August 19, 2007

GWC Podcast #59

Is it just us, or does Final Cut seem more like a “filler episode” the second time ’round? Highlights: We close the book on “penultimate” and the ship, let on how we MST3K the episodes when we watch together, relate an opening-night Star Trek story, dish on our favorite Halloween costume ideas, and gush about how much we love next week’s episode.

41 Responses to "GWC Podcast #59"
  1. Architect says:

    Great podcast as always. I did like this episode even though it did harked back to that one M.A.S.H episode – but plot devices like this, as you guys mentioned, really is more about character building / back story insights than anything else. The fact that we can look back to this episode from developments that continue into the third season, particularly the Kat storyline, makes this one of the key shows. It sure did loosen up the Gaeta character.

    With regard to Phil’s comments about the Tomb of Athena map. I agree with what he said only because I raised a similar point in your Home Pt1 + Pt2 Frak Party thread. I did sugest that maybe Starbuck was wrong to assume that they were standing on Earth – Maybe the 12 constellations in the sky represented nothing more than telling whomever was in the “map room” that this was the starting point i.e. “You Are Here”. The Nebula represented a destination point where, as we know now, another pointer would be established for further guidance. Hence, the hyper-real depiction of those elements in the map.

    Now that was just a hypothesis. To be more realistic, if that can be applied here :-), the 12 constellations depicted can only be seen from Earth in those configurations. And maybe Starbuck was correct. This raises another question. If the 13th Colony left on their seperate path, presumably never to be heard from again, what is this map doing on Kobol and how did it get recorded into the Book of Pythia? Maybe they came back and left a clue on Kobol. Why? For that matter, how did the Arrow end back up in the Colonies? There’s an interesting story there I think – maybe something for a fan-fic or something.

    What if it was something else? What if Earth *really* was the originating planet afterall? Colonists (hence the term) from Earth went out, one group that was more successful, founded Kobol and the story went on from there. Time passes and Earth was forgotten or relagated to myth ala The Foundation Series during the Kobol period. Maybe people of the so called 13th Colony believed in it more and tried to go back when their society was, presumably, falling aaprt around them. Part of the “circle of time” concept.

    OK, look – I know that I am on this whole where did they come from and why Earth kick – sorry about that. This is OT and maybe should belong under the “Big Questions” topic.

    Anyway, great podcasts – can’t wait to hear next week’s discussion on FOTP. That really was a feel good episode that highlighted Chief’s role within the fleet and he’s stature among the crew.

    Thanks all.

  2. Jim says:

    Well I thought Number 21 and Number 24 were really good this episode and Dr. Girlfriend was that a Leeloo outfit or what!

    oops! wrong podcast


  3. Jim says:

    Sorry I just watched two seasons of the Venture Bros.


  4. Altair IV says:

    A couple of thoughts….

    It was great that Diana Biers / Lucy Lawless was able to retain her authentic New Zealand accent. Most US made TV shows for some reason seem incapable of handling Australian or New Zealand accents. They often seem to assume English, cockney or only the broadest “strine” accents (i.e. The Crocodile Man) are acceptable. Sometimes Australian and New Zealand actors working in the US have to learn to speak a fake Hollywood imagined Australasian accent rather than their native one.

    When the Mad Max / Road Warrior movies first came out in the US market, it was decided that the Australian voices of the original cast needed to be dubbed for the benefit of American audiences. I think in later releases this was changed.

    This is not a completely insane practice of course. When my (Australian) father was visiting Georgia, most people couldn’t understand him and my mother had to provide translations.

    [Anyone interested in hearing what real Australasian accents actually sound like could check out the MP3 samples online here.]

    Did anyone else notice the MiniDV tape that Diana Biers lifted and transmitted back to the BaseStar Cylonia? It’s four sided like an ordinary old Earthling cassette. Maybe they decided not to try to cut the corners off.

    I also think the cassette tape had been re-used. If you look very closely, it had some pencil writing on it. From what I could make out it originally had written on it “Jimi Hendricks Live – Isle of Wight Festival (1970)”, but you had to have a combination of bad TV reception and an a very good imagination to see it! Could this be a clue??

