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Battlestar Galactica (2003)/Litmus

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BSG - Litmus.png
Season 1, Episode 6
Airdate • November 22, 2004 (UK)
• February 11, 2005 (USA)
Written by Jeff Vlaming
Directed by Rod Hardy
← 1x05
You Can't Go Home Again (2)
1x07 →
Six Degrees of Separation
Battlestar Galactica (2003)Season One

Litmus is the sixth episode of the first season of Battlestar Galactica.

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

Michael Hogan (Colonel Saul Tigh), Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol), Tahmoh Penikett (Helo), Paul Campbell (Billy Keikeya), Sam Witwer (Crashdown)

Guest Stars: Donnelly Rhodes (Dr. Cottle), Jill Teed (Sgt. Hadrian), Dominic Zamprogna (Jammer)

Cast: Alonso Oyarzun (Socinus), Nicki Clyne (Cally), Bodie Olmos (Constanza/Hot Dog), Matthew Bennett (Doral), Christina Schild (Playa Kohn), Raahul Singh (Kimmit), Shaw Madson (Marine Corporal), Nimet Kanji (Candace Myson – Tribunal), Biski Gugushe (Reporter #1), Morris Chapdelaine (Reporter #2)

Uncredited: Ian Wallace (Civilian), Leo Chiang (Tattooed pilot)


Plot Summary

When a copy of a known Cylon agent boards Galactica and carries out a suicide bombing, the knowledge of the Cylons' new human appearance is shed to the fleet.

With the ship's munitions used in the attack, Commander Adama initiates a tribunal to investigate the security lapse.


  • During his questioning, Tyrol invokes the 23rd Article of Colonisation.

Arc Advancement


  • Roslin and Adama agree that the fleet know about the Cylons looking human and releases photographs of Doral and Leoben so they maybe reported if spotted.
  • Socinus admits to lying. He is stripped of his rank and put in the brig.
  • Seeing that Helo chooses to go back into the city for Sharon, the Cylons stage his rescue of her for his benefit.


  • Adama reveals his father was a civil liberties lawyer.
  • Feeling guilty that Socinus took the fall for the cover-up of his relationship with Boomer, he tells her that they're not worth it and ends it.



The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Six says "Don't make me angry, Gaius. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." This is a reference to The Incredible Hulk, where David Banner often said that as a reference to the fact that he turned into the Hulk when he became agitated.

Memorable Moments

  • Adama shuts down the tribunal and begins to leave when Hadrian orders the corporal of the guard to have Adama to return to the chair. Adama gives him the order to return Hadrian to her quarters. The guard visibly wrestles with his choice for a moment before he steps aside, following the commander's order.


  • Adama: We're done here.
Sgt. Hadrian: Excuse me, sir, but my questions are not finished.
Adama: You’ve lost your way, Sergeant. You’ve lost sight of the purpose of the law: to protect its citizens, not persecute them. Whatever we are, whatever’s left of us - we’re better than that. Now these proceedings are closed. You’ll be transported back to your ships and we appreciate your help.
Candace Myson: Commander. This is an independent board. You have no authority to close our inquiry.
Adama: This is a witch hunt. I will not have it aboard my ship.