"War of the Gods" Part 1
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Daniel Haller
The fleet encounters strange light ships and a seemingly
supernatural being named Count Iblis.
Read the story summary at the Battlestar Wiki
Starting with this episode, Anne Lockhart as Sheba is added to
the secondary credits sequence, with the music slightly altered
to accommodate the additional few seconds.
At the beginning of the episode, we see five Vipers on patrol,
led by Bojay. When they are intercepted by the Ship of Lights
and fail to return to the fleet, only four are said to have
At 3:57 on the DVD, why am I reminded of Gilligan's Island?
At 4:07 on the DVD, Jolly says that his instruments are
"spinning like fire-tons" (at least, that's what the subtitles
say; it sounds more like "fire-tots"). Whatever those are.
As the Ship of Lights approaches the Vipers, the pilots hear a
high-pitched sound they can't stand. Since sound does not travel
through space, it could be argued that the "sound" they are
hearing is actually a sort of telepathic knock-out blast sent by
the beings on the ship.
Notice that whenever we see a frontal shot of the tailfin of a
Viper, the fin is much shorter than it should be.
the DVD is about the best look
we get in the series at the
exterior of the Ship of Lights.
triad game, a number of banners
are seen hanging above the
crowd. Do the banners represent
the flags of the 12 Colonies?
For the second time in the series (previously in
"Into the Void")
Starbuck uses the phrase "for Sagan's
sake" (after Colonel Tigh tells them there's an emergency
meeting in the war room). Possibly Sagan is the name of one of
the Lords of Kobol, but it is also most likely an homage to
scientist and science popularizer Carl Sagan.
Sheba tells Commander Adama, "Bojay is like my family. He's all
that I've got left." I guess it could be that she is just closer
to him than any of the others, but there were a number of
Pegasus crewmembers left on the Galactica when the
missing in action; recall that Commander Cain said he was
evacuating all the wounded and all nonessential personnel over
to the fleet while he took Pegasus into battle against
the three basestars in "The
Living Legend" Part 2. (although the novelization does seem to state
that only Sheba and Bojay are left from the Pegasus.)
The graphical planet image that appears on Apollo's scope at
8:55 on the DVD is the same one that is seen on Boomer's scope
of the planet Attila in "The Young
The Viper computers (and the pilots themselves) keep saying
there are no life forms on the planet. But even discounting
Count Iblis, there is obviously abundant plant life on the
surface when they arrive! And that pretty much means some kind
of native microbial and animal life as well. Obviously they are
referring only to human life, but that's pretty narrow-minded
Count Iblis' first appearance in the episode has somewhat of an
ominous aspect in that he standing regally among the burned-out
remains of trees and shrubs.
Count Iblis' clothing seems to be similar in fashion to Colonial
Both Iblis and the Colonials seem to use the measurement unit "radion"
as the equivalent of our "rad" for measuring radiation levels.
on the DVD, we get a fairly good
look at the medallion on Iblis'
chest; the design looks rather
Iblis refers to his enemies as the Great Powers.
At 12:24 in the episode, Apollo attempts to get a life reading
on Count Iblis on his handheld scanner. It's a pretty cheesy
After he's found at the crash site on the planet, Iblis tells
Sheba he's very weary. She offers him some emergency rations,
and he replies that it's not food he requires, but he doesn't
say what it is he does need. I suspect it's the worship of him
by others he requires.
Apollo tells Starbuck to go back to the ship and send for a
shuttle so they can take Count Iblis back to the fleet with
them. It seems to me like he's saying "go to your Viper and make
a call". But at 15:27 on the DVD, as Apollo is talking to Iblis,
you can hear in the background the sound of Starbuck's Viper
powering up and blasting off! I guess the planet is just too far
from the fleet for communications to work and Starbuck has to
get out into space to make the call. Same blasted thing happens
on my cell phone.
At 17:12 on the DVD, the picture of the Galactica which was once
seen on the wall just inside the door of Adama's quarters in
some early episodes, is now seen on the back wall of his
quarters. The coffee table with the "three-dimensional chess"
set on it that used to be under the viewport is now gone as
At 18:03 on the DVD, Sheba tells Iblis they can stop for some
hypernutrients and energon treatment. The statement seems to be
related to a visit to the Life Station.
