Could they really live together?

We've been told since season one that "god's plan" is to unite the Cylons and humans, in particular through a hybrid race in Hera. The Final Five can breed with the 7, and I suspect with the humans, but I suspect the Final Five will all die, their race entirely wiped out.

But could a society of such unequals really work out? We suspect, though can't be sure, that the 7 Cylons don't age. If they do age it would have been cruel of Ellen to make John in the form of an old man. They're much stronger, much more physically capable, smarter on average (Baltar things his six is the smartest woman he has ever met) and can talk to computers through their fingers. They can communicate through projection and live in projected worlds.

Which of those attributes the mixed-breeds will have we don't know, but Hera at least can project. Indeed, they might not all be the same. Some might have more of mommy, some might have more of daddy.

We've had a hard enough time with racial tension in a world where the races are physically and mentally on the same level. What kind of world would it be with two different and differently capable races, and their mixed children of different abilities. Unless almost all the humans die, most of the children in this world will be human. Only Hera and a few others to start will be mixed. And all this is not even counting the resentments of "you enslaved us" and "you genocided us." How can the race wars not flare up again?

It's a hugely tall order. Another commenter wonders what happens if the "good guys" mostly die in the attack on the Colony leaving Baltar and the mutineers to lead the mixed society. Is Adama thinking through what happens if he fails? Is he thinking through what happens if he succeeds?

You've probably read of a bunch of podcast revelations:

  • Daniel is not Starbuck's father, or much more than a way to explain the numbering gap.
  • No, the very Jupiter like red giant that Boomer stops at is not the real Jupiter.
  • The Final Five's original ship is buried inside the giant Colony structure. The Centurions built it with the Five after the war.
  • The head beings are real, they are "Messengers" and this will be explained.
  • Oddly, the Colony is the "Cylonia" home base of the Cylons they never planned to show.
  • As he's said before, the final will be about the fate of the characters more than it is about wrapping up the plot.

One thought about the F5 ship. It of course was able to resurrect the final 5 on its own. Unless that equipment was actually removed to go into the now destroyed hub, it's not out of the question that it might still work for the Final Five. The 7 are different, so it would not work for them, though the Five designed the 7's hub and equipment to work on themselves. This might offer a plot opening -- a member of the Five, killed in the assault, would suddenly appear, with full memories, deep in Cavil's lair.

However, I do expect the Final Five to all die, so this would be a one time use, if it happens at all.

Another interesting thought from the comments: If the virus plot is to happen (and it's looking less like it will) it would be cute if the notes of the song turn out to provide access to the Colony network, courtesy of the OTG. We can imagine Baltar and Six coming to look at the notes, and Six saying, "that looks like of the access codes to our computer network" or to a Centurion inhibitor. OK, I can still hope for this plot because I like the full circle nature of it. But the numbers in the music are going to give them something; perhaps a weapon, perhaps the coordinates of a planet.

Moore's podcast comment about Cylonia is difficult to reconcile, because John/Cavil says that the other Cylons don't know about the Colony. Simon and Doral, as I said before, surely have to have asked, "Why don't I remember this place?" Perhaps, in spite of the language we have been using, the "Colony" is a small and hidden subset within this Cylonia.

And for the brotherhood of us hoping for the "Real Earth," the fairly decent (I normally detest making-of shows) clip show "The Last Frakking Special" which aired Monday and will air again this week included the famous "Zoom to Real Earth" clip from the end of the third season. Many fans have wondered about this clip, showing a real, present-day (though that may not have been their intention) Earth with the obvious North America, when none of the scenes of the 13th colony Earth showed any recognizable features or stars. That clip kept people hoping, and still does, though Espenson's offhand remark about humanity coming from Kobol dashed a lot of that hope. While Ron Moore and the rest probably had very little to do with the clip show, the inclusion of this clip makes you feel they are not wishing they had never included it.


I think that is the arming device for the nukes aboard ship, so yes maybe it IS set up as a a self-destruct system.

That key use to be used when they jumped Galactica. I figured they stopped showing it because they had established it already.

