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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Into the Void Battlestar Galactica
"Into the Void"
("Lost Planet of the Gods", Part 1)
Written by Glen A. Larson and Donald Bellisario
Directed by Christian I. Nyby II

An unknown illness begins to spread through the Galactica.

Read the complete synopsis of "Lost Planet of the Gods" Part 1 at the Battlestar Wiki site.

Notes from the BSG chronology

Armageddon implies that the events of this episode take place about 6 months after those of "Annihilation".

Didja Know?

I borrowed the title of issue #4 of the BSG comic book by Marvel Comics, which adapts this episode, for the title of part 1 of "Lost Planet of the Gods". 

Didja Notice?

As the episode opens, Adama and his family and friends are finishing a meal and he praises Serina for an excellent repast, saying she is quite a find and "...if I were only 100 yahrens younger..." This implies that Adama is well over 100 years old.

The diners praise the food that Serina and Athena have prepared for their meal...but it doesn't look so good to me. Looks like a bunch of green sponges! (Although maybe that was just dessert...there does appear to be a tray of chicken or something along the wall behind Athena.)

In the time between 5:16 and 5:53 on the DVD, Rigel has managed to braid her hair!
Rigel without braids Rigel with braids
Rigel at 5:16 Rigel at 5:53
As Boomer and Jolly launch for the patrol, they both seem to have the same smudge on their cockpit window! (In fact, this smudge appears over and over throughout the series.)
Boomer Jolly
Boomer Jolly

This episode reruns the scene from the epilogue of "Deathtrap" in which the new Imperious Leader reprieves Baltar from execution and asks the human to seek out the fleeing human remnant, but this time the overtures of peace have been cut from the dialog.

When he and Apollo first spot the void, Starbuck refers to it as being like a dead sea. This may be a reference by the writers to the Dead Sea on Earth, a salt lake along the borders of the nations of Israel and Jordan.

At 10:11 on the DVD, as the warriors prepare for Apollo's bachelor party, Greenbean is afraid they'll all get stripped and moduled if they talk about where they got the alcohol from. According to the Battlestar Wiki, "stripped and moduled" is a punishment for military infractions.

After successfully pulling Apollo out of the void, Starbuck tells him he owes him a fumarello. This is a Colonial word for "cigar".

The landscape of the asteroid over which Boomer and Jolly fly is the same landscape seen on Carillon in "Deathtrap".

It's highly unlikely that an asteroid would have a temperature conducive to human survival, let alone a breathable atmosphere, yet Boomer and Jolly walk around unprotected (except for their standard uniforms) on the surface of the asteroid on which the Cylon outpost is based. (In the novelization, they detect an atmosphere on the asteroid before landing, but Boomer insists that they wear breathing gear anyway. However, they foolishly remove their protective gloves to maintain a grip on the wet, slick rocks of the asteroid and contract the debilitating ailment in that manner.)

Boomer refers to the Cylons in the outpost as a "crawlon in its web." "Crawlon" must be a Colonial term for "spider". (In the novelization, Boomer simply says "spiders").

We see that Baltar sits upon a throne on a high pedestal as he commands his basestar, much like the Imperious Leader. But what does he do up there all day? It seems as if he sits up there in the dark with nothing to occupy him until someone comes in to see him!

As they approach the Galactica and prepare for landing, Jolly says he's feeling woozy and Boomer tells him he better have his breather unit checked because it's probably leaking carbide. Given the context, "carbide" is probably a Colonial term for carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide.

In this episode, we see that Cassiopeia is now a medical assistant, which she remains throughout the series. We're never told how she became qualified for the position. The novelization of "Saga of a Star World" does mention that socialators are taught certain healing techniques, however.

Notice that at 23:53 on the DVD, as Apollo is informing Commander Adama and Colonel Tigh of the magnetic void ahead, that Adama starts fingering the medallion he wears on his collar, with a look of contemplation of his face. This is an early and immediate indication that he suspects the truth about the void.

