Daybreak, Part One

I must admit I am a sucker for flashback scenes like these. Seeing the characters who have been beaten down back in the civilized part of their lives, and a glimpse of the world that was. Though I have to feel that with so much to be resolved, these scenes could have been put in some slightly earlier episodes to paint the picture. All these flashback characters — the regulars except Eight, plus Sam — are about to reach dramatic fates, including death next week, and we’re being given some things to help understand their character. We’ve seen shots of flashback scenes for Saul and Ellen and more of Bill.

The Flashback of Baltar and Six has two meanings. We see Baltar as we expect him, though still caring for and resenting his father. And we seem to see Six being genuinely nice. But we forget, because it has been so long, that Six is doing this only to get into Baltar’s life. Her plan, back then, is to betray and kill Baltar Sr., Gaius, and everybody else we see in these scenes. So what have we learned about her?

The question of the Colony was resolved, not as I had predicted. For those interested in some newer screen caps and updates, these can be found in the Colony Geometry thread. It’s a giant space station, even bigger than we thought (even when we thought it was big.) Check out the screen capture to observe 3 tiny base ships in the image. One commenter suggests that it is no coincidence it is around a singularity. This is something which has the power to destroy it, in theory. That’s harder than it looks. First of all, naked singularities are now not believed to exist. But in any event, a singularity offers a giant gravity well. It actually requires quite a bit of effort to take something in high orbit and move it to lower orbit. You have to dump a lot of energy. If you are coming in from outside, you could fall right into the well, but once you are in orbit you have a lot of angular momentum.

I still like the virus plan, though we may not get it. I do expect there to be several fronts of attack, and I expect Cavil to be able to counter all but one of them, the one that finally gets him. They need to do many things — rescue Hera, defeat Cavil, liberate the Simons and Dorals from Cavil’s lies, and militarily attack the Colony and its supply of base ships. (I have to wonder, shouldn’t Simon and Doral be saying, “how the hell did we forget building this place?” Maybe Cavil has let them partly in on things.)

A flashback for Sam was surprising. After all, he’s not exactly at the level of the other characters, though of course he has become a plot device. This supports the idea that he will use his new control of Galactica to strike the military blow, using it. He will be the perfect weapon. Can we doubt that we will see him make the perfect shot, perhaps even the perfect catch?

I have no read on the symbolism of Lee and the bird. Any thoughts? This has to be symbolic. Lee’s roof is even the first shot of the episode on Caprica, though we don’t know it then.

Roslin’s fountain scene, at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, was well known to fans since students there took photos of it. Some had hoped it was a scene from their future home, but she’s not getting there. I do suspect she may get to look at it from space, Moses-like. It is curious that Roslin saw her mother in Faith while the defining tragedy in her life is about her father and sisters.

But with all that, surprisingly little on our mysteries, including the famous opera house. Kara’s work on the tune suggests it might well contain coordinates for the new home.

The Colony is certainly nowhere near real Earth. There’s no black hole very near us, let alone a naked singularity.

And I was really expecting Baltar to join the volunteers. Perhaps that would be too pat. But he needs to do something for his redemption soon. The string-puller, who gave the Colony coordinates to Sam to give to Adama, has big plans for Baltar still, and also wants the battle to happen.

Impossible

Well, we don’t know enough yet about planetary formation to declare things impossible, but by our current understanding it is so unlikely as to be effectively impossible.

And Moore knows this, and from what I recall, he admitted as much but said this was something inherited from the original. Which is fine. In fact, probably the largest genre of SF is what you might call “firm” rather than hard — it takes a few premises not known to match reality like warp drives or similar, and then runs with it, trying to stay as close to reality as possible after that. BSG has always been in that class because of its FTL drives. The things imported from the 1978 show are also in that zone.

Isn't the 12 planet colonies

Isn't the 12 planet colonies one of the things RDM always used to list with FTL transportation as an impossibility they were foregoing for the sake of the original story?

Unlikely

Note your use of the term 'by our current understanding.' Very telling, that phrase is, and I suggest you keep it in mind.

"it takes a few premises not known to match reality like warp drives or similar, and then runs with it"

If we are willing to make the leap with FTL (no pun intended), why not planetary systems with multiple habitable planetoids? In fact, I could argue that the latter is more likely than FTL based on what we know of physics vs. how little we know of planetary systems. Due to the near infinite vastness of space and how little we've been able to cover, it's probably more likely than you think.

No leap needed

As I’ve said before, I am not even sure why we are having this debate. Moore knows and admitted it’s silly. It’s there because of the origins of the show. If Moore were declaring it as a realistic premise, I could see people trying to work out ways for it to make sense. But not when he admits it doesn’t. (And besides, it does make sense as a terraform, but that does not seem to be part of their plot.)

Note that while 12 planets in the same system is impossible, the 12 moons situation is a bit more workable because life can start on one moon and spread to the others. I don’t know if anybody has worked the physics of a gas giant having 12 moons large enough to have long-term gravity fields to hold in an atmosphere. That strikes me as likely to be impossible, but I don’t know if anybody has done the math. Gas giants don’t get a lot larger than Jupiter — much bigger and you become a small star — and it did not manage much. Saturn managed one. How large a disk a gas giant can form is going to depend on local stellar geometry and the presence of other planets. Twelve moons large enough to hold atmospheres is a tough one.

