(Saga of a Star World, hour 3)
1:23:15-end on Side 1 of the DVD
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Richard A. Colla
The human survivors fall into a
Cylon trap at Carillon.
(This episode begins with Apollo's conversation with Boxey
about the Cylons and
ends with the new Imperious Leader sparing Baltar's life
and giving him a basestar to command.)
Read the complete synopsis of the three-hour "Saga of a Star
World" at the Battlestar Wiki site.
I borrowed the title of issue #3 of the BSG comic book by
Marvel Comics for the title of this hour of Saga of a Star
The talkative woman in the casino elevator is Carol Baxter, who
played Mary in the Curse of Dracula segments of
She also returns as another character on Battlestar
Galactica in "The Lost Warrior".
At 1:25:42 on the DVD, as Starbuck dumps his winnings on the
cocktail table, one of the cubits falls off the edge, forgotten.
Considering Starbuck's love of money, I don't think he would let
a single cubit out of his sight unless he was spending it!
As Apollo, Serina, and Jolly are escorted into the Ovion queen's
chambers there is harp music playing in the background. It
sounds like just background music on the soundtrack, but if you
look closely, you will see that there are actually a couple of
Ovions playing harps in the room.
Apparently Colonial Warriors carry a Languatron device with
them. Apollo uses one to translate the squeaking speech of the
Ovion queen. The Languatron must be BSG's equivalent to
Trek's universal translator.
At 1:30:44 on the DVD, we see a
Colonial flag in Adama's
quarters. Another flag is
visible in the pilots' barracks
Adama comments in his journal that Carillon lies on the outer
rim of the Colonial star system.
Notice that at 1:31:22 on the DVD, the image of the
Galactica moving past the camera is flipped...apparently we
are seeing the long missing battlestar Acitcalag!
After catching Starbuck in the casino with Athena, Cassiopeia
tells him, "Next time, it's office rates, Lieutenant," before
storming off. This is a reference to her previous profession as
a socialator (prostitute).
During Sire Uri's proposal to destroy their weapons and settle
on Carillon, Adama points out that the Cylons had originally
attacked the Colonies when the humans helped the alien Hasari,
whose civilization was being taken by force by the Cylons.
During Starbuck's conversation with the alien singer, two voices
come out of her two mouths. The main voice is female, but the
second voice is deeper and sounds male! The novelization refers
to the singers as Tucanas and the original BSG writer's guide
states that this is their species. Some BSG licensees
refer to the girl Starbuck speaks to as "Android Sister". Are she and her cohorts
intended to be interpreted as literal androids? Another
possibility is that the term "android" is here used to represent
"androgynous" rather than robotic. PopApostle reader
Jace Toronto suggests that maybe the name of her group is The
Android Sisters, a play on the famous singing trio The Andrews
Sisters who performed 1925–1967, though he also points out that
the BSG soundtrack album refers to them as The Space Angels.
Notice that when Colonel Tigh sits down in the viper to have his
secret conversation with Adama, the canopy closes without his
having pushed a button to do so. Just a few seconds earlier, we
saw that Adama did push a button to close the canopy of his own
When Starbuck and Boomer catch Colonel Tigh filching uniforms
from the barracks, Tigh gasps, "Felger--", half of the Colonial
swear word "felgercarb".
At 1:41:22 on the DVD, the Ovion symbology for numbering the
floors in the elevator appears to be based on ancient Mayan
numerals. Just as seen here, Mayan numerals use dots to depict
1-4 and a bar for 5; then a bar with one dot above it would be
At 1:58:58 on the DVD, we see an Ovion larva that has been
feeding on the remains of a human body.
At 2:01:34 on the DVD, Athena's screen gives us Cylon raider
At 2:03:13 on the DVD, Apollo almost gets himself tangled up in
his own cape as he hands Boxey off to Serina and turns around to
help the humans flee the Cylons attacking in the casino.
From 2:03:33 on the DVD, it is obvious that the Cylons and
Muffit are not walking on dirt and rock, but merely the hard
surface of a soundstage! Add to that, the edge of the stage can
be seen on the left edge of the screenshot and the leg of a
stage crew member can be seen on the right edge. (Click the image
to see the larger picture.)
At 2:08:00 on the DVD, the shot of the Galactica is
missing the ship's identification.
At the end of the episode, the Imperious Leader is killed when
his basestar is destroyed along with the planet Carillon. In the
epilogue, we are introduced to his replacement, who is nearly
identical, and who reprieves Baltar from execution and asks the human to seek out the
fleeing human remnant and offer them the hand of truce,
explaining to Baltar that his predecessor had been programmed at
a time when the Cylons were less capable of tolerance than they are
now. Baltar, of course, is skeptical that the human fleet will
be receptive to that offer again after the armistice attack.
But, shouldn't Baltar have blown up in the same basestar as the
Imperious Leader at Carillon? That's where he was being held
"Into the Void", this scene is replayed, but this time the
overtures of peace have been cut from the dialog.)
Notes from the deleted scenes on the DVD
A centurion speaks to a communications globe on Carillon at 27:02 in
the deleted scenes. Here, we get our best look at the face of
the Imperious Leader.
A scene of Commander Adama and
assembled crewmembers giving
thanks for deliverance features a song (the Colonial
anthem?) from 31:21-end.
The words of the song are below.
Earth terms, the song seems to
reference the story of the
Book of Exodus from the
Old Testament, in which the
Hebrew people flee oppression in
Egypt and journey across the
desert for decades before
finally settling in the holy
land of Israel. The story of
Battlestar Galactica could
be said to somewhat resemble
that of the Book of Exodus.
