Battlestar Galactica (2003)/Bastille Day

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Bastille Day
Season 1, Episode 3
Airdate • November 1, 2004 (UK)
• January 21, 2005 (USA)
Written by Toni Graphia
Directed by Allan Kroeker
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Act of Contrition
Battlestar Galactica (2003)Season One

Bastille Day is the third episode of the first season of Battlestar Galactica.

Starring: Edward James Olmos (Commander William Adama), Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Lt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace), Jamie Bamber (Captain Lee "Apollo" Adama), James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar), Tricia Helfer (Number Six), Grace Park (Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii)

Secondary Stars: Michael Hogan (Colonel Saul Tigh), Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol), Tahmoh Penikett (Helo), Kandyse McClure (PO Dualla), Paul Campbell (Billy Keikeya), Alessandro Juliani (Lt. Gaeta), Connor Widdows (Boxey)

Special Guest Star: Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek)

Cast: Alonso Oyarzun (Socinus), Nicki Clyne (Cally), Pat Adrien Dorval (Wilkens), Ron Selmour (Seaborne), Matthew Bennett (Doral), Brent Stait (Mason), Graham Young (Marine #1), Curtis Hicks (Marine #2), Colby Johannson (Flat-Top)

Uncredited: Leo Chiang (Tattooed pilot)


Plot Summary

With water now found on a nearby moon in the form of ice, a labour source must be used to mine it. The answer is to use the prisoners aboard the Astral Queen. However, convicted terrorist Tom Zarek acts as their leader and organises a revolt, taking hostages with the demand of President Roslin's resignation.


  • Cally tells Tigh there has been 23 core samples drilled.

Arc Advancement


  • The inmates aboard the Astral Queen are tapped as candidates to help mine the ice to replenish Galactica's water. Political prison, Tom Zarek orchestrates an escape and takes everyone prisoner in exchange for Roslin stepping down. Lee defuses the situation and let's the prisoners maintain the ship in exchange for Roslin, only serving the remainder of Adar's term, allowing for an election in 7 months.
  • Adama asks Baltar about his Cylon detector. He tries to get out of the responsibility before Number Six scares him into submission and has him tell Adama that he needs a nuclear warhead for the plutonium inside. He then improvises the reasoning, which convinces Adama to give one over to him.
  • Sharona and Helo move through the city, noticing a lack of bodies. They are being observed by Doral and a Six.


  • When Adama says he would like someone to report to him about security details when they visit the Astral Queen, Billy requests Dee.
  • Roslin asks to see Doctor Major Cottle about her allergies. She later confides in Lee privately about her cancer diagnosis.
  • Tigh begins drinking.
  • Tigh corners Boomer and lets her know everyone is aware of their relationship, but she's his superior officer and orders her to put an end to it.
  • Kara and Tigh, least a temporary, reconcile their animosity.



The Show

  • In the miniseries, the Astral Queen is referred to as a cargo vessel with 500 prisoner on their way to a penal colony. This information is retconned in this episode so that it is now a prison ship with 1,500 prisoners on their way to Caprica for parole hearings.

Behind the Scenes

  • Tom Zarek is played by actor Richard Hatch, who played the role of Apollo in the original series.

Allusions and References

  • The title of this episode is taken from the name of a French holiday, commemorating a festivity that celebrated an important event in the French Revolution. The parallel is that Bastille was a prison that was invaded as an open rebellion against the King of France.

Memorable Moments


  • For the third episode in a row, Kevin Grazier's last name is spelled as 'Grazer'.


  • (Starbuck berating a pilot for his overly hard landings)
Kara: Just can't wait to get back to the Big G and the loving embrace of your fellow pilots? Or maybe you have a hot date with your right hand.
Flat-Top: Hey, it never gets a headache.
Kara: Tell you what, Flat-Top. You come in too hot today, you may have to start using your left.
  • Number Six: (to Baltar) If you don't tell him what he wants to hear, he's gonna find you out. And when he does, they're gonna tear your head off, and throw your body out of an airlock!
  • Socinus: So, Cally, is it true? You really bite that guy's ear off?
Cally: He's lucky that's all I bit off.