Battlestar Galactica

Season 1 Episode 3

Bastille Day

8
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 21, 2005 on Syfy
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (21)

8.5
out of 10
Average
847 votes
  • Lackluster Episode

    5.5
    Not a fan of this episode. This episode was completely design to give a wink to the fans of the original. The story was boring and a snoozefest.
  • Bastille Day

    9.0
    Bastille Day was a really great episode of Battlestar Galactica and I enjoyed watching this episode because it added depth to the established plots. There was not too much action, though some violence did break out. It was interesting to see the varying political views. The writers did a great job of adding little bits to each characters story from Sharon and Helo to Gaius Baltar breaking down with #6 screaming at him. Starbuck and Tigh have more drama. The terrorist Tom Zarek was quite the character and it will be great to watch how every thing plays out. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!
  • The one where: The prisoners are doin' it for themselves.

    7.5

    It's good to see that the repercussions from last week's fiasco spill over into this one. (Geddit? Spill?Cos of the title of...oh, you get it). It's going to take a lot of man-power to defreeze the ice and transport it back to the fleet. Lee Adama boldly suggests that the prisoners do it in order to earn their freedom (or ''Freedom Points''). There's only one small thing standing in the way: supposed terrorist Tom Zerek, a blast from the past of the original series.


    Spoilerish Titles Sequence: 8 mins into the episode


    By no means a classic, ''Bastille Day'' is still nonetheless a very good episode of BSG. There's plenty of political to-ing and fro-ing, and although Zerek is a pig, he did raise some interesting points about democracy and Rolsin's term being an initiation of happenstance, rather than a position elected by the people.


    This is a very good episode for Lee. It's asked of him several times to take a stand and make a choice, but most of all, he gets to kick some ass here. I didn't really expect it, but it's good to know he can throw a punch almost as good as a compelling argument.


    I really enjoyed the snippets we get with Starbuck here; she's playful but knows when it's time to whip out the sniper rifle. She's flawed, sure, but she's a hell of a lot fun.


    Frak-O-Meter: 3 fraks this time around.


    Cylon Sex: Aw, not even a smooch.


    Spot the six: We have head-Six and Caprica Six here. Head-Six was Hella scary during this episode. Yet still, not surprisingly, sexy as hell. I suppose if you were to have anyone shouting at you wearing crazy-face, it would be an amazonian blonde in a slinky white dress.


    Injuries: Poor Cally. She may have chewed a guys ear off, but got shot during the process. I'm still gonna give the win to Cally since Lee shoots her aggressor nice and dead.


    Boomer or Sharon? Both were kinda boring this week. I'll pick Sharon cos it was nice and sunny in Caprica, and I'm also not partial to seeing rats eating a dead body. I can so relate, my cylon friend.

    Ships Lost: The prisoners have taken over the prison ship, but it's still part of the fleet so it doesn't count. Not really...

    Battlestar Bleakness: Nothing particularly dark this week. Although the thought of Cally being brutalised did sit uneasy with me. (You're not out of the woods yet tho, is she Tyrol?)

    The end reveal that Roslin has cancer is laudably portrayed by Mary McDonnell. The woman is such a terribly good actress. She'd make an awesome president. Heck, I wouldn't mind her just reading a book to me. (Ok, I'll stop being creepy now...)

  • The fleet has found water but how to get it to the fleet presents a challenge. The decision is made to use the prisoners on the Astral Queen to do the work. When Lee goes to make the arrangements he and his team are taken hostage by Tom Zarek.

    9.0
    Richard Hatch joins the cast in a recurring role as Tom Zarek, a man in prison for protesting through violent means. For those of us that were around for the original BSG he played Apollo in that version. He also wasn't sure that a reimagined series was the way to go(watch the special features on mini-series dvd). His character is about as far from that Apollo as you can get. Zarek wants either to force Roslin's gvt. to deal with him or kill him. Lee broker's a compromise by promising elections will be held in six months. A move that Roslin and Cmdr. Adama aren't thrilled with at first. This episode lays the groundwork for the episode "Colonial Day" where the Quorum of Twelve is brought back. From this point forward it's not just about surviving the cylons it's also about putting a working gvt and society back together piece by piece.

