"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 3
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Sidney Hayers
Troy, Dillon, and Jamie continue their pursuit of Xaviar.
Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki site
After this episode, we never see Dr. Mortinson again, though he
is mentioned in some later episodes as still working with the
At 8:56 on the DVD, a German control panel for the V-2 rocket
test has a number of lights, buttons, and levers labeled in
German. The words I've been able to translate are
zellenspannung (cell voltage), schaltuhr (timer),
triebwerk ein (engine A).
At 10:11 on the DVD, a sign on the fence says Zugang Verboten.
This is German for "Prohibited Access".
In the scene from 11:25-12:40, notice that the laser bolts fired
by Troy and Dillon appear to be coming from their turbocycles,
not their pistols, implying the bikes have built-in weapons. The
bolts are also green instead of the usual blue of pistol bolts.
Xaviar escapes from Troy and Dillon's custody in 1944 by going
invisible as he darts away. They didn't bother taking his
cloaking device away from him?!
After Troy, Dillon, and Jamie have arrived back in 1980, at
16:02 on the DVD, we see a North American Van Lines
tractor-trailer parked at a truck stop called Maggies Truck
American Van Lines is a real world trucking company
specializing in residential and office moves. Maggies Truck
Heaven appears to be a fictional truck stop. The building which
acted as Maggies Truck Heaven is now a
fast food restaurant, located on Magic Mountain Parkway in
Valencia, CA, leading into the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme
park. As the bus pulls up at 18:29 on the DVD, a Magic Mountain
sign is visible (though not quite legible) in the background.
At 17:10 on the DVD, Jamie reads the front page of the Daily
News, which informs her that she, Troy, and Dillon are all
wanted in connection with the kidnapping of Dr. Mortinson (in
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2).
The Daily News appears to be a fictional newspaper, at
least for the L.A. region at the time of this story. Jamie
remarks that they are considered criminals and an A.P.B. has
been put out for them, explaining it means law enforcement
doesn't take chances if you resist arrest...they shoot. But
that's not really true; an A.P.B. (All-Points Bulletin) is
merely a broadcast to all law enforcement agencies in the area
to be on the lookout for a suspect, person of interest, or
At 17:55 on the DVD, Troy and Dillon fire on an unsuspecting
jukebox when they are startled by the sudden music from it. Nice
training, guys! The jukebox is a Wurlitzer Stereophonic,
originally manufactured in 1959.
At 21:33 on the DVD, the "gas tank" part of the turbocycles
appears to have just a foam rubber square for the "gas cap".
The scene of Troy and Dillon flying off into the distance on
their turbocycles at 21:52 on the DVD is the same as the one
seen when the pair escape from the motorcycle gang in
"Galactica Discovers Earth"
At 22:50 on the DVD, notice that the military man in the background
is running some kind of scanner over the captured Viper, perhaps
scanning for radiation.
At 23:08 on the DVD, why am I reminded of the movie Airplane?
At 27:08 on the DVD, we get our best look at a Colonial
Warrior's captain's pin, given to young Willy by Troy. Might
this be the same pin Troy's step-father, Apollo, gave to him
when he was known as Boxey in
At 28:39 on the DVD, we see a
Shoes outlet in the background. Two other Florsheim Shoes
outlets appear at 30:36 and 39:08; I guess they must have been a
The scene watched by Xaviar on TV at 28:52 on the DVD is from
the car chase in
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2.
At 29:23 on the DVD, an
Arrowhead Water delivery truck is seen in the background.
The song playing at the newsstand as Xaviar presses the
newsstand dealer for information is "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood
A number of magazines are seen at the newsstand where Xaviar
asks how to get to UBC:
Real Love is not an actual magazine, but is one
of many titles used on fake magazine covers for television and
film production and gag gifts; Wrestling Revue was a real world
magazine published 1959-1980 (the August 1979 issue is seen
here); Wrestling Superstars was published 1978-1997;
Illustrated began publication in 1958 and is still published
today as Boxing Digest; True Secrets was a real world romance
magazine (as far as I can determine, it is no longer published);
Private Pilot was a real magazine dedicated to the owners of
small aircraft, its last issue appearing in November 2005,
being incorporated into the larger circulation Plane & Pilot
The license plate number of the police cruiser Xaviar rides in
changes during the trip. First it's 53362, then it changes to
what looks like 92293.
