This document is ©2005, John Larocque. All rights reserved.
The Cylons were created by man. They were created to make life easier on the twelve Colonies. And then the day came when the Cylons decided to kill their masters. After a long and bloody struggle, an armistice was declared. The Cylons left for another world to call their own. A remote space station was built... Where Cylon and Human could meet and maintain diplomatic relations. Every year, the Colonials send an officer. The Cylons send no one. No one has seen or heard from the Cylons in over forty years.
Aboard the Galactica, public relations officer Aaron Doral is leading a tour of reporters on the ship, in preparation for its retirement ceremony. "This ship, the last of her kind still in service, was constructed over 50 years ago during the early days of the Cylon War. Now originally there were twelve battlestars, each representing one of Kobol's twelve Colonies. Galactica represented Caprica and was first commanded by Commander Dash." Commander Adama is rehearsing his speech from cue cards, and thanked by one of his crewman, Captain Kelly. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace is jogging and he greets her. "Good morning, Starbuck. What do ya year?" She replies, "Nothing but the rain." "Grab your gun and bring in the cat." Adama passes by several of Tyrol's deck crew, and one of them complains that it's supposed to be a battlestar, not a museum. "I couldn't agree with you more."
In CIC, Gaeta reports to Adama that the courier officer's overdue back from Armistice Station and the Galactica may need to provide an FTL capable ship in case his own is having mechanical problems. Adama replies that "we're a little bit busy today," and Gaeta, taking the hint, smiles and agrees. In the hallway, a disoriented Colonel Tigh, holding a cup, passes by Doral talking to the reporters. "You'll see things here that look odd or even antiquated to modern eyes. Phones with cords, awkward manual valves, computers that barely deserve the name. It was all designed to operate against an enemy who could infiltrate and disrupt even the most basic computer systems. Galactica is a reminder of the time when we were so frightened by our enemies that we literally looked backward for protection."
In the Hangar Bay, Chief Tyrol and his crew salute Adama and present him with a Mark II Viper. "I haven't seen one of these in about twenty years... Oh my God, where did you find her?" "Rusting out in a salvage yard on Sagatarian. We had hoped the Commander would allow her to participate in the decommisioning ceremony... We've restored the engines, patched the guidance system, replaced much of the flight control. She's fueled, armed, ready for launch, sir." Prosna presents Adama with a picture he found in the fleet archives of Adama and his two boys, posing in front of a Mark II. "Thank you all. It's an honor."
In the Ready Room, Tigh is pouring himself a drink from a canister and joins a card game with Kara, Sharon, Helo and the CAG. He starts taunting Kara, sounding like a chicken. "Starbuck. Now there's a call sign. Star-buck-buck-buck! Where'd you get that nickname anyway? Is that before you were thrown in the brig as a cadet for drunken disorderly or after?" She replies "after" and asks him, "How's the wife?" "The wife is just fine." Kara closes the card game with "full colors," and then Tigh pushes over the table, Kara punches him and is restrained by the others. "You have finally gone too far, and now you're done, lieutenant. Consider yourself under arrest pending charges. Report to the brig."
In Adama's quarters, Adama asks Tigh if he's really going to press charges. "For striking a superior officer? Your damn right I am." Adama says he heard that Tigh had started drinking early that day. "I wasn't on duty." "I couldn't talk you out of it, could I?" "Not a chance. She is insubordinate, undisciplined..." "Probably one of the finest fighter pilots I've ever seen in my life... She's better than I am, twice as good as you... I'm not going to defend what she did... but you did kick over the table first... So what'd you say we just drop the former charges, throw her in the brig, cool her heels off until we get home." Tigh comments, "You always did have a soft spot for her."
Laura Roslin is sitting in Dr. Westin's office when he walks in delivers her some bad news. "I'm afraid the tests are positive. The mass is malignant..." He continues speaking, and is drowned out by engine noises which cut to a scene of the Colonial liner taking off. Aboard the ship, Billy tells her about Laura's speech for Galactica's retirement. Laura Roslin is the Secretary of Education and the government represenative for the occasion. Then Laura heads to the bathroom, unbuttons her blouse and looks in the mirror.
In the Riverwalk Market at Caprica City, another model of Number Six (Baltar's lover on Caprica) becomes interested in a baby in a carriage, and the mother gives her permission to pick it up. "How small they are... So light, so fragile." The baby cries a little, and then smiles. "It's OK. You're not going to have to cry much longer." She returns the baby and remarks, "It's amazing how the neck can support that much weight." When the mother's back is turned, Number Six reaches into the carriage and a snapping noise is heard. She disappears and the mother screams, "Oh my God."
Baltar's watching his television interview at his apartment. The reporter describes him as a winner of three Magnate prizes, a media cult figure, and a personal friend of President Adar's. In the interview, he argues that "the ban on research and development into artificial intelligence is a hold-over from the Cylon Wars" and serves no useful purpose. During the interview, Number Six enters his room and places a suitcase on a table. The scene then cuts to Baltar and Number Six undressing each other in his bedroom, and she asks him if he loves her. "I'm so hot, Gaius." She's on top now, and the camera focuses on her bare back and her glowing red spine.
