Battlestar Galactica Miniseries
Script by Ronald Moore Part 2
Reviewed by Susan J. Paxton
Two of Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica miniseries script opens, not
unexpectedly, with a recap of the first night’s events, ending with Adama’s
belief that his son, Lee, has been killed when the ship he was on was the object
of a Cylon attack.
Meanwhile, back on the transport, Lee, Laura Roslin, and the ship’s pilot are marveling over their escape. Lee has utilized a technique he helped develop at the War College that involves overloading the ship’s FTL drive to create an energy pulse with the same kind of signature as a nuclear detonation. Although it had never worked in simulations, it saved the transport and the liner it’s docked to from destruction by the Cylons.
Sharon Valerii’s Raptor, with its civilian escapees on board, is deploying a communications drone in hopes of finding other ships to join up with. Baltar, crowded with other survivors in a bay inside the ship, has another one of his visions of Number Six.
The Galactica’s old vipers, led by Kara Thrace, are still fending off waves of Cylon attacks. A dogfight follows, and if Moore’s script instructions are followed, this should be interesting to see; a series of very rapid cuts that emphasize the chaos and confusion of the battle. One Cylon ship survives and breaks off to make an attack run on the Galactica herself; Kara and the others set off in pursuit but Adama, bestirring himself for the first time since the news of his son’s apparent death, waves them off and prepares to defend the battlestar himself. Since her weaponry is no longer operational with the loss of her weapon coils, he has to improvise; as the Cylon lets off a spread of missiles, Adama rotates the ship so her stern is facing the attack (and again Moore is to be commended for making the ship maneuver as she actually would instead of the airplane-like movements of the original) and lets loose a cloud of fuel that is then ignited by one of the ship’s engines. The ensuing explosion destroys the Cylon and the missiles. That done, Adama orders preparations for the Jump to Ragnar to continue.
Sharon Valerii and her passengers have rendezvoused with the President’s ship, and the still (and always) unconvincingly brilliant Gaius Baltar is taken to meet with Roslin. The two discuss the situation on Kobol; the Cylons are methodically nuking every city on the planet (and I might repeat here what I have said elsewhere; this kind of orderly slow-motion destruction is, if you want to destroy a planet and everyone on it, a waste of time and resources; aiming a spaceship accelerated to near-light speed at a planet will kill most of the life on it or, if you’re willing to wait, a barrage of asteroids will do nicely as well. Evidently writers of televised science fiction can’t figure this out for themselves), so it is evident to both of them that if the human race is to continue, they must gather all the survivors they can find and escape the system.
Running down their final checklists, Galactica’s crew makes ready for the FTL jump, and then jumps to Ragnar.
Ragnar proves to be a gas giant like Jupiter, and in the eye of a giant swirling storm in the planet’s atmosphere is the Ragnar anchorage, an enormous wheel-shaped space station that spins to create gravity on board (oddly, the fact that the Colonials evidently also have some kind of artificial gravity on board ships like the Galactica is not addressed, nor is the fact that only some kind of artificial gravity could keep the station itself in place in the planet’s atmosphere. Hmph). The Galactica moves down into the storm to dock.
Kara Thrace, who has learned of the deaths of many ground crewmen aboard the Galactica including one of her own, and of the apparent death of Lee Adama, is in her quarters praying. Fans who have suggested that Moore’s BG is some kind of “liberal, amoralistic slop” evidently have passed right over this and other scenes that show that Moore’s Colonials have the same kind of strong religious beliefs as Larson’s, if a little less obviously based on LDS models. In fact, on careful reading of the script, a number of the more hysterical criticisms are based on the same kind of quick, angry overview that I originally gave it (of which more later).
The docking with the Ragnar space station proves a little dodgy, but when the Galactica finally makes hard dock, a boarding party of ground crewmen, led by Chief Tyrol (who we met in Part 1 as Sharon Valerii’s illicit lover) prepares to enter the station. Once again, Moore has made a logical change. In Larson’s BG, Adama or Apollo or Tigh would have led the boarding. Here, realistically, it’s a bunch of enlisted types commanded by their NCO. As the airlock doors slide open, the boarding party are, to their surprise, confronted by a man holding a gun on them.
Act Two opens back at the airlock, with the man, named Leoben, holding Chief Tyrol and the others at bay. Leoben appears to be unbalanced at the very least; he wants an untraceable ship out of the station and assurances that he won’t be arrested. For his part, Tyrol can’t understand where this loony came from - the station was supposed to be abandoned. He decides to bring in some help.
