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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Flight "Flight"
Battlestar Galactica (the mini-series, part 2, hour 1)
(0:00-45:33)
TV episode
Written by Ronald D. Moore and Christopher Eric James
Based on a teleplay by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Michael Rymer
Original air date: December 9, 2003

 

Commander Adama’s and President Roslin’s intentions clash when he prepares the Galactica for war and she orders the rag-tag fleet to flee with humanity’s survivors.

 

(This episode opens with Commander Adama struggling to control his emotions over the seeming loss of Apollo and ends with Baltar realizing there must be a Cylon aboard the Galactica.)

 

Read the full story summary of Part 2 of the Battlestar Galactica mini-series at the Battlestar Wiki

 

Notes from the BSG chronology

 

This episode takes place immediately after the events of "Serve and Protect".

 

Didja Know?

 

The Battlestar Galactica mini-series was made up of two 2-hour parts, originally broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel (now known as Syfy). I have chosen to break down the mini-series into four ~45-minute segments to more closely match the running times of episodes of the ongoing TV series that followed it. For this episode, I have assigned the title of "Flight" based on President Roslin's decision to gather a convoy of civilian ships to rendezvous with the Galactica and flee the devastated Colonies. 

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this story

 

Commander Adama

Colonel Tigh

Lt. Gaeta

Chief Petty Officer Dualla

Chief Tyrol

Cally

Starbuck

Prosna (deceased, mentioned only)

Boomer

Boxey

Baltar

Caprica Six

President Roslin

Captain Russo

Apollo

Zak

Captain Kelly

Leoben Conoy (Number Two)

Captain of botanical cruiser (unnamed)

Billy

Cami

Aaron Doral (Number Five)

 


 

Didja Notice?

 

As the opening credits appear on screen, at 2:45 on the Blu-ray, the word "Production" in "Production Designer" has a typo, reading "Prduction".

 

Boomer tells Boxey that her parents are dead, too. This is part of the false background story that has been programmed into her.

 

The Galactica pulls in its hangar pods for making the hyperlight jump to Ragnar. But when the actual jump is made seconds later, the pods are sticking out again!

 

At 5:06 on the Blu-ray, the computer screen references a "synthetic gravity field". This is one of the rare mentions in the series of how gravity is maintained when ships travel through in space.

 

Apollo tells Roslin he used Colonial One's hyperdrive to manipulate the energy coils that were sitting in the hangar bay to put out a big pulse of electro-magnetic energy that disabled the approaching nuclear warheads fired at them by the Cylons. But how did he manage to do that when the energy coils do not seem to be connected to anything? It was stated previously in "Serve and Protect" that the two coils were from the Galactica, being returned to Caprica after the decommissioning, so they were just sitting there waiting for delivery, not connected to anything!

 

At 8:23 on the Blu-ray, Starbuck looks at a photo of herself with Zak and Apollo. The actor portraying Zak in the photo is Clarke Hudson. In flashback scenes in later episodes, the role was played by Tobias Mehler.

 

Galactica's trip through the storms of the gas giant planet Ragnar is slightly reminiscent of the fleet's passage through the Nova of Madagon to planet Carillon in the BSG70 episode "Exodus".

 

The rifle that Leoben Conoy possesses on Ragnar Station is a modified Raisen model gun (not built for firing) manufactured by Poseidon Industries of Japan.

 

When Tyrol assures Leoben they're not there to take him to jail, Leoben responds, "Frickin' right, you're not." Is frickin' a tame way of saying "frakkin'" just as the same word is a tame way of saying "fuckin'" on Earth? Or was it a slip by the actor and should have been "frakkin'" in the first place?

 

Notice that the woman (played by Edwards James Olmos' wife) who steps off the Raptor on Colonial One at 11:24 on the Blu-ray is not wearing shoes, she's carrying them in her hands. The shoes look high-heeled, so maybe they aren't practical for a refugee to run around in.

 

When Baltar gets off the Raptor and Apollo stops him to tell him the President wants to see him, notice that Baltar's face brightens up a bit as he says, "President Adar is alive?" but then falls again when Apollo tells him Adar is dead and Laura Roslin was sworn in a couple of hours ago. We know from previous stories in the chronology and from Baltar's televised interviews that he was a personal friend of Adar.

 

The fold-out calculator on the table at 15:14 on the Blu-ray as Baltar makes his notes for the President about Cylon technology, etc., is a model made by Journey's Edge.

 

At 15:28 on the Blu-ray, notice that the scar on Baltar's left cheek is healing up awfully fast! Maybe Colonial medical technology is able to heal such superficial wounds rapidly.

 

As a Colonial shuttle flies through the small fleet of civilian refugee ships at 20:32 on the Blu-ray, it passes a number of ships, some familiar from BSG70:

  • the Rising Star, here revealed as a hospital ship, in BSG70 was a luxury liner

  • a ship made of three disks in a row, which was referred to as a mineral ship in BSG70; a second one of these ships is seen at 23:16

  • a Pan Galactic liner (the Caprica Clipper, according to promotional sources, but never named in the series), with the logo of Pan Galactica being very similar to that of Pan American (aka Pan Am), a U.S. airline from 1927-1991; probably an homage to the Pan Am starliner in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  • a botanical cruiser, similar in design to the agro ships of BSG70, which themselves were models from the 1972 Universal film, Silent Running. The novelization gives the name of the cruiser as Space Park. Lacking FTL capability, the ship gets left behind with the other non-FTL craft later in the episode.

