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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Galactica 1980: Space Croppers Galactica 1980
"Space Croppers"
Written by Robert L. McCullough
Directed by Barry Crane
Original air date: April 27, 1980

The Cylons destroy two of the fleet's agro ships, forcing the Galacticans to start an agricultural colony on Earth.

Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki site

Didja Know?

The title of the episode is a play on the term "share cropper", a tenant who lives on and farms land owned by another. In return for allowing the tenant to live on and farm the land, the landowner gets a return on a percentage of the crop.

The actress Ana Alicia, who plays the teenager Gloria Alonzo in this episode, also portrayed Starbuck's ex-girlfriend Aurora in the BSG episode "Take the Celestra".

Didja Notice?

At 2:09 on the DVD, we see three basestars, suggesting that at least that many are currently tracking the Colonial fleet.

In this episode, we see the Imperious Leader for the first and only time in the Galactica 1980 series. Notice that his voice is not that of Patrick Macnee as it was in the original BSG series. In terms of continuity, is the voice change indicative of a new Imperious Leader? Previous stories in the BSG universe have suggested all Imperious Leaders, when they rise to the position, use the same voice (which is actually that of Count Iblis). See further notes on the Imperious Leader's voice at the end of this study.

At 3:24 on the DVD, stock footage from BSG is reused, depicting Colonial Warriors riding the stand-up conveyors to the flight deck. The Warriors are all wearing the traditional helmets here, but when they are depicted in their Viper cockpits seconds later, they are wearing the new helmet design (see below).

At 4:05 on the DVD, we see that the Viper pilots have a different style of helmet than seen previously. Notice that the new helmet has a more rounded to look it. Why the change? Troy, Dillon, and other pilots were seen with the same style helmet used in BSG in all previous episodes. These helmets look suspiciously like modified motorcycle helmets.
New helmet

This episode marks the first-and-only appearance of D Squadron, called the Daggits, led by Lt. Dante.

At 4:34 on the DVD, a Gemini freighter is seen in the fleet during the battle. In "The Super Scouts" Part 1, the Gemini freighter Delphi, the schooling ship, was destroyed. But, it's quite possible there is more than one Gemini freighter of the same model in the fleet. A ship that may be the Celestra (the same ship type anyway, as seen in the BSG episode "Take the Celestra") is also seen in this shot (the Celestra itself took heavy damage and was evacuated, possibly abandoned, in "War of Eden" Part 4").

A Cylon tanker is seen as part of the fleet at 5:09 on the DVD (a shot stolen from the BSG episode "The Living Legend" Part 1)! It's possible the fleet captured a Cylon tanker at some point during its long journey to Earth.

The shots of the Cylon Raiders firing on the fleet's agro-ships are taken from the BSG episode "The Magnificent Warriors", which itself features footage of the agro ships from the 1972 Universal film, Silent Running. One of the stolen scenes is an interior shot of the park-like environment inside the dome of an agro ship, with Saturn clearly visible through the clear dome! In "The Magnificent Warriors", I took it merely as an indication the events were taking place near a ringed planet. But should we here take the planet's image as suggesting that the current battle is taking place near Saturn? If so, how could the Cylons continue to be overlooking Earth at such close proximity? Argo ship dome interior

In "The Magnificent Warriors", two of the fleet's three agro ships were destroyed, leaving one. The same happens here in this episode! Where did the fleet acquire two more agro ships in the first place? Did they build them somewhere along the way?

The Viper pilot who screams "Yayhoo!" as the Cylon Raiders retreat appears to be actor Dennis Haysbert, who would go on to be best known as Senator, later President, David Palmer on the TV series 24.

In his conversation with Dr. Zee about establishing their first agricultural colony on Earth, Commander Adama seems to contradict himself about the number of agro ships destroyed. He first says "the loss of two of our agro ships" and then, just microns later, he remarks, "Of all the ships in the fleet, the chance of that one being destroyed..." So, he first seems to say two ships destroyed, and then just one. Some might argue he is talking about the potential loss of the remaining agro ship in a future Cylon attack, but it's clear that Dr. Zee, at least, is still referring to the present when he responds to Adama, "I do not think it was chance, Commander."

In this episode, Colonel Boomer wears a silver medallion on his collar, not previously seen.
Colonel Boomer

How is it that the Viper maintenance captain is able to barge right into Adama's quarters at 6:44 on the DVD? Isn't that a fairly serious breach of military protocol?

Returning to Earth from the Galactica, Troy and Dillon now wear new Earth attire from that seen in all previous episodes. This may be because they left their original Earth ensembles behind at the stage theater in "The Night the Cylons Landed" Part 2.

Hector remarks that Steadman will never accept a bunch of braceros as land owners. The term "bracero" is a reference to the Bracero Program of 1942-1964 which allowed temporary employment of Mexican nationals in the United States for needed manual labor, usually crop harvesting.

When Hector walks out of the general store at 16:45 on the DVD, there is an object sitting on the top shelf behind him that looks like it may be a toy X-Wing fighter from Star Wars! X-wing toy?

