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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Surrender the Galactica Battlestar Galactica
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 Galactica.

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 Three.

Didja Notice?

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 play 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 events in 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 is all 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 executed."

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 as "undertoned". 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 silvery hull.

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 skies".

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 tempered steel.

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", among others.

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 of 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 Cylon Apocalypse.

Apollo and Starbuck's Viper squadron is again referred to as Red Squadron here (as in The Nightmare Machine and "Chess-Players of Space"), instead of Blue as in the TV series.

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 BSG universe.

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 caveman, 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 Boxton.

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 child's nickname.

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 and 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 task force?

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 "Masquerade" and "A Destiny Among the Stars".

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.

Unanswered Questions

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? 

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