Miniseries, Night 1

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After 40 years of peace with their creations, the Cylons, the peoples of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol find themselves victims of a genocidal attack.
Miniseries, Night 1
"Miniseries, Night 1"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Special Episode
Writer(s) Ronald D. Moore
Christopher Eric James
Story by Glen A. Larson
Director Michael Rymer
Assistant Director
Special guest(s) See Night 2 of the Series
Production No.
Nielsen Rating 3.2 (Night One)
US airdate USA 2003-12-08
CAN airdate CAN 2004-01-17
UK airdate UK 2004-02-17
DVD release 28 December 2004 US
1 March 2004 UK
Population survivors
Additional Info Pilot
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Aired: None
(Chronological:Razor Flashbacks)
Miniseries, Night 1 Miniseries, Night 2
Related Information
Continuity Errors PresentView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
Related Media
Photo Gallery @ BW Media
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
Amazon: Standard Definition | High Definition
iTunes: USA


  • The Cylons were created by the people of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol as a labor and military force. Approximately 52 years ago, the Cylons turned on their human creators and the Cylon War ensued. After an armistice was declared, the Cylons left the Colonies, ostensibly to seek a homeworld of their own.
  • The Colonials maintain an Armistice Station as a place where Cylon and Colonial representatives can meet in order to maintain diplomatic relations. However, the Cylons have never sent an ambassador. No one has seen a Cylon since the end of the Cylon War, over 40 years ago.



  • At the Armistice Station, the Armistice Officer, with pictures of his family on his desk, is dozing off when the unexpected happens: Two Cylon Centurions enter the station and take guard at the station's Cylon entrance. These Cylons appear similar to the expected Cylon Centurion Model 0005, but are distinctively taller and more menacing.
  • The Colonial officer is further surprised by the entrance of a a beautiful female.[1] Instead of sitting at the negotiation table, the woman walks over to the officer's side of the table in a seductive fashion, leans over to examine him, asking, "Are you alive?"
  • The woman kisses the Colonial officer as the station shakes from the impact of a Cylon missile, fired from a basestar – a massive Cylon capital warship that dwarfs the tiny station.
  • The woman restrains the officer, preventing him from escaping. "It has begun," she says as she forcefully kisses him – and the Armistice Station and its occupants are destroyed.

Act 1

  • Some distance from the colony of Caprica, the battlestar Galactica, one of the last relics from the Cylon War, is preparing for its decommissioning ceremony. Instead of being scrapped, the ship is slated to be turned into a museum in honor of its wartime service.[2]
  • Aaron Doral, a P.R. representative for the government, provides a tour of the battlestar to the press as life goes on in the battlestar. Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, a Viper pilot, jogs through the corridors.
  • Commander William Adama prepares his speech for the ceremony, occasionally being interrupted by well-wishers of his crew on his pending retirement. As Thrace passes by, he and she exchange their personal pilot's greeting.
  • Lieutenant Gaeta, the ship's Watch Officer, notifies him of various bits of Fleet housekeeping news, including a request from Fleet Headquarters asking any available FTL-capable ships to visit Armistice Station, as the Armistice Officer is overdue from his mission. Adama notes that his ship's decommissioning ceremonies that day would make Galactica a bit too busy to jump to the Armistice Station.
  • The hangar deck crew, led by Galen Tyrol, gives Adama a parting gift for the retiring battlestar and its commander. The crew has found and refurbished Adama's old Viper Mark II from the Cylon War, and has readied it for flight. Specialist Prosna also gives Adama a picture from the Colonial Fleet archives that shows a young Adama with his two sons, Lee Adama and Zak Adama. When Adama sees the picture, he appears shaken. Adama's youngest son was killed two years before, which has caused a rift in his relationship with his older son, a captain in the Colonial Fleet.
  • Thrace is locked in the Brig after striking Colonel Saul Tigh, who started a fight during a card game.
  • On Caprica, Secretary of Education Laura Roslin sits in a doctor's office. The doctor arrives with grim news. She has breast cancer and it has spread aggressively.[3]
  • Roslin later boards the government-chartered civilian transport, Colonial Heavy 798 as the government representative that will attend Galactica's decommissioning ceremonies. She is joined by a government aide, Billy Keikeya, who briefs her on the events. Roslin, however, is too distracted by the news of her illness to fully absorb Keikeya's notes.
  • Another seemingly identical twin of the blonde woman from the Armistice Station walks through the Riverwalk Market. During her walk, she runs into a young mother, Chantara, and her baby boy. She begins observing how small babies are and asks to hold it. After obtaining the mother's permission to do so, the blonde begins cooing to the crying baby, telling him that he'll soon no longer cry. She makes a disturbing observation about the baby's neck being able to support his head's weight, which upsets the mother. However, she is momentarily distracted by her husband and the blonde snaps the baby's neck, and walks away from the crowd as the mother screams frantically about her dead child.

