Battlestar Galactica: A Day in the Life

Once again, Galactica focuses on smaller stories, with the Cylons nowhere in sight.

Written by Mark Verheiden

Cast

Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama
Aaron Douglas as Chief Petty Officer Galen Tyrol

Nicki Clyne as Cally
Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin
James Callis as Dr. Gaius Baltar

Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
Grace Park as Athena

Michael Hogan as Colonel Saul Tigh

Jamie Bamber as Lee “Apollo” Adama

Grace Park as Athena

Tahmoh Penikett as Helo

Doonnelly Rhodes as Dr. Cottle

Kandyse McClure as Anastasia “Dee” Duall

Premise

An accident traps the Chief and Cally together, with their survival in question. Admiral Adama reflects on his past and his failed marriage; Apollo receives an unusual assignment.

High Point

The genuine suspense about the rescue. We still do not know for certain if everyone will survive, or in what state we will next see Cally. The writers of this show understand that, even in this show, every week doesn’t need to be about the End of the World.

Low Point

The episode jumps too abruptly from rescue to sickbay, hours later. I found that story compelling, and I wish we would have stayed with the characters after the first stage of the rescue.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6. Due to the lack of oxygen, we didn’t get to listen to an extended conversation between Cally and the Chief about their problems. However, a situation where characters experiencing problems are forced together and have their lives threatened is old indeed. The use of Baltar-like circumstances to explore Adama’s past was a somewhat original twist on a series convention.

Effects: 6/6. The rescue in space looked great.

Story: 5/6. This episode, like last week’s, was character-driven and focussed on smaller stories. I find these episodes often preferable to the Cylon ones, or, at least, a welcome break from them. I’m glad they’re handling them so well, because if Galactica is to survive, it’s going to need more of these lower-budget episodes.

I wondered if the references to Adama’s “façade” needed to be quite so blatant. I think we would have understood the concept even if the writers had not hit us over our heads with it.

Acting: 5/6. The series continues to feature excellent performances. Adama’s wife seemed too reminiscent of Saul’s, performed a little less effectively.

Emotional Response: 5/6. The use of techniques reminiscent of the Cylon visions to explore Adama’s mental landscape was interesting, but confusing because of its similarity to those scenes. I suppose it’s possible (if unlikely) they’re foreshadowing that Adama is a Cylon.

Production: 6/6. I really appreciate the attention to smaller details, such as the leak into space and the physical damage to Cally’s eyes.

Overall: 5/6.

In total, “A Day in the Life” receives 35/42

Really Pointless Notes

Last week’s ep featured a “Doctor Roberts,” and this one bears the title, “A Day in the Life.” What’s up next week? “Revolution Nine” on the soundtrack?

Of course, we accept the Colonists’ complete similarity to Terran humans as a show convention. Apparently—according to Roslin—Galactica’s world even has cats.

19 replies on “Battlestar Galactica: A Day in the Life”

  1. Jethro says:

    Not bad, but
    I dunno about the rescue. Seems like they had the time to setup SOME kind of cone-like thing, or have some emergency adrenaline on the Raptor or something. Or a friggin’ net.

    And you just have to loooove Adama’s Cylon-Esque Projection. That scare anyone as much as it scares me? It’s almost as bad as the #$^)& Unresolved Sexual Tension (or is it just unresolved cabin-building tension?)

    • babasyzygy says:

      Re: Not bad, but

      And you just have to loooove Adama’s Cylon-Esque Projection. That scare anyone as much as it scares me? It’s almost as bad as the #$^)& Unresolved Sexual Tension (or is it just unresolved cabin-building tension?)

      I don’t think there’s anything to that – the Cylon projections move around in the scenes with the actors who are really there, while Adama’s ex-wife was always shot in her own frame, in Adama’s imagination. Plus, Adama’s well-documented as predating the humanform Cylons, he fought the original "toasters." It wouldn’t be fair for the writers to tell us that humans can be replaced, now, all humanform Cylons to date have appeared as new beings with new histories.

      I do agree, I love the slowly resolving flirtation between Adama and Roslin. There’s so much genuine affection there, it’s not really right to call it tension – they’re both interested but both cautious.