That’s where terraforming comes in. The moon could hold an atmosphere for many thousands of years, IIRC, if you gave it one. So an artificial atmosphere makes sense on smaller moons. But they would have quite low gravity. 12 moons the size of the Earth seems even further out. If this were a really important question we could consult with a planetary formation specialist, but it’s not that important. Moore already knows.

liberate the Simons and

liberate the Simons and Dorals from Cavil’s lies

Why does that have to happen? Simon and Doral have always been really screwed up. Maybe they have just gone bad.

The string-puller, who gave the Colony coordinates to Sam to give to Adama, has big plans for Baltar stil, and also wants the battle to happen.

The coordinates to the Colony is All Along the Watchtower, or rather, the coords to the Black Hole. This, like the coincidence at arriving at the Temple of Hopes/Five is one of those predestined things. The song, the Opera House, the virtual beings, Hera, Starbuck, Baltar and the cycle itself will all be one answer. Defeating Cavil and his group is the other story. There are really two stories to answer everything, but most of the questions revolve around one story.

Expect some answers to be purposely ambiguous in terms of science and faith. If you are a believer, you will believe in whichever you want and there will be evidence for both. Just like the boy being cured, was it Baltar, or did he just fight it off, it completely depends on what YOU want to believe. That will be the ending we are given.

Simon and Doral

The main reason I think that Simon and Doral have to be liberated from Cavil’s lies is that the prophecy talks about the Cylons splintering and then coming back together. So that suggests Simon and Doral are not quite so evil. They are too minor as characters to be redeem themselves after their evil, so it is simpler if they were fooled and can come back to the fold when they finally meet their creators.

Yes, I agree it’s probable the song somehow contains the coordinates to something, be it the black hole, or the promised land.

I also doubt we will hear any more about the kid, but we are promised we will understand head six and the string puller, though not fully.

They will join at the

They will join at the promised land, gathered on the wings of an angel.

That doesn't necessarily mean it will be an enjoyable get together. It could mean, big battle "join". Wings of the angel. Let's face it, when they needed answers who did Adama turn to...Kara.

Expect loop theory to be the key component in how they explain what will happen with the black hole and naked singularity.

When I say explain, I mean

When I say explain, I mean after the show has run and they are explaining to fans. I don't mean in the show itself.

Battlescam Galactica

I'm bitching a bit here but the way I see it is they're onto other gigs now and the fluff with the UN and anything else is just PR. Once the main driver, BSG, is off-air they'll want to keep milking the comic and straight to DVD franchise for as long as possible. I'm not expecting any answers and if they do they'll probably have to retcon the retcon to do it. Maybe I'm being a bit hyperbolic but what's the difference between some shady online site and Battlescam Galactica? It's the same frakkin' formula.

DVDs

I doubt I'm buying more DVDs. I'll probably give away what I have after season 2. I think their marketing stratagy will fail.

Black Holes Sing

Black Hole Sun

I'd completely frakking forgotten about that. Here's the SciAm article on that Perseus supermassive black hole that sings.

Random Thoughts

Does anyone else think that Six just killed Baltar's father and lied about his whereabouts to get into Baltar's good graces-- by not only disposing of his father but making herself out to be altruistic?

As for the pigeon, it may have represented Galactica? Setting her free? I don't know.

So far, I have a lot of lingering doubts. In the best fiction, everything serves a purpose. It may be a plot point or way of showing a character's history or motivations, or creating dramatic tension. So far there are many events which seem, at this point, purposeless, Liam's death being chief among them. Why get her pregnant just to kill the baby before birth? I hope it means something. Perhaps it is the death of Liam that prompts them to give Hera to Six/Baltar after Helo/Athena's death. Or was it just a plot device to make Ellen's return more gut-wrenching, or to make Tigh even more bitter? Could it have been Liam's death that directly prompted some other event? Whatever the case, I want it explained.

Caprica's pregnancy

I recall Ron Moore saying in a recent interview that Caprica's pregnancy by Tigh was first proposed to him by the writing team almost as a lark, but RDM loved it so much he said to go with it, and they'd figure out how to resolve it later. If this is true, then the end of her pregnancy may have been a sort of retcon. In that case I'd have to agree with you that it's inelegant, but sometimes writers do write themselves into corners and then have to extricate themselves.

Cool

The lack of real planning that should've been laid down before series 3 started looks like a big factor in the plot shredding itself to pieces and all this soap opera character "development" that's been fumbling its way like a blind mole to the finishing line. A whole series was wasted on the Apollo and Starbuck thing, and series 4 really isn't worth commenting on. There's a point where professional degrades to just plain dumb. I've made that mistake myself. Cool is great but when you execute poorly or loose track of the detail you're rushing or pushing too hard. You can't blame that on TV schedules or the audience, that's you that is.

This is a difficult discussion as industry people can get sucked into "defending" the industry, and the fanbois and whiners can kick off and create a mountain of noise, but the core issues are worth paying attention to. I've got my own hot seat and had stuff blow up in my face like this and seen other people make similar mistakes. I can also see it across other industries and politics. While producers and audience demand have some part to play there's also a systemic angle to it. It invites this boom and bust approach.

Better to stay cool than look cool.