It isn't called Cylonia. Ron even says in the podcast it was a dumb name, which is why they ended up with The Colony. We know The Colony is where the Centurians and the FF went. We know they made the S7 there. We have no clue if once complete the S7 lived on the Colony. After they made Cavil they could have moved off the Colony to make the others. Maybe they lived inside the 12 Colonies to raise the S7, would anyone know? I think you might need to wait for The Plan for that kind of answer, if at all.

Being that we already knew that the 13th colony was earth, as was the premise of the show, I think they wanted to surprise us with something. So, as you say, it's possible that the cinder planet was not Earth at all, and that their pythian scrolls and coordinates didn't lead to the 13th colony, but to the Cylon homeworld (so to speak). Whoever is in charge, or whoever wrote the scrolls, wanted them to find the cylon world.

This leaves a revelation for the last episode, as everyone was told the cinder planet was earth and moved on. Now we'll find the REAL Earth, which will make for the type of a-ha moment we want, but couldn't have ever achieved because we knew it was coming.

I read an interesting thought on another board. Someone posited that the centurions might side with the humans once they realize that Anders, a final five, and now hybrid, is controlling galactica.

The Centurions will be with whoever frees them, so they can kill the bastard Cavil who enslaved them. They might not love the final 5 though. The final five made a deal with them, and screwed it up, creating John who then enslaved them more than the Colonial humans ever enslaved them.

I think Ellen realized that she would be wasting her breath. Cavil seems to think that the Cylon identity was transferred from the Centurions to the 7 flesh models, making the Centurions into "tools" at this point. He sees them as little better than cocoons for the cylon consciousness, much like the newer Centurions have scrapped the older models.

"The Final Five can breed with the 7"

We don't know that. The baby miscarried, which tells me that they can not breed successfully. Liam's death seems pointless unless it's to illustrate that the 5 cannot breed with the 8.

"That clip kept people hoping, and still does, though Espenson’s offhand remark about humanity coming from Kobol dashed a lot of that hope"

Only to you and a handful of others. Most other fans dismiss this remark, while the majority of viewers are simply unaware of it. A large group of viewers are anticipating our Earth showing up next week, and the rest think our Earth was the cinder planet, or that our Earth doesn't exist in BSG.

Please remember that those of us here and in other online discussion groups represent the minority. I know a lot of fans of BSG and none of them have gone to blogs like this to discuss it and their theories are rather mundane compared to ours.

That most viewers don't know about Espenson's remark. Most of them, I suspect are just in a confused state about the cinder planet/13th colony. I see regular threads to message boards, even now, saying, "I don't get it. Are we on Earth supposed to be Cylons now?"

The 13th colony, as a planet founded and colonized by Cylons, and named Earth by them, is not our Earth (except perhaps in the very far future, in which case it was unknowingly recolonized.) So that means either that, or that this is not our universe, or that the real Earth is still out there.

Most other people that I talk to fall into two categories:

1) Cinder Earth is our Earth in the far future/far past/etc. No Earth to be found next week. These people seem to misunderstand a few key points, but some of them make logical conclusions and they could be right.

2) Cinder Earth was just another planet and our Earth is out there, waiting to be discovered. Due to my personal feelings about how the show should end, I fall into this category, though my theories are much more involved and thought-out than theirs.

While I don't know many of them, there are still others who, like you say, are just confused by the whole damn thing, but for the most part don't give a frak and are just enjoying the drama. Most people, by the way, don't analyze the show that deeply beyond the basics. They don't look at timelines or look for any details. Their theories are rather basic 1+1=2 types of conclusions. I feel like they might end up being right. Maybe we're looking at things so hard that we're not seeing a simpler explanation. Like a magic trick solution.

There's some very good comment in the BSG newsgroup about story arcs, quality of plot and sci-fi, and dealing with sudden actor departures. The fact that BSG's story roadcrashed and some of the off-screen comment is badly pitched compared to well established norms and standards isn't a state secret. Some people may defend the show and dismiss more informed comment as elitist but that's politics not analysis.

The way I see it is if Blake's 7 and Space: 1999 are the BBC Micro and RiscOS of sci-fi shows, then Babylon 5 is the NeXT of sci-fi shows. I'm pretty happy with the idea that RDM aimed for producing a Lisa but wound up with a Mac. Being in the hot seat myself I recognise all of that, and the "this is what we delivered" line, and backwards rationalising. People don't always want to hear that but sometimes that's how it is.

