What's love got to do with it?

Here’s an entertaining thought I had about Cylon love, though it turns out in advance that, based on comments by Jane Espenson, it is not likely to be true. Jane’s comments have been ruining my day of late…

I’ve always found it a bit strange that the Cylons decide they can only conceive if there is true love. With Ellen’s return, we see Ellen also believing that theory.

I thought it interesting to consider the “Earth” Cylons as a synthetic race. A race created to be an improved human, but not just in physical ways, but also in political ones. That presents a problem. If you have decided your creations will have strong minds and free will, you can’t tinker with their opinions. But you can change their biology. And one way that makes a lot of sense would be a system that stops them from conceiving unless both parents are in love, and even miscarries the baby if they fall out of love.

This would be a good form of birth control — no pregnancies from one night stands, or from rapes, or from any casual sex, and all children born in love. Love, after all, probably evolved as an inverse of this — parents fall in love because it is good for the baby.

This is particularly likely in a religious society. Some religions don’t like the obvious choice — give people complete on/off reproductive control. But they don’t like nature’s result which produces babies by accident without loving parents. (Their answer is sometimes to forbid sex outside of marriage, or birth control within it.)

Technologically, if you are designing a race and they have software minds that you are designing, it’s an “easy” thing to do. Even with our mushy natural brains we are starting to see patterns in brain scans and hormones that match when people say they are in love. For a synthetic brain, detecting it should be easy. In the male, this would release a phermone (or a digital signal if you prefer.) And in the female, the reproductive system would require both the detection of the male signal and the proper female state to conceive and maintain a fetus.

This is an interesting enough idea that one could imagine the designers of a new race wanting to try it. The final five, creating the 8 Cylons, would only need to tweak it a bit — the system would detect other colonial Cylon models and block conception there, but allow it for others. It seems as though it was easier with Saul, the Earth Cylon, so his phermone might still encourage it, better than Helo’s natural state would.

Now if this were true, Saul and Ellen’s infertility could be explained from either love or bad luck. Espenson says it’s just bad luck. I imagined it might instead be not because of Saul, but because Ellen had been incapable of loving him enough. She is certainly ready to play dangerous and manipulative games with him and her rival.

Espenson, however, says that Ellen simply is adopting the Cylon belief about the need for love. It suggests it isn’t real. It would not be real without being deliberately designed in. Which is a problem because if it were designed in, and in particular if it had been modified to make the colonial Cylons infertile with each other, you would think Ellen would know about it. But she doesn’t seem to. Espenson leaves more openings when it comes to the reason for the miscarriage — she dodges a question about it, but in a way that suggests this is not an issue resolved in the grand plan. It is possible that this modification could be the work of the OTG, and thus Ellen is not aware of it. Or perhaps even John made the Cylons self-infertile as a way to make them less human, but could not stop the curiosity about sexual breeding.

However, at this point they have cleared the way to make Hera unique and important again.

Galen

Most fans, like me, are amazed that Galen wants to abandon the fleet. For a while, I could see them thinking that they belong with the Cylons, that being what they are. However, now that they have learned that they are their creators, and that they created them in an attempt to bring peace and a union between them an humanity, this should be reversing any trends they have to drift to the Cylon side. Even for Tory. Both of them should be concerned about the fact that they will find themselves in love again if their memories return.

Anders has told them how important it is to stay, and it’s hard to figure why Ellen doesn’t know the same reason and share it. But most of all, Galen has far more in common now with the colonials than with the 3 Cylons he would live with. He has much to share with the other 4 but does not know it yet. So his decision to pull out (in the middle of repairs he promised Adama) is just plain strange, almost as strange as Adama arming the Baltarettes instead of just kicking the sons of Aires mob off the ship.

As to the slower, soap-opera feel of this episode: We did need to see Tigh and Ellen (and Six) have it out. In fact there’s a lot of huge stuff that has taken place that deserves some character reaction which they don’t have time for. The Final Five’s secrets, spilled out in an open medical bay with medical staff that were a little bit too professionally disinterested, should be causing major changes in everybody. (Could you sit by and at least not cock an ear as the very core secrets of the history of your society and the beings who killed all you love are spilled out?) They won’t have time for much more of this, so I guess it had to happen before the explosive episodes.

Deleted scene?

Personally, I wonder if there isn't a deleted scene or two where Tory convinces Galen to leave the fleet. His sudden desire to leave not only seems out of character, but incredibly sudden and out of place given his reconciliation with Adama in the previous episode. While he's been conflicted about his true nature since his revelation last season, he never gave a real answer as to his allegiances either way, unlike Tigh-- who refuses to relinquish his humanity-- and Tory, who seems rather eager to.

Brad, to help your enjoyment of these recent episodes, I implore you to go back and watch key episodes that will look very different with recent revelations. 'Tigh Me Up, Tight Me Down', 'Valley of Darkness,' 'Downloaded' and 'Lay Down Your Burdens' come to mind, but there are many more. Cavil's counciling of Tyrol is so much more enjoyable now knowing his true motivations. Some of these things don't come off as retcons, like I thought-- it's seeming to me that some of these revelations were planned earlier than we think, or at least they had the basic ideas in place, and they've just worked out the details later on. For instance, I always did feel it odd that Boomer and Caprica Six after their first resurrection suddenly wanted to make peace. It now all makes sense because it was Cavil who blocked their memories and forced them into war.

Re-watching the series has been very fun, especially being able to see them without 8 month in between seasons.

Ugh. Love.

I sincerely hope that love has absolutely NOTHING to do with their inability to conceive. It was the one aspect of the show that I despised. I remember when they first mentioned it I groaned audibly. My theories involve a more logical explanation, one I mentioned earlier, which seems to not be true, however, with the revelation that Ellen believes in love being a factor. Perhaps the Kobolians were responsible for it then, I don't know.

While my theory above is not the writers plan

As far as I can tell, it makes sense to me. It takes away all the “uggh” that both you and I felt at the concept. The truth is that people care a lot about reproductive politics, and this show even did an episode on abortion and how pro-choice people would consider banning it in such extreme circumstances.

So it makes perfect sense for beings who are designing a new race of artificial people (which the 13th tribe were) to consider making tweaks to reproductive politics, and this one makes a lot of sense. I think a lot of people, if you offered such a tweak, would take it. To a very rough extent, they try to achieve it through birth control, to a rough extent, it is what the various doctrines of “no sex outside of marriage” in religions are trying to attain. While I know a number of women who have decided to become single parents, I think a large number would agree if asked that they should only conceive in a loving, long-term relationship. I’m not asking you to agree with this, I am just pointing out that this makes a lot of sense as a modification that would be considered for a new artificial breed of people. Especially if, as there should be, there are rules against actually altering their behaviour or opinions. This tweak changes what their physical body does based on mental state and would be much more acceptable. (It would be even more acceptable if the beings had the ability to consciously turn this off, and have a child out of love by explicit choice. If you add that, I think almost everybody would take this as a nice ‘default’ that is not too far from the natural state, but assures children don’t come by accident when not in love.)

Of course, you might argue, just put the whole thing on manual control, no children by accident, ever. Children only by explicit decision. As you know, this is itself a controversial position, banned by some big religions. As we know some of the Kobolian religions had these sort of views, it could make sense that on Kobol, a “children only in love” rule was politically acceptable while a “complete control” system would have been seen as immoral or too much of a change.

I had come up with

I had come up with essentially the same conclusion as yours. I figured what passes for "love" for Cylons is some kind of program or subroutine necessary to trigger the reproductive process.

So much grief seems to be generated by these extra-show interviews and comments. Once a work or art has been produced and presented to an audience, it ceases to be the exclusive domain of the creator becomes an object for the audience to find any meaning they choose in it and project their own interpretations onto it.

So, until such point as the show explicitly contradicts your theory, I see no reason not to maintain it.

I do want a bit more than that

Some readers ask why I am so demanding of the show in terms of technical quality and depth. Because this show is good, and is getting recognition (if not the ratings it might deserve) it will serve as a touchpoint for future discussion of issues the show covers — like AI, man-machine conflict and the spirituality of machines and the idea of synthetic people.

