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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138-at-popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak (Part 2)

Battlestar Galactica

"Daybreak" Part 2

TV episode

(45:02-1:47:14 on the Blu-ray)

Written by Ronald D. Moore

Directed by Michael Rymer

Original air date: March 20, 2009


As the Galactica jumps into combat against the Cylon Colony, both humans and Cylons face a stark choice.


(This episode opens with the flashback to Tigh and Adama's visit to a strip club on Caprica and ends with Starbuck jumping the Galactica to coordinates she calculated from the music left behind by the Final Five and her father.)


Read the summary of the two-hour series finale 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 standard opening titles do not appear in the two-hour finale episode. Thus, there is also no fleet population count.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Colonel Tigh

Admiral Adama

Ellen Tigh



Zak (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Sean Allison (in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)

Marcie (mentioned in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)


Head Six

Marine Allan Nowart

Paulla Schaffer

Shona (prostitute in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)

Caprica Six

Calvin (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Julius Baltar (mentioned in Caprica flashback only, deceased)

Dr. Cottle

President Roslin

Paramedic Layne Ishay



tattooed pilot

John Cavil (dies in this episode)


Lt. Hoshi

Chief Tyrol

Tory Foster (dies in this episode)

Sam Anders

Number Eight

Number Six

Romo Lampkin

Jake the dog

Tracey Anne

Hot Dog


Racetrack (dies in this episode)

Skulls (dies in this episode)

Number Five

Boomer (dies in this episode)

Number Four

Cartwheel (mentioned only, dies is this episode)

Ladykiller (mentioned only)

Slick (in Starbuck's memories only, deceased)

Leoben Conoy (in Starbuck's memories only)

Cally (in the Final Five's memory visions only, deceased)



Didja Notice?


   During the flashback to events on Caprica before the fall, the song playing at the strip club is “When Will the Work Be Done?” by Brendan McCreary, brother of the series main composer, Bear McCreary. As Bear explains in his blog, the song was originally written to be used at Joe's Bar aboard Galactica in "Escape Velocity" but was deemed too energetic for the scene by the producers, and another song, “Lord Knows I Would” by Raya Yarbrough, was used. Brendan's energetic song was perfect for the strip club here though, so it was used for these scenes. Bear does reveal one problem with song when using it for this flashback scene: the lyrics were written "in-universe" for season four, about a man reflecting on the destruction of the Colonies, the search for Earth, and his place in the rag-tag fleet!

    In an attempt to justify it, Bear says, "How do I rationalize this glaring oversight, you ask? The more pretentious answer is that Brendan’s voice is cosmically significant to the world of “Battlestar.” As the singer of “All Along the Watchtower” from Season 3, we’ve established his presence as an all-knowing personality: a voice from somewhere in the universe that interacts in strange ways with our characters. So, of course it would be his voice at the strip club, singing an encoded warning of the events to come. However, the honest truth probably is…I really like this song and didn’t give a frak if the lyrics gelled with the chronology." 


As Colonel Tigh pays a stripper 40 cubits for a lap dance for Adama, he complains he never paid more than 30 on Picon. Apparently, he was in the habit of visiting strip clubs during his off-duty planetside hours!


At 47:31 on the Blu-ray, Tigh says of his wife as she begins her own striptease in the club, "She's the finest kind, my Ellen, the finest kind." In the audio commentary for the expanded version of this episode, Ron Moore states that the "finest kind" phrase is an homage to the 1970 film MASH, in which the character of Hawkeye Pierce uses the phrase to describe things several times in the film.


As Baltar's prostitute (called Shona in the closing credits) goes upstairs to his bedroom while he deals with Caprica Six and Calvin, she sings, "Round the mountain we shall go, we shall go, we shall go..." As far as I can tell, these lyrics are from a fictitious song.


During the flashback to events on Caprica before the fall, Caprica Six tells Baltar she found a very nice nursing home called the Regency for his father to live in.


    Ellen says that if they can connect Sam directly into Galactica's DRADIS, FTL and C3 systems, his mind should then be able to directly communicate with the Colony's Hybrids once the Galactica jumps in. The DRADIS and FTL terms we are already familiar with; C3 is military shorthand for command, control, and communications.

    Ellen's statement here implies the Colony uses more than one Hybrid, unlike the baseships that seem to have just one per ship. 


At 1:04:24, one of the ships of the fleet is the Kodiak from the video game Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun (1999).
Kodiak in BSG Kodiak in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Kodiak in Battlestar Galactica Kodiak in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun


    In this episode, Lt. Hoshi is given a temporary commission as Admiral of the fleet by Adama while the Galactica is away to rescue Hera from the Colony. He presumably returns to his real rank of lieutenant when the Galactica is reunited with the fleet in "Daybreak" Part 3.

    Additionally, with Roslin and Apollo both away on the mission with Galactica, Romo Lampkin is appointed president of the fleet.


