November 6, 2006

GWC Podcast #13

“Torn” was a wild ride, finally addressing some of the questions we’ve all been asking for years, offering us insight in some areas — and just more questions in others. Highlights: We consider Baltar’s predicament, discuss Tigh’s future, muse about hybrids, speculate on Lee’s new rank,kid aboutLeoben’s “autumn” skin color, and sing you a variation on a TV theme you’ll (hopefully) recognize.Six, Six, Six.

25 Responses to "GWC Podcast #13"
  1. Julian says:

    First of all, great podcast you guys have going here. Love it.

    Secondly, a few comments/ideas sparked by the latest podcast: I thought your ideas on the hybrid, Leoben, and the forsight were right on, but I thought maybe I could word it a bit better. =) It was revealed that the skinjobs “project” their chosen environment. To me, this seemed difficult to concieve–to forcefully use your imagination to always see a vivid forest around you is seemingly impossible for humans; myabe cylons, much like a computer, can generate such a perception of their environment. In addition, maybe the Hybrid, being a much larger and stronger “computer”, can generate much larger and stronger visions of its environment.. say, possible futures?

    Also, concerning Gaeta–I, too, like where they are taking him. In the previous podcasts, I remember one (or more) of you mentioning that you didn’t like Gaeta because he was so uptight and “by the book”. Obviously he’s changed since then, but I just wanted to point out that, in the breifing with Adama and Roslin, his uniform was *not* nice and tidy like old Gaeta would have it. Just a nice touch I noticed. )

    Lastly, I think it’s still possible that Athena was infected just by jumping near the device. At least, that was my initial impression. I don’t the possibility should be missed, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough on the next episode–not like it will hang around for a season, heh.

  2. Julian says:

    edit: I don’t *think* the possibility should be dismissed. (Sorry for posting twice–I wish you could edit.)=

  3. Julian says:

    Okay, I’m sorry for a triple post, haha, but I just had an wave of insight.

    You guys mention biological weapons in connection with the cylon killing device. But what if the device is not biological in nature, but rather technological, in that it infects cylons by broadcasting a form of a computer virus. This would free it from any physical barriers (allowing Athena to be infected and confirming Baltar is not a cylon). It also makes sense as a warfare tool: After the cylons see this biological weapon once, they obviously wouldn’t bring it aboard again and it becomes useless as a weapon. Even if they did somehow “shoot” the canisters into the bay stars, the cylons could adapt by wearing airtight suits, methinks.

  4. john patrick says:

    Hey folks,

    Love the podcast! Very entertaining!

    Re: the disease beacon…. The 13th Colony may have left that beacon by the nebula, but remember, the 13th Colony belongs to their mythology; they don’t have any historical memory of the migration from Kobol or the colonization of the 12 planets.

    The advent of the Cylon(s), however, is much more recent; they have a super-fast evolution, and Adama himself was a vet of the Cylon War I.

    Anyway, my point is that the 13th Colony may well have left the disease beacon, but if they did, it was way before the Cylons were even created in the Colonies. So the 13th Colony could not have purposefully left it their to infect Cylons.

    Or! Or! Or, maybe the 13th Colony abandoned the others because they didn’t like the way the others were developing AI. Maybe we are the Space Amish!

    So, yah, I’m just making stuff up.

  5. Haslinger says:

    I love the show. Makes work move by…

    So, I guess I didn’t catch it, but am I to assume that the “hybrid” pilot/basestar is a human? Isn’t that similar to what they could have been doing on Caprica? A sort of trial program to see which women could handle it. I know that part of that experiment was pregnancy tests, but there’s always more to it.

    Regarding the beacon, I see it as simple as you have to find the nebula to move forward, however, if humankind was retreating to a “new” world, they may not want to be followed. In biblical proportions mount it up to the concept of the redsea. As the Israelites fled they were granted passage through the parting of the sea.

    Just an idea.

    Love the show

  6. Rich McCarty says:

    Great podcast again! A few thoughts of my own:

    1.) When Sharon/Athena sees the dying basestar, she says, “When God’s wrath awakens even the mighty shall fall.” Her reaction to the basestar reminded me of when people of faith in our world see something horrible or amazing and instinctually quote something from their tradition. But I am left wondering if she is simply taken by surprise, or if she ‘feels’ something deeper such as when she felt that a dark time was coming pre-New Caprica.

