Battlestar Galactica: Bastille Day

The series falters a little with the third episode, though it still surpasses anything Enterprise has shown us.

“Bastille Day”

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
Kandyse Mclure as Dualla
Nicki Clyne as Cally
Michael Hogan as Col. Tigh
Connor Widdows as Boxey
Richard Hatch as Tom Zarak

Writer: Toni Graphia

Director: Alan Kroeker

Plot:

A rebellion breaks out on a prison ship when the fleet tries to convince convicts to volunteer for a dangerous mission.

High Points:

1. Lt. “Starbuck” Thrace addressing the pilots. Starbuck and Boomer remain the most interesting characters, though they are not entirely likeable. I also like the idea of Boxey as Viper mascot, even if the pilots are clearly not a consistently good influence.

2. While I found the ending pat, it creates the potential for some great future episodes.

Low Point:

The writing, and the theme of choices, seemed a little too obvious, and the conclusion, a little too pat. It would’ve been the expected ending on a certain other space-based tv franchise; I’ve come to expect more from Galactica.

I also had a few questions about the set-up. Given the level of technology evident, would salt water present such a problem? With so many people available, wouldn’t they just move on to other volunteers if the prisoners refused? And, even with the prisoner’s surprise advantage, shouldn’t it be more difficult to seize control of a prison ship?

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The premise was fairly well-handled, but it’s hardly original.

Effects: 5/6 This ep featured fewer effects than the first two, but they looked good. The pack of rats looked too much like CGI.

Story: 4/6 .

Acting: 5/6 Richard Hatch did a fine job, and I liked the (relatively) understated madness of the disturbed prisoner.

Emotional Response: 4/6. I’ve already addressed Starbuck and Boomer. Lee has many positive qualities, but I’m not sold on the character.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Bastille Day” receives 30/42

Additional Comments and Cheap Shots:

1. I don’t really buy Zarak’s plot. Given the circumstances, I doubt he’d attract that much sympathy after the marines opened fire. However, I buy that a desperate person might attempt such a plot.

2. I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but did it strike anyone else that the first time we see any measurable Black presence in this series is during a prison episode?

3. The Classical gods are mentioned as gods in this ep, providing more hints about Galactica’s mythology and theology.

4. Standing up for the law and the constitution is loyalty? I’m pretty sure a message like that runs afoul of the Homeland Security Act.

5. Cylon-occupied Caprica bears a striking resemblance to Vancouver.

47 replies on “Battlestar Galactica: Bastille Day”

  1. Eldhrin says:

    Falters?
    Different taste in episodes I guess.

    The salt water, I think, is mostly a question of additional time and effort to purify it. Their technology is not as advanced as you might expect in some areas, so it does add a considerable extra effort.

    • whackmol says:

      Re: Falters?
      The saltwater bit did bother me, because this is technology that WE ALREADY HAVE. Present day nuclear submarines do this every day. The only thing preventing us from using it on a large scale is the amount of electrical energy needed. It would seem inconceivable that a ship capable of FTL travel doesn’t have the ability to produce that kind of power.
      </nitpick mode>

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: Falters?

        The saltwater bit did bother me, because this is technology that WE ALREADY HAVE. Present day nuclear submarines do this every day. The only thing preventing us from using it on a large scale is the amount of electrical energy needed. It would seem inconceivable that a ship capable of FTL travel doesn’t have the ability to produce that kind of power.

        I have to agree. I just cannot see how a society that has mastered FTL _and_ artificial gravity can be lacking some of the technology that they seem to lack. I find it particuarly hard to belive that they do not have a cure for the President’s cancer and that they can’t easily make a cylon detector. If the cylons are made of different elements (insinuated from the silica pathways line from the miniseries), then wouldn’t a mass spectrometer be able to bust cylon? We have three of them where I work.

        • y42 says:

          Re: Falters?

          The saltwater bit did bother me, because this is technology that WE ALREADY HAVE. Present day nuclear submarines do this every day. The only thing preventing us from using it on a large scale is the amount of electrical energy needed. It would seem inconceivable that a ship capable of FTL travel doesn’t have the ability to produce that kind of power.

          I have to agree. I just cannot see how a society that has mastered FTL _and_ artificial gravity can be lacking some of the technology that they seem to lack.

          Well, in Star Trek they lost the technology of the circuit breaker at some point between now and when they designed those consoles that keep exploding on their bridges… maybe it’s lost technology of the ancient world? ;-)

      • TomSwiss says:

        Re: Falters?

        The saltwater bit did bother me, because this is technology that WE ALREADY HAVE.

        Having the technology isn’t the same as having the equipment facilities, and resources.

  2. Stevis says:

    Petty Officer Dualla repoting for duty, sir.
    I realize she hasn’t had a major role, but I think it’s been a minority presence at least as significant (so far) as any of the prisoners….

    Stevis

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Petty Officer Dualla repoting for duty, sir.

