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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com

Galactica 1980: Galactica Discovers Earth (Part 3) Galactica 1980
"Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 3
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Sidney Hayers

Troy, Dillon, and Jamie continue their pursuit of Xaviar.

Read the synopsis of this episode at the Battlestar Wiki site

Didja Know?

After this episode, we never see Dr. Mortinson again, though he is mentioned in some later episodes as still working with the Galacticans.

Didja Notice?

At 8:56 on the DVD, a German control panel for the V-2 rocket test has a number of lights, buttons, and levers labeled in German. The words I've been able to translate are zellenspannung (cell voltage), schaltuhr (timer), triebwerk (engine), triebwerk ein (engine A).

At 10:11 on the DVD, a sign on the fence says Zugang Verboten. This is German for "Prohibited Access".

In the scene from 11:25-12:40, notice that the laser bolts fired by Troy and Dillon appear to be coming from their turbocycles, not their pistols, implying the bikes have built-in weapons. The bolts are also green instead of the usual blue of pistol bolts.

Xaviar escapes from Troy and Dillon's custody in 1944 by going invisible as he darts away. They didn't bother taking his cloaking device away from him?!

After Troy, Dillon, and Jamie have arrived back in 1980, at 16:02 on the DVD, we see a North American Van Lines tractor-trailer parked at a truck stop called Maggies Truck Heaven. North American Van Lines is a real world trucking company specializing in residential and office moves. Maggies Truck Heaven appears to be a fictional truck stop. The building which acted as Maggies Truck Heaven is now a Wendy's fast food restaurant, located on Magic Mountain Parkway in Valencia, CA, leading into the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park. As the bus pulls up at 18:29 on the DVD, a Magic Mountain sign is visible (though not quite legible) in the background.

At 17:10 on the DVD, Jamie reads the front page of the Daily News, which informs her that she, Troy, and Dillon are all wanted in connection with the kidnapping of Dr. Mortinson (in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2). The Daily News appears to be a fictional newspaper, at least for the L.A. region at the time of this story. Jamie remarks that they are considered criminals and an A.P.B. has been put out for them, explaining it means law enforcement doesn't take chances if you resist arrest...they shoot. But that's not really true; an A.P.B. (All-Points Bulletin) is merely a broadcast to all law enforcement agencies in the area to be on the lookout for a suspect, person of interest, or missing person.

At 17:55 on the DVD, Troy and Dillon fire on an unsuspecting jukebox when they are startled by the sudden music from it. Nice training, guys! The jukebox is a Wurlitzer Stereophonic, originally manufactured in 1959.

At 21:33 on the DVD, the "gas tank" part of the turbocycles appears to have just a foam rubber square for the "gas cap".
Turbocycle gas cap

The scene of Troy and Dillon flying off into the distance on their turbocycles at 21:52 on the DVD is the same as the one seen when the pair escape from the motorcycle gang in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1.

At 22:50 on the DVD, notice that the military man in the background is running some kind of scanner over the captured Viper, perhaps scanning for radiation.

At 23:08 on the DVD, why am I reminded of the movie Airplane? military secret

At 27:08 on the DVD, we get our best look at a Colonial Warrior's captain's pin, given to young Willy by Troy. Might this be the same pin Troy's step-father, Apollo, gave to him when he was known as Boxey in "Exodus"?
Colonial captain's pin

At 28:39 on the DVD, we see a Florsheim Shoes outlet in the background. Two other Florsheim Shoes outlets appear at 30:36 and 39:08; I guess they must have been a sponsor!

The scene watched by Xaviar on TV at 28:52 on the DVD is from the car chase in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2.

At 29:23 on the DVD, an Arrowhead Water delivery truck is seen in the background.

The song playing at the newsstand as Xaviar presses the newsstand dealer for information is "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac.

