It’s weekeighteen of our planned off-season re-watch of the entire “re-imagined” BSG canon, and it’s time to move on to the season two episode “The Farm.” So why not join us here for the GWC online frak party? There’s room for everyone, though you’ll have to bring your own snacks…
Feel free to jump in at any point with your comments on this week’s episode as the re-watch is by definition spoiler free. We’ll be in and out, but we’ll definitely take a look at your comments before we start next week’s podcast.
See you here all week!
Wow, I guess I got here early this week. I havenâ€™t watched â€œThe Farmâ€ for a long time because, now that I know whatâ€™s really going on the whole time, the hospital scenes just make my skin crawl. My thoughts:
1) Adama tells Chief â€œThere are many copiesâ€ when he says the Chief will see Sharon again. Thatâ€™s kind of creepy, considering that heâ€™s using the same exact phrase as pre-â€œpreviously on BSGâ€ title card does. Iâ€™ve never been a big fan of the â€œAdama is a Cylon because Leoben said soâ€ theory, and itâ€™s not really evidence of anything fishy, but still…odd.
2) It didnâ€™t strike me before this time through how alone Adama is in this episode; Tigh is literally all he has left. In a way, it reminds me a bit of both the scene in the miniseries when everyone is saying goodbye and how honored they are to have served with him, which I always thought was really sad, and the one in â€œLay Down Your Burdens, Part IIâ€ when heâ€™s walking down the empty corridors after everyone else has mustered out.
3) Major props to EJO for the scene where Adama cries over Boomerâ€™s body; itâ€™s so powerful. And props to the writers for writing a scene in which not just an adult male cries, which would be rare indeed, but humanityâ€™s top military leader breaks down. Come to think of it, Adama cries a lot, doesnâ€™t he? Not that thereâ€™s anything wrong with thatâ€“lots of horrible things happen to him and to those he cares about, so it makes senseâ€“but it just seems like, as with Starbuck, we see his raw reactions to terrible occurrences more than we see it in a lot of other characters.
4) I love the Kara-Anders love theme at the end of this episode. I always hoped theyâ€™d get back together just so I could hear that music again!
Well we have finally reached the first Episode I ever saw, although it is really the next one that I first really paid attention to. I was visiting my best friend and we watched this one together. Only issue was I was really confused and she tried to explain it to me. And of course we were catching up since we hadn’t seen each other for over a year. So Home was really the one that solidified my love of the show (I was still confused mind you – I couldn’t keep anything straight – but then I bought Season 1 a couple weeks later followed closely by Season 2.0 – so by the time we got to the second half of Season 2 I was totally hooked and all caught up.
I need to rewatch this episode again now, of course the problem is that when I get to the end of this one I want to see Home again….
I agree wholeheartedly with everything said above and just wanna add an extra kudos to KS’s acting in this ep.
Playing the scenes with Simon and seeing her growing uneasiness and dread is so stirring. I can’t imagine a situation where you have less power or control than in a hospital. Especially, the cringeworthy scene where Simon gives her a freakin pelvic exam. That’s uncomfortable in the best of circumstances and once she finds out his true identity you know she’s gotta be feeling extremely violated in addition to the any fear she was already feeling. Not fun.
“A Promise to Return” is an excellent McCreary track that works really well with the Starbuck/Anders scenes.
I also love the scene where Anders, Helo, Starbuck and Athena are reconnoitering after Starbuck’s rescue and Sharon’s filling them in on the Farm situations and Starbuck is ready to launch at her.
Also, this is the episode that started the speculation about Starbuck’s abusive childhood. That scene where KS pulls her hands underneath the sheets when Simon’s talking about them is so visceral and sad.
I’ve always found this to be the creepiest and mind frakking episode by far. The bit with her broken fingers was something we all wondered about for another 35 episodes (give or take a few) and it’s interesting to see this episode again knowing what we didn’t know then. Very clever how they used the piano music from an earlier episode to lead us to think that it was her father behind the abuse, when we actually know nothing of her father (other than the piano music). That might not have made much sense, but I’m pretty tired. lol
When Simon was telling her about the slow deaths of the others from the radiation, I was actually sure that he was telling the truth. It’s those evil doctors we have to watch out for. Now that I think about it, he’s by far the most mysterious of all the Cylons. I’d have to list Brotha Cavil a close second because at least we know that Cavil has to be up to something/ knows more than he lets on. After all, he was the model that got to shut down all the Xena: Princess Warriors, which is more than a coincidence IMO.