      Good point, but which “minority?” Okay, so the actress was born in South Africa, but looking at her, she could be southeast Asian, Black, or Mediterranean Caucasian. Yeah, yeah, none of this should matter but, since it still matters in our culture, and since Galactica is about the survival of an entire human race, I would have expected a greater mixed presence. Certainly, if they’re going to establish that, yep, dark-skinned humans exist among the colonials, I would have liked to have seen the fact more evident among the pilots and general population.

      For that matter, the Asian presence is remarkably limited (though better than in the original series), especially given (a) the aforementioned context of the series, the survival of humanity and (b) the fact that the show is filmed in and around Vancouver. Certainly, Earth’s version of the human race is predominantly Asian.

      Of course, if Galactica, where much of the action takes place, is principally, say, a Caprican ship, perhaps Caprica is the Europe of the colonies. In the end, I found this to be less a problem and more something worthy of discussion.

      • Cerberus7 says:

        Re: Petty Officer Dualla repoting for duty, sir.

        Of course, if Galactica, where much of the action takes place, is principally, say, a Caprican ship, perhaps Caprica is the Europe of the colonies. In the end, I found this to be less a problem and more something worthy of discussion.

        Indeed. Perhaps the 13th colony was the Africa of the colonies? We know that humans as a species started in Africa, so why not?

  3. andreakahn says:

    NYTimes writer looking for DVD collectors
    Hi,

    Sorry this doesn’t relate to Battlestar Galactica, but I’m trying to reach as many people as I can — I’m writing a story for The New York Times about avid DVD collectors — I’m looking for interesting anecdotes, hardcore fans, even people who buy DVD’s and don’t necessarily watch them, just to own them. If you qualify, or know of someone who does, please email me:
    Andrea Kahn
    [email protected]

    Thanks!

    • y42 says:

      Re: NYTimes writer looking for DVD collectors

      Hi,

      Sorry this doesn’t relate to Battlestar Galactica

      Ah, a spammer. Wonderfull.

      • TwistyHat says:

        Re: NYTimes writer looking for DVD collectors

        Hi,

        Sorry this doesn’t relate to Battlestar Galactica

        Ah, a spammer. Wonderfull.

        Not a spammer – a journalist doing research.

        (Notice she didn’t try to sell you any viagra!)

        • y42 says:

          Re: NYTimes writer looking for DVD collectors

          Hi,

          Sorry this doesn’t relate to Battlestar Galactica

          Ah, a spammer. Wonderfull.

          Not a spammer – a journalist doing research.

          (Notice she didn’t try to sell you any viagra!)

          Later on you’ll explain to me how that person isn’t selling the New York Times newspaper. Once you’ve thought real hard about it.

          An uncommon spammer, but the method is the same.

    • babasyzygy says:

      Re: NYTimes writer looking for DVD collectors

      Hi,

      Sorry this doesn’t relate to Battlestar Galactica, but I’m trying to reach as
      many people as I can — I’m writing a story for The New York Times about
      avid DVD collectors […] [email protected]

      I’d like to encourage everybody to complain to the New York Times for this
      abuse of our forum.

      The email address for their publisher is [email protected] and email address for
      their general manager and president is [email protected].

      • dgswensen says:

        Re: NYTimes writer looking for DVD collectors
        What if she’s freelancing?

        I don’t see what the big deal is.

        • sonar says:

          Re: NYTimes writer looking for DVD collectors

          What if she’s freelancing?

          I don’t see what the big deal is.

          she’s abusing the forums, and is probably an idiot.

          “hi, sorry this doesn’t relate to battlestar galactica, but i’m trying to reach as many people as i can”

          in a bsg forum, if that’s not spam, i dunno what is.

        • babasyzygy says:

          Re: NYTimes writer looking for DVD collectors

          What if she’s freelancing?

          Why would that matter? She used their name in her spam, and they should be
          able to do something about it, even if it’s just refusing to buy anything more
          from her.

          I don’t see what the big deal is.

          Because she deliberately misused this forum and almost certainly many
          others.

          Because she misused the site owner’s property in violation of the agreement
          that she made when she joined the site.

          Because she doesn’t care who she annoys, distracts, or inconveniences as
          long as she gets what she wants.

          Because anybody with more than two brain cells to rub together would be
          able to find a forum on the net that *does* specifically cater to DVD
          collectors.

          Because she was too lazy to even try to find a forum that directly caters to the
          audience she is trying to reach.

          Because tragic experience on the net over the last 20 years has shown that if
          everybody who does this isn’t harshly discouraged, more idiots will follow and
          the forums will soon become unusable. The Green Card spam was merely the
          first major instance of the flood that destroyed much of USENET.

          Because even now, we’re talking about some incompetent journalist-wannabe
          instead
          of Battlestar Galactica.

          • dgswensen says:

            Re: NYTimes writer looking for DVD collectors
            My point being, if she was freelancing “reporting her” to the NY Times would
            be meaningless.

            Sorry, I didn’t know it meant so much to you. I would have just glossed
            this meaningless little comment over without a second thought. In fact, I
            actually forgot about it for days before I re-read this story.

