"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Sidney Hayers
Original airdate: February 3, 1980
Xavier goes renegade, travelling into Earth's past to offer
superior technology to Nazi Germany.
Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki site
As this episode involves the characters travelling back in time
to 1944, a lot of stock footage from movies about WWII is used.
At 7:46 on the DVD, Jamie walks past the police building
cornerstone marked A.D. 1928, GEORGE E. CRYER, MAYOR. George
Cryer was the mayor of Los Angeles from 1921-1929.
At 10:04 on the DVD, the news van has the call letters KUBS on
the side. The UBS obviously stands for the United Broadcasting
Station as seen in
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1. The K is
the first call letter for radio and television stations west of
the Mississippi (W for stations east of it).
Adama and Xavier have a discussion at 11:04 on the DVD, in a
room that looks similar to Adama's quarters, but is decorated
differently than in the original BSG series.
Adama also has different objects sitting on the shelves now.
Xavier remarks that Captain Troy is well past due to check in on
his mission. Presumably, the other Warriors, assigned to
different parts of the Earth, have already done so. We never
learn how successful, or otherwise, those other missions were.
At 12:36 on the DVD, it is obvious that the car driven by Dr.
Mortinson is just a stage car against a blue screen,
particularly since the rear tire is not spinning!
During the car chase scene, the cars go past the police precinct
house several times!
At 17:36 on the DVD, Dillon is holding onto a cable that appears
to be attached to a hatch that opens from underneath his Viper.
It would seem that his is the storage compartment for the
turbocycles. We see it on Troy's Viper as well at 17:44.
However, it doesn't seem that they had time to store the cycles
before having to blast off due to the sound of sirens from
arriving police cars. (In the novelization, the scene takes
place a bit differently and it is revealed that they left the
cycles behind, hidden in the trees since the cloaking devices
were out of power.)
When little Willy and his father return with the sheriff to the
field to show him the two spacecraft they found, the ships are
missing. But Troy and Dillon haven't blasted even off yet!
Apparently, Willy's father led them to the wrong place!
Jamie tells Troy and Dillon that she thought they
were from the CIA or some super-NASA group. The CIA is
Intelligence Agency, one of the major intelligence agencies
of the United States government. NASA is the
Aeronautics and Space Administration, the center of the
United States' space program.
In this episode, we first learn that Boomer is now a Colonel and
Adama's executive officer.
The bridge set of the
Galactica from the original
BSG series had already been torn
down by the time ABC decided it
wanted to make Galactica
1980, so a small makeshift
set was constructed instead. It
doesn't look much like any
portion of the original set, but
it could be argued that changes
were made to the bridge by the
Galactica crew over the
In this episode, Troy and Dillon use the rarely-used IM button
on their Vipers' joysticks to activate the
When the trio of Troy, Dillon, and Jamie arrive back in 1944,
their clothing has turned white. Noticing this, Jamie remarks
incredulously, "My Lord, we're dead and gone to Heaven!"
Ironically, the previous use of such white Colonial Warrior
uniforms in the original BSG series was when Apollo, Starbuck,
and Sheba "died" in order to appear aboard the Light Ship of the
mysterious Beings of Light in episodes such as
"War of the Gods"
Part 2 and
"Experiment in Terra".
At 29:40 on the DVD, a portrait of Adolf Hitler is seen on the
wall in the Nazi bunker.
At 30:06 on the DVD, the German commander remarks that they will
soon have planes that don't have propellers. Although not seen
in this episode, Nazi Germany developed the first jet fighter in
1944, the Messerschmitt Me 262. The commander goes on to say he
would like to see the Americans' faces the first time they face
the new Luftwaffe. The
Luftwaffe was the German air force.
At 30:15 on the DVD, the footage of Nazi planes flying has been
flipped, as evidenced by the reversed numbers on the fuselages.
As in the U.S. jet fighter footage in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1,
the airplane models also change from one shot to another in the same
The footage of the two Vipers turboing away from the Nazi
fighter planes at 31:42 on the DVD, is the same scene used of
the Vipers turboing away from the American fighter jets in
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1.
After landing in a forest in Nazi Germany, Troy, Dillon, and
Jamie have a long walk into the town where Xavier has been
tracked and Dillon asks Troy, "I don't suppose you'd consider
using the bikes?" This suggests that the turbocycles were
brought along with them aboard the Vipers; in fact, they do make
use of the cycles during their time travel trip in
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 3.
Earlier in this study,
it seemed as if the bikes would have to have been left behind in
the Warriors' haste to escape the police. Of course, they could
have procured two other bikes aboard the Galactica
before heading off on their current mission.
Xavier is found in Peenemunde, Germany, assisting with the
perfection of the V-2 rocket. In fact, the V-2 was developed by
the German Army Research Center in Peenemunde in 1944.
