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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Paradis Battlestar Galactica
Paradis

Novel
By Richard Hatch and Brad Linaweaver

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, hardcover edition, published July 2003)

The fleet's latest quantum jump lands them at a planet called Paradis, where many of the survivors vote to make a permanent home, abandoning the search for Earth.

Notes from the BSG chronology

References in the book place it immediately after the events of Rebellion.

Didja Notice?

Has a new Imperious Leader been activated? Is Iblis still the Imperious Leader in current times?

On page 3, Baltar sees many eyes watching him in his nightmares, following him everywhere like a "skyeye". His musings reveal that a skyeye is a hovering robotic device that can watch and follow someone. It's not revealed whether this is a Colonial device or a Cylon one.

Throughout the novel, Baltar has nightmares relating to the Cylons, which later seem to be unintended mental transmissions he is receiving from them, thus containing truths. Page 4 implies that, to the Imperious Leader, it is impossible to coexist with a species corrupted by such an emotion as love as humans are. The Leader cannot accept how love can make one sacrifice for another individual ahead of the group. Page 5 suggests that there may be dissension in the Cylon ranks, a growing divide between biological and technological Cylons. This is somewhat similar to the events in the Cylon Apocalypse comic book mini-series. Page 5 also presents Count Iblis as stroking a loathsome reptilian pet as he speaks to Baltar. Possibly this is merely symbolic of Iblis' manipulation of the Cylon species for thousands of years, but it also reflects back to the pet lizard seen on the Imperious Leader's shoulder in the three-part "Saga of a Star World" pilot episode of the series.

Page 6 refers to Omega as Omegas. Unless this is actually a different bridge officer with a similar name? Rigel is also mentioned here.

The author uses the terms "yahren" and "year" interchangeably throughout the novel. Also, the term "centon" reverts back to meaning "hour" as it did in the Hatch novels prior to Rebellion, where the more commonly known centon=minute was used.

Dr. Salik's description of red giant stars, white dwarfs, and habitable planets on pages 6-7 is largely accurate. However, I have not found any corroborating literature on his statement that some stars will go through cycles of expanding to a red giant and then shrinking to a white dwarf over-and-over several times before dying.

This book refers to "birds" instead of the Colonial word "avions".

Page 13 has Apollo musing on the possibility of the primitive natives of Paradis seeing his Viper and treating it as a chariot from the gods. This is a reference to Earth's own Ancient Astronaut Theory of the present-day, which suggests that Earth was visited (or even colonized) by extra-terrestrials in the distant past and the beings were worshipped as gods by the primitive humans, with the "gods'" spaceships thought of as "chariots". It is likely also a reference to the bestselling 1968 book on the subject called Chariots of the Gods? by Erich Von Daniken.

The native Gamons of Paradis look nearly identical to the Borellian Nomen and have a similar language to the Nomen's native tongue.

On page 15, Athena is referred to as Commander instead of Colonel as established in Armageddon. It's possible she was promoted to Commander when she was given command of the new battlestar Daedalus in Warhawk. Apollo seems to have the expanded title "Commander of the Fleet" on page 10.

This novel again refers to the Life Center as sickbay, as in the previous novel Rebellion.

Page 15 reveals that Baltar's home world was Caprica. This seems to conflict with evidence in "Exodus", in which Baltar argues with the Imperious Leader that his colony (unnamed) was to be spared, but wasn't. Yet, Baltar was on the surface of Caprica after most of the destruction in "Annihilation" and he seems far from distraught over it. I suppose it could be argued that Caprica was his home world, as in place of birth, but he moved to one of the other colonies and gained power there.

Page 16 reveals that Baltar is attracted to Athena and finds his mind occupied with thoughts of her.

On page 17, nurse Elayna remarks to Baltar that when he's feeling better he can get a better view of Paradis from the Celestial Chamber. But the last remaining Celestial Chamber on the Galactica has always been described as the secret of Apollo (and the few he's shared it with) in all past stories. So how does Elayna know about it? (Though Baltar himself already knows about it from his actions in Rebellion.)

Page 23 states that Baltar had built his original fortune through dealing in tylium. This is established more fully in "There Will Be Blood".

Also on page 23, Apollo refers to the tylium-powered drives of the fleet as Marron drives.

Gar'Tokk gradually develops a telepathic link with the Gamon.

When Yarto, the leader of the local tribe of Gamons, gives the book left behind by the Thirteenth Tribe to Apollo, no mention is made of the Galactica symbol being on the cover as described at the end of Rebellion. Page 151 suggests that the book bears the seal of the original tribes, not the seal of Galactica.

As in Resurrection, this book seems to confuse the roles of Doctors Salik and Wilker. Salik is presented as the electronics specialist and Wilker as the medical practitioner when, in fact, they had the opposite roles in the TV series.

In paragraph 7 of page 34, Starbuck is mistakenly referred to as Apollo.

On page 38, the engineer Ryis plans to build a permanent city on Paradis called New Caprica City. Possibly this inspired the naming of the virtual reality game New Cap City in the BSG2000 spin-off series Caprica.

Baltar begins in his position as teacher (ethics and history!) in this novel, but no mention is made of his wanderings to ponder his fate as first suggested at the end of Rebellion.

On page 45, Baltar reflects on a time in the past when a young ensign named Greenbean told him he was a natural contrarian who would always take the opposite position from the majority. The only known time when Baltar met Greenbean was after Greenbean's capture by the Cylons in The Nightmare Machine, though this particular exchange does not occur in the novel.

On page 46, Boomer remarks on having once been hijacked by Baltar. This is a reference to the events of "Baltar's Escape".

On page 49, Baltar implies that the fleet has been on the run for the past 25 yahrens. But according to the times presented in Armageddon and Warhawk, it has only been about 18.5 yahrens.