“The Fame”? They’re gonna live forever all right, but I doubt they went to the School for Performing Arts and Sciences.
Had to bust some chops. Sorry Chuck.
Surprised Mike P or The Fair Melissa didn’t catch that first. She’s a cagey one. Best to keep her under observation.
Maybe I did, but I didn’t feel like calling out Mr. Awesome (AWESOME!) on his, ahem, typo. Whatever happened to Irene Cara?
the Farm was great and I do agree with the Kappa post in that Adama genuinely seems more alone in this one. However, I think him telling the Chief that “You’ll see her again” is that he has been aware that there are copies of the human Cylons for a while at this point – he may have just been warning Tyrol to be ready for the possibility.
I think this also harkens back to the Season Three Ep (who’s name just slipped my mind – the one where everyone is in the boxing ring—it’ll come to me as soon as I hit “submit comment”) that he has been TOO lclose to everyone. he has let everyone in too much and treated them like friends and family instead of officers. This is very clear in that he is crying over Boomers body – she was evidently very close to him.
Also, I had forgotten that even at this point Sharon knew that Kara has a destiny. That she is special. Now how the hell did Sharon of all people (all CylonZZZZ) know that after seeing her…what a total of two times at this point? Do all Cylons know this? Upon seeing or hearing about Kara – are they all like “Ahh, yeah can’t kill that one…”, or only a few?
On another note – where the frak is Simon after this ep? I dont remember seeing him on New Cparica, nor on any of the baseship stuff during Season 3. (has been a while…but still) Is the model taking a vacation? I know it’s hard work being all devious and offing a majority of humanity and all….but come on. 🙂 And where does a Cylon vacation anyway? I mean if they can sit around on bombed-out Caprica like they are at a Starbucks drinking lattes…..they might have vacations too right?
OK maybe not so much…but still what happened to Simon?
PS..Audra is the coolest (heh heh) 🙂
Yes, the Farm is pretty darn creepy. I kind of liked Simon though for some reason, maybe it was the actor or maybe the character. He’s lying to Starbuck, certainly holding her and the other women against their will, doing horribly unethical things….but I still like him.
Dave…Simon does show up at least one more time. I think it is when Helo suffocates the Cylon prisoners in Season 3. But Simon is definitely underused!
Did anyone else find it a little too convenient that Starbuck could smash some glass in the lab and scratch some electronics and all the human women just died immediately…as if they were kept alive by electricity…almost like when Cavil pulled the plug on the D’Annas come to think of it.
Chuck, thanks for the much better explanation of what I was hinting at with my comment about the sailing ship. To clarify and feeding off the discussions that followed there are a couple of possibilities:
1) The Colonials were brought from Kobol to the Colonies by a greater power (the actual Lords of Kobol?) at a point when or prior to a point when sailing technology was still state of the art. If this is the case then they would have had to further evolve their own ability for space flight over a few thousand years. The one part I like about this theory is that not only would the Lords of Kobol be real but also the transportation via a greater power could be compatible with humanity actually originating on Earth. As some point in our distant past a subgroup of humans were originally brought from Earth to Kobol before their subsequent transport to the Colonies and back to Earth.
2) The Colonials originally came from Kobol under their own power using their own technology, and they subsequently regressed. A number of great comments last week presented reasonable scenarios positing that if the Colonials arrived with only a small number of vessels (like the current RTF) they would not have enough advanced resources to continue their current level of technology and would have to rely on and reinvent older, more basic forms of transportation. Again this scenario would have assume that the regression was so complete to have lost any historical description their exodus from Kobol, and that their only current account in a myth (the Sacred Scrolls) relies on the existence of supernatural Lords of Kobol.
