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Old December 29th, 2004, 10:00 PM   #1
Eric Paddon
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Battlestar Galactica 1978 13: Greetings From Earth

This thread will be for discussion on changes etc. on adapting episode #13, "Greetings From Earth" and conforming the story to a continuous season arc storyline.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 08:37 PM   #2
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The title was misleading. It should have had a question mark in the title.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 12:33 AM   #3
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This is the only one of the "Terra Trilogy" episodes I've tackled so far, but while the other two episodes remain untouched, strengthening the continuity from one episode to the next is one thing this episode needs!

My adaptation has an opening prologue dramatizing the escape of Michael/Sarah and children from Lunar 7, and to provide linkage to "Experiment In Terra" they get assisted by the real Charlie Watts, who we learned in EIT was on a spy mission of sorts checking out the other Terran colonies so it made sense to me to get this character introduced right away. Among the reasons why EIT is so weak is because the Watts character is just too much of a convenient plot device, badly written so this way I felt could strengthen that episode eventually when I get around to doing it.

Lot of other changes needed to be made to this episode that are too numerous to mention in one post, but here's one thing I really wanted to change. The next time you watch this episode, I want you to count the number of times the Terrans are referred to as "children" by everyone aboard the Galactica, as though they keep forgetting that there are two grown adults among these people! I kept hearing so many different characters refer to them as "children" it was driving me nuts after awhile (and that's just one of many things about this episode in its original form that can drive a Galactica fan nuts). Getting rid of that in the characters dialogue was another thing I was anxious to do.

Also, some more rational context needed to be given to Apollo's very bizarre behavior in Pt. 1. He is just so over-the-top in demanding that the Terrans be set free and never gets to the point of why this should be done, and doesn't provide a coherent explanation until the last minute as to how this can be helpful to the people of the Fleet if they are released. I've always felt this episode was Hatch's worst performance in the series.

Another change relative to Pt. 1. The flip way that Adama/Apollo/Starbuck/Tigh etc. brush off the Council in springing the Terrans loose is IMO the most powerful argument for critics of TOS about the contemptible treatment of civilian authority because unlike "Baltar's Escape" where the Council is just plain DUMB regarding their decision to trust the Alliance, a legit case can be made for the Council's actions in GFE because they just want to get to the bottom of where the Terrans are from and do they come from Earth (and even if you find their view wrong in the end, you have to concede it was a position a reasonable person could take and could be fairly debated and not treated with the heavy scorn given by Adama/Apollo/Starbuck etc.) And then I realized, you can provide a believable context for their dumb thinking in Baltar's Escape if you establish (1) that Adama in GFE knows he's unfairly disrespected them at a couple occasions and (2) Council members who might have been supportive of Adama in the past are now of a mind to think less highly of him and disregard his advice. Thus, they're receptive to the Alliance the next episode more out of spite for what they felt was the raw deal given them in GFE.

Another change. Apollo is way too obsessed with wanting to know the coordinates for Lunar 7 but the problem is, this isn't the question he should be interested in. He should be trying to find out the location of Terra, and more importantly he should be trying to find out if the coordinates to Terra match the course heading for Earth they were given by the SOL, and if the Terra system matches what they know about Earth's system (remember, at the end of WOTG they were also given the information about a system of "nine planets with one sun"). But GFE is so badly written an episode that asking the obvious questions just seem to be entirely elusive to all of the Galactica's characters it seems like, and so any adaptation has to address this.

Ultimately, I felt the suspense of "Is Terra Earth?" needed to be removed in this story and not sustained implausibly to EIT and dealt as an afterthought in the final scene of that episode. The drawn-out, pointless scene of Starbuck trapped in the Archives provided a way out by having Starbuck find a map of the Terran system and he right away knows it doesn't match the system he saw on the wall of his cell on Proteus back in "The Long Patrol" so as a result in the next two episodes, the debate for Adama is whether they should settle in this system anyway even if Terra is not the Earth of Kobollian belief (this too was a question the series failed to deal with once this overly long trilogy came to an end).

Other details to mention (they are voluminous for an episode that was in serious need of a rewrite to begin with!) later.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 03:49 AM   #4
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Once again, you've made a Very Good Statement. Upon first watching those episodes back on their Orginal Airings... Something just wasn't right with the way they had Apollo acting, was Not in Character ... (I was only 10 when those episodes first aired)

Personally, Sarah was kinda a Psyho... Anti-Tech ... hey, didn't the Orginal 12 Tribes of Kobal go all Anti-Tech Once they settled in the Colonies??

They should've left out both Hector & Vector... and when they were outside in the cold, you get to see the breath of one of those androids.

Now, as for Apollo blasting away at that barrel... really; what purpose did that serve? They could've done better with this episode, but... I guess it can be "Blamed" on a "Short Scheduling Week"...