At 1:07:20 on the Blu-ray, the marine standing guard as Baltar approaches his Raptor for departure is carrying an FN Herstal M249 Paratrooper machine gun.


At 1:08:14 on the Blu-ray, Apollo tosses a Beretta CX4 Storm rifle to Baltar as a new volunteer on the rescue mission.


At 1:09:12 and onward through the Colonial assault on the Cylon Colony, the Centurions who are working with the Colonials have a red slash painted on them to identify them as allies.


Caprica Six and Starbuck are armed with Heckler & Koch MP7A1 submachine guns during the assault against the Colony. Helo and Apollo are carrying a Heckler & Koch UMP submachine gun. Athena and most of the marines carry a Heckler & Koch G36K rifle.


The marine at 1:19:13 on the Blu-ray is carrying an M60E3 machine gun.


At 1:19:55 on the Blu-ray, Boomer asks the Number Four, "You're gonna just keep doing the tests? Even with the colony coming down around your ears?" and the Four responds, "I think you overestimate their chances." This is likely an homage to the 1977 epic space opera film Star Wars: A New Hope, in which the commander of the Empire's Death Star space station, Grand Moff Tarkin, mocks a subordinate who reports to him that the rebel fighters present a distinct danger to the space station, however small: "Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances."


At 1:20:54 on the Blu-ray, Tyrol tells Sam he's pushing too much energy through the ACS. ACS probably refers to "attitude control system", a term used in the control of spacecraft.


During the flashback scene of Boomer getting dressed down by Adama and Tigh for her failed Raptor landings, Adama remarks, "How about being a pilot, an officer worthy of the uniform? Take your job seriously. Don't let your personal life get in the way." He's referring largely to the loss of her family (a false history and memories created by Cavil for her), but he may also be hinting that he knows about the illicit romantic/sexual relationship she is having with Chief Tyrol.


At 1:28:19 on the Blu-ray, Colonel Tigh refers to the Galactica Centurions as "red stripes", calling for them to repel enemy Centurions on Deck 21, portside.


The pistol used by the Number Five at 1:30:42 on the Blu-ray is a Vektor CP1. Cavil also holds one on Hera during the final human/Cylon standoff in CIC on Galactica.


In the audio commentary for the extended version of the episode, Ron Moore comments that the standing dead body of a Number Four in CIC at 1:36:11 on the Blu-ray is an homage to a similar scene of a standing dead man in David Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet.


As she tries to figure out where to jump the Galactica to, Starbuck mumbles to herself, "There must be some kind of way out of here." This is a line from the song "All Along the Watchtower".


The coordinates Starbuck enters into the FTL computer come from her attempts to translate the mysterious music of the Final Five into numbers. The numbers she enters, 1123.6536.5321, were derived by composer Bear McCreary, which he talks about in his blog entry about this episode.


Notes from the audio commentary of the televised episode by Ron Moore on the Blu-ray release


It's not quite made clear in the episode itself, but Ron Moore confirms that the 1-hour procedure Adama is reluctant to participate in to get the civilian job he has applied for in the flashback sequences is a lie detector test, feeling it's beneath his honor after all the service he has given to the Colonies.


The stylized bird symbol of the cult of Baltar is a gull, an acronym for "grace, unity, life, and love" (GULL).


One of the marines in Racetrack's Raptor during the assault was played by real world NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman.


Notes from the audio commentary of the extended episode by Ron Moore on the Blu-ray release


In the flashback sequences to life on Caprica, Baltar's house was shot at a different location from the one that appeared in early episodes. The house had been used for on-location shooting for a Harrison Ford movie in the meantime and the owners and neighbors had a bad experience with it, resulting in a refusal by the owners to allow any more filming there.


The museum in the starboard hangar of the Galactica is seen in this episode. Moore points out that the glass sealing over the landing bay of the hangar is seen intact here even though it was breached by the crash of a Cylon Heavy Raider there as seen in "Scattered" and "Valley of Darkness". He presumes the crew was able to repair the glass somehow!


The shot of the Raptor airlock connection to the surface of the Colony at 1:19:03 on the Blu-ray is actually a shot of a Raptor connecting its airlock to the prison ship Astral Queen, stolen from the first season episode "Bastille Day". You can tell that the surface the airlock connects to is a fairly standard metal ship hull, not the semi-organic (almost Gigeresque) surface the Raptor was seen to land on. 


Unanswered Questions


Was the Colony completely destroyed? Even if it was, are there still Ones, Fours, and Fives somewhere out there in baseships? It seems likely there would have been. What became of them? 


Memorable Dialog

lap dance.mp3
I'm starting to like your brother.mp3
the old man.mp3
don't spoil your image.mp3
start throwing rocks.mp3
this ship, this precious hunk of metal.mp3
Admiral Hoshi.mp3
Galactica will bring us home.mp3
I owe you one.mp3
we stopped for coffee.mp3
our two destinies are entwined in its force.mp3
God's not on any one side.mp3

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