Lee Adama's Viper lands on the Galactica, and he is greeted by Tyrol upon arrival. "I'm a great admirer of your father's. The service is going to miss him when he retires." Lee told Tyrol that he was forced to make a hands-on approach. "It's all hands-on here, Captain. There are no auto-landing's in the Galactica. Comander Adama's orders." Sharon's Raptor also lands and Tyrol remarked how loud it was. "I think they heard that all the way up to the bridge." Sharon (and Helo) blame the gymbal and argue with Tyrol who tells her, "I've pulled that gymbal three times and stripped it twice. The gymbal's not the problem." Sharon retorts, "You're not the one out there trying to bring in 50 tons of Raptor on to a moving hangar deck, with a bad gymbal." The two of them are still arguing when they enter the tool room. They remove their jump-suits, she pushes him against the wall, and they start kissing.
The CAG holds a meeting in the Ready Room and announces a formation demonstration and flyby maneuvers in conunction with the decommissioning ceremony. He announces Kara Thrace will be replaced with another pilot, and Captain Lee Adama will be flying lead during the flyby. "Now thanks to Chief Tyrol and his deck gang, Captain, you're going to have the honour of flying the actual Viper that your father flew almost 40 years ago." Lee hesitates in his response. "That's... that's quite an honor." "Yes it is, Captain. And personally, I can't think of a better way to send this ship into retirement."
Baltar and Number Six are walking outdoors, and she is carrying the same suitcase that she brought into the apartment earlier. He tells her, "The final results for the CMP project are working close to 95 percent efficiency throughout the fleet." She replies, "I doubt you would have ever completed the project without me... I rewrote half your algorithms." "Let's not forget... all that poking around inside the defence mainframe ... should give you a huge advantage bidding for the contract next year." She says that's not really why she did it. She did it because she loved him, and "God wanted me to help you." Baltar is puzzled that she is "taken in by all that mysticism and superstition." She tells him he's meeting someone, and he replies he also is meeting someone. "Business. A new project at defence." After he leaves, she turns around and makes a remark to someone or something that the camera does not see. "It's about time. Wondered when you'd get here."
Doral welcomes Laura Roslin aboard the Galactica, and Billy spots Dualla in the hallway. He loses Laura and enters the unisex bathroom by mistake where Dualla is washing her hands. He's looking for the visitor's quarters and informs her he is a visitor. "Never would have guessed." In the hallway, Adama is talking with Laura, who is promoting the use of networked computers as teaching tools. He tells her, "It's an integrated compter network, and I will not have it aboard this ship." "I heard you're one of those people... you're actually afraid of computers." "Let me explain something to you. Many good men and women lost their lives aboard this ship, because someone wanted a faster computer to make life easier."
Lee is visiting Kara who is behind bars in the brig. She is doing pushups when he arrives. "So, what's the charge this time?" "Striking a superior asshole." It's been two years since they last saw each other, and we learn that Lee hasn't seen his father since the funeral. He still blames his father for his death, and she remarks "same old Lee" and has an urge to strike another "superior asshole." On Caprica, Baltar is sleeping next to a naked woman when he wakes up. It's Number Six sitting on a chair, calling his name. He asks her, "What are you doing here?" She tells the other woman to get out, and Baltar apologises for his character flaw. "Spare me your feign self-awarness and remorse. I came here because I have something to tell you."
Doral invites Lee for a photo op with his father in front of the reporters. "Gentlemen, could you maybe stand a bit closer... Commander, could you put your arm around your son?" Both of them are at unease in each other's company. The reporters leave and Lee enters a room with a large table. "You want some coffee?" It's their first conversation since the funeral, and the Commander asks Lee about his mother. "Getting married." "Good for her. We spoke about a year ago. Had a real heart to heart." Lee is avoiding conversation, and the Commander brings up Zak. "Accidents happen in the service... Zak had a choice. You both did... He earned his wings." Lee accused his father of pulling strings to get Zak into flight school. "Zak did not belong in that plane! He shouldn't have been there. He was only doing it for you. Face it, you killed him." Lee exits the room.
On Caprica, Baltar can't believe what he hears. "You're a machine. You're a synthetic woman, a robot... I'm having the tiniest little bit of trouble believing that, because the last time anybody saw the Cylons, they looked more like walking chrome toasters." "Those models are still around. They have their uses." She tells Baltar that he believes her because there was always something different about her. "You believe me because it flatters your ego, to believe that alone among all the billions of people of the twelve Colonies, you were chosen for my mission... You knew I wanted access to the defence mainframe... The communications frequencies, the deployment schedules, unlimited access to every database." Now he understands. "Oh my God... Do you have any idea what they'll do to me if they find out?" She said he'd be charged with treason, and he starts dialing his attorney. "It won't be neccessary, because in a few hours, no one will be left to charge you with anything." "What exactly are you saying?" "Humanity's children are returning home. Today." He looks outside his window and sees a huge explosion across the horizon.
On the Galactica, Doral announces the ceremonial flyby, and introduces Commander Adama who takes the podium. He talks about the high price of wearing a uniform and then asks an astonishing question. "Why are we as a people worth saving... We refuse to accept responsibility for anything that we've done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God. Create life. When that life turned against us... we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault... You cannot play god then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner of later, the day comes when you can't hide from the thing's that you've done anymore." Laura claps her hands and the rest of the audience follows suit. Adama sits down and Tigh comments, "You are one surprising son of a bitch." The ceremony is over and Captain Lee's Viper is escorting Secretary Roslin back to Caprica.