I actually think Six did

I actually think Six did right by Julius. Firstly, because she is doing it to gain Baltar's confidence, but I think there is something there, the way she saluted the old man as she left. I think she genuinely liked the old fart. I like him. Reminded me of my grand-father, without the bad attitude.

To answer your call for

To answer your call for ideas about the scene with Lee and the pigeon, it could be a reference to his friendship with Kara, since that was also the focus of the previous Caprica flashback involving him in this episode. All of the other two-part flashbacks were consecutive, so I presumed this one to be in the aftermath of Lee visiting Zak and meeting Kara for the first time, as shown in the first segment. His reaction to their relationship clearly involved a lot of drinking, and though I don't know if the bird is necessary symbolic of Kara, it has something to do with her-- all of the "wings of an angel" talk and Baltar's comment to Lee later in the episode about his obsession with her. I think at this point in the series, Lee's arc has pretty much boiled down to his connection to Kara. Almost all of his scenes in the last few episodes have involved her.

Pigeon = Baltar

First off. In the last two episodes Lee has spent more time doing Presidential duties than anywhere near Kara. It really isn't even close. Next off, I think the pigeon pretty obviously represents Baltar. The pigeon scene happens right after his chat with Baltar and it is a perfect parallel. Just like the pigeon, wherever Baltar goes he craps and you can never get rid of him.

Lee's main scene in

Lee's main scene in "Islanded" was his reaction to Baltar's revelation about Starbuck and his ensuing comforting of her. And what do his Presidential duties really have to do with his role in the finale? As soon as Adama made his decision, the parsing out of Galactica's parts that Lee was taking care of earlier became irrelevant. He'll have no leadership role in this mission. If the pigeon scene is about Baltar, then why the drunkenness, and why Lee's inclusion in the earlier flashback with Kara and Zak? The romantic tack the writers have taken with him has been unpopular among a lot of viewers, but it's been iterated enough times in this season alone that it's got to be a bigger part of his final resolution than any feelings he has about Baltar. Even his first initial negative feelings about Baltar were connected to Starbuck, and she plays a large role in their interaction in this episode. The writers are more interested in Lee as a foil to or partner for Starbuck than they are for Baltar, and with the time constraints of these episodes, I don't think they would spend a flashback on Baltar's antagonism of him without deeper meanings to that-- "wherever Baltar goes he craps" doesn't match the depth of meaning of the other flashbacks in this episode.

Pigeon

Actually, the pigeon being Baltar makes sense, if you take the other flashback as being Kara's flashback, not Lee's. Especially in the wake of what is coming.

I agree that you may have overlooked a few scenes involving Lee in the past few episodes. Your loss really. Not that you care, you hate the show.

Brother/Sister

The Kara/Lee relationship is a sibling relationship at the end. They played it up early in season 4, but after the actor Michael Trucco got into a serious accident in real life (reason why he is a hybrid now), Katee Sackhoff felt even more connected to the Anders character. She felt a new bond was created and things were changed. The Lee/Kara love story was dropped by Daybreak. So, no love story.

Lee's story

Personally, I'd like to see Lee and Kara back in their vipers one last time next week. That's when they were at their best and I think that's how they should send them off.

Retcon-Retcon

So, we have a retcon within the retcon? Ron spent a whole series dithering with the Apollo and Starduck thing and he just ditches it. Oh, it's mega-mega-mega important so all the plot and character was sucked out of BSG to accomodate that, and it's thrown away like a used rag and forgotten? It's on screen and producer feints like this which set the final series up to be a roadcrash. The audience was set up to invest in that even if they gagged a bit and Ron pimped it heavily in the podcasts then... nothing. Why didn't the execs or anyone on the BSG team click to this at the time and confront Ron? Yeesh. The more I look at this the worse it gets.

As Greg said...

...the story shifted gears once the actor who played Sam was nearly killed and forced his character and story to bend in a different direction. Sometimes outside forces dictate the course of a show, whether we like it or not.

I think it makes perfect

I think it makes perfect sense. Kara is learning about herself with Sam now. It made perfect sense that their added time together due to his being shot in the head drew them closer. Traumatic accidents have been known to bring families together, as morbid as the thought is. Sometimes it takes knowing what you could lose, to truly come to terms with how much you need it. It isn't like she never loved Sam.

Cultural Artifact

I'm struggling to see how the series 3-4 plot was fubared because the actor who played one minor or replaceable character had a disabling accident in their real life. Reasons I can get, just not excuses and backwards rationalising. That's not professionalism. That's charity and pity - a cultural artifact.

Us lesser cultural artifacts...

It is nice to know you have led the perfectly wonderful life where nothing awful has ever happened to anyone around you. Congratulations. You win at life. Now try and put yourself in the shoes of one of us lesser cultural artifacts and assume your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/hand/etc. was just shot in the head and is breathing through a tube. Might make you think about how much you don't want to lose them. Of course, this assumes the person has emotions.

Story direction forced by tragedy

Well maybe I put it wrong. It's not so much that the event forced the story to go a certain way, but rather forced them to NOT go the way they may have previously wanted. When brainstorming with what to do with Anders, they simply came up with an event that would disable him. Authors often say that the characters write themselves, and this applies to some extent. They must've thought 'Okay, if sam were suddenly injured, how do the characters react? Would Kara rush into Apollo's arms? Or would she rush to sam's side?"

