Battlestar Galactica

Season 1 Episode 15

War of the Gods (1)

Aired Sunday 7:00 PM Jan 14, 1979 on ABC
out of 10
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64 votes

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Episode Summary


When Silver Spar disappears on patrol, Apollo leads Starbuck and Sheba to investigate a planet in the vicinity. On the surface they find the wreckage of a large ship and meet the mysterious Count Iblis, who somehow survived the crash. Iblis offers to deliver them from their enemies and show them the way to Earth if they will follow him.


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  • The Galactica is besieged by mysterious balls of light, pilots are disappearing, and a stranger claims to be a hero, a savior, who can solve the fleet's problems and get them to Earth, though perhaps at an unseen cost...moreless

    This episode sets up a lot of dominoes, poses a lot of interesting questions -- too many, in the end, to answer in one episode, but several which are very good.

    A welcome change from episodes where the questions are practical -- how do we get more fuel? how do we escape the Cylons? -- to an episode where a more philosophical question arises: if a mysterious stranger offers you the chance to end the war, to escape from the Cylons, to find Earth, only at the cost of giving up control, should you do it? At what price does salvation come too high? What profiteth a man if he gain the Earth and lose his soul?

    This episode does a great job at building and sustaining suspense -- fuzzy med scanners and mind-reading and telekinesis. But the ending -- Gaius Baltar's dramatic return -- perhaps lacks a little motivation. Sheba's immediate submission to Count Iblis also seems a touch contrived (and hardly a good vote for the character of a female pilot only recently added to the cast line).

    But all in all, the episode asks some questions often overlooked during more straight-forward survival missions. This reflection deepens the characters, and raises the stakes of the plot.moreless
  • One of the best episodes of the series.

    The original Battlestar Galactica always managed to alternate between amazing episodes and extremely poor ones. This, and the conclusion of the two-parter, are no exception.

    Like the other best episodes of BSG, this one works well because it really fits the premise. What this is about is the trip home-- but at what cost? Should the fleet be willing to throw themselves to someone they hardly know, in exchange for hope and a possible passage home? But it becomes obvious fairly quickly, at least to Apollo and Adama, that Iblis is more than he appears to be.

    Not as good as "The Living Legend" by any stretch, but this is precisely what makes BSG fun. (Even if it gets preachy at times.)

John Williams (II)

John Williams (II)


Guest Star

Kirk Alyn

Kirk Alyn

Old Man

Guest Star

Paula Victor

Paula Victor

Old Woman

Guest Star

Leann Hunley

Leann Hunley

Female Warrior

Recurring Role

Paul Coufos

Paul Coufos

Pilot #1

Recurring Role

Bruce Wright

Bruce Wright


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Iblis' challenge to Adama to give him three tests of his power is an indirect allusion to the mythical character of a genie that grants the finder three wishes and the caveat that goes with it: think long and hard and be careful what you wish for.

    • Goof: Count Iblis never introduces himself to Apollo, Starbuck or Sheba on camera yet back on the Galactica, Sheba introduces him to Tigh by name.

    • Goof: In the teaser, five vipers can be clearly seen attempting to evade the mysterious lights but at the war room briefing Adama says that only four ships are missing.

    • Kirk Allen (Old Man) was the first actor to ever portray Superman on film, in two separate episodic movie serials in the forties.

    • Patrick Macnee starring onscreen as Count Iblis in this two-parter also supplied the voice, uncredited, of the Cylon Imperious Leader throughout this series. He also provided the pre-title narration, "There are those that believe that life here began out there ..."

    • A scene cut from the episode involved Count Iblis telling Sheba that "nothing could harm you as long as I am inside you", it was cut after Macnee and Lockart found it amusingly awkward and could not hold a straight face

    • Highlights from episode are shown prior to opening credits.

    • Goof: The scenes set at the crash site lack the bizarre color distortion evident elsewhere on the planet.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Lucifer: You expect to be treated under universal law after leading your brothers into annihilation of the colonies?
      Baltar: It is my life that I risk. Do as I ask.
      Lucifer: By your command, Baltar.

    • Iblis: Apollo, don't ever make the mistake of ever threatening me again or you'll forfeit your life in a wink of an eye!

    • Apollo: She thinks I'm insensitive..?
      Starbuck : You? If she thinks you're insensitive, where does that leave me?

  • NOTES (2)