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Old December 29th, 2004, 10:02 PM   #1
Eric Paddon
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Battlestar Galactica 1978 15: Experiment In Terra

This thread will be for discussion on changes etc. on adapting episode #15 "Experiment In Terra" and conforming the story to a continuous season arc storyline.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 04:36 PM   #2
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Were I doing so, I would show more of the inner workings of the Eastern Alliance command structure. Why the Supreme Commandant decided to strike when he did, and why the SOLB decided Terra needed saving, when they did NOT intervene to save the Coloies from Baltar's treachery.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 04:42 PM   #3
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Good questions to raise there. Would you raise these issues only in EIT, or would you drop hints and foreshadowings about them in "Greetings From Earth" and/or "Baltar's Escape?"
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 04:52 PM   #4
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I'd show a tad more of the EA in Greetings. In BE, chatting between Enforcers might have been used to explain a few plot points, like how the war is going, and we should have seen at least one Nationalist warship. The Supreme Commandant definately needed more screen time. As to why Terra was saved but not the Colonies, it would could have been handled during Apollo's chat with John outside the government building after the bombs all go off. Maybe the SOLB are just as fallible as we are?
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Old March 10th, 2005, 10:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
This thread will be for discussion on changes etc. on adapting episode #15 "Experiment In Terra" and conforming the story to a continuous season arc storyline.
in the first part useing my trusty pause button when starbuck turns on his scanner, it shows the fire power of the ship .[telaview extennsions[324?] lazers 67[87?] protonenergizers[64?] ,at least thats what i see. wish try could have had the cylons show up!. this 4 parter might have been a spin off show[or so i have heard]. love luicfers voice he was the best part of the show. in the last book he was caught by starbuck and came over to the winning team [his starbucks ,words] great site love muffit, he saved the day more than red green and yellow sqdrns combinded. see ya
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Old June 15th, 2005, 12:51 PM   #6
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Default Question for Eric P

Eric,

In EIT, the Galactica does something that we've never seen it do before, project an energy shield above the atmosphere of a planet and save it from nuclear armageddon.

Given that this is a pretty good defensive weapon, would you adjust that part of EIT to make it fit more in line with the capablities of the Big G we'd seen up and to that point or come up with some plausible explanation for the shield capability?

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Old June 15th, 2005, 06:25 PM   #7
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Good question. I still need to do "Baltar's Escape" first but you are raising something that certainly must be dealt with to make things more consistent since the Galactica should be utlizing some of their existing weaponry and not something that makes us wonder why they didn't utilize something like that before. If you've got a suggestion on what to use I'm glad to listen on that!

One change I do plan on making is that there needs to be some conflict and angst regarding Adama's decision to leave the Fleet unguarded. This is totally out of character in light of his behavior in Living Legend when he did not want to leave the Fleet unguarded and conquer Gomorrah, so at the very least there has to be some dialogue where Adama can say that the lack of Cylon presence for some time can make this a more viable option now than at the time of LL.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:28 AM   #8
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Eric,

The only thing I can think of in regard to the defence shield. is that if you look closely at some FX sequences there is some sort of blue flash that covers areas of the ship when fired upon, some kind of energy shield.

The G could extend this field but maybe it's such a drain on other parts of the ship it can't be maintained at a significant distance for an extended amount of time.

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Old June 21st, 2005, 07:57 PM   #9
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Interesting theory! I'll keep it in mind and see how things unfold when I finally get around to doing this story.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 08:36 PM   #10
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Well, Cain did order "All defensive screens to maximum power." Obviously, there are capabilities Battlestars have that were, sadly, never explored in the show. I wonder, since it can block nuclear ordnance, if the shield could even be used as a sort of battering ram in a last ditch emergency?
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Old June 24th, 2005, 08:01 PM   #11
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UIT was this morning episode on TV. The three biggest anomolies were
1. the light speed comment
2. leaving the fleet with only squadrons of Vipers to look after it
3. the planetary energy shield

