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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: 33

Battlestar Galactica


TV episode

Written by Ronald D. Moore

Directed by Michael Rymer

Original air date: January 14, 2005


The Cylons continue to hound the fleet, arriving via FTL jump and attacking every 33 minutes.


Read the story summary of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki


Notes from the BSG chronology


This episode opens 5 days after the end of "Enemies Among Us".


Didja Know?


This is the first episode of the ongoing BSG2000 series, following the 4-hour mini-series.


The opening titles of this and the other first season episodes features a quick, choppy teaser of scenes from the episode. This was borrowed from the 1975-1977 TV series Space: 1999, which had a similar opening title format.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story





Commander Adama

Colonel Tigh


Lt. Gaeta

Number Six

President Roslin

Billy Keikeya



Chief Tyrol


Joker (mentioned only)

Stinger (mentioned only)

Ice Cap (mentioned only)



Dr. Amarak (mentioned only)




Didja Notice?


At 3:11 on the Blu-ray, the whiteboard on Colonial One has 50,298 written on it to represent the current human population of the fleet.


The analog timer above Gaeta's work station has a red "33" sticker in place (as do many other timers throughout the fleet in this episode) to note the 33-minute timing of the repeated Cylon pursuits of the fleet. Even after the timed pursuits end after the destruction of the Olympic Carrier in this episode, the sticker on Gaeta's timer is seen still in place in later episodes.


Dee's commentary on the jump progress implies that there are 64 ships in the fleet as the episode opens. In "Flight", Roslin managed to gather about 60 ships full of civilians, only about 40 were said to have FTL capability, and so 20 wind up left behind in the escape from the Cylons and rendezvous at Ragnar Anchorage. Later episodes also seem to stick with the 60-odd number of ships in the fleet.


At 10:35 on the Blu-ray, a book in Adama's quarters is North Star Crusade by William Katz. This is an actual book, a 1977 Cold War thriller about a rogue U.S. sub that tries to start WWWIII.


The man at the missing persons desk is Socinus.


At 11:20 on the Blu-ray, a number of pilots' names are seen on the roster in the pilots' briefing room: Boomer, Apollo, Starbuck, Joker, Stinger, and Ice Cap. The names of Joker, Stinger, and Ice Cap are seen several times throughout the series, but we never meet the characters.


At the end of the pilots' briefing, Apollo tells them, "Be careful out there." This is probably an intentional callback to the 1981-1987 police procedural TV series Hill Street Blues, in which police sergeant Esterhaus traditionally ended his morning roll call with "Let's be careful out there."


Boomer's new ECO is Alex Quartararo (Crashdown). Her previous ECO was Helo, left behind on Caprica in "Serve and Protect". Boomer mentions here that Crashdown is a survivor from the Triton, one of the battlestars destroyed in the Cylon attack on the Colonies (as mentioned by Adama in "Serve and Protect"). Notice that he wears a Triton patch on the sleeve of his flight suit.


At 14:19 on the Blu-ray, a toy of a U.S. military Humvee is seen sitting on a chest of keepsakes next to the missing persons wall.


At 15:50 on the Blu-ray, President Roslin changes the whiteboard to 49,998 after the latest population count is presented.


A Dr. Amarak sends word to Colonial One that he has vital information about how the Cylons were able to defeat Colonial defenses, which worries Baltar when he hears about it. But Amarak's ship, the Olympic Carrier, is destroyed before he can meet President Roslin to deliver it. A Dr. Amorak (slightly different spelling, but presumably the same person) introduced Baltar to Number Six in "A Higher Purpose".


At 22:48 on the Blu-ray, notice that Starbuck is wearing a ring on her left thumb. Is it an engagement ring that was given to her by Zak a couple years ago?

Starbuck's ring


Helo's container of anti-radiation dosages has a symbol on it not too far removed from the radiation hazard symbol used here on Earth.
Anti-radiation dosages International radiation symbol
Helo's anti-radiation dosage container International radiation symbol


At 24:47 on the Blu-ray, notice that the cord of Gaeta's handset is not connected to's just dangling loosely below the countertop!

phone cord


As Dualla is reporting on the missing Olympic Carrier, her headset keeps changing from being on the right or left ear.


At 26:13 on the Blu-ray, Billy changes the whiteboard to 47,972 after the disappearance of the Olympic Carrier and other deaths from the most recent Cylon attack.


At 28:40 on the Blu-ray, a botanical cruiser (similar to the agro-ships of BSG70) is seen among the fleet. Obviously, this one must have an FTL drive, unlike the botanical ship that had to be left behind with other sublight ships in "Flight".


This episode introduces the location designation unit "carom" in regards to a DRADIS contact.


At 33:39 on the Blu-ray, notice that the battle chart behind Colonel Tigh still has "EM STORM THRESHOLD" marked on it from the events of "Flight" and "Enemies Among Us".


Boomer is said to be handling the sleep deprivation better than the other pilots. Of course, we know she is a Cylon. Colonel Tigh and Chief Tyrol also seem to handle it better than many of their counterparts, perhaps an early hint of they being Cylons as well.


The ship the Rising Star is mentioned for the first time in BSG2000 in this episode, as the ship on which the first baby in the fleet was born. The ship is a medical transport, not actually seen until the episode "Pegasus". In BSG70, the Rising Star was a luxury liner.


The episode ends with the whiteboard count of the population of the fleet at 47,973. There are 63 ships left in the fleet after the destruction of the Olympic Carrier.


Notes from the audio commentary by David Eicke on the Blu-ray release


The two boys in the photo frame on the missing persons wall at 14:18 on the Blu-ray are David Eicke's sons.


There are a few movements in the windows of the Olympic Carrier, indicating there is life aboard before Apollo and Starbuck fire upon it, destroying it. I, personally, hae not been able to see it in the quick-moving, jerky shots of the ship.


The scenery outside Baltar's window in his visions of his home on Caprica are of Lions Bay, Vancouver, Canada.


Unanswered Questions


How were the Cylons able to track the fleet through its FTL jumps? In "Flight", Apollo says its theoretically impossible to track a ship through a jump. It's possible the device found on the bridge in "Flight"; in "Kobol's Last Gleaming" Part 1, it's finally revealed that the device is a Cylon transponder which essentially tells any Cylons that happen to be near the fleet in space, "here I am".


Was there the presence of one or more Cylons on the Olympic Carrier? It seems like there must have been at least one after the last jump, as the ship suddenly reads as radiologically active and refuses to stop its approach to the fleet.


Memorable Dialog

be careful out there.wav
we'll sleep when we're dead.wav
heard the latest?.wav
do you want children?.wav
a lovely little pink toaster of your very own.wav
you can't be serious.wav
he's a strange one.wav
is this my ten minutes?.wav
I'll take my pills.wav
next crisis.wav
a personal interest in the fortunes of Gaius Baltar.wav
that which God gives, he can also take away.wav
100-percent stimulated.wav
because she's a Cylon.wav
gotta make the old man look good.wav
God's got nothing to do with this.wav

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