  5. Dave says:

    yeah, I agree, Final Cut does feel liek a filler episode – especially with the rewatch.
    Did like the old galactica theme whistled by “Scruffy”. Heheheheh
    But liek you–cant wait until next week…already hav a ffew questions…..

    peace out yo!


  6. Mark in Sandy Eggo says:

    Audra, Sean and Chuck,
    I think you completely missed the point on how the constellations can be used to find Earth. The point is that if you got to the unique nebula which is within one of the constellations, that the constellation on the opposite side of the circle of constellations WOULD be the same as if you are on Earth. The other ten constellations would not line up, but the one on the opposite side of the zodiac would. Take a look at the picture at

    For example, if the nebula (and Galactica) were in the constellation Taurus, then the only constellation that would look correct is Scorpio. So, you just drive to Scorpio until the rest of the constellations come into alignment. If you think about it, you will see that the use of the star map is viable.

  7. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Joining Facebook — I wish I could. I really wish I could. Alas, I cannot for a whole lotta reasons. There are reasons why I have to use a pseudonym now as it is.

    RHPS — Some of the episodes do indeed lend themselves to such a viewing style.

    Kat’s hair as a barometer of freakiness — Did the stims cause the frizziness? Such frizziness went away somewhat in episodes after Final Cut as she possibly started cutting back.

    Character-building nature of this episode — Details in this episode pay off later. Kat being a stim junkie comes into play when her checkered past as a drug runner is unveiled. The baby sets up a big arc lasting well into the third season and possibly further even. D’anna’s weirdness did not pop up quite just yet in this one but the reveal as a Cylon was necessary to set up that up. I would not necessarily say that this episode was filler but instead was just a convenient way to set up a whole lotta arcs to play out for a while.

    Undergarments discussion — Not sure how long of a bargepole I would need for that

    Uncontroversial nature of the episode — What still sticks in my mind was the mention in the RDM podcast about Saul finding Ellen tied up and an earlier thought for the line was: “Not tonight Ellen, I’m tired”. I can only imagine what would have been if that line was used instead of what was used.

    Visiting Las Vegas — Go for it! Shortest possible trip for a meet-up for me.

    Happy Ending — Doctor Who has a similar lack. Only once have they had a story since the re-start in 2005 where really nobody died.

    Talk about astronomy — Call the Public Affairs Office of any NASA Center to try to track down a scientist. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland or Ames Research Center in California at Moffatt Field would likely have people who could help you out best. Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland might be able to connect you with a scientist too. Johnson Space Center might have someone who could help but they’ve got other concerns at the moment in terms of a storm system named Dean.

  8. Sean O'Hara says:

    LOL!! Jim that’s an uber sweet Leeloo ref. on the Dr. Girlfriend outfit. You frakkin rule!

    I can’t wait till season 3 of Venture Bros. They left it off with Dr. Girlfriend telling him her secret, that kills me!

  9. Trak101 says:

    And to add to what Mark in (Leggo My) Sandy Eggo said: Using that method would help the Colonists find our star system and while the constellations are so far away that they retain their shape when viewed from any planet in our Solar System, I somehow doubt that the Colonists would land on Mars thinking it’s Earth. They’d be looking for a habitable planet, and Mars ain’t it.

    Just my 2 bits…

    PS: My wife sticks paper money in her busenhalter at times…

    PPS: This episode really feels like a filler in part because it follows such an intense and long story arc…

  10. Jim says:


    Try this link he is one of the creators of “Venture Bros”. That show is not for the faint of heart. Molotov Cocktease could give SIX a run for her money. Dr. Girlfriend (or Dr. Wife) secret will be nothing like what we think it is , I bet a quarter.


  11. Phil says:


    Thanks for the clarification on my call about the map, and the figure helps a lot in making the point.

    BTW, I hope everybody got that the “Second point about the ship…” was a joke. A sure sign of failure is when you have to explain it, oh well…

  12. Kirsten says:

    I just wanted to add my thoughts on the star map concept. From what I remember from my astronomy class, if one stood on “earth” and looked at the constellations, then he could find the distance between the stars themselves. This would work simply by making parallax measurements over the course of several days (if not months) because it takes into consideration earth’s orbit around the sun. Doing this would allow one to theoretically find the relative distances between the stars in the constellations, so even if you were looking at the stars from a different “angle” so to say, the distances would remain the same. Finding the measurements of the constellation directly beside that one would give a more complete direction to go toward earth.