Tigh says the G hasn't been to light speed for a while. This seems to confirm the whole fleet has been crawling at sub light speed since the start and therefore can't have got far. Totally at odds with comments about getting out of the galaxy and from far accross the universe etc etc (altho the time/ distance screw ups in dialogue are already well known)

Its not clear why are the cylons are suddenly no threat. Gave up after Baltar was captured/handed over by Iblis? Iblis called them off? Imperious leader has better things to do (Adama can't know this)
How can Adama know they haven't plotted the forward course and are now waiting ahead (having used light speed)
Can Vipers be left that long on their fuel reserves to actively patrol/ defend the fleet? Aren't they just short range attack craft. There seemed little clear reason why the G had to go


The whole energy shield scenes smacked of cobbled together with a cheap extra effect, backed up with stock fx footage of in space explosions minus the miniatures. 11 out of 10 for cost effectiveness, but a poor result. I would have liked to see some EM pusle that knocks them off course on the rise of the arc that made for a shooting gallery for the Vipers (assuming not all of them got left with the fleet) explainable by the less advanced nature of the weaponry


More background on the whole EA history would be good. The cultural references in it when first aired were pretty obvious then, but not now, and need both toning down (just a little) as part of explaination.

I don't have good fixes in mind for these things (making this post of limited use to this thread, I know), but I believe the EIT ep is a useful parable .

Cheers,
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 04:02 PM   #12
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I got an idea about the energy shield.
Maybe it is only a low power thingy, good against physical objects, like meterorites and slow weak crappy missles. Maybe its useless against high power lasers like everyone shoots. If so, that totally explains why its not used to defend the Galactica, simply, it cant. It might be like a screen just to keep little tiny rocks and stuff from destroying the ship.
In part of the series, they show Adama doing mind over matter, maybe he can also see just a tad into the possible future. I say possible because if he can, he can take steps to alter it. Maybe sometimes he can sense what MAY happen and tries to prevent it. Maybe sometimes he isnt sure what is a possible future, and what is a probable future. If thats the case, then sometimes just trusting a gut instinct may seem illogical to anyone who doesnt sense what you do?
What I did like about EIT... well they wernt Cylons for once. They found a culture that could have possibly helped them defeat the cylons. They did find a potential source for all their needs, air, water, food, guys with cute... well anyhow they found what they needed.
What I didnt like... well, basically it got a tad too preachy. I dont mind a good moral, but it did get just a tad too preachy.
What I would love to have rewritten, well how about the Vipers are given a chance to really show their stuff against some EA ships, or maybe the other side isnt as good as they seem. Maybe theres a cease fire and both sides unite to help Galactica fight off cylons, then some of the fleet can stay to colonize, and maybe they pick up a few ships of people leaving Terra to go with the Galactica fleet.

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Old October 6th, 2005, 09:47 PM   #13
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I don't think one could say that there was anything about Terran civilization that would be of any help in the fight against the Cylons. They were totally primitive from that standpoint.

Resolving the matter of why the Fleet decided to move on at episode's end and forget about this human civilization and where it came from is a big priority for when I do this episode.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 09:36 PM   #14
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I think the reason the Fleet moves on is simply because Adama knows that some on the Council will agitate to stop and settle there. "Our technology can help you. The Cylons are gone. We're safe now. Blah, blah, blah." Adama isn't dumb enough to think the danger is past, and hanging around Terran space too long could bring the Cylons there as surely as sending a signal to Imperious Leader.
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Old November 5th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #15
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Well actually in "Hand Of God" there is an indication that Adama has begun to be lullled into the idea that the Cylons are a thing of the past, because the first words we hear from him after the report comes from Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba are, "I thought we'd lost them for good." Adama I think would only arrive at the kind of conclusion you posit concerning the Terrans after some considerable soul-searching, and I think ultimately it's the understanding that Terra is *not* Earth, that for him is the stickler because he is more convinced that the destiny of Colonial Civilization has to lie on Earth itself.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 09:25 AM   #16
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Getting close to the time when I should start doing an adaptation of this episode and complete the "Terra trilogy" arc. In the wake of my "Baltar's Escape" adaptation, which I chose to end by having Leiter and the Enforcers kill the Nomen and jettison them into space, I think one idea that's now emerged for me is to have Leiter and all those who were aboard the Galactica with no tangible proof of their experience left to present to higher-ups in the Alliance. This is important from my standpoint since EIT, in its confused state, makes it clear that at episode's end the Alliance government thinks the Nationalists are responsible for the sudden display of power and has no knowledge of the Galactica. So therefore, in order for the peace that the SOL have used the Galactica and Apollo to help bring about to last, the Alliance has to remain ignorant of the Galactica, and Leiter in all likelihood will find himself facing serious charges if he keeps trying to push a story that his superiors now dismiss as a myth.

