Battlestar Galactica #25: The Super Scouts Part 1

"You cannot hide behind small innocent children!"
SO SAY WE ALL: Troy and Dillon are forced to camp out with a dozen Galactica kids.

REVIEW: This series is so disjointed. This is the second story, but it's the fourth episode, so it seems too late for "post-pilot" changes to be made. The time travel plot is abandoned. Jamie is back on Earth as if she'd never joined the crew, back to playing interface between Earth people and Colonials. And they've recast Dr. Zee, and couldn't be bothered to put glasses on him, which would have helped with the transition. Plus, the idea that Earth's thin atmosphere and low gravity gives the kids of the story the power to jump over trees is unsupported by what the adults can do, and continues to be unsupported. It's just damn silly. Troy and Dillon use the same tricks again and again to get out of trouble - invisibility, freeze ray, flying off on their bikes as stunned comedy policeman look into the sky befuddled - but never superhuman physical abilities. You'd think that would come up. (They also never use their brains, but that's another issue.)

I guess the big news here is the return of the Cylons. They apparently haven't attacked in 30 years, and now they have a new ship/weapon (not that it's clear on screen) and they use it to toy with the Galacticans by destroying a single freighter. It feels like they have a mole or something, because they happen to attack the ship that's being used as a school and that has all the kids aboard, the very kids Dr. Zee has just decided should be integrated into Earth society even before any kind of deal is struck with the planet. I bet it's just a coincidence. Cue a lot of reusable shots from the original series, up to and including firefighting sequences I'm sure are from Fire in Space. Troy and Dillon apparently act as teachers when they're not, you know, doing their jobs, so they drive a bus that's low on fuel down to Earth for a bit of a camping trip while they wait for the fleet to draw the Cylons off. Shenanigans ensue of the type we've already come to expect. Dr. Zee still hasn't briefed these morons about money - Dillon robs a bank by accident - license plates, pollution, etc. Armed with their absurd naivete and a wrist dictionary, these guys are supposed to keep their wards safe from frustrating TV tropes like ignorant cops, evil corporations and small-town mentality. Indeed, the kids drink from a pond that's obviously foaming with chemicals within hours of getting to Earth and become sick. Bravo.

The one good bit, maybe, is that song the kids sing, which gives us a bit of culture (don't think too hard about the Colonials having English-language ballads in their song book). But then we have the Delphi being a reuse of the Gemini, right down to GEMINI still being written on its side. And that chemical plant employee who think fishing where the company gets rid of its overflow is a good idea. And the bad smoke effects no one chokes on, removing all urgency from the Cylon attack. And the bikes going "just short of light speed" (I don't think that means what you think it means). And the "funny" business with revolving door. And the environmental preachiness that seems so dated now. One good bit isn't going to cut it.

1980: Just from look and attitude, I thought the two motorcycle cops were supposed to be a rif on ChiPs, which was on the air at the time. Sure enough, in a later scene they remark on this kind of stuff never happening to those two other guys.

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: If I ever see the bikes fly off to escape the police again, it will be too soon.

HUMAN DEATH TOLL: The Delphi is destroyed, but it's unclear how many would have died aboard. They evacuate all 137 children, and there must be crews aboard those escape shuttles. If the Delphi's crew abandoned ship and went with them, no life was lost.

VERSIONS: The original script made use of elements that were pushed back to The Night of the Cylons, most prominently the idea of human-looking Cylons and the character if Andromus who orders the attack on the Delphi. The episode would also have ended differently, with the heroes in jail after barging in on the plant manager, and learning that one of the scouts had died.

REWATCHABILITY: Low - The heroes are dumb, the message is obvious, the action is repetitive, and the show keeps shifting gears on us.

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