Adama arrives and explains the situation to Leoben, who is shocked to learn of the destruction on Kobol. He finally hands over his gun and permits the Colonials to enter the Ragnar station. As Chief Tyrol and the others set off to get the weapon coils, Leoben admits that he’d been on the station scavenging, and informs them that the weapon coils are in the one of station’s loading bays.
Back aboard the transport, Sharon Valerii is preparing her Raptor for a search mission, “helped” by Boxey, who has more or less adopted her. Baltar, for his part, is busying himself sorting through printouts and messages when he has another one of his irritating visions of Number Six. The entire Baltar/Number Six/Cylon theology plotline is certainly the weakest part of the script and each and every scene never fails to grate. In the ensuing conversation, we learn that not only has Number Six implanted a Cylon chip in Baltar’s head, thus explaining his “visions,” but that the navigational software he wrote for the Fleet was riddled with secret backdoors that permitted the Cylons to disable the ships (Good God, does Baltar work for the Colonial equivalent of Microsoft?!). At this point anyone with half a brain would shoot himself or fall on his sword or whatever Moore’s Colonials do to off themselves honorably, but Baltar, as is usual with him, fails to do the right thing.
In the loading bay of the Ragnar station, Adama views with disapproval Leoben’s neatly stacked and palletted booty, which is awaiting loading into his freighter. Chief Tyrol informs Adama that Leoben has managed to so screw up the loading dock’s cranes and equipment that he’ll have to bring equipment from the Galactica to sort the mess out. As Adama and Leoben head for the airlock to leave, the overhead crane, which is jammed and has a pallet dangling from it, suddenly collapses.
Act Three commences with Chief Tyrol and others digging through the wreckage in the loading bay searching for Adama, who they believe has been buried under the collapsed crane. As they discuss a strategy, the wall phone rings. To their relief, it turns out that Adama and Leoben made it out the door before the collapse. Adama orders Tyrol and the others to continue searching for the weapons coils while he and Leoben make their way back into the bay by another route. As he hangs up, Adama turns to Leoben, who is leaning against a bulkhead, looking unwell. Leoben informs the commander that he’s been sick since he arrived at the station. Suddenly Adama is suspicious of the man, and we see the hard look in his eyes as he follows Leoben down the corridor.
On her search mission for survivors, Sharon Valerii comes upon the refueling ship Tauranian. For some reason, Moore has retained the “tylium fuel” of the original, which always struck me as one of the more scientifically illogical facets of the series (why keep this and lose the mythology?!). Sharon sends the ship the coordinates for a rendezvous.
Around the President’s ship, a small armada of surviving vessels is gathering. Laura has her aide, Billy, collecting passenger manifests while Lee - who is irritatingly, in my view, always referred to as “Captain Apollo” from this point (there’s just one Captain Apollo, folks, and he’s Richard Hatch) - is preparing to conduct an engineering survey of the ships. Aboard a passenger liner, Laura speaks to some of the survivors, including a small girl who is shocked and still believing that she will have dinner in Caprica City with her parents, unable to absorb that Caprica City and her parents no longer exist. Again, Moore’s dark view of the holocaust is a considerably more realistic take than Larson’s was.
The news that Sharon has encountered a tanker and is sending it their way is welcome to Roslin and Lee. So far 60 ships have joined them, although only 40 have FTL drive, and Lee recommends that the passengers from the sublight ships be transferred to those with FTL capability. He also recommends that the newer vipers that have arrived be stored on board, since their electronics are suspect until further notice; this way they can be conserved until a fix is found. Finally, Lee suggests that this all happen as quickly as possible; Cylon attacks on Kobol have let up and the enemy is beginning mopping up operations.
You know the Education Ministry conducts the census.
No, I didn’t know that.
12 billion, 254 million, 197 thousand, 512. At last count.
A long beat as they contemplate that number and the lives it represents. Then Laura refocuses.
Will they be able to track us through a Jump?
No, sir. It’s impossible.
(conceding the point)
Lee departs, Laura is joined by Billy, her peripatetic aide and factotum. She
confesses the fact of her cancer to him, probably relieved that she can tell
someone else, in the midst of the disaster around them, of her own personal
disaster. After he leaves her, Billy stops by to visit the transport pilot - and
asks for a list of surviving doctors and their specialties. This is not a
plotline I particularly like (it seems an unnecessary complication), but Moore
handles it well here.
