Islanded in a Stream of Stars

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Islanded in a Stream of Stars
"Islanded in a Stream of Stars"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 4, Episode 18
Writer(s) Michael Taylor
Story by
Director Edward James Olmos
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 420
Nielsen Rating 1,568,000 viewers (Live+SD)[1]
US airdate USA March 6, 2009
CAN airdate CAN March 6, 2009
UK airdate UK March 10, 2009
DVD release USA 28 July 2009
Population 39,521 survivors (Population decline. 35)
Additional Info
Full Credits
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Someone to Watch Over Me Islanded in a Stream of Stars Daybreak, Part I
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
Related Media
@ BW Media
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA | Canada | UK

As Galactica's condition worsens, Adama is faced with the possibility of abandoning ship. In the meantime, Boomer winds up forming an unexpected bond with Hera and Gaius Baltar learns a surprising truth about Kara Thrace.



  • With Sharon Valerii's kidnapping of Hera Agathon and her escape, the spatial disruption caused by the close-proximity jump of her Raptor causes an immense breach in the port side of the alligator's head of Galactica
  • Hera is in the War Room playing with models of Galactica, three Cylon Raiders and a baseship. A quick cut depicts her running down a hallway in the Opera House. She moves Galactica model in to collide with the baseship as the scene fades to the actual Galactica and her Fleet.
  • Inside, crew of all kinds, both from the allied Cylons and Colonials, are trying to seal the breach. Tempers are high: a Number Six and a human crew member argue. Eventually a Number Eight comes to break the two up.
  • In Admiral Adama's quarters, Ellen Tigh speaks about Hera's abduction as Lee Adama, Kara Thrace and Saul Tigh listen. Ellen believes that Cavil will take Hera to the Cylon homeworld for study, to determine how Cylon procreation is possible. Saul completes Ellen's thought by saying that she knows the Cylon colony's location.
  • While Lee Adama objects to the disproportionate risk in retrieving Hera, not only does Ellen indicate that the child is important for the survival of all the Cylons, but Thrace tells Lee that Hera is vital to the humans' survival as well.
  • She explains how Hera wrote some music--notes that Thrace's father wrote--the same song that switched on the Final Five and led them all to Earth.
  • But the admiral is "had it up to here" with prophesies and destinies. He doesn't want to endanger what's left of his people.
  • When Saul convinces Adama to at least check out the colony, Adama permits a Heavy Raider to go, preferring that the Agathons not know.
  • In the Agathons' quarters, Sharon is breaking down, as her husband tries to get her to talk and vent her feelings.
  • Laura Roslin, now in sickbay and noticeably weakened, experiences the Opera House dream of Hera running through it, eventually being picked up by a Number Six and Gaius Baltar. She wakes to find the admiral at her side, and tells him of the dream. Caprica-Six, still recovering from her miscarriage, is sleeping restlessly nearby, and appears to be having the same dream (as she confirms to Baltar in Act 1).
  • A seam on the battlestar's hull fractures with cataclysmic results. Dozens of people, both Cylon and human, are trapped inside, the rushing air and falling pressure sealing their fate.
  • The Six and human male who argued earlier are closest to a bulkhead door. With all her strength, she pushes the Colonial in front and to the door's edge as two other Colonials pull him in. She screams to close the door behind her and lock it.
  • As the door is sealed, the Six loses her grip and is blown out into space. At least 61 are dead or missing.

Act 1 and beyond

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Lee Adama struggles to convince the newly-elected Fleet Quorum that Galactica can be saved, but many councilors are worried about becoming dependent on the Cylons for military protection. Once Galactica meets its inevitable demise, the basestar will be the logical choice for the new flagship. Sonja assures them that the Cylons will continue to respect William Adama's military authority when he transfers to the Basestar, along with the rest of Galactica's crew and their planes and munitions. Other representatives begin calling first dibs on certain parts of Galactica, which will of course be stripped once its time is up. Laura Roslin's cancer is killing her, and she is now confined to bed in the ship's hospital. She gradually convinces Admiral Adama that he has to abandon Galactica and move everyone over to the Cylon Basestar. Ellen Tigh tries to convince Colonel Saul Tigh that Roslin is right, but he refuses: The decision is Adm. Adama's alone.

Karl Agathon's marriage to Sharon Valerii is falling apart, as she cannot overcome the loss of her child, Hera, or the knowledge that her husband had sexual intercourse with the Number Eight known as "Boomer". Trying to save his marriage, Helo tries to get Adm. Adama to approve the launching of a Raptor to find Hera. Adama has already permitted Sonja, the Cylon representative on the new Quorum, to secretly take a Heavy Raider to the Cylon homeworld, known as "the Colony". The Colony though has already been moved to a new location by Cavil prior to the Cylon Civil War; sending Helo out in a Raptor to look for it would be a suicide mission. Adama finally refuses to give permission, to which Helo appears devastated.