Our heroic trio meet Major Stockwell, an American assigned to sabotage
the V-2 program. In the novelization he is called Colonel John
H. Guidry instead.
At 37:57 on the DVD, notice that a German soldier sits on top of
each boxcar of the train that is rumbling down the tracks. As
each boxcar is about to enter the tunnel, the soldier leans back
onto his back so that he will clear the tunnel roof.
At 38:21 on the DVD, the word vorsight is seen on a
building in Peenemunde. Presumably, it is a German word, but
I've been unable to find a translation for it.
In the same scene above, Jews are seen being loaded onto boxcars
by German soldiers. The Jews are wearing the "yellow badge", a
yellow Star of David, identifying them as Jewish, as was
required by Nazi law. When she sees the people being loaded into
the boxcars, Jamie tells the two Warriors they are being taken
to concentration camps as part of Nazi Germany's "Final
Solution". The Final Solution was Hitler's
plan for the systematic extermination of Jews.
When Troy and Dillon rescue the little Jewish girl from the
German soldiers, Dillon fires his laser at the soldiers and
finds that it was not set for stun. Troy chastises him and
Dillon responds he thought it was set for stun. But it was set
for stun earlier when they rescued Major Stockwell. So, is there
any reason he would have had for setting it to a higher setting
afterward? Since they're supposed to minimize their affect on
history as much as possible, wouldn't it be wise to leave their
weapons on stun by default?
The laser pistols in G1980 have a full beam that lances from the
barrel of the weapon to its target. In the episodes of BSG,
there was no beam from the pistols, merely a flash from the
muzzle and another at the point of impact.
Dillon uses the Colonial swear word "felgercarb" in this
episode (and in the next episode), the only times it is used in this series. The other
common swear word of "frak" is not used at all throughout the
At 39:32 on the DVD, we see the Die Blaur Taverne. This is
German for The Blaur Tavern. Parked in front of the tavern is a
Kubelwagen, a German military vehicle manufactured by Volkswagen
Stockwell uses a code-phrase at the bookstore owned by his
contacts, "A mutual friend of ours in London said I might be
able to find a rare copy of The Moon and Sixpence
The Moon and Sixpence
is a 1919 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Moments later,
Stockwell gives the owner another password, "Marseille".
Marseille is the second largest city in France and plays a small
part in the novel.
At 41:57 on the DVD, we see a sign for Chauvin's Bar & Grill in
Peenemunde. This sign is probably a remnant from another shoot
on the Universal back lot, as it certainly does not sound like a
Right after stating he is an expert shot, the German officer at
43:51 on the DVD shoots himself in the foot. Presumably, one of
the invisible Warriors triggered the gun as the officer was
drawing his weapon.
The German missile on a launch ramp seen at 45:30 on the DVD is
the V-1 flying bomb, the predecessor to the V-2 rocket.
The film footage of the V-1 launch ramp at various moments near
the end of the episode seem to be from different sources;
notice that the launch ramp appears alternately in a desert-like
and forested setting.
German General Yodel may be based on the real world German
general Alfred Jodl. The real Jodl is said to have frequently
disagreed with Hitler, as Yodel does in the novelization.
At 46:36 on the DVD, as the V-1 missile launches off the ramp,
wires are visible, holding the miniature rocket model up in the
The launch roar of the rocket at 46:06 on the DVD is the same as
the Viper launch sound through the Galactica's launch
The shot of the German officers walking to the shelter for the
V-2 test launch from 47:06-47:13 appears to be from some
WWII-related movie, but does not really match the group of
people from this episode; notice that a woman is present in the
shot, as well as a man in civilian clothing.
Despite his American-seeming accent, Xavier passes for an
English scientist among the Germans.
Notes from the novelization of
"Galactica Discovers Earth", by Glen A. Larson
and Michael Resnick
(The page numbers come from the 1st
printing, paperback edition, published December 1980)
Pages 60-128 (plus
some scenes from pages 53-56) cover the events of
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2
On page 54, Adama and Xavier discuss the Snowball Effect of time
travel, inherent in Dr. Zee's time travel equations, suggesting
that even a small change in the past can have cascading effects
through the future, resulting in major changes to the timeline.
This is essentially the same as the Butterfly Effect discussed
in chaos theory. The idea has been used in many time travel
stories and originated in Ray Bradbury's 1952 short story "A
Sound of Thunder" in which a time traveller goes back to the
Cretaceous Period and accidentally kills a butterfly, causing
far-reaching changes in the present.
Page 55 suggests that Troy saved the Galactica from the
last Cylon attack.
