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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com

Galactica 1980: Galactica Discovers Earth (Part 2) Galactica 1980
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Sidney Hayers
Original airdate: February 3, 1980

Xavier goes renegade, travelling into Earth's past to offer superior technology to Nazi Germany.

Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki site

Didja Know?

As this episode involves the characters travelling back in time to 1944, a lot of stock footage from movies about WWII is used.

Didja Notice?

At 7:46 on the DVD, Jamie walks past the police building cornerstone marked A.D. 1928, GEORGE E. CRYER, MAYOR. George Cryer was the mayor of Los Angeles from 1921-1929.

At 10:04 on the DVD, the news van has the call letters KUBS on the side. The UBS obviously stands for the United Broadcasting Station as seen in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1. The K is the first call letter for radio and television stations west of the Mississippi (W for stations east of it).

Adama and Xavier have a discussion at 11:04 on the DVD, in a room that looks similar to Adama's quarters, but is decorated differently than in the original BSG series. Adama also has different objects sitting on the shelves now.

Xavier remarks that Captain Troy is well past due to check in on his mission. Presumably, the other Warriors, assigned to different parts of the Earth, have already done so. We never learn how successful, or otherwise, those other missions were.

At 12:36 on the DVD, it is obvious that the car driven by Dr. Mortinson is just a stage car against a blue screen, particularly since the rear tire is not spinning!

During the car chase scene, the cars go past the police precinct house several times!

At 17:36 on the DVD, Dillon is holding onto a cable that appears to be attached to a hatch that opens from underneath his Viper. It would seem that his is the storage compartment for the turbocycles. We see it on Troy's Viper as well at 17:44. However, it doesn't seem that they had time to store the cycles before having to blast off due to the sound of sirens from arriving police cars. (In the novelization, the scene takes place a bit differently and it is revealed that they left the cycles behind, hidden in the trees since the cloaking devices were out of power.)

When little Willy and his father return with the sheriff to the field to show him the two spacecraft they found, the ships are missing. But Troy and Dillon haven't blasted even off yet! Apparently, Willy's father led them to the wrong place!

Jamie tells Troy and Dillon that she thought they were from the CIA or some super-NASA group. The CIA is the Central Intelligence Agency, one of the major intelligence agencies of the United States government. NASA is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the center of the United States' space program.

In this episode, we first learn that Boomer is now a Colonel and Adama's executive officer.

The bridge set of the Galactica from the original BSG series had already been torn down by the time ABC decided it wanted to make Galactica 1980, so a small makeshift set was constructed instead. It doesn't look much like any portion of the original set, but it could be argued that changes were made to the bridge by the Galactica crew over the yahrens. Galactica bridge

In this episode, Troy and Dillon use the rarely-used IM button on their Vipers' joysticks to activate the faster-than-light/time-travel functionality.

When the trio of Troy, Dillon, and Jamie arrive back in 1944, their clothing has turned white. Noticing this, Jamie remarks incredulously, "My Lord, we're dead and gone to Heaven!" Ironically, the previous use of such white Colonial Warrior uniforms in the original BSG series was when Apollo, Starbuck, and Sheba "died" in order to appear aboard the Light Ship of the mysterious Beings of Light in episodes such as "War of the Gods" Part 2 and "Experiment in Terra".

At 29:40 on the DVD, a portrait of Adolf Hitler is seen on the wall in the Nazi bunker.

At 30:06 on the DVD, the German commander remarks that they will soon have planes that don't have propellers. Although not seen in this episode, Nazi Germany developed the first jet fighter in 1944, the Messerschmitt Me 262. The commander goes on to say he would like to see the Americans' faces the first time they face the new Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe was the German air force.

At 30:15 on the DVD, the footage of Nazi planes flying has been flipped, as evidenced by the reversed numbers on the fuselages. As in the U.S. jet fighter footage in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1, the airplane models also change from one shot to another in the same scene.

The footage of the two Vipers turboing away from the Nazi fighter planes at 31:42 on the DVD, is the same scene used of the Vipers turboing away from the American fighter jets in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1.

After landing in a forest in Nazi Germany, Troy, Dillon, and Jamie have a long walk into the town where Xavier has been tracked and Dillon asks Troy, "I don't suppose you'd consider using the bikes?" This suggests that the turbocycles were brought along with them aboard the Vipers; in fact, they do make use of the cycles during their time travel trip in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 3. Earlier in this study, it seemed as if the bikes would have to have been left behind in the Warriors' haste to escape the police. Of course, they could have procured two other bikes aboard the Galactica before heading off on their current mission.

Xavier is found in Peenemunde, Germany, assisting with the perfection of the V-2 rocket. In fact, the V-2 was developed by the German Army Research Center in Peenemunde in 1944.