BSG was a bold stoke and had its share of technical and organisational accomplishment to it. I give it credit for bringing back to sci-fi some of the wow factor of Space: 1999 and the grit of Blake's 7. There's a lot it got right but you can't defend a crap story or blame the audience. I won't be discussing Caprica, and Ron's podcasts will go straight into the media archive without listening to them.

I know comment like this can and does attract people who want to argue or get huffy. I take a very hard view that people who might want to defend the industry or sell their shit don't want to hear but you have to do that if you're aiming for quality and don't want to produce a rush job. It works for me. If you're happy with generic shows rushed out to meet a schedule don't let me stop you. It's not my money.

What is with you're obsession with these shows? Talk about generic sci-fi, they're as generic as they get. Be a fan of them all you want but don't hold BSG up to them as if they're some kind of gold standard in sci-fi.

I'm just using them as examples. That's fair enough as I'm familiar with and have some attachment to them, and they have something to say about the points I want to make.

I think RDM and co. have done a good job of making both sides of the fandom happy; both the general viewer and the hyper-scrutinous. The latter less-so, but then again, they're harder to please anyway.

You'd be surprised, though: a good amount of the general audience thinks Earth is out there, even after finding the cinder planet. They think they're pretty smart, actually, for reasoning this.

Good topic, Brad. The questions about Cylons and humans getting together are insightful but I doubt we'll see much comment on that. It's hard to write something worthwhile and there's just too much stuff around people can easily point to. Putting aside the big picture and personal issues, there's a chunk of Buddhism which deals with this. Essentially, it says that there's enlightened people around but it won't become the global default for countless ages. Part of that's cultural. The rest is, probably, biological. In the context of BSG, I guess, that's why the Hera plotline is significant. While BSG is mostly fiction I can see how the science and religion aspects are on the table and may become an issue sometime down the line. The question probably isn't if but when.

This is orthogonal to the BSG blog but I also liked your topic on bonuses. Again, these are exactly the sort of questions we should be asking. Usually, they're not because they're hard and vested interests don't have a stake in changing things. In some ways I see that as a parallel to the boom and bust of BSG. They aimed high and sold it readily to the auidence but as the BSG economy collapsed people are making excuses or running away. Sure, I can bitch about that too much but when we look beyond what positive it delivered and the fanboi backwards rationalising there's some useful lessons in there about how to make next time better. Maybe the perfect show is as far off as global enlightenment but it's something worth aiming for. We have to keep trying.

I know on the surface, it seems unlikely, even stupid to ask. But what if Caprica is really "our Earth"... Lots of things that would need to be resolved if it were true, but could those things be solved, and in a way that would meet Brad's exacting standards for avoiding "cheats"?

Why should they meet Brad's standards. Brad's standards are based on a misinterpretation, by Brad, of the Mission Statement by Ron Moore. It met the writer's standards and that is all any TV show, movie, comic, song, artwork, etc. can ever hope to achieve.

I've discussed this before but I get the feeling some people are getting too wrapped up in the show and discussion for it to penetrate. Brad's standards and interpretation are fine. Ron's admitted fucking up just as much as Brad's had to accept where his vision wasn't what hit the screen. The whole theme of the show was pretty much about Zen Buddhism and the way some industry names or fans are clinging like crazy to defending the industry or their investment in the show is a bit ridiculous. It's like they've missed the point and are barking up the wrong tree.

There'sa lot to be said for understanding the intent, what was put on the screen and the creative and technical aspects for professionals and the casual audience, and the pluses and minuses, where it stood up, where it fell down, how it moved things forward, and where it fell on its ass. But, people won't get that if they just start developing rigid minds or defending turf. That winners and losers game just gets everyone fighting over what? A show that's wrapped? C'mon. Use it to learn something and do better next time. Let the frak go people. Yeesh.

It crossed my mind but it's nothing I've spent much time thinking about. The suggestion is a good one but an enlightened individual and the world are things unto themselves. Brad's topic on perspective and, I hope, my own suggestions on maturity are as good as anything out there. Really, the whole thing is about whether we "get it" and develop our own self-enlightenment. You don't need piles of dusty scrolls or command vast audiences to do that. Indeed, these things can and do get in the way. Simply, one needs to let go. Doing is the hard bit.

