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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Galactica 1980: Experiment in Terra "Experiment in Terra"
Galactica 1980 #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Illustrated by Cezar Razek
Cover by Lucio Parrillo
2009

Dr. Mortinson attempts to lead the way to peace between the Colonials and Earth.

Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki site

Didja Know?

The title of this issue is borrowed by the writer from the BSG episode "Experiment in Terra" though it has nothing to do with that episode. Terra is the Latin name for Earth.

Didja Notice?

On page 1, Commander Adama is referred to as Commander Troykus Adama, implying "Troykus" is his first name. But later (in part four, "The Night the Cylons Landed"), Baltar calls him Bill, suggesting his first name is really William, just as in BSG2000. It's seems unlikely that Adama would just happen to have a first name so similar to Troy's, considering they are not blood relations, they have an adoptive relationship. This is the only time he is referred to as Troykus, while he's twice called Bill by Baltar, so possibly the name was changed at some point during the script drafts from Troykus to Bill and one Troykus reference slipped through.
   Another possibility is that the Colonials in this version of the BSG universe are given a child name when they're born and then pick their own adult name when they reach a certain age. In the G1980 TV series, Troy implies that "Troy" was always his name and his parents just called him Boxey as a nickname. But in this reimagined G1980, it could be that Boxey was his child name and he picked his own name when he got older and chose a shortened form of Troykus, Troy, in honor of his adoptive grandfather.

On page 1, a transmission from Crystal Palace comes into NORAD. Crystal Palace is a nickname sometimes used for the NORAD base at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado.

Also on page 1, another transmission to NORAD informs them that Soviet missiles have taken out the silos in Wichita. This would be Wichita, Kansas, where there are actual nuclear missile silos built during the Cold War.

Another report comes in to NORAD stating that Los Angeles is a crater. The G1980 TV series took place mostly in the Los Angeles area.

The President and Vice President are evacuated to the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center. This is a real world COG facility (Continuity of Government) located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It is the center of operations for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). COG is a set of defined procedures adopted by numerous countries to allow government to continue during and after a severe national emergency.

This issue reveals that Dr. Mortinson's first name is Felix. In the G1980 TV series, his name was Donald.

Page 1, panel 4, explains that Dr. Mortinson is approaching Pennsylvania Avenue. This is the street on which the White House resides in Washington, D.C.

The image behind the issue title in panel 5 of page 1 appears to be Earth rising over the Moon's surface.

On page 2, Mortinson just happens to pull his car right up to where Troy is carrying his grandfather, attempting to find somewhere to care for him. Later, Adama chalks the coincidence up to divine providence.

In "Greetings From Earth", Mortinson states that only three people in the world, Frellich, Lupo, and McCullough, might be able to translate the ancient Aramaic-like language spoken by the aliens. Yet, here he himself is speaking ancient Aramaic and easily communicating with Troy!

Page 5 describes the Rising Star as the fleet's flagship now that the Galactica has been destroyed.

On page 8, Baltar's throne has a headrest not previously seen in any BSG episodes. It makes him look a bit like the Imperious Leader as he sits there.
Baltar on throne

On page 8, Baltar seems to state that humanity invented the Cylons. This seems to be another instance of melding an aspect of BSG2000 (in which the Cylons are the rebellious former robotic servants of the Twelve Colonies of Man) with the original BSG setting. As fans know, the Cylons of the original BSG are the robotic descendants of reptilian beings from another part of the galaxy.

On page 9, Dr. Mortinson takes Troy and Adama to Mount Weather to speak to the President. Mortinson tells them he's guessing that the Secret Service would have taken the President here after the nuclear missile attack that destroyed the Galactica rather than the closer Camp David because Camp David would be too close to the radioactive fallout zone. Camp David is the forested retreat reserved for U.S. Presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942. It is located in Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland.

Mortinson drives up to the entrance of the Mount Weather facility on page 9. I doubt very much he'd be able to drive right up to the mountainside entrance without being stopped sooner. Anyway, he instructs Troy and Adama to wait in the car while he gets out to talk to the guards, which they seem to do. But when the guards balk at allowing them in and become threatening towards Mortinson on page 10, Troy and Adama are suddenly outside the car and the suspicious Troy grabs Mortinson and holds his laser to the man's head, demanding he tell the guards to let them in or he'll shoot everyone, starting with Mortinson himself. How would Troy and Adama be able to get out of the car and walk to the front of it where Mortinson was standing without the guards telling them to freeze or shooting them? 