Our heroic trio meet Major Stockwell, an American assigned to sabotage the V-2 program. In the novelization he is called Colonel John H. Guidry instead.

At 37:57 on the DVD, notice that a German soldier sits on top of each boxcar of the train that is rumbling down the tracks. As each boxcar is about to enter the tunnel, the soldier leans back onto his back so that he will clear the tunnel roof.

At 38:21 on the DVD, the word vorsight is seen on a building in Peenemunde. Presumably, it is a German word, but I've been unable to find a translation for it.

In the same scene above, Jews are seen being loaded onto boxcars by German soldiers. The Jews are wearing the "yellow badge", a yellow Star of David, identifying them as Jewish, as was required by Nazi law. When she sees the people being loaded into the boxcars, Jamie tells the two Warriors they are being taken to concentration camps as part of Nazi Germany's "Final Solution". The Final Solution was Hitler's plan for the systematic extermination of Jews.

When Troy and Dillon rescue the little Jewish girl from the German soldiers, Dillon fires his laser at the soldiers and finds that it was not set for stun. Troy chastises him and Dillon responds he thought it was set for stun. But it was set for stun earlier when they rescued Major Stockwell. So, is there any reason he would have had for setting it to a higher setting afterward? Since they're supposed to minimize their affect on history as much as possible, wouldn't it be wise to leave their weapons on stun by default?

The laser pistols in G1980 have a full beam that lances from the barrel of the weapon to its target. In the episodes of BSG, there was no beam from the pistols, merely a flash from the muzzle and another at the point of impact.

Dillon uses the Colonial swear word "felgercarb" in this episode (and in the next episode), the only times it is used in this series. The other common swear word of "frak" is not used at all throughout the series.

At 39:32 on the DVD, we see the Die Blaur Taverne. This is German for The Blaur Tavern. Parked in front of the tavern is a Kubelwagen, a German military vehicle manufactured by Volkswagen from 1940-1945.

Stockwell uses a code-phrase at the bookstore owned by his contacts, "A mutual friend of ours in London said I might be able to find a rare copy of The Moon and Sixpence here." The Moon and Sixpence is a 1919 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Moments later, Stockwell gives the owner another password, "Marseille". Marseille is the second largest city in France and plays a small part in the novel.

At 41:57 on the DVD, we see a sign for Chauvin's Bar & Grill in Peenemunde. This sign is probably a remnant from another shoot on the Universal back lot, as it certainly does not sound like a German establishment!

Right after stating he is an expert shot, the German officer at 43:51 on the DVD shoots himself in the foot. Presumably, one of the invisible Warriors triggered the gun as the officer was drawing his weapon.

The German missile on a launch ramp seen at 45:30 on the DVD is the V-1 flying bomb, the predecessor to the V-2 rocket.

The film footage of the V-1 launch ramp at various moments near the end of the episode seem to be from different sources; notice that the launch ramp appears alternately in a desert-like and forested setting.

German General Yodel may be based on the real world German general Alfred Jodl. The real Jodl is said to have frequently disagreed with Hitler, as Yodel does in the novelization.

At 46:36 on the DVD, as the V-1 missile launches off the ramp, wires are visible, holding the miniature rocket model up in the air.

The launch roar of the rocket at 46:06 on the DVD is the same as the Viper launch sound through the Galactica's launch tubes.

The shot of the German officers walking to the shelter for the V-2 test launch from 47:06-47:13 appears to be from some WWII-related movie, but does not really match the group of people from this episode; notice that a woman is present in the shot, as well as a man in civilian clothing.

Despite his American-seeming accent, Xavier passes for an English scientist among the Germans. 

Battlestar Galactica: Galactica Discovers Earth Notes from the novelization of "Galactica Discovers Earth", by Glen A. Larson and Michael Resnick

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published December 1980)

Pages 60-128 (plus some scenes from pages 53-56) cover the events of "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2

On page 54, Adama and Xavier discuss the Snowball Effect of time travel, inherent in Dr. Zee's time travel equations, suggesting that even a small change in the past can have cascading effects through the future, resulting in major changes to the timeline. This is essentially the same as the Butterfly Effect discussed in chaos theory. The idea has been used in many time travel stories and originated in Ray Bradbury's 1952 short story "A Sound of Thunder" in which a time traveller goes back to the Cretaceous Period and accidentally kills a butterfly, causing far-reaching changes in the present.

Page 55 suggests that Troy saved the Galactica from the last Cylon attack.

