This is a special “in between” podcast to address some of the great comments you called in and posted to the blog. Look for the next full podcast Friday, and if this is your first visit to GWC, be sure and check out Podcast #13 to catch up and help this podcast make sense! Highlights: We discuss the technical vs. biological nature of the new cylon-killing virus, the Terminator/Skynet theory of cylon evolution, the rank structure aboard post-New-Caprica-occupation Galactica, and centurian nannies.
As far as what happened to the centurions, I think it’s one of the D’Annas who says that once the hybrid was infected that the centurions were shut down. The question then becomes that if it is technological in nature what happens to the baseship with Baltar on it since the infected hybrid sent information to their hybrid. Did the infection transmit with the info?
(OK i havent finished the cast yet but im gona post anyway)
Could the diseased beacon have been left by “The Final 5?” When Athena FIRST joined the crew back in season 2 and took them down to Kobol…..she did say “we know more about your religion than you do?” so “The Final 5” would know that “The Other 7” would go through the Nebula to either find or stop the Galactica from finding earth……is anyone considering Cylon Civil war? Where “The Final 5” were origonally opposed to the attack on the colonies. (P.S. Ill see if my Acting teacher knows….she WORKS on the show with the cast:D:D)
First off, I’d like to thank you three for starting this website. I’ve only been visiting the site for a few days, but I’m already a huge fan. Thank you so much!
Now on to my comments for Podcast 14
1) Baltar’s pills: When I first heard this, I was blown away by the sheer mention of it. I can’t remember the name of the poster, but I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. This is single-handedly one of the most creative (and accurate) analyses regarding Baltar I have ever heard. Like Audra, the few times I saw Baltar hammering back pills (including when D’anna offers them) I didn’t think anything of it – I thought of it as trivial and explainable. However, now that I think of it, it is possible (even likely) that the pills that Baltar occasionally takes are some sort of anti-psychotic. But there is one problem with that theory…
Gaeta: Gaius, the Worker’s Union wants to meet with you.
Baltar: Hold on one second, Gaeta. I have to take my crazy pills!
The point being that if Gaius had regularly been taking anti-psychotic drugs, wouldn’t we the viewer been made -clearly- aware of it? Or at very least, wouldn’t other characters around Gaius been made aware or made reference to it? I seriously doubt that if Gaius had been using prescription drugs openly (As it appeared in the final scenes of LDYB 2) that nobody would mention or make reference to it. Although, I admit the subtle and casual scenes of Baltar popping a few pills may be the writing staff’s attempt to do just that.
2) Lee’s demotion: In the podcast, there was an extensive conversation about Lee’s rank being returned to Major. At first, I agreed with Chuck – The likely explanation was the plaque on Lee’s viper was simply never updated when he was promoted from major to commander, and thus, Lee was indeed still a commander.
However, there is a strong case for why Lee would be demoted back to major upon becoming a pilot again. First off, take a look at real-life aircraft carriers – You don’t see captains serving the double roles of a command officer -and- a combat pilot. It reduces efficiency by removing the captain from the command process, and it makes it very difficult and stressful for that captain if they’re concerned with both the responsibilities of command and their responsibilities as a pilot.
Secondly, it sounds cynical as all heck, but if Lee kept the rank of commander, he’d be out of a job. Traditionally (And seemingly in the Galactica-verse as well) a captain (or commander in this case) will command an individual ship, and an admiral will command a fleet. Therefore, since there is no fleet, the job of commanding the Galactica falls upon the most senior ranking officer – Admiral Adama. Thusly, if the admiral takes command of Galactica, Lee would have no ship to command, making both him and his rank of commander, a redundancy. We can fnd evidence of this in “Collaborators”, in which presumably because there is no place to put Lee, he’s reduced to doing book-keeping and clerical work.
Thirdly, I personally think that the admiral, knowing that when Lee is in higher command positions he becomes lazy and inactive, intentionally demoted him to major and made him CAG once more to prevent him from ever having another “fat attack”.