  4. Babbster says:

    Ouch, ouch, ouch
    First, a stupid comment in the review about the “law and constitution,” then a bunch of posts about how BG is turning out to be un-PC (never mind that a Latino is the friggin’ commander). Please, please don’t go in this direction with the site.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Yeah, the spammer can get lost, but….

      then a bunch of posts about how BG is turning out to be un-PC….Please, please don’t go in this direction with the site.

      Which “direction” would that be? I posted the comment as an “additional,” but it’s a valid topic. If a show set in Hong Kong had no Asian actors, we’d wonder. If a show set in New Orleans made no nod towards that city’s racial composition, we’d comment on it. And if a show is about the human race and has only token representation of non-whites, then it’s a topic for discussion. I’d hate for that to be the only topic for discussion, because I thought that this ep, while IMO not as good as the first two, was still excellent SF television. However, I don’t see how addressing the racial/ethnic issue, or commenting on the show’s political/thematic elements, represents a faulty or inappropriate “direction.”

      You could start a post on another aspect if these topics don’t interest you. I imagine lots of people still want to talk about all aspects of Galactica, and they should be hitting the forum any moment now….

      • bombadil says:

        Re: Yeah, the spammer can get lost, but….

        If a show set in Hong Kong had no Asian actors, we’d wonder. If a show set in New Orleans made no nod towards that city’s racial composition…

        The show is not set in Hong Kong, New Orleans, Vancouver, or anywhere else on Earth. It is pointless to disagree with the racial makeup of a FICTIONAL GROUP OF PLANETS. If you try to analyze it from the point of view that there is some relation to Earth as the 13th colony, the pseudo-science/pseudo-history breaks down. We have plenty of evidence that the human race is descended from hominids very much like our cousins the Great Apes. Here. On Earth. To wonder why this FICTIONAL group of planets didn’t have asians, blacks, or any other racial group is silly. If you are inclined to bring racial politics into all of your discussions, then it makes more sense to wonder why the 12 colonies have ANY Asians, Africans, Hispanics, or Caucasians at all, since they clearly DON’T have Asia, Africa, Latin America, or Europe. They should all be racial types we have never seen before.

        • Timeshredder says:

          Re: additional comments

          To wonder why this FICTIONAL group of planets didn’t have asians, blacks, or any other racial group is silly. If you are inclined to bring racial politics into all of your

          Except they’ve shown us that the colonies do contain various races that correspond to Earth’s, so it’s fair to ask why we’ve seen so little of a particular race.

          It’s also valid to note if an ep raises a political issue that is relevant to and much under discussion at the time the show was made. That’s no more an accident than Trek: TOS‘s forays into social relevance. Fiction does not exist in a vaccuum.

        • dgswensen says:

          Re: Yeah, the spammer can get lost, but….
          If you actually watched the show, you would know that the humans of
          Battlestar Galactica are originally descended from Earth. Your theory has no
          basis and is completely meaningless.

  5. babasyzygy says:

    Constitution
    What really interests me is that the Constitution doesn’t seem to spell out a
    relationship between the military and the civilian leadership. Where in the US
    the military is explicitly under the control of the political leadership (ie, the
    President is also the Commander-in-Chief), the situation is much more fluid
    in the fleet (and therefore probably was so in the colonies). Neither party
    seems to outrank the other absolutely, they each lay claim to different
    spheres of influence.

    The colonies must have had their share of military coups.

    It also implies something about the early history of the colonies – the military
    must have had a hand in the authorship of the Constitution for it not to have
    placed the military under civilian control. Perhaps the military handled the
    exodus from Kobol.

    • nkuzmik says:

      Re: Constitution

      What really interests me is that the Constitution doesn’t seem to spell out a
      relationship between the military and the civilian leadership.

      Although we haven’t had Colonial Constitutional Studies 101Wh, I suspect that the distinction you seek is in there

      Here in the US the military is explicitly under the control of the political leadership (ie, the
      President is also the Commander-in-Chief), the situation is much more fluid
      in the fleet (and therefore probably was so in the colonies).

      I suspect that the fluidity you have observed is a product of a fairly unique situation. The fleet is essentially under a protracted state of seige.

      Neither party
      seems to outrank the other absolutely, they each lay claim to different
      spheres of influence.

      BINGO. I think you hit the nail on the head.

      The colonies must have had their share of military coups.

      I think there is evidence to suggest that there has not been a successful military coup in recent memory. If you recall in the mini series, President Rosalind directly asks Cmdr. Adama if he “…(plans) to stage a miltary coup.” If such coups were as common as you suggest, then I think Adama would have been more likely to defy Rosalind, who in his mind is a “school teacher,” with delusions of grandeur. His respect for the Office of the President of the Twelve Colonies compelled him to at least listen to her. Then her powers of pursuasion won him over.