SF often does this. When you talk about AI the conversation often turns to HAL. Talk about surveillance states and you can’t avoid 1984. You can’t talk AI robots without Asimov coming up (or sometimes Star Wars, though it’s a work of much less intellectual depth on the subject.)

It also means you don’t have to explain certain concepts. For example, if I want to talk about virtual reality, I can mention the Matrix (though it’s a very dark VR) or a variety of other films, and I don’t need to explain a lot more, though I do have to explain what’s wrong or different.

I expect that in the future, discussions of many of these topics will use metaphors and examples from Battlestar Galactica. In fact, to a degree, one part of the quality of a work can be judged by how much this happens, though its popularity is the other big one. This makes TV important, as more people will see the modestly rated BSG than will read the most famous books in the genre.

So TV SF is much more important than we might think. And so often it’s crap, which means a world with crappy ideas about science and its issues.

Human Nature

I agree with your topic analysis even if it does demand a mental reboot, and you're quite right to highlight the importance of SF and the issues that flow from doing it badly.

I've found that human nature can excuse things because of a sentiment or kill it with too much thinking. Bad behaviour at a works party "because it's Christmas" and bloatware like the last generations of major operating systems spring to mind. We can be too emotional and too rational at times.

Notes on New Caprica

Sorry that my replies aren't directly related to the blog itself, but I have n where to put them. I am re-watching the series in order and as I do, I have some tidbits to share. I am now on the New Caprica story. Some notes:

Who came first, the Humanoid Cylons or the current Centurions? When the 1st war ended, they were using the 70's styled Centurions, but now they use the claw-fingered variety. Who invented them? Is it possible that the F5, or even Cavil himself constructed them, thereby making the original Caprican Cylons extinct? In the New Caprica episode 'Precipice', Adama notes that the Centurions aren't self-aware. Now, this isn't exactly true, since they've since revealed that the cause is the inhibitors that Cavil installed. But why would the centurions not rebel the moment he began installing them? Sharon/Athena seems to not know about the inhibitors at this point, as it was her who told Adama that the Centurions were programmed without self-awareness to avoid their own rebellion.

The current storyline doesn't appear to be a retcon. Watching 'Occupation' and seeing Cavil in his talks with the other models gives it away. While we didn't know it at the time, it's clear that he is in charge, even though as we learned this week, that 'majority rules.' Because of this, the recently resurrected Caprica Six and Boomer (who've gone to the side of the angels) have convinced some of the others to start over-- to try to live WITH the humans (the seeds for season 4's cylon civil war were planted right there). Cavil is very much against it even then, and is annoyed that Caprica and Boomer have won the vote. He IS however, having a lot of fun with his human prisoners on New Caprica, Ellen and Saul specifically. This tells me that the writers knew Saul and Ellen were cylons from at least this point. If not, their retcon is thusfar seemless (to the point that i've watched).

Watching them this weekend, back-to-back, reminds me that while we've watched this series over the course of five years, it's only been about 2 years for the characters (and half of that was in one episode), and possibly as few as THREE for the writers as well. Remember, season breaks and a writer's strike slowed the series down-- FOR US. While RDM and Co. admit to writing some of the show on the fly, I can't imagine that most of the recent developments were worked out just prior to shooting. It's entirely likely they were written during season 3, possible as early as season 2, while most of the basics were probably planned as early as the mini-series.

Watching it all at once has actually raised my opinion of the current season.

Based on writer interviews

The Final Five concept was worked out between seasons 2 and 3 (ie. the lost year on New Caprica.) The people who would be the final 5 was not worked out until later. While I would have sworn, for example, that Tyrol was picked earlier so he could have that compulsion to go find the Temple of Five (he’s been there before, after all) the writers say it was later.

Though they may have had some folks in their minds.

Ellen is special. Ellen was picked as potential Cylon during the miniseries, in which she doesn’t even appear except as a photo Tigh burns a big glowing red eye onto. However, she was just being picked as a possible generic secret cylon. They did not pick her as master Cylon until much later.

What a ride.

Ellen seems like a dud choice to make at the start. It looked good around the time of your analysing her character. Now, she's a dud again.

What a ride.

At the start

With no final 5 plan in their heads, they just knew they had declared there to be 12 models, and so they would get 5 more secret agents. I think they just decided that having the hidden Cylon agent of the month wasn’t that interesting, and they came up with another use for the remaining ones. However, since they had Ellen on the short list, that made them put her among the final five. That’s how I read it.

Cylon of the Month

Boy am I glad they didn't go the 'cylon-reveal-of-the-week' route.

How they came up with The Five

They started with 12, for whatever reason (I assume thematical resonance with the 12 colonies).

At the start, they revealed 4 (Boomer, Leoban, Six, and Dural). Simon was revealed during Kara's stay on Caprica, D'Ana shortly thereafter, and finally Cavil at the end of S2.

But then they started showing us episodes like Downloaded, and the Occupied Caprica storyline, and no new Cylons appeared. That didn't make much sense, and they knew it. They either had to reveal the final five at the start of S3, or make them "special" and "hidden" from even the rest. This was also when the idea of "boxing" came out, and I remember someone (RDM?) saying some of the models had been boxed. This was very early in S3, maybe even before it started to air. I figured they dropped that idea, but now we know that Cavil had the final five boxed, so maybe they worked that out some time ago.

Writing Room Perspective

Now you mention it, that's probably about right.

The issue is with off-screen comment that the Final Cylon was a character considered at the beginning. The impression was this character had a significant backstory and their reveal would be a shock. It wasn't. They lied. I don't think Ellen was a good choice or used well. They only got lucky with fan reaction in the episode where Saul poisoned her. The Earth Mother routine was a bit misacted and the last episode of falling back into her old self was bad writing. The best thing I can say about the writing and acting was that it was uneven.

I read that some writers are scoffing at fans saying they were "making it up as they go along". Well, yeah. I know what writing is about. Most fans aren't professional writers or involved in the industry so they don't have the words to express it and writers can easily scoff outsiders. I agree, whining for the sake of whining is bad form but writer comment like that is abusing their professional status. "Making it up as they go along" is the best way fans have to encapsulate describing a show where the production flaws are obvious.

I remember, not too many years ago people used to talk about "lazy game developers". That was back in the days of buggy systems and naff game design. Some of the odd decisions made with the shipping code and content where down to external factors like duff drivers and publisher pressure. They "worked hard" but looking from the outside in it just looked like a bunch of incompetent people who didn't have a clue. It might not be inch perfect but the phrase "lazy developers" is equivalent to "making it up as they go along". Instead of bullshitting and scoffing the producers might want to listen to what people are saying.

Lying

Personally I don't care if they lied, and I don't think writers or producers should EVER listen to fans. They owe the fans nothing (see Bart's comment to comic book guy in 'Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie'). If they listen to the fans, they end up producing drivel like Star Trek: Enterprise. THAT was bad sci-fi.

The problem with 'listening to what people are saying' is that people all say a thousand different things. The proof is right here on this blog. So who should they listen to? You? Me? Brad? Each of us have a different idea of what the show should be, each of us have different complaints. In the end, as i've said before, they're not going to please every viewer, so the best they can do is produce the episodes they want to produce and hope they please someone.

Bad to worse

Hmph. That old argument. There's some truth in what you're saying but swapping fanboi arrogance for producer arrogance just lurches from bad to worse. It takes to long to explain and I can't be bothered any more. Either way, people get a clue or find out the hard way.

Listening to fans

They should not listen to fans as a group. They must create a vision and realize it. But that doesn’t mean listen to nobody. Each creator has their own circle of trusted people to listen to, of course. Good and valuable criticism can come from anywhere of course. But if you don’t agree with the criticism, stick to your vision. However, some criticism can teach you things, and there is no shame in learning.

Writier's comments

Well, if that chronology of storyline development can be trusted (and again, I don't know if it can), then I dare say they picked a story that works incredibly well with past events, or at least character events. While you and I both dislike the IDEA of Cavil being a singular evil, having watched the series over, it seems to work very, very well. The interactions between him and others is even more interesting and enjoyable to watch with current revelations. Even his actions are given another layer, and make a lot more sense than they even did before.

