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Old December 29th, 2004, 10:55 PM   #1
Eric Paddon
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Battlestar Galactica 1978 09: Fire In Space

This thread will be for discussion on changes etc. on adapting episode #9 "Fire In Space" and conforming the story to a continuous season arc storyline.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 06:01 PM   #2
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Should have been two hours, and there needed to be some explanation as to why the force-field holding the air in could not be shut off to snuff the fire. Also, while I can think of an expalnation for Boomer et all surviving blowing the hull, the ep did not.
Curses on all Nitwerk execs!
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Old March 31st, 2005, 01:23 PM   #3
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This was the very first episode adaptation I ever did. About eight years ago I think it was someone on a list I used to belong to thought about doing adaptations of episodes that were never novelized so that was how I first got started in this whole "New Twists" thing that has since led me to wanting to do the same with all episodes of the series. As a result, if you look at what I did at http://www.galacticafanfic.com/stories/firespac.txt you end up seeing more of my earlier fanfic writing days which I like to think I've improved on a bit since!

I felt the first thing to do with this story was make it a direct continuation from the events of "Living Legend". It should start with the Galactica just escaping from the Gomorrah quadrant, and Baltar, still licking his wounds and trying to salvage what's been a disaster, launches this suicide attack as his last best hope. And from there, I did these:

#1-Add some extra tension to the battle scene by having Sheba destroy a third suicide fighter just before it takes out the second landing bay.

#2-Increase the prominence of the Chief Fireman aboard the Galactica, whom I gave the name Jorda and gave him an extensive background so he could become a permanent fixture amongst the crew.

#3-At one point in the episode, they had to get "mega pressure pumps from the damaged energizer" to do the strafing runs on the landing bay with boraton. So I wrote a scene of Apollo going with the fire crew to get these things and the hazards along the way that entailed where several firemen are killed.

#4-Eliminate the whole Muffit the Wonder Daggit saving the trapped fireman bit. That was just too painful beyond words! In fact, the whole ending was changed to reflect a scientific point the writers neglected. Blowing the charges to smother the fire means opening the compartments adjacent to where Boomer and the others are trapped to the vacuum and that means they can't get out of where they are until those compartments are resealed and they can exit safely. So this allowed for some extra tension at the end involving the struggle to reseal the hull breeches so the trapped victims can get out before their oxygen mask supply runs out (they can't get more sent to them because that would mean opening the duct vents to areas affected by the vaccum).

Other subtle changes was trying to add a bit more subtle foundations for the Apollo-Sheba relationship (Sheba takes note of Apollo's determination to do all the tough jobs himself) and also establishing beyond doubt that by this episode, Starbuck is now focusing solely on Cassiopeia and has abandoned any further thought of continuing things with Athena. I also worked in a cameo appearance of Commander Kronus of the "Take The Celestra" episode to establish his persona ahead of time.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 11:28 PM   #4
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What it needed was a plausible explanation of why the bay could not be evacuated in a normal way, and threy had to blow holes in it. Ah, the NitWerks.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 11:32 PM   #5
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Well, I don't think that was a problem because the landing bay as was said in the episode was cut off to normal fire team access from the inside, no doubt the result of falling debris. I elaborated on the inability of the fire team to control the fires by recalling a line from the episode, "Boraton Mist Control Center destroyed." To me, this indicated that the source for supplying full pressure of boraton to the hoses was disrupted by this, and that they only had limited pressure streams of boraton to use to combat the fire from the inside.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 12:23 AM   #6
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I was thinking of the power to the force field that seals the air inside the bay. Once cut off from main power and bridge controls, it sustains on batteries. These are cut off by the fire, so the shield can't come down. Would have taken 5 seconds on screen.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 04:15 AM   #7
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You know, I've pretty much seen this episode as "Towering Inferno in space" since I first saw it, but it just struck me how similar it is to a real-life incident:

In 1967 there was a tremendous fire aboard USS Forrestal off Vietnam. The fire was caused not by an enemy attack but by a simple accident on the flight deck coupled with some old ammunition that did not perform as it was supposed to. During engine start on one aircraft a short circuit caused it to fire a missile that stuck another plane rupturing it's fuel tanks and starting a fire. Fire crews responded immediately, but could not extingish the fire before the heat caused a 1,000-pound bomb on the burning plane to detonate.

