-Plots

  • There are two plot threads which were filmed, but later dropped:
    • All the lines of dialogue pertaining to Serina's "space cancer", and thus a majority of Doctor Paye's scenes, were removed. Serina's illness occurs instead because she is affected by the pluton poisoning, which is briefly mentioned by Jolly aboard the Rising Star.
    • In addition, a subplot revolving around Adama's attempt to resign as fleet commander is dropped. All that remains of this is Adama's conversation with Athena, where he reflects on one event on a colony world concerning a woman with a small child.
  • Originally, the "steam purge" scene was shot with a shirtless Starbuck. However, because of the Network's concerns over depicting him partly undressed with a woman, the scene was re-shot with a shirted Starbuck. This re-shoot forced Laurette Spang to return from visiting her family in Michigan.[2]
  • In the feature film version (seen in theaters and on the 1978 videotape release of the feature film), Baltar is beheaded after betraying the Twelve Colonies of Man, on the orders of, and at the feet of, the Imperious Leader. For the series, this was re-edited and his character spared to lead an ongoing pursuit of the remnants of humanity in the televised version of this episode. This change was in part a result of the Cylons becoming a less menacing enemy, due to the Network's Standards and Practices guidelines relating to acts of violence on television, as there could only be a maximum of six "acts of violence" per episode. Thus the need for a more sinister threat portrayed to great dramatic effect by classically trained Shakesperian actor John Colicos, alongside his foil, Lucifer, voiced by Jonathan Harris.

Story Background

  • The conflict with the Cylons has raged for 1,000 yahren.
  • Each Colony of Man has one representative on the Quorum of the Twelve. After a meeting of the Quorum, each representative returns to "his" battlestar.
    1. Adama represents Caprica and commands the Galactica.
    2. Adar is president and returns to the Atlantia.
  • The Cylons have a hierarchical imperial society, ruled by an emperor (never described as such), who is referred to as the Imperious Leader.
  • The Cylons seek to exterminate all human life, because the Colonials interfered with Cylon efforts to enslave the Hasari's "nation".
  • Nuclear weapons are not a technology used by the Cylons in the Original Series, instead "weapons of mass destruction", in the form of pluton bombs, were used on the Colonies. These are a "lesser" technology used on Terra by both the Eastern Alliance and the Nationalists. In contrast, the Cylons of the Re-imagined Series do use these type of weapons against the Colonies, to devastating effect (TRS: "Miniseries", "The Plan").
  • Apollo points out to Sire Uri at their first meeting that "some 100 people have died since our deliverance from the Cylons," though not due to starvation. Additional people died whilst on Carillon, however, when the Cylons sprang their trap.


  • Adama asks if any of the other ships could launch their Vipers, to which he receives a report that they didn't. Yet Rigel reports that out of the 67 Vipers returning to Galactica, 25 fighters belonged to Galactica. Obviously, the other battlestars launched some of their Vipers, but in few numbers and not in time. Additionally, there might have been patrols from other battlestars that were deployed at the time, but returned to the main fight.
  • Apparently the Ovions have manufactured or acquired human food supplies, but prefer humans to eat over human food, or could not digest human foodstuffs.
  • Baltar's ascension in the Cylon ranks after the Battle of Carillon occurs after the succeeding Imperious Leader finds Baltar's ability to think like humans a valuable asset. The Cylons apparently realize that they are not able to outwit humans using logic, as humans were capable of feats of illogic and daring despite statistical odds. Since Baltar had already shown his willingness to destroy humanity for his own gain, the Cylons may have felt that Baltar would garner the Empire a second, final success in ridding them of the last of humanity for good. Perhaps, as well, with the bulk of the Twelve Colonies gone, the Imperious Leader considered the issue of humanity's existence virtually over, leaving Baltar to "mop up" the remaining mess.
  • It is difficult to imagine that only five battlestars would be the only means of defence for a race made of twelve planets or colonies, especially when there is mention of the Fifth Fleet in "The Living Legend, Part I". In addition, given the length of the Thousand Yahren War, it is very likely that many battlestars and other warships were built. Over time, attrition left the Colonials with fewer (albeit stronger) battlestars, with fighters that outmatched the Cylons even when the Colonials were outnumbered 10 to 1, according to Apollo.
  • The only way to ensure complete destruction is total planetary annilihation. Humanity's destruction is like the ridding of a nest of cockroaches in a home. While it is possible to destroy most of them, a house is so large (with nooks and crevices to hide that cannot be found by pesticides) that complete removal of them is impossible unless the house itself is destroyed. The same is true for the humans scattered in non-urban areas, in shelters, or off-planet. (This is also shown in the Re-imaged Series, as the Caprica Buccaneers pyramid team was able to survive the planetary bombing in the mountains outside of Delphi.)



  • If Cimtar is a moon, what planet did it orbit?
  • What happened to the Hasaris?
  • How large is the Cylon Empire? What is the size and disposition of the Cylon forces?
  • How large is the Colonial sphere of influence in the galaxy?
  • Is each colony on a planet or are some of them on moons orbiting another colony's planet?
  • If the Ovions got their food supply from harvesting the Colonials, what were the humans being fed at the casino, and what was sent to the fleet as supplies?
  • From what colony does Baltar originate?

The Fleet

  • What is the population of the Fleet?
  • Are any of the ships in the Fleet capable of defending themselves?
  • When did the survivors have time (or the resources) to vote for candidates to the Quorum of Twelve? How was this process handled? Who or what body decided the candidates?
  • What was the strength and disposition of the Colonial Fleet?
  • Why weren't the Warriors sent to inspect the ships in their new Fleet not provisioned languatrons? This would have helped Apollo, Starbuck, and Boomer in understanding the elderly Gemonese woman aboard Gemini.

The Cylons

  • How did the Exodus happen? If the Cylons were instructed to exterminate all of mankind would they not make sure the job was finished and not leave anything behind or any means of escape?
  • If the Cylons wanted to kill all humans, why put one in charge of a basestar?
  • Aside from the Ovions, what other races were part of "the Alliance" referred to by Commander Adama?

Answered Questions

  • Are the civilian conditions on the Gemini freighter typical of those on the other ships? (Answer #1, Answer #2)
  • It is implied that Baltar did not act alone, as the reports regarding Carillon were filed by his people. Who else conspired with Baltar? (One answer)
  • Did the Colonies have a planetary defense system? (Answer)

Official Statements


  • Richard Hatch discusses reshooting a scene in the episode depicting Ovions eating human flesh from a 1978 interview:
Richard Hatch: "Most companies have to continuously cut corners, settle for less than the best. Not Galactica. We still have to work quick, and there's only so much money, but the producers are determined that everything be the best it possibly can be. They know it's the little places that count. For instance, we have these alien creatures that feed on human flesh. In one shot of them, the lighting wasn't quite right, and their walk was just not convincing. They could have let that go, but they went back and reshot the entire sequence to get the right look, the right texture."[3]


  • Richard A. Colla discusses what lead to his termination from the production in a 2008 interview:
It seemed to be, because...I mean it's just that I don't understand it. When you set something loose like that, you've either got to step in and carry the thing yourself, and finish it yourself, or somebody's got to come in and do it. Well, that's kind of what I did for George [Santoro]. George had always been very good to me, and when he need help, I was there for him. So it wasn't about Glen [Larson]. It was about making this thing work for George, and when in the end Glen kept finding little faults, I just told him he was an ungrateful bastard, because everybody was working so hard to pull his ass out of the fire here, and now he's in there pretending like he's the one who has all the ideas here. Well it was his idea originally. Nobody can fault him for that. You know, it's him and the Mormon church. So if you say ok, this is mine, well that's just fine, and I applaud his ability for all of the work that he's able to do in television, all of those opportunities that he saw in movies and then made television shows out of, all that stuff that he was able to convert. So I could even understand where he would want to feel like he was back in control of it once the major roaring fire of this thing was out, and some hope was in the air, but I just found him very ungrateful to all the people who worked so hard for him.[4]
Glen [Larson] didn’t like the way the exterior of the casino was shot, just didn’t have any great feeling of murder and escape and such. That was my first night of shooting, and everybody’s looking at me like I’m the new kid on the block and they’re going, ‘you want me to do what?’ And I’m screaming through the megaphone and people are running back and forth and this and that and the cameras are racing from here to there…well, I wore everybody out, but it turned out to be a good sequence. It did kind of put a feeling of respect for me in people’s minds as to what I was after.[5]
[T]his still holds up, after all this time. Not that I was necessarily surprised by that, but it was nice to see. Because a lot of shows you have fond memories of and then you see them years later and you go: "Oh, geez..."[6]