On page 62, Dr. Mortinson points out that the modified equation
left for him by Troy and Dillon involves a combination of
Aronson's Lemma and Eisenstein's Irreducibility Criterion to
accelerate the half-life of uranium isotopes. These are real
world statements (more commonly known simply as Aronson's
Sequence and Eisenstein's Criterion) originated by J.K. Aronson
and Gotthold Eisenstein.
Page 62 describes Dr. Mortinson as driving a sporty roadster. In
the episode, it's anything but! Just a standard 4-door sedan
(probably an Oldsmobuick).
Instead of stealing a police car
as they do in the episode, Jamie
talks Troy and Dillon into
stealing a private car instead,
a 1979 Continental. Troy uses
his sensor to start the vehicle
(although that doesn't explain
why the purely mechanical
steering lock doesn't secure the
wheel!). (Photo from
On page 70, Jamie accuses Troy and Dillon of being spies, a la
James Bond. Bond, of course, is the
fictional British super-spy of novels and film.
Also on page 70, Jamie asks if Mortinson is a commie. "Commie"
is a shorthand term for "communist".
Seeing the Vipers for the first time, Jamie comments that she's
seen Phantom jets before but they were nothing like this. She is
referring to the
Phantom fighter-bomber made by McDonnell-Douglas from
In the passenger seat of Troy's Viper on page 72, Jamie begins a
sentence before the Viper lifts off the ground and by the time
she is finished saying it, they are at a height of 4,000 miles
and climbing! This seems unlikely, even for the speed of a
Viper. Possibly, it's a misprint and it's supposed to be 4,000
The UPI news article on page 73 reveals that after Mortinson's
recovery by the police and the escape of Troy and Dillon, Jamie
is considered to be their hostage by authorities and detectives
are scrutinizing the film footage of the incident shot by the
UBS news van.
Page 74 presents an article from the Science News Service. As
far as I can tell, this is a fictional news organization. The
article features comments on the UFO flap in L.A. (caused by the Vipers)
from Professor Stuart Brownstein of the UCLA Department of
Astronomy. UCLA is the
California Los Angeles and their astronomy division is
currently part of the
Department of Physics and Astronomy. Stuart Brownstein
appears to be a fictional character, not an actual professor at
the school at the time of the story.
Page 76 reveals that the Warriors learned
numerous Earth languages in preparation for their contact with
Earth. Troy informs Jamie that, besides English, they also speak
Italian, Russian, French, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and a number
of lesser dialects.
On pages 78-79, Dr. Zee discusses Xavier's
decision to go only a short distance into Earth's past (1944)
instead of much farther back, commenting that the Snowball
Effect of changing time becomes more drastic the farther back
one introduces the change, possibly resulting in an
unrecognizable modern day. In the course of the discussion, he
mentions the possibility of introducing the bow and arrow to an
ape in a tree two million years ago. This seems to suggest that
Dr. Zee accepts that humans evolved from apes on Earth
independently from humans on Kobol (or whatever the Colonials
consider to be humanity's birth world; Richard Hatch's BSG
novels state the original world of humanity to be a planet
called Parnassus). Had Glen Larson decided to ignore the portion
of the original BSG mythology in which the lost Thirteenth Tribe
of Kobol was believed to have colonized Earth?
On page 79, Dr. Zee states that Xavier must have chosen to
travel to Nazi Germany of 1944 because they were experimenting
with the V-2 rocket at the time. The V-2 was invented by Nazi
Germany in 1944 and was the world's first long-range
On page 82, Jamie explains that the term "genocide" was coined
to express the mass killings of subgroups of human beings by
Nazi Germany. This is true, the term was coined by Polish-Jewish
legal scholar Raphael Lemkin in 1944 and was adopted by the
Nuremberg Trials, indicting 24 Nazi leaders of the crime.
Also on page 82, Jamie paraphrases a quote by the comic strip
character Pogo Possum regarding World War II, saying, "I guess
they had to have a second war to decide who won the first one."
I've been unable to confirm whether a quote similar to this was
used in the Pogo comic strip.
Jamie goes into much more detail about Hitler's rise to power
and WWII on pages 82-84 than she does in the episode. Everything
she states about the history is essentially correct.
The novel reveals that Troy, Dillon, and Jamie have arrived over
Bavaria (a state in Germany) on June 4, 1944 in their pursuit of
Xavier. This was just two days before D-Day, when the Allies
landed forces on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the
liberation of that country from German rule. This falls in well
with Jamie's revelation to Major Stockwell in
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 3 that, being
past midnight at that point in the episode, it is now June,
The novel suggests
that they've arrived three weeks later than they'd intended,
however, explaining how Xavier managed to ingratiate himself
with the commanders of the V-2 rocket program. The V-2 underwent
it's final round of testing on August 30, 1944, so Xavier's
design, if it had not been sabotaged by the Warriors and Major Stockwell, would have improved on that by almost 3 months.
