"The Long Patrol"
Written by Donald Bellisario
Directed by Christian I. Nyby II
Starbuck test-flies an
experimental viper which is then stolen by a convict from a
forgotten human prison planet.
Read the complete synopsis of
"The Long Patrol" at the Battlestar Wiki site.
I have placed "The Long Patrol" ahead of
"The Lost Warrior" in
the chronology (defying the original airdate order) because it
is at the beginning of this episode that we see the fleet
entering a new galaxy for the first time (according to Apollo's
dialog to Boxey on the bridge). And in
"The Lost Warrior",
Boomer comments that "...the stars are kind of nice in this
galaxy," which would seem to suggest that they are no longer in
their old (Cyrannus) galaxy at that time. I postulate in
"The Living Legend" Part 2
that this is in fact the Krillian galaxy, former home of the
Delphian Empire and current lurking space of the battlestar
Actress Cathy Paine was the uncredited voice of
Adulteress-58 is played by Arlene Martel (going by Tasha Martel
here), who also played T'Pring, Spock's erstwhile mate in the Star Trek
episode "Amok Time".
The humans inhabiting the asteroids in the this episode are
suggested to be descendants of colonists from Aeries and speak
in what sounds like Irish accents.
The episode title and supporting cast credits are printed in
white starting with this episode. In previous episodes they were
yellow. Notice, though, that Terry Carter's credit is still in
yellow for some reason!
As the camera pans across the bridge at 2:51 on the DVD and
Colonel Tigh reports the Galactica is almost past the asteroid
dust, several members of Blue Squadron can be seen observing in
At 3:45 on the DVD, as Boxey turns toward Muffit, it appears he
is wearing on his shirt the Colonial Warrior insignia pin given
to him by Apollo in "Exodus".
It is also seen in many later episodes.
When Athena looks up Starbuck's current personnel status before
his mission, the monitor screen seems to suggest she is looking
at the status of Blue Squadron personnel, but many are missing
and others are not members of Blue Squadron to my knowledge;
Athena herself might be considered a member due to her Viper training in
"Into the Void" and continuing
pilot duties as depicted in the Marvel comic book issues,
but Omega and Rigel? Really? I suppose it's possible they were
trained as well when most of the regular pilots were sick in
"Into the Void". The screen also
tells us that Omega and Rigel are both sergeants. The red and
green designations in the last column seem to indicate whether
the individual listed in that row is on duty (red) or off duty
On the Rising Star, as the fleet exits the asteroid
dust, the waiter comments that it reminds him of "the old days,
before the war." Well, the old man would have to be over a
thousand yahrens old to remember the days before the Cylon war!
Presumably, he is more accurately referring to times before the
recent near-annihilation of humanity in
"Annihilation". (In the
novelization, he says he is reminded of the time before the war
interfered with "our annual run to Quatora." He explains that
Quatora was a beautiful system of seven red stars and one blue.) Just a little
later in the episode, the waiter also refers to Starbuck's
daring of balancing the two ladies (Cassiopeia and Athena) as
When Starbuck asks for a bottle of ambrosia, the waiter tells him
ambrosia is as rare as Tilinium. This is an unknown substance,
not mentioned before or since in the series. Possibly, the actor
is mispronouncing "Tylium", the starship fuel used by the fleet.
At 6:53 on the DVD, Starbuck pulls a cigar out of his sleeve!
At 8:36 on the DVD, Starbuck appears to be wearing a digital
watch on his left wrist. Adama also appears to be wearing a
different one at 37:49.
In the room Starbuck is sharing with Cassiopeia on the
Rising Star, at 9:24 on the DVD, there is a bottle with
what appears to be a stylized "A" on it on the shelf behind them.
In later episodes this type of bottle is implied to be ambrosia.
While he's on the Rising Star, an announcement comes
over the P.A. system telling Starbuck to report to the Galactica,
flight deck blue. Possibly "flight deck blue" is meant to
indicate the home deck of Blue Squadron (which would, in turn,
suggest there are red and other color flight deck
Commander Adama orders Starbuck to wear a non-regulation flight
uniform during his test mission on Recon Viper 1 so he won't be
recognized as a Colonial Warrior in case he has to land
somewhere. But then, why don't Apollo and Boomer wear non-regulation
uniforms when they later go out to intercept the stolen Viper? I
guess they just figured they were going out to destroy the ship
and would have no reason to be landing anywhere.
Apollo says that the engineers have doubled the range and speed
(at the cost of weapons) of a normal Viper in the new recon
Recon Viper 1 appears to have the more formal name of Starchaser,
as the name is emblazoned on the ship's fuselage as seen at
12:30 on the DVD. The name is never mentioned in dialog, nor is
it mentioned in the novelization.
At 13:12 on the DVD, the gyroscope in the recon viper has the
name "Collins" on the panel. Collins is a manufacturer of
gyroscopes here on Earth.
The voice display panel of the
C.O.R.A. computer on the recon
Viper seems to be a precursor to
K.I.T.T. on Glen Larson's later
series Knight Rider.
