The Memory Machine

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The Memory Machine
The Memory Machine
An issue of the Marvel Comics series.
Issue No. 6
Writer(s) Roger McKenzie
Illustrator(s) {{{illustrator}}}
Penciller(s) Richard F. Buckler
Inker(s) Klaus Janson
Colorist(s) Carl Gafford
Letterer(s) Jim Novak
Editor(s) Allen Milgrom and Jim Shooter
Collection Design {{{designer}}}
Cover Artist(s) Richard F. Buckler and Klaus Janson
Adaptation of
Published August 1979
Collected in The Memory Machine
Reprinted as
Pages {{{pages}}}
ISBN [[Special:Booksources/|]]
Population 0 Survivors
Special {{{special}}}
Previous Next
A Death in the Family The Memory Machine All Things Past and Present
Available at BOOKSAMILLION.COM - Purchase
Available at – [[amazon:{{{amazon}}}|Purchase]]
Available at
Available at Things From Another World - Purchase

After leaving Kobol, Adama enters the "memory machine" in an attempt to recall the location of Earth from the Tomb of the Ninth Lord of Kobol. In the meantime, Sire Uri plots to take over the Council of Twelve in Adama's absence.


  • Serina, having been killed hours before, is laid to rest as her coffin is shot towards Kobol's blood-red sun. During the funeral service, Adama is reminded of how much Serina reminds him of his own wife, Ilya. At the end of the ceremony, Colonel Tigh tells Adama that they should leave, as the Cylons undoubtedly know where they are. Adama asks Tigh to give his grieving son a few more moments to mourn before doing so. Boxey tells Muffey that they need to be strong during this time, as Warriors don't cry—Apollo silently cries.
  • The Viper honor guard returns to Galactica. After landing, a moody, depressed Starbuck tries to leave the landing bay, but is intercepted by Athena who asks what's wrong. Starbuck states that he is responsible for Serina's death, and Starbuck throws down his Warrior pip, declaring that a warrior should save lives as he walks off.
  • On Kobol, Lucifer and a group of Centurions land near the Tomb of the Ninth Lord. As a Centurion brings Lucifer to Baltar—still buried under rubble—Lucifer notes that he finds humans' glorification of death to be depressing. Baltar pleads with Lucifer to help him, declaring that he can help them find the humans; Lucifer sinisterly agrees.
  • On Galactica, Athena visits Apollo, who declares that he wants to be alone. Persistent to the last, Athena enters Apollo's quarters, finding Apollo in deep mourning while looking at a 3D portrait of Serina in a holographic cube. Athena informs him that Starbuck has left Blue Squadron over Serina's death. Apollo doesn't seem to care, which results in a softly but stern rebuke from Athena, while insinuating that he should look to the future instead of the past. She leaves.
  • Later, Apollo tracks Starbuck down to talk him out of the decision. After appealing to Starbuck's sense of honor, Apollo hands Stabuck his Warrior's pip during their handshake. Apollo enters the Council of Twelve meeting, where Adama—president of the Quorum—begins the meeting. Starbuck tries to join the meeting, but encounters a blue-haired lady who introduces herself as Medea. She excites Starbuck, and he begins his flirtations, offering to bring her to a quiet spot in a quaint little pilot's lounge. Medea notes that "the movement" could use a man like him... and she as well. During their walk, Boxey and Muffit almost run Starbuck down in a mad rush to find Apollo. Starbuck tells him Apollo's busy, and gives him an ironic piece of advice: never mix business with pleasure.
  • In the conference chambers, Adama is making his case for the continued journey to Earth. Sire Uri proposes that the shower craft be left behind, which would result in the abandonment of many survivors. Adama objects to this, and introduces Master Technician Shadrack, who proposes that with enough competent people, they can have every ship equipped with light-speed capabilities in two weeks. Uri is incredulous, saying that Adama is willing to sacrifice all their lives just to save a "few meaningless lives," and begins noting Adama's various so-called mistakes, including Carillon and the pursuit of Earth. Adama says that he has seen proof of Earth's existence, and that such proof remains only in his mind. Uri issues his ultimatum: deliver this proof, or he will be forced to ask for Adama's resignation as leader of the Fleet.
  • In the pilot's lounge, Starbuck tries to follow up on Medea's previous-mentioned "movement". She replies that she cannot talk about it, but propositions him to be her personal escort during Uri's celebration aboard the Rising Star, which will be held in two days. Before Starbuck could reply, Uri arrives and whisks Medea away. Starbuck notes his disbelief over how Medea sees anything in a "worm like Uri" to two other pilots, including Apollo. The female pilot replies that she can't believe that Starbuck sees anything in Medea; Apollo stops the discussion, noting they have other problems.
  • In the memory inducer room, Apollo and Athena object to their father's desire to use the device; Adama, who is already suited up, believes it to be their only hope, as it will allow him to remember every detail of the inscription. However, the device has its element of danger, and Tigh urges him to consider where Adama's children have failed to do so. Adama notes they don't have time for him to reconsider, and he enters the device, which is under the administrations of Doctor Spang. Soon, Adama is relieving experiences from his past, including his memories of the ruins of his home on Caprica.
  • Athena notes that her father is in pain, and asks Tigh to get stop the device; Spang strongly objects, as removing him from the device before he finds the memory he's looking for could shatter Adama's mind entirely. Spang also adds that Adama is the only one who can ensure his safe removal from the device, and warns that some people prefer to live in their memories than in reality: if this occurs, Adama may never come back.
  • Two days later, Shadrack and his crew are working on the Fleet's ships. Lead by Boomer, Blue Squadron is on patrol and detects that two of the Fleet's ships are missing. When Tigh gets word of this, he is irate; he tries to reach the Council, only to find that most of the members are aboard Rising Star. Tigh summarily orders Athena, Boomer, and Apollo to board Rising Star, as he wants to know what Uri is up to with the other Council members.
  • Despite the attempt of Rising Star's crew to stop the Warriors from landing, they manage to get on board; Boomer holds the deck crew at gunpoint, allowing Athena and Apollo to land.
  • Already on the Star, the Warriors come across Starbuck, who is part of the party. When discovering the Uri has ducked out of his own party, Apollo is further shocked to discover that Boxey and Muffit II are aboard as well; Boxey says that "Uncle Starbuck" gave him permission to be on the ship, and reveals that Uri and his cohorts took an elevator—and were talking about Adama.
  • The Warriors reach a bank of elevators guarded by Uri's men, but they give up with little fight; upon reaching the third level of the ship via the elevators, the Warriors engage in a running shootout with Uri's guards, as they barge into the proceedings.
  • Responding to Apollo's accusations of treachery, Uri replies that the meeting is duly convened, and expresses his wish that Adama was present to "guide us through these trying times". He notes that he is well aware of the two missing ships, and despite Athena's accusation that he was behind it, he pledges to do everything in his power to locate the missing ships in his new role as president of the Council of Twelve.