    Now, I realize this would probably not work being that all constellations are definitely not visible at the same time in the sky. The concept itself is interesting, but I doubt the writers were worried about authenticity of the map. However, just a thought. Anyways, for a more complete explanation of the theory in case you’re interested:

  13. Pike says:

    Kirsten, if I’m following what you’re saying, it wouldn’t apply to the Kobol map (at least as we’ve seen it.) Parallax works because you’re comparing two (at least) different maps (one on either side of the earth’s orbit) and noting the differences. As far as we’ve seen, there’s just one Kobol map, so they wouldn’t be able to calculate the difference b/t the stars in the constellations.

    OTOH, once they get a candidate constellation, they’ve got an exceptionally good parallax observatory, as they can use the FTL to take measurements light years apart!

  14. Gryper says:

    On the questions about the constellations, you could try to contact Pamela Gay who does the Astronomy Cast. Here’s a link to her page:

    I listen to her podcast and at least she speaks in language that everyone interested as a hobbyist can understand. 🙂

  15. Number 13 says:

    I sense a interview podcast in the future. Maybe trusty ol’ Lawyer Bill Watkinson can shed some light on the legality of all the astronomy and guiding 49,000 individuals by it lol. Seriously though, I was just thinking the other day about how he must return for the rewatch of the Baltar trial episodes. Perhaps he’s the final Cylon…

  16. master1228 says:

    Audra, was the movie you were thinking about with a guy pulling a sandwich from his pants The Simpsons Movie? Wasn’t that Homer Simpson pulling a hero out of his pants after Bart used his slingshot to knock his first sandwich out of his hands?

    Hey hey hey, everyone’s talking about Starbuck’s face after seeing Apollo’s butt, BUT what about D’Anna and her cameraman seeing Cat’s butt after her towel fight with Hot Dog while she’s hamming it up for the camera? Now, Cat doesn’t quite do it for me, but moreso than Apollo!

  17. Starbuccaneer says:

    Audra, if you really carried your OED around in your bosom you would be my hero. Just the fact that you own the 27 volume complete edition further solidifies your position as “coolest.”

    Re: D’Anna’s reactions to Apollo’s and Kat’s goodies– I had this impression that she wasn’t as lusty as Cavil nor as love-driven as Six and Sharon. She seems to be consummately coy/flirty and to enjoy flirting just for the pleasure of playing with the dynamics of those situations. I think, now that I’ve done the rewatch, that I started developing that characterization after seeing the way she seemed to challenge both Apollo and Kat with that arched eyebrow. It’s like she’s saying, “I’m thoroughly unimpressed… but amused enough to let you do this some more.” I wish she hadn’t been boxed; she was the most interesting model, IMO.

  18. Stroogie says:

    I’m glad you guys are updating the website, ’cause “This one’s startin’ to lose it’s pizz-ayahhzzz.” 🙂

  19. Number 13 says:

    Hey guys, it’s off topic (as usual), but check out this official BSG propaganda poster. I thought it was pretty clever.:
    Also, if you click the BSG tab at the top, you can see a really cool miniature basestar prototype.

  20. Pike says:

    13, Awesomeness!

    Browncoat Bonus: Blue Sun Travel Posters!

  21. Gryper says:

    Thanks for the link 13. Cool stuff on there…I want a set of BSG dog tags!

  22. Radio Picon says:

    My idea of a “filler” episode was that abysmal “The Woman King” or the one with the prison ship (aside from the fact that it introduced Zarek). This one didn’t move the story along too much, but it did a little in that we saw a little more about Cylon intelligence-gathering. But I still don’t know what happened to D’Anna at the end, whether she “transported” off Galactica or what.