Act 2

  • Famed scientist Gaius Baltar gives a remote television interview with reporter Kellan Brody at his home. While Baltar speaks in the interview, a woman enters his home with the familiarity of someone who has entered the home many times. The woman is identical to the blonde woman seen on the Armistice Station.
  • Baltar and the young blonde woman have sexual intercourse. As she gyrates atop Baltar, the spine of the young woman glows a bright red color.[4]
  • Captain Lee "Apollo" Adama arrives in his Viper Mark VII (Viper 2276) as part of the decommissioning ceremonies. He appears ambivalent about his role, given the rift between him and Commander Adama, his father. He questions the use of manual landings for Galactica, which Chief Tyrol explains as standard procedure on the old battlestar.
  • Later, Baltar and his blonde girlfriend discuss the success of his Command Navigation Program. He boasts that her involvement with the project should help her later in future work with the government, but the woman tells him cryptically that future government work wasn't the reason that she helped. She leaves Baltar to meet another person, whose identity is not shown.
  • Colonial Heavy 798 arrives. Secretary Roslin meets with Commander Adama, who denies her request to add a student computer network in the battlestar. Unlike her sister battlestars, Galactica has a tradition where its commanders have never allowed networked computers in the ship.
  • The next morning, Baltar's young blonde woman ejects another woman she finds Baltar in bed with, and soon tells Baltar of the truth of her existence, and her mission, to Baltar's disbelief.
  • The woman is a type of android, a Cylon agent that has used him to access critical Colonial Fleet facilities to, among other things, compromise his CNP software. When Baltar becomes upset, denies involvement and reaches for his phone to call his lawyer, the blonde woman tells Baltar not to worry, since in a few hours, no one will be alive to accuse him of any crime. The flash of a distant nuclear explosion appears outside Baltar's scenic windows.
  • Captain Adama and the last Viper squadron flies overhead the starboard landing bay to the Colonial musical fanfare, where the new museum is located.
  • Commander Adama completes his address at the decommissioning ceremony. His derision of humanity and their creation of the Cylons leaves a quizzical expression on several attendees, including Colonel Tigh.
  • Baltar watches two news channels as Kellan Brody and a second reporter attempt to report on the explosions. A bomb strikes near Brody's studio, likely obliterating it, as the shockwave of the same bomb blows the second reporter off the air seconds later.
  • Baltar starts to break down as he realizes what his actions have wrought: the impending annihilation of humankind. He rejects the young blond's attempt at comfort. A bomb explodes near them, the flash briefly blinding Baltar.
  • The young blonde explains that she cannot die, and that her consciousness will download into a new body. She also tells Baltar that there are twelve human Cylon models: She is "Number Six."
  • As the shockwave from the nearby blast approaches, Baltar begs for his life. The Cylon protects him as the shockwave rips through his home, destroying it.[5]
  • As Colonial Heavy 798 flies back to Caprica, passengers and crew hear news over personal shortwave wireless sets that the Colonies are under attack. The chaos and intermittent contact make confirmation of the news difficult. Captain Lee Adama, flying escort with the starliner in his father's old Viper, acknowledges the news but warns that the old Viper may not be useful for any real combat.
  • Commander Adama is notified of the attacks by Lt. Gaeta and calls the battlestar to action stations.

