Make your own free website on Tripod.com

THE LIVING LEGEND

Parts One and Two

Written by Glen A. Larson

Original Airdates: November 26 and December 3, 1978

Synopsis By Matthew Wharmby

PREMISE: A fearless warrior returns from the dead, but his ambitions of conquest, regardless of orders, place the fleet's safety at risk.

On an unobtrusive scanner halfway down the bridge's navigation section, Commander Adama is taking an ominous report from Jolly. He's checked every ship in the fleet, and each one is down to their last fuel reserves. Conferring with Colonel Tigh, Adama has to make the hard decision to bring the fleet to a dead stop until a new source of fuel can be located. As if that wasn't bad enough, the Galactica is picking up Cylon transmissions emanating from the quadrant they are entering. Shock turns to consternation as Tigh explains that these are civilian in nature, rather than military. Still, it doesn't explain why Apollo and Starbuck's patrol is now overdue.

The reason why is that Apollo and Starbuck have been jumped by two ships which are their fighting match. They roll and evade, but find themselves totally unable to shake their skilled pursuers - which we see are two more vipers! As the male pilot of the second ship is closing on Starbuck's viper, about to blow it into oblivion, the female patrol leader makes a shocking discovery as her scanner identifies their targets as human. She hurriedly orders her wingman to cease fire and then attempts to contact the vipers on the Colonial unicom frequency. Apollo and Starbuck respond with as much amazement as the pilots, who identify themselves as Lieutenants Sheba and Bojay. Starbuck recognises Bojay instantly and greets him. 'don't you remember, Apollo? He used to be in our squadron until he got transferred... to the Fifth Fleet!' The Fifth Fleet set sail for Molecay two yahrens ago and was never heard from since. The commander of the flagship, the Battlestar Pegasus, is Cain, whom Apollo describes as his idol. Sheba is less interested in that, stating dryly that 'your idol will order you blasted out of the stars unless you shut off your transmissions. In case you clowns don't know it, you're in the middle of a quadrant controlled by Cylons.' When the four vipers approach the Pegasus, Apollo is astonished that another battlestar still exists after so long, and says so, prompting more stern words from Sheba.

Aboard the Pegasus, they are greeted by Cain's executive officer Colonel Tolen, who ushers them to Commander Cain's quarters. The commander is in his late sixties, but brisk and sprightly, with a full head of hair and sparkling eyes. He is clad in a pilot's full battle dress with a silk scarf at his neck, and a Gold Cluster, the Colonies' highest military honour, surmounting that. For added flair, he brandishes a swagger stick. The jubilant commander steps into the light before Apollo and Starbuck and declares wistfully that 'I never expected to see another human face again as long as I lived.' When Apollo identifies himself, Cain recognises him as Adama's son, and asks after the welfare of the Galactica's commander. Here's where Cain discovers for the first time just how few ships there are left representing all of humanity. He'd been trying to break a Cylon code that spoke obliquely of some rebel fleet, but had never quite managed to succeed. All in all, Cain is galvanised. With two battlestars now available against the Cylons, his mind immediately runs to thoughts of attack. As an aside, Commander Cain activates a holographic viewscreen and asks idly if a 'certain young lady' had, by chance, showed up aboard the fleet. Starbuck is surprised and confused when his own Cassiopeia appears on screen, smiling 'I'll never forget you, you old war-daggit... Hurry back...' Cain is impressed that she should have the same effect on the two Galactican pilots as she'd always had on him, and turns to the next face in the program. 'You've met my daughter,' he says, as Sheba gives Cain birthday greetings. Now it's Apollo's turn to be mesmerised. 'If I met that young lady, I'd know it.' Cain grins, identifying her as the pilot that 'almost blew you out of your britches. Like father, like daughter.'

Aboard the Galactica, a mood of dejection is evident as it dawns on Adama and Tigh begin that Apollo and Starbuck may not be coming back. Just then, Omega reports an unusual occurrence emanating from his scanner. Some sort of mirror-image of the Galactica is appearing, perhaps a natural phenomenon. 'If that's an echo,' Tigh goes, 'it's the cleanest transmission I've ever seen.' Even more confusingly, Omega notifies the commander and colonel of a transmission coming in over Fleet Comline Alpha - a defunct frequency employed only for use between battlestars. 'And since we're the only surviving battlestar...' says Adama before being interrupted by the smiling face of Commander Cain on the monitor.