    If Chuck is “awesome” then Audra is “awesomely proactive” ! 😉

  23. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Radio Picon: Where would anyone have had a SIGINT unit in the fleet as we knew it at that point? I would not think that D’Anna would have “transported” off Galactica. Now, using a Raider as a comm relay for covert signal…that doesn’t take too much to do even in our contemporary world.

  24. Radio Picon says:

    Alpaca, what is a SIGINT? So do you think this D’Anna remained in the fleet and then rejoined the Cylons once they settled on New Caprica? I wondered that myself. I do, however, think the case is strong for “transporting” of some kind…we know Shelley Godfrey supposedly turned a corner and disappeared.

    Alas, I doubt the writers will ever address this and it will be left to our (pro) active imaginations. (sorry Audra, I can’t stop!)

  25. The Alpaca Herder says:

    SIGINT: Signals Intelligence. Such is the variety of intelligence work that involves plucking signals out of the air and decrypting them or otherwise analyzing them. In the US such work is performed by National Security Agency/Central Security Service. NSA does the analytical work while CSS is made up of the actual folks who fly planes, sail boats, and the like to pick up the signals to be analyzed. This can range to trying to find new and unknown radar installations to prevent your planes getting shot down over enemy territory to tracking down “numbers broadcasts” that may be ordering around enemy agents in your midst. In the past decade in Florida there was an espionage case successfully prosecuted against some folks alleged to be Cuban agents receiving orders from Cuba via shortwave radio numbers transmissions.

    Considering that the Galactica was being decommissioned and was the only military capital vessel in the fleet as of that point in the story it would have been highly unlikely they would have had the resources to pick signals up like that. That just would not have fit into the battlestar being converted into a museum for the Ministry of Education. When they join up with the Pegasus I would imagine such a capability could have been restored, though. Although Adama and Tigh had run black ops missions before (the whole matter with Bulldog) I doubt conversion of a vessel as was originally planned for the Galactica would have allowed the tools and personnnel needed to have stayed.

  26. Number 13 says:

    Pike & Gryper- Glad to see that you guys like it. They’re also going to be cranking out some classic sci-fi stuff, like Forbidden Planet and War of the Worlds (the old George Pal one) props and miniatures.

  27. Pike says:

    13, Nice.

    Keep us up to date. That will never be off-topic here. (Is there anything that really is? Seriously. Aside from the ship…(square-rigged. labor-intensive. what does that tell you?! Sorry.)

  28. Andy L says:

    Another way to use the Kobol map, although it doesn’t really fit into the story, would be to use spectral analysis. IF (big if) the map is a TRUE representation of the stars, including an accurate depiction of their emitted light, it would be possible to use that to locate individual stars within the constellations.

    For example, Antares (the heart of Scorpio) is a very easily identified star. It’s spectral classification is, while not completely unique, is rare, as Antares is a double star system, with the primary being a M1.5Iab-2b supergiant, and the companion being a B4Ve main sequence star. Together, the spectral signature would be as identifiable as a fingerprint. Snag at least three different stellar signatures… bada boom, bada bing, you have a 3-D map of the neighborhood. Everything else can be interpolated. The problem comes when you are in a completely different part of the galaxy. That’s where the nebulae can come into play, even though globular clusters outside the galaxy would be an even better signpost… but they aren’t as pretty on film as nebulae. 🙂

    As to whether the constellations of the Zodiac will line up when viewed from an outside source… I don’t think so. A difference of only a light year’s displacement will fundamentally change the alignment of the stars as viewed by the observer… especially the ones which are much farther off. So, exactly where in the star formation do you place yourself… not forgetting that these formations are three-dimensional assemblies, and while they may only take up a few degrees in the Earth’s sky, they span hundreds of light years out where the stars are.

    Disclaimer: I am not a scientist, but have been an amateur astronomer for the last 25 years. Galactica usually tries to get it right, scientifically. That is one of the reasons that I like the show. I can forgive the necessity for the “willing suspension of disbelief” that fiction sometimes requires.

    As to a SIGINT unit twigging to DeAnna’s transmission… it is really hard to capture a burst transmission, especially if they are using frequency shifting technology. And I agree with Alpaca Herder’s assessment of their intel capabilities at this point. A signals intercept suite would likely not have been high on the list of areas the Ministry of Defence would have wanted open to the public on the Galactica.

