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An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 3, Episode 1
Writer(s) Ronald D. Moore
Story by
Director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Assistant Director
Special guest(s) Lucy Lawless as Number Three
Production No. 301
Nielsen Rating 1.8
US airdate USA 2006-10-06
CAN airdate CAN 2006-10-07
UK airdate UK 2007-01-09
DVD release {{{dvd}}}
Population survivors
Additional Info Season 3.0 Premiere
Episode Chronology
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Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance Occupation Precipice
Related Information
Official Summary
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It has been four months since the Cylons occupied the human settlement of New Caprica, and Galactica, Pegasus, and a handful of ships jumped to safety. On New Caprica, a resistance has begun to challenge the Cylons. Aboard Galactica, Admiral Adama struggles with plans for a rescue, having only a handful of untested pilots and understaffed ships at his command and facing a nearly impossible task.


Please note: This page is undergoing a revision for act-by-act summaries. It is by no means complete and is in progress. Please feel free to contribute to this effort. Thank you!


  • The episode begins with a series of cut scenes. Light flashes over Saul Tigh's face. He is in a prison cell with a gauze bandage over his right eye and has scratched notches into the wall. His wife, Ellen Tigh, is having sex with someone. Laura Roslin lights a candle and prays. Galen Tyrol and Samuel Anders are assembling a bomb using G-4 and hooking up its detonator within a building space.
  • Kara Thrace is inside a neatly decorated room, setting a table.
  • Admiral William Adama is in the situation room, moving ship models on the plot table when he becomes frustrated and hurls a model Raptor across the table.
  • A Cavil walks into Tigh's cell, dragging a chair, which he then sits on. He puts on sunglasses to see in the bright light streaming into the cell, and taunts Tigh about the hash marks that he has been making, telling him that every time Tigh is taken out of the cell, the Cylons come in and change the scratches.
  • A copy of Leoben Conoy walks into the room where Thrace sits at table, carrying her dinner. He sits and thanks his "heavenly Father" for their bounty.
  • Meanwhile, it is revealed that the person Ellen Tigh is having sex with is another Cavil. After he climaxes, Ellen walks away from the couch while Cavil laughs in the background.
  • Tyrol finishes arming the explosive and rushes for cover with Anders as a Cylon Heavy Raider lands.
  • Thrace coyly asks the Conoy copy for a knife for her steak, but Conoy takes his knife and cuts her steak himself.
  • Ellen Tigh touches up her makeup and asks the Cavil when will she get what she wanted, suggesting that she has arranged a quid pro quo. Cavil informs her that it should be happening right at that moment.
  • In Tigh's cell, Cavil has finished talking and drags his chair out, leaving the door open. Saul is unsure of what to do when the Cavil pops his head back in, telling him that there is paperwork to do and "bureaucracy must be served" and he won't keep the door open forever.
  • Tigh walks out of the New Caprica Detention Center gates where his wife rushes to meet him. She asks about the medical gauze eyepatch; however, he just wants to leave.
Kara Thrace enjoys her dinner (Teaser)
  • A group of "skinjobs" including at least three Eights, three Sixes, and two Fives approaches the Heavy Raider as several "chromejobs" exit it. Tyrol repeatedly hits the remote control until the bomb goes off. The explosion is witnessed both by the Tighs from the prison gates and by the Conoy copy with Thrace from their apartment. He returns to the table and pushes his knife away from Thrace.
  • As he comments on how beautiful she is, Thrace stabs him in the neck with metal chopsticks. As he dies (with Thrace repeatedly stabbing him for good measure), he tells Thrace that he will see her soon. She tells him to take his time. Then, after wiping her hand on the carpet, she returns to the table and begins to eat dinner, with a still-bloody right hand.