Noteworthy Dialogue

Adama: Forgive me, Mr. President, but they hate us with every fiber of their existence. We love freedom. We love independence—to feel, to question, to resist oppression. To them, it's an alien way of existing they will never accept.
Adama: Mr. President, a wall of unidentified craft is closing in on the fleet.
Baltar: Possibly a Cylon welcoming committee.
Adama: Sir, may I suggest we launch a welcoming committee of our own?
Zac: Patrol to fleet, patrol to fleet! I need help!
President Adar: What was that?
Adama (sotto voce): That was my son, Mr. President...
Imperious Leader: The final annihilation of the life form known as Man, let the attack begin.
Serina: We must fight back.
Adama: Yes, we are going to fight back. But not here. Not now. Not in the Colonies. Not even in this star system. Let the word go forth to every man, woman, and child that survived this holocaust. Tell them to set sail at once in every assorted vehicle that will carry them.
Adama: Our recorded history tells us that we descended from a mother civilization, a race that went out into space to establish colonies. Those of us here assembled now represent the only known surviving colonies save one—a sister world far out in the universe, remembered to us only through ancient writings. It is my intention to seek out that remaining colony, that last outpost of humanity in the whole universe.
Serina: Commander Adama... This Thirteenth Colony—this other world—where is it and what is it called?
Adama: I wish I could tell you that I know precisely where it is, but I can't. However, I do know that it lies beyond our star system, in a galaxy very much like our own, on a planet called... Earth.
  • After being chastised by Apollo:
Boomer: Just keep it up, old buddy. You're going to get us into real trouble.
Starbuck: 10,000 light years from nowhere, our planet shot to pieces, people starving, and I'm going to get us in trouble?
Boomer: All I'm saying is—
Starbuck: What's the matter with you? I tell ya, may as well live for today. We might not have many left.
Adama: You didn't see them down there. Their faces—the old, the young—desperate. Begging, screaming for a chance to come aboard—a chance to live. And there I was like God, passing out priorities... as if they were tickets to a lottery. There was one—one woman... with a child in her arms. She tore at my arm as I was boarding the launch to come back.
Athena: Father, don't—
Adama: Guard came up. I saw him out of the corner of my eye and tried to stop him. He shoved her away, pushed her. He didn't see the child. I don't know what happened to that woman. But, God, I don't want it anymore. Let someone else do it.
Athena: Father?
Adama: Take this burden from me.
Serina: Thank you.
Apollo: For what?
Serina: For saving my son's life.
Apollo: You're getting things a little out of proportion... In a way, maybe I should be thanking you.
Serina: You don't know anything about me, or what happened to Boxey's father, or...
Apollo: When you're ready, you'll tell me. In the meantime, nothing that's happened before really counts for much. As far as the human race is concerned, we're all starting over.

Guest Stars

External Links


  1. Altman, Mark A.; Gross, Edward (2018). So Say We All: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Battlestar Galactica. Tor Books. ISBN 9781250128942, p. 73.
  2. Altman, Mark A.; Gross, Edward (2018). So Say We All: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Battlestar Galactica. Tor Books. ISBN 9781250128942, p. 69.
  3. Houston, David (December 1978). "Two Crazy Kind of Guys". Starlog: 29.
  4. Egnor, Mike (29 April 2008). Richard Colla GALACTICA.TV interview (backup available on (in ). Retrieved on 2 June 2019.
  5. Paxton, Susan J.. Battlestar Zone interview with Alan J. Levi (backup available on (in ). Retrieved on 30 April 2008.
  6. Egnor, Mike (17 September 2009). Terrence McDonnell GALACTICA.TV interview (backup available on (in ). Retrieved on 12 June 2019.
Galactica Discovers Earth, Part 1
"Galactica Discovers Earth, Part 1"
An episode of the Galactica 1980 series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 1
Writer(s) Glen A. Larson
Story by
Director Sidney Hayers
Assistant Director
Special guest(s) {{{guests}}}
Production No. 85510
Nielsen Rating
US airdate USA 1980-01-27
CAN airdate CAN {{{CAN airdate}}}
UK airdate UK
DVD release
Population {{{population}}} survivors
Extended Info Script available for download (incomplete)
Information Novelization
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
The Original Series Galactica Discovers Earth, Part 1 Galactica Discovers Earth, Part II
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
[[frakr:{{{frakr}}}|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr]]
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA

The battlestar Galactica and the Colonial fleet reach the planet Earth, but soon realize that the Cylon fleet, long thought to be gone, has trailed them to the fabled planet, and will stop at nothing to extinguish all human life.


  • Adama and Doctor Zee, a child genius that advises the Commander, discover that they have arrived at Earth in 1980, but the planet's inhabitants, descendants of the Thirteenth Tribe, are at a low level of cultural and technological development in comparison to the remnants of the Twelve Colonies of Man.
  • Dr. Zee informs Adama that the Fleet cannot land on Earth. When Adama objects, Zee notes that the Cylons have followed them to Earth. When Adama reminds him that the Cylons had not been seen in a "billion star miles"[2], Zee notes that their enemies have chosen not to be seen to allow the Fleet to find Earth for them.[3]
  • To make his point further, Zee shows the leaders of the Fleet a video simulating a Cylon attack on Los Angeles. The conclusion is clear: at its present level of technology, the Earth will be of no assistance to defending the Fleet against the approaching Cylons.
TV Guide Ad for Galactica Discovers Earth.
  • Dismayed by his ignorance in leading the Cylons to Earth, Adama orders pairs of warriors to contact key scientists with the various nations on Earth, to help them speed up the planet's technological capabilities.
  • Two of the Colonials to be dispatched are Adama's grandson Captain Troy and Lieutenant Dillon, who are tasked with contacting scientists in the United States. Dillon asks about Troy's nickname, and Troy tells more about his late father and mother as Troy shows Dillon a picture of his family when Troy was a child.
  • Adama briefs a gathering of what appear to be senior representatives of the Fleet about Earth, its solar system and habitable surface, including Quorum member Xaviar, who looks dismayed. The presentation, later led by Dr. Zee, discusses the Earth's comparatively limited technology as well as environmental problems. Throughout the presentation, Troy and Dillon quip about the strange things they see, unaware of Earth's serious limits. Dr. Zee shows the group his simulated Cylon attack, which greatly agitates the gathering.
  • Xavier challenges Doctor Zee's conclusions on avoiding habitation of Earth by moving the Fleet away and hopefully drawing the Cylon's full attention from Earth as well. Zee proposes a slow approach to encourage introduction of Colonial technology through Earth scientists willing to work surreptitiously.
  • Doctor Zee provides a team of Colonial Warriors with some gadgets to assist their infiltration efforts. One of the gadgets is an invisibility cloak that can render the warriors and their vehicles unseen. The warriors will be able to use turbines to get around on the surface, which are also able to fly, as well as stun weapons to incapacitate Earth humans without killing them.
  • It is also noted that, in the lighter gravity of Earth, the Colonials will have the ability to leap to great heights.
  • Each team will be spread about Earth's world populations to begin their mission. Troy and Dillon are headed for the United States, specifically, the Los Angeles area. Dillon laments that they didn't get Kip's pick to visit the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as it sounded more enticing from a carousing perspective.
  • Descending to the Earth in their Vipers, the U.S. Air Force detects the strange aircraft. Troy and Dillon are intercepted by Air Force fighters. As the fighters fire on the Vipers, they pull away easily and make a hasty landing in a field near Los Angeles.
  • Hiding their ships with the invisibility screens, they take to their turbines, and shortly thereafter have a run in with a biker gang, which they escape through use of their turbines flying capabilities.
  • Changing into contemporary clothes, Troy and Dillon stop at a service station to make a call to the scientist they are to contact, Dr. Donald Mortinson at the Pacific Institute of Technology.
  • While attempting to use the phone, they run into Jamie Hamilton, who's on her way to L.A. for a job interview with the UBC television network. Hamilton watches the two try to gain currency to use the pay phone when she catches them in the act.
  • When she learns that the duo is on their way to see the controversial Dr. Mortinson, who has developed a new form of nuclear technology, Hamilton offers to give them a lift to the Pacific Institute of Technology.
  • Doctor Mortinson questions himself with his aide on whether the angry mob is truly ready or willing to accept the advanced technology. When the mobs start to throw rocks, Mortinson leaves to get someone to clean the mess.
  • Pushing past anti-nuclear protesters at the campus and stunning a guard, Troy and Dillon reach Dr. Mortinson's lab. Mortinson is not present. His aide is incredulous at their supposed ability to comprehend his formulas. The aide secretly instructs the security guards by phone to arrive and soon arrest the two intruders.
  • Before being hauled away by security, Troy and Dillon leave a complex math equation on Dr. Mortinson's computer as a way of verifying they are visitors from an advanced culture.[4]
  • Troy and Dillon are hauled off to jail.
  • When Dr. Mortinson returns to his computer, astonished by what Troy and Dillon left there, he realizes that the only people capable of producing the modified formula he finds on the screen must be as important to mankind as "the coming of the Messiah".
  • Hamilton, with her career at first looking dim, is contacted by Dr. Mortinson, who asks her to help him find Troy and Dillon. Spurred on by a job offer from the network producer, Brooks, Hamilton heads off to find Mortinson, who despises the media.
  • During booking, Dorbin cannot make fingerprint records for the Warriors as they have no fingerprints. Other people are interested in the two, who are returned to their cell.
  • Using their invisibility devices, Troy and Dillon activate their invisibility shields, causing another in the cell, Moran, to think he's losing his mind. As the cell is opened by Sergeant James, the two make their escape.
  • Meanwhile, back in the field where they first arrived, the two Vipers suddenly shimmer back into view. A young boy, Willy Griffin is playing in the field with his dog, Skipper, when he stumbles upon the ships, which have run out of power to maintain their invisibility. He runs to inform his parents.

