Battlestar Galactica

Season 1 Episode 11

Colonial Day

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Mar 18, 2005 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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out of 10
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  • I'm starting to get a real feel for politics.

    Short story: loved it. This unbelievably good season has had more exciting episodes (33, Hand of God) and more touching episodes (Act of Contrition), but if you asked for the episode with just the best writing overall (excluding the finale of course), I'd have to point you to Colonial Day.

    At the same time, I completely understand how some fans of the series might think this is one of the season's lesser episodes. After all, it has a completely different feel from everything else we've gotten from BSG so far. It takes place in an outdoorsy atmosphere on the luxury cruiser (A+ set design, by the way) that takes away the distinct claustrophobic feel present in the other episodes. No one other than the shady Valance was ever at risk of any sort of physical harm or death, and so the difficulty is in crafting scenes that work just as well where the only risk that anyone is ever really at is political or social.

    But what the episode really ends up doing, through a delightfully convoluted political struggle, is advance the plot forward with a few shocking twists (Gaius, the vice president?) in preparation for the finale, while also giving us a lot of world-building insight into the way that government functioned before the tragedies that brought everyone to where they are now. The process that unfolds here parallels modern American politics, with "conservatives" in the Roslin party and "liberals" in the Zarek party. By the end, Roslin has won but only by a hair, and even then only due to some very quick thinking involving nominating a new, more popular potential vice president.

    Even though this was an episode about Roslin, all of the best bits of the episode were Baltar's, as well as Zarek's. It's great to see Tom Zarek back in a completely different setting than in Bastille Day, wearing a suit, flirting with Ellen (who doesn't, really?), and shaking hands with delegates as part of a pompous ceremony. His speeches, which connect him to the Tom Zarek we knew back in episode three, make a convincing argument. Unfortunately, I don't believe for a second that Zarek actually intended to be the people's president - especially not after the parts of Bastille Day in which he essentially admits to be out for no one but himself. He also, of course, admits that to a significantly more tolerable Ellen even in this episode. At the same time, we get to see some absolutely classic Baltar scenes. There's the one where he's giving a speech and we all know that he's just parroting back some fancy words from Six, and even better the one where he's forced into accepting a vice presidency IN A BATHROOM because he didn't want Roslin to know about the journalist in the stall. Just brilliant all around.

    Even on Caprica, something finally happened! Helo finally sees a Cylon copy of Sharon just as they're about to escape and at long last connects the dots. Watching him just walk away from the copy of Sharon he's with without even asking for an explanation is heartbreaking, especially when we know that Not!Boomer literally went against her people to go with him. It's a great way to end a penultimate episode.

    Oh yeah, there's that dance too which is just PERFECT.
  • Colonial Day

    Colonial Day was another excellent episode of Battlestar Galactica and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of political intrigue as Tom Zarek was nominated for Vice President and President Roslin was able to get Baltar nominated and it was fun to watch how things played out. The scenes were very character driven and intense. The drama and characters are so enchanting and make the show irresistible to watch. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • The One Where: They all enjoy a dance! (Politcally and literally.)


    It was fun seeing all of the regular cast get all dolled up just before the end credits. A nice change of pace from their overused dreary robots-are-trying-to-kill-us-we-can't-sleep look. Something tells me that the small celebration was very much a glammed up calm before a very big storm. And speaking of changes in scenery, the concept of Cloud Nine is a neat one. Have we heard of it before now? You'd think the pilots (and everyone else) would be hitting up the place for some much needed fake-sun tanning every other day.

    Not a lot actually happens here overall. What you need to take away from this episode is that Helo finally knows that Sharon is a cylon, and, during an odd turn of events, Gaius is now the vice-president. Two pretty hefty shifts in the narrative, wouldn't you say? They're clearly being set-up for the finale, so there's very little screen-time allowed for us to process such huge changes.

    The pace is glacial even for this show. With a lot of political jargon thrown at us in quick succession. There's one small scrap involving Starbuck and Apollo, but that's about it on the action front. Long, arousing speeches are what's in store with this hour. I did kind of zone out here and there.

    No fraks, one guy killed himself, head-Six and two cap six's, suggested murder, and Sharon wins here.

    Not the best BSG has to offer, but far from the worst.

  • Layers of intrigue make for a compelling episode

    This episode is for the most part very well executed, and offers lots of things to enjoy.

    Zarek is back, and thankfully way better utilized than earlier in the season. Here he gets more compelling dialog, and he makes some valid points. But it's interesting watching the shades of gray in terms of right and wrong in this episode.

