Surrender the Galactica
By Glen A. Larson and Robert Thurston
(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition,
published January 1988)
Imperious Leader gives Spectre command of
Baltar's baseship and a grand scheme is enacted to capture the
Read the story summary at the Battlestar Wiki
Notes from the BSG chronology
This novel takes place immediately after the events of
Apollo's War, as evidenced by
the Viper squadron returning from the planet Yevra in Chapter
Page 2 describes Commander Adama's eyes as
light blue in color, though actor Lorne Greene, who portrayed
Adama on the TV series, had brown eyes. On the other
hand, this turns out to be part of Boxey's dream, so maybe the
boy just has a poor recollection of his grandfather!
Page 3 reveals that Boxey has holographic
pictures of Vipers on the walls of his room.
A number of Dwybolt's (cheesily-named)
plays are revealed within the novel: The Curse of the Sagitaran Ruby;
The Killing of the Cylon Master; The
Scorpion's Final Mission; The Daggit's Tragedy;
Reluctant Hero of the Space Service; The End of
Time; a Sagitaran trilogy called The War of the
Laserfish, and the Scorpion Watchtower trilogy.
Page 8 introduces one of the supply ships of
the fleet, the Broadside, formerly an intergalactic
shuttle. (I wonder if Thurston means interstellar.)
Page 9 introduces the captain of the
Broadside, Stedonis. He is known by his crew as Ironhand
for the metal claw-like hand on his right arm. Possibly this is
the same man who was briefly seen as the duty officer on the
Celestra in the episode
"Take the Celestra"; he may have been
promoted to captain of the
Broadside shortly after the episode. Unfortunately,
he's killed by Baltar on page 160.
According to Dwybolt, the scenes from the
The Curse of the Sagitaran Ruby depicted on
pages 6-8 are adapted from a Colonial legend.
On page 12, Shalheya says, "Smile and the
fleet smiles with you." This is a play on the English proverb,
"Smile and the world smiles with you."
Page 13 reveals that a socialator custom of
honor for a great achievement is to shower the recipient with
Gemonese mountain flowers.
It seems that Cassiopeia generally likes
older men! We saw that she'd had a past relationship with
Commander Cain in the "The
Living Legend" 2-parter and now we learn of a relationship
with Dwybolt, the elder thespian. Heck, maybe Commander Adama's
been getting a little somethin'-somethin' on the side as well!
Page 14 suggests that Adama quite enjoyed
his renewed turn in the cockpit of a Viper in
Apollo's War, having
yelled elatedly when his shots against the enemy were on target.
It's stated that the camaraderie he feels with Apollo and the
other pilots reminds him of his youthful hotshot pilot days when
he and Tigh were the Apollo and Starbuck of a squadron also flying
out of the Galactica, under the command of Adama's father.
(The novelization of the "Saga of a
Star World" 3-parter/pilot, earlier stated that Adama's
father was the commander of Galactica before him.)
Page 15 reveals that even Adama has not seen
all of the Galactica's interiors and has never
descended to the portion referred to as the Devil's Pit.
The reference on page 15 to Apollo and
Starbuck's earlier adventure in the Devil's Pit is to
The Nightmare Machine.
Page 15 reveals that a population count of
all the people in the fleet has never been done; Adama estimates
it is four or five times the population of the Galactica.
Thousands of small ships are mentioned to be in the fleet; the
novelization of the "Saga of a Star
World" 3-parter/pilot states there are 22,000 ships in the
fleet, though the televised episode states just 220. I've been
trying to keep a tally of the number (starting with 220 as
stated in the TV series) as ships are destroyed or added through
the licensed stories which I've studied here on PopApostle; at
last count it was 210 as of "The Fever".
In this novel, Spectre is now in command of
Baltar's baseship; Baltar is now his second-in-command. This
due to the snafu of the events of
The Nightmare Machine.