    For me, this episode put in place that this would never be a show that wraps everything up in a nice neat package every week(which is why I'm such a big fan)
  • A rather lackluster attempt at drama, but it does set good things in motion

    6.0
    There were to key drama points to this episode.

    1) That some of the hostages may get killed by the prisoners.
    2) That Roslyn could step down as president.

    Really though we knew, as the viewer, that neither would happen. So this undermines a lot of the drama of the episode. In fact there's just a lot of sitting around on the prison ship until the inevitable situation happens where they all get out alive.

    Zarek is definitely interesting, and they try to flesh him out. But I do feel he's a pawn for the story. Why is he so obsessed with elections? Oh, because he's a "terrorist" and he always has to have lofty ideals I guess. It doesn't really gel, and he’s used as quite an obvious plot device for our main characters. But thankfully Zarek is fleshed out much more as the show goes on.

    Apollo does come across best in this episode, and of course this is an episode for both Apollos (Zarek being played by Richard Hatch from the original series). He shows that he has an independent mind, and can upset the applecart for both the president and his father. But he also starts showing that he's adept at telling everyone what they want to hear, particularly with the sucking up to Zarek over reading his book.

    Overall not an outstanding episode. BSG can do dialog great, but the attempts at drama in this episode (the first not driven by a Cylon story) fall flat.

    But it does bring us Zarek, who will be very interesting in episodes to come.
  • Seven months.

    6.5
    I loved the scene of Starbuck briefing the pilots in the Ready Room, her dramatic stuff hasn't impressed me(yet) but her cocky attitude is portrayed perfectly, with anyone else it would be too much but they've made it clear she puts on a show any time she gets the opportunity. And she seems to be grooming her "Prince"(never caught his name) in her own image.

    Tigh: "Where's your mommy?"

    Prince: "Dead. Where's yours?"

    I'm not sure what I'm supposed to make of Zarek, I can understand and agree with wanting elections, but he was pretty much willing to let what was left of the human race collapse into chaos and shortly be obliterated just so he can have some final ethical victory. Seems crazy to let a guy like that take over control of a ship, but if it placates the cons then I guess it's worth it.

    Despite being a truly awful human being I can't help but feel for Baltar, if only because he must always now be right on the edge of complete mental collapse. Even if Six wasn't constantly making him question whether what he's seeing is reality or fantasy, just the things he knows would be enough to drive him nuts.

    Not an outright bad episode, but not a noticeably good one either.
  • Once the fleet finds water, they need willing participants to get the water for the fleet. Roslin and Adama immediately think of the prisoner ship, where prisoners can work their way to freedom. The prisoners, however, have something else in mind.

    5.5
    This episode is, in my opinion, the first real dud in the series. Unfortunately, it's episode 3. Richard Hatch as Tom Zarek gives an excellent performance, but the rest of the story does not live up to it. The first 3/4 of the episode move so slowly with very little character moments; I couldn't believe 30 out of the 40 minutes in an episode had already passed! Tigh's story also felt incredibly out of place, as did the Caprica story, as I've said in my last 2 reviews. The Caprica story doesn't pick up at all until the 5th episode. However, Starbuck's rescue mission in the ship is very exciting, and once Lee and Zarek have the argument and Lee tells Zarek what Zarek really wants, the episode becomes fantastic! 3/4 of the episode were incredibly weak, but thank god the last 10 minutes were fantastic. A 5.5/10 score symbolizes that this episode is only okay. The episode was saved due to the end! A 5.5/10 episode, or a C.
  • "The final scene seemed to be a tiny turning point..." SPOILERS.

    8.5
    I really enjoyed this episode overall. I liked how in the beginning of the episode the previous episode, Water's, conclusion had a lot to do with the next "story" about something going on with the Galactica: the need for humans to collect the water that was found. I'm a little more interested in what Boomer 2 is doing with Helo on Caprica after seeing the conversation between Number Six and the other cylon. The storyline with the prisoners trying to start a revolt was extremely interesting and a creative turn. I only thought about the possible cylon attacks, not attacks from people that were on their own ship (except the cylons). Apollo with his cut off sleeve shirt was sexy :P.

