"War of the Gods" Part 2
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Daniel Haller
Iblis delivers on his promises to help the fleet, but Adama
views him with suspicion.
Read the story summary at the Battlestar Wiki
Count Iblis has seemingly used his mental powers to coerce
Baltar into making the decision to journey alone (except for his
two pilots) to the Galactica, where he is quickly taken into
custody. But it's not made clear exactly why Baltar chose to go there in the first place.
Wouldn't Iblis' mental persuasion have at least required some
kind of pretext to make Baltar think he had some good reason to
go to the fleet? Baltar does try to argue at his sentencing that
the humans and the Cylons need to unite to protect themselves
from the mysterious orbs that have been harassing both sides in
this area of space.
As seen in "Trial and Error",
Colonial justice moves swiftly, as Baltar, after being delivered
to the fleet at end of the previous episode, is convicted and
sentenced to life on the prison barge at the beginning of this
During his talk with Iblis in his cell, Baltar remarks that
Iblis has the same voice as that of the Imperious Leader (which
is true, as actor Patrick Macnee, who plays Count Iblis, also
provides the voice of Imperious Leader). That
and comments from Iblis himself suggest that he was involved in
the reptilian Cylons downfall to their own cybernetic creations.
Baltar also seems to state that the Cylons were overcome by
their own technology 1,000 yahrens ago, at the onset of the war
with the humans.
|At 12:54 on
the DVD, a patch on Boomer's
triad uniform can be seen. It
features three interlocking
rings that look similar to our
own Olympic rings.
At 13:20 on the DVD, in the audience stands of the triad game,
we can see that Athena is holding Boxey on her lap to watch his
Sheba is seen wearing a dress at the triad game in several
shots. But at 13:45 on the DVD, a shot of the game
for the fleet shows her in her warrior's uniform!
Obviously it is a reused shot from the triad game in
"War of the Gods" Part 1.
At the club on the Rising Star, there are people dancing while
maneuvering short lengths of rope in their hands, similar to
that seen in episodes of the 1979-81 TV series also produced by
Glen Larson, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
After Boomer's disappearance after chasing the white lights
harassing the fleet, Tigh comments that the lights are not
necessarily hostile, to which Starbuck objects, "What do you
call losing eight pilots?" Actually, it should be nine now that
Boomer is missing!
In this episode, we see that Commander Adama is capable of using
mind-over-matter (telekinesis) to move an object, just as Count
Iblis did in
"War of the Gods" Part 1. He tells Apollo how he used to drive his wife mad by bending
eating utensils with his mind. This is similar to the alleged
psychic talents of Earth's own Uri Geller. Adama tells Apollo he
learned of his own limited abilities during a study at the
At 23:41 on the DVD, we finally can read some of the words on
the display on the wall of Adama's quarters.
Adama reveals that the human life expectancy in their society is
about 200 yahrens.
Colonel Tigh tells Commander Adama that Count Iblis is visiting
Agro Ship 9. Is it really necessary to number the Agro Ship if
it's the only one left? The other two were destroyed by the
"War of the Gods" Part 1
seems to suggest multiple ships).
At 30:06 on the DVD, we see the monitor in front of Colonel Tigh
on the bridge.
In his confrontation with Iblis in his quarters, Adama tells him
he believes the crashed ship on the planet was full of beings
who had chosen to follow Iblis and paid for it with their lives.
When Apollo and Starbuck arrive at the wreckage site on the
planet, they find no radion levels to speak of, determining that
the readings on their previous visit were somehow manufactured
by Count Iblis.
Attempting to break Sheba out of Count Iblis' spell, Apollo
tells her to think back to the ancient records and the names
Mephistopheles, Diaboles, and the Prince of Darkness; these are
all alternative descriptions for what most Western religions
would think of as the Devil.
When first Apollo and then Starbuck fire their guns at Count
Iblis, he absorbs the laser's energy and appears briefly in what
might be his true form.
Taking Apollo's body back to the fleet, we see both Starbuck and
Sheba in the cockpit of the shuttle. What about Sheba's Viper?
They just left it behind? (In the novelization, Starbuck
comments to Sheba that they'll send someone back for her Viper
when they reach the fleet.)
When Starbuck wakes up in the Ship of Lights, the Beings of
Light comment, "His restons are normal and responding to balcon
infusion." The terms "restons" and "balcon" are obviously some
kind of diagnosis of well-being and treatment response by the
Beings of Light; the exact meaning of these terms is unknown.
The Beings of Light tell Starbuck that he is in a dimension
"quite apart from your own."
The voice heard in the Ship of Lights sounds male, yet the
figures present, though draped in robes and cloth, appear
female. It can just barely be made out, in the close-up shots,
that the mouth of one of the figures moves when speech is heard,
though it does not seem to match the words heard spoken. Perhaps it is
meant to suggest that the language of the Beings of Light is
being translated in the minds of their human visitors. (The
novelizations suggests the voices come to them only in their
minds, not through spoken word.)