From Script to Screen

In the December 13, 1979 revision of the script for this episode, there are several noted differences:

  • In Adama's opening monologue, during his mention of "too many of our sons and daughters" having not survived the journey, a mural of Apollo, Athena, Zac and Ila is called for, thus confirming that Athena is also dead.[5]
  • The first scene between Troy and Dillon is in the form of a day-down patrol, where both reflect on it being their last patrol. Further, Troy echoes the words from his late father made to the people on Terra in "Experiment in Terra": "The opposite of war isn't always peace. More often it's slavery."[6]
  • The dialogue between Dr. Zee and Adama regarding Earth's present state of development runs longer. Adama notes Zee's age (14) and after being told to send out the patrol beyond its usual range, issues a coded battle order to Troy and Dillon. This is called "Operation Caprica", and color-coded. Using turbo-thrusters, Troy and Dillon run into two Cylon Raiders, which they destroy before the Cylons can report that they've been compromised. Dillon and Troy return to the Fleet.[7]
  • After the two Air Force jets launch missiles at Troy and Dillon's Vipers, they avoid this by using their invisibility shield (referred to at this point in the script as a "force shield").[8]
  • Pilot #2 makes a crack about McDonell (sic) Douglas and Sperry Rand, two US defense contractors.[9]
  • The turbocycles as written are "something on the order of a motorcycle, but instead of wheels, it seems to be suspended on some kind of force field".[9] This is what drives the cycles, which prompt the interest of Donzo and Willy.[10]
  • Dorothy Carlyle gives Donald Mortinson a neck massage; Mortinson agrees with the protesters on the fact that they've advanced their technology too fast.[11]
  • Dillon and Troy make it a point to hide their boots by pulling their pants over them.[12]
  • What later becomes the Pacific Institute of Technology is called the California Institute of Technology (Cal-Tech) in the script.[13]
  • Also, what is later called the United Broadcasting Company is called the Trans-World Broadcasting Company.[14]
  • Jamie Hamilton's conversation with Brooks's secretary shows us that the secretary is more amicable and understanding.[15]
  • Adama and Xaviar's conversation regarding time travel notes Xaviar's position on it more clearly, which Adama appears to respond more positively to. Xaviar posits that time travel doesn't adversely affect history.[16] In his words:
    How do we know it works that way? Maybe history isn't really changed. Maybe it all comes out the very same. Take, for example, the chance of birth. Whether your parents decide to journey from one place to another only dictates the environment in which you are born. The fact remains that you live. What difference whether we introduce marvels of science to primitive Earth...the same people will live to use them...only the quality of their lives will have changed.[17]
  • The cop, Dorbin, is referred to as "Doberman" in the script.[18] This is also reflected on the name plate worn by the actor, suggesting that the name was changed during shooting.
  • Hamilton forces her presence on Dillon and Troy at gunpoint—using Troy's laser to do so. With no choice on the matter, the Warriors agree to have Hamilton accompany them, which ends part 1.[19]
  • The sub-plot with Willie Griffin finding the Vipers in the field is not present.



  • In Adama's speech to the Quorum of Twelve, he notes that Earth is the third planet of a system of nine planets. When the episode was written, the celestial body of Pluto was considered a full-fledged planet, but was reclassified in 2007. This same "mistake" is made in "The Long Patrol" and in countless other science fiction series of the past and present. As of this writing, the solar system is comprised of eight planets, 166 moons, and three dwarf planets, of which Pluto is now a part.

Production Notes

Dr. Zee's simulation of a Cylon Attack on Los Angeles.
  • According to publications at the time, the original airing of "Galactica Discovers Earth" had some of the highest ratings in the history of the franchise. The premiere episode, which aired Sunday, January 27th, 1980, ranked 30th for the week. The second and third episodes (aired February 3rd and 10th) also did well. [1]. According to The "World Almanac and Book of Facts 1980", overall for the period that it was aired, Galactica 1980 ranked 20th out of 100 series in the Nielsen ratings.
  • Dr. Zee's video screens show a series of shots from unusual public domain sources and from other Universal properties. This is supposed to resemble a smattering of US television images, and is a decidedly strange sequence, complete with eerie sound effects, which sets an odd tone early in the program. Among the images seen is Rod Serling in an introduction to the series Night Gallery, in addition to Woody Woodpecker.
  • The simulated Cylon attack on Earth reuses footage from the movie Earthquake which was released by Universal Pictures in 1974, and also starred Lorne Greene (Commander Adama).
  • The song playing in Jamie Hamilton's car when pulling up to the gas station is Billy Joel's "My Life", which makes a brief reappearance in "The Night the Cylons Landed, Part II".

Nods to a Past Incarnation

  • This episode featured the last appearance of two robotic Muffit II-style daggits in the Original Series continuity, still apparently used as pets in the Fleet.
  • When Troy and Dillon first take their Vipers into the Earth's atmosphere at the beginning of the episode, stock footage is used from "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero, Part I". As the Vipers fly by, a mountain is seen and the glare reflection off of the Ravashol pulsar is visible.
  • The low-toned sounds coming from the computer monitor as Donald Mortinson turns it back on are the exact same sounds that are made when information is printed on the screens in a Viper's cockpit or on the bridge.

Other Trivialities

  • In the 2009 Galactica 1980 comic series, issue #1 is titled Galactica Discovers Earth, an obvious nod to this episode. The comic reimagines the events of Galactica 1980.
  • One of the bikers that threatens Troy and Dillon is played by Brion James, best-known for playing the replicant named Leon in the 1982 genre film Blade Runner (co-starring Edward James Olmos).


  • It is clearly apparent that neither Adama nor anyone else in the Fleet considered the ramifications of their flight to Earth: particularly when it concerns their essentially leading the Cylons to this planet.
  • This episode directly deals with the (now proven incorrect) assumption that Earth is capable of repelling the Cylons. It should be noted that the Re-imagined Series also faces the same story flaw, which it has yet to address.
  • Adama's comment that Earth's "proximity to the sun provides the only climate in the galaxy[20] comfortably able to support life as we know it" is technically correct, in so far as the audience is concerned. In the story, however, this claim establishes that:
    1. The Colonials are from outside the Milky Way and thus have some form of faster-than-light drive never fully shown in the series.
    2. That the Milky Way Galaxy itself has no other planets that are capable of supporting human life, in so far as the Galacticans know it. However, this claim is contradicted by the presence of the planets of Paradeen and Terra, which is outside the Colonials' home galaxy[21] and is in the Milky Way[22].
  • Adama's indication that the polar ice caps and the deserts could "easily be reclaimed by our technology" points to the Colonials possessing some form of terra-forming technology.


  • For all his intelligence, why didn't Doctor Zee forewarn Adama that he may be leading the Cylons to Earth before ever reaching it?
  • What specifically happened to the characters of Apollo, Athena, and Sheba?
  • How exactly did Troy & Dillon manage to extract change from the gas station pay phone utilizing its "Credit Card" function when pay phones with the ability to accept either credit or pre-paid cards wouldn't be created or commonly appear for well over a decade?
  • Didn't Mortinson or his workers keep backups of their work in the event they were lost or vandalized?

Official Statements

Galactica 1980 story editors Allan Cole and Chris Bunch on why Galactica was resurrected:

Q: Where did Galactica 1980 come from?

Bunch: Well, this is only mildly classified, but nobody wanted to do Galactica 1980 except ABC. Battlestar Galactica had eaten the big green weenie (deservedly) and cost Universal a ton of money, with terrible ratings. Glen Larson, regardless of what you think of his writing ability, does try hard, and when something fails he wants to get away from it. It's been said he is the best salesman to ever pitch a TV series, but ten seconds after he sold it he should've been banned from writing any scripts to give his own show at least a struggling chance. Anyway, ABC, for some unknown reason, decided that it was worth trying again. Universal, who'd deficit-financed the first time around to some humongous degree, didn't want to go for it. ABC put pressure on, and they caved in. Then Universal put pressure on Larson, and he, in turn, caved in. Money Talks and Bullsh-- Walks, so here came Galactica once more, after Larson made those so wonderful revisions in the premise which guaranteed Galactica 1980 was even worse than its first incarnation.

Cole: Battlestar Galactica was the most expensive show ever done on television at the time. It was expensive and unsuccessful. And they had legal battles with George Lucas for obvious reasons. We thought they blew it as soon as they decided that Galactica arrives on Earth in 1980 - because nobody cares! When you're living in 1980 the science fiction element is lost and there are no big surprises. It was a fatal error.[23]

Cole and Bunch on the network's required educational dialogue:

Q: Did you have problems with the censors since the show was on the "family hour" - Sundays at 7:00 P.M.?

Cole: The censors have their own ideas about what a child should see or should not see. We were told directly that a child cannot learn from their parents or their teachers, only from their peers.

Bunch: So all the schools in America can pack it in!

Cole: Censors are people with no imagination whatsoever. Everything has got to be plain as day. Network executives used to be creative. Nowadays the executives all come straight from Wall Street. When the censors demand something educational, they mean you have to stop the show and say something educational! There were a certain number of "educational beats" per episode and you had to count 'em. For instance in a car chase...

