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Old December 29th, 2004, 09:56 PM   #1
Eric Paddon
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Battlestar Galactica 1978 10: War Of The Gods

This thread will be for discussion on changes etc. on adapting episode #10 "War Of The Gods" and conforming the story to a continuous season arc storyline.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 08:03 PM   #2
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I would like to have seen more of the Ship of Lights, besides just a matte painting. From different angles and such would have given it more of a feeling of depth.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 04:05 PM   #3
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I would have gone deeper into Iblis's background. Maybe have a flashback to the start of the 1000 Yahren war, and see him in the Cylon capital.

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Old February 26th, 2005, 04:52 PM   #4
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I've always thought of this episode as being the "defining moment" of the entire show. The bits and pieces given in the show seem to indicate that the Colonial-Cylon conflict is just part of a much larger conflict, a proxy war, if you will. The events portrayed in this episode could have been the inspiration for an series-long story-arc.

I would definitely delve deeper into Iblis' character and background which would very likely establish him as the Imperious Leader. Equally important would be to expand upon the situation between Iblis and the BOL and how he fell from grace, as well as the BOL's place in Colonial society. Are they "angels" or "gods"?
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Old February 28th, 2005, 10:34 PM   #5
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This particular one was the first adaptation I did where my intent was to improve on what I felt was the very inadequate novelization. Those who've read it will note how the novelization gave us a weak-kneed Adama who doesn't boldy stand up to Iblis and has to be led around by Apollo more; an improbable ending in which Baltar is returned by the SOL to his baseship (with this point conveniently set aside when "Baltar's Escape" was given novelization treatment) and most infuriating the whole elimination of the Baltar-Iblis conversation and with it the connection between Iblis and the origins of the Cylon robot race that is IMO the most critical subtext of this entire episode.

I'll go into more detail about what I did when I finally work my way forward with the other episodes starting with "Magnificent Warriors".
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Old April 1st, 2005, 03:28 PM   #6
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Okay, time now for the in-depth account of what I did here. As I said this was the first time I tried to "improve" over an existing adaptation.

#1-For the opening patrol sequence of Silver Spar group, I decided for no other reason to add Cree from GOIPZ just to show that he's still around (and that gives Starbuck a little extra reason for being concerned about what's happened to them)

#2-Where does the triad game take place? Confusing editing makes it look like it takes place on the Galactica but of course we see in subsequent episodes it takes place on the Rising Star. Since I doubt a battlestar would have a triad court with a spectator's gallery we adjust this one rather quickly.

#3-In the episode, we recall how when Apollo, Sheba, Starbuck arrive at the wreckage of the ship the infrared lighting is gone and they're "normal" again. This was because they'd run out of infrared film, but the subtle implication that I made explicit was because the vegetation was burnt out that's why the red illumination disappeared and things were "normal" again.

#4-There have been a lot of complaints (I think unjust) about the manner in which Sheba submits to Iblis' control but just to put those people at ease, make it clear that from the outset Sheba's loneliness is what Iblis is taking advantage of, and the fact that Apollo hasn't felt able to be open with Sheba about how he really feels about her has only compounded that. Plus, I felt it was important to show that Apollo's mistrust of Iblis stemmed more from jealousy and less from "Apollo has perfectly reasoned it out as to what Iblis is."

#5-Make sure that for the Council sequences, more of the Council members we only saw in a single episode like Sires Anton, Domra etc. play a part.

#6-Major change that I felt was needed to address a glaring plothole. After Baltar is captured, why doesn't Lucifer simply launch an attack of his own? And how is it that the Cylons lose track of the Galactica after this episode when Baltar's baseship has to know where the Fleet is at this point? This requires the use of subpoints for this one!

A. After the suicide attacks of "Fire In Space" end unsuccessfully, Baltar, who has lost his two supporting baseships in LL has to maintain the pursuit but he has to do it with a depleted force that consists of what's left of his own fighters and what can be gotten on short notice from Gomorrah. He is in a position where he can still stalk and pursue but not launch a final assault at this point because of depleted strength (and this would also account for him getting spooked by the SOL)

B. Lucifer recognizes the folly of what Baltar is trying to do and decides that he's going to purposefully write him off.....initially. However, after Baltar's disappearance he received a communique from Spektor (newly installed as Gomorrha's basestar commander thanks to Baltar's influence) that tells him that the Imperious Leader wants to know what Lucifer intends to do about Baltar's disappearance. Lucifer thus, is left with no choice but to mount a new attack which segues into......