A number of magazines are seen at the newsstand where Xaviar asks how to get to UBC: Real Love is not an actual magazine, but is one of many titles used on fake magazine covers for television and film production and gag gifts; Wrestling Revue was a real world magazine published 1959-1980 (the August 1979 issue is seen here); Wrestling Superstars was published 1978-1997; Boxing Illustrated began publication in 1958 and is still published today as Boxing Digest; True Secrets was a real world romance magazine (as far as I can determine, it is no longer published); Private Pilot was a real magazine dedicated to the owners of small aircraft, its last issue appearing in November 2005, being incorporated into the larger circulation Plane & Pilot magazine.

The license plate number of the police cruiser Xaviar rides in changes during the trip. First it's 53362, then it changes to what looks like 92293.

At 31:19 on the DVD, the police car appears to have a large dent in the backseat door on the driver's side.

During Xaviar's ride in the backseat of the police cruiser, the window is rolled up, but when the car pulls into a parking space at the UBC building, it is suddenly about 2/3 rolled down.

Notice that as the policemen talk to Xaviar at 31:51 on the DVD, Dr. Mortinson is seen walking out of the UBC building in the distant background.

At Dr. Mortinson's house, Xaviar reads from a history book or encyclopedia (the novelization suggests it is the Encyclopedia Britannica) about French General Lafayette's defeat of British forces in 1777 at the Battle of New Orleans during the American Revolutionary War; the turning point of the U.S. Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg; and Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. I've been unable to confirm any particular battle at New Orleans in 1777, but Lafayette was a French general who joined the American cause and the latter two battles are actual historical events.

The taxicab that Troy, Dillon, and Jamie ride in changes models during the course of their trip!

The military sign at 39:14 on the DVD, for the 146th Tactical Airlift Wing, indicates the Vipers are being held at the Van Nuys Air National Guard Base since that is where the real 146th was headquartered at the time. The base was later closed in 1990 and the 146th now operates out of the Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Oxnard, California.
146th Tactical Airlift Wing

At 39:46 on the DVD, Troy, Dillon, and Jamie walk right up to a fence at the Air National Guard Base and see the confiscated Vipers parked there. It seems unlikely the military would leave the unidentified craft sitting right where civilians could see them from outside the station's boundaries.

As Xaviar is preparing to blast off from the Air Force Base in his Viper, why does Troy attempt to approach him from the front? He's easily seen by Xaviar and also opens himself up to laser fire from the ship! I suppose from the rear, he would also be vulnerable to the engine blast, but he could have at least attempted to approach from the side.

As the cockpit canopy of the Viper closes over Troy at 43:42 on the DVD, a string can be seen lowering the front of the canopy down into place on the left edge of the screen!
Viper canopy string

At 43:27 on the DVD, the bottom right corner of the screen shows that the lower half of Troy's Viper is missing!
Half a Viper 

As Adama and our heroic trio enter his quarters at 46:16 on the DVD, a picture of a woman can be seen on (or inside) a pyramidal object on his desk. Is it Athena? Athena
Power strip in Adama's quarters At 47:10 on the DVD, it appears there may be a power strip underneath a table in Adama's quarters!

A couple of the small statues on the shelves behind Adama's desk appear to be Egyptian figures turned backwards, so they face the wall!
Statues in Adama's quarters

At the end of the episode, Adama informs Troy, Dillon, and Jamie that Xaviar appears to have fled back to the 18th Century, possibly to interfere in the American Revolution and it's implied the trio will be sent back in time again after him. But we never see that story resolved in any subsequent episode. Instead, Xaviar is still in 1980 in "Spaceball", with a new actor portraying him!

Hearing that she'll be going to the 18th Century, Jamie remarks that she might get to find out first-hand whether Benjamin Franklin had a way with the ladies as suggested by historians. Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and was also known as something of a womanizer.

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 128-end cover the events of "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 3

On page 136, Jamie leaves a clue for Colonel Guidry as to who she and the two Warriors are by scratching "Watergate, 1972" on the back of his dog tag. This is a reference to the Watergate scandal of 1972, in which the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon attempted to cover up its involvement in a break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. Jamie leaves the message so that, when the scandal breaks in 1972, Guidry will realize the three strange people he met during his mission to sabotage the V-2 were time travellers.