Bunch: "...I perceive that this vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine, and an internal combustion engine, primitive though it is..." I'm not making this up!

Cole: We were given the job of putting in the educational beats in each script... which were all Larson's!

Bunch: He wasn't gonna do it! We suggested that they put an underrole on the screen saying "Why aren't you kids watching 60 Minutes?" They didn't think a whole lot of the idea!

Cole: So Glen's off in Hawaii writing scripts...

Bunch: And he'd call us up and say "What do you think?" And we'd say, "Dy-no-mite! Put that sucker through!"

Cole: We were rooting for the show to fail. We posted a sign that said "13" near the door of our trailer, meaning that when the show dropped to a 13 share we'd be free! They let it drop to a 9![24]

Cole and Bunch on working with the actors:

Q: Did you have much contact with the actors?

Bunch: Generally, the writer has minimal if any contact with actors. For instance, when we worked with Lorne Green on Code Putrid (Code Red), he came in and described his acting style to us. For instance he said, "When I lose my temper, I don't shout. I get cold and give dirty looks." That was an enormous help.

Cole: So anyway, we're watching dailies one day and the kid (Patrick Stuart - Dr. Zee) is sitting in his chair and Glen Larson is in the back saying, "What's wrong with his head? Why isn't he moving?" Well, you could see he was plainly terrified! And his lines were always addressing Adama. However, his voice was changing so he's saying in this girlish voice, "Adama! Adama!" It became a running gag between the two of us, (girlish voice) "Adama! Adama!" Why he got cast in that horrible part, I don't know.

Bunch: Why did anybody get cast in that horrible show?

Cole: Galactica 1980 was our first staff job and we received a memo which lists everyone in the crew. The stars, directors, producers. It's done in descending order of importance. Starting with Glen Larson...

Bunch: Then you get God!

Cole: Then you go all the way down the list. Down to the secretaries and the janitors. At the bottom of the list are the writers.

Bunch: We read this and said (sarcastically), "This is going to be a great experience!"

Q: Have you seen any of the cast since the cancellation?

Bunch: I wouldn't mind working with Kent McCord (Troy) again. He's a nice guy. He likes writers. He understands writers. Kent used to ask why the scripts were substandard, and we'd say "Babe, you go to Hawaii and talk to Larson!" [25]

Allan Cole on why most of the actors from the original series did not return:

Everything came apart piece by piece as they moved toward the airdate. Partly this was because of the budget. For example, everyone thought Dirk Benedict was going to be a big star and so his price was set accordingly. Schedules conflicted. That sort of thing. One of the big problems when you cancel a show [like Galactica] and let everyone go home, when you look for [the original actors] again, they aren't likely to be available. All shows are shot pretty much during the same season. So the good people are usually working the closer you get to that time.

But there were even deadlier things at work -- such as the censor. Dirk Benedict smoked a cigar!!!! This is not good for the kiddies, the censor said. And the action on BG was too "gritty" for kids, they said. We want nice, clean-cut people. (One-Adam-12) And we want lots, and lots of kids. And so forth. The day I reported to work no one had the faintest idea what the series was going to be about. And it changed every day -- even while the scripts were being written. Major characters disappeared. New ones appeared. Then were gone again.

It was a real mess when we finally got on the air, and it never got better. We were rewriting on the set -- handing pages to the actors to memorize moments before the scenes were shot.

The network never really liked the [time travel] idea. They didn't get it. For budget reasons there was also a mad scramble to find footage of old sword and sandle movies. So they could piece in things like the Trojan War, or whatever. But when the network censor saw those scenes, with blood all over the place, they freaked big time![26]

Cole and Bunch on how they got involved with the show:

Bunch: After the pilot was produced, we sold a script called Earthquake over the phone to Jeff Freilich, when he called us to see if we had anything the day he started on the show, and we came up with some fast buzzy-wuzzy crap that might convince him to Give Us Money. Something to do with earthquakes. So he says we have a deal, come on out and let's work the details out. We jumped in the car, with nada in the way of a plot, and Thought Fast. About the time we got off the freeway, we had a couple of vague ideas to flesh out our first dumb sentence.

The first draft of the script featured Xaviar, but then it was decided that they weren't going to use Xaviar anymore, which creates a small credibility problem, like we don't believe anybody but a Major Bad Guy can create an earthquake and he better have himself a Fiendish Thingie. We reworked the script and came up with Nutball Hargreaves, underground nuclear tests, roboticized security and the rest is (isn't) film history.

Cole: Anyway, we were blackmailed by Peter Thompson, the honcho at Universal into becoming story editors on the show. We didn't want to do it because we made more money freelancing. Thompson said we'd never work at Universal again unless we took the job.

Bunch: Interesting thing is that we wrote for just about every Larson show going as freelancers, and worked for him for ten weeks, but we never met Glen. Which is true to this day. Now, ain't it odd for a producer to hire a couple of supposedly talented story editors and not ever want to say hello?

Cole: We think of him fondly because he's paid us so much money.[27]

Noteworthy Dialogue

Dillon: What's that odd-looking brown haze hanging over the city?
Troy: (shrugs) Must be some sort of defense shield.
  • Troy and Dillon make a comment about the automobiles:
Dillon: Those automobiles sure don't move very fast.
Troy: No, but it's a nice, neat formation. It must require a lot of practice and discipline.
  • Adama makes a comment that suggests the the Earth's galaxy is lifeless, seemingly implying that the Colonials come from another galaxy. The Colonials also seem puzzled by the Earth's large oceans (do the Twelve Colonies lack large bodies of water?):
Adama: (Earth's) proximity to the Sun provides the only climate of the galaxy comfortably able to support life as we know it. Seven tenths of the Earth is covered with water, however, there is plenty of room for all our people.
  • Adama talks to Troy about Earth's government:
Adama: Boxey, the cold, hard truth is that there is no central government on Earth. There's no single leader with whom we can make contact or negotiate.
Troy: Well, that's impossible. Then how do they get together for their common good?
Adama: They don't, as far as we can tell.

Guest Stars

External Links


  1. Adama uses the term "years" in the series, which is known in the Original Series by the term yahren.
  2. The use of the term "miles" rather than the Original Series's parsecs, sectars and the like is one of many continuity errors in the short span of the show.
  3. The Re-imagined Series, by design or coincidence, has their versions of Cylon using the humans in its universe to find its mythical Earth in a similar manner in season 3.
  4. This addition to the script was likely inspired by a scene from the classic SF motion picture, The Day the Earth Stood Still, where an alien on Earth on a first-contact mission visits a scientist's office and leaves a highly-complex scientific formula as a calling card as well.
  5. Script for "Galactica Discovers Earth, Part I", p. 2
  6. Ibid., p. 3
  7. Ibid., pgs. 5-8
  8. Ibid., p. 18
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ibid., p. 19
  10. Ibid., p. 22-23
  11. Ibid., p. 20-22
  12. Ibid., p. 24
  13. Ibid., p. 25
  14. Ibid., p. 26
  15. Ibid., p. 28
  16. Ibid., pgs. 36-38
  17. Ibid., p.37
  18. Ibid., p. 46
  19. Ibid., p. 59-60
  20. This emphasis is Battlestar Wiki's, not Adama's.
  21. As confirmed by the events depicted in "The Long Patrol", "Greetings from Earth", and "Experiment in Terra"
  22. As established by the Gamma frequency transmission Apollo receives in "The Hand of God"
  23. Galactic Sci-Fi Television Series Revisited. Alpha Control Press, 1995.
  24. Galactic Sci-Fi Television Series Revisited. Alpha Control Press, 1995.
  25. Galactic Sci-Fi Television Series Revisited. Alpha Control Press, 1995.
  26. Larocque, John (28 Feburary 2005). Interview with Galactica 1980 story editor Allan Cole (backup available on (in ). Retrieved on 11 August 2007.
  27. Galactic Sci-Fi Television Series Revisited. Alpha Control Press, 1995.
  28. This is deduced by the subtitles, as the wingman who talks to McNally is referred to as "Pilot 1".
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 1
Writer(s) Ronald D. Moore
Story by
Director Michael Rymer
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 101
Nielsen Rating 2.6
US airdate USA 2005-01-14
CAN airdate CAN 2005-01-15
UK airdate UK 2004-10-18
DVD release 20 September 2005 US
28 March 2005 UK
Population 50,298 survivors
Extended Info Series Premiere
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Miniseries, Night 2 33 Water
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
Continuity Errors PresentView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
[[frakr:{{{frakr}}}|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr]]
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA | Canada | UK

Continuing from the events of the Miniseries, Galactica and the Fleet must avoid their Cylon pursuers, which ambush them every 33 minutes after each successful jump.