Back on the Ragnar station, the increasingly ill Leoben has led Adama down the second dead end in a row. It’s obvious that the staggering man hardly knows where he is, much less his way around the station.
This is the second dead-end you’ve taken us down.
Well, let’s keep going.
Adama waits, makes Leoben start first, then falls into step just a pace or two behind him.
Can’t help noticing you always keep me in front of you...
Military training, right? Never turn your back on a stranger, that kind of thing?
Something like that.
Suspicion and distrust. That’s how you live your life, right? Never trusting your fellow man. Sounds like a sad state of affairs to me.
I’ve learned to live with it.
Amazing what a man will learn to live with isn’t it? Suspicion, distrust, war, hatred, jealousy, revenge, cruelty, sadism -- a man can get used to anything.
You’re a scavenger/philosopher I take it.
They stop at an intersection. Leoben’s tone is deteriorating along with his condition, becoming less conversational, more accusatory.
Just an observer of human nature. A man in my line of work tends to see things that don’t get mentioned in polite society. You see people at their worst, their most desperate. Humanity isn’t a pretty race when you get right down to it. We’re never more than one step away from beating each other with clubs like savages fighting over a scrap of meat.
You know, we probably deserve what’s happened to us. The Cylons might be God’s retribution for our many sins.
Adama considers him for a beat.
Maybe they are. Or maybe they’re just a penance we have to endure.
We go right here.
Leoben doesn’t move, just watches him.
I think I’d like you to go first this time.
A long, challenging look from Adama tells Leoben that the game is definitely afoot here. Each man knows the other man is watching the other carefully. And each man is starting to suspect that only one of them is walking out of here alive.
Sharon leads the tanker to the rendezvous and the relief of its arrival is quickly replaced by apprehension as a Cylon drone jumps into the vicinity, scans the small survivor fleet, and jumps back out. President Roslin is about to have to make a horrifying decision:
It definitely scanned us before it Jumped.
We need to go -- now. The Cylons will be here any minute.
Madame President, there are still thousands of people on the sublight ships. We can’t just leave them.
I agree. We should use every second to get as many people off the sublights as we can. We can wait to Jump until we pick up a Cylon strike force moving in.
We’re easy targets. They’re going to Jump into the middle of our ships with a handful of nukes and wipe us out before we have a chance to react.
We can’t just leave them all behind! You’ll be sacrificing thousands of people--
But we’ll be saving tens of thousands. I’m sorry to make it a numbers game, but we’re talking about the survival of our race here. We don’t have the luxury of taking risks and hoping for the best, because if we lose... we lose everything.
And Madame President, this is the kind of decision that needs to be made right now.
She meets his eyes, knows he’s right -- it’s her call.
Order the fleet to Jump to Ragnar. Immediately.
The Transport Pilot hesitates for a beat, then EXITS to the Cockpit with Lee. Doral and Baltar head for the passageway, Doral shooting Laura a glare along the way. Only Billy is left behind. Laura notes him after a beat.
Anything you want to say, Billy?
Yes, sir. That... little girl you saw today? Cami? Her ship can’t make the Jump.
Laura doesn’t say anything, just picks up her paperwork and goes back to work. Billy quietly EXITS and we stay with Laura, who may have papers in her hand, but certainly doesn’t see them...
this is the kind of decision we know Lorne Greene’s Adama had to make - he
mentions the awfulness of it in a discussion with Athena in the three-hour cut
of the original premiere - but never on screen. The ensuing scene as the FTL-capable
ships jump out and leave the slower ships behind is harrowing. As the ships make
the jump, the Cylons close in on the remainder….
Act Five finds the Galactica docked outside the loading bay on the Ragnar station and Chief Tyrol reporting to Colonel Tigh that the weapons coils should be in place and charged in about three hours. After that, he accuses Tigh of having unnecessarily vented the Galactica’s hangar bay, killing the 85 crewman who were lost. It seems an unnecessarily cheap shot, to say the least. As Tigh absorbs the accusation, an Action Stations alert comes from the Galactica; contacting the bridge, Tigh learns of incoming contacts. His orders for cutting loose from the station and preparing to launch fighters are cut short when the incoming ships are identified as being Colonial.