I'll correct myself: According to Buddhism doing is the hard part. This is complicated because people struggle to understand this or want to be like that. The problem is the self keeps getting in the way. While letting go is hard, ultimately, having let go the way becomes easy because it's in accordance with the devine, perfection, and all that la-de-dah. This is why Zen Buddhism in particular tends to focus less on learning but unlearning.

There. Glad I've cleared that up. o_O

The idea of Bodhisattva as Starbuck would play better if she came back as someone different and didn't have a guide (or multiple depending on how the Head people mechanic is played out). The only religions that teach about an actual bodily resurrection of individual people are the three "one great Creator God" religions. Galactica uses a smattering of the the Christian, Jewish and Ancient Greek/Roman Mythos with the obvious connections to Mormonism in the base story. However one could argue that even that exodus is just a retelling of other exodus stories. Ron Moore is telling old religious and mythical tales, I just don't see any connections to Buddhism on this show, especially given the other connections he uses.

It's a little hard to fit. We have to ask how the reasonably advanced colonials would reconcile their "life here began out there" credo with all the fossils in the ground. You could imagine that they did this and we just never saw any talk of it in the show. Their planet is the seat of colonial government but the fossils would make it even more special than that in colonial religion and science.

And there's the issue of there being 12 colonies in that system. (Yes, I know there is debate about whether they are all in the same system but I contend they could not have gotten live updates during the war if it were otherwise.)

Other than that it would make a nice touch, though of course as a ruined planet they can't go back to it now.

If they unify with the Cylons the obvious move, barring the finding of real Earth, is to return to Kobol.

Both Earth and Kobol look like candidates once the Cavil thing gets dealt with. The question is do they discover the real Earth or return to Kobol. It's slim and I haven't been paying attention but could Earth be Kobol? I don't expect so and the spoilers have something to say but we've all got our thumb twiddling gloves on until the next episode airs.

This has come up before, and would indeed be a very nice resolution to all the issues. My recollect is that this fell out of favour because the shots of Kobol from space, as shown at this photo are quite different from Earth.

I would personally love this explanation. Earth falls and rises many times, eventually forgets its own name and origins, though the name remains in ancient legends and is used by the 13th tribe. But in Crossroads we saw the real Earth and real continents, so Kobol is not the same planet.

"We have to ask why the reasonably advanced colonials would reconcile their “life here began out there” credo with all the fossils in the ground."

You've admitted to liking the idea that civilizations rise and fall and forget their history, but you can't reconcile this?

Frankly, as we get closer to Daybreak Pt. 2, I am more and more thinking that the solution will be a mind-blowingly simple one that has evaded us because we're thinking too hard. Whether we like it or dislike it is another matter, but the answer is going to be deceptively simple. Count on it.

What I meant was how they would reconcile it. If Caprica were Earth, they would look in the ground and see the fossil record of the origin of species and the descent of man. That would not mesh with their scriptures that say that they came from Kobol and "Life here began out there." One way to reconcile it would be the truth. That the line was written on Kobol, and on Kobol, life did begin out there (on Earth/Caprica in this theory.)

The problem is there is no sign of this. And there's the Crossroads Earth and, I think but don't recall exactly, all the other shots of Caprica from space where it wasn't Earth.

As for simplicity, I am all for it. I think that like the Planet of the Apes ending I have referred to before, you can tie up the answer in 1 minute. They didn't explain everything in that one minute (they had 3 sequels to explain it) but nonetheless the explanation was clear.

If they land on Earth, and you see the ruined Pyramids or Mount Rushmore or New York or other well known site, in 5 seconds they can get the message through. The audience then traces it out themselves, Kobol must be a colony of Earth etc. etc. This is simple because the audience already knows the history up to today, you don't need to explain it.

This is unlike the no-Earth scenario where the history (Kobol) remains a mystery forever.


One thing that will stick with me as completely unrealistic after the end of this series is the notion that the Cinder planet, Kobol, and even Caprica, are "ruined" planets because a nuclear war was fought on them... The problem I have with it is that it just isn't true. A planet that had a nuclear holocaust fought 2000 years in its past would be a planet that, besides visible ruins, would have virtually no sign of a nuclear war in its past. There would be no radioactive soil, or at least none that would be any more radioactive than the soil in Pennsylvania today. Radioactivity is everywhere, all the time. It comes in the form radiation from the sun. It comes in the form of radon gas. It comes from burning coal. It is ubiquitous in low amounts in our environment, even before the dawn of the nuclear age.