      I’m often struck by just how sophisticated the writing and acting is on this show, for pure human drama. Little scenes like this blow away anything currently on TV in sheer human insight, subtlety, and sensitivity, even the writing on Studio 60.

      • Timeshredder says:

        Re: Not bad, but

        I don’t think there’s anything to that – the Cylon projections move around in the scenes with the actors who are really there, while Adama’s ex-wife was always shot in her own frame, in Adama’s imagination. Plus, Adama’s well-documented as predating the humanform Cylons, he fought

        I agree. It would also cheat this episode, which is a great example of using less traditional tv to tell a story in an SF show.

      • valen1260 says:

        Re: Not bad, but

        I do agree, I love the slowly resolving flirtation between Adama and Roslin. There’s so much genuine affection there, it’s not really right to call it tension – they’re both interested but both cautious.

        I’m often struck by just how sophisticated the writing and acting is on this show, for pure human drama.

        The scene at the end with Adama and Roslin was one of the best I’ve seen (television or movie) in a very long time. Kudos to Olmos and McDonnell.

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: Not bad, but

      And you just have to loooove Adama’s…

      The way I took that, every scene with Mrs. Adama was a flash-back to an actual event that took place on their anniversary some time after the divorce. The admiral was merely flashing-back to relevant sections of that night as the current day passed.

      • babasyzygy says:

        Re: Not bad, but

        And you just have to loooove Adama’s…

        The way I took that, every scene with Mrs. Adama was a flash-back to an actual event that took place on their anniversary some time after the divorce. The admiral was merely flashing-back to relevant sections of that night as the current day passed.

        I could almost believe that, except she’s expressly addressing Adama’s little ritual a few times and (in his imagination) wants him to stop it.

        • Babbster says:

          Re: Not bad, but

          And you just have to loooove Adama’s…

          The way I took that, every scene with Mrs. Adama was a flash-back to an actual event that took place on their anniversary some time after the divorce. The admiral was merely flashing-back to relevant sections of that night as the current day passed.

          I could almost believe that, except she’s expressly addressing Adama’s little ritual a few times and (in his imagination) wants him to stop it.

          I don’t think that’s too surprising. Based on his belief in distancing himself from those under his command, I expect that he lives a lot "in his head." He’s even been alienated quite a bit from his best friend, between Tigh’s deadly mistakes while in command during Adama’s recovery from his gunshot wound and Tigh’s attitude after the escape from New Caprica. He should, of course, be reaching out to Laura and Lee, but in the first case he feels he should maintain distance because of their respective positions and in the second there are many bad feelings that have festered over the years.

          Since he’s had nobody real with whom to resolve emotional problems, he seems to have created an elaborate mental construct where he can at least "get away." I think the fact that it looked so real when portrayed on the TV screen is just a function of production and writing. It’s probably far less detailed in his head or he would have difficulty continuing to function in the real world (unless he’s a cylon, which I think we’ve pretty much dismissed as being a terrible, terrible decision for the show).

        • Cerberus7 says:

          Re: Not bad, but

          …except she’s expressly addressing Adama’s little ritual a few times…

          I don’t remember her exact words, but it sounded to me like she was commenting on his calling her over to his place (or him going to her place, whichever) to go through this same old ritual every year. I’ll have to re-watch this ep to be sure.

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: Not bad, but

      And you just have to loooove Adama’s Cylon-Esque Projection. That scare anyone as much as it scares me?

      I honestly fear for my television set should Adama turn out to be a Cylon. I just don’t think it would survive. Note to self: Keep heavy objects out of reach while watching Galactica, oh and also wiimotes too…. :-)

      And this was wayyy too "projection" for me. In the opening he is actually seen as being in bed with his wife, exactly like certain projections we’ve seen from Baltar. Now of, course, Baltar’s not a proven cylon either….. But six does have the "projection" of Baltar and she is a cylon.

  2. bombadil says:

    Save Tyrol and Cally!
    Now I may be wrong, because I did flunk out of deep-space maintenance school, but the crew in the Raptor had EVA suites. Couldn’t they have just patched the hole from the outside?