Actually at One Point... it seems that Apollo might "Beat" the Coordinates outa them.... and we thought Starbuck was the Hot Head of the Bunch...
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Old June 12th, 2005, 01:52 PM   #5
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Not only is he too over the top in the first half of the story but his whole scene with Sarah where she tries to sweet talk him into staying gets my vote for the worst acted moment in the entire series. I took particular pleasure in rewriting the scene by having a more serious Apollo point out that he has a son back aboard the Galactica, and then when he finds out Sarah sabotaged the viper, I just had Apollo lose his temper big time because there wasn't a proper reaction to that (though what does it say about the durability of vipers if the Tic-Tac-Girl can destroy them all by herself???).

Getting rid of Vector and Hector was tempting, but I felt I couldn't go that far. I did though try to have more fun with them, by adding this item after Starbuck and Apollo meet them for the first time.


"I just had a horrible thought go through my head," Starbuck said.
"Yeah?" the black-haired captain glanced at him.
"If Wilker had come with us on this trip, he'd be drawing up plans to copy their circuits to create duplicates for the Fleet."
Apollo contemplated that for an instant and then nodded, "You're right, that *is* a horrible thought."


Another way of having fun with Vector is to have him constantly make remarks about "brains and courage" (Wizard of Oz in-joke). The annoying song-and-dance got shifted to episode's end where it is done by the robots as a way of distracting the Alliance guards so Apollo and Starbuck can take them out.

The Terra Trilogy is IMO more worthy of being known as the "Terrible Terran Trilogy" because it's a story arc that IMO just goes absolutely nowhere and gets doubly cursed by terrible acting, but in a way that makes it a perfect candidate for the whole "New Twists" approach.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 07:32 PM   #6
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I guess I'd have to rate that Episode as a C-

Should've/Could've made a Much better episode... it kinda had the feeling that it wasa just thrown together.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 07:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
Not only is he too over the top in the first half of the story but his whole scene with Sarah where she tries to sweet talk him into staying gets my vote for the worst acted moment in the entire series. I took particular pleasure in rewriting the scene by having a more serious Apollo point out that he has a son back aboard the Galactica, and then when he finds out Sarah sabotaged the viper, I just had Apollo lose his temper big time because there wasn't a proper reaction to that (though what does it say about the durability of vipers if the Tic-Tac-Girl can destroy them all by herself???).
I don't suppose the designer/s of the Viper took into consideration someone deliberatly trying to trash the cockpit. I'm sure that anyone with a screwdriver, a hammer, and a crowbar could make short work of the instruments. I guess she's lucky she didn't try and smash an engine with an ax?
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 04:18 PM   #8
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Where to even begin...
I do not watch this episode on DVD, I do not I do not I do not!
The Laurel and Hardy robots... kill them, send them to boxey and the robomut land. They are cute, but a bit annoying after a while. A short while.
The idea that they come from a low gravity world didnt world for me, they couldnt have because they wouldnt be proportinately similar to a standard human. So I kept wondering about that (sux being in the medical field and knowing a bit of biology), so Id say just have them be normal. Ok, now about the Luna7 thing. I didnt understand, still dont what difference it made to Apollo where it was. I mean, if they wanted answers, why not go to the source, the power in the system, not some moon somewhere with refugees.
The weak kneed councel was another thing I would change in all episodes. Make them strong and determined, like Roman councelors. They should be tough and hard to out debate or argue, not bufoons. If they wanted to show why Adama sometimes gave in and sometimes didnt, have it be where sometimes they made sense in their opinions, maybe not wise, but intellectually honest.
As far as the Vipers getting trashed... dont these people understand close the door when you leave? For crying out loud people, close and secure the canopy!
The bad acting, theres little that can be done about that, its part of having a weekly series I guess. I do wish they had more time between episodes, perhaps they could shoot them well in advance and just air them when needed, in order, in entirety. That might help. I agree, this was a bad one, but salvagable IF your willing to change the cutsey kiddy stuff that was obviously thrown in to be funny for the tykes who should have been in bed instead of staying up late ruining a great show. OOpps did I say that out loud?

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Old September 26th, 2005, 08:53 PM   #9
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Hi Tabitha. Good points all that you recognize, though just to correct one point, it wasn't that they came from a "low gravity" planet, but rather that their planet had a thinner atmosphere than the norm. Don't know if that would affect one's physical appearance.
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"How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."-Ronald Reagan
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Old September 26th, 2005, 09:10 PM   #10
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Mr. Paddon -

Nice to see you return to a thread that you started...

Welcome home!

Bryan
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Old September 26th, 2005, 09:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini1999
Mr. Paddon -

Nice to see you return to a thread that you started...