Again, I can't stress how much fun it is to rewatch this series.

I started watching the show

I started watching the show during the writer's strike on DVDs. I can see a clear difference in the way people who saw the show with the long wait for the Ellen discovery and the way I view the show. It seems to me the writer's are doing a masterful job of keeping everything neat and tidy and in order. It is rare to see a show wrap itself up so nicely. Whether the writer's came up with all of this at the beginning, or not is irrelevant. I was not shocked by Ellen as the final cylon, it seemed almost trivial who it was anyway. Such a small story compared to the Opera House and the characters Baltar, and a few others, have seen. I cared much more about what the Final Five meant than who the last one was. Did it matter? Unless it became Baltar it wasn't that important. If it was Baltar than you would clearly see a Jesus story emerging. Ellen made sense, she fit the profile. They left so many unanswered questions with her, so it was fitting.

I agree with you. The long

I agree with you. The long lag between storylines and seasons let ideas stew in our minds and made certain things become much more important than they really were. While some of the more pertinent mysteries like Opera House fell to the wayside, a victim of short-term memory, the more recent mysteries like the identity of the 5th Cylon, occupied became a focus

IN fairness

... the idenities of ALL the Cylons has probably been Mystery #1 since the miniseries. Better example would be "WTF happened to Starbuck?"

Cavil's history

I don’t know if we have learned from the writers what their Cavil plan was. Starting at New Caprica, he did indeed take on the air of somebody who knows more than the others. Leoben, #2, also has extra knowledge but of a different sort.

So I presume they always had him planned as a hidden leader of the Cylons. We don’t know when Cavil’s story was written though, in particular this more in depth part. A lot of us were suspecting that Cavil knew things the others did not, though very few suggested Cavil was in control of everything, including the Final Five’s placement in the colonies.

Speaking of Cavil, is he one or many?

It's never been clear to me whether "Evil Cavil" is the entire line of Number One skinjobs, or just one copy. No Exit implied that it's an individual, John. But is this plausible?

If it's just one copy: He's certainly gotten around a lot. If he was indeed the Cavil who played resistance fighter with Anders (per Ellen, in No Exit) who was airlocked by Roslin presumably with no resurrection ship in range, we'd have to assume he managed to download anyway. And do the other number one "Cavil" models know what he knows? (one presumes yes, given what we've learned about optional Cylon memory downloads within their own model line, e.g. the Eights). So is it really one individual or the whole line that's in cahoots?

If on the other hand it's the entire line, are we to assume that the this master planner is not so much an individual as a Borg-like collective across his model? That goes against the portrayl of him as an individual - and a murderously resentful one at that - in No Exit.

Any thoughts? Maybe this would make a good blog post, Brad...anything to keep us occupied until Friday's episode!

Memory merging

We were told early on that Cylons regularly share memories. Cavil, trying to be the most non-human of all, may do that much more than the others. As Six and Eight copies started diverging more they stopped sharing as much. The Leobens seem to share as well.

Tyrol reveal

Well, 'The Eye of Jupiter' was almost exactly at the midpoint of Season 3, so it's possible that was the time they figured Tyrol to be one of the five (his reveal comes at the end of the season). At that time they were already well into the final five concept in the show, so they may have already been planning who was who.

Pythia

What exactly is Pythia? Supposedly, it chronicles the 13th tribe's journey to Earth. If that really is true, how did the Kobolians get it? Who really wrote it and when/why did they bring it to Kobol if it wasn't written on Kobol? Did one of the Earth Cylons return to Kobol or the Colonies BEFORE the final five did?

On Hybrids

According to Razor, the original cylons created the first hybrid. Why do they act as they do? A Number Three suggests that the Hybrids have seen the place "between life and death" and have been driven mad as a result.

But remember what Cavil said in No Exit? He wants to see, hear, taste-- experience-- everything. If you're to control a baseship, you probably would be equipped with sensors that would do just that. What if the reason the 5 limited the 8 model's perceptions (that Cavil complains about) is what makes the hybrids the way they are? Their humanoid brains cannot process all they receive while remaining coherent and/or mobile, and are thus driven mad and forced to live in the resurrection tank they were born in. Perhaps the original centurions developed their original humanoids to pereieve everthing, and they were born in their tub, awakening as the babble hybrids. A fitting punishment for Cavil would be to give him what he wants-- let him see everything, and it would drive him insane, turning him into a hybrid.

Because that gives you a

Because that gives you a simple answer to the problem. Don't use a human mind.

Great thought, and a great suggestion for Cavil.

That is all.

I'm still standing

Some of the classic movies used to pull stunts like that. I recall a Burton-Taylor sword and sandals vehicle where Taylor plotted to kill Burton and inherit the imperial wealth. She had her moment to walk away but the final scene in the pyramid where she gained her goal and realised she'd be staying behind with the priests as the door was sealed stuck in my mind for years.

Maybe it's part of getting older. I don't have the energy for the sort of fights I'd get involved with when I was younger, and have seen enough heroes get greedy and wind up bankrupt. I'm much slower and more circumspect - more likely to try to enjoy what I've got now than be a clown about things. I'm still standing. Guess, I must be doing something right.

Love probably has nothing to

Love probably has nothing to do with it. I am guessing the Final Five don't even know it, yet, but they are probably Cylon/Human Hybrids from Kobol that had their own Hera allowing for biological reproduction. The 7 (8 if you can't the dead one) can't reproduce amongst themselves because they are 100% cylon. They need their Hera.

Enter Opera House. Enter "Head" characters. Enter cycle.

On Galen

He lost his wife. His son isn't his son. Until being remade Chief, he had been increasingly isolated from the rest of the fleet once he learned he was a Cylon (admittedly that was mostly his decision). Then he discovers he once had a thing with Tory, and Boomer returns, neither of whom is likely going to want to stay with the fleet. Plus he knows it is possible for one of the Five to have a baby with one of the Eight. Makes perfect sense to me. This is a character that has longed for campanionship since the start of the series. I can see him choosing to leave to be with Tory or Boomer - but only if it happens once the Galactica is repaired. I can't see him leaving the Admiral high and dry.

Some valid points

But they needed to show this more, I think, as most fans were surprised. Remember, he’s in the middle of repairing Galactica with the goo. Tory wants to leave within an hour! To leave at this point is to condemn the human race to death.

The final 5 definitely need to get the “We were born on Earth, lived like humans there, came here to prevent a war, ended your first war, tried to make the Cylons become more human and got tricked and killed by our creation. We’re not the toasters you’re looking for” message out to the humans.

I swear you miss all the

I swear you miss all the social aspects of the show, Brad. Tyrol's values have been moving him slowly away from the human side and towards the cylon side since he found out he was a cylon. They even came out and made it an obvious shift over when he specifically told Adama when being given the Chief job back, "I am a cylon." He was declaring for Adama that if there is a split, he has chosen his side and it isn't human.

You obviously have scientific aptitude, but you are lacking social indicator skills.

I get no sense of that. Brad

I get no sense of that. Brad has a clear focus and, I think, some people may be looking on through a haze of their own confusion and attachment. They're missing the view on standards and focusing on their own comfort zone. Letting go of that may help shine a light.

Galen's life

No, I’ve seen his move away. Just not felt it emotionally from him.

Galen and the other 4 are machines, but they are doubly human compared to the 7 Cylons we know. They were born, raised by parents, and grew up in a world where the Cylons seemed to live almost entirely as humans. They rejected that a bit by reactivating their download ability, but this was also an act of self preservation based on warnings.

However, he had all these memories blocked. But the new memories were also of a totally human life, and he led such a fully human life for many years.

His Cylon creations, however, while he raised them to embrace humanity, have rejected it, and in fact genocided it. (Is that a verb?) His first creation betrayed him and killed him and wiped his memories. The others had their memories wiped of their upbringing, but their whole lives have been one of rejecting humanity and embracing the machine. Until recently, when the rebels have moved a bit back towards how he raised them.

But not far. And now they are ready to abandon all of humanity for dead. So I don’t feel it.

