Baltar's Escape

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Baltar's Escape
"Baltar's Escape"
An episode of the Original Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 18
Writer(s) Donald Bellisario
Story by
Director Winrich Kolbe
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 50927
Nielsen Rating
US airdate USA 1979-03-11
CAN airdate CAN {{{CAN airdate}}}
UK airdate UK
DVD release 2004-12-28
Population survivors
Additional Info
Episode Chronology
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Greetings From Earth Baltar's Escape Experiment in Terra
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Joining forces with the imprisoned Borellians and the Eastern Alliance detainees, Baltar escapes from the prison barge, hijacks a shuttle, and kidnaps members of the ruling council.


  • Commander Adama is dictating a log. He states that Sire Domra and the Quorum of Twelve are firmly against him. He notes that the Quorum wants to release the Eastern Alliance prisoners and have an unarmed peace envoy accompany the Alliance enforcers back to their base on Lunar 7. Adama is determined not to let the same mistakes that lead to the downfall of the Twelve Colonies occur again under this Quorum's leadership.
  • Adama goes to the Prison Barge on a Colonial shuttle piloted by Apollo and Starbuck. On the Barge, he engages Commandant Leiter in a discussion. There, Leiter goes to discuss how the Nationalists wish to disrupt the "Natural Order" of things and how the Eastern Alliance has a manifest destiny to rule all life in the universe, for this is what the Alliance was created for.
  • Leiter then gloats on how Galactica is but a single warship, and how the Eastern Alliance will dispatch it like the "wolf pack does the bear".
  • Reese interrupts the interrogation of Leiter, informing Adama that the Council wants the interrogation terminated and that Adama is to report directly to the Council immediately.
  • Starbuck and Apollo object to this, believing that Adama should not have to answer to the Council as The Fleet is under martial law. Adama holds steadfast in his oath as a Warrior to answer to the Council. He sternly states to the duo that he does not want to discuss the issue any further in front of the prisoner.
TV Guide ad for Baltar's Escape
  • Adama is summoned before the Quorum of Twelve under the leadership of Sire Domra. Domra begins the meeting of the Quorum with the declaration that Adama is to receive the highest honor of the Quorum—the Star of Kobol—and also declares that the state of emergency has ended.
  • Adama humbly refuses, claiming that there are still unforeseen dangers facing the Fleet. Adama then bluntly states that the meeting was called not to offer him an award, but to retire him.
  • Siress Tinia chimes in: martial law will be dissolved and the Fleet will be returned to civilian control. Adama is to retain his vote on the Quorum and the command of Galactica. In addition, Galactica will have an advisor from the Quorum. That advisor is none other than Tinia herself.
  • Starbuck and Apollo vehemently disagree with the decision. Adama retorts that perhaps the council is correct in ending martial law, noting that both Warriors have forgotten their vows to serve and protect.
  • Tinia quickly becomes a fixture in Core Command, meddling in every decision of Adama's. This particularly chafes on Colonel Tigh, who is barely able to maintain his composure.
  • When Tinia orders Council Security forces to escort the Eastern Alliance prisoners to Galactica for a meeting with the Quorum, Tigh makes a crack about their effectiveness (or lack thereof). Tinia wants the Eastern Alliance prisoners to see the effect of the new civilian government, but the warriors fear the consequences of not being vigilant in this case.
  • Baltar is pulling KP duty, reluctantly serving his inmates their food. When the Borellian Nomen come through the line, he tries to win them over, telling them he has saved them some Borellian dessert. They ignore him, and find a place to sit.
  • Baltar refuses to take the hint, and takes a seat next to them for his meal. He introduces himself, and mentions the rumor that the Eastern Alliance prisoners are going to be transported to Galactica. From what he has been able to determine, the Eastern Alliance appears to be a major player in this part of the galaxy, and Baltar suggests they might make worthy allies, possibly in some sort of escape.
  • Maga points out that Baltar doesn't have a very good track record, but Baltar shrugs it off, blaming incompetent followers.
  • Baltar suggests taking the shuttle when it comes to pick up the Eastern Alliance prisoners, and using it to escape. They would make their way to Lunar Seven, where the Eastern Alliance would be grateful for the return of their prisoners and would offer them protection. Baltar fancies that he'll be treated like a prince, as will any who helps in the plan.
  • The Nomen decide it is worth a try. Maga informs Baltar that when the time comes for them to escape, the Nomen will temporarily die. Apparently this is a survival technique known to the Borellian Nomen.
  • Boomer and Sheba draw the assignment to pilot the shuttle to transport the prisoners. The Council Security ridicule the two warriors until Boomer uses some radical maneuvering to get them to strap in and shut up.
  • In Core Command, Tinia and Tigh are in conflict. Tinia is insisting, much to Tigh's frustration, that there be no warriors present in the landing bay when the shuttle arrives. Tigh relents, and asks permission to leave as his shift has expired. Tinia makes sure to remind him not to go to the landing bay, and Tigh angrily asks if it is ok for him to go to the Officer's Club before heading out to that location. When Adama reminds Tinia that Colonel Tigh is an excellent warrior, but Tinia replies that what they need right now are excellent diplomats.
  • Reese and the Blackshirts escort the prisoners back to their cells. Reese instructs Leiter and his men to remain outside.
  • Maga clutches his chest, and collapses. The bewildered guards draw their weapons, and watch helplessly as Bora and Taba collapse as well. They check the pulse of the Nomen, and find none. They immediately attempt to summon a medtech to help the prisoners.
