The Hand of God (RDM)

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The Hand of God
"The Hand of God"
An episode of the Re-imagined Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 10
Writer(s) David Weddle
Bradley Thompson
Story by
Director Jeff Woolnough
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 110
Nielsen Rating 2.2
US airdate USA 2005-03-11
CAN airdate CAN 2005-03-19
UK airdate UK 2005-01-03
DVD release 20 September 2005 US
28 March 2005 UK
Population 47,898 survivors (Population decline. 7)
Additional Info
Episode Chronology
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Tigh Me Up,
Tigh Me Down
The Hand of God Colonial Day
Related Information
Official Summary
R&D SkitView
Podcast TranscriptView
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
Related Media
Photo Gallery @ BW Media
Promotional Materials
Online Purchasing
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iTunes: USA | Canada | UK

With the Fleet short of fuel, Galactica launches a daring attack on a Cylon base.


  • The Fleet is almost out of fuel, and Galactica has Raptors out scouting nearby star systems to find rare tylium ore — if they don't, the fleet can make two more jumps at best.
  • Aboard one of the Raptors, Boomer and Alex "Crashdown" Quartararo find an asteroid filled with years' worth of tylium ore — unfortunately, the Cylons found it first and have built a refinery base on it.
  • Faced with a choice between hoping to locate tylium elsewhere using their remaining supply of fuel, or taking the asteroid from the Cylons, Adama opts for the latter.
  • On Colonial One, Laura Roslin reveals she is being affected by taking Chamalla extract to Elosha, having prescient visions – her dreams about Leoben Conoy which occurred immediately before he was found on the Gemenon Traveler, and her hallucination about snakes.
  • On hearing about the snakes, Elosha reveals that it matches a prophecy in an ancient text written by Pythia 3,600 years ago concerning the exodus of humankind, which foretells that a dying Leader will lead the remnants of humanity to the promised land of Earth.
  • Colonel Tigh and Apollo draw up an initial plan to take the asteroid, but Commander Adama decides to turn to Starbuck to come up with an unconventional idea to accomplish the mission, as she has a penchant for thinking "outside the box," and as machines the Cylons tend to predict more logical plans.
  • Plans are drawn up for the attack on the Cylon base on the asteroid, and Gaius Baltar becomes involved in preparations when Starbuck and Tigh show him recon photos of the refinery. They tell him that they cannot simply nuke the base, as the radiation would render the tylium inert. Baltar suggests that the best plan is to destroy the containers holding the volatile unrefined tylium precursor, which leads Tigh and Starbuck to ask him to identify the containers. Since he has no idea which are the correct structures, in his mind, Baltar asks his virtual Number Six for help, but she tells him it is in God's hands and He will "tell" Baltar where to point. Baltar randomly picks an object in the base (though he doesn't tell the others that). Baltar is terrified, telling Six he didn't hear God's voice, but she reassures him that "God doesn't always speak in words".
  • Apollo is concerned that everyone thinks Starbuck is a better pilot than he is and would be better leading the mission. Starbuck cannot fly in the attack, because in the weight room Commander Adama demonstrates that her knee has not yet fully recovered from its injury. On the hangar deck, Commander Adama encourages Apollo, telling him he thinks Apollo really can pull off this mission, because he is his son.
  • The attack is launched, and the battle commences: civilian mining ships jump in on one side of the Cylon base pretending to be on a survey mission, drawing off some Raiders from the base, while Galactica jumps in on the other side and launches a squadron of Vipers against it, which are confronted by the base's reserve Raiders. The Raiders sent against the mining ships peel off and advance with the others on Galactica. Everything seems to be going wrong, but then Adama reveals that this was a feint, apparently only he and those directly involved in implementing the plan aware of the real plan.
  • A second squadron of Vipers, led by Apollo, launches from inside of the mining ships. While appearing to be merely bait, and dismissed as such by the Cylons, the ships are the real thrust of the attack. With the raiders lured out of position by Galactica, Apollo and his wing have a clear flight to the base.
  • Once the Vipers reach the moon, however, things are far from easy: the Cylon base has a formidable anti-air defense system, and the Vipers' missile attack fails as the Cylons are able to jam the missiles' tracking systems.
  • In a move of reckless improvisation worthy of Starbuck, Apollo avoids the Cylon defense grid by flying through its tylium mining tunnels to the center of the base, then dropping a pair of explosive charges at the supposed tylium-precursor container.
  • Much to Baltar's surprise, his wild guess at which container held the volatile tylium-precursor was correct: as Apollo flies away, the entire base explodes with the force of a 3-kiloton nuclear warhead.
  • With their base destroyed, the Cylon Raiders go into a panic and are easy prey for Galactica's Vipers to mop up. All planes return to Galactica in a moment of celebration. Civilian mining ships will be able to get enough tylium fuel from the asteroid to last the Fleet several years.
  • In Baltar's dream world, he expresses his astonishment to Number Six: Baltar "realizes" that the only "logical" explanation is that God truly did guide his hand to the right point on the Cylon base. The formerly atheist Baltar now accepts the possibility that he might truly be an instrument of God. . . .
Adama and staff plan the attack.

