The Battlestar Galactica Quiz

Staff Writer

Image: British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), David Eick Productions, NBC Universal Television

About This Quiz

Note: Except where specified, all questions refer to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series (2003-2009) developed by Ronald D. Moore.

Who or what was “Scar,” in the third season episode of the same name?

Scar was the Cylon Raider responsible for the death of many of Galactica’s Viper pilots. Kat and Starbuck eventually defeated Scar.

Why does Kara feel guilt over the death of Zak Adama?

As she confessed to Lee in the pilot miniseries, Kara gave Zak passing marks because they were romantically involved, not because Zak had any real “feel for flying.” The Zak storyline reimagined the fate of original series character Zac, Apollo’s brother, played by future rocker Rick Springfield.

Whenever Commander Adama greets Starbuck with the question, "What do you hear?," what is Starbuck’s response?

Starbuck responds, "Nothing but the rain." Adama responds, “Then get your gun, and bring the cat in.” Ronald D. Moore wrote the litany as a piece of military chant, but hinted in interviews that it held deeper meaning for the characters (if so, that significance was never revealed onscreen).

Which actor from the original Battlestar Galactica series returned to play a prominent recurring role in the re-imagined series?

Richard Hatch, the original series’ Apollo, played Tom Zarek, former prisoner and President Roslin’s political nemesis, in 22 episodes of the re-imagined series. Hatch advocated for his own continuation of the series during the 1990s, writing several new Galactica novels and even producing a trailer, entitled The Second Coming.

What was the short-lived, 2010-2011 Syfy prequel series that chronicled Adama family history and the creation of the Cylons?

The prequel series was called Caprica. It starred Esai Morales as attorney Joseph Adama (William’s father) and Eric Stoltz as Daniel Graystone, who transferred his daughter Zoe’s consciousness into the first Cylon body.

Which of the following characters never occupies the office of President of the Colonies?

Tom Zarek served as Vice-President after the fleet’s sojourn on New Caprica, but never assumed the presidency. He did, however, help stage an ill-fated coup in the fourth season.

What was the name of the Pyramid team Sam Anders captained on Caprica?

Anders captained the Buccaneers. The team’s slogan was “C-Bucks Rule!” In the 1978 Battlestar Galactica, pyramid was a card game, not a ball game.

Which of the following pairs is not a sparring match-up seen during the Galactica crew’s “fight night” in the third season episode “Unfinished Business”?

Admiral Adama and Hot Dog did not fight (although Hot Dog did lose a match to Apollo). In real life, Bodie Olmos, who played Hot Dog, is Edward James Olmos’ (Admiral Adama) son.

Which of these physical artifacts proved critical in the Galactica’s search for Earth in the reimagined series?

President Roslin sends Starbuck back to Caprica to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo. It activates a planetarium on Kobol that shows the position of the constellations as seen from Earth’s surface.

What term does Commander Helena Cain use to refer to someone who can set aside “every natural inhibition that during battle can mean the difference between life and death?”

Cain calls such people, herself included, “razors.” Razor was also the title of the made-for-TV movie focusing on Cain and the only other surviving battlestar, Pegasus, which aired between seasons three and four.

Which of these characters from the original Battlestar Galactica series had no direct counterpart in the reimagined series?

Serina—a reporter who survived the Cylon attack, only to be mortally wounded by Centurions on the planet Kobol—was played by Jane Seymour, and was not “reimagined” for the new series (although the reimagined Apollo was married, also briefly, to Dualla).

In the original Battlestar Galactica series, the young boy Boxey had a robotic dog named what?

The dog’s name was Muffit; its species was “daggit.” After Muffit died on Caprica during the Cylon attack, Galactica scientists constructed a robotic duplicate (played by a chimpanzee in a suit).

What critical substance fuels the Galactica and the fleet?

Tylium fuels the Galactica and the fleet. In the third-season episode “Dirty Hands,” Chief Tyrol heads a successful labor strike to improve deplorable working conditions aboard Hitei Kan, the fleet’s sole tylium processing ship.

What favorite saying does Commander Adama use to describe a tough decision?

"Sometimes you have to roll the hard six." On one occasion, Lee confessed his own confusion about his father’s maxim, saying, "I don’t really know what it means, either."

In the 2003 miniseries, why does Karl “Helo” Agathon stay behind on post-apocalyptic Caprica?

Helo stayed behind so Baltar could go to the Galactica. Helo recognized the computer genius and reasoned Baltar’s talents would be needed. The show’s creative team hadn’t planned for Helo to continue beyond the miniseries, but Tahmoh Penikett’s performance convinced them to keep Helo aboard.

What civilian ship does Apollo shoot down at the climax of the series’ first regular episode, "33"?

Lee reluctantly destroys the Olympic Carrier. Commander Adama fears the ship’s unexplained absence and return mean Cylon agents are aboard. Ronald D. Moore wanted Lee—and the audience—to see passengers through the Olympic Carrier’s windows, but network pressure resulted in no clear indication of whether the ship was inhabited when destroyed.

In the first season episode "You Can’t Go Home Again," how does Kara return to Galactica after having crash landed on a planet?

Kara learns to fly the crashed Raider. She uses tape to write a message on the underside of its hull to let Galactica know she is aboard, and is not an enemy fighter.

What lie does Leoben whisper in Roslin’s ear in the first season episode "Flesh and Bone?"

Leoben whispers in Roslin’s ear, “Adama is a Cylon.” Roslin orders Leoben pushed out an airlock, but is still wrestling with doubts about Adama as the next episode, "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down," begins.

