War of the Gods (Battlestar Galactica)

War of the Gods (Battlestar Galactica)

Infobox Television episode | Title = War of the Gods
Series = Battlestar Galactica (1978)
Season = 1
Episode = 16 & 17
Airdate = January 14, 1979 & January 21, 1979
Production = 50921 & 50922
Writer = Glen A. Larson
Director = Dan Haller
Guests = Patrick Macnee as Count Iblis
Kirk Alyn as Gemonese Man
Paul Coufus as Pilot
John Williams as Council Member
Bruce Wright as Guard
Lance LeGault as Maga
Episode list = Episode chronology
Prev = Fire in Space
Next = The Man With Nine Lives

"War of the Gods" is a two-part episode of the original "Battlestar Galactica" television series.

Plot synopsis

Part I

While on patrol, four Viper pilots encounter mysterious orbs of light which move quickly among their formation. They are soon overtaken by a larger ship which disables the Viper instruments and emits a deafening sound. Aboard the "Galactica", other pilots are engaged in a Triad match. Colonel Tigh calls a meeting where Commander Adama briefs the pilots on the Vipers' disappearance which occurred near a planet. Apollo, Starbuck, and Sheba go to investigate the oddly lit planet (the scenes for which were shot in infrared). They find the wreckage of a ship and a white-robed being named Count Iblis, whom they take back to the "Galactica".

Iblis seems to have a strange effect on Sheba, as well as on other crew members. Adama is anxious to get to the bottom of the mystery and questions him about those whom Iblis terms his enemies. Iblis reveals his knowledge of the humans and his plans for leading the fleet to Earth. The crew members must speculate on the stranger’s origin as their instruments are ineffective in scanning him. Iblis is able to somehow read Sheba’s inner feelings and increases his captivating effects on her. The mysterious lights reappear around the fleet, and the Red Squadron of Vipers attempts to pursue them. They are overtaken by the same lighted ship as the first pilots.

Apollo and Starbuck threaten to take Iblis into custody if he does not accompany them to see Adama. Under Adama’s questioning, Iblis declares that he is an advanced being from another world, and that Adama should devise three tests so that he may prove his powers. Meanwhile, the mysterious lights also swarm around Baltar’s Cylon Basestar.

Sheba leads Count Iblis on a tour of the fleet, stopping on a ship where there is little to eat. He gains the support of the people by promising to improve their living conditions, and then he delivers on his promise by causing a great abundance of food to grow on the agro ship – a miracle to those in the fleet. Later, Iblis knows exactly what the three tests will be before they are even spoken. The first is to deliver the humans’ enemy, the second, to accurately plot a course to Earth, and the third is as of yet undecided on. At the end of Part I, their enemy, Baltar, does indeed decide to turn himself in to "Galactica"; he is delivered.

Part II

Baltar appears before the Quorum of Twelve and is powerless against the psychic control exhibited by Iblis. Iblis addresses the council and discusses his intention to join the celebrations across the fleet. It is proposed that the Quorum elect Count Iblis president, but Adama voices his concerns in order to delay the vote. Iblis visits Baltar in his cell, addressing him as "old friend", and Baltar recognizes his voice - the voice of the Imperious Leader. Baltar however is confused by Iblis' observation that he must be a thousand yahrens old if that were so.

Athena urges Adama to join her at the Triad match and expresses concern that Apollo won't attend either. Boxey is worried that Apollo won't play because he is a coward as his friends have said. Apollo assures the child that he is more concerned with the fleet, and that it doesn't matter who wins the game. Adama joins Apollo, and convinces him to play, saying he's not doing his missing friends a service by simply worrying about things.

Iblis offers Boomer help in beating Apollo's team in Triad, apparently taking Boomer under his influence. Boomer's Blue team wins. Apollo and Starbuck lament their loss and join people celebrating in the nightclub setting. Iblis encourages all of the drinking and partying across the ship.

