[CONTINUED FROM CHAPTER 1, YESTERDAY]
Way far off in space, fleet of 220 civilian ships assembles under the protection of the Galactica. They never expressly say, but given the deliberately Biblical references in these proceedings, I think we’re supposed to believe that there are three million human survivors in the fleet, total. That’s how many Israelites escaped Egypt.
Adama orders each ship to send a representative - Serina is evidently the representative from the Rising Star cruise liner - and he explains his plan: “Our sacred texts tell of a mother world that sent out colonies into the universe. They also tell of a sister world, far away from our home colonies.”
Serina: “This other world - where is it, and what is it called?”
Adama: “I wish that I could tell you precisely where it is, I only know that it lies far beyond our star system, and beyond the reach of the Cylons, and that it is called ‘Earth.’”
Everyone says “Earth” as though they’re trying it out for the first time.
Ok, hold for a sec:
Just for a reality check, let’s put this in cold war terms: The Colonies are obviously the US, and the automatonic Cylons are obviously the Soviets (so obviously so that the Soviet Union issued a formal complaint about the show!), and the Galactica is obviously a Nimitz class carrier (Top of the line in the day). The Cylon sneak attack is obviously an analogue for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the US. This leaves one aircraft carrier and a couple hundred civilian ships as all that survives of our country. So the civilians go to ask the captain of the ‘Carrier “Hey, what do we do now.”
“Well,” the captain says, “We’re going to try to find the Lost Continent of Atlantis, and live happily ever after there.”
In essence, that’s what Adama just told them, and yet they sign off on it. That seems a bit much for me, a bit too easy. It’s also interesting that most of the crowd seems not to have heard of this “Earth” before. I mean, it’s in their freakin’ Bible fer’ gosh sakes!
Anyway, back to the story:
Starbuck barges in on Athena while she’s changing (Again: Yum!) and tries to apologize. Clearly shaken by what’s happened, he tells her he wants to get serious, and they need to build a future for themselves. Athena - clearly still in shock from the busy morning - says “Starbuck, I don’t want to care about anybody, especially you.” Clearly hurt, Starbuck leaves.
The fleet runs, and the situation quickly goes from bad to worse. Starbuck and Boomer are running around making lists of survivors, and they get press ganged by Apollo into helping him check for dangerous chemical leaks on the ships.
Starbuck: “Captain, that stuff is dangerous! Half of these tubs shouldn’t even be flying!”
Apollo: “Well there really wasn’t much choice, now was there? How many people did we have to leave behind for lack of ships?” (these scenes appear to have been filmed in the engine rooms of actual large ships. They’re interestingly gritty and realistic looking. Curiously, Galactica never used this fairly practical trick again.)
Below decks on a Container ship, they find hoards of starving people on the edge of panic. They’re screaming for water and food, but mostly water. They say that no one’s checked on them in three days. Several ask frantically if they’ve been left behind. A lot of people are very clearly injured or sick, some of whom speak other languages. They’re just on the edge of rioting. Again: powerful scene. One of them tells Apollo, “It’s a sin to starve us while the beauroticians live in luxury.”
Apollo: “No one is in luxury, I can assure you that.”
Another man: “No, you lie. I’ve seen it. I saw it with my own eyes on the Rising Star, before I was cast out and sent here among the borays of humanity.” (The Borays will turn up later in the series.) Apollo gives his word that he’ll help them out, and people laugh derisively.
Starbuck, meanwhile, has encountered a hooker with a heart of gold and a busted wing. “Cassiopeia” (Laurette Spang) was a high-priced call girl who got her arm broken in the attack. When Starbuck tries to help her, she just brushes him off because there are others in far worse shape than her, and she seems genuinely concerned for an elderly couple who feverish. A woman starts abusively insulting her, and Starbuck decides to get her