After a nuclear war, you are left with fallout, especially if most of the bombs exploded at ground level. But most warheads are detonated as airbursts, as these cause far more damage. But airbursts produce far less fallout. And even if most of the nukes went off at ground level, the resulting fallout would be over a large area, and for a short time, very very hot. But the hotter a radioactive element is, the faster it decays. So really hot stuff doesn't last long... a matter of weeks/months and most of it is basically gone. Some of it will decay to longer lasting isotopes to be sure. But these isotopes, because they are long lasting, aren't very radioactive.

As an example, you can hold a sample of Uranium 235, even highly enriched, in your hand with just a rubber glove. Why? Because it doesn't really decay fast - it's very stable. If it weren't relatively stable, we wouldn't have any - we'd have to make it instead of mining it. It would have long ago decayed. (The rubber glove is just so you don't end up ingesting it, and irradiating yourself from the inside out over a long period of time)

Long story short, assuming the cinder planet nuclear war was 2000 years ago, the soil shouldn't have been radioactive. According to science, that planet should long ago have become inhabitable again. If you accept my position here, after years of traveling in space, they could go back to Caprica and inhabit the planet right now. (Heck, they had "freedom fighters" there continuously after the war)

I understand for the show, they've decided to alter that scientific reality. So from a story telling point of view, the cinder planet is uninhabitable...

It is worth noting this, as their science adviser would have known all this, and so if they are taking such strong liberties as this, we should expect lots of other liberties too... such as the FTL communication problems, naked singularities, and constellations in the sky. Scientifically speaking, the show is inaccurate in so many ways as to make any plot conjectures using scientific principles completely useless.

One could imagine the construction of bombs designed to release lots of long-lived radioactive products (even pre-manufactured, not made in the explosion) for a "scorched Earth" attack, meant to make the planet unihabitable for a very long time. It's hard to imagine an attack so comprehensive it does this to the whole planet, but not impossible to imagine.

The problem with your assertion regarding a "scorched Earth" bomb is that you can't have it both ways. You can either have really hot, short-lived particles, or you can have more "benign", long-lived particles. You can't have both. To do what you would like would mean you'd need to create a "factory" bomb - one that explodes, and using nearby material, create massive amounts of long-lived particles. It would require many many bombs over an over again, or it would require essentially a nuclear reactor. There is nothing in the show that shows either. They are using standard sized nukes, and even if they are thermonukes, they don't carry enough material to do what you suggest.

This relates to one of my proliferation concerns regarding terrorist nukes. Dropping a nuke on, say NYC, will create terror, and a huge problem in the short run. But the area becomes inhabitable again in a matter of months or years. Contrast that with Chernobyl, where literally tons of nuclear material was ejected in that event, and you have a much bigger, longer running disaster. We always think that a terrorist will nuke a city like NYC... but if they are smart, they'll nuke a nuclear power plant. They'll get the best of both worlds in such an event - a big mushroom cloud, and the dispersal of tons of lower level, but long lasting nuclear material, thus creating a catastrophe for decades, perhaps a few centuries...

But in the BSG world, had the really smart Cylons done that, they would still end up with a habitable planet 2000 years later. You can't kill a world with nukes.

I can imagine a war, waged by the 13th colony centurions, where they use nukes to kill the humanoids and destroy their infrastructure, and then seed long-lived radioisotopes all over the planet to make it so they can never come back, or if they are hiding in bunkers, stay there until they starve.

Then you could add to this a secret counterstrike from the bunkers that wipes out the metal guys. Eventually everybody is dead, planet is uninhabitable by the bio crew.

This was, we are led to believe, yet another war of slave rebellion. The metal guys were kept as slaves, and were really angry.

The attempt to use special software to get out more resolution didn't work. Probably just a poster they put of for fun and made sure we could not read.

If we wanted to destroy our planet, we could do it - in many ways. But why would we want to do it?