Act 3

  • Most of the crew, including Colonel Tigh, are caught off guard; very few of them have ever assumed action stations except in drills, especially on a battlestar that hasn't any ammunition for its batteries or even a Viper Mark VII squadron remaining aboard. Tigh enters CIC, believing that some shipping accident has occured.
  • Commander Adama uses the general ship address system to tell his crew of the "massive assault" by the Cylons, and that Admiral Nagala, on battlestar Atlantia is leading the Fleet attack after Picon Fleet Headquarters was destroyed.
  • Adama orders Gaeta to begin a plot of all space traffic, "friendly or otherwise," orders Kara Thrace out of the brig, and orders Tigh to search for munitions depots they can reach to rearm Galactica.
  • Galactica's last Viper Mark VII squadron, led by Jackson Spencer, en route to Caprica for reassignment, receives the attack news and moves to intercept a Cylon fighter group. As their support Raptor, piloted by Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii, moves away, Spencer moves his group into attack range.
  • Gaeta notes that the bulk of the fight is massing near Virgon.
  • Lieutenant Thrace is briefed on the situation. She is aghast that a quarter of the Fleet's 120 battlestars are already lost. She reports many pilots but no fighters. Commander Adama reminds her of the squadron of functional Viper Mark IIs in the museum.
  • Communications officer Anastasia Dualla receives word of "equipment malfunctions" throughout the Fleet, including the ominous news of a battlestar completely losing power before being destroyed by the Cylons.
  • The Viper Mark VII squadron near Caprica finds only two newly-designed Cylon Raiders, but before the Vipers can attack, the Cylons access the backdoor programming of the Vipers' CNP, disabling every Colonial fighter. The Cylons launch missiles and obliterate the squadron while Boomer's Raptor retreats with the Cylons in pursuit.
  • In the Raptor, Boomer and Karl "Helo" Agathon, her ECO, manage to shake off two Cylon missiles using swallows, but not without damage. They make an emergency landing on Caprica for repairs, powering down to escape detection. The planet's surface is still periodically illuminated with flashes of nuclear bomb detonations. Strewn around Caprican space are many undamaged Cylon basestars and the wreckage of a battlestar and other Colonial fighters.
  • Adama tells the crew of the extent of nuclear bombings throughout the Colonies, but asks his crew to mourn the dead later and get Galactica into the fight.
  • On Colonial Heavy 798, Laura Roslin succeeds in confirming the news of Caprica's plight. After informing the starliner's passengers officially, she manages to contact a fellow official about the attack, including the whereabouts of President Richard Adar. Before she can get more news, a Cylon missile is detected approaching the ship.
  • Apollo is able to decoy and destroy the missile, but his Viper is disabled and must be retrieved to 798's cargo bay.
  • Boomer and Helo, making repairs, are soon besieged by Colonial refugees who are desperate to escape Caprica.
  • When he gets back on Colonial Heavy 798, Apollo is met by Aaron Doral, who is worried because the pilot of the ship is "not the one giving orders". He is brought to Laura Roslin, who is heading up preparing the ship to take on passengers from disabled vessels. Apollo quickly recognizes her authority. The current plan is to gather as many survivors as they can carry and "find a place to hide".
  • Overwhelmed by the mob of refugees, Helo and Boomer agree to take all the children among them, which include a boy named Boxey. They figure they can also take three adults and still break orbit, so they quickly organize a lottery.
  • Several Cylon Raiders soon engage Galactica and her older Vipers while it performs evasive maneuvers. Unlike the newer Mark VIIs, however, the attack squadron of older Mark II Vipers cannot be electronically compromised by the Cylons. Starbuck finally enters the fray after several aborted launch attempts.
  • A Raider fires three nuclear missiles at Galactica. Starbuck manages to down two of the three missiles but the third strikes Galactica in her forward port flight pod.

