October 14, 2006

Battlestar Galactica, 3-3

"3-3" meaning season 3, episode 3. (OK, the season premiere was actually one two-hour episode, but they're then usually broken down into one-hour segments later.) I suppose I could titled it "Exodus," as that was the actual title of the episode. So I want to be different. Sue me.

At any rate, what we saw was basically a continuation of the premiere, where the Galactica is planning a rescue mission on New Caprica. But in 3-3, the Cylons are getting royally fed up with occupying the last vestiges of humanity. One of the humanoid Cylons suggests leaving New Caprica and nuking the city from orbit. (Was that an homage to the line from "Aliens" where Sigourney Weaver -- Ripley -- says "I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure," whereupon the swarmy Burke, played by Paul Reiser, vociferously disagrees, to which Cpl. Hicks -- Michael Biehn, the original star of "The Terminator" -- simply restates Weaver's quip: "I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure"?? I'm probably over-analyzing.) What helped lead to that suggestion was a raid by human insurgent forces where a woman purposely let a humanoid Cylon lie on the ground, grievously injured, suffer. The woman seems to take pleasure in the Cylon's suffering, which really pisses off the cadre of humanoid Cylons running the occupation. One of the humanoid Cylons -- dubbed "skin-jobs" by the humans in what is probably another homage, this time to the classic "Blade Runner" term for human-looking androids -- even remarks how "callous" and "uncaring" humans are. This -- from those who exterminated countless billions of human beings in atomic fire!

Other developments:

  • The humanoid Cylon "Sharon" now working for Adama successfully infiltrates the Cylon safehouse on New Caprica and obtains the "launch keys" to the human spaceships that landed on New Caprica during the initial settlement.
  • Starbuck is still imprisoned by her humanoid Cylon "mate" and their "daughter" appears to be fine following an injury in the season opener. Starbuck appears to be falling for the Cylon's mind games -- forcing her to accept him as his "mate" and the "fact" that they have a "daughter" -- but I don't buy it. Starbuck is the toughest character on BSG -- she's faking it and I predict she'll end up killing yet another copy of her "mate" and escaping with her "daughter" to safety aboard the Galactica.
  • Tigh's wife's collaboration with the Cylons is discovered, and the Colonel is beside himself. This matter is unresolved in the episode.

Next week's episode will feature the raid on New Caprica by the Galactica if the previews are a real indication. It'll be cool to finally see some space battle action.

Speaking of which, at midday yesterday the SciFi Channel replayed the original BSG episodes of "The Living Legend" on which the new BSG's "Pegasus" two-parter is based. Lloyd Bridges plays Commander Cain, legendary Battlestar leader who miraculously is discovered to have survived the big Cylon surprise attack along with his Battlestar Pegasus crew. There is friction between Adama (Lorne Greene) and Cain, but the two work through their differences, and the climactic battle between the Pegasus and three Cylon base-ships is pretty awesome by 1979 standards.

Hey -- speaking of the Pegasus, has there ever been an explanation of why the Cylon computer virus that led to the destruction of the whole Battlestar fleet doesn't seem to affect the Pegasus? We know why it didn't work on the Galactica (because Adama refused to allow networked computers on his old ship), but I don't recall ever being given a reason as to how Pegasus got around the cyber-attack.

There's lot's a cool discussion about the many aspects of BSG over the message boards of the Internet Movie Database. If you're a fan, you gotta check it out.

UPDATE: I sent an e-mail query to BSG fan Jonah Goldberg at The Corner asking the following: Were not the original Cylons (in the TOS version of BSG) "replacements" for a dying lizard-like race? And wasn't the "imperious leader" (voiced by Patrick MacNee) one of the few (only?) surviving lizards?

Is this accurate? Anyone?

UPDATE 2: Google is your friend. Seriously. I typed in "Battlestar Galactica Cylons Lizards" and more than a couple references turned up. Like this one (a review of the new series) which states (my emphasis)

The Cylons were created by Man. Some people feel this was a betrayal of the original premise in which the original Cylons were lizards who created machines and were overcome by their own technology. There were strong hints that Count Iblis had a hand in the original Cylonsí extinction. It was a fascinating story, but too complex to be effectively done over the course of a four-hour miniseries.

By making humans the creators of the Cylons, the Destruction becomes much more poignant in that the Colonials are the victims of their own sins. When you think about it, the premise isnít all that much different from the original. All Moore did was substitute the lizard Cylons with the Colonials.


The premise of the classic Battlestar: Galactica series (1978-1979) is that a species of robots called Cylons (actually lizards that morphed into the mechanical automatons) wants to eliminate humanity so that it can be the sole power in the universe. After wiping out the Twelve Colonies of mankind, the Cylons continue their relentless pursuit of a small group of survivors who reside aboard one of the last surviving warships in the galaxy: the Galactica.

And finally:

The Imperious Leader is the highest authority of the Cylon Empire. There is only one Imperious Leader, although there are others to replace it should the Cylon succumb to destruction. Typically, their potential replacements are called IL-series Cylons, and are typically the politicians or viceroys of the Cylon Empire.

So, apparently the Cylon leader is just a construct, like the centurions themselves, and not one of the few remaining "lizard" Cylons. (Although, after reading various BSG sources, there are considerable clues throughout TOS BSG that can lead one to conclude that Imperious Leader is indeed a lizard.)

Posted by Hube at October 14, 2006 08:39 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Let's put it this way (great blog by the way):

In the original series, Count Iblis's voice was the same voice as that of the Imperial leader. Iblis even hints that his voice was the one programmed into the imperious leader back in the day.

Since Iblis was revealed to be basically Satan, it seems the implication was that Satan created the Cylons.

Not only that, the "beings of light"
who saved Galactica from the manipulations of Iblis said humanity's ultimate goal was to become higher beings like them, but that Iblis just wanted power and so was trying to stop humanity from progressing along those lines.

Now the series ended after one season (so we can't know where this would have gone), but it seems the clear implication is that Iblis either created or molded the Cylons in order to have an army that could stop or hinder humanity's progress towards diefication (or whatever the beings of light were).

I don't know if Moore is going to play with that at all, but it seems like an intriguing idea.

Posted by: Ivan Wolfe at October 14, 2006 09:05 PM

Thanks for the assist, Ivan (and the kind words)!!

Posted by: Hube at October 14, 2006 09:29 PM