On Galactica

  • The crew of battlestar Galactica have been on continuous alert for some 130.35 hours, during which time the Fleet has had to make an FTL jump every 33 minutes to escape their Cylon pursuers shortly after their initial escape from Ragnar Anchorage.
  • Everyone in the Fleet is beginning to feel the strain – particularly Gaius Baltar, who is also distracted by Six’s repeated conversations about God having a plan for him, and also her wanting to have his children.
  • Vessels in the Fleet are also beginning to feel the strain: Jump engines and their controlling computers are starting to breakdown or malfunction, requiring Galactica to linger longer and longer in the Cylon line of fire while the rest of the fleet complete their jumps.
  • Anastasia Dualla finds time to visit a team of people who are cataloging survivors in the Fleet. When she cannot leave her photos to aid in searching for her loved ones, she is amazed to see a corridor that has been converted into a makeshift memorial.
  • Elsewhere, Sharon "Boomer" Valerii is having problems accepting her new ECO, Crashdown, and is feeling guilty about leaving Karl "Helo" Agathon on Caprica to his fate.
  • Following jump number 237, President Roslin receives word from a Dr. Amarak aboard the Olympic Carrier concerning information on how the Cylons overcame Colonial defenses.
  • Overhearing the conversation, Baltar is worried: he knew Amarak at the Ministry of Defense. As Six points out, Amarak might have information on Baltar's complicity with the Cylon attack.
  • There is insufficient time before the next jump to bring Amarak aboard Colonial One, but Roslin wants to see him directly after the jump has been completed.
  • When the next jump is made, the Olympic Carrier, complete with Dr. Amarak and 1,344 other souls, fails to appear with the rest of the Fleet. Six tries to convince Baltar that it is because God is watching over him.
  • Thirty-three minutes later, the Fleet is ready to jump, but the Cylons don’t appear. Adama orders a stand-down from the immediate alert, but the Fleet is to maintain a readiness to jump, in case the Cylons do return.
  • When Baltar continues to refuse the concept of God, the Olympic Carrier reappears; Commander Adama orders the Fleet to Condition One alert, fearing the worst. He orders the jump clocks reset in anticipation of the Cylons arriving.
  • The Combat Air Patrol lead by Lee Adama intercepts the starliner. Adama orders all communications with the Carrier jammed and the Carrier is ordered (through signal lamps) to remain at its current position. When the Carrier fails to heed orders not to approach the fleet, tensions rise, and a radiological alarm reveals there is now a nuclear weapon on the liner.
  • As the crisis deepens, the Cylons appear precisely 33 minutes after the return of the Carrier, confirming that the Carrier was used somehow by the Cylons to track the Fleet. Adama wants to destroy the liner, but Roslin hesitates to give the order, as no one can be sure if the 1,345 people aboard the Carrier are still alive. Baltar is terrified she won't give the order for fear of Amarak's information.
  • Six uses the hesitation to push Baltar into “repenting” before God. As soon as he does, Roslin gives the order to destroy the liner. Apollo and Starbuck (reluctantly) open fire, destroying the liner. After the Fleet makes a jump once more, the Cylons' relentless pursuit is halted.
  • A day later, everyone is living with the consequences of their actions. Only Billy Keikeya has a small nugget of good news: at some point in the proceedings, a baby was born in the Fleet.

On Caprica

  • Helo is on the run in the rainy woodland, and has Claymore-like ordnance he uses to blow up pursuing Cylon Centurions.
  • Helo's six days on the run comes to an end when he is captured by the Cylons, after being distracted by the appearance of a Number Six, wearing a white raincoat.
  • Helo is “rescued” by a copy of Sharon Valerii, who shoots Six and then leads Helo away into the woods. Helo mistakenly believes that this Valerii copy is actually the "Boomer" copy that left Caprica and returned to rescue him.


Episode Notes

  • Continuous jumping badly affects the FTL drives and management systems aboard commercial Colonial vessels, which are not as rugged as Galactica's military-issue drives.
  • The Cylons' FTL technology is more precise than the Colonials'. 238 times they manage to pounce on the Colonial fleet, arriving with precise momentum and trajectory to be able to close the distance and launch an attack. In the Season 2 episode "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I", it is explained that the Cylons have far better navigational computers which allow more accurate jump plots and a greater range.
  • According to Socinus, there are 5,251 people in the Fleet from Sagittaron.
  • As of "33", there are 60 civilian ships in the Fleet. This number is retconned up from the Miniseries.
  • The head count of Colonial citizens at the end of the episode is 47,973.
  • At first glance, there appears to be an error with Billy Keikeya's math with the survivor count. The episode starts with the count being 50,298. He informs Roslin this is in error by 300 = 49,998 survivors. When the Olympic Carrier is destroyed (1,345 people), he reduces the total to 47,972 – that’s a reduction of 2026, or 681 people more than listed on the Carrier. However, in deleted scenes from this episode, Keikeya is actually reducing the survivor count additional times set between the beginning of the episode and the destruction of the Olympic Carrier. These other deaths just occur off-screen.
  • Crashdown wears a patch of the battlestar Triton on his flight suit, which fits to Boomer's comment that she has been saddled with a "refugee from Triton". Triton's battlestar group number is 39, but is erroneously displayed on the patch as BST-39 instead of BSG-39. The costuming department very likely assumed that "BSG" stands for "Battlestar Galactica" and changed the last letter accordingly. However, "Water" and Pegasus patch establish that it stands for "battlestar group".

Production Notes

  • This episode won the 2005 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.
  • When Season 1 premiered in the United States, "33" and "Water" aired back-to-back as a two hour TV event. This was also the case when Season 3 first aired in the United States with the episodes "Occupation" and "Precipice".
  • When the first few episodes of the series began airing in the US on the Sci Fi Channel, title cards were shown at the beginning of each episode, i.e. "33" or "Water" flashing in white letters on a black screen, and then the episode would begin. These episode titles stopped midway in Season 1.
  • Zoic visual effects artists hid small signs of movement within the Olympic Carrier in close-up effect shots as something of a morbid joke. Lights in the windows appear to flicker on and off rather rapidly and when slowed down there is some kind of movement visible on the inside of the ship. Originally, the scene was to confirm the existence of civilians inside the ship by showing civilians peering out the windows.[1]
  • In the DVD commentary for this episode, Ron D. Moore states that during the scene when Dualla hands Commander Adama a set of reports that he reads aloud (including fuel shortages, dozens of crewmen breaking down from nervous exhaustion, etc), Edward James Olmos ad-libbed "and ten suicides" in one take. The production team really liked the ad-lib, and thought the way Olmos acted the scene was fantastic. However, there were concerns that the network would think this would make an already extremely "dark" episode far too dark and alienate the audience during the premiere, and the line was reluctantly cut.
  • While waiting to film a Viper sequence for this episode at 11 or 12 o'clock at night, Katee Sackhoff fell asleep inside the Viper cockpit.[2]
  • To add realism to the sleep deprivation motif, Olmos enlisted the aid of a sleep deprivation expert and also curtailed his sleeping habits to a maximum of three hours per night, noting how it affected him. With the help of this expert, he relayed to the rest of the crew how deprivation affects the human body and mind. Additionally, director Michael Rymer told the actors to choose one symptom to play, so as to avoid distracting repetition.[3]


  • Why did the Cylons come "every 33 minutes"? Short answer: it was a number Ron Moore has stated he picked at random, with no other significance. The long answer is available in Ron Moore's blog entry of January 13, 2005:

The truth is, there's no real answer. It's just a random number that felt right when I came up with the idea that our people were under continuous, relentless attack since the end of the pilot. I wanted it to be a short interval, just long enough for them to grab a bite to eat, jump in the shower and maybe try to catch a catnap before dragging themselves back to their duty stations and begin the whole tedious, terrifying ordeal all over again.

A deeper truth is, I was never interested in coming up with an explanation for Why? Never. I mean, I suppose I could've come up with a sufficiently important-sounding bit of technobabble that would've made sense (you see, the Cylon double-talk sensors tracking the Olympic Carrier's nonsense drive signature needed 15 minutes to relay the made-up data wave through the pretend continuum, then the Cylon navigational hyper silly system needed another 10 minutes to recalculate the flux capacitor, etc.) but what would that have really added to the drama? How does explaining that 33 minute interval help our understanding of Laura's terrible moment of decision, or bring us to any greater knowledge of Dualla's search for her missing family and friends, or yield insight into Baltar's morally shattered psyche?

It doesn't, of course. The answer, however artfully it may (or may not) have been crafted can only subtract from the experience we have in watching the episode. Not knowing the how's or why's of the Cylon attack puts us in the same seat as the characters we're watching. They're in the dark, and we're in the dark. The relentless attack is unfathomable in its origin and unstoppable in its execution. It's mortality coming at you on a loop. If you only had 33 minutes before the next time you could die, what would you do? And what about the time after that? And the time after that? At a certain point, you stop caring about why it's happening, all you know is that it is happening, and it's happening to you.

So the mystery of 33 will be permanent on this show. No explanation, not even the attempt. Let it just be a number that seemed like an eternity for five long days on the battlestar Galactica.