    2.) 13th Colony Beacon: I agree that this was not explicitly set out by the 13th colony as a means of destruction for the Cylon. Someone has already posted that the Cylon are relatively new to the life of the 12 Colonies. So I am thinking about it this way: Clearly the colonial humans have had advanced space-travel technology since the days of Kobol, and simultaneously they have maintained a complex religious tradition that recognizes living oracles, prophets, etc. In addition, Pres. Roslin and Lt. Gaeda commented on how the sacred texts of their people were laregely metaphorical in nature: E.g., the blinking lions eye (but also remember from season 2.5 that they believed the Scrolls of Pythia announced a ‘lower demon’ would help them: aka, Sharon). To that end, the scriptures of the 12 Colonies seem to need to be interpretted in their “fuller symbolic sense” rather than what’s literally on the page. If the scrolls of Pythia (at least in part) tell the story of the 13th colony and its voyage to earth, then perhaps the beacon they left behind to mark the way was meant to be a light to show the way for humans and to ward off these “lower demons” that Pythia forsaw. If such is the case, then we don’t need to be too literal in trying to figure out how the 13th colony knew to infect the Cylons with a disease–rather, as the viewers, we too are called upon to read the text in the “fuller symbolic sense” and understand that whatever intent the 13th colony had in leaving it there, it has served a greater purpose (perhaps beyond even what they could see).

    3.) Cylon Religion: I continue to be perplexed by the emergence of religious thought and the religious imagination among the Cylon(s). However, something occurred to me last night while re-watching “Torn.” One of the most popular ancient philosophical and metaphysical questions (on our Earth) regards the origins of the natural order itself. This led many ancient philosophers and theologians to come up with a fairly similar argument: Something in motion has been moved, therefore the first natural object put into motion needs an Unmoved Mover (that is, something outside of the natural realm). Many people call the Unmoved Mover “God:” a supernatural being (or be-ing) outside the bounds of natural order, capable of putting the natural order in motion. In many ways this is a simple logical deduction–one that even AI would eventually reflect upon. Perhaps the Cylon concept of God comes from this philosophical deduction, and from this, religious thought, dogma, etc. was cultivated.

    All for now…

  7. Nick says:

    I think Julian’s comments on the nature of the weapon being technical rather than biological is very interesting. It would answer the qestion in my mind about why the cylons were concerned the dead downloading onto the resurrection ship and infecting it. If this were strictly a biological disease, any possible contaminants would left behand on the dead body and there would be no concern for disease with the reincarnated cylons.

    The book of Pithia more closely paralles Exodus than Revelations. This is mankind’s wandering around in the desert in search of the promised land. Pithia keeps getting brought up because in their bible it is this book specifically that deals with their current situation.

    I think this episode lends even more evidence to my “Galactica IS the 13th colony theory” The disease the Cylons picked up has only 2 possibilities. Either piece off a ship of the original 13th colony just happened to be left behind, and over the eons it just happened to naturally grow a virus that effects only cylons.. or it was a specifically manufactured bioweapon left behind and targeted specifically to skinjob cylons and not humans. As is brought up in the podcast, this would not be possible unless cylons existed during the “original exodus” Since cylons have existed for only around 40 years, and the skinjobs even less, if this is ab engineered anti-cylon bioweapon, then the only conclusion you can draw is that this IS the “original” exodus playing itself out again. Another point to support this theory.. When they opened the scroll of Pithius they said “The book of Pithius was written by someone who observed the original exodus” If this is the case, then whoever is the author would have been part of the journey and would have ended up on Earth. How in the heck would the “Book of Pithias” make it back to Kobol, and then eventually to the 12 colonies, if it’s author was stuck on earth? Also, during the first season the refered to the events of Pithias as being Prophecy (which have all come true) However, if this was written by somebody who observed the original exodus, wouldn’t that make the entire scroll a history and not a prophecy?

  8. Nick says:

    Another posibillity on the bioweapon being naturally occuring. In the miniseries the ammo dump-space station that resupplied Galactica was located in a dense nebulae that was toxic to Cylons, both biological and mechanical. It is possible that this lion’s head nebulae has similar particles on it. Combine that with naturally occuring bacteria that was left behind on the beacon, over several thousands of years you could easily then have a naturally occuring anti-cylon bioweapon.

  9. Pike says:

    Another great podcast, gang. “Sixing him up” will join “craaaaaap” as part of my active vocabulary.

    Speaking of, isn’t it interesting that Six didn’t immediately confront Baltar on the picture he took? Is she protecting him? And doesn’t he have plausible deniability in that he wouldn’t necessarily know if any particular item was or wasn’t of Cylon origin?

    Sharon: Hey Baltar, go to the Basestar and tell us if anything looks unusual.

    Baltar: Um, OK. Could you put some clothes on, please? And tell the room to stop staring at me.