    Or stuck an air tank on the hole and pumped air IN?

    Wouldn’t an air lock have emergency EVA suits instead of just emergency oxygen masks? I mean what good will an oxygen mask do if the outer door opens?

    Shouldn’t standard practice be to bring suits into the airlock when you’re working on it?

    Couldn’t Tyrol have stuck anything, ANYTHING, up against the hole and air pressure would hold it in place?

    Damn, I am better prepared for a flat on my BICYCLE!

    We have underwater welders now and they have plenty of precautions they take so they don’t end up dead.

    -Don’t get me wrong… overall I liked this episode. I really didn’t want Tyrol and Cally to go. I felt scared for the baby. I loved the look on Adama’s face when he overheard Tyrol saying they would figure out some way to raise their baby themselves without day-care no matter what, just as Adama was reliving his rotten fatherhood and his choices. I too was struck by the way Adama was not just remembering, but… what did Six call it? Projecting?

    • Tekzel says:

      Re: Save Tyrol and Cally!

      Now I may be wrong, because I did flunk out of deep-space maintenance school, but the crew in the Raptor had EVA suites. Couldn’t they have just patched the hole from the outside?

      Or stuck an air tank on the hole and pumped air IN?

      All very, very good points. In the real world events just wouldn’t have played out like this but I think they did a good job of downplaying the absurdity of the situation and making it work with the character driven drama of it. I am more than willing to forgive little things like this when the overall scene is so well done. I think the thing that helps so much with this show is the fact that the characters are so darn well developed, I even care about Baltar.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Save Tyrol and Cally!

      Now I may be wrong, because I did flunk out of deep-space maintenance school, but the crew in the Raptor had EVA suites. Couldn’t they have just patched the hole from the outside?

      Or stuck an air tank on the hole and pumped air IN?

      Wouldn’t an air lock have emergency EVA suits instead of just emergency oxygen masks? I mean what good will an oxygen mask do if the outer door opens?

      Shouldn’t standard practice be to bring suits into the airlock when you’re working on it?

      Couldn’t Tyrol have stuck anything, ANYTHING, up against the hole and air pressure would hold it in place?

      Damn, I am better prepared for a flat on my BICYCLE!

      If they did this often, it would annoy me. Maybe I’ve just learned from years of Trek (and the fact that the Galactica crew is not operating under normal circumstances) to let these sorts of things slide. Yeah, this is kind of like the "Search for Water" ep in the first season in this regards. In order to have the plot, we have to ignore some obvious problems.

    • babasyzygy says:

      Re: Save Tyrol and Cally!

      Now I may be wrong, because I did flunk out of deep-space maintenance school, but the crew in the Raptor had EVA suites. Couldn’t they have just patched the hole from the outside?

      Doubt it. The air pressure would be working against the patch, instead of with it. You’d have to make a very, very strong seal.

      Or stuck an air tank on the hole and pumped air IN?

      Same problem – they’d have to make a seal. I do a lot of diving (deepish mixed gas rebreathers (to 250 fsw), recreationally) and I can tell you – making a good seal is a bitch and you can lose a lot of gas very fast without a good seal.

      Wouldn’t an air lock have emergency EVA suits instead of just emergency oxygen masks? I mean what good will an oxygen mask do if the outer door opens?

      Good question. But perhaps they were taken for fighting previous breaches? Remember that they’re on limited resources there, they can’t just drop by the EVA store.

      Shouldn’t standard practice be to bring suits into the airlock when you’re working on it?

      It will be now. But seriously – yeah, it should be. I can imagine that they’ve had to cut corners everywhere given the circumstances.

      Couldn’t Tyrol have stuck anything, ANYTHING, up against the hole and air pressure would hold it in place?

      Yeah. That one bugged me. I mean, Cally’s right there

      Damn, I am better prepared for a flat on my BICYCLE!
      We have underwater welders now and they have plenty of precautions they take so they don’t end up dead.