On Caprica, Baltar is watching events unfold on television. "What have I done? What am I going to to do? There's no way out." "I know." "Wait. Wait! There must be a way out of here! You must have an escape plan!" Another bomb explodes on the horizon and he lets out a scream. "Gaius, I can't die. When this body's destroyed, my memory, my consciousness, will be transmitted to a new one. I'll just wake up somewhere else in an identical body." "You mean there's more out there like you?" "There are twelve models. I'm Number Six." He whispers, "I don't wantto die ..." There's a series of booms and she forces him to his knees and instructs him to get down. A huge boom is heard, and the glass shatters in his house.
Adama orders Dualla, "Send a signal to our fighter squadron. I want positions and tactical status immediately. And get Kara Thrace... out of the brig." A group of Mark VII Vipers and Sharon's Raptor are now in space, and the caption reads, "Galactica Attack Squadron 2 hours from Caprica." The CAG reports a Cylon formation directly ahead and orders Boomer to send the Galactica the squadron's position and that he intends to attack. Helo determines that five raiders are on course, with seven minutes to intercept. Bommer replies, "A lot of jamming going on. Cylons are using a lot of sensor decoys."
On CIC, Gaeta reports that the "main fight is shaping up over here near Virgon's orbit. But even at top speed they're still over an hour away." "Plot a course along this axis. If we can keep Virgon between us and the battle, we might be able to get pretty close before the Cylons are even aware." Kara arrives on the deck ready for duty, and asks where the Cylons came from. "All we know for sure is that they achieved complete surprise and we're taking heavy losses. We lost 30 battlestars in the opening attack." "It's a quarter of the fleet." "I need pilots and I need fighters." Kara tells him there are twenty pilots but no Vipers, and he reminds her that there is "an entire squadron of fighters down on the Starbird Hangar deck." The pilots arrive on the deck, cordoned off with a sign "Battlestar Galactica Museum Viper MK. 2," and Tyrol explalins that they need to move the Mark II's over to the port Launch Bay, because the Starbird Launch is now a gift shop. Kara is incredulous. "Frak me."
On CIC, Dualla gives Gaeta the latest news. "A lot of confusion... I keep getting these weird reports about equipment malfunctions... One report said an entire battlestar lost power just before it came in contact with the enemy. They said it was like someone just turned off a switch." Meanwhile, Helo informs the squadron there's a Cylon formation ahead, consisting of two fighters. "Anybody know what these things look like?" "Pictures I've seen of the old Cylon's fighters sorta look like a big flying wing." "Those pictures are 40 years old." When the fighters reach visual range, the red beams in front of the ships flash from side to side, and simultaneously all the Vipers lose power, many of them now bumping into each other. "Boomer, this is CAG. If you can hear me, they must have done something to our computer system. Some sort of electronic jamming. I've never seen anything like this" The CAG spots the two Cylon craft and transmits, "There's no cockpits. Nobody's flying these things." The two fighters launch missiles and destroy the entire squadron. Helo shouts, "Boomer, get us out of here!"
Aboard the Colonial Liner, the pilot is in the aisle, telling the passengers they are processing the information they've been given and urging calm. Laura asks Billy, "What's going on?" "I'm not sure." Meanwhile, the Cylons launch two warheads against the Raptor. One of them explodes, while the other continues to chase it. The Raptor launches an intercepting missile which makes contact and explodes both of them within close range, causing shrapnel to impact against the ship. Helo is now wounded in his leg and bleeding. "Stay with me, OK? We have a fuel leak. We need to put down to repair it. Nearest world is Caprica." The Raptor powers down and floats in space. "Best way to avoid attracting attention. No power signature, go in a straight line. Unless somebody actually gets close enough to see us, we'll just look like a chunk of debris on the sensors. I think we have enough inertia to make it to Caprica's ionisphere. Then we power up and find a place to land."
On CIC, Adama makes another announcement. "Preliminary reports indicate, a thermonuclear device in the 50 megaton range was detonated over Caprica City over 30 minutes ago. Nuclear detonations have been reported on the planets of Aerilon, Picon, Sagitarian and Gemenon. " On the hangar deck, a crewman asks how many people on Caprica City, and Kara replies seven million. Adama continues, "Mourn the dead later. Right now, the best thing we can do is get this ship into the fight." Aboard the Colonial liner, Laura knocks on the door of the pilot cockpit. "One of the passenger's has a shortwave wireless. They've heard a report that Cparica has been nuked. It has hasn't it?" The pilot is in shock, and is holding a paper in his trembling hands, which he hands to her. "Caprica and three other Colonies." Laura tells him she will make an announcement to the passengers and asks him to contact the defence ministry.
She enters the passenger area and tells them the Cylons have hit Caprica, Picon, Aerilon and Tauron. One of the passengers asks, "What about Taura? What about Gemenon?" "Please, I'm trying to reach the goverhment right now and get more information. In the meantime, we should all be prepared for an extended stay aboard this ship." She orders an inventory of the emergency supplies and Doral asks her, "Who put you in charge?" "This is a government ship and I'm the senior governement official, so that puts me in charge. So why don't you help me out and go down into the cargo area and see about setting it up as a living space."
