Galactica Discovers Earth

Galactica Discovers Earth

Infobox Television episode | Title = Galactica Discovers Earth
Series = Galactica 1980
Season = 1
Episode = 1-3
Airdate = January 27, February 3, and February 10, 1980
Writer = Glen A. Larson
Director = Sidney Hayers
Guests = Sharon Acker as Anne, Fred Holliday as Mr. Brooks, Albert Paulsen (Unknown), Robert Reed as Dr. Mortinson, Pamela Susan Shoop as Dorothy Carlyle, Christopher Stone as Maj. Stockwell, Michael Strong as The Resistance Leader, Louis Turenne as German Officer
Episode list = Episode chronology
Prev = Series Premier
Next = The Super Scouts

"Galactica Discovers Earth" includes the first, second, and third episodes produced for the short-lived television series "Galactica 1980", a spin-off of the earlier ABC science fiction series "Battlestar Galactica".

The episode first aired in three parts broadcast on January 27, February 3, and February 10, 1980 on ABC.


"The great ship "Galactica", our home for these many years. We have endured the wilderness of space. And now, we are nearing the end of our journey. We have at last found Earth."-Commander Adama.

Part I

Thirty years have passed since the events of "Battlestar Galactica". A convoy of ships—the survivors of the Twelve Colonies led by a now gray-bearded Commander Adama—finally begins receiving transmissions from the lost Thirteenth human tribe. Dr. Zee, a child prodigy and “cerebral mutation”, observes television broadcasts from Earth and judges the world’s population both scientifically and socially ill-equipped to defend itself against a Cylon attack. When Adama grouses the doctor that the Cylons have not been seen in “a billion star miles” and have undoubtedly broken off their pursuit, Zee contends the Cylons have in fact lain in wait for the Galactica to find their last human brothers.

At an assembly of the fleet’s senior warriors and council, Adama and Zee contend their best course of action is to conceal Earth’s location from the pursuing Cylons. While the fleet draws the Cylons away from Earth, teams of warriors are to be sent down to various locations on the planet to approach members of Earth’s scientific community. These teams will assist in the Earth’s gradual and unobtrusive technological evolution into a state of preparedness for the inevitable Cylon attack. Each warrior is outfitted with a “Languitron Translator” able to decipher Earth’s terminology, as well as Dr. Zee’s latest invention: a “nuclear field” capable of generating a frequency that will render equipment and personnel temporarily invisible.

One such team—Captain Troy (who is revealed as the grownup Boxey) and Lieutenant Dillon—is ordered to get in contact with Dr. Mortinson, a nuclear physicist at the Pacific Institute of Technology. After evading the U.S. Air Force and a biker gang, they are given a ride to the Institute by Jamie Hamilton, who is on her way to a job interview at the (fictitious) United Broadcasting Company. Troy and Dillon arrive to find the Institute besieged by “anti-nuke” protesters, while the doctor paces his office bemoaning humankind’s inability to produce clean nuclear power. Temporarily freezing a guard on duty, the two warriors enter Mortinson’s office long enough to rewrite part of a theory of Nuclear Degeneration displayed on one of his computers and to leave Jamie’s name as a contact, but they are apprehended while trying to escape.

Troy and Dillon call Jamie (about to enter her job interview) from police headquarters, but she sees their arrest on television and accuses the two of being terrorists. Then, Dr. Mortinson calls Jamie to inquire about Troy and Dillon. Mr. Brooks, the station’s manager, is so impressed that he promises Jamie "a job for life" if she can get an interview with the camera shy Mortinson, ordering a camera team ready. Meanwhile, Troy and Dillon escape incarceration in a holding tank by activating their nuclear fields. As they do, the energizers maintaining fields around their Vipers weaken, and the ships are seen by a young boy.

Part II

The young boy, Willie, races home, but his parents accuse him of fibbing and his father promises to look in on Willie’s ‘spaceship’ only after dinner.

Meanwhile, Jamie—outfitted with a microphone and being followed with a “long lens” by Mr. Brooks’ camera team—meets an escaped Troy and Dillon; the three in turn find Dr. Mortinson on the street. Mortinson suggests they attempt to evade the camera, but his car is doggedly pursued: first by Mr. Brooks and then by a squad of police after Dillon takes over the wheel, only to exacerbate their pursuit.