The mountainside entrance of Mount Weather depicted here looks more like the entrance to the Cheyenne Mountain NORAD complex. Notice the partially obscured lettering above the tunnel entrance seems to spell out Cheyenne Mountain Complex.
Entrance to Mount Weather Cheyenne Mountain Complex entrance
Mount Weather entrance (from Cryptome) Cheyenne Mountain Complex entrance (from Wikipedia)
   
Mount Weather entrance in this issue Mount Weather entrance in this issue
Mount Weather entrance in this issue
Mount Weather entrance in this issue  

Notice there appears to be a security camera mounted above the arch of the tunnel entrance, explaining how the officials inside the complex knew Mortinson and his new friends were outside.

The guns carried by the Mount Weather sentries appear to be M16 machine guns.

On page 10, the two guards at the Mount Weather entrance are radioed from inside with the call sign Foxtrot Lima. "Foxtrot" and "Lima" are the code words for the letters F and L in the NATO phonetic alphabet. In this case, it's possible writer Guggenheim slipped it in as a slang term sometimes used for "fucking lunatic", in reference to Troy's behavior here in the eyes of the authorities observing on security camera.

On page 12, President Carter occupies an exact replica of the Oval Office inside Mount Weather. The real Oval Office is located in the West Wing of the White House and is the official office of the President. It has been speculated in various fictional novels, movies, television shows, etc., that the U.S. government may have one or more replicas of the Oval Office and other recognizable rooms in secret locations the President can be moved to during dangerous situations and still give the appearance of being at the White House during a telecast. I have not been able to find any confirmation that such official replicas of the Oval Office exist; there are, of course, film set replicas of the office, as well as some U.S. citizens and organizations that have constructed replicas for educational or entertainment purposes.

On pages 14-15, Adama quotes from the spoken message of U.N. Secretary General Waldheim that was on the Golden Record of the Voyager probe picked up by the fleet in issue #1, "Galactica Discovers Earth". Austrian Kurt Waldheim was, in fact, the Secretary General of the United Nations from 1972-1981 and he did record such a message for the Voyager Golden Record. Adama is cut off before he speaks the final sentence of Waldheim's message. The full message is: "As the Secretary General of the United Nations, an organization of the 147 member states who represent almost all of the human inhabitants of the planet Earth, I send greetings on behalf of the people of our planet. We step out of our solar system into the universe seeking only peace and friendship, to teach if we are called upon, to be taught if we are fortunate. We know full well that our planet and all its inhabitants are but a small part of this immense universe that surrounds us and it is with humility and hope that we take this step."

On page 17, Dr. Zee appears to be using a computer system that speaks to him, something not generally seen within the fleet (one notable exception is the CORA computer that was tested by Starbuck in his Viper in "The Long Patrol"). The computer speculates that Adama is communicating with the battling Colonial/Earth forces through the U.S. Emergency Broadcast System. The Emergency Broadcast System is currently known (since 1997) as the Emergency Alert System, a national warning system in the United States allowing the government to transmit warnings and information to the public in the event of emergency. The Emergency Broadcast System was also mentioned in the G1980 TV episode "The Night the Cylons Landed" Part 2. 

On page 19, panel 5, Adama's image during the EBS broadcast is seen on a giant TV screen mounted on a building, with a large multi-colored symbol mounted above the screen. This may be an artistic license representation of the peacock logo of the NBC television network, suggesting the building is probably either the GE Building in New York City, where NBC is headquartered, or the NBC Tower in Chicago, though I'm not sure if either building had a large TV mounted on it in 1980. The logo seen is similar, but not identical, to the famous NBC peacock logo, though it looks closer to the modern version of the logo in use since 1986 and not the one used by NBC in 1980.
Adama's broadcast Current NBC logo
Logo above TV screen in this issue Current NBC logo
   
1979-1986 NBC logo
1979-1986 NBC logo
 
As the Cylon fleet arrives at Earth and begins blasting Washington, D.C. on the last page of the issue, a statue is seen falling in front of Capitol Hill. The statue is that of President James A. Garfield, who held the office for only about 7 months before dying from complications of a gunshot wound inflicted during an assassination attempt on July 2 of that year. The artwork depicts a fairly accurate representation of the statue, though the pedestal appears quite different.
Cylon attack on Washington D.C.
Garfield statue during attack Garfield statue (from dcmemorialist.com)

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