War of the Gods, Part I

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War of the Gods, Part I
"War of the Gods, Part I"
An episode of the Original Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 13
Writer(s) Glen A. Larson
Story by
Director Daniel Haller
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 50921
Nielsen Rating
US airdate USA 1979-01-14
CAN airdate CAN {{{CAN airdate}}}
UK airdate UK
DVD release 2004-12-28
Population survivors
Additional Info
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
Fire in Space War of the Gods, Part I War of the Gods, Part II
[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
Related Media
Photo Gallery @ BW Media
Promotional Materials
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iTunes: [{{{itunes}}} USA]

As Viper pilots go missing, Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba come across a lone, enigmatic survivor. Much to their amazement, he claims that he can help them in their quest.


  • A recon patrol, lead by Bojay, scouts for possible threats to the Fleet. They subsequently encounter odd balls of light, which herald a larger ship made from light that overtakes the patrol and seems to incapacitate them.
  • Meanwhile, the unsuspecting survivors of the Fleet watch the game of Triad played by Boomer, Starbuck, Apollo and a fourth individual.
  • After the game, Boomer comments that he would like to beat Starbuck and Apollo just once. As they are ready to go shower and get some drinks, Colonel Tigh informs them that there is an emergency meeting in the War Room.
  • Adama tells Sheba, Apollo and Starbuck that Bojay's patrol went missing, and that a seismic event occurred just around the time they disappeared. Despite Apollo's misgivings on having Sheba on the mission—as she is still dealing with the loss of her father, Cain, and Pegasus—they leave to investigate.
  • Tigh tells Adama that he doesn't like the implications of the seismic report; the activity is too sudden for a core tremor and he postulates that it could be the result of four Vipers impacting simultaneously—or exploding while all four were on the ground.
TV Guide ad for War of the Gods.
  • Apollo and his team come across a habitable red planet. Sheba questions why the planet is lifeless. Apollo speculates that it is possible no one from the Colonies made it out "this far."
  • As they begin landing, Sheba comments that the color of the vegetation is red. Starbuck notices that there is an impact crater that could mean something large hit the area.
  • They come across the crater and the wreckage of a ship. When they try to investigate, they are told to stop by an unscathed humanoid man.
  • The man claims that the radion levels are too high. When questioned, he tells them that he can help them and that the ship was destroyed by the "Great Powers" (not Cylons).
  • At the man's request, the trio leave the perimeter of the crater, as the sight discomforts him. He also replies that there are no others like him on the planet.
  • Apollo attempts to scan the survivor, finding that his scanner does not work. The man claims that the radion field is too strong, rendering the scanner useless.
  • Starbuck and Apollo discuss the survivor they rescued. Apollo questions how the man could survive without a mark on him.
  • Meanwhile, Sheba is talking to the man, who claims to be weary and drained of energy. When offered food, he claims that it is not food that he needs.
  • Apollo questions the survivor. The man does not know how he survived. There were people on the ship, which leads to him questioning them.
  • The man offers to help them, claiming that his knowledge of the universe is "infinite." He grows more concerned, commenting that they'd better "be going."
  • The three warriors discuss what they should do with him. Sheba votes to bring him to the Fleet. Apollo airs his concerns, stating that he may be a spy planted by those who caused the disappearance of the patrol. Starbuck convinces Apollo that if they keep an eye on him, he shouldn't be able to do any damage.
  • Apollo sends Starbuck to fetch a shuttle.
  • Apollo and Sheba inform the survivor that they'll bring him along. As they walk along, balls of light fly overhead. Sheba and Apollo are unable to bear the sound. The man is not fazed, claiming that they'd better hurry, as "They" were searching for him.
Patrick Macnee as Count Iblis
  • They bring Iblis back to Galactica, where he is introduced to a skeptical Colonel Tigh. Apollo offers that he would be glad to give Tigh a quick debriefing.
  • Sheba escorts Iblis to the Life Station so that Iblis can recuperate.
  • Starbuck and Apollo talk to Adama, where Apollo comments that Iblis was being evasive and, as such, was not trustworthy. Adama orders that Iblis be given a full working over, including a cranial probe and psycho-electron recall.
