"The Young Lords"
Written by Donald Bellisario and Frank Lupo and Paul Playdon
Directed by Donald Bellisario
Starbuck crashes onto the
planet Attila, where he meets some warrior children trying to
free their father from a Cylon prison.
Read the complete synopsis of
"The Young Lords"
at the Battlestar Wiki site.
Actress Audrey Landers plays the teenage girl, Miri, who
develops a crush on Starbuck while he's trapped on her planet
among a tribe of children. Possibly the name Miri was inspired
by the 1966 Star Trek episode "Miri" in which a teenage
girl by that name develops a crush on Captain Kirk while he's
trapped on her planet, on which all the human adults have died.
The voice of the IL-series Cylon, Spectre, is provided by Murray
Matheson. Matheson later plays Statesman Geller in
from Earth" Part 1. Spectre appears again in the BSG novel
Starting with this episode, Baltar seems to have abandoned his
towering "Imperious Leader" style throne on his basestar and
taken on a more practically-sized one inside the command center
of the ship.
On Viper patrol in the Omega sector with Boomer, Starbuck seems melancholy and is
about to announce a decision he's come to, but we never hear it,
as a squadron of Cylon Raiders approaches. In the novelization,
it is revealed that Starbuck has sought out therapy for battle
fatigue and he announces to Boomer that he is giving up gambling
and socializing (read womanizing); his sacrifices are also
hinted at in the deleted scenes on the DVD.
Starbuck's comments about his former flight instructor as a
cadet refere to a man named Lt. Wyler (as depicted in
"Starbuck" Part 1).
Three Cylon Raiders appear on Boomer's scanner, but we see four of
them in the ensuing dogfight.
The Colonies were apparently aware of the existence of Attila
because it's name comes up on Boomer's scanner, even though it
lies in a different galaxy.
The scanner on Boomer's Viper classifies Attila as a Delta-class
planet, identified as swamp-like, with high levels of humidity.
At 6:15 on the DVD, there
appears to be a hitching post in
the Cylon garrison just like the
one outside the saloon on
"The Lost Warrior". This at
first seems odd, but makes sense
when you realize that this was a
human-populated world which uses
horses (well, unicorns) and the
Cylon garrison is actually a
captured human castle.
Apparently the Cylons have not had time to install electric
lighting in the castle because they are still using candles to
light the place! Actually, given their robotic nature, shouldn't
they be able to see just fine without visible light?
The Cylon at 11:37 on the DVD appears to have a lot of dried
water spots on his armor! Actually, it makes sense considering
the humid environment of Attila.
The helmets worn by Megan's children appear to be based on
Viking helmet designs.
The children are seen carrying (and using) captured Cylon laser
The human inhabitants of Attila often refer to the Cylons as
Apparently Boxey has been sick once or twice since becoming
Adama's adopted grandson because he asks Adama if he would like
him to tell a story like he does when the boy is in sickbed.
Boxey begins to tell Adama a story set on "a shiny planet",
which Adama guesses is called Earth. Boxey's phrase "a shiny
planet" harkens to the coda at the end of most episodes of the
series stating that the Galactica is leading the fleet
to "a shining planet known as Earth". In this case, however,
Boxey informs him the planet is called Mushieland.
When it is depicted as raining outside the castle/garrison at
21:18 on the DVD, it is a nice bit of detail that the Centurion
that has just walked in from outside actually does have water
drops all over his armor. Somehow, however, Spectre comes in as
well and appears to be dry!
At 22:10 on the DVD, we see for the first time that IL-series
Cylons possess arms when Spectre hands Kyle's prisoner exchange
offer to Megan. The arms, however, remain covered by Spectre's
robe, so we don't actually see them. In
Chameleon!, Spectre's fingers are described as
Regarding the Cylons stationed on Attila, Starbuck tells Miri
that she and her siblings have been "a laser in their side".
This is, obviously, a play on the Earth colloquialism "a thorn
in their/his/her/my/your side".
At 31:42 on the DVD, we see what
I assume is a type of small
At 32:04 on the DVD, an additional red light can be seen
flashing and moving on Spectre's lower body. Presumably this is
part of the IL-series design.
When he realizes he's been deceived by the children, Spectre
exclaims, "Those little sclime." This word is unknown in my
researches. Perhaps it is a Cylon derogatory term? (It almost
seems to be a portmanteau of "scum" and "slime".)
The poem that Starbuck has the children memorize to denote the
battle plan goes as follows:
Through the tunnel, under the
land, Starbuck and Miri creep
hand on hand.
We swim the moat to the petro
dump and blow it up with a great
At the bridge, the youngest
daughter drops tin cans into the
And around the castle, the son
firstborn rides at a gallop and
blows his horn.