All in all, I think it was an amazing podcast. I may have only listened to a few of them so far, but I can say without a doubt this is one went way beyond what I expected! Funny and insightful. Keep up the great work!
I just listened to the interim pod cast and I thought it was great. The off the cuff caller was great too. However I am writing to defend my post about the Lee being demotion to Major.
First to his new grade of Major from Commander, the camera angle seemed to make a point to show us the name and rank of Lee when we see him in his viper. Also, and I have already made two questions in my posts if the 2 minute preview I get from my cable â€œOn Demandâ€ service is a spoiler or not. (If I have been answered and have missed it I apologies) Anyways, the part that I saw last weekend had a line, â€œâ€¦the Majorâ€¦â€ and I did not see another Major in the scene. I use that as my evidence that Lee is now in fact been demoted. I wonâ€™t say anymore because I do not wish to offend anyone if this is considered to be a spoiler.
Second, I was not trying to say I think that Admiral Adama should be demoted back to Commander. I personally like the idea of him being an Admiral if for no other reason it is just another difference from this Battlestar Galactica to the old Battlestar Galactica. However I am pissed that Lee has been demoted. When he was promoted from a CAG to a Commanding Officer, a big change happened and I thought it was for the better.
My comment was just trying to make a point of if it happened to Lee then why not the Admiral because (and yes I know that Roslin does not want a Cain scenario happening all over again) if there is only one Battlestar now there is no need for him to be an Admiral.
With respect to “ChipSix” and her possible source: I’ve still seen no explanation for the time that passed in the miniseries between Baltarâ€™s house going â€œboomâ€ and his appearance in the field with the crowd of refugees. Did he survive a blast that killed a Six, only because of her interposed body, without any damage? Theyâ€™ve pretended to dismiss the presence of an actual chip implant (unless the chipâ€™s made of organics and wasnâ€™t detected?), but that doesnâ€™t cover the missing time. Did he pass out and awaken somewhere/when else? Did he just climb out of the rubble and brush himself off? Did he spend some amount of time in an alien-abduction-style facility where the-gods-know-what was done to him while he was unconscious? How much of whatever transpired during that period is affecting him now?
Maybe Iâ€™m reading too much into what might just be a minor plot hole, but I canâ€™t help but wonder.
Did the viper Lee was flying say “Major Lee Adama”? or did it simply say “Major Adama”? Might he just have been flying his father’s original viper?
I like these interim podcasts. It also says volumes about BSG that you can do two hours of quality ‘radio’ about the implications of a single episode.
I find it entirely possible that Apollo’s Viper simply wasn’t repainted That has got to be low on Tyrol’s to-do list.
As for the technology level of the prequel, “Caprica,” it will probably be higher than what we’ve seen on BSG. Remember that they have an intentionally ‘retro’ technology, which was a reaction to the Cylon War. Since “Caprica” predates the war, their technology will be a little more advanced. (Or more obviously advanced. I’m sure their phones are pretty hooked up, but they keep them wired.)
There has been a lot of speculation about the “all this has happened before” bit. My current favorite is what BSWiki terms “Three Exodi.” (I call it “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”.) The basic idea is that the colonists leave Kobol for the Colonies, surviors leave the colonies and find earth, and then eventually Kobol is settled by earthlings. (See http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Sacred_Scrolls#Analysis) However, I suspect that’s a bit too neat for RDM.
Kevin- That’s a real interesting question. Would the Five have left a trap for the Seven?
Maybe, but wouldn’t they be afraid of falling victim to it as well? I guess we as humans use biological weapons that are deadly to all, so still possible. I was thinking how Baltar said “definitely human made” or something like that when examining the beacon. Not sure how the good doctor could know that for sure… aren’t the cylon(s) “human made” too? But, it seems like the writers are trying to indicate to us that the beacon was left by the 13th colony as they were leaving.