Why are they willing to abandon the fleet?

It could have something to do with the fleet being ready to abandon them.

This is about the survival of the Cylons. They have been given a glimpse of what is needed to survive via Tigh and Caprica. There was already one mutiny over the idea of protecting and working with the cylons, despite their seemingly honest efforts to share technology with the fleet. It is clear that they are unwelcome guests and it is questionable how much any of them would want to hang around where they are unwanted.

That was a pretty funny

That was a pretty funny post. Brad's reaction to the last act or two of the series finale is going to be golden.

And what do you know?

Do you know something about the finale that we don’t? Or just guessing? I would actually be surprised if my questions on Cylon love and reproduction are answered in the finale (outside of the question of Hera and her meaning.) Or do you refer to other things I have written?

Analysis v Politics

Dude. Your analysis is fine. He's just jerking you about.

I'm not messing with him. I

I'm not messing with him. I just have a very strong idea how the series will end, and I look forward to Brad's reaction if my guess happens.

Well, tell us your guess, and why?

Because bragging you guessed it right after it’s aired won’t get too many people excited if you never put it out beforehand.

Oh, I expect some number of my predictions to be wrong, most assuredly. I don’t have any special access. Some will be wrong because the writers have a lot of latitude over what they can do. Some will be wrong because the clues I used were misinterpreted by me. Some will be wrong because the clues turn out to be inconsistent with the ending (ie. writer error, minor or major.) Some will be wrong because the writers thought of something much cleverer than I thought of. Some will be wrong because I thought of something cleverer then them.

Realize, that in writing about this show, like many people, I come up with a number of ideas in the “wouldn’t it be cool if…” category. They are ideas that fit the facts in an interesting way, but nothing precludes the writers from having a different agenda.

Then there are things that I am more confident of, because the clues are there, solidly enough that if the writers deviate they made the mistake.

Two of my biggest missed predictions so far were the age of the final 5 and the nonexistence of the 13th colony. In the former case, we saw the final 5 in a 4,000 year old temple, and we knew they predated the 7 Cylons, so like a lot of folks I figured they were 4,000 years old. I rated the chance that the temple had been modified recently as an outside one, but it turned out to be the writers’ plan.

My error on the 13th colony was a failure of Occam’s razor combined with the Tomb of Athena. The Tomb of Athena solidly puts the origin of colonial culture on Earth, not Kobol. If it turns out the other way, it’s either very convoluted or just plain inconsistent. Once you decide this, however, that the story of Earth is a coverup (which is true) there is no need to have a real 13th colony on Earth and also the origin of humanity on Earth. You can, but it is not necessary. But they wrote it that way, necessary or not, and may even have wrote it without the real Earth it seems.

Tomb of Athena

Brad- how did the Tomb of Athena state humanities origin to be Earth? It did imply that the 1th colony was our Earth, but I don't recall the implication that Kobolians originated there.

Tomb of Athena Constellations

Because the constellations in the Tomb are Earth constellations, not ones from Kobol. They don't match perfectly though, so I suppose that means they may not refer to the skies of our Earth. See Michael Hall's article on the Tomb of Athena.

Why do the 12 Colonies place more importance on Earth constellations rather than their own or those of Kobol? We actually know nothing of the constellations in the skies of Kobol or any of the 12 Colonies. Also, Adama actually refers to the Lagoon Nebula as "astro-body M8," which is the same notation used in the Messier catalog. How would he have any knowledge of the Messier catalog?

If I may "cavil": It's not

If I may "cavil": It's not the Tomb of Athena that points to Real Earth as the origin of Colonial civilization, it's the names of the Colonies, whose older names were identical to the names of the 12 constellations of Real Earth's zodiac and whose original flag emblems matched the star patterns as visible from Earth. The names themselves are not significant proof but the star pattern emblems are.

Unlike some, I do not attribute any meaning to the differences between the Tomb star patterns and those actually in our sky. To my untrained layman's eyes, the star patterns in the Tome were sufficiently similar to reality to signify to me what they were supposed to be the discrepancies pointed out on the wonderul Galactica-Science blog (which I love) are best explained IMO by errors in artistic execution.

I completely disagree. I

I completely disagree. I think those discrepancies were done on purpose, so that they would find something that they thought was Earth that wasn't Earth. They had planned from the beginning of the show (according to Moore and Eick) that during the final season they would find the planet they found at the "halfway" mark. That in itself is proof that they planned to have a decoy Earth. The fact that Gaeta matched everything with the Tomb of Athena also shows that the discrepancies were planned. There are certain story pieces that have not changed since day 1. This is obviously one of them.

PS: I do believe, unlike

PS: I do believe, unlike Brad, that there will be another place that is either already called Earth, or will be called Earth, and will match with our planet (whether it is as impossible as Scientology, or not).

Constellations and Our Earth

I also think they're going to find another planet and it will look suspiciously like our Earth. Maybe they'll call it Earth just like the 13th Tribe did to the planet they settled on. We know our Earth exists because we saw it in Crossroads. We've seen no evidence that the Cinder-Earth is actually our Earth. All we know is that the 13th Tribe "called it Earth."

Daniel: The constellations in the tomb and the emblems on the flags have the same source, so I don't really see how one is somehow more important than the other. Both point to the same idea: that they had to get those constellations from somewhere because they didn't get them from the skies of Kobol or the skies of any of the 12 Colonies.

As to what I believe

Well, all the clues in the show itself point to the existence of a real Earth which is different from the 13th colony, which is the place of origin of Kobolian culture and this being in our future. I would be 95% certain on that — if not for co-executive producer Espenson saying something that contradicts it. I still want to believe the clues are correct and interpreted correctly, but there is only so much you can do in the face of over statements by the writers.

That isn't the only way the

That isn't the only way the real our Earth can enter into it. You continue to ignore the possibility that the cycle involves the complete annihilation of everyone on both sides. Perhaps the final battle causes a big bang that restarts the cycle, maybe the debris from the final explosion contains Hera's DNA and it is the rock that hits our Earth and begins the primordial soup process. Everything could repeats itself like names for constellations, clothing, songs, religions and the like are because of a stream of consciousness in Hera's DNA that is the basic fiber of the primordial stew.

No ark. Still our Earth. Kobol can still be the beginning of the cycle Espenson is referring. The end.

No, I don't ignore that

In fact it’s the only way that the 13th colony could be our Earth. However, signs point the other way. The stars over that planet are not our stars; elsewhere (like the fleet’s current location) they are.

I’ve actually written a fair bit about this plot variant (mostly on other message boards.) And I did a whole blog post about it here so I don’t think that’s ignoring it. I just have never liked it quite as much as some other plots. It may be what they plan to do, though.

Though what I refer to is a future plot. Earth colonizes Kobol. Earth is totally destroyed and lies fallow. Much later, Kobol recolonizes Earth without quite knowing it (but somehow knowing the name from legend.)

This happens as many times as you want to repeat it.

You can’t really have the ancient Earth seeded with Hera’s complex, multicellular DNA. The real Earth had a couple of billion years with nothing but very simple organisms, and the more complex ones came from those. A freshly evolved intelligent race wouldn’t retain any traits (let alone ideas) from the seed DNA, it doesn’t work that way.

Gimme a break? The spirit

Gimme a break? The spirit of what the guy said is true and you go an invalidate it because of micro-biology? Maybe that very first cell is one cell from Hera. Is that ok for you? Or will you feel the need to say that a single cell could not possibly contain the information that causes humans to call Earth what they do, or use the names for astronomy and religions?

I am starting to believe the people who are saying you are looking for a level of detail that SF should not have to aspire to unless it is what you yourself call Hard SF.

I thought the poster was suggesting

I read the suggestion as one that a single cell from Hera lands on Earth (billions of years ago) and that all evolves into us. While a writer can write those words on the page, they are nonsense. Though I agree that a lot of SF, particularly TV SF with time travel or alternate histories, does like to write this particular bit of nonsense, which is why you think it’s OK. If you thought about it for a while, you would see it made no sense. Perhaps what you are saying is that as long as you need to think about it to realize it’s nonsense, it’s OK in fiction? Certainly some people feel that way. I don’t.

