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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com

Galactica 1980: The Super Scouts (Part 1) Galactica 1980
"The Super Scouts" Part 1
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Vince Edwards
Original air date: March 16, 1980

After a Cylon attack on the school ship, Troy and Dillon have no choice but to evacuate a group of children to Earth.

Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki site

Didja Know?

James Patrick Stuart takes over the role of Dr. Zee (previously portrayed by Robbie Rist) from this episode on.

Glen Larson's children, D.G., Eric, and Michelle Larson play three of the super scouts. The only one named as a character is Moonstone (Eric Larson). The same three young actors also portrayed the three children of Sarah and Michael in the two-part "Greetings From Earth" episode of BSG.

The children of the fleet are depicted as having almost super-strength when they arrive on Earth due to the lesser gravity than that maintained in the fleet. Yet the adults Troy, Dillon, and Xaviar were not depicted with such strength in the "Galactica Discovers Earth" 3-parter (though we do see Troy and Dillon exhibit such skills here.)

Didja Notice?

The schooling ship Delphi seen in this episode is the same spaceship model/footage as that used for the Gemini freighter seen in past episodes of both BSG and G1980, but seems intended to be a different ship. The Delphi is destroyed in a Cylon attack in this episode. A ship called Delphi also appears in Armageddon, though it is described as a freighter converted into a marketplace for the fleet.

This episode reveals that Dillon is apparently also the teacher of a children's class besides being a Warrior. Seems like an odd combination of jobs!

The medallion worn at Colonel Boomer's throat appears similar to the one worn by Commander Cain in the two-part "The Living Legend". Boomer's, however, is silver in color, while Cain's was gold.

The Delphi develops engine failure and is said to have come to a complete stop. But the ship should continue moving through space at its last speed due to inertia until other forces act upon it to slow it down.

At 6:39 on the DVD, as the Cylons begin their attack on the Delphi, the advanced A-B Raider is seen briefly during the attack. Officially, the A-B Raider does not make its first-and-only appearance until "The Night the Cylons Landed" Part 1. But the original script of "The Super Scouts" Part 1 introduced the A-B Raider in early production before being removed and this brief scene managed to slip by. From a continuity standpoint, it might be argued that the Cylons did use the new advanced Raider in the attack as a shakedown and it simply went unnoticed by the Colonials in the confusion of the quick hit-and-run strategy of the Cylons in this attack. Cylon A-B Raider

At 7:44 on the DVD, a blast destroys a Viper in a launch tube. But the Cylons are only attacking the Delphi, the rest of the fleet has left it behind, so the Galactica and its launch bay is not under attack!
Viper destroyed in launch tube

At 7:50 on the DVD, an explosion supposedly inside the Delphi shows rock walls! Obviously the shot is footage from a movie shot earlier. Footage from "Fire in Space" is also used in depicting the fires aboard the Delphi.
Rock walls in Delphi

When the Viper squadron arrives to help out the Delphi in the Cylon attack, notice that Colonel Boomer apparently still keeps his hand in as a Viper pilot himself.

At 9:48 on the DVD, notice that the interior of the shuttle seen is significantly redesigned from that seen previously in episodes of BSG.

As the shuttle escapes the Delphi, notice the launch bay looks exactly like that of the Galactica.

Boomer transmits the coordinates of the fleet to Troy and Dillon on the shuttle and mentions that the fleet is 33,000 Mega-K's from Alpha Centauri. A Mega-K is a Colonial unit of astral distance introduced in this episode (and also used in another Glen Larson production, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century). Alpha Centauri is a star system about 4.37 light years from Earth and the closest system to us.

The airliner seen at 13:11 on the DVD has a "CA" logo on the tailfin. This stands for Columbia Airlines, not a real world airline, but the one that appeared in the 1975 film Airport 1975. This shot is taken from that Universal film.

At 13:11 on the DVD, the airline pilot of Flight 427 reports that they've left Los Angeles Center, flying at 30,000 feet, and then goes on to say they're switching to Omaha Center and climbing to 35,000. Both "Los Angeles Center" and "Omaha Center" seem to be a fictional airports, most likely meant to symbolize Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Eppley Field in Omaha, Nebraska. Airliners do commonly fly at altitudes of around 30-35,000 feet.

