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AMC and David Eick

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Walking Dead network buys new UFO show from BSG's David Eick

Walking Dead network buys new UFO show from BSG's David Eick
Art by Josh Crockett

Not content to swallow up genre viewers with zombies, AMC is moving into alien territory, buying the UFO-centric Thunderstruck, with one of Battlestar Galactica's masterminds on board.

Along with Eick, Thunderstruck will be executive-produced by Paul Boardman and Scott Derrickson (who wrote and directed The Exorcism of Emily Rose), and, according to Deadline, the show will follow:

"Powerful and enigmatic entities that begin appearing all over the world. After one shows up in the town of Great Falls, Montana, the local citizens must grapple with the dramatic effects and growing mystery of repeated visitations."

AMC's development process is a little kooky—they hold a "bake-off" with a number of different projects they've already bought and choose the few they want to actually put on the air—so there's no telling if or when this'll be on the air.

Luckily for Eick, he's still got the Hulk pilot he's co-writing for Marvel, ABC and Guillermo del Toro to keep him busy in the interim

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8 aquatic discoveries that have us believing aliens visited Earth

8 aquatic discoveries that have us believing aliens visited Earth

On some obscure TV show, we learned that space was the final frontier. However, with the Kepler space observatory finding dozens of awesome new planets every month, we're starting to wonder if that's true. After all, 95 percent of the ocean is still unexplored by humans.

Which got us to thinking: Wouldn't it be ironic if the first proof of extraterrestrial life came from the ocean instead of the skies? With that in mind, we found eight strange things in the ocean that we think might indicate the work of alien hands (or tentacles):

The Baltic Sea Disc


The UFO world has been abuzz with the reports that a champagne-salvaging team from Sweden discovered something very unusual on the floor of the Baltic Sea. To drive theorists into a frenzy, it won't be possible to reach the object until around May, when the fierce currents die down. The strange, round object prompted a member of the research team to state, "I have never seen anything like this."


Wait, they've never seen the Millennium Falcon? What's going on in Sweden?

The mysterious object is 60 feet long and circular. Tracks lead up to the object from far away, which we must admit is the least mysterious part of this (even ocean rocks have "tracks"). Until a crew can get down there, the craft will remain under 10 stories' worth of salt water.

cap: It turns out, the secret to intergalactic travel is giant, rectangular stones

Ancient Underwater City


At the turn of the millennium, oceanographers were doing what they thought was a routine assessment of India's Gulf of Cambay coast. To the surprise of the team and pretty much everyone else in the entire world, they found evidence of a miles-long city stretching out into the water. Although the age of the underwater ruins is a hotly debated topic, some estimates have put it at about 9,500 years old. That's thousands of years before the area was thought to contain people, and would make this among the oldest cities in the world.


Yonaguni rock formation off of Japan


On the ocean floor off the southern coast of Japan sits a huge formation made from 20,000,000-year-old stones. Though thought to be naturally formed, the patterns created are stunning.




The largest formation, called "The Turtle," resembles a cubist painting of an elephant turd

So what is all this for? Our guess is that aliens visited Japan, forcing them to build a resort spa. Hoping to deter the aliens, the crafty Japanese built the worst-looking resort ever, causing the aliens to abandon our planet in disgust.

Bimini Road


Off of North Bimini Island in the Bahamas lie three peculiar straight stretches of "road." Each is composed of hundreds of large rectangular blocks. The main structure stretches linearly for a great distance before disappearing into the sea.


In 2006, Syfy aired a program called Quest for Atlantis: Startling New Secrets. For the show, a team investigated the area around and below Bimini Road. Beneath the road, the team claims to have found a second structure of similarly arranged rectangular stones. Unfortunately, no followup has been planned, perhaps because there was no evidence of ghosts.

The Mayan Underworld


According to the Mayans' system of belief, death is as fraught with doom as their predictions of life seem to be. In order to get to the afterlife, dead souls had to follow a hound through a watery maze full of peril.


Maybe the fun-loving Mayans were just building a "death themed" amusement park

In 2008, archaeologists stumbled upon what may have been the very source of these beliefs. On the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, surveyors found a mammoth system of interlocking caves going both above and under water. Stone temples and pyramids can be found throughout the labyrinth of 14 caves.

Researchers are still discovering new features to the cave system. One of the spookiest is a 300-foot road leading into the water. We can only imagine at the very end of these roads is a huge pile of Mayan human and canine skeletons. If we're lucky, that is. If we're unlucky, then at the end of these caves is a portal to hell.

Lake Michigan Stonehenge


While hired to scan Lake Michigan by sonar for old boat wrecks, professors from Northwestern Michigan College discovered a peculiar arrangement of stones. Not too far beneath the frigid waters of a Lake Michigan bay sits a unique pattern of stones that brings to mind the classic UFO landing site Stonehenge.


Yet no one says anything about the remarkably random arrangements of junk boats and cars

To make things even more mysterious, the researchers claim that one of the stones contains a picture of a mastodon. While we'll be the first to admit that this seems far-fetched, the state of Michigan is already home to many ancient glyphs and stone circles. As for the origins of the underwater Stonehenge, we have a pretty airtight theory. See, long ago aliens landed their spaceships in Lake Michigan. This angered early man, so he attacked the alien saucers by throwing giant stones into the lake.

Mid-Atlantic Ridge Weirdness


The ocean is home to millions of species, so it's not extraordinarily surprising when we're poking around in it and we discover a new one. Still, this yet-unidentified sea creature makes us wonder if aliens ever checked into a room at Innsmouth.

What makes this organism extra peculiar is that, nearby, researchers discovered a weird stretch of evenly spaced holes.


When you hurl the Earth at someone, be sure and hold it by the seams

No further expeditions have been planned to the area, probably because scientists were too creeped out.

Milky Sea


For centuries, sailors of the Indian Ocean told legends about how huge parts of the sea would sometimes glow bright blue at night. This phenomenon went undocumented because people just assumed it was the product of crazy seamen. However, the last century has seen hundreds of reports of giant swaths of the Indian Ocean glowing like a rave all night long.


With the advent of space satellite technology, we were finally able to take an actual look at the phenomenon, to figure out which parts of the legend were based on truth. It turns out that pretty much all of the legend is based on reality. A large cluster of bacteria bioluminescent-ing all over the place is the source of this amazing wonder.


Which means were just a few short steps from making the Atlantic Ocean read "Coca-Cola"

While we haven't yet found the "smoking gun" of a crashed alien saucer on Earth, it would most likely be underwater, since there's just so much of that wet stuff to crash into on this planet. No matter what, we need to keep scanning the seas. There's all sorts stuff that could be found that would blow our minds: aliens, mermaids, a rusting hulk of the Statue of Liberty, etc

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Nope, I didn't write this article, but I thought I'd reprint it for everyone's information...personally, I think it's great that Lucy is standing up for her principles & uh...maybe trying to avoid a polluted arctic!


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Police arrested actress Lucy Lawless and five Greenpeace activists Monday, four days after they climbed onto an oil-drilling ship to prevent it from leaving a New Zealand dock.

Police removed the protesters from their perch atop a 174-foot (53-meter) drilling tower on the Noble Discoverer in Port Taranaki. Chartered by oil company Shell, the ship had been due to leave over the weekend to drill five exploratory wells in the Arctic.

Lawless and six activists climbed the tower early Friday to stop the ship's departure and raise awareness about Arctic oil drilling.

One of the activists left the tower Saturday and was initially charged with unlawfully boarding a ship. All seven have now been charged with burglary, a more serious crime. All have been released and are due to appear in a New Zealand court Thursday.


Lawless, 43, a native New Zealander, is best known for her title role in the TV series "Xena: Warrior Princess," and more recently for starring in the Starz cable television series "Spartacus."

Lawless spoke to The Associated Press from atop the tower Friday, where she said wind gusts were making it difficult for the group to stay put. She said she felt compelled to take a stand against oil-drilling in the Arctic and against global warming.

"I've got three kids. My sole biological reason for being on this planet is to ensure that they can flourish, and they can't do that in a filthy, degraded environment," she said. "We need to stand up while we still can."

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Lawless described some of the challenges of staying on the tower.

"I found last night pretty darn scary," she wrote. "Not for sissies."

In a release, Rob Jager, Chairman of Shell New Zealand, said the protest had put people in danger and he was pleased it was over. He said he remained disappointed that Greenpeace hadn't taken up the company's offer to engage in a "productive conversation."


Shell spokeswoman Shona Geary said she thought the ship would leave port within the next few days.

Bunny McDiarmid, the chief executive of Greenpeace New Zealand, said she thought the protest had gone "brilliantly" and that more than 100,000 people had sent messages to Shell to oppose the company's Arctic plans.

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I'm back - sorry I've been away for so long...

Due to some medical, some personal, and some family issues, I was forced to prioritize some things in my life, and I had to push the BFC and some other personal ventures to the perverbial back burner for a while.


So far as my medical goes, I know I don't have the cancer they originally thought I might have, but I do have some other issues that have kept me slow going and highly medicated for a while - if I didn't need what I have, I could pay for my Galacticon trip without any issues!


Anyways, I just thought I would check in here and make certain no one thought I was MIA, KIA, or otherwise off the reservation.  I'm sure there have been changes here so I'm going to try and catch up and try to be a little more visable here.


Again, sorry for my sudden absence and I look forward to becoming active here again.




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Caperica on Netflix

While me and wife were using our WII gamaing system to find something to watch yesterday afternoon we discovered that NetFlix now has Caperica. That's right I had my wife put Caperica into the queue so that I could watch Caperica any time that I wanted. I've see a few of the episodes of Caperica but not the entire series itself. Yes I'm fully aware that Caperica didn't not last for very long I know it did not make any where a fifth season I'm not certain if it made it to a second season. At least I can now watch Caperica on NetFlix.

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Emissaries: Galacticon III

Ladies & Gentlemen, Colonials all!

A special greeting to everyone on this day of Saturday February 25th 2012!

It's...let me see...10 full months to the day before Christmas, but I have an early gift for you all.

As you may know (or may not) for over a year now in a dedicated team of us....have been working on, brainstorming on & organizing for a special event that we can present to you.

It's a puppy!

No, just kidding...this is something big...very big.

There was a tradition begun after Battlestar Galactica went off the air...begun with in '93 with the 15th Yahren Convention held here in California that brought the cast & crew together with the fans.

Fast foward to 2003 (and remember that this was just prior to the beginning of the re-imagined series)...and the first Galacticon held in Los Angeles.

Richard Hatch conceived of a special event that would & did bring cast, crew & fans together to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show.

In 2008 we took the bit in teeth & did something unique to celebrate the 30th...we did Galacticruise....literally taking the Convention to sea, from the Queen Mary berthed in Long Beach California to the city of Avalon on the island of Catalina and on to Mexico!

We have dubbed that adventure Galacticon II.

We are now ready to present to you the next chapter in our voyage & I'm very pleased to announce our initial guest list (yep, there are more coming), but I think these first guests will excite you.



The first guest I would like to announce is a man who IMHO has had more to do with getting Battlestar back to where it rightfully belongs...he was Captain Apollo in the original series and Tom Zarek in the re-imagined: Richard Hatch!




Playing a counterpoint to Richard in the original series, a roguish character that everybody loves and the first chomper of cigars in the Vipers seat: Dirk Benedict!




From the re-imagined series, the man who kept the Vipers in the air & the fleet ready to fight the marauding Cylon's: Aaron Douglas!





The Commander of the fleet, the master of the Battlestar...otherwise known to his crew as the "old man" a gentleman who is known not only for his role as Admiral William Adama on Battlestar Galactica but the equally heroic Jaime Escalante in "Stand And Deliver" among MANY diverse roles on screen: Edward James Olmos!





Oh & btw....please feel free to take a look at the now active & operational Emissaries: Galacticon III We think you'll like it!