If I remember correctly, using all our nukes in a combat setting would not kill all the people. It might create a nuclear winter and a lot of people would die, but millions would still live through it. Also, if you want to inflict critical damage to the enemy's infrastructure, you can do all that with only 10 % of the nuclear arsenal of USA or Russia.

Even in a total nuclear war, the aim is not to kill everybody. It is a war and a war still has some kind of reason and a target - they don't launch missiles by random. Also, radioactivity is bad for you, and you don't want to kill your own soldiers with it either, and you want to use the enemy's infrastructure and possessions for your own benefit. Because nukes cannot do everything, you need ground forces to do assaults and so on.

It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which a nuclear war would destroy ALL infrastructure on a planet (but still leaving visible ruins after 2000 years), kill everybody (with most of the animals and vegetation too) and leave a LOT of lethal radiation. What would be your motivation to use some kind of super-nukes that would destroy the planet instead of your enemies? Unless, of course, this planet is your enemy, and you nuke it from the orbit! Could this be what happened to "Earth"?

I don't see the guy posting comarisons to "Blake 7" and "Space 1999" as in of itself trolling. He has some good points to make. If he is carpet bombing forums then that is another problem alltogether.

Just from a qick Wiki search on Blake 7.

" Blake's 7 is arguably unique in television science-fiction. It had a major influence on written science-fiction, with the revival of written space opera in the 1990s originating in the UK with writers such as Stephen Baxter, Alastair Reynolds, and Iain M. Banks.[citation needed] These authors' work features morally ambivalent, often sarcastic and driven characters, whose usually violently-terminated lives are spent in vast and baroque spacecraft. Television playwright Dennis Potter's final work, Cold Lazarus, was inspired by the show.[47]

Blake's 7's legacy to future television and film space opera was the use of moral ambiguity and dysfunctional main characters to create tension, as well as long-term story arcs to aid cohesiveness. These devices can be seen in Babylon 5, Lexx, Andromeda, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Farscape, the new Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly. These programmes contrast with the simple good-versus-evil dualism of Star Wars, or the 'feel-good' tone and unconnected episode structure of early Star Trek and the series' main contemporary, Doctor Who.[9] Blake's 7 also influenced Hyperdrive and Aeon Flux.[48]

Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen was inspired by Blake's 7 in naming his side-project Star One. [49]Also, Star One's album Space Metal features a song called "Intergalactic Space Crusaders" which is based on the series.

Blake's 7 remains highly regarded to this day. A poll of United States science-fiction writers, fans and critics for John Javna's 1987 book The Best of Science Fiction placed the series twenty-fifth in popularity, although the series had only recently begun being broadcast in the USA"

Just a note to counteract the earlier black propoganda: I've never posted on Sci-Fi or the BSG newsgroup. If some other anonymous guy wants to stir things up, or other people pick up on Blake's 7 and Space: 1999 how they use it isn't my responsibility. I can only take responsibility for what I post.

I'm mentioning Blake's 7 and Space: 1999 because they have the characterisation and wow factor that is, mostly, new to mainstream US audiences. To be fair, a lot of UK output lacked the polish and marketability of US material but UK production is picking that up as the US is learning our tricks.

I'm slightly surprised a US (I guess) audience is getting so snarky. That's usually a British thing and I detest it. Prhaps, BSG has come off the rails like US imperialism but you guys might not want to fall down that hole. It's okay that BSG isn't perfect just as much as Britain needs some more polish.

Anyway, there will be other shows. You ain't seen nothing yet, or whatever.

I don't think of anonymous there as a troll, by any means. He's had a lot to contribute, and I don't mind-- and often value-- his presence, as opposed to most trolls who you just wish would leave. I do find his obsession with the two other shows odd (as I find neither very impressive), as he's referenced them all too often as if they set the bar that BSG is to be measured by.

His recent post admitting that he has a nostalgic fondness for them helps me understand it better. Likewise, my father grew up on the original Star Trek and compares everything to it, despite it being a highly flawed show. By the same token, I grew up on TNG, and despite it's shortcomings (and believe me, I see them) every sci-fi show since has been measured against it for me.

Being that anonymous is clearly from the UK (right?) his tastes and critical eye are bound to differ from ours beyond the spectrum between people due to cultural and societal differences.

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