Act 1

  • Laura Roslin, still a school teacher, is writing an entry in her journal. In it, she notes that it is the 134th day of the Cylon occupation of New Caprica. Coincidentally, that day is also Mars Day, named after the Colonial god of war. The New Capricans have not had contact with Galactica for four months, but she refuses to believe that Admiral William Adama has abandoned them.
  • Roslin continues writing about the insurgency, which is striking whenever and wherever possible and is critical to morale; however, they need to strike a high-profile target to have a "more meaningful impact," since permanently killing the Cylons is nearly impossible.
  • Roslin then speaks of the Cylon Occupation Authority's continued exertion of complete control over New Caprica City and the government led by President Gaius Baltar, which functions in name alone.
  • Aboard the grounded Colonial One, the members of the occupation authority discuss their current situation, with two Cavils starting off by recapping the purported reason the Cylons are on New Caprica. Unhappy with the resistance, one Cavil suggests that they need to tighten their control over the human population.
  • He proposes that they execute Baltar, to which Caprica-Six objects strongly, stating that anyone who does so will have to deal with her. The situation is defused by a Number Five, who points out that the Colonials now see Baltar as a traitor and would cheer his death.
  • The Cavils then suggest rounding up insurgents—and even random groups of people—and executing them publicly, with which the other models seem to agree, except for Caprica and Boomer.
Cavil (left) proposes reducing the population down to a "more manageable size."
  • As the group leaves, Number Three asks Caprica if her love of Baltar is worth the loss she may incur over her position. Caprica replies, "If you ever experienced love, you wouldn't have to ask."
  • The scene shifts back to Roslin, who writes of the New Caprica Police, nauseated by the idea of misguided humans who believe that they're taking the role of policing New Caprica out of Cylon hands. She notes that the names of the police officers are deeply hidden, but are likely people that "we least expect."
  • She records that hundreds of people have been rounded up by the Cylons and the police and placed in detention, where they are often tortured before being released—though some are killed or simply disappear.
  • Roslin notes the help of a source within Baltar's administration that has been helping them in recent weeks. They do not know who this person is, but the person is responsible for providing them with important documents.
  • The scene shifts to outside a tent where someone tips over a yellow food bowl next to a dog named Jake. Chief Tyrol is then seen righting the bowl and retrieving a plastic-wrapped document from a nearby drawer.
  • Tyrol returns to his tent where he tells Cally, his wife, who is taking care of their baby, Nicholas, that he will be back in a few hours. She voices her concern that there may come a day when he doesn't come back that Nick will never know his father. In an attempt to assuage her fears, he promises to be back in a couple hours, then leaves.
  • The chief makes his way to an underground bunker where he meets Anders and Tigh, who is using a shovel as a cane.
  • Before Anders or Tyrol even ask, Tigh tells them that his eyeball was ripped out and shown to him and that it looked like a "hardboiled egg." He then congratulates them on the attack earlier that day.
  • Tyrol reveals that their next target will be the graduation ceremony of the New Caprica Police Academy. The documents he has just received from his source reveal that Baltar will be in attendance, piquing Tigh's interest.
  • The chief points out that it will be difficult avoiding human casualties, a point that Tigh dismisses since it will send a message that any human that works for the Cylons is also a target.
  • Tigh then asks about whether they have had any success with the wireless. Tyrol ruefully notes that the Cylons have jammed every signal, making it impossible to contact anyone in orbit, but they still are attempting to contact a Raptor that may be waiting. Tigh suggests asking their new source which frequencies receive the weakest jamming.
  • Anders doesn't believe there is a Raptor waiting to hear from them, which gets a rise out of Tigh, who believes that Adama would never leave them to the Cylons. The Raptor was part of a plan they had made in the event anything happened and he believes that Adama would follow through.
  • Anders counters that Adama left him to the Cylons, noting that were it not for his wife, he'd be dead a long time ago.
  • The exchange prompts Tigh to ask about Thrace, but Anders hasn't heard anything in the four months since the occupation began.
  • Back in Kara's apartment prison, a newly-resurrected Conoy enters, announcing: "Hi, honey, I'm home" and notes that she's killed him five times and each time he has come back.
  • He tries to convince her that he wants to help her see "the truth of your life, the reason why you suffered and you struggled for so long." Kara replies that he's right and thanks him for putting up with her; Conoy sees through the ruse and asks her to put down the knife she is holding in preparation for stabbing him again. She complies and he tells her that he's a patient man and she needs more time. She scoffs at this, saying that there will never be a relationship between them.
  • Conoy is convinced otherwise and tells Kara that he has seen her hold him in her arms, embrace him, and tell him that she loves him. She replies that he is insane; Conoy counters that "to know the face of God is to know madness."
  • He then tells her he's going to bed, asks her to go to bed with him and then attempts to kiss her, but she turns away.
  • Conoy then points out that she'll spend the night with him either way, referring to the corpse of his previous body that is still in the room.
  • After he goes to his room, Thrace notices that the door to the apartment is open. She runs up a staircase and out, only to find the hallway outside barred, and screams that she doesn't belong there.

