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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Torn

Battlestar Galactica


TV episode

Written by Anne Cofell Sanders

Directed by Jean de Sygoznac

Original air date: November 3, 2006


Tigh and Starbuck stir up discontent aboard the Galactica; Baltar provides help to the Cylons…who are now also searching for Earth.


Read the summary of the episode at the Battlestar Wiki site


Notes from the BSG chronology


This episode takes place concurrently with the events of "Visitation".


Didja Know?


The opening titles show the fleet population at 41,422, down 13 from "Collaborators" due to the 13 individuals executed by the Circle for alleged collaboration with the Cylons in that episode.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Head Six


Number Three

Caprica Six

Admiral Adama

President Roslin

Lt. Gaeta






Hot Dog

Chief Tyrol


Colonel Tigh

Ellen Tigh (in Colonel Tigh's thoughts only)

blonde woman (unnamed, mistaken for Ellen by Colonel Tigh)

Kacey Brynn

Julia Brynn

Number Eight

Number Five

Number Four

Athena (formerly referred to in PopApostle's studies as Caprica-Valerii)


Number One (in flashback image only)

Number Two (in flashback image only)

Hybrid (controls the basestar Baltar is on)

Number Six model w/ black hair (dies in this episode)



Didja Notice?


Baltar knows now that Head Six is not the same Six he knew on Caprica as she claimed to be. In this episode, Head Six tells Baltar that she is an angel of God sent to help him. This is about the closest to the truth we get from her about who she is. She is revealed as a Messenger (whether from a God-like entity or a far-advanced culture is left unclear) in the fourth season of the series. 


At 6:56 on the Blu-ray, Apollo's rank as painted under his Viper's cockpit canopy is listed as "major". He was previously a commander after given command of Pegasus. With the Pegasus sacrificed to save the fleet as it fled New Caprica in "Exodus" Part 2, it seems he has gone back down to the rank of major and CAG of Galactica. It seems unlikely that this reduction in rank was done as a demotion, with "demotion" generally meant as a punishment for a serious infraction in the military; rather it is simply an acknowledgement that, with the destruction of the Pegasus, Apollo was no longer needed in the role of commander. Major Apollo


At 7:07 on the Blu-ray, Kat's name and call sign are reversed under her cockpit canopy! The editors must have flipped the shot image for some reason.

reverse Kat


Director Jean de Sygoznac's name is misspelled in the credits of this episode as Jean de Sygonzac.


Apollo makes it back down to his old weight in this episode after having gained a lot of excess pounds after the colonization of New Caprica.


Lt. Gaeta's brief explanation of pulsars to President Roslin in regards to Baltar's notes on the potential location of Earth is essentially accurate.


At 13:03 on the Blu-ray, Gaeta has rolled out the star map he shows to Roslin and Admiral Adama from the reverse side, as evidenced by the mirror lettering.


This episode reveals that the Cylons are able to see their surroundings in any form they wish, e.g. Caprica Six sees the baseship she is in as a forest. This revelation makes Baltar wonder if the mental images he sees of Head Six are the same thing and does that mean he is a Cylon.


Caprica-Valerii is given the call sign Athena in this episode. "Athena" was the name of Commander Adama's daughter (Apollo's sister) in BSG70. Other call signs for Caprica-Valerii suggested by her fellow pilots her are Chromedome, Titania, Wind-up Toy, Tin Can, Microchick, and Digital Dame; notice that all these alternate suggestions seem to be based on her Cylon origins. Hot Dog is the one who provides the winning name of Athena, goddess of wisdom and war; these are basically the same attributes as the Greek goddess Athena on Earth. Hot Dog says Athena was usually accompanied by the goddess of victory; the Greek goddess of victory was Nike, often depicted with Athena in ancient Greek art.


This episode is the first mention of the Final Five Cylons.


This episode introduces the Cylon Hybrids that control the baseships (though a Hybrid was seen chronologically earlier in the BSG comic book mini-series Ghosts). The Hybrid uses the phrase "end of line" a few times here; the phrase was used earlier (chronologically) in episodes of Caprica and in the aforementioned Ghosts.


One of the diseased Cylons aboard the infected basestar is a Number Six who has black hair instead of blonde. Presumably, she dyed it black to differentiate herself for some reason (though it's vaguely possible it's all the other Sixes who have dyed their black hair blonde!).


At 41:31 on the Blu-ray, Colonel Tigh appears to be clutching an article of his wife's clothing as he grieves over her picture.


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


The Hybrid's look was inspired by the precogs of the 2002 film Minority Report, based on a Philip K. Dick short story.


In the scene of Starbuck cutting her long hair short with a knife, actress Katee Sackhoff was actually cutting her own hair. 


Memorable Dialog

angel of God.mp3
finding Earth.mp3
Earth is going to be our new home.mp3
you're done flying.mp3
am I a Cylon?.mp3
Athena it is.mp3
who are the Final Five?.mp3
pick that weapon up and shoot me.mp3
you can find another place to live.mp3
the man that I've known for the past 30 years.mp3
you won't be seeing me again.mp3

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