'Greetings, you old war daggit,' Cain beams. 'Might have known I'd find you sitting here dead on your astrum.' A shocked and astonished Adama gladly offers to meet his old friend, as the Pegasus tucks in at the tail end of the fleet. Cain's shuttle (the usual 'GAL 356' matte, but in another sequence showing the shuttle entering the landing bay, the 'GAL' has actually been plated over) arrives to a tumultuous reception. Cain's first act is to produce a surprise. 'Where are those space loiterers we picked up? Front and centre!' and Apollo and Starbuck emerge. Cain reflects that he's lucky he ran into the two when he did, as the colonial fleet was heading straight for Gomoray. 'The Delphian Empire?' Adama notes. Not any more, Cain sighs. As the newest conquest of the Cylons, the planet has been turned into their machine enemy's outer capital. 'But that was a society of fifteen million living beings,' Adama states in shock, to the grim reply 'Not any more.'

Once reunited with Cassiopeia, Starbuck has barely had time to reveal that Cain has returned when a look of pure shock comes over his on-and-off girlfriend's face. She simply bolts from the room, leaving Starbuck completely stunned. She'd never mentioned him before, for a start. The reunion between Cain and Cassiopeia is as tender as her parting from Starbuck is abrupt. In her socialator days, she consoled Cain after his wife died, but already Cassie knows things are going to be difficult when she discovers Sheba is still in the picture; Cain's daughter was disgusted when her father chose Cassiopeia for solace rather than her. Similarly, the complication factor is accelerated when she reveals to Cain her current relationship with Starbuck.

The Galactica and Pegasus pilots meet in the officers' club, where a spot of rivalry develops early. Bojay greets Apollo's revelation that the Galactica shot down 'one Cylon patrol ship in a section' with some mirth, but Apollo does not rise to the bait. 'When you're protecting two hundred and twenty civilian ships,' he says, 'you've got to learn to keep a low profile.' 'Sounds like we're going to be incompatible,' Sheba suggests, rather throwing water on their initially promising meeting (as a possible love interest for Apollo).

Once apprised of the situation relating to the fleet, Cain is all for all-out attack on Gomoray. He has been knocking down the base for some time, harassing the Cylons into not being able to build up sufficient strength, not to mention seizing fuel and weapons to continue the struggle. Adama reiterates the need to protect the two hundred and twenty slow-moving, unarmed civilian ships, the last remnants of known humanity, but Cain is insistent. Attempting to sidetrack his fellow officer into a more pragmatic approach, Adama concedes to a joint plan to capture some Cylon fuel tankers so as to restock the stalled fleet and at least get out of the quadrant. Already we see the beginnings of rivalry between the Pegasus and Galactica, and this becomes clear when the squadrons are selected for their various roles. The Pegasus's Silver Spar Squadron, led by Cain (who never went off flight duty) are to team up with Blue Squadron for the strike. After the briefing, we get a scene where Apollo lingers behind to speak to Adama. What he is trying to get across is that the awe felt for Cain by his people is no less intense than that felt towards Adama by the Galactican people, and especially by Apollo.

The airborne squadrons head for the tankers' known location, and immediately Cain's ships peel off on evasive manoeuvres, flabbergasting Boomer who hasn't seen any Cylons yet. The opposition soon appears from behind the tankers, and a battle ensues. However, while Blue Squadron is polishing off the Cylon fighters, Silver Spar is up to more devious deeds. Cain charges down the two tankers and blows them apart with laser fire, then claims 'Looks like we came up empty' to a bemused Apollo. Back on the Galactica, Cain's lame explanation that the tankers must have been caught in incidental fire does not wash, especially when given Silver Spar's reputation for thoroughness. Apollo almost explodes with anger when he realises Cain deliberately sabotaged the mission. The fleet now has no choice but to participate in the Pegasus commander's absurd mission of conquest.