At 31:19 on the DVD, the police car appears to have a large dent
in the backseat door on the driver's side.
During Xaviar's ride in the backseat of the police cruiser, the
window is rolled up, but when the car pulls into a parking space
at the UBC building, it is suddenly about 2/3 rolled down.
Notice that as the policemen talk to Xaviar at 31:51 on the DVD,
Dr. Mortinson is seen walking out of the UBC building in the
At Dr. Mortinson's house, Xaviar reads from a history book or
encyclopedia (the novelization suggests it is the
Encyclopedia Britannica) about French General
Lafayette's defeat of British forces in 1777 at the Battle of
New Orleans during the American Revolutionary War; the turning
point of the U.S. Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg; and
Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. I've been unable to confirm any
particular battle at New Orleans in 1777, but Lafayette was a
French general who joined the American cause and the latter two
battles are actual historical events.
The taxicab that Troy, Dillon, and Jamie ride in changes models
during the course of their trip!
The military sign at 39:14 on the DVD, for the 146th Tactical
Airlift Wing, indicates the Vipers are being held at the Van
Nuys Air National Guard Base since that is where the real 146th
was headquartered at the time. The base was later closed in 1990
and the 146th now operates out of the
Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Oxnard, California.
At 39:46 on the DVD, Troy, Dillon, and Jamie walk right up to a
fence at the Air National Guard Base and see the confiscated
Vipers parked there. It seems unlikely the military would leave
the unidentified craft sitting right where civilians could see
them from outside the station's boundaries.
As Xaviar is preparing to blast off from the Air Force Base in
his Viper, why does Troy attempt to approach him from the front?
He's easily seen by Xaviar and also opens himself up to laser
fire from the ship! I suppose from the rear, he would also be
vulnerable to the engine blast, but he could have at least
attempted to approach from the side.
As the cockpit canopy of the Viper closes over Troy at 43:42 on
the DVD, a string can be seen lowering the front of the canopy
down into place on the left edge of the screen!
At 43:27 on the DVD, the bottom right corner of the screen shows
that the lower half of Troy's Viper is missing!
As Adama and our heroic trio
enter his quarters at 46:16 on
the DVD, a picture of a woman
can be seen on (or inside) a
pyramidal object on his desk. Is
At 47:10 on the DVD, it appears
there may be a power strip
underneath a table in Adama's
A couple of the small statues on the shelves behind Adama's desk
appear to be Egyptian figures turned backwards, so they face the
At the end of the episode, Adama informs Troy, Dillon, and Jamie
that Xaviar appears to have fled back to the 18th Century, possibly
to interfere in the American Revolution and it's implied the
trio will be sent back in time again after him. But we never see
that story resolved in any subsequent episode. Instead, Xaviar
is still in 1980 in "Spaceball", with a new actor portraying
Hearing that she'll be going to the 18th Century, Jamie remarks
that she might get to find out first-hand whether Benjamin Franklin
had a way with the ladies as suggested by historians. Franklin
was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and was
also known as something of a womanizer.
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 128-end cover the events of
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 3
On page 136, Jamie leaves a clue for Colonel Guidry as to who
she and the two Warriors are by scratching "Watergate, 1972" on
the back of his dog tag. This is a reference to the Watergate
scandal of 1972, in which the administration of U.S. President
Richard Nixon attempted to cover up its involvement in a
break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National
Committee at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C.
Jamie leaves the message so that, when the scandal breaks in
1972, Guidry will realize the three strange people he met during
his mission to sabotage the V-2 were time travellers.
Xaviar apparently arrived in 1944 via a Viper himself (as
suggested by "Spaceball"). Were Troy and Dillon aware of the
Viper's location after they captured Xaviar? Were they just
going to leave it behind when they returned to 1984 with their
prisoner? Maybe they had plans to destroy it so it wouldn't fall
into Nazi hands?