At 16:56 on the DVD, a large, empty Rhoplex can is seen holding a supply of rakes for sale outside the general store. Rhoplex is an acrylic polymer used in many sealants.

Facing the results of prejudice by some of Steadman's men, Hector tells his son to be proud of his Latino heritage, citing their pioneering of the West and such great Latino men as the philosopher Ramos, the humanist Juarez, and the artist Diego Rivera. "Latino", of course, refers to natives of Latin America. As he states, Latinos from Mexico pioneered the colonization of western territory in what was to become the United States (though the Amerindians were there first, for thousands of years). The individuals he mentions are likely Dr. Samuel Ramos (1897-1959), Benito Juarez (1806-1872, 26th President of Mexico), and artist Diego Rivera (1886-1957).

Hector goes on to say that, to people like Maze, Latinos are just wetbacks. "Wetback" is a derogatory term for a Latino who is an illegal immigrant to the U.S.

When Steadman presents Troy and Dillon with the offer of winning the horse Satan, plus $1000, if one of them can ride the rather wild horse, Troy gestures to Dillon and says he's always had an ability with these situations. What kind of situations is he referring to? Is Dillon known for having an affinity with animals? After Dillon uses his wristcomp to send a burst of alpha waves to calm Satan and rides the beast successfully, Troy does remark to Steadman that "he seems to have a way with animals".

Dillon remarks that horses don't seem much different from a type of animal on Caprica. This implies that Dillon is old enough to have lived on Caprica before the holocaust and was not born in the fleet.

When Hector is skeptical of the scouts' ability to work the farm themselves, Jamie tells him they are a specialized branch with a lot of agricultural training, like the 4-H club. The 4-H Club is a youth organization administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture. The group was originally focused on teaching American kids about civic values through agricultural endeavors, but currently has a more broad-based mandate of developing citizenship, leadership, responsibility, and life skills.

Most of the scenes of the Galactican flying saucer in this episode are taken from its previous appearance in "The Super Scouts" Part 2.

Dr. Zee's description of how rain is formed is basically correct. The information is included in the episode as part of the educational requirement of the 7-8 p.m. timeslot the series occupied in 1980.

At 34:24 on the DVD, the flying saucer is depicted as dropping from the center of Galactica, to depart towards Earth.
Galactican flying saucer

The lasers Troy and Dillon use to plow the fields are actually Cylon pistols (as seen in "The Night the Cylons Landed" Part 2), not Colonial!
Plowing the fields

While working the farm in the middle of the night, the super scouts sing the same, horrible "Galactic Scouts" song they sung around the campfire in "The Super Scouts" Part 1. Additionally, the shots of Troy and Dillon leaping and flailing their arms through the air to drop seeds to the sound of the singing is just laughably ridiculous. Not long after that, the scenes of accelerated plant growth are accompanied by an instrumental/whistling version of the same awful tune!

The shot of the town at 39:03 on the DVD is just an extension from the same shot earlier at 16:42, even though it's now a different day in the story.

As has become the habit on this series, a New York state flag is hanging in the meeting room of the growers association instead of a California flag.

In this episode, we see for the first time the (alleged) Boy Scout troop number of the super scouts, 234, on the left sleeves of the scouts. I don't know how the number assignation of Boy Scout troops works; there appear to be a number of Troop 234s in the U.S.

At 40:09 on the DVD, a box labeled with the brand Donnie Lettuce is seen in the background. At 45:20, an Obispo produce box is also seen. I've been unable to confirm whether these were real world brands at the time.

Steadman arranges to have the Sheriff visit Hector's farm to investigate the alien activities he witnessed the night before. But the law enforcement vehicles seen speeding down the road to the farm at 40:01 are those of the California Highway Patrol! The vehicles that arrive, however, are Sheriff!

There were 12 super scouts in previous episodes, but only 9 appear here. Where are the other three? One of the missing is Wellington, who had seemed to be the de facto leader among the children.

The shot of Troy and Dillon riding their turbocycles along a country road at 46:21 on the DVD is the same one seen at the opening of "Spaceball". It's also obvious that the two are wearing their original Earth attire again!

The end credits of this episode credit Dennis Haysbert as "The Creature" (presumably Imperious Leader). But I suspect this is mistaken. Haysbert is clearly seen portraying a Colonial Warrior during the Cylon Raider attack at the beginning of the episode (as mentioned earlier), so he should be credited for that. It's doubtful he also provided the voice of Imperious Leader...it sounds nothing like him. In fact, the Leader's voice does sound vaguely familiar as some actor I've heard before elsewhere. I want to say it might be John Lithgow! Can anyone out there confirm or have any other guesses? Here is the entirety of Imperious Leader's dialog in this episode: I'm growing impatient.wav 

Memorable Dialog

I'm growing impatient.wav
it's the daggits.wav
to people like Maze we're just wetbacks.wav
everybody knows who I am.wav

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