When did the 5/7 split occur? It seems very likely that some vote was taken with a narrow 7 to 5 majority breaking off and the cylon(s) being split at that point. What kind of vote could cause such a split? The decision to attack humanity seems likely. Going back further, they could also have been split over taking human bodies. What if the other 5 only exist as computer programs or some such thing?
I agree with NY Spinny. What exactly happened to Baltar after the blast on Caprica? Perhaps he was uploaded by one of the Rebel 5 who took the form of Number 6 to influence him? That would mean the same thing happened to Caprica 6? Anyway, that’s my loony theory and I’m sticking to it.
It’s a shame, but it seems really likely that Lee was demoted. What the heck was he doing flying Vipers if he was a commander? He’s kind of been getting the shaft from a character development stance lately. Like him magically losing weight off-screen. Abracadabra!! You’re buff again!
Regarding Starbuck cutting her hair – Ron Moore in the podcast states that yes, Katee Sackhoff was indeed cutting her hair for real – trÃ©s cool.
On an unrelated topic, don’t you find it strange that the colonies have evolved enough technology to be capable of space travel, and yet – there isn’t an accurate historical account of what happened to the 13th Colony outside of the vaguely worded scriptures? Do the colonials know for sure that at some point in their past they were in active contact with this lost colony? Just curious if they will address this in the show.
As a corollary – on the Cylon side – there’s been a lot of discussion about timelines and the genesis/rebellion of the Cylon(z) – I find it intriguing that they’ve evolved a technology very different from the Colonials (i.e., living basestars and ships) – and yet – the human models don’t fully understand/don’t agree on how some of their own technology works, for example, whether or not what the hybrids are speaking have any real meaning.
I actually like the ambiguity, though. I like the fact that even as the Colonials are trying to survive, the Cylons perhaps are trying to answer the question, “What does it mean to be a Cylon?” – and that they can’t necessarily all agree.
By the way, if I were writing the show – I’d have Tyrol get onboard the crippled basestar and figure out a way to make it work in few hours.
“Now we have us a basestar!”
Keep it up, kids. Good work. Haven’t listened to the latest yet, but I wanted to pass on an idea. There’s only one other fancast I listened to, called LostCasts (http://www.lostcasts.com/), which has a similar structure of a group of fans deconstructing the episodes/mythology of their favorite show. What those fanboys do especially well is in integrating site comments and phone messages into their podcasts. In other words, they devote a few minutes of each week’s casts to what folks are saying (either generally or specifically both on the web and in voicemail). It’s agreat shout out to folks and encourages a lot more posting and calling. Food for thought, in any case.
Hi Guys. Love the podcast you all come up with some pretty interesting ideas and it’s fun to hear some civil conversation away from the rants over at SciFi. On the subject of Baltar and his pills there’s one thing I’d like to throw out for consideration. When Gaeta is briefing the president and Adama he remarks “Initially I thought the doctor might be off his meds as well sir but…” Now that could have just been an expression but something about it feels like it was common knowledge among them that Baltar was taking some sort of medication for behavior. What that could be is anyone’s guess but it would make sense that he’d be more useful to a number three if he wasn’t loosing it because his pills were gone. I suspect this may be revealed to us soon.
To expound on (and perhaps clarify) my theory that you discussed in this podcast, this is more along the lines of what I was thinking:
There IS a Six in his head; maybe it’s a “messenger from the Cylon God,” maybe it’s a part of Caprtca Six that transferred over during the blast (*). The Cylons know that this is in him, influencing him and feeding him information. Once they arrived on New Caprica, they began to provide him with pills. Perhaps under the guise of migraine medication or some such, but in truth intended to PREVENT this subconscious contact.
I know that you brought up two related theories in your show based on this general question of the pills: either the Cylons are using them as some sort of “amplifier” to promote his visions, or alternatively Baltar genuinely is psychologically unwell and takes an antipsychotic. My response to these is as follows.