    Various characters hate Zarek for being a terrorist, and write him off purely on that. But many of their actions are questionable: torture, turning off the radio (to silence a political figure) and starting a fight, and of course Roslin asking for Zarek to be bugged. Roslin's close relationship with the military leader and quite clear statements about who she would or wouldn't have as her vice-president all show the nastier side of these people, and give Zarek's words some weight. Ellen makes her second appearance, and starts to show that her main aim is to protect her and her husband. She's less bound by strong beliefs, and much more adaptable to the situation at hand. People will write her off as a drunken tart, but they could do well with learning from her to drop some of the old ways and preconceptions.

    It's great to see Baltar's arc continue. His in-head Six has definitely been building this up over a number of episodes and making him believe in himself. When she made him second the request for a vice president, it paved the way for his rise to power. Another step on the story of Baltar.

    Also other noteworthy things: it's interesting to see Cloud Nine for a change of location, and the ending where Helo discovers the truth about Sharon is a gem.

    There were a couple of things I didn't like about the episode though. The whole assassination subplot felt bolted on to the episode, and didn't really go anywhere. My other problem is a bigger one, and is a problem with BSG in general but I started to really first notice it in this episode. That is the fact that the writers don't stop to think more often that these people are not from Earth. Too often the show does things that are very American. The news reporters' style for example was played as very American -- there doesn't seem to be an effort to make them at all different. Also very Earth-like dialog comes into play, like Roslin mentions a "goon squad". All in all, with the exception of the assassination plot, this was a well crafted and interesting episode. Definitely one of the gems of season one.
  • "I'm glad that we got to see the return of Tom Zarek." SPOILERS

    I'm glad that we got to see the return of Tom Zarek. I wonder if we'll see him again after this. I enjoyed seeing a luxury liner and what it is like in the show. It was kind of interesting how they created faux weather and stuff. The most interesting part about the episode is that Six practically forces Baltar to second the idea of a Vice President. Why? I wonder how this will play into the cylon's plan. Who killed Valence? I guess that's the most pronounced question of the episode. I hope it's answered. Baltar is the new Vice President. Was this part of Six's plan? Something that kind of struck me was when Helo ran away. He doesn't seem like the type, especially in this situation, to run away from something...anything. Boomer 2 obviously shot the other Boomer and never tried to hurt him. So why, even as she is calling after him, run away? I guess he thinks she could trick him but it's slim if he put the recent events together. I'm interested to see how this plays out. 8/10
  • Winds of change.

    Most of the episode wasn't bad, but there was one scene that stood out in a very negative way. The interrogation of Valence by Apollo and Starbuck was just awful in my opinion. The writing and Apollo's acting were way, way over the top. Intimidation is one thing, but even with the gun in his hand I probably couldn't have helped but laugh in Apollo's face if I was in Valence's shoes.

    The rest of the main plot was okay, but it didn't really enthrall me. Maybe because Roslin was at the center of it and I just haven't developed any love for her character.

    I did enjoy the final scene on Caprica however when Helo finally puts all the pieces together after seeing another copy of Sharon. The copy bleeding out after Sharon shoots her made for a great shot, especially with that eerie blue tinged lighting.

    One good scene, one really bad scene, and the rest was okay but it just didn't grab me.
  • “What’s the use of a good quotation if you can’t change it?”

    Ah...The West Wing. A show that could take even the most inane and tedious part of legistratian and turn it into something fun and witty. Of course that was before Aaron Sorkin left. Before the show came to rely on terrorists, kidnappings, wars and Mathew Perry. Before the show suffered a 90% drop in witty dialogue and fantastic verbal exchanges. Now The West Wing is a show with a talented cast who are just going through the motions in stories that are not better than your average day in parliament. Much like this week's episode of Battlestar Galactica. After five minutes I was as board as Baltar only unlike Baltar there where no pretty blond reporters going commando where I was.

    Politics, unless written by Aaron Sorkin or, makes for boring drama and that is what we had with this episode lots and lots of people talking about the politics of the fleet and such which unfortunately is never that dramatic or thrilling. Did I give a toss who became the new Vice-President? No I was more interested in knowing how Baltar can be chosen as the representative of his colony without his knowledge or consent. Is the thing of twelve like a national service, you have to do it no mater what.