Act 2 and beyond

  • In the remaining spaceborne fleet, a training operation led by Galactica's CAG, Captain Louanne "Kat" Katraine, is underway. Members of the Raptor squadron, the Snowbirds, led by Lieutenant Margaret "Racetrack" Edmondson, have a hard time keeping formation.
  • Meanwhile, Admiral William Adama hears the wireless chatter from the exercise, which is piped in through the ship's speakers. He makes his rounds on Galactica, first in the hangar bay picking up parts, and walking through Galactica's pitch-black hallways with a flashlight as he's reading papers.
  • Captain Karl Agathon, Galactica's executive officer, orders the Raptors to commence with the training exercise. During the exercise, the Snowbirds' deployed drones disperse randomly after the Raptors botch the release maneuver. Katraine aborts the mission. Agathon acknowledges this and orders the ships to return because they are low on fuel.
  • Adama, having just entered the CIC, belays the order and tells Agathon to send out a tanker bird for them to practice in-flight fueling. Then he wants them to continue the mission. Agathon tells Adama that they've done the exercise sixteen times; Adama dryly replies that the next will make seventeen. Agathon complies, understanding that Adama insists on continuing the training mission.
  • On Pegasus, a shirtless, hanging-bellied Lee Adama overhears Agathon's order that they recover the drones and dispatch a tanker bird. He waddles to the phone and orders a connection with the admiral.
  • In Pegasus's CIC, Lee engages in a heated discussion with Adama about the training efforts, but the conversation is cut off when Katraine reports a collision of two Vipers piloted by Bingo and Wally. She requests, and is granted, immediate landing for the two Vipers. Admiral Adama throws the phone across the table.
  • Every day a Raptor jumps in and listens for a wireless broadcast. With the list of jamming frequencies provided by Gaeta, Tyrol manages to contact the Colonial Fleet.
The resistance finally gets a message from Adama's fleet.
  • Now having made contact with Galactica and feeling that rescue may be near, Tyrol has second thoughts that a suicide bombing may not be the best course of action, but Tigh disagrees and says to call off the attack only if Baltar will not be attending.
  • Baltar decides not to attend the graduation ceremony. Gaeta is unable to inform Tyrol in time of this last-minute change.
  • With little left to lose, Duck prays to the gods. He has placed several packs of explosives around his waist, wiring himself as a living bomb. He dons his NCP uniform to attend their graduation ceremony, intending to kill Gaius Baltar and as many traitors and Cylons as he can.
  • As a Number Three presents Duck with his graduation certificate, he detonates the explosives attached to his body, his last words being "I'll see you soon, Nora."


Alternate story lines and ideas

  • According to the podcast for "Collaborators," James Lyman was going to be the suicide bomber instead of Tucker "Duck" Clellan.
  • Ronald D. Moore says in the podcast that alternate scripts included members of the resistance kidnapping humanoid Cylons and keeping them alive in a dungeon. The remaining Cylons would become more apprehensive with each mysterious disappearance.
  • Moreover, Clellan's and Lyman's roles were reversed during the planning of the arc. However, Aaron Douglas pointed out that Lyman had previously been portrayed as a weak person (TRS: "Valley of Darkness") and that it would thus make more sense to make him the collaborator (Battlestar Galactica: The Official Companion Season Three).
  • A scene showing how Tigh loses his eye was shot, with a Number Five poking the camera's lens in a point-of-view shot. However, it was felt that it would be too weird and stylized for the show, and that having Tigh merely tell about it would be more effective (Season 3 Companion).

Story and Events

  • Unlike episodes of season 2, the intro to this episode does not give the survivor count. The population whiteboard present in seasons 1 and 2 has been replaced by Baltar's presidential portrait, which is later hung over the toilet at the suggestion of Tory Foster in "Hero."
  • The episode opens on the 134th day since the Cylon occupation.
  • In her journal, Roslin notes that it is "Mars Day," which is the Roman name for Ares. This is at least the second time that the Roman names for the Greek pantheon have been used.
  • Crew changes in the year after settlement glimpsed in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II" are confirmed here: Captain Karl Agathon is serving as Galactica's executive officer (XO), with Louanne Katraine as Galactica's CAG. Anastasia Dualla, shown for the first time with lieutenant rank insignia, is serving as XO on Pegasus.
  • Lee Adama has gained roughly 40 pounds since the fleet found New Caprica. His father claims that he is soft, both physically and mentally.
  • Caprica-Six seems to keep Gaius Baltar company on Colonial One in an unofficial capacity.
  • Eight Cylons are visible at the graduation ceremony:
    • To the right of the podium: an Eight, a Five, a Six, and a Cavil.
    • To the left of the podium: a Six, an Eight, and another Six.
    • Speaking: a Three.
  • Duck's rank in the New Caprica Police is captain. After the bombing, Jammer appears to fill this role.