Any other possibilities? Sorry to beat a dead horse.
Oops. I’m sorry. I posted before listening to the entire podcast, and didn’t realize there was a moratorium on the ship discussion.
Sorry Audra 😉
Phil: Post away regarding the ship! I’m still on board.
Puns aside, you’re totally addressing the part of the discussion I think is still interesting. Of course both old and new technology can exist side by side. The *real* question is what you put forth: how’d they keep the technology and forget how they got it?
Any way you look at it, you find discrepancies in terms of what they know technologically vs. what they know about their own history. There are plenty of possible explanations for those discrepancies, and it’s in those expanations that I suspect we’ll find some of the secrets of the BSG universe — maybe even the big one’s that’ll pop out in season four.
Hey Chuck, speaking of Jammer. Those people that align themselves with Baltar also tend to get airlocked. I’m with Sean, you may want to rethink your plan.
Hi Chuck and everyone..
Ok, the sailing ship theory….I think there are three possibilities…
1) Earth of Galactica’s distant past, had technology, etc (pre-pre-Cylons) and they had a war with their technology, causing them to flee Earth and go to Kobol…once on Kobol. they said “ok, we’re gonna try this again, but be reeeally careful”..of course that went awry and they had another war with technology (pre-Cylons). Considering that this technology was not created by “god” this lends credence to the line from Six in Fragged who says that in essence the only thing that happens on Kobol is by man and not “God”…,.the humans again leave and find Caprica (we’ll assume Caprica was the first planet of the colonies they found for arguements sake) and said “Ok..this time screw technology, we’re going alllll the way back. In fact we won’t even mention Earth or Kobol except in Legend. Even then we won’t say it was technology that caused us to leave Kobol, but the “gods”–that way no one will link technology to being a bad thing – so it’ll take forever for us to develop that type of tech again and by that point we’ll be wiser blah blah blah”. they regress to sailing ships etc…but even then, over thousands of years…technology comes up again. So this also lends credence to the whole “It’s happened before and it will happen again”. Humanity is in this never ending cycle with technology—each time getting more and more jacked up and startnig over and over again.
Yeah, I know, it falls into “conspiracy”…but it is a cool lil theory…I think 🙂
2) Kinda like 1 but….The Lords of Kobol (Final Five?) have always been there, watching humanity struggle with technology. Like a great experiment (or a kid and an ant farm, depending on your POV)–which explains why the regular Cylons try to stay away from them, cuz THEY really DO have a plan :-). Basically, they have been watching humanity since Earth *they screw up with tech there)…then take them to Kobol (screw up with tech there too)….then take them to Caprica (we know what happens there)—each time starting them over and over from a certain point in tech (ie pre sailing ships). This would allow them to forget their history (where they really came from) each time…except in legend.
3) My personal favorite–RDM likes the idea of Adama building a boat and he’s just messing with Chuck specifically 🙂
Whew–long post–sorry. I’m usually more succinct…
Peace out yo!
sorry if this was already posted or discussed. i’m drowning in work and haven’t been reading the blog. wanted to drop this link in case it’s news to you.
WARNING WARNING! Sorry for not mentioning above, but there are potential spoilers in the above link!
I always thought Caprica Buccaneers = C-Bucs…
Thanks for posting that Steviespin, but I don’t think there were any spoilers to worry about. I am so happy Lucy Lawless is returning. I have never seen Xena, but I really love Lucy in this role. It is such as interesting character and they have used her as a vehicle. You just know when you see her on the screen the story is about to move forward.
Related to the ships is that they managed to keep The Arrow of Apollo the whole time, but still forgot where Kobol were. How did they manage that?
Phil and GWC Trio: Yep, C-Bucs is clearly a shortened form of Caprica Buccaneers; Helo first refers to the folks they meet as “the Caprica Buccaneers,” and then Anders tells Kara when she asks if all the resistance members are pyramid players, “No, just us C-Bucs.” So, does that make the quarter bet a draw?
For whatever reason watching the last two rewatches…it really hit me how weird it is that Chief Tyrol’s wife shot and killed his former lover.