At the very least, Leiter has to be intimidated into keeping silent about something he has no proof about, or the only other alternative is to have Leiter executed for incompetence, but while I thought it was dramatically necessary to dispense of the Nomen, doing the same with Leiter is something I'd rather avoid.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 08:02 PM   #17
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But wouldn't Leiter warn his superiors about the Cylons? Apollo told the Nationalists about them. What would the Alliance think? Laugh it off as a scifi story and find out Cylons exist the hard way or plan with the Nationalists on what to do if a basestar passes by?

John told Apollo not to say it was the Galactica that stopped the missiles. But shouldn't they know it was so they can get an idea of what a Cylon basestar can do? Maybe Apollo can ask John what was the point of stopping a nuclear war if Terra can still be slaughtered by Cylons one day.

Don't kill Leiter. He's a great villain and I'd like to see him in a Virtual Second (or third) season story.
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Old April 15th, 2006, 04:23 AM   #18
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The problem though is that if Leiter's superiors accept any part of his story, then the Alliance will have every reason to resume the war against the Nationalists. I think this is a point that sometimes gets overlooked when people think about ways to bring back the Alliance, because they *have* to deal with the fact that the SOL has tried to engineer things so that they can't be a marauding threat in effect any longer, and have to start becoming more chastened.

The door will be open to utilize them in the VS project if we can find the right story, but at the moment there's no specific plan on using them.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 02:01 AM   #19
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Well, since the EA just blew all it's nukes, it has precious little to resume the war with. It has asked for peace on Nationalist terms. By the time Leiter gets home, if he does, it may be too late to stop his government from making this blunder. Of course, once he does, it could lead to the downfall of the Supreme Commandant and his clique.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #20
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Well, I finally got around to doing an adaptation of this episode which will appear at galacticafanfic.com real soon, and as it turned out fixing this episode from its many flaws proved to be much easier than I expected.

#1-The first thing that needs to be done in fixing this episode is restoring the SOL beings to the level of grandeur and mystery they evoked in WOTG. In EIT they come across as too-cutesy run of the mill superbeings who are played too much for laughs in the form of Edward Mulhare's John. I found that the way to do this is first, have John be totally dead serious in his conversations with Apollo, and also clear up the matter of why the SOL beings seem so frustratingly unhelpful throughout much of the episode. It has to come back to the fact that the SOL beings, as they established in WOTG, value the principle of free will, and thus their role can only be to "point the way" for those to do the things they will need to do for themselves. So thus, John can send Apollo to Terra, and drop him a few helpful pointers to clear up confusion but it's Apollo to figure out what has to be done. And John has to tell Apollo bluntly these are the restrictions he operates under, and that way we won't have the annoying spectacle of Apollo constantly calling out to John for help and making everyone around him think he's a nut.