Other than the idea that

Other than the idea that names and ideas can somehow permeate into human subconscious through that single cell of Hera DNA, we can't prove, or disprove that was the beginning of life on Earth. There are hundred of theories about the first cell came to be. None of which have been proven.

I think a few people here are right, all you want is your story. If there is an explanation that fits your criteria, but isn't yours you dismiss it based on obvious fallacy, as you have this one.

Not talking about where the first cell came from

I have written a few times about the various theories on that. Panspermia makes perfect sense. Panspermia from Kobol even makes sense. What would not make sense would be panspermia producing the same sort of people as the planet the cell came from. If our planet was seeded with a single cell billions of years ago, then we look nothing like the creatures from whom that seed came. We know that because there is tons of evidence in the ground and in our DNA of how this planet shaped our evolution, and how chaotic it was.

To get that sort of plot, you would need some sort of god overseeing things, tweaking evolution constantly to have it produce similar results to last time. Now while you can write this sort of plot (you can indeed write just about anything if you want to call in a handy hand of god) I think it’s a cheap plot because it disconnects all relevance between them and us. It might as well be a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. (Not that you can’t write a good story under that situation, either.)

As you probably know there has been lots of debate about whether there is any evidence that we are the result of an “intelligent designer.” Lots of creationists try to come up with things that might show this, and lots of scientists have had to waste time outlining, in lots of detail, why this evidence is all bogus, and lots of evidence suggests instead that no, we just evolved, in random ways, subject to our environment. Our bodies are full of little, and big things that are the results of chance and chaos.

Now, if you want to tell me that BSG is a story of squat slimy aliens who are played by human actors because production considerations demand it, and one of their cells sloughs off and comes to Earth 3 billion years ago, and we evolve from it, I’m good with that story. But I don’t think that’s the story we’re going to see.

Really?

Not even in a FICTION story, where you are accepting that space travel and human-robots exist? Sure it is unlikely, however, it isn't impossible. It is just a 1 in a billion shot. Hell, if this were a Terry Pratchett novel someone would pop out and tell us that those are the best odds, because somehow they always make it.

Not a 1 in a billion shot

I’m not quite sure how to calculate it, but there would a whole lot more than 9 zeros on the denominator. Different ways that life can evolve? And don’t forget, on a different planet. Life would never evolve exactly the same on one planet as it does on another. It wouldn’t and doesn’t evolve the same way on different islands on the same planet.

And again, even if it could happen, why write it? What is the purpose? What dramatic value does it have? If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not going to show a connection between the old generation and the new, which is what I would presume you want to show here. It might show a connection to people who haven’t thought much about it and don’t realize it’s nonsense, but that’s not laudable.

This is similar to what I wrote about Martian fiction. In the 50s, you could write a story with canals on Mars, and many writers did. Then probes went and showed us the real Mars. Today you can’t write it. Not that you can’t put the words on paper, but it would be nonsense, and would not get your point through to the audience, who now know a bit about what Mars really is. It would not achieve your literary goals, so you would not do it, and people would be right to criticise you for thinking it might. The only way you could write it would be as a deliberate retro effort. Writers do this, but again, they are declaring in advance, “I know there are no Martians, but for the sake of entertainment I will write in the 50s style.” For example, I quite enjoyed “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” for its 40s style SF. It would not make sense as the SF of today.

Except that’s not what happened here. Instead, RDM has declared he knows that BSG 1978 was stupid, and he wants to do it better in every way.

How sad. They were right.

How sad. They were right. All your talk about being willing to give the writer some free passes on science are just a cover for you getting the story you wanted. I can't believe I gave you the benefit of the doubt a few time and wasted as much time here thinking I was involved in actual intelligent discussion with open minded people, instead of a whiner who is mad his personal story is being told. PATHETIC.

Sorry you feel that way

But if you had read my posts back over time you would see that I have regularly changed what I expect based on what I see in the show, and some things I like, and some things I don’t. I’m happy with anything that is strongly written and consistent with itself, and doubly happy if it’s consistent with reality, and less happy when it’s not. If I misinterpret the show because the writers went a different direction, it doesn’t bother me. If I misinterpret because they put in a clue that was wrong or changed their minds, then I blame them, and I may like it or not like it depending on whether they have a good reason for it. For a long time I gave excellent odds that the whole 13th colony story was a myth, a cover story to hide the true origins of Kobol. I thought that was a great backstory, but not a necessary one to be consistent, so I just moved on and accepted it without a beat. There is a difference. Some things that fans imagine are just cool (or not) possibilities. Other things are in the cateogry of “The story won’t make sense unless this is true, or they present a reason why it’s not true.” Those are the ones I will be upset at if they don’t handle them right.

Dog Is My Copilot

I don't really get what's up with the backlash. We all have our pet ideas, theories we think make the most sense, but we're not mind-readers. We have no idea what direction the writers will actually take the story, though we can take a stab at educated guesses. I think there's point for all of us that if the writers crossed it the show would "jump the shark."

Mine is if the One Whose Name Cannot Be (Spoken) really does turn out to be a dog and someone sticks a "dog is my copilot" bumper sticker on Sharon's Raptor. Yup, that would do it.

Seriously, we all have directions the show might go that we'll love, accept warily, or outright reject. Brad has just articulated where those lines are for him and it's heavily based on Hard SF with a few exceptions.

While that is a very fair

While that is a very fair statement for some it is seen as setting yourself up for failure. If the people in charge of the story are not trying to make "hard SF", how can someone expect that from the story? It is an unfair criticism of the show. If it was just a plot conflict, well that is fair, however in this case the question might be asked, why were you watching in the first place under these conditions.

This is the best

Just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean it’s not the best we’ve got in TV SF. And just because it’s the best we’ve got doesn’t mean we can’t ask for it to be even better.

I mean, I even watched the original, which was, as we all know, really bad from a science standpoint. When Moore announced he would redo BSG and do it better, I wrote him to ask, “I sure hope that you plan to fix the horrible bad science of the original” and they said that this was definitely an important part of their plan.

And mostly they have.

Setting myself up for failure? Of course. I would be shocked if all, or even a major portion of what I imagined as a backstory were to be correct. I would be shocked if all my theories were correct, as many of them deliberately contradict each other. On the other hand there are and were some key clues I was reading that shock me the other way. If this is all set in the past of the real Earth, I would be shocked in the negative sense, though I’m now setting this up as a possible shock (before Espenson’s comments I was much more confident.)

This show is part SF and part mystery. Like all mysteries, sometimes you figure things out, sometimes the writer surprises you. In the best mysteries you get surprised but you immediately see that you should not have been, that the clues were there all the time.

I don't know, Brad

Some of your posts prior to season 4.5 related a message of not just confidence in your theories being born out, but an unwavering faith that you would be right. You even said that 'fans would be in for a shock' when they revealed the plot twists you theorized. You also seemed pretty shocked (and bitter) yourself when things turned in 'SaGN' and 'No Exit.'

Not bitter (mostly)

If you read my stuff, any time I said that I didn’t think there was a real 13th colony, I pretty much always wrote that I considered this to be the more likely choice than having a real colony and another origin for Kobolian culture. I certainly considered my proposal more likely, but if you can find anywhere that I say there is no chance of the writers doing that one another way, in particular without some nearby posting saying how the one that turned out to be true is also possible, let me know. I know I did this because, yes, I did express confidence about various things, and this may have led you to the mistaken impression of where my predictions lay, which is why I had to keep telling people that no, a real 13th tribe is possible but doesn’t get my vote as the likely and best choice.

There are only a few things I attached really high degrees of probability to:

  1. That somehow, Kobolian culture, as evidenced in their flags, came from Earth (still unrevealed, doubts come from interview)
  2. That if real Earth is present, it’s in out future (still unrevealed)
  3. That the final five were old, and predated the other Cylons and were of a different kind (correct, mostly)
  4. That the Final 5, or someobdy acting for them, were involved in programming the 7 Cylons (correct)
  5. Somebody else is out there, powerful, pulling strings, and connected to the head characters. (still seems very likely)

3 was only partly right. I dated them to 4,000 years ago since I didn’t judge the temple as a recent modification, though I concede it as an outside possibility. 1 and 2 are not yet resolved, and I have had to drop confidence in them due to Espenson. If they turn out to be true I will be highly disappointed, but without a good reason, I will be disappointed in Moore for putting in highly misleading clues, and to a lesser degree in myself for following them. If 2 is wrong, I will be disappointed primarily in Moore.