    Great part was when Number Six screamed at Baltar to say that he can make that cylon detector. She's scary! I wonder what is going to happen with the nuclear warhead. It doesn't seem like NUmber Six is using Baltar for evil, which is interesting, but its also rather strange that she would just help him discover who is a Cylon and who isn't so I'm interested to see where this storyline goes. I liked that Cally bit off the prisoner's ear that tried to rape her. I liked the blood all over her mouth. It's sad, but she is definitely the weakest actress on the show so far. It was a pretty neat twist when Apollo said he would give the prisoner what he wanted. Is he in future episodes? The final scene seemed to be a tiny turning point. They've brought up the cancer again that, from my knowledge, has been left untouched and unsaid for quite a few episodes. I was waiting for it to reawaken. I also randomly had a thought of: what if The President was a cylon? That'd really suck.

    8.5/10
  • Choosing a sides..

    8.5
    So, the water problem continues and now it is all about who will get the water from that planet they found - and it is not going to be easy until they come up with idea of using prisoners who see their change and make a riot, rebel against their holders and want to trade their hostage for freedom - at least it looks like that.. until the real reasons come out.

    So, this episode is much around Apollo and what side he is - because he works for the president, he is still commanders son and Galactica's pilot.. and then the side he takes - following the law.. and how it looks to everyone..
  • If we're not free, then we're no different from The Cylons.

    9.0
    Continuing the previous episode's story. The water on the planet is undrinkable. Salt water. The ice, however, is not. Breaking the ice and the work it entails to bring water to the fleet is dangerous and extremely hard work.. Lee comes up with a plan to use the prisoners of the fleet to work with the ice to earn their freedom. On the prison ship, the prisoners on behalf of former terrorist and political prisoner Tom Zerrick, decline. The reasons are simple. He believes the ruling goverment in command of Roslin is illegal, and only represents the ruling class, disgarding the rest. To prove his point, he, along with a few corrupt gaurds, take over the ship, and hold Lee and his people hostage. He wants Roslin to step down immediately and free elections held, or he will execute the hostages. Adama and Roslin will not comply and launch a strike force to re-take the ship..even if it means killing Lee, Zerrick, and everyone aboard. It turns out, this is exactly what Zerrick wants...bloodshed. The resulting revolution, he claims, will collapse the goverment, and bring on the " new day" he belives is neccessary. It's interesting seeing Richard Hatch, the man who played Apollo in the original series, playing a man like Zerrick. Apollo was so good and moral, Zerrick seems the polar opposite. The scene where he discusses the mythical source of Lee's call sign, Apollo, seems wierd. Lee is able to regain control of the situation, offering a choice to Zerrick. He surrenders, and his men agree to work on the ice, and he'll get his elections. Zettick agrees, and control of the ship is granted to Zerrick. Adama and Roslin are furious at Lee for this, until he reminds Laura that she is only commited to obeying the law. When she finishes the remainder of her term, an election should be held. That's the way it's been, and it should continue that way. Shining moments include Baltar's self realization on his building a Cylon detector, Starbuck and Tigh at the end, ( her starting to humbly apologise and his frak-you reply), Cally's attack on her would be rapist, and Laura admitting her condition to Lee. A fine episode.
  • Space Drama at its best.

    8.9
    I was glad that Richard Hatch joined the cast of the new version of the series. Being an avid fan of the 1979 original series, I was thrilled. I also like the fact they made him something different than his previous role. I like the way Number Six controls Baltar and steers him to the Cylon goals. The way real life instances get put into the show is shows great screen writing and hold up very well. The cut back to Helo on the planet is great on the visual of the new Cylon Centurions. I like how they evolved into something a lot more menacing than the 1979 series of Mime Robots.
  • I solid episode with some good twists that let us see more of the characters.