Welcome home!

Bryan

Thank you, Bryan. It is good to be back and I return in the belief that there's now a clean slate on all things for all of us.


, , , , and for all!
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Old September 26th, 2005, 11:08 PM   #12
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Hi, just to nitpick but the original BSG aired on Sunday nights early in the evening so annoying tykes (like my then 5 year old sister) would still be up. hehe

seriously tho it was it's early time slot that prevented us from seeing the cloven hoof in War of the Gods.

Eric, yes that was bad acting all around but in their defense they were handed script rewrites last minute too often. I did like your adaptation taking out Glen Larson's kids dialogues and running to the neighbors and where were those neighbors btw?

When I got my DVD set 2 years ago I watched the whole series but fast forwarded 2 scenes. The mission song in The Young Lords and H&V's dance in this one. I remember being 10 watching this the night it first aired and my mom saying how silly this scene was.

OMFG I remember that woman's annoying TicTac commercials. I'm glad I never saw one on TVLand.

btw wasn't this episode a spinoff attempt?
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Old September 26th, 2005, 11:59 PM   #13
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Glad you liked the adaptation! Yes, I had to get rid of the Morelands (though I kept an oblique reference to other people in hiding on the planet at the end) because that was the ultimate case of convenient plot device from out of nowhere. First give us a red herring on who wrecked the vipers, then have them implausibly show up to save Starbuck. It never would have worked in a carefully plotted story at all.

And yes, I've heard the story about this being some kind of pilot, though I'm damned if I can figure out how you could have constructed a series out of the adventures of Michael and Sarah and Hector and Vector! That kind of premise would be even flimsier than the kind of series "Assignment Earth" would have been as a Trek spinoff.

Of course Michael could always become a Paradeen Paramedic and then we might have a new show idea that would work for him......
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"How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."-Ronald Reagan
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Old September 27th, 2005, 12:54 AM   #14
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I guess I'm in a minority, but I liked the Terra arc of stories. Must I duck to avoid the rotten tomatoes?
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Old September 27th, 2005, 06:46 AM   #15
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I didn't think this arc was that bad. GFE had a great ending when that arrogant Commodant boasted of his Alliance's power and then saw the Galactica's Landing Bay. The look on his face was just as priceless as Baltar's when he saw the Pegasus.

I thought Baltar's Escape was a pretty good episode.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 11:18 AM   #16
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The Terra arc, deserves some credit for being a first in TV SF, the very fact that is an arc.

The first half of GFE, is good but once they leave the Big G then it goes downhill pretty quickly.

Baltar''s Escape is pretty gripping, but has the terrible "shuttle dive" scene. Guest star Ina Balin excells in another strong female role as Siress Tinia.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #17
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You can sort of say that Saga and LPOTG pave the way for an arc in that the second episode refers back to a lot of specific stuff from the first episode which had only happened with the first few episodes of "Lost In Space" before. The Terra trilogy did indeed try to be different, but its unfortunate the execution was just not very good. Far better to have done a grand arc involving the Cylons, Cain or Iblis than the whole Terra-Eastern Alliance thing IMO.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 06:16 AM   #18
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I'd have liked to have known what Terra (both sides) would've thought about the Galactica when Leiter returns and told them about it.

What do they do when they realize that the big ship that scared the hell out of them is on the run from a race that isn't fond of humans might be passing thru one day?
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Old September 30th, 2005, 03:13 PM   #19
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Yes, this point you raise is another problem with the whole Terra trilogy arc. In "Experiment In Terra" there's suddenly this whole aura of secrecy Apollo has to maintain regarding where he comes from and what his people are capable of doing, but in the previous two episodes a crack Alliance team that has made good their escape ultimately essentially knows all the basic details of the Galactica as well as the Human-Cylon conflict (which Baltar would have to have filled them in on).

What didn't help of course was Lloyd Bochner not appearing in "Experiment In Terra" to lend some closure to this. In fact, EIT went out of its way to avoid showing an interior shot where Bochner would have been visible at episode's beginning since that would have necessitated paying him for another episode no doubt!
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Old September 30th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #20
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ABCs bean counters triumph again!
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Old October 1st, 2005, 01:41 AM   #21
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What does Terra and it's satellite worlds do when a basestar or two or seven pass thru? The humans there will probably contact them asking them to pass on by peacefully, the Cylons will say Ok, pass by, scan the types of ships Terra has, stop and attack. The EA destroyers don't look manuveurable so even a Cylon fighter can hit one.

They didn't see the Galactica from Terra so how would they see a Cylon fleet?