Iblis tells Sheba he fears that the Life Station's technology
may be destructive to him (probably he just doesn't want doctors
scanning his body and realizing he's not truly human; or he
may have the uncontrollable effect of rendering scanning devices
useless in his presence as happened with Apollo's handheld
scanner and when Count Iblis walks close to electronic scanning
equipment on the bridge; they lose signal and regain it when he
walks away). Sheba
objects that their technology is the very latest and he responds
"For your time, yes." This could be just a reference to what may
be his own, more technologically advanced, society; but it could
also be a literal reference to the "time period" he is now in.
De La Boue" suggests
that Iblis lives his life non-chronologically as far as how we
consider time or, that he at least as advance knowledge of
things that happen in the future. (In the novelization, Iblis
actually tells her, "I don't come from your world. Or from your
Don't know what it means, but at 18:54 on the DVD, we see the
following information on a monitor on the Galactica
Count Iblis tells Adama that he's come to prepare the fleet's
way to Earth. In a way, he does since it is his presence that
brings the fleet into contact with the Beings of Light who wind
up giving Apollo, Sheba, and Starbuck clues to the path to Earth
at the end of
"War of the Gods" Part 2.
In his journal, Adama says that Iblis' promises have given the
people of the fleet their first real hope in a quarter-yahren.
That must be how much time has passed since the destruction of
the Colonies. It doesn't seem like much time considering the
distance they seem to have travelled. If the distance was
travelled this easily (relatively speaking) why was there no
other recent Colonial exploration? Did the war with the Cylons tend
to keep the Colonials contained to their system(s)?
When we see the monitor display of the words spoken by Adama
into his journal at 24:40 on the DVD, it has left off his words
"and yet" at the beginning of the last sentence.
When Apollo asks if Count Iblis
could actually be an android
designed to look human, Dr.
Salik responds that the
Colonies' biorobotics institutes
were well-advanced in that
science. When Apollo and
Starbuck visit Dr. Wilker to
discuss the possibility, we see
him working on what appears to
be a humanoid android! There are
also a number of android body
parts on the shelf behind him.
Are there actual working
androids in use within the
fleet? (The robotic face appears
to be a slightly modified fembot
from The Bionic Woman TV series,
another Glen Larson production
The Bionic Woman
Iblis tells Sheba she will see her father again. Was he telling
her the truth? Or just another lie to manipulate her?
Sheba tells Iblis there is a dark side to him that reminds her
of her father, who had a love of war and conflict. Iblis
responds that that is a very perceptive observation. Implying,
perhaps, the Iblis also has a love of war and conflict.
The ship on which Count Iblis meets some of the denizens of the
fleet and promises increased food supplies appears to be the same ship,
the freighter Gemini, that Cassiopeia was on when
Starbuck first found her in "Exodus".
At 40:00 on the DVD, an old woman on the Gemini freighter tells
Count Iblis she has a talon plant that apparently provides her
some food. It's not revealed exactly what a talon plant is.
Iblis tells Apollo to go to the agro ships to see the growth
there for himself. But, last we knew, the fleet was down to just
one agro ship after two others were destroyed by the Cylons in
On the external view of the agro ship at 41:16 on the DVD, there
appear to be two screws (a Phillips-head and star-head) holding
the model together!
At 41:47 on the DVD, a single fruit tree on the agro ship seems
to be bearing multiple types of odd-looking fruits. (The
novelization seems to suggest that many of the fruits that have
grown overnight are unexpected and unusual even to the gardener
During his discussion with Apollo in his quarters, Commander
Adama ponders whether the Lords of Kobol, from whom the humans
of the Colonies are descended, were not themselves descended
from some greater race than their own, such as Iblis' people.
Apparently Blue Squadron (of which Apollo and Starbuck are the
primary members) is considered an elite squadron. When Baltar
sends a message that he wishes to come aboard the Galactica
under a universal sign of truce, Adama orders Blue Squadron to
escort his ship in and later, in his journal, he refers to
Baltar's ship as being escorted in by an elite squadron.
Notes from the Deleted Scenes
The deleted scenes reveal there were five planets in the system,
not just one, all lifeless.
How is it that Iblis is apparently able to speak the Colonial
language (whatever it is) when he claims to have no connection
to the human Colonies? Shouldn't this be an early clue to the
landing party and other Colonials that he is much more than he
at first seems?