The first to go is Starbuck and
Miri, carrying torches to keep
Then the brothers swim through
the water, to set their bombs
for a Cylon slaughter
Ariadne is ready to throw
captured grenades at the bridge
We go up the steps to the castle
floor and sneak a peek through
the secret door.
Although the dump is
double-guarded we'll sneak
across when the guards are
Robus sets one bomb and then the
other, leaving the rest to his
When all is ready across the
moat, Kyle will sound the signal
At the bridge, the youngest
daughter drops tin cans into the
Through all the confusion,
noise, and bother, Starbuck and
Miri rescue Father.
The so-called secret door in the castle does not appear to be
very secret! It's an obvious entry panel!
At 36:48 on the DVD, there appears to be some kind of Cylon
symbol on the crate resting on the table.
Possibly the bombs the children use were captured from the
Cylons, so the symbol on them may be Cylon as well.
Stupidly, at 37:44 on the DVD, the boy called Nilz doesn't even hide his bomb in a place the Cylon guard won't see it on his
At 38:29 on the DVD, it sounds as if Lucifer says "feldercarb"
instead of the proper "felgercarb". Listen:
When Spectre (mis)informs Baltar that his centurions are
destroying the last remaining structures of human habitation to
prevent any newcomers from using it again, Baltar is impressed
with the robot's use of scorched planet policy. The term
"scorched planet" is inspired by our own term "scorched earth",
a military strategy of destroying anything that might be useful
to the enemy while advancing or withdrawing through an area of
land. The policy has been used throughout human military
Spectre spends much of his time in this episode lying to Baltar
about his garrison's accomplishments on Attila. Baltar falls for
it and even acquiesces to Spectre's manipulations that the
garrison be reassigned to a more hospitable environment than
Attila. But wouldn't the other Cylons of the garrison eventually
reveal the truth of what went on there after reporting in to
Baltar or other Cylon commanders?
Notes from the Deleted Scenes on the DVD
It seems fairly obvious this would the case, and one of the
deleted scenes seems to confirm, that the physical acting of
Spectre is performed by Bobby Porter (who also performs
Lucifer throughout the series); in one of the scenes we hear someone off-camera
(probably the director or assistant director) say, "Cover this
way, Bobby," as Spectre turns to look to his left.
During the scene mentioned above, at 2:43 in the Deleted Scenes,
Spectre accidentally bumps into one of the centurions as he is
prisoners on the grid barge.wav
Notes from "Inside Battlestar Galactica" from the bonus
materials on the DVD
Dirk Benedict tells how a stuntman in Cylon costume was almost
killed during the making of this episode. In the scene where the
Cylons are chasing Starbuck through the swampy water, the
stuntman stumbled and fell, becoming submerged, and, in that
cumbersome armor, was unable to pick himself up and get back
above water. Thankfully, crewmembers ran in and pulled him out.
Notes from the novelization of
"The Young Lords", titled The Young Warriors
by Glen A. Larson and Robert Thurston
(The page numbers come from the 1st
printing, paperback edition, published August 1980)
The book is titled The Young Warriors instead of The Young Lords
as the episode is called. Oddly, the credits of the book also
state it is adapted from the episode "The Young Warriors".
Possibly that was the original title of the teleplay but, since
the book was published a couple years after the episode had
aired, you'd think they'd credit the final title, not the
working one. "The Young Warriors" is the more apt title;
possibly the producers of the TV series felt another
warrior-titled episode was too many, having already produced
"The Lost Warrior" and
The painted cover of the book appears to depict Apollo in the
scene instead of Starbuck! Not to mention it's a scene that
never takes place in the story.
At the beginning of the book, Starbuck goes in for therapy, as
he's been feeling depressed, unable to sleep much (and having
nightmares when he does) and has not felt cheerful since the
fleet left Kobol; significantly, this is when Serina was killed
(in "A Death in the Family")
and for which Starbuck blamed himself (in
"The Memory Machine"). The
therapist is a computer programmed to help humans with
psychological problems. After listening to him, the computer
diagnoses him with battle fatigue. (Starbuck also sees a human
psyche-med later in
"Fear of Flying".
As Starbuck walks through some of the lowest, darkest passages
of the Galactica to get to the therapy room on page 2, he muses
that the corridors remind him of the ones he walked through on
his one-and-only visit to the prison barge during a special
mission. This seems like a veiled reference to
Escape", but that episode takes place later in the timeline! It
is possible he paid a visit to the prison barge off-camera in
"The Gun on Ice
Planet Zero" Part 1, but it doesn't really seem to fit with
his role in that episode. Possibly he is thinking of some other mission to the
ship that has not been chronicled.
The therapy room is incorporated with fantasy-interplay devices
that allow the computer to project waking-dream-like scenarios
in the patient's mind to help them work through their
psychological issues. The devices are said to be derived from
Page 2 suggests that Starbuck has been awarded a large number of
medals for his valor as a warrior.