#2-Apollo has to improvise a lot better than he does in this episode where he never shows any flair for acting out the charade of being Charlie Watts. As a trained warrior, Apollo should at the very least have gotten some kind of basic counterintelligence training that would have told him how he could improvise if need be in a tight spot, and he just gives it no effort that makes you think he's a pro at this kind of thing. So this time, I have Apollo try to bluff his way a lot more effectively, and above all have him realize that he can not try the "I look like CHarlie but I'm really someone from another galaxy talking to someone who you can't see!" cop out he ultimately resorts to, because in a plausible world he would have been sized for a straitjacket with that story. The key to getting Apollo comfortable with improvising the role of Watts is that in the GFE adaptation, I had established Watts as the man who had helped Michael and Sarah escape from Lunar Seven, and so Michael would have mentioned his name to Apollo, and thus Apollo could draw from what he learned then as his key to improvising.

#3-Starbuck could not possibly have had the fuel to get all the way to Terra on his own, especially if the SOL beings had to get Apollo that far with their help and the Galactica had to use their top speed. So I had Starbuck stop on one of the destroyed satellite colonies to look for more fuel, and this sequed up to another important change.

#4-Bringing in the real Charlie Watts into the story. They didn't play up this angle well at all, especially since by the time Apollo has "revealed" himself, the Terrans should be asking just what happened to the real Charlie, and also the fact that when Apollo is addressing the Presidium he would still be looking like Charlie to everyone else, especially the President who had the real Charlie imprisoned on Lunar One, and who would immediately notice something odd from his standpoint. How do you bring him in? John said Charlie had just escaped from Lunar One, so when Starbuck lands there to refuel himself, he encounters the real Charlie who forces Starbuck to take him to Terra so he can report the details of his mission. This way, Starbuck can more plausibly be led to where Apollo and the others are being held prisoner. And when John appears to Starbuck, he is doing this for the express purpose of allowing Starbuck and Charlie to see Apollo as he really is, or otherwise, Starbuck and Charlie would be wandering in to see Apollo looking like Charlie. Naturally, this can provide an amusing moment when Brenda, Maxwell and Stone are suddenly seeing two Charlies.

#5-In the Presidium speech, the real Charlie speaks first to report on what he observed of Alliance conduct, and this allows him to introduce Apollo first as one who knows the details of what happened on Paradeen, and then for Apollo to tell the story of what happened to Colonial Civilization.

#6-I felt that the Galactica's strange ability to destroy all of the Alliance missiles was best explained by having them use not weaponry of their own but a mundane feature of the ship like her tractor beam for towing vehicles, then when dispersed on a wide beam would cause the primitive missiles to overload and blow up.

#7-Apollo learns from John that he can not be told just what the connection between Terra and the Thirteenth Tribe, if one exists, is. This has to be kept purposefully vague so any fanfic writer can create their own theory. The important thing is that in the GFE adaptation, I had them already discover that Terra wasn't Earth itself, so that way that factor became a non-issue early on.

#8-An epilogue where Adama tells the Council why he thinks it best that the Fleet not settle on Terra. And with the Council humiliated and chastened by the events of Baltar's Escape, they are at that point willing to go along.

#9-And also, it's important to settle the matter of what happened to Leiter. The Alliance Supreme Commandant has sued for peace because he thinks the Nationalists have a great shield against any kind of attack. Leiter though, would be the one to know that in fact the Nationalists have no such weapon. But alas, Leiter has no tangible proof to offer because he chose to kill the Nomen at the end of the BE adaptation and jettison their bodies into space. Nonetheless, Leiter is still alive and well at the end of EIT and in a position to boost his political stock in the Alliance because he does know the general truth. Not that it can help the Alliance with any reason for restarting the war since the situation now is one where the balance of power is in the Nationalists favor as the Galactica intervention destroyed the Alliance's missile arsenal but the Nationalists still have theirs intact because they were destroyed before the automatic launch systems for their missilies kicked in. (Apollo knows that the Nationalists would never be bloodthirsty enough to use their own weapons in a sneak attack, because that is what sets them apart from the Alliance, but he knows it can be a powerful weapon diplomatically in getting terms favorable to them).