Also, it seemed that Adama was extremely conflicted about Boomer being a machine or not and I wonder if that played into his sentence of Callie’s Jack Ruby move.
A quick and unintelligent thought on the water ships and space ships: Disney beat us to it.
That would be one of the funniest moments in the show if they ran across wreckage of one of their older ships and it was like the treasure planet movie.
I love this episode because of Katie Sackhoff’s performance. To go from the hardass starbuck into such a vulnerable broken down position shows a tremendous dramatic range. And, she was believable which I think is really hard to pull off.
So I bolted out of bed the other night with a thought, and please tell me if this has been discussed before. Has anyone noticed that their are 12 colonies, and 12 cylon models? Why 12 models? why not 8 or 15, or 24? Could this mean there is a mythical thirteenth cylon (their “god” if you will) just like there is a 13th colony? Anyway, thought it might spark some interest.
dh71—from one dave to another–that is kinda intersting. One cylon for every colony…that is a little coincidental. And couldnt have escaped RDM’s radar. Adn their Cylon God could be 13th AND why they want to find Earth now as much as the humans do……….
damn dude, you might be on to something….
Dh71, I don’t know about if their god will turn out to be the 13th one, but I do know there is a “13th Cylon” on this board! But seriously, the numbers chosen in the show are interesting and one can read how Larson tried to work his religion into some of his creations. 12 Tribes of Kobol and the 12 Tribes of Israel and didn’t Jesus have 12 disciples? On wikipedia you can read how the idea of Kobol mirrors in certain ways the Mormon belief in a plant called Kolob (Larson was a Mormon).
So I think the # of Cylons models matches the # of tribes probably just because they wanted to keep the 12-motif going.
Meanwhile, back on “The Farm”…why did the fact Simon knew Kara’s call sign tip her off that he was a Cylon? Some other member of the resistance could have mentioned that to him innocently right? Somebody could have said “please save Starbuck” right?
Audra made that same observation in a podcast from many, many moons ago. “I never told you my name was Starbuck!” “Uh, it’s on your jacket”. “My bad”.
I too thought it was odd, but hey, it worked out, didn’t it? Besides, she would have killed him anyway for lying about Anders being dead. He was a goner no matter what.
Melissa (aka the Fair Melissa) Says:
July 31st, 2007 at 6:25 pm
Audra made that same observation in a podcast from many, many moons ago. â€œI never told you my name was Starbuck!â€ â€œUh, itâ€™s on your jacketâ€. â€œMy badâ€.
…and why? Cuz Audra is the coolest!! 🙂
Now Audra is the “Coolest” and Chuck is “Awesome” and that just leaves Sean as, well…Sean! He needs a nick too. Let’s start a poll!
This episode kinda makes me uncomfortable. Although, Starbuck’s escape from the Farm rocks.
When I first saw this, I thought Anders was hot, but boring. I even called him “Blanders” in my head. Now, I can’t imagine the show without him!
Radio Picon–I agree 100%!
Let’s see…. Sean had a girl sing him Happy Birthday….how about Pimp-o-dopolous? Or the Man of Many Imitations?
Long as is ain’t “Who’s ba-a-a-a-a-aad” (sorry -that pun hurt typing it)
Seriously – what does the group think Seans nickname should be?
Radio Picon, Ok, I do see your point about the 12 tribes being a real-life historical religious reference, but are you saying that there are 12 cylons because the writers just thought it was part of the ongoing theme of the show? Or is there an actual relation to the story? Why DID the cylons pick twelve models? Would they choose to mimick the human culture they claim to abhor? I mean if were talking about clones here, why not just make one? I just can’t shake the feeling that there is more of a connection here to the actual story than just a religious interest or belief of the writer/ creator of the show. I’m not trying to be argumentative, just working it out in my head. Thanks for the input.
I agree with what was said earlier, the colonists didnt have the means to continue their standard of living and had to revert to older technology
Just look at New Caprica, it certainly wasnt full of skyscrapers
“The Cool one, the Awesome one, and Sean. Just Sean.”
