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On 33, and FTL Radio in Battlestar Galactica

Well, readers could not help themselves from talking about 33, the first episode, due to a mention I made in yesterday’s topic. So it is time to write out some analysis of both that episode, and the general question of whether circumstances in the show demand that somebody has an FTL radio (over and above the FTL jump ships.)

The colonies certainly don’t have an FTL radio. And I suspect the writers do not intend the Cylons to have one either. The hidden string-puller (one true god) may be intended to have one.

Of course, all parties have jump ships. With a jump ship you can send a message FTL by putting it in a ship and jumping. While the colonies can’t jump anything smaller than a raptor, the Cylons probably have a small robotic probe which can jump with messages.

Using FTL jump ships for messages works fine, though it is expensive, and you can only send a message to somebody if you know exactly where they are right now. To make that work you need a constant stream of ships relaying data, so you can know where they are and where they go if you want to send them a message. Expensive, but it can be done. However, you can never get a message to a lost ship, unless it is sending message drones back to you to pick up the messages. A recent revelation, that the jump field is dangerous to use inside a ship, suggests that such message drones would need to be fired out of a ship, and then would jump. It is possible, in theory, that Cylon technology is sufficiently better than they could send a jump drone from inside a ship.  read more »

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