  29. Armando says:

    Hey guys-

    Working my way through the podcast, slowly, as usual (and now that my commute has virtually disappeared, it will take me even longer to listen to it if I continue listening to it in the car!). Just wanted to drop in my two cents on a potential GWC “convention” in Vegas. While I’m not a big fan of the Vegas experience, I would be totally up for it and would love a chance to come up there and hang with all of you “galactigeeks.” And I already have permission from the wife, so just say the word and I’m there!

  30. Starbuccaneer says:

    Alpaca Herder: one of my bizarre passions (outside of BGS, of course) is Cuban history and US Cuba politics. The fact that your most recent post included both is the Best. Thing. Ever.

  31. Radio Picon says:

    I think we often underestimate the technology in the BSG universe and apply too much modern technology to their world. They are a century or two ahead of us and the equipment one might need to receive and analyze all radio bands at once might fit in your nose. Well, it should anyway, but RDM does dumb stuff down…or “Hollywood” it down.

    The radio talk brings me to something else, I think the Cylons use something more like Star Trek’s lovely oh-so-convenient “subspace” radio. In the episode in S4 with the virus-infected basestar, Baltar hears the Cylons say they had lost contact with their basestar at the nebula. They had to travel to it to investigate and leave other ships out of range. This certainly implied they weren’t in the same solar system, which would be mean their signals travel faster than light (otherwise they’d have to wait a couple of years to know they lost contact…and we know the virus acts fast.)

    And the star map thingy…that seemed pretty easy to me. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there were no unknown variables in that. They already knew those constellations right? They also knew the nebula, so a computer should be able to narrow down Earth’s star to a smaller group to explore…bearing in mind there are many other computers in the fleet than just Galactica’s 50-year-old ones (which should still be a 100 years or so ahead of ours)

  32. Phil says:

    Hi Andy L-

    While you’re right that a slight displacement will typically change the alignment, I think the differences here is that the constellations of the Zodiac are a special case. With all the constellations lying in the ecliptic (Earths orbit around the sun) that means they are within the same plane with respect to one another. Therefore, if an observer is sitting within one constellation (I know ‘within’ a constellation is not a particularly precise term), then they with be directly across the plane from the opposite constellation. Therefore, they will only be displaced along the same sight line with respect to Earth, and the constellation should look similar (if a bit smaller) to the way it looks to us. Actually, the one way it may look different is that our Sun should be sitting smack dab in the middle of it.

    Now I will add the disclaimer that this all works ‘in theory’ and may not be practical for other reasons. However, no one knows whether any of the theoretically sound conventions of sci-fi are actually practical.

    You are right that it would have been simpler for the map to direct them to the Lagoon nebula and then give them the spectral classification of the sun, but the difficulty would be in communicating that in a way the Colonials would understand. Also, it would have been significantly less cool.


    Given the penchant for tangents on the podcasts and boards and the latitude given to pursue a wide range of discussions here, I take some pride in initiating the one topic to eventually become banned on GWC. 😉

  33. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Radio Picon: I would not regard it as much of a technological issue as a procedural one. I would not doubt the technology indeed exist in RDM’s universe. Given the cultural parallels and how the Galactica was originally decommissioned I just cannot imagine the relevant equipment was still aboard as such would not be something for civilians to see or play with. When Galactica jumped to Ragnar they picked up munitions and seemingly nothing else.

    Could such equipment be in place? Yes. Based upon what we’ve seen in what we are regarding as canon can it be considered whether or not such is in place and being used? No, not really.

  34. Number 13 says:

    Phil- What was this banned topic? My interest is peaked.

  35. Phil says:

    Hey 13-

    A certain miniature replica of a wind powered nautical vessel…

  36. Audra says:

    Starbuccaneer wrote: Audra, if you really carried your OED around in your bosom you would be my hero. Just the fact that you own the 27 volume complete edition further solidifies your position as “coolest.”

    Lol, thanks! I do own the 27-volume condensed OED, but that twenty-pound hardcover might be a wee bit difficult to conceal in there.