July 30th, 2007 at 6:24 pm
Related to the ships is that they managed to keep The Arrow of Apollo the whole time, but still forgot where Kobol were. How did they manage that?
I can see that they would forget where Kobol was mainly we do that here. It took a long time for us to find the city of Troy and we still haven’t found the city of Alantis.. So even in our reality we have lost citys but have kept artifacts. So to me it could be beliveable they were not sure where kobol was but still had items from that planet.
How about Awesome, Coolest, and Partly Evil?
Great point about artifacts, shrekjdr.
As far as the meaning of 12 models to 12 Colonies, RDM has said that the Cylons created each model of skinjob to reflect a different facet of humanity. Basically, they looked at humans and said, “There are only twelve of you.” And then they built the 12 models. It’s pretty obvious the personality type or facets that models like Cavil, Leoben, and Six represent. anyone got ideas about the others?
I would take that sharon facet is her loyalty. Since Boomer was very loyal to the Chief and Athena is loyal to Helo as well as Adama.
We have artifacts, yes. But i can’t come up with anything close to something like the Arrow of Apollo.
Here it’s something closely tied to their religion and it’s in a very good condition, so I assume that they have kept it in good care the whole time.
Stroogie, good question. But I don’t know if Cylons like Sharon (#8, I can’t remember) have a well-defined personality type…other than wishy-washy! haha. The D’Annas might be considered obsessive, I don’t know if her current quest for the Final 5 shows a religious bent or is more indicative of her obsessive personality. Simon, I don’t know…scientific? Doral…a seething psycho underneath a creepy, fake polished veneer…and a snappy dresser!
I can’t believe noone has made the link yet!
With all of the references to Douglas Adams Hitchhiker series, noone has borought up that there were TALKING TOASTERS in the series and novels!
My Gods…that’s the true Cylon God! It’s a talking toaster!
Wait a minute, there was one on Red Dwarf as well! the 13th Cylon is a TOASTER!
Oh wait…there’s more!!!
Egad…the Cylons are here already!!!!!!!! They are waiting to toast us to death…
Well for something the same as the Arrow of Apollo I am not sure if there is anything we can compare right to that but it was just a myth that the arrow would actually work. but there could be something out there that doesnt seem like much but could have the same meaning such as items from Crete where the Minotaur story comes from and we know that story from poems books and art work. But we have weapons from that time perios and area who knows if something from that myth ina BSG world could be like the arrow of apollo.
I would guess that one of the equivalents in our world to the Arrow of Apollo would be the Shroud of Turin, or maybe the Sancta Camisia in Chartres. Obviously, there are those who believe these artifacts to be real, while others consider them forgeries, but given the Adama et al’s reaction to Starbuck’s mission, I’d suspect a number of Colonials were skeptical of the veracity of the AofA as well.
I think they accepted the arrow was from their past on Kobol. But I think they were skeptical of it meaning anything, and of it being able to “open the tomb of Athena”.
Using the Shroud of Turin analogy mentioned above, I think it would be as if it was proved and we all accepted that the shroud was from an ancient figure named Jesus, it’s just that nobody cared anymore…because the religious notion of Jesus had faded away through time.
That’s an interesting thought regarding the Cylon theory of twelve well- defined human traits worth copying. It’s even more interesting to wonder why they did not try, or if they did try why they failed to integrate multiple traits into a single Cylon. It seems like something they might want to pursue, whether they could acchieve optimum amounts of characteristics or desirable proportions of traits in a humanoid Cylon model.
Also, regarding the thread that was up earlier for the Razor teaser trailer frak-party, there was some conjecture over Kendra Shaw’s accent. I’m wishing I’d bet a quarter now because in an interview, KS confirms that the actress, Stephanie Nolastname (KS couldn’t remember) is an Aussie. KS also says she’s “very good” in Razor, and confirms that though she’s in both parts of the movie, she’s got a very small role. Tricia and Mary have similarly small parts as do most of the Galactica regulars. Which we suspected and I really don’t mind, much as I love them. I wanna know what the hell happened on Pegasus.
this is off topic but just watched the bsg panel from SD comic con on you tube..very cool..xena is back!
