Battlestar Galactica Wiki
Battlestar Galactica Wiki

Galactica Discovers Earth, originally titled Galactica 1980 is the first part in the opening trilogy to Galactica 1980, a spin-off sequel series to Battlestar Galactica. Written by series creator and producer Glen A. Larson, the episode served to introduce the show's core premise that Earth has been discovered but is too primitive to be of use in the fight against the Cylons.


Act 1[]

Thirty years have passed since the Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies of Man. A convoy of ships—the survivors of the Twelve Colonies led by a now grey-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. Zee contends the Cylons have likely lain in wait for Galactica to find their last human brothers. Adama is disturbed at this possibility, but cannot risk Earth in even the slim chance it is true.

Galactica Discovers Earth - Los Angeles simulation 1

A simulation of a Cylon attack on Los Angeles.

The Council of the Twelve and the fleet's Warriors are assembled urgently to discuss the recent developments, though there is already much rejoice amongst the civilian population who believe they are to be settled. While on Gemini, Cpt. Troy and Lieutenant Dillon discuss their fears they have bad news ahead, and head out to Galactica on a Shuttle. During the meeting, Adama's briefing provides the much needed details of Earth for the public. 70% of the surface is water, and 20% of the landmass is desert, though they have the technology to make it more fit for human life. Zee shows footage of the smog clouds over Los Angeles, how the primary means of travel is the car and its requirements for internal combustion engines and petrochemicals. Troy and Dillon are confused by the footage, mistaking the smog for some kind of force-field, and assuming the lanes of traffic are formed by skilled drivers in formation rather than the opposite. Zee finally shows simulated footage of a Cylon attack on Los Angeles based on known information, which confirms that Earth would fall if the Cylons discovers it. One of the council members, Commander Xaviar, is unsure about the nature of the meeting, and fears the fleet will be destined to roam the stars pointlessly. Zee contends that they will send agents to trusted scientists and influence scientific breakthroughs, though this will take time. As Earth is not unified and is undergoing numerous wars, the publicly-shown arrival of the Galacticans would be a danger to both the Earth and themselves alike. Adama therefore urges Troy in private conversation that they will make sure to only influence the more amicable powers.

A group of Warriors are assembled to begin the Earth mission, numbering at least seventeen. They are provided with the necessary equipment to succeed. Among these are wrist-mounted computrons which are to serve as covert languatrons, providing dictionary definitions of words the Warriors may not be aware of. Zee demonstrates a new device he has engineered - the nuclear field generator - which is capable of rendering a Viper or Warrior invisible by emitting energy at a far greater frequency than the human eye can detect. Due to the energy requirements this can only be achieved temporarily, however.

Act 2[]

Galactica Discovers Earth - General Cushing 1

General Cushing, informed of the Vipers entering American airspace.

Cpt. Troy and Lieutenant Dillon are launched as a team headed for Earth. Their designated zone is in the United States, though Dillon prefers Kip's assignment to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics due to a misunderstanding that it was about marriage. The two are almost immediately detected entering the atmosphere by an American radar station, and Air Force General Cushing is informed of Albuquerque-based aircraft in-bound on supersonic aircraft. The US President is then informed of these developments. American pilot Cpt. McNally fails to scare the two Warriors out of US airspace, and they turn on their boosters to avoid a missile lock.

Landing in a field, Dillon and Troy take out two Turbines, light-aircraft designed to also function as and resemble motorcycles. They drive away in search of Dr. Mortinson at the Pacific Institute of Technology, hiding their Vipers behind the nuclear field generators. As they drive along the Golden State Freeway bound for Los Angeles, they are followed by a biker gang who are interested in their motorcycle designs. They insist the two stop so they can get a better luck, concerning them. The Warriors convert their machines to light aircraft and fly out to the country. They drop off their Turbines near a gas station.

Act 3[]

At the gas station, the two Warriors study a phone booth to find out how to get in touch with the institute. Nearby, aspiring journalist Jamie Hamilton stops to fill-up her car. Needing to make a phone call to the United Broadcasting Company, where she is applying for a job, the two let her through to study the machine. Jamie learns from the operator she does not have enough change to make the call, and mistakenly thinks Troy and Dillon rely on credit cards when they also have nothing. As she heads back to pay the attendant for the fuel, Troy uses his computron on the phone to make it spill out change. Jamie catches the two, and makes them hand over the money, though instead uses one to make her call. When done, she agrees to drive the two over to the Pacific Institute when she hears they are due for a meeting with Mortinson, who is notorious for his blanket refusal to be interviewed.

