The Tombs of Kobol

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The Tombs of Kobol
The Tombs of Kobol
A book of the Berkley Books line
Book No. 3
Author(s) Robert Thurston
Adaptation of Lost Planet of the Gods, Parts I and II
No. of Pages 224 (reprint)
215 (1st edition)
Published September 1979
ISBN 0425049922
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The Tombs of Kobol is a novelization of the "Lost Planet of the Gods" episodes from the Original Series.

Originally published in September 1979, months after the Original Series' cancellation, the book was one of a few reprinted on January 28, 2003 by the now-defunct iBooks, Inc.


Much of the book follows relatively closely to the "Lost Planet of the Gods" episodes, with some differences that are noted below.


Baltar is taken away from the Imperious Leader's chambers and is about to be beheaded by a Centurion with an ax when Lucifer saves him. He has the Centurion report to the Imperious Leader that Baltar was executed and jettisoned in a garbage chute.

Lucifer explains that he is not a Cylon, but rather an ambulatory cybernetic sentience who has a soul, having created it himself, and can create machines. Believing that Baltar would be helpful in destroying the human fleet, Lucifer places Baltar in an extreme physical and mental regimen. Later, Lucifer briefs the Imperious Leader on his plan for Baltar to be useful in capturing the Fleet. The Imperious Leader agrees to this plan, pardoning Baltar from his execution, and dispatching a baseship entirely under his command. At Baltar's request, Lucifer is reprogrammed to be subservient to him, much to Lucifer's chagrin. In addition, Baltar requests other luxurious amenities, including a pedestal and throne in his Command Chamber.[1]

Chapter One

After Serina's death on Kobol, Apollo sits in their darkened quarters with Serina's portable recorder in his lap. He rummages through the quarters, finding a handful of recording crystals. He begins to play them. The first crystal he plays is of a conversation between Serina and Cassiopeia, discussing Serina's past as a premier reporter on her native homeworld of Caprica and her engagement to Apollo.

At Cassiopeia's urging, she tells the story of how Apollo was essentially forced by Adama and others to announce his desire to marry her over a dinner. She tells the story up to the point where Athena smiles at Starbuck, resulting in Starbuck's hasty departure from the dinner. The recording ends when a battle alert is issued.

Apollo is left to decide whether or not to play the other crystals.[2]

Chapter Two

Lieutenants Boomer and Jolly are on patrol when they happen upon a bluish asteroid with an atmosphere. Before coming upon it, Boomer is thinking of a way to cut loose, fearing that he may soon suffer from battle fatigue.

The Vipers land upon the asteroid, where Boomer and Jolly don breather gear. Boomer has an initial fear of contamination from unknown viruses—noting earlier that the Vipers, were they in better condition, would be able to ferret every microbe and drifting virus.

The discover that the asteroid is extremely rocky, and the rocks are covered with a viscous substance forcing them to take off their gloves, in order to successfully climb the terrain. They climb the terrain to a ridge, where Boomer spots a Cylon outpost. They determine that the base is active, despite Jolly's comments that they've run across abandoned Cylon outposts in their travels, and make way to return to their Vipers in order to warn the Fleet.

Aboard the basestar, Lucifer rues the order given from the Imperious Leader to reprogram himself to be subservient to Baltar. Lucifer makes the new programming an overlay that he could cancel out at any time, should he feel the need to countermand orders and decisions he feels are short-sighted or stupid.[3]


