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Old December 29th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #1
Eric Paddon
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Battlestar Galactica 1978 02: Lost Planet Of The Gods

This thread will be for discussion on changes etc. on adapting "Lost Planet Of The Gods" and conforming the story to a continuous season arc storyline.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 04:58 PM   #2
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More should have been addressed regarding the void that surrounds Kobol. Is it natural? If not, who put it there, and why? Does it in some way relate to the planet's condition? And, just for my own curiousity, when we see the pyramids in twilight, is this due to the star fading again, or the planet's rotation?
More time should have been devoted to Apollo and Serina's relationship. I mean, did they or didn't they??????
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:53 PM   #3
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I actually say they did, but as far back as Saga, during their time together on Carillon.

As for what constitutes the properties of the void, that's one detail I prefer to see left in the realm of the mysterious.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 07:58 AM   #4
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Unlike Saga, which is the kind of episode that I think need not have its essential structure changed and requires more depth adding, LPOTG (IMO) is the first one that requires something a bit more substantive from the standpoint of a partial redo. And the biggest change stems from two points relative to part 1.

The depiction of women as potential new viper pilots has been one of the tougher things about the original to defend, because it does seem inconceivable that after a thousand yahrens of fighting the idea hasn't been attempted before. Likewise, it seems very farfetched to accept the idea that Apollo and Starbuck are the only two viper pilots not stricken by the illness. The amount of men we see in the club for his party do not seem like the kind of large number we saw filling the stars at the climax of Saga.

So how to change this? I decided first that the illness would in fact render stricken only Blue Squadron pilots, who would be gathered for a party for Apollo. By contrast, the Red Squadron pilots, who in Saga I establish as being comprised of the orphan pilots from the destroyed Battlestar Columbia, were keeping their distance given the kind of natural segregation that would exist between pilots who served on two different battlestars. So ultimately, instead of an unrealistic crisis that reduces the fighter strength of the Galactica to a mere two pilots, a more realistic crisis of half the pilots being disabled and leaving the Fleet with an unacceptable safety margin to effectively defend themselves is then created.

Building up this squadron dichotomy also let me expand an obscure character from GOIPZ into semi-significant importance. The viper pilot who escorts the shuttle and is then killed by the pulsar is named Killian. I got to thinking that he had to be a very experienced senior pilot if he was assigned to that mission, so from that thread I made him retroactively in Saga, the lead Columbia pilot who survives who ends up becoming head of the new Red Squadron. This allowed me to give him and Apollo some scenes about how to address the problem of training new pilot recruits and how they can overcome their own barriers in terms of the rivalry between Galactica and non-Galactica pilots. Ultimately, the strength in doing this will help me in time when I get around to doing GOIPZ because then when Killian gets killed, it will be with the impact of a series regular with front of the episode credit getting suddenly killed off, rather than a faceless figure from obscurity.

In terms of fixing what I felt was a slightly sexist aspect to the recruitment of female pilots, I tried to just make it clear that all were qualified shuttle pilots who got to an advanced level of training fast based on their own natural aptitude skills. Throwing a couple male recruits into the mix at random also was part of it, though the focus remains on those we met like Dietra, Brie etc. One scene that had to go was Serina's unprofessional, "I love you" to Apollo during the training session. That just went totally against the grain of the serious situation they were all dealing with.

Other major point I expanded on was the matter of Baltar's offer to Adama about striking back against the Cylons. To me, this was a genuine offer born by Baltar's desire to get back at the Cylons for double-crossing him. He still has to fudge the truth regarding his own role in the destruction, but as far as the offer itself goes, to me it makes more sense for it to have been genuine. As a result, when Adama rejects the offer because of his belief in something that Baltar considers a myth (Earth), it fuels Baltar's sense of hatred for Adama because from his standpoint, Adama has denied him his last chance to make amends with his fellow humans and forced him in the name of survival to commit himself entirely to the Cylon cause from now on.

Here is the link to the finished LPOTG. http://www.galacticafanfic.com/stories/bsg-lpotg.txt
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Old January 4th, 2005, 08:28 PM   #5
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I think in part Adama's refusal to join Baltar stems from a reasonable distrust. Baltar sold them out once, who would trust him now? I certainly would not, and neither does Adama. It doesn't matter how sincere Baltar might have been, no one will believe a word he says, and he has no one to blame but himself.
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Old January 15th, 2005, 05:22 AM   #6
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Agreed, you can't trust a word that Baltar says. Thats why he was able to deceive the colonies in the first place, he could lie to you and you bought it, because he had an answer for everything right up to the first shot fired at the Armastice. He said it was a welcoming commity and they all(except Adama) bought it. Thats what made him a great villian and John C.'s performance in the roll made it even more convincing. Hell I would have believed him!
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Old January 15th, 2005, 09:07 AM   #7
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But in this context, plotting out Baltar's character development over the course of the season requires asking whether in Baltar's own mind, the offer was genuine or not, and I think on that basis I would say yes, though it's not for reasons of remorse but for looking out for himself at this point. At this stage he has to be more angry with the Cylons for doublecrossing him, and his first instinct would be to try and do something aimed at getting back at them first.

