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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138-at-popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak (Part 1)

Battlestar Galactica

"Daybreak" Part 1

TV episode

(00:00-45:01 on the Blu-ray)

Written by Ronald D. Moore

Directed by Michael Rymer

Original air date: March 13, 2009


A call for volunteers is made for Galactica’s final mission as the ship is stripped of its parts.


(This episode opens with the first flashback to Caprica before the fall and ends with Admiral Adama proclaiming, "Let's get to work.")


Read the summary of the episode at the Battlestar Wiki


Didja Know?


This study is based on the extended version of the episode found on the complete series Blu-ray box set that combines all the "Daybreak" episodes into one 152-minute telefilm.


"Daybreak" was the final storyline of the series. Though the "Daybreak" storyline was originally broken down into two parts (the 1-hour "Daybreak" Part 1 and the 2-hour "Daybreak" Part 2), it has since often been seen in syndication as three separate parts, as also presented here in the studies of PopApostle. But the story is best viewed all at once, as a 2.5-hour movie; the 1-hour installments don't have the pacing to make satisfactory episodes, which is even admitted by writer and show runner Ron Moore when he states in the audio commentaries that the story was written as one whole, not as a string of episodes each with its own beginning, middle, and end.


The opening titles show the fleet at a population of 39,516, down 5 from the previous episode "Islanded In a Stream of Stars". These 5 deaths are unexplained, but may be due to injured crewmembers who later died of their wounds incurred during the explosive decompression of part of Galactica's hull in that episode.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Admiral Adama

Frank Porthos (in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)

Caprica Six


Baltar's driver (mentioned in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)

Barbara (nurse to Baltar's father in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)

President Roslin

Sidney (mentioned in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)

Cheryl Roslin (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Sandra Roslin (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Mrs. Anderson (mentioned in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)

Mrs. Anderson's friend (mentioned in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)



Zak (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Julius Baltar (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Officer Stephanie (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Officer Shawn (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Mr. Roslin (Laura Roslin's father, mentioned in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Paramedic Layne Ishay

Dr. Cottle

Specialist Dealino

Paulla Schaffer

Head Six

Calvin (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Sam Anders

Lt. Hoshi

Colonel Tigh



Chief Tyrol



Hot Dog

Nicholas Tyrol

Tracey Anne

Carolyn (reporter in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)

tattooed pilot

Ellen Tigh

Tory Foster

John Cavil

Number Five

Number Four

Marcie (on phone with Laura in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased; not named until "Daybreak" Part 2)

Mayor Adar (mentioned in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Sean Ellison (mentioned in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)





Didja Notice?


During the flashback to events on Caprica before the fall at 3:50 on the Blu-ray, an advertisement for McCool is seen on the side of a building. A baby's face appears to be part of the image.


During the flashback, Adama, dressed in civilian attire, appears to be in a job interview. He tells the interviewer (Frank Porthos) that he commanded two battlestars. These were the Valkyrie and, of course, the Galactica. He also adds that he commanded three escorts before that.


During Baltar's limo ride with Caprica Six, he remarks that he's forgotten her name. This is a bit of a wink-and-a-nod to the fact that the name she used while on Caprica has never been revealed in the series (though the novelization of the mini-series has the author taking it upon himself to give her the name Natasi).


At 13:03 on the Blu-ray, a photo of Laura Roslin's family is seen: herself, her two sisters, and her father.

Roslin family


The actor playing Zak in flashback scenes here is the same one who played him in flashback in "Act of Contrition".


At 16:41 on the Blu-ray, the boxes Adama is packing in his quarters are labeled to be taken to "Admiral's Qrtrs., Cylon baseship, Deck 74."


During the flashbacks to events on Caprica before the fall, Baltar is seen talking to a teenage boy named Calvin on the deck of his house. In the audio commentary on the extended version of "Daybreak" Part 2, Ron Moore says Calvin was a boy who lived next door whom Baltar struck up a rapport with.


As Lt. Hoshi wipes up his spilled coffee on the CIC map table, Colonel Tigh growls at him, "You'll never make admiral like that." Ironically, Hoshi is given the temporary commission of Admiral of the fleet while Admiral Adama and his volunteers take the Galactica to rescue Hera from the Cylon Colony in "Daybreak" Part 2.


At 29:00 on the Blu-ray, Anders babbles out, "Spins and turns. Angles and curves. The shape of dreams half-remembered. Slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of perfection. A perfect face. Perfect lace. Find a perfect world for the end of Kara Thrace. End of line." The phrase "Slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of perfection" seems to be a paraphrasing of lines from the 1941 poem "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. The end of the statement, "Find a perfect world for the end of Kara Thrace" seems to be a foreshadowing of events in "Daybreak" Part 3, where a beautiful, wild planet is found to be the new Earth for the humans of the fleet to settle on and where Starbuck vanishes in the middle of a discussion with Apollo.


In the flashbacks to events on Caprica before the fall at 32:00 on the Blu-ray, Apollo drunkenly stumbles into his apartment mumbling, "I dare you. I double-dog dare you." The import of these words is finally seen in another Caprica flashback, to an earlier moment between him and Starbuck, in "Daybreak" Part 3.


In the flashbacks to events on Caprica before the fall at 38:30 on the Blu-ray, Laura is talking on the phone to a friend who is setting her up on a blind date. The wireless phone can be seen to have the Panasonic brand name on the bottom of it.


At 38:49 on the Blu-ray, Laura Roslin is seen putting her wig onto her bald head. We only see the performer from behind and, in the audio commentary for the extended version of this episode, it is mentioned that the performer was a stand-in for actress Mary McDonnell, jokingly referred to as a person "from Commercial Drive" in Vancouver. Commercial Drive is a street in Vancouver, Canada where the series was filmed. The reference to Commercial Drive may be obliquely to the Dyke March or the Parade of Lost Souls that takes place there roughly annually.


This episode mentions Dr. Cottle's first name for the first time, by Adama: it's Sherman.


Among the imprisoned mutineers who agree to join Galactica's final mission to rescue Hera are Racetrack and Skulls.


Unanswered Questions


When Adama calls for volunteer pilots and crew for the planned assault against the Cylon Colony, does Bulldog volunteer from whatever ship he's now living on since the end of "Hero"?


Memorable Dialog

you like having things done for you.mp3
it's a tragedy, your life.mp3
your personal feelings about Kara Thrace.mp3
I don't know what I am.mp3
I know what you are.mp3
I wouldn't trust me either.mp3
send Racetrack and Skulls.mp3

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