On Caprica

  • Helo and Valerii are hiding out on a farm on their way to Delphi.
  • When Helo offers to prepare a meal, Valerii is uncharacteristically sick, leading them to try and settle down for some sleep.
  • They are interrupted by the arrival of a troop of Cylon Centurions - led by another copy of Number Six.
  • Forcing a stunned Helo into action — he cannot believe the woman he saw Sharon kill is coming after them — Sharon forces him back on the run.


  • Nine days have passed since the events of "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down".
  • The Celtic victory music played at the end of the episode after the Cylon base is destroyed is titled "Wander My Friends," written and composed by Bear McCreary. The lyrics and translation for the song given in the liner notes for the Season 1 soundtrack are reposted on this page, with permission.
  • Tylium ore is used to power FTL systems, but probably not through any fissionable reaction.
  • Tylium has an energy density of about 5e14 J/kg, comparable to that of nuclear fusion.
  • Cylon technology is clearly a Colonial off-shoot, as one would expect: from the use of tylium down to the shape of doorways.
  • William Adama's father was Joseph Adama.
  • Sharon Valerii on Caprica may be pregnant.
  • Lt. Gaeta mentions in passing to Apollo that the Colonials actually know where the Cylon homeworld is, or at least its rough location ("they'd build a refinery this far from their homeworld?" "Why not? They need fuel out here just as much as we do").
  • There is an ancient text some 3,600 years old foretelling humanity’s flight – and apparently, Roslin’s leadership.
  • Mark II Vipers can carry both missiles and munitions pods (bombs).
  • The Mark VII Vipers all appear to be out of commission — even Apollo is now regularly flying a Mk II.
  • Based on the conversation between Commander Adama and Starbuck in the gym, it appears that Mark II Viper thruster pedals use a mechanical flight control system rather than a "fly-by-wire" linkage. This fits the concept of minimizing the use of computers mentioned in the Miniseries. The same conversation also establishes that a Viper can accelerate at "six, seven G's,"
  • The religious overtones to the human / Cylon struggle are becoming more pronounced, with a now-promised confrontation due at the "home of the Gods".
  • The Fleet has a tylium refinery ship among its number.
  • With the capture of the tylium mining facilities on the asteroid, the Colonials should be able to gather enough tylium to keep them going for about 2 years – assuming they can shift that much tylium to their refinery ship before the Cylons return.
  • A railway line can be seen below the balcony of Baltar's Caprica house at the end of the episode. Single track, mounted on apparently wooden (as opposed to concrete sleepers), on a bed of gravel, without any form of electrification (third rail or overhead wires).
  • The title of this episode was also that of the 21st episode of the original series. Aside from both Adamas launching an offensive strike against Cylon forces, there is little comparison between the two episodes. However this is a coincidence; the writers weren't aware of this Original Series episode.
  • Ronald D. Moore says in his podcast that Lee Adama's flight through the tunnel is an homage to Star Wars.