Ok, at ease!

So say we all!



Shawn O'Donnell


Battlestar Galactica Fan Club


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Greetings From Earth Part I

This two-parter featured not only Randolph Mantooth (Emergency!), but also Ray Bolger (famously known for his role as the Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz")....


Greetings From Earth Part I Analysis
By Walt Atwood



Adama records in his memoirs that the Galactica's long-range patrols are continuing to find signs that the course provided to them by the "great white lights" are leading them towards Earth. In deep space, Apollo and Starbuck have been in an in-flight sleep period for six centares, when an alarm goes off. A strange, shuttle-sized sublight vehicle has been detected nearby. Attack computer scans indicate six humans on board the craft, but only at minimal life support. Apollo urges a cautious approach, but Starbuck is so excited he exclaims "We've come millions of hectars for this moment and you want to back off?" But Apollo doesn't want to intimidate these alien humans. He attaches tow lines to the ship without any response from anyone inside.

Adama has to urge the people of the Fleet in a public address to be cautious in the fast-spreading rumors. Once the alien ship is brought aboard the Galactica, a defusing team confirms there is no explosive danger. A probe inserted through the hull finds almost no breathable air inside. A decontamination chamber is attached to allow safe access to the ship's interior. Adama, Apollo, Starbuck, Dr. Wilker (portrayed by John Dullaghan), and Dr. Salik (George Murdock) enter the spacecraft and find humming equipment supporting two human adults and four children in hibernation tubes. How long have they been in suspended animation? Where were they going? Why? Nobody has any answers, but Wilker and Salik agree that this is now their responsibility. They must examine this vessel's equipment and see if they can't revive these aliens. As they begin to do so, they discover nothing they find correlates with any Colonial symbols or systems.

In the officer's club, Starbuck comes to sit down with Athena, Boomer, Sheba and Apollo. Boomer thinks it is wonderful that they've finally found humans from a completely independent civilization; up to this point, all other worlds where humans were found had some distant connection to the Colonial heritage. Apollo thinks these humans should be left alone. Starbuck wonders if the Colonists shouldn't learn what they can from these people. But Apollo is vehement. A non-military policeman, Reese (Ron Kelly), walks over from the bar and injects his two cubits' worth: he feels they should force open the tubes and interrogate these newcomers for everything they know. In the landing bay near the alien ship, Jolly (Tony Swartz), has his hands full holding off a mob of civilians led by Geller (Murray Matheson) of the Council of the Twelve. Concerned Colonists from every ship in the Fleet are boarding the Galactica to see the aliens. On board the spacecraft, Wilker's tampering results in a small explosion and power loss. Salik thinks this experimentation with the alien technology could put the lives of the aliens in danger. Apollo boards the ship and discovers what is happening. He orders Wilker off the ship. Both Apollo and Wilker go to Adama's office for debriefing. Adama is disturbed to learn about the power loss. Apollo feels that to tamper further would be too risky and of questionable legality; he feels the ship should be released in space again. Geller enters and confronts Adama. The representatives of the various ships are "furious at your inaction" in reviving the aliens. Geller feels the Council should take responsibility in this matter and move forward with the revival effort.

On the alien spacecraft, Salik is concerned about the continued power losses. He leaves the ship and tells the warriors not to let anyone on board. In the Council deliberations, Adama is adamant that the lives of these aliens are at risk. Geller feels this is reason enough to break into the tubes. But Salik refuses to cooperate, claiming this violates his medical ethics. The Council finds another doctor from the Rising Star who is willing to do the work.

Inside the ship, the adult male alien, Michael (Randolph Mantooth), awakens and realizes the ship is not where it is supposed to be. He revives his adult counterpart, Sarah (Kelly Harmon) and tells her to look after the children. Michael then leaves the spacecraft through the decontamination unit. When he appears on the deck of the Galactica, he is confrontational, demanding to know who these strangers are and where the ship has landed. When Reese attempts to apprehend Michael, Michael draws a weapon and fires, disabling Reese. Michael then collapses. Cassiopea's diagnosis reveals respiratory distress: the atmosphere is too dense for the aliens. When Adama and Salik board the ship, they discover Sarah is also in respiratory distress. Both are put in decompression chambers in the Galactica's Life Station.

Salik tells Apollo that the two adult aliens are confined to the decompression chambers indefinitely. When Apollo takes word of this to Adama, the commander supposes the only way to free these people would be for the situation to revert to military control. Since Michael gunned down Reese in the landing bay, the aliens are to be considered dangerous and left to military discretion. Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer pull a switcheroo with the decompression chambers, sneaking Michael and Sarah back onto the spacecraft. Michael agrees to help re-launch the ship. Cassiopea will monitor the life signs of the sleepers while in flight. Apollo and Starbuck sneak off and launch after the escaping ship, under the false notion of re-capturing it to return to the Galactica. Their true intention is to parallel Michael's course and go into sleep mode so they can learn more about the alien destination.

In deep space outside a nearby star system, a somewhat larger alien ship spots the escaped spaceship containing the family from Lunar 7. Krebbs (Curt Lowens) reports to his Commandant (Lloyd Bochner) the escaped family's ship has been found, twenty-thousand kilometers away. But Krebbs also reports something else, there are two other ships nearby. The Commandant inspects an image of the two Colonial vipers in flight. Krebbs reports the computer cannot identify the power source of these UFO's. "Do not loose track of those two ships," the Commandant orders.

A Second Look

Unlike "Lost Planet of the Gods", but like "The Living Legend", the first part of this anthology does stand on its own, with its own story. This is the first genuine "first contact" story on BATTLESTAR. Yet the show's makers treat it like all the other previous stories. The characters say this situation is new and different, but the way the story is presented is essentially the same. While the controversy around Apollo's views makes for some mildly interesting dialogue, this story is simply another military encounter except without Cylons to worry about.

It's obvious by now that the Cylons and Colonial offshoot planets in the Krellian Galaxy (assuming the Galactica is still in that same galaxy) wore out their welcome. Been there, done that, too many times. So the Galactica encountered Count Iblis and the mysterious beings of light in "War of the Gods". Unfortunately for BATTLESTAR, as Richard Hatch's Apollo pointed out, dealing with godlike aliens means "we'd be powerless to control our own destiny." That quickly diminishes the ongoing potential of stories like "War". So now the Galactica's fighter probes discover a ship from a civilization that apparently has never heard of Kobol or Colonists or Cylons. While this is a novel idea that probably should've been explored much earlier in the series, it turns out to be as half-baked as too many other stories that cross BATTLESTAR's wake. The introduction of a "first contact" with a completely unknown civilization isn't something to be handled like foraging for fuel on Gamoray or sabotaging a mega-gun on the ice world of Arcta. The whole premise of the story demands an approach this is new and different from Cylon war stories. Don't be fooled by the absence of the Cylons. This story is still too much like previous outings.

The notion of Apollo championing the rights of unknown (and unknowing) aliens is actually a great idea. Richard Hatch did what he could with it, but the cause is never done the justice the story's potential deserves. As with the award-winning 1988 episode of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION entitled "The Measure of a Man", this hour-long segment should've been argued in the Colonial justice system before it reached the mob mentality. Such an approach would've given the Colonists a little more class, and Apollo's beliefs more intelligence and dignity. Apollo and Wilker could've squared off in a debate over what to do with these mysterious human-like aliens, and both sides could've been given a serious hearing. As "The Measure of a Man" demonstrated, characters in a space drama can take a stand in a courtroom without a large special effects budget and still make the story compelling. Instead, in "Greetings from Earth", the characters' emotions govern their actions, a mob mentality threatens, and Adama raises the concern of whether or not "we are a race worth saving". In the end, the lives of Michael and company ride on insubordination in the Colonial military.

The anticipation and awe of the Colonists dealing with unaffiliated humans is also shattered when Michael and Sarah, who are supposedly from a culture completely different from the Colonists', wind up speaking the same language as that of Apollo and company. The whole "first contact" notion of establishing a dialogue with aliens could've been a story unto itself. Would exposure to the Colonists introduce some disease to these newcomers? Maybe some bacteria which is common to the bodies of Colonial humans could be deadly to the aliens. And what if this were true in reverse? Maybe Athlete's Foot on Terra would be The Black Plague to the humans in the Fleet. Once again, there should've been some "first contact" procedure worked out by the show's makers to govern how the Galactica would handle the discovery of new civilizations. There was a real tension between the Colonists and the sleeper ship pilot. The language barrier would've prevented those tensions from being resolved so quickly. An excellent example of how this was handled would be THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (Paramount, 1990) in which Sean Connery plays a Soviet submarine skipper seeking to defect to the U.S.

Still, even that isn't enough. Maybe it would've been best if Starbuck had been piloting Recon Viper One and C.O.R.A. spotted Michael's ship on final approach to its destination. Then Starbuck would've been the alien and this could've set up an adventure where a viper would be the U.F.O. This would open the door to a much more fulfilling story, such as CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (Columbia Pictures, 1977).

Michael's behavior seems driven by one bizarre notion: the Terrans have spaceflight capability and have apparently settled on several nearby worlds. Yet he cannot accept that Apollo and company are from another world. Why?

The Colonists disembark on a voyage to restore Michael's ship to its original course and reach its destination. If said destination is only a matter of sectons (Colonial days?) away at sublight speed, shouldn't this place be visible to the Galactica? Why didn't they just compute the alien ship's original trajectory and send a squadron of vipers to check it out? And what's Cassiopea doing inside that ship, without wearing so much as a spacesuit? What life support is she living on? Where's her food and water? What if she has to use the "turbo flush" (toilet)? More importantly, what if there were a problem aboard the spacecraft that Cassie couldn't handle on her own? Are Apollo and Starbuck going to jettison from their vipers to spacewalk over to her?

Despite all these problems with the story, it is very refreshing indeed for the Galactica to encounter a new world where there are no Cylons on it or nearby. This should be the destiny of BATTLESTAR, to explore the Universe in search of both its ancestral brothers as well as its own truths.

Spectacle Value

Michael's ship seems rather plain, relying mostly on glittering lights of the interior to make it look alien. Given the obvious interior design similarities to the NASA timeship seen in PLANET OF THE APES (20th Century Fox, 1968), maybe BATTLESTAR'S makers should've paid less attention to blinking lights and more to overall lighting and design. This would've made it more effective.

The real show-stopper is the cameo appearance of the other Terran spacecraft, which would later be identified as an Eastern Alliance destroyer in the second part of this anthology. Why do the bad guys always get the coolest looking ships in this show? This vessel would make a nice addition to the Galactica's arsenal, provided it were given all the Colonial technologies. As a Colonial bomber, it would complement the vipers on dangerous missions better than a shuttle. The interior set of the destroyer is somewhat submarine-like, although nose section doesn't seem to match the hammer-headed exterior of the ship. Too bad the set design borrows pieces from previous episodes of BATTLESTAR. Once again, the interior relies on blinking lights and other electronic gadgets to make up lack of innovation or detail in design.

We get to see a uniformed human military other than the Colonial warriors for the first time. The uniforms are mildly imaginative. The silvery jumpsuits of the sleeper ship aliens were more inspired.

At least Michael's stunning weapon appeared to be more alien than anything in the possession of people other than Colonial warriors in BATTLESTAR. Too bad we didn't see more of this approach. And what about Krebbs' sidearm? It reverts to an all-too-familiar pistol form.


This episode would not be viable. A whole new approach would be in order. See comments in the "A Second Look" section, above.

That having been said, if BATTLESTAR were to be revived, there would have to be stories that dealt with encounters with completely unknown civilizations. If some were human-like, fine. The human-like aliens encountered had better be unique in their culture. That includes a language barrier. Apollo can't just walk up to an alien and start communicating in the same language with colloquial ease.

