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Battlestar Galactica (2003)/Miniseries

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Battlestar Galactica
BSG - miniseries.png
Airdate December 8, 2003 part one
December 9, 2003 part two
Written by Ronald D. Moore and
Christopher Eric James
Based on a teleplay by
Glen A. Larson
Directed by Michael Rymer

1x01 →
Battlestar GalacticaMiniseries

Starring: Edward James Olmos (Commander Adama), Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Lt. Kara Thrace/Starbuck), Jamie Bamber (Capt. Lee Adama/Apollo), James Callis (Gaius Baltar), Tricia Helfer (Number Six), Callum Keith Rennie (Leoben Conoy), Grace Park (Lt. Sharon Valerii/Boomer), Michael Hogan (Col. Tigh), Matthew Bennett (Doral), Paul Campbell (Billy), Aaron Douglas (Crew Chief Tyrol), Lorena Gale (Elosha), Barclay Hope (Transport Pilot), Kandyse McClure (Dualla)

Cast: Connor Widdows (Boxey), John Mann (CAG), Alessandro Juliani (Gaeta), Nicki Clyne (Cally), Michael Eklund (Prosna), Tahmoh Penikett (Helo), Haili Page (Cami), Alonso Oyarzun (Socinus), Ty Olsson (Capt. Kelly), Ron Blecker (Launch Officer), Ryan Robbins (Armistice Officer), Tim Henry (Doctor), Dwesi Ameyaw (Liner Captain), Brenda McDonald (Old Woman), Suleka Mathew (Reporter), Erin Karpluk (Woman #1), Jenn Griffin (Woman #2), BJ Harrison (Woman #3), Moneca Delain (Blonde Woman), Zahf Paroo (Man #1), Robert Lewis (Man #2), Denzal Sinclaire (Man #3), Nadine Wright (Chantara), Michael Soltis (Chantara's Husband), Fred Keating (Jr. Reporter), Lymari Nadal (Giana), Biski Gugushe (Pilot #1), Nahanni Arnitzen (Pilot #2), Nogel Vonas (Pilot #3), Ryan Nelson (Pilot #4)

Uncredited: Mike Mitchell (Desperate Man)


Plot Summary

Part One

Forty years after the end of the Cylon War, the artificially created Cylons declare war on humanity by attacking and destroying all of their twelve colonies. The military crumbles after their newly updated ships shut down in the face of a new unknown Cylon weapon. A lone battlestar known as Galactica, due to be decommissioned and turned into a museum turns out to be the only thing standing between the Cylons, and total destruction of the human race.

Part Two

With all others in the line of succession dead, Laura Roslin, the Education Minister is appointed president of the Twelve Colonies. Her new plan is to round up all of the remaining surviving ships and together, with the Galactica, flee their home solar systems never to return.


  • 47: The last lottery number called out.
  • 23: Appears next to the door behind Leoben just before the explosion.

Arc Advancement


  • The Twelve Colonies had created Cylons to make life easier until they rebelled and waged war against their human masters. It ended when an armistice was declared and the Cylons left for a world of their own.
  • It's been 40 years since the end of the war and no has seen or heard from the Cylons.
  • While there are still robotic versions, the Cylons have taken human form. There are twelve models. When they die, their memories download into an identical body.
  • While some are conscious of their actions, some Cylons are sleeper agents.
  • The battlestar Galactica is being prepped for decommission.
  • The Cylons launch a war against the Twelve Colonies by using nukes. All military effort is defeated due to the Cylons using a backdoor into the defence mainframe, an access granted by an oblivious Baltar, that they use to access networked ships and send a virus that effectively shuts them down, making them vulnerable to attack.
  • Due to not being networked, Galactica survives the attacks. With all other known battlestars destroyed and no other senior officers alive, Adama takes command of the fleet.
  • Adama learns from Leoben that the Cylons have taken human form. It's agreed to keep the information secret.
  • After Baltar scapegoats him as a Cylon, Aaron Doral is left behind on Ragnor station. Baltar is then tasked with finding a screening process to detect Cylons.
  • Baltar finds and alerts Tigh to a Cylon device of unknown purpose placed above the DRADIS console.
  • Roslin goes about trying to find and round up surviving ships to form a convoy. They meet up with Galactica at Ragnor station as it loads on ammunition. Adama is initially hellbent on leading a charge against the Cylons, but is convinced by Roslin to guard and escort the civilian ships out of the star system to find a new world where the Cylons cannot find them.
  • Adama tells the crew and other survivors about the legend of the thirteenth tribe that left Kobol and made a home on a distant planet called Earth. He claims that it's been a secret and he knows and will lead them there. Roslin later talks privately with him that there was no such secret and that Earth isn't real. He confesses to lying, but did so to give everyone a reason to keep going.
  • Four Cylons models are identified in addition to Number Six: Aaron Doral, Leoben Conoy, and finally Sharon Valerii.


  • Roslin is diagnosed with cancer.
  • Boomer and Chief Tyrol are in a romantic relationship they are keeping secret from the rest of the crew.
  • It's suggested Tigh has a rocky relationship with his wife and is later seen struggling to throw away a bottle of alcohol.
  • Lee has a bad relationship with his father following the death of his brother Zak. Lee blames his father for pushing Zak into the service.
  • Baltar learns the woman he has been having a sexual relationship with for two years is a Cylon and used him to gain access into the Colonial defence mainframe.
  • Following the death of the president and most of the subsequent cabinet, Roslin finds, as Secretary of Education, she is next in line of succession. She is then sworn in what is later called Colonial One as President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.
  • Boomer and Helo park their raptor on Caprica to fix it when they are approached by survivors. They take on as many as they can, but Helo gives up his spot for Baltar and stays behind on Caprica.
  • After Number Six's death in the bombings, Baltar begins seeing her in his mind. She suggests that she planted a chip in his brain that transmits her image in his conscious. He dismisses it as an expression of his subconscious fear.
  • Billy and Dee meet and are clearly attracted to each other and one point Dee even kisses him.
  • Kara confesses to Lee that she passed Zak despite his lack of abilities because of her relationship with him.