C. After the scene of Baltar being humbled before Iblis and being dragged off, a skeptical Council member (Anton) challenges Iblis on the idea that the first task of "delivering the enemy" has been fulfilled because Baltar's baseship still knows where the Fleet is, and that a more dramatic demonstration is required to consider the first task fulfilled. Iblis ends up agreeing to this.

D. When the Cylon attack force closes in, Iblis, in a moment of seclusion, uses his power of dominion over the Cylons (because they are, as we learn ultimately from his conversation with Baltar, his own creation) to in effect have the baseship and the attack force hurled across the stars, rendering the danger of Cylon pursuit now eliminated from the Fleet's standpoint. *This* dramatic demonstration of strength on his part against the Cylons is what causes the Fleet to go into a celebratory stupor that we see in Part 2, not the mere capture of Baltar.

E. To correlate with "Hand Of God", there is a final scene of Lucifer offering his report to the Imperious Leader on what has happened, and the Leader orders the dispersal of all available baseships across the widest possible perimeter in the hopes of picking up the Fleet again. That is how one lone baseship will be in place to intercept in "Hand Of God."

#7-The rest of the story pretty much proceeds the same as we know it. The only major change I made was that after Apollo's "death" and resurrection, Sheba by this point knows that she's in love with Apollo but isn't going to press him on it until she feels the time is right (which of course won't come until HOG).

And that's that!
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Old April 1st, 2005, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
D. When the Cylon attack force closes in, Iblis, in a moment of seclusion, uses his power of dominion over the Cylons (because they are, as we learn ultimately from his conversation with Baltar, his own creation) to in effect have the baseship and the attack force hurled across the stars, rendering the danger of Cylon pursuit now eliminated from the Fleet's standpoint. *This* dramatic demonstration of strength on his part against the Cylons is what causes the Fleet to go into a celebratory stupor that we see in Part 2, not the mere capture of Baltar.
I don't really like this part, and my reason is I do not like Iblis making an overt display of power (until the very end).
For most of the story, Iblis may not be actually doing anything. Sure, he "delivers Baltar", but we don't see him do anything to make that happen. Maybe it's coincidence, maybe he somehow knew Baltar was coming, maybe he's just a good guesser.
Until he moves against Apollo, I don't think there should be any concrete evidence, not for the audience and certainly not for the Galacticans, that Iblis is anything more/other than human.

IMO, YMMV.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 07:29 PM   #8
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To clarify, it's not that Iblis puts on the demonstration in front of everyone else. The event happens where suddenly the Cylons disappear, and no one might know how he did it, but they're quick to give him the credit.

Fair point about keeping the mystery (though chronologically speaking this would take place at the same point in the episode where we get our first real clue in the conversation with Baltar) but I just couldn't buy the argument that capturing Baltar was sufficient to account for fulfilling the first task and explaining the disappearance of the Cylons in subsequent episodes and that something more dramatic had to happen to explain their absence until HOG. Someone once suggested that Iblis may have helped maneuver the Fleet away to a position far removed from where the Cylons were but the problem with that is, that would have made it impossible for Apollo and everyone else to return to the planet they found him on after Baltar was captured.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 02:35 AM   #9
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I just took it that the absence of Cylons until HOG was due to all the confusion caused by the GAL and PEG kicking Cylon butt in LL. With two BaseShips destroyed, maybe a (Impy's) third, and the whole Gamoray base wiped, it might take a while before things are settled enough to allow the Cylons to resume the pursuit.
One wonders if they ever discovered Terra.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #10
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The events of LL, and the losses incurred from FIS I think explains why at the beginning of WOTG we only see Baltar's baseship alone and with no reinforcement, and why he hasn't been able to attack since FIS because he no longer has sufficient strength to do so. However, once Baltar gets captured you then have to explain what happens to his baseship, which knows where the Fleet is, and that's why I think WOTG ultimately, no matter which why you rewrite it, needs that stronger Second Act in terms of plausibly explaining why there won't be any more Cylons seen until HOG.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 04:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
The events of LL, and the losses incurred from FIS I think explains why at the beginning of WOTG we only see Baltar's baseship alone and with no reinforcement, and why he hasn't been able to attack since FIS because he no longer has sufficient strength to do so. However, once Baltar gets captured you then have to explain what happens to his baseship, which knows where the Fleet is, and that's why I think WOTG ultimately, no matter which why you rewrite it, needs that stronger Second Act in terms of plausibly explaining why there won't be any more Cylons seen until HOG.
The only possibility may be that Iblis or the Beings of Light were able shield the Fleet from the Cylon scanners. Once the trail 'went cold', the Cylons would have had no choice but, to start from scratch. Also, considering that the Baseship encountered in HOG was not commanded by Lucifer, it would seem that they were either just in the area or part of a more extensive search mission IF Lucifer had advised the Imperious Leader about Baltar's 'deliverance' to the Colonials.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #12
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"One" possibility Pete, but not the "only" one.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 06:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
"One" possibility Pete, but not the "only" one.
Just like the universe.....infinite.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 06:53 PM   #14
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Which is what's so great about the world of Galactica fandom creativity!