The Colonists would have to come off as more reasonable and less conniving. If there is a disagreement on how to deal with an issue, let's see Apollo and others argue in a formal hearing where cooler heads prevail.

A challenge would be to show military ships in the Colonial Fleet smaller than the Galactica that could leave the formation and explore nearby star systems without dragging the entire Colonial population into a situation. A small starship, under the command of someone like Tigh or Apollo (funny how we never see someone whose role and status is situated between these two) could lead a small force of warriors to check out a situation and then report back to the Galactica without having to worry about the range limitations of a viper or shuttle.

How about seeing some non-human aliens? We really haven't seen any of this in BATTLESTAR since the ill-fated Ovions of Carillon in "Saga of a Star World, Part 3".

Tidbits & Nit-Picks

The opening narration "There are those who believe..." by Patrick Macnee is back for this episode. Why did it ever leave?

Boomer insists that any humans the Fleet has encountered up to this point were offshoots of their own Colonies, sharing "terms, dress, technology... all familiar to us." This must include the farming settlers of Equellis ("The Lost Warrior"), as well as those on other worlds the Galactica's warriors discovered.

During the first confrontation in the Galactica's landing bay, Geller of the Council of Twelve refers to Jolly (Tony Swartz) as a "lieutenant". This contradicts other records of the BATTLESTAR series which refer to the character as a "flight sergeant".

You have to love BATTLESTAR's inventive 1970's slanguage funkobabble. Boomer gets to call Officer Reese a "gall-mogging snikrad". Nannu-nannu.

Adama indicates that "Terra", in Geminise, means "Earth".

If there was ever any doubt before about the tensions between the Colonial military and civilian authorities (last seen clearly in "Saga of a Star World, Part 3"), this episode underscores a serious problem in the Fleet.

Starbuck gets the best line in this outing when Apollo tells him "this voyage could be endless." The lieutenant replies sarcastically: "Remind me to invite you to my next party. You're alot of fun."

And in the strange and unexplained category...

In the opening scenes of this episode, Apollo indicates that he and Starbuck had been in sleep period for six centares (Colonial hours?) while in flight. Presumably, their patrol had been flying away from the Galactica for much longer than that. Assuming their engines were powering their ships in flight all that time (how else would they get out ahead of the fleet far enough to make any worthwhile probe?) and were probably exceeding the speed of light, there are some questions to consider... 1: Where did all the fuel come from to sustain such a flight? 2: If they were coasting, what good would that do for an advanced scouting mission? 3: If they were heading in one direction (presumably away from the Galactica) for that long, and the Galactica remained in motion, wouldn't it be problematical for them to get back anyway?

Before entering the alien spacecraft, Wilker and Salik report that the ship's interior contains practically no atmosphere. Yet they enter the ship only centons (minutes) later in the regular uniforms wearing no pressure suits or breathing equipment. Did they pressurize the interior of the ship?

We see Athena teaching a class of Colonial youths aboard the Galactica, including the little lad Boxey: her adopted nephew. Why? She doesn't have enough to do on the bridge? Did someone forget she trained to become a fighter pilot? Why are these scenes even necessary?

A couple of scenes after we first see Athena teaching in an elementary-school like classroom, we see her again shooting the breeze and having a brew in the officer's club with her fellow warriors. Then she's back in the classroom a few scenes later. Maybe she drank her lunch before going back to teaching???

Apollo has to attach "tow lines" to bring the alien spacecraft back to the Galactica. Why use such a cumbersome, low-tech mechanism? Why not use tractor beams? Doesn't the Colonial Fleet employ this kind of projected magnetic/gravity beam technology? If they have technology which can allow their ships to exceed the speed of light, communicate and scan even faster, then why can't they use tractor beams?

While it is accepted that Starbuck and Apollo are in sleep period again while they escort the Lunar 7 spacecraft to its destination, it still boggles the mind why their vipers' tracking systems don't set off an alarm when the Commandant's ship flies 20,000 kilometers away.

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That's right. The Colonial Alliance Newsletter is being put together right now as your reading this. No this does not mean that I'm finsihed with it or that I'm ready to covert the Publisher file into a PDF file for uploading to my CDF Caperica website. That means you have plenty of time to send any thing your little heart desires to the newsletter. Send me what you have at and besure to put in the subject line Colonial Alliance News Corps story.


Well thats fine and dandy there, James. But what about pictures. Simple enough just trade out story and put pictures. Picture formats can be JPG, GIF, PNG, Bitmap, and TIFF.

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The Man With Nine Lives

Another Gem from Walt. This story features the wonderful & legendary Fred Astaire...


The Man With Nine Lives
By Walt Atwood



Adama notes that is has been twelve sectons since Baltar's arrival aboard the Battlestar Galactica. He expresses puzzlement over the curious directions given to the Fleet by "the mysterious ones"; there are no time references to easily tell whether the Fleet with find Earth soon, or many yahrens from now. The Fleet's commander has granted "furlon" (liberty) to warriors as no sign of Cylon pursuit permits a relaxation of the Galactica's defensive posture.

On a Galactica shuttle bound for the Rising Star entertainment liner, Starbuck is filled with anticipation at the thought of trying out his new gambling "system". Apollo is filled with dread; he can see the loss of yet another secton's pay when he will ultimately loan cubits to cover his friend's wagers. On a civilian shuttle, also bound for the liner, an old man sits next to a siress as they watch a civilian interview show on Inter Fleet Broadcasting. The interview is of a colonial warrior, Lieutenant Starbuck. Starbuck explains he was a war orphan, found wondering in the Caprican Thorn Forests near the agro-community of Umbra after a Cylon raid in seventy-three twenty-two. He was approximately nine yahrens old at the time. When an attendant approaches for collecting travel tokens from the couple, the man cons his way out of paying by insisting he is the head of interviews for the I.F.B., and that the interview showed poor judgement.

The lady, Siress Blassie (portrayed by Anne Jeffries), is impressed with the old man, who introduces himself as Chameleon (Fred Astaire). She seems taken with him, but his mind is on something else. They board the Rising Star and enter a night club there. Starbuck drags Apollo out during the performance in the club so they can hit the gambling deck. But Boomer and Jolly are taken by the act that's performing in the club. The act finishes its performance, but the celebratory mood vanishes as three cloaked Borellian Nomen enter. Jolly immediately suspects the Nomen, who don't usually mix with the other Colonists, are on a "blood trail". (The Nomen immediately take a table from patrons, establishing themselves as the Colonial equivalent of a cross between the Mafia and a motorcycle gang.) On noticing the Nomen's appearance in the chamber, Chameleon begs off the festivities with Blassie and tries to quietly slip out. The youngest of the Nomen sees Chameleon leaving and hastily plucks and arms a pair of grenade-like "laser boles" (jewel-like bolas which glow when they are armed) that must be expended on a support column before they automatically explode. Boomer confronts the wreckless Nomen gang, who say they will report to the Docking Lounge so they can depart on the next shuttle.

On the Gambling Deck, Starbuck is about to wager away Apollo's money in a Pyramid (Colonial poker) game when Chameleon breaks the ice by offering the wagering warrior some advice on his "system". Apollo expresses gratitude to the old man, and the three find a table and sit to chat. It turns out that Chameleon used to be a professional wager, but now he's into genealogy. He spends his career on the Orphan Ship, trying to re-unite lost children with relatives. He claims he found his calling after he lost his wife and son in the first Cylon raid on Caprica; he used to live in a community on the edge of the Thorn Forests called Umbra. Starbuck is thrilled at the possibility that this man could be his father. But Chameleon cautions that there were 3,000 orphans found in the Thorn Forest after that raid. The genetic tests have a "yahren-long" waiting list on the orphan ship, but Chameleon supposes there could be similar equipment aboard the Galactica. Starbuck is anxious to return to the battlestar and run the tests.

In the Docking Lounge, a group of Colonists board a shuttle to disembark. Three men remain in the lounge after everyone else is gone: the Borellian Nomen. The leader of the Nomen, Maga (Lance LeGualt) berates the errant youth Taba (Anthony DeLongis) for violating "The Code" by drawing his weapon prematurely. Bora (Robert Feero), Taba's elder, takes responsibility for the youth's indiscretion, and vows they will "bring the prey down." Taba apologizes for acting hastily at the sight of "the jackal, Captain Demitri", but Maga insists they apologies should wait until "after you have been punished, if you survive." Maga vows that as Nomen, "the very name strikes like a scorpius at the heart of others" and that "we alone survived in the lands of the Magus sun and the endless sands, and we alone will survive this trek through the stars."

Apollo meets Boomer just outside the night club and tells of how he had to confront the Borellian Nomen. Jolly walks in and reports that the Nomen are still waiting in the lounge. Apollo and Boomer go to confront the Nomen for not leaving. Taba again reaches for his laser boles, but this time Maga steps forward and disarms Taba, also disowning him. Fleet Security arrests Taba and escorts him away. Starbuck passes through the lounge with a cringing Chameleon, as they board the shuttle. Apollo and Boomer follow onto the shuttle. Once Maga and Bora are alone again, Bora asks why Taba must be left to the hands of "these weak Colonial warriors". Maga insists "they are weak, but they are many", and "we are on the blood trail." But how will they get aboard the Galactica? Just then, a Fleet recruitment message appears on an I.F.B. monitor, in which Flight Officer Omega urges "we need you."

On board the Galactica shuttle, Boomer confides in Apollo that it looked like the Nomen were after Chameleon. Could the connection to Starbuck be a hoax? Once back aboard, Apollo and company debrief Adama. They conclude that there is no problem running a security check on Chameleon. In the Life Station, preliminary tests reveal that Starbuck and Chameleon could at least be distantly related. A complicated genetic test will have to be run to be more precise. While Casseopia prepares the new test, Chameleon reveals that she is much like his late wife. Starbuck confides that he would like to get sealed (married) to her.

On the flight deck, Tigh and Omega greet a new batch of recruits. Among them are a pair of Borellian Nomen: Maga and Bora. The recruits are escorted to quarters for sleep period. Once there, the Nomen ask the duty officer Corporal Lomas (Bruce Wright), where they can find a "friend who saved our lives... Lieutenant Starbuck." Lomas tells them they must stay in quarters before getting security clearance. Would they like to get a message to Starbuck? No, they would prefer to surprise him...

Apollo and Boomer meet Chameleon in the Officer's Club for an interview. Chameleon explains that he has endured friction with the Nomen in the past, but that he didn't feel any need to report it. In the recruit's quarters, Maga and Bora approach Lomas and ask for a private room to pray in. While Lomas resists at first, the Nomen insist they must pray. When Lomas turns his back to open a closet for them, Maga strikes the Colonial warrior from behind, leaving the unconscious body in the closet.

Starbuck later finds Apollo and Boomer in a nearby corridor. Tigh approaches Apollo to report on the security check. The running of a background check on Chameleon infuriates Starbuck, who announces "the end of a friendship". After Starbuck storms off, Tigh reports there is no record of a Chameleon in the Fleet. On the bridge, Adama can't understand why this old man named Chameleon would want to get on board the Galactica. What's going on? Boomer suggests he wanted to escape the Nomen. This alarms Tigh and Omega, who check to see what happened to the Borellian recruits. There is no comm-link answer from the duty desk in recruit quarters.