She is interupted by the pilot who informs her he has a commlink with someone on Caprica. "Where is the President? ... Is he alive?" "I don't know." "Has anyone discussed the possibility of surrender?" "After Picon was nuked, the President offered a complete, unconditional surrender. The Cylons didn't even respond." As they talk, a Cylon ship is now within range and launches an inbound missile, which follows after Lee's escort Viper. He fires upon the missile, and it detonates. However, his ship is now out of power. "I'm declaring an emergency. Flight systems are offline. Need assistance."
The Raptor lands just ouside of Caprica City and there are mushroom clouds on the horizon and sounds of explosions. Helo is wrapping a bandage around his leg. "How're you coming on that fuel line?" "Almost there. We'll be airborne pretty soon." They hear crowds of people in the distance and both of them pull out their sidearms. One of the refugees is Baltar. Several of them are now offering money for a ride on the Raptor. Helo tells them, "This isn't a rescue ship. This is a military vessel. And we're not taking money." Sharon consents to take the children, and five come aboard (including Boxey), and she sets up a lottery for the last three persons.
Doral meets Lee as he lands aboard Colonial One. He asks him a question on the electric pulse generators in the bay and says him he's glad to see him. "Why is that?" "Personally, I'd feel a lot better if someone qualified were in charge here." "There's something wrong with your pilot?" "He's not the one giving orders." In the passenger area, Laura, Billy and the pilot are sitting around a table when Doral and Lee enter. "Thanks for the lift." They're now talking about preparing the ship for survivors, and Laura explains, "As soon as the attack began, the government ordered a full stop on all civilian vessels. So now we got hundreds of stranded ships in the solar system, some are lost, some are damaged, some are losing power... So we pick up as many people as we can, we try to find a safe-haven to put down. Captain, I'd like you to look over the navigational charts for a likely place to hide, from the Cylons." Lee looks at Doral, and tells him, "Ladies' in charge."
On CIC, Tigh announces that an inbound enemy fighter is approaching. "All hands stand by for battle maneuvers." An impatient Kara is having troubles with launching her Viper ("Three frakkin' aborts") before taking off. The Cylon ship sending out the same signal as the CAG encountered earlier. "Oh frak me. He's eradiating some sort of weapon at me but it doesn't seem to have any effect." A radiological alarm is sounded on CIC as Tigh states "he's got nukes." The Cylon launches several missiles, all but one which are destroyed. The last impacts against the Galactca and explodes.
Starbuck radios CIC, "Galactica, you've got violent decompression all along the port flight pod." Adama reports, "Radiation levels within norms. The hull plating kept out most of the hard stuff." Supports are buckling and Tyrol says they need to get the fires out. Tigh, who is put in command of the situation, has to make a decision. "You're either the XO, or your not," Adama tells him. He orders an emergency vent of the affected compartments. Tyrol informs him he's got over a hundred people trapped and that he needs a minute to get them out, but Tigh replies that there's no time. "The fire reaches the hangar pods, it'll ignite the fuel lines and we'll lose the ship. Do it!" Tyrol then seals off bulk heads 25 through 40.
On Caprica, they are choosing the last candidate from the lottery, which is ticket 47. An old woman next to Baltar (who has the winning ticket) asks him to read her number for her, but he turns his head and says nothing. Helo notices him in the crowd and asks, "Aren't you Gaius Baltar?" Replying as if he's been accused of something, he says "I haven't done anything!" before announcing that the woman has ticket 47. Baltar helps her step forward to the shuttle, and Helo gives up his seat on the Raptor for Baltar. "Like hell!... You're going!" "Look at those clouds, Sharon, and tell me this isn't the end of everything. Whatever future's left, it's going to depend on whoever survives. Give me one reason why I'm a better choice than one of the greatest minds of our time." Baltar gets on board with the old lady, and as he looks back, he sees Number Six in the crowd. He looks back into the crowd a second time, but she's gone. Helo is pointing his gun and holding back the crowd below. He shoots one of the refugees who grabs on to the ship, and the shift lifts off (with Boxey sitting in Helo's seat.)
Aboard Colonial One, Laura is seated in between the pilot and co-pilot, and listening to a transmission. "This is an official Colonial Government broadcast. All ministers and officials should now go to case orange." She explains, "It's an automated message. It's designed to be sent out in case the President, the Vice President, and most of the cabinet are dead or incapacitated." She has him send back her ID on the same frequency, and informs them she's 43rd in line of succession. "I know all 42 ahead of me from the President down. Most of them served with him in the first administration. Some of them came with him from the mayor's office. I was there with him on his first campaign. I never really liked politics." She asks for a priest, and Elosha holds out a parchment and she recites the oath of office of the President.
On CIC, Tigh tells Adama, "26 walked out 85 didn't... There's a munitiions depot at Ragnar Anchorage." Adama replies, "It's a super bitch to anchor a ship there." "There are 50 pallets of Class D warheads in storage there. They should also have all the missiles and small arms munitions we need." Elsewhere, Tyrol and Cally are holding the charred body of their comrade Prosna. Tyrol confronts Adama and he tells him there's a temporary morgue in hangar bay B. "40 seconds, sir. All I needed was 40 seconds. 85 of my people." Adama defends the XO's decision and says he would have done the same. Tigh reports back regarding Ragnar. "Munitions depot confirmed, but we have two problems. One, the Ragnar station is at least three days away at best speed. Two, the entire Cylon fleet is between here and there." Adama orders Tigh to warm up the computers and plot a hyperlight jump to the orbit of Ragnar, even though it's been over 20 years since the last jump. Dualla hands him a piece of paper and he makes an announcement. "Admiral Nagala is dead. Battlesetar Atlantia has been the destroyed. So's the Triton, Solaria, Columbia, the list goes on ... 'Send a message. To all the Colonial military units... I am taking command of fleet...'"
