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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Greetings from Earth (Part 1) Battlestar Galactica
"Greetings from Earth" (Part 1)
(0:00-49:36 in the episode)
TV episode
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Rod Holcomb

The fleet encounters a spacecraft with 6 human fugitives fleeing a war on their home planet…a world called Terra.

Read the complete story summary at the Battlestar wiki site

Didja Know?

Actress Kelly Harmon, who plays Sarah, is the sister of actor Mark Harmon.

The medical technician who examines Reese after he's shot by Michael is actor Donald Mantooth, brother of Randolph Mantooth, who portrays Michael here. Donald's role here may be something of an homage to brother Randolph's best known role as paramedic John Gage on the 1972-1978 TV series Emergency!

Didja Notice?

Starbuck's scan of the Lunar Avion (Michael and Sarah's ship; we learn the name in "Greetings from Earth" Part 2) from his Viper gives the following information:
Scan of Lunar Avion

Aboard the Galactica, there is a lot of debate and conjecture about how there could possibly be any life-form readings in the ship they've brought aboard, yet they never mention the possibility that the occupants may simply be travelling in suspended animation (which they are). It seems hard to believe that a civilization as advanced as the Colonials would not think of that, especially considering the ship has only sublight speed capability, making it almost mandatory that passengers be in suspended animation for any voyage outside their own solar system. (In the novelization, they do presume the passengers are in suspension aboard the ship.)

At 13:57 on the DVD, we see one of the consoles which maintain the suspended animation tubes of the Lunar Avion. This console is a mock-up of the control console used in Skylab experiment M131 for testing human vestibular function (sense of balance and spatial orientation) in space; notice the almost exactness between the two panels in the two photos below. (Skylab was an American space station which orbited Earth from 1973-1979.)
Aboard the Lunar Avion Skylab experiment M131

During the argument in the Officer's Club about whether the fleet has the right to stop the suspected Earth ship and question the passengers, Starbuck argues they need to obtain all the information they can about potential Earth people, saying that's why they haven't stayed at one of the planets they've passed that supported life. Apollo counters that's not why they didn't stay, it was because they were never strong enough, always being a hunted people. But Starbuck counters again that they haven't been hunted for some time, implying they have not encountered the Cylons for a long period. Does this mean though, that they have discovered some habitable worlds in that time and, if so, were these worlds populated with humans like some of the worlds closer to the Colonies they've encountered in their journey?

At 20:09 on the DVD, the picture of the Galactica which has been seen on the back wall of Adama's quarters since "War of the Gods" Part 1 is now gone.

When Dr. Wilker finds references to a planet called Terra on Lunar Avion, Commander Adama excitedly states that "Terra", in Gemonese, means "Earth". In our world, Terra is the Latin name for Earth.

The prominent Quorum member in this episode is called Sire Geller. I wonder if his name was an in-joke to the earlier character of Sire Uri? In other words, were both names borrowed by Glen A. Larson from the infamous self-proclaimed psychic, Uri Geller.

During the second classroom sequence, Boxey uses the expletive "frack" without any particular reaction from Athena, so it would seem that the word does not have the same profane meaning it does in the reimagined BSG series of the 2000s.

The Lunar Avion appears to have been slightly modified and reused as the exterior of Emperor Thorval's escape ship in the final chapter of The Secret Empire segments on the concurrently running TV series Cliffhangers! The Lunar Avion may have also have been modified to become Ranger 3, Buck Rogers' NASA shuttle in the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which, like Battlestar Galactica, was a Glen A. Larson production.
Thorval's escape ship from The Secret Empire Lunar Avion
Thorval's escape ship from The Secret Empire on Cliffhangers! Lunar Avion

At 25:25 on the DVD, Boomer calls Reese a "galmonging snitrat." The expletive "galmonging" has been used previously in the series, but this is the first appearance "snitrat".

Starbuck refers to Reese as "blackshirt", presumably a derogatory term for the Council's security personnel, of which Reese is a prominent officer.

When the Terrans wake up, it's convenient they just happen to speak the same language as the Colonials. 

At 30:52, we see what must the badge of a Colonial medtech. Colonial medtech patch

Notes from the Deleted Scenes on the DVD

There is a deleted scene which seems to depict a near encounter by the fleet with an Eastern Alliance destroyer. 

Battlestar Galactica: Greetings from Earth Notes from the novelization of "Greetings from Earth" by Glen A. Larson and Ron Goulart

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published June 1983)

Pages 1-82 cover the events of "Greetings from Earth" Part 1.

For some reason, author Goulart has Apollo and Starbuck constantly referring to each as "good buddy" and "old chum" and the like. Although the two are occasionally known to use such terms with each other, it's way overdone here.

Author Ron Goulart seems to prefer using many Earth terms over the traditional Colonial ones in this novel. He uses Earth names for Colonial people in many cases and terms such as "hell", "dog", and "Holy Crow". Perhaps because the book is about the possible discovery of Earth by the fleet, he wanted to lean the reader into thinking so by slipping in Earth words and phrases.

On page 2, Starbuck comments that the fleet hasn't run into any Cylons in a long time. At the beginning of "The Man With Nine Lives", Commander Adama implies it has been 3 months since they've encountered the Cylons, so quite a stretch of time, considering. However, page 33 implies it has only been weeks when Starbuck remarks, "We haven't seen a Cylon in sectons." (A secton is approximately 1 week).