Initial American broadcast

  • The episode started off with a warning indicating "Mature Subject Matter" during its initial Sci-Fi Channel United States debut. The following episode, "Precipice," also reiterated this warning.
  • "Occupation" and "Precipice" were edited as one 2-hour episode with only one introduction. However, in the podcast, Ronald D. Moore mentions the "beginning" of "Precipice." On the Region 1 DVD set for season 3, the episodes are presented as two distinct episodes.
  • Kandyse McClure's first name is spelled in the opening credits as "Candice." Though she has been credited under this name in other projects, this is the first and, so far, only time it has been used for the show. As she explains later on, "Candice" is the true spelling of her first name, and the Kandyse spelling is "kind of a joke." However, she had it reversed, seeing as she did not want to confuse people. The results of this reversal can be seen on the region 1 DVD set for season 3 in the opening credits to this episode, where the spelling is corrected to "Kandyse McClure."



  • "Occupation/Precipice" was awarded the IGN.com Editor's choice award, following a review in which it received a rating of 10/10.
  • This episode was nominated for "Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series" in the 2007 Emmys.



  • The changed relationship between Kara Thrace and Saul Tigh is further shown here: Tigh is shown to be genuinely worried about Kara's status when he returns from detention.
  • During the episode, Conoy mentions that Kara Thrace has succeeded in killing Conoy five times (including the killing that was shown).
  • Conoy is obsessed with a future he has "seen" in which Thrace falls in love with him. He repeatedly tells Thrace that she only needs more time.
  • Number Three allows herself to be seen openly among the Colonials. Presumably the cover of infiltrator D'anna Biers was compromised with the return of Samuel Anders the previous year or the fact that the Cylons now rule over humanity allows her to openly acknowledge her true identity.
  • Although it was widely speculated that James "Jammer" Lyman may be a humanoid Cylon, because of his pessimistic attitude ("Litmus," "Flight of the Phoenix") and unlikely survival during the events of "Valley of Darkness," the events of this episode and comments by Ronald D. Moore seem to preclude the possibility.
    • In Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance,', a copy of Number Five refers to Lyman as a human.
    • In this episode, it is seen that Lyman has joined the New Caprica Police, an exclusively human organization.
    • While Lyman's survival of the suicide bombing may seem suspect to some viewers, Moore states that an unfilmed scene would show him waking up under the bodies, and having to move body parts out of the way as he extricated himself from the carnage ("Precipice," podcast).
  • Anastasia Dualla's commission as a lieutenant is peculiar. While battlefield commissions for outstanding NCOs are not uncommon, Dualla is more of a "desk jockey." Moreover, her commission came at a time of massive demobilization of the colonial military. In real-world militaries, reductions in force typically {?} result in many officers being forced to accept enlisted ranks as a condition of staying in service, rather than enlisted personnel being commissioned. There are at least three explanations. Admiral Adama could have commissioned her in order to ensure her silence about the details of the rigged election, which, despite his lack of involvement, he wished to leave forgotten and unexamined. Second, Adama knew of the seriousness of Dualla's relationship with Lee and made her an officer before they became public (TRS: "Unfinished Business"). A commissioned officer—particularly a commanding officer and the son of the supreme commander—openly and notoriously bedding a junior enlisted soldier would have been severely detrimental to discipline and morale, and not something to which Adama could have turned a blind eye as he had the the Tyrol-Valerii coupling. Third, the settlement of New Caprica and unexpected departure of the fleet remnants could easily have left a disproportionate shortage of qualified CIC and command staff officers.
  • Admiral Adama's relationship with Sharon has softened over the 16 months since the antagonism displayed in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II." Now they're shown having tea together and Sharon is comfortable enough to ask personal questions of Adama, and Adama feels Sharon is the only person he can talk to on Galactica. Perhaps related to this, although she is still incarcerated, Sharon's cell has been spruced up with a few creature comforts such as a couch.
  • Saul Tigh's incarceration included the removal of his right eye. Hereafter, he wears a bandage or an eyepatch over the missing eye.
  • Beginning with this episode, both Kara and Anders sport large wing-like tattoos on their arms.