      Another example is how Adama took his cues from her during the hostage crisis. She made the decision that the government, such as it is, does not negotiate with terrorists. There for they either rescue hostages or bury them. Adama just happened to be more comfortable with Rosalind’s choice.

      Okay, I’ll stop talking… For now.

    • white.roses says:

      Re: Constitution

      Where in the US
      the military is explicitly under the control of the political leadership . . .

      Just want to expand on something here, not taking issue with anything you said in particular. I don’t know, exactly, what your (or anyone else on this board’s) military history might be, but I do know several ex-military types who all took their oaths extremely seriously. While the military is ostensibly under the purvue of the civil authority, as you said, members of the US military swear an oath to defend the Constitution, and to obey legal orders. Not any orders. Not orders made on a whim that run contrary to the Constitution and military law. I called one friend of mine, an ex-Air Force Master Sargeant, after this episode, and he stated, “Some NCO must have taught him right.” Apollo was upholding the Colonial Constitution first and foremost, whatever else his superior officers or the President told him.

      In other words, it didn’t matter what the civilian authority, or even the military authority told Apollo to do, he was upholding the law above all else. Makes him a good and honorable soldier in my book.

      • nkuzmik says:

        Re: Constitution

        Where in the US
        the military is explicitly under the control of the political leadership . . .

        Just want to expand on something here, not taking issue with anything you said in particular. I don’t know, exactly, what your (or anyone else on this board’s) military history might be, but I do know several ex-military types who all took their oaths extremely seriously. While the military is ostensibly under the purvue of the civil authority, as you said, members of the US military swear an oath to defend the Constitution, and to obey legal orders. Not any orders. Not orders made on a whim that run contrary to the Constitution and military law. I called one friend of mine, an ex-Air Force Master Sargeant, after this episode, and he stated, “Some NCO must have taught him right.” Apollo was upholding the Colonial Constitution first and foremost, whatever else his superior officers or the President told him.

        In other words, it didn’t matter what the civilian authority, or even the military authority told Apollo to do, he was upholding the law above all else. Makes him a good and honorable soldier in my book.

        I must have scrolled past your comment several times before I actually read it. That is a very good point. Now that I think about it, most if not all of my friends, both past and present service would agree.

  6. axmonkey says:

    Starbuck
    I find this character totally unbelievable. Maybe it’s just the bad acting, but c’mon, a skinny little blond tough guy? Maybe if they left out the obvious references to the original Starbuck. I find it painful to watch when she’s trying to “act” like a tough guy.

    Other than that, I like the series so far.

    • Trekkie says:

      You watching the same show?

      I find this character totally unbelievable. Maybe it’s just the bad acting, but c’mon, a skinny little blond tough guy? Maybe if they left out the obvious references to the original Starbuck. I find it painful to watch when she’s trying to “act” like a tough guy.

      Other than that, I like the series so far.

      Starbuck of the late 70s was a pretty boy wisecracking side kick. don’t remember him ever being a tough guy, just always there to stand next to apollo with some sort of sarcastic comment.

      Starbuck of 2005 appears to be a gifted pilot, an instructor, and has some personal issues including killing her boyfriend because she passed him after he busted his checkride. To combat this she postures a bit with ‘all the boys’ but breaks down when left alone to think about it

      Compared to Battlestar Galactica of 1978 – 1979 had less character development in the 40 some episodes than this one has had in 3…

      • hitch says:

        Re: You watching the same show?

        Starbuck of the late 70s was a pretty boy wisecracking side kick. don’t remember him ever being a tough guy, just always there to stand next to apollo with some sort of sarcastic comment.

        Starbuck of 2005 appears to be a gifted pilot, an instructor, and has some personal issues including killing her boyfriend because she passed him after he busted his checkride. To combat this she postures a bit with ‘all the boys’ but breaks down when left alone to think about it

        Compared to Battlestar Galactica of 1978 – 1979 had less character development in the 40 some episodes than this one has had in 3…

        besides all that, a “skinny little blonde tough guy” is not an unbelievable character for a woman. I have known – CURRENTLY know – women who are very similar in character to Starbuck. Don’t assume that size, shape, gender, or anything else, can keep you from being a badass.

        and I COMPLETELY agree about the level of character development on this show vs. the original.

        • Timeshredder says:

          Re: You watching the same show?

          Likewise. The old Starbuck was one-dimensional. What intrigues me about Kara Thrace is how complex she appears to be (obviously, we’re only three eps and a pilot into the show), skilled and flawed and, yeah, very like any number of women I’ve known.

          One of the reasons I picked her briefing as a highlight is that the scene did two things, one which we haven’t yet seen much of on this show, and the other which we don’t see much of in SF tv.

          1. It was fun. Galactica has been suspenseful and dramatic, but it hasn’t served up much humour (I’m just not getting into the funny bits involving Presidential Aide Doofus. Maybe that’s just me), and this scene made me laugh. It was refreshing to have that contrast with the show’s dark tone.

