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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138-at-popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak (Part 3)

Battlestar Galactica

"Daybreak" Part 3

TV episode

(1:47:14-end on the Blu-ray)

Written by Ronald D. Moore

Directed by Michael Rymer

Original air date: March 20, 2009


Starbuck’s final interpretation of the myriad visions and associations of the past 5 years leaves the Galactica in an unknown sector of space, leading the fleet exactly…where?


(This episode opens with a flashback of Apollo and Starbuck on Caprica before the fall and ends with Head Six and Head Baltar on modern day Earth.)


Read the summary of the two-hour 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, so no fleet population count is given. Presumably, it would be a little less for "Daybreak" Part 3 than the count of 39,516 listed at the beginning of "Daybreak" Part 1 due to deaths suffered during the Battle of the Colony. The iTunes release of the BSG episodes divides "Daybreak" into three parts (not just two) and features a new fleet population count for Part 3 of 39,406, a loss of 110 individuals in the fleet since "Daybreak" Part 1, accounting for the deaths in the Battle of the Colony. In the course of this episode, President Roslin dies and Starbuck vanishes into thin air, bringing the population count of the fleet that settles on Earth to 39,404, plus the humanoid Cylons of the rebel baseship.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode



Starbuck (vanishes into thin air in this episode)

Admiral Adama

President Roslin (dies in the episode)

Caprica Six


Colonel Tigh

Ellen Tigh

Sam Anders (dies in the episode)



Chief Tyrol

Tory Foster (corpse only)

Cally (in Tyrol's memories only, deceased)

Boomer (in Tyrol's memories only, deceased)

Lt. Hoshi

Dr. Cottle

Romo Lampkin

Leoben Conoy

Frank Porthos (in Caprica flashback only, presumed deceased)

Zak (in Caprica flashback only, deceased)




Didja Notice?


The first glimpse we see of the planet the Colonials and Cylon rebels will settle on (our Earth) shows a view of the African continent, considered by anthropologists to be the birthplace of humanity.

Earth redux


At 1:53:00 on the Blu-ray, notice that where the Raptors have landed, the Colonials have set up Quonset-hut style structures. Quonset huts were also seen in "Down".


When Starbuck decides to leave her dog tags with Sam for the fleet's journey into the sun, she yanks the chain off from around her neck, breaking the chain. This is a common film trope to make the removal more dramatic instead of just pulling if off over the person's head or unlinking the clasp. If someone tried this for real, it would cause the person's head and neck to be yanked around and likely cause injury to skin and muscle in the neck.


The last Viper, which Adama flies off of Galactica, has his Husker call sign below the canopy. This is the Viper that was salvaged from a wreck yard and given to Adama as a gift by his crew when the Galactica was about to be retired and converted into a museum in the first episode of the series "Humanity's Children". The Viper was in use by Apollo and various other pilots throughout the series.


As the fleet flies into the sun, the fleet music from the original 1979 Battlestar Galactica plays over the soundtrack.


Only about 15 ships of the fleet are seen during the flight into the sun. The fleet was comprised of many more ships than this, even accounting for losses during the 4-year journey (originally about 60 ships).


When Dr. Cottle tells Adama and the others that the DNA of the planet's natives is compatible with theirs, Adama remarks, "How is that possible? Human beings naturally evolved on a planet one million light years away." Is Kobol really one million light years away? This would put it outside of the Milky Way galaxy, which is only 100,000 light years across. The show's scientific advisor, Kevin Grazier, has stated that Adama's comment was meant metaphorically, i.e. simply a very long distance.


At 1:56:42 on the Blu-ray, the map that Adama uses to illustrate locations where members of the fleet will be settling looks like a modern day map of Earth rather than the Earth of 150,000 years ago; Tasmania is depicted as an island off the southern coast of Australia, whereas Tasmania was still part of the Australian continent 150,000 years ago. The separation took place only about 10,000 years ago


During the flashback at 2:11:36 on the Blu-ray, Apollo and Starbuck are drinking a bottle of Plexus, some kind of liquor.


As Baltar and Caprica Six head off across the plains to build their own homestead between two peaks where there was land that looked good for cultivation, Baltar reminds Caprica he knows about farming...then he starts to cry. Why? It may be that he's thinking of his farmer father, whom he lacked respect for and whom he often put down, yet whose teachings he now finds to be serendipitous.


The scene set 150,000 years later (at 2:25:54 on the Blu-ray) flies in to New York City over Central Park and into Times Square, where we find Head Six and Head Baltar strolling the boulevard.