The Show

  • The museum installed on Galactica in preparation for its decommission has various items that resemble those from the original series, such as a basestar, Raider, and most prolific, a Cylon Centurion.
  • The last line is of one of the Cylons uttering, "By your command." This phrase was employed repeatedly by the Cylons of the original series. The phrase was originally absent until a friend of Ron Moore asked him how he could call the series Battlestar Galactica without the phrase.
  • Adama says that the first lines of the sacred scrolls are "Life here began out there." This is an homage to the opening narration of the original series, in which these were the first words spoken.

Behind the Scenes

  • Ron D. Moore was the only writer for the miniseries' script; "Christopher Eric James" is actually a pseudonym for original series creator Glen A. Larson. Larson wanted a credit, something Moore agreed with because he believes that, though done differently, the miniseries is still basically Larson's story.
  • Original series star Richard Hatch was offered the role of Roslin's doctor on Caprica, but declined. He would later accept the recurring role of Tom Zarek in the regular series.
  • Original series star Dirk Benedict was considered for the role of the Armistice Officer, but passed.
  • The picture of Adar seen in Baltar's home is of executive producer David Eick. His wife portrays Tigh's wife in the picture he burns. Both roles would be later recast in the regular series.
  • Several of the actors went to a boot camp to better simulate their portrayal as soldiers. The actors that participated were Jamie Bamber, Katee Sackhoff, Grace Park, Aaron Douglas, Nicki Clyne, Kandyse McClure, Tehmoh Penikett, Alessandro Juliani, Alonso Oyarzun, Michael Eklund, and John Mann.
  • Ryan Robbins was under make-up for his role as the Armistice Officer, as there was supposed to be a sequence where the character was shown to age over the course of forty years. However, the sequence was dropped to show only the character at old age.

Allusions and References

  • During the opening flyover of Caprica City, Serenity from Firefly can be seen descending outside the window of the doctor's office. Zōic produced the special effects for both series.
  • The swearing in of Laura Roslin as President on what is shortly renamed Colonial One after Adar's death is a mirror of Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in on Air Force One after John F. Kennedy's assassination.
  • Just before the memorial service, there is a shot of the fleet in which the USS Enterprise from the original Star Trek series can be seen.

Memorable Moments

  • Look carefully at the Armistice Station officer's family photos. It appears his son is Boxey, who is later evacuated from Caprica by Boomer.


  • While the Armistice Officer is looking through the documents at hand, the word "yahren" can be seen. The word is an invented term in the original series to substitute references to "year"; however, the new series never uses the yahren term, opting instead for the real world year.
  • Colonel Tigh can at one point be heard saying "Jesus". This is a clear error, as the Judaeo-Christian reference is out of place in the Colonial religion. The line was ad-libbed by Michael Hogan and has been acknowledged as a mistake.
  • Baltar's facial hair changes throughout. His stubble is thicker when he is among other survivors than earlier when the Cylons began bombing Caprica. By the time he is on Galactica, it is much shorter again.
  • When Boomer's Raptor takes off from Caprica, after Helo shoots a civilian climbing on, the crane lifting up the mock-Raptor can be seen in the window reflection.
  • When talking to Number Six on Colonel One the scar on his cheek appears incredibly faint compared to how distinct it is later in the CIC.
  • Galactica retracts its flight pods when preparing to jump to Ragnar Anchorage, but the flight pods are extended again when it jumps.
  • Nigel Vonas' first name is misspelled in the credits as Nogel.


  • Lee: So what's the charge this time?
Kara: Striking a superior asshole.
Lee: I bet you've been waiting all morning to say that one.
Kara: Most of the afternoon.
  • Baltar: So now you're telling me, um... now you're telling me you're a machine.
Number Six: I'm a woman.
Baltar: You're a machine. You're a synthetic woman. A robot.
Number Six: I've said it three times now.
Baltar: Well, forgive me. I'm having the tiniest bit of trouble believing that because the last time anybody saw the Cylons, they looked more like walking chrome toasters!
  • Tigh: If they remembered their training, then they had their suits on, and they were braced for possible vent action.
Tyrol: There's a lot of rooks in there.
Tigh: No one's a rookie anymore.
  • Helo: Hey. Aren't you Gaius Baltar?
Baltar: I haven't done anything.
  • Lee: The President has given me a direct order.
Adama: You're talking about the Secretary of Education. We're in the middle of a war, and you're taking orders from a schoolteacher?
  • Lee: Dr Baltar, Captain Lee Adama. The President's asked to see you, sir.
Baltar: President Adar is alive?
Lee: No, I'm afraid Adar is dead. President Laura Roslin was sworn in a couple of hours ago.
Baltar: Oh. Who?
  • Roslin: I have cancer.
Billy: I know. Little things. Couple of comments you made.
Roslin: My prognosis is doubtful. I wish I could say it was the least of my worries. But the world is coming to an end and all I could think about is that I have cancer and I'm probably going to die. How selfish is that?
Billy: It's not selfish. It's human.
  • Leoben: Maybe the Cylons are God's retribution for our many sins. What if God decided He made a mistake, and He decided to give souls to another creature, like the Cylons?
Adama: God didn't create the Cylons; Man did. And I'm pretty sure we didn't include a soul in the programming.
  • (seeing Billy and Dualla talking to each other)
Adama: They better start having babies.
Tigh: Is that an order?

Episode Crew

Crew credits: A listing of additional crew members for this episode.