Colonial Day

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Colonial Day
"Colonial Day"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 11
Writer(s) Carla Robinson
Story by
Director Jonas Pate
Assistant Director
Special guest(s) Richard Hatch as Tom Zarek
Production No. 111
Nielsen Rating 2.3
US airdate USA 2005-03-18
CAN airdate CAN 2005-03-26
UK airdate UK 2005-01-10
DVD release 20 September 2005 US
28 March 2005 UK
Population 47,898 survivors (No population change.)
Additional Info
Full Credits
Episode Chronology
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The Hand of God Colonial Day Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
Podcast TranscriptView
Continuity Errors PresentView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
Related Media
Photo Gallery @ BW Media
Promotional Materials
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Colonial Day is due, and Laura Roslin is using the occasion to institute an interim Quorum of Twelve; then Tom Zarek, duly selected as the representative of Sagittaron, stands for the post of Vice President, a position Roslin is determined he will not hold.


  • Colonial Day, the annual anniversary of the signing of the Articles of Colonization, has arrived. President Roslin has formed a new Quorum of Twelve, the legislative branch of the Colonial Government, and has decided to have her unveiling of the new Quorum coincide with the patriotic holiday.
  • A tension erupts when terrorist/criminal Tom Zarek wins nomination as Sagittaron representitive on the Quorum. Roslin feels she cannot remove him, as he won the election fairly (many on Sagittaron view him as a hero of their downtrodden Tribe).
  • At the first meeting of the Quorum, Zarek creates a crisis by insisting that the vacant post of Vice President be filled by a special vote of the Quorum, in case anything should happen to Roslin – a move that is surprisingly seconded by Gaius Baltar (when prodded by Number Six)– Tom Zarek is thereupon nominated as a vice presidential candidate. He has been using his men on the Astral Queen to perform technical favors for several other ships, which has gained him support from many of them. Additionally he plays on various dissatisfactions in the refugee fleet.
  • Roslin responds by pushing Wallace Gray, a presidential aide, into standing as an alternative candidate.
  • Manipulating the media, Zarek makes headway in his desire to secure the position as Vice President, while a man named Valance plots in secret to carry out an assassinate plot against Roslin – possibly orchestrated by Zarek.
  • Surprisingly, it is Gaius Baltar who comes to her aid: flashing his pre-attack charisma, he gives an eloquent speech to the media that reminds the people of Roslin’s qualities and Zarek’s questionable background (trying to look supportive of Roslin and look more favorable). Roslin realizes that Baltar is quite popular in the Fleet (particularly following the unmasking of a Cylon plot to discredit him) and has Gray relinquish his position as her nominee in favor of Baltar.
  • Baltar wins the nomination through a close vote, as the Quorum is evenly split, but as president Roslin is allowed to cast the tie breaking vote which enables Baltar's victory – but Zarek makes it clear matters are far from over: there is still the presidential elections due in 6 months. Roslin introduces Baltar as the victor at the Colonial Day Celebration.

On Caprica

  • Karl Agathon and Caprica-Valerii have reached the outskirts of Delphi.
  • Agathon ponders how he could have seen two women who look exactly the same helping the Cylons, after recently seeing a Number Six copy leading a squad of Centurions. Quickly putting two and two together, he considers the humanoid Cylons to be some sort of human "replicants," created by the Cylons using human DNA. Agathon realizes that this would explain the rapid fall of the Twelve Colonies, as the humanoid Cylons must have infiltrated the Colonies to soften them up for an invasion.
  • Caprica-Sharon uses this idea as a means of testing his possible feelings towards her, should she reveal her true identity. She starts to say that maybe the humanoid Cylons are misled, or that their attack on the Colonies were wrong and they might doubt that it was the right thing to do (her own current thoughts), but Agathon dismisses this as he feels they're just more Cylons.
  • Later, as they try to enter the Cylon base at Delphi, Agathon sees another Valerii copy, and instantly realizes the truth, flashing through his adventures on Caprica and all of the coincidences surrounding his escape—at which point he immediately runs away from both Caprica-Sharon and the base.