Either way, the writer's were forced to come up with something on the fly, and this lead organically to the story they are now telling. Whether it's what you would have done is another story. I might not have done it either, but I can't say, as I wasn't in their shoes.

Katee Sackhoff

Katee Sackhoff has claimed that she is partly responsible for the change and she apparently spoke to the writers about how she felt the character would react. Some might argue she knows the character about as well as anyone except Ron Moore.

That came later

I'm talking about the plot for series 3 going into series 4. The show came off the rails even before Anders was picked as a Final Cylon. Anders wasn't even on the roadmap at that stage. Michael Trucco's accident and Kathee Sackhoff's ego come later down the line. Using them to jumpstart some preacher style prosperity speech that overwrites history to sell yourself a bad story is self-deceit.

Differences, then.

Well than we're at an impass, because I felt, up until season 4.0, the series was perfect. Nothing I don't like about those shows, other than some of the acting early on. I actually thought season 3 was just as good as anything else we'd seen.

I think things actually started to fall apart once they decided the end was near and they had to answer some tough questions. I think they should've ridden out another season and given themselves some wiggle room, so to speak. They sort of voluntarily backed themselves into a corner when they decided this season would be the last.

I've getting my series mixed

I've getting my series mixed up. BSG becgan to come apart in series 2 with the Apollo and Starbuck thing. I recall, some people getting agitated at it becoming the Starbuck show and Ron had to slice and dice the episodes to save the series. He had too much focus and had to patch it up later.

At around series 3 we're supposed to be entering the final act. Ron said this as in such a way that there'd been a plan all along. We later learned there wasn't but taking his comments as read series 3-4 were shapping up to them having a structure behind them. As we hit series 4 we found that plan was badly drafted.

I take issue with people saying that writing novels has a luxury that TV doesn't have. That's not entirely true because backstory, story arcs, and character development can all be set ahead of time. The problems happen where writers do things "because they're cool" and scripts are written as they shoot.

The Final Cylon cock tease was fine to a point but they milked it too hard. Ellen just wasn't a great Final Cylon and is an unconvincing Earth Mother figure. While the execs delaying the reveal episode was a sucky decision, Ellen only became a candidate after people had a chance to sell it to themselves with zero producer intervention.

Things should never have got as bad as they did with series 4 but that's where we are. I agree, under those circumstances a fifth series would've given them more space to resolve things and, I suspect, resolved them better than they have done. As it stands it looks unprofessional and broke the contract with the audience.

I've seen other projects mess up as people shoot their load early on and release schedules started breathing down people's necks. It happens in other industries and just because it's showbiz doesn't make it any better. We're into death march territory now. It shouldn't happen but there's lessons in there.

* I can't watch a single TV show or similar things without tearing it to bits because that's part of my job. You can get burned out and cynical but at some point have to balance analysis and enjoyment. It's tricky and you can fall off that fence. Getting past that is important and part of developing maturity of experience.

TV editors have no luxury

"Ellen just wasn't a great Final Cylon"

Ironic since she's the only one they planned from the start.

I'm sorry your profession dictates that you nit-pick, but being a game developer doesn't make you an expert on anything but game development. I work at a major publishing company and media outlet, but I won't use it as an argument as to why my analysis is right and anyone else's is wrong. I am not that stuck up or arrogant due to my profession.

"You can get burned out and cynical but at some point have to balance analysis and enjoyment. It's tricky and you can fall off that fence. Getting past that is important and part of developing maturity of experience."

Are you insinuating that I don't have enough experience and maturity or that YOU don't? If it's a backhanded insult, I applaud you for your subtlety.

And before you say it for the third time, don't tell me to calm down, because I am quite calm. Doc says my blood pressure's as perfect as it can get.

Key points

1. Ellen didn't work and the Kate Vernon's acting as an Earth Mother is unconvincing.

2. Habit and attitude isn't experience.

I'm not going to reply to the rest.

Right on Vernon

Well, I think (and again this is all personal feelings) Ellen does work, and she works especially well as the final cylon based on her previous appearances-- but you're right about Vernon's acting.

Ellen doesn't work ONLY because of how she changed after the fact. She would have worked much better had she stayed closer to her previous character, a role Vernon was also much better at portraying. She also would have been a much better foil for Cavil in her previous role.

Brad covered the Final Cylon

Brad covered the Final Cylon candidates in an earlier topic. Anyone who wants an explanation of what does or doesn't work would benefit from reading that.

Kate Vernon has done well enough in previous roles but scripts and composition can hide a lack of talent. I'm not saying she's talentless but the script problems and lack of prep time aren't helpful. I don't think she had enough time to decompress from her earlier role, and it shows in some scenes where she looks like a smarmy schoolgirl and mixed signals flash across her face in close up. My guess is that's partly Ron's fault for being Secret Squirrel about everything and Kate for having her ass half way out of the acting career door.

Brad's analysis

Actually, Ellen was Brad's second choice for the 5th unknown model, and he went quite in depth on how well she would work as the final cylon.

Secret Squirrel

Can you blame him for being so secretive? I'll say, if nothing else, it's nice for once not knowing the ending before I see it, even if I don't like (we'll see next week). Most shows and movies are spoiled long before airing. This blog itself attests to how well they've kept things under wraps. No one knew who the final cylon was until 10:59 EST. I commend them. I remember reading the script to Star Trek: Generations 6 months before release. Hey, that was also an RDM script, oddly enough.