  • The character of Sire Uri continues to be a thorn in Adama's side. In this series, Uri's home ship is the Rising Star. As with his analogue from "Saga of a Star World," this Uri schemes to overthrow Adama's command of the Fleet, so that he may assume the mantle as Fleet commander. He attempts to make Adama appear incompetent, disagreeing with Adama's decision to seek out the mythical planet named Earth. He points out Adama's follies of Carillon, while glossing over his own previous words and statements about abandoning their weapons after making planetfall.
  • The tomb's inscriptions describing the journey to Earth are followed up here; they are otherwise abandoned in the series' canon, despite the fact that the Colonials have the technology to recall repressed or otherwise vague memories of past experiences.
  • Unlike the show, Athena is intricately involved with the events of the storyline, and her Viper pilot abilities are not abandoned. Her role here is on level with Boomer's or Starbuck's involvement with the story.
  • This unfortunately is the last true appearance of Baltar in the series. What becomes of him is never established in the remainder of the comics series.


  • The conversion of sub-light craft to faster-than-light craft is undertaken by Master Technician Shadrack, therefore addressing the issue of practical space travel.
  • The so-called "memory machine" is similar to psycho-electron recall in terms of overall function.

Marvel Continuity

The end of issue #5 is the place where Marvel continuity breaks with the series. Instead of heading out of the void at the end of the episode, followed by Serina's deathbed sequence on the Galactica, issue #5 ends with Serina dying on the surface of Kobol. While this at first appears to be poetic shorthand, in issue #6 we open with the Galactica heading deeper into the void - a void which does not end just beyond Kobol but that continues on for a much greater distance. In fact, the storyline continues with the fleet continuing its journey through the void until issue #14.

Another departure involves Adama's attempt to recollect the information about the location of Earth that he saw inscribed on a wall just before Cylons bombed Kobol. In order to try and remember this information, Adama dons a spacesuit and enters a clear globe filled with gas called the "Memory Machine" which is supposed to help one revive memories. Adama remains inside the machine until issue #12.

All issues of the Marvel comics from this issue and onward are not based on any episodes of the series.


  • How involved is Medea in Uri's plots? (Answer)
  • Is Uri involved with the ships' disappearances? (Answer)
  • Will Adama be able to survive the memory inducer? If so, will he be successful in remembering what is said in the inscriptions?
  • Why did Uri's guards shoot at the Warriors? How will Uri be able to explain his crew's resistant behavior towards the Warriors?
  • What were the Council's reasons for electing Uri, and not another member of the Council, instead?
  • Now that Uri is president, will he assume command of Galactica? (Answer)
  • What are Lucifer's plans for Baltar?