    It would seem that the Cylon(s) virus needs to be more like a computer virus, since it can transmit with a download. (However, it’s noteworthy that one of the Simons said that it may have been inevitable once they took human form, implying that it contributed to their vulnerability.) Their reluctance to even approach the infected ship testifies that it is a threat even at a distance. The infection of the Raiders, though, could simply be that they are dependent upon the basestar, which presumably cares for their organic components.

    My take on the Lion’s head nebula is this. They have a map of constellations, which would allow them to triangulate earth by figuring out where in the galaxy you would see such a night sky. However, given the vast number of stars, that’s a pretty difficult task. The nebula points them in the right direction, because it would have to be viewed from the same perspective to be seen as a lion’s head. Now the number of possible locations is greatly reduced, since they can rule out anything that’s not roughly along the axis from which the nebula looks like a lion.

    Have the Cylon(s) adopted Pythia in their updated religion (much as Christians adopted the Old Testament?) SIx was fond of quoting Pythia, after all. If so, could Baltar be their “lower demon” that helps the them on their path to earth?

  10. Cavatar says:

    I wanted to add a comment to my post about Laura Roslin never having been elected President of the Colonies.

    Tom Zarek became President after the “Second Exodus,” due to being the Vice President and so forth. However what happens if and when Baltar returns to the fleet? I know the show has not gone into to much detail about the legal issues in the Galactica world, but was he technically ever REMOVED from office. We know from the conversations between Roslin and Zarek that there was no elected Quorum AFTER Zarek was sworn in as President.

    Assuming the humans would never let Baltar hold that office again, if he were to return; and sense he was never removed form office. Does that not mean if Baltar returns that the all the political maneuvering done so far would be null and void. And that the Quorum would have to remove Baltar from his office and AGAIN give the presidency to Tom Zarek, because he would still be the Vice President.

    Now if Laura were to have angered Tom while she was President again, who is to say he might decide to keep the office or give it to someone one else.


  11. Cavatar says:

    I wanted to comment about Lee Adama going from Commander to Major as shown on his Viper in the previous episode. Now some may say there is a certain logic to this now that the Pegasus has been destroyed, and I will grant them that. I will even grant them that perhaps his “promotion” was never a real grade promotion but a rather temporary one and he was just called Commander. Just like in the real world navy, where commanding officers that are not Captain’s are called “Skipper.”

    However, given that William Adama gave Lee Adama a Commander’s rank insignia I don’t think that is the case. So for all of those out there who agree with making Lee a Major without the Pegasus, consider this. When Roslin promoted William Adama from Commander to Admirial she said something to the effect that an officer who commands more than one ship is called an Admirial. So the why is William Adama not being demoted back to Commander. If it was good enough for Lee why is not good enough for William.


  12. Cavatar says:

    I wanted to comment on this given the Tigh XO remarks in the podcast. In the first episode back after the “Second Exodus,” Tigh flat out says “I am still the XO of this ship.” Helo could still be standing a post on CIC but no longer be the XO, especially since he (unlike Lee) did not get a grade promotion for his new position.


  13. Cavatar says:

    A few weeks ago I predicted a coming rift with Tigh and Adama, even if I got that right I had the reasons wrong so I am not sure if I can take credit for it. I would love to see this new development go on for the next half if not the rest of the season, however I would guess they have it all resolved in a week or two. I think it would be interesting if Tigh would pack it up and leave for another ship for a while. I am sure he would have no trouble finding work. It would make it interesting to see Lee as the XO and possibly a colonel.


  14. Mark says:

    Picking up on the beacon….
    The problem is that if the Cylon(s) we only around for 40+ years, where and how did this beacon come from that kills Cylons. Remember Six has said “this has all happened before, and will happen again.” So, it could be that the beacon was left by the last group of humans that were on the run from the Cylon(s), and they left the beacon to block the cylon at that time. It just so happened, that the beacon stayed around long enough to catch the next rise of the Cylon(s).

    Kinda like the movie Groundhog Day.

  15. Cavatar says:

    I don’t know why there is such controversy over this beacon that has infected the CylonS (I am still holding with Audra). The Cylons are machines; it would seem both mechanical and biological. We today have complicated computers that can easily be infected by a program that can do everything from keep track of your key strokes to ruining the device all together. There are also other dieses that will destroy parts of the bio functions in the human body, such as viruses that destroy t cells, ect.

    Back to the Galactica universe, we have already seen a “Natural” occurring even that disrupts the relays in the Cylons’ brain. I am referring to the storm that was around Ragnar station in the mini-series. (Sorry if I did not spell the station name correctly.)