That explosion blew a hole in the flight deck, allowing burning jet fuel to penetrate into the ship. It also killed all (or almost all) the trained firefighters aboard, and schrapnel perforated the fire hoses.
As the fire spread, one of the first areas threatened was the engine room that supplied water pressure to the firefighting systems.

I think some good ideas could be mined from this incident. http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/...stal-fire.html

I agree that shutting off the force field that holds the air in seems an obvious solution, and deserves some explanation for why it won't work. I like the idea above about battery power and severed controls from the bridge. In fact, perhaps all Apollo and Starbuck need to do in their EVA is to destroy/disconnect those batteries. Considering they need to do so from outside the hull, and the systems would be armored to prevent an attacker from doing exactly that, they would probably still need explosives, but this allows the airtightness of the bay to be restored simply by running a power cable from an area with power to the shield generators, or the closing of airtight doors from the bay itself that were disconnected and/or jammed in the attack.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 10:59 AM   #8
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Good point on attacking the landing bay problem, though the additional charges would still have been needed to take care of the fire in the other regions affecting the trapped people in the Rejuvenation Center.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
Good point on attacking the landing bay problem, though the additional charges would still have been needed to take care of the fire in the other regions affecting the trapped people in the Rejuvenation Center.

EP, you and SpyOne have solved the script problems. Go forth, and write!!!!!
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 06:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senmut
EP, you and SpyOne have solved the script problems. Go forth, and write!!!!!
Well remember, mine's already written and would just need a couple lines added to the existing version to take care of that point.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 01:12 AM   #11
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Then FIX!

Of course, I also wonder about the aftermath. Just how long did the repairs take? And given the Fleet's situation, how good would the job be compared to original specs, in a space dock?
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Old October 1st, 2005, 07:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
#4-Eliminate the whole Muffit the Wonder Daggit saving the trapped fireman bit. That was just too painful beyond words!
you know, as much as I hated that thing, I actually thought that it was used alright for once. I could see Boomer sending it thru the vents and back for the masks and then saving a fireman. However when I saw it on a gurney, to me at 10 that was the Jump the Shark moment. I never liked that part. thankfully the next ep WoTG redeemed this. people all over the ship in need of medical care, like the fireman it saved, and a robot dog is on a much needed gurney in Life Station of all places. Gave a stupid and sappy ending to the ep.

I was part of that list back then. I actually remember an argument about the dog having a good use for once in this ep. And this adaptation being talked about.

You could add a bit of foreshadowing to the Athena/Boomer relationship now that there is one in your Season 2. And speaking of which I am behind in reading them.

I thought there was a bit too much of Apollo the Superman but I guess that's the point. He's doing way too much and everyone but him notices.
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Old October 11th, 2005, 01:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegasus4
you know, as much as I hated that thing, I actually thought that it was used alright for once. I could see Boomer sending it thru the vents and back for the masks and then saving a fireman. However when I saw it on a gurney, to me at 10 that was the Jump the Shark moment. I never liked that part. thankfully the next ep WoTG redeemed this. people all over the ship in need of medical care, like the fireman it saved, and a robot dog is on a much needed gurney in Life Station of all places. Gave a stupid and sappy ending to the ep.

I was part of that list back then. I actually remember an argument about the dog having a good use for once in this ep. And this adaptation being talked about.

You could add a bit of foreshadowing to the Athena/Boomer relationship now that there is one in your Season 2. And speaking of which I am behind in reading them.

I thought there was a bit too much of Apollo the Superman but I guess that's the point. He's doing way too much and everyone but him notices.