The people of Terra, both sides, would try to convince the Cylons that they have no quarrel with them. Doesn't matter. The Cylons would definitly want to destroy the Terran worlds now. Not just because they're humans but to keep them from being a possible greater threat later on when Terra's ships are at Colonial level.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 01:23 AM   #22
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btw was one of the vipers a 2 seater? I always wondered that when they planned to leave Paradeen to return to the Galactica in their fighters, what was Cassiopea's ride back?

And if it took them a week to get from the Galactica to Paradeen, did she sleep in Michael's ship with her head on the computer every night? No one from the Galactica gave her a cot or blanket to bring with her? Nice way to treat a talented medical officer.

I assume that the ride back was much shorter on the destroyer because the fleet was by Paradeen as it is moving faster. Who knows, maybe when the Galactica passed by close to pick Apollo and Starbuck up Adama would have sent a shuttle down to pick up Cassie. They could have mentioned that during their plotting during pt. 1.

I like the part when Starbuck's having trouble breathing and she tries to give him oxygen and he yells at her to get that felgercarb out of his face. I'm surprised she didn't argue with him for talking to her like that. She didn't seem the type.
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Old October 11th, 2005, 12:53 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabitha
Where to even begin...
I do not watch this episode on DVD, I do not I do not I do not!
The Laurel and Hardy robots... kill them, send them to boxey and the robomut land. They are cute, but a bit annoying after a while. A short while.
The idea that they come from a low gravity world didnt world for me, they couldnt have because they wouldnt be proportinately similar to a standard human. So I kept wondering about that (sux being in the medical field and knowing a bit of biology), so Id say just have them be normal. Ok, now about the Luna7 thing. I didnt understand, still dont what difference it made to Apollo where it was. I mean, if they wanted answers, why not go to the source, the power in the system, not some moon somewhere with refugees.
The weak kneed councel was another thing I would change in all episodes. Make them strong and determined, like Roman councelors. They should be tough and hard to out debate or argue, not bufoons. If they wanted to show why Adama sometimes gave in and sometimes didnt, have it be where sometimes they made sense in their opinions, maybe not wise, but intellectually honest.
As far as the Vipers getting trashed... dont these people understand close the door when you leave? For crying out loud people, close and secure the canopy!
The bad acting, theres little that can be done about that, its part of having a weekly series I guess. I do wish they had more time between episodes, perhaps they could shoot them well in advance and just air them when needed, in order, in entirety. That might help. I agree, this was a bad one, but salvagable IF your willing to change the cutsey kiddy stuff that was obviously thrown in to be funny for the tykes who should have been in bed instead of staying up late ruining a great show. OOpps did I say that out loud?

tabbi

Hello Tabitha,

Hate to slightly derail Eric's intenede topic, but this episode originally aired as a two hour special in the 7:00-9:00PM slot. Curse ABC! Now we can return to the topic at hand. I would just rewrite the whole story. Maybe combine it with "Experiment In Terra" & "Baltar's Escape"(ala "Saga Of A Star World"). Hector & Vector could stay, but lose that whole song and dance bit.
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Old October 11th, 2005, 08:36 AM   #24
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Hi skipper, good to see ya

*Hugs*

tabbi
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Old January 25th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #25
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"btw was one of the vipers a 2 seater? I always wondered that when they planned to leave Paradeen to return to the Galactica in their fighters, what was Cassiopea's ride back?"

You'd have to assume that Apollo's at least could accomodate two since his own fighter was able to accomodate Adama in taking him down to Caprica in SOASW (even though we didn't see any shots to indicate this, it was covered in the dialogue).
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Old January 25th, 2006, 08:56 PM   #26
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Makes me think of Starbuck's No Frill's Viper Flights from the Mad Magazine parody.
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Old January 28th, 2006, 11:26 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegasus4
They didn't see the Galactica from Terra so how would they see a Cylon fleet?

Given that the Terrans are at a higher level than we are now, I would suspect that their deep space tracking would be able to pick up something the size of a Battlestar, if they were scanning in that direction. After all, they have to keep track of each other. But, given the political situation, I can't see the respective governments going on TV telling their people that a huge fleet of unidentified alien ships is passing through their system.
If the Cylons show up, though, I imagine everyone will know, in short order.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 08:13 AM   #28
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Default Re: 13: Greetings From Earth

when apollo's ship get's near you can see the great lakes in his window terra is a counter earth like the startrek world of miri. if the el has 1000 destoryer's as the commander said. where were the rest of them how did the big g and her fleet get close enuff for a viper to go their alone. [ps this is one of the times it is said the galactica has 4 sqrdns of fighter's, but can you tell the writer's goofed mike talk's about world's and never meeting any other race's and at the end they never heard of ship's going faster then the speed of light. these four show's have got to be the worst in the series, love the destoryer but does any one notice that kreb's is not in baltar's escape must not wanted to pay him. pss i have heard the noman were the basis of the new klingon's.
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