(The Knight Rider
series also reused the
electronic humming sound of the
Cylon centurions for K.I.T.T.)
K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two
After briefly testing
C.O.R.A.'s piloting capabilities, Starbuck tells her to
relinquish control, to which she replies, "Your wish is my
command..." This may have been intended by writer Don Bellisario
as a play on the Cylons' well-known command acknowledgment of
"By your command."
I wonder if the engineers who designed the
C.O.R.A. interface with a sexy female voice had Starbuck in
mind, figuring it was a voice the reckless pilot and womanizer
might actually respond to?
While maneuvering to investigate the two unknown ships detected,
C.O.R.A. announces she is slowing to sublight speed, implying
the recon Viper (and possibly regular Vipers) are capable of
speeds at or above the speed of light.
When Starbuck comments that the two ships they've encountered
C.O.R.A. says they are 6th millennium shuttle and fighter
craft. Since it was established in
"Annihilation" that the
series takes place during the 7th millennium of mankind, that
makes the two craft in the neighborhood of 1,000 yahrens old.
Both the shuttle and fighter craft are designed in a manner
reminiscent of the "modern day" shuttle and Vipers of the
To frighten the fighter pilot away from the fleeing shuttle,
C.O.R.A. suggests a high-speed flyby and that their backwash
will "scare the pogees out of him." "Pogees" seems to be a
Colonial equivalent of "shit". (Lucifer also uses the term in
"The Living Legend" Part 2). In the novelization, she
says "bejabbers" instead of "pogees"; according
to the online
Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "bejabbers" is a euphemism for "by
When Starbuck comes in for a landing on an asteroid at 16:55 on
the DVD, notice that the starfield in the sky is slowly
rotating, indicating the asteroid has a rapid rotation on its
axis. The rotating starfield is noticeable in several other
scenes taking place on the asteroid as well.
At 18:46 on the DVD, Starbuck easily uncorks a bottle of
from Robber's stash using just his teeth. The bottle sure wasn't
sealed very well if that is the case!
The corks used in the ambrosia bottles look just like the plastic
corks used in many of our own Earth bottles of liquor!
Assault-9 tells Starbuck that he and his fellow prisoners have
been making ambrosia for the Colonial Warriors for 700 yahrens.
The prisoners don't realize that their product has not been
supplied to the home galaxy for almost that long and that their
small outposts have been forgotten in history.
At 36:15 on the DVD, Adama is carrying a book that appears to
have the Star of David on it! On Earth, the
Star of David is a symbol of Judaism.
The drawing of the Earth solar system in Starbuck's cell depicts
the most prominent features of the planets in the system. Notice
that the sphere representing Earth even has the outline of the
continents on it.
There are also other drawings on the cell walls of symbols,
animals, and what appears to be a river. Are these all aspects of
Earth drawn by the Silent One?
In this episode, Starbuck is given the alias Bootlegger-137 for
his crimes in the system.
The actor portraying the enforcer outside of Starbuck's cell at
38:28 on the DVD is Robert Hathaway, the father of Noah Hathaway
The concluding scene of the episode suggests that the fleet has
taken on the penal colonists as new members of the fleet.
Starbuck's revelation of the map of Earth's solar system gives
Adama and the fleet an indication that they are on the right
track to finding Earth. This makes the third time Starbuck has
provided information leading the fleet towards Earth. He earlier
helped retrieve ancient information about Earth from Maytoria in
"Risk and Luck" and brought an old ship from Scavenge World
that had pulsar charts mapping the way towards Earth in
Escape of the Space Cowboy". This makes for a nice
connection (probably coincidentally) with the Starbuck of the
reimagined BSG, in which she was instrumental in leading the
fleet to Earth.
Did the Cylon raiders that attacked Proteus signal Baltar's base
star of the human presence there? It seems likely, since the
Cylons are immediately seen in pursuit of the fleet in
subsequent episodes. In the novelization of this episode, the
loss of communication with the Cylon fighters does, indeed, prompt
the Imperious Leader to send more raiders to investigate.
Who was the Silent One spoken of by Robber who left the drawings on the walls of Starbuck's cell on Proteus
yahrens and yahrens ago? He is never mentioned again.
What happened to Recon Viper One and
C.O.R.A? Starbuck's test flight seemed to be fairly successful,
so why are the ship and computer never seen again in the series?
