Forty years after an armistice was signed with the Cylons, a race of cybernetic servants created to aid man, a neutral space station set aside for peaceful negotiations – but never visited by a Cylon representative – is ambushed and destroyed by Cylon forces.
Battlestar Galactica is en route to its decommissioning from regular service. Long since surpassed on a technological level by newer craft, the gigantic Galactica will become a museum commemorating the era of open warfare between humanity and the Cylons; Galactica’s Commander, Adama, delivers a speech at the ship’s decommissioning ceremony warning against becoming complacent against the Cylons. Adama is also grappling with some personal demons as well – his eldest son, Lee “Apollo” Adama, has arrived to participate in the ceremony, leading a symbolic flight of Colonial Viper fighters, another spacecraft retired from service after the Cylon wars. The reunion of father and son is awkward, as the two have barely spoken since Adama’s younger son, Zac, died on patrol.
On the planet Caprica, the seat of the Colonial government, cybernetics expert Dr. Gaius Baltar has been engaging in an affair with a woman who later admits to being a Cylon – but not the kind of Cylon anyone has ever seen before. She’s almost completely indistinguishable from any human. And she has used Baltar’s access to Caprica’s computer networks to render the Colonies’ defenses useless. A massive Cylon assault begins, as the surface of Caprica is peppered with thermonuclear weapons. Even the most advanced Colonial fighters prove useless in the fight, their integrated computer systems wiped out by a previously unknown Cylon weapon. Baltar is led to safety by the Cylon woman known as Number Six, his role in the fall of Caprica known only to himself – and even after they’re separated when Baltar boards a rescue ship, he continues to see and speak to visions of her. The ship he is taken to is also where Education Secretary Laura Roslin was when the Cylons attacked – and the attacks have destroyed so much of the Colonial government that she’s now next in line to assume the Presidency. Apollo is also on that ship, having escorted Roslin away from the decommissioning ceremony in his father’s aging Viper – and having discovered in the process that the decommissioned fighters, which lack integrated systems, are immune to the Cylons’ secret weapon.
The military command structure has also collapsed, any most of the Battlestar fleet has fallen, leaving Commander Adama in charge of what’s left of the military. Adama orders an immediate course for the Ragnar system, a turbulent nebula into which a Colonial munitions depot is tucked away, dating back to the original Cylon conflict. When Galactica arrives, Adama’s crew finds weapons aplenty to rearm the ship – but there’s also a lone human aboard. An accident with some of the munitions leaves him trapped with Adama, who discovers that the man is a Cylon – something that the rescued Baltar hasn’t shared with anyone.
Rearmed, and now set on a course for what Adama claims is the lost thirteenth colony, Earth, Galactica gets ready – with a largely defenseless civilian fleet in tow – for an escape from the advancing Cylon fleet…or the extinction of the human race.
written by Ronald D. Moore and Christopher Eric James
based on a teleplay by Glen A. Larson
directed by Michael Rymer
music by Richard Gibbs / additional music by Bear McCreary
Cast: Edward James Olmos (Commander Adama), Mary McDonnell (Secretary Laura Roslin), Katie Sackhoff (Lt. Starbuck), Jamie Bamber (Captain Apollo), James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar), Tricia Helfer (Number Six), Callum Keith Rennie (Leoben Conoy), Grace Park (Lt. Boomer), Michael Hogan (Colonel Tigh), Matthew Bennett (Aaron Doral), Paul Campbell (Billy Keikeya), Aaron Douglas (CPO Tyrol), Lorena Gale (Elosha), Barclay Hope (Transport Pilot), Kandyse McClure (Dualla), Connor Widdows (Boxey), John Mann (CAG), Alessandro Juliani (Lt. Gaeta), Nicky Clyne (Cally), Michael Eklund (Prosna), Alonso Oyarzun (Socinus), Tahmoh Penikett (Helo), Haili Page (Cami), Ty Olsson (Captain Kelly), Ron Blecker (Launch Officer), Ryan Robbins (Armistice Officer), Tim Henry (Doctor), Kwesi Ameyaw (Liner Captain), Brenda McDonald (Old Woman), Suleka Matthew (Reporter), Erin Karpluk (Woman #1), Jenn Griffin (Woman #2), B.J. Harrison (Woman #3), Zahf Paroo (Man #1), Robert Lewis (Man #2), Denzel Sinclair (Man #3), Lorena Gale (Elosha), Nadine Wright (Chantara), Michael Soltis (Chantara’s Husband), Moneca Delain (Blonde Woman), Fred Keating (Junior Reporter), Lymari Nadal (Giana), Biski Gugushe (Pilot #1), Nahanni Arntzen (Pilot #2), Nogel Vonas (Pilot #3), Ryan Nelson (Pilot #4)
LogBook entry by Earl Green