Galactica: 33

The first episode of the new Galactica promises a show that will utterly eclipse the original. It’s dramatically gripping and well-produced– but will it last?

Galactica

“33”

Cast and Crew:

Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama
Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama
James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar
Tricia Helfer as Number 6
Grace Park as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh

Writer: Ronald D. Moore

Director: Michael Rymer

Plot:

The crew of the Galactica become dangerously exhausted as the Cylons attack every 33 minutes, and they suspect a traitor may be giving away their position. Meanwhile, a soldier left behind struggles to survive on Caprica.

High Points:

1. The conflict over the Olympia is about something, and its outcome remains genuinely in doubt. The protagonists don’t know if they are making the correct decision. They know they may be sacrificing innocent people. And we know that Gaius Baltar’s motives in this matter are not pure.

2. Gaius Baltar’s crossed dialogue, when he talks to the President and Number Six simultaneously.

3. Overall, the show creates a sense that we’re actually watching a society in crisis. The characters behave in a plausible manner. Compare this with the relative comfort of Deep Space 9’s Dominion War, or this week’s episode of Enterprise, wherein an engineer simply gets handed the flagship: no one apparently studied his plans in advance, he receives minimal monitoring, and his support staff consists of one other engineer. I can’t imagine that happening in real life, and I can’t see it occuring on Galactica.

Low Point:

I saw few things I would identify as serious weaknesses. I do see some potential problems:

1. Gaius Baltar would indeed be a man under stress. He handed his people over to the Cylons. He has a Cylon presence in his brain. Like everyone else, he suffers from sleep-deprivation. All of this is good–- but I found his histrionic performance started to grate after awhile, and I’m not certain I would want to see too much of it every week. At the same time, his personal story is interesting, so it needs to be developed.

2. An individual story can focus on any sort of people it wants, if it can get our interest, and Galactica certainly had mine. A long-running series, however, needs people we genuinely like, relate to, can be charmed by. I suspect Lee and Kara will get that role, and we need to see more of them. They have a fundamentally interesting relationship. In this episode, I found nobody too personally engaging– but it’s only the first episode.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6. Galactica revises an already derivative series from the 1970s, though it takes the concept in a fresh direction. Space wars are also old news– though I’ve never seen one handled this well on television before.

Effects: 6/6 The space-battles look impressive, and the space-jump resembles written SF more than anything I’ve seen in the visual media.

Story: 6/6 The ep makes use of its speculative technology– in this case, the space-jumps– as a key plot element, and the writer didn’t shy away from giving the characters difficult decisions.

Acting: 5/6.

Emotional Response: 5/6 Few shows can maintain the level of intensity I felt in “33.” At present, I don’t care enough about the characters, but that may come with time.

Production: 6/6 The show is well-produced. I personally like the use of shoulder-mounted cameras, though I know that (a) using shaky cameras to convey a sense of realism has become a cliché and (b)some people find the effect nauseating.

Overall: 6/6

In total, “33” receives 37/42

Additional Comments:

1. I find the look of the series fascinating. The original Battlestar Galactica channelled Chariots of the Gods through Glen A. Larson’s Mormon beliefs and added a twist of ‘70s glitz. The look, appropriately, was equal parts George Lucas space opera and Cecil B. DeMille Bible epic, with characters sporting pseudo-Egyptian duds, futuristic weapons, and Studio 54 hair. It has campy appeal, but it’s hard to take seriously. The new Galactica went, thankfully, in another direction entirely. Rather than resembling the mythic founders of ancient civilizations, these people and their world look a lot like us, as if they inhabit the twenty-first century of postwar predictions, the previous century with the addition of deep-space flight, lasers, and cybernetics.

2. As a premise for a season, Galactica is great. It’s a little more difficult to know at this point if it can last at this intensity for multiple seasons, particularly given the potential for a war/pursuit series to become repetitive. I hope Galactica receives the seasons to prove that it can work.

Also, can we get this show its own Category Icon?

55 replies on “Galactica: 33”

  1. Eldhrin says:

    Okay, so
    I’ve been watching this in the UK on Sky One. ’33’ as the first episode in the series kicks off quite as it means to go on. I doubt you will be disappointed with how it continues.

    I would also recommend not being worried about Gaius. I consider his performance to be extremely well done, he never goes too far over the edge. Not that he doesn’t go over the edge, but when he does it’s always appropriate. ’33’ was an excellent way to kick off the series, but don’t worry that it’s going to slow down or slacken off. It doesn’t.

  2. mbourgon says:

    Solution a little contrived, but good overall
    The one big problem I had with the episode is how they finally figured out which ship was the beacon. It smacked of a Deus Ex Machina, basing it off luck more than the reasoning abilities of the humans. Either that, or the Cylons get anxious after a while as well – is there something special about the number of jumps they made before “stuff” happened?

    Overall, though, pretty good. They’re doing a credible job keeping it serious, without descending to camp, and they should be commended for it. I never thought I’d be watching it, but I’m eagerly awaiting next week’s ep.

