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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: The Red Line "The Red Line"
Battlestar Galactica: Origins #4 (Dynamite)
Writer: Kevin Fahey
Pencils: Jonathan Lau
Cover A: Jonathan Lau

Baltar questions his place in life; the Cylons move their ultimate plan into action.

Read the story summary of this issue at the Battlestar Wiki

Notes from the BSG chronology

This story takes place mostly on Caprica two years before the fall of the Colonies.

Didja Know?

Battlestar Galactica: Origins was an 11-issue mini-series published by Dynamite Entertainment, covering the origins of several characters of BSG2000. Issues 1-4 feature Gaius Baltar rising to prominence in Caprican computer science before the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.

Characters appearing or mentioned in this story

Gaius Baltar
Admiral Marcus
Caprica Six
Bernard Baltar (flashback)
Vanessa Baltar (flashback)
Dr. Maxwell (flashback)
Dr. Amorak
Number Three
Number Five
Number Eight
Number Four
Aerilon Lines stewardess (unnamed)
Number Six model at Armistice Station

Didja Notice?

The Vipers seen flying during the test of the Command Navigation Program appear to be Mark VII models. On page 2, notice that one of the Viper pilots is Apollo.

On pages 3-6, various classes of battlestars and other Colonial ships are seen. Notice also a Celestra-type ship on the left-hand edge (seen also in Blood and Chrome, based on the Celestra from BSG70) and one that looks like the Colonial Movers freighter in the first quadrant!
Colonial ships Colonial ships
Colonial ships Colonial ships

On page 8, talking with Six, Baltar brings up the "red line" concept used in faster-than-light jump calculations, the red line being the maximum distance a ship's computer can calculate a safe jump before the ship risks becoming lost or damaged by interstellar phenomena and unable to return home. He then asks Six if she thinks that people have red lines, moral points that might be crossed from which they can never return. This foreshadows his moral conundrums and increasing sense of guilt beginning with the fall of the Colonies in "Humanity's Children".

In panel 6 of page 9, Baltar says, "Life here began out there." This is part of the preamble of the opening titles of BSG70. I'm not sure why he chooses to use the phrase here, it doesn't really seem to be connected to the conversation he's having with Six.

Baltar's computer screen on page 11 shows his calendar with one date marked as "Interview with Kellan, Colonial News". This refers to Kellan Brody, host of The Spotlight on channel Caprica 5; she interviews Baltar on the show a few days before the fall of the Colonies, as seen in "Humanity's Children".

Also on page 11, a copy of the Caprican Times sitting on Baltar's desk has the headline "Battlestar Galactica Decommissioning Ceremony Planned". This again refers to events in the upcoming "Humanity's Children", where the Galactica is being turned into a museum. The article itself is mostly illegible, but refers to news in the town of Minnewaska, Minnesota!

On page 13, panel 1, a newspaper blowing in the breeze across the street has the headline "Top Politicians Vanish"; this same headline was seen earlier in "A Higher Purpose" and appears again in "Buck the Stars". In panel 6, another newspaper has the headline "University Mourns Loss of Professor".

On page 13, panel 3, notice that "They Live" is spray-painted on the wall of a slum building. In "Trust", a protestor outside of the Colonial Gang studio was wearing a sign that reads, "THEY LIVE". The same slogan appeared previously in "Trust". This may be a reference to the 1988 John Carpenter film They Live, about aliens disguised as humans who infiltrate Earth government and media in order to manipulate the planet.

The tattoo on the man's arm in panel 3 of page 13 is a skull-and-crossbones with a top hat perched atop the skull. This may be a reference to the real world rock guitarist Slash, who is known for his top hats and who has a similar skull-and-crossbones on his left arm.

Page 14 is our first glimpse of a modern Cylon centurion.

On page 15, Caprica Six meets up with a Number Three, Number Five, and Number Eight. In the infirmary there are also several Number Fours caring for the prisoners.

The small ship seen in the old parking structure that has been taken over by the Cylons is a Cylon Heavy Raider.

On page 16, Number Three remarks to Caprica Six, "It will be a new world soon. God's children will inherit the Earth." It seems odd that she says "Earth" instead of the Colonies or Caprica or something. Is there any significance to its use here?

The seat cushions on the spaceliner Baltar takes back to Caprica from Aerilon identify the spaceline company as Aerilon Lines.

On page 19, panel 3, a book stuffed inside the pouch on the back of one of the seats aboard the Aerilon Lines spaceliner appears to be Aerilon Discovery.

The news headlines on Baltar's laptop in panel 5 of page 19 read "Command Navigation Program Networked Fleetwide--Delays at the Scorpian Fleet Shipyard" and "Defense Ministry Invitation to Decomissioning Ceremony of Battlestar Galactica".

Baltar arrives at Caprica City Spaceport on page 20. In episodes of Caprica, the city's spaceport was known as Caprica Inter-Colonial Spaceport but, since Caprica takes place over 50 years prior, it's possible the spaceport has undergone a name change since then.

An Eversun starliner appears to be landing at Caprica City Spaceport on page 20.

The last four panels of the issue (on pages 21-22), seem to be a flash-forward to a year or two later, as a Number Six is seen aboard a Cylon Heavy Raider about to dock at Armistice Station, where a Colonial shuttle is already waiting. This leads into "Humanity's Children" (though the Heavy Raider is itself is not seen in the episode).

The Colonial shuttle docked at the station looks quite similar to the Colonial shuttles depicted in BSG70.

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