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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: There Will Be Blood "There Will Be Blood"
Battlestar Galactica Annual 2014
(Dynamite)
Written by Robert Place Napton
Illustrated by Kewber Baal
Cover by Kewber Baal
2014

Baltar reflects back on his life after being marooned on an uninhabited planet for the past yahren.

Notes from the BSG Chronology

The title page indicates this story follows the events of "The Hand of God". Page 1 indicates that Baltar has been marooned on an otherwise uninhabited planet for nearly a yahren. In "The Hand of God", Commander Adama offered Baltar his freedom on such a world in exchange for information about the layout of Cylon basestars. Baltar did, indeed, provide the information in that episode, but he was not seen to have been intentionally freed in the course of several comic book stories taking place afterward, though he escaped the prison barge in a Colonial shuttle during a battle in "Prison of Souls" Part 3. Perhaps Baltar was in some way marooned on this world after "leading" the Apshaidians in "Fire in the Sky" (though he does appear here to have Colonial shelter and equipment and he seems to blame Adama for his predicament). If Baltar was recaptured by the Colonial fleet at some point after "Fire in the Sky", it seems unlikely Commander Adama would still honor his promise to free him on an uninhabited world. This story is left as a bit of a conundrum in PopApostle's BSG chronology.

Didja Know?

This story does not have a title. I have chosen "There Will Be Blood" as a nod to the 2007 film of that name about a ruthless oilman who allows nothing to stand in the way of his achieving fortune and power in the oil industry, similar to Baltar's story as a tylium mine owner here.

Didja Notice?

On page 1, Baltar reflects that his place marooned on an otherwise uninhabited planet is what Adama called "better than the prison barge". Adama said this in "The Hand of God" when offering Baltar his freedom in exchange for information about the layout of Cylon basestars.

Within this story, Baltar relates how he was born on the Picon tylium-mining outpost of Cygnus. This information was originally presented in the Encyclopedia Galactica, a non-canonical publication from 1979 that occasionally contradicts canonical sources (and even itself).

This story reveals that Baltar's father was named Sela.

Temon tells Sela that the newly-discovered tylium vein goes down for metrics. In Colonial parlance, a metric is about one Earth kilometer.

On page 8, Temon uses a device called a spectroscan to show Sela how much tylium they've found in the ground from the new vein.

In the background of page 9, panel 1, a number of landrams are seen.

Page 11 reveals that the adult Baltar still has whip scars on his back from the punishment he received from his father for taking a piece of tylium ore from the mine when he was a boy. Baltar's relationship with his father taught him to trust no one.

The story reveals that Baltar was enslaved when he was a boy, along with his father and the surviving mine workers, when the Cylons captured Cygnus and the Colonial President did not send rescue for fear of bringing the fight directly to the Colonies. In what readers might term an extended case of Stockholm syndrome, after time, Baltar comes to admire the Cylons and wanted to be like them.

One of the miners refers to the Cylons as tin cans. The same disparaging term was used by the child warriors met by Starbuck in "The Young Lords". Baltar goes on to remark that the orphan children he grew up with after the Cylons sent him back to Picon all called the Cylons "tin cans"; perhaps it is a term popularized by children. The term is seen to be used later by some adults in Rebellion.

Young Baltar learns his father and some miners have planted explosive charges around the mines that will render the tylium ore useless. He gives this information to the Cylon commandant in exchange for his freedom, his first act of collaboration with the Cylons. His father and the rebellious cohorts are executed for it and Baltar learned the sweet taste of revenge.

On page 18, Baltar tells the Cylon commandant the bombs will be blown in a few sectons. In Colonial parlance, a secton is one approximately one week.

Page 20 reveals that Baltar was granted a scholarship to the University of Picon. This information was also obtained from the Encyclopedia Galactica.

Eventually, the Colonies retook Cygnus and Baltar inherited the family business there. He turns it into the largest intercolonial tylium trading firm. This was also expressed in the Encyclopedia Galactica. Here it is revealed that his firm discovered the rich tylium resources on Carillon and kept his mine there secret from the Colonies and sold tylium to the Cylons instead, bringing in the Ovions to mine it. Much of this was hinted at in "Exodus" and "Deathtrap" when the rag-tag fleet came upon Carillon.

In the Picon council chambers on page 22, panel 1, there are two Egyptian-like bird statues that look similar to the Horus Falcon Gold Colored Statue available for sale online!

Lotay, the leader of the Ovions seen here, was also depicted as the Ovion queen in "Exodus" and "Deathtrap".

Like his father at Cygnus much earlier, Baltar rigs radiation charges that would render the tylium useless if blown and lets the Cylons know about it to prevent them from invading the world and taking its profits from him.

Page 27 reveals that Baltar is a "self-proclaimed" count. This was also stated in the "Annihilation" portion of the "Saga of a Star World" pilot novelization.

The story of Baltar's alignment with the Cylons to lure the Colonies into believing their enemies wanted a peace armistice is different than that presented in "Starbuck" Part 4, but not entirely irreconcilable. It might be that Baltar had the Carillon tylium operation running for the Cylons just as presented here and the Cylon commandant came to him with the Imperious Leader's peace plan as also seen here, due to the increasing unreliability of Osiris as an agent as seen in the Starbuck mini-series. Then, Baltar's request to the Imperious Leader for two yahrens to convince the Colonies of the peace plan, seen in "Starbuck" Part 4, occurs after he's had some time to plan it out.

Writer Robert Napton uses a clever twist to reconcile the execution of Baltar as seen in the theatrical release version of the "Saga of a Star World" pilot with his being spared in "Deathtrap". Here, Baltar actually was executed, his head lopped off by a centurion sword. Then the head is kept alive and attached to a robotic endoskeleton which is then covered in human flesh and his memories altered to make him believe he was spared. But he has been programmed to cooperate with the Cylons, while thinking he is still entirely human. However, it's possible this is all just Baltar's nightmare on the morning he is rescued by a Cylon Raider; Baltar tries to convince himself that is the answer and they simply implanted a tracker in his head that allowed them to find him on this unknown world.

Unanswered Questions

Is Baltar actually a Cylon with only a human head?

Was the gold command centurion who picks up Baltar on the unnamed world the same one he previously worked with on Cygnus and Carillon? 

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