Cain continues to agitate. 'We must take that base! We must take Gomoray!', but Adama is stoic. When he reveals that he knows how and why Cain went against orders to destroy the tankers, he makes the hard decision to relieve Cain of his command. Colonel Tigh will assume the Pegasus bridge, and commence refueling operations to spread the battlestar's maximum fuel load throughout the fleet.

Sheba and Bojay talk to a dejected Cain, who is sitting by himself in the officers' club nursing a brew. Although his officers feel angry and humiliated, Cain is beginning to realise that Adama was right. Even so far out here and away from the Colonies, orders are still orders, and Cain is well aware that risking the lives of the civilian ships was wrong.

Not so far away, another man with big dreams is entertaining delusions of grandeur. This is our old friend Baltar, who holds court aboard his Cylon basestar to Lucifer, his long-suffering captive audience. Two additional basestars have now fallen in behind Baltar, and the traitor is confident that at last he has the firepower to crush Adama once and for all. So much so, in fact, that he does not feel the need for support from Gomoray's garrison. After the battle is over ('It will be no battle at all. What we have here, my dear Lucifer, is what is known as a rout. A humiliation. A massacre.'), Baltar intends to rule from Gomoray itself, following a victory parade to honour 'the greatest military leader Cylon has ever known.' Lucifer brings his commander down to earth with a proper bump when he acidly interjects 'Begging your pardon, Baltar, but shouldn't we actually go through the formality of conquering the humans, before ordering our victory celebration?'. A riled Baltar informs Lucifer that he isn't the only I-L series Cylon who could stand beside 'the greatest conqueror in all the universe.' Still on the megalomaniacal theme, Baltar orders the launch of all their squadrons for the final attack, then decides on the spur of the moment to lead the attack himself. An incredulous Lucifer protests before Baltar convinces them that this would impress the Gomoray garrison. 'Prepare a ship with two of your best pilots.'

Colonel Tigh is having a hard time getting the Pegasus's stubborn bridge crew to obey his orders to transfer the Pegasus fuel. Colonel Tolen suggests that this be delayed so as to avert the bad feeling festering, but Tigh is insistent. Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer arrive in the Pegasus's landing bay to commence the loading operations, but they are met there by a warrior score fronted by Sheba and Bojay. Sheba spits that 'your father humiliated the greatest man who ever lived. A man who can think and fight circles around your father.' Tempers flare as Apollo reiterates Adama's determination that they shouldn't go off and conquer some Cylon planet while 'the fleet sits here helpless.' As if saved by the bell, the klaxon goes. 'That's what Adama was afraid of,' says Apollo in one last 'I told you so' as they run for their vipers. Both bridge crews realise big problems are about to erupt when they scan the entire fighter complement of three base ships on its way. 'That's the largest taskforce I've seen since the destruction of Caprica,' Adama notes grimly. But Cain speculates that since Baltar does not know of the Pegasus's survival, the advantage might just be on the Colonial side. To that end, the Pegasus will make a late entry to the impending battle and provide the crucial element of surprise. Cain is restored to command of the Pegasus, and cheekily tells Adama 'Well, if you don't mind my burning up half my fuel, I'll see if I can bring it up to light speed.'

With Baltar in the lead ship, the thousand-strong Cylon fighter armada lays into the Galactica. Having made one pass over the battlestar for show, Baltar's fighter hangs back to observe the battle from a safe distance, while the human traitor fulminates gleefully against Adama. His two centurion pilots urge caution, noting that the Cylon fighters too are 'expending great amounts of fuel' in a sustained assault. 'Yes, but we have a place to land, they do not,' crows Baltar as he orders suicide runs on the Galactica's landing bays. 'Or will not, before long!' As the Galactica wilts under the Cylon punishment, the Pegasus wheels round from behind and heads straight for the battle. Baltar is still exuberant until he hears his pilot point out a second battlestar coming right at them. Panicked, he orders an immediate withdrawal, and the Cylons run for it. Cain's gamble has paid off. Back aboard his baseship, he takes a swipe at Lucifer's 'so-called intelligence report' having let him down, and then falls back on the initially rejected option of employing the forces based on Gomoray. His mood revitalised by the revelation that Gomoray's four squadrons are equivalent to a baseship's full complement, Baltar orders plans for a new attack.