Act 4

  • The fighters rid themselves of the last Cylon fighters, but the battlestar is now in a slow uncontrolled lateral spin. The port flight pod has suffered intense fires and decompressions.
  • Chief Tyrol and Captain Aaron Kelly work from the Damage Control console to control the damage, but it is too severe to manage as water mains have been damaged. Deckhand damage control teams are fighting the fires with handheld gear.
  • Colonel Tigh orders decompression of sections of the flight pod to prevent the battlestar's fuel lines from being caught in the flre, which would destroy the ship. The decompression works, but 85 crew members are killed in the process, including Prosna.
  • Helo and Boomer select the three adults who will join them and the children in the Raptor. The last number is #47, which belongs to an elderly woman standing next to Gaius Baltar. He notices she has the number when she asks him to read her ticket, but hesitates.
  • Helo notices Baltar in the crowd and calls to him. Baltar immediately identifies the lady next to him as having #47 and moves her onto the shuttle. Helo then gives up his seat on the Raptor to Baltar, believing that he was more important to the welfare of humanity than a mere Raptor ECO.[6]
  • As he boards, Baltar briefly sees what he thinks to be Caprica-Six in the crowd. As the Raptor lifts off, one of the refugees left behind jumps on, forcing Helo to shoot him off.
  • The captain of Colonial Heavy 798 discovers an automated government message on wireless. Secretary Roslin instructs the pilot to respond to the message with her government identification ("D-456-345-A").
  • Roslin returns to the cabin, and is joined by Apollo. She tells him that she's 43rd in the line of succession, and knows all 42 ahead of her, from President Richard Adar down. She quips that she never liked politics, but something about Adar kept her coming back.
  • Soon, a response returns from the automated message: Roslin is the only government official at or above the cabinet level alive, and is now assigned the duties of President of the Twelve Colonies by emergency succession. In an emotional ceremony, she is sworn in by a priest, Elosha.
  • Tigh notifies Adama of the death count, and of Ragnar Anchorage, a munitions depot on the opposite side of the Cylon fleet. Adama orders for confirmation on the depot's storage.
  • Chief Tyrol meets with Adama to berate Tigh for acting too quickly, but the commander (with some level of sympathy) dresses down Tyrol. Adama tells Tyrol that, if he were at the damage control station, he would have done the same as Tigh.
  • Dualla gives Adama more fateful news: Nagala's ship, Atlantia, as well many other battlestars such as the Triton, Solaria, and Columbia are destroyed.
  • As the only senior officer remaining in the Colonial Fleet, Commander Adama assumes fleet command and issues a system-wide order to all Colonial Fleet units to rendezvous at Ragnar Anchorage for counterattack preparations.
  • As Roslin's transport, renamed Colonial One, begins a rescue of several civilian ships, two Cylon Raiders launch nuclear missiles at the Colonial ships. Roslin refuses to leave the area, but Lee Adama activates Galactica's old electric pulse generators stored in Colonial One's cargo hold.
  • Galactica Actual is in communication with Colonial One before the attack as Captain Adama and Commander Adama argue over his orders to regroup at Ragnar, which conflict with Roslin's orders to initiate civilian rescues.
  • When communication is cut off as Captain Adama deals with the missile attack, Galactica is able to get a remote telemetry of the incoming missiles. The telemetry registers what appears to be a nuclear explosion as the signal disappears.
  • Commander Adama mourns the loss of another son, but orders that jump preparations to Ragnar continue.


  • Principal photography for the miniseries occured between 1 April and 12 June 2003.[7]
  • Breck Eisner, who previously worked with David Eick on Sci-Fi Channel's original series, The Invisible Man, was initially assigned as director of the Miniseries[8]. However, Eisner left the miniseries to work on other projects, including Sahara, a film adaptation of Clive Cussler's 1992 novel of the same name. While Michael Rymer was eventually selected, Jeff Woolnough (who would later direct episodes of the series) was also considered as the miniseries' director.[9]
  • The opening scenes on the Armistice Station were written in at David Eick's request, stating the need for "something like the shark attack at the start of Jaws – when the girl is attacked at the beginning of the movie, you don't really have any idea what's going to happen next, but for the next hour you're desperately waiting to find out."[10]
  • The scene where Starbuck is playing cards is a reworking of a similar scene from "Saga of a Star World," where Starbuck, played by Dirk Benedict, is playing cards with his fellow pilots prior to the the Cylon attack. Katee Sackhoff notes the reworked scene as a favorite of hers that was "exciting to shoot," and would refer to it whenever she needed to eliminate her doubts on "how strong the character is and how much of a loose cannon she is".[11]
  • Lee Adama's first meeting with William Adama was Jamie Bamber's audition scene, although the scene that was shot was set up differently and "much more vitriolic towards his father than I had originally intended".[11]
  • In an early scene showing Caprica through a window, several ships pass over. One of which bears resemblance to the ship Serenity from the series "Firefly" and "Serenity".


Main article: Miniseries, Analysis


Answered Questions

Unanswered Questions

See the series article Battlestar Galactica (RDM) for analysis of the Miniseries and the central differences between the Re-imagined Series and the Original Series.