  • Prior to the Cylon occupation, the population of New Caprica City was 39,192. Since that time, there have been at least 44 deaths and 1 birth:
  • It is later noted by Cassidy in Gaius Baltar's trial during "Crossroads, Part I" that 5,197 were killed during the Cylon occupation, her inference being that the figure of the number of deaths occurred on New Caprica. Thus the total number of people on New Caprica before the Battle of New Caprica and the accompanying exodus was 33,995.
  • Several New Capricans appear to have sores or lesions on their faces, including Ellen Tigh.
  • Near the end of the episode, as Felix Gaeta races to inform the resistance that Baltar won't be attending the graduation, a P.A. system can be heard advertising the New Caprica Medical Center, staffed by "a crack team of human and Cylon physicians." Among the crack team is Doctor Cottle, as later seen in "Exodus, Part I."
  • As noted above, the apartment Leoben keeps Thrace captive in is identical to the one she used to live in on Caprica. It is quite possible that the New Caprica complex was designed to resemble her old residence possibly to further Conoy's mind games with her by placing her in a familiar environment.
  • There doesn't seem to be any civilian government supervising the spacebound ships. There appears to be a state of martial law throughout the space-bound fleet, as Admiral William Adama is de facto leader of this fleet.
  • The Cylons have either built a resurrection facility on New Caprica or positioned a resurrection ship near enough to the planet for downloads to take place. However, no resurrection ship is seen in orbit when the basestars are shown; "Downloaded" strongly implied that at least one ground-based resurrection facility was set up on Caprica, so it's possible one was set up on New Caprica. However:
Spoiler follows, highlight to read.
After dying on New Caprica in Exodus, Part II, Ellen Tigh downloads into a new body aboard a resurrection ship. Ship resurrection may be necessary for members of the Final Five to keep their identities protected from humanoid Cylons other than Cavil. See Ellen Tigh Resurrection.
  • Although the human population lives in tents or on the grounded ships like Colonial One, the Cylons have erected several buildings including a detention center, a military base-like facility, and what appears to be a residential building (or at least a building with an apartment in it, where Kara Thrace is kept). Aerial views of New Caprica City show several other buildings, but their function is unclear.
  • Only two basestars are seen on screen, yet five are reported back to the fleet. It is likely that they are behind the planet or in another part of the nebula.
  • Despite Cavil's sarcastic comments about bringing the love of God of humanity, there is no evidence of the Cylons trying to convert humans to their monotheistic religion.


Answered Questions

Unanswered Questions

  • When did Number Three reveal her Cylon nature?
  • Who is Pegasus's CAG?
  • Are the Cylons continuing to pursue the fleet? If not, why not?
  • What events lead to Sharon "Athena" Agathon's change in behavior over time? How have she and William Adama been able to develop a friendly relationship?
  • How did the New Capricans obtain steak?
  • How did Anders manage to recover from his pneumonia without the medical supplies Thrace was seeking in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II"?

Official Statements

Noteworthy Dialogue

First Cavil: Let's review why we're here, shall we? We're supposed to bring the word of "God" to the people, right?
Second Cavil: To save humanity from damnation by bringing the love of "God" to these poor benighted people.
Caprica-Six: We're here because the majority of the Cylon felt the slaughter of mankind had been a mistake.
Boomer: We're here to find a new way to live in peace, as God wants us to live!
Second Cavil: And it's been a fun ride, so far. But I want to clarify our objectives. If we're bringing the word of "God," then it follows we should employ any means necessary to do so, any means.
First Cavil: Yes. Fear is a key article of faith, as I understand it. So, perhaps it's time to instill a little more fear into the people's hearts and minds. Let's, uh, let's execute Baltar.
Gaius Baltar: What, what?
Caprica-Six: That's not gonna happen.
Cavil: Just because he's your favorite toy shouldn't be allowed to interfere with the larger issues here.
Gaius Baltar: I think I have cooperated—
Caprica-Six: Gaius is with me. Anyone who wants to challenge that will have to deal with me.
First Number Five: No, it doesn't matter. If we'd killed him in the beginning, it might have worked.
Second Five: But now most humans think of him as a traitor and would actually cheer his death.
First Cavil: Fine, fine. We don't kill Baltar. We round up the leaders of the insurgency and we execute them, publicly. We round up, at random, groups off the street and we execute them, publicly.
Second Cavil: Send a message that the gloves are coming off. The insurgency stops now, or else we'll start reducing the human population to a . . . more manageable size, I don't know, say . . . less than a thousand.
Boomer: We need to stop being butchers!
Caprica-Six: The entire point of coming here was to start a new way of life, to push past the conflict that separated us from humans for so long.
Cavil: And what has it gotten us? It's not like they welcomed us with, with. . . . Oh, frak it, never mind. You're all living in a fantasy world. Consider the irony in that! (laughing) Delusional machines! What's the universe gonna come up with next?
  • After hearing that contact had been established with New Caprica:
William Adama: It's gonna be okay. It's really gonna be okay.

Guest Stars