This article is about the original series episode. You may be looking for The Hand of God (TOS episode).

The Hand of God is an episode of the TV series, Battlestar Galactica, and aired during the show's first season.


In the episode, the humans capture a fuel-rich asteroid from the Cylons using a plan devised by Lieutenant Kara "Starbuck" Thrace. President Laura Roslin begins seeing visions, and Gaius Baltar comes to believe that his contribution to the raid on the asteroid was guided by God. On Caprica, Helo and Caprica-Boomer keep running from the Cylons

The human fleet

As Roslin gives a press conference regarding a critical fleet-wide fuel shortage, she experiences a hallucination of snakes produced by the herbs she is taking to fight her breast cancer. Later, Priestess Elosha tells her about a prophecy of a leader of the human race in exile: the leader receives a vision of 12 serpents and later dies of "a wasting disease".

Galactica-Boomer and Crashdown discover an asteroid made of tylium, the substance used for fuel, being mined by Cylons. Commander William Adama decides to take the asteroid by force and asks Starbuck to devise an unconventional assault plan. Starbuck describes the plan, which uses civilian freighters as bait, to Roslin, who approves it.

Colonel Saul Tigh and Starbuck consult Baltar about where to bomb the asteroid to destroy the Cylon mining facility. Baltar is stumped and, in his mind, asks Head Six for advice. Six demurs and suggests he rely on God's guidance. Under pressure, Baltar picks a random spot on a reconnaissance photograph of the facility and tells them to bomb there.

Starbuck wants to fly in the raid but is waylaid by injuries from an earlier Viper crash. She fears that her fellow Viper pilot Lee "Apollo" Adama will bungle the mission, and she tells him so. Apollo's father, Commander Adama, gives him a lucky lighter his own father, Joseph Adama, owned, and expresses confidence in Apollo. Apollo promises to make it back with the lighter.

The raid

As the raid begins, the Cylons deploy Raiders toward the freighters, as expected, but then more Raiders are sent toward Galactica. Several of Starbuck's piloting trainees engage these Raiders in Vipers launched from Galactica, but they are forced back. The Raiders moving toward the civilian ships then change course for Galactica. Just as all seems lost, the freighters unveil a squadron of 12 Vipers led by Apollo who now have a clear path to the asteroid. Adama admits to Roslin that he concealed this part of Starbuck's plan in her initial briefing.

Apollo's squadron takes heavy fire from the facility's defenses. The Cylons jam their missiles, so Apollo performs a Starbuck-like maneuver: he flies through the mine tunnels and emerges inside the facility. He bombs Baltar's target, and the facility is destroyed with several years' worth of tylium left for the humans. The Raiders retreat.

Celebration erupts aboard Galactica. Starbuck congratulates Apollo as he returns and offers him a cigar. Apollo lights it with his grandfather's lighter, which he then returns to his father, as promised.

In his fantasy world, Baltar reflects on the victory. Head Six reminds him of the prophecy, and Baltar realizes that the 12 serpents may have referred to Apollo's Viper squadron. Baltar, previously a militant atheist, marvels at the fortune of picking the correct target and begins to accept Six's proposition that he is "an instrument of God."Caprica

On Caprica, Helo and Caprica-Sharon hide from the pursuing Cylons in an abandoned stable. Helo expresses surprise that they have not encountered other people, but Sharon brushes this off. Sharon vomits and attributes it to food they ate earlier. They flee after spotting a nearby group of Cylon Centurions led by a Number Six copy.


  • Teleplay By: Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
  • Directed by: Jeff Woolnough

Guest starsEdit


Gaffe: In the scene in the war room where Starbuck begins going over the plan of attack she says the decoy ships will jump into the asteroid field at extreme RADAR range from the Cylon base. In the Galactica universe, RADAR is referred to as DRADIS.