Page 25 describes the Imperious Leader as
many-eyed, as the reptilian Cylons were described in
the novelization of the "Saga of a
Star World" 3-parter/pilot.
Page 26 references events during Spectre's
deployment on the planet Attila, where Starbuck led some child
warriors against the Cylon garrison there. This is a reference
to "The Young Lords".
On page 26, Imperious Leader instructs
Spectre to capture the Galactica and its fleet, saying he wants
the humans in order "to parade them through the capital and humiliate
them...I want to see Adama tremble in fear before he is
Page 28 reveals that Spectre has reported
Lucifer as destroyed by warriors from the Galactica. We
saw in Die, Chameleon!
that Lucifer sacrificed himself as part of a deal with Starbuck
in a pyramid game. In our current novel, Spectre repairs him,
but erases his memory; near the end of the novel, Starbuck
inadvertently restores Lucifer's memory.
Page 28 also reveals there is a lift-chair
next to the pedestal of Baltar's (now Spectre's) command chair
on the baseship.
Page 28 describes Spectre's feet as "two
knobby stocks on rollers under the hem of his robe". Presumably
this is the same for all Cylon robots of the IL-series.
On page 31, Spectre describes Baltar's body
The novelization of the "Saga of a
Star World" 3-parter/pilot, however, depicted Lucifer
forcing Baltar to undergo physical training to become fit enough
to be a leader. Baltar's character does seem, though, of the type
that he would let himself go after obtaining power.
Page 36 reveals that Apollo has started a
fund for the placement of orphans on the orphan ship with
families elsewhere in the fleet.
Page 38 introduces the SuperViper, a new
fighter design from the fleet's Research and Development group.
It's more than twice the size of a standard Viper and has a
Starbuck seems to suggest on page 40 that
some kind of blue meat is often eaten in the fleet.
Page 40 mentions that a normal Viper cockpit
could fit only a pilot and the occasional wedged-in observer.
Possibly this is a reference to the fold-down
observation seat in a Viper mentioned in
Apollo's War. In
contrast, the SuperViper can hold up to a dozen persons.
Page 40 also reveals that Viper seats are
rock hard, while the SuperViper has large, plushy seats
containing control mechanisms which allow the pilot and copilot
to act together in flight.
Flying the amazing SuperViper, Apollo and
Starbuck reflect that they feel like children at one of the
Gemonese amusement stations, sort of amusements parks in orbit!
On page 46, when the SuperViper almost smacks
into the Galactica, Starbuck remarks that they almost
became Dramian flapjacks.
Page 46 mentions the Galactica
landing bay opening to welcome the SuperViper back on board. In
the TV series, the landing bay never seemed to have any doors
closing it off from space.
Page 54 suggests that Baltar could just
retire from Cylon service and find a quiet place to live out a
comfortable life. I'm not so sure Imperious Leader would
actually let him leave his service alive.
Page 58 reveals Baltar with a new face after cosmetic surgery to disguise him for his and Lucifer's secret
mission within the human fleet. Page 95 also reveals he has a
new voice to go along with it.
When Boxey mentions to Peri that Muffit was
built by Dr. Wilker, Peri says, "Who the pits is Dr. Wilker?"
Here, "the pits" stands in for "the Hell"
(or, in Colonial terms, "the Hades") and represents her own
home, the Devil's Pit section of the Galactica.
Page 67 reveals that the denizens of the
Devil's Pit refer to the rest of the ship as "the speckled
Page 68 reveals that the Galactica's
library is near the top level of the ship.
Page 68 also reveals that quickfood
dispensers are placed all around the Galactica, able to
provide a quick, convenient meal at the touch of a button.
Page 70 reveals that Muffit has teeth of
On page 71, Cassie delivers a lecture on
hygiene to Athena's class of schoolchildren.
Page 71 reveals that the schoolchildren on
the Galactica are urged to exercise according to the
"cadet workout book".