    9.0
    Good episode which shows you don't need shooting scenes or fight scenes for a good episode. The writers did a great job and mixed terrisom and poltics together in a gripping story line. Plus i though the character of Tom Zarek was very good and i'am glad he wasn't just a stand alone character. I think the writters tried to show us the that terrisom and poltics are points of view. I think this was a run up to episodes further on in season one which i think it was yet even though not as ground breaking as other season one episodes i think it was a great fun i'd you could wacth it other and other agian and discover new things about it.
  • Tooo early and maybe thats why too weak!

    8.0
    This is the episode I like the least. I think it was to early for it. Somehow I think the charakters needed more development... I couldnt quit conect with them. Lee still seemed to me like this clean every momas darling and Sturbuck was just a unstable troublemaker. I would have placed this one nearer the seaason finale. The situation was of course interesting, but the drama on this plot got simply too short. The Lee VS Apollo thing deserved something better. It was in my opinion the weakest episode (having watched six to date) but was still somehow entertaining. Thats why it scored only 8 with me.
  • Have you picked a side?

    9.0
    So, the rivalry between civilian and military authority rears its head once again, and Lee Adama finds himself caught right in the middle. And then there's this messianic terrorist who bears more than a passing resemblance to another heroic pilot. And whose idea was it to send a couple of pretty young ladies into a ship load of hardened criminals? Nice move there, guy. Man, I like this Zarek fella. He's kind of like the exact opposite of Baltar, what with the death wish instead of the self-serving desperation, the respect and admiration of those around him instead of the loathing of all who meet him, and the ability to somehow seem a little less crazy. Those two really need to get together - only good things could come of that (note: yes, I've seen the season 2 finale and wrote that with tongue firmly planted in cheek). So, Lee deals with the prison riot, and then finds himself explaining the new terms to mommy and daddy. I don't think Bill is going to let his boy take the car out for a while after that little stunt. But, hey, now we get elections, which means lots of political manuvering, bribery, scandal, straw polls. Good stuff. Yeah, and Mary McDonnell rules. I hope she gets over that cancer thing, because a BSG without President Roslin is no kind of BSG at all. You can talk about the grittier feel, the more character-driven stories and the vastly superior special effects all you want, but the real difference between this series and the original is that woman. Take away that civilian-military conflict, and all you're left with is waiting for the next "mindless space battle." So, respect the Roslin. Another nice little moment: Kara and Tigh have another chance to make up, only this time it's Starbuck making the peace offering, and the good Colonel tossing her out. How can you say no to that cleavage, Saul? You still think your wife is dead at this point, so hit it like a Cylon warhead. Or at least be nice to the pretty pilot, you ass.


    Priceless moment: Lee getting all Dirty Harry on terrorist leader Tom Zarek. "Well, Zarek - what's it gonna be? Do ya feel lucky?"
  • A good episode.

    10
    Even though we don't see the vipers shooting at the cylon raiders, we get to see other parts of the galactica fleet. we see the prison ship. the prisoners stage a revolt and holds some officers hostage. the drama adds on this, the characters have to face an enemy, their fellow humans. apollo have a diplomatic approach in dealing with the hostrage takers while starbuck have a shoot first ask question policy. the hostages get to know one another while they are locked up by the prisoners. this episode is pretty good, it's different, but not a bad one. it's good.
  • Tom zarek makes trouble

    5.0
    I have many reasons to not like this episode, it almost turned me off to the series. I didn't think it showed any of the chracters particularly well, and the plot got on my nerves, Tom Zarek doesn't give you a good impression of the series It was lucky I was convinced to watch Litmus a few weeks later, or I would not be hooked on this series
  • Sometimes, a good ear biting can really improve the quality of a television show.

    9.0
    As far as BSG was concerned, it only enhanced what didn't really need improving.

    Continuing it's amazing first season, this episode raised the bar on what the show was really about at it's core, how exactly does a civilization continue when something catastrophic happens?