Aboard the Galactica, Commander Xavier, incensed by Troy and Dillon’s failure to return as scheduled, expresses his doubts against the plan to gradually advance Earth’s scientific culture. Xavier proposes that they use Dr. Zee’s latest invention—a “Time Warp Synthesizer”—to speed up the planet’s defensive capabilities by introducing scientific tools into Earth’s past centuries before their invention. He offers to lead such an expedition and asks that his idea at least be presented to the Council for a vote. Adama refuses his request, citing both the implications of time travel and the Council’s expectancy to side with Dr. Zee (for the doctor has never been proven wrong). Meanwhile, on Earth, Willie and his father come across the Vipers.

Troy’s Languitron receives a transmission from Adama in the midst of their pursuit: Galactica has been placed on “Crisis Condition”; they are to return at once. He and Dillon request Mortinson's silence until they can return, but Jamie muscles her way into their reluctant company through repeatedly threatening to convey what she knows to the public. After their car plows into a Home Furnishings storefront, the doctor is left behind while Troy, Dillon and Jamie use nuclear fields to steal a police car and get back to the Vipers. They leave just as another police car carrying Willie, his father, and a disbelieving sheriff, pulls into the field.

Back on board Galactica, the trio learn from Adama that Xavier has commandeered a ship and traveled to Germany in the year 1944, where he intends to accelerate the Nazi rocket program (as theirs was the most advanced rocket program of the time). Upon learning that Jamie has knowledge of the era, they accept her offer to join the expedition.

Using two Vipers, they break the fourth dimension and find themselves outside Peenemünde in time to witness an allied plane with British markings come under fire by German artillery. The pilot, Major Stockwell, bails out and is subsequently rescued from a German patrol. Although he claims to be an American instructor, Jamie realizes Stockwell is part of a joint intelligence gathering effort. Stockwell is coerced into joining the trio. At Peenemünde they see a group of Jews being loaded into boxcars as part of The Final Solution. Although expressly prohibited to interfere, they are prompted to save a young Jewish girl after she races from the train.

Later that evening, the group meet with Stockwell’s contact in town, whom reveals the military is launching a new rocket tomorrow. Their meeting is interrupted by the Gestapo, whom detain the contact and girl, but not Stockwell and Jamie-encased inside Troy and Dillon’s nuclear field. Troy and Dillon then rough up some guards in order to obtain the attire and papers necessary for the quartet to pose as soldiers at the next morning’s rocket test. The rocket, a V-2, is being overseen by a military attaché and the "English scientist" in charge of its construction-a Doctor Xavier. (Despite the fact that the V-2 was developed by Wernher von Braun who later developed Apollo's Saturn V rocket.)

Part III

Stockwell believes that if the rocket test fails the Nazis might be inclined to divert their remaining supplies elsewhere. He takes charge of the operation and leads Dillon into the woods as Jamie and Troy use nuclear fields to enter the blockhouse containing Xavier, where they unsuccessfully attempt to persuade him into returning to the future. Dillon knocks out Stockwell, takes aim, and blows Xavier’s rocket out of the sky. The Germans promptly order his execution, but the two guards assigned the task happen to be Jamie and Troy .

Later that night, Troy and Dillon employ their Turbines—motorcycles equipped with a “backup system” allowing flight capability—to distract a troop of SS Guards loading Stockwell’s contact and a group of Jews (including the young girl) onto another train. Aiding their escape, Jamie tells Stockwell to lead the escapees towards the sea, promising them the soldiers will be distracted by the fact that it is now June 6: D-Day. Unfortunately, Xavier too escapes as he is being loaded into a Viper by activating his own nuclear field. Unable to track Xavier further, the trio returns to 1980.

Stopping at a diner, Jamie notices the headline to a local paper, "The Daily News": “Scientist Kidnapped”. The article features prominent photographs of the trio. Troy and Dillon decide to return to their ships and part company with Jamie. A cop entering the diner’s parking lot recognizes their faces in the paper, and Troy and Dillon once again must employ their “backup system” to escape the perusing squad car.