  • When the guards turn their backs to summon help, the Nomen spring into action, knocking the guards out. The Nomen use keys to free Baltar and explain that captivity has slowed their (still impressive) reflexes, and that their newfound freedom will help restore their normal form.
  • The Eastern Alliance enforcers arm themselves with laser rifles from the armory, as well as their signature black helmets. The Nomen regain their traditional garb, and arm themselves with laser bolas. Baltar simply equips himself with Reese's laser pistol.
  • Baltar insists that the group take the shuttle to Galactica in order to recover the Eastern Alliance destroyer as well as Baltar's Cylon Raider.
Eastern Alliance enforcers fire on the Prison Barge's communications console.
  • Eastern Alliance enforcers capture the communications station of the Prison Barge, forcing them to clear the shuttle for landing before destroying the communications equipment.
  • Corporal Lomas and his companion disembark, only to discover that they have become the prisoners. They are used as hostages while the enforcers capture Boomer and Sheba, without a shot being fired.
  • Baltar reveals his plan as the shuttle makes for Galactica. Leiter's men will take out the guards and capture as many prisoners as possible. Baltar and the Borellian Nomen will take the lift straight to Core Command, hoping to seize control of Galactica.
  • Apollo and Starbuck are suprised to see Tigh at the Officer's Club putting a few away. Tigh relates his objection to Siress Tinia's plan of not having warriors in the landing bay, and relays the fact that the shuttle has been out of contact since it left the Prison Barge. Apollo and Starbuck leave to investigate, under the pretense of not being comfortable drinking with Tigh. Tigh is pleased that they took his hint.
  • The shuttle is greeted by Sire Domra and the rest of the Quorum (save Adama and Tinia). Domra instructs the council to give the prisoners a warm welcome.
  • The Eastern Alliance enforcers emerge with weapons blazing, quickly herding up the council into the shuttle.
  • Baltar and the Nomen make straight for the lift, and emerge in Core Command. Apollo and Starbuck block their path, and a firefight ensues. The warriors drive the invaders back to the lift, where they use it to return to the landing bay.
  • Adama and Tinia are stunned when they hear of the situation. Colonel Tigh reports back to duty, proven correct in his suspicion of the Eastern Alliance prisoners.
  • Baltar contacts Adama through the communication system, revealing Boomer and Sheba as his captives. Baltar demands that his Raider and its pilots be released, as well as the Eastern Alliance destroyer. Those ships, and the shuttle, will then fly to Lunar Seven. If the escapees suspect anything is wrong, they will detonate solonite charges that they have planted on the hull of Galactica. Sire Domra is held in front of the display, and confirms that they have planted the charges.
  • Once they reach Lunar Seven, if their demands have been met, the shuttle will be free to return to Galactica. Baltar demands that everything happen within a centar, or he'll begin killing hostages one by one, beginning with Boomer. Boomer remains defiant, urging Adama to storm the landing bay, and is dragged off. Adama tries to bargain for more time, but Baltar remains firm.
  • Apollo and Starbuck go to receive the Centurions, only to find them disassembled. Dr. Wilker had hoped to reprogram them, but his work in that area is far from completed.
  • Tinia suggests storming the landing bay before Baltar can detonate the charges. Adama and Tigh are shocked at this militant turn from the Siress, but agree with her assessment. They prep some warriors outside the landing bay in case they order a raid.
  • Adama contacts Baltar, letting him know that the Centurions are still in pieces and that Dr. Wilker needs time to assemble them. Baltar suspects Adama is plotting to attack him. Adama surprises Baltar, though, by offering himself as a hostage in exchange for an extra centar. Unable to pass up this opportunity, Baltar accepts.
  • Siress Tinia chooses to accompany Adama, feeling responsible for the current situation.
  • Once the Centurions arrive the Colonials suspect there will be a lull in their defenses as the groups separate to their respective vehicles. Adama will then contact Tigh in Core Command to signal the assault.
  • Dr. Wilker has assembled one of the Centurions. He orders it to turn on a scanner, and the Centurion awkwardly moves over to the scanner before putting its fist through it. Dr. Wilker is disappointed, but this development gives Apollo an idea.
  • Baltar plays the role of the gracious host to his newest prisoners, escorting Adama and Tinia aboard the shuttle.
  • Tigh is pessimistic of their odds of success, backed up by a computer simulation.
  • The captors disagree about what to do with the prisoners. Baltar is the only one who seems to actually intend to release the prisoners, while the Nomen and the enforcers expect to kill them regardless of the outcome.
  • The Centurions are assembled in time for the deadline, and are delivered to the captors.
  • The Eastern Alliance enforcers board their destroyer, along with the Borellian Nomen.
  • Adama is left unguarded and contacts the bridge, ordering Tigh to begin the attack. Tigh responds by ordering Adama to take off in the shuttle, which Adama does.
  • The Eastern Alliance destroyer takes off after the shuttle launches. Baltar enters his Raider and orders the pilots to take off.
  • The Centurion proves just as dextrous as it was in the lab, demolishing the controls.
  • Apollo and Starbuck jump aboard the Raider and confiscate the detonator from Baltar before he can use it.
  • The shuttle returns to Galactica safely. Vipers have begun pursuing the Eastern Alliance destroyer, hopefully leading Galactica straight to Lunar Seven.
  • In light of recent events, the council votes to restore Adama's full authority over the Fleet. Tigh is relieved to hear that he will be seeing less of Siress Tinia, until Apollo points out Tinia entering with Adama. The two of them look quite cozy, driving Tigh to flag down the bartender.