Gaius Baltar continues his religious broadcasts to the Fleet, and his latest message focuses on angels walking among humanity. Baltar encounters Caprica-Six, now discharged from sick bay, who tells him that she dreamt of him "last night". "It was an old dream. One in which we both had parts to play." She rejects his romantic overtures, telling him that she has changed and he has not. Baltar breaks down over the loss of his former lover. Later, Kara Thrace meets Baltar while they are both in the ship's head. Kara tells him that she died on Earth, and discovered her own body there. She gives him her dog tag to analyze. He scrapes blood from the dog tag, and finds it came from a body which was already dead. When Galactica crew, Cylons, and Baltar's believers meet on Galactica's flight deck to bury those who died in the hull breach, Baltar reveals what he discovered about Starbuck and calls her an angel. He preaches about eternal life, but Starbuck slaps him and the service breaks up. Later, Apollo meets with Starbuck and offers her his unconditional love and support. They part as friends. Starbuck puts a photo of herself on the memorial wall of the dead.

Aboard the stolen Raptor, Hera keeps crying for her mother, infuriating Boomer. Boomer almost sedates the child, but cannot bring herself to do so; they keep jumping toward their destination. In an attempt to calm Hera, Boomer reveals her "Cylon projection" dreamworld to Hera. Hera can see the world, too, and bonds with Boomer. Boomer begins to develop strong emotional ties to the child. When the two arrive at the Colony, a large Cylon space station, Cavil takes Hera from Boomer and declares that soon she will have many playmates. The child weeps and calls out for Boomer, and Boomer also sheds copious tears unwilling to part from Hera.

After an emotional breakdown, Adm. Adama realizes the ship must be abandoned. He meets with Col. Tigh, who initially resists the evacuation order but gives in after a brief discussion. All civilians are to be removed over the next few days, arrangements are to be made to put the military personnel aboard the basestar, and Galactica is to be stripped for parts. Rather than let the ship break down, Adama intends to "send her off in style."

A Number Eight and Number Six have hooked Samuel Anders up to a Hybrid tank in a an attempt to help his brain reboot, but there is no apparent change. Kara Thrace goes to Anders' bedside alone, and decides to kill him rather than let him live in a vegetative state. But as she aims a gun at his head, Anders comes awake. He babbles like a Hybrid, but his ravings also indicate that he's aware of the threat to his life. With one hand, he subdues Starbuck and she drops the pistol. Anders continues to babble, but some of his rants indicate that he is reintegrating, perhaps even repairing, his mind. Galactica's power and temperature fluctuations were because Anders was connecting to the ship, as the Hybrid tank and the Cylon polymer used to repair the battlestar are giving him the power to interact with the ship's computers. Tigh deems this too dangerous to continue, as Anders might jump the ship. Anders is disconnected from the Hybrid tank, and he falls into a coma again.

A few days later, Starbuck meets with the comatose Anders. She brings Hera's drawing of the song (the song which helped awaken the Final Five in the episode "Crossroads," and about which further complications were revealed in the episode prior to this one, "Someone to Watch Over Me"), and states assertively, that together, they will discover what is going on. She reconnects him to the ship's power systems. He awakens again, and begins speaking in the unique phrases of a hybrid.


  • The title comes from the book The Outermost House, by Henry Beston, where he chronicles his time spent living on an isolated beach in Cape Cod. In the chapter "Night on the Great Beach" he wrote, "For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in its stream of stars— pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across eternal seas of space and time."
  • Two original Cylon Raiders can be seen inside the Colony.
  • The Six that gives her life to save that of a Galactica crewmember is yet another example of a Six with a unique personality, this time one closer in tone to the "working-class" attitude exhibited by Galactica's human maintenance crew (aka the "knuckle-draggers").
  • The extended DVD version of this episode contains a different arrangement of key events, particular at the end. In the aired version, Boomer delivers Hera to the colony, then Starbuck visits Anders to discuss the music, and the episode ends with Adama and Tigh toasting Galactica after deciding to abandon the ship. In the DVD version, Adama and Tigh do their toast, then Boomer delivers Hera, then comes a scene of Adama and Tigh watching the evacuation of the civilians on the hangar deck (parts of which were included in the opening of the next episode), and this version ends with Starbuck visiting Anders. Both are included with the DVD; the aired version contains the Ronald D. Moore podcast, and the extended version contains a commentary track by Edward James Olmos.
  • The recap at the beginning of this episode includes a scene that did not actually appear in any previous episode, namely when Roslin encourages Admiral Adama to abandon the crippled Galactica. However, it is not until this episode that she encourages such a course of action.