Other ships are now docking with Colonial Heavy 798, which the pilot has now renamed Colonial One. Laura is sitted in the cockpit when Lee Adama gives her the Commander's message. "To all Colonial units, I am taking command of fleet... all units ordered to rendevous at Ragnar Anchorage for regroup and counterattack." "Captain Apollo. Please inform Commander Adama that we are currently involved in rescue operations and we require his assistance. Ask him how many hospital beds he has available, and how long it will take him to get here." She insists that Adama knows this comes as an order from the President of the Twelve Colonies, and is not a request." On CIC, Adama asks if it is a joke, and initiates a voice conversation with Captain Lee Adama aboard Colonial One. "You are to abort your mission immediately, and proceed to Ragnar." "The President has given me a direct order." "You're talking about the Secretary of Education. We're in the middle of a war. And you're taking orders from a school teacher?"
There are two inbound Cylon fighters approaching Colonial One, ETA two minutes. "We have to go now," Lee admonishes her. "Madam President, we can't defend this ship." She refuses. "We're not going to abandon all those people." Lee then asks for permission to go below, where he starts operating the panels on the electric pulse generators. Adama yells into the microphone. "Get out of there! Apollo! Apollo! Lee!" The display on CIC shows all the dots enveloped by a blue cloud, which disperses to an empty screen. Gaeta's analysis, "50 kiloton thermo nuclear detonation... Cylons moving off, sir." Tigh approaches to console Adama, and they resume the jump preparation.
11/5/2003 -- The "flawed creation" line got cut somewhere in editing as we were struggling to bring the mini down to actual running time. I'm not sure at what stage. By the time I noticed the line was gone we had locked the picture. I really loved that line and wish it was still there. (source: Cylon Alliance)
12/4/2003 -- Of the original characters, the only one I lost was Athena. If you look at the old show, they never really figured out what to do with Athena. She was Adama's daughter, she was on the bridge, she was pretty, but that was about it. She didn't seem to have a comfortable place. Beyond her, I lost subsidiary characters like the Imperious Leader and several of the Cylon characters. But the rest of them are kind of all there. I looked at what the heart of the drama is. It's the family of Adama. He's the commander and his son is lead fighter pilot. The other main character is Baltar, who betrays the entire Colonial society. (source: UGO)
12/4/2003 -- Question: Was there any controversy with anyone over killing that baby in the beginning?
No. That was a late-developing scene in the project that wasn't in the early drafts. We were close to shooting when it came up. I think it happened because we wanted Number Six to have done something more. We wanted the sense of something evil and horrific about to take place. While she does kill the officer and blow up the station in the opening sequence there wasn't anything in-between the attack on the Colonies. We wanted something chilling that would lead you to really dread the arrival of the Cylons. Everyone from the studio and the network loved it. You don't often kill infants on television. You're one step away from killing a puppy. (source: UGO)
1/1/2004 -- [The babykilling] scene was a relatively late addition to the script and the intention intially was simply to provide a disturbing moment that brought home to the audience the dangerous and horrific nature of the Cylons in anticipation of the attack yet to come -- putting the shark in the water, as it were. However, when it got to the stage, the director and the actress added other tones and nuances to the scene that actually gave it more texture.
Why is Number Six doing what she's doing? Tricia's reactions are contradictory and interesting. She is partially doing it out of a simple desire to eliminate human beings, regardless of their shape or size. But there's also the sense of maternal feeling on her part and there's an interesting implication that she's doing it as some sort of merciful act, ending the child's existence before the horrors that are about to begin. And finally, her reaction afterward implies her mixed emotions at what she's done -- emotions being exactly the right word, by the way. The Cylons do have emotions and they do feel pangs of what we would call guilt and/or conscience.
In the end, the scene probably would've been cut in editing if the performance and direction weren't so strong on film... I've seen a few of the discussions about the nature of good and evil sparked by the scene and I have to say that I'm happy to have written something that's churned such strong feeling and debate.