This would have been a way to have written Muffit out, sacrifice itself to save the life of that firefighter. Muffit figures there's only one of him and the firefighter should be saved to serve the Galactica and fleet later on.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 01:41 PM   #14
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I don't want to sound like a super nit-picker, but there are so many internal logic flaws in this particular script that its hard to know where to start. I love Galactica, I really do, but this episode is by far my least favorite simply because of the tremendous goofs they make in even the most basic of story points.

If we accept the idea that there is a fire buring on board the Galactica, we must also accept that it has something to burn. The hallways of the Galactica are pretty much empty metal tubes. No carpet, no drapes, no wood (unless you count the wooden frame around the door of the Rejuv center that's supposed to be painted to look like metal), no paper, etc. Is the fire simply buring atmosphere?

At some point, somebody says, "we have to seal off all the compartments to keep the fire from spreading". This is the extreme peril that Boomer and such are subjected to... the possibility of running out of air in their sealed compartment. Whoops... except that we see later that every compartment is connected by an unimpeded galvanized steel ductwork big enough for a person to crawl through (or big enough for a mechanical DAGGIT to drag a man through). Looks like sealing off the compartments isn't very helpful after all when there's open ductwork leading from room to room.

Apollo suggests that they send people to all the empty compartments to head Muffit off in the right direction should he stray. Tigh says that they have no extra people to do the task. Except that there are 220 ships full of people just sitting out there waiting for the Galactica to explode. The scriptwriters forgot about the teeming humanity of the fleet.

Wow... Colonial Warriors are super smart. Apollo, a rocket jock, knows more about firefighting machinery and technology than the head firefighter on board the Galactica. "I didn't think of the mega pressure pumps!" I say fire that guy immediately... he doesn't know his own job. In fact, Apollo is so keenly in tune with he firefighting gear on board the ship that he knows they can fit pressure pumps into the same space as the laser generators on board a Viper! Mr. Spock, move over!!! There's a new brain in town!

Why do they need to strafe when delivering the boraton from the vipers? Its a space craft. If they can't stroll up behind the battlestar and simply match velocity (park in orbit so to speak), aim carefully and blow their wad of boraton into the landing bay, then the colonials aren't very familiar with working in space.

Colonial warriors must be trained in just about everything...except emergency response. When one of the fallen warriors in the Rejuv center (after a big explosion) is unresponsive and lying on the floor, Bomer grabs him by the back of the neck, lifts him up and shakes him! I don't know if you've ever taken an emergecy response course, but that is the first thing you DO NOT DO when someone is unresponsive!

Oh, but wait... colonial warriors know everything there is to know about demolitions though. That's why its okay to send your two top fighter pilots outside the ship with no tether lines armed with enough explosives to knock a battlestar off-course. Does the colonial military post NO demolition experts on board what are obviously the largest military vessels in their arsenal? Evidently not, considering they had to pull convicts off the prison barge in "Ice Planet Zero" to get an explosives job done.

But even more peculiar: a battlestar has more stuff sticking out from it's hull than a sea urchin. You can't fix all those pipes and greeblies after a battle from the interior. There MUST be some fashion of EVA equipment to affect repairs... and an entire crew to go along with it. Why weren't they tapped for the demolition job? They'd be the ones who would know how to do it. And if one of them slipped away, the fleet wouldn't be losing one of the VERY VALUABLE fighter pilots.

But why demolition to start with? Once again, they have colonial vipers armed with really powerful laser cannons. Why use explosives to put a hole in the hull in an uncontrolled boom, when you could potentially carve a hole in the hull using the lasers? Like before, park in orbit above the battlestar, take very careful aim, and poke a hole just big enough to do the job.

And what's all this about the Galactica having two energizers? A ship that big with so many critical systems that rely on energizer power and they route it all through two large energizers? And what about "The Magnificent Warriors" where Tigh says there are energizers ALL OVER the battlestar? Is there a difference between an energizer and an energizer? What is the difference? If there is a difference, why didn't they spell it out for the audience like they did every other plot point?

But logic isn't very exciting, is it?