  • 10 days have passed since the events of "The Hand of God".
  • The office of the President operates in conjunction with the Quorum of Twelve, a council of representatives of the Twelve Colonies.
  • The Articles of Colonization were signed 52 years ago.
    • Given the Twelve Colonies have been inhabited for millennia, the Articles therefore don't directly relate to the settlement of these worlds.
    • However, given the timeframe (52 years) and its proximity to the first Cylon War, perhaps the original articles were the document that united the Twelve Colonies to fight the threat of the Cylons, and became the basis for their peaceful co-operation after the war.
  • Issues surrounding the distribution of food and medical supplies are beginning to cause concern within the Fleet.
  • Despite being "isolated" aboard Astral Queen (TRS: "Bastille Day"), Zarek has managed to use his time to build up contacts within the Fleet and offer assistance to other vessels - so much so that the representative from Virgon is only too willing to throw his support behind Zarek.
  • Apparently convicted felons lose their citizenship under Sagittarion penal law but have it automatically reinstated after they finish serving their sentences. This included the right to vote and to stand for election.
  • This episode contains the detailed look at the Cylon Heavy Raider, which is seen landing on Cylon-occupied Caprica.
  • After Valance's assassination, the whiteboard on Colonial One shows 47,898 survivors in the Fleet, a net loss of 7 since "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down".
  • This episode is the first to show (however briefly) a version of Number Eight other than Boomer and the Sharon with Helo, except possibly the Miniseries.
  • Boomer only appears in this episode briefly, dancing with Felix Gaeta at the gala after Baltar's election.
  • Dr. Baltar apparently didn't give consent or even know of his nomination to a seat in the Quorum of Twelve, thus making it a little unclear how exactly the elections took place without a preexisting list of candidates.
    • It is possible that there was a list of official candidates, and Baltar won as a write-in candidate. Alternatively, the quorum members could have been chosen through a caucus system on each ship.
  • James McManus, host of The Colonial Gang, doesn't seem to mind using the F-word on the air.
  • The controversy surrounding whether Laura Roslin would shake Tom Zarek's hand intentionally mirrored that at the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 about whether Yitzhak Rabin would shake hands with Yasser Arafat.
  • Tom Zarek's statement to Laura Roslin, "I shaved very close this morning in preparation for getting smacked by you," is a direct quote from the 1970 movie Patton.


  • By this point in the late first season, the writers and actors seem to have gained an increasingly better grasp of the story they are trying to tell, and the dialogue, characterization, and plot developments are flowing much more smoothly than in the early learning-curve period of "Water" and "Bastille Day".
  • It seems a small cheat that Cloud Nine has not been seen before, but this is explained as that she was heavily damaged and undergoing repairs until now.
  • It is slightly odd that Wallace Gray is supposedly one of Roslin's top aides and has played a large role in the work of her administration, but has not been seen until now. Of course, this is the mechanics of introducing new characters on a tv series at play. However, Roslin is often followed around by many nameless aides with the implication that there are more working for her "off screen" than a given episode focuses on (in the podcasts, Ron Moore and David Eick have said that they feel they make Roslin seem more official onscreen).
  • It is ironic that Baltar himself makes no drive to put himself on the road to power; Roslin (and other major characters) make him vice president because they prefer him over Zarek (even though Roslin admits that she does not like Baltar or particularly trust him, and admits that it is a "choose the devil you know" situation).
  • Caprica-Sharon is showing more symptoms of being pregnant, as well as guilt over the Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies. She now feels the attack was wrong and the Cylons are misguided/self-deluded.
  • During Season 1, several critics and fans expressed that they thought it odd that Helo never suspected Caprica-Sharon of being a humanoid Cylon at all. However, this is an unfair criticism: Helo was not present on Galactica when the existence of humanoid Cylon models was revealed, and very probably during their experiment the Cylons attempted to avoid exposing Helo to humanoid models (after his initial "capture" by a single Number Six). Helo only sees a second Number Six copy in this episode because it is after he and Caprica-Sharon went on the run from the Cylons for real, after Caprica-Sharon's change of heart. —— Putting these accusations of Helo's unperceptiveness to rest, in this episode, soon after seeing a second Number Six (in "The Hand of God") Helo on his own theorizes that the Cylons must have created human models or DNA replicants of some sort, who must have been infiltrating Colonial society as Trojan Horses, explaining the rapid fall of the Twelve Colonies. Later, when Helo sees another Sharon-model Cylon copy, after recovering from his shock the events of the past two months instantly fit together in his mind, he realizes he has been duped, and he (prudently) runs away.
  • Reporter James McManus states that Colonial Day will coincide with the first meeting of the interim Quorum of Twelve, but Commander Adama also gives the day as "Colonial Day" at Baltar's victory gala, two days later. It is likely that the first meeting of the Quorum of Twelve is a multi-day event, during which Colonial Day would take place.


Answered Questions

For answers to the questions in this section, click here.
  • Just how much freedom of movement within the Fleet have Zarek’s people gained since the events of "Bastille Day?"
  • Will Zarek be able to use this apparent freedom to rally support for the forthcoming elections?
  • How does the Quorum of Twelve relate to the Office of the President? Does it function in a similar manner to the United States Congress?

Unanswered Questions

  • Was Zarek really behind the suspected attempt on Roslin’s life?
  • Who killed Valance?