Xaviar apparently arrived in 1944 via a Viper himself (as suggested by "Spaceball"). Were Troy and Dillon aware of the Viper's location after they captured Xaviar? Were they just going to leave it behind when they returned to 1984 with their prisoner? Maybe they had plans to destroy it so it wouldn't fall into Nazi hands?

On page 141, Adama's journal mentions Von Braun, Willy Ley, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. These are all historical figures, Von Braun and Ley were involved with the American space program brought over from Germany after WWII and Adams and Jefferson were significant figures in the founding of the United States as a nation.

Also on page 141, Adama's journal mentions the Continental Congress. This was the Congress of delegates of the Thirteen Colonies which declared independence from Great Britain and operated through the American Revolutionary War and for a time afterward until the permanent United States Congress was established in 1789.

Having returned from 1944, page 145 reveals that Xaviar has hidden his Viper in an abandoned bar at the edge of the Mojave Desert. (In the episode, Xaviar's Viper is somehow confiscated along with Troy's and Dillon's.)

Page 145 also suggests that Xaviar has chosen to return to 1980 because the fleet is there and he knows that if he were to get in serious trouble, he could get the Galacticans to rescue him to prevent his origin from being revealed to the Earth natives.

On page 146, Xaviar muses that he could make a deal with the Cylons if necessary and expose Earth to them.

Pages 146-147 reveal Xaviar's goals, as he refines them in his descent into insanity. He's decided he doesn't really care about the fleet and would become the ruler of Earth, wiping out democracy on the planet. He also would not hold himself to a monogamous relationship, but would have a number of wives to bear the children to whom he would leave his empire.

On page 147, Xaviar muses on what time and place he should establish his monarchy, contemplating Da Vinci's Renaissance or Stalin's Russia. The Renaissance period of cultural and scientific rebirth in Europe took place in the 13th-16th Centuries; Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of the most noted polymaths of the period. Joseph Stalin cultivated power and formed the Soviet Union from about 1922 until his death in 1953.

Page 147 also reveals that Xaviar actually admired Hitler and his methods.

On pages 151-152, Troy explains to Jamie that Dr. Zee has synthesized a catalyst that allows humans to efficiently use body fat for energy the same way a bear does during hibernation. In this way, Troy and Dillon are able to go without eating for a week or more.

On page 153, Dillon remarks that he once had a robot companion on the planet Pinta that looked a lot like the jukebox in the diner. Presumably, Pinta was a world visited by the fleet during its search for Earth and Dillon had some kind of adventure there.

Page 155 suggests that the high-speed car chase between the police and the Galacticans in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 2 went at speeds upwards of 110 mph.

In the novel, the police chief is named Modzelewski. In the episode, it was Ryan.

   On page 157, Anderson lights up a cigar that had been smuggled out of Havana. Due to the ongoing U.S. trade embargo with communist Cuba which has been in place since 1962, the famous Cuban cigars are illegal in the U.S.
  Havana is the capitol city of Cuba.

On page 158, Anderson mentions the news magazines Newsweek and Time.

Also on page 158, Anderson tells Jamie that the guy who wrote the script for The China Syndrome may be writing one for a movie based on the abduction of Dr. Mortinson. The China Syndrome is a 1979 film written by Mike Gray, T.S. Cook, and James Bridges; to my knowledge, they never did write a movie about the abduction of Dr. Mortinson.

In the novel, Jamie quits UBC when Anderson insists on her betraying Troy and Dillon, whom he believes are terrorists. In the TV series, she remained employed there, her reporter job playing an important part of most of the stories. The novel implies that she becomes a member of the Galactica crew instead.

On page 162, Dr. Mortinson mentions Dodger Stadium. This is the home stadium of Los Angeles' Major League Baseball team, the Dodgers.

On page 163, Washington, Adams, and Jefferson are mentioned as part of the American Revolution. George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were all Founding Fathers of the United States.

On pages 163-164, Xaviar describes the assassination of Julius Caesar by his Senators in 44 B.C., to be replaced as leader of Rome by Augustus, signaling the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. This is an accurate description of the history.

On page 164, Xaviar mentions Lee of the Confederacy in the Civil War. This is a reference to General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate States of America during the U.S. Civil War.