The ensuing confrontation between Tigh and Roslin is again, unfortunate; she requests help for the many injured survivors, and his response is to inform her that she does not give orders aboard the Galactica. Lee smoothes things over, but the entire scene is unnecessary and regrettable in light of the Colonial tradition of civilian control of the military.
Meanwhile, a number of happy reunions are taking place; Chief Tyrol with Sharon Valerii, Kara Thrace with Lee, and Billy with the female crewmember he was attracted to in Part 1.
Back on the station, Adama and Leoben are still wandering around the station aimlessly, Leoben ranting away:
Hubris. That’s Man’s greatest flaw. His belief that he and he alone is chosen of God. That only Man has a soul.
There’s the central hub. We’re almost there.
But what if God decided he’d made a mistake? What if he decided that Man was a flawed and imperfect creature? What if he decided to give souls to another creature?
Like the Cylons.
Somehow, I doubt that.
Why? Because they’re different than us? Because they’re the outsiders.
Because God didn’t create the Cylons. We did. And I’m pretty sure we didn’t include a soul in their programming.
But what if they do now? What if they’ve changed in the last four decades?
Adama stops at the CENTRAL HUB. Because the Spoke and the Hub meet at right angles, the floors are PERPENDICULAR to one another and the two men will have to transition from walking from what looks like the "floor" to what looks like the "wall." They’re both experienced space travelers and this is nothing unusual to them, but to us it should be strangely disorienting.
Changed into what?
People. What if they’ve developed a culture, a society, an entire way of life?
You mean what if they’re imitating a culture, a society, a way of life. In the end, they’re still just devices. Things. Pieces of technology that’ve gotten out of control. They’re not people.
You’re not even interested knowing the truth are you?
Adama turns on Leoben, faces him squarely as he lets some of his own deep anger bubble to the surface for the first time.
Let me tell you something. After today -- after using nuclear weapons against defenseless civilians, after murdering people by the millions -- I don’t give a damn who the Cylons are now or what the "truth" is about their souls. All I know is that they’re murderers and killers and they’re trying to destroy us.
So today’s gonna be the first day of a new war. And this time we’re going to finish the job. No armistice, no peace treaty, no mercy. This time we track them down and kill them. All of them. Until there’s not one single Cylon left alive in the universe. And if God has a problem with that, he can sort it out on Judgment Day.
A quiet beat as Leoben slowly nods.
And that’s why God wants the Cylons to destroy mankind. Because as long as there’s a human race, there’s going to be a man out there like you. I don’t think the Cylons hate you, Adama... I think they fear you...
well they should, of course. All of this “Cylon theology” strikes me as
being more than a bit bizarre, but one wonders if Moore has in mind a future
episode introducing the Cylon “savior” - Count Iblis.
As Leoben rattles on, revealing that yes, he’s a Cylon, they have arrived at the place where a “spoke” of the station meets the hub. Leoben makes a leap at Adama, but Adama cleverly jumps through the door and lands in the hub. Leoben, who has not planned his jump so cleverly, gets caught in a transitional area of zero G between the spoke and hub and while he floats there helplessly Adama quickly reaches for a control to shut the emergency doors and trap the Cylon. Before the doors can close, Leoben drags himself through into the hub and lands on the floor in a heap. Before he can gather his wits about him, Adama grabs a pry bar and kills him with it. Seeing blood flowing from Leoben’s injuries, Adama wonders if he’s made a horrible mistake of some kind. It should be interesting to see this scene, by the way. Edward James Olmos’ Lt. Martin Castillo was a real warrior in Miami Vice, and I’ll be curious to see how he handles this.
On the Galactica’s bridge, Baltar and Gaeta, one of the bridge officers, are discussing the navigation program that proved to be the Colonial downfall. Fortunately, it was never installed aboard the Galactica, although Gaeta does have a copy of it. As Baltar erases it, he has another of his irritating (in more ways than one) "visions" of Number Six. As Baltar and Number Six “converse,” she reveals to him a Cylon device planted on the bridge. Baltar realizes that there must be another Cylon somewhere on board as Act Five fades out.
One of the most irritating things about the Baltar/Number Six relationship is that it’s an exercise in lazy storytelling. Instead of revealing in other ways the Cylon menace, Number Six, in her tiresome “appearances” to Baltar, blurts out everything. It’s just as clunky as Larson’s dialogue in “Living Legend” where Cain and Adama explain the Cylons to one another (“You see, Adama, the Cylons are MACHINES…” Duh!) and is startlingly out of place here.