— Theory 1: I guess this could be the case. Head Six has never led Baltar in a direction contrary to what the Cylons want as far as we know. In this sense, they could be doing it to him. However, this theory seems to ignore the observation that his visits from Head Six diminished greatly after we began seeing him pill-popping. If they were intended to promote his visions, then I think it’s safe to say they aren’t working as intended. Perhaps this will lead to the first class action lawsuit against the Cylon Pharmaceutical Company!
— Theory 2: This is actually more viable than the previous theory, as there is no evidence that directly questions it. It still does raise questions, though. The same questions that I asked in my original post that led to my proposal. Why did he only start taking them after the occupation began? If they are just his “crazy pills,” what do the Cylons care whether he has them or not? In general, they don’t seem particularly concerned with his well-being; after all, the vote was split whether to flat out space him or not.
* (on a side note — forgive the terrible analogy, but I can’t help thinking about the whole Harry Potter thing; his mother physically shielded him from a deadly attack much like Six shielded Baltar and a part of her transferred to Harry).
In response to Lt. Slingshot’s post,
Wow, yeah, I could totally get behind that. I clearly remember him saying that, and I just moved past it as a figure-of-speech. Of course, I hadn’t even thought about the pills until after I watched the episode.
In fact, him actually referring to Baltar’s meds had been a literal statement and still work with the different theories. Whether they are genuine “crazy pills” he takes for whatever psychosis he thinks he might have (independent of Cylon intervention), or some other sort of neurological suppressor supplied by the Cylons (veiled as pain medication, antidepressant, antipsychotic etc.) Gaeta would have seen him taking them. He may have thought that Baltar was on an antipsychotic, when in reality it was a Cylon tool.
Thanks for another great ‘cast.
Part of BSG lore is that the Lords of Kobol were not necessarily supernatural “gods” but rather a group of super-beings that lived in harmony with the human population. The Lords ruled and tended to their “flock” and all was harmonious. Elosha spoke of Kobol as the “birthplace of mankind, where the gods and men lived in paradise until the exodus of the thirteen tribes.”
How different is this than the situation we just left on New Caprica? The Cylons, who resurrect themselves after death, “swim in the stream”, and commit other forms of “magic” to the untrained observer, could have been angling to be nothing more than fledgling versions of the Lords of Kobol. They came to New Caprica to live with humans in harmony. Could New Caprica have been an unwitting “it’s happened before and will happen again” scenario?
What if the Cylon models we know are Lords in the making? What if they have only begun to tap into a higher fabric of space-time-consciousness? (a place that the basestar hybrid has found) What if, in a thousand years, they evolve themselves to a level where they would appear to be gods to humans? In that case, after some acclamation on the human’s part, New Caprica would have been the the second version of Kobol. When Jammer was executed, the date reference was to the “3rd Day of the 2nd Exodus”. Is the 1st Exodus the one from Kobol and not from the 12 colonies following the Cylon attack?
What if the Lords were the original Cylons, and that Cylons and their technology are “alien” versus created by man as we (and probably the vast majority of colonials) were led to believe? This would explain how the beacon at the Lion’s Head Nebula – obviously left by the 13th Tribe – could have been imbibed/programmed with a Cylon-targeted virus: they’ve dealt with Cylons, or some previous incarnation of them. If this virus did exist before, though, you’d think the Cylons would have known about it.
One more thought, and this might be a little out there. What if the original “chrome toaster” Cylons the colonials fought forty years ago (their creation) encountered members of the original Lords of Kobol? That would help explain how they went from toasters to skin jobs in a mere forty years. Think V’ger in the first Star Trek movie. It would also help explain the rapid formation of their culture, religion, etc. This would also create a bridge between the Cylons and the Humans. Two infant species elevated by a third party, both inheriting its strengths and weaknesses. Could explain the Cylon’s fascination with the Kobol mythology.
More questions than comments, I know…
I totally blew this off during the airing of ‘Torn’, but after hearing the theories about Balter taking anti-psycotic meds in the postcast it surfaced to my mind.