As Boxey sneaks up on Muffit at 24:25 on the DVD, there are some oddly-shaped, brightly-colored objects sitting on the end table in the background. What are they, just decorations? Or perhaps some of Boxey's toys? There also appears to be a bowl of candy on the table, and another one on a table on the opposite side of the room.
odd objects on table candy dish

At 28:45 on the DVD, we see computer-generated "hieroglyphics" depicting humanity's exodus from Kobol, along with an English translation. Are the hieroglyphs we see here (and in "A Death in the Family" on Kobol itself) really representative of the written language of such an advanced civilization that was capable of interstellar travel? And what was the doom that was foretold for the planet? It's never explained and it seems habitable enough when the fleet arrives there (though hot and dry in the areas we see of it).
At 28:56 on the DVD, we can see that Adama's quarters have gotten a bit of a makeover since the events of "Saga of a Star World". Notice the picture of the Galactica is missing now (it returns in "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" Part 1), a flag has been added, and the computer console has changed shape and location on his desk. He also appears to have something similar to Star Trek's three-dimensional chess on his coffee table! And at 30:18, a viper helmet is visible on the top shelf behind Adama's it the helmet he wore in his youth as a viper pilot? Notice that it does have the Galactica symbol on it.
Adama's quarters in "Exodus" Adama's quarters in "Into the Void"
Adama's quarters in "Exodus" Adama's quarters in "Into the Void"
Three-dimensional chess?
Three-dimensional chess?

Not that I'm complaining, but note all of the female shuttle pilots who have been recruited for viper training...they're all gorgeous!

At 31:14 on the DVD, the moving shadow of the stage microphone is visible on the wall next to the door.

Apollo comments that probably the closest his new cadets have ever been to a viper is at an Armament Day display. Armament Day must be some kind of Colonial holiday in recognition of the military.

At 41:58 on the DVD, Starbuck uses the phrase "for Sagan's sake". Possibly Sagan is the name of one of the Lords of Kobol, but it is also most likely an homage to scientist and science popularizer Carl Sagan (1934-1996).

I'd never noticed before, but the control panel of a Cylon raider is kind of cheesy looks like a Fisher-Price toy!
Cylon Raider cockpit

Notes from the deleted scenes

In the life center, Apollo checks in on the ailing warriors and thanks Cassiopeia for all she is doing. Cassie responds that they're all doing what they can and that, if anything good came out of the destruction of the Colonies, it was the chance for new beginnings. This is probably a veiled reference to her former occupation as a socialator and her new one as a medical assistant.

Battlestar Galactica: The Tombs of Kobol Notes from the novelization of "Lost Planet of the Gods", The Tombs of Kobol by Glen A. Larson and Robert Thurston
(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published September 1979)

Pages 1-111 cover the events of "Into the Void"

Despite being published almost a year after the airing of the two-part "Lost Planet of the Gods" story, the title page credits the novelization as being adapted from the episode "Tombs of Kobol"; there is no episode by that name.

This was numbered as novel #3 in the Battlestar Galactica series, even though "Lost Planet of the Gods" Part 1 was the second episode aired, after the 3-hour "Saga of a Star World" pilot. Number 2 in the novel series was The Cylon Death Machine, even though the 2-part "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" from which it was adapted was actually the 4th and 5th episodes aired.

The BSG series of novels seems to have its own continuity, not quite parallel to the TV series. In this novelization, as in the "Saga of a Star World" novelization, the Cylons are still part reptile, with only the IL-series Cylons like Lucifer being wholly robotic. Also in this novel, Lucifer is the one who makes the decision to spare Baltar's life in pursuit of the human fleet, rather than the Imperious Leader. And Boxey is still depicted as an orphan "adopted" by Serina, not her actual son.

On page 2, the Cylon executioner exerts pressure at a point in Baltar's neck to render him paralyzed before the death-stroke is delivered. This is similar to the Vulcan nerve pinch from the Star Trek franchise, the second similarity to that other licensed universe (the first being the seven-year mating cycle of the Otori sect of Gemoni, similar to the Pon Farr of Vulcans, as mentioned in "Exodus").

Page 4 reveals that Lucifer considers his name to be timid-sounding, not the way that believers of Christian religions think of it. He also reveals that his name is actually an acronym, but he refuses to provide the full name to a lowly human such as Baltar. He also has a secret name, which all Cylons do (although, Lucifer explains, he is not a true Cylon since he is entirely robotic).