Adama is in a more receptive mood to entertain Cain's original plans to attack Gomoray directly, but still feels he has been boxed into a corner now that Baltar's baseships are closing in. The battlestar commanders decide on a bold plan to parachute warrior teams into the garrison, where they will disable the base's deep scan and defences before vipers from the Galactica launch and attack the anti-aircraft installations. While all this is going on, shuttles will land and loot as much fuel as they can carry. Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer are surprised to see Sheba and Bojay suiting up to join them on the mission. Sheba arrogantly states that she's best qualified for the mission, but reveals she's only been over the site, not on the ground itself. Starbuck is less enthused when he realises Cain doesn't know that Sheba is part of the mission, and moves to absent himself. 'This kid doesn't go on one-way missions.' Further bickering ensues when Cassiopeia appears and asks them why they don't have a med-tech. When she falls in, Sheba gets upset and refuses to co-operate. Boomer rolls his eyes. 'With support troops like this, who needs Cylons?' Finally, Starbuck regains some of his old self with an outrageous proposal to Sheba. If the mission succeeds, he leers, he gets to have his way with her. Sheba smiles sweetly, and says that it would be a shame to throw the mission on those grounds.

Cain gets ready to move the Pegasus out as part of the strategy to 'divert' the baseships away as soon as they realise Gomoray is under attack. Adama does not like Cain's insistence that this role should fall to the Pegasus, but Cain points out that 'the Galactica is still under repair.' Mildly distressed, Adama summons Cain to his quarters. All he asks is no more surprises. (and we know what's going to be the outcome of that, don't we!)

By night, a Galactica shuttle (probably GAL 356, but why split hairs) tears across Gomoray's skyline. The warriors drop from the ship and glide to ground by parachute, dropping two Cylon sentries on their way. What none of them realise, however, is that Gomoray is host to a very special guest this evening. None other than the Imperious Leader himself has journeyed all the way from Cylon to dedicate the new base. 'With this secure outpost in the heart of the Cryllion star system,' he declaims, 'our supremacy is all but assured.'

All around the fuel tanks, the colonial warriors are planting charges. Bojay has lingered a little too long to set his last one when a Cylon centurion draws a bead on him and shoots to kill. Bojay is severely wounded, and his having to be dragged away for treatment threatens the timing of the mission. Meanwhile, Starbuck and Boomer duck inside the complex. 'Where is everybody?' Starbuck wonders to the empty halls before they find the control centre and position themselves in the gallery above it. The garrison commander takes a report 'that long-range scanners have sighted an intrusion in our quadrant', which is the warriors' cue to start blazing away. They finish off the control centre with a couple of thrown charges before meeting Apollo as the place blows. And at that moment, the charges placed elsewhere start going off. Imperious Leader rails at his subordinates' incompetence, threatening them with dismemberment, but that's no help as Jolly's viper wing appears over Gomoray and starts strafing the base complex. Jolly exults 'It's almost too easy!' as he and Greenbean absolutely plaster the garrison with fire.

Cassie is treating an ailing Bojay as the garrison goes up in flames, and surprising Sheba. Much against her will, Sheba realises that Cassiopeia's calling as a medtech far outweighs any personal issues the two of them have, and that Bojay's condition is the priority right now. Cassie nearly shoots Apollo when he comes back, such are her nerves, but they join up with the shuttle teams collecting the Cylon fuel cells and hustle off the burning planet. Where medical emergencies are concerned, Cassiopeia's word is law, and the shuttle lands on the closest battlestar to hand, the departing Pegasus. Cain is impressed at the success of the mission, but Apollo realises what he is up to. Cain isn't going to divert the baseships at all, but take them on - all three of them. 'are you thinking of your people when you do this?' Apollo attempts to inject some sanity into the man. 'Or are you thinking of yourself? The legend of Commander Cain?'

Baltar demands a status report from Lucifer on the readiness of their ships to launch the final assault against the Galactica and Pegasus. Instead, Lucifer shocks the life out of Baltar with an uneasy revelation that the visiting Imperious Leader has got himself into trouble on Gomoray itself. 'I wonder what he'll think when he finds that the base on which he is standing is being attacked by two ships you had within your grasp only this morning,' Lucifer speculates laconically, galvanising a suddenly worried Baltar into desperate action. 'Send everything we have to defeat those two battlestars. And let not a single ship return until that's accomplished!'