Possibly the ship did remain in use, piloted by specialized
recon pilots and we just never saw it in the course of
Notes from the novelization of
"The Long Patrol", by Glen A. Larson
and Ron Goulart
(The page numbers come from the 1st
printing, paperback edition, published November 1984)
The novel has some fairly significant differences from the TV
Here, Robber is female instead
of male as depicted in the TV
episode and she is single and
The Imperious Leader is in command of the base ship currently
pursuing the human fleet, instead of Baltar as depicted in the
TV episode. Possibly this is because this novel was actually
published 10th in the series, which was after the novelization
of "War of the Gods" (Book 7) in which Baltar was delivered to
the fleet by Count Iblis and incarcerated (although in the
novelization, Baltar is returned to the Cylons by unknown
forces, presumably Count Iblis; however Book 9 of the series, which adapts both
"Baltar's Escape" and
"Experiment in Terra", depicts Baltar
still in custody of the fleet, without explanation).
||The details of Starbuck's
arrest by Croad and the search
and rescue by Apollo and Boomer
is fairly different than the simpler
version presented in the
televised episode, with several
other characters who are friends
or enemies of Robber appearing.
||There is no fire to destroy
the crates of ambrosia during the
Cylon attack, so a number of
crates of the stuff are brought
to the fleet at Starbuck's
||Three Cylon attacks take
place instead of just the one on
Proteus. In the final attack,
the Cylon Raiders attempt
kamikaze runs against the Galactica,
trapping a group of people in
the battlestar's lounge, much
"Fire in Space" episode
which was never adapted into a
||No mention is made of the
Earth map in Starbuck's cell,
nor of a similar map drawn by
Boxey as depicted in the TV
In the novel, it is the Astro Lounge on the Edena that
has been approved by the Council to be reopened as a high-class
restaurant/club, not the Rising Star. This ship was mentioned previously
Death in the Family", and possibly is the same ship as
known for its socialators, in the novel
In later episodes of the series the lounge of the Rising Star is
identified as the
Cassiopeia's name is consistently misspelled Cassiopea
throughout the novel.
On page 10, Starbuck exclaims, "Holy mulrooney!" An odd,
somewhat comical phrase for him to utter.
On page 20,
C.O.R.A. uses the curse "nertz". This has an unknown meaning and
has not been used elsewhere in the series.
Also on page 20,
C.O.R.A. comments that, from his record, protocol and dignity
are not part of Starbuck's normal routine, mentioning his being
found in the Nurses' Dorm in an otherwise unspoken escapade.
Possibly this is an in-joke to Zac's unrevealed escapade with a
nurse in the novelization of "Saga of a Star World" (see
On page 22, Starbuck tells
C.O.R.A. to never call him Bucky. Why? Is there a story behind
On page 24,
C.O.R.A. says Croad's fighter is heading for an asteroid .71
mectares distant. "Mectare" is not a measurement unit that has
been used previously in the series. In the TV episode, C.O.R.A.
says "hectars" instead, which is a known unit of Colonial
measurement, 1/10 of a parsec (9 million miles).
On page 27, Robber tosses Starbuck an electrowrench. This is the
first and only time the tool is mentioned in the BSG universe as
far as I am aware.
Also on page 27, Robber tells Starbuck that the fighter ship
that was chasing her was probably a pirate from the Hohne system.
On page 28, Robber tells Starbuck she is hauling a load of
agritools to farmers on Croton.
On page 38, Starbuck blames Robber's gender and attractiveness
for allowing himself to be caught off-guard to where she was
able to conk him on the head and make off with his ship. He
muses, "if Robber had been a grizzled male spacehauler, he'd
never have turned his back." This may be an in-joke reference to
the TV episode, in which Robber is depicted as
a grizzled male spacehauler, who manages to conk him on the head
and make off with his ship anyway!
Page 39 describes a clay flowerpot holding a geranium perched on
the control panel of Robber's ship. A geranium is a genus of
flowering plant found on Earth, so it is interesting that one
should be described as existing so far from the planet. Perhaps it is intended
as a subtle suggestion that Earth has influenced the human
outposts found in this small system of asteroids?
In the TV episode, Starbuck describes flying Robber's ship as
being like flying a museum. Here in the novel, he says instead,
"Flying this clunker is going to be like taking part in a
historical pageant on the early days of space flight."
On page 52, Starbuck uses the exclamation "jitters" when he
spies an abandoned agritractor in the forest. To my knowledge,
this exclamation has not been used before or since in the BSG
Page 52 describes an old workbot in a pair of overalls that is
somewhat reminiscent of the robots Vector and Hector in
"Greetings from Earth"
On page 69
the Imperious Leader is described as
wearing a helmet. It may be intended to be the same
communications helmet he wore in the novelization of
"The Gun on
Ice Planet Zero", The Cylon Death Machine.
Issue #3 of the Battlestar Galactica: Season III comic
book ("Fire in the Sky") hints that the large afro hairstyle
worn by the Imperious Leader is actually a circuitrized helmet
mounted to his throne.
Page 118 reveals that about two dozen of the Proteus prisoners
chose to join the fleet, with about twice that number choosing
to remain behind.
On page 131, Starbuck mentions having played chicken in skycars
during his wild youth. The skycars might be similar to the ones
depicted on Scorpia in the flashback story
When Robber decides she wants to take on a legitimate name,
Starbuck suggests Roberta.
Page 154 describes the people trapped in the Galactica lounge as
being able to faintly hear the sounds of the space battle
outside. Since sound does not propagate in the vacuum of space, they
should not be able to hear the battle! It could be argued that
what are hearing is the sound of blasts striking the
battlestar itself and possibly reverberations from the firing of
its own guns.