    I think it is not that fair of a stretch that on this found device there was some sort of virus, either bio or computer that could harm the Cylons and not the humans. And as for the discussion of this device being used as a weapon, let us remember that the before the holocaust the humans on the 12 colonies were content to live in peace with the Cylons; and now they are running for there lives and freedom. I would say there is a major difference between making a sneak attack (pre-war, because during the war a sneak attack is far game) designed to destroy all members of a civilization, and an attack that is possibly genocidal because you feel that is your best or only option for survival.

  16. A. Lo says:

    Does Adama know about Sharon & Helo’s baby? Someone on another forum (not me, so I can’t verify) went back to the scene where Laura gives Isis/Hera away in secret – and Adama is not in that scene. Do you recall if there is an earlier scene where the two of them agree on what to do with the baby? Who else for sure knows, other than the doctor & Tory?

    Anyway – will be interesting to see how this plays out. In the podcast, Ron Moore stated that the scene where Sharon finds out has already been shot. I was just curious since I’ve read speculation on a lot of forums that Adama knows about Isis/Hera and I wasn’t completely sure.

    I can imagine Sharon would go ballistic & not believe Adama even if he truly didn’t know. But if Adama was truly left in the dark, then he & Laura would have issues.

    I hope they have a nice nursery in whichever basestar they’re keeping the baby on. I imagine D’Anna would be taking care of her, but would be cool to have a nanny centurion too.

    Keep up the good work!

  17. robojamie says:

    I love the podcast(!)

    One thing that struck me in the last couple of episodes is the physical symbolism in the characters. Throughout the the situation on New Caprica the human characters went through physical changes — Adama’s mustache, Fat Lee, Starbuck’s long hair, and Tigh’s lost eye.

    Adama recovered first and he was the first person to get rid of his mustache. Lee lost his weight and Starbuck cut her hair. They seem to have their problems under control, but Tigh’s eye is never coming back and he seems like he won’t recover.

  18. DarthWeef says:

    OK first the virus – I don’t think this is simply a bio weapon, for the reason stated, that it would not have “downloaded” into the ressurection ship. Also, and I could be mistaken here, but I don’t think that the centurions are biological, I thought they were still strctly machines. I know the raiders, and know we know the baseshipare also part biological, but did they ever state that the centurions were biological? If not, then the virus would not have affected them unless it was technological.

    If it is technological, then we know it was meant for the Cylons. That would clear that up. If it is bio, then maybe it is a remnent from a war that was fought on the other side of the nebula with an organic race that we have not seen yet. In the old series, once they crossed a certain boundary they ran into a whole new power, the Eastern Alliance. We could be seeing a taste of something like this coming in the future.

    I don’t believe that this series has ever said when the Cylons were created, only that they were created by man. The 40 years was the time between the end of the last war and the new attack on the twelve colonies. This doesn’t tell us anything about how long the cyclons have been around. SO. They could have been created by the thirteenth colony and then they fled, and left the virus behind, when they revolted and the cylons fought the twelve colonies in the war.

    Also – about the picture that Baltar took. He was not aware that he took a picture of the device. If you want him snapping shots, they are all of the dead cylons, but when gets up after killing 6 on the base star the camera accidently goes off, this is the picture that is taken of the device. So, he tells them he saw nothing, since he thought that he hadn’t gotten a picture of it.

    I believe that he killed six because she insinuated that he still working with the Galactica and trying to harm the Cylons, and he doesn’t need that nugget of doubt put in the Cylons that are currently providing hiim resting couches and terry cloth bathrobes…. I mean, if that got out, he would be reduced to a loin cloth and a cold metal, and none of us need to see that.

    One more thought on the virus. Prophecy, speaking bibilically, deals with much that is unknown when the prophecy is written which is why much of the time it is metaphorical. It is possible that the 13th colony has prophecy that discuss the lower demons and a way to protect against them and that was why the beacons were created. This would only apply if the 13th colony never met the cylons in the first place.

    Ok – enough rambling… I LOVE the podcast, you guys are great, and I kept hitting the refresh button all day on Monday hoping it would appear… LOL

  19. Silverhawk says:

    Great podcast! Great episode.

    I wanted to continue thoughts on the idea that the beacon was left on purpose with the virus (whether biological or technological) – also left on purpose for the cylons.

    I get what Mark says about only 40+ years or so….but, what if the book of Pithia is the recap of the breaking away of the 13th tribe “after” the original 12 tribes fell to the “original” cylons. This has all been done before….

    The technology to create the cylons was originally created by the 12 tribes and ultimatley led to war and the destruction of Kobol….with the 13th tribe escaping and leaving these deadly markers in its place and not waiting around to see if the virus they created destroyed all the original cylons. They just got the heck out of dodge because they never supported cylon research in the first place.