  • The introduction of the prophecy of Pythia further links the series' mythology to the ancient Greece of our own planet. In Greek mythology, the Pythia was the priestess at Apollo's oracle in Delphi. The name itself comes from Python, the dragon slain by Apollo. The Pythia operated as a vehicle for Apollo's will to be known to those on earth. A believer would make a sacrifice and present a question to a priest. The priest would then present the question to the Pythia. The Pythia sat on a bronze tripod in the adytum, or inner chamber of Apollo's temple. In this sacred chamber the spirit of Apollo overcame the Pythia and inspired the prophecy.
    • Pythia in ancient Greece was the Oracle of Delphi – and on Caprica, Helo and Sharon are making for the religious center of Delphi.
  • Following his seeking God’s forgiveness (TRS: "33") and his repentance of his sins (TRS: "Six Degrees of Separation"), Baltar finally becomes God’s "instrument". He literally becomes the hand of God referenced in the episode title: he is the one that points out the target that will destroy the Cylon base.
  • Over the last few weeks, Baltar has moved through the five emotional states that tend to guide human reactions to a new "truth" we’d rather not face:
    • Denial (dismissing the "disappearance" of the Olympic Carrier after the call from Dr. Amarak as anything more than a serendipitous event — 33)
    • Anger (his outright hostility towards Six as she continues to "bore" him with talk of God — Six Degrees of Separation)
    • Bargaining (praying to God for his safety in return for his obedience — Six Degrees of Separation)
    • Depression (leaving the Situation Room without having "heard" God’s voice and facing up to the fact that he had to – again — lie) during this episode
    • Acceptance (his messianic response to Six’s coaxing) at the end of this episode.
  • Did the Cylons allow the Colonials to find an asteroid filled with fuel?
    • Executive producer Ron Moore has stated numerous times that the Cylons are not letting the Fleet escape, but are actively trying to destroy it.
  • Why does Commander Adama order the fighters to pursue the fleeing Cylon Raiders, instead of securing the area? One possibility for attacking the remaining fighters to prevent them from getting reinforcements from a distant basestar. (Although Adama will not have discovered this until later episodes, Raiders have the ability to make a jump much farther than any Colonial vessel.)
    • Adama may have been maximising the spike in morale after a successful military operation by letting the pilots finish what they started with limited risk (from attack by an actively retreating enemy force).
  • Are the Colonials able to build ships, such as Vipers, from scratch? Or can they take destroyed hulks and rebuild off them? (Answer: Vipers are frequently salvaged, but only to a point. Yes, they can build from scratch, although the result may not be a Viper. However, Pegasus is able to build Vipers from scratch, when she has the raw materials (metal ore, etc.) to do so (TRS: "Scar").)


Answered Questions

For answers to the questions in this section, click here.
  • How many Vipers does Galactica actually have? Do they have a contingency plan should the majority of the Vipers be destroyed?
  • How can a 3,600 year old text foretell the exodus of humanity, and the leadership of Laura Roslin?
  • If Gaius Baltar read the Sacred Scrolls in "... the 6th grade," why, in spite of being the former Secretary of Education, doesn't President Roslin know who Pythia is?
  • Is Baltar truly an instrument of "God?"

Unanswered Questions

  • Does someone have time on their hands to build miniatures of the new Cylon Raiders for the Situation Room?
  • Did the 240 FTL jumps the Fleet executed in "33" contribute to the fuel shortage?

Official Statements

  • Katee Sackhoff discusses her dislike for Viper scenes, and why she wanted the writers to "break [her] knee again, please":
I despise [the Viper cockpit scenes]. It is very uncomfortable in that tight space. All of a sudden, you’re claustrophobic, you’re hot and sweaty, and then you’re cold, you have to pee, you need water, but you can’t drink it because you’ll have to pee again. . . . You have these rubber space suits and you get stuck to the seat. Gross! Then there’s wind in your face and you are falling asleep because it is so hot. You are trying to memorise all this dialogue – 50 pages – all this technical mumbo jumbo. You’re like, ‘Break my knee again, please.’ That was the best thing that happened to me in season one.[1]

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Lee Adama sits with a battered Viper before the mission. He is joined by his father who, after a short conversation, hands him a lighter:
William Adama: It belonged to your grandfather. My mother bought it for him when he was in law school. See the engraving on it?
Lee Adama: [Reading the name "Joseph Adama".] Yes, I . . . can barely make it out. . . .
Adama: He was a better father than I was. Dad used to carry that into court cases. He claimed he never lost unless he left it behind.
Lee: So you’re worried too.
Adama: About what?
Lee: Sometimes it feels like the whole ship thinks . . . Starbuck . . . would do better.
Adama: I don’t.
Lee: How can you be so sure?
Adama: Because you’re my son.
  • Commander Adama asks Kara Thrace to assist with developing a plan to attack the refinery:
William Adama: Captain Adama and Colonel Tigh are working on the plan now and I need some serious "out-of-the-box" thinking.
Kara Thrace: "Out-of-the-box" is where I live.
  • During the briefing with Saul Tigh, Kara Thrace, Laura Roslin and both Adamas:
William Adama: Sometimes, you have to roll the hard six.

Guest stars


  1. Cullen, Ian M., "Sackhoff Admits To Hating The Viper Scenes", SciFi Pulse, 30 January 2007. Retrieved on 9 February 2007.