The remains of a ship are found on a habitable world that, despite being filled with trees and other vegetation, has a strange red hue and registers as having no life forms according to the scanners of three Viper pilots that scout the planet for four missing pilots.
Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba see a massively large crater as they enter the atmosphere of the planet. Walking to the edge of the crater, they see the remains of a ship that Starbuck believed was as big as a battlestar.
When the three Warriors attempt to walk to the remains of the ship for a closer look, they are warned off by man in white garments who calls himself Iblis. He indicates that the radion levels of the ship are very high. Iblis tells the trio that the ship was destroyed by the "great powers," but refuses to elaborate further (TOS: "War of the Gods, Part I").
Apollo and Starbuck later return to investigate the remains. Revealing that the radion levels Iblis' warned about were a ruse, they discover the remains of Iblis' former followers. Sheba, having given herself to Iblis, pursues them to the remains and attempts to stop their discovery; Apollo and Starbuck attempt to convince her to look into a compartment, but is thwarted by Iblis, who suddenly appears. It is here where he kills Apollo, as he intercepts a bolt of energy meant for Sheba, and Iblis subsequently disappears (TOS: "War of the Gods, Part II").
The Mystery of the Crashed Ship
- From the War of the Gods original script at http://galactica1981.tripod.com/MissingWar.htm:
- "When Starbuck and Apollo look into the wreckage of the ship, this is exactly what they see: A piece of metallic surface, highly scorched but out of which portrudes a foot-like extremity, except that its tip is clearly in the shape of a cloven hoof. (Then they lift the metal and toss it aside) They grimace in horror... Under the wreckage is the figure of a devil... a demon."
- Footage of the demon was shot but left out of the final cut. There are conflicting accounts as to why. Some believe the censors removed it due to its possible satanic implications. Anne Lockhart stated at the GoMainline Galactica convention in September 1999 that it was left out because the demon "looked like a dead sheep." Interestingly, the footage does not appear in the Battlestar Galactica DVD box set which has deleted scenes from the episode.
- The image on the right is from Battlestar Galactica Vol. 1 #4 of Maximum Press comics in which Apollo recalls what he saw inside the crashed ship.
- A popular myth over the years is that the crashed ship is the Battlestar Pegasus. In An Analytical Guide to Television's Battlestar Galactica, author John Kenneth Muir argues that the crashed ship is in fact the Pegasus despite the script for the episode saying otherwise. To be fair, because the episode never shows us what is inside the ship, the answer to the mystery is open to interpretation.
- In the aforementioned Maximum Press comic series, the writers play off this myth in issue #3 when Count Iblis returns to Sheba and teleports her back to the crashed ship where she discovers the body of Commander Cain inside. It turns out to be an illusion.