2/2004 -- What if she kills a baby? What if she's in a park and sees this child in a stroller and she just snaps its neck? And David Eick went pale, and immediately said, "I love it!" Now when this was aired, people flipped out. We lost a good chunk of the audience at that very moment, but then it slowly came back. So the network in retrospect said, "We never should have done that." But I actually think it was one of the best things that we did. It nails home the threat of this woman like nothing else does. (source: Miniseries DVD commentary)
2004 -- With Adama, there's a real sense of loss. There's a real sense that this man made certain choices and he's lived with them, but there's a real cost. He has a difficult, estranged relationship with his son. He's divorced from his wife, she's getting remarried, he's not close to anybody. And he's at the end of his career, and he's on a ship that's about to be decommissioned and retired, and he's going off into the sunset. And that's an unusual thing for the leading character in these shows. (source: Miniseries DVD commentary)
2/2004 -- Commander Adama, the military leader, on the eve of the destruction of his world, for personal reasons, in the middle of a standard issue speech about patriotism and sacrifice and honor and the things that we have heard many, many times in the culture, that people get up on these formal occasions and they pay lip service to a lot of noble ideas. But Adama in this moment, breaks, because of what's going on with his son. It makes him take a hard look around at who they are. Why are we worth saving? Why do we deserve to survive? Who are we really? We're putting all these men and women in harm's way, and we're spending a lot of money on defence. We're doing all these things and we're telling ourselves we're the noble creation, children of the Lords of Kobol. This wa a much longer speech in the script. It was a little too long, but the ideas are still there about, who are we as a people, who are we as a species? (source: Miniseries DVD commentary)
2/2004 -- And this is essentially a riff on the alert from Pearl Harbor in 1941. When Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, a flash message went out to the fleet, which just said, "Air Raid. Pearl Harbor. This is no drill." (source: Miniseries DVD commentary)
2/2004 -- Tigh is a functional drunk and a deeply flawed man, who for reasons the audience doesn't quite understand, is trusted by Adama, and has been kept around by Adama for some reason. And then this crisis happens, and Tigh is forced to step up and to actually do the hard decision that he isn't sure that he can make, and yet he does it. (source: Miniseries DVD commentary)
2/2004 -- This shot [of Helo watching Sharon's Raptor take off] is probably what brought this character back to the series. That moment, the heroic moment, and you kinda go, "God, I wish I could see that character again." (source: Miniseries DVD commentary)
2/25/2004 -- Question: Who was Number Six talking to when she looked up at the sky and said "it's about time"?
That is a deliberate mystery. It's something that will be revealed in due course.
2/25/2004 -- Question: Is there a story behind Adama's pilot handle "Husker"?
I'm sure there is. In all honesty, I just made it up. I don't have the back story yet.
1/20/2005 -- Question: Would you be willing to clear up Colonel Tigh's "Jesus" comment in the miniseries.
I've seen a couple of postings on this topic, and truthfully I don't know what it's in reference to. It definitely wasn't in the script and I don't remember it in the show, but if it really does exist I'd say it was just an ad lib on the set that made it into the final cut.
1/30/2005 -- Question: Do Apollo and Helo already know each other at the start of the show? I noticed that in the Ready Room scene where Apollo is introduced and told he will fly Husker's Viper, when first introduced, Helo waves and Lee gives him one of those "oh, hey!" looks of familiarity, then when Lee isn't thrilled about flying his dad's Viper, Helo is the only one who *doesn't* look confused, he just smiles and turns back around.
I don't think they knew each other prior to the pilot. Lee probably had never set foot on the Galactica before then. I think the look was something improvised on the set.
1/30/2005 -- Question: Who were the other ships designed to fight? The 120 battlestars alluded to are a big force just for border patrol. Are there aliens we should know about?
The first Cylon War came very close to wiping out the Colonies, and so when the Armistice was declared, the government maintained a large standing military force for quite some time, just in case.
2/24/2004 -- Laura, by all rights and all sensible reasoning, should not obstinately stay when it's known for a fact that a Cylon missile is incoming, probably has a nuclear warhead and oh, by the way, she has no armament aboard her ship that would allow her even the remote chance of a possible last-minute, brilliant tactical move which might theoretically prevent the destruction of her ship and her presidency. Her refusal to leave, to Jump away from the impending, obvious threat can be interpreted as an irrational flaw in her character, a case of emotion trumping intellect, or it can be more correctly interpreted simply as a flaw in the script, an accepted error that the writer chooses to ignore in favor of other competing interests of character and plot which take priority in a given moment.
In this case, I felt that the dramatic moment required that Laura make a committment to staying with her people, and to her nascent fleet, heedless of the consequence and resolute in her decision, even though it meant her certain doom. It was her instinctive response to the situation, her id's judgement, so to speak, that I was interested in, as well as the simpler plot device of having Lee swoop in and save them at the last moment just at the point you'd forgotten he was even there. Neither impulse is wrong, per se, but the error is in my choosing not to expand the moment and its aftermath in order to play out her realization of just how stupid a choice that was.
If, at some point following the resolution of the crisis, Laura realized that she let her emotional reaction to the situation lead her into making a bad decision which was only saved by the providential intervention of Lee, then the scene would've accomplished everything I had hoped for in the moment as well as providing Laura with a character-building scene where the new president's first major decision nearly got them all killed. It would've been a way to both emphasize her fallibility and the fact that she can't afford to lead with her heart any longer. Her subsequent decision to leave the sublight ships behind, abandoning them to their destruction by the Cylons, would've also been informed by this experience and had a richer, even more textured component to it.
In the end, it's not a fatal error in the script, and the moment passes by without comment for the most part, but it is something that nags at me whenever I see the sequence and which, frankly, bothered me at the time. So why didn't I fix it? A variety of answers present themselves, from time pressure to budgets, but the truth is, I knew that the emotional, dramatic moment would carry the audience through the scene and that people would be more invested in watching Lee take out the Cylon missile than in examining Laura's decision-making, so I opted to leave it alone rather than make the necessary page cuts and possible budget cuts needed to accommodate additional beats on this one point. It was probably the correct decision in the end, because the moment works and you move on as you're watching the show. However, being a television writer means not only having to make compromises and less than perfect decisions all the time, but as an additional penalty you get to always be reminded of the errors you've accepted when you watch the final product.
