Battlestar Galactica: Bastille Day
November 17, 2015 1:32 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

President Roslin sends a delegation led by Apollo to the Astral Queen to solicit help from its 1,500 prisoners in extracting water from a recently discovered source on a nearby moon. Those who agree to help will earn "points" towards early freedom.
posted by 256 (2 comments total)
This is another excellent episode. Tom Zarek and the Astral Queen will both go on to be important elements in the rest of the series, and I really like the idea of the prison ship (run by prisoners) as part of the colonial fleet.

Tom Zarek is brilliantly cast (and did you know that the actor who plays him was Captain Apollo in the original series?). To be honest, there are a few false notes with the character in this episode. He has such a strong entrance, but then the later scenes show him as a much weaker leader than it seems like he should be. In particular, I'm surprised that he shows no interest in bringing the prisoner who attacks Callie into line on his own.

On that note, the rape threat scene was really unnecessary.

The Adama/Roslin "we don't negotiate with terrorists" was pretty hamhanded and cringeworthy but, in 2004, I wonder if they even realized how silly it sounds.

Some of the best moments in this episode one again go to Billy and Duala. I love the scene of them arguing over whether Zarek is a hero or a villain, and Billy's realization that it was a can of worms he shouldn't have opened. I also love the terrible-first-date vibe of their time in the cells.

We also get some more good Starbuck scenes, despite there being no Viper flying in this episode (that I can recall). We also see Tigh being way more of a dick than he needs to be.

The scenes with Helo and Fake Boomer on Caprica are still really dragging, but mercifully we get very little of that this episode.

And finally, Apollo's line "For what it's worth, you'll have my vote" is perfect.
posted by 256 at 1:43 PM on November 17, 2015

In the DVD commentary for "Bastille Day", Ronald Moore and David Eick say that in hindsight they feel that "Astral Queen" was a very poor choice of name for a prison ship, and they now wish they had used a different name. From the Battlestar wiki
posted by crossoverman at 6:32 PM on November 18, 2015

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