Unlike in the episode, the novel makes no mention of the Warrior
uniforms turning white after the trip through time.
On page 90, Dillon mentions Isaac Newton, Dr. Einstein, and
Aristotle. These were, of course, all real people in Earth
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is often considered the father of
modern science. Dr. Albert Einstein is the renowned
German theoretical physicist who refused, during a visit to
America, to return to Germany after Hitler came into power, and
became an American citizen. Aristotle was a brilliant student
and then teacher of science, philosophy, and the arts in ancient
Page 91 reveals that Jamie knows some German, from three years
of it in high school and two in college. It is also revealed
that Troy and Dillon have learned German, from ten minutes with
Dr. Zee's Language Educator.
Apparently, the Vipers made very rapid progress across Germany
because, shortly after their arrival over Bavaria, Dillon
announces that six German fighter planes have just taken off
from the airfield where they're keeping the V-2. The V-2 program
was based out of Peenemunde, which is about 750 km from Bavaria.
On page 92, Jamie mispronounces (or, rather, misprints!) the
name of the German fighter plane "Fokker" as "Forkker". She's
commenting that she can't tell from their current distance if
the German fighter planes are Fokkers or
Messerschmitts, but it shouldn't make a difference considering
the Vipers Troy and Dillon are piloting. Presumably, she is
referring to Fokker prop planes, which were mostly used in the
war, and Messerschmitt jet fighters which were introduced by the
Germans in 1944.
Also on page 92, Jamie tells Troy and Dillon the story of a
Chinese peasant who performed a valued service for his ruler and
was granted anything he wished, which was a chessboard on which
was laid a grain of rice on the first square and double the
previous amount on each proceeding of the 64 squares, which
comes out to more rice than exists in the world. This is just
one variation on a mathematical exercise seen in many different
On page 93, the German ground control radio operator says
dumkoffs. The proper spelling, dummkopf, means
Several remarks throughout the novel suggest that relations
between Allied forces and the leader of the Free French, Charles
de Gaulle, were strained. This was true, due to de Gaulle's
suspicion that his allies were more interested in gaining French
territory for themselves than in freeing French holdings from
On page 94, Colonel Guidry's diary entry remarks that he was
flying a British Mosquito bomber when he was shot down over
Germany. This was a real world bomber-fighter made by the de
Havilland Aircraft Company from 1940-1950.
Also on page 94, Guidry remarks that his mission is to destroy
the V-2 rockets at Obersalzberg, Hitler's sometime-retreat.
However, I've found no evidence of a V-2 installation having
Obersalzberg. In the episode, the target is Peenemunde, which is
the accurate birthplace of the V-2 rocket. Obersalzberg, Bavaria
was one of Hitler's retreat homes though, just as described.
On page 95, Guidry describes screaming while throwing his plane
into a 90-degree power rise. He explains that the screaming
keeps the ears and sinuses open, helping to prevent blackout
during such a maneuver in an unpressurized cabin. I've been
unable to confirm if this is true.
In the book, Guidry's plane is brought down by a flight of
Messerschmitts. In the episode, it is brought down by anti-aircraft
guns from the ground.
Page 98 reveals that Jamie was born in
Trying to prove whether Jamie is actually an American in her
confrontation with Guidry, several White Sox pitchers are named
between the two of them. The
are the Chicago Major League Baseball team.
Billy Pierce played for them from 1952-1961, Joel Horlen from
1961-1971, and Bill Dietrich from 1936-1946.
On page 103, Guidry says his underground contact is at No. 3
Morganstrasse. "Morganstrasse" would
translate to Morgan Street in English.
On page 105, Jamie names several German concentration camps:
Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau. These were all real camps,
Buchenwald and Dachau in Germany and Auschwitz in Poland.
Deviating from the episode, in the novel, Troy gets stabbed in
the stomach in the course of meeting up with the underground. As
he recovers, he makes Dillon promise, "No heroics," but Dillon
has his fingers crossed behind his back as he makes the pledge.
Apparently, the Colonials have the same custom as early
Christians, from whom this gesture comes, for, among other
things, excusing the telling of a white lie.
On page 117, Dillon injects the injured Troy with a solution
that is made up of antibiotics, steroids, amphetamines, and
phenylbutazone. Antibiotics kill or slow the growth of bacteria,
steroids aid in immune function,
amphetamines act as a psychostimulant, and phenylbutazone is
used for treatment of fever and pain (although in the U.S.,
phenylbutazone is not approved for human use, only in animals).
Also on page 117, Guidry makes reference to Uncle Sam. Uncle
Sam, of course, is the personification of the United States
On page 128, Werner says schnell. This is German for