    • Daemonik says:

      Re: Solution a little contrived, but good overall

      The one big problem I had with the episode is how they finally figured out which ship was the beacon. It smacked of a Deus Ex Machina, basing it off luck more than the reasoning abilities of the humans. Either that, or the Cylons get anxious after a while as well – is there something special about the number of jumps they made before “stuff” happened?

      On the mechanical side I would say that 280 sustained FTL jumps was becoming hard on the equipment as the Galactica was staying behind longer to cover those ships needing repairs.

      On the other hand, the Deus Ex Machina seems to be exactly what the writers were looking for. On that ship was a scientist which had information about a Cylon traiter (probably Baltar) and Six either manipulated Gaius within the situation or God manipulated the situation to get Gaius to ‘repent’. Or it was all just coincidence. One of the more interesting situations in the series is that the Cylons are religiously devout but it’s the humans who have lost faith.

      Cylons, religious fanatics or Wrath of God? Just one more layer to speculate about.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: Solution a little contrived, but good overall

        Cylons, religious fanatics or Wrath of God? Just one more layer to speculate about.

        The Cylons believe in one God – the Humans have a pantheon.

        I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out what parallels could be drawn from that knowledge.

        • Daemonik says:

          Re: Solution a little contrived, but good overall

          The Cylons believe in one God – the Humans have a pantheon.

          I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out what parallels could be drawn from that knowledge.

          Actually, at the moment it’s hard to figure out the Colonial religious structure. They often refer to the Lords of Cobol which would imply a pantheon but they have also spoken of God in the singular. No one has yet spoken of a Lord of Cobol by name so I don’t think the references to God are to be implied as to a specific Lord. Maybe the Lords are a form of ancester worship layered onto a monotheism or they’re seen as saints or prophets. Perhaps they’re regarded as a human link to the divine like Mary and Christ.

          I know the old series was filtered through Mormon beliefs but that doesn’t mean the new series is reading off the same theology texts.

          • dcheesi says:

            Re: Solution a little contrived, but good overall
            From the funeral scene (in the pilot/mini), it sounds like Cobol was the name of their/our original homeworld. So the Lords of Cobol are ancestors of a sort, at least conceptually. I think they represent the original leaders or progenitors that first settled the colonies. No word on what happened to the homeworld, however.

            Either that or they’re a society that worships programmers (and rightly so! ;-)

            • Eldhrin says:

              Re: Solution a little contrived, but good overall

              From the funeral scene (in the pilot/mini), it sounds like Cobol was the name of their/our original homeworld. So the Lords of Cobol are ancestors of a sort, at least conceptually. I think they represent the original leaders or progenitors that first settled the colonies. No word on what happened to the homeworld, however.

              Either that or they’re a society that worships programmers (and rightly so! ;-)

              The humans pray to Artemis and Aphrodite among others – this is shown in a minor scene in a later episode which is of no plot significance whatsoever – so they’re polytheists.
              However, they typically appear to just address the Lords of Kobol.

            • vanyel says:

              Re: Solution a little contrived, but good overall
              I don’t think anyone worships COBOL programmers any more ;-)

              • Sprydle says:

                Re: Solution a little contrived, but good overall

                I don’t think anyone worships COBOL programmers any more ;-)

                Oh Come On, My belief is that the Lords of Cobol saved the human race from the looming disaster of the Y10K problem.

                • OrangeCarrot says:

                  Re: Solution a little contrived, but good overall

                  I don’t think anyone worships COBOL programmers any more ;-)

                  Oh Come On, My belief is that the Lords of Cobol saved the human race from the looming disaster of the Y10K problem.

                  Don’t worry about the programmers because in Galactica it’s Kobol, not Cobol.

  3. Zarhim says:

    I loved this…
    I must say that this has been one of not the best produced shows in a long long time. I feel that they are drawing you into the environment before narrowing in on the specific characters. Watching the show is like being a kid in a candy shop, which way first, you just want to draw in everything at once, so who should you focus on. Even without the in depth character development, I find that I’m still brought up to date with the main characters. With the addition of the mini-series and seeing things here and there you have a good grasp of who’s who and what is the underlining reasons for people’s actions. From Baltar’s fear of being found out for being a trator to the tension between Starbuck and Tigh. In fact I think it’s more of a plot development that we haven’t had a chance to focus on a single character, it gives you the feeling of impatience and anxiety that the characters felt.

    hmmm Can you tell I really liked it. ;)

  4. Kaki says:

    Adding my voice to the chorus…
    I liked the “mini-series” and the two episodes friday night. They were all quite good on their own and together show a great deal of potiential for good sci-fi to come. I didn’t even realize that there was a new Enterprise friday, until it was mentioned here on b42, such was my state of mind looking forward to Galactica.

    One complaintish comment. I would prefer for Baltar to lose the over-antsy style and get a f-ing grip.