  • Sheba offers Iblis a quick energon treatment and hyper-nutrients. Iblis states that he does not know whether or not Colonial technology is "destructive" to him. Instead, he convinces her to show him Galactica.
  • Sheba takes Iblis to Core Command, where equipment in his proximity begins to malfunction.
  • Tigh informs Adama that Iblis and Sheba have just left Core Command. Adama is furious, demanding to see them at once.
  • Coincidentally, Iblis tells Sheba that he wants to see Adama, claiming that he heard the name while they were on the bridge.
  • Adama orders that Sheba, Apollo and Starbuck remain in one place. They elect to go to the Officer's Club.
  • Iblis tells Adama about his enemies in vague terms, that they are infinite and "beyond comprehension." He then tells Adama of Earth, and that it has seen great rises and falls. Iblis tells Adama that they will go there, if that is their wish, and that they would be safe under his leadership.
  • Apollo and Starbuck visit Salik and Cassiopeia in the Life Sciences Center. There they discover that no scan made of Iblis could tell whether or not he was human. Salik suggests that they visit Wilker, after Apollo puts forth that Iblis may be an android.
  • On an Agro Ship, Iblis tells Sheba that the quest that burns truly closest to her heart is finding her father, Cain, and Pegasus. Iblis tells her that everyone can read one another, it just "needs time and experience." He promises that should Sheba open her heart to him, all things would be possible.
  • On Core Command, Adama and Tigh now see the balls of light. According to Athena, they're present, but they do not stay long enough to register on the sensors. After being bombarded by communications traffic, Adama informs the Fleet that the lights are not a threat and, in essence, to discontinue their messages.
  • Wilker tells Apollo and Starbuck that constructing a life-like android is plausible, but there would be ways to tell; he is interrupted by the alert klaxon.
  • On the Agro Ship, Iblis tells Sheba that, despite their light, "they" (the balls of light) conceal "everlasting darkness." He also reveals that she will see her father again, shocking her and attempting to gain her trust.
  • Scrambled as a "precautionary intercept," Brie and Greenbean pursue the lights, only to disappear themselves.
  • Adama receives the news of Red Squadron's disappearance—influencing his decision have Blue Squadron return at once.
  • Adama questions Starbuck and Apollo regarding the lights, and Apollo suspects that Iblis is hiding what he knows about them.
  • Sheba takes Iblis to Rising Star, showing him the Triad courts. She asks him what games he plays, and he answers that he only plays games of life and death. Sheba has a sense of foreboding at this comment.
  • Apollo and Starbuck arrive and order Iblis to return with them to Galactica. Sheba is offended, and Iblis threatens Apollo with death should he ever dare threaten him again.
  • Iblis is brought before the Quorum. When the council expresses doubts about his superior powers, he moves a statue with telekinesis.
  • As further proof, he asks for three tests of his powers, to be determined by the Quorum. His only stipulation is that they not ask for the return of the missing pilots, as those events happened in the past and are outside of his control. Should he pass the tests, he will assume leadership of the Fleet.
  • Baltar's basestar encounters the mysterious lights. Baltar fears that it might be a new Colonial technology, but Lucifer hopes that is the case. The alternative, he points out, is an unaccounted for powerful force for them to have to consider.
  • Sheba shows Iblis to the Gemini. He promises food to the hungry, in exchange for their allegiance. When they promise to follow him, reports come in from the Agro Ship that the plants are bearing a remarkable amount of fruit.
  • Adama reflects in his journal, still holding some reservations about trusting Iblis.
  • Apollo approaches Adama, wondering if Iblis may have powers like that of the Lords of Kobol. Adama notes that Iblis has asked for submission, rather than demanding it. Could this element of choice mean Iblis is a god?
  • The Quorum has decided on two of the three tests. They ask for their enemy to be delivered to them, and for an accurate course to Earth. Iblis agrees to immediately carry out the first test.
  • Baltar has been broken by the pressure of the Beings of Light hovering near the basestar, and orders Lucifer to contact Galactica to discuss terms.
  • The Fleet is astonished by the news. Blue Squadron escorts Baltar's lone Raider to Galactica, delivering their enemy to them as Iblis had promised.