In "Saga of a Star World" alone,
there are several comparisons:
the Hebrews fled the Pharaoh's
tyranny in Egypt--the
Colonials flee the Cylon tyranny
in their solar system; the
Pharaoh's troops pursue
them--the Imperious Leader's
troops pursue the fleet; God
decimates the pursuing troops with the
parting/closing of the Red
Sea--the Cylon star force is
decimated at Carillon, near the
Nova of Madagon (depicted red in
color) through which the fleet
had to pass after disabling a
Hail to thee, O lord of manna,
bounteous be thy hand.
Blessed be the core of freedom
throughout the land.
Keep us safe from powers of
darkness, liberty and might.
Man rejoices, land of Zion, lead
us by thy light.
We salute the cause of freedom 'neath
our flags unfurled.
Standing for eternal right
through the star-wide worlds.
According to the Old
Testament, manna was the
name of a food provided to the
Israelites by God during their
journey. "Zion" is a term
referring to the holy land of
The scene above also shows some
additional Colonial flags.
Notes from the audio commentary by Richard Hatch, Dirk
Benedict and Herbert Jefferson, Jr. on the DVD
Richard Hatch comments that creator Glen A. Larson changed the
Cylons from being cyborg reptilians to being entirely robotic due to
concerns by the television network (ABC) about the number of
Cylons we see killed onscreen; substituting robots makes the
kills "cleaner" because they're not really living organisms.
Unfortunately, it also makes the Cylons less interesting.
Richard Hatch mentions that the various collar pins worn by the
Galactica personnel are actual pins worn by members of U.S. Army
Notes from the novelization of
"Saga of a Star World", Battlestar Galactica by Glen A. Larson
and Robert Thurston
(The page numbers come from the 1st
printing, paperback edition, published September 1978)
Pages 152-end cover the events of
On page 148, Starbuck comments that the Carillon casino is the
biggest splash he's seen outside of Orion. In BSG continuity,
Orion seems to be a planet which traded with the Twelve
Colonies; it is later mentioned in both
Warriors" and "Murder on the Rising Star".
Page 148 also gives the name of the casino on Carillon, Festival
Page 150 reveals that Starbuck's favorite drink and dessert are
a Sagittarian straight-arrow and Aquarian ambrosia cake.
On page 151, Starbuck decides to play Hi-Lo at the casino. This
may be a reference to High-Low Poker as played on Earth, a
variation of poker in which the pot is split between the holders
of the high and low hands.
Page 164 suggests that the Cylons were not waiting for the
Colonials to show up at Carillon, they were waiting at Borallus
as Adama had predicted. A lone Cylon centurion stationed with
their Ovion allies on Carillon alerted the Imperious Leader of
the Colonials' arrival and the Leader dispatched his star force
from Borallus to Carillon for an ambush.
Page 177 mentions that when Starbuck was a child, his gambling
father flipped him a pack of cards, which apparently started the
boy on his gambling habit. (PopApostle reader Jace Toronto
points out that it seems odd that Starbuck remembers this event
from his youth but apparently not his father's name or what he
looks like, as we see later in
"The Man With Nine Lives".
Of course, the more recent comic book mini-series
Starbuck depicts him
learning most of his vices from his mentor, Lt. Wyler.)
The book suggests that the Ovions drugged the food and drink in
the resort to make the humans more susceptible to suggestion and
On page 193 Adama mentions the Lords of Kobol, even though Kobol
is not mentioned anywhere else in the book.
Pages 195-197 feature a scene not found in the episode in which
Serina's reporter instincts cause her to question Seetol about
the Ovions work and culture. At one point, she comments on the
Ovions' apparently entirely female culture and asks if they reproduce
by parthogenesis. She must mean "parthenogenesis", a form of
reproduction, in some rare cases of species, in which females are
capable of producing offspring without male fertilization.
Seetol denies this, saying they have males for reproductive
purposes, but that they have no place in their society after
they have served that purpose. The writers were probably
inspired by those Earth insect species in which the female kills
(and often devours) the male after mating (such as the praying
As Adama puts the Galactica on alert and prepares to spring a
trap of his own on the Cylons at Carillon on page 199, he
remembers a story from his childhood about a sleeping giant
awakening. This is probably a reference to the quote attributed
to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after the Japanese sneak
attack on Pearl Harbor, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a
sleeping giant," (though it is probable that Admiral Isoroku did
not actually say anything quite like this). The reference in the
book may be intended as another indication that Earth was the
ancient homeworld that seeded the 12 Colonies (not Kobol as in
the filmed version of the script) and WWII is part
of that ancient history.
Page 202 suggests that Cassiopeia's training to be a socialator
also included many other disciplines and she won the highest
Page 203 suggests that Cassiopeia had a long, intermittent love
affair with a Gemonese artist. She felt bad when she was not
able to find him among the surviving refugees.
Page 229 reveals that Cassie's father was the pilot of a
freighter. Also revealed is the fact that she doesn't like to be
Unlike in the episode, in the book, the Imperious Leader lives
and finds that he has taken on the human desire for revenge,
very un-Cylon. He determines to chase down the human fleet for
as long as necessary to destroy the last remnants of humanity
and torture and kill the hated Commander Adama personally.
Notes from the comic book
adaptation of "Deathtrap"
Battlestar Galactica #3 (Marvel Comics)
Script by Roger McKenzie
From the teleplay by Glen A. Larson
Art by Ernie Colon
On page 16, panel 7, Boxey is depicted with blond hair.
On page 17, panel 3, there is writing on the screen next to the
Cylon. It appears to mix Arabic numerals with characters from a
On page 27, panel 3, the Ovion larvae look like six-legged
mammals instead of insects or grubs.
Also on page 27, panel 3, Apollo calls Starbuck "Apollo"!
Did Apollo, Starbuck, and Boomer receive their Gold Cluster
awards? The ceremony is interrupted by a battle with the Cylons