Page 72 gives an idea of Athena's busy
schedule of duties: teach class for the schoolchildren every
fifth duty period, lecture on tactics at Cadet Academy, keep up
her own studies, write manuals, and spend long tours helping to
run things on the bridge.
On page 73, Cassie reflects on her past life
as a socialator. It's suggested that her parents had sold her
into the socialator cult. She'd had to "follow strict regimens,
go by traditional rules, follow time-honored customs." She
couldn't have children and basically could only be friendly with
those she was assigned to.
Page 73 suggests that traditional-type blackboards are used
even in the Galactica's classrooms.
Page 75 reveals that Cassie had occasionally
participated in plays in Gemon when she was a socialator.
On page 78, Spectre muses on the failed
strategies of Baltar, Lucifer, and the Imperious Leader to wipe
out the human fleet. Baltar's strategies were seen in past
episodes of the TV series. Lucifer seems to have had the
chance to enact only one strategy, witnessed in issue #13 of the
Marvel BSG comic book, "Collision
Course". The Imperious Leader's strategies are varied, from
placing the human traitor Baltar in command of a baseship, to
stories in the British BSG Annuals such as
"Chess-Players of Space",
"Amazons of Space" and
"Skirmish Beyond Skafrax",
As Spectre muses on his potential victories
on page 79, he speculates on overthrowing and becoming the new
Imperious Leader, though it has been against Cylon custom to
allow one of their cybernetic creations to assume leadership.
Page 79 suggests that the Imperious Leaders
tend to be long-lived.
Page 80 reveals that the denizens of the
Devil's Pit use old, obsolete transport passages
to move around, formerly used to transport supplies
around the ship.
On page 87, Athena mentions to Apollo and
the rest of her search party that there have been reports of
activity in the lower tunnels of the ship, despite their alleged
long-abandonment. Several crewmembers, including Apollo and
Starbuck, already know about people living there from the events
The Nightmare Machine.
So, why does Apollo act like he doesn't know what she's talking
about? Did they keep the activity in the Devil's Pit a secret?
Why would they? And further, Athena goes on to say that nobody
thought of checking these tunnels for the runaway Boxey before
now! Really? Apollo, who's worried sick about his missing son,
didn't think to look there after search parties had combed every
other inch of the ship?
On page 89, a distress call is received from
a seemingly uninhabited planet. Apollo speculates it may be from
an underground civilization. The call later turns out to be part
of a trap for a Cylon attack. The setup is similar to that of
"Amazons of Space".
On page 90, Spectre rubs his hands together,
in mimicry of what he'd seen Baltar do when he was in command.
There seems to be a trend in the Thurston novels that the Cylons
find themselves fascinated by, and mimicking, humans. Previously,
both the Imperious Leader and Lucifer have had human ideas
infect their minds.
On page 92, Jolly speculates on the
possibility of maverick Cylons and Boomer retorts, "You ever know
any Cylons independent enough to break away? Cylons don't rebel
or follow revolutionary leaders." Actually, some Cylons sort of
did that in the BSG comic book mini-series
Apollo and Starbuck's Viper squadron is
again referred to as Red Squadron here (as in
The Nightmare Machine
"Chess-Players of Space"), instead of Blue as in the
On page 93, during the attack on the fleet,
Adama comments that Cylons are always devising traps. This
refers back to numerous stories in the TV series and expanded
After sneaking aboard the Broadside during
the distraction of the Cylon attack, Baltar and Lucifer, in
their disguises, are discovered and their cover story fails.
Baltar improvises an excuse that they wore out their welcome
gambling on the Rising Star when they owed the casino
more credits than they had. How does Baltar know specifically
about the Rising Star? I suppose he must have learned
of it during his incarceration on the prison barge beginning in
"War of the Gods" Part 2
and ending with his escape in
"Prison of Souls" Part 3.
