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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Valley of Darkness Battlestar Galactica
"Valley of Darkness"
Written by Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
Directed by Michael Rymer
Original air date: July 22, 2005

A Cylon computer virus penetrates the Galactica’s main computer just as a squad of centurions also boards the wounded ship for battle.

Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki site

Notes from the BSG chronology

This episode opens immediately after the events of "Scattered".

Didja Know?

The opening titles show the fleet at 47,874 survivors, down one from "Scattered", presumably due to the death of Flyboy in the teaser sequence.

Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode

Billy Keikeya
Petty Officer Dualla
Commander Adama
Colonel Tigh
Paramedic Layne Ishay
Lt. Gaeta
Captain Kelly
Hot Dog
Flyboy (dies in this episode)
Private Collishaw (Marine, dies in this episode)
Bonnington (Marine)
Private Twinam (Marine, dies in this episode)
Corporal Venner
President Roslin
Caprica-Valerii (mentioned only)
Specialist Seelix
Chief Tyrol
Head Six
Lt. Wallace (mentioned only)
Sgt. Hadrian (mentioned only)
Specialist Tarn (mentioned only, deceased)
Socinus (dies in this episode)


Didja Notice?

Billy remarks to Dee that he hasn't seen her in a couple of weeks. But we saw them dancing together at the end of "Colonial Day", which was just a few days earlier in the timeline!

At 4:16 on the Blu-ray, notice that a tangle of cables is visible on the floor of CIC, seemingly connecting the central display table with Lt. Gaeta's computer station. Possibly, these are meant to be the cables used to temporarily network several of the Galactica's computers to calculate the location of the fleet's last FTL jump in the previous episode, "Scattered".

At 10:07 on the Blu-ray, an octagonal stop sign and x-shaped railroad crossing sign are seen in the background as Helo and Starbuck walk through the city of Delphi on Caprica. Some octagonal stop signs were also seen in episodes of Caprica.

Helo tells Starbuck he's been on Caprica for months, one step ahead of the Cylons. Since episodes of Caprica establish that Caprican months are about the same as ours (~30 days), Helo has actually been trapped there a bit less than two months, about 50 days (last established in "Kobol's Last Gleaming" Part 1).

When Colonel Tigh hears the report that the Cylon boarding party has split its force, one moving forward and one aft, he remarks that he's seen this before and the Cylons are heading for secondary damage control and auxiliary fire control, where they will override the decompression safeties and vent the crew into space, then turn the ship's guns on the fleet and wipe it out once and for all. Tigh supposedly encountered this tactic previously during his service in the first Cylon War, but we will later learn that his memories, as one of the Final Five Cylons, of service at that time are all false ones, imprinted by Cavil. So, how did this detail end up as part of those imprinted memories? Did Cavil somehow use the memories of a real person?

The wall of Starbuck's old apartment in Delphi has an image of the Eye of Jupiter that she painted. The Eye of Jupiter is a legendary Kobolian symbol that turns out to be representative of a star that is about to go nova in the system of the algae planet the fleet will discover in "Rapture".

Starbuck's poem that is written on the wall of her apartment may be in reference to her late fiancée, Zak. The poem goes as follows:
Methodically smoking my cigarette
Every breath I breathe out the day
With every delicious sip
I drink away the night
Stroking my hair to
The beat of his heart
Watching a boy turn into a man

It seems likely that the pile of human skulls Baltar finds in the forest is actually an hallucination placed in his mind by Six.

In her old apartment, Starbuck plays a microcassette of piano music played by her father. We learn more about him in the later episode "Someone to Watch Over Me". The tune itself is actually "Metamorphosis One" (1989) by Phillip Glass from his Metamorphosis Suite.

The leather jacket Starbuck puts on in her apartment is obviously too big for must have been her father's. (This is confirmed in the audio commentary of "The Farm").

At 21:25 on the Blu-ray, as Starbuck sits down on the couch, she sits on the Arrow of Apollo before feeling it poking her and she puts it aside. The scene suggests that, although she did successfully recover the artifact, she's not exactly the best choice to be the protector of an ancient relic.

In her old apartment, Starbuck finds a leftover cigar in a box with a Foliole brand name and logo on it. The word "foliole" is a French word for "leaflet".

Gaeta receives a report in CIC that Sgt. Hadrian is leading one of the Marine squads that defends the Galactica against the Cylon boarding party. This is the last mention of Hadrian in the series. Possibly, she is killed during the battle here.

At 27:34 on the Blu-ray, Tyrol and Crashdown seem to have worked out the code words "flash" and "thunder" to identify themselves when Tyrol returns from the medkit-retrieval operation, even though it was not seen to be established when Tyrol, Callie, and Tarn left on their mission in "Scattered". This sign/countersign was also used by Allied forces during the invasion of Normandy on D-Day in WWII.

Tyrol injects Socinus with enough morpha to euthanize him. "Morpha" seems to be the Colonial term for the drug morphine.

About to face off against the Cylon boarding party, Apollo tells Jammer, "Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six." He admits he doesn't know what it means, just that it is something his father says. In "The Hard Six", it is revealed that it was something Commander Adama's father used to say when he was about to make his closing argument on a tough case (Adama's father, Joseph, was an attorney). "Roll the hard six" is a phrase originating in the dice game of craps; it refers to rolling threes on a pair of 6-sided dice.

Starbuck's vehicle stored at her old apartment complex is a military Humvee! It has a Delphi city license plate of FB-42 E3.

Unanswered Questions

What happened to the Cylon Heavy Raider that brought the boarding party in a crash-landing into the Galactica's starboard hangar bay at the end of "Scattered"? Presumably, the crew will study it, but is it still serviceable in any way? It's never mentioned. The fleet will obtain a working Heavy Raider in "Home" Part 1.

Memorable Dialog

we've been boarded.mp3
the sound of gunfire.mp3
your girlfriend's from a lovely family.mp3
the Cylons have a way of making all of us look like idiots.mp3
all of this has happened before.mp3
I don't know how to do anything else.mp3
if you know any prayers, now is the time.mp3
sometimes you gotta roll the hard six.mp3
the gods must be watching over you.mp3
he'll decide what to do with the both of us.mp3
thank the gods I didn't have kids.mp3

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