There's keeping confidences

There's keeping confidences then there's hyping something up cuz its your little secret. The Final Cylon was milked until the teats bled then we got let down. The remaining episodes have been the same. Next week we discover the Battlestar Galactica is in critical condition. Read: next week we discover some cracks in the hull but nothing gets resolved. Oh, wait. Next week Starbuck discovers the secret to her destiny. No. Starbuck discovers another, "Oh, look. My wotting body. What doesth thith meanth folkth". Tune in next week. Next week. Battlestar Galactica will kamikaze into the Colony. I'll believe it when I see it.

I remember talking with a lot of people aout Star Trek: Generations. Almost all of them felt it was like two ordinary episodes tacked together. It wasn't awful but apart from the big movie budget and marketing what seperated ST:G from everything else? I can't even remember how many Next Generation movies there were which shows how interested I was in that roadcrash. Personally, i reckon, there's a problem with the underlying system and people just can't sustain a good franchise. Sign of the times, I guess.

Balloon is back.

Balloon is back.

Fubar

I also wouldn't call Sam minor or replaceable, after being revealed as one of the final five and having starred as a lead character in almost every episode for the past season and a half, not to mention being Kara's husband and a foil for Apollo. I'd think they wouldn't want to just throw him away. Fans would be crying for some kind of resolution.

DVDs

It is also very hard to judge the show right now. I think the DVDs will answer some minor points. It is apparent just from the two and a half minute recap of this episode that they cut out minor points, but somewhat useful on a full story level (Adama's hour is for a desk job interview and Boomer trying to get Hera to eat and thinking about Tyrol). I think things like why Boomer's raptor needed "12 more jumps" whereas Galactica gets 1, will be on the DVD in the regular length version. I think there are just a lot of conversations that don't move the plot forward, but explain tiny details were just chopped out. I really wish HBO had this show. I feel we are just missing a lot of little things that aren't that important overall, but answer questions that viewers really want answered, as trivial as they may be.

PS

My theory on the 12 jumps. The part of the Raptor that was damaged in the escape caused the need to make shorter jumps.

Navigation

Her navigational computer may have been damaged. If you're asking "why?" as in why make her journey longer, what purpose does it serve-- it allowed more scenes on the raptor to show the burgeoning relationship between Boomer and Hera, which will surely out in the final episode. Nothing worse than those loooong conversations in an elevator that only needs to travel 2 floors (i'm looking at you, Star Trek, with you're ridiculously long turbo-lift conversations that would always end juuust before the doors opened).

I realize the why. I am

I realize the why. I am just think the how was taken out. I think a lot of how's were taken out is what I am saying. Just like the mutineers to the prison ship, Tyrol to the brig, etc. I think this season has a ton of stuff that will be added to the DVD versions of the show. Nothing major, but definitely enough to clear up most of the mini "how" questions.

No theory needed on the 12 jumps

They said it in the show. Boomer’s stolen raptor has an older FTL drive, no upgrade. Galactica and the other ships have upgraded Cylon FTL, can do it in one jump.

Trucco

Holy god. I just read about his accident, having been previously unaware. That is some scary shit. It's remarkable that he's even in these episodes, and as you said, explains why he's been largely inactive this season, even in a tub in the flashbacks. To think it's the same injury that Chris Reeves had, too. Wow.

I hope you're wrong about the story, though. I'm no fan of romance in BSG, believe me, but if there is to be a relationship that survives, I think the most satisfying would be Lee and Kara. Although poetically and dramatically it might be more compelling if she ended up rejecting him after Sam's death and we had to feel Apollo's pain of losing her yet again.

Pigeons

I don't think the pigeon is Baltar. I do think the Lee/Baltar scene before that was immensely important to the end of the show though. Baltar is going to take control of the fleet after Galactica departs and use it to do the right thing, finally. His actions will help save Hera and the future of Human and Cylon life.

Bird in house

There's an old superstition that a bird flying into a house portends death. So there would seem to be a connection to Kara, who is a "harbinger of doom."

Right there

Completely forgot about that old wives tale. Thanks, doc. Sounds like the answer right there.

While Brad seemed to love the flashbacks, I absolutely despised them. They were a waste of the first quarter of the episode- an episode that desperately needed to move quickly and resolve a lot of lingering issues. I kept hoping the flashbacks would provide a resolution or answer to some question, or provide some kind of broader meaning, but they did not. In the end it adds just another question that needs answering in part 2, or else they just become meaningless to me. Seemed more like cutting room material for the extended edition, frankly, and not integral to the story at this point.

For what it's worth, the second half will need to be one hum-dinger, packed to the gills with action and ANSWERS if it's going to satisfy anyone. Here's to one fantastic finale (tips glass).

On flashbacks: they can work

On flashbacks: they can work but I don't think they worked well in the last episode. Plus, I'm fed up to the back teeth with prequels. Just because George Lucas does it doesn't mean everyone else has to go running around with their underpants on their head. That's on top of the retcons.

You'd think the finale didn't want to get its knickers off.

Old Wives Tale

I forgot all about that too. It likely was mean to portend Zac's death, I think.

I know why the caged bird sings

It is a metaphor for Lee's life as president. He feels locked up from his true self. Deep down he is still a stick jockey.