    This episode opened the curtain on one of the most interesting secondary characters (Tom Zarek is my new best friend.)...and of course, it also planted the seeds for what I understand may in fact be the conclusion of the second season!

    This was a really good episode, well paced and even better written than I hoped for. The first few times I saw it, I thought it was okay. Suddenly the last time, I realized the brilliance. The insights we gain into Apollo, Zarek, and the entire colonial process...

    Basically folks: Great ep. Great show.

    Gimme BSG or give me a book!
  • Good

    9.6
    Nice to see Richard Hatch. He looks a lot like the late John Ritter to me. Am I seeing things?

    This is probably the weakest of the first three episodes.. not to say it's bad or anything. It's still great compared to TV's standards... but I've already seen what this show can do. I was only slightly disappointed.

    There's a revelation about the president, the rift between Apollo and Adama widens, Tigh sets it straight to Boomer... there are some very good scenes in this episod that set up the rest of the season.

    All, in all, I'll give it close to a perfect score, but not quite.
  • When Lee met Apollo.

    7.5
    One great thing about spin-offs and remakes of TV shows is that you can bring characters – or actors – from the original into episodes of the new. However, sometimes the producers make the mistake of bringing back totally bad actors – i.e Richard Hatch – into totally bad episodes. Yet another bad call was making Mr Hatch, who played Apollo in the original series, go from being Mr Righteous-And-True into Mr Terrorist-With-An-Attitude.

    The episode starts with a slightly tipsy Tigh being informed by the Chief of the conditions they’ll have to work with in order to get the water on the frozen moon. The Chief also tells him they’ll need over a thousand men to help with the drilling. Since there aren’t enough people on Galactica who can do it, Apollo suggests they get the prisoners onboard the Astral Queen to aid them in exchange for freedom. Apollo, along with Cally, Dualla and Billy, heads to the Astral Queen.

    When he arrives he finds the prisoners have united under Tom Zarek (Hatch), a terrorist with a penchant for blowing up stuff. The men do follow Zarek, and Zarek decides not to help them get the water. He believes Roslin shouldn’t be President due to the fact that she was made President by default. Zarek takes Apollo, Cally, Dualla and Billy hostage, and holds them until such time as Roslin agrees to step down and have a President elected by the people.

    Seeing as Roslin is by no means willing to step down, Adama sends a small team of marines, led by Starbuck, to infiltrate the Astral Queen and recapture the hostages. During all this, Baltar informs Adama that he is unable to complete the work on his Cylon detector, but after a little “encouragement” from Number Six, he tells Adama that there is a way. . .but it involves using the plutonium from a nuclear warhead, which Adama reluctantly agrees to give to him.

    The Marines break into the Astral Queen, and move towards the hostages. One of the prisoners tries to rape Cally, but she fights back by biting off a chunk of his ear. Just as the prisoner is about to shoot Cally, Apollo fights back by grabbing one of their guns and shooting the prisoner dead. Then, holding the gun to Zarek’s head, Apollo tells him that if he releases the hostages, he’ll give Zarek and the prisoners control of the Astral Queen, and elections will be held within seven months. Zarek agrees, and the Astral Queen is left in his hands.

    On Colonial One, Adama and Roslin give Apollo a good yelling-at, but he counters by saying the elections would have to happen anyway even if he hadn’t offered them to Zarek. After Adama heads back to Galactica, Roslin divulges to Apollo that she has cancer, and asks him to keep it secret.

    And while all of this is happening, Helo and Caprica Boomer (in probably the shortest Helo and Boomer segment in the whole season) make their way into Caprica City, and are greeted by some rats, which Helo quickly dispatches.

    The good –

    -Colonel Tigh being informed on the moon by the Chief and his buddies after just having a few caps-worths of booze. If only he was that friendly all the time.

    -Number Six – “If you don’t tell him what he wants to hear, he’s going to find you out. And when he does, they’re gonna tear your head off, and throw your body out of an airlock!!!”

    The bad –

    -Tom Zarek. His continuous speeches about politics and freedom to vote just bore me.

