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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138-at-popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Islanded in a Stream of Stars

Battlestar Galactica

"Islanded in a Stream of Stars"

TV episode

Written by Michael Taylor

Directed by Edward James Olmos

Original air date: March 6, 2009


As Galactica continues to deteriorate, so does the morale of the crew; a debate begins on whether or not to launch a search mission to find Hera.


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. It is the director's cut of Edward James Olmos. It runs about 20 minutes longer than the aired version.


The title of this episode, "Islanded in a Stream of Stars", comes from a quote in the 1928 book The Outermost House by Henry Beston, about his time living on an isolated beach in Cape Cod. The full quote is "For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in its stream of stars—pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across eternal seas of space and time."


The opening titles show the fleet at a population of 39,521, down 35 from the previous episode "Someone to Watch Over Me". This would seem to be due largely to the deaths of Galactica crewmen who were sucked out of the damaged hull when Boomer jumped her Raptor into FTL too close to the battlestar near the end of that episode.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode



Specialist Dealino

Number Six

Number Eight

Sam Anders

Admiral Adama

Ellen Tigh


Tory Foster


Colonel Tigh



President Roslin


Caprica Six

Paramedic Layne Ishay

Dr. Cottle


Captain Doyle Franks

Captain Greene

Captain Xeno Fenner

Paulla Schaffer

Head Six

Captain Meeker (mentioned only)

Chief Tyrol


Tracey Anne

Dee (in photo only, deceased)

Kat (in photo only, deceased)

John Cavil

Hot Dog



Didja Notice?


At 1:10 on the Blu-ray, as a vision of little Hera plays with the models of the Galactica, a basestar, and Raiders on the war room table, notice that she seems to crash the Galactica model headfirst into the basestar, foreshadowing what is to come in Galactica's assault on the Cylon Colony in "Daybreak" Part 2.


A Number Six remarks that the Cylon resin is not bonding with the "inferior" alloys of the Galactica. This is an early indicator that Tyrol's plan to fill and strengthen the cracks in the battlestar's structure is not going to work.


Paulla Schaffer tells Baltar that Captain Meeker has offered to host Baltar and his followers on his ship. That ship is the Gideon, first seen in "The Son Also Rises". She mentions they've also had offers from Argo Navis and Prometheus; this is the first mention of these two ships.


When the Number Eight dies in her hospital bed in front of Colonel Tigh, he tells her he spent most of his life trying to kill her kind and she responds, "Too much confusion," which is a line from the song "All Along the Watchtower" that plays a prominent role in the fourth season of the series.


Boomer learns that Hera, despite being only half Cylon, has the ability to project.


Starbuck tells Baltar how she found her own dead body on Earth. This occurred in "Sometimes a Great Notion".


Starbuck recalls to the comatose Sam that she once told him that if she found out he was a Cylon she'd bullet in his head. This was in "He That Believeth In Me".


Just before Colonel Tigh orders the comatose Sam to be disconnected from Galactica's systems, Sam's babble includes, "Begin reintegration of right hemisphere." This suggests his "programming" was about to repair the right hemisphere of his brain; if he had been left connected for a while, he might have repaired his own brain enough to wake up and resume his life. None of the people present at the time seem to catch his statement in the midst of their discussion.


As Adama reads one of Laura's books to her in sickbay, she tells him to turn to page 61...where she has hidden something similar to a marijuana joint! She lights it up and shares it with him, asking if he remembers "that day" and he says yes, Baltar's groundbreaking on New Caprica. They shared a joint on New Caprica in a flashback scene in "Unfinished Business".


At 37:43 on the Blu-ray, the liquor bottle Starbuck and Helo are drinking from at Joe's Bar has the brand name Oblique on it. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious brand created for the series.



The eulogy given by Ellen at the mass funeral on Galactica is the Cylon Prayer to the Cloud of Unknowing, spoken by Cylons when they fear they are about to die without resurrection.


During the mass funeral on Galactica at 44:52 on the Blu-ray, numerous Sixes and Eights are seen walking away at the end of the service. Though the shot fades in and out quickly, a close look reveals that only one Six is regular actress Trisha Helfer and only one Eight is regular actress Grace Park; the others are just stand-ins who look vaguely like the original actors! Sixes and Eights


The glimpse we get of the techno-organic Colony at the end of the episode is reminiscent of images of V'Ger seen in the 1979 film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. There are also suggestions of the derelict alien ship seen in the 1979 film Alien. In both of these films, the ships mentioned had a techno-organic structure.


At 58:30 on the Blu-ray, notice there are old-style Cylon Raiders still functional at the Colony.

old-syle Cylon Raiders


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


The ship used by the Final Five to escape Earth 2,000 years ago is at the core of the Cylon Colony. 


Notes from the audio commentary by Edward James Olmos on the Blu-ray release


Olmos recommends turning up the volume on this episode. He made sure that the groaning sounds of the Galactica falling apart internally were a constant presence throughout the Galactica scenes of the episode.


Memorable Dialog

any one of a thousand baseships.mp3
the Colony.mp3
the same song.mp3
that'll be the frakkin' day.mp3
what does Gaius Baltar say about that?.mp3
wishing you a beautiful day.mp3
back atcha.mp3
you've earned it.mp3
you haven't changed.mp3
too much confusion.mp3
worse lush than I am.mp3
you're a Cylon.mp3
a second chance.mp3
I know you love this ship.mp3
we're abandoning ship.mp3
this ship never let us down.mp3
to Galactica.mp3

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