On page 62, Dr. Mortinson points out that the modified equation left for him by Troy and Dillon involves a combination of Aronson's Lemma and Eisenstein's Irreducibility Criterion to accelerate the half-life of uranium isotopes. These are real world statements (more commonly known simply as Aronson's Sequence and Eisenstein's Criterion) originated by J.K. Aronson and Gotthold Eisenstein.

Page 62 describes Dr. Mortinson as driving a sporty roadster. In the episode, it's anything but! Just a standard 4-door sedan (probably an Oldsmobuick). 

Instead of stealing a police car as they do in the episode, Jamie talks Troy and Dillon into stealing a private car instead, a 1979 Continental. Troy uses his sensor to start the vehicle (although that doesn't explain why the purely mechanical steering lock doesn't secure the wheel!). (Photo from Wikipedia.) Lincoln Continental

On page 70, Jamie accuses Troy and Dillon of being spies, a la James Bond. Bond, of course, is the fictional British super-spy of novels and film.

Also on page 70, Jamie asks if Mortinson is a commie. "Commie" is a shorthand term for "communist".

Seeing the Vipers for the first time, Jamie comments that she's seen Phantom jets before but they were nothing like this. She is referring to the F-4 Phantom fighter-bomber made by McDonnell-Douglas from 1958-1981.

In the passenger seat of Troy's Viper on page 72, Jamie begins a sentence before the Viper lifts off the ground and by the time she is finished saying it, they are at a height of 4,000 miles and climbing! This seems unlikely, even for the speed of a Viper. Possibly, it's a misprint and it's supposed to be 4,000 feet.

The UPI news article on page 73 reveals that after Mortinson's recovery by the police and the escape of Troy and Dillon, Jamie is considered to be their hostage by authorities and detectives are scrutinizing the film footage of the incident shot by the UBS news van.

Page 74 presents an article from the Science News Service. As far as I can tell, this is a fictional news organization. The article features comments on the UFO flap in L.A. (caused by the Vipers) from Professor Stuart Brownstein of the UCLA Department of Astronomy. UCLA is the University of California Los Angeles and their astronomy division is currently part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Stuart Brownstein appears to be a fictional character, not an actual professor at the school at the time of the story.

Page 76 reveals that the Warriors learned numerous Earth languages in preparation for their contact with Earth. Troy informs Jamie that, besides English, they also speak Italian, Russian, French, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and a number of lesser dialects.

On pages 78-79, Dr. Zee discusses Xavier's decision to go only a short distance into Earth's past (1944) instead of much farther back, commenting that the Snowball Effect of changing time becomes more drastic the farther back one introduces the change, possibly resulting in an unrecognizable modern day. In the course of the discussion, he mentions the possibility of introducing the bow and arrow to an ape in a tree two million years ago. This seems to suggest that Dr. Zee accepts that humans evolved from apes on Earth independently from humans on Kobol (or whatever the Colonials consider to be humanity's birth world; Richard Hatch's BSG novels state the original world of humanity to be a planet called Parnassus). Had Glen Larson decided to ignore the portion of the original BSG mythology in which the lost Thirteenth Tribe of Kobol was believed to have colonized Earth?

On page 79, Dr. Zee states that Xavier must have chosen to travel to Nazi Germany of 1944 because they were experimenting with the V-2 rocket at the time. The V-2 was invented by Nazi Germany in 1944 and was the world's first long-range ballistic missile.

On page 82, Jamie explains that the term "genocide" was coined to express the mass killings of subgroups of human beings by Nazi Germany. This is true, the term was coined by Polish-Jewish legal scholar Raphael Lemkin in 1944 and was adopted by the Nuremberg Trials, indicting 24 Nazi leaders of the crime.

Also on page 82, Jamie paraphrases a quote by the comic strip character Pogo Possum regarding World War II, saying, "I guess they had to have a second war to decide who won the first one." I've been unable to confirm whether a quote similar to this was used in the Pogo comic strip.

Jamie goes into much more detail about Hitler's rise to power and WWII on pages 82-84 than she does in the episode. Everything she states about the history is essentially correct.

The novel reveals that Troy, Dillon, and Jamie have arrived over Bavaria (a state in Germany) on June 4, 1944 in their pursuit of Xavier. This was just two days before D-Day, when the Allies landed forces on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of that country from German rule. This falls in well with Jamie's revelation to Major Stockwell in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 3 that, being past midnight at that point in the episode, it is now June, 6...D-Day. The novel suggests that they've arrived three weeks later than they'd intended, however, explaining how Xavier managed to ingratiate himself with the commanders of the V-2 rocket program. The V-2 underwent it's final round of testing on August 30, 1944, so Xavier's design, if it had not been sabotaged by the Warriors and Major Stockwell, would have improved on that by almost 3 months.

Unlike in the episode, the novel makes no mention of the Warrior uniforms turning white after the trip through time.