Notes from the novelization of
"War of the Gods" by Glen A. Larson and Nicholas Yermakov
(The page numbers come from the 1st
printing, paperback edition, published December 1982)
Pages 1-78 cover the events of "War
of the Gods" Part
In the Adama Journals entry on page 2, Adama comments that the
day the Twelve Colonies made contact with the Cylon Empire is a
day that will live in infamy. This is a callback by the author
to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech decrying the
Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941,
launching the United States' entry into WWII.
Also on page 2, Adama asserts that the Cylons originally chose
to make war against the Colonies simply because they saw
humanity as unfit to engage in interstellar travel. In
"Deathtrap", Adama states that it started when the Colonies
chose to aid the alien Hasari, whose
civilization was being taken by force by the Cylons. Possibly,
these two assertions are not mutually exclusive.
Pages 5 and 7 imply that the helmets worn by Viper pilots are
enclosed by a transparent material, unlike the open-faced ones
on the TV series. The pilots are described as activating their
helmet mikes with a flick of the tongue and having a polarizing
shield over their helmets.
Unlike in the aired episode, here Bojay sends out an automated
warning to the fleet when his squadron encounters the strange
lights in space. Makes more sense that way!
Page 9 describes the Ship of Lights as being of a size that
would dwarf even the Galactica.
Page 11 describes the ball and uniforms of the game of triad as
being made largely of polymesh nysteel. Nysteel is not a
compound known on Earth. The soles of the players boots, which
allow them to "climb the walls" to a slight degree are velotex,
another fictional compound (though possibly the word was
inspired by our word "velcro").
Page 13 tells us that Boomer's teammate in the triad game is
Greenbean. Later, on page 90, during the game played in
"War of the Gods" Part 2, Boomer is playing with Edbryn, a young
member of the Council of Twelve!
In the episodes, it is an unknown, unnamed
character who partners up with Boomer.
In the episode, after his team's win in the triad game, Athena
asks Starbuck what she can do to reward him and we don't hear
his response, even though we can see that he says something back
to her. In the novel, he replies, "I'm sure I'll be able to
think of something," implying a romantic liaison. Perhaps the
line originally existed in the episode but was erased because the
producers had decided at that point to make Cassiopeia more of
Starbuck's only flame; this may be further evidenced by Starbuck
and Cassie's closeness in the immediately subsequent episodes
"War of the Gods" Part 2), "The Man With Nine
Lives" and "Murder on the Rising Star".
On page 16, the dialog that was given to Starbuck in the episode
is, instead, given to Apollo, reassuring Boomer after the loss
of the game that "I'm sure there's something you're good at."
Perhaps as an in-joke referencing the episode, Boomer responds
to Apollo that "You're starting to sound too much like Starbuck
for my tastes."
The planet is described as having a decaying sort of smell,
besides the strange red hue to the plants. Is it meant to
suggest that it has become contaminated by Iblis' presence or by
the crash of the ship carrying Iblis' people (if his story is
Page 30 mentions that a force field holds in the artificial
atmosphere of the Galactica's landing bays. The
guidance systems of the ship's vipers and shuttles allow the
smaller vessels to pass through the field in such a way that it
acts as a semi-permeable membrane, allowing only a minimum of
amount of atmosphere to escape with each landing.
In the Adama's Journal entry on page 44, Adama comments that, in
their search for Earth, they have been "searching, blindly,
following an ancient trail, not even sure that our path is the
correct one." Perhaps we could interpret the "ancient trail" as
a reference to the trail markers of pulsars gleaned by combining
the clues from Adama's glimpse of the markings in the tomb of
the 9th Lord of Kobol in "A
Death in the Family" and the information found on the ship
stolen from Scavenger World by Starbuck in
"The Last Hiding Place".
Also on page 44, Adama ponders whether Iblis could be an advance
scout from Earth, seeking to learn whether the humans of the
fleet are suitable to join them.
Page 49 suggests the agro ship is really just an old, decrepit
supply tanker which was cobbled together into an agricultural
ship as the fleet was fleeing the Colonies. This seems to ignore
the fact that there were two additional, identical agro ships in
the fleet until they were destroyed in
On page 68, some children on the Gemini freighter are playing
stick ram, but we get no description of how the game is played.
From the name, it may be a variant of what we would call hockey.
Page 74 reveals the names of a couple of members of the Council
of Twelve, Sires Montrose and Edbryn. Montrose is the one who
exclaims that there is no way that Count Iblis could have known
what their first two tests for him were going to be. Edbryn is
the one who Iblis says is the most skeptical of the council,
with the possible exception of Adama.
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