Act Six opens with more boring Baltar/Number Six dialogue (and one of the sex scenes that fans find pretty appalling - in this case I completely agree with them), then we find Tyrol moving Boxey into an empty cabin in the junior officer’s section of the ship. A nice piece of dialogue between the two ensues:
A lot of people are dead.
That’s right, son.
He looks him right in the eye, doesn’t try to shy away or pretend with him that everything is fine. Tyrol seems comfortable with the kid, slips easily, automatically into a paternal role -- probably a result of having to care for deck hands who were little more than kids themselves for so long.
But I don’t think you’re gonna die.
No. You know why? Because you’re aboard Galactica now and she’s a very lucky lady.
It’s not a lady. It’s a ship.
She absolutely is a lady. She happens to be made of steel and wire instead of flesh and bone, but she’s still a living, breathing woman.
And she’s really lucky?
That’s right. In the first Cylon War, she single-handedly fought off five Cylon baseships and made it back to Kobol without a scratch. She always fights a good fight, and she always brought her people home.
Boxey thinks about that, nods very seriously, seems to take him at his word.
So... she’ll bring us home?
It’s a promise.
nice moment; that’s the ship we remember, too.
Meanwhile, Billy - who it turns out wrote an important paper on diplomacy and so presumably isn’t quite as callow as he seems - is reminding President Roslin how she has to deal with the military. Respect them, remind them of their duty, but let them know who’s in charge.
The ground crew are finishing installing the “liberated” weapon coils; one of them, Cally, confronts Chief Tyrol with her knowledge of his illicit, illegal affair with Sharon Valerii. A punchup seems imminent, then orders come from the bridge to begin charging the weapon coils.
Leoben’s corpse is being carried to Life Station by some crewmen while Adama quickly briefs Tigh on what he’s learned about the Cylons. Tigh is understandably appalled; after all, if Cylons now look human, they could be anybody! And save a lot of money on special effects, too! Tigh has news for Adama as well - Lee is alive and has arrived on board.
Lee, now Galactica’s CAG (Commander Air Group), is in the ready room getting his squadrons organized when Adama comes in. Lee braces himself for a dressing down, but all Adama can do is embrace his son. After a moment, Lee returns it.
Act Seven finds Adama and Tigh in the commander’s quarters with Baltar discussing the medical report on Leoben. His body appeared normal until a large tissue sample was incinerated; analysis indicated the presence of synthetic compounds. Unfortunately this does not promise to be a good way of detecting Cylons except after the fact, so Adama assigns Baltar to produce a better way of detecting Cylons. Once Baltar departs Adama and Tigh reminiscence for a moment. It is another nice scene, one I can easily picture with Lorne Greene and Terry Carter, and again it has to be pointed out that there are some in this script.
In the launch bay, Kara is getting ready to take off on a brief reconnaissance mission, to look outside the storm into the space around Ragnar and see what’s going on. Kara confesses to Lee that his suspicions are right - Zak wasn’t a good pilot, but because she had a relationship with him, she passed him anyway. Lee is shocked, and wants to know why she’s telling him this now. Kara replies that it’s the end of the world - shouldn’t they be confessing their sins? That said, she takes off.
Doral, who we remember from the President’s transport, is suddenly arrested by Galactica crewmen. Baltar’s “Cylon detector” works; he’s found a way to identify Cylons by analyzing hair samples. Tigh orders everyone on the ship screened. This also gives Baltar the perfect opening to reveal the Cylon device on the bridge without revealing how he knows about it. In spite of herself, Number Six is rather impressed.
Laura and Billy are in the wardroom going over problems when Adama comes in. After Billy leaves, the two of them discuss the situation. Roslin learns that Adama is planning, once the Galactica is refitted, to go back on the offensive against the Cylons. She has to point out to him that the war is already lost. This is not one of the better scenes in the script; it goes on too long and makes Adama appear far too pigheaded.
Kara’s viper clears the storm and she finds that the space above Ragnar is filled with Cylon warships.
Act Eight commences with Adama, Tigh, Lee, and others on the bridge listening to Kara’s report of at least ten Cylon fighter squadrons, a couple of base ships, and dozens of drones waiting for their departure. The Cylons are showing no signs of coming down into the storm after the Colonials; they know that all they have to do is wait.