In the deserted launch tube, Starbuck has seated Chameleon in a viper to demonstrate the weapons controls when the warrior confides he wants to resign his commission and help the old man with his work, reuniting babies with their families. Before Chameleon can break the news to his could-be son, he notices two Borellians approaching in hangar crew uniforms. Starbuck is puzzled with the presence of hangar crew in an empty bay when the squadron is on furlon. "They don't look like the hangar crew to me," Chameleon warns. As Starbuck steps down to the flight deck to meet these strange figures, Chameleon crouches down inside the viper's cockpit. The Nomen demand to see "the jackal, Captain Demitri." They draw their weapons hurl a pair of them at Starbuck. Starbuck returns fire, but the Nomen do as well, striking a nearby support column and knocking the warrior to the deck. His blaster pistol slides out of reach. He runs for the darkened refuge of the launch tube. As the Nomen pursue, Chameleon, still unnoticed, figures out how to arm the viper's weapons. As Starbuck doubles back in the darkness, Chameleon fires the viper's lasers into the launch tube. Starbuck is blown clear while the Nomen are trapped in the explosion. As Chameleon steps out of the ship to tend to an injured Starbuck, the young warrior remarks that only his father would be crazy enough to fire a laser in a launch tube. When Apollo and Boomer lead security guards to the scene, Starbuck explains the Nomen claimed they were on a blood hunt for some Captain Demitri. He doesn't know any Captain Demitri. A blushing Chameleon confesses, "I'm Captain Demitri... sort of..."

With the Nomen taken into custody, miraculously still alive, Starbuck debriefs Adama and other officers. It seems the Borrelians were hoarding supplies and equipment when Chameleon/Demitri crossed their wake and tried to swindle them. They responded by trying to hunt him down. Starbuck's colleagues express regret that his reunion did not pan out.

Casseopia reports to Chameleon that the genetic test results are positive: he is Starbuck's father. But Chameleon insists that she not reveal this to Starbuck: he fears that his son will throw away his career and attachment for her if he learns of the results. He pledges to be a good friend to the young warrior, maybe even reveal the truth to his son on the day he gets sealed.

Later, Adama meets with Chameleon and the officers. He's grateful that the Borellian problem has been discovered and addressed. But what is the fleet to do with Chameleon? It seems they've been receiving inquiries from a Siress Blassie who wishes to know what happened to the old man. She's offered to support his rehabilitation. To Chameleon's chagrin, Adama says "it is so ordered."

A Second Look

This episode provides a rare look at life aboard the Colonial fleet. Despite past fumbles in fleshing out aspects of the BATTLESTAR Universe, this episode is true to the series premise while also introducing a variety of well considered conventions in establishing the nature of fleet life. Such conventions include:

The decidedly cheesey notion of TV-like I.F.B. (Inter-Fleet Broadcasting). This actually worked very well.

The Borellian Nomen. They brought a wild-living wolf-pack savage culture to prime-time TV long before STAR TREK gave us a Klingon named Worf. While these gang-like rebels don't get enough exposure to really flesh out their culture or technology, we see plenty to display their potential. You've gotta love their icy attitude and "close only counts in horseshoes" weapons. We would get to see Maga, Bora and Taba again during the Terran anthology, in "Baltar's Escape".

There is the ever-present hint of science fiction in this BATTLESTAR outing. Chameleon/Demitri knows how to talk himself up, first as an I.F.B. executive, then as a "genetic tracer". Casseopia's notion of "neuro-cell extraction" to confirm a bloodline is based in today's medical/forensic science.

This story gives Dirk Benedict the chance to make Starbuck shine. The notion of him giving up his career as a pilot seems pretty off-the-wall. Despite this, we see an episode in which his character grows by leaps and bounds over some of the chessier passages from earlier in the series.

All of this having been said, this story, taken on its own merits as an hour of prime-time television, rates as a "good" show. It is not excellent. The notion of a main character discovering a long-lost relative/friend while trouble brews because the relative/friend turns out to be more than meets the eye is hardly an original idea. With a more detailed story about the Borellians and their ambitions, and how Chameleon/Demitri fits into their tangled web, this could've been an excellent two-part story like "Lost Planet of the Gods", "The Living Legend", or "War of the Gods". So here's yet another BATTLESTAR story with great potential that was left half-baked.

Why would the Galactica crew allow any new, unscreened recruits on board to carry their own weapons??? This one boggles the mind. Add to that the notion that Lomas would turn his back on the Nomen after he's seen that they are armed and you have to wonder whether it's the character who's incompetent or the show's makers.

When Starbuck announces the end of his friendship with Apollo and Boomer in front of Tigh, he is way too insolent. Tigh and Apollo both should've pulled rank on him by telling him to shut up and listen. This whole scene was unnecessary and contributed nothing to the story. And given the obvious past Starbuck has with his fellow pilots, it seems unbelievable that he would throw away his friendship with them so suddenly, as if it never mattered.

Curiously, Adama's log entry indicates that the coordinates to Earth do not contain a time reference, yet the recitation Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck blurted out in "War of the Gods, Part II" clearly makes mention of "nineteen million sectons".

And speaking of time, there is a reference in this episode which really throws a monkey wrench into a notion tied to the beginnings of the series: In the earliest moments of "Saga of a Star World, Part I", Colonial President Adar (Lew Ayres) raises a toast to the Council of Twelve in which he proudly mentions he expects peace as they approach "the seventh millennium of time". This implies that the yahren is probably in the late 59th centura. But in "The Man with Nine Lives", we are left with the impression that Starbuck was orphaned in a Cylon raid which seemed to occur in the yahren 7322. This would make it clear the Colonists are in their 74th centura, or eighth millennium of time. This obvious goof is more than just a minor nit-pick. One would think this would be obvious to television series makers who produced a show in the 1970's, which we part of the twentieth century. (Are we not currently at the brink of the third millennium here on Earth?)

Another odd fumble in the writing: Jolly knows enough about Borellian social behavior to realize they don't mix with other Colonists unless they are on a blood trail. But Boomer, not Jolly, knows that the Nomen weapons can't be disarmed once activated.

Yet another annoying fumble occurs in the direction, when we see Sheba in the scene where she pilots the shuttle. She talks, gestures with her hands and even looks away while she flies. This looks ridiculous. Sheba, you are grounded until you learn to keep your eyes on the road and your hands firmly on the wheel.

Spectacle Value

The makeup department may not have gone as all-out with the Nomen as STAR TREK has done with the Klingons, but it is understood that these Borellians are essentially human. They may be of a variety not seen on Earth, but they are apparently not completely alien, either. The costumes seem at least as important as the makeup, anyway.

The Borellian bola weapons, while a simple effect, are surprisingly effective and innovative for 1970's prime-time TV. They even look good by today's standards. Too bad we never got to see these Nomen tangle with the Cylons.

Other than some images of the civilian shuttle nearing the Rising Star, there is no space action in this show. It isn't really missed. The best spectacle of all, other than the action at the heart of the plot, is the emphasis on civilian life in the fleet. From the mention of "inter-fleet orbit beta" as a kind of transit route, to the Nomen pursuit of their vendetta, this story relies more on the viewer's imagination. This is a more powerful effect than a whole fleet of Cylon ships!

Another simple-but-effective scene is when Chameleon fires the viper's lasers. A very nice touch.


The notion of an episode dealing with intrigue within the fleet would have to come much earlier in the series. That was the problem with the first several episodes of BATTLESTAR. Too many battles with Altar and the Cylons and not enough fleshing out of who the people in the fleet were and what made them tick. Maybe this should've been the next episode after "Lost Planet of the Gods", or "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero".

This outing should've been expanded into a more in-depth two-part story. Fred Astaire did a great job with a mediocre story. He could've done an even better job if they had given him an even better story.

A revived BATTLESTAR should definitely bring back the Borellians, and not just as criminals doing their underworld dirtywork, either. Maybe instead of criminals being used in "The Gun of Ice Planet Zero", they could've used Nomen commandos. Things would definitely get interesting if Apollo had to command a team of unruly warriors from an autonomous organization.


Why wouldn't laser fire from a viper in a launch tube cause a fire or hull breech?

Lomas deserved to get clubbed from behind. Any idiot who allows recruits to walk up to him armed, then insult the recruits, and then turn his back on them, is asking for it.

There is mention in this episode that the Cylon raid on Umbra in 7322 was one of the first on Caprica. This seems to imply that the war between the Great Colonies and the Cylons/alliance escalated in stages. If the hostilities had continued for 1,000 yahrens straight, it would make sense that the Colonies were attacked long before this.

It is mentioned that Borellian bola weapons take at least 50 microns to reach critical mass before they explode. Also of note: the other Colonists in the nightclub on the Rising Star obviously knew what these weapons were once Taba plucked them.

Apparently, fuel consumption and standard of living are not the problem they once were for the ships in the civilian fleet. We are left with the clear impression that there is a regular transport system between ships ("inter-fleet, orbit beta") and that well-dressed people exchange money in an economy which permits them to enjoy leisure time aboard the argo-ships or the Rising Star. This is in contrast to the more grim pictures shown to us in previous episodes.

Apollo tells law enforcement personnel aboard this Rising Star that Taba "is to be held for a security council hearing. I'll file a complaint." This, combined with Boomer's repeated tough stance with the Nomen, points to law enforcement powers on the part of Colonial warriors. But it also shows that there are other personnel devoted to security who may not be (purely) military.

Maga's rant that "we alone survived in the land of the Magus sun and the endless sands" sounds like Borellians lived on a planet that did not orbit the same sun as Caprica. Could the great Colonies have been located in a planetary system of multiple suns? Or could this be yet another hint (after the "straights of Madagon") that the Colonies were within a dense star cluster?

While this is Dirk Benedict's show, Richard Hatch gets the best line, if the silliest: "I'm beginning to feel like an equetisus atrum!" Poor Apollo. It's not every day he looses a friend and makes a "horse's ass" out of himself.

One nice little touch when the "recruits" assemble on the flight deck of the Galactica was the appearance of huge containers marked "BORATON".

There is a cameo appearance of the same Rising Star host (John Holland) who appeared in "The Long Patrol".

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My interview with Aaron Douglas

A very interesting chat I had with Aaron...very nice guy!


The Battlestar Galactica Fan Club President Shawn O’Donnell recently interviewed Actor Aaron Douglas, who plays Chief Tyrol on the new Battlestar Galactica series. Mr. Douglas was kind enough to take a few moments and sit down and chat with us about his career, and the new series. Much thanks to Lena Leeds and Russ Mortensen at Pacific Artists for making this interview possible. And special thanks to Lisa Christensen who takes care of Aaron’s website at:


Shawn: What was it that started you in the field of acting? when did the notion come to you?

Aaron: My mom tells me that it was my desire to be an actor since I was a little boy. I do not remember ever saying this to her but who argues with their mother? I have done drama in school all of my life and after high school I participated in dinner theatre and community theatre.

I had never thought to ‘go after’ acting professionally until Garry Davey, the artistic director of the William B. Davis school in Vancouver took me aside one night after a scene study class and told me I should pursue this as a career. He told me that they had a full time acting program that started in the fall, it was April at the time, and that he would hold a spot for me if I chose to attend.

I thought about it for many months and then one night after attending a performance of Ragtime at the then Ford Center for Performing Arts I decided to leave my job and go to acting school. I was 27 at the time.


Shawn: What do you consider your first “big break” in the acting field?

Aaron: Big break? Not sure. My first really smart move was hiring my present agent, Russ Mortensen and my present management, Roar. I guess Battlestar would be the show that has given me the most work and notoriety. I am still relatively unknown so I don’t think the traditional ‘big break’ has happened yet.


Shawn: Let me ask you about your first Television experience, was that a commerical or series?

Aaron: First on set experience was Inspectors 2. I had no idea what I was doing or where I had to go or who I had to see so I wandered around until people started asking if they could help and I told them I was an actor and needed to check in. I was directed to the background tent and then finally to the circus where I was ignored by an Assistant Director until he figured out who I was and then bent over backwards to make things good for me.

I remember thinking that this guy didn’t give a shit about me until he realize I was an actor and not a low ranking crew or background person. I thought that was pretty shitty. I will never forget him. But it was fun and I did it without wrecking the scene, so it was all good.