          2. A group of young guys/space pilot-types acting like a group of young guys.

          • joe__gee says:

            Agreed, I love Thrace …

            Likewise. The old Starbuck was one-dimensional. What intrigues me about Kara Thrace is how complex she appears to be (obviously, we’re only three eps and a pilot into the show), skilled and flawed and, yeah, very like any number of women I’ve known.

            One of the reasons I picked her briefing as a highlight is that the scene did two things, one which we haven’t yet seen much of on this show, and the other which we don’t see much of in SF tv.

            1. It was fun. Galactica has been suspenseful and dramatic, but it hasn’t served up much humour (I’m just not getting into the funny bits involving Presidential Aide Doofus. Maybe that’s just me), and this scene made me laugh. It was refreshing to have that contrast with the show’s dark tone.

            2. A group of young guys/space pilot-types acting like a group of young guys.

            This Starbuck is one of my favorite characters on the show. I love the fact that in the miniseries she delivered the same line as the original Starbuck, at a card game, and gave it more nuance than Dirk Benedict could ever manage: “so how’s the wife?” This character is very human, in some ways she’s tough, in some ways she’s not, in someways she’s strong, and in some ways she’s weak. The guilt she express to the commander felt real to me. She’s far from one dimensional. I feel for her, and with her.

            Oh, and does she have t’its? I haven’t really seen her in a cat suit yet, or with makeup to make her look like anything other than another warrior. I haven’t seen her in a gown a la Cinderella, or rubbing decontamination gel all over another officer. I pray we never see Kara all dolled up, or sexed up.

            There was some sex in this episode, but even that was real. There were no suggestive curves under the sheets, or perfect postcoital makeup, or a scene that would look great on a pinup poster. In fact, neither of the people involved in the scene(s) looked like models. :)

            The writers also do a great job with the character of the president. The show’s producers have a great actress in the role, but I lost my mom to breast cancer several years ago. The character’s responses are very, very real. Her words, the look(s) on her face during the meeting with the doctor, were very touching to me.

            I think this show has some of the more consistently real female characters I’ve seen on television.

            -Joe G.

            • J_W_W says:

              Re: Agreed, I love Thrace …

              Likewise. The old Starbuck was one-dimensional. What intrigues me about Kara Thrace is how complex she appears to be (obviously, we’re only three eps and a pilot into the show), skilled and flawed and, yeah, very like any number of women I’ve known.

              One of the reasons I picked her briefing as a highlight is that the scene did two things, one which we haven’t yet seen much of on this show, and the other which we don’t see much of in SF tv.

              1. It was fun. Galactica has been suspenseful and dramatic, but it hasn’t served up much humour (I’m just not getting into the funny bits involving Presidential Aide Doofus. Maybe that’s just me), and this scene made me laugh. It was refreshing to have that contrast with the show’s dark tone.

              2. A group of young guys/space pilot-types acting like a group of young guys.

              This Starbuck is one of my favorite characters on the show. I love the fact that in the miniseries she delivered the same line as the original Starbuck, at a card game, and gave it more nuance than Dirk Benedict could ever manage: “so how’s the wife?” This character is very human, in some ways she’s tough, in some ways she’s not, in someways she’s strong, and in some ways she’s weak. The guilt she express to the commander felt real to me. She’s far from one dimensional. I feel for her, and with her.

              Oh, and does she have t’its? I haven’t really seen her in a cat suit yet, or with makeup to make her look like anything other than another warrior. I haven’t seen her in a gown a la Cinderella, or rubbing decontamination gel all over another officer. I pray we never see Kara all dolled up, or sexed up.

              There was some sex in this episode, but even that was real. There were no suggestive curves under the sheets, or perfect postcoital makeup, or a scene that would look great on a pinup poster. In fact, neither of the people involved in the scene(s) looked like models. :)

              The writers also do a great job with the character of the president. The show’s producers have a great actress in the role, but I lost my mom to breast cancer several years ago. The character’s responses are very, very real. Her words, the look(s) on her face during the meeting with the doctor, were very touching to me.

              I think this show has some of the more consistently real female characters I’ve seen on television.

              -Joe G.

              Great comments.

              Has anyone else noticed that she and Tigh seem to constantly be trying to get past their animosity to one another? They’ve had two scenes so far where they’ve tried to make up, but failed. Wouldn’t it just be easier to hate each other and leave it at that?

              Personally, I think there’s some other connection between them compelling them to try and act nice to each other.

              • joe__gee says:

                Re: Agreed, I love Thrace …

                Has anyone else noticed that she and Tigh seem to constantly be trying to get past their animosity to one another? They’ve had two scenes so far where they’ve tried to make up, but failed. Wouldn’t it just be easier to hate each other and leave it at that?

                Personally, I think there’s some other connection between them compelling them to try and act nice to each other.

                Very perceptive. Neither Thrace or Tighe are the kind of people who you’d think would give a damn about what most people think of them (although I think Kara’s a closet softie), yet they have attempted contact at least twice. It might just be the “we work together, so we may as well get along” mentality, but the animosity between them seems to be deep anough to be unbreachable.