Essentially the same white Colonial Warrior uniforms worn by the
humans on the Ship of Lights here, return in the
1980 TV episodes that featured time travel.
Commander Adama mentions
Dr. Paye as having treated Apollo after his return from death at
the hand of Count Iblis. Paye's only actual appearance in the series
was in "Exodus", treating Cassiopeia's
At 45:19 on the DVD, there is an
behind Sheba in the dining room
of Adama's quarters. Perhaps
it's Toltec or Mayan in
What did Commander Adama tell the Council and the fleet about
the disappearance of Count Iblis? That he was a being of evil
who was found out? Would the denizens of the fleet believe him?
(In the novel, Adama mentions in his journal that they simply
told the fleet that the white lights called Iblis back to where
he'd come from, but he had fulfilled his promise to them by
supplying the potential Earth coordinates actually given by Apollo, Starbuck,
and Sheba. In a story set 20 yahrens later in
"War of Eden" Part
4, Iblis foretells of what he sees as his soon-to-come victory over the
Galactica and ruling over the civilians of the fleet, most
of them not knowing why he disappeared all those yahrens ago.)
Why were the 9 other Viper pilots abducted? Were they also part
of the Beings of Lights' attempt to judge the evolutionary
potential of humanity? Were any of these pilots also given
subconscious information of any kind as Apollo, Starbuck, and
Notes from the Deleted Scenes
The 9 other missing warriors are found on the red planet after
the Galactica suddenly received distress signals from their
The dining room seen at the end of the episode (and seen in
previous episodes) is in Adama's quarters.
Notes from the Glen Larson interview on the "Saga of a
Star World" DVD
Larson reveals that they shot a scene of Iblis' body in the
ship's wreckage and it was shown to have cloven hooves (like
the Christian devil). The network made them take the scene out.
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 79-end cover the events of "War
of the Gods" Part
Page 79 reveals that some of the members of the Council of
Twelve are the same ones who were there before the destruction
of the Colonies. Others, of course, were elected from within the
fleet to fill the vacant positions.
The novel reveals that the triad game in which Apollo was
choosing not to participate, was actually a game for the
Page 84 reveals that when Apollo chose not to participate in the
championship triad game, a young med tech called Doc Hansen, was
going to be Starbuck's partner in the game.
On page 85, Doc Hansen is concerned that the crowd will not
accept him in lieu of Apollo on the triad court. Not much help,
Starbuck jokingly admonishes, "Try shaving off your beard and
walkin' around like you've got a broomstick up your ass. Maybe
that'll fool 'em." Suggesting that, despite their friendship,
Starbuck does tend to think of Apollo as kind of stiff.
In the novel, Apollo is lying on his bunk in his own quarters
rather than in the pilots' barracks as in the episode, when
Boxey enters and shuns him.
Not only does Boxey shun him for being a coward for his refusal to
play in the triad game, Muffit even growls at him (presumably
sensing the boy's attitude)!
Page 89 describes cans of baharri being thrown at Doc Hansen on
the triad court. Baharri has only previously been mentioned as a
the novelization of "The
Living Legend". The description of it being in cans suggests
to me that it may be analogous to beer.
Doc Hansen loses his temper when the spectators start throwing
cans of baharri at him, and he calls them a bunch of combrids
with nictitating membranes. "Combrids" is an unknown term in the
BSG universe, but sounds like it must be some kind of lower
animal. A nictitating membrane is a secondary eyelid for
protection and moisturization found in many birds on Earth. Perhaps
more importantly, it is found in some reptiles, so it may be a
derogatory term for Colonials as representing the original
reptilian Cylons; if true, "combrid" may be a particularly
loathsome Colonial reptile.
The novel goes into quite a bit more detail of the championship
triad game, including Boomer's ruthless play and blank,
possessed look that lends further support to the probability that
Count Iblis was actually playing through him.
Page 101 uses the Earth mythological term "Dionysian" to
describe the scene of Count Iblis seated in the lounge of the
Rising Star with Sheba curled up against him and two other women
reclined at his feet. In Greek mythology, Dionysus was the god
of ecstasy (as well as wine and intoxication).
On page 104, Starbuck muses that "any technology that was
sufficiently advanced would appear to be magic to the more
primitive culture." This is a paraphrase of the Arthur C. Clarke
quote, "Any technology sufficiently advanced is
indistinguishable from magic."
On page 105, as Starbuck and the other hungover officers are
awoken by the alert claxon in the pilots' barracks, there are
also several unconscious women in various stages of undress!
On page 114, Boomer recalls a time as a cadet when he was skiing
Mt. Ursus on Caprica.