Shawn: You’ve done a lot of films! 2004 was very busy for you, “The Chronicles of Riddick”, “Walking Tall”, to “Catwoman”… So far these have been supporting roles, do you think that you’re developing a “standard character” so to speak thats adaptable to those roles?

Aaron: All the roles of 2004, which were all shot in 2003, were basically no name guy with two lines. There is a casting director in town who really likes my work and whenever a show needs a one line good actor guy, she offers it to me. They get a good actor and I get to put a big show on my resume.

That is, all those shows are resume builders. That and I believe you should try not to say no to anything, within reason. You get to meet a new director and producers and work with some really great people. My time on I, Robot and X2 will never be forgotten because I met people like Will Smith and Hugh Jackman, who are two of the best human beings you will ever meet.

Everything good that has been said about those two does not do them justice and that was a great experience for me. To see how mega-stars act on the set..and that there is no reason to be the prima donnas that so many are these days.

Now a movie like Walking Tall is a great example of a small role that was offered to me that became a pivotal point in the movie. The director, Kevin Bray talks about this in the commentary on the the DVD. Stuff like that gets you remembered.


Shawn: On that same subject, do you want take that character (if there is one) and try to project that into lead character parts?

Aaron: I don’t really have a standard character. I am just me. Some of these small parts I do are really simple and it is just a matter of standing there and saying a line.


Shawn: Following up, do you see yourself doing leads in the future? you certainly are building up a resume…

Aaron: I do want to have much larger roles in features, and that time is coming…


Shawn: Going back to the Television question, what series do you get the most out of that you’ve worked on? outside of Battlestar Galactica.

IAaron:  really enjoyed the sense of fun and play on the Smallville and Andromeda sets. I also was interested to see the amount of work that a guy like Anthony Michael Hall…on the set of The Dead Zone, has to put into everyday being basically a one man show. He is in almost every scene and works everyday. It was a good learning experience for me in terms of preparation.


Shawn:When I say “get the most out of” of course I mean work satisfaction, experience etc. How about the films you’ve done? I would put the same question to you, which one so far have you gotten the most out of?

Aaron: Films. Satisfaction would be Final Destination 2. Taking a small non-descript role and making him the bumbling cop on my own and having them…the director, etc, letting me keep going farther with it. It was where I really learned that I could improvise and unless they told me to stop to just keep going. Many directors lose the best work and best pieces because they don’t let their actors play or bring their creativity to the role. This is especially true of some writer/directors.

Meeting the cast of X2 was tremendous. They are all so gracious and professional. Hanging out with Will Smith. The time I enjoyed the most was doing a movie of the week for ABC with Patrick Dempsey, Kimberly Williams and Jennifer Copping.

Another one of those roles that was three lines in the script but where the director, my friend Harry Winer, let me loose and let Patrick and I play. It was so much fun.


Shawn: Theatre?

Shawn: Theatre, playing Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. That and one time I played both Theseus and Oberon in the same production.


Shawn: I have heard that you are the most ardent fan of the original Battlestar Galactica, is that true?

Aaron: I remember the original Battlesar Galactica from my childhood, .I loved that show.

Yes, I am a fan!


Shawn: Was it difficult for you to adjust to you’re role on the new series considering the big difference between the two shows?

Aaron: No.

Tyrol was not in the original so I did not have that prejudice. On one hand I hate remakes. Hate them. Some things should just never be done. So I was mad when I heard they were redoing this but after I read the script I was able to see that it was something different and new.

I can now look at them as two separate pieces. Like The Lord of the Rings. Those books are amazing and when I heard they were making movies out of them I thought that was really too bad. But the movies were so great that you really have to see them as two separate pieces of art. They will never match each other, but they don’t have to.

It is not about that. I like both Battlestar Galactica’s.


Shawn; What do you see for the new series…? It’s future I mean…

Aaron: I have no idea where this show is going. Hopefully it runs for a few years. My main wish for it would be to keep pushing the envelope. Get Tyrol to do some really cool stuff that stretches me as an actor.


Shawn: What do you see for yourself “beyond Battlestar” as it were…?

Aaron: I have no idea there either. I take it one day at a time. I don’t get too caught up in the future or the past. All I have is today. Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself. Life is not a dress rehearsal. There is no second take. So do what you love right now and trust that desire. Why wait?


Shawn: Do you have some other projects in mind?

Aaron: I am working on more of my own stuff. I have a group of friends who get together and we make all kinds of short films and send them to festivals all around the world.

I am almost finished with my first feature script, so hopefully we will be shooting that in the fall of 2005.


Shawn: Do you have a specific “dream role” or something that you have aspired to do as an actor, or writer, or director for that matter?

Aaron: Dream role. I would really like to do a Thin Red Line type of movie. That ensemble camaraderie ugliness of war film. I want to do a movie where people walk out stunned. That and a great comedy. A crazy boys out of control movie. And a hockey movie.


Shawn: Any suggestions or hints for aspiring actors and actresses out there?

Aaron: Aspiring actors. A couple of things. In the audition room remember this: They want you to get the part. They are dying to cross that character off the list and say good, we got that one. They are not against you. Don’t make this audition your reason to live another day. It is only a TV show. You are not saving lives or fighting for your life 3,000 miles from home. There are worse situations. Pop into a local V.A. hospital and you will see. Also remember that if you are the last one standing you will be chosen. Persevere. Grab stories of your favorite actors and read what every one of those who have gone before you went through before they could quit that serving job. And enjoy the journey. It is the stories along the way that make the movie of your life, not the ending. It is those little moments that you will remember and others will remember as well. See the baby steps along the way and you will see how far you have come. There is no ending. There is no ultimate goal. If someone told me that I have made it and that is it, I would be devastated, I am 33 and that is it? Am I done then? I remember the times in the car and the hotels and the bad road food more than I remember the place the road trip was taking us. The time on the bus is often better than the game itself. Keep going and work hard, but have fun. We all came from that screwed up family in the small town where no one thought we would make it.

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The War of the Gods Part II

This is the review of the second half of the two part episode featuring Patrick MacNee...


The War of the Gods (Part 2) Analysis
By Walt Atwood



"This is an event unlike any we've experienced since the destruction of our civilization. Baltar's ship is reaching our quadrant, and will be escorted by an elite squadron that will deliver the treasonous instrument of our holocaust directly into our hands. Word is spreading like sunbursts through every corner of the Fleet. There is a a jubilation unprecedented, as Baltar is brought before the Council of Twelve. It is just as Count Iblis promised. Our enemy has been delivered." --Adama's memoirs

As Baltar (portrayed by the late John Colicos) faces the Council, the president renounces the Cylon double-agent. Baltar, apparently tried in absentia, is sentenced to life aboard the prison barge. Naturally, the traitor protests, insisting that the Colonists and the Cylons need each other in the face of a new threat. But then Count Iblis (Patrick Macnee) steps forward and rebukes Baltar, using his powers to force the prisoner to his knees. Adama has Baltar removed. Iblis then insists that the Council decide on his third test quickly. The Council recesses.

In a holding cell, a fuming Baltar paces until he hears a voice. "Sit, Baltar! Sit, old friend!" It is Iblis. Baltar refuses. "I know you! I remember that voice! It is the voice of the Cylon Imperious leader!" Iblis simply smiles an evil smile. Cylons are machines, he points out. But Baltar recalls they were living beings who were overcome by their own technology 1,000 yahrens ago when their war with the humans began. But Iblis' smile broadens: he responds that in order for his voice to have been transcribed into a machine leader, it would have to have been done 1,000 yahrens ago. Iblis "would have to be over a thousand yahrens old." Iblis then walks through the cell door and consoles Batlar: "Do not fear, my friend. All is not lost." Iblis then disappears, leaving Baltar alone.

Just before a game of triad, Iblis and Sheba visit Boomer, who is getting ready to play against Apollo. Boomer tells them "I'd give anything to beat them, just once." Iblis offers to play the game through Boomer. With Iblis' mysterious unseen help, Boomer's blue team defeats Starbuck and Apollo's gold team. After the game, everyone heads over to the cruise liner Rising Star for a huge celebration in a Studio 54-style dance hall. A jubilant Sheba is with Iblis. She wants to cheer up Apollo. When she and Apollo go off on their own, Starbuck talks to Iblis about Iblis' relationship with Sheba. Iblis doesn't mind Apollo's closeness to her. After all, why should she be limited to one man? Starbuck is pleased to hear that a man should be able to enjoy as many women as he wishes.

Later on, the Galactica is buzzed again by the mysterious lights. But the battlestar's crew and fighters are unresponsive. Adama is outraged to learn from Tigh that many warriors are on Life Station relief after "excessive pleasure." With the defense alert fully twelve centons along, Apollo finds himself trying to wake his hung-over warriors out of their bunks. Iblis storms in and admonishes all of them, provoking a resentful Apollo. Adama rushes in a breaks up the confrontation, but not before Iblis starts dishing out threats.

The Galactica's remaining vipers launch and try in vain to pursue the mysterious lights. Boomer tries to attack one, but his own ship disappears, having been captured by the brilliant alien colossus. Starbuck wants to see if they can find Boomer, but Apollo knows it is too late. Boomer is gone with the other ships. Back on the Galactica, a conference on the bridge makes it clear that Iblis is not helping them stop the disappearances, let alone find the missing pilots. Apollo and Starbuck visit Dr. Wilker (John Dullagham) again, and discover that an analysis on the fruits which resulted from the recent "miracle" growth aboard the agro-ships seems to have coincided with an energy release at the time of the appearance of the mysterious lights.

In Adama's office, the commander sits at his desk, almost perfectly still. He concentrates on the figurine of a bird that he slowly moves with only the power of his will. Apollo enters and in astonished by the display. Adama explains that before his children were born, he used to irritate his wife with telekinetic tricks he learned in a pliot program on psionics at the Military Institute. It seems that in the history of ancient Kobol there were legends of advanced beings who visited that world like "angels", using great powers as "custodians of the Universe." Perhaps Iblis is linked to such a past. Apollo must tell no one that he is going on a mission back to the red planet to find whatever clues exist in the remains of the ship which crashed there. As Apollo readies to leave in a shuttle, Starbuck appears in the launch bay and insists on accompanying his friend. As the two leave under the premise of an unscheduled mission to a passenger ship, Iblis, with Sheba (Anne Lockhart) on agro-ship 9, can sense that something has happened. Iblis returns to the Galactica immediately. Confronting Adama, Iblis threatens to kill Apollo for trying to reveal the Count's true identity. Adama says outright that he doesn't believe in Iblis. With that, a fuming Iblis departs. Later on the bridge, Adama learns that Iblis has disappeared. A viper is also missing; Sheba took off after Apollo's shuttle.

On the surface of the red planet, Apollo and Starbuck descend into the crater and begin probing the wreckage. Apollo finds something shocking in the debris and calls out to Starbuck. Sheba arrives, and climbs down the cliff to the debris. Apollo and Starbuck are about to show Sheba what they found when Iblis appears on top of the cliff, arcing lightning bolts across the sky, and thundering "No! I forbid it!"

Iblis makes his way to the group, and orders Sheba away from the wreckage. Apollo tries to reason with her; he has put the pieces of the puzzle together. "Remember the ancient records... the name Diabolis, Mephistopholes... the Prince of Darkness." Iblis warns Sheba to come to him, or he will kill her. This is enough for Apollo to draw his blaster and shoot Iblis. What happens next stuns the warriors more than Iblis. The energy from Apollo's weapon is harmlessly absorbed into Iblis' body, but not before Iblis undergoes a split-second transformation into some lurid, dark creature. Iblis waves his hand to throw a thunderbolt at Sheba, but strikes Apollo instead. Starbuck is outraged to find Apollo has been killed. In his greif, he draws his own weapon on a chuckling Iblis and fires twice again. Each time, Iblis' appearance briefly changes back to that of the creature, wearing an almost identical robe to that of Iblis yet having some eerie appearance of a devil.