    Now on to some speculation (I’m not looking for those of you who have seen more episodes to give anything away and if you haven’t seen through “Water” stuff I say may be spoilage). The Cylons have shown clear signs of being non-unified with regards to how they treat individual humans. One interpretation is that they are somewhat innocently following their impluses when it comes to the humans they personally know and to which they have emotional attachment. Maybe they each want, or will eventually want, a pet human or two.

    More about Baltar, he should ditch the psycho-robot chick for a real girl, Starbuck if possible, as quick as possible. A bird in the hand is worth any number of untrustable robot girls. That a super smart person wouldn’t at least bring up that line of thinking is silly.

    About the Olympia. It did seem a little too convenient for the plot. But if we take it apart from that, it shows that the Cylons might have been getting impatient with the chase. Maybe they were about to fall behind on the 33 minute cycle. Or the Cylons giving chase know that they have a mole on the Galactica (although the state of inter-Cylon communication is very much in doubt), so losing their mole on the Olympia wouldn’t be that big a deal to them, and thus the “load it with nukes” strategy may have been a reasonable gamble for them.

    One nice point I haven’t seen mentioned was the actual number for the number of people in the fleet (if they stick to the numbers they will score one over Voyager). When the Pres. had to go below 50k, such an obvious but good pull at human heartstrings. I’m so glad to see the writers didn’t miss this angle. Maybe they will also give us whole episodes that focus on some other ship in the fleet and their loss. It would help us get more attached to the fleet as a whole to see more than just two ships.

    Also seeing Baltar talk about the logistics of running the fleet was great. So many good angles to keep going. I hope the show can do it.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Adding my voice to the chorus…

      One possible explanation for the Olympia situation: the Cylons may have been only gradually taking over the ship and/or preparing the nuclear gambleo, and it therefore took several jumps before they were ready to attempt that particular strike. It’s not the greatest strategy, in that you lose your tracking device if it doesn’t work, but humans have attempted more bizarre strategies in actual wars. How many times has one side received an edge because the other did something (think Hitler invading the Soviet Union– though I can think of other examples a lot closer to home) that in retrospect looks like a really bad move.

  5. Babbster says:

    Great Stuff
    I’ll just echo the positive sentiments of everyone else. This certainly kicked off the regular series in grand fashion.

    I must say, though, that the two things I most look forward to are a) the development of Boomer’s storyline (more on that when we talk about “Water”) and b) the seemingly inevitable hints that have to be dropped indicating that Earth is a real place, along with the equally inevitable discovery by the masses that Adama never had real info about the place.

    While I’ve slipped out of regularly watching SG:1 and Atlantis (still haven’t replaced my PVR – holding out for a new satellite setup with HD), adding BG to “SciFi Friday” expands my regular TV watching by an hour per week (I’m up to five now – hopefully it doesn’t get too out of control again). There’s just no way I can justify missing this series as it happens.

    • mbourgon says:

      Re: Great Stuff

      adding BG to “SciFi Friday” expands my regular TV watching by an hour per week (I’m up to five now – hopefully it doesn’t get too out of control again).

      Just for grins, what’s everyone watching/taping? I’m watching a lot more TV than I have in a while.
      Here’s my list, semi-ordered by day:

      • Monster House (light and fun)
      • 24 (watched first season, trying again, I want to like it)
      • Lost (quite compelling, so much better than the premise sounds)
      • Alias (hopefully better this season – last season got old with all the Rimbaldi stuff, and considering it’s back to “the core group”, hopefully they’ll find some new inspiration)
      • MXC (goofy “aggressively redubbed” Japanese game show)
      • Battlestar Galactica (amazingly better than the original, IMHO – I can’t believe SciFi is the one responsible for a good TV show, it’s been a couple years since I thought them capable of it)
      • Dinner for five. (Five movie people talking about movies and life. Best ep thus far: Dom Deluise, Charles Nelson Reilley, Burt Reynolds, Charles Durning)
      • Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex (I wish the CG was more prominent- it was part of the style I enjoyed in the movie, but the stories are pretty darn good)
      • Venture Brothers (must-see spoof of Johnny Quest meets The Tick. Trust me on this, please give it a shot.)
      • Good Eats (I’m actually learning how to cook, since it is a science, not just an art)
      • Carnivale (first season was damn good, and the promos look stunning for the second)
      • elykyllek says:

        Re: Great Stuff
        Here’s mine:

        • Stargate SG-1 season 8
        • Stargate Atlantis
        • Mythbusters
        • Earth 2 (old short lived show being reshown on space)
        • Scrubs
        • Lost
        • The West Wing
        • The Daily Show
        • The OC
        • ER
        • Enterprise
        • Battlestar Galactica
        • Alias
        • Smallville
        • Arrested Development
        • Boston Legal

        whoa that’s a lot of tv, It doesn’t help either that I’ve got a

        Dr Caleb says:

        Re: Great Stuff

        Just for grins, what’s everyone watching/taping?

