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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Switch in Space Battlestar Galactica
"Switch in Space"
Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack (Grandreams)
Author Unknown
Artist Unknown

A derelict alien ship crosses the fleet's path.

Story Summary

A derelict alien ship crosses the fleet's path and Apollo and Athena are sent to investigate. Ten minutes after boarding, they head back to the Galactica, reporting that all the crew were dead, probably from some disease. Upon landing, instead of going to decontamination, they knock out two crewmen they encounter. It turns out two alien shape-shifters are impersonating Apollo and Athena and, taking on the new forms of the two crewmen, they head to the ship's water recycling plant and dump poison into it. But the plant's sensors detect the poison and a search is immediately begun for the two crewmen.

Starbuck and Boomer bring the two down and witness them revert to their alien forms. The two warriors then head over to the derelict themselves to find out what happened to Apollo and Athena. They board and manage to free Apollo from one cell and then find another cell with three Athenas in it! To determine which is the real one, Starbuck decides to kiss each one. The first two are perplexed by his actions, but the third one slaps him and says, "Get your paws off me, Starbuck, you brute!" Starbuck determines she must be the real Athena.

Boomer sets a bomb on the ship just before they disembark, blowing it up with the aliens on board.


Didja Know?

This story appeared in the British book Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack, a book of short stories and articles all about BSG, geared towards kids. The title of the book is derived from a 1979 theatrical release in Europe which combined the episodes "The Living Legend" Parts 1 and 2 and "Fire in Space" into one movie.
Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack

"Switch in Space" begins a 4-part story which continues in the other 3 comic book stories contained in this volume.

Notes from the BSG Chronology

The narrative on page 1 of the story tells us that the fleet is moving through barely charted space. This suggests the story may take place shortly after entering the new galaxy as seen in "The Long Patrol".

Didja Notice?

The story contains elements similar to two earlier Marvel Comics BSG stories, the concept of the fleet encountering a plague ship and the concept of a shape-shifter assuming the identities of Galactica crewmembers, as seen in "Derelict" and "Space Mimic", respectively.

How is it the aliens are apparently speaking Colonial language, even on their own ship? It seems unlikely they would be speaking it among themselves even if they have somehow been able to absorb it during their metamorphoses into human forms.

How is it that the three Athenas are able to simultaneously speak their line, "Save me, Starbuck! These other two are fakes!"? Were the two fake Athenas able to read the mind of the real one so they spoke all at once? If the shape-shifters are telepathic, why did the one guarding Apollo not know that Starbuck and Boomer were real humans? Perhaps the shape-shifters have to touch the being they want to copy first to "sample" them, after which they also share a telepathic communion?

It seems odd that slapping Starbuck instead of kissing him is the best way for the real Athena to prove that she was the real one.

Boomer sets a bomb to destroy the derelict with the shape-shifters aboard. Seems kind of harsh! They didn't even find out why the aliens did what they did. And since Starbuck and Boomer did not even wait for orders before heading over to the derelict in the first place, he has seemingly chosen to enact this retribution without command authority! Maybe Boomer was inspired by his previous visit to a derelict ship in "Derelict", which he also blew up.

Adama comments that the Galactica is going to have to find a planet where they can take on fresh supplies of water since their current supply was poisoned by the aliens. But since the poison was added at the ship's water recycling plant, shouldn't they just be able to purify it again? That's what a recycling plant is for! And surely other ships in the fleet have water storage as well?

Unanswered Questions

What happened to the two shape-shifters on the Galactica? We're told that after Starbuck and Boomer stunned the aliens, security is called to deal with them. Since Boomer later destroys their ship, where are they to go? Are they being held indefinitely on the prison barge? Were they released on some uninhabited planet?

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