On page 141, Adama's journal mentions Von Braun, Willy Ley, John
Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. These are all historical figures,
Von Braun and Ley were involved with the American space program
brought over from Germany after WWII and Adams and Jefferson
were significant figures in the founding of the United States as
Also on page 141, Adama's journal mentions the Continental
Congress. This was the Congress of delegates of the Thirteen
Colonies which declared independence from Great Britain and
operated through the American Revolutionary War and for a time
afterward until the permanent United States Congress was
established in 1789.
Having returned from 1944, page 145 reveals that Xaviar has
hidden his Viper in an abandoned bar at the edge of the Mojave
Desert. (In the episode, Xaviar's Viper is somehow confiscated
along with Troy's and Dillon's.)
Page 145 also suggests that Xaviar has chosen to return to 1980
because the fleet is there and he knows that if he were to get
in serious trouble, he could get the Galacticans to rescue him
to prevent his origin from being revealed to the Earth natives.
On page 146, Xaviar muses that he could make a deal with the
Cylons if necessary and expose Earth to them.
Pages 146-147 reveal Xaviar's goals, as he refines them in his
descent into insanity. He's decided he doesn't really care about
the fleet and would become the ruler of Earth, wiping out
democracy on the planet. He also would not hold himself to a
monogamous relationship, but would have a number of wives to
bear the children to whom he would leave his empire.
On page 147, Xaviar muses on what time and place he should
establish his monarchy, contemplating Da Vinci's Renaissance or
Stalin's Russia. The Renaissance period of cultural and
scientific rebirth in Europe took place in the 13th-16th
Centuries; Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of the most
noted polymaths of the period. Joseph Stalin cultivated power
and formed the Soviet Union from about 1922 until his death in
Page 147 also reveals that Xaviar actually admired Hitler and
On pages 151-152, Troy explains to Jamie that Dr. Zee has
synthesized a catalyst that allows humans to efficiently use
body fat for energy the same way a bear does during hibernation.
In this way, Troy and Dillon are able to go without eating for a
week or more.
On page 153, Dillon remarks that he once had a robot companion
on the planet Pinta that looked a lot like the jukebox in the
diner. Presumably, Pinta was a world visited by the fleet during
its search for Earth and Dillon had some kind of adventure
Page 155 suggests that the high-speed car chase between the
police and the Galacticans in
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2
went at speeds upwards of 110 mph.
In the novel, the police chief is named Modzelewski. In the
episode, it was Ryan.
On page 157, Anderson lights up a cigar that had been smuggled
out of Havana. Due to the ongoing U.S. trade embargo with
communist Cuba which has been in place since 1962, the famous
Cuban cigars are illegal in the U.S.
Havana is the capitol city
On page 158, Anderson mentions the news magazines
Also on page 158, Anderson tells Jamie that the guy who wrote
the script for The China Syndrome may be writing one
for a movie based on the abduction of Dr. Mortinson.
The China Syndrome is a 1979 film written by Mike Gray,
T.S. Cook, and James Bridges; to my knowledge, they never did
write a movie about the abduction of Dr. Mortinson.
In the novel, Jamie quits UBC when Anderson insists on her
betraying Troy and Dillon, whom he believes are terrorists. In
the TV series, she remained employed there, her reporter job
playing an important part of most of the stories. The novel
implies that she becomes a member of the Galactica crew
On page 162, Dr. Mortinson mentions Dodger Stadium. This is the
home stadium of Los Angeles' Major League Baseball team, the
On page 163, Washington, Adams, and Jefferson are mentioned as part of the
American Revolution. George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas
Jefferson were all Founding Fathers of the United States.
On pages 163-164, Xaviar describes the assassination of Julius
Caesar by his Senators in 44 B.C., to be replaced as leader of
Rome by Augustus, signaling the end of the Roman Republic and
the beginning of the Roman Empire. This is an accurate
description of the history.
On page 164, Xaviar mentions Lee of the Confederacy in the Civil
War. This is a reference to General Robert E. Lee of the
Confederate States of America during the U.S. Civil War.