                Tighe almost seems like another father figure to Kara.

                How incredible these writers and actors are that we can find and appreciate nuance like this. Perhaps this will be a season two backstory? :)

                Peace,

                -Joe G.

      • axmonkey says:

        Re: You watching the same show?

        I find this character totally unbelievable. Maybe it’s just the bad acting, but c’mon, a skinny little blond tough guy? Maybe if they left out the obvious references to the original Starbuck. I find it painful to watch when she’s trying to “act” like a tough guy.

        Other than that, I like the series so far.

        Starbuck of the late 70s was a pretty boy wisecracking side kick. don’t remember him ever being a tough guy, just always there to stand next to apollo with some sort of sarcastic comment.

        Starbuck of 2005 appears to be a gifted pilot, an instructor, and has some personal issues including killing her boyfriend because she passed him after he busted his checkride. To combat this she postures a bit with ‘all the boys’ but breaks down when left alone to think about it

        Compared to Battlestar Galactica of 1978 – 1979 had less character development in the 40 some episodes than this one has had in 3…

        Sure there’s plenty of character development, that’s good. The Character IS believable, I mispoke on that one. I’m just saying as an actress she doesn’t have the chops to pull off the “tough girl”. The “in viper” pilot scenes in Act of Contrition were painfully bad. My wife walked in just for those scenes and said “whoa that’s some bad acting” and left. I don’t buy the “Training” scenes in AoC, I don’t buy the card table scenes, lose the cigar for cripes sake, it doesn’t look natural. Someone like Claudia Black could pull this part off, this girl can’t. So therefor the “character” seems unbelivable to me, due to the bad acting, and maybe some of the writing. Sorry about referring to AoC but thats the last ep I saw, still fresh in the ol’ memory.

  7. nkuzmik says:

    To Coyote
    I made some comments on 19 January, regarding obeservations of the episode, "33." They seemed good to me. Coyote, your comments were better.

    I concede some of my points, but I would have some evidence to argue for others.

    > FTL jumps appear to be relatively instantaneous.

    There’s no evidence for this. It’s clear that the people in the jump don’t experience the passage of time, but for all we know a day of time passes in the rest of the universe for every lightyear jumped.

    The rendevouz at Ragnar station does put some additional constraints on the dynamics, but I don’t think it eliminates a flat "3 days for any jump" type of delay.

    You’re right. I made that assumption based on general sci-fi convention regarding "space-fold"-like FTL systems.

    > 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.

    Or it could be the time required for Cylons to set up their FTL drives.

    Or the Cylons could be sadistic bastards who understand that 33 minutes is long enough for the humans to get stressed out from worry/anticipation but not long enough for them to get any meaningful rest.

    It is possible that the 33 minutes does include time derived physical and engineering demands on the Cylon FTL, but I do not beleive that to be the entire case. If you watch the mini-series, particularly, just before the first time the refugee fleet is attacked, a Cylon Raider jumps into the vacinity, makes a single pass through the fleet and jumps out again.

    > 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

    Adama got a morning fleet briefing and a flash that Caprica was under attack. There may have been small courier ships but there was no reference to them.

    The justification for my assumption comes from Boomer’s comments in the mini series. She describes the Raptor’s mission profile as "jumping ahead of the fleet, scouting the area, and jumping back." This suggests that there is no FTL communications. It is possible that such a system does exist, but it is too bulky to be installed on a small craft such as a Raptor.

    > we can then calculate the maximum jump range of the fleet as a whole.

    We can, but not from your assumptions. What I would use as a basis is the five possible water-bearing systems within a reasonable jump range. Say the average distance between stars is 4 LY and 1% have evidence of suitable plantary systems. That means you need 400 stars within jump range. Augh – sphere packing problem! Let’s cheat and assume each star takes up a sphere of a bit under 3LY radius, that’s a volume of 100 cu LY. A sphere of 40,000 cu LY has a radius of about 21 LY. Allowing for the handwaving, the fleet can jump between 20 and 25 LY.

    Why would the fleet be able to jump 20-25 LY, vs. 5 LY or 100? It may be roughly the longest distance between two "adjacent" colonies – ships could always jump from one colony to another without stopping in uninhabited space. On the other hand "Ragnar station" suggests that there may be way stations in unoccupied systems and it may take multiple jumps to get from one colony to the next. (Or Ragnar station may just be a military base.)

    In any case it’s probably reasonable to assume that all civilian craft (and small military craft) have roughly the same jump capacity. Capital military ships may have a significantly larger jump capacity so they can outrun standard ships.

    …uh…um… You win.

    > 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?

    The fighters (on both sides) lack FTL drive. The offset could easily be explained by insufficiently accurate information on the exact position of the human fleet.

    I have already refered to a sequence from the mini series that demonstrates that at least some Cylon Raiders are FTL capable. With regard to the Cylons not know the exact location of the fleet, I can’t argue with you on that one. Now that I think back, the two Raiders that executed that Jump-Launch-Jump technique had recon data that was only moments old from the first Raider that found the fleet.