Page 8 describes Baltar's enforced physical training at the hands of Lucifer, to get him into shape to be a leader. One of Baltar's exercises is to run against a simulation of Adama, his hated rival since the Academy. It is revealed that Baltar had eventually been forced to leave the Academy by Core Faculty and the Cadet Council for tampering with the test computer.

Page 8 also reveals that Adama and Baltar were in the Academy chorus together.

Page 9 reveals that Adama consistently achieved the highest grades at the Academy.

Page 9 also reveals that Baltar was a member of the Council of 12, though his Colony world is not named.

Throughout the book, Apollo listens to a series of audio recordings made by Serina before her death.

On page 17, Serina describes in one of her recordings that the dinner prepared by her and Athena before Apollo's proposal, was largely made up of a bluish meat sent up by the Ovions when they were at Carillon.

Page 20 reveals that Athena is the chief aide of Colonel Tigh.

Page 27 reveals that Lucifer has developed a separate, internalized consciousness which he can use to countermand the orders of his Cylon superiors or Baltar when he feels it necessary. He also considers himself to have a soul, housed in a compartment in his right shoulder.

Page 49 suggests that there are foundry ships in the fleet manufacturing vipers to replace the ones lost in battle. Boomer seems to think his still "original" viper is better than the "glued-together wrecks" the foundry ships are producing.

Pages 72-74 feature an additional scene not in the TV episode in which Cassiopeia and Starbuck spend an evening together. It reveals that the Fleet Council has banished her former practice of "socialation". In this scene, Starbuck repeatedly calls her Cassie, even though in the novelization of "Saga of a Star World" she tells him she doesn't want to be called that.

Pages 75-76 also feature an added scene, in which a cadet named Gemi seeks to attract the attention of Starbuck during the training of the female pilots.

Page 79 contains an amusing line as Starbuck is described as assisting the female cadets with properly adjusting their uniforms, saying he is glad to lend a hand, while Dietra mutters he seems even gladder to lend two hands.

Page 99 reveals that another name for the Book of the Word is Koboliana.

On page 99, Tigh suggests that Kobol's sun died millennia ago, triggering the human migration from the planet. 

On page 106, Serina describes her viper's firing button being the middle one on the joystick, but on the TV series it is located on the left.

Battlestar Galactica #4 (Marvel Comics) Notes from the comic book adaptation of "Into the Void"

"Into the Void"
Battlestar Galactica #4 (Marvel Comics)
Script by Roger McKenzie
From the teleplay by Glen Larson and Don Bellisario
Art by Walt Simonson and Klaus Janson
June 1979
Starting with this issue of Marvel's BSG comic book, the corner logo is a Cylon centurion, which it stays through the end of the Marvel run. Marvel Cylon centurion logo

Issues 4 and 5 of the comic book adapted the two-part story "Lost Planet of the Gods", but the overall title of the two-part comic book adaptation is "The Lost Gods of Kobol". So, that gives us three different titles for the overall story:
"Lost Planet of the Gods" on TV
"The Tombs of Kobol" in the novelization
"The Lost Gods of Kobol" in the comic book adaptation

Throughout Walter Simonson's (excellent) artistic run on the title, the viper pilots' helmets are colored white and red like the vipers (instead of TV's tan and black) and the pilot's name is printed on the forehead of the helmet for reader's ease of identification.

On page 5, panel 3, Starbuck appears to hit the left-hand button on his joystick to activate his viper's turbo boost, but on the TV series that button is actually the laser fire control!

On page 14, panel 2, Serina is drawn a bit...oddly.
Apollo and Serina

On page 15, Adama refers to the handheld "e-reader" type device used on the Galactica as a comp-ledger.

Memorable Dialog

the real trouble with cooking like this.wav
Serina and I.wav
the blessings of the Lords of Kobol.wav
the most capable centurions.wav
I'm not dying.wav
you owe me a fumarello.wav
by your command.wav
the Imperious Leader put me in command.wav
flight cadet Serina.wav
we are not going to argue.wav
your own sister's a pilot and a warrior.wav
the most advanced flying machine.wav
yes, Cadet Serina?.wav
I'm dead.wav
try not to get killed this time.wav
sensitive as a school girl's lips.wav
Adama will turn the Galactica over to me.wav
wonderfully devious.wav
let's go girls.wav
for Sagan's sake.wav
do not fence with me.wav

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