Official Statements

From RDM's Sci-Fi Channel Blog

  • "I'm part of the nitpick brigade, but since the Colonies are obviously modeled after the US system of government, right down to the line of succession, are legislative and judicial branches? If so what are they called and will we see any manifestation of either branch take shape as series progresses?"
In Episode 11, "Colonial Day" we'll see the reinstatement of the Quorum of Twelve, a political body established in the original series, which seems to be a cross between a US style Senate and the UN Security Council, where each Colony has a single vote. Presumably there was also a larger representative legislative body and some kind of separate judiciary. There is also a religious body, (unnamed thus far) that acts in some advisory capacity to the government, along the lines of the British House of Lords. Although we haven't dealt with it yet, Elosha was probably a member of this body.

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Tom Zarek is walking through Cloud 9's simulated environment while talking to reporters:
Tom Zarek: We are facing a situation so unique, so specific, that we not only need new leadership, but a whole new way of thinking.
Reporter: Like blowing up a building or two?
Tom Zarek: If things weren’t so serious, I’d say that was funny. Look, there’s no economy, there’s no market, no industry, no capital. Money’s worthless. And yet we’re all held hostage by the idea of the way things used to be.
Look where we are (on Cloud 9, which resembles a natural environment). This man (points to gardener) wakes up every morning, tugs on his boots, and goes to work in this garden. Why? Because it’s his job?! What job? He labors, but he gets no benefits. And he’s not the only one. Many of us are still going through the motions of our old lives. The lawyers still act like lawyers, but they have no clients. Businessmen still act like businessmen, but have no business! President Roslin and her policies are all about holding on to a fantasy!
We want to survive; we need to completely restructure our lives. We need to think about the community of citizens. The group, not the individual. We need to completely free ourselves of the past and operate as a collective.
  • Karl Agathon and Valerii have arrived in the vicinity of the Cylon base at Delphi, and the talk turns to the two women "helping" the Cylons:
Agathon: (Standing as Valerii crouches with her back to him, getting some food) I'm trying to make sense out of two women we saw with the Cylons.
Sharon Valerii: (keeping her back to him) And?
Agathon: I can't fathom why anybody would want to help the toasters...and they just happen to be twins? It's too weird.
Sharon Valerii: You got a better explanation?
Agathon: Do you think the Cylons could be messing with human DNA? (Valerii reacts, mouth opening as she looks away). Cloning people or something?
Sharon Valerii: (gathering herself and looking over her shoulder at Helo) Could be.
Agathon: (nodding and crouching) That would explain how they took us by surprise. They had these...replicated humans infiltrating the colonies, laying the groundwork for the surprise attack.
Sharon Valerii: (pausing, as if considering this) You know, if they were human clones, that means they're capable of...complex emotions - maybe even love. Maybe they were misguided in the way they were indoctrinated...
Agathon: (interrupting) Whatever they are, they're not human! No human could do the things they've done - killed billions of innocent people (Valerii looks away, hurt)
Agathon: They've got to be frakking Cylons, just like the rest of them...
James McManus: We're here with Dr. Gaius Baltar, representative of Caprica. Dr. Baltar, I have one question: is President Roslin's political career terminal, or is there hope of resuscitating it?
Gaius Baltar: Laura Roslin's political career is very much alive, and to underestimate her would be a very serious mistake.
Number Six: You miss the limelight, don't you Gaius?
Gaius Baltar: Yes, I have.
James McManus: You have what, Dr. Baltar?
Gaius Baltar: Nothing. You were saying?
James McManus: Yes. So you seriously believe that this schoolteacher is able to handle the job of presidency?
Gaius Baltar: Well I'm glad to hear it, because I think all of us have had teachers who have made a profound impact on our lives. History is full of examples of leaders who have come from the most humble beginnings, and have risen to meet the challenge posed by cataclysmic events. It's very easy to be sitting there in your armchairs ... criticize Laura Roslin for the tough decisions that she has to make every day - especially if you're someone like Tom Zarek, who's never shouldered any real responsibility in your life. To be fair to Tom, how could he? He's been in prison for the last twenty years. Now that he's had a drastic personality makeover, he's posing like he's the savior to all your ills! I think you all have a short memory, really. ... What I have to say is, we must survive, and we will survive. And we will do so through the values that have made our colonies great: courage, truth, justice, liberty, with a firm and deep resolve to make tomorrow better, not just for ourselves, but for our children.
  • Baltar and Six discuss jealousy and women, prompted by Playa Palacios' behavior:
Gaius Baltar: She's only human. (notes Six's reaction) You're not jealous?
Number Six: Love isn't about sex, Gaius.
Gaius Baltar: Now there's an enlightened point of view.
Number Six: I've been thinking... and as far as I'm concerned, you can have any woman you want. But always remember, I have your heart.
Gaius Baltar: Yes, of course you do.
Number Six: (deadly serious) I can always rip it out of your chest if I need to.
Gaius Baltar: (coughs, as if in reaction to a pain in his chest)

Guest stars