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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com

Battlestar Galactica: Baltar's Escape Battlestar Galactica
"Baltar's Escape"
TV episode
Written by Donald Bellisario
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Baltar attempts to escape with the help of the Alliance enforcers and the Borellian Nomen.

Read the complete story summary at the Battlestar wiki site

Didja Notice?

For some reason, Anne Lockhart is missing from the secondary opening credits, where she has been ever since "War of the Gods" Part 1.

At 2:55 on the DVD, Commander Adama's journal entry mentioning Lunar 7 reads "Luna 7" instead. (The novelization also refers to Luna 7.)

It seems odd the recent captives on the prison barge are permitted to continue wearing their previous uniforms/clothing. I guess the fleet prison system doesn't have money for unique prison garb!

At 3:43 on the DVD, notice that the door to Leiter's cell starts to open before the guard has even slid his key card through the locking mechanism!

I'm not sure that this has been previously stated implicitly: Apollo comments to his father that he doesn't need to obey the orders of the Council because the fleet has been under a state of martial law since the Holocaust. Martial law is simply military rule, which I suppose would be the case in the fleet considering they are under constant threat of attack from the Cylons.

While serving in the mess hall on the prison barge, Baltar saves some meat for the Nomen from Borellian desert layers (or the closest equivalent raised on the livestock ship), evidently a creature native to the Borella region of Caprica (as the region is revealed in Armageddon).

In "The Man With Nine Lives", Maga declared the foolish young Taba to be disowned and his name to be stricken from the roster of the Nomen. Yet, here, he seems to be one of them again, working in concert with Maga and Bora. Did he somehow earn redemption? If so, how?

Baltar claims to the Nomen that he has his "sources" from which he gained the information that the Eastern Alliance soldiers are going to be transferred to the Galactica. What sources are these? Someone low enough that they would collude with the betrayer of the human race, seemingly. Is it someone on the Council?

Sire Domra seems to be in charge of the Council in this episode. But, just recently in "Greetings from Earth" Part 1, it was Sire Geller. What happened to him? (The novelization briefly mentions Sire Geller on page 2, but then it replaces him without explanation with Sire Domra subsequently!)

Sire Domra announces that the Council has decided to give Adama the Star of Kobol, an award that has not been bestowed on any living colonist in over a millennium. Adama refuses the award, knowing it is just a bribe to get him to step down as leader of the fleet. It seems strange then, that this rarely-given award is shortly after awarded to Commander Kronus of the Celestra in "Take the Celestra".

Boomer sarcastically remarks that he'll soon need Council permission to use the turbo-flush. Presumably, the turbo-flush is a space toilet.

When he gets angry with the Council Security officers on the shuttle, Boomer sends the shuttle into a nosedive, throwing the unsecured security men tumbling. This doesn't seem likely given they were flying through space and, thus, zero gravity! I suppose it's possible he also increased the shuttle's speed to such an extent that thrust force is what was really effecting them (and the tilted camera angle was just to communicate the intended reaction to the viewing audience).

The escaping prisoners raid the storage of the prison barge for their old equipment. But how likely is it that the Borellians' laser bolas would be stored on the same ship in which they're incarcerated?

Baltar is pleased to see Lt. Boomer on the shuttle and comments, "Too bad Starbuck and Apollo aren't here. I could settle all my debts at once." Baltar met Starbuck in "A Death in the Family" and he might harbor a grudge against Apollo for simply being Adama's son. But what in particular has Boomer done to him?

Where did Baltar and the rest of the escapees get the solenite charges to plant on the shuttle? I doubt it also was being stored on the prison barge! Maybe they found a crate of it in the Galactica landing bay they now control?

I love the ironic touch at 36:53 on the DVD. It is merely a stock shot of the Galactica moving across the field of view, but with the basestar theme music playing over it, now that Baltar has the Council hostage aboard her and Adama at his mercy.

The Colonial strike team on the landing bay is wearing a different type of helmet than we've seen in the series before.
Colonial strike team

We're told the Alliance destroyer was being tracked so the Galactica would know exactly where the Alliance base on Lunar 7 was located. We later learn the fate of Commandant Leiter and the destroyer beginning in "Lunar Won", but the escape of the Nomen is not mentioned. It is not until "Apollo's Journey" Part 2 that it is stated that the Nomen were recaptured near the lunar moons of the planet Terra in an unchronicled tale. Maga and Bora next appear in Die, Chameleon!, no mention of how they came to be returned to the fleet being made there.

Unanswered Questions

At the end of the episode there is an implied romantic attraction between Adama and Siress Tinia. Did they continue to see each other after this?

Battlestar Galactica: Experiment in Terra Notes from Experiment in Terra, the novelization of "Baltar's Escape" and "Experiment in Terra", by Glen A. Larson and Ron Goulart

(The page numbers come from the 2nd printing, paperback edition, published May 1984)

Pages 1-55 cover the events of "Baltar's Escape".

The cover painting by David Schleinkofer appears to depict the scene of the raid on the Galactica's landing bay to prevent Baltar's escape. It's more of a symbolic depiction of what happens though. Notice there is a planet visible outside the opening of the landing bay; the Galactica was nowhere near Terra or any other planet at the time! Also notice the ship on deck, to Apollo's right...it's not a Viper, though it has a slightly similar look; it looks a bit different from, but very similar to, the ship on the cover of "The Long Patrol" novelization. There is no laser battle in the landing bay, as depicted here, either; the Colonials' con on Baltar is done through subterfuge, not a gun fight.

Page 9 describes Baltar taking a bowl of bluish stew at the mess hall of the prison barge. In the episode, the stuff is more greenish, like pea soup.

Page 9 also describes there being prisoners from "all corners of the universe" on the prison barge. We should probably consider that an exaggeration.

Page 9 also suggests that there are a half-dozen Nomen eating together in the mess hall and who agree to participate in Baltar's escape plan. In the episode there are only three, the same three seen previously in "The Man With Nine Lives"; this novel makes no mention of those events since that story was never novelized.

On page 18, Colonel Tigh scoffs at the notion of Council Security guarding the prisoners, saying, "They couldn't keep a lapdog from escaping off a zoo ship..." Shouldn't that be lapdaggit? In the episode, he instead says, "Council Security couldn't prevent an escape from the orphan ship."

In the Officers' Club on page 30, instead of receiving his drink from a barman, an android delivers it!

On page 42, Starbuck mentions the vidball machine in the rec lounge. Probably, this is a game similar to pinball.

Here in the novelization, Dr. Wilker manages to reprogram Baltar's centurions to betray him. Before his Raider can launch, the two Cylons take his detonator and gun from him, then open the hatch, allowing Apollo and Starbuck to enter and take the human villain back into custody.

Page 58 reveals that Baltar is now held in more isolated quarters on the prison barge than he was before the escape attempt. 

Memorable Dialog

our flight across the universe may have been in vain.wav
total opposition to me.wav
I could grow to dislike this man.wav
dispatch it as the wolf pack does the bear.wav
mess duty.wav
your record to date.wav
we have been under martial law too long.wav
couldn't prevent an escape from the orphan ship.wav
I could settle all my debts at once.wav
drinking with a senior officer.wav
all our enemies in the same place.wav
a bigger fool than I thought.wav
that's what I've been saying.wav
rooting for a Cylon.wav
I'm in command.wav
it was really his idea.wav

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