Returning to the field where their Vipers are parked, the warriors discover their ships surrounded and being examined by the military. After exhausting the already low energizers, the ships reappeared and were seen once again by Willie, who is told to keep his rediscovery of the ships a secret despite the teasing of kids at school over this first unsubstantiated ‘discovery’ of the alien craft. With their Turbines unable to maintain the fields necessary to follow the Vipers, Troy and Dillon follow Willie to school, where they permit him to employ one of their Languitron nuclear fields in order to embarrass the most vocal of the ridiculers. Willie gives the location of the compound holding their Vipers and reveals that a third Viper is also being stored there.

Elsewhere in Los Angeles, Xavier observes a televised interview between Mr. Brooks (who refers to the warriors as “terrorists”) and Doctor Mortinson at the United Broadcasting Company Studios, in which the doctor openly expresses his willingness to hear again from his captors. When a vendor tells Xavier that the best way to cross town is by taxi, Xavier hails a cab but unknowingly climbs into a police car. The cops decide to give him a ride, but they loose Xavier after he confronts the doctor and then activates his nuclear field. Xavier sneaks into the doctor’s car and visits Mortinson’s house. Examining a history book, Xavier notes many historical events—including Gettysburg and Waterloo—when a person with foreknowledge could have substantially changed the future. He attempts to entice the doctor into another expedition but is foiled by Jamie, who has returned to Mr. Brooks under accusations her defense of Troy and Dillon is a manifestation of Stockholm syndrome. After Troy and Dillon call Jamie at Brooks' office to warn her about Xavier, Brooks gets Jamie in touch with Mortinson and warns him about his guest before Xavier disconnects the phone. Xavier abandons his plan of using the doctor as an accomplice. Jamie then leaves Brooks to find Troy and Dillon downstairs. They reason Xavier will now attempt to steal his ship and move again into the past.

At the compound it is decided to drain the base’s power supply and charge their energizers. Moments later, Xavier appears inside one of the Vipers and attempts to do just that. Their fields exhausted, Troy and Dillon are forced to enter the base using only darkness as cover. Failing to stop Xavier, they quickly charge the ships and takeoff in pursuit, catching up as Xavier prepares to enter another time warp. They are left with no choice but to fire on his ship.

On board the Galactica, Troy, Dillon and Jamie learn they acted too late: Xavier is now in 18th Century America. Fearing the consequences of his further tampering, Adama extends an invitation to Jamie to join their quest to capture the rogue scientist. Jamie agrees….and nothing ever comes of it. We never do see the trio’s escapades in 18th Century America, although by the sum total of the evidence it is apparent that this was to be the pilot episode of the series’ original concept, namely a succession of weekly adventures through time. Eagle-eyed viewers will note Xavier appears to leave Doctor Mortinson’s house with a history book, thereby furnishing Xavier with a catalogue of possible destinations (a synopsis vaguely reminiscent of "The Time Tunnel"). Moreover, the air of permanence in Jamie’s flight from Mr. Brooks’ office—symbolically representing her choice of Troy and Dillon over a career in journalism—suggested she would not soon be returning to his employment. However, ABC promptly quashed that idea and the following episode subsequently took "Galactica 1980" in a whole other direction.


Part I’s opening teaser includes a scene from the car chase that is featured at the beginning of Part II.

Dr. Zee’s “computer simulation” of a Cylon attack on Earth combines footage shot on a backlot with scenes from the 1974 disaster film "Earthquake".

The “Languitron Translators” introduced in this episode and used commonly throughout the series were later recycled for an episode of another Glen A. Larson-produced series, "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century".

One of the jets scrambled to intercept Troy and Dillon’s Vipers in 1980 changes make when it’s missiles fire. This is also true of the German aircraft dispatched to intercept their Vipers in 1944.

The song playing on Jamie’s car radio as she approaches the service station is Billy Joel’s “ My Life”. Other notable songs featured in these episodes include The Diamonds’ "Little Darlin'" and Fleetwood Mac’s " Don’t Stop".

Although Jamie claims to be on her way to a job interview at the "United Broadcasting Corporation", the actual name visible on the wall of the office where Jamie awaits her interview reads "United Broadcasting Station". In addition, all of the logos read "UBS".

External links

* at the Battlestar Wiki
* at the Battlestar Wiki
* at the Battlestar Wiki

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