Page 53 reveals that Apollo has adopted Koren after the death of the boy's father in Rebellion.

Page 60 describes the small shelter constructed by Gar'Tokk and some of the other Nomen on a hill on Paradis as Spartan. "Spartan" seems an odd word to use because of its definite connection to our own Greek mythology, becoming a descriptive term from the disciplined, simple, and frugal workmanship of the Greek city-state of Sparta from about 650-146 BC.

Page 60 introduces two Nomen we've not met before who have befriended Gar'Tokk despite his friendship with the human Apollo: H'Mal and Bu'Klin.

Starbuck is again referred to as a colonel in this novel, so I guess it's official!

Page 70 reveals that Baltar continues to be required to wear a tracking device on his ankle.

Page 97 has Sheba musing on how civilians had hated her father, Commander Cain. This is not the view presented in previous mentions of the character, where he is described as a legend and practically worshipped.

On page 100, Dr. Wilker remarks that when a star dies, "it throws out a stream of pure neutrinos." This is more-or-less true, neutrinos being subatomic particles that are created within nuclear reactions such as the core of a sun.

Cassie's Gamon midwife sensed an evil presence within her newborn child and performed a cleansing and healing ritual on it. Considering the Gamon's later-revealed superiority in spiritual matters, did she successfully rid the boy of his father, Iblis', influence?

Since Cassie has now had her baby, it's obviously been 9 months since her impregnation. Which means that the baby Boomer and his wife Phaedra were expecting should also have been born by now. But no mention of it is made.

On page 108, Starbuck makes a reference to death as "the Grim Reaper". You'd think there'd be a more Colonial term for the personification of death than the common western reference here on Earth.

Troy examines Sheba's eyes on page 113 to determine if she might have a concussion from her crash. Presumably, he is looking for unequal pupil size, which can be an indication of brain injury.

This novel reveals that Cain had an unknown daughter, Rhaya, while his fleet of survivors was living on Poseidon. Sheba discovers Rhaya has the same birthmark on her arm that her father did. It's not revealed in this book whether Sheba will inform Rhaya of her parentage or not (Rhaya was told by her mother growing up that her father died before she was born).

Sheba makes a sort of pun in her head as she reflects on Rhaya's attitude and parentage on page 123, thinking, it sounded as if she wanted to raise Cain! Of course, the phrase "raise Cain" in Western cultures is a reference to the Biblical Cain, one of the sons of Adam and Eve, who committed the first murder, killing his brother Abel.

On page 124, Apollo thinks in terms of sleeping for 5 minutes. It should be either "centons" or "centari", depending on whether one goes by most of the TV episodes or by the first four Hatch novels.

At his planetside home, on page 129, President Tigh has made a pet of a native animal which he calls a blooie whom he has named Cyranus. Cyrannus is also the name of the Colonials' home galaxy. On page 135, the pet is mistakenly referred to as Centarus! (Possibly a reference to the Centaurus A/M83 group of galaxies visible to us in the constellations Hydra, Centaurus, and Virgo.) As the humans retake to their spaceships and leave Paradis, it's not revealed whether Tigh has brought his pet with him; but the following novel, Destiny, states that pets are not allowed in the fleet due to the difficulty of keeping even the human occupants of the ships fed.

At the bottom of page 134, Starbuck is mistakenly referred to as Apollo as he speaks to his fellow Viper pilots on their search for the missing pilots.

On page 142, the Gamon are mistakenly referred to as the Nomen.

On page 154, Koren is studying the equation f = ma as part of his studies, explained as "force equals mass times acceleration". This is the second of Newton's Laws of Motion.

On page 169, Rhaya uses the phrase "finders keepers" in relation to the ancient ship she's found in the cavern. This seems like a strangely Earth idiom to use.

The ancient city-size ship of the Thirteenth Tribe found in the ground is said to be of technology in advance of a battlestar, despite being later said to be many thousands of yahrens old.

On page 172, Dalton grabs one of her father's cigars and smokes it! Possibly this scene was an inspiration for the female Starbuck of BSG2000.

On page 185 Sire Opis seems to imply that Apollo has been Commander of the Fleet for several yahrens. From the continuous pace of the Hatch novels though, it has been less than two yahrens, even including the fleet's many months at Paradis.

   Pages 233-234 reveal that Baltar's original brain was apparently removed and replaced with a genetically-engineered one by the Cylons at some point in the past. Baltar was not aware of this, so it must have occurred at a time when he was injured and operated on. Possibly, this surgery took place after the injuries sustained by him in the crumbling tomb of the Ninth Lord of Kobol in "A Death in the Family".
   His brain is transmitting to the Cylons in some manner, which is what has allowed them to track down the fleet several times since his defection back to humanity in Armageddon. It is also implied that the nightmares Baltar has been having are actually unintended transmissions back to him from the Cylons, revealing a civil war within the Cylon Empire.

By the end of the book, both Apollo and Starbuck have proposed marriage to Cassiopeia! She turns them both down, content to raise her new baby boy as a single mother for now.

The records of the ancient space ark indicate that the Thirteenth Tribe expected the current human fleet to eventually arrive, and intended the fleeing humans to use Paradis merely as a place of rest and repair, not the permanent home many of the survivors wanted to make it. 

Unanswered Questions

Why do the Gamon look so much like the Nomen?

Why is there so little presence of Gamon women?

Speaking of Gamon women, since are no Nomen women in the fleet, the race seems doomed to extinction. Would the male Nomen be able to mate with the female Gamon, considering the two races similarities?

Why did the Thirteenth Tribe stop at Paradis in the past? How did they seemingly know that the current rag-tag fleet of humans would one day stop by there as well?

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