Whatever solution one thinks is the best explanation, if I were ranking episode sequences that needed strengthening the most, the middle act of WOTG on this point would be at the top of the list from my standpoint, followed by clarifying at the end of the Terran trilogy why the Fleet can't consider settling in that civilization beyond the simple fact that Terra is not Earth.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 07:06 PM   #15
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Agreed.

Regarding settlement on Terra, a thought comes to mind. Even though their quest is to find Earth, the primary reason is to engage Earth's assistance in fighting the Cylons. Since they already know that Terra's technology is inferior to their own, it doesn't really make sense for them to settle there.

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Old January 4th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #16
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Yes, though it stands to figure that a Council member (a less stupid one) might argue that isn't it their duty to help a human civilization have the means to fight against the potential threat of the Cylons that might cross their ways? And Adama has to be just guessing to assume that Earth will be capable of helping them in their fight on the technological level.

Of course the matter of whether Earth is something that can help them or not is a question Adama asks Iblis (got to bring this back to the episode at hand!) during their first meeting which he avoids answering, and curiously Adama never presses him on it again. This is another part of the episode that could use a tweak, in which Adama presses Iblis to answer the question whether Earth can help them fight against the Cylons and Iblis tells him that in order to learn the answer, they must put their trust in him.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 11:42 AM   #17
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Leaving technology details with Terra would have made sense, IMNSHO.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 10:16 PM   #18
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I would liked to have seen a flashback where Iblis takes over and possesses the Imperious Leader and causes the downfall of the organic Cylons.
Thus beginning the Thousand Yahren War.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 08:50 PM   #19
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WOTG, quick suggestions.

Deception is Iblis' strength. Have him deceive the Cylons with a projected lie so they of their own volition chase off on the wrong vector.

Lucifer or some Cylon IL should be immune to the deception, so he continues a cautious pursuit.

The pursuing basestar is out of contact with the Cylon fleet. It is alone.

Adama notices this subsequently after WOTG and turns to fight.

Have Adama play a cautious cat-and-mouse game with Iblis. Use this interaction to educate Apollo to Iblis true purpose?

Sheba is susceptible because she lost her father?

SoL and BoL provide passive assistance. The Galacticans must face down Iblis using their own goodness.

Earth should remain unanswered.

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Old March 19th, 2006, 09:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles
The pursuing basestar is out of contact with the Cylon fleet. It is alone.

Adama notices this subsequently after WOTG and turns to fight.

Interesting thought but wouldn't that kind of negate one of the chief strengths of HOG later on, which is all about Adama being "tired of running" because he *hasn't* done any turning and fighting since the Destruction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles
Sheba is susceptible because she lost her father?
Agree with that completely, and I think it's the key to understanding Sheba's behavior in the episode to begin with. Too many people who are quick to condemn Sheba on this point (often with the wrong idea that it somehow shows TOS not depicting women in a strong way) I don't think take into account that what's really happening is some intelligent building off of a previous episode, which was rather novel for sci-fi TV at the time.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Interesting thought but wouldn't that kind of negate one of the chief strengths of HOG later on, which is all about Adama being "tired of running" because he *hasn't* done any turning and fighting since the Destruction?
Tough writing, agreed; but I sort of like Adama being smart enough to pick his spot when he sees the opportunity.

Quote:
Agree with that completely, and I think it's the key to understanding Sheba's behavior in the episode to begin with. Too many people who are quick to condemn Sheba on this point (often with the wrong idea that it somehow shows TOS not depicting women in a strong way) I don't think take into account that what's really happening is some intelligent building off of a previous episode, which was rather novel for sci-fi TV at the time.
Glad to see that I wasn't way off base in connecting LL with WotG that way.

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Old June 15th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles
Glad to see that I wasn't way off base in connecting LL with WotG that way.

As always;
A belated return on this!

Another scene in WOTG fleshing out this point, and also tying in to the idea that it was jealousy, not special insight into Iblis that made Apollo so distrustful of him from the start.
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Old July 10th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #23
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Here is ye old revealation scene about Count lblis from Maximum Press' Battlestar Galactica's War Of Eden storyline.