    This would be an interesting lead in to the spinoff series of Caprica. It could begin with the archeological discovery of the technology to create the cylons. Bounce into the conflict between cylon proponents and opponants and the struggle that led to the first (really second in this hypothesis) war.

  20. A. Lo says:

    As far as how long the Cylon(s) have been around – although there isn’t necessarily anything conclusive (i.e., canon) – Ron Moore & others involved have made comments about the BSG prequel – Caprica – now in development – that the events take place about 50 years before what we’re watching now and deal with the creation of the Cylons (via some sort of Microsoft-like corporation).

    Now, if the Cylon(s) disappeared for 40 years after the initial rebellion – that would lead me to believe there are some 10 years or so between the genesis/development of the Cylon(s) and that first rebellion. It’s also been said that the new series would feature the family of William Adama, and that potentially he could even appear as a kid/teen, so I guess that timeline would be pretty realistic if they hold to that.

    If that timeline is fairly accurate, it probably wouldn’t be realistic that the 13th colony were on the run from the Cylon(s) – there’s just not enough time.

  21. silverhawk says:

    I agree with your point A. Lo, but I was actually hypothesizing about something more ancient…say 1,000’s of years ago, thus tying into the ancient scrolls and the destruction of Kobol. Sorry, my post was not real clear on that point.

    I was also raising the thought that the cylon(s) were not really created this time around, but that the technology to create them was discovered by accident through some ancient archeological dig and that this could perhaps be part of the backstory for the Caprica spinoff. The Microsoft-like corporation could procure the dig information and be off and running.

    Of course, this line of thinking could all be full of ship….

    Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

  22. A. Lo says:

    Silverhawk – that’s an intriguing point. I wonder how the new series will tie into the “mythology” – if the corporate beginnings of the Cylon(s) have any link to the scrolls/prophecies, etc. – I’m curious how far and how quickly the new series will advance the prior timeline – frankly, I’m somewhat interested in the origin of the Cylon(s), but I’m way more interested in the rebellion/the first war/what led the Cylon(s) to leave, and what exactly they were doing during the 40 years.

  23. Kirby says:

    Torn: The timelines and what we know –

    1) environmental calamity occurred on Kobol (birthplace of humans) 2,000 years before present BSG time.
    2) 13 colonies flee Kobol
    3) the 12 colonies were founded 1,962 years before present BSG time, presumably one planet per colony, in a binary sun solar system called “Cyranys”
    4) while the 13th colony headed to Earth.
    5) the cylons were created on Caprica roughly 50 years before present BSG time.
    6) the beacon satellite in the Lion Head nebula is 1) man made 2) and is very old (2,000 years probably).

    I do not believe that the satellite beacon was installed to intentionally infect cylons, because cylons did not exist 2,000 years ago–this is a fact–so the 13th colony had no knowledge of cylons.

    My theory is that 1) the satellite was placed in the Lion Head nebula by the 13th colony as a beacon to direct humans searching for them to Earth 2) the satellite uses organic compounds for its computerized processing, and after being bombarded by cosmic radiation from the two pulsars (highly radioactive environment) for 2,000 years, the satellite’s organic compounds mutated and became a highly infectious agent, by chance, that is able to infect cylons, because cylons are organic computers and are similar to the satellite’s organic technology.

  24. Audra says:

    Robojamie, that’s a really interesting theory. Your idea about the physical changes having a correllation with the inner character changes seems to fit. I’ll be watching to see if Tigh gets a prosthetic eye.

  25. David HB says:

    I just discovered your blog, pardon my English.

    I concur with Kirby, the beacon was not a bio weapon, and in fact was a mere coincidence that a biological agent has survived for so long in a total or partial vacuum of space. Although the lack of radiation shielding might mutate the DNA of the virus, is scientifically proven that some simple viruses can remain in “suspended animation” or dormant and then reactivate. Let’s face it, someone sneeze, the fraking virus got frozen and then activate it when in contact with atmosphere.

    I think the Cylons did the most moronic, unscientific way of approaching a foreign space object. The scene was totally uncalled for, very disappointed, literately no scientific protocol.

    One clear things, and left me thinking… When Athena made interface with the core, I am sure she found out her daughter is alive. She is faking it, waiting for the next opportunity to be near by a Resurrection ship, frak her self and go in a rescue mission to get her daughter back. – That’s what I will do.

    About the Hybrids? – WOW, I was not expecting that… it was enlightening… massive brain parallelism, genetically altered. I can barley imagine what operating system will run that, but it seems it take the advantage of massive computing parallelism, which speed is beyond our finite minds or comprehension.

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