In the episode when Gaeta is explaining his interpretation of Baltar’s research notes on the location of earth, he explains to Adama after Adama sneers at some of the report “I thought Dr. Baltar stopped taking his medication at first too Sir, but…”.
And also I see in a previous post that on New Caprica Baltar stated he needed to take his crazy pills before meeting with the labor union, maybe you guys are on to something here.
“ChipSix” and “ChipBaltar”
Good discussion on the ChipSix, but in RDM’s last podcast, he stated that in upcoming episodes both ChipSix and ChipBaltar (remember that Caprica also had an ‘imaginary’ Balter when she was on Caprica that only she could see/hear) would be further ‘explored’ and how they played into the story would be discovered.
So make your guesses, but I think the possibility the Caprica 6 is seeing Balter in her mind as a result of psychosis can be thrown out. It will be interesting.
Did anyone else get a sense of things to come or of a “tip of the hat” to the original series when Baltar was on the Baseship alone. It provided me with a sense of deja vu to see him be able to walk around freely on a Baseship.
Also, Audra’s voice is very sexy…. keep it up guys.
Dan, the Lord of Kobol – great name, btw. 🙂 “Fat attack”! LOL! It does seem that Lee is better suited to be CAG, I must agree.
NY Spinny – We discussed this same idea in one of the first podcasts. I still can’t quite put together how Baltar survived a nuclear blast simply by being shielded by Six’s body. She’s got a great body, but I just don’t know…
A Lo – Thanks for the info about Sackhoff’s hair! Very cool. About the human technology vs. their muddy history- all I can say is, I wonder the same thing.
Lt. Slingshot – WOW. I think I heard Gaeta say that but didn’t really process it at the time. I think you’re on to something, and that we’ll soon see more of this emerging storyline.
Chip – You’ve got my head spinning with that one – that’s an exciting theory. I’m going to think more about it and maybe come up with something good for the ‘cast.
Space Jammer – Why thank you. 🙂
Jammer, I agree. They all have great voices for that matter. Some podcasts I listen to (which is how I survive at work) have guys with nasal voices and that’s no fun to listen to. You guys have the best voices of any podcast! And it’s by far the funniest. There are times when I have to play off my bursting out loud like I just joked with someone (Baltar: “Are you mad!?”). The Cylon Bunch was a killer.
And in this podcast, I loved the shoutout to us pill dispensing Cylons. I’m a pharmacy tech, and as you were talking about them “cutting up pills”, I just happened to be making half tabs of a drug myself! What a coincidence… or perhaps all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again. Speaking of that, on my way home I happened to realize something most people have probably thought about for a few years now, but it’s interesting that the Colonials (and I guess Cylons do too, for that matter) think of time as very cyclical and the Cylons are constantly reincarnated (a characteristic common in Eastern religion- such as Hinduism, which also typically thinks of time as cyclical). Goes back to how the two races and their religions are more alike than they might want to realize.
This idea may seem silly, but I am curious if some of the problems that Starbuck has had readjusting to the fleet is because on some level she might blame herself for the events that took place over the last year plus. The planet was found on the rescue mission during Racetrackâ€™s first jump, when her raptor jumped to the wrong coordinates. The rescue mission never would have occurred if she had not pushed for it, and pushed for it hard. Anders himself said to Tigh when he told Anders and the Chief that Adama would not abandon them, that Adama had already abandoned him once before and â€œif not for my wife being a pain in the ass,â€ he would still be on Caprica.
Humans living in poor conditions, then the Cylons occupation, nearly 20% of what little is left of the human population dead, destruction of the Pegasus and so on is a result of the rescue mission. Even if only indirectly.
Hell, could you live with that?
There was a mention in the interim podcast about a possible prequel series and I wanted to add this. Perhaps the models that are now the Cylons were once humans in the first war, they may have been taken by the Cylons before the war ended and were used as the blueprints for the â€œskin jobs.â€
Just an idea.