As Adama and the others discuss options - try jumping from inside the storm? Escape alone? Try to cram all of the civilians aboard the Galactica? - Moore interlaces their dialogue with Billy talking to Dualla, the crewmember he’s enamored with. Presumably Moore is Making a Point here, but it doesn’t seem to work and again detracts from the good job he’s done in other places (that said, once it’s filmed, it might work. We shall see). Finally Adama, who presumably has been overhearing Billy and Dualla, realizes that all they can do is escape, with the civilians. The President, after all, is right.
They begin planning a Jump, an extremely long range one that might land them far from where they intend to go, but the safest alternative in the circumstances. The Galactica will run interference with the Cylons while the civilian ships Jump, then she will immediately follow them.
Meanwhile, there is the problem of what to do with Doral. Adama elects to maroon him in the Ragnar station. Of course it would have made a lot more sense to just kill him, but again the same kind of clunkiness betrayed by the interminable Baltar/Number Six conversations rears its ugly head and Doral is left behind to become a Plot Point. If only Scott Evil were here to remind Adama….
The escape from Ragnar follows, and this time the Galactica doesn’t have to resort to dumped fuel as a weapon; her main batteries and other defensive armament are once again operational and as she and her vipers rip into the waiting Cylons, the civilian ships begin to make their Jumps. Finally, the last civilian ship is gone, and the Galactica begins to recover her vipers as the Cylon base ships close in for the kill. Kara and Lee are the last two vipers out; intellectually Adama knows he should abandon them, but even as the Cylon base ships close in he knows he can’t. And for her part Kara can’t leave Lee, whose viper is crippled. As the two base ships and the Galactica close in a spectacular slugging match, Kara latches onto Lee’s viper and they make it back to the ship in the nick of time. Her last vipers recovered, Galactica makes the Jump.
In the hangar bay sometime later, a burial ceremony is held for those crewmen who died during the escape from Kobol. After prayers are said by the priest Elosha, Adama takes the podium:
Are they the lucky ones? That’s the question you’re all asking yourselves, isn’t it?
We’re a long way from home. We’ve Jumped far beyond the Red Line and now we’re in uncharted space. Limited supplies. Limited fuel. No allies. No hope. Maybe it would’ve been better if we’d all died quickly back there on Kobol with the rest of our families than to die slowly out here in the emptiness of deep space.
Where will we go? What will we do?
He looks out at the surprised faces and knows that he’s struck a chord, caught them off-guard and grabbed their attention by voicing their darkest thoughts.
“Life here began out there.” Those are the first words of the sacred scrolls -- the first words the Lords of Kobol gavve us countless centuries ago. They tell us in explicit terms that we are not alone in the universe.
Elosha, there is a thirteenth colony of man, is there not?
A murmur ripples through the crowd. He waits, lets it pass.
Yes, the scrolls tell us a thirteenth tribe left Kobol in the Early Days. That they traveled far away and made their home on a planet called Earth... which circled a distant and unknown star.
It’s not unknown. I know where it is.
Everyone is shocked, amazed -- hanging on his every word. He nods to a DECKHAND standing off to one side, who then turns on an OVERHEAD PROJECTOR, which throws an IMAGE up on the bulkhead of a DISTANT STAR and several planets. The image is blurry, indistinct. Adama points to one of the planets.
Another murmur ripples through the room as people crane for a better look.
This image has been one of our most guarded secrets. The location -- or at least the general location -- of this star system was known to only the most senior commanders in the Fleet. We dared not reveal its location to the public while the Cylon threat was still out there. And thank the Lords for that, because now we have a refuge to go to, a refuge the Cylons know nothing about.
Genuine excitement starts to spread through the crowd like wildfire.
It won’t be easy. It will be a long and probably arduous journey to get there. But I promise you one thing -- we will make it and Earth will be our new home.
to say, excitement and new hope breaks out amongst the Galactica crew at
A brief scene follows in which Kara and Tigh make up - kind of - and Kara tells him that Chief Tyrol is full of crap - how could anyone know what the fire was going to do? Tigh did the right thing; he saved the ship. Kara still doesn’t like him, but finally she evinces a bit of respect for him. And it’s clear, as Tigh pours a drink he’d been about to have back into its bottle, that he’s found a bit of respect in himself as well.