This concept could have been VERY exciting if it had been handled by somebody who had even the merest inkling of science. Using the fire as the predominent peril is okay, but there are so many other problems that could have arisen FROM the fire that would have increased the tension tenfold and really made this an exceptional episode.

Someone here said that it should have been a two-parter. I agree absolutely. And the effects should have been apparent in several episodes down the line as well. Repairs to the Galactica shuld have been ongoing. There should have been a severe strain put on resources to get the old girl back in shape. But everything had to be cleaned up for next week's episode.

Just my two cubits.

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Old November 1st, 2005, 03:20 PM   #15
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All of your points I think are perfectly valid as to why the episode doesn't hold up to much internal scrutiny, and why it needed some major revision (especially the matter of the ducts and the fact that after the hull was breeched, Boomer and company would have been surrounded by open hull areas exposed to vacuum, and thus they could not possibly be rescued until the breeches were temporarily sealed).


On this matter though:

"Tigh says that they have no extra people to do the task. Except that there are 220 ships full of people just sitting out there waiting for the Galactica to explode. The scriptwriters forgot about the teeming humanity of the fleet."

I don't think this is a blooper because yes, there are many others out there in the Fleet, but with only one operational landing bay, there would not be time or facilities to handle a major influx from other ships, especially if there were also difficulties with the Galactica communicating with other ships to coordinate such activities. From a prudent standpoint, Tigh would have ordered the other 220 ships to get as far away from the Galactica as possible to avoid getting destroyed if the battlestar exploded.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 03:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
If we accept the idea that there is a fire buring on board the Galactica, we must also accept that it has something to burn. The hallways of the Galactica are pretty much empty metal tubes. No carpet, no drapes, no wood (unless you count the wooden frame around the door of the Rejuv center that's supposed to be painted to look like metal), no paper, etc. Is the fire simply buring atmosphere?
Keep in mind that metal CAN BURN or perhaps more appropriately, MELT, if sufficient heat is applied. For example, the kindling temperature of steel is 1500 degrees. Depending on the heat discharged by the exploding Cylon raider, it is very possible that the "metal could have melted" and the resulting glow from the intense heat may have given off the visual characteristics of a fire.

Just a plug nickel's worth of useless information.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 04:33 PM   #17
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On the subject of more personnel:

I can't imagine that ALL the military personnel would be aboard the Galactica at the same time as its been shown that not all personnel are on duty at all times. I know it's a "wit of the staircase" situation, but Tigh could have recalled all fleet-bound personnel (especially all those layabout warriors who hang out over on board the Rising Star all the time) via the Canaris shuttle. You gotta figure, if the battlestar goes, the fleet is doomed. No point in trying to spare military lives. The battlestar IS life. In the end, it was a goofy plot idea anyway. And the mushies idea was a better solution. Except for the fact that when Tigh sets the tray of mushies in the vent, the airflow is coming into the BRIDGE instead of into the vent!

On the subject of burning metal: Okay, I agree...metal burns. But if there's nothing in the hallway but metal and the hallway is burning, then the minimum temperature in the hallway must be the ignition point of metal (whatever metal a battlestar is made from) Those poor fellas fighting that fire wouldn't have a chance against against a fire at (assumption) 1500 degrees. Just being in that close proximity to that large a fire buring that hot would have pretty much vaporized them even in the fire gear... especially when they breathed in the superheated oxygen deficient air (no breathers worn just plastic face sheilds). I have a good friend who's a retired firefighter (Blomington area of Chicago for a bazillion years)... I'll ask him about it all. He'll have a singular perspective about it (plus he's a Galactica fan). I'll let you know what he says.

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Old November 1st, 2005, 04:36 PM   #18
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Gordon,

I agree that there are plot holes galore, with Fire In Space.

I was just having a little fun "nitpickin' the nitpicker".



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Old November 1st, 2005, 04:50 PM   #19
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Absolutely!
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 03:12 AM   #20
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I was wondering how smoke was coming under the door to the gameroom when the door was sealed to prevent air from escaping. The plastic/rubber/whatever seal burned?
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 08:34 AM   #21
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Yup.. there's another one that I missed.