    > Other than drama, what yutz would design a ship with a flaw like the Galactica’s landing pods?

    The launch tubes are very small to make them difficult targets. Think archer slits in castles. The large landing pods allow fast landings by partially crippled fighters. They also allow large ships to be brought aboard.

    This is my bad. I didn’t make my gripe clear. I was refering to the way Galactica must retract the landing pods, therefore precluding the recover of, and therefore stranding, any small craft before jumping.

    > 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.

    We haven’t seen her take offensive action. You don’t send bombers out to repulse an attack.

    I argue with that premise. Common miltary wisdom holds that offense is always preferable to defense. Galactica’s weapons appear to be a combindation mid- to close- range point-defense/anti-aircraft/CIWS(Close-In Weapons System). If we look to the end of the mini series, we have Col. Tigh’s comment, "We can’t go toe-to-toe with those Basestars." While his comment could be interpreted as meaning Galactica could not engage and hope to defeat two or more Basestars, but I believe that if that were the case, he would have spoken differently.

    You said that one does not send bombers out to repulse and attack, but you would deploy fighters with anti-ship missiles to destroy or damage the ships that are attacking you.

    > 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.

    Bombers could be launched from the pods since they don’t have the same need to be able to be quickly launched to defend the fleet.

    Light bombers or heavy fighters would be part of the defensive strategy. At the moment, the strategy seems like: Galactica uses her CIWS to protect herself and as much of the fleet as possible from weapons launched from Cylon Basestars. Vipers screen Galactic and the fleet from Cylon Raiders. If we add a heavy fighter with secondary bomber characteristics into this mix the stragegy would be pretty much the same, with the following addition: Some Vipers would be tasked with screening and defending the fighter/bomber element while they make their attack run, and hopefully disable/destroy the Cylon Basestar. Once the Basestar is out of action Glactica could then devote its weapons compliment to anti-fighter operations. Even if this is only dealing with fighters that are attacking Glactica, this would free up some Vipers to go defend the rest of the fleet.

    Thank you, Coyote. Your comments made me think harder about my own. I hope we get the chance to put our heads together some time in the future

    • UncleJam says:

      Re: To Coyote

      > FTL jumps appear to be relatively instantaneous.

      There’s no evidence for this. It’s clear that the people in the jump don’t experience the passage of time, but for all we know a day of time passes in the rest of the universe for every lightyear jumped.

      The rendevouz at Ragnar station does put some additional constraints on the dynamics, but I don’t think it eliminates a flat “3 days for any jump” type of delay.

      You’re right. I made that assumption based on general sci-fi convention regarding “space-fold”-like FTL systems.

      And, from Ron Moore’s comments on his BSG blog, you would appear to be correct. Jumping is pretty much instantaneous.

      Why would the fleet be able to jump 20-25 LY, vs. 5 LY or 100? It may be roughly the longest distance between two “adjacent” colonies – ships could always jump from one colony to another without stopping in uninhabited space. On the other hand “Ragnar station” suggests that there may be way stations in unoccupied systems and it may take multiple jumps to get from one colony to the next. (Or Ragnar station may just be a military base.)

      Except that, according to Moore, all 12 colonies exist within a single star system. Doesn’t make much sense to me, nor apparently to him, but that’s what he says is the case.

  8. dkragen says:

    So, WHY do they even have battlestars?
    Long time reader, first time poster here.

    So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

    Case in point:

    • The Cylons haven’t been seen in decades, so they are not designed to battle them.
    • They indicate the space around the colonies is a wasteland, so no grand menagerie of alien species to protect yourself from
    • They are all one “country” so to speak, and the are VERY specific about not being a Police force. the military protect for external threats and the police protect from internal threats – Adama or something like that.

    So WHY the HUGH galactic fleet in the first place????? Is there some non-Cylon threat that they have not discussed?

    Dave

    • FarmerBob says:

      Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

      Long time reader, first time poster here.

      So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

      Case in point:

      • The Cylons haven’t been seen in decades, so they are not designed to battle them.
      • They indicate the space around the colonies is a wasteland, so no grand menagerie of alien species to protect yourself from
      • They are all one “country” so to speak, and the are VERY specific about not being a Police force. the military protect for external threats and the police protect from internal threats – Adama or something like that.

      So WHY the HUGH galactic fleet in the first place????? Is there some non-Cylon threat that they have not discussed?

      Dave

      I was actually wondering about this earlier. Why would you upgrade your military hardware if it makes you vulnerable to the only known threat there is? Do the colonies fight wars with each other? There seems to be no indication of this. The only explination I can come up with is some sort of insane political reasoning.

      • Dr Caleb says:

        Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

        Why would you upgrade your military hardware if it makes you vulnerable to the only known threat there is?

        If you remember back to the miniseries, the Galactica was being decomissioned, and they hadn’t heard from the cylons in 50 years. Under the old treaty, they still send an ambassador to a space platform once a year for discussions, but the cylons didn’t show up.