As he does in the novelization of "The
Living Legend", on page 115 Starbuck says, "shit"
(instead of the Colonial equivalent, "pogees").
Page 120 suggests that Iblis may have the effect of draining
life force from living things near him; a tree on the agro ship
from which he had earlier pulled off a leaf now appears to be
dead a day later.
Before allowing Apollo and Starbuck leave to return to the red
planet to investigate the wreck of Iblis' ship, Adama counters
Apollo's arguments regarding his distrust of Iblis, saying he
felt the need to briefly play devil's advocate before allowing
them to go. Ironically, "devil's advocate" may be an apt
description considering what Iblis is finally revealed to be!
Pages 130-132 go into more detail after Iblis leaves Adama's
quarters furious about Apollo's mission to the planet. As soon
as Adama bolts out the door after him, he finds the Count has
vanished from the hallway. Then Sheba runs up looking for her
wicked new boyfriend and learns where Apollo and Starbuck have
gone, setting up why she follows them to the planet (which is
not really explained well in the episode).
"War of the Gods" Part 1,
Apollo guesses the wrecked ship must have been the size of a
battlestar. Page 135 of the novel states that in comparison to
the wreck, the Galactica would look like a Viper! That's ginormous!
Page 138 describes the dead, decomposing body found in the ship
besides just the cloven hoof: it's bipedal, but twice the size of a
human, with a long, prehensile tail; a grotesquely large and
misshapen chest; fingers ending in talons; and horns upon its head.
Could it be, oh, I don't know...Satan?! (Actually the name
"Iblis" is an Arabic word for "devil"!)
Page 147 mentions the Battle of Sagittaria, a Cylon ambush in
which a young Lt. Adama became a hero. He serves alongside Lt.
Cain in Bronze Squadron aboard the battlestar Cerebrus.
In "Baptism of Fire", Adama
and Cain are also depicted as lieutenants and members of Bronze
Squadron aboard the battlestar Cerberus (notice the
spelling difference of the battlestar). I think it's fair to say
the spelling in the novel is mistaken and should have been
"Cerberus", which is an Earth mythological name (the
three-headed dog guarding the underworld in Greek and Roman
mythology), in keeping with the names of many
people/places/things in the BSG universe, and "Cerebrus" is not,
as far as I know.
Pages 147-151 tell the story of the Battle of Sagittaria and of
Adama's and Cain's fellow pilot, Lt. Apollo. Yep, he was the
inspiration for Adama later naming his first son Apollo.
Page 150 states that the Galactica was newly
commissioned when Adama received command of her. The
novelization of "The
Living Legend" also seems to suggest this, although
other sources suggest the Galactica is much older than
that and has had many commanders over her lifetime (including
Adama's own father!).
In the novel, Starbuck, Sheba, and Apollo are naked on the Ship
of Lights rather than clothed in all white versions of their
When describing the location of Earth, Apollo here says Sector
Beta instead of Quadrant Alpha as in the TV episode. (In the
Star Trek universe, Alpha Quadrant is also used as the
location of Earth!)
In the Adama's Journal entry on page 172, Adama states that he
has no doubt that Iblis did spend time on Earth and he hopes the
people of Earth were stronger and better able to deal with him
than did he and the inhabitants of the fleet. This may be a
suggestion that Iblis is a "fallen angel" and force of darkness
as believed in by many Earth religions.
There is no mention in the novel of Iblis' voice sounding like
that of the Imperious Leader, nor does Iblis visit Baltar in his
cell as he does in the televised episode. Also, there is no
demonstration of Adama's own, limited telekinetic abilities.
At the end of the novel, Baltar finds himself mysteriously back
on board his basestar. Lucifer informs him that they found his
shuttle drifting in space with Baltar aboard, unconscious.
Baltar remembers nothing of his visit to the fleet. Presumably,
Iblis used his powers to free Baltar to continue his haranguing
of the human fleet. This makes Baltar available for appearances
in some of the later original novels written by Robert Thurston.
In the TV series however, Baltar remains a prisoner on the
prison barge through the last episode. It is difficult to
reconcile these two opposing circumstances, though in the final
TV episode, "The Hand of God", Adama does promise to leave
Baltar free on the next habitable planet they find in exchange
for his knowledge of Cylon basestar designs for a mission of
sabotage, though we don't see him freed in the episode. (As far
as the PopApostle chronology of BSG is concerned, Baltar escapes
the prison barge in the Realm Press comic book
Battlestar Galactica #5,
"Prison of Souls" Part 3).
Lucifer describes Baltar as having taken a shuttle, alone, to
rendezvous with the Galactica. In the TV series it was shown in
"Baltar's Escape" that he had arrived in a Cylon Raider, with
two centurion pilots which were dismantled upon arrival on the
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