      But some do end up dead. But you’re right, not for these dumbs reasons – except when they get sloppy and don’t follow procedures and don’t check their safety measures. It happens. I think part of what we should take away from this episode is that Galen (and Cally, but Galen is the focus) has gotten sloppy (isn’t Cally Tyrol too, now, by the way?).

      Between this, his hiding from his marriage, and his racist comments – there’s a lot not to like about Galen Tyrol right now, who for a while seemed like one of the most sympathetic characters on the show. He’s going through some dark places, by the looks of the previews for next week.

      One of the things shat I love about this show is that where (for example) on Babylon 5 everybody went through these grand, operatic dark places, on BSG the characters go through much more human, more realistic and nuanced dark places.

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: Save Tyrol and Cally!

        Yeah. That one bugged me. I mean, Cally’s right there.

        PRICELESS image. :) "Sorry hon, you’be been a fracking bitch lately, and one of us needs to live to take care of junior …"

        Although one thing I would add, it occured to me that perhaps they could have loosely secured a thick metal plate to the hull over the breach, then tightened the fasteners (thick bolts maybe) to close the hole, sealing it with a weld.

        Only one problem, someone did mention early on in the episode, Galen maybe, that the air lock they were inspecting was on a side of Galactica that had been heavily damaged.

        I could see the "rescue" team drilling holes into uninspected metal plating (modern airliners are x-rayed to look for stress fractures, which can cause metal to tear like paper under any pressure) which then rips, causing additional hull breaches and many more problems. In addition Galactica has been nuked once. Radiation makes metal brittle, which is why reactor containment vessels need to be replaced every few years.

        I believe Chief also asked if the rescuers were planning on building a hard seal outside the air lock doors to do an atmo transfer. There wasn’t enough time.

        I still think the net was a great idea. I also think a quick-drying spray-on foam would work well, as would the patch system that someone used in a previous episode in a raptor, was it Helo, in the pilot episode?

        Hard metal and epoxy holds so much better against hard vaccuum than tape.

        -Joe

    • valen1260 says:

      Re: Save Tyrol and Cally!
      I agree on all counts. Despite excuses of in-character sloppiness or well-written scenes, this plot was very hard to accept. Cally should die as a result, leaving Galen to take care of the baby and find his redemption.

  3. Chillum says:

    Pants
    Wow. I thought this episode was just crap, pure fluff and filler. Probably even less enjoyable than the boxing one, for me :(

    • BaseNeptune says:

      Re: Pants

      Wow. I thought this episode was just crap, pure fluff and filler. Probably even less enjoyable than the boxing one, for me :(

      Yes, but I enjoy the small episodes as well as the big ones. I’m sorry you don’t agree, but it looks like for Season 4, with only 13 episodes, you win.

      I’m glad they’re handling them so well, because if Galactica is to survive, it’s going to need more of these lower-budget episodes.

      Which is what worries me about 13 episodes next season. I don’t see how you can spread 13 episodes out, and maintain people’s interest with 3 months on, then 9 months of nothing. That always seems to be the beginning of the end for shows. That brings to them a total of 46 episodes over 4 seasons, far short of the magic 100 number for future syndication. They may get a Season 5 of another 13, but that is still only 59, and that’s probably all we will get of BSG, the best thing currently on television.

      • Vulch says:

        Re: Pants

        Which is what worries me about 13 episodes next season. I don’t see how you can spread 13 episodes out, and maintain people’s interest with 3 months on, then 9 months of nothing. That always seems to be the beginning of the end for shows.

        Works perfectly well in most other countries of the world. In the UK you normally get a run of thirteen episodes per series, once a year. Means there’s room for 4 different programmes through the year in any given timeslot.

        We had Doctor Who running from April to July last year, it’ll be back in April this year, October to December there was a dodgy version of Robin Hood, not worried if that comes back, and at the moment there’s a reality show in the slot. Luckily that’s up against Primeval on another channel which is vaguely Torchwood without aliens and done better.

  4. joe__gee says:

    Re: Roslyn and cats …
    Give me a plain ole house cat any day <shudder>remembering the terrible robotic daggit</shudder>.

    -Joe

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