In Times Square, electric billboards for Prudential, HSBC, Samsung, Diet Coke, Kodak, Corona Beer, LG, and something called Forensic are seen; these are all real world companies/products (except I don't know what Forensic is). Also the Marriott Hotel in Times Square is seen. The newsstand seen here appears to be a set piece for the episode (actually shot in Vancouver).


At 2:26:15 on the Blu-ray, Fitness, Architecture Age, Economic Weekly, Sports Limited, and ScienceNow magazines are seen at the newsstand. Fitness was a real magazine at the time, now merged with Shape magazine. As far as I can tell, Architecture Age, Economic Weekly, and ScienceNow are fictitious magazines. Sports Limited is a prop magazine that has been seen in a number of TV and movie productions.


The man perusing the newsstand and reading about Mitochondrial Eve is Ron Moore, the developer and show runner of Battlestar Galactica. The magazine is a mock-up of the real world magazine National Geographic. The particular issue shown does not really exist, but the magazine has published articles about Mitochondrial Eve.


The end of the episode implies that Hera was Mitochondrial Eve, the most recent woman to whom all living humans share a descendancy, a woman who researchers say lived about 150,000 years ago in Africa. The theory was first published in 1987 in the journal Nature.


The portion of Africa highlighted in the continental image in the magazine implies the area of the continent Hera and her parents, Athena and Helo, settled was Tanzania.

National Geographic


Head Six reads over the man's shoulder that the discovery of what may be Mitochondrial Eve was announced at a scientific conference at the Smithsonian Institution.


A playbill for the Hanson Brothers is posted on the side of the newsstand at 2:26:40 on the Blu-ray. The Hanson Brothers were a punk rock band based in Vancouver (where the series was shot) from 1984-2016.


As the series draws to a close with video of various types of robots, the classic Jimi Hendrix version of "All Along the Watchtower" (1968) plays.


At 2:27:27 on the Blu-ray, the logo of Baume & Mercier is seen in a storefront window.


At 2:27:32 on the Blu-ray, the MSNBC cable news channel shows a robotic toy on a television screen.


At 2:27:59 on the Blu-ray, electronic ads for Foot Locker, Longines, Swatch, and Planet Hollywood are seen. These are all real world companies/brands.


The (relatively) realistic humaniform robot seen at 2:27:54 on the Blu-ray is from the Actroid line of robots manufactured by Kokoro Company Ltd of Japan.


At 2:28:01 on the Blu-ray, advertising signs are seen for Lil Wayne and his single "Beats That Stick With Me" and The Dufraines "Songs We Can Agree On" (on, Planet Hollywood, Virgin Records (now merged into Capitol Records), Vornado, Juan Valdez (a fictional advertising mascot for the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia), Maxell, and the Broadway plays Phantom of the Opera, The Little Mermaid, and Shrek the Musical. A City & Suburban Delivery Systems newspaper delivery truck is also seen here. 


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


The Africa scenes were shot near Kamloops, Canada, with some CGI alteration to eliminate pine trees and add background mountains.


The idea that Tyrol settled himself in what would become Great Britain came from the actor himself, Aaron Douglas. Writer Ron Moore had intended that the island that he settled on to be Vancouver Island, in honor of the city of Vancouver, Canada, where the series was shot. Reading the original script, Douglas thought Moore meant Scotland and loved the idea, so Moore went with it and added dialog about "the highlands", a reference to the Scotland part of the island of Great Britain.


The shot of Adama and Roslin's Raptor flying over a flock of flamingos was inspired by a scene in the 1985 film Out of Africa.


The final flashback scene, of Baltar and Caprica Six meeting up on Caprica, was shot at the University of British Columbia.


Unanswered Questions


What became of the Cylon Centurions who were given the rebel baseship to explore the galaxy on their own? Were the Raiders also with them? 


Memorable Dialog

she'll never jump again.mp3
no sense of humor.mp3
a divine hand at work.mp3
we start anew.mp3
before we pass into God's hands.mp3
we'll give the baseship to the Centurions.mp3
guide the entire fleet directly into the sun.mp3
I'd've done the same frakkin' thing.mp3
this is Earth.mp3
grab your gun and bring in the cat.mp3
I've completed my journey.mp3
goodbye, Kara.mp3
God's plan's never complete.mp3
I know about farming.mp3
Mitochondrial Eve.mp3
you know it doesn't like that name.mp3

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