The emblem on the wall behind Colonel Sydell's desk is the actual seal of the United States Department of the Air Force.

   Riding their turbocycles on the freeway, Troy and Dillon are pursued by a pair of California Highway Patrol officers (CHiPs) on motorcycles. It seems likely that this was intended as a light-hearted homage to the concurrently-running TV series CHiPs, about two motorcycle-riding CHP officers. The amusing and comradely give-and-take between the two officers, as well as the background music played during the scenes, are also similar to that featured in CHiPs. They ride Kawasaki motorcycles similar to the models actually used by the CHP at the time.
   After the pair's second encounter with the Colonial Warriors, whose turbocycles take off into the sky, one of the officers incredulously asks the other, "How come this never happens to those two guys on TV?"
   As critics of CHiPs pointed out at the time, CHP officers do not generally patrol in pairs.

At 17:07 on the DVD, Troy and Dillon hide from the CHP officers behind a sign reading "Drive 55 and Save Lives!" This refers to the National Maximum Speed Law of 1974-1995, which limited the speed of motor vehicles in the U.S. to 55 mph in a national effort to conserve fuel. Before and after this period, states could set their own speed laws.

The lot Troy and Dillon pull into to hide behind the sign appears to be a U-Haul rental outlet judging from the number of the company's trucks and trailers parked there. We see that the business is a Chevron gas station and U-Haul has many franchises through gas stations throughout the country.

At 17:44 on the DVD, a 76 gas station is seen behind the CHP officers, across the street from the Chevron station.

At 18:04 on the DVD, a rooftop view along Hollywood Boulevard appears. A few Hollywood landmarks are seen. On the left side of the boulevard: The Hollywood Theater, the second movie theater ever built in Hollywood in 1913, now housing a Guinness World of Records museum. On the right side of the boulevard: the Hollywood Wax Museum and Grauman's Chinese Theater. Also seen are business signs for Bank of America, Security Pacific Bank (now part of Bank of America), and Max Factor.

Troy decides they should trade some of their cubits, made of auric (Colonial for "gold"), for cash at a bank. He remarks to Dillon that he has seared off the Colonial markings on the cubits with his laser. "Auric" is also an Earth term for the +3 ion of gold.

At 19:47 on the DVD, Dillon crosses the street to the United California Bank. This was a real bank at the time, but has since become, after a series of bank mergers, part of Wells Fargo.

The taxicab that almost hits Dillon as he crosses the street is from Yellow Cab Company, a name now belonging to multiple companies across the United States that operate taxi services in their local areas under the name Yellow Cab.

The scout uniforms bought for and worn by the Colonial children on Earth are meant to represent those of the Boy Scouts of America.

At 20:15 on the DVD, Coleman camping supplies are seen on the department store shelf in the background, including the Peak 1 multi-fuel stove.

When Troy appears inclined to purchase scouting equipment and uniforms for the children in his and Dillon's charge, the sales clerk assumes he is a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts and asks what council he is from. In the Boy Scouts, regional administrative divisions are referred to as councils. Not knowing better, Troy unthinkingly replies, "From the Council of Twelve."

A banner stating the Scout Law is seen hanging near the cash register near the scouting department of the store. It's not entirely readable onscreen, but the Scout Law of the Boy Scouts of America is made up of twelve points, stating, "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."

Advertisements for Visa, MasterCard, and American Express Traveller's Cheques are seen inside the United California Bank.

After inadvertently robbing the bank, Dillon tells the clerk he'll pay it back to her and extracts her address from her at gunpoint. She gives her address as 327 Harrat Street. Searching Google Maps, there is a Harrat Street in Los Angeles, but no 327 address.

