THE NIGHT THE CYLONS LANDED

Parts One and Two

Written by Glen A. Larson

Original Airdates: April 13 and 20, 1980

A viper patrol, Recon Probe Delta, is ambushed by an incredibly larger, more powerful Cylon raider. They can't outfight it, so they ram their viper into it, disabling both craft. The Cylon ship drifts towards Earth. On the Galactica, Adama and Dr. Zee believe the Cylon raider is Recon Probe Delta and realize it will plummet to Earth and land in New York City. They contact Troy and Dillon and tell them to recover the craft. Jamie convinces them to take a regular airliner to New York to avoid being detected in their vipers. On the flight, they manage to foil a hijacking attempt.

Meanwhile, Recon Probe Delta is recovered and Adama and Dr. Zee realize the craft falling to Earth is Cylon. Inside the Cylon raider, two humanoid Cylons and three Cylon Centurions monitor the planet's transmissions and realize they have discovered Earth. The Cylon raider crashes and only Andromus (a humanoid Cylon) and Centuri (a Centurion) survive. They set the self-destruct sequence and leave to find a way to contact the Cylon forces. Their ship explodes as Troy and Dillon arrive on the scene. The two Cylons are picked up by Norman and Shirley, a couple on their way to a Halloween party. Troy and Dillon escape from police who think they have something to do with what's going on. Troy and Dillon use their languatrons to home in on the Cylons.

At the party, Andromus talks to Wolfman Jack, who he learns works at a radio station with enough power to contact the Cylons. Elsewhere, Troy and Dillon are pursued by many police cars and escape by driving their car off a dock and into the ocean.

Centuri's sensors are almost shut down by a microwave oven, so Andromus destroys it, starting a fire that quickly spreads. Everyone rushed out, except for a young boy who is trapped. Troy and Dillon arrive and rescue the boy, but the Cylons have escaped. The Cylons take Wolfman Jack to the radio station and force him to cooperate. The three go up on the roof and direct an antenna towards the Cylon starfleet. Troy and Dillon reach the roof and destroy the Cylons and stop the signal from transmitting just in time.

For a more in-depth synopsis, be sure to read Matthew Wharmby's hilarious review of this episode.


The Night The Cylons Landed is the best episode since the pilot (which isn't saying much). The Super Scouts are finally relegated to the background. This expands on the storyline involving the evolution of the Cylons over the 30 years since the destruction of the Colonies. A new, bigger, and more powerful Cylon raider carrying a newly advanced Cylon lifeform crashlands on Earth. Two surviving Cylons attempt to communicate with the Cylon armada to tell them of Earth's location. This is a fantastic plot, but the execution is terrible. One has to seriously question Glen Larson's writing here. It is perhaps understandable that the episodes where he had to feature the Super Scouts were atrocious, but now he finally is able to put them in a minor role, and this is the story he delivers. Surely the network could not have insisted that Troy and Dillon dance on a stage with cartoon characters like Yogi Bear! There are other problems. The more powerful, heavily armored Cylon raider is crippled after the punier viper rams into it??? The viper certainly doesn't hit it very hard. If the Cylons were a joke in the original series, then in Galactica 1980 they are a laughing stock. Andromus, the evolved Cylon clone of a human, certainly doesn't look or act very advanced. Centuri, his Centurion buddy, comes across as being even sillier with his constant banter of "I will protect you. That is my mission." This is the monstrous, all-powerful race which threatens the Earth's destruction and that the Colonials are so concerned about??? The two Cylons provide some funny moments, but it can't make up for the letdown of a plot that had so much potential.

Who would've thought that the secret weapon to defeating the Cylons would be... a microwave!!! Too bad the Colonials didn't have them at the armistice meeting.

What an amazing (and unbelievable) coincidence that the Cylons arrive on Halloween, thus allowing them to walk around without really standing out.

Troy reveals that the Colonials' lasers are made of carbon synthetic - not metals.

Blooper - In part two, there is stock footage of the underside of the Galactica moving through space, and the Galactica is moving backwards.

Ken Lynch (Grover) played Dr. Gordon in the Battlestar Galactica episode Experiment In Terra.

Sheila DeWindt (flight attendant) played Dietra in the Battlestar Galactica episode Lost Planet Of The Gods.

In the movie theater, the film that Troy, Dillon, and the children watch is the Universal picture This Island Earth.

In part one, Troy and Dillon's stroll through the airport and ride on the airliner is pointless and brings the story to a grinding halt. Its only apparent purpose is so that our heroes can blurt out different kinds of educational dialogue required by the network.

Rex Cutter (Centuri) played the Cylon Centurion named Red-Eye in the Battlestar Galactica episode The Lost Warrior. He also played the Cylon Centurion named Cy in the classic Galactica 1980 episode The Return Of Starbuck.

William Daniels (Shirley's husband) is best known for his roles on St. Elsewhere and as the voice of K.I.T.T. in Knight Rider.

The second half of this episode is sometimes called So This Is New York due to an error in an episode guide in Starlog magazine many years ago.


Galactica 1980 Episode Guide

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