        * Stargate SG-1
        * Stargate Atlantis
        * Mythbusters
        * Lost
        * Enterprise
        * Battlestar Galactica
        * Smallville
        * NYPD Blue
        * Andromeda

      • vanyel says:

        Re: Great Stuff
        OK. Just a quick comment first: I think having the Olympic carrying the scientist most likely to blow Baltar’s cover was too coincidental. The only thing that will redeem that and the religious significance is if #6-in-his-head is somehow in communication with the cylons and is part of some sort of manipulation plot.

        As for my tv list:

        • Charmed
        • Malcolm in the Middle
        • House (a really interesting medical diagnosis mystery show, though I don’t believe Dr. House would survive long with his attitude problems)
        • Smallville
        • Lost (agreed: way better than it sounds)
        • Alias (I’ve just come to the belated realization that what this show really is is a modern remake of Mission: Impossible, one of my favorite shows as a kid; it also oddly follows real life considering a news commentary I saw recently about the CIA taking a side role to black ops in the actual military)
        • Enterprise
        • SG-1
        • Atlantis
        • Battlestar Galactica
      • Sprydle says:

        Re: Great Stuff

        Just for grins, what’s everyone watching/taping? I’m watching a lot more TV than I have in a while.

        Here’s my TiVo Season Pass list:

        BG
        Stargate SG1
        Stargate: Atlantis
        Megas XLR (silly robot show on Adult Swim)
        Venture Brothers (also recommended)
        Family Guy (speaking of which, Adult Swim is showing it in place of the Sunday Family Guy spot)
        Farscape (actually, I’ve gotten and watched them all, so I should probably delete this)
        Ghost in the Shell, Standalone eps
        Enterprise
        NYPD Blue
        American Chopper
        Family Plots (A&E mortuary-based reality show)
        Airline&Airline UK
        ER (though they’re starting to repeat themselves)
        Medium (so far, so good, and normally I hate Patricia Arquette)
        Dead Like Me (just cancelled, I heard)

        And, some, just in case I forgot any of the episodes I’ve seen:
        BG: TOS
        Galactica 1980 (for when I need a laugh)
        Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
        Big O
        Cowboy BeBop

      • pdavis says:

        Re: Great Stuff
        OK, just checked my Sage.Tv and this is what it gets. Obviously I watch too much television if I watch it all every week…

      • 30-Minute Meals
      • Aqua Teen Hungerforce
      • Battlestar Galactica
      • Blue Collar TV
      • Chappelle’s Show
      • Charmed
      • CSI: Miami
      • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
      • Crossing Jordan
      • Full Metal Alchemist
      • Good Eats
      • JAG
      • Joan of Arcadia
      • Law & Order
      • Law & Order: Criminal Intent
      • Law & Order: SVU
      • Malcolm in the Middle
      • MI-5
      • MythBusters
      • NCIS
      • Overhaulin’
      • Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
      • Queer Eye for the Straight Girl
      • Reno 911!
      • Rides
      • Star Trek: Enterprise
      • Smallville
      • Sealab 2021
      • Super Milk Chan
      • Teen Titans
      • The Surreal Life
      • Trucks!
      • The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
      • The Simpsons
      • Venture Brothers
      • Witch Hunter Robin
      • X Play
  • vanyel says:

    Re: Great Stuff
    Oh yeah, I forgot about Andromeda and Queer Eye (though the latter is starting to get old, and I’m not really watching it much). And Dead Like Me. I hope it really hasn’t been cancelled, they’ve got some questions to answer still…

    • joe__gee says:

      Blue Collar TV and Queer Eye :)

      Oh yeah, I forgot about Andromeda and Queer Eye (though the latter is starting to get old, and I’m not really watching it much). And Dead Like Me. I hope it really hasn’t been cancelled, they’ve got some questions to answer still…

      I don’t think you could get much more opposed. I’m surprised they coexist peacefully on your DVR’s hard drive. Do you watch one to atone for the other? :)))

      Peace,

      -Joe G.

      P.S. I’m not criticizing either show. I watch Queer Eye, catch Blue Collar TV when I remember it’s on. I guess I might have it a little worse: I also watch TLC’s “What not to Wear.” :P

      • pdavis says:

        Re: Blue Collar TV and Queer Eye :)
        Well, to be honest Queer Eye is starting to get a bit old. We (SO and two roommates) used to have three Tivos setup and had everything segregated (comedy/anime on one, dramas/life improvement on another, and sci-fi/adult content on a third) but we have consolidated now into one Sage system and everything seems to be coexisting just fine:) I also catch several other TLC and HGTV programs as well and forgot to mention “The Dead Zone” every now and again.

        • pdavis says:

          Forgot some…
          For the Lords of Cobol! I forgot the Stargates! And I have a box set of Alias I need to watch… I watch entirely too much TV.