There are some other items which I felt were more than 50% probable:

  1. There was no 13th tribe, it’s a cover story. (Incorrect)
  2. The final five were from Earth (both correct and incorrect. They are from the wrong Earth!)
  3. The final five were connected to the five priests (incorrect) — and a whole lot conclusions stemming from that.
  4. Cavil knows more than the rest (correct, but did not guess how vastly much more he knew.)

Then there were a lot of lower probability predictions, some of which were right, some not. Among the better ones were predicting that Tigh and Tyrol and other old characters could be final five early in season 3, and having Ellen Tigh as my leading candidate for final Cylon for exactly the right reasons (though later demoting her to #2 pick for reasons that turned out to be wrong.) I didn’t catch the 2,000 year sub-light trick, and nor did I catch the implantation of the final 5 with fake memories (and I still don’t like it very much at all.) Far from a perfect record, but better than many. But I’m not bitter about most of them. I think the only thing that would make me angry would be this being set in the past of real Earth.

Lest we forget

I believe your biggest theory was that all humans were cylons, and knowledge of their nature was lost to history.

Look, I don't blame you for being what I called bitter. I've felt as you have too about things. It might be about the end of a movie or a book or a graphic novel that i've thought I figured out (and I thought I was so clever for doing so!). Sometimes we like our own ideas and theories so much that anything else is unsatisfactory. I don't blame you for that; it just means you've come up with some really good ideas, ideas that clearly have a wide appeal, as the number of visitors to this site bears out.

Hardly

That’s been one of my quite low-level confidence theories, I doubt I ever rated that one more than 20%. I think it explains a lot (and by rules of strict science it should be true but I never imagined them as being that strict.) Since we have not been growing much more evidence for it it’s been dropping in the probability I assign it.

To be a good theory, you start with something that makes sense and explains what we’re seeing. Then, nothing must come to contradict it, and things should come which other theories don’t expect, which suggests the writers are thinking the same way.

The “real Earth is out there” theory raised on probability when they started showing our real star patterns (with the most obvious constellations) in some locations but not at the 13th colony Earth. It is still getting hints here and there, but has the Espenson interview to knock it down.

The “everybody is a Cylon” theory was driven by the fact that humans can’t tell themselves apart from Cylons under a microscope, even though Cylons have FTL mind transmitters in their heads and can plug fiber optic cables into their arms. From a strict standpoint, that doesn’t make a lot of sense unless there is no difference. And the fact that Cylons who are not of the 12/13 are receiving visions, having prophecies etc. But there hasn’t been anything new on that front. A good theory gets bits of reinforcement from time to time. Starbuck seems to have more and more evidence that she’s just special, otherwise she would be a very strong clue for this.

You read my theories entirely wrong if you thought that was one of the stronger ones. The backstory I wrote to start this was entirely invention to begin with. Some of it turned out true, but that only mildly increases the chances that other parts would.

One person noticing it would

One person noticing it would be something to brush off. There isn't just one person noticing this trend here.

FTL Travel and Robots in SF

Not even in a FICTION story, where you are accepting that space travel and human-robots exist?

Well, FTL travel gets a special pass among all except the most hardcore SF writers and fans simply because you often can't write a space-based story without it. We all commonly agree it's a farce and roll with it. And robots, well, I think it's much more possible we'll design humanoid robots before we figure out FTL space travel.

Compression

It's a way of compressing the otherwise dull and plodding narration.

Kirk's diary. The beard continues to grow at a steady rate. I've assured Mr Sulu that 1 cm all over is within the margins of good taste but he remains unconvinced. Spock continues to take samples and monitor the chemical composition looking for signs of stress and bad diet. Doctor McCoy has been arguing with him and saying that people need to get out more. I've taken to jogging around the upper deck. If I time the pace just right I can catch sight of the legs on the young ensign I spotted the other day as she gohpers between sections. I don't suspect Uhura knows anything but the mysterious shriek from the communications system is hurting my right ear and throwing me off balance. I might have to put jogging on hold for a while. Scotty says that we'll be reaching light speed in another 1000 days. I can't wait. The blue shift matches the walls of my cabin and brings out the pattern on the sofa. Chekohov says it reminds him of nearly drowning under the ice when he was a small boy but he's probably just jealous. He packed red cushions before we left and he's going to have to wait another 10 years before he can change them. Sucker.

Yup

More to the point, FTL becomes necessary for a TV show the public will accept. In fact, some truly great written interstellar SF has been done without FTL, such as A Deepness in the Sky by Vinge. However, to do that, you have to break up the story into parts that are many decades, even centuries apart for the people on the planets, and you can’t do it too many times. It doesn’t work nearly so well if you want space opera, or in this case, where you want a quest for Earth being chased by Cylons.

I would say, in fact, that one of the things people admire about works like A Deepness in the Sky was that he pulled off a story set in an interstellar civilization without FTL and made it feel real. By rising to the more difficult challenge of playing within the rules, he attained a greater level of accomplishment.

Though there are TV SF stories where it would work. Space 1999 used an absolutely ridiculous premise. By and large (it’s been a long time) there was no connection back to Earth for most episodes. So they could have simply been on a relativistic trek through space that keeps taking them from system to system in a way they can’t control, and gotten the same thing. Of course, it still would have had the other standard of TV SF — aliens that look like humans who speak English.

You're on a roll.

You're on a roll.

But...

While the constellations confirmed the 13th Colony to be Earth, it never states that it's where humanity originated. On the contrary, if they thought the 13th tribe was just a colony, then it states the exact opposite.

Which constellations

Did they match the flags, or Starbuck’s photos?

Anyway, the problem has always been, why do the flags of the 12 tribes have the stars from Earth (of either stripe) on them. For a pure colony, that makes no sense, especially a barely contacted long lost colony.

Earth Constellations

Right. Why would this far-flun civilization be so hung up on constellations of our planet? Why would the importance of these trump those of Kobol or those of any of the 12 colonies? Think about how many generations have been looking at the skies of Kobol or Aerlon or Caprica etc. and we know nothing of those constellations?

OK, here's my theory. I am a

OK, here's my theory. I am a night watchman, and I am allowed to use my computer at work, so I have plenty of time to extrapolate and not leave out a single detail. And please note, this is from in-show evidence, and guessing how RDM and his writers work. To start with, I decided that when they find real Earth, there probably won't be any humans to greet them, as it is too late, I feel, to introduce a new faction of characters into the show. My theory is not what I want, but what I feel (worry?) might happen.

My theory is this: The show is not set in the present or future, and may well go with the colonials and Cylons colonizing a new planet that is our Earth, this making us their descendants. There are SPOILERS in my explanation, as I point out several clues I have seen here and there.
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The list of scientific errors/non-explanations are a mile long in this show: There is no explanation as to how FTL works or what exactly tylium is, how they get artificial gravity, how Cylon resurrection works, how a Cylon can manipulate Colonial technology by sticking a plug in their wrists, how an injection can stave off the harmful effects of radiation, how twelve habitable planets can exist in a single star system, how the ruins of Earth could be far more intact than the ones on Kobol despite the fact that they date from the same time, why they need to find ice on a moon to get water rather than mining one of the trillions of comets in any solar system's Oort Cloud, how Starbuck could fly a raider by futzing with the internal organs, why the planet around a star about to go Supernova could possibly be habitable despite the short lifespans of massive stars that die young, how the fighters can bank in space without being torn to pieces.

This is not hard science fiction. Arthur C. Clarke writes hard science fiction. "Naturalistic" science fiction is different- the subtitle of RDM's essay was, I believe, "Taking the opera out of space opera."

