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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Colonial Day Battlestar Galactica
"Colonial Day"
Written by Carla Robinson
Directed by Jonas Pate
Original air date: March 18, 2005

The fleet elects a new Council of Twelve to replace the one lost in the attack on the Colonies…and Tom Zarek becomes the representative from Sagittaron.

Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki clone site

Notes from the BSG chronology

This episode opens 47 days after the annihilation of the Twelve Colonies and 11 days after the previous episode, "The Hand of God".

Didja Know?

The title of this episode refers to the Colonial holiday Colonial Day, a celebration of the signing of the Articles of Colonization. Here, President Roslin also uses the holiday as the day to introduce the newly elected Quorum of Twelve.

Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode

James McManus
Playa Palacios
Sekou Hamilton
President Roslin
Wallace Gray
Tom Zarek
Billy Keikeya
Commander Adama
Head Six
Colonel Tigh
Ellen Tigh
Leon Grimes
Marshall Bagot (Virgon representative to the Quorum)
Sarah Porter (Gemenon representative to the Quorum)
Robin Wenutu (Canceron representative to the Quorum)
Safiya Sanne (Picon representative to the Quorum)
Eladio Puasha (Scorpia representative to the Quorum)
Perah Enyeto (Tauron representative to the Quorum)
Alisander Asiel (Aerilon representative to the Quorum)
Miksa Burian (Aquarian representative to the Quorum)
Elrad Hunt (Leonis representative to the Quorum)
Oswyn Eriku (Libran representative to the Quorum)
The gardener
Lt. Gaeta
Chief Tyrol
Ensign Davis (listed in the end credits)


Didja Notice?

This episode introduces the luxury liner Cloud 9 as a ship of the Colonial rag-tag fleet. One of its attractions is a park-like dome that allows citizens of the fleet to enjoy a planet-like setting, complete with artificial sunlight and artificial horizons. The dome itself is quite similar to those on the agricultural ship. The term "Cloud Nine" is an American idiom for being in a state of euphoria.

The "outdoor" scenes on the Cloud 9 were shot at the University of British Columbia's Chan Centre.

Reporter James McManus begins his introduction on The Colonial Gang by describing it as a new talk show. But a previous version of The Colonial Gang existed on Caprica's channel 7, if not throughout the Twelve Colonies, as seen in "Trust". The name of the show may be a play on CNN's The Capital Gang, a similar political talk show that aired 1988-2005. McManus states that he was formerly with the Caprica Times. Issues of the Caprican Times (presumably intended to be the same newspaper) are seen in several issues of the Battlestar Galactica: Origins comic book mini-series.

McManus states that Playa Palacios was a commentator for the Picon Star-Tribune. He also introduces Sekou Hamilton, former editor of the Aerilon Gazette.

McManus states that this Colonial Day is the 52nd anniversary of the signing of the Articles of Colonization.

McManus uses the swear word "frak" during the Colonial Gang broadcast. It would seem there is no censorship or department of standards for public broadcasts within the fleet.

The question of whether President Roslin will shake Zarek's hand is likely a nod to the same question about Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin shaking the hand of former Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat at the Oslo Accords of 1993. Zarek was also a terrorist on Sagittaron.

President Roslin refers to her senior advisor Wallace Gary as "Wally".

McManus discredits Zarek as a legitimate delegate to the Quorum by recounting his destruction of the government building ("Zarek" Part 2) and takeover of the prison ship that resulted in kidnapping and attempted rape ("Bastille Day"; Zarek's close friend Mason attempted to rape Cally).

Near the beginning of this episode, Baltar becomes Caprica's delegate to the Quorum. Later in the episode, he is elected Vice President of the Colonies/Fleet.

At the first meeting of the new Quorum, Roslin opens by admitting that the day's agenda is rather large. Yet, she adjourns the session after only a couple minutes after the nomination of Zarek as a vice presidential candidate.

Head Six points out to Baltar that reporter Playa Palacios is not wearing underwear under her skirt. Baltar starts to look at her where she is seated directly across the chamber from him and she notices and crosses her legs, giving him a glimpse. The scene is certainly borrowed from a similar one in the 1992 film Basic Instinct starring Sharon Stone.

