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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Battlestar Galactica: Trial and Error "Trial and Error"
Battlestar Galactica #14 (Marvel)
Written by Roger McKenzie
Pencils by Jim Mooney
Inks by Klaus Janson
April 1980

The fleet is led out of the void; Starbuck is left behind on Scavenge World; Sire Uri goes on trial.

Story Summary

As Starbuck laments his fate on Scavenge World, Queen Euryale's forces lead the Colonial fleet out of the void and celebrations take place throughout the fleet. But Boxey feels sadness at Starbuck having been left behind and sets out to find a way to commandeer a Viper to go back and rescue him. Meanwhile, Sire Uri manages to push his trial before the Council early so that Adama won't have time to gather evidence against him. Adama sends Apollo out to track down the missing Medea, Uri's second-in-command, to turn testimony against him. Apollo finds her on the Rising Star and rescues her from an angry mob that would like to lynch her and Uri for their betrayal of the fleet. Thanks to her testimony, Uri is found guilty.

While this has been going on, Boxey has been unable to get onto the Galactica's hangar bay by the pilot's route and decides to take the long way around, through the ship's engine room. But the engine's have been damaged by the battle against the Cylons at Scavenge World and the boy succumbs to the tremendous heat leaking out, falling unconscious. Muffit pulls him out of the room, but collapses from heat damage himself. When found by Apollo and Master-Tech Shadrack, Boxey is alive, but the mechanical daggit is dead. 

Didja Know? 

This issue marks the start of the second of a number of "Starbuck left behind" stories (the first started in the story that began with "Maytoria") that appear in the saga of BSG as produced by various licensees.

Didja Notice? 

Commander Adama begins his log entries in this issue with, "Galactica log one-thirty-five, mark four." This issue is the only time we see the logs labeled or dated in such a manner. The numbers sound more like a course heading than a log dating system.

On page 7, Boomer doesn't seem to be too broken up about Starbuck's being left behind on Scavenge World. He's celebrating the fleet's exit from the void with a girl on each arm!

Page 11 reveals that Adama's time trapped in the memory machine at least did some good. He recalls that part of the inscription he glimpsed on Kobol suggested that Earth is the third planet from its sun.

This issue's guest artist, Jim Mooney, draws the Rising Star in a manner similar to Ernie Colon's in BSG #2 (the adaptation of "Exodus") instead of the sleek luxury liner we are used to seeing in the TV series.

Writer Roger McKenzie seems to have forgotten that he established in "The Memory Machine" that Sire Uri had arranged the disappearance of two other ships in the fleet and then the agro ship disappeared without his knowledge in "All Things Past and Present". Here, Uri is charged (as far as missing ships go) only with the disappearance of the agro ship (which is the one he seemingly had nothing to do with!). For continuity's sake, it might be best to consider that Uri arranged for the hijacking of the first two agro ships (we learn there are three in the fleet in "The Magnificent Warriors") and the third was taken by his men without his consent, his men under the impression he would want them all (along with his plan to commandeer the Galactica itself and abandon the fleet). This retroactive explanation would then assume that Eurayle captured, and then returned, all three agro ships, bringing the number of ships in the Colonial fleet back to 218.

Apparently, the Council's justice works very swiftly. They try and convict Sire Uri in the span of a few hours at most (actually it seems more like minutes from the pace of the story!). This speedy justice is seen further in "War of the Gods" Part 2 and "Murder on the Rising Star".

On page 27, why do Muffit's fur and body parts start to smolder and singe from the tremendous heat in the damaged engine room when Boxey's clothing and skin do not? 

The scene of Muffit pulling the unconscious Boxey out of the heat of the engine room and sustaining severe damage to himself is similar to the one in the upcoming "Fire in Space" where he pulls an unconscious fireman out of the inferno burning in the Galactica after the Cylon attack, again sustaining severe damage. In this issue, Muffit is declared dead, irreparable; however, Dr. Wilker does finally manage to repair (or replace?) him in "The Last Hiding Place".

Unanswered Questions

How are the Cylons able to continue their chase of the fleet past the void, as they do through many more episodes, if it is so difficult to navigate through? It must be relatively easy to navigate around it, as evidenced by the later human and Cylon outposts seen beyond this point throughout the series.

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