  • This episode is the first to show repairs to the outer hull of Galactica. As with the earlier repairs to the Space Park, scaffolding, support Raptors and repair crewmen in space suits are seen trying to patch the breach. Presumably this is not the first time Galactica has undergone makeshift repairs given the pounding she has taken. However, this time the endemic damage to the hull makes the repairs much more challenging.
  • Caprica-Six appears to complete her hospitalization from her miscarriage. In the Teaser, she is sleeping in sick bay and sharing her recurring dream with Laura Roslin. By Act 1, she appears to have been discharged when she meets with Baltar and tells him about her dream.
  • Roslin and Caprica-Six have resumed their shared recurring dream of Hera Agathon lost in the Opera House. During a conversation in "Deadlock," they discovered that neither had had the dream since Six's pregnancy began.
  • When Caprica-Six is at Baltar's congregation he spoke to her about hearing about her living arrangement and offered a place to stay. From this it seems that after her miscarriage, she and Saul Tigh have broken up as a couple. As a side effect, Col. Tigh has reverted to his "us" and "them" attitude[citation needed] toward Cylons as a whole despite himself and his wife being Cylons including an increase of anti-Cylon "racial" slurs.
  • Chief Tyrol is nowhere to be seen in this episode. Even crewman Dealino gives a report to both Admiral Adama and Colonel Tigh of what the attitudes of the Cylons, particularly the Leobens, thought as to how many jumps Galactica has left in her.
    • An extended DVD version of the episode contains a scene in which Athena visits Tyrol in the brig. She tells him that she has Boomer's memories from before the war, that it's ironic Boomer posed as Athena to seduce Helo since Athena posed as Boomer to do the same thing, that Boomer loved the Chief and betraying him like that must have been tough, that she respects Tyrol for turning himself in after realizing he had been duped, and that she will never forgive Tyrol for letting Boomer escape.
  • Hera demonstrates the ability to project, which surprises Boomer.
  • It is possible that the opening shot of the episode is a projection of Hera's. If so, it is also possible that Hera's projections are prophetic in nature. Her movement of the basestar and Galactica models foreshadows the events of "Daybreak".
  • In sickbay, Adama and Roslin reminisce about New Caprica and about the cabin they wanted to build but can't. This scene is in its own way similar to the scene in which Boomer and Tyrol share a projection of the house they had intended to build on Picon. As humans, Adama and Roslin can only conjure up fond memories and regrets in their own mind's eyes. Both couples know that it is never to be, building their dream houses.
  • Helo wants Athena to say that she hates him because he saw it in her eyes. She almost does. In a close up of her lips her mouth parts slightly, but then closes. This is most likely for him sleeping with Boomer, who subsequently took Hera. Athena probably understands that Helo couldn't prevent the kidnapping, but she probably feels that he should had known that it was not Athena he was sleeping with. It is, however, conceivable she could blame him for the taking of Hera if she thinks that if he realized that it wasn't her he could have had Boomer captured even before she got near Hera.
  • In the episode we see what is essentially the Cylon homeworld. Ellen Tigh explains in a meeting with Admiral Adama, Lee Adama, Tory Foster, Saul Tigh, and Kara Thrace where the Cylons (including the Final Five) were for the past 40 years: "I guess you can call it home. It's where we and the Centurions went after the First War once we convinced them to abandon their own experiments with evolution in exchange for resurrection technology." In the show's timeline Cavil's faction moved the Colony to its present location five months ago just prior to the Cylon Civil War. It is a huge space station built with the same biological design principles as the baseships.
  • Adama's heavy drinking, pill-popping and unprofessional behavior over the last few episodes seems to recall Romo Lampkin's comment that "the soldier in him has had enough" in "The Son Also Rises".
  • Galactica, nicknamed the Bucket, suffers a severe hull breach at the beginning of the episode. Among the "random" phrases hybrid-Anders spouts are the lyrics of the Earth folk song "There's a Hole in My Bucket". Helo tells Adama that he is "painting over the holes in this bucket."
    • "There's a Hole in My Bucket" is an example of an infinite loop. After several verses describing the intermediate steps required to fix the bucket, it is ultimately revealed that the initial problem--the hole--may only be resolved by gathering water in the self-same bucket. In other words, all this has happened before, and will happen again.
  • A corpse produces "death enzymes" as it decomposes. It's likely Baltar found high concentrations of these enzymes on Starbuck's dogtags.
  • This episode specifically highlights the existence of 'angels' that walk amongst the humans. Baltar may be referring to his Virtual-Six, but it applies to Caprica-Six's own Virtual-Baltar and the other unseen characters that have appeared throughout the show as well. Another interesting fact to note is that the First Hybrid's prophecy before his death was how the humans and Cylons will be gathered in the arms of an angel and carried into the promised land.
  • Kara Thrace is called an angel by Baltar during his declaration of eternal life after he examined Thrace's dogtag. She has also been referred or linked to the Goddess Aurora, who guides ships to safe harbors and who resembles what is typically thought of as 'angels.' Thrace's other title from the Hybrids as the "harbinger of death" may be another spin on her 'angelic' nature; the manifestations of angels in modern day world religions are considered to be signs of the end times.
    • A deleted scene included in the extended DVD cut shows Starbuck and Helo getting drunk at Joe's Bar, and Starbuck ruminating on her destiny as the Harbinger of Death. She says finding nuked Earth pretty much fulfilled that part of the plan and she wonders what her purpose is now. Helo suggests other meanings for Harbinger, such as herald, to suggest her destiny could be positive. This scene foreshadows Starbuck's use of the music to find the second Earth in "Daybreak," and implies her role in leading the human race to its end refers to finding the planet where human and Cylon can live a blended existence.
  • This episode establishes that Final Five Cylons can interface with the datastream. Thus, if Anders had placed his hand on the Cylon data-font in the episode "Faith," it would have responded to him.
  • Cottle says the accident caused 61 deaths or injuries, including 26 Cylons. The difference of 35 Colonials would account for the updated survivor total, meaning the only survivors with injuries would be Cylons.