Great podcast. Imagin my surprise when the terminator theory surfaced.
Anyway, I want to say that I thiink Kevin is on to something with the “5”, but not with the beacon (sorry). This was not just a tidbit of a line dropped in the show – we are going to hear from them.
There has to be a major disagreement between the models for the “7” to not talk about them. That issue will surface and lead to some great plot line explorations (maybe another spinoff series….BSG – the Cylon War….or maybe that is just a PS3 game???).
Civil war seems to be the best angle and disagreement on what “to do” with the pesky humans (destroy them or leave them alone) appears to be the most plausable explanation to date.
What if Adama and group get into some deep poo…..and one of the “5” appears and pulls their “ship” out of the fire?
Yes, more about the “5” will be one of the best mysteries to explore in coming months/years.
Well to add about the prequel series, based on what I’ve read Ron and David talk about it. It’s going to be when the first Cylon is built and basically it will be the Adamas (anti- AI and Cylon) vs the Graystones (I’m guessing they create the Cylons). We know that William Adama’s dad was a lawyer. I believe Ron compared it to “Dallas in space”. It will be interesting to see how it fits in to all this.
Ron Moore has said somewhere, I can’t remember if it was in one of the interviews in Battlestar galactica magazine or in one of his 197 podcasts, that the other 5 cylon were kind of a secret even to the 7.
I don’t know if they don’t know who they are, or if that information has been supressed in them or something…but it was infered by Ron that the 7 are programmed not to even ask or think about the other 5.
this will be an interesting secret to see revealed over time…I wonder if the other 5 are still in the fleet or back on cylon world or maybe they will show up from a whole other direction…like maybe come in an save the humans from certain cylon death and then after they have gained our (human) trust, go all Baltar on us.
it also leaves open the possibility that someone we know and love will turn out to be of the cylon pursuassion.
talk amongst yourselfs.
I’m usually a lurker, but I felt that I might have some answers to issues brought up in the Podcast.
1) Kara’s hair:The podcast from the producer (off of the Sci Fi website) states that Katee really didn’t want to cut it short, and that we see her really cutting her hair in the show. So I guess it was really her hair and not extentions as was mentioned.
2) Lee’s rank: I remember that when Adama was talking to Tigh(?) about it (in the episode where Lee is promoted to Commander) right before actually promoting him there was some mention about “taking his flight status away”. My impression was that after a certain rank an officer becomes “too valuable” to risk being a viper pilot etc. Therefore, if Adama wanted Lee to be CAG Lee’s rank cannot be higher than Major. So yes its a demotion but probably due to wanting to put Lee in am important position. Also, I cannot see Lee working with his father in the CIC!
I hope this helps, sorry if I’m a little fuzzy on all the details. I really enjoy this podcast (its only 1 of 3 I listen to) and I look forward to it every week now! Thanks.
Could it also be that Lee and Bill mutually agreed that there would be a conflict of interests if Lee was also in the CIC and chose to take the next highest position, which I’m guessing would be CAG. That’s what I always thought.
I think Lee is indeed a major now as indicated on his viper. That had to be an intentional shot from the VFX guys to clue us in without having to take the time with dialog. With the cost to produce those shots it would be surprising if they made a gaff.
I did I little searching and found a recent interview with David Eick from IFMagazine.com. Although this doesn’t address Lee directly it does hint at a fuller explanation in future eps.
iF: Where does that leave certain characters that had been promoted to be part of the Pegasus crew?
EICK: Well, basically theyâ€™re going back to a situation where they are demoted. One of the issues we deal with in the subsequent episodes is that there is no room to stand on ceremony. People basically have to suck it up and do a job and theyâ€™re lives are not about being on a career path, itâ€™s about survival.
you can find the whole interview at http://www.ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=1745
On voices… If Chuck had ice clinking in a scotch glass and a zippo lighting every 10 minutes, I could almost confuse him for RDM. All of you have good delivery which just adds to the overall quality. Keep up the good work.