But the events of LPOTG sees everything Baltar had planned on go completely wrong, and this has to fuel him with an extra level of hatred aimed at Adama, Apollo and Starbuck. Just why for instance in "Baltar's Escape" would Baltar say, "Too bad it's not Apollo and Starbuck, I can settle all my debts." Exactly why would Baltar be more fixated with them? The answer is, the events of LPOTG. Starbuck was part of the key to his whole plan when he took him prisoner and released him, and Apollo he could hate for not having spoken up in favor of Baltar's offer more forcefully (remember, Apollo at first hesitated, saying, "What if he can prove what he says?").

None of this means Apollo and Adama should be faulted for rejecting the offer, it just means that if we're to understand Baltar's actions and motives better over the course of the series episodes, this point about the offer being genuine (in his mind) I think needs to be clearly established.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 06:42 AM   #8
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I'm a little confused about something.

In the airing of the show, Adama remarks that their ancestors traversed the void and were "guided" by the star which appeared at the end of the void, leading them to safety after leaving their dying planet. However, when the Colonials traversed the void and saw the "star", it guided them to Kobol (the dying planet).

Am I just hopelessly confused or did anyone else pick up on this?

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Old January 22nd, 2005, 09:56 AM   #9
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Pete, that's a good point you raise and when I did my adaptation I also felt the need to deal with that inconsistency. Here's what I came up with, in a scene I created of Adama explaining to Apollo and Serina before they go down to Kobol.


"I think I'm a little confused, Father," Apollo said apologetically. "If a single star led them out of the void, then how can it be in such close proximity to the mother planet now? And how come we didn't see it when we first entered the void?"
"For a simple reason, Apollo," Adama said. "We didn't enter the void from the same position the Kobollians left it. By our calculations, it took us one full day in the void before we saw the star. But the trajectory taken on Delta eight heading, starting from here," Adama pointed to the chart showing the star at the center, "Will have us out of the void in two centars flight time."
"You're sure of that?" Serina inquired.
"I've already had scanning and an advance probe during the night confirm it. Once we attend to our business here on Kobol, leaving the void will be a simple matter of going out the way the Kobollians left it, and not going back out the way we came in. And the star will still be in full view by the time we leave it.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:03 AM   #10
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Hmm, interesting "twist", Eric. The Kobollians left by another vector. The one remaining point of confusion is that Kobol was said to be in orbit of that star, right?

I don't remember the exact quote from Adama but, he ordered the bridge crew to "scan for a planet..... distant from the star".

Now, if Kobol was in a binary or trinary system, that could explain a lot.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:05 AM   #11
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One other question - if the Galactica and the RTF leave by the same path as the Kobollians, wouldn't that put them on a heading toward the Colonies?
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:39 AM   #12
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Only to a limited degree. Once they get out of the void they are back in what would still be at this early stage of their journey, charted space to them, since next week in "Lost Warrior" Adama specifically refers to the Hatari System being where Apollo is lost so they would exit to a point where if they went in another direction they'd be headed back to the Colonies but now they're proceeding forward.

I think in my case I had the planet Kobol itself somewhat distant from the star. I know I didn't use the term "trinary "but if that's the best way to clear that up, then I endorse it!
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
I think in my case I had the planet Kobol itself somewhat distant from the star. I know I didn't use the term "trinary "but if that's the best way to clear that up, then I endorse it!
No, no, no....don't misunderstand my comment. What I meant was IF Kobol was in a binary or trinary system, the star at the end of the void could have been a different star than the one Kobol orbitted.