  • When Cavil tells Hera that she will soon have new playmates, is he referring to actual playmates that he hopes to create through reproduction, or the Simons who will be experimenting upon her? (Answer)
  • How conscious is Anders?
  • Is there a parallel between Anders' recitation of a real-world folk song, "There's a Hole in My Bucket," and the use of the real-world song "All Along the Watchtower"?
  • Will Boomer defect from Cavil because of her new attachment to Hera? (Answer)
  • Does the presence of First Cylon War-era Cylon Raiders at the Colony indicate the presence of older-model Cylon Centurions, too? (Answer)
  • Does Cavil intend to pursue biological reproduction, recreate the resurrection process, or both?
  • Is there some way of finding the Colony? (Answer)
  • Do the Eights consider the rest of the Final Five their parents, as they consider Saul Tigh to be their father? Do other models also regard some or all of the Final Five as parental figures?
  • Is the Colony the Final Five's original ship, or an outgrowth of it? (Answer)
  • Why is Tory Foster not seen at the funeral?

Official Statements

  • In his podcast for this episode Ronald D. Moore stated:
That Gas Giant that Boomer jumped in next to while she was heading for The Colony with Hera was not Jupiter.(14':10")
Kara Thrace was going to kill Sam Anders. In other words if he didn't grab her arm she would have definitely pulled the trigger (22':30")
In response to some fans criticisms that the show focused too much on relationships and not enough on action, RDM says the show was first a drama and second a science fiction series. The show was about people and their relationship to each other that was foremost. (25':10")
Daniel is not Kara Thrace's father. Further, Daniel plays no role in events other than being Abel to Cavil's Cain. Daniel's murder and the destruction of his line was a point of illustration on the character of John Cavil, nothing more.
The Colony was built around the Final Five's original sublight ship.

Noteworthy Dialogue

Number Eight: (weakly, child like) Thank you.
Tigh: Thank me? For what?
Number Eight: For the privilege of finally being able to meet my father before I die.
Tigh: You shouldn't be thanking me. I spent most of my life trying to kill your kind.
Number Eight: Too much confusion.
(Death rattle, the Eight flatlines)
  • Bill Adama is talking with Kara Thrace about looking for Hera:
Adama: In other words, it's our destiny to go after her, right?
Thrace: (facial expressions and body language indicates "yes")
Adama: Wrong. I've had it up to here with destiny, prophecy, with God or the Gods. Look where it's left us. The ass end of nowhere; nearly half of our people are gone; Earth, a worthless cinder; and I can't even walk down the halls of my ship without wondering if I'm gonna catch a bullet for getting us into this mess.
  • Ellen Tigh and Saul Tigh are in their quarters and Ellen is trying to get a reluctant Saul to acknowledge his responsibility for his fellow Cylon's interest in survival.
Ellen: Whether you remember that life or not, at least you must understand what we were trying to do. We wanted to end the cycle of war between man and machine.
Tigh: That was a bust.
Ellen (frustrated): Yes, we failed, but we have a second chance now: Hera. Without her our children are going to die off one by one, just like they're dying right now in Cottle's sickbay.
Tigh: I had a child. He died.
Ellen (thinks for a moment): You're wrong Saul (caresses his left cheek, shakes her head) You have millions.

Guest Stars


  1. iCarly, Burn Notice and WWE RAW top cable charts (backup available on (in ). (10 March 2009). Retrieved on 11 March 2009.