The Official Boy Scout Handbook seen on the department store shelf at 24:55 on the DVD features the cover actually used on the 9th Edition of the book at that time (from 1979-1990). The Official Boy Scout Handbook, 9th Edition   The Official Boy Scout Handbook, 9th Edition
      The Official Boy Scout Handbook, 9th Edition (from Troop97.net)

After leaving the department store with a bin-full of scout clothing and equipment for the twelve children, Troy and Dillon are seen riding their turbocycles with a small bundle strapped to the back of each bike. The bundles do not look large enough to be holding all of that stuff!

The shot of Troy and Dillon flying away from the CHP officers on their cycles at 26:32 on the DVD is a reuse of one from "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1.

The pick-up truck in the background during the Air Force search for the Colonial shuttle at 26:59 on the DVD has the emblem of the U.S. Forest Service on the door. The bed of the pick-up is labeled Park Ranger, suggesting the site is on National Forest land.

Colonel Sydell is said to work for the U.S. Air Force's Special Detachment One, a unit attached to the investigations of unexplained phenomena. This is a fictional unit of the Air Force, based loosely on a real unit of the Air Force, Project Blue Book, which existed from 1952-1970, ending with the claim that most UFOs were misidentifications of conventional craft or natural phenomena and that the few unexplained sightings did not constitute a threat to national security.

At the campsite, the scouts sing a strange song around the campfire. Jamie says she would like to learn it, so I'm assuming it was a Colonial song. Part of the lyrics are "Zay. Zee. Zy, lo, do. Zay. Zee. I know you. Ask me, I told you. Zay. Zee. Zy, lo, do. " (I never said it was a good song.) The end credits suggest the song is called "Galactic Scouts" and was written by John Andrew Tartaglia, Sue Collins, and Glen A. Larson (the complex lyrics obviously required the collaboration of three songwriters). The song actually follows the rhythm of a frequently-heard high school cheerleader's cheer: "We've got spirit! Yes, we do! We've got spirit! How 'bout you?"

Troy and Dillon take the sick kids to the Paradise Valley Medical Center. This appears to be a fictional location, as later scenes indicate the town is called Paradise Valley, of which there is none in California.

The nurse at Paradise Valley Medical Center uses a Motorola brand CB radio unit to contact the doctor, identifiable by the stylized "M" on the unit.

Troy's wrist computron detects benzene and dioxin in the children's blood. Both are toxic.

Dr. Spencer refers to his nurse as Valerie and her name badge appears to show her last name as Thompson.

Jamie tells Dr. Spencer that Troy and Dillon are from "that new Astro-medics place outside of Cleveland." As far as I can tell, this is an entirely fictional term and location (except for Cleveland, of course).

The Stanford Chemical plant in this episode is a fictional business. But a company by the name Stanford Chemicals did start up in the Los Angeles area in 1994 and is still in business.

James & Sons Fine Furniture is seen next to the Sheriff's Office in Paradise Valley. James & Sons appears to be a fictitious business; in fact the street and buildings look likely to be part of the Universal Studios backlot.

The Sheriff accuses Jamie of being in town to foment trouble with the chemical plant in order to get a news story, remarking that one of the biggest newspapermen in the country started the Spanish-American War just to make headlines. The Spanish-American War took place April 25-August 12, 1898 over U.S. intervention against Spain in Cuba's war of independence from that country. Some historians place part of the blame for the escalation to war on both Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, two American newspaper publishers, who published scathing articles of oftentimes dubious veracity (yellow journalism) against Spain.

The shot of Troy and Dillon flying off into the sky on their turbocycles at 47:50 on the DVD is just an image flip of the earlier scene at 26:32. 

Unanswered Questions

Did Troy really launch the Galactica shuttle out into space after bringing the children to Earth? Where into space? Was it picked up later?

Where did Troy and Dillon get the turbocyles they ride in this episode? The cycles just happened to be loaded onto the shuttle that was only intended for a jaunt between the Galactica and Delphi and back? I suppose it might be argued that the cycles were hidden in the forest near where they landed the shuttle from their previous mission(s) to Earth for emergency use as needed. 

Memorable Dialog

assimilated into a population.wav
the Cylons haven't attacked in a generation.wav
the first children from the stars.wav
alien detector.wav
what council are you from?.wav
what'd you do, rob a bank?.wav
ah, nuts.wav
flying saucers.wav

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