Radio Picon: AWESOME idea. Let’s get Sean a nickname. He’s the Funny Guy so maybe we should go w that? How about The Joker? Wait, I think that’s taken. Private Joker? Nah, Sean’s an artist not a killer. [Chuck must think he’s Mickey Frakkin’ Spillane] What about Spider? He thought Pesci was “funny”. Maybe Sean doesnt want to get shot (often). Seanfeld? Hmmm…
July 30th, 2007 at 2:14 pm
Phil: Post away regarding the ship! Iâ€™m still on board.
Puns aside, youâ€™re totally addressing the part of the discussion I think is still interesting.
I have a sinking feeling you’re going overboard w this ship thing. We should torpedo the whole discussion. I just don’t think you can keep that discussion afloat. Stop sailing away on that tangent; it could scuttle the whole frakparty. You’re making a Titanic mistake keeping this going!
I’ve always been one to sail against the tide…
Man, Chuck, Phil, you guys are like two ships passing in the night. I’d need a foghorn to get your attention.
That was weak. Someone better throw me a life preserver. Wait, there’s a buoy I can cling to.
Phil and Gray are AWESOME!
I don’t get your drift…
Chuck et al – why are you trying to asSAIL us with these frigate puns! You’re always making waves.
I’m not one to rock the boat. I think you’re ship-shape yourself!
getting seasick right now from the pun-ishment
You know what this episode reminds me of? That Anders is so hot…and there are many, many copies… 🙂 Dave, the episode you are thinking if is Taking a Break from All your Worries.
I agree, this episode gives me the creeps in that, “Wow, that could really happen” way. I mean, you have this situation, i.e. the nuclear holocaust that has wiped out all but a handful of people. Even Laura is on the baby bandwagon. She tells Adama in the mini that we need to find a place to hide and start having babies if they want to survive. Isnt it surprising though how we never hear them talking about it again? Since the entire species will be exstinct if they dont do something, maybe some government incentives are in order…want off the tillium ship? Sign up for our new species replenishment program. Hot meals, fresh water, spacious accomodations on the Astral Queen…I mean…our newly renovated passenger ship.
And how about Sharon just poofing back to them. If she was so worried about keeping track of them, why did she take off in the raider to begin with? And, she didnt bring the raider back but shows up with a shiny new heavy raider? Now, while this is certainly helpful in getting all three of them off the planet, she could use some work on her communication skills. She was obviously with the Cylons since she knew where they were holding Kara. What else was she up to while she was gone and how did she get the raider without anyone knowing she had it. They have those transponders, cant the Cylons just track where the raider went?
Did I mention that Sam is HOT?
actually, the boxing ring scene was from “Unfinished Business”. thats when tyrol and adama get down n durty with the gloves….. um, that didnt sound right.
back to “the Farm”…. Katee Sackhoff is AMAZING in this ep, running the gamut of emotions. i had read a theory in BattlestarWiki, a while back, about Kara’s broken fingers. the theory was so much more interesting than what was actually revealed in the show. the theory was that little kara was caught playing her dad’s piano, and the key cover was violently slammed on her hands.
when i first saw this ep, i was a little upset over the Kara/Anders hookup. yes, i am one of the FEW people who like the Kara/Lee relationship. firstly, because they are TRUE FRIENDS, and that really goes a long way in my book. i’m sappy that way. i also like that kara and lee are so different. opposites attract, again i totally dig that. the second time i watched this episode (which was a good while later), i was PRO Kara/Anders, because anders was SO MUCH LIKE KARA, and that seemed “perfect” in theory–PLUS THEY ARE UBER-HOT TOGETHER.
this is the third time i watched this ep, and now all i can think is that kara is a royal frak-up in relationships, period.
sharon makes me sick with her “you’re the father of my child” craaaaaaap!!!!! she’s still shifty in my book.
and a big shout out to Lee! Zarek lost another one, and i loved the pained look on his face!
Phil, Dave and Gray continue their AWESOME naval campaign!