Folks, stop writing posts about other posters

Just a reminder, as had to delete several long trees, that people should post only about BSG here. Posts that are about other posters, rather than about the show, will get deleted, especially if they attract attention because people do further replies on them. If you find yourself writing the word “you” in the true 2nd person (unlike the generic sense I am using in this sentence) or using another poster’s name or handle, then take a step back, and ask why you are writing about the person rather than about the show. And change your post to write about the show, or don’t post. Don’t reply to posts that are about other posters, as your reply may get deleted when the thread is pruned. I really don’t want to hear what you think about each other, and nor does anybody else, as fascinating as I am sure you are.

Get rid of the tumor.

Get rid of the tumor. Problem solved.

Does the opening sequence show real Earth?

I just stumbled across this statement made on the Battlestar Wiki page for this episode:

"One of the shots in the opening sequence is of a sun rising over a blue planet: daybreak. ...In that image of the planet, Antarctica is clearly seen, specifically the Ronne Ice Shelf, Queen Maud Land, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Where southern South America and southern Africa would be, the surface is covered by clouds, and the location of southern Australia/New Zealand is too dark. Although not as recognizable as the image of North America in Crossroads, Part II, it is clear that the planet shown here is our Earth. "

Is there anything to the assertions about these geographic features?

Fascinating

My initial reaction to the shot was, yes, this is our Earth. Then when it moved to Caprica, it changed to 'oh that must be Caprica.' The shot was not long enough to tell on first run. I don't know antarctica well enough to verify.

Fascinating devolopment if it is, though, confirming our (completely unfounded) suspicions--and desperate hopes-- that our Earth would show up again and not be retconned out after the end of Season 3.

I udnerstand from the

I udnerstand from the spoilers that they will find Earth. The big issues I have that also annoyed a lot of other people was that the ruined planet was heavily pitched as Earth and very emphatic producer comment backed that up. The narrative fell apart and some of the personalities involved with the project were saying things that they perhaps shouldn't. By that, I mean Moore, Espensen, Sackhoff, and Bamber. There's a definate smack of poor planning and attitude in there and some blowback is inevitable.

I know some people like to "defend the industry" and don't want their cuddly feelings upset but people have to remember that this is unprofessional and they're not the only pebbles on the beach. Defending bad positions or taking an attitude just makes things worse and pushes useful lessons further down the road. It also alienates audiences. Like politics and self development, a little honesty and self-honesty can help. Funny, then, that the preachy and huggy Hollywood set forget that when the boot is on the other foot.

There will be other shows.

Irony

There's a definate smack of poor planning and attitude in there and some blowback is inevitable.

The irony is golden.

Cinder Planet=Earth

Why did they pitch the cinder planet as Earth? As i've said, the writer's strike forced them to write a mid season finale that would act as a SERIES finale if the strike did not get resolved in time. So they made it 'Earth' so that if it had to be ended right there, they could leave it withthe audience thinking they'd landed on a post-apocalyptic Earth. I'm convinced there were two versions of that episode, the one we saw, and another with a slightly different ending and alternatively edited so that it would be our Earth.

Remember, they also promised they'd find 'Earth' and with a strike looming, they had to make sure that if they couldn't finish the story they wanted to tell, at least they'd find SOMETHING called Earth.

"Defending bad positions or taking an attitude just makes things worse and pushes useful lessons further down the road."

Remember, it's only a bad decision if you're not enjoying it. As they say, don't make a house out of mirrors. Lessons learned are a mistress seldom fooled, and six fingered dealers are eager to show their wares.

Earth and Earth

I believe it was always intended to be "an" Earth, at least the interviews all say the early drafts of season 4 scripts had a planet called Earth at the midway point in the season. I just think that some people can't understand Earth is just a name. For all anyone knows the reason the dates don't add up and will be revealed is because there were 2 exoduses from Kobol. The first may have happened 4000 years ago. Maybe only some of the Cylon tribe left. Maybe during the next exodus the rest of the Cylons went to find their brothers, only they never found them and created their own planet called they called it Earth. Now you have 2 Earths. Problem solved. Not to mention Pythia solved somewhat and the Temple of Five/Hopes also sorta solved.

But was it Antarctica?

Moore and Espenson's comments about the cinder planet and Earth always seemed (to me) to be just elliptical enough to be a red herring, but it was hard to tell. At any rate, I didn't post the question because I wanted to ignite yet another round of pointless and irresolvable arguing about the BSG storyline.

Instead, I wondered if anyone could confirm or disprove the very interesting geographical and topographical assertions about Antarctica made on the wiki page.

Antarctica discussion and a photo

OK, turns out this was discussed on Michael Hall's blog in the comments for DayBreak I. The commenter who suggested the continent is Antarctica offered this photographic comparison which is worth a look. I see the similarity, but I wonder if this was just the graphics department cutting corners.

Antarctica

Is is Antarctica in shape. And yet it isn’t. It’s brown, not white (but Earth from Crossroads had normal sea levels.) The star pattern behind it is in the ecliptic, when of course from the south pole the background should be the north star and the stars around it. The day/night line crosses around it, instead of going from polar region to polar region as it should.

So I think they just used a convenient shape from their library. The edit is of course highly implying we are seeing Caprica, but they could be trying to trick us. But if they were, they should have made the rest of the things about Antarctica right.