The three drive up to the institute and find there is an on-going protest over Mortinson's work on next-gen nuclear power, which they believe is unsafe. Dillon is amused by the protests, as clean nuclear power is something that is taken for granted in his society. Jamie drives off, with the suggestion they inform her at United Broadcasting should they get information.

In his office, Mortinson is frustrated by the protests, which he sees as throwing the baby out with the bathwater. While there is no current answer on things like breaking down nuclear waste, that the invention of the aircraft and the Apollo 11 landing took only 66 years gives him hope they will inevitably succeed. A protester throws a brick through the window, and the police are called.

Troy and Dillon arrive at the front lobby, which is under security due to the protests. Unable to get in, they use a device to incapacitate the guard and quickly enter an elevator. When the guard comes to, he realises what they are doing and contacts upstairs to warn them.

Act 4[]

Galactica Discovers Earth - Pacific Institute of Technology 3

Troy and Dillon arrested outside the institute.

The police arrive to break-up the protests. Upstairs, Troy and Dillon reach Mortinson's office, but he isn't there. They try to bluff their way through his secretary to get a meeting, saying they were intrigued by a paper he did which was aired on television (later found to be PBS), but she becomes suspicious they may be protesters but isn't sure. The two analyse his computer screen, which displays a formula he is working on for nuclear degeneration. She again is unconvinced due to their unexplained familiarity with it, and thinks they made a lucky guess. The secretary gets a call from security asking about the two men - she responds "good morning, Jack" as a sign they are in the room. Troy and Dillon realise from the looks she gives while on the phone something is amiss, and make plans to leave. Realising they won't get to meet the doctor, Troy erases part of the formula to replace it with the perfected formula for clean nuclear breakdown used by the Colonials. The secretary is distressed by this and believes they have typed nonsense on the screen to ruin Mortinson's work. As they leave, Troy tells her to reach Jamie Hamilton at United Broadcasting.

As the Warriors leave the building, they are stopped by police, but rather than use their equipment surrender themselves. Mortinson arrives in his office to find that the 'gibberish' formula has been erased. Hoping to piece together from memory, Mortinson accesses the program again and discovers it is the correct solution. He asks for who the two women were, but she has no idea. The two men, he says, are as important to mankind "as the coming of the Messiah."

Act 5[]

Galactica Discovers Earth - Police station 2

Troy and Dillon turning invisible.

Jamie arrives at the United Broadcasting headquarters, though Brookes is still in his meeting so she is shown around by his secretary. The secretary gets a phone call from the police asking for Jamie. Jamie learns Dillon and Troy were arrested soon after she dropped them off, as a news report is shown on the television of their arrest. Dr. Mortinson calls right after, wanting to speak to Jamie. She has no information to give to him on the two men, but is pressured to meet Mortinson anyway when Brookes learns of the call. To get her job, she must record the meeting with Mortinson.

At the police station, Dillon and Troy are being processed. Dillon refuses to give his place and date of birth, while Troy has no fingerprints, and the two are taken to cells to await a meeting with representatives of the Air Force. The two activate their nuclear field generators, terrifying their inmate, Moran. As he pleads with the police for help, getting the attention of the Police Sergeant that processed Dillon and Troy. When he opens the cells to investigate their disappearance, the two Warriors make their escape.

Out in the country, a young boy named Willie plays with his dog Skip and discovers the Vipers as their nuclear field generators run out.


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Main Cast[]

Also Starring[]

Guest Stars[]



Further notes[]

  • The (simulated) Cylon attack on Earth is footage from the feature film Earthquake, with Cylon fighters superimposed over scenes of Los Angeles being devastated by an earthquake.
  • The background for the end credits is a screenshot still from the opening credits to the original Battlestar Galactica.
  • Jamie is introduced in Act 3 playing Billy Joel's song My Life on her car radio.