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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:55 AM   #14
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I'm rapidly revealing how scientific jargon is not my strong point! Actually I think we are on the same wavelength, because I never saw the star that guided the Kobollians as the one that the planet orbited.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 11:14 AM   #15
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Ah, ok. *whew
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 02:57 PM   #16
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Given the time that has elapsed since the refugees fled Kobol, both the system and the void may have altered position. All stars do over time, and Kobol's sun would be no exception. Also, how did the void come to envelope the system in the first place, and did it affect the planet's environment at all? With the sun being dark so much of the time, it's no wonder life seemingly stopped there.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 03:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senmut
Given the time that has elapsed since the refugees fled Kobol, both the system and the void may have altered position. All stars do over time, and Kobol's sun would be no exception. Also, how did the void come to envelope the system in the first place, and did it affect the planet's environment at all? With the sun being dark so much of the time, it's no wonder life seemingly stopped there.
The movement would probably be negliegible, Sen. The rotational alterations you mentioned usually occur over millions of years primarily due to increases in the mass of the star, as it goes through its life-cycle. As I recall, the migration was only several millenia prior to the present-day TOS universe.

I lean toward two possibilities -

1) a multiple star system; OR
2) we found a blooper.

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Old January 22nd, 2005, 03:52 PM   #18
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I always find myself in the realm of not wanting to come up with a total explanation for a phenomenon like the void. It keeps an aura of mystery to the whole thing, especially if you almost want to leave room to wonder if a "zone of darkness" leading to destruction could as easily have been a form of Divine punishment like one of the Old Testament plagues on Egypt. If so, you don't try to explain something like that in the pure "natural" terms.

Keeping a good mystery for things like that is also the kind of thing that helps make Season 1 episodes of "Space 1999" superior to Season 2 since they didn't attempt explanations like that for many of the strange things they encountered in Season 1.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 09:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BST
No, no, no....don't misunderstand my comment. What I meant was IF Kobol was in a binary or trinary system, the star at the end of the void could have been a different star than the one Kobol orbitted.

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My guess was that the star was merely the first to be seen as they reached the end of the void on the journey to the Colonial worlds. Maybe it was the suns the Colonies orbit?
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Old January 29th, 2005, 10:45 AM   #20
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 07:49 AM   #21
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To Senmut, I would say not likely considering that if it were the star that the Colonies orbit that would be a fixed point in space known to them from the outset of their journey before they enter the void and one would have to assume a much shorter proximity between Kobol and the Colonies that I don't think existed.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 05:59 AM   #22
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This is a place I advocate some big changes, but perhaps not the kind you'd think.

First, this needs to be pushed back further in the season. Guessing based on what data I have, this episode aired when it did only because of when Jane Seymour was availiable for filming.
It is pretty clear from production numbers and such that Gun on Ice Planet Zero was supposed to happen between SoaSW and LPotG. Also, that these three scripts were done before the change in format from a series of TV movies to a regular 1-hour series was made, so a few of the early 1-hour scripts may be best placed before LPotG, either before or after GoIPZ.

For instance, The Long Patrol, with it's lost Colonial Prison, should be before LPotG.

Some of Adama's dialogue in one of the several versions of LPothG makes it clear that the Colonists destroyed their technology after leaving Kobol, and rebuilt the ability for spacetravel, etc over millenia. So, any Colonial Outpost should be closer to the Colonies that Kobol, which they did not know the location of (only vague directions).

Now, to reply to your points:
I agree that it makes a more modern and plausable rewrite that the disease doesn't get everybody, just a lot of them, and that the shuttle pilots should include some males. They can still be mostly female, since .... well, most nations do try to stick women with non-combat jobs, and for very practical reasons. 1 man and 50 women can make the same number of babies as 50 men and 50 women, so your population will grow/recover based on the number of surviving women. This creates an urge to put the women somewhere safe.
But that's a tale for another day.

Quote:
But in this context, plotting out Baltar's character development over the course of the season requires asking whether in Baltar's own mind, the offer was genuine or not, and I think on that basis I would say yes, though it's not for reasons of remorse but for looking out for himself at this point. At this stage he has to be more angry with the Cylons for doublecrossing him, and his first instinct would be to try and do something aimed at getting back at them first.
And I have to say "no", for much the same reason.
Baltar does not believe the Galactica can possably destroy the cylons, and is not interesed in suicidal vengeance.
However, if he can get the Galactica to attack Cylon forces, this will prove that they rebuffed the offer of peace he was supposed to be taking to them. This will make him useful to the Cylons in the capacity of Human Hunter, giving him a comfortable life.
With Baltar, it's all about "Is this good for me?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by BST
I'm a little confused about something.
I first noticed that when I was eight, and it does deserve fixing.

However,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
"I've already had scanning and an advance probe during the night confirm it. Once we attend to our business here on Kobol, leaving the void will be a simple matter of going out the way the Kobollians left it, and not going back out the way we came in. And the star will still be in full view by the time we leave it.
If their goal is to find Earth, it makes absolutely no sense for the Galactica to plan to retrace the path from Kobol to the Colonies.

I agree entirely with the notion that they did not enter the Void where the original Colonists left it, but .....