Insisting that naturalistic science fiction means Earth has to be the homeworld is likely to be wrong- for one thing, the essay was several paragraphs long and only dealt with science for a very small part, and the fact that it says that initially there wasn't going to be sound in space shows that it evolved. And the essay was written for the studio to show what RDM was trying to do and was written before a studio honcho asked RDM to expand on the religious aspect of the show (namely, Number Six's line "God is love."). Reading that essay, would you have ever guessed that the eventual show would feature religious visions, magic baby blood, etc? Even the blog post you have quoted that gives you hope makes me uneasy:

"I don't have a direct answer for this question yet. There are a couple of notions rolling around in my head as to how we reconcile the very real fact of evolution with the Galactica mythos, but I haven't decided which approach to take. However, it was a fundamental element of the orginal Galactica mythos that "Life here began out there..." and I decided early on that it was crucial to maintain it."

IT seems like nitpicking to think that when he said the notion of "Life here began out there" was crucial to just assume he thought it was important for it to apply to SOMEBODY.

Despite the murky phrasing in the funeral scene in the mini regarding Kobol, later episodes establish it as the homeworld of humanity, and I don't think the showrunners have yet planted evidence that would contradict this to the characters- else they would make them look stupid.

One thing you need to know about me is that I like the idea of mistakes regarding the ancient past, because it adds a bit of realism to the situation, making it seem like knowledge has been lost and dates and such have been mixed up. At this point, I don't think they'll touch on the Tomb of Athena again, so here are my theories about it, since this is your biggest point of contention about Earth being the homeworld

"And they looked into the heavens and saw their Twelve Brothers." I always assumed the constellations were named after the Tribes, and not vice-versa. Keep in mind so much of the Sacred Scrolls were written by Pythia, who presumably had precognitive powers. Maybe we can just write off the Tomb as being made by Kobolians before the Exodus to the colonies, who perhaps had no idea what they were really making, just that the compulsion was so strong.

Here is my collection of SPOILER evidence as to why I think what I do:

1. A photo of Roslin and Adama sitting side by side in a Raptor, Adama in the pilot's seat.

2. Footage from the wrap videos (which used to be on the Science of Galactica website) of long lines of people seemingly carrying all of their belongings in a long line marching through a field. This bit was seen through the director's camera, so it wasn't crystal clear if there was anything else going on.

3. Cavil in CIC flanked by Marines in behind the scenes footage.

4. Tigh and Adama barking orders in CIC; someone tells them there are Centurions all over the ship. There is an explosion and a panel falls loose from the ceiling. The same video shows a LOT of cardboard Centurion stand-ins in the halls of Galactica.

5. The Galactica being dead in the water.

6. A casting call for athletic extras comfortable with wearing dreadlocks and being shot in a bathing suit for the finale.

7. Many of the cast wearing flak jackets in photos from the shooting of the finale.

8. A bloody Doral holding a gun on Galactica.

9. A website revealed that they had reliable information that the final scene of the series was No. 6 walking through Times Square, and they had this information long before the photo I posted of 6. standing in front of a newsstand with a magazine that says "NY Intelligencer."

10. This quote from Jamie Bamber from TV Guide: "Who's to say that the cinder planet we saw is a look into Earth's future? It could be the far, far past. It could be prehuman. These questions will stand until the finale."

1 strongly hints that Galactica is destroyed. Certainly they're going that way, and I can't imagine Adama or even Roslin would abandon the ship unless they had to. 2 shows that the Colonials find a new planet to settle on, and the fact that they shoot out in the country hints that if the new planet is our Earth, there is no technological civilization to help them (yes, it's possible that there is one on Earth, but my view is to keep it simple- doing that seems to produce the correct guesses for this show more often than not).

10 speaks for itself- why would Jamie Bamber say that? It's not his job to throw people off, and I don't know if he has ever shown any history of that before. I think it is entirely possible that the show is in the past if they think it will serve the story, and it might be entirely possible that the show will have parallel evolution- there will be primitive humans on Earth, perhaps(according to clue 6. Clue 6 could also be a look into the Colonial/Cylon alliance a few generations down the road after being reduced to a primitive existence as well. Maybe they simply said "bathing suit" because "loincloth" would be too revealing- no pun intended). Add to the fact that the Colonies have dogs, cats, foxes, chickens, etc. I always thought adding Jake was odd, as in the mini commentary, RDM said that in laying down the rules of the show they decided there WOULDN'T be dogs and cats in the colonies, even as he was laughing at a chicken pie reference. And save the science lectures. I'm fully aware of the unlikelihood of all that, but in a show where God is very likely to be real and directly manipulating things... who knows?

5 means that there is no huge obstacle to finding the new Earth- the fleet is simply waiting for Galactica to get running again. Occam's Razor would suggest to me that the real Earth is a lush and habitable planet but otherwise unworthy of Cavil's notice- now that "No Exit" established his motives and what he wants, I think his desire to rebuild Resurrection technology will drive the show to its end- so it's unlikely that he knows about the real Earth or if he does, if he's even concerned about it. And the post-show interview with Jane Espenson revealed that "the Colony" wasn't anything special.

9 is interesting. If No. 6 in NYC is the last shot, what does it mean? Is it a flashback to the past of the show showing our Earth on the verge of destruction and the beginning of the first cycle? I can't see why they would end the episode in a flashback to the show's VERY distant past.

3, 4, 7, and 8 show that a large scale battle will erupt on Galactica with the human/Cylon alliance battling Cavil's Cylons aboard Galactica. I'm guessing that "Daybreak, part 1" will set up the final conflict, and the conflict will escalate and conclude in the two-hour "Daybreak, Part 2." With all the storylines and character arcs to wrap up in the finale, do they even have time to find a new planet and find out: "Oh, my Gods, this is the real homeworld of humanity!"? I'm thinking they don't- Earth being the homeworld is a BIG DEAL in the series; it would upend everything the characters thought they believed about their origins. But here's the thing- they've already shattered Roslin's faith, and she was the face of religious faith and the belief in the Sacred Scrolls in the show. Right now, the most I hope for is parallel evolution. This weeks episode will deal with Starbuck and presumably what she is and her resurrection, and after that, there is one episode left before "Daybreak, part 1 and 2." If anything is left hanging in this week's episode, that means it has to be resolved next week before leading into the two part finale.

The problem is that Daybreak is going to be flashback-heavy- many dead characters come back, including Zak, Prosna, Cally, and Kat, and we see a flashback to Roslin on Caprica the day of the attacks (jumping into a fountain, of all things), although it could easily be a vision. Lots of action + lots of flashbacks indeed leave little time for a discovery as big as the true homeworld of humanity and doing it justice.

Things they have to wrap up:

-the final battle between the Colonials and their Cylon allies versus Cavil's faction.
-the fleet needs to find a new home.
-Roslin's illness has to resolve itself.
-why Hera is important.
-all of the other character arcs.
-what all of the flashbacks are for.
-who are the dreadlocked extras?
-what Starbuck is, if that isn't taken care of already.
-who or what the guiding force is.

so to sum up: due to how busy the finale will be, I don't think they'd have time for the big reveal of our Earth as the human homeworld, so they might not be going that way.

My theory is constantly shaping

I used to firmly believe the show is in the future; the introduction of JAke is what did it. At the time of the mini RDM said he didn't know what Earth would be in the show, but according to a podcast, he said he started to get an idea around the time of "Flesh and Bone." After that, there came references to Earth animals.

I think the finale will play out as I described. There's a ray of hope that maybe there will be a flyby by a Raptor in the final minutes before it uses up the last of its fuel- and it flies by Mt. Rushmore (which I've heard could concievably last over 100,000 years). Maybe if they do a reveal like that it'll be for us, not the characters.

The main reasons why this ending would bother me wouldn't even be scientific, though that would be on the list- it would mean two things- the destroyed civilizations will be completely forgotten, and the last shot of No.Six likely means "All of this will happen again." Even if the show ends on a hopeful note for the Colonials, for us as their distant descendants it means we're going to be attacked by our AI and have to run like the Final Five, and the Twelves Colonies did in the two Exoduses. And the Colonies and Cylons being forgotten is just tragic.