Sheba and Starbuck refuse to obey Iblis, choosing to grieve over Apollo. The mysterious dancing lights appear in the clouds. Iblis is taken aback by their return. Starbuck taunts the Count, asking if he has broken some rule by striking down someone not under his command. Iblis promises he will return. With that, the count resumes his alien appearance and seems to teleport away. Starbuck and Sheba, still weeping, load Apollo's body into the shuttle and launch into space after the Galactica. Once in space, they are captured by the brilliant alien colossus.

On board the brilliant alien colossus, we see Starbuck, Sheba and Starbuck revived by beings wearing shimmering veils. "What you are, we once were. What we are, you may become," the aliens tell the Galactica's warriors. Iblis overstepped his bounds by killing Apollo, who was only dead "by primitive measures." The aliens applaud Apollo's "courage to grow beyond limitations of the flesh," and express hope for the human race's potential. They foresee a time when the Colonists seed the Universe with new civilizations that will ascend to become Great Powers. All of the warriors will now be returned to the Galactica, with reasonable explanations.

In Adama's dining hall, Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck try to reconcile gaps in their memories. It seems they remember Apollo loosing a fight with Iblis, and they brought his body back in the shuttle. After that, nothing. Boomer reasons that Apollo was merely stunned and Iblis was scared off. But Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck remember something else. Light, sound, something good and pure. Adama muses that few see the Light of Good and Truth first-hand. Human beings will always struggle with the conflict between good and evil, even after they find Earth. This brings a stir of facts, streaming from the lips of Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck:

"Earth, quadrant alpha, nineteen million sectares by epsilon vector twenty-two, on a circular reckoning course of zero-zero-zero-point-nine... in a star system of nine planets and one sun."

A Second Look

While there are some similarities in this show to Arthur C. Clarke's anthology which started with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (MGM-UA, 1968), this episode, like "Saga of a Star World" and "Lost Planet of the Gods", can be said to be truly original and uniquely BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Unfortunately, there were too many episodes in between which were derived from war movies and westerns. It's a shame, because Count Iblis and the "custodians of the universe" were a far better execution of STAR TREK's Q (portrayed by John DeLancie, who made a cameo in BATTLESTAR's "Terra" anthology as a prison guard) years before TREK ever introduced the notion.

To be fair, some would say Q came from the character Trelane from "Squire of Gothos", more than a decade before BATTLESTAR was made.

There does appear to be a tasty treat of decent science fiction tucked away in this story, dealing with something TREK never bothered to explore in depth: the notion of a race of beings who make what they want by the sheer power of will. There is just a hint of "the Force" from STAR WARS evident in Iblis forcing Baltar to kneel. This can be forgiven thanks to subsequent performances by Patrick Macnee and the other regular characters, especially the unusually eloquent scenes feature Richard Hatch's Apollo and Dirk Benedict's Starbuck. Why didn't this kind of dialogue and drama happen earlier in the series?

Anne Lockhart and Dirk Benedict render surprisingly good performances in this outing. Their acting is made better, in no small part, by smarter characterization and dialogue. They have something interesting to say because the story gives them something interesting to talk about.

In the first part of this story, Apollo expresses dismay over the notion that, if Iblis represented a parent civilization, "from this point forward, we'd be powerless to control our own destiny." Indeed, if the Galactica does find living offshoots of its ancient roots who proove to be formidable, that would threaten the stability of BATTLESTAR's premise without some fancy footwork. Unfortunately, BATTLESTAR simply side-steps the issue by showing us glimpses of these advanced beings, followed by their disappearance.

This episode establishes some contradictory issues about the fleet and its facilities. While "The Magnificent Warriors" left the impression that the fleet had been reduced to one agro-ship, "War of the Gods, Part II" makes it clear there are least nine such ships in the fleet. And while residents of the Freighter Gemini complain of their living conditions, Baltar seems to enjoy much nicer accommodations in the Jailbird Hilton. People of the fleet are ready to dump Adama's leadership, but it seems the Council of Twelve is chaired by a civilian, with Adama simply being a member. And how down-trodden can their condition be when they later celebrate in great parties after Baltar is captured? There seems to be a regular shuttle service set up so people have mobility throughout the fleet. They can visit the Rising Star or agro-ships, or other vessels. If there's a problem with the quality of life, why do the people on the Gemini wait to complain? If anything, the ones who need better quarters could camp out under a tree on board an agro-ship. Why whine when action can be taken?

Upon returning to the red planet, the redness appears to have faded. Apollo and Starbuck don't appear to be worried about toxic "radion levels" anymore, and the warriors' sensitivity to the sounds of the dancing lights seems to have waned. And just how did Sheba know where Apollo and Starbuck took that shuttle? And how did she manage to get a viper without clearance? Again, BATTLESTAR seems to treat this as if Junior simply snatches the keys to the station wagon and takes off on a date with Suzie.

What did Iblis think he was doing, when he tried to kill Sheba? What good would that do him? Was he going to kill her to make an example of her to the other two?

Never mentioned, but loosely understood, was the fate of Sheba's viper which she took to the red planet. Did she leave it behind when she accompanied Starbuck back to the Galactica? Or did they stow it aboard the shuttle?

Spectacle Value

The fandom focus appears to be on the brilliant alien colossus, or "ship of lights", as an outstanding special effect. While it was, attention should also be paid to the "real" Count Iblis effect. Patrick Macnee, on his own, managed to make the character more alien in "Part II" with the right acting and that evil smile. But things really kicked into overdrive when Apollo shot Iblis.

One nice little bit of acting goes to Dirk Benedict, who made his own home-made special effect by rising awkwardly when the aliens revived Starbuck on the brilliant alien colossus. He makes it look like they were handling him like a flimsy rag doll.

Not enough recognition goes to the simple effects of the wreckage on the red planet. Again, simple but effective.

The aliens aboard the brilliant alien colossus were also effective. Showing veiled people, who seem slender enough to be feminine and yet have a masculine voice, gave them a more alien, androgynous feel. This technique was also effectively used in the form of the telepathic inhabitants of the forbidden world of Talos IV in the aborted STAR TREK pilot "The Cage" (Paramount, 1964).

Another overlooked special effect: the geodesic domes of the agro-ships. Derived from the 1972 sci fi movie SILENT RUNNING, these ships made a credible component of the fleet. The interior shots were extremely creative illusion-builders.


The Council of Twelve should not be shown as so gullible. A sudden fruit harvest, Baltar shows up on their doorstep, and they're ready to turn over the keys to a complete stranger? Without anyone asking where the Cylon baseship is that Baltar had to originate from? Gimme a break!

Count Iblis' notion of multiple sex partners would raise some eyebrows, no doubt.

This show should bring back Patrick Macnee, no matter what his age.

The show's makers may want to revisit these Great Powers, but it would be best not to allow the contents of BATTLESTAR to be too heavily influenced by them.

If they are going to show other ships in the fleet, how about using metaphors other than the slum-in-a-metal-box? People can still feel confined in a clean, high tech, cush freighter converted for long-term passenger use. Human beings know how to adapt to harsh conditions. Why not show people finding innovative ways to make their homes more livable?

Tidbits & Nit picks

There are a couple of fandom theories about Iblis' relationship to the Cylon Leader:

1: Iblis is the Cylon Leader, in the flesh.

2: Iblis is responsible for the downfall of the original organic Cylon reptiles, who were overcome by the machines he programmed.

Speculation goes that if Iblis were a Cylon, they would know exactly where the fleet was and be able to pursue them in greater numbers. If Iblis simply instigated the rise of the Cylon machines over the living beings, there does arise the question of free will again. How much sense does it make for a race of beings to consciously choose to destroy themselves by creating killer machines? That doesn't sound like a choice made freely. That leads to a third (my own) possibility:

3: Iblis is a being of many false identities, who pursues a life creating alter-ego cults-of-personality by infiltrating the leadership of civilizations he encounters. Perhaps the Cylon machines were created by the Cylons for service or defense, but were tampered with after Iblis (in another form/identity) gained prominence in ancient Cylon society. Maybe Iblis didn't even do the tampering; he was part of a movement that became corrupt as a result of his politicking. He connived his way into becoming leader of the Cylons, only to find his civilization collapsing around him as the machines took over. Perhaps Iblis could inhabit the body of another being, such as the Cylon machine leader. Or perhaps the Cylon machine leader, an alter-ego of his, is a puppet which can either act independently or at his whim.

Still, the first theory should not be dismissed. Iblis is a master of illusion, and could take on the form of the Cylon leader quite easily. Baltar pursued the Galactica on the Cylon leader's wishes, with the intent to storm the fleet and capture the humans to be taken under Cylon rule. When the Cylon baseship was destroyed at Carillon, the Leader's indentity was mysteriously restored to a successor. It should be remembered that Iblis apparently is endowed with two other powers: immortality (he can't be killed) and the ability to teleport to another distant place at will. The Cylon Empire is brimming with IL-series machines who are constantly trying to step on each other to gain power and prominence. How does a leader keep things stable at the top with this going on? Iblis could be using his powers of influence.

Adama's dining room aboard the Galactica seems mighty plush considering the emergency conditions the Colonists are constantly living and working under.

One would think that a few more lines could've been given to Athena throughout this story.

You have to love that line Starbuck gave while in the custody of the aliens: "Sweet lady, there aren't many places I've been in my life where I didn't feel like I was in complete control, but, uh, this is an exception."

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Website and profile information updated

Howdy All,

 I know it's been awhile since I posted a blog so here goes.

I updates my contact information in my profile here on this site.

 I also updated the Gemenon Delegate's webpage to see the changes ( only a few ) go here :

Home of the Gemenon Delegate

 There are 2 pages so check them both out.

I am also asking everyone here to make suggestions for the page and if I use your suggestion I will mention you as the one who suggested the idea.

 I almost forgot, I plan on making a new radio chat real soon so look for that as well I will be posting the link for it here and on the Gemenon Delegate's web site.


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Galacticon Gold Spotlight on Grace Park

Grace Park joins Galacticon!...this IS 10th installment of Galacticon Gold!

12578022072?profile=originalGrace Park (originally born in Los Angeles) moved with her family to Vancouver British Columbia canada as a child...she got of course early recognition playing two characters in one on Battlestar the Cylon(s) Sharon "Boomer" Valerii & also as Sharon "Athena" Agathon, she also went on to portray Shannon Ng in the series Edgemont & currently portrays Kono Kalakaua in Hawaii Five-0.

I caught up with her to do the following interview with her during the the filming of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica

12578022261?profile=originalThe Grace Park Interview

The Battlestar Galactica Fan Club had the recent pleasure of chatting with Grace Park...Boomer in the new Battlestar Galactica.
Grace has some interesting things to say about Battlestar Galactica, her career and her aspirations.
A big Thank You! Goes to Wendy Shobe at The Characters Talent Agency for helping to arrange this interview as well as to Tyman Stewart.
Check them out at:

Shawn: How did you make your start in the acting profession?

Grace: I did a bunch of commercials and thought being on set was the best thing
in the world: you get fed, clothed, made over and then have a nap and goof off.
I thought...I could get used to this and that's when the fun ended.
After that, pretty standard, acting classes and auditions, and still going.

Shawn: What do you consider to be your "break" as an actress?

Grace: Battlestar Galactica...but at the time, I was trying to convince my parents
that Edgemont, a Canadian teen series, was HUGE!
Especially for a fledgling actress.

Shawn: What was the first television role you
landed? well as film role?

Grace: Hmmm...No need to invite humiliation
for was "Romeo Must Die".

Shawn: Aside from Battlestar Galactica, what are you working on now?

Grace; Sanity. 
Oh! You mean work...just reading scripts &

Shawn: Again, aside from Battlestar...what has been your favorite project in either film or television?