Marshall Bagot is seen as Virgon's representative to the Quorum. He was first seen in the same, or similar, position in the Colonies in "Trust".

At 15:06 on the Blu-ray, representative Safiya Sanne's identification plate at his seat shows that he is from Leonis. But later he is shown to be the Picon representative instead. An unseen Quorum member named Elrad Hunt represents Leonis.

At 20:22 on the Blu-ray, Leon Grimes is drinking a bottle of Hawryliw, which he then uses to deliver a blow to Apollo. The name on the bottle is a nod to the show's property master, Ken Hawryliw. In the Caprica episode "Retribution", the employee file of one Lillian Teller shows she once worked for Hawryliw Robotics Inc.

When Valance spills his briefcase during the bar fight, his gun falls on to the floor and is seen to have a silencer on it. Seconds later the silencer is gone when Starbuck picks it up.

Helo refers to the tall building that's still standing in Delphi as the Telamont Building. Telamont must have been a Caprican business.

At 29:25 on the Blu-ray, the population whiteboard shows 47,898 people in the fleet. This is down 7 from the last known count in "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down". In the next episode, "Kobol's Last Gleaming" Part 1, the population is 47,897, down one, presumably due to the death of Valance in this episode.

After Valance's murder in custody aboard the Cloud 9, Apollo tells Colonel Tigh the killer must have got past the marine guard through the vent. People escaping or gaining entrance to a locked or prohibited space in a structure via a ventilation duct is an old trope in film and television.

Baltar has a tryst with Playa Palacios in this episode.

The music that plays in the ballroom when Baltar is announced as the Vice President is the same music that opens the late night Backtalk with Baxter Sarno television show in episodes of Caprica.

Zarek's dialog to Roslin of "I shaved very close this morning in preparation for getting smacked by you," is a quote from the 1970 film Patton.

During the festivities on Cloud 9 near the end of the episode, Apollo dances with Starbuck, Lt. Gaeta is seen dancing with Boomer, Sekou Hamilton dances with Playa Palacios, Tyrol dances with Cally, Billy dances with Dualla, Ellen and Saul dance with each other. Later, Starbuck is seen dancing with Baltar and Commander Adama dances with President Roslin.

While dancing, Ellen tells Saul she has managed to get a day in a luxury room on the Rising Star for the two of them. She also exchanges looks with Zarek in the distance, all implying the luxury room may be payment for information she delivered about Valance's holding room before the murder. In BSG70, the Rising Star was a luxury and recreation ship, but in later episodes of this series, it is said to be a medical transport, so it seems unlikely that it has luxury rooms; it would be more likely that such a room would be procured on the Cloud 9 itself.

A Cylon Heavy Raider comes in for a landing at the Delphi spaceport at 41:50 on the Blu-ray.

Unanswered Questions

How could Baltar have been selected as Caprica's delegate to the Quorum without his knowledge? And does he remain Caprica's delegate after being elected Vice President?

Did Grimes actually give up information about Valance as Starbuck claimed? Or was that just a ruse to try to get Valance to talk?

Who killed Valance? Was it Zarek or one of his goons? Zarek denies involvement in Valance's death to Roslin, but he's killed before and certainly wouldn't be above lying about it. There is a hint of collusion between Zarek and Ellen Tigh at the Cloud 9 bar when he admits to her that he is looking for a friend of his named Valance; it's possible Ellen got him information about where Valance was being held.

Memorable Dialog

live from Cloud 9.mp3
I have 60 years of work in front of me.mp3
low-brow rabble-rousing.mp3
when the people call, you must serve.mp3
kill me now.mp3
I don't need my picture taken with a terrorist.mp3
Playa's not wearing any underwear.mp3
me, myself, and I.mp3
I never thought you'd fit in.mp3
a real feel for politics.mp3
doesn't get my vote.mp3
now I'm going to give you an exclusive.mp3
your new Vice President.mp3
I won't be kissing you today.mp3
war and politics.mp3

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