        They were upgrading because it’s what militaries do, develop new systems, upgrade systems once repairs on old systems are too costly. What they didn’t know was the new systems were compromised by the cylons. What the clyons may not have known was the old systems were not vulnerable. They thought that the new systems were probabally less vulnerable to the cylons that they knew. But the cylons had 50 years worth of upgrades the Colnials didn’t know about.

        It’s not like it was a choice to upgrade to vulnerable systems. As for your other questions – I dunno.

      • nkuzmik says:

        Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

        I was actually wondering about this earlier. Why would you upgrade your military hardware if it makes you vulnerable to the only known threat there is? Do the colonies fight wars with each other? There seems to be no indication of this. The only explination I can come up with is some sort of insane political reasoning.

        Whilst I cannot speak to the political aspects of the newer model Battlestars and Vipers, I have a theory about the miltiary/technological reason.

        Hubris

        Plain and simple. The Colonial military either assumed that had taken sufficient precautions to harden their new systems against any new Cylon infiltration techniques, or they assumed that the Cylons would not devlop beyond what they were.

        Either way, they never expected the Cylons to employ sexpionage, or to work a worm into the very code of their latest security patch.

      • UncleJam says:

        Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

        Do the colonies fight wars with each other? There seems to be no indication of this.

        They did and that’s one reason the Cylons were created. As for whether they still did after the war ended, I dunno.

        Even if the Colonies did still fight one another, you still have to wonder about the sheer number of Battlestars. Why would 12 planets in a single star system need 120 warships? Hell, how would they support them?

        • roseblood says:

          Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

          Even if the Colonies did still fight one another, you still have to wonder about the sheer number of Battlestars. Why would 12 planets in a single star system need 120 warships? Hell, how would they support them?

          Are all 120 warships battle stars?

          Think about a carrier task force, 1 carrier, and many ships/subs on duty for – Fleet Defence (AAA, SAM), Surface Gunnery(not so much these days), Anti-Submarine Warfare, Additional Aero(Helo) Capacity, Radar Pickets (so a HARM goes after a less vital ship than the Carrier.) From what I understand a “typical” wartime Carrier group runs upwards of a dozen ships, and often a few boats(subs.) Assume similar for BSG, and you have 10 battlestar groups for 12 colonies (are they really all in the same star-system? Why even bother with FTL travel? Save it for another thread I guess.)

          • UncleJam says:

            Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

            Are all 120 warships battle stars?

            According to the info on SciFi’s website, yes they are.

            (are they really all in the same star-system? Why even bother with FTL travel? Save it for another thread I guess.)

            According to Ron Moore, yes they are.

            • J_W_W says:

              Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

              (are they really all in the same star-system? Why even bother with FTL travel? Save it for another thread I guess.)

              So, lets say you’re going to Jupiter, do you want to get there in an hour (near lightspeed) or do you want to get there NOW?

              I vote for now.

    • hck says:

      Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

      Long time reader, first time poster here.

      So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

      Case in point:

      • The Cylons haven’t been seen in decades, so they are not designed to battle them.
      • They indicate the space around the colonies is a wasteland, so no grand menagerie of alien species to protect yourself from
      • They are all one “country” so to speak, and the are VERY specific about not being a Police force. the military protect for external threats and the police protect from internal threats – Adama or something like that.

      So WHY the HUGH galactic fleet in the first place????? Is there some non-Cylon threat that they have not discussed?

      Dave

      • Well first, the Cylons _are_ still out there. (Proven in pilot.) You have to _try_ to be ready.
      • Life here began out there so we can guess there must be other… life somewhere, and it might not be friendly.
      • I’m guessing that one Battlestar for each planet keeps them all one country. As an example, in Bastille Day they talk about how Geminon(sp?) was exploited.

      Once you have a big military it is part of the economy. Peace is great, but it would be a big shift in the market. Even without the Cylons out there somewhere.

      • Trekkie says:

        Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?
        Kinda like asking ‘Why Does the United States have all those big aircraft carriers’

        • dkragen says:

          Re: So, WHY do they even have battlestars?

          Kinda like asking ‘Why Does the United States have all those big aircraft carriers’

          That is a very bad analogy. The EARTH does not have a global government with a military and aircraft carriers. A county does, to protect itself from other countries.

          Now if you were to say that the UN should have an aircraft carrier, that would be analogous as I see it.

          Within the US, each State does not have a military to protect itself from other states, although some should :) (always gotta keep an eye on Rhode Island)

          Anyway, I understand the points others have made, and I can agree with most of them. It still seems odd that they should have 120 battlestars on the “off-chance” that the cylons return. I wonder what the tax base is to support them. I HIGHLY doubt that the economy is the “utopian” Trek one where things are done for the good of the people without need for monetary gain. (Ferengi excluded)

          BTW, I wonder if there will be lawsuits for tax refunds since the military really didn’t do it’s job. Oh wait, these aren’t “entitled” humans.

          Enough for now.

          Dave

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