Adama's Notes

Since the return of our warriors with the prisoners from the Alliance of the planet Terra, the fleet has been in a state of constant confusion. If this Terra is in fact the planet Earth it is we seek, our flight across the universe may have been in vain. For we will have eluded the Cylons only to be faced by an equally oppressive human enemy. As usual of late, the Council, led by Sire Domra, is in total opposition to me. They wish to release the prisoners and to have an unarmed peace envoy with them to their outpost on Lunar Seven. I am afraid that the Council is bent on repeating the same mistakes that led to the destruction of our colonies at the hands of the Cylons. I am determined that shall not happen again so long as I am in command. In the meantime, I have ordered the fleet to full alert and taken a shuttle to the prison barge to interrogate personally the Eastern Alliance enforcers.


  • Despite the fact that Maren Jensen, Tony Swartz, Noah Hathaway and Laurette Spang appear in the "also starring" credits, their characters are nowhere to be seen in the episode.
  • Anne Lockhart (Sheba) appears in the episode yet she doesn't appear in the "Co-starring" credits.
  • Domra and the Quorum use the same trick that Sire Uri used in "Saga of a Star World": offer awards to people who are deserving of them and then declare a radical edict. In this case, the edict of the council is to dissolve martial law, assign Adama an aide and offer peace to war-mongering, dangerous fascists.
  • The stunt that Boomer pulled in the shuttle could not have occurred in space. There is no such thing as "leveling out" in space and therefore such an occurrence smacks in the face of science, given that the shuttle is not affected by gravity. (If the shuttle was in an atmosphere of a planet, then the trick to get the Council Security officers to shut up would have worked.)
  • A missing scene showing the Eastern Alliance soldiers taking Colonial weaponry from a storage locker was cut for time. This explains why the Eastern Alliance and the Colonial Military Security force (seen preparing to storm the bay) are carrying the same rifles.


  • Late in the run of the first Galactica television series, there was increasing pressure on the production to reduce costs, as TV ratings decreased. As a result, there was a tendency for episodes to re-utilize existing sets, and as a result, more episodes took place aboard Galactica or other ships in the fleet. "Baltar's Escape," in this way, is one of the ultimate recycling episodes. It makes use not only of the sets of Galactica hangar, bridge, and prison barge as it's primary settings, but also recycles a group of characters from prior episodes - including all the baddies that were all on the prison barge.
  • Despite the need for frugality, however, "Baltar's Escape" is an entertaining episode. Putting Baltar together with the Eastern Alliance and the Borellian Nomen creates interesting juxtaposition, and a chance for the bad guys to interact with each other. Some might find it reminiscent of a Galactica version of the Secret Society of Super Villains.
  • At the end of the show, Baltar is again captured, and the Eastern Alliance prisoners flee aboard they vessel, with the Borellian Nomen along for the ride. The ulimate fate of the escapees is never dealt with, however. The episode ends with the capture of Baltar and although Blue Squadron, and Boomer in particular, pursue the Eastern Alliance cruiser back to Lunar 7 during the course of the next episode, Experiment in Terra, this plot detail is lost amidst the drama of the intervention at Terra, and we never learn what happens to the Alliance villains or the Nomen.


Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Starbuck comments on the rogues gallery:
Starbuck: Baltar, Nomen and the Enforcers. At least we have all our enemies in the same place!
Apollo: Including the Council!
  • Baltar sizes up his opposition:
Baltar: Well, now, Lt. Boomer! How nice to see you. Too bad Starbuck and Apollo aren't here. I could settle all my debts at once.

Guest Stars

External Links