      • vanyel says:

        Re: Blue Collar TV and Queer Eye :)
        I don’t see Andromeda and Queer Eye being particularly opposed, especially with Radha running around sleeveless with those muscles ;-)

        However I do watch Blue Collar TV also. Having grown up in the country, I can relate — it’s really funny, but that is what I’d call the definition of antithesis ;-)

  • Babbster says:

    Re: Great Stuff
    Seeing all those long lists makes me almost happy I’m currently PVR-less. :)

    My list consists of Desperate Housewives (I find it hilarious), Boston Public (this one just IS hilarious), West Wing (an addiction I’ll probably come down from sooner rather than later), Alias (it’s just super cool – spy stuff is one of my favorite genres and the scifi twists are fun), Smallville (it’s Superman, duh), Enterprise (back on board with Manny) and Battlestar Galactica.

    Wow, looks like I’m up to seven shows per week. Those plus football bring me to about 10 hours per week. Pretty good for a guy who used to have upwards of a 30-hour habit (kicking ER and Law & Order were probably the toughest after so long).

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Great Stuff
      Previewed three times and still missed one typo: It’s Boston Legal which I watch – James Spader and William Shatner put me in stitches weekly. As far as I know, Boston Public is long gone (it was one decent season then turned to garbage anyway).

  • GrimSean says:

    Re: Great Stuff

    adding BG to “SciFi Friday” expands my regular TV watching by an hour per week (I’m up to five now – hopefully it doesn’t get too out of control again).

    Just for grins, what’s everyone watching/taping? I’m watching a lot more TV than I have in a while.

    I’ve been cutting back, as I’m in my penultimate semester (fingers crossed) and I’m taking four English courses, three of which are third year and one of which is fourth year. This is what I am watching:

    • Battlestar Galactica
    • Enterprise
    • ER
    • Smallville
    • Stargate SG1 – only occasionally and usually when I need noise in the background
    • Trailer Park Boys – gnome sayin’?
    • Veronica Mars – this is what would happen if Chloe from Smallville lived in a ‘normal’ town. I cannot praise this show enough as it’s dark, funny and actually has a story arc.

    I’ll occasionally watch MXC or The Simpsons but I’ve started to focus on DVDs, as I can stop and start them when I wish. I finished the special edition of Aliens today, and I’m hoping to hit the Back to the Future Trilogy within the next two weeks, then it’s on to the rest of my backlog – some of which has been sitting around for almost a year waiting to be watched.

  • scharkalvin says:

    Re: Great Stuff

    adding BG to “SciFi Friday” expands my regular TV watching by an hour per week (I’m up to five now – hopefully it doesn’t get too out of control again).

    Just for grins, what’s everyone watching/taping? I’m watching a lot more TV than I have in a while.

    Egad, SGSG1, SGA, and BSG. Also Enterprise. Good thing
    I have a VCR AND a DVD recorder! Enterprise gets delegated to the VCR, but it is an S video unit, while the 3 hours of
    SFI channel goes on DVDRW. I’m only time shifting so I
    record over the tapes (STE isn’t worth keeping). If it
    wasn’t for the commericals I’d probably record BSG on DVDR’s
    and keep ’em.

  • roseblood says:

    Tension
    It’s turned on from te get-go and dosen’t let up, even after the threat has been destroyed(Olympic Carrier.) The characters are not sure they’ve done the right thing, and even the viewer will have to make their own decision regarding the “rightness” of the actions taken in defense of the fleet. “33” is one of the best 2 episodes of the first 11. “Water” being the other (in my opinion of course.)

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Tension

      It’s turned on from te get-go and dosen’t let up, even after the threat has been destroyed(Olympic Carrier.) The characters are not sure they’ve done the right thing, and even the viewer will have to make their own decision regarding the “rightness” of the actions taken in defense of the fleet. “33” is one of the best 2 episodes of the first 11. “Water” being the other (in my opinion of course.)

      “Water” is fantastic, right from the pre-credits opener. ‘What’s going on?’ is just one of many questions it asks, and mmost of them don’t get answered for weeks and weeks and weeks…

  • octa says:

    thank god for internet
    I’ve watched up to episode 11 through bittorrent downloads of the skyone presentations. The show just gets better and better. Baltar’s dialogue gets better written/acted down the line too and we start to see a focus from him that isn’t prevalent in the pilot or earlier episodes. I also have to say that the changes they made from the original were very smart, the change of Boomer and Starbuck to women was a good move – the original was very male centric :P

  • rafaelbn says:

    The meaning of the number of jumps
    At last count, if I recall correctly, they had made 239 jumps. That would make it 7 days, then the Cylons screwed up with the Olympic.

    (in 7 days, god created heaven and earth?)

    does anybody know the meaning of the pilots kissing the picture before going out…?

    • Kaki says:

      Re: The meaning of the number of jumps

      does anybody know the meaning of the pilots kissing the picture before going out…?

      I think they were performing an ad hoc ritual to honor the memory of the colonies that are gone. The picture, if memory serves me, was of a happy citizen and they were saying “never forget.” I saw it as a sort of “why we are fighting” thing to rouse them for combat.