6/2/2005 -- The fact that I like Adama's line about his people being the flawed creation does not, in fact, excuse the actions of the Cylons, nor have I ever said that it does. Rather, the line imparts a wisdom and a larger worldview to a man representing the military, when the typical line this character has would be nothing more than a myopic "We good, enemy bad," perspective. I'm surprised that the criticism here is that I didn't paint Adama as a TV cliché, a military officer who can't see beyond the four walls of his ship and glimpse the wider world. My experience with the military leads me to believe that they are a diverse group of people with varying opinions on the world at large and so I chose to portray them that way. (source: Colonial Fleets message board)
8/11/2005 -- I came up with this in the miniseries [re: grab your gun and bring the cat in], and it's essentially a riff on contemporary marching chants or cadences used in the military called, "jodies." You've seen them in films: the platoon is marching or jogging along and the drill instructor sings out something like, "Up in the morning in the rising sun/Gonna run all day 'til the running's done," and the platoon either repeats the lines or adds the next line in the jodie. They range from the funny to the deeply profane and I remembered several of them from my NROTC days while I was writing the mini. In that opening scene, Kara is jogging through the corridors of Galactica and Adama greets her with a line that is a reference to an old jodie that presumably each of them remembers from their own training. So it's kind of an in-joke reference that they share with each other which probably in turn has some even deeper private joke between the two of them. I never wrote out the entire jodie, but I liked the nonsensical nature of the lines and thought it was more effective to suggest the cadences without spelling them out.
2/27/2006 -- In the miniseries, the presumption was that Six was meeting with another humanoid Cylon on Caprica, and I was using that moment to do a cut to the original series Cylon aboard Galactica. We've talked about various possibilities over the course of the last couple seasons as to who she might've been meeting with at that moment, but nothing's really grabbed us (although, there was a mad moment when we considered revealing that she was meeting with Laura! We talked about working that in as the reveal in the "Epiphanies" flashbacks, but we couldn't come up with any rational justification for why Laura wouldn't have reacted to the Shelley Godfrey Cylon in "Six Degrees of Separation").
3/26/2007 -- Question: If the 7 Cylons aren't aware of the Final Five, just who is it that Caprica Six saw on Caprica before the attack? Will this ever get brought up again or is it basically a dropped plot line?
While reserving the right to change my mind later, this is most likely a plot element we're not going to be revisiting.
The tail numbering of Husker Adama's Mark II Viper is "Nebula 7242 Constellation." In an early draft of the script it was originally A894FG. In the script it was found "rusting away in a salvage yard outside Caprica City," but in the miniseries it was found "rusting out in a salvage yard on Sagitarian."
The glowing red spine is another nod of sorts to the original series, and a sign to the viewer that Number Six is a Cylon. This was an idea of producer David Eick.
While Baltar and Number Six are walking, in the background two children in Cylon masks are chasing each other with swords in their hands.
The museum aboard the Galactica features an original series Cylon centurion and Baseship.
At the ceremonial flyby, a band plays the theme from the original series.
This is the line from Adama's decommission speech which was featured prominently in early trailers, and cut from the final version. "We decided to play God. We decided to create life, and when that life turned against us, we comfort ourselves in the knowledge that it was the Cylons who were flawed. But the truth is, we are the flawed creation."
"The last time anybody saw the Cylons, they looked more like walking chrome toasters." This line is not in the early draft script and is either a later addition or an ad lib on the part of James Callis.
The glowing red light going back and forth in front of the Cylon ships is yet another nod to the original series, and another idea of David Eick's. The rate of speed is one half the speed of the original series Cylons.
One of the Mark VII pilots was named Jolly. In the draft script of the miniseries, Jolly also took part in the ceremonial flyby. Jolly was the name of one of the Viper pilots from the original Battlestar Galactica series.
Why was Boomer's Raptor unaffected by the Cylon transmissions which shut down the Mark VII Viper squadron? Was it because they were beyond the braodcast range of the shutdown signal? Is there another reason they were immune?
Tigh's first name is Saul. Adama whispers to Tigh, "Saul, take personal command of the DC units." In the original draft script it reads, "Paul, get down there, take personal command of the DC teams on the scene." In earlier drafts and the character outline he was originally named Paul. There are additional Saul references in "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down."
Laura's ID code is D-456-345-A. This is Laura's presidential oath: "I, Laura Roslin, do now vow and affirm that I take the office of the President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, and that I will protect and defend the sovereignty of the Colonies with every fiber of my being." This scene was deliberately reminiscent of Lyndon Johnson's oath of office aboard his airplane after the Kennedy assassination.
One of the ships that docks with Colonial One is Gemenon Liner 17 0 1. This is a reference to the numeric desigation of the Enterprise from Star Trek.
Laura engages in a power play with Commander Adama over the refugee situation, by demanding he accept her authority and assist her in rescue operations. She refers to Lee Adama as "Captain Apollo" even though Apollo is only his callsign. "I know who you are, but Captain Apollo has a nice ring to it, don't you think?" Lee is caught in the middle and initially takes Laura's side. When the Cylon fighters close in on the ship, he initiates a solution which makes it possible to follow through on Laura's orders, and evade the fighters. This is a pattern he repeats in both "Bastille Day" and "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II."