You know what this reminds me of? In 2002, JJ Abrams wrote a Superman screenplay. It's backstory was radically different, and the film was about an invasion of evil Kryptonians led by Superman's evil uncle. At one point, before the invasion, a Kryptonian ship is found. Superman confirms that the one he came to Earth in is still where he hid it. The script reviewer who first talked about it noted at this point that he got an uneasy feeling. They introduce Lex Luthor, who is neither an amoral billionaire or a mad scientist, but a creepy CIA agent. The film ends with a huge battle with a Kryptonian army, and at the very end, Lex Luthor returns, and confronts Superman, and the reviewer noted here that he really started to get uneasy as Lex began a long monologue, and by the time Lex says "That wasn't your ship they found...it was MINE!" he attacks Superman, revealing himself to be another Kryptonian, the reviewer said he was mentally screaming at the script "DON'T DO IT! DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!" before that last line. In case you're not familiar with Superman comics, making Lex an alien goes against everything that makes him Superman's greatest adversary, as he is a match for Superman because of his mind.

I'm the guy who reads the script except for the last ten pages and hands it to you and says, "Hey, I think they made Lex Luthor a Kryptonian. Just thought I'd warn you."

"Insisting that naturalistic

"Insisting that naturalistic science fiction means Earth has to be the homeworld is likely to be wrong- for one thing, the essay was several paragraphs long and only dealt with science for a very small part, and the fact that it says that initially there wasn't going to be sound in space shows that it evolved. And the essay was written for the studio to show what RDM was trying to do and was written before a studio honcho asked RDM to expand on the religious aspect of the show (namely, Number Six's line "God is love."). Reading that essay, would you have ever guessed that the eventual show would feature religious visions, magic baby blood, etc?"

I couldn't agree more with this.

However, the theory I like best here is the one with the explosion that kills everyone. I think that would actually be a beautiful allegory for restarting the cycle and ending on our Earth, with a new cycle beginning. Think about it. The show started with Adama asking why they deserve to live? Maybe they don't deserve to live. Maybe they made to many mistakes. We have watched them make horrible moral decisions. That ends the show with the idea that here on Earth we have another chance to get this whole thing right. I actually think that is a brilliant ending, and hope that is where they are heading, in some way. Maybe the Hera DNA is a little much, but the idea, is truly beautiful and way beyond anything I have ever found in science fiction.

RDM podcast

According to RDM he says the story tellers are 100% framing it as though love has something to do with it. He goes on to say Cottle, may view it differently, such as two cylons trying to mate is difficult. However, in pretty much the same breath also says it is hard to talk about as it is something that runs through the rest of the show. I think the fact that he acknowledges the story tellers are framing it a certain way tipped his hand, but they could be framing it that way as a setup to say, "Gotcha!"

That would be great

I mean while people are going back and forth about what they think about Espenson’s skill as a writer, there’s no question that she is a writer and co-executive producer on the show, and thus knows how it all ends, and can speak with authority. If she and Moore are disagreeing, it could be that Espenson just is much more comfortable with outright false statements or twisty equivocations when asked direct questions about key elements.

That would suit me fine, as I would be much more optimistic about the show if I could disregard her remark about Kobol.

Cylon love I don’t imagine plays a big role here. I think it’s interesting, and the story of Hera must be resolved, but if they never answered the question of whether the Cylons have to be in love, I would be cool with it.

Espenson

Espenson was a producer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and wrote for Angel, Firefly, and Deep Space Nine. The eps she worked on for those shows were some of my favorites, so I have a high level of confidence that I'm going to like what she comes up with for BSG. There's always the possibility that I won't, but based on her previous experience I'm willing to wait and see before passing judgment. Also, like some other who have commented, I'm not really listening anymore to what Moore or any of the producers and writers say in interviews at this point. It's just all marketing.

OR...

Maybe some of the Cylons on Earth were just born infertile, or they became infertile due to environmental issues??? I don't recall anywhere in the show a claim that Cylons were made perfectly, much less born perfectly, and even if they were made or born perfectly, the Cylons dying from the beacon or the Leoben model dying from the radiation shows that they are in fact affected by the surrounding environment.

I didn't see this mentioned...

Something no one seems to have said, or maybe I missed it, but any thought to the fact that the S7 are all based on people in the F5s lives. Maybe the reason Boomer and Tyrol are attracted is because she was someone that was close to Tyrol. Maybe he and Tory weren't madly in love, they just settled for each other. Maybe they each had someone who died and their work brought them together. Maybe Boomer is an aspect of someone Tyrol lost. This might explain part of the reaction Ellen has to what Saul did. Maybe the Six model is designed on the combined DNA of Saul and Ellen together. The child they couldn't have maybe. We will have to see how Ellen reacts to Tyrol's feelings for Boomer. However, Tyrol does know they created the Boomer and still, for some reason, is drawn to her, and not in a father/daughter way, at least no father/daughter relationship I want to think about.

Cylon DNA

I do think it's odd that Ellen and Saul and Tyrol and Tory got to live forever with their significant others, but Anders did not. The notion that Six is a DNA combination of Ellen and Tigh is interesting, but also creepy, all things considered.

Flashbacks?

Actually, maybe you're onto something there.

Dreams perhaps

Since we see Athena and Hera sitting in a nice suburban house on a planet, something that never was, this can’t be a flashback, but must be a dream.

On the other hand we see Galen in the house with a child who looks like #8, which could maybe be a flashback but I suspect is also a dream.

The “raising” of the 8 Cylons is confusing. It’s no more than 10-20 years from the deal to John boxing the final 5. Not enough time for them to raise him as a true boy and turn into an old man, and for him to help make the others. It’s just possible that 6 and 8 could have reached their current age from babies, but not the others.

If you look closely at the

If you look closely at the book the little girl is reading, you can make out the Earth (our Earth) continents, and even read their names: Australia, Africa...

Yikes, you can

Though of course that could just be a generic prop and they didn’t think about the hi-res publicity stills, so didn’t worry about what it said inside.

On the off chance that this is the real Book, and this is a scene from his life on “Earth” that would be very confusing. And if he’s raising a young 8, that’s pretty squicky too.

The story, as far as we know, has the final 5 born on “Earth” in its final years, re-enabling download just before the war. That’s the only planet they lived on, aside from whatever planet they also lived on while raising the new Cylons after the colonial Cylon war. Note he doesn’t have glasses on. In his first life, Tyrol wore glasses. Presumably his new bodies don’t need them.

C'mon brad!

You infer a story point because he isn't wearing glasses? As a matter of fact, I wear glasses, but am not wearing them now. I only use them for long-distance, as I have myopic vision. I do not use them when at a computer or around the house, or when reading, as Tyrol is, for example.

You scrutinize things FAR too much, and that is why some of your expectations will never be met: your suppositions (and therefore, your expectations) are based on clues that likely mean nothing.

The glasses are not conclusive

Just a clue. Hey, remember I am responding to somebody who says that, looking at text we could not possibly see even in HDTV, that’s real-Earth book, so they must be on real Earth.

Truth is I don’t think you can infer too much from the book or the glasses.

The most likely place for Tyrol to be with a little-girl-8 would be at whatever planet/secret base they used to create and bring up the 8 Cylons. A less likely interpretation is that 8 is based on a real daughter Tyrol once had on 13th colony Earth. An even less likely interpretation is that all the characters led earlier lives, in different roles (like Leoben says) and one of those lives/roles was on real Earth in the 21st century, with 8 as a young girl in the care of Tyrol. The “Six in Times Square” crowd would like this one.

Eh?

"I am responding to somebody who says that, looking at text we could not possibly see even in HDTV, that’s real-Earth book, so they must be on real Earth."

Brad, my original comment is just 2 comments above yours. Read it again, please. Where did I say they had to be on real Earth?
I merely pointed out the continents in the book were clearly "our Earth" continents.

Fear not

I was just trying to roughly describe the posting, not summarize it, as it is just above. My point was he was saying you can’t read much from the glasses and I am saying you can’t read much from text so small it won’t be visible even in HDTV.

Boomer

What if John Cavil isn't the only Cylon modeled after someone the Five actually knew?

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