Galactica Discovers Earth (early draft)

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Galactica Discovers Earth
"Galactica Discovers Earth"
An unproduced script for the Galactica 1980 series
Writer(s) Glen A. Larson
Story by
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No.
Nielsen Rating {{{rating}}}
US airdate USA {{{US airdate}}}
CAN airdate CAN {{{CAN airdate}}}
UK airdate UK {{{UK airdate}}}
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Additional Info Revision date: November 26, 1979
Episode Chronology
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The Return of Starbuck (produced, series finale) Galactica Discovers Earth The Day They Kidnapped Cleopatra
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On planet Earth, on the outskirts of a small California town, Jamie Hamilton and her boyfriend Walter are parked in a convertible looking up at the stars. Jamie is upset because she didn't get the newscaster job that she felt she deserved. Walter tries to cheer her up by reminding her of their upcoming wedding, but she puts a damper on his enthusiasm by announcing that she is moving to Los Angeles to try to get a job as a TV reporter. As they argue, a flash of blue light streaks past them and lands behind a nearby hill. At the hill, a winded Apollo and Starbuck climb out of their vipers. They pick up military jets on their scanners and ask themselves why they volunteered to be the first Colonials to land on the planet Earth.

Flashback to an event hours earlier aboard Galactica: Dr. Zero, a 14-year-old mutant genius, informs a stunned Adama that they have finally reached Earth. Adama's first reaction is to tell the fleet of the news, but Dr. Zero crushes his hopes when he shows him transmissions from Earth. She is a primitive, warring planet that is not scientifically advanced enough to aid the Colonials in their war against the Cylons. The Colonial warriors and Council of Twelve are summoned to Dr. Zero's projection chamber. Starbuck and Dr. Zero meet for the first time, and the young genius maintains that his proclivity for isolation has not deprived him of the pleasure of knowing each member of the fleet from their records and behavior patterns. When Adama announces that they have found Earth, a cheer goes up from the crowd. But Dr. Zero dampens their mood when he projects an image of what would happen if they were to land on Earth.

The screen shows Starbuck and Apollo in Hollywood. They have become celebrities and are surrounded by the media. Just as they put their bootprints in the cement foyer of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, a wave of Cylon raiders descends from the skies and begins to destroy the city. The people of Earth turn against the Colonial warriors, and Starbuck and Apollo realize that they have led the Cylons to Earth and doomed it to destruction. The duo race to their vipers but are cut down by Cylon fire. The simulation ends and Dr. Zero suggests that instead of revealing themselves to Earth's population, the fleet should lead the Cylons away while sending teams of specialists to Earth to gradually advance its technology. Apollo and Starbuck are assigned to make contact with Dr. Donald Mortinson, one of Earth's foremost nuclear physicists, at the California Institute of Technology.

Later, Baltar, who is now on good terms with Adama after having received a pardon, argues with Adama about Dr. Zero's plan. He believes that they should use the time warp synthesizer invented by Dr. Zero to go back into Earth's past and introduce scientific tools hundreds of years earlier. Adama refuses to go along with Baltar's proposal. Soon, Starbuck and Apollo cruise into Earth's atmoshphere but are shot down by military jets.

Cut to the present: Starbuck and Apollo activate the invisibility shields on their vipers and head towards the California Institute of Technology on their turbocycles. Meanwhile at the Institute, Dr. Mortinson is in the middle of a controversy; a mob of students who are against nuclear power are demonstrating outside his laboratory. Mortinson is desperately trying to create a formula to neturalize atomic waste material. He rubs his eys tiredly as one of the protestors throws a rock through the window and nearly hits him. Miss Carlyle, his secretary, calls the police and then takes Mortinson home.

Meanwhile, Starbuck and Apollo are harassed by a motorcycle gang, but they take to the sky to avoid them and land behind a diner/gas station in the desert. They take Earth-style sheepskin jackets out of their packs, change clothes and head to a nearby phone booth. As they struggle with the unfamiliar telephone, Jamie arrives and gives them a lift to the institute. She is impressed when they tell her they are going to see the Dr. Mortinson. After dropping them off, she tells them that they can reach her at Trans-World Broadcasting if they want to get in touch with her again.

When they discover how bad the demonstration is, the duo stun a security guard and slip into the building. When they enter Mortinson's office and talk about him being "on the right track" with his theories, Miss Carlyle thinks they are part of the mob, and she alerts security. Apollo types information into Dr. Mortinson's computer and tells her that they can be reached through Jamie Hamilton at Trans-World Broadcasting. When they try to leave the building, they are arrested. Mortinson returns to his office and is ecstatic when he sees the changes to his formula. He realizes that the duo must be from another world.

Later, Jamie is at Trans-World about to have her job interview when she gets a call from Starbuck at the police station; he needs her to bail them out of jail. She gets angry and hangs up. Moments later, Dr. Mortinson calls and asks her to arrange a meeting with Starbuck and Apollo. Mr. Brooks, Jamie's would-be boss, overhears the conversation and orders her to arrange the meeting so he can film Dr. Mortinson.

At the police station, Starbuck and Apollo use their invisibility fields to escape. They meet with Mortinson and Jamie. She reveals to them that they are being filmed, so they beat a hasty retreat in Mortinson's car, but Jamie insists on coming along. Mr. Brooks mistakenly believes that Mortinson is being kidnapped.

Back on Galactica, Adama and Dr. Zero discover that Baltar has taken a viper and headed into Earth's past to conquer the planet. Back on Earth, Apollo, Starbuck, Jamie, and Mortinson are pursued by the media and a dozen police cars. Adama contacts them and orders them to go to Rome in 44 BCE and bring back Baltar. They drop off the professor and head back to their vipers. Jamie refuses to be left behind and threatens to tell everything she knows. They reluctantly agree to take her with them and the trio clmb into the vipers and blast off into the past. The Galactica's Earth adventures have begun![1]


  • Obviously, this early version of Galactica 1980 pilot was written when it was believed Dirk Benedict and Richard Hatch would return to reprise their roles as Starbuck and Apollo. Much of the dialogue survived intact in the filmed pilot.
  • Dr. Zero is an early name for Dr. Zee, Galactica 1980's scientific genius.
  • Starbuck and Dr. Zero meet for the first time, while in the classic Galactica 1980 episode The Return of Starbuck, Dr. Zee is Starbuck's spiritual son.
  • Why did Adama ever pardon Baltar??? And don't the Colonials look like complete idiots for trusting Baltar a second time???

Official Statements

  • Richard Hatch was asked to come back for Galactica 1980, but "at the time I was involved with another project. The entire cast was asked back but most of us were unavailable." Still, he wasn't that interested in the project. "There was part of me that really didn't want to do Galactica 1980, because I just didn't feel like they were going to put the same energy and effort into it that they put into the original show. And I didn't want to do a second-rate Battlestar Galactica."[2]
  • Hatch has also said that when he received a copy of the pilot script, the two main characters in it were Troy and Dillon, so he had a feeling they were ready to move on without him at that point.[3]

Get The Script


  1. Galactic Sci-Fi Television Series Revisited. Alpha Control Press, 1995.
  2. Galactic Sci-Fi Television Series Revisited. Alpha Control Press, 1995.
  3. GoMainline Galactica Convention. August 28-29, 1999.