Meanwhile the light orbs swarm around the ship, and Adama is unable to get anyone to react at their stations on the bridge. Tigh informs him that crew members across the ship are stricken with an "overdose of pleasure". None of the pilots respond to the red alert, and Iblis scolds them in their quarters for their disgraceful behaviour. Apollo then lunges toward Iblis, and when Adama intervenes, Iblis threatens Adama's command after the Count ascends to the presidency. Adama questions Iblis' fear of the lights, while Iblis counters that he is not afraid of any human nor creature, and that the gods' laws do not apply to him.

Apollo, Starbuck, and Boomer chase the light, but the deafening ship catches them and takes Boomer. So far the "Galactica" has lost eight pilots, and Adama and Apollo are concerned about Iblis' certain ascendancy to the presidency. Doctor Wilker believes that Iblis did not cause the plants to grow, but that the light orbs did. Then, Adama proves to Apollo that humans can have similar mind over matter abilities that Iblis has. Adama believes Iblis and the other beings are so advanced that they may have been termed angels by earlier humans.

Apollo and Starbuck return to the planet to examine the wreckage of the ship. Iblis, relaxing with Sheba, senses Adama's thoughts about Apollo's mission and threatens another crew member to Adama. Sheba heads out after Apollo and Starbuck by herself, and arrives just as Apollo and Starbuck stumble upon a frightening secret left in the wreckage. Iblis reaches the three and commands his power over Sheba. When Apollo fires his pistol through Iblis, the Count's head transforms briefly into an image of a devil, and then Iblis strikes Apollo down dead with a bolt of energy fired from his hand. Starbuck, in a fit of rage over the death of his friend, draws his laser and fires twice at Iblis, causing the Count's head to turn into an image of a 'demonic' demon with each shot. At this point, the strange lights zoom overhead. Iblis looks up, his face clouded in worry and dread. Starbuck asks him why he looks so worried and whether he has broken some divine law by killing Apollo because Apollo would not willingly follow him. Iblis simply tells him that they will meet again. He then transforms again into the devil incarnation and then dematerializes. Starbuck and Sheba, grief-stricken, take Apollo's body and head back to the Galactica in their shuttle.

While returning in the shuttle, Starbuck and Sheba are overtaken by the same ship of lights, appearing inside the ship dressed all in white. Angelic beings lead them to Apollo's body. The angels, as Starbuck calls them, indicate that Apollo was not meant to die and is of great importance. They tell the pair that Iblis had broken their laws by killing someone who would not willingly follow him. They then ask Sheba if she is willing to sacrifice herself for Apollo's sake as he did for hers. She nods yes, crying. They raise him from the dead and tell Starbuck that they are on the same side of a struggle - as humans are, the angels once were. The pilots are all returned to the fleet. Adama has a celebratory dinner where Apollo, Starbuck, and Sheba seem to have little recollection of what happened, except for a sense of light and goodness. A posthypnotic suggestion causes the three pilots to spontaneously recite the navigational coordinates for "Earth Quadrant Alpha" - an apparent gift from the mysterious beings.

Actors

Dirk Benedict - Starbuck
Terry Carter - Colonel Tigh
John Colicos - Baltar
John Dullaghan - Dr. Wilker
Lorne Greene - Adama
Richard Hatch - Apollo
Herb Jefferson, Jr. - Boomer
Maren Jensen - Athena
Anne Lockhart - Sheba
Laurette Spang - Cassiopeia
Tony Swartz - Jolly

Kirk Alyn - Old Man
Ed Begley Jr -
Janet Louise Johnson -
David Greenan - Omega
Patrick Macnee - Count Iblis
George Murdock -
Sarah Rush - Rigel
Olan Soule - Carmicheal
Laurette Spang - Cassieopia
Jack Stauffer - Bo Jay
Norman Stuart - 2nd Statesman
Paula Victor - Old woman
John Williams -

External links

* at the Battlestar Wiki
* at the Battlestar Wiki


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