Another example of how it realy wasn't very effective to seal off the compartments on board the battlestar.

Oh yeah... I talked with my firefighter friend about the episode. He couldn't even figure what was going on. His words: "To get fire you need the three elements... ignition source, fuel and oxygen. The cylon fighter was your ignition source. There was oxygen all over the ship. But there wasn't any fuel to burn unless that whole damned ship was made out of magnesium!"

He rambled on about how the firefighting gear they wore was based on old designs from even farther back than the 1970's. He says that the gear now is MUCH better at protecting you but it gives you a false sense of security and helps you get into bad situations before you realize it. You can go too far too fast and get stuck before you know it.

Anyway, he said the episode was exciting but wholly unrealistic.

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Old November 2nd, 2005, 10:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegasus4
I was wondering how smoke was coming under the door to the gameroom when the door was sealed to prevent air from escaping. The plastic/rubber/whatever seal burned?

Remember that Boomer surmises that the explosion "bent the bulkhead". If so, the doors would no longer properly seal, thus smoke could get through. They may also have been warped by the heat, giving the same result.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 08:01 AM   #23
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Good point!

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Old January 4th, 2006, 12:22 AM   #24
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"There was oxygen all over the ship. But there wasn't any fuel to burn unless that whole damned ship was made out of magnesium!"

Interesting point. The only thing I could say is that one reason why the landing bay would be inaccessible to those from inside (thus necessitating that strafing run of "boraton" by the vipers) is that the landing bay would have fuel supplies for vipers and shuttles that would keep burning constantly. As for it spreading elsewhere, I guess we'd have to consider all the other combustible material in Colonial society on a battlestar we haven't begun to think about yet!
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Old June 21st, 2006, 02:12 PM   #25
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Another factor is how much time did it take to repair all the damages? We probably should've seen repairs made during the following episodes.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 03:03 AM   #26
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If ABC had anted up the budget. As to combustibles, there are scads of electrical cables, and they may have insulation that can burn. Electrical components galore, filters, paint, tra la, tra la. Plastics, since so big a ship would need to save weight wherever possible. Once metals begin to melt, they could start to melt or burn through deck plates, spreading both heat and fire. The initial explosion could have spewed flammables everywhere, including through the air ducts. Tigh said they must have been packed with solonite. They may have carried other things, as well as their nearly-full fuel tanks.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #27
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Default Re: 09: Fire In Space

Thanks for the support, guys. While it might be possible to "tune down" the Viper's weapons, the time it would take, plus the variables of pilot skill and the motion of the ship, make pin-point strikes iffy at best. While it may seem odd, the boraton shots make more sense.
Any other takes?
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Old October 9th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #28
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Default Re: 09: Fire In Space

Quote:
Originally Posted by justjackrandom View Post
Haven't posted in a while (haven't been on in a while...), but I saw this and had to weigh in. I agree that there is a good deal of written drama for the sake of drama in this episode, but I do not think that cutting open the hull with Viper fire is more realistic. My reasoning:

The Vipers mount WEAPONS...not variable-setting instruments. First, the canonical evidence we have shows us that the gun controls are fairly simple...on - off - arm - safe - and of course fire. Thats it. There are no other gun controls in that cockpit.

Second, it is obvious from what is shown on screen that we are not looking at true lasers in the strict definition of the word. I personally have come up with the theory that the bolts are a relativistic plasma that create intensity gain by population inversion. This make them lasers in the modern scientific sense of the word if not in the original sense. In which case, it really IS a cannon ball.

And regardless of what you believe they actually fire, they were never intended to be used "carefully". Talk about dangerous and random. That would be like using a hellfire missile to breach a wall for police entry in a hostage situation.

The use of carefully placed configurable charges makes much more sense, at least to me.

My tuppence...