Great thing about this episode was the multi-levels of mythlogy, drama and action in these classic two parter tles from the original series that speaks volumes of Galactica's potential.





Questions asked in this magnificent episode and were never solved!

1) Count Iblis minions inside the crashed ship. Who and what exactly were they? Possible victims who befell The Count as Adama described or willing followers?

2) Why did the SOL abduct Colonial Warriors if they are the good guys somewhat? Why didn't they confront Iblis on the Galactica free will and all? Would they have 'destroyed' the Galactica as they destroyed the "vast alien ship" on the red planet where Iblis was discovered, had mankind been foolish enough to join Count Iblis after the third wish turned sour and he had dominion over them finally.

3) What was the possible third request by The Council of 12 to test Count Iblis' powers of deliverance with.

4) According to Iblis somewhat subtle tale to Baltar in his jail cell. The original Reptillian Cylons fell before the onset of the great war between them and the human. But why does the Count sound like the Cylon's Imperious Leader, or more to the point why does Imperious Leader sound like him? What exactly did Iblis do to the Reptillian Cylons before they fell from grace and were wiped out by their own machines. Offer them wild promises of power did he?!

Perhaps they too failed after giving The Count 3 tests of his power!

5) Adama studied E.S.P. and other mental aptitude tests at the Colonial Academy in his youth. What else isn't he telling us about himself?

6) Iblis was at Kobal and knew of its civilization before its fall and the Exodus of the original 12 Tribes of Mankind from there. Or so he says? And does he really know where the 13th Tribe went afterwards himself. How much does he really know of Kobal's civilization or does even he as a higher being 'brag' about things he barely knows?

(Remember he claims to have infinite knowledge of the universe but is apparently 'Very'? fearful of Adama's question about God?)

7) Why didn't the Colonials keep track of the White Lights using the Recon Viper Probe? Surely that Viper moving twice or three times faster might be able to keep up a strong pace and maintain track of intruders near a fleet of vulnerable civilian ships in space? Inbetween "The Long Patrol" episode and "War Of The Gods" isn't it possible they found a way to adapt the new engines of the Recon Viper to that of armed Vipers to defend the fleet?

8) Why didn't Lucifier attack the fleet after Baltar left or come up with a another plan in mind? Did he learn his lesson from 'Lost Planet Of The Gods' too well? Perhaps Baltar re-programmed him not to do so again, considering th first time nearly cost him his life on Kobal.

9) Before The Ship Lights struck Iblis' ship, where exactly was he going. Did he engage his people first or was he already on the run from them? (See first question*)

10) Although the SOL didn't mentally tell Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba everything they knew besides the co-ordinates for Earth and its star system. What else could they have imparted sub-conciously on the Colonial Warriors?

What if slowly after time the three of them found themselves doing and saying things they didn't even know of first hand? After you've probably been touched by a higher power, who's to say you'd ever be the same again!


Plenty of food for thought years later eh?

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Old September 26th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #24
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"[1) Count Iblis minions inside the crashed ship. Who and what exactly were they? Possible victims who befell The Count as Adama described or willing followers?"

Both. Followers who became victims IMO.

"2) Why did the SOL abduct Colonial Warriors if they are the good guys somewhat?"

Odd to say the least. I could only posit they did so to remove them from the battle zone if you will between them and Iblis's followers for their own safety. Not a strong explanation but the best I could think of.

"3) What was the possible third request by The Council of 12 to test Count Iblis' powers of deliverance with. "

I think given their general nature, they were still extremely indecisive amongst themselves on it.

"4) According to Iblis somewhat subtle tale to Baltar in his jail cell. The original Reptillian Cylons fell before the onset of the great war between them and the human. But why does the Count sound like the Cylon's Imperious Leader, or more to the point why does Imperious Leader sound like him? What exactly did Iblis do to the Reptillian Cylons before they fell from grace and were wiped out by their own machines. Offer them wild promises of power did he?!"

I posit that Iblis appeared as a living Cylon and developed the technological breakthrough that led to the development of the Cylon robot which then destroyed the Reptilian Cylons and that a recording of Iblis's voice was used as the essential blueprint for all future Imperious Leader's as a sign of respect since Iblis would in effect be the god-creator if you will in Cylon robot history.

"7) Why didn't the Colonials keep track of the White Lights using the Recon Viper Probe?"

Because in light of Adama's realization of just how lax security is on the Recon Viper as a result of TLP, where CORA allowed a total stranger to take control of the viper, he's still got the program on hold.

"8) Why didn't Lucifier attack the fleet after Baltar left or come up with a another plan in mind?"