The miniseries appears to be ending on a high note, then, for unknown reasons, Moore goes a long way towards spoiling it as Adama admits to Laura Roslin that his speech about Earth was so much moonshine. Why? Adama’s explanation makes a kind of sense - he has given dispirited people something to live for - but this wholesale desecration of one of the central series myths seems just unnecessary to me
Of course we can’t leave without another Major Plot Information talk between Baltar and Number Six:
Your escape is a temporary one at best. We will find you.
You can try. It’s a big universe.
You haven’t addressed the real problem, of course.
Yes, yes. There may be Cylon agents living among us at this very moment just waiting to strike.
Some may not even know they’re Cylons at all. Sleeper agents programmed to perfectly impersonate human beings until activation.
I’m not worried.
I keep forgetting how truly arrogant you are.
If there are Cylons here we’ll find them.
We? You’re not on their side, Gaius.
I’m not on anybody’s side. I’m just looking out for myself.
Exactly. Which means you can’t tell them all you know about us without giving yourself away. Which is a shame. You could be a real help to them.
Yeah. That is a shame.
the entire Number Six/Baltar plotline is a shame too. Oh well.
On the Ragnar station, the Cylons have rescued Doral. Several of the traditional chrome Cylons are present, along with three Leobens and two Number Sixes (and later a second Doral). They question Doral, who knows nothing of where the Colonials went, but the Cylons all agree that no matter where they did go, they must be hunted down and destroyed. Then Moore drops another bombshell, and a Sharon Valerii walks into the room….
Which is how Moore’s script ends. Presumably the Sharon Valerii aboard the Galactica is one of the sleeper agents Number Six spoke of.
So, what do I think of all this? As I said in my wrapup to Part One, mostly I’m disappointed. This could have been really good if Moore had done one of two things: either hewed a little more closely to original series mythos OR if he had put an original name on this project instead of calling it Battlestar Galactica.
However, in retrospect I’m also disappointed that Battlestar Galactica fans - including myself! - reacted with absolute hysteria when Moore released this draft. The explosion of negativity, including my own, only ensured that no positive changes would be made. It’s worth remembering that Moore released the script himself, presumably hoping to get constructive opinions on it. All he got in return was a flood of screeching and screaming that in some cases, on closer reading of the script, was unjustified. Yes, there are negative elements. But for fans to rant and rave about this script being “liberal” is just asinine. These Colonials are as militaristic as the originals, and as religious, and by the end of the miniseries, ruptured family bonds have been healed. Many of the “negative” characters that fans complain about, such as Tigh, grow as the miniseries goes along. Tigh starts as a tiresome drunk, yes, but finds the courage to not only save the ship, but to take a new look at his alcohol problem. It has been said by one reviewer that the crew has “no respect” for Adama, but it’s clear that they in fact idolize him (they located and restored his old viper for him, for example, not something you do for a CO you detest, believe me). The sex is no more intrusive than anything else commonly seen on network TV (that said, there’s too much sex on network TV and too much here too, all of it disgusting). If anything, the violence and people’s reactions to the holocaust are much more realistic than the original. The second half is in my view a distinct improvement on the weak Carillon plotline of the original. The focus on noncommissioned ground crewmen as important members of the crew and an important part of the show is very welcome.
That said, there are many other elements that are problematic. The Baltar/Number Six relationship, for one, is just laughable. Baltar is never a convincing character at any level, and Number Six is an excuse for sloppy writing; whenever Ron needs to reveal a plot point, he just has Number Six blab it. The “human looking” Cylons themselves are clearly a device to save special effects dollars (recently admitted by Moore in an interview, interestingly). The level of technology is wildly inconsistent. The ending, with Adama revealing that he’s lied about Earth, is a disaster (although I suppose if this goes to series research by Adama or Baltar or Elosha or someone will reveal that there really is an Earth). Elosha actually contradicts what Adama says; according to Adama, Colonial scripture claims that “Life here began out there,” but Elosha says that the Thirteenth Tribe left Kobol in the early days and went to earth - seems to me it should be the other way around if indeed “life here began out there.” The squabbles between the civilian authority and the military are the same low point they were in the original. The setting of the Colonies - way too Earthlike with earthian names - just trashes the mystery and mythology of the original. Many of the characters are simply not distinctive. About the only ones with any real individuality are Kara Thrace and William Adama. Lee Adama is particularly a cipher, a shame in view of the fact that the Apollo character was at the center of the original.
And if we had reacted better, Moore might have been willing to fix some of this.
A lost opportunity, all around.
BACK TO PART ONE
BACK TO REVIVAL