The bad planning and

The bad planning and attitude is still there. A mere ending and writers strike doesn't change that. The curve was fundamentally flawed and applauding later plot lurches due to one anodyne actors off-screen accident and anothers whimsical conceit is trying to have it both ways. The logic forces a reply to be a retcon or pretend it never happened. That misfortune could've been avoided with, well, you get the point.

The survey says: Not

I don't see any bad planning. I also noticed a few replies over time from people who never even had a single season break and they didn't notice it either. If there were all these plot hiccups someone who watched the series in a shorter more compact period would notice it more, not less. The argument just doesn't hold water.

People don't always pay

People don't always pay attention or may just perceive it at a lower more emotional level. Ratings aren't everything but the sudden drop is BSG's ratings performance was significant. Series 2 going through 3 was a drag and series 4 is just so much clutter by objective standards. This has been documented and discussed in this blog for months and stacks up quite well against a mere claim.

BSGs ratings have gone up.

BSGs ratings have gone up. Can we try using facts for our arguments rather than making things up off the top of our heads?

As to what has been documented in this blog, even Brad would tell you that is his OPINION and it is pretty obvious people don't take it as scripture. Just because Brad doesn't agree with the direction of the show on a scientific level doesn't mean the show has dragged, it means it doesn't meet Brad's expectations, and many people have questioned whether those were Ron Moore's intentions. And at the end of the day, only Ron Moore's intentions count.

Execution is everything.

Polls, opinions, and Ron's intentions count for nothing. It's quite absurd to defend them or insist they're the final word. Reality has a way of looking after itself without anyone's intervention.

Execution is everything.

Facts are useful

Facts are a great tool for forming an argument. Without them it is just meaningless drivel.

the symbolism in the flashbacks

"A flashback for Sam was surprising. After all, he’s not exactly at the level of the other characters, though of course he has become a plot device. This supports the idea that he will use his new control of Galactica to strike the military blow, using it. He will be the perfect weapon. Can we doubt that we will see him make the perfect shot, perhaps even the perfect catch?"

What's significant about his speech is not the athletics but the purity. He talks about connecting with a higher power expressed as pure physics, pure math, pure geometry. Well, he's doing that by becoming Galactica. The flashback foreshadows his destiny.

"I have no read on the symbolism of Lee and the bird. Any thoughts? This has to be symbolic. Lee’s roof is even the first shot of the episode on Caprica, though we don’t know it then."

My opinion is he came home from the dinner with Kara and Zach and was already in love with Kara. He's drunk and here's this bird (symbol of a free spirit) flying around his apartment, and he's helpless to get rid of it. To me it was obviously symbolic of his feelings for her.

But I'm crushed by all this stuff. You're right. Why couldn't we have had all this wonderful additional character development earlier? Are we doomed to yell at our TVs at the end, "IS THAT IT?!?"

But not me, since I already don't really care. I have to say I was hoping for a close to the 4th season that was more logical and more Romantic (and more military SF than Philip K. Dick, whom I love but doesn't translate well here), and less nervous breakdown and nobody seems to be piloting the ship and characters that change personalities weekly and "we're all just playing our destined parts in a play so who's with me?" That would have been climactic and, yes, true. Instead, we get this phoned-in, seat of the pants half season and conclusion.

So we get a TV show that in the end fizzles out as kind of half baked, instead of the grand literature most of us saw the show aspiring to... Maybe the show's creators got bored with it, who knows... Oh well, maybe next time.

I know, I know, if I'm that smarter than BSG's writers why don't I create my own hit TV show.

Cavil/Anders

What's significant about his speech is not the athletics but the purity. He talks about connecting with a higher power expressed as pure physics, pure math, pure geometry. Well, he's doing that by becoming Galactica. The flashback foreshadows his destiny.

Isn't this what Cavil wishes he could be?

RDM on the colony

from the 'Islanded' podcast:

"...an idea that's kind of buried in the show, that I think we might of mentioned, possibly in 'No exit'...is that at the heart of the colony...there is the original ship...the original earth ship, by which the final 5 actually came from earth and traveled the distance to actually find the 12 colonies...a long time ago...and that around it, this colony had sort of been built."

ok, cool. I think the idea of the colony being somehow very ancient, a part of the 'this has happened before, it will happen again' style of the show has been bandied about on these boards. Well, I guess its origin is a bit more ordinary than that. The size is beyond imaginable--the width of an arm could easily be about 100 km (!) based on the tiny baseship. It is by far the biggest 'made' structure in the BSG universe. There is nothing to suggest the 12 colonies were able to do anything close to this, even 40 yrs previous with slave cylons.

Questions though:
Apparently, Cavil killed the F5 all at the same time, and Tigh has been in the colonial fleet for 30-40 yrs (I'm sure someone knows the exact number :). So far, Ellen is the only resurrected F5, so she is the only one who has memories of what the colony is. Since she has signed up for Adama's '1-way-trip', she will see the colony again on this Friday.

Boy, do I hope she says "Gods, they've expanded it!" or is in some way surprised by its size. If not, that means the F5 and the cylons built the whole unimaginable bulk in a ridiculously short time. If someone is able to estimate the colony's size (even for a conservative number of 'arms'), and can find the time between the end of the 1st cylon war and the appearance of Tigh in the fleet, then we can have a back of the envelope estimate of the rate of colony growth during construction to its finished state.