And having done all this, at long last, I can lessen some of the instinctive distaste I have for this episode as it first aired!
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Old October 18th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #21
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cool, but are either side going to wonder what happens in the future if Cylons pass thru the system?
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Old October 19th, 2006, 11:41 PM   #22
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<<As a trained warrior, Apollo should at the very least have gotten some kind of basic counterintelligence training that would have told him how he could improvise if need be in a tight spot, and he just gives it no effort that makes you think he's a pro at this kind of thing. >>

I agree, he was undercover in that little town in The Lost Warrior. He seemed to know what he was doing covering his identity and trying to protect those who knew who and what he was.

But I wonder what kind of basic counterintelligence training the Colonial Academies would have given considering that at the time of his training the only enemy they thought of were a race of robots and it's kind of hard to blend in among them if shot down behind enemy lines. I could picture Starbuck bringing this up at the acacemy when he was a cadet.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #23
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In Saga, Adar refers to the danger over "outlaw traffic", so I think that indicates that Colonial civilization has had its share of minor enemies to deal with in addition to the Cylons over the yahrens. Counterintelligence would work great for dealing with those kinds of enemies.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 10:21 PM   #24
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I just thought of this. An in-joke in the adaptation about the real life Charlie Watts drummer of the Rolling Stones for over 40 years. The quiet one who every picture I ever saw of them (plus the 1989 concert I went to) had an expressionless face.

I heard on the radio once he punched out Mick Jagger at a hotel for calling him his little drummer boy.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 01:24 AM   #25
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Default Re: 15: Experiment In Terra

I wonder if massed Destroyers could effectively engage a BaseShip?
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Old September 29th, 2011, 07:47 PM   #26
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Default Re: 15: Experiment In Terra

Quote:
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I wonder if massed Destroyers could effectively engage a BaseShip?
I think they said it best "A pack of wolves can take down a bear."

I really think Terra and the Eastern Alliance was not given a fair shake. What would have I have changed about this episode?

Well, we got some good Starbuck time in this one. That's a keeper.
The whole Charlie Watts thing... ugggg.... I cringe when I think of this episode, aside from the cool moments with Starbuck. How to do this better? Hehe.. ok... here we go...

EXPERIMENT ON TERRA - REVISION 2

So Galactica had a captured Eastern Alliance ship right?

Apollo is captured in space by the crystal/light people, and is told that the home planet of the colonists that they found in space is in peril. But, in the wisdom of the ancient ones, and to test Apollo as a warrior of great heart, they seek Apollo to find the solution.

And Apollo does in spades.

Apollo recruits Bojay, Starbuck, Boomer, and Jolly to help him fly the captured destroyer to Terra....

... ok, not exactly sure where this would go next, since this is a new idea, but I think this would have been a blast. Basically with Starbuck's guile they could trick both sides to meeting in the middle, with both sides believing the other side wants to meet for peace. And in the end they agree since neither side wanted war to begin with.

Apollo flies out at the end of the episode to meet with the crystal/light people. Balance is restored, and there is great relief. Apollo pops the question if this the Earth they were looking for.

"Yes, but they are not ready for you... or the cylons. We're sorry."

"Sorry for what? I don't understand...."

"Perhaps in a few years Terra and their neighboring planets will grow into their own to be an added strength to you. But for now, they must finish the growing that you helped start. Thank you, and goodbye for now."


"Wait a minute..." Apollo screams sitting up in what seems to be a change of surroundings to the sick bay.

"Whoa!! Wait a minute yourself ole buddy."

"Starbuck.. what the frack is going on?"

"I can't even begin to say. But I can say this, Terra is gone."

"What do you mean Terra's gone?"

"Well, not just Terra, but every bit of space, every star along the way... everything!"

"You're not making sense..."

"I know, it's like we are in another part of the galaxy."


You know... something fun along those lines.

Which would give the series sayyy... 3 or 4 more years till they find Terra again. During that time, new alien races, new allies, new enemies as they find their way back to Terra.

And then once they reach Terra, Terra is stronger, solidified, and able to help Galactica and their fleet make a final stand against the Cylons.

Afterall, we would not want the poor humans to wander space forever, but another 3 or 4 years would not have hurt.
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