  • The cast actually consulted with a sleep deprivation expert before this episode, making a large effort to accurately depict the effects of sleep deprivation on their characters, and it really comes through on screen. Rather than simply yawning alot and constantly saying "wow, I'm so tired", the cast met the series' goal of realistically portraying their symptoms: they behave aggravated, they start to forget things, their minds just start "slowing down".
  • The Messenger Six's motives, and her origins, become murkier, and Baltar's tendency to listen to her advice increases.
  • Raptors are general purpose vehicles that handle reconnaissance, electronic countersurveillance on CAPs, troop deploys and other tasks. In a later episode a Raptor is used for rescuing ejected pilots during combat.
  • The Memorial hallway scene continues the writers' allusion to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States to the events of the Miniseries through the use of the many memorials, the confusion in finding lost loved ones, and Dualla's amazement at the size of the memorial. (A picture of a Colonial soldier on one of the Colonies during its destruction also plays on the intense feelings felt by many Americans when they saw similar pictures of New York City firefighters at the ruins of the World Trade Center.)
  • Despite his age, Colonel Tigh seems to be taking the sleep deprivation better than others. He is shown waking people up in the CIC. Chief Tyrol is seen doing the same on the hangar deck. Perhaps this is an early clue to their true nature (TRS: "Crossroads, Part II").


Answered Questions

For answers to the questions in this section, click here.
  • Billy Keikeya reports that the number of survivors is down by 300 as a result of some being lost through death from injuries, initial inaccurate counts, and others having "disappeared." How can people simply "disappear" in the Fleet?
  • Is Messenger Six actually in contact with other Cylons, and thus involved in the disappearance and reappearance of Olympic Carrier?
  • What happened to the group of survivors Karl Agathon was left with in the Miniseries?
  • Was the person speaking over the wireless when the Olympic Carrier returned really its captain, or a humanoid Cylon?
  • Were there any people aboard Olympic Carrier when it was destroyed?
  • What is the Cylons' plan?

Unanswered Questions

  • Did Doctor Amarak truly have something on Baltar's involvement in the holocaust?
  • Was Amarak even aboard Olympic Carrier?
  • How long was Olympic Carrier under Cylon control?

Official Statements

Note on "Lest We Forget"

From RDM's Sci-Fi Channel Blog

"It's probably been asked before, but I'm curious as to whom[sic] is in the picture in the Viper Pilot's briefing room, facing away from the camera . . . the one the pilots, including Commander Adama, touch when they enter and leave? This is touching, and is a wonderful human element to the story. So who is it?"
There was a scene cut from "33" where we saw Laura Roslin being given her copy of the photo along with a card that said it was taken on the roof of the capitol building on Aerilon during the attack. The photo was inspired by the famous shot of the fire-fighters raising the flag at Ground Zero that became iconic. I thought the Colonies would have their own version of this -- a snapshot taken in the moment that becomes a symbol of the day they can never forget and of all they had lost. The photo itself is of a soldier falling to his knees (possibly shot or simply overcome by emotion) as he stands on the rooftop overlooking the devastation of his city, while the Colonial flag waves at the edge of frame. The inscription below the photo on Laura's plaque reads, "Lest We Forget" in itself a reference to the inscription on the watch presented to John Wayne's character in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon."

Comments from the Cast

  • "Insomnia. Nobody has slept. Everyone's just coming to terms with the fact that they have lost everybody that they've loved or relate to." -- Jamie Bamber, [2]
  • "It was a hard episode, because, you just had to basically fall apart." -- Katee Sackhoff, [3]
  • "Episode 1 is extremely docu-style because the characters haven't actually slept for five days (sic) and they have been running from the Cylons for the 250th time. And it's very stressful and they're about to lose the plot completely because of sleep deprivation." -- Michael Rymer, [4]
  • Bamber discusses why "33" is his favorite episode:
My favorite episode...I'd say "33"...the very first one, just because that was the unknown. We were in an unknown situation. We'd made a decent mini-series and we were all very excited. To read that script, I thought structurally it was really compelling. It was kind of a nutshell of what the whole of our story is, which is a nightmare, waking up constantly to find that the monster is on you again, and that's basically the modus operandi of the show, and Ron [Moore] captured it in one episode. I think that is really the perfect episode of Battlestar Galactica.[4]

Excerpt from the Official Companion

In Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion, the dedicated performance by the cast, trying to accurately and realistically depict extensive sleep deprivation on-screen, was explained:

"Battlestar Galactica's first season première required the show's cast members to depict their characters under extreme physical and emotional duress, as they faced sleep deprivation and the constant threat of Cylon attack. This unique and intriguing acting challenge prompted Edward James Olmos to enlist the assistance of a sleep deprivation expert, who met with the cast shortly prior to the starting of shooting. Olmos and several other cast members also restricted their sleeping patterns a few days before filming, to gain a better understanding of sleep deprivation.
"I rested just before we actually shot the episode, because I didn't want to go on-camera exhausted," explains Olmos. "But in the week before shooting, I only had about three hours of sleep per night and I studied myself to get to know how to pay the symptoms of sleep deprivation. About two days away from shooting, I was sitting in this meeting and everyone was looking at me as I tried to make sense. I told everyone, "This is what happens when you go without sleep — you don't act funny or yawn all the time, it's more the case that your mind doesn't function correctly". The doctor later expanded on this, and pretty soon everyone was tuned in. So when we went into the episode, everyone knew exactly what they were doing, and it was beautiful to watch."" (page 46)

Noteworthy Dialogue

Six: You know you're not safe.
Baltar: No, course not. The Cylons will follow us again, as they have the last two hundred and thirty seven times.
Six: You're right, you know. There are limits. Eventually you'll make a mistake.
Baltar: And then you'll kill us all. Yes. Yes, I know, but... not for another thirty-three minutes.
Colonel Tigh: Yes, we're tired. Yes, there is no relief. Yes, the Cylons keep coming after us time after time after time. And yes, we are still expected to do our jobs!
Commander Adama: We make mistakes, people die. There aren't many of us left.
  • When Lee Adama and Kara Thrace are on Galactica's flight deck:
Lee Adama: Hey, did you see the note from the XO?
Kara Thrace: I saw it. No way.
Lee Adama: Kara, everyone else--
Kara Thrace: I don't fly with stims. They fudge with your reflexes, your reaction time.
Lee Adama: Come on, Kara, give me a break. Just--
Kara Thrace: Why are we arguing about this?
Lee Adama: I have no idea.
Kara Thrace: Neither do I. You're the CAG, act like one.
Lee Adama: What does that mean?
Kara Thrace: It means that you're still acting like everyone's best friend. We're not friends. You're the CAG. "Be careful out there?" Our job isn't to be careful, it's to shoot frakking Cylons out of the sky. "Good Hunting" is what you say. And one of your idiot pilots is acting like a child and refusing to take her pills. So she either says "Yes, sir" and obeys a direct order, or you smack her in the mouth and drag her sorry ass to sickbay and you make her take those pills.
(Lee and Kara both start laughing)
Lee Adama: Well, I'm glad I'm not working for you.
Kara Thrace: (laughing) Damn right you're glad.
Lee Adama: So do I have to smack you in the mouth, Lieutenant?
Kara Thrace: No sir, I'll take my pills. (takes pills from Lee) Perfect.
Lee Adama: Carry on.
Kara Thrace: (half-heartedly saluting) Yes, sir.
  • When Commander Adama and Colonel Tigh are talking outside the CIC:
Colonel Tigh: (grunting) Oh...a couple hours rack time does sound awfully sweet right about now...
Commander Adama: You deserve it.
Colonel Tigh: You know, the truth is, all this has me feeling...well, more alive than I have in years.
Commander Adama: You look that way too. It's good to see you without the cup in your hand.
Colonel Tigh: Ah, don't start.
Commander Adama: I know there's a whole lot of people on this ship, that wish you weren't feeling as good.
Colonel Tigh: (laughing) If the crew doesn't hate the XO, then he's not doing his job. Besides, I've gotta make the old man look good.
Commander Adama: I always look good.
Colonel Tigh: Look in the mirror.
Commander Adama: Seriously...
Colonel Tigh: Sir?
Commander Adama: It's one thing to push the crew. It's another thing to break them.

Guest stars


  1. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 47.
  2. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 44.
  3. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 46.
  4. Bensoussan, Jenna (24 November 2007). ACED Magazine: Battlestar Galactica: Cast Interviews (backup available on (in ). Retrieved on 25 November 2007.

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Caprica pilot
"Caprica pilot"
An episode of the Caprica Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 1
Writer(s) Remi Aubuchon
Ronald D. Moore
Story by
Director Jeffrey Reiner
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 101
Nielsen Rating 0.4[1]
US airdate USA January 22, 2010[2]
CAN airdate CAN January 22, 2010
UK airdate UK February 2, 2010
DVD release 21 April 2009
Population {{{population}}} survivors
Extended Info Series pilot
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
The Plan
(Chronological: None. The beginning of the story)
Caprica pilot Rebirth
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
[[frakr:{{{frakr}}}|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr]]
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA | Canada | UK

In the wake of a tragedy experienced by the Adama and Graystone families, a scientific breakthrough is about to occur—the invention of the Cylons.
Note: This episode is the two-hour pilot for the Caprica TV series, the spin-off of the Re-imagined Series produced by Remi Aubuchon, Ronald D. Moore, David Eick for the Syfy Channel. It was released on DVD prior to being aired on television.