Also on page 164, Xaviar mentions Alexander, Genghis Khan, Charlemagne, and Attila the Hun. These were all notorious leaders in different parts of the world from throughout history.

Xaviar quotes the maxim, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This quote was originated by the well-known science and science-fiction author, Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008).

In the televised episode, Dr. Mortinson is picked up by the Air Force to see if he can identify the captured ships (the Vipers) and Troy, Dillon, and Jamie attempt to chase down Xaviar when the villain steals back his Viper and escapes, possibly back in time to the start of the American Revolution. In the novel, Troy, Dillon, and Jamie find Mortinson awakening from the stun blast delivered to him by Xaviar at his beachfront home and discover that several history books are missing from the doctor's library that hint at where in time Xaviar may have chosen to travel and they then travel backwards in time to a few different points attempting to track him down.

Awakening from the stun blast, Mortinson remarks that he feels like he just went the distance with Muhammad Ali. Ali is a former professional boxer, often called the greatest boxer of all time.

Page 168 reveals that it takes a person about an hour to recover from a stun blast from a Galactican laser.

The five books stolen from Mortinson's library by Xaviar and listed on pages 169-170 are all real world tomes and the summaries Jamie gives of historical times covered by them are accurate.

The brief history of the Biblical Moses given by Jamie on pages 171-172 is accurate, as described in The Bible. It boggles my mind that our three heroes travel to Mt. Sinai to observe Moses ascending the mountain, where he will allegedly speak to God and receive the two stone tablets on which were written the Ten Commandments, but don't stay to observe whether the exchange actually takes place! Once they determine that Xaviar is not there, they just leave, to visit another time period he may have visited. Troy and Dillon I could understand, not being Earth natives, but you'd think Jamie would want to see what really happened!

Jamie's brief description of events in The Bible on pages 173-174 is essentially correct.

Jamie's description of the Peloponnesian Wars on page 174 is essentially correct.

Jamie's description of several historical periods and events on pages 175-176 is mostly accurate, but my research indicates some minor errors: historians now generally consider there to have been about nine Crusades, and sometimes more, not just eight; the Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215, not 1213; Jamie says that Richard the Lionheart was shot with an arrow on April 2, 1199, but historians disagree on the date, naming it as any time from March 25 to April 6 of that year, with most sources agreeing he died of complications from the wound on April 6.

The description of Pickett's Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg on pages 178-179 is accurate.

Chapter 37 of the novel has Troy providing an explanation couched in time paradoxes that explains why Xaviar would cease attempting to alter Earth's history (someone from the Galactica will always eventually figure out where Xaviar has gone in time and arrive at that same time to stop him within minutes of his attempts to change an historical event) and instead focus on the present, where his actions can remain open. In the TV series, no explanation is ever provided as to why Xaviar is no longer attempting to change history.

On page 183, Dr. Mortinson tells Troy and Dillon that he'll do all he can to help in the Galacticans' plan to upraise Earth's technology and he'll work with colleagues on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The Iron Curtain was the name used to symbolize the physical, military, economic, and ideological boundary between the western, democratized European countries and the communist ones of eastern Europe from the end of WWII in 1945 to the end of the Cold War in 1991.

In the Adama journal entry on page 186, Adama mentions two other scientists besides Mortinson who are now working with the Galacticans, Professor Khalinov of Russia and Rashid Tarid of Pakistan. Possibly, Khalinov was recruited by the warrior Kip, who was stated as drawing assignment to the Soviet Union in "Galactica Discovers Earth" Part 1.

On page 187, Adama notes in his journal the serious problems they still face now that the fleet has found Earth. Among these is that "we have not reached the Millennia". The term "millennia" is the plural of "millennium", a thousand years. It can also be used to name a new millennial period (such as the year 2000 beginning the third millennia in the Christian calendar). But it's unclear what Adama means by his use of it here; might there be a prophecy of something important that's supposed to happen at the coming of the next Colonial millennia?

Memorable Dialog

they drink beans.wav
it's not a good idea.wav
a joker in every deck.wav

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