    -The fact that Helo and Caprica Boomer appeared in this episode for around two minutes all up. When an interesting subplot like that suddenly hits a high, and then in the next episode there’s hardly any of it, it’s bound to tick some people off.

    The ugly –

    -The prisoner’s bleeding ear after being bitten by Cally. A bit too graphic.

    -The big brawl with Apollo vs. several dozen prisoners. He’s gonna feel that in the morning.

    Next Episode : Episode 4 – Act of Contrition
    “When Starbuck Failed”
  • Will the Real Apollo please stand up!

    9.0
    Richard Hatch makes his debut on the series that he and others made back in the late 70's. What I found very original is that they brought him back as a villian. I hope to see this character again. He is playing a character way off what his original character was.

    Back to the story though. For you old-timers like myslef. Remember when they had captured Baltar in the old series. He was on the prison barge, with help from those three mentalist beheamoths he took the fleet over. Not quite the same but very similar. Baltar was even brought back to the fleet as a advisory to the council for stopping the three lunatics fro destroying the fleet.

    This fact did not distact me from liking the episode. I liked the differences and some of the character developement really changed what the characters are about. Apollo's (the current one) stance on the fleet and the president versus Adama was excellenty done.
  • “I’ve still working on a plan. But so far it involves being sent to prison and becoming somebody’s bitch”

    9.2
    Often the worst aspect of any remake it the moment someone from the original pop up for a brief cameo that will either go unnoticed or fall flat on their faces. Remember David Soul and Paul Glazer showing up at the end of Starsky And Hutch. It's no surprise that Roger Moore and Patrick MacNee only did voice parts for The Saint and The Avengers respectfully. Yet here we have Richard Hatch, the original Apollo, guest staring on the new Galactica, something he has long objected too in favour of his own continuation. So is this appears cringe worthy or not. In all honesty Hatch is quite impressive as Zarek easily commanding every scene he is in while overdoing it for a second.

    Since I knew that Hatch would return later in the season this episode was not as tense as it could have been without my foreknowledge of later events but I was still caught off guard by conclusion. I was expecting the bloodbath instead Apollo agreed to give Zarek what he wanted as long as his men agreed to mine the water. Everyone's a winner. Well sort of.

    There was also a definite Oz vibe about this episode especially in the scenes with Cally and her would be rapist, which I found to be a bit clichéd. Why is it whenever people are taking hostage by escaped prisoners there is always one rapist in the bunch who is allowed to do what he wants with the female hostages. Surly Zarek would've have know this might have happed and taken measures to prevent it. Unless he did not care which makes it hard to agree with this man's ideals when he lets a rapist guard his female hostages. I was worried for Cally when she was taken away but a must admit I had a huge grin on my face when I saw she bit the f**ker's ear off. This and her little giggles as Tigh is rambling drunkenly have made her my favourite character, you go girl.

    Baltar relationship with the bitch queen from hell who now happens to inhabit his head continues to be intriguing. She wants him to live and to help him survive she undermines the entire Cylon war effort. Is she a chip or a manifestation of Baltar's subconscious, who knows only time will tell but I'm betting she's a chip. I loved the scene inside Adama quarters as it help show Adama at his best; quite, calm but with patience wearing thin he looked like he was ready to have Baltar shot all without showing the least bit of anger or rage. Top marks for Olmos who remains the best actor on the show.

    And as for Apollo I don't give a s**t what side he chooses they guy is just dull.

    Good Bits
    -Tech Guy: "You really bite that guy's ear off?"
    Cally: "He's lucky that's all I bite off"
    Tyrol: "That's my girl"

    -Col. Tigh: "Civilians, whiny, civi' crybabies, can't stand less than a hot shower every day."

    -Zarek: "Zeus is calling"

    -Why is Number Six helping Baltar?

    -Number Six: "Listen to me, if you don't tell him what he wants to hear, he's going to find you out. And when he does, They're going to tear your head off and throw your body out an airlock!!"

    Bad Bits
    -Since when was Starbuck an expert sniper?

    -Apollo. When your out-acted by Richard Hatch you know you're in trouble.
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