Also on the podcast, RDM equates the colony with a hypothetical entity the writers always called 'Cylonia', to signify the cylon 'homeworld'. The writers apparently decided to leave that concept to the viewer's imagination, until the reveal of the Colony in 'No Exit'. So if the colony is the homeworld, and if it was built around the F5 ship, and if the F5s arrival coincided with the end of the 1st cylon war...where the hell did those Cylons fighting the 1st war build their base ships, create hybrids, etc??

I am convinced that RDM sincerely wants this show animated by 'naturalistic sci-fi'. Given Michael Hall's analyses, I think it's fair to say that nsf has limits, and beyond those limits lie things like star patterns. Based on episode content though, I would argue that things like the economy of fleet consummables (fuel, water, food), the physical stress of combat and travel on a vessel(e.g., the decay of the BSG--rewatch the miniseries to see how gleaming and unscarred it is before the fall!) are well within nsf's limits. The construction of real, physical structures seem also within nsf's limits, and I hope that in some throwaway comment at least, the size of the colony is addressed.

one final pocast bonus: RDM admits that he went overboard with 'distraught/drunk adama smashing shit' scenes during the second half of season four.

Biggest ever

Actually, it may not be the biggest thing ever. We don’t think about it in this way, but cities are “things built by man.” You don’t think of them as one artifact, as they are built over time, and the connection between the parts is just pavement, but a city is an artificial “object” that covers many hundreds of square miles.

Once you have no limitations on getting into space, and are not worried about vacuum for your workers, constructing something as big as a city in weightless space is pretty easy, especially with lots of robot workers and organic growing tech.

So I envision it as:

  1. During the war, the Cylons obviously have a manufacturing base of sorts
  2. The Final Five arrive during the war in their ship, offering technology
  3. The Centurions bring in the manufacturing base and build a giant facility around the ship

There is a contradiction above. Cavil said that the other Cylons would not know about the Colony. He wiped their brains of it. This requires it was all built before the F5 were killed. And it also requires that it is not Cylonia, since where do the bio Cylons think their home base is, if they don’t know about the Colony?

As for star patterns: It’s true that only the more geeky will look at the star patterns, though a fair number will spot Orion or the Big Dipper in a freeze frame. So no, you can’t demand they be accurate. And they obviously aren’t.

The complaint I have is that it’s really not that hard to get them right. A 10 minute session with your science advisor would set you square on what to do. When to use random stars, when to use Earth stars, how to generate stars from somewhere near Earth (if you ever want to do that), what geometry to give to planets and moons etc. It’s really simple, and quite easy for any graphics geek to understand and get right. To not get it right doesn’t ruin the show (except for those who notice the bad patterns and wonder if they mean something) but it’s just sloppy, and there is no reason for it to be sloppy. TV shows make mistakes like this all the time. The better the production team, the fewer the mistakes are, though.

That 10 min. session

BSG science advisor Dr. Kevin Grazier describes having such a meeting on the subject of star patterns, with the writers at least, in this video. He describes his role not as the guy who lobbies for accurate science in the show, but as a willing purveyor of knowledge if, and only if, the writers want to use science to constrain the drama. As an example of this in practice, he describes a presentation he gave to the writers about how constellations and other stellar phenomena would best be used as a map to earth from somewhere else in the galaxy (whole video is interesting, relevant section at about 5:00)

The issue of astronomical perspective has dogged many fans throughout the show, and it was surprising to me at least, that the writers were, at some time, apprised of the relative sense and nonsense of using familiar our-earth constellations. That the show has continued to use them in ways that don't make internally consistent sense is certainly frustrating given their resources. My own guess is that somewhere (season 3?) there is an episode(s) that uses constellations in a way that makes sense and fits the story, but that in general there was no prohibition on using any old starmaps during ordinary 'from space' shots. So, the post-production side may have followed explicit starmap guidelines in the script when they were given, but neglected to realize that those shots' significance would be nullified by an overall anything goes approach.

repair

so what happens after the suicide mission?

One thing I am curious about. Apparently, Adama already offered a general pardon to the mutineers, and those in the brig are hardcore against him, but he just let them out so they could make a choice, too. So he says we’re going on a suicide mission to save a spooky half-Cylon kid and fulfill our destiny by taking on a ship the size of a planet floating at the edge of a black hole–NOW WHO’S WITH ME, PEOPLE?!? About a third say yes even though Adama’s speech was hardly compelling and he's hardly still the leader he used to be. I’m just wondering what happens if his suicide mission ends with suicide. The whole government’s gone (Lee, Adama, Roslin). All of the Adama loyalists will be dead, and the F5 too, the only thing holding the fleet to the Cylons. The fleet’s sole protection is gone. So all that will be left will be a bunch of Cylon haters on board the CYLON BASESHIP, with no government, nobody in unified command of the military and all the rational people in favor of alliance dead. And the Cylons have the big guns right in the middle of the human fleet and no reason not to finish the job.

THAT will be fun…

Baltar

Maybe that's when Baltar steps up as the new leader.

Baltar will be taking over

Baltar will be taking over fleet before the assault on the colony and swooping in to save the day. Thus redeeming himself.

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