Starbuck's thoughts on page 2 also suggest that Commander Adama
has been solemnly mourning the fact that he left Kobol without
any additional knowledge of where Earth is located. It's true
that he did not glean any knowledge of Earth's location on Kobol
in his conscious memory, but he was able to uncover a clue from
his subconscious memories through the use of the memory machine, over the course of a number of issues
of the Marvel BSG comic, as told in
"Trial and Error",
plus the fleet did glean some fresh clues to the path to Earth
from the ship Starbuck stole from Scavenge World, as seen in
"The Last Hiding Place".
Page 6 reveals that Starbuck was shaken by his interrogation by
Lucifer, as depicted in the "Lost Planet of the Gods"
novelization, The Tombs of Kobol, despite the fact that
Lucifer seemed to rather like Starbuck.
The book reveals that, during his youth, Starbuck's foster
parents were disabled veterans of the war named Gawr and Doreen.
Gawr's war injuries left him with a hook for a hand and a limp;
Doreen was nearly blind from a laser attack she'd survived.
Starbuck's foster parents are depicted in the later
Starbuck comic book
mini-series, but go unnamed and do not resemble the descriptions
Page 7 reveals that Starbuck has heard rumors over the years of
his real father still being alive, roaming the worlds, gambling
and getting into scrapes. This foreshadows the revelation of
Chameleon as Starbuck's father in
"The Man With Nine Lives".
Starbuck laments that his whole life has been guided by the war
and that even his diversions of gambling and romance are pursued
with a tactical efficiency. He tells the therapy computer he
feels guilty about how he manipulates Athena and Cassiopeia off
each other, but he does it anyway.
On page 9, it seems odd that the therapy computer is not
familiar with the swear word "felgercarb".
Page 9 also features the first mention of the sport of triad in
One of the strangely-shaped fantasy-interplay devices that
emerge from the walls of the therapy room reminds Starbuck of an
Ovion cabbage! These have never been mentioned before, but I
guess they are vegetables found on Carillon, visited by the
fleet in the episodes "Exodus" and
"Deathtrap" where they met
the Ovion species.
On page 10, belts emerge from the therapist's couch to wrap
around Starbuck and hold him reluctantly on the couch for the
As in the previous BSG novels, the Cylons are presented as
cyborg reptilians. Starbuck comments that they have not been
able to learn much about Cylon bodies because more than half of
their internal organs turn to dust upon death. He describes
Cylons as lizardish with vaguely insectoid heads and rather
Page 15 reveals that Colonial mythology suggests that unicorns
once existed on Aquarus and Virgon.
Page 19 suggests that the ship's engineers refer to the lower
levels of the Galactica as the devil's pit, due to the
hazardous presence of the ship's fuel storage, in "allegedly shatterproof
containers", on the level above. The devil's pit is
referenced or seen in several of the later BSG novels.
Page 20 suggests rumors of ghosts of former crewmembers roaming
Page 21 suggests that Apollo is still reeling from the death of
Serina and trying to care for his adopted son, Boxey. In the
timeline of the novels, this one follows The Tombs of Kobol,
hence the reference to Serina's death as recent. In the timeline
of the TV series (and expanded universe) it has been a fair
amount of time since her death.
Page 21 also reveals that the ailment from which Commander Adama is
currently suffering is Sagitaran flu. Ensign Greenbean is also
suffering from the outbreak.
Page 25 reveals that the planet is in what Boomer refers to as
the A4477 star system.
In the book, the planet is called Antila instead of Attila.
Boomer's onboard computer indicates that the Colonies were aware
of Antila and the human life on it; the planet was declared
off-limits for unspecified reasons. From Miri's book, we learn
that the small human colony on Antila were outcasts who were
banished from the somewhat militaristic Scorpia for their
peaceful political beliefs.
When Starbuck thinks he's about to die in a crash landing on
page 28, he thinks, "Good thing Boomer's not here to see me
buy the agricultural complex." Obviously, this is a
paraphrasing of the Earth euphemism, "buy the farm", meaning
Although, as in the previous novelizations, the Cylons are
presented as reptilian cyborgs, most, if not all, of the
centurions on Antila are actual robots, designed by Spectre, to
replace the true Cylons who died of native diseases on Antila
after the garrison was established.
Spectre chooses to name his robotic Cylons according to
landmarks in view at the time of each activation. They have
names such as Hilltop, Treebark, and Mudhole.
Page 31 suggests that the ships at Spectre's garrison are
Page 32 reveals that Cylon spaceships are allocated by the Cylon
Page 32 reveals that Spectre was designed to be the perfect
On page 32, Spectre refers to his robes as an "anti-rust
shield". Is this why all IL-series Cylons wear similar
Also on page 32, a brief history of Spectre reveals that he was
made the executive officer to the Cylon commander of the
garrison, in an unheard of move by the mentally ill commander,
whose two brains were damaged by Antilean disease.