--JJR
We all have our own thoughts about how stuff went down in the Galactica universe. And discussing that is part of the entertainment value of this forum. I don't believe that our two points are mutually exclusive. Why wouldn't you be able to manage the settings on a weapon that produces a relativistic plasma blob emitter? Would the colonial military be so shortsighted as to make a completely non-discriminatory weapon? That sounds too careless for a people that have been at war for 1000 years.

Absolutely NO other gun controls in the cockpit? You sure? Unless Glen Larson posted somewhere and explained every last switch and dial on the control dash of a Viper, who's to say there isn't such a control there that was never actively used in a story? I mean, it's all fiction, right? We must assume there are atmospheric controls in a Viper cockpit as well, but they were never actively pointed out in the show. Readouts, yes. Controls, no.

Your analogy to a canon ball isn't quite on the money. You are assuming that, in order for a canon to function (I'm assuming you're talking about a black-powder pirate-y type canon?) that it must be packed to the maximum with gunpowder every time it is fired. A true canoneer would beg to differ. It is quite a skillset to know how much powder and wadding you need to send a ball a particular distance with a particular force. And they did. So in essence, a traditional canon IS adjustable.

I guess my point is that since we're all making guesses from incomplete data about a nonsensical fictional universe, we could declare that what comes out of a viper canon isn't energy at all but very dangerous incandescent raspberry jam and we'd still be just as correct as any other theory.

-Gordon
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Old October 9th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #29
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Default Re: 09: Fire In Space

I'll join in, just to throw some more ideas out there. Not to agree or disagree with anyone. in particular.

Why use explosives over lasers? (regardless of how the lasers work) My simple explaination is this. THe hull plating on a ship of war, as the Galactica is, is too thick to puncture with laser fire, unless massed. this isn't quite supported by what we see, blazing fire plumes along the surface of the gtalactica, but it makes sense, if fighter (or bomber) fire can penetrate your hull to the point of exposing enough of the inner ship to space, the ships wouldn't last very long in combat. (keeping in mind that the Raiders that did this to the Galactica were packed with Explosives)

Why use Solonite charges? I go back to the expression on the Thetas when Told the Colonials Have Solonite. It's powerful stuff. it's very possible the Charges uses were shaped so that it would focus the blast in an armor penetrating force. Ripping open large enough holes to do the trick.

All theory of course.

And here is my fix to the problem (of course, not much of a show then )

The ship has been designed as a ship of war, with sealable compartments. Let's assume that they are "airtight" since if the hull is penetrated, this is how you save the ship from a cascading vacuum purge. Now, even withthe compartments sealed, you need to pump athmosphere into these compartments (you have crew all through the ship after all) you have a fire, and your primary systems fail. (an automatic boron system, like sprinklers) You move in with secondary systems (firefighters in suits) the fire is beyond their control for whatever reason. You seal off the compartments aroudn the fire, and stop feeding in Air. YOu risk killing anyone sealed in the compartments without breathing gear (remember, its not vcacuum, just airless) but you save the ship. 5 minutes or so and you restore air. If the fire starts up again, you go 10 minutes. etc. Now, what if you have lost the ability to do thios automatically? then how is air getting into the compartments? lol Loss of the system would probably result in loose of air circulation. But if you are locjked out of shutting down the system, you have manual overrides positioned by the bulkheads that seal the compartments. It takes longer, but you still save the ship.

That's my theory
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Old February 24th, 2012, 11:40 PM   #30
Senmut
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Default Re: 09: Fire In Space

Given the explosives carried by the raiders, plus their plump fuel tanks, more bulkheads and decks were doubtless bent than just that to the Rejuv Center.
For me, I have always seen the Landing?Launch Bays as detatcheable. In extremis, able to seperate from the main body of the ship, and operate independently, at least for a while, or to save the rest of the ship. An explosion that big could well have compromised the ability to do so. Bent bulkheads, ripped cables and air ducting, hatch (sorry!) motors cut off from power, burned out, or destroyed. Again, alot of this could have been solved by an extra 10-20 seconds of screen time, explaining why the needed to do as they did, and why Boomer et al didn't suffocate.
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