Battlestar Galactica

Season 1 Episode 16

War of the Gods (2)

Aired Sunday 7:00 PM Jan 21, 1979 on ABC
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Episode Summary


Count Iblis gains overwhelming popularity with the Council, but Commander Adama remains unconvinced. He sends Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba back to the planet where they found the Count to investigate and find out the truth about Iblis before it is too late.

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  • Count Iblis continues to gain influence over the Galactica fleet, but Commander Adama and Captain Apollo have their doubts as to his true nature. The nature of this stranger, and the strange lights connected to several pilots' disappearance, is revealed.moreless

    This episode finishes the work set out by the episode before -- consider it a "revelation" episode where all the mysteries set in part one are explained (except, frustratingly, what exactly was in Count Iblis' crashed ship).

    Ultimately, a lot of the momentum of this episode seemed truncated -- the possibility of mutiny and the threat of Count Iblis' charisma are both resolved a bit cleanly by Count Iblis abrupt disappearance; the Cylons chasing the Galactica are forgotten. While the death of Apollo was well-executed and dramatic, the resurrection scene is a bit long, especially if it is ultimately forgotten by Sheba, Starbuck, and Apollo. (As in most art forms, sometimes less is more; revealing the transcendent is almost always disappointing.)

    But what really makes this episode for me is that this episode most clearly shows Glen Larson's Mormon upbringing -- Count Iblis as renegade "angel," the white lights and white temple housing angels who let their fallen brother exercise his free will, and an intrepid belief in the continual progress of the human race -- all of these features are very telling, if ultimately the episode turns a bit didactic and heavy-handed. Mormonism remains one of the more fascinating, if obscure, modern religions, and its influence on art is as compelling as any other religion's.moreless
John Williams (II)

John Williams (II)


Guest Star

Patrick Macnee

Patrick Macnee


Guest Star

Leann Hunley

Leann Hunley

Female Warrior

Recurring Role

Norman Stuart

Norman Stuart


Recurring Role

John Dullaghan

John Dullaghan


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • The mysterious beings who save Apollo say to Starbuck that "as you are now, we once were; as we are now, you may become." This refers to an obscure couplet coined by the Mormon prophet Lorenzo Snow: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become". A similar belief in man's continual perfectability is voiced by Commander Adama earlier in the episode. Both quips are evidence of Glen A. Larson's use of Mormon theology in developing the universe of Battlestar Galactica.

    • Upon reaching Count Iblis' destroyed ship, Apollo discovers Count Iblis' identity. He says, "Think back to the ancient records -- the names Mephistopheles, Diaboles, the Prince of Darkness --", all Christian names for the devil. The name "Iblis," given earlier in the two-part episode, is a foreshadowing of this revelation, if more obscure: Iblis is the name of a devil in Islam cosmology.

    • Highlights from episode are shown prior to episode credits. Clips from "War of the Gods (1)" are shown after the credits and before the beginning of the episode.

    • This episode featured the famous "cloven feet" within the wreckage of Iblis's ship. This is what Sheba, Apollo and Starbuck uncover in the wreckage. The props were created, but this mysterious footage was never aired. It was known that this crashed spaceship was definitely not the Battlestar Pegasus. In fact, Commander Cain and the Pegasus were in planning to return in the second season, had it taken place.

    • Goof: In this episode Sheba is seen in a dress before the triad match. But when the match starts she is shown on a viewer screen in her flight uniform and then next in a live shot back in her dress next to Count Iblis.

    • It is implied that Iblis was somehow involved in the creation of the Cylons, despite an interim of thousands of yahrens.

    • Adama is revealed to possess extra-sensory powers including telekinesis, which he says are a result of old-style Academy training.

    • Goof: Starbuck and Sheba leave Sheba's Viper on the planet. One would think that it would possess classified technology (cf. Apollo's comment to the general in "Experiment in Terra"), and it is not as if the Fleet has a surplus of fighters. Sheba seems too much of a professional to be "too broken up" to pilot it.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Council of 12: I see no reason to delay electing Count Iblis as President of our quadrant. Are there any dissenting votes?
      Adama: If I may...

    • Sheba: Starbuck, what do we do?
      Starbuck: Sweet lady, there aren't many places that I've been in my life where I didn't feel I was in complete control but this is an exception.

    • Iblis: I fear no man, no creature!
      Adama : Not even God?
      Iblis: What do you primitive creatures know of what you call God?
      Adama: Only that we have been given laws that can not be broken by any man or creature!
      Iblis: Those laws do not apply to me.
      Adama: I wonder.....

  • NOTES (1)

    • When they go back to the ship, and look at the remains of the crew: Many thought that the reason Starbuck and Apollo didn't let Sheba see the remains, was because it was her father. But in interviews it was revealed that they saw remains of "demons": something with goat's head. But they couldn't show the remains due to censor regulations.


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