Following on from the last post, here’s the full prologue from the Experiment In Terra telemovie. The first part is narrated by Patrick Macnee:
There are those who believe that life here on Earth began out there. Far across the universe with tribes of humans, who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans, that they may have been the architects of the great pyramids, or the lost civilizations of Lemuria or Atlantis.
Again and again we launched our spacecraft into the solar system to probe and search for a planet having the same composition as our Earth. The planet with the air and soil so essential to life, as well as the necessary geological processes. A planet from which extraterrestrial visitors to Earth might live, or might once have lived, and although it became more apparent with each space exploration that such a planet could exist, it always eluded us.
Again and again, we launched our spacecrafts into the solar system, to probe and search for a planet having the same composition as our Earth. A planet with the air and water so essential to life, as well as the necessary geological processes. A planet from which extraterrestrial visitors to Earth might live, or might once have lived. But although it became apparent with each space exploration that such a planet could exist, it always eluded us.
It was on one such routine expedition that the astronaut … accidentally saw an object floating in space. Disregarding the space hazards, he retrieved the object, which upon examination, proved to be a log book from the Battlestar Galactica. It was the first documented proof that life as we know it, as well as other forms, exist or existed in the galaxy. But in the galaxy, as on Earth, wherever mankind is present, life and warfare prevail, as well as mankind’s dream of everlasting peace.
The next section is narrated by Lorne Greene:
In case we do not survive, this is a true record of the war between the Cylon Centurions and the human race in the star system.
Somewhere, at some time in our galaxy, there evolved an intelligent race of serpents known as Cylons. First, they created machines of super intelligence: the Cylon Centurions. Then they created the ultimate in machinery and technology, a ruler known as the Imperious Leader. But, due to a slight error in their programming, the Imperious Leader turned against his creators, and ordered his subjects to exterminate all human lifeforms. Thus began a war with the Cylon Centurions that embraced all of the human race in the star system.
One of our greatest defeats was the Battle of Molecay. The Fifth Fleet, including its flagship, the Pegasus, under our great military genius Commander Cain, was destroyed. Now there remains only one fleet of warships, consisting of five flying battlestars, with the flagship Battlestar Galactica under my command, to protect our tired and weary twelve colonies. Unexpectedly, the Cylon Centurions sued for peace, asking for an armistice conference. They chose the ruthless and treacherous Baltar as their liaison and, unknown to our intelligence force, was Baltar’s bargain with the Cylons whereby he would rule over our colonies after we were conquered. Nor were we or Baltar aware of the Cylons’ real plans. And so we were taken by surprise as a thousand Cylon Centurions attacked and engaged our fleet in battle.
In order to protect our colonies, I left the fighter craft to protect the fleet and turned the Battlestar Galactica towards our planet home base, Caprica. Unfortunately, while our fleet was under attack, a greater force of Cylon Centurions attacked our home planets and completely destroyed all twelve colonies.
The problems at this time seem almost insurmountable. We are short of fuel, water and food. But worst of all, we no longer have a home planet. After much deliberation, I have decided to set course in search of the only remaining outpost and colony of humanity in the universe. Now, so that mankind in our galaxy can survive, I shall some way, some how, seek out and find that thirteenth colony which lies far beyond our star system, a planet called Earth.
My immediate problem is to obtain food for the survivors and fuel for ships without endangering my people or my fleet. Carillon is the only logical answer. It is an old mining outpost, abandoned by the Cylons. But that too presents hazards. It is well known that the Cylons mined the only passageway to Carillon. I have no choice but to clear a channel.
The first section is an expanded introduction from the TV show. It then tells of the exploration of the solar system by humans (with stock footage from various space programs). The identity of the astronaut is almost impossible to make out, so I have left his name out. He finds a log book from the Galactica, which seems to tell of the initial escape from the Colonies. However, this log seems a little odd given that Adama narrates rather than writes his journal. Are there different rules for official logs in the Colonial fleet? There is also the question of how the book reached Earth.
The log is the first proof of life outside of the solar system for the people of Earth. This places BSG in the future rather than the recent past. The telemovie also included The Return Of Starbuck, editing out many of the parts relevant to Galactica 1980. Was this closer to the earlier draft of the script written for the original show?
Adama then tells of the origins of the Cylons. As mentioned in my previous post, this presents the first glimpse of the original Cylons, as well as their demise at the hands of their own machines. One of the images seems to show some of the reptilian Cylons carrying the Imperious Leader on a platform. However, it may be just the usual pedestal that the Cylon leader lounges around on. What was the nature of this ruler? Was he based on some biological Cylon (as in the novels), or was he a completely new entity? Given his reptilian appearance, the former would make more sense. Of course, the flaw in his programming was probably introduced by Count Iblis. Another interesting aspect of same picture seems to show some of the reptilian Cylons supporting the Imperious Leader and attacking their own kind. Was this some kind of civil war?
The prologue ends with Adama telling of the destruction of the Fifth Fleet and the Colonies. They are about to travel to Carillon in search of supplies.