Baltar is not particularly worried when he sees the single battlestar on an intercept course. 'Destroy it. Then continue on. It should take no time at all.' But Adama is, picking up Cain's strategy right away. His only recourse is to beep Cain on the Alpha frequency and practically beg him to think of his men when he takes on such impossible odds. Cain is unmovable. His gamble is that as soon as Baltar realises Cain is gunning straight for him, the human traitor will recall his fighters, saving Adama's neck. Audaciously, he then asks for Adama's blessing. 'Don't make my final battle an act of mutiny,' he asks cryptically. Shaking his head with frustration and despair, that's all Adama can do as he in effect bids goodbye to his fellow commander. And the Cylon fighters are still coming.

The first wave of Baltar's fighters pass over the Pegasus on their way to Gomoray. Apollo and Starbuck, temporarily attached to the Pegasus, engage alongside Silver Spar Squadron, but Sheba is caught by a blast from a Cylon fighter which angles up behind her. The Cylon pilots are concerned that the Pegasus is not staying put to engage them, and continue to press their attack. When Lucifer relays this report to Baltar, he smugly interprets the Pegasus's action as a decoy. 'They intend to lead our fighters off, make them burn off fuel, while Gomoray remains under attack... but I see right through it.' Just in time, as the Pegasus is taking some heavy damage, the Cylons disengage and resume their course to Gomoray. Amazed, Starbuck says 'He was right. By all the Lords, he was right again.'

Cain is upset to see his injured daughter wheeled in on a stretcher, joining several other wounded Pegasus warriors including Bojay. He makes plans to shuttle the wounded from the Pegasus to the fleet, making way for what Apollo and Starbuck feel is a suicidal strategy. To that end, Cassiopeia must leave too. Cain is absolutely intent on going out gloriously. As the shuttles move off and head for the Galactica, Apollo and Starbuck, having made their goodbyes, are on escort duty, but they convince Boomer to take charge of the patrol while they have a look to the rear. 'How far to our rear?' Boomer wonders idly.

An irritable Baltar harangues Lucifer. 'If the Pegasus did not stop to engage our fighters, and she did not head off across the stars, then where IS she heading?' 'Directly towards us, Your Eminence,' Lucifer answers bluntly. All the wind is taken out of Baltar's sails when Lucifer mentions the Pegasus commander by name, and all of a sudden he is frightened again. 'What does he care about the fleet or the Galactica? He wants... oh... he wants ME!' In a fit of terror, he orders Lucifer to 'recall our fighters at once!' Sure enough, Cain has done it. But Adama and Tigh can only watch in horror as Cain steams headlong to take on three baseships by himself.

Apollo and Starbuck approach the Cylon baseships, observing that the third has fallen back behind the lead pair. Cain has spotted this too, and figures that Baltar must have lost his bottle and is making a run for it. As the Pegasus commander orders the readying of all air-to-air missiles, he is alerted to the two vipers apparently gearing up to make attack runs against the basestars' flank side missile launchers. He is as impressed with their daring as everyone else is with his own, and cheers them on. Gambling that 'they can't fire at us or they'll hit each other', Apollo and Starbuck roll and commence shooting at the missile batteries, wreaking damage. As they veer away, Cain unleashes his missiles, destroying both forward basestars in furious explosions that blot out the sky.

After the debris clears, Apollo and Starbuck can no longer see the Pegasus. But wondering whether the renegade battlestar lived to fight another day has to come secondary to escaping the returning Cylon taskforce, whose fighters have to contend with the loss of their baseships (other than Baltar's, which we assume survived).

Aboard the Galactica, we are treated to a final scene in the Life Center. Sheba is recuperating from her battle injuries, but Adama cannot offer her any concrete information concerning where her father has headed, if indeed he is still alive. The assumption is that he wouldn't break radio silence and reveal the fleet's position. Until then, says Adama kindly, 'I want you to consider yourself part of our family.' 'I already do,' says Sheba.


To read John and Matt's extensive reviews and special facts and insights about this episode, click here.


Battlestar Galactica Episode Guide

Enter Sheba's Galaxy