Also on page 164, Xaviar mentions Alexander, Genghis Khan,
Charlemagne, and Attila the Hun. These were all notorious
leaders in different parts of the world from throughout history.
Xaviar quotes the maxim, "Any sufficiently
advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This quote
was originated by the well-known science and science-fiction
author, Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008).
In the televised episode, Dr. Mortinson is picked up by the Air
Force to see if he can identify the captured ships (the Vipers)
and Troy, Dillon, and Jamie attempt to chase down Xaviar when
the villain steals back his Viper and escapes, possibly back in
time to the start of the American Revolution. In the novel,
Troy, Dillon, and Jamie find Mortinson awakening from the stun
blast delivered to him by Xaviar at his beachfront home and
discover that several history books are missing from the
doctor's library that hint at where in time Xaviar may have
chosen to travel and they then travel backwards in time to a few
different points attempting to track him down.
Awakening from the stun blast, Mortinson remarks that he feels
like he just went the distance with Muhammad Ali. Ali is a
former professional boxer, often called the greatest boxer of
Page 168 reveals that it takes a person about an hour to recover
from a stun blast from a Galactican laser.
The five books stolen from Mortinson's library by Xaviar and
listed on pages 169-170 are all real world tomes and the
summaries Jamie gives of historical times covered by them are
The brief history of the Biblical Moses given by Jamie on pages
171-172 is accurate, as described in The Bible. It boggles my
mind that our three heroes travel to Mt. Sinai to observe Moses
ascending the mountain, where he will allegedly speak to God and
receive the two stone tablets on which were written the Ten
Commandments, but don't stay to observe whether the exchange
actually takes place! Once they determine that Xaviar is not
there, they just leave, to visit another time period he may have
visited. Troy and Dillon I could understand, not being Earth
natives, but you'd think
Jamie would want to see what really happened!
Jamie's brief description of events in The Bible on pages
173-174 is essentially correct.
Jamie's description of the Peloponnesian Wars on page 174 is
Jamie's description of several historical periods and events on
pages 175-176 is mostly accurate, but my research indicates some
minor errors: historians now generally consider there to have
been about nine Crusades, and sometimes more, not just eight;
the Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215, not 1213; Jamie
says that Richard the Lionheart was shot with an arrow on April
2, 1199, but historians disagree on the date, naming it as any
time from March 25 to April 6 of that year, with most sources
agreeing he died of complications from the wound on April 6.
The description of Pickett's Charge during the Battle of
Gettysburg on pages 178-179 is accurate.
Chapter 37 of the novel has Troy providing an explanation
couched in time paradoxes that explains why Xaviar would cease
attempting to alter Earth's history (someone from the Galactica
will always eventually figure out where Xaviar has gone in time
and arrive at that same time to stop him within minutes of his
attempts to change an historical event) and instead focus on the
present, where his actions can remain open. In the TV series, no
explanation is ever provided as to why Xaviar is no longer
attempting to change history.
On page 183, Dr. Mortinson tells Troy and Dillon that he'll do
all he can to help in the Galacticans' plan to upraise Earth's
technology and he'll work with colleagues on both sides of the
Iron Curtain. The
Iron Curtain was the name used to symbolize the physical,
military, economic, and ideological boundary between the
western, democratized European countries and the communist ones
of eastern Europe from the end of WWII in 1945 to the end of the
Cold War in 1991.
In the Adama journal entry on page 186, Adama mentions two other
scientists besides Mortinson who are now working with the
Galacticans, Professor Khalinov of Russia and Rashid Tarid of
Pakistan. Possibly, Khalinov was recruited by the warrior Kip,
who was stated as drawing assignment to the Soviet Union in
"Galactica Discovers Earth"
On page 187, Adama notes in his journal the serious problems
they still face now that the fleet has found Earth. Among these
is that "we have not reached the Millennia". The term "millennia"
is the plural of "millennium", a thousand years. It can also be
used to name a new millennial period (such as the year 2000
beginning the third millennia in the Christian calendar). But
it's unclear what Adama means by his use of it here; might there
be a prophecy of something important that's supposed to happen
at the coming of the next Colonial millennia?