On page 2, Starbuck relights the cigar that went out while he was in sleep period on extended patrol in his Viper. But on page 5, the narrative states he sets his unlit cigar down on the panel in front of him.

On page 5, the Lunar Avion is described as a silvery ship instead of the orange-painted one seen in the episode.

Also on page 5, Starbuck mentions some paranurses he and Apollo once met. Probably, paranurses are akin to paramedics in Earth terminology.

On page 6, after scanning the Lunar Avion for weaponry, Starbuck comments that he doesn't detect the presence of either Corrilax or Lazon for power. Apollo remarks they must be using some other form of explosive material. This is the first mention of these two types of power sources for weapons.

Also on page 6, Apollo refers to suspended animation as "deepsleep".

On page 7, Starbuck announces he's going to drop a parasite control box onto the Lunar Avion before they tow her in to the Galactica. Presumably a "parasite control box" is some type of decontamination device for use on the hull of a ship.

On page 11, Jolly is on a date with a nurse named Zixi. Possibly, the name "Zixi" was derived by the author from the 1905 children's book Queen Zixi of Ix (an offshoot of the Oz series) by L. Frank Baum.

Also on page 11, Jolly uses the phrase, "A meech by any other name would smell as sweet." Jolly explains to Zixi that a meech is a pleasant-smelling flower that grows on many worlds he's visited. This is a play on the line from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." The meaning of the quote from the play is that the name of something is not what matters, but, rather, what that something is. Possibly author Goulart used the vaguely unpleasant-sounding "meech" as a way of accenting the meaning of the phrase.

On page 12, Zixi says she sometimes wishes she had a name like Anne Marie or Dolly! Those aren't particularly Colonial-sounding names!

Also on page 12, Jolly mentions that he met Zixi at the airpong table the other night. Possibly, airpong is one of the games seen in the Rejuvenation Center in "Fire in Space".

On page 15, Starbuck makes a remark about taking a stray dog in. Shouldn't he say "daggit"?

Maybe Jolly has a hair fetish. On page 16 he tries to tell Starbuck about the auburn-haired Zixi, calling her "an absolutely striking young woman with hair the color of--" before Starbuck cuts him off. And the title of the Jolly-centered story of Marvel Comics' Battlestar Galactica #22 is "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair", where he was falling for Medea.

On page 18, Starbuck exclaims, "Holy H. Crow." This is an Earth colloquialism, though more commonly stated simply "holy crow".

Page 25 reveals that the class Athena is teaching Boxey and the other kids is Applied Science.

Pages 26 and 27 reveal that two of Boxey's classmates are Loma and Wally.

On page 28, Boxey remarks that he heard his father refer to Dr. Wilker as "an arrogant nitwit". Dr. Wilker does seem to have a somewhat callous attitude in this story, but he's normally been very helpful to Apollo in the past. In particular, wouldn't you say Apollo owes him for building Muffit for Boxey (not to mention repairing the seriously damaged mechanical daggit at least twice in "The Last Hiding Place" and "Fire in Space")?

Also on page 28, when Boxey comments that Starbuck called Dr. Wilker a cold fish, Athena cautions him, "You mustn't pay attention to most of what Lieutenant Starbuck says."

On page 30, Athena and Apollo argue in the corridor about his nasty remarks regarding Dr. Wilker in front of Boxey rather than about the possibility of the newly-discovered ship's passengers being dangerous or deadly as they do in the episode.

During the altercation with Reese in the Officers' Club, it is Apollo who restrains Starbuck from going after the security officer; it was vice versa in the televised episode.

On pages 40 and 42, Adama seems to have a secretary (or guard) outside his quarters who is greeting and announcing visitors who wish to see him.

In the earlier parts of the book, Dr. Wilker and even Michael refer the origin world of the new human visitors as Earth rather than Terra. And Michael and Sarah repeat to each other that they are heading for Lunar Seven. But when Apollo and the others are helping the ship escape the fleet, suddenly they are using Terra for Earth and saying that the group is fleeing from Lunar Seven, as it is in the televised episode.

On page 67, Zixi says to Jolly, "A frenkel for your thoughts." "Frenkel" has not previously been used in BSG, but is presumably a small unit of currency used or known of by the Colonies, as the phrase is an obvious borrowing of our Earth phrase "A penny for your thoughts."

On page 70, Starbuck uses the phrase "Nell's bells." This may be a takeoff on our own Earth phrase "Hell's bells."

Page 71 refers to the blankets covering the portable decompression chambers used by the medical team as plyocloths.

Page 78 reveals that Terra and its colonies are apparently unaware of any other intelligent life in the galaxy.

On page 80, Starbuck uses the phrase "when the flapdoodle hits the fan." "Flapdoodle" is an actual word meaning "nonsense". Of course, the phrase normally used on Earth is "when the shit hits the fan."

Memorable Dialog

our first contact with an Earth vehicle.wav
the quality of a civilization.wav
it's always a little stuffy around you two.wav
I'm the hotheaded, impulsive one.wav
I still find it hard to offer even one life in sacrifice.wav
"Terra", in Gemonese, means "Earth".wav
I don't think you're getting into the spirit.wav
Lord help us.wav
we're dealing with bureauticians.wav
are you with the Eastern Alliance?.wav
you're enjoying all this intrigue.wav
Jolly, you forgot the kids!.wav
do we have to have that pair?.wav
you're a lot of fun.wav

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