Grace: Well I’d say this very hush project with Ben Kingsley & Daniel Day Lewis
but then people wouldn't believe me, so I'll stick to Edgemont. 
It was like school, going back every fall, but we never had to go to class! 
We could  just hang out, have fun, and made some of my closest friends there. 
It was a very special time.

Shawn: Any special film you'd like to work
on?...essentially a dream project...

Grace I joke about Charlie's Angels...but I'm serious and "Memoirs of a geisha" would have been absolutely amazing.
I would love to work with Wong Kar Wai or Ang Lee.

Shawn: How about a personal project?...anything that you'd like to bring to film or television?

Grace: I would love to one day be part of a project that would tell the stories behind the Japanese occupation in Korea, the struggles, turmoil and heartaches and especially the tragedy of young virgin girls forced into sexual slavery, aka "comfort women" mom told me some about it and it  haunts me...I want to tell the stories that mean something to me, my culture and heritage.

Shawn: As far as acting is you have preferences? other words...Dramatic, action or comedy roles?

Grace: Action, drama and comedy!

Shawn: Any interesting or funny stories from the set?

Grace: I like how Katee fell asleep in her viper during a take... there's this
scene where I’m alone in the brig, hands and feet bound in hardcore metal shackles, and as the ship is being attacked I'm fighting to get free, and all of a sudden I break them open!
But they weren't supposed to break, but I don't care and I just about ran outta the cell till the  director yelled cut!
And last year for the big finale where Sharon sees 12 versions of
herself, they had to do a huge 3 day casting to find exact lookalikes for me, it
was a big deal, wigs, skin match, hair on the arm match.
But on the day when I finally saw the girls, only 1 1/2 were Asian! 
They looked nothing like me.

Shawn: Getting on to a more Battlestar Galactica related
portray Boomer on the new show, which originally was played by Herb
Jefferson...have you had an easy time making that character your own?

Grace: Well, she's a Cylon, there are two of them, one is programmed to obliterate
the human race, the other doesn't know that she's a robot and that she's
programmed to obliterate the human race. One's having a human-hybrid pregnancy and has killed another version of herself,
and is devoted to the Cylon plan, God and race, none of which really exists!
So really, it's been a cake walk.

Shawn: Do you feel you get a lot of fan
support?...there was a lot made of the fact that the Starbuck character is a woman in the new series.
Do you think having Boomer as a woman has created the same "stir"?

Grace: No, even changing Boomer to a Cylon didn't create the same stir!
The fans have been wonderful.

Shawn: It does seem that your character has quite a pivotal role on the show...did you expect that going into the series?

Grace: Hell no!

Shawn: In terms of character development, where would you like to see Boomer go?

Grace: I would like to see her strength, and how she'll deal with her anger and
hatred of the oppression she's felt towards the humans, and how that will battle with her new feelings of experiencing love.

Shawn: Any advice you'd like to share with the aspiring actors and actresses out there?

Grace: "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again because there is no effort
without error and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who, at
worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."


*Theodore Roosevelt {1858-1919 26th US President}

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."

*Anatole France  {1844-1924 French Author}

"Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, "This is the real me," and when you have found that attitude, follow it."

*William James {1842-1909 American Psychologist & Author}

"No matter what age you are, or what your
circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have something unique to
Your life, because of who you are, has meaning."

*Barbara De Angelis

"Dare, believe, and search for that truth in your heart that you are special. 
When you find it, you will know.

Shawn: Anything you'd like to say directly to the fans?

Grace: Thank You!

Come join Grace & all of us at Galacticon IV in Seattle Washington July 30th-August 2nd 2015 at The Seattle Center next the famed Space Needle!

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Colonial Alliance News Corp

I'm sure someone out there will recall that I first announced forming a Colonial News Network newsletter. I'm certain you can wade through my blog postings here and find it. Anyways, I'm still working on this and this time around I'm calling it the Colonial Alliance News Corps, CAN-SEE for those of you who like acronyms. Right now I'm developing the design and layout for this. What I really need is stories (articles), pictures, warm bodies as well as a few toasters willing to work on this with me. 

I'm using what I have here on my laptop and that is Microsoft Publisher version 7. But don't let this stop anyone from sending me something for the newsletter. You can send what you have to me at

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Quorum approves Caprica Fan Club

The Quorum voted 10 (yes) to 0 (no) to approve the Caprica Fan Club into the Colonial Alliance. The Final approval now heads over to the Executive Authority of the Colonial Alliance of which Daniel Allen, 13th Tribe Quorum Member will be pushing for the vote of approval for the Caprica Fan Club to the EA. I do feel strongly that the Caprica Fan Club will be approved by the Executive Authority and be allowed into the Colonial Alliance.

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My interview with Tahmoh Penikett


This is an interview I did with Tahmoh a couple of years back...enjoy!



Battlestar Galactica Fan Club President Shawn O'Donnell  recently had the opportunity to speak with actor Tahmoh Penikett, who portrays the character of Lt. Helo on Battlestar Galactica. He was able to give us some insight regarding his role on the show and the field of acting. Special thanks go to Deb Dillistone at Lucas Talent for making this interview possible.

Shawn: How did you get your start in the acting business?

Tahmoh: I guess I got started in the business back in high school. There was a new music, art and drama program that I was asked to take part in. Ironically I signed up with the intention of focusing on art because I loved to draw but ended up acting on stage for the rest of the year. After that I studied theatre for years at a couple of different schools and a year long acting program tailored for on camera acting.

Shawn: What do you consider your first initial "break" in the field of acting?

Tahmoh: I guess my first big break was a regular on "Cold Squad". Sonja Benett and I were the new characters introduced for what was the last and what I thought the best season.
I clearly remember how excited I was when I found out. It was such a distinguished and long running Canadian series that I was truly honored.


Shawn: You've worked on "Stargate SG-1", "Dark Angel", Smallville" among other shows, not to mention Battlestar Galactica, do you have a favorite that you've worked on?

Tahmoh: I recently finished a T.V. movie, "Hush". It was awesome working with the experienced and talented actors Tori Spelling and Victoria Pratt. It's somewhat of a suspense, mystery, love triangle drama. Tori and Victoria both have wicked senses of humor and I spent days on set laughing till my guts hurt. BSG of course has been huge step for me and a great opportunity.
I still remember going to the table to read for the pilot and seeing Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell walk in. I had no idea that either of them were in the show and it was then that I realized how great this project was really going to be.

Shawn: Are you wanting to work yourself into leading roles?

Tahmoh: Absolutely, it's always been the goal. "Hush" was my first big leading role and as I said I loved the experience. I look forward to doing film in the future. I think what attracts me so to film is the opportunity to explore and tell the story of different characters.

Shawn: Any special projects you'd like to work on?

Tahmoh: My favorite film since my father took me to see it when I was a little boy is "Blade Runner". It's the film that I first got to see Edward James Olmos perform.
I'm a huge sci-fi fan and especially the writing of Philip K. Dick. If I could do ever do a film anywhere near that caliber it would definitely be a dream come true.
Shawn: Any specific kind of character or characters you'd like to play?

Tahmoh: I love gritty dramas. My idols growing up were DeNiro, Pacino, Ford, and Voight to name a few. I'd really like to play a bad guy soon. I think sinking my teeth into a truly evil character would be so much fun.

Shawn: Just how did you get involved in working on Battlestar Galactica?

Tahmoh: My lovely agent Deb Dillistone called and told me I had the audition. I remember reading the script and thinking that I knew this character. I could empathize with some of the tough decisions that he had to make. I did the audition for Michael Rhymer and the casting directors and about eight days later found out that I booked the gig.

Shawn: Did you ever watch the original series? and did you re-watch some episodes to gain perspective on your role in the new show?

Tahmoh: I did and still remember the episode where Starbuck and the Cylon are stuck on the planet together more than anything.* I was quite young when the original series was on but still remember how big it was. When we did the boot camp for the pilot we watched a few of the original episodes and that definitely brought back some memories and gave me a good sense of what we trying to honor and yet recreate.

Shawn: What would you like to do with the character you play on BSG? Helo is basically in his own storyline.

Tahmoh: Tough question! I kind of like the fact I don't know what Helo's going to be faced with. The guy has an unstoppable spirit and heart.
I'm sure the audience appreciates the fact that Helo does his best to rise to the ever volatile obstacles he's always facing. As long as the writers keep it exciting, I'm game!
Shawn: Any suggestions or advice for aspiring actors and actresses out there?

Tahomoh: It's a cliché but we've all heard "That if you want something bad enough work harder than the rest and you will have success". One thing I'm constantly reminded of is how we must always train at our craft. Whether it's voice classes, movement or scene study. You have to be diligent at it. Nothing in life comes for free. Believe and your dreams will come true.

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The War of the Gods Part I

The first of a two-parter featuring Patrick MacNee as the evil Count Iblis...


The War of the Gods (Part 1) Analysis
By Walt Atwood




Lieutenant Bojay (portrayed by Jack Stauffer), formerly of the Battlestar Pegasus, is leading Jolly (Tony Swartz) and a contingent of Silver Spar squadron vipers on a deep space probe ahead of the Galactica. As they near a planet, mysterious lights appear in space and begin buzzing the fighters with unusual speed and swiftness. Bojay orders the pilots to hold their course, they won't contact the Galactica until they have more information. But as the vipers probe deeper, the pilots are suddenly overwhelmed by a bright light and high pitched screech from a brilliant alien colossus which causes the pilots to black out in flight. On the Galactica, the bridge crew suddenly looses track of Bojay's patrol. There was a seismic report from the sector where the planet is located. Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba (Anne Lockhart) volunteer to fly a recon mission to the last known position of the Silver Spar patrol.

Upon arriving in the space where the vipers disappeared, Apollo's patrol finds no traces of the first probe. The scanners indicate no life forms on the planet. Still, Apollo decides to lead the patrol into this world's atmosphere for an examination of the surface where the disturbance took place. Sheba comments on the strange environs of this planet; while beautiful and habitable, the sky has an eerie glow and the vegetation is all red tinted. The vipers set down in a lush meadow near a huge, burned out crater that resembles the crash site of a great ship.

As the warriors start to descend the wall of the crater toward some wreckage, a strange, white-caped man appears nearby and warns the warriors off. Apollo and company meet the man, who identifies himself as Count Iblis (Patrick Macnee). Apollo's hand scanner cannot read anything, from the wreckage or from this stranger. Iblis tells in curiously vague references that he is the lone survivor of the crashed vessel, downed by the hitherto unknown Great Powers. When Apollo offers aid, Iblis smiles and returns the offer, apparently believing he has plenty to offer the them. Sheba seems sympathetic, even drawn, to Iblis. An irked Apollo wonders if this strange man, who speaks in convoluted riddles and seems distressed yet also appears fit and full of energy and confidence, could somehow be a threat. Sheba half-speculates Iblis could be one of Baltar's spies, but Starbuck seems to think one man couldn't be very dangerous. A shuttle is summoned to bring Iblis back to the Galactica.

Once back aboard the battlestar, Sheba offers to escort Iblis to quarters and an examination. Adama is curious when Apollo and Starbuck tell of their encounter on the planet. The commander will await a full report on Iblis. But Sheba seems completely captivated by the newcomer. She agrees to take him on a tour of the bridge. While there, the ship's instrumentation goes haywire. When Iblis departs, everything reutrns to normal. Apollo and Starbuck visit the Galactica's head surgeon, who reports that all attempts to scan Iblis' body have failed. When Adama learns from Tigh that Iblis was seen touring the bridge, the commander is outraged. Why would an unknown alien be exposed to a sensitive military post? Adama demands the Iblis be summoned to the commander's office immediately. Apollo and Starbuck find Iblis touring the triad court (like combining basketball with a little pool and doubles tennis) with an adoring Sheba, who is now in a civilian dress. Apollo orders Iblis to accompany him to the commander's office. Both Iblis and Sheba protest. Apollo offers Iblis the chance to come freely, or as a prisoner. Sheba leaves, insisting Iblis "is the only man who ever really knew me." Iblis goes to leave, but stops and says with an eerie smile "Apollo, don't ever make the mistake of threatening me again, or you'll forfeit your life in the wink of an eye."