Catching up on the past few casts. Chuck, love you, think you’re the driving force of this podcast, but it seems to me you’re stepping on Audra more and more over the past year. Maybe I am being paranoid cause I like hearing Audra so much but I sense a little more edge and superiority when you cut her off, correct her, etc.
Just one guys opinion and only taking the time to mention cause i love the cast so much.
Okay, so I begin my maiden voyage (and solo I might add) to Dallas in just a little while.
I’m a little shaky, and it might take a while to get my sea-legs.
Hopefully, I won’t run into any squalls on the way.
So, in conclusion, I’m going to mix my metaphors (and shows) and say, “Buster, get us a channel to the ocean. And take us to sea, Mr. Murdoch.”
Sean might have been a bit too hasty:
Can I just point out that there is NO SUCH THING as a “First Annual”? I hate that. Hate it.
To be fair to Sean, he did pay up on the quarter bet, so that makes him a good sport.
I think “The Farm” is creepy because anything that interferes with natural human reproduction has a spine chilling “yuck factor” to it. It’s interesting to note that by the end of Season 3 we still don’t know what all that Farm business was really about. The numbered Cylons seem to reproduce, or at least revive, out of bath tubs of wet and watery wall paper goo. Maybe only a small proportion of humans are suitable to be used as templates for new Cylon models, so they need to Farm a lot of humans to get just a few Cylons. Kind of “the fish John West rejects makes John West the best” thing may be happening.
But why just human females? Do they only need human female plumbing to make new Cylons? If this is true this has implications for whats happening in the Fleet at the end of Series 3. Presumably Chief + Kaylee = Nikki is just old school Cylonic reproduction and thus not of celestial importance where Halo + Athena = Hera is something “out of the box” new.
The whole idea of Cylon-kind exploring sexual reproduction makes a lot of sense. The Cylons we know and love so far are really a bunch of clones. Identicals reproduced from a founder population. There is thus limited opportunity for individuality. Clone populations, like farming monocultures based on the same founder crop, are highly susceptible to disease. We know from later episodes in Series 3 that biological weapons are capable of ravaging Cylon Base-stars. The humans know this too but have so far, thanks to Helo’s intervention, not actually used this bio-weapon tactically.
This all gets down to the issue “Are Males Necessary?” There is some neat discussion of this in an article by science journalist Chet Raymo (see here) I will cut and paste some relevant paragraphs.
“In many species, males do little except provide sperm, then head off to the ball game or the club, so to speak. The female gets stuck with all the work of caring for the offspring.
If natural selection is all about insuring the survival of an individual’s genes, then the rate of genomic replication would be increased if all individuals of a species were born female and reproduced asexually, without need of males. As Rasmus Nielsen writes in the February 17 issue of Science: “[Asexually] reproducing females arising in a sexual population should have a twofold fitness advantage because they, on average, leave twice as many gene copies in the next generation.”
Yet most complex organisms are sexual. So how did sexual reproduction arise? And why is it maintained?
It is commonly held that shuffling genes between two sets of chromosomes helps counter the effects of harmful mutations. In the analogy of the geneticist John Maynard-Smith, it’s like owing two cars, both of which have a (different) nonfunctioning part. By moving parts about, you can often get at least one car going.
In the same issue of Science, Susanne Paland and Michael Lynch present a nifty experiment that shows males do have a role to play in keeping genes intact.
Paland and Lynch worked with populations of the water flea, Daphnia pulex, which conveniently comes in two varieties: sexual and asexual. They watched 14 asexual populations (all female) and 14 sexual populations (male and female). And lo and behold, as the theorists guessed, the sexual populations had a lower rate of deleterious mutations. Four times lower.
He fleas do apparently help she fleas get rid of broken genes. Having a male around is like keeping a junk car in the yard to use for parts.”
See, so Helo really is useful! 🙂
Melissa, are you a programmer? Would Zeroth Annual be better?
Pike – no, I am not a programmer. I am the daughter of a newspaper publisher. He used to cringe whenever his paper would accept print ads that said “First Annual” – because unless you are psychic, you have no way of knowing if your event will become an annual event. The better term is “inaugural” and then “second annual” and so on. It’s a multigenerational pet peeve.