  • the Astral Queen, formerly a starliner converted into a prisoner transport that looks like the prison barge from BSG70. In "Enemies Among Us", the captain of the ship has reported that he has nearly 500 convicted criminals in the cargo hold; a continuity change occurs in "Bastille Day", with the ship now said to be holding 1500 prisoners in cells.

  • At 23:16, a few Colonial Movers cargo transport ships are seen; one of these was also part of the fleet of BSG70.

    At 23:33 on the Blu-ray, three Mark VII Vipers are seen flying along with the fleet of civilian ships. But at this point in the story, there should only be Apollo's disabled Mark VII Viper in the cargo bay of Colonial One.

 

After a Cylon Raider jumps into the civilian fleet, scans it, and jumps away again, Apollo says they have to go now and Roslin asks if the Cylons can track them through a jump, to which Apollo responds it's impossible. Roslin then follows up with, "Theoretically impossible," which Apollo admits is true. This may have been intended by the writers as a foreshadowing of the events of "33", which picks up immediately after the mini-series and depicts the Cylons somehow managing to track to the fleet through jump after jump every 33 minutes.

 

At 26:07 on the Blu-ray, the botanical cruiser is seen moving past the pilot's window on Colonial One. Notice that one of the domes appears to have an icy environment with a crystal blue lake in the middle.

Icy environment dome on botanical cruiser

 

Though Roslin manages to gather about 60 ships full of civilians, only about 40 are said to have FTL capability, and so about 20 of them wind up left behind in the escape from the Cylons and the rendezvous at Ragnar Anchorage. But in "33" and later episodes, the fleet is implied to be made up of about 63 ships.

 

At 35:12 on the Blu-ray, a small tattoo can be seen on the inside of Starbuck's right forearm, near the elbow, but it can't be made out. This tattoo is an actual one that actress Katee Sackhoff has of the Latin words bona fiscalia, for "public property", a reminder to herself that, as an actress, she is constantly in the public eye.

 

When Apollo visits Starbuck in the hangar bay after returning to Galactica with the civilian fleet, Starbuck says, "I thought you were dead," and he responds, "Well, I thought you were in hack." The term "hack" seems to Colonial slang for "brig".

 

As the deteriorating Leoben begins groaning as he walks down the stairs at 37:40 on the Blu-ray, there is an almost squirting sound as if he's shitting his pants! He even moves and sits down squeamishly as if he's having an uncomfortable bowel movement. Maybe he is, since the storms around Ragnar Station affect the silica pathways of Cylon systems, including Leoben's own semi-human one, making his body decompose around him.

 

Leoben tells Adama, "Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done." This same sentence was delivered by Adama at the Galactica decommissiong ceremony in "Humanity's Children". This gives an indication that one or more Cylons were present at that ceremony to hear it and of their level of infiltration of the Colonies before the attack.

 

During the fight with Adama at 40:34 on the Blu-ray, Leoben grabs what seems to be a hot pipe without no indication that it causes him any pain. He also breaks the pipe loose with his bare hands, even in his deteriorating state, indicating the great strength of even the human model Cylons.

 

BSG-MS-novel Notes from the novelization of the Battlestar Galactica mini-series by Jeffrey A. Carver

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published July 2006)

 

Chapter 29

 

Page 177 indicates that Boxey is 10 years old.

 

Page 178 has Boomer reflecting on the terrible accident at the Troy mining colony that left her orphaned; the accident caused the destruction of the dome that kept the 200,000 inhabitants safe from Troy's toxic atmosphere. Boomer had been en route to Caprica at the time for her admissions interview to the Colonial Academy. (Again, this was an implanted memory, as Boomer is revealed to be a Cylon in later episodes.)

 

Chapter 30

 

Page 181 states that the procedure of retracting the hangar bay pods on the Galactica for an FTL jump takes 10 minutes and 43 seconds.

 

Chapter 33

 

Page 196 reveals that Boomer had been on her way for reassignment on Picon after the decommissioning of the Galactica.

 

Chapter 35

 

Page 210 reveals the name of the tylium refinery ship that Boomer leads back to the fleet is the Tauranian. Presumably, the ship is registered on Tauron. This may be the same Tauranian refinery ship referred to later in "Resistance".

 

On page 214, Roslin reflects on the probable death of 23 billion people in the Twelve Colonies. In "Resistance" the population of the Colonies is said to have been about 20 billion.

 

Unanswered Questions

 

Who planted the Cylon device Baltar finds in CIC? It's never revealed, though Baltar implies in "Enemies Among Us" that it must have been Aaron Doral. Doral does turn out to be a Cylon at the end of that episode, but another possibility is that it was Boomer, who is revealed as a sleeper Cylon at the end of that episode as well. In "Kobol's Last Gleaming" Part 1, it's finally revealed that the device is a Cylon transponder which essentially tells any Cylons that happen to be near the fleet in space, "here I am".

 

Why was Leoben at Ragnar Anchorage? It's never revealed. 

 

Memorable Dialog

Boxey.wav
saving our collective asses.wav
form a convoy.wav
only in your head.wav
a chip in your head.wav
what I want most of all is for you to love me.wav
if we lose, we lose everything.wav
it's not selfish, it's human.wav
maybe the Cylons are God's retribution for our many sins.wav
what if God decided he made a mistake?.wav
God didn't create the Cylons.wav
the war is over and we lost.wav
it's good to be wrong.wav
not a big enough dipstick.wav
that would be special.wav

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