    • y42 says:

      Re: The meaning of the number of jumps

      At last count, if I recall correctly, they had made 239 jumps. That would make it 7 days, then the Cylons screwed up with the Olympic.

      (in 7 days, god created heaven and earth?)

      does anybody know the meaning of the pilots kissing the picture before going out…?

      6, on the 7th he rested.

    • Sprydle says:

      Re: The meaning of the number of jumps

      does anybody know the meaning of the pilots kissing the picture before going out…?

      At the US Naval Academy, cadets rub the nose of the statue of Admiral Rickover, father of the nuclear submarine fleet, for luck. It’s probably similar.

      • Timeshredder says:

        Re: The meaning of the number of jumps

        does anybody know the meaning of the pilots kissing the picture before going out…?

        A fallen comrade, perhaps?

        • Timeshredder says:

          Re: The meaning of the number of jumps

          In any case, it’s typical of humans to have rituals like this. The show doesn’t have to stop to explain the specifics– though they may do so in some future ep. I like the approach; it’s truer to life than the writing on many shows.

        • Eldhrin says:

          Re: The meaning of the number of jumps

          does anybody know the meaning of the pilots kissing the picture before going out…?

          A fallen comrade, perhaps?

          For some reason when I saw it I thought the picture was of a Galactica pilot who died during the miniseries, in the initial Cylon attack. I could be wrong though.

  • coyote says:

    Is Baltar really a traitor?
    Is Baltar really a traitor?

    There’s no doubt that he broke security regulations and should face judgment for that.

    But is he a traitor? He did not knowingly hand over secrets to the enemy. He had no reason to believe that his bedmate was anything other than human – not only are biocylons nearly identical to humans (or else Adama wouldn’t be struggling with finding biocylons on board the Galactica), when humanity last saw Cylons 40 years earlier they were clunky metal boxoids.

    Does that excuse his actions? No. He broke security and abused his position (trading access for access, as it were). Under normal circumstances he would lose his security clearances and government contracts/position, but he would probably only get hit by a mutually agreed upon fine. A public trial would be too embarassing for the government (how could they allow this to happen?) and not really fitting since he never thought he was doing anything more than helping a very close friend get a competitive advantage on her own government work.

    In these circumstances? Who else knows more about the Cylons than him?

    You could even make a strong argument that his ongoing silence and rationalization is far more treasonous than his prior acts. Before he acted in ignorance. Now he’s deliberately withholding critical information and providing misinformation motivated to protect his own ass instead of acting in the best interest of all survivors.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Is Baltar really a traitor?
      All of your logic is reasonable, except for one big thing: The Cylons killed EVERYBODY. Millions upon millions dead. It’s not a stretch to think that the survivors would consider his actions treasonous and the punishments for treason in most societies include the possibility of execution. Of course, even if one managed to evade being put to death after trial, trying to live amongst people who all believe you’re guilty of murder on a genocidal scale wouldn’t be much better – even the strongest person would have to consider suicide or exile in that situation, and Baltar ain’t one of the strong.

      • coyote says:

        Re: Is Baltar really a traitor?

        It’s not a stretch to think that the survivors would consider his actions treasonous and the punishments for treason in most societies include the possibility of execution. Of course, even if one managed to evade being put to death after trial…

        That’s why it would never go to trial and his role would be a closely guarded secret. He already has a reputation as a brilliant scientist so most people would blindly accept his “insights.” Only Adama and the president, and perhaps a few of their most highly trusted aides, would need to know the details so they could decide how much to trust the information. (This is especially true when he’s channeling information from the cylon within.)

        Look at our own world. The first thing you do with a traitor is either feed him misinformation or try to turn him into a double agent. The second thing you do is toss him into a dark cave for years of interrogation – how much did his handlers reveal to him about enemy operations? Once he’s of no remaining value (e.g., because you’ve changed all of the compromised procedures) you use him for prisoner exchange – the potential for the same gives your own agents hope. Traitors almost never go to trial because trials are too public.

  • elect_engr says:

    water
    Ok, so boomer wakes up wet, and notices the charges are gone. Is she a cylon sleeper agent? Did she do it?
    And back on the planet, a look-alike rescues her navigator as number 6 watches? Does that mean that both of them are cylons? or is just one? How can we love this charachter if we know from the start she is a cylon? Are there going to be good cylons and bad cylons?

    help me!

    Also a questiong about 24. My wife and I watched the first year religiously, then they killed his wife. We vowed never to watch it again after that. Felt so sick that week. Did they ever repent? Can I trust this show? Am i missing something?

    And Alias. Watched the first year and the same thing, her dad betrays her, never watched again. Am i missing something, or is this just a showcase for Jenny Garners good looks?

    • mbourgon says:

      Re: water

      And back on the planet, a look-alike rescues her navigator as number 6 watches? Does that mean that both of them are cylons?

      Spoilers in this post regarding “water”.