The greatest weakness of WOTG and the very reason why I rewrote the middle section to have Iblis *fully* complete the first task by having Lucifer's task force hurled across the stars all the way back to the Cylon home planet just as they're planning to mount an attack. This element would also help us explain how the Cylons lost track of the Fleet after the events of WOTG and explained why the Cylons were scattered about to look for them as we realized in HOG.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 03:16 PM   #25
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Excellent points, Eric. However, I do have an alternative to this one:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
"4) According to Iblis somewhat subtle tale to Baltar in his jail cell. The original Reptillian Cylons fell before the onset of the great war between them and the human. But why does the Count sound like the Cylon's Imperious Leader, or more to the point why does Imperious Leader sound like him? What exactly did Iblis do to the Reptillian Cylons before they fell from grace and were wiped out by their own machines. Offer them wild promises of power did he?!"

I posit that Iblis appeared as a living Cylon and developed the technological breakthrough that led to the development of the Cylon robot which then destroyed the Reptilian Cylons and that a recording of Iblis's voice was used as the essential blueprint for all future Imperious Leader's as a sign of respect since Iblis would in effect be the god-creator if you will in Cylon robot history.
That might be overcomplicating the "devil's role" of Iblis. I submit that Iblis appeared to the Cylons and offered them the same thing he offered the humans - success and victory under his 'leadership'. It was then under his direction that the robotic Cylons were perfected and eliminated their organic makers. The voice of the Imperious Leader was then handed down, generation to generation, from the first Imperious Leader of the mechanical Cylons - Iblis.

My thought, anyway.

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Old September 26th, 2006, 05:45 PM   #26
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I think we're not that far apart, Dawg since I think probably only my comment about today's Cylons seeing Iblis as a "god-creator" would perhaps be too much if they literally thought of him that way in the present world of TOS. I'd be content to have the Cylons of today remembering who Iblis was (I don't see him appearing to the reptilian Cylons in human form) as the one who helped make the robots possible and that his voice was used as a sign of tribute that may have even been forgotten over the course of a thousand yahrens and then I think your take and mine would pretty much synch up.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old September 30th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #27
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I wish these topics had been explored more deeply. Baltar gives us a hint, but it was never developed.

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Old October 1st, 2006, 03:11 AM   #28
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Good point about Iblis and the Cylons. He isn't allowed to directly interfere in mortal affairs without their permission.

I'm sure there's a lot more about Adama that we don't know about. Senmut for example has an interesting story about Adama's past in the Virtual Second Season episode Bones. However I don't think he was a youth when he practiced ESP at the institute but rather a young man. He does say he was already married to Apollo's mother but it was before their children were born.

Iblis is 'old' enough to know about the rise and fall of Kobol and the 13th tribe's voyage to Earth. His knowledge or the universe isn't infinite (he is a liar) but it is greater. And boy was he full of contempt when talking to Adama about God.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 06:34 AM   #29
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This is my favorite episode besides the pilot which explored Galactica potential more than any other episode to date.

The mysterious Count Iblis, The Ship Of Lights, certain revealations revealed, ESP touched upon, the game of Triad, the crashed ship on the red planet etc... All things that added to a very dramatic episode to the extreme. A majority of great elements to further in a continuation series would've no doubt been drawn from War Of The Gods. First time the story was far more engrossing than the dogfight battles in space, even as a kid i recognised this fact so very much.

These threads are for discussing how we'd remake the episodes but i see WOTG's only brings out good debates and more questions. We seem to only want to make several additions and not remake the episode at all, which is good "don't fix what ain't broke" i what we're doing.

Think you need another thread now Eric Paddon, labled...

What sequel episodes to the classic Battlestar Galactica first season to you envision?

And make a list of the episodes most likely to have had sequel episodes had the show gone on. Then all these discussions morhping into ideas for what might have happened or should have happened? would be pushed further and expanded on, in threads designed for the follow ups.

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Old October 21st, 2006, 11:26 AM   #30
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Sequel episodes have long been a good fanfic staple. Anything that involves Iblis or Cain in the future automatically qualifies as a sequel to LL and WOTG respectively. Other times we see characters from past episodes like Croft or Robber return in new roles in their lives in the Fleet. As far as a true sequel in terms of building directly off the events of an episode other than LL or WOTG the only time I did that in any way shape or form was "The Lost Warrior" where I had a team from the Pegasus encounter that planet Apollo had been on, and where Vella, Puppis etc. had to get the blunt truth delivered to them that Apollo would never be coming back (I also for fun had Vella's late husband be a Pegasus warrior who had been the best friend of the Pegasus' executive officer Colonel Tolen).
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