Adama's Notes

Word of the mysterious stranger has swept through the fleet. His promises are giving our people their first real hope. And yet his presence, his unwillingness to submit to routine medical procedures, leaves me with grave doubts about his integrity or his ability to fulfill his bold promises. However, another major disappointment in the lives of our beleaguered survivors might spell the end of our journey or my ability to maintain order. The possibility of hope must be sustained.

Though our pilots have been missing for a secton, spirits throughout the fleet remain inordinately high due to the presence of Count Iblis and his nightly feats of magic and promise. Is he our deliverer? Or... I don't know which way to turn.

This is an event unlike any we've experienced since the destruction of our civilization. Baltar's ship has reached our quadrant and is being intercepted by an elite squadron which will escort the treasonous instrument of our holocaust directly into our hands. Words is spreading like sunbursts through every corner of the fleet. It is a jubilation unprecedented as Baltar is brought before the Council of Twelve. It is just as Count Iblis promised. Our enemy has been delivered.


  • This is one of the few episodes that does not make use of the "There are those who believe..." opening narration, in its stead a preview of the episode is shown instead.
  • This episode marks the last appearance of Jack Stauffer as Bojay.
  • According to Adama, Iblis' promises have given people "the first real hope they've had in a quarter yahren", which may indicate how long their journey has taken since the Battle of Cimtar.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of the Triad game.
  • The hand grasping / group spinning sequence during the Triad game was influenced by Herb Jefferson Jr., Dirk Benedict, and Richard Hatch when they would stand together prior to shooting. As they were their own stand-ins, they thumb wrestled to pass the time.
  • It was commonly assumed that the wreckage was that of the Pegasus. Suffice it to say, it isn't.
  • Kirk Alyn, who portrays the Gemonese Man, is far better known as the first man who played Superman on screen.
  • This episode features the last appearance of Lucifer.
  • Some outdoor scenes and some inside shots were taken from the World Expo 67 site in Montreal, Quebec. The French monument (now the Montreal Casino today) is visible, as well as the the geodesic United States monument in one shot.


  • War of the Gods, Part I is a mysterious, brooding episode of the Original Series, which is a change in tone from earlier episodes. Drawing from several sources, including Christian and Mormon religious traditions, and paying homage to the excitement around UFOs generated by such films as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, WOTG expands our understanding of Galactica universe, and suggests the fight between the Cylons and the Colonials may be part of a large spiritual battle on a cosmic scale. The casting choice of Patrick Macnee, familiar to TV audiences as Steed from The Avengers series, as the enigmatic villain Count Iblis, is a brilliant one, and the over the top dialogue and manner of the Count are portrayed with a serious demeanor which creates believable tension. As with Commander Cain of a few episodes previous, Macnee's Iblis is a large enough figure to challenge the authority of Adama, and the best scenes in the episode are the ones that feature Adama and Iblis in conflict. WOTG manages to take the story arc to the next level, and changes the perception of what, in fact, the underlying resolution of the story may entail.
  • The introduction of the psycho-electron recall technology begs the question of why Adama, or even Apollo, never used this technology on themselves in order to remember the finer details from the inscriptions relating to Earth's journey in the Tomb of the Ninth Lord of Kobol. It should be noted that the Marvel comic book series, starting from The Memory Machine, deals with this plot point.


  • In the teaser, Bojay tells the pilots to do a Four-Point Peel-Off as the Ship of Lights overtakes them. However, there are five Vipers, which are seen in the teaser. However, according to Adama, there were four Vipers in the patrol despite the fact we saw five. Thus, we can assume the writers meant there to be four Vipers, but footage that had five Vipers was reused.
  • The opening shot of Galactica and the subsequent appearance of the Triad game leads the audience to believe that the game is being held on Galactica. In later episodes, such as in "Murder on the Rising Star", Triad tournaments are held on the Rising Star. However, it is also possible that both Galactica and Rising Star have facilities for triad.
  • The so-called gold team, consisting of Starbuck and Apollo, are wearing red-orange suits.
  • When the trio of Warriors come across the crater with the wreckage of the massive ship, the footage is not captured through a red filter.


  • What exactly are the balls of light? (Answer)
  • Sound cannot travel in space, so where does the high-pitched sound that seems to coincide with the appearance of the Ship of Lights come from?
  • How does one do a Four-Point Peel-Off with five Vipers?
  • Why do the Viper pilots disappear?
  • Who or what is Iblis? (Answer)
  • What lies in the wreckage of the ship?

Noteworthy Dialogue

  • Sheba storms off after an argument about Count Iblis:
Apollo: She thinks I'm insensitive.
Starbuck: You? If she thinks you're insensitive, where does that leave me?
  • Count Iblis brings Adama an "optimistic epistle":
Iblis: You're searching for a place called Earth.
Adama: My son told you that.
Iblis: You are of the House of Kobol. Your tribes are scattered. The Thirteenth journeyed to Earth several millennia ago.
Adama: Tell me about their civilization.
Iblis: It has known great rises and falls.
Adama: Who are you? Where are you from? (a pause, then:) Is their civilization strong enough to help us defeat the Cylons?
Iblis: Your people will be safe... under my leadership.
Adama: Did I hear you correctly? Did you say under your leadership?
Iblis: Of course, Adama. Why do you think I'm here? I've come to prepare your way to Earth.

Official Statements

Guest Stars

External Links