For their infiltration of the fleet, Baltar uses the false identity of Korriman
and Lucifer is disguised as a Borellian Nomen named Trogla. "Trogla" is likely a reference to
the Earth term of "troglodyte", a generic term for a prehistoric
since the Nomen are somewhat Neanderthal-looking. It turns out
not to be such a great choice of name for Lucifer's undercover
identity since it's later said to refer to the most common
variety of ground mole on Borellia. ("On Borellia" implies a
planet by that name, but Armageddon
later states that "Borella" is a region on Caprica.)
The Nomen called Lingk, previously seen in
Die, Chameleon!, returns
to put Lucifer/Trogla under scrutiny.
Page 100 suggests that Drayliks are members
of a certain Borellian noble class. Their voices are surgically
altered to make them easily distinguishable from lower classes.
The name of the leader of the Borellian
Nomen of the fleet, Maga, is repeatedly misspelled "Mega"
throughout the book.
Page 102 reveals that Boxey has taught
Muffit a trick called the rocket leap.
Baltar and Lucifer join Dwybolt's theatre
group to gain access to the Galactica and it turns out
that Lucifer is a great actor, earning the accolades of his
fellow thespians (and Baltar's jealousy).
Ironically, Dwybolt continually casts Baltar
as a villain in his plays.
Page 112 reveals that Baltar has had some
theatre experience in the past and even performed a skit with
his arch-enemy Adama at the academy.
Page 125 reveals that Colonial theatre
troupes apparently not only have the old superstition about it
being bad luck to wish an actor good luck on the stage, but also
one that it is bad luck to touch a mirror with one's fingertips
before going on.
Boxey and his young friend Peri also become
actors in Dwybolt's troupe. Boxey adopts the stage name of
Page 137 reveals that Adama loves the
theatre. He and his wife used to go regularly when he was on
leave from the service.
Peri likes to refer to Boxey as Box and on
page 156 he tells her he doesn't like it, his name is Boxey. In
the various comic book mini-series published by Maximum Press,
the adult Boxey is called Box, saying that "Boxey" was just a
On page 159, Baltar, having planted the bomb
on the Galactica, heads to the launch bay to steal a
monoshuttle. Presumably a monoshuttle is a smaller,
single-passenger version of the standard Galactica
shuttles seen in the TV series.
As a Cylon task force is detected
approaching the fleet, Apollo heads for the bridge, leaving
Croft and Sheba to handle the mess left behind by the bomb in
the engineering section. What was Croft doing on the Galactica
in the first place? And his dialog indicates he's been on board
at least since the theatre troupe arrived. But, last we heard,
he was the commander of the prison barge, as seen in both
The Nightmare Machine
Apollo's War. And why is Sheba left
behind in engineering? Wouldn't Apollo and Commander Adama want
every pilot prepping for launch to battle the oncoming Cylon
Page 171 reveals that a new model of Cylon
Raider has been commissioned to Spectre's baseship for this
attack against the Galactican fleet. It is more maneuverable and
has more power than its predecessors. Possibly this is the same
model Raider seen in some later stories such as
"A Destiny Among
Page 172 describes Spectre's jaw as almost
dropping open at Commander Adama's brazenness at the robot's
surrender order. But Spectre does not have a jaw!
Page 186 reveals a new type of Viper being
produced by the foundry ship referred to as a twister for the
peculiar corkscrew design in its nose.
After the defeat of his forces by the
Galactican fleet, Spectre laments that the Cylon fleet is
elsewhere, conquering other parts of the universe.
Page 195 reveals that Starbuck likes to
refer to Lucifer as Lucy.
On page 197, Starbuck convinces the stranded
Lucifer to join the human side against the Cylons.
Will Lucifer really stay with the human
fleet and join their side? Since no further BSG novels were
published by Ace Books, the storyline was not continued.
Will Baltar regain command of his baseship
after Spectre's failure to capture or destroy the Galactica?
He is seen in command of a baseship in the later Maximum Press
comic book mini-series.
Did Baltar retain the new face and voice he
took on for this mission? Or did he go under the laser scalpel
again to get his old self back?
Back to Episode Studies