      Yes. And it looks like this unit may be one of the “head” cylons. But here’s another question – what’s the point of the whole charade with the other Boomer? It can’t be to infiltrate, show up and say “I’m a Cylon, she’s not”, that shouldn’t work. Same thing if Boomer had died during “Water”. The only thing I can come up with is if this way she can get codes or something out of the tech. Of course, we’re working with imperfect info.

      Alias – her dad never truly betrays her, there’s _always_ a good reason for it. Yes he’s a schmuck, yes he can be a dick, but he always has best interests at heart, even if it seems counter-intuitive.

      • Eldhrin says:

        Re: water

        Yes. And it looks like this unit may be one of the “head” cylons. But here’s another question – what’s the point of the whole charade with the other Boomer? It can’t be to infiltrate, show up and say “I’m a Cylon, she’s not”, that shouldn’t work. Same thing if Boomer had died during “Water”. The only thing I can come up with is if this way she can get codes or something out of the tech. Of course, we’re working with imperfect info.

        Keep watching, your questions will be answered. Partially. I don’t think there’s room in the season for a full explanation of why the Cylons do what they do, as it’s only thirteen episodes (booooooo!) but quite a lot more is revealed. Unfortunately (in a way), most of it just leads to more questions. This series definitely has depth.

      • Kaki says:

        Re: water

        But here’s another question – what’s the point of the whole charade with the other Boomer? It can’t be to infiltrate, show up and say “I’m a Cylon, she’s not”, that shouldn’t work. Same thing if Boomer had died during “Water”. The only thing I can come up with is if this way she can get codes or something out of the tech. Of course, we’re working with imperfect info.

        My take on the second Boomer planetside is pretty straightforward. She formed an emotional attachment to that guy when they worked together, so she was moved to help him. The theory is that along with the overarching “exterminate humans” objective that the Cylons have (and the Toasteroid models only operate on), the individually minded, human-replicant type Cylons sometimes come to violate the general principle in what they consider to be “special” cases due to their personal emotional attachments.

        It might be that they come to consider people that they know and care about to be equals in god’s plan. Or maybe they see them as weak and inferior but want to keep one or a few around for any number of reasons. As “pets”, or breeding stock. For the historical value that humans were the creators of Cylons and to understand humans is to better understand themselves. Or maybe they haven’t themselves figured out why they are willing to violate their own general operating principles in those cases. The Boomer model onboard Galactica seems genuinely conflicted about her own actions and even her own perceptions. Perhaps she is coming to have an attachment to the whole ship that is crossing the threshold that would lead her to violate the general principle for it.

        So far there is no reason to think that the replicant-type Cylons let each other know about these emotional attachments. And they certainly seem to treat the Toasteroids as less important than their favorite humans. The one scene back on the planet in “Water”, where the Boomer Cylon “takes custody” of the guy (what is his name?) leads me to think that they are somewhat proactive in hiding their “pet humans” from each other. If that is true, the other Cylons might not know that #6 is in communication with Baltar.

        Personally, I think that having the Cylons be such a non-unified enemy, with lots of internal dynamics (more than even they may know) is a great deal more interesting than the way they were in the old series. Better even than how most groups of villains are done it most shows.

    • vanyel says:

      Re: water

      Ok, so boomer wakes up wet, and notices the charges are gone. Is she a cylon sleeper agent?

      It’s not a spoiler to know that if you watched the mini-series: one of her was in the group of cylons that entered Ragnar at the end to pick up the PR guy Galactica left there because Baltar fingered him as a cylon because the guy caught him having a wet dream. That shows just how much of a prick he is — effectively killing someone over a minor embarrassment.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: water

        That shows just how much of a prick he is — effectively killing someone over a minor embarrassment.

        Except the guy was a Cylon – how exactly is leaving him for dead a bad thing?

        • Eldhrin says:

          Re: water

          That shows just how much of a prick he is — effectively killing someone over a minor embarrassment.

          Except the guy was a Cylon – how exactly is leaving him for dead a bad thing?

          Also remember that Six guided him to the accusation – she knew he was a Cylon and wanted him out of the way for some reason or other.

    • babasyzygy says:

      Re: water

      Also a questiong about 24. My wife and I watched the first year religiously,
      then they killed his wife. We vowed never to watch it again after that. Felt so
      sick that week. Did they ever repent? Can I trust this show?

      Do you mean that you can only trust a show if the threats of death aren’t real,
      that you always know that every main character will survive?

      Personally, I
      thought that his wife’s death was the high point of the series to date –
      action-oriented shows
      should kill off characters from time to time if they want us to believe that the
      threats to the characters are plausible. Otherwise, these threats are just
      speedbumps with little dramatic impact.

  • vanyel says:

    Bashir?
    BTW, if anyone’s still reading this thread, who thinks Baltar (James Callis) looks and sounds an awful lot like Dr. Bashir (Siddig El-Fadil/Alexander Siddig) on DS9?

    • hitch says:

      Re: Bashir?