Adama privately confronts Iblis, who reveals very few answers. The strange, caped man offers only this: "Your people will be safe, under my leadership."

Sheba takes Iblis to an agro-ship, where they tour an arboretum. There, Iblis reveals he can read Sheba's mind, about her wish to be reunited with her father, Cain. He uses this to seduce Sheba. In one of the Galactica's labs, Apollo and Starbuck ask Dr. Wilker (John Dullagham) if Iblis could be an android. Wilker agrees that it is very possible to make a lifelike machine. Just then, the Galactica goes on alert. The fleet is being buzzed by the bright lights which the viper patrols encountered earlier. Adama addresses the fleet's public address system, assuring people not be alarmed. There are no hostile moves being made by the lights. Interceptors are launched. The pilots try to track the lights, but find any attempts to keep up with them impossible. Before the ships can turn around to return to the Galactica, the brilliant alien colossus appears again and the interceptors disappear. Adama again confronts Iblis. This time, Iblis displays the power to move a candle display by sheer force of will. Iblis offers that he is from a race of beings that have harnessed the power of the mind. He proposes that he will perform three "miracles" as tests of his worthiness. Passing these tests will mean that Iblis will assume leadership.

In deep space, a Cylon basestar is buzzed by the strange lights. Baltar gazes into a malfunctioning scanner while Lucifer reports that the Cylon fighters are not swift enough to intercept these lights. Baltar muses on the origin of the lights: "Adama. He has scientists aboard the Galactica." Could this be some technological breakthrough? Lucifer expresses hope that it is. This astounds Baltar. Lucifer indicates that the alternative is that some other force in the Universe has been discovered, one that is more powerful than their own. On board a freighter starship fashioned into a refugee habitat, Sheba shows Iblis the primitive conditions people live under. Apollo again confronts Iblis, but this time Iblis rallies the civilians to his support. He says to go to the agroships and see that there is food in abundance. Sure enough, Dr. Wilker and the agroship hand show Apollo that the trees bare new fruit. On the Galactica, the Council of Twelve convenes, and Iblis tells them what they were thinking. The first test Iblis will face is to "deliver your enemy unto you this night".

On the Cylon basestar, Lucifer reports that attempts to intercept the lights proved impossible. Baltar decides to contact the Galactica and fly in his fighter to negotiate with Adama. News of Baltar's pending arrival spreads "like sunbursts, through every corner of the fleet." The people are jubilant. Their enemy has been delivered.

A Second Look

Once again, BATTLESTAR has shown us a two-part story where the first part stands on its own.

One thing I found odd: Apollo's scan of the red planet indicated "NO LIFE FORMS", yet we see the surface of the world covered with vegetation. And we hear the faint sound of songbirds in the background during the lush garden scenes.

There are some very loose ends in this story: why did the bright lights start buzzing the vipers in the first place, and why did the brilliant alien colossus abduct the fighter pilots? Were the Great Powers trying to keep the pilots from discovering Iblis on the red planet? If so, why didn't they simply drop the pilots off again, headed in the opposite direction? Why hold them against their will? This contradicts the notion of free will in this episode.

Why did the Council of Twelve not confront Count Iblis about the ship found crashed in the crater on the red planet? Shouldn't they make him explain what happened? It seems like everyone forgot where this Iblis was discovered in the first place. It doesn't make any sense for the fleet's leadership to welcome an alien so easily.

If Iblis must allow people to flock to him of their own free will, how did he get away with sweeping Sheba off her feet? She initially expressed concern for his well being. It seems that he took control of her by reading her thoughts and exerting telepathic influence over her. That's more than just con-artistry. Sheba's careless attitude toward Apollo is also disturbing. While her insubordination exhibits clearly that she is being influenced by Iblis, it also seems to take her out-of-character too suddenly. Would she be so disrespectful of a superior officer, so quickly?

The scene where Apollo confronts Iblis on the triad court, only for Iblis to turn and make a clearly terroristic threat to Apollo, was off the scale. Apollo was within his rights (and duties as a commissioned officer) to arrest Iblis right there, with Starbuck as his witness. Of course, they were all soft on Iblis right from the start. Iblis should've been placed in military custody from the time he was discovered on the red planet. It is the duty of warriors to treat a newcomer in a potentially dangerous situation as a suspect. Clearly, they had Probable Cause.

Count Iblis wins support from the civilians far too easily. The elder lady (Paula Victor) says "forget Adama" too quickly. If the people of the fleet respect their own protectors so little and exhibit such opportunism, then it seems they survive in spite of themselves, not because of themselves. Such a mentality would not last long in the icy cold of space...

A paradox is created by Baltar's arrival aboard the Galactica. Did Iblis cause Baltar to make contact? If so, then it's a foregone conclusion that not all of the dancing lights are hostile to Iblis. In fact, Iblis would have to be responsible for the lights buzzing the Cylon basestar. Why else would those lights visit the Cylons? Lucifer indicates they were previously unknown to the Cylons.

If Iblis did not cause Baltar to come to the Galactica, but simply saw the future and took credit for it, then why did the lights buzz the Cylons?

This episode walks a fine like between the telepathic science fiction of STAR TREK and the magical, spiritual fantasy of STAR WARS (20th Century Fox, 1977). The scenes where Sheba is being influenced by Iblis seem too much like the Jedi parlor tricks, like when Obi-Wan Kenobi affected the "weak" minds of the Imperial guards near the Skyport. GALACTICA would do best to keep inside sci fi territory.

Spectacle Value

The brilliant alien colossus, or "ship of lights", was a great special effect. The visual effect gives the impression that this is a huge, Death Star-like city in space that would make a Colonial battlestar, or even a Cylon basestar, look small in comparison. But equally eerie is the music and the sound effects that go with the colossus.

The little round balls of light do the job, but are less impressive. They seem too surrealistic, especially when superimposed over BATTLESTAR's existing special effects. They also seem inconsistent in size. And the sound issue begs the question: while it is one thing for warriors to use radio communications to converse while in flight, how do the lights use sound to cause them pain? Sound, on its own, does not carry through the vacuum of space. If the sound is being carried over their comm system, why don't they just turn the volume down, or shut it off? If the sounds from the lights are not being carried via comm-link, then how do these warriors come to hear them? Are the lights causing the ships themselves to resonate? Or maybe the sound is telepathic in its conveyance, much like the mutant telepaths in the subterranean Temple of the Holy Fallout in the bizarre post-apocalyptic tale RETURN TO THE PLANET OF THE APES (20th Century Fox, 1970).

The scenes of the planet surface, apparently seen through a red filter, may seem like a cheap special effect. Still, they work. It's a shame the show's makers didn't see fit to show the fighters touching down in a locale more exotic than a meadow. Despite all this, the planetfall scenes are a dramatic improvement over seeing so many previous worlds in darkness. The scenes of the crash site are very effective.

We finally get to see a Colonial warrior using a handheld scanning device that seems vaguely reminiscent of the tricorders seen in STAR TREK. Apollo's unit has what appears to be a very small liquid crystal display. Too bad the makers of this show couldn't stray a couple of decades into their own future and borrow a Palm or PocketPC for ideas. This is one place where BATTLESTAR can make better technological sense than TREK: show the warriors using a handheld device with a built-in scanner, communicator and computer that can use a wireless link to the spaceships for telemetry purposes. We've already seen warriors using headsets for hands-free communications. Why not marry the two ideas? This would actually make for a very plausible special effect.

The costume worn by Count Iblis may not seem at first to be technically considered a special effect, but it only helped an already capable Patrick Macnee give that much more of a magnetic presence to his role.


Iblis' seduction of the Colonial people, including Sheba, would have to be less magical and more human in nature. Iblis would have to be shown as more of a lawyer-like con-artist.

There would have to be more exploration of interesting alien places, like the red planet and the crash site. And there would have to be more detail on what's going on there than just a "high radion levels" cop-out. Why not show civilian specialists accompanying a survey mission? It would add depth to the relationship between the warriors and the refugees in the fleet.

There should also be exploration situations where the Colonists meet aliens that are profoundly different from the human race. An excellent example of this would be the beautiful Speilberg picture CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (Columbia Pictures, 1977) which Galactica should've patterned itself after in the first place.

If BATTLESTAR were to be revived, its makers should think seriously about bringing Patrick Macnee back to the show. He may be getting older, but he's just too good to pass up.

This episode proves that BATTLESTAR does not need the Cylons. It would be far more interesting if the Galactica and her fleet encountered other alien races-- some more advanced, some not --whose intentions were unclear. Conversely, it would also be very entertaining to see a "strange bedfellows" story in which the Galactica has to join forces with a Cylon basestar to escape a common problem.

The whole use of the Freighter Gemini to exhibit the malcontent dregs of humanity, combined with the all-too-foolish Council of Twelve (aka dumb old men draped in grey and white) has, by this point in the series, become a very tired cliche. An insult, in fact. It's almost as bad as the repetitive use of Cylon combat footage. If the conditions in the fleet are that bad, then why doesn't someone propose a seeding program, where a small percentage of the fleet's people have an opportunity to part ways and settle on some isolated planet at their own risk? Given that the fleet apparently has the ability to manufacture fighters and important equipment, why not groom small contingents of warriors to accompany each group of "Colonial offshoots" in establishing a new home? This could lead to a variety of stories, including mutinies from those who do not wish to wait their place in line.

Tidbits & Nit-picks

In this episode, we get to see the warriors making planetfall on an unknown world, then returning to the Galactica without even mentioning decontamination procedures.

This marks the last appearance of Lucifer, or any other IL-series Cylon, in the original BATTLESTAR series. A pity, since they were the only interesting Cylon characters on the show.

If Iblis' presence jams all of the Colonists' equipment, how did they manage to launch a shuttle with him in it?

If the presence of the mysterious lights jams Cylon equipment like Iblis jams the Colonists' equipment, how did the Cylons know the lights were there, much less launch fighters to investigate?

It is strange enough that Sheba is able to give Iblis a tour of the Galactica's sensitive posts, but it is patently absurd to think she can give him a tour of the fleet at will. That takes time, fuel to shuttle from one ship to another, and permission. Sheba is, after all, in the military.

Earlier in the series, in the episode "The Magnificent Warriors", we are left with the impression that the fleet has three agroships; a Cylon attack destroys two of them and damages a third. During this BATTLESTAR outing, we see at least one, maybe two, such ships. The impression left in the episode is that there are several such vessels in operation. And apparently, there is enough excess room in the ship Iblis tours with Sheba for an arboretum. This implies plenty of room for growing both crops and less space-efficient trees and other non-agricultural plant life. All this implies that either there were more agro-ships in the fleet to begin with, or the fleet's internal industrial infrastructure was able to build new ships.

If the Colonists have the ability to either build new ships or rebuild existing ones while in flight, then why can't they work to improve the living conditions of their population?

In this episode, we get to see Adama at his desk with a pen and papers. On board a fleet in deep space under emergency conditions, one would think that this kind of primitive technology would be unheard of. Again, these folks need a Palm or a PocketPC for all their notes, memos and other documentation.

Once again, BATTLESTAR gives the Bad Guy the best line: when the bright lights buzz the agro-ship while Iblis is romancing Sheba on board, he tells her "Don't be beguiled! They taunt you with a glow that conceals everlasting darkness! Look away, Sheba!" Of course, Casseopia comes in a close second: "When all of our medical technology fails, we still resort to blatant feminine wiles."

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