In the original Battlestar Galactica series, “felgercarb” was a curse word. In the reimagined series, “felgercarb” was:

In the fourth season episode “Someone to Watch Over Me,” Starbuck offers the last known tube of Felgercarb toothpaste as a reward to the first Viper pilot to discover a habitable planet for the Fleet.

What song “switches on” four of the Final Five Cylons in the last episode of season three?

In a 2009 interview, Ronald D. Moore told TV Guide he chose “All Along the Watchtower” as the song that “awakens” the final Cylons to suggest that music persists in humanity’s collective unconscious throughout thousands of generations.

In the fourth season episode “The Ties that Bind,” where is Cally when she learns that Tyrol, Tory, Anders and Tigh are Cylons?

Cally is in the crawlspace next to weapons locker 1701D, numbered in tribute to the U.S.S. Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation, on which Ronald D. Moore worked as a writer and story editor.

Who is Nicholas Tyrol’s biological father?

In “A Disquiet Follows My Soul,” Hot Dog learns he is little Nick’s biological father. Tyrol tells Hot Dog that being a father “sucks—except for the parts that don’t.”

D’Anna Biers, the journalist who reports on the fleet in the episode “Final Cut,” is revealed to be which model of Cylon?

D’Anna was a Number Three. She was played by Lucy Lawless, arguably best known to science fiction and fantasy fans as Xena, Warrior Princess.

Why did the other Cylons “box,” or permanently kill (so they thought), the Number Three line?

Insatiably curious about the identity of the Final Five, a Number Three repeatedly killed herself in order to look on their faces in the moments between death and resurrection.

Which of the following character dies in a terrorist attack aboard the luxury starship Cloud Nine?

Billy, President Roslin’s aide and would-be husband of Dualla, is killed in the second season episode “Sacrifice.” He was played by Paul Campbell, who later starred in another reimagined TV series, the 2008 version of Knight Rider.

What lie does Felix Gaeta tell on the stand during Baltar’s trial?

Although Baltar was indirectly responsible for Cloud Nine’s destruction--he supplied the Cylon sympathizers with the nuclear device used to destroy it--Gaeta told the court Baltar willingly signed the mass execution order on New Caprica. In fat, Baltar signed it at gunpoint.

Who are the beings who operate Cylon baseships?

Hybrids operate Cylon baseships. They are living computers, female in appearance, who are half-submerged in pools of viscous liquid and who speak in seemingly incomprehensible mixtures of system status reports and ambiguous, oracular sayings.

What does Kara give Admiral Adama before she leaves Galactica on what appears to be her final flight?

Kara gave Adama a figurine of Aurora which, at Kara’s suggestion, he mounted as the figurehead on the model ship he was building. Edward James Olmos improvised the scene in which Adama, distraught by Kara’s apparent death, smashes the model ship—not realizing the ship was an expensive replica, not a cheap prop.

In “Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1,” how does Brother Cavil claim he knows that Chief Tyrol isn’t a Cylon?

Cavil tells Tyrol, in a joking tone, “Oh, well, maybe because I'm a Cylon and I've never seen you at any of the meetings.” Cavil, of course, is eventually revealed as not only a Cylon but the first human-like Cylon model, John. He was played by Dean Stockwell, perhaps best known to science fiction fans as Al, the hologram who guided Dr. Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap.

What comedian had a small role in the fourth season episode “No Exit” as brain surgeon Dr. Gerard?

John Hodgman played Dr. Gerard. Hodgman was an enthusiastic fan of the series, and writer Jane Espenson created the small role with Hodgman specifically in mind. In 2011, Hodgman told The A.V. Club that one of the highlights of his experience was hearing Starbuck tell his character to “frak off.”

With what name does the deck christen the stealth Viper built in the second season episode “Flight of the Phoenix”?

The crew christens the new Viper the Laura, in honor of President Laura Roslin. She calls the craft “more than a ship… This is an act of faith. It is proof that despite all we've lost, we keep trying. And we will get through this, all of us, together.” The Laura, however, is eventually destroyed in the Galactica’s attack on the Cylon Resurrection Ship.

What major revelation concerning Hera’s identity occurs at the end of the series finale?

Hera is revealed to be Mitochondrial Eve, the most recent common matrilineal ancestor of all humans alive today. Ronald Moore makes a cameo as the present day man reading a newspaper article about scientists’ discovery of Mitochondrial Eve (the study was published in the journal Nature in 1987).

In the 2003 miniseries, what does the Galactica crew present to Commander Adama before the battlestar’s decommissioning ceremony?

The deck crew presents Adama with his old Viper, lovingly restored. The Viper bears Adama’s old call sign, “Husker,” on its hull. Lee Adama flies this Viper during the decommissioning ceremony itself.

Stu Phillips’ theme song for the original BSG is heard three times in the reimagined series (restyled as the “Colonial Anthem”). Which of the following is NOT one of the occasions on which it is heard?

The theme is not played during Baltar’s inauguration. Original series composer Stu Phillips helped reimagined series composer Bear McCreary newly arrange the theme.

When creator Glen Larson pitched Battlestar Galactica to networks in the late 1960s, what was the series’ title?

The series’ original title, “Adam’s Ark,” echoes the story of Noah. “Adam” (later “Adama”) protects the human survivors of the Cylon attack as they search for a new home, as Noah sheltered his family and the earth’s animals in his ark after the great flood. “Saga of a Star World” was the title of the original series’ feature-length premiere episode.

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