      BTW, if anyone’s still reading this thread, who thinks Baltar (James Callis) looks and sounds an awful lot like Dr. Bashir (Siddig El-Fadil/Alexander Siddig) on DS9?

      indeed. I was almost completely convinced it was him before IMDB told me otherwise.

  • babasyzygy says:

    The Olympic Carrier
    OK, I’ve been thinking about the whole Olympic Carrier thing. I’ve broken
    things down to a few “minimal” (meaning, I don’t invent new Cylon agents on
    the bridge of the Galactica and so forth) theories based on possible answers
    to some key questions.

    Let’s start at the beginning. There are two possibilities as to why the Olympic
    Carrier didn’t
    jump with the fleet:

    1. The Cylons had a saboteur on board or had complete control, or
    2. There was a mechanical breakdown.

    Let’s explore each.

    If (1) there was a saboteur on board, the Cylons had to
    have a reason for stopping the ship, beyond just killing it (because they easily
    could have done so and didn’t).

    1a. They had to put the nuclear warhead on board, and perhaps take the
    humans off (they might have a use for spare humans now, who knows). This
    is the only possibility if the initial breakdown was accidental and not
    sabotage.
    Or…
    1b. They wanted to keep the Galactica behind and attack it there – the
    Galactica was jumping
    only after the civilian ships were safely away. Only a human error due to
    fatigue caused the Galactica to jump away safely. Or….
    1c. They wanted to use the timing of its appearance to convince Baltar that
    God was acting through events.

    This is the more straightforward theory, and assumes that everything was
    pretty much as it appeared to us, the viewers: the ship was compromised
    from the beginning and was simply being used for a suicide attack. This
    does raise another question though: did the
    Scientist claiming to have information about the traitor exist, or did the
    Cylons use that claim simply to solidify their hold on Baltar? We only heard
    from the supposed “Pilot,” who didn’t seem to be an ally in control – the ship
    did not respond to light signals, warning shots, or finally a wireless message.
    Why would a ship under Cylon control allow an actual Colonial ally to pass a
    message to the fleet?

    The more interesting idea is (2) if the ship did not have a saboteur
    on
    board. It jumped late out of some mechanical failure and the Cylons did
    not board it. But then how did the nuke show up? Why did they
    ignore orders to stop?

    I’ll remind you that all direct communication with the Olympic Carrier was
    done by… Boomer’s ship. The one Cylon agent we know, Boomer, spent a lot
    of time
    working in the ship alone. She could have instructed, via prerecorded
    message if necessary, the ship to head straight for the Galactica and ignore
    all light signals, warning shots, etc., and for the people to stay back from the
    windows. She likewise could have rigged the ship’s
    detectors to indicate a nuke where none existed.
    Why would she/they do this? Two possibilities:
    2a. Morale, of course. If this is what happened, it was a
    100% effective attack that went off as planned, and took very, very little work
    to achieve. Or… (and maybe and…)
    2b. To save Baltar from discovery. This requires the remarkable coincidence
    that the scientist with the info about Baltar was on board the one ship to
    break down.

    The one hole in this theory is that the Cylons seem to have stopped tracking
    the fleet after the Olympic Carrier was destroyed. But what if they haven’t
    stopped tracking the fleet? What if they’re now following at a longer distance,
    hoping to lull the fleet into a sense of security?

  • nkuzmik says:

    Jumps and tech
    I haven’t done the numbers yet but “33” gave us some estimates about the types and levels of technology in the BSG universe.

    FTL jumps appear to be relatively instantaneous. If this is accurate, then the 33 minutes featured in the episode seems likely be the time it took the signal from the Olympic Carrier to reach the pursuing Basestars. If we assume that there is no type of FTL data transmission, which appears to be the case, based on the events of Water and the mini-series, we can then calculate the maximum jump range of the fleet as a whole.

    Now this may not be the maximum jump range of all the ships in the fleet. The group will be constrained by the speed of the slowest ship, but it starts to give us some baselines to gauge their universe by.

    A few things that have been nagging me.

  • Why haven’t the Cylons used the tactic of jumping a group of fighters into the fleet, and standing on the missile release button since the movie?
  • Other than drama, what yutz would design a ship with a flaw like the Galactica’s landing pods?
  • Why couldn’t the Olympic Carrier simply transmit the coordinates of the location they were jumping to?
  • Behind the scenes stuff and observation tell me that the Galactica is modeled after an aircraft carrier. She has guns, but they are primarly defensive. Her real punch comes from her small craft compliment. Thus far, we have yet to see the Vipers operate in anything but a fighter/interceptor/escort role. Futhermore, the shape of the Viper launch tubes seems like it would put a crimp in the amount of ordinance that could be mounted externally. While I imagine the Vipers would have some kind of internal missile bay like the Cylon Raiders, even with nukes this seems like a rather anemic offensive capability. This suggests to me that there might be some kind of fighter/bomber, medium-bomber craft that we haven’t seen yet.
  • There was something else but it escapes me right now.
  • Okay, I’ll stop talking… for now.