On page 90, Dillon mentions Isaac Newton, Dr. Einstein, and Aristotle. These were, of course, all real people in Earth history. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is often considered the father of modern science. Dr. Albert Einstein is the renowned German theoretical physicist who refused, during a visit to America, to return to Germany after Hitler came into power, and became an American citizen. Aristotle was a brilliant student and then teacher of science, philosophy, and the arts in ancient Greece.

Page 91 reveals that Jamie knows some German, from three years of it in high school and two in college. It is also revealed that Troy and Dillon have learned German, from ten minutes with Dr. Zee's Language Educator.

Apparently, the Vipers made very rapid progress across Germany because, shortly after their arrival over Bavaria, Dillon announces that six German fighter planes have just taken off from the airfield where they're keeping the V-2. The V-2 program was based out of Peenemunde, which is about 750 km from Bavaria.

On page 92, Jamie mispronounces (or, rather, misprints!) the name of the German fighter plane "Fokker" as "Forkker". She's commenting that she can't tell from their current distance if the German fighter planes are Fokkers or Messerschmitts, but it shouldn't make a difference considering the Vipers Troy and Dillon are piloting. Presumably, she is referring to Fokker prop planes, which were mostly used in the war, and Messerschmitt jet fighters which were introduced by the Germans in 1944.

Also on page 92, Jamie tells Troy and Dillon the story of a Chinese peasant who performed a valued service for his ruler and was granted anything he wished, which was a chessboard on which was laid a grain of rice on the first square and double the previous amount on each proceeding of the 64 squares, which comes out to more rice than exists in the world. This is just one variation on a mathematical exercise seen in many different forms.

On page 93, the German ground control radio operator says dumkoffs. The proper spelling, dummkopf, means "dolt".

Several remarks throughout the novel suggest that relations between Allied forces and the leader of the Free French, Charles de Gaulle, were strained. This was true, due to de Gaulle's suspicion that his allies were more interested in gaining French territory for themselves than in freeing French holdings from the Germans.

On page 94, Colonel Guidry's diary entry remarks that he was flying a British Mosquito bomber when he was shot down over Germany. This was a real world bomber-fighter made by the de Havilland Aircraft Company from 1940-1950.

Also on page 94, Guidry remarks that his mission is to destroy the V-2 rockets at Obersalzberg, Hitler's sometime-retreat. However, I've found no evidence of a V-2 installation having existed in Obersalzberg. In the episode, the target is Peenemunde, which is the accurate birthplace of the V-2 rocket. Obersalzberg, Bavaria was one of Hitler's retreat homes though, just as described.

On page 95, Guidry describes screaming while throwing his plane into a 90-degree power rise. He explains that the screaming keeps the ears and sinuses open, helping to prevent blackout during such a maneuver in an unpressurized cabin. I've been unable to confirm if this is true.

In the book, Guidry's plane is brought down by a flight of Messerschmitts. In the episode, it is brought down by anti-aircraft guns from the ground.

Page 98 reveals that Jamie was born in Glencoe, Illinois.

Trying to prove whether Jamie is actually an American in her confrontation with Guidry, several White Sox pitchers are named between the two of them. The White Sox are the Chicago Major League Baseball team. Billy Pierce played for them from 1952-1961, Joel Horlen from 1961-1971, and Bill Dietrich from 1936-1946.

On page 103, Guidry says his underground contact is at No. 3 Morganstrasse. "Morganstrasse" would translate to Morgan Street in English.

On page 105, Jamie names several German concentration camps: Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau. These were all real camps, Buchenwald and Dachau in Germany and Auschwitz in Poland.

Deviating from the episode, in the novel, Troy gets stabbed in the stomach in the course of meeting up with the underground. As he recovers, he makes Dillon promise, "No heroics," but Dillon has his fingers crossed behind his back as he makes the pledge. Apparently, the Colonials have the same custom as early Christians, from whom this gesture comes, for, among other things, excusing the telling of a white lie.

On page 117, Dillon injects the injured Troy with a solution that is made up of antibiotics, steroids, amphetamines, and phenylbutazone. Antibiotics kill or slow the growth of bacteria, steroids aid in immune function, amphetamines act as a psychostimulant, and phenylbutazone is used for treatment of fever and pain (although in the U.S., phenylbutazone is not approved for human use, only in animals).

Also on page 117, Guidry makes reference to Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam, of course, is the personification of the United States government. 

On page 128, Werner says schnell. This is German for "quickly".

Memorable Dialog

spaced out drug-runners.wav
what are you guys, Martians?.wav
Commander Xavier has commandeered a ship.wav
travel through time.wav
the English are such a modest people.wav

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