It appears that the Colonies were in fact in a Star Cluster, a group of solar systems very close together (close enough, often, that planet's orbits would intersect), and that near the center of this was the Nova they passed through going to Carrilon.
That Nova would be a very bright star, I think.
So, have Adama point out that a direct line from Kobol to the Nova would pass through a thinner part of the Void, or better still, that the Nova would have been brighter six thousand Yahren ago, and they would have been able to see it much farther into the Void.
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Old March 21st, 2005, 11:37 AM   #23
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The big problem ultimately with trying to place TLP before LPOTG though is that it would require a rewrite of a still living Serina, and also explaining the nature of Apollo's relationship to Boxey at this point since LPOTG would be robbed of a good deal if Apollo and Serina married earlier than that story.
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Old March 21st, 2005, 09:43 PM   #24
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Agreed. TLP obviously belongs directly after LPOTG. As to the other worlds the Fleet finds, we can put that down to having to zig-zag and detour a great deal, all to evade Cylon patrols. Once they get the course to Earth from the SOL beings, it's all a fairly straight course from then on.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 02:25 PM   #25
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Taking this idea of when LPOTG is set, the original 'official' adaptations had GOIPZ come before LPOTG. They ignored Serina for some unfathomable reason and in the adaptation of SOASW establsihed that Boxey wasn't Serina's son. Just a kid whose parents presumably died in the attack and she took charge of him. When Serina and Apollo began courting Boxey was essentially adopted by the two of them which explained Boxey's presence aboard the shuttle and his referring to Apollo as Dad.
My take is that the episodes happened in the order they were made/broadcast (though I've no explanation for how the void and Kobol wasn't encountered by explorers and settlers from the Colonies prior to LPOTG is beyond me), but that the interval between SOASW and LPOTG is larger than most episodes, say a month or two instead of a couple of weeks. Long enough for Apollo and Serina to have a decent courtship length wise and possibly for some of the groundwork and organising necessary for the journey to have been completed, maybe even for the worst of the Post traumatic Stress that must have set in following the holocaust to begin to die down (though never go completely away of course).
I think there's a great deal of scope for stories set between the SOASW part 3 and LPOTG part 1.
As for Baltar, well I too think his offer to Adama was sincere. Possibly motivated by revenge for his being doublecrossed. As for why a consumate coward like him might risk such a thing the answer is that if he succeeds people might be so overwhelemed by finally defeating the Cylons, they'll be in Baltar's debt. And he would collect on it. If they fail and Baltar dies, well Baltar probably knew from the moment he was spared that once the Fleet was destroyed, he'd probably be joining them so he took a risk.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 07:04 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n-121973
Taking this idea of when LPOTG is set, the original 'official' adaptations had GOIPZ come before LPOTG. They ignored Serina for some unfathomable reason and in the adaptation of SOASW establsihed that Boxey wasn't Serina's son.
AFAIK the reason for this is they were based on an early script.
Early versions of the script had many characters with different names (Skyler for Apollo), the Serena character on the Council of Twelve, Boxey an unrelated orphan to be taken in by Athena, etc. Changes were being made to the script right up to filming, and in fact some major plot elements were changed in the editing room. The most famous is Baltar's fate, as a version shown in theaters in Canada and Europe before the ABC TV airing showed Baltar's execution. Less famous is that Serena was terminally ill and dies before the end of Saga of a Star World. This was filmed, but edited out of both the theatrical and TV versions.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 07:26 AM   #27
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It's because these "official" novelizations retained these early draft ideas not just in a particular episode, but throughout the course of the entire novelization series that I could never latch on to them. There was always something missing I felt by changing the dynamics of things from the way I saw them unfold on TV, so that's why I came up with the idea of doing these kinds of adaptations that don't change the basic essence of what we saw unfold on screen. To me, Boxey would have been a much more annoying character if he'd been an orphan rather than Serina's real son.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 10:05 AM   #28
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The novelizations were to hit the book shelves right after the network debut of the show in order to cash in on the show popularity. Richard Colla, the show’s first director played fast and loss with the story and got canned for it. But the damage was done.

I have go go along with Eric, the film versions are cannon for me, while the books fill in where there is no conflict.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 10:05 AM   #29
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Quote:
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... To me, Boxey would have been a much more annoying character if he'd been an orphan rather than Serina's real son.
You mean like the "re-imaged" Boxey on TNS? Oh, geeze, did I say that out loud? Sorry.... I'll go to my room now....
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 10:14 AM   #30
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If Colla was the one who made the change on Boxey-Serina, they shouldn't have canned him for that!
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