  • There are several scenes in which a grieving Apollo is listening to some recordings that Serina made before she died.
  • Boxey is noted as being orphaned from both biological parents, with Serina and Apollo being his adoptive parents. In the series, Serina is Boxey's biological mother.
  • Before the Cylon attack, pilots near experiencing combat fatigue would be given furlough to a leisure resort.[4]
  • Unlike his canonical originator, Lucifer is not a Cylon, but an "ambulatory cybernetic sentience" created by the Cylons. Essentially, Lucifer is a computer whose motion is not bipedaled but based on rolling via ball bearings. The on-screen depiction has Lucifer walking via bipedaled locomotion.
  • With Lucifer, Robert Thurston manages to take what was a minor, one-dimensional character in the TV series and turn him into an interesting, complex being. Lucifer shines in almost every Berkely novel he appears in. In many ways Lucifer becomes the most interesting character in the BG universe (at least in the Berkley version). Lucifer's scenes are among the most enjoyable parts of any of the Berkley novels.
  • In the theatrical version of the pilot, Baltar is beheaded by a sword in front of the Imperious Leader. In the televised version, Baltar is spared for "public execution," suggesting that he was returned to Cylon.
  • Cylon machines have a deeply-programmed loyalty to the Cylon Empire, thus making betrayal impossible. For comparison, the Centurions of the Re-imagined Series were also programmed by the humanoid Cylons to be devoutly loyal in order to prevent an uprising.
  • Viper in prime condition are capable of identifying viruses and other microbes.[5] Vipers in the series have no such ability, despite being able to analyze a ship's lifeform readings as well as technical attributes of the scanned ship.
  • Lucifer saves Baltar from being executed. Lucifer is not considered to be a Cylon because he is a machine, and the Cylons in the novel are organic underneath their armor. Lucifer houses a soul inside his left shoulder which he created. He is constantly able to reprogram and improve himself. Lucifer hides Baltar away for awhile and forces him to exercise and get into shape. Baltar finds the regimen to be torture. When Imperious Leader gives Baltar a base star to command, he orders Lucifer to be programmed to obey Baltar no matter what. Lucifer is upset about this and quickly regrets saving Baltar's life.
  • All Cylons, including Lucifer, have a secret name that they never reveal.
  • When humans are executed, the Cylons place their heads in the chopping block face-up, not face-down.
  • Apollo proposes to Serina at the dinner after being pushed by the others. In the episode, Apollo and Serina had already made the decision to wed.
  • Boomer and Jolly never bother to wear gloves on the asteroid, and the result is that their hands get wet. As it turns out, even with the gloves they still would have caught the disease.
  • It is revealed that the Sentries (Council security guards) did not exist before the Holocaust; the new council created them. The Sentries consist of men who don't qualify to be Colonial warriors, and the jealousy they feel helps explain why they always cause so much trouble for the warriors.
  • Serina reveals that she traveled throughout the Colonies as a journalist and was offered numerous awards. She turned them all down, apparently so she would not feel obligated to be biased towards the people who awarded her.
  • Serina has many bad dreams about being killed by a Cylon ever since starting her cadet training, but she never tells Apollo.
  • Adama also tries to talk Serina out of being a cadet, but she refuses.
  • Cassiopea's career as a socialiator ended because the fleet outlawed most luxury occupations because there were so many other jobs needed to survive in a rag-tag fleet. It is revealed that some of the songs a socialator sang were composed to deal with specific emotional problems. At one point, Cassiopea sings to Starbuck a song called "The Death That Is No Death, The Life That Is No Life" shortly after the pilots fall ill.
  • One of the female cadets named Gemi has a huge crush on Starbuck. She does everything she can to get his attention, but he never really notices her. Gemi is killed in the space battle above Kobol.
  • During the viper simulation training, instead of Athena shooting down Starbuck, Brie shoots Dietra.
  • The cadets have a slight advantage over the Cylons at first because they do not fly in typical flight patterns which throws the Cylons off.
  • Kobol was a world of peace. According to the Book of the Word, power struggles over land and wealth were conducted without treachery or combat.
  • Lucifer enjoys Starbuck's company on the Cylon basestar, preferring him greatly over Baltar. Starbuck teaches Lucifer how to play pyramid and beats him. Lucifer is baffled by the concept of "luck" as Starbuck describes it.
  • Starbuck tells Lucifer that he can't act on calculation, that most of his heroic feats were performed on impulse. Later, this inspires Lucifer to act on impulse and launch the Cylon attack despite Baltar's orders.
  • Serina carries a recorder with her into the tomb which breaks right after Baltar reveals himself.
  • Athena saves Starbuck from a pinwheel attack in the battle above Kobol.
  • The laser battle in which Serina is killed involves a lot more than two Cylons. Lucifer had arrived on the surface and brought a number of Cylons with him.
  • Lucifer rescues Baltar from the tomb. He has incredible strength as he is able to single-handedly lift the pillar off of Baltar. He conducts a quick "med-scan" which reveals Baltar has a couple of broken bones. Lucifer assures Baltar he can mend them very quickly back on the basestar.



  • The portions of the story where Serina is involved are told through recordings, she made before her death on Kobol. Her efforts to record the flight of the Colonies draws upon her pre-attack profession as a reporter. However, the recordings are also the only tangible remnants of Serina that are left for Apollo, given that Boxey is not her biological son.
  • In investigating the asteroid, Boomer and Jolly take bio-hazard precautions, donning breathing gear and gloves. Further, upon returning to Galactica, both pilots go through decontamination procedures, which fail to detect the "virus". For comparison, the episode shows that neither Boomer nor Jolly make any effort to protect themselves from contamination. Further, Boomer bypasses decontamination procedures in order to make it to Apollo's bachelor party.


  • The question surround Baltar's escape from the Tomb of the Ninth Lord of Kobol is explained. He is rescued by Lucifer, who is oddly drawn to save Baltar, despite having overridden his programmed subservience.
  • Cylons have a society surrounding the number of brains a Cylon has. Cylons with a second or third brain tend to be more "reptilian" than the one-brained variety; it is unknown what "reptilian" attributes are in a Cylon, however. It is inferred that the Imperious Leader has three brains, whereas Centurions mostly have one brain, with the ability for a second to be added. This concept is never explored in the actual series, and is clearly a creative liberty taken by Robert Thurston.
  • Cylons appear to have many social customs, despite being a robotic society. One such custom is the use of an "official" name and a "secret" name. The official name is apparently used when identifying other Cylons in front of non-Cylons, while the secret name is used between Cylons. Lucifer, despite not being a Cylon, is extended this custom.
  • Despite Lucifer's ability to circumvent the subservience to Baltar program that the Imperious Leader had programmed into him, Lucifer was yet oddly drawn to save Baltar's life. This may be attributed to the fact that leaving him to die on Kobol would violate his loyalty to the Cylons themselves, for the Imperious Leader gave Baltar a field commission in the Cylon Empire.
  • Furthermore, Lucifer is probably not in good standing with the Imperious Leader, given the fact that Lucifer did suborn disobedience in a Centurion and interceded on Baltar's behalf. Were Baltar to die in his mission to destroy the fugitive Fleet, Lucifer would likely be killed or worse, and thus rescuing Baltar was an act of ensuring his own survival.


  • Does the Imperious Leader know of Lucifer's independence of thought?
  • Are there other Cylon constructs out there that are like Lucifer?
  • Why are there no male shuttle pilots?
  • Who were Boxey's biological parents?
  • Given the Cylons desire for total universal order, why have the Cylons abandoned outposts?

Alternate covers


  1. Thurston, Robert (September 1979). Battlestar Galactica 3: The Tombs of Kobol. Berkley Books, p. 1-12.
  2. Ibid., 13-21.
  3. Ibid., 22-27.
  4. Ibid., 23.
  5. Ibid., 23-4.