"Starbuck and Boomer are friends. There's a scene where I'm playing cards. Originally, it was written that it was going to be several background players and Colonel Tigh, but at this point in the shooting the camaraderie had become so strong that I felt Starbuck needed to have her friends there. That's part of what makes her human. She does have friends. And the producers agreed, so that's how the scene was shot." -- Katee Sackoff (Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace) on 11/12/2003 (source: scifi.about.com)
"I think of that baby killing as a mercy killing... Originally it was written as plain old snap the baby's neck but we chose to make her fascinated by the baby and she didn't want the baby to suffer from the bombs so it was a mercy killing. As I walked away there was a sense that I didn't like doing what I did. One of the writers came up to me during the shooting of the regular series and said, 'Do you know that from that scene we decided that Number Six wants a baby?' So now Number 6 wanting a baby is a recurring theme in the first season." -- Tricia Helfer (Number Six) on 1/27/2005 (source: UGO)
"Who is to say the killing of the baby is an act of evil? That's our human prejudice. A natural reaction. To any animal, killing often has many motives. Some of which -- many of which are not about morality." -- David Eick (executive producer) on 12/4/2003
"In the first night there is a ceremony to retire the Galactica. As the Vipers do a fly-by, I pitched to Michael that it would be a good place, symbolically speaking, to bring back Stu Phillip's theme, as if a military band is performing it on the deck one last time. Other than that (and one other small spot), it just didn't fit the feel of this iteration of the story." -- Richard Gibbs (composer) on 11/25/2003 (source: galactica.tv)
"The inclusion of Stu's theme in the show was my idea -- sort of a small homage to the past while they are decommisioning the ship. I had originally toyed with the idea of using some updated permutation within the body of the score, but it just didn't seem to fit the documentary style that Michael, Ron and David wanted." -- Richard Gibbs (composer) on 1/26/2004
"The 40 seconds scene is not in the original script. David [Eick] told me what he wanted in the scene, and the point to get across... I really liked shooting the 40 seconds scene because a lot of that scene was made up as I went with David... [The earlier scene] pleading for another minute with Tigh and Kelly is in the script and is pretty much as written." -- Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol), in December 2003
"Tyrol believes in the ability of his people to get the job done. Tyrol thinks that they had the 40 seconds and that Adama is covering for Tigh. He understands that Adama must and that it is not his place to push it further even though he wanted to beat the hell out of Tigh on the bridge right then and there... Taking him out right there would mean the brig and that helps no one. His crew needs him. I guarantee you this though, next time there is an emergency Tyrol will not be looking for orders. He will make the decision on his own. It is easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission." -- Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol) on 12/10/2003 (source: galactica.tv)
"It's a war movie. It's a political film. The themes we touch on are, I feel, universal and profound and not limited to the normal conceptual scope of sci-fi. Look at the questions that Adama raises in his speech at the decommissioning: Who are we? Are we worth saving? Those questions resonated for me, because they came up, quite violently, after Sept. 11. I think, in many ways, the show offers a very powerful allegory to our times... We were going for a reality that was recognizable to people. I would sit behind the monitor going, 'My God, that's exactly what's going on today, with the war in Iraq.' Or 'That reminds me of a situation Bush or Hillary Clinton was put in.' There is a lot of resonance that exists between this parallel universe of the 12 Colonies of Kobol and our lost planet, Earth." -- Michael Rymer (director) on 11/26/2003 (source: SciFi.com)
"The Cylons know what we are, they know what we're capable of and they know we're a danger to them. So they feel that the right thing to do for the sake of their own survival is to pre-emptively annihilate humanity. Number Six is a Cylon who is designed to be extremely sexually powerful and have great sway over men, which she uses to learn the secrets of the Colonies' defenses fron Baltar. That fascinated me, because again it has a contemporary relevance -- there was a series of scandals a couple of years ago, where American military personnel were giving away state secrets and companising national security for sex. But the thing to me that's most interesting about Number Six is that everything she does, both sexually and in any other way, is emotionally driven. In her own way, she's very much in love with Baltar and needs his love, even as she wants to destroy his world and everyone around him." -- Michael Rymer (director) in November 2003 (source: Dreamwatch)
"The visual design really took route in the idea of this parellel human culture that we have some distant connection with. I sort of took an anthropological approach to it. When you look at ancient Japanese culture versus ancient African culture versus European culture, you say, 'Well, there are very extreme diferences that make these different cultures seem so exotic and alien to one another.' But at the same time, there are common threads. So we assumed certain similarities and I just tried to push the culture of Kobol a little bit away from our current world, looking at the history that's described in the script; they're a culture that have been at war pretty much for hundreds of years, and when the story begins, the last 30 years is the first peace they've ever really known. We took a slightly more martial 19th century approach to the way the set an costumes looked. There's a slight glorification or respect for military things. It's part of their world... There are certain things that will look quite familiar. But I'm hoping the combination of new and old, and retro and contemporary, will blend to create a believable reality." -- Michael Rymer (director) on 12/2003 (source: The Official Mini-Series Magazine)