Daybreak, Part One

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

The geometry of the Colony

Note: Most of this article was written before Daybreak, and new information outdates it. See updates

Cavil's Cylon base, which Boomer flies to, is the "Colony" which was the place the final five's gear was stored. It was moved by Cavil several months ago from the location Ellen had for it.

Comments in a prior thread got a bit too heated, and have been moved to this new thread, but it is worth exploring various interpretations of what we see as Boomer comes to the Colony.

Endings for the characters

We've had lots of debate about the big stuff coming in the ending, such as whether they come to a new planet, and whether it's real Earth in the future or in the past. While I've written plenty on that, and will write more later, today let's consider the endings that must come for the characters. They don't have a lot of time to do it all in.

The general ending was painted out by the first Hybrid like this:

On 33, and FTL Radio in Battlestar Galactica

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

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

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

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


Someone to walk all over me

I wasn't planning to post on this episode right away, but readers need a place to put comments, so I will start with some thoughts. The episode was a good one but wasn't tremendously surprising to some. Many were of the opinion that Boomer was still working for Cavil and they were right. And we've always known that Starbuck was under the influence of the mysterious string-puller who showed her a vision of Leoben and gave her a destiny.

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.

The Elephant in the room: The big secrets

The conversation that didn't happen:

Adama: So, Ellen, you have all your memories and you're on the side of humanity. Tell us all the secrets, please.

Ellen: I can't do that Bill.

Adama: Well what about Saul, can you tell them to Saul?

Ellen: If I did the audience would hear.

Adama: Frak the audience. Tell him in an offscreen scene!

Ellen: I still can't, because if you knew all the secrets, your actions coming up would not make any sense. You wouldn't be shocked when they are revealed.


Cavil's Evil Plan rewrites the whole show

The newly revealed plot, with Cavil as the cause of so many of the events in the show, but some other hidden being (the sender of the Messengers) with a secret agenda, rewrites a lot of the show. In some cases it does so retroactively, as they had not written the Final Five plot until the end of season two. But let's consider:

I've always taken it to be Kobol

With these seven words, Jane Esperson, executive producer of BSG and writer of "No Exit" dashes many of my hopes for a great (and hard SF) backstory for Galactica.

They come in this interview by Maureen Ryan where the dialog goes like this:

Mo: Was Kobol the original origin point for humanity, or was it Earth?

Jane: I've always taken it to be Kobol.

Galactic geometry and sublight travel

Lots to think about based on No Exit, but let's start by looking at one of the minor, but scientifically important revelations. The Final Five went from the 13th colony to the 12 colonies in a sublight, relativistic (meaning near the speed of light) spacecraft, first retracing their steps to Kobol, and it took about 2,000 years.

This explains their absence from the scene for so long, but it raises a lot of questions.

Anders says the 13th colony never had FTL ships. These may have been invented on Kobol after losing contact with the 13th colony.

What is Starbuck?

Update: Well, obviously Starbuck turned out to be something quite different, though many find her nature to be both disappointing and not fully resolved. Starbuck was an instrument of Gog (God of Galactica) presumably born human, but with a special destiny in mind. Her father taught her the magic song containing the coordinates that would jump Galactica from the Colony to the Earth's moon if entered at the exact end of the battle. Oracles told her mother and her of a special fate.