Iâ€™m not sure if anyone has covered this but in listening to #13 I began to wonder about the missing 5 and the 13th colony.
A little bit of forethought is needed here. When we have people we donâ€™t want to talk about it usually involves something distasteful. Usually those people were close to us at one time. Could the five be of this ilk? Skin-jobs who have done something distasteful to the cylon?
Another bit of forethinkingâ€“when a group of people break off from society it usually involves drastic thinking or a need to create a society in which they more fully feel vested. Say the puritans or more radically any cult that buys a farm and cuts themselves off from the community. The idea in breaking off is to start anew wether it be for religious, economic, or freedomâ€™s sake. The thirteenth colony seems to have broken off pretty drastically.
Now back to the show. The thirteenth colony left the probe. But was it to deter the cylon or humanity? The doctor on Galactica states that humanity was once susceptible to the virus that kills the cylon but the humans have built up an immunity over time. Could it be that the 13th colony left these probes as a warning to their fellow colonists to back off?
Hereâ€™s the theory. Could the 13th colony be the reason for the cylon insurrection? Could they have been expulsed from the other colonies for delving into cylon evolutionâ€“namely independent thinking? Or, perhaps they felt a self-imposed banishment would better enable them from experimentation into cylon evolution?
What if the 5 were less evolved skin-jobs developed by the 13th colony to further their own design. Subjugated by humanity, willingly, they were looked upon as weak by their more independent brethren?
And what if the 13th colony was looking into immortalityâ€“using cylon bodies to house human minds? Anaethmatic to both cylon and humanity?
Earth could be less of a haven and more of a dystopia wherein live a race of beings distasteful to both cylon and human.
Just a thought.
A little behind the times, but wanted to through in my two cents worth on the rank debate in this podcast. While the Colonial ranks may not be 100% be comparable to our own earthly military ranks, there is some crossover for reference. In the demotion of Lee discussion, it is not uncommon for our military in times of expansion or crises to bestow on an individual a â€˜brevetâ€™ or â€˜actingâ€™ rank. I have seen references to field promotions to increase the rank of some one to an â€˜actingâ€™ lieutenant (or whatever), but this promotion must be approved by higher authority and if it is not confirmed the individual would go back to their previous rank.
â€˜Brevetâ€™ ranks are very common in emergencies or time of war. For instance, George Custer was a brevet Major General during the American Civil War, but his actual regular army rank never went higher than Lt. Colonel. The same was true with Dwight D Eisenhower during World War One, he was a actual Captain in the army, but during the war he held the effective rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After the war (and the reduction of the army), he reverted back to a Captain.
One difference in Earthly and the Colonial command structure is the concept of flag rank. Here, Captains (or commanders) command ships. Admirals do not. In the Navy, the highest ranking person that is assigned to a ship is a Captain. The Captain is responsible for the ship and the welfare of the crew. He will receive missions and orders from an Admiral and will do his duty to make it happen as best he can while maintaining the welfare of his ship. A flag officer technically has no troops or crew assigned to him and their role is to command the units (ships) to accomplish a task. While Victory was Nelsonâ€™s flag ship, Hardy was the Captain. Hardy directed his own ship during Trafalgar while Nelson directed all the ships in the fleet during the battle.
Note in the Star Trek universe, Admiral Kirk did sit in the Captainâ€™s chair for several of the movies (i.e. The Wrath of Kahn), but Spock was the Captain. Spock had no ego about being in charge and deferred his command of the ship to Kirk. There was even an interchange about this situation between the two of them when Spock pointed out he had â€˜no ego to bruiseâ€™.
Of course writers will take a lot of liberty with making the story interesting. They writers of BSG are doing just that and I love the dialog you guys have on the podcasts.
PS: on Earth, a Navy Captain has the equivalent rank as an Army Colonel. In the Navy a Commander is just below a Captain (Commanders can be assigned the captain of a smaller vessel), thus that rank hierarchy does not hold in the BSG universe.