Page 34 reveals that the Cylons have a stiffly ceremonial
salute, which Spectre has modified into a complicated four-stage
salute among his mechanical troops.
Page 34 also describes that seven Cylon Raiders attacked
Starbuck and Boomer during their earlier patrol, not four as
seen in the televised episode. The lone survivor of the Cylon
patrol is also the last pilot robot that Spectre has at the
Page 35 reveals that Lucifer does not care about locating the
Galactica at all, the way the Imperious Leader and
Although he liked the pilot during their time together on
Baltar's baseship in "A
Death in the Family", Lucifer has forgotten Starbuck's name,
thinking it was something like Starshine or Starluck or
something like that. It seems odd that a computer-being could so
easily forget a detail like that.
On page 37, Lucifer uses the phrase "oil flushed out a chute" in
the same way we would use the euphemism "water under the
In the book, the
unicorns of Antila are telepathic and can communicate, to a
degree, with certain humans that are naturally receptive to
telepathy; Miri is one of the receptive ones, Kyle is not.
Starbuck turns out to be receptive as well, at least to the
mount called Magician. The human colonists did not capture and
tame the wild unicorns; the unicorns came to the settlement
themselves and allowed only certain people to ride them. Miri
and Kyle ride unicorns named Rogue and Demon, respectively. The
horn of a dead unicorn is reported to have medicinal properties.
In the book, Miri is older than Kyle (it seems to be the
opposite in the televised episode). They both have dark brown
hair instead of the blond seen in the episode.
While searching for Starbuck after the crash, the Cylons use an
inflatable raft to cross the river (rather than wading through
it as they do in the episode).
On page 47, Starbuck thinks of Tauron holographic puzzles.
In the book, Kyle's band of child warriors is more than just his
brothers and sisters; the children of other imprisoned colonists
are members as well, 27 in all.
In the novel, the imprisoned parent is the mother, not the
father as in the episode. In both instances, however, the parent
is called Megan.
Page 58 describes a type of paint on Scorpia which
some telepathically-gifted artists were able to use to change
the color of the art after painting via telepathy.
Pages 58-59 describe Scorpia as a bleak, cold, emotionally
remote world, with a fairly militaristic government. Page 64
suggests that the Scorpian survivors in the fleet are rather
known for these traits, and their volatile temperaments, as
well. No mention is made of Scorpia's reliance on robots as
depicted in Adama's memories in
On page 65, Starbuck drifts off to sleep and dreams of being a
kid again, playing Vipers and Raiders with his friends.
The book reveals that Miri is able to occasionally sneak into
the castle through the secret passage to visit Megan, though she
is unable to free her from behind the locked iron cell. Other adult
prisoners are held there by the Cylons as well. Oddly, Kyle
refuses to believe that Miri is able to do this; why didn't he
just go with her one of those times?
In the book, the secret passage emerges through the back of a
fireplace in a room used for storage by the Cylons. In the
episode, the passage exit is so much more obvious, it's a wonder
the Cylons haven't discovered it.
In the book, the kids actually send the bound Starbuck across
the river to make the trade with the Cylons for Megan. In the
episode, they send a stuffed dummy.
Page 119 reveals that Starbuck also rather liked Lucifer during
their time together in
"A Death in the Family".
On page 120, the captive Starbuck tells Spectre that he's from a
tramp freighter called The Floating Dustbin. The term
"floating dustbin" is often used to describe an old and worn-out
ship here on Earth.
On page 169, to cover the loss, Spectre reports Starbuck dead,
which thrills Baltar and shocks and disappoints Lucifer.
Spectre flees the garrison, to rendezvous with Baltar's
baseship. Hilltop assumes command of the remaining Cylon robots
and surrenders to the young human warriors. Days later we see
that he and the other robot centurions are helping the now freed
colonists to rebuild the colony.
There are a few hints in the novel that the whole adventure was
just part of an extended simulation generated by the therapy
computer, such as: the "ghostly" engineer Starbuck meets as he
exits the therapy room; Starbuck's observation that the Cylon
attack on him and Boomer is like the battle simulation game on
the Galactica's rec level; the presence of a pretty,
secluded world, on which a small human colony attempts to avoid
the war, just as Starbuck wishes he could do sometimes; the
presence of unicorns as in the overt simulation he experiences
with the therapist. Then, there are other parts, like the book/journal
Miri writes her thoughts down in, and which Starbuck never sees,
and Spectre's return in
that seem to mark it as real. But the story ends without
depicting Starbuck's "awakening" nor a return to the therapy room for