Official Statements

Both involve a sudden Cylon attack that wipes out the homeworlds of this Colonial society, leaving only Galactica and a handful of civilian ships and survivors to escape from the Cylons and go off to find a mythical place called Earth. Where they differ is that the miniseries takes a very different approach to telling that particular story. I wanted to make it much more believable and real.
There were certain elements of the original pilot's storyline that I knew didn't work, so I changed them. In the original pilot, the Colonials have been at war with the Cylons for a thousand years and as soon as the Cylons launch a peace initiative, the Colonials gather their entire fleet in one place ready to be destroyed! I always felt that was a bit silly. I also knew I did not want to go to the casino planet like they did in the original.[12]
I think science fiction tends to be a little antiseptic in its depiction of sexuality. It's clearly aimed at teenage boys and usually consists of just a babe in a tight outfit. So I wanted to do something that had more of a relationship to reality and shows that sexuality is a huge part of life.
The scene between Baltar and Number Six is all about lust. I was fascinated by the way Number Six uses sex to get the information the Cylons use to destroy humanity, because I thought that was very believable and had a great contemporary relevance – there have been a lot of scandals over the years involving national security and military secrets being exchanged for sex.[13]
  • Moore on focusing on people's reactions to the destruction of the Colonies, than on the destruction itself:
I wanted to keep the focus on our people. It's more effective and scarier if the attack is happening out there some place, and you're stuck on a ship and can only hear about it. That was very reminiscent of 9/11, and also harked back to the movie In Harm's Way, which focused on what was happening on John Wayne's cruiser during the attack on Pearl Harbor.[14]
I had heard that they were going to be shooting the Battlestar mini-series well before the auditions. We had all heard about it. It was a big show that was coming to town and I had watched the original show as a kid. When it came to the audition I didn’t actually know I was auditioning for Doral. The scene I was given to read when I showed up was the tour scene that starts the show. It was a lot of dialogue, but the director, Michael Rymer, told me that he wanted me in the show and so we worked in the audition room to find it. It seemed to work. Michael likes actors and for me that’s everything. He’s a guy who has a lot of trust in what we do and so I wanted to work with him.[15]
  • Aaron Douglas discusses his growing involvement in the Miniseries:
Oh God, read the original script. In the original script, Tyrol is just this relatively small character. There is not a whole lot going on. There’s not a lot of scenes and there’s not a lot of dialogue. I mean, he was there and he was in place and everybody understood who he was and everything like that, but oh yeah, David Eick was on the set as sort of helping us do the re-write as we go, constant communication was going on and Michael Rymer would just sort of say, “go Aaron, go.” And I am a big improver, if the line doesn’t make sense I’ll change the line, and originally I had nine days in the shooting schedule, and I ended up with 14 because David just kept adding scenes and adding scenes and adding lines, and I would show up and David would just go, “OK, I’m putting you to this scene, I’m not really sure what the dialogue would be but here’s the situation...” And then: Go. And I’d go out and just improv something and he would say “Fabulous! It’s great , do it again!” Or he would say, “Good. I really need this one word hit.” And so, a lot of my stuff is improved and ad-libbed. And they just kept adding me to more and more scenes.[16]

Noteworthy Dialogue

The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but...sometimes it's too high.
You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question, why? Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed, spite, jealousy. And we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. When that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.
Adama: This is the commander. Moments ago, this ship received word of a Cylon attack against our home worlds is underway. We do not know the size or the disposition or the strength of the enemy forces. But all indications point... to a massive assault against Colonial defenses.
Admiral Nagala has taken personal command of the fleet aboard the battlestar Atlantia, following complete destruction of Picon Fleet Headquarters in the first wave of the attacks.
How, why ... doesn't really matter now.
What does matter is that, as of this moment, we are at war.
You've trained for this. You're ready for this. Stand to your duties, trust your fellow shipmates and we'll all get through this. Further updates as we get them. Thank you.

Related Topics

External Links


  1. The notion of a humanoid Cylon is not unique to the Re-imagined Series. Some 23 years prior, in the spin-off series, Galactica 1980, a Cylon with human appearance, Andromus, appears in the episode, "The Night the Cylons Landed, Part I."
  2. The United States honors one of its earliest battle sailing ships, the USS Constitution, by converting it partially into a living museum while also keeping it as officially commissioned in the U.S. Navy. The United Kingdom honors the HMS Victory similarly, although it is dry-docked and unable to sail, while Constitution is annually sailed to minimize weathering to the wooden ship while docked.
  3. This scene marks the first of three homages to spaceships from other science fiction series. See this article for more information.
  4. This is a special effect used only once again in the regular series, but is later discontinued.
  5. This event triggers the analysis on Baltar's true nature. While the regular series' second season episode "Downloaded" appears to eliminate Gaius Baltar's possibility of being a Cylon, the third season episodes "Torn" and "The Eye of Jupiter" reopen the question. For more, see the article, Baltar as Cylon speculation.
  6. Originally, Karl "Helo" Agathon was an expendable character, but his performance convinced series executives to create a story arc for him in the first season of the Re-imagined Series.
  7. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 23.
  8. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 12.
  9. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 19.
  10. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 28.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 29.
  12. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 27.
  13. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 30.
  14. Bassom, David (2005). ed. Adam "Adama" Newell Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion. Titan Books. ISBN 1-84576-0972, p. 31.
  15. Nuytens, Gilles (26 November 2006). The Scifi World: Matthew Bennett interview (backup available on (in ). Retrieved on 19 Feburary 2007.
  16. Farvoyager (23 February 2004). Chief Tyrol Tells It Like It Is (backup available on (in ). Retrieved on 23 February 2007.