Plot summary


  • 58 years before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies, young people are engaged in group sex, fist fights, shootings, wild dancing, all to the beat of loud party music--this is the V-Club. From a balcony, Zoe Graystone watches a girl below, next to the stage. The girl appears to be a perfect copy of Zoe. Ben Stark and Lacy Rand join Zoe on the balcony and deplore the hedonism and depravity happening around them, but promise that she, the girl below, will change it all.
  • On the dance floor, the music grows subdued. A muscled man displays a knife to the audience, and a dancer emerges on stage, her face shifting from human to monster and back in the strobe lights. While this is happening, another girl is dragged to the stage, to the sound of the audience chanting "Kill, kill, kill!" The muscled man brings the knife down and kills the girl, all to cheering from the audience. At that moment, the copy of Zoe looks terrified and suddenly vanishes.
  • On the balcony, Ben promises Zoe that eventually the copy will be perfect, because Zoe is perfect. They kiss while Lacy stares.
  • In the real world, Zoe continues to immerse herself in the V-Club experience via a holoband, until Prefect Caston opens the bathroom stall and discovers her.
  • Outside the Athena Academy in Caprica City, Zoe, Ben, and Lacy meet again and talk about running away to Gemenon. They finish by pledging themselves to the "one true god."

Act One

  • On the grounds of their waterfront home, Daniel and Amanda Graystone play tennis while their robot butler, Serge, watches. They are interrupted by a call from the Academy about Zoe.
  • In the kitchen, the three Graystones fight about Zoe's behavior, Daniel's "dirty science," and life in the Graystone family. Tensions escalate until a comment about marrying into money pushes Amanda over the edge, and she slaps Zoe.
  • Zoe retreats to her room and the privacy of the holoband. She hurries to a secret room in the V-Club and meets her copy. The two sit and talk about the horror of the human sacrifice, and how the audience knew what they were doing and drew strength from the experience. Zoe promises that her copy will help to change these attitudes among people, both here and on the outside.
  • Amanda wordlessly drops Zoe off in front of the Academy. The instant Amanda drives away, Zoe and her two friends leave, heading for a maglev subway station.
  • In front of the three of them on an escalator, Shannon Adams and her daughter Tamara talk on the phone with Joseph Adams, demanding that he come home in time to be at Willie's birthday party. Despite a court appointment, Joseph promises to be there.
  • At the last moment, Lacy backs out, despite promises of a new family and a new life on Gemenon. She watches the Lev leave the station.
  • On the train, Tamara tells her mother about someone she was forced to deal with for insulting her Tauron heritage. While this is happening, Zoe types out a message on a computer sheet forgiving her mother, then sends it.
  • She looks at Ben, who seems very nervous and distracted. He apologizes, stands up, and opens his jacket to reveal a bomb strapped to his torso. He announces, "The one true god shall drive out the many," and detonates the bomb. The train is consumed in the fireball. The sound of the explosion is heard by Joseph. He and the pedestrians around him are frozen by the sight of smoke rising into the street.

Act Two

  • Two weeks later, both Daniel and Joseph attend a briefing at Caprica City Hall where GDD agent Jordan Durham announces that evidence points to the involvement of the monotheistic terrorist organization Soldiers of the One in the bombing. Outside the meeting, Daniel and Joseph introduce themselves to each other and decide to grab coffee in a nearby cafe.
  • At Athena Academy, Sister Clarice Willow, the headmistress of the Academy, discusses the recent events with a grieving Lacy. When Lacy mentions that Zoe was extremely gifted with computers, Clarice suggests that Lacy attempt to find any of Zoe's programming work as a way of reconnecting with her.
  • Amanda continues to grieve for her daughter when Lacy arrives at their home, asking if she could spend time alone in Zoe's room. Amanda tells Serge to give Lacy access to the house.
  • After sitting for hours in the cafe smoking and drinking coffee, Daniel and Joseph leave, but not before Daniel invites Joseph and Willie to his court side seats of the latest Buccaneers pyramid game.
  • In Zoe's room, Lacy finds a computer sheet, and types in an infinity symbol and code before entering the V-Club. Entering their private cathedral through a door with an infinity symbol, Lacy finds Zoe's avatar covered in blood as a result of a biofeedback protocol installed by Zoe.

Act Three

  • Though Lacy is skeptical of the Zoe avatar, they continue to talk and eventually reconcile.
  • Daniel enters the room to find Lacy, who quickly exits and leaves the computer sheet. Daniel picks the sheet up but does not know the code.
  • Joseph represents a Ha'la'tha criminal at a bail hearing. With a look from Joseph, the judge overrules the prosecutor's objections and grants bail. Sam Adama, the brother of Joseph and an enforcer for the Ha'la'tha, meets Joseph outside the courthouse and gives him cubits for the bail and for the judge's bribe.
  • Though Sam wishes to use the Ha'la'tha to find those responsible for the train bombing, Joseph refuses and asks Sam to let him grieve.
  • At Graystone Industries headquaters, Daniel and Cyrus Xander watch as their latest robot prototype, the U-87, fails at its latest combat exercise. Cyrus notes that media coverage on the project has become increasingly unfavorable considering the time delays and cost overruns. He has heard rumors that the government is considering canceling its contract with Graystone in favor of the Vergis Corporation.
  • Joseph picks up Willie from school and tells him of Daniel's offer to see the C-Bucs play. Willie seems less than enthused, and remarks that Joseph has never spent much time with him.
  • Daniel is able to crack the encryption protocol on Zoe's computer sheet and enters the V-Club. He receives a call from Cyrus, who informs him that Tomas Vergis is on Caprica and has apparently developed a meta-cognitive processor, which gives him a huge advantage in acquiring the U-87 contract.
  • Reentering the V-Club, Daniel spots Zoe's avatar in the crowd and gives chase, but is unable to follow her through the infinity symbol door.

Act Four

  • Shannon's mother, Ruth, tries to convince Joseph to take Willie to Tauron in order to discover his roots, but Joseph refuses.
  • Agent Durham meets Amanda at her office and attempts to question her about Zoe. He informs her that Zoe is considered a suspect in the bombing and shows Amanda the message to her sent by Zoe shortly before the explosion.
  • Lacy returns to the Graystone residence and is allowed in by Serge, but Daniel confronts her and demands she take him to see Zoe, to which she complies.
  • Joseph meets the Guatrau, head of the Ha'la'tha, in a public park. The Guatrau asks Joseph to deliver a warning to the Caprican Minister of Defense, Val Chambers, but Joseph asks for time to consider the proposal.
  • Lacy and Daniel enter the V-Club to find Zoe in the cathedral. Daniel insists that she is nothing more than a copy, but Zoe tries to convince him otherwise. As the two embrace, Daniel copies Zoe onto a flash drive and forces Lacy to leave the house, telling Serge to ban her from reentering.

Act Five

  • At Athena Academy, Agent Durham questions Lacy in front of Sister Clarice. Lacy denies knowing of Ben and Zoe's involvement with the STO or the train bombing and storms out. When Durham asks how many practicing monotheists attend Athena Academy, Willow refuses to answer.
  • At the pyramid game in Atlas Arena, Joseph mentions that he forgot that Daniel owns the C-Bucs. After leaving Willie with the players in the locker room, Daniel and Joseph speak about their daughters.
  • Arriving at Daniel's home, Serge shows Willie to the game room, while Joseph follows Daniel to his lab. Daniel asks Joseph to indulge him as he creates Joseph's avatar, and both of them enter V-World.
  • Walking into an empty room, Daniel introduces Joseph to Zoe, with Joseph staring at her incredulously. Ripping off his holoband, Joseph is horrified, yet Daniel makes him a deal: use his connections with the Ha'la'tha to steal Vergis's meta-cognitive processor, and he will use Zoe's program to create avatars of Tamara and possibly Shannon.

Act Six

  • With Sam's help, the Guatrau agrees to help Joseph obtain the meta-cognitive processor in exchange for Joseph delivering the message to Minister Chambers.
  • Though Joseph delivers the message, he is harshly rebuked by Chambers, who shows deep-seated racism towards Taurons. Later that night, Sam enters Chambers' bedroom and stabs him in the chest, killing him.

Act Seven

  • Lacy admits to Sister Clarice that she, Zoe and Ben were involved with the STO. However, Clarice draws an infinity symbol with water on a table, indicating to Lacy that she is also an STO member.
  • Joseph delivers the meta-cognitive processor to Daniel, who agrees to show him the avatar of Tamara he has created. Though Joseph is overjoyed at seeing his daughter, Tamara is terrified, not knowing where she is or why she can't feel her heart beating.
  • Horrified, Joseph leaves V-World and angrily denounces Graystone's plans, abruptly leaving the house.

Act Eight

  • Daniel enters V-World to speak with Zoe. However, she expresses concern over returning to Caprica, arguing that it is not her home and that Zoe planned to leave for Gemenon because she had found God. However, Daniel ignores her concerns and places her avatar in the U-87.
  • Initially, the experiment seems to work, with the U-87 calling Graystone "daddy" and talking a few steps forward. However, the program soon becomes corrupted and the robot crashes to the ground. Though Daniel reenters V-World, Zoe is nowhere to be found.
  • At home, Joseph tells William that they are going to start their relationship over. He mentions how Willie was named after his grandfather, and that he changed their last name after he immigrated to Caprica; their true family name is Adama.
  • At the Graystone campus, Daniel gathers with Caprican government and military officials watch the latest U-87 demonstration. In contrast to previous tests, the robot demonstrates significant intelligence and deadly efficient combat skills. Visibly impressed, Minister Joan Leyte asks Daniel what the machine is called. He tells her it is a Cybernetic Life-form Node, or Cylon.
  • Alone in a diagnostic room, the U-87 accesses a communication terminal and calls Lacy. Inside the machine, Zoe's avatar still exists, and she asks Lacy for her help.