    Radio Picon wrote: If Chuck is “awesome” then Audra is “awesomely proactive” !


  37. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Audra: Think OED is bad for its weight? NUCMC is worse let alone any of the bigger multi-volume biblical commentaries.

  38. Kappa says:

    Okay, I just want to see if I’m understanding the discussion of how the zodiac map works. So, it’s tricky to use constellations as part of a map because constellations represent how stars are apparently configured from one set vantage point. So even if you’re close enough to the vantage point from which the observations were made–in this case, Earth–so that there aren’t too many intervening stars, you could very well be looking at it from a different angle, causing distortion. But it wouldn’t just be the kind of distortion you see in, for example, a 3/4 profile of a face, where the features on one side of the face are drawn smaller and shorter to simulate depth. Constellations are three-dimensional “objects” that are squashed into two-dimensional pictures due to our perspective, and stars that look close in the sky can actually be light years apart, depth-wise; a related example would be how planets look like they’re “in” the zodiac constellations throughout the year, but we know that the planets are relatively very, very close to us, whereas the stars are very, very far away. So instead of a drawing of a face, looking at constellations in three-dimensional space is more like walking into Salvador Dali’s “Mae West Room”; from inside or from any side-view of the room, it looks like a room filled with odd furniture, but from one place in front of the room, the furniture looks like a portrait of Mae West.

    Anyway, the argument is that since the constellations of the zodiac are all on the ecliptic, or all on the same plane, if you get level with that plane, that puts you in the right perspective, which should solve the depth and foreshortening problems, so you should be able to see the zodiac sign opposite your position. Essentially, you’re on the same eye-line that Earth is, even though you’re farther away from the constellation you’re looking at than Earth is, and Earth’s sun is between you and the constellation, thus adding one more star to the constellation. So let’s say they get to the Lagoon Nebula and start looking around for a constellation that looks like one in the star map. So long as the nebula isn’t too far away from Earth that there are lots of extra, intervening stars, if the nebula is “in” Scorpius, they should be able to look in different directions from that vantage point and eventually see
    the constellation opposite Scorpius, which I think would be Taurus. All the other constellations might still look wonky, depending on how far away they are from Earth, because they’re not sharing Earth’s line of sight when looking at the other constellations in this situation, but all they need is one to look right to know which direction they should go.

    So if I’m looking for a constellation that looks like this…

    * *

    * *
    * * * *

    …if I know I’m opposite it by being at a particular point in space, I need to look in all directions from that point (I would think their computers could do that much) until I found that star pattern. When the constellation looked right, I would know that I’d found the right line of sight–the line that the points of where I am and the place that shares that same view of the constellation: Earth. So then I’d just keep chugging along down that line until I ran into the good old Solar System.

    – –
    – –
    you are here —> * sun (: opposite constellation looks right from
    – – this perspective, even though the
    – – others could still look like the Mae West
    – Room from the wrong perspective

    So am I understanding this correctly? Also, weird question, but we know that the Lights Show is misleading in that it’s impossible to see all the zodiac constellations in the night sky at once. Is there a position in space that you *could* see them all at once, though? Nothing that’s on the ecliptic–which is all the planets (I would say “except Pluto,” but he was demoted. Poor Pluto!)–could, but could an object on another orbital plane? I’m sure the story isn’t going to go that way, but it’s a question that’s been bugging me.

  39. Kappa says:

    Ack! I made little patterns that showed the positions of the constellations if you were sitting in one and looking out at the others, that the opposite one would resolve into my “smiley facius” constellation, though the others might still look wrong, and the blog smushed my little drawing all up so it doesn’t make any sense. So just disregard the stars and dashes. Sorry!

  40. Number 13 says:

    Phil- I see. The bad thing is that I actually had to think a minute about what a “wind powered nautical vessel” was. lol For a minute I was thinking “but submarines aren’t powered by wind!” It’s been a long day.

  41. nod says:

    Ok, I’m catching up on old podcasts, but Audra, you are really missing out on having an extra pocket available. After visiting an ATM, it’s quick to slide your $ into your bra til you get back to your car and can take the time to put it in your wallet. I’ve smuggled cameras into concerts in my bra too!

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