  • In the script, Joseph Adama insists that Daniel Graystone delete the Tamara avatar. This does not happen in the aired pilot and is later contradicted in "Reins of a Waterfall".
  • In the stadium scene, the shot where fans are throwing food and drinks at the Caprica Buccaneers contains a small goof. If you look at the stadium rafters, a Canadian and an American flag can be seen. The stadium scenes were shot at General Motors Place in downtown Vancouver, home rink of the Vancouver Canucks. Also of note, the Pre-Cylon War Buccaneers team colors of blue, green, and white are the colors of the current Canucks uniforms.
  • It is worth noting that Joseph Adama doesn't use his lucky cigarette lighter at any point during the pilot.
  • The infinity symbol used by the STO is the same as that used by the Cylons during the funeral in "Islanded in a Stream of Stars".
  • It is genetically all but impossible for a blonde (Amanda) and a redhead (Daniel) to have a brunette daughter.

Differences between the DVD and TV Cut

  • Several establishing shots of Caprica were redone or added for the TV version of the pilot, giving the planet a more exotic and futuristic look. In addition, the backgrounds of some exterior scenes were digitally altered with CG imagery. Specific CGI changes include:
    • At the beginning, Caprica is shown in space beside its twin planet Gemenon.
    • The background of the Caprica City street in which Joseph Adama loses his cell phone connection in his last conversation with his wife, and subsequently sees the smoke from the maglev train bombing, is altered to include colorful banners and advertising displays.
    • There is an establishing shot of a municipal building prior to the scene in which the Mayor and Jordan Durham discuss the official response to the bombing.
    • The Graystone Industries building was heavily redesigned.
  • In the V-Club scenes, several shots of people having sex, as well as shots of naked and topless women, were removed for the TV version. The scene were Daniel is accosted by a topless woman was reshot with the extra wearing a bra.
  • Some scene transitions are slightly different in the TV version due to the insertion of commercial breaks. For example, on the DVD, after the explosion, the scene cross-fades to a shot of Daniel Graystone mourning in his house. In the TV version, there is a cut to black after the explosion, which leads to a commercial break; after the break, there is an establishing shot of the Graystone mansion, and then a slightly different shot of Graystone inside.
  • When Daniel Graystone confronts Zoe's avatar, she states that the human brain consists of about 100 terabytes of information, instead of the 300 megabytes that were mentioned in the DVD version.
  • The scene at the Pyramid game was completely reshot with the characters watching from box seats high above the field. This also offers the very first glimpse of a professional Pyramid match.


  • Several technologies seen in the pilot, including the computer sheet and the holoband, are absent in Battlestar Galactica. Given that both of these technologies seem to utilize wireless computer networks, it is likely that they were banned as a result of the Cylon War and the Cylons' ability to infiltrate networks.
  • The existence of the monotheistic cult and the Soldiers of the One confirms that monotheism was not unique to the Cylons, an idea hinted at in "He That Believeth In Me" with the revelation of Baltar's cult. It is likely then, though unconfirmed, that the Cylons derived their religion from the Soldiers of the One. This is supported by the use of the infinity symbol both by the STO and the Cylons during the funeral in "Islanded in a Stream of Stars".
  • Sister Clarice's use of the infinity symbol during her meeting with Lacy parallels the use of the early Christian Ichthys, or "Jesus Fish", which it also visually resembles. The Ichthys would be drawn in the ground to establish solidarity between two Christians in secret.
  • The fact that Caprica shares its orbit with Gemenon retroactively explains the enormous over-representation Capricans and Gemenese have in the Fleet.


Answered Questions

  • Will Zoe's consciousness in the U-87 emerge more frequently or less frequently as time goes on? (Answer)
  • Will Tamara Adama's avatar be downloaded into a Cylon brain, or will Graystone delete it, considering that Adama knows the Guatrau personally and socially to the point of being on first name terms with him? (Partial Answer)
    • On that note, did Graystone create an avatar for Shannon Adama as well? If so, how will Joseph, Sam and William react? (Answer)
  • Will Joseph Adama invest in a holoband for himself and William, or does he consider the entire network, and possibly networks in general, to be abominations? Is this the origin of William's phobia about integrated computer networks as depicted on Battlestar Galactica? (Partial Answer)
  • If there isn't a single flower on the entire surface of Tauron, what kind of crops do they grow?
  • Why did Zoe and Ben decide to go to Gemenon to escape religious persecution? Is there an enclave of the Soldiers of the One on Gemenon? (Partial Answer)
  • Where and how did Ben Stark obtain the G-4? Was his suicide bombing authorized? (Partial Answer)
  • In what way was Zoe's avatar supposed to bring about change and how exactly was it to do this? (Answer)
  • Is there any significance to the fact that Caprica's twin world was never previously seen? Is this planet Tauron or any of the other Colonies? (Partial Answer)

Unanswered Questions

Adama Family

  • Why did Joseph and Sam Adama go to such great lengths to keep their family's past a secret from William and Tamara? Could it have something to do with how their father, William the First, died?

Colonial Culture

  • Will the murder of Defense Minister Val Chambers lead to greater discrimination and reprisals against Taurons?
  • Will holoband technology be banned along with artificial intelligence due to the Cylon War, or will it still exist at the time of the Fall?


  • How long will it take for the U-87 to go into mass production and enter military service as the Cylon Centurion Model 0005?
    • Also, why is the production model designated the 0005, instead of remaining the U-87?
    • On a related note, why do all of the 0005s have masculine voices instead of keeping the distinctly feminine voice of the U-87, which sounds suspiciously like Zoe's?
  • What connection, if any, does Zoe-A have to the Significant Eight?

Official Statements

From "What the Frak is Caprica?" - Video Blog #1

Caprica, at it's heart, is really the story of the creation of the Cylons, and how the Cylons were developed initially. So, it's really the beginning of the end.
The reason that Ron [Moore] and I chose this particular time and place, and Caprica, is—it's right at the brink of the Caprica society's fall. Its starting to disintegrate and fall apart, and making themselves somewhat vulnerable to what eventually will be the rise of the Cylons.
Great thing about this show is that it's not your usual "Beam me up, Scotty", laser-tag fare, but more centered on a realistic depiction of what our culture would be like if we colonized another planet.
It's a domesticated drama that has severe overtones into the whole galaxy. These people who we're documentaring (sic) in this show some of them control puppet strings, you know, because it's money and power, and greed.
Caprica is not an action-adventure series. Caprica takes place before the war. Caprica is about a peaceful society. Caprica is about people going about their daily lives and not seeing how the seeds of their own destruction are all around them.
  • Aubuchon discusses bringing in a different audience with this outing:
What Ron [Moore] and I really wanted to make sure we did was bring to a different audience the same philosophy that Battlestar Galactica which is, that by watching something that's out of our time, we can start to think about our time.

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Joseph discussing his family past with Willie:
Joseph Adama: I want you to know who you are. We come from a long, proud line of Tauron peasants who knew how to work the land and still stand proud. You're named after your grandfather. Did I ever tell you that?
Willie Adama: Nope.
Joseph Adama: William. He was killed during the Tauron uprising. Our last name isn't Adams. I changed it after I arrived here on Caprica. Our family name is Adama. Adama. And it's a good, honorable Tauron name.
  • The Cylon prototype after having destroyed all targets during an exercise:
Cylon prototype: All targets neutralized. Program completed by your command.
  • After having watched the live-fire demonstration of Graystone Enterprise's military robot:
Joan Leyte: What'd you call it?
Daniel Graystone: A cybernetic life-form node. A Cylon, Minister.
Joan Leyte : Hmm. Cylon. Interesting.


In the pilot, Avan Jogia is credited as part of the principal cast. He becomes a guest star in his future appearances. On the other hand, Sasha Roiz and Brian Markinson, who are both credited as guest stars in the pilot, join the principal cast in the first regular episode of the series.

Guest cast

Prior to the release of the pilot, many names were given in the cast. Of those not confirmed in the credits are the following and if they do appear, would be categorized uncredited:

Michelle Andrew is credited in the pilot, but as "V-Club Patron" and not as "Lap Dancer".[3] Roger R. Cross portrayed Tomas Vergis, but his scenes were all cut and the part has been recast for future appearances.


  1. Seidman, Robert (29 March 2010). “Caprica” Nielsen Ratings for “End Of the Line” (Mid-Season Finale) (backup available on . Retrieved on 23 October 2010.
  2. "SYFY ANNOUNCES PREMIERE DATE FOR CAPRICA", 24 July 2009. Retrieved on 25 July 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 This information comes from the Caprica entry on IMDb. It may or may not be accurate, as IMDb has no apparent fact checking facilities. We provide this information as a service to fans who may be looking for it, and we make no claim as to either its accuracy or unverifiable lack thereof.

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