    Meanwhile back on that utopia of originality Caprica Helo and Boomer are getting ready to break into a Cylon air base and steal a ship and get off planet. Halo has finally realised that there are Human Cylons while Boomer tries to argue that since they look human they might also have emotions and feelings. She might as well have a sight that reads "I am a very cute Cylon" on her head. But even if she did I doubt he would notice.

    I got to admit I love the fact the there was no last minute stop the assassin before he strikes conclusion to the story. The fact that the attempted assassins were caught early on came as both a nice surprise and proof that all the good hired killers died out with the rest of humanity.

    Good Bits
    -Boomer. Whether on rainy Caprica or dancing with Gaeta she is still cute.

    -Baltar. Why is it all his best scenes take place in the men's room.

    -Helo finally realising what the grey thing between his ears is for.

    -Apollo smashing the bottle on that guy's head for no reason. It always good to see the good guys doing something nasty.

    -Starbuck. She scrubs up well.

    -Ellen Tigh, Cylon or not, is a total power hungry slut.

    -Everybody got to have some fun for once.

    Bad Bits
    -Unless written by Aaron Sorkin, shows about politics are never that interesting. Even Baltar was board.

    -Has no one noticed they just elected a man who clearly has some mental health problems?

    -Introducing new character this late in the game is always a bad idea.

    -Tom Zarak. Less Nelson Madeela, more George W. Bush, slogans, buzzwords and all.
  • A group of Colonial representatives meet on Cloud Nine with President Roslin to determine a Vice President. Tom Zarek immediately gets nominated, and Roslin must work quickly to make sure a terrorist does not become second in command.

    This episode is very interesting; I've always been a fan of the political side of Galactica. It was extremely well written, some funny Baltar moments, some great moments at the end, but overall, it was plotted horribly. Who was Roslin's right-hand man, the guy she could always count on? Eh, I don't know, some guy we've never met. We've been following Roslin's story, how do we not know this man!? Seriously!? The whole assassination story was not all that interesting to me. I mean, I get it; Zarek's bad. We didn't need that little subplot. The whole Roslin, Zarek, Baltar, other Colonies feud was much more interesting, in my opinion. And, are we led to believe that Ellen actually killed that man? I don't believe she would; but what else is there to believe? The end with Roslin not announcing the tie-break vote was awesome, and then her just announcing the vice president? Wonderful. The end little party was an excellent coda to the episode. The cliffhanger was also very good, the Caprica story has hit it's stride.

    A very good, interesting episode, but boring, senseless subplots and random character actions and just random characters appearing and disappearing pissed me off. 6/10 or a C+. Just a very OKAY episode, nearing good :)
  • Dangerous game of politics..

    I like this episode - they have been dealing with military thing and now it is back on the president and that intriguing char Zarek - it is just interesting how they make those bad chars here so intriquing.

    I like the assassin storyline and the thing we never know - what was the original plan. Was Zarek to kill president?

    And I like the least evil president chose - to have Gaius has vice president.. it was fascinating turn and I can only imagine what he and mostly number six will do.

    And the story development in the end on Carpia... wow..
  • Even with the introduction of politics, this episode managed to be entertaining.

    ***This review details –» this is a "I" perspective, based in what I like and recognize to be good or interesting, this is not a "god" where the guy thinks what he thinks is the true or the "you" perspective where I know what you will like and what you don´t.***

    If there is anything I don´t like to see mentioned in any TV shows is politician, only 24 changed my mind about because some of the drama constructed and some of the conspiracy. Besides that, I hate politics, because it is boring and then, this show began with that idea, and I thought "I think I'm gone sleep". But of course, there are exceptions, and this episode proved to be interesting over the course.

    Helo makes an interesting theory that seems correct and his story finally starts with the payoffs.

    Presentation Phase - » (5/10) didn´t seem interesting, Complication Phase - » (7/10) contrary to what I expected the nominations were interesting was less interesting,
    Climax Phase - » (6/10) it´s about politics,
    Ending - » (8/10) Helo closure was more interesting,

    Details/Progress (To point A to B) -» (18/20) two status updates were made,
    Time and Scene Management - » (14/20) this episodes works well as distraction,
    Plot Details/Holes- » (20/20) Fine,

    Even with the introduction of politics, this episode managed to be entertaining.
  • Thank you, Mr Vice President

    This episode has several interesting developments. The Colonials have finally gotten around to building back up an interim Quorum of The Twelve. Tom Zarek is back, out of prison, and elected one of them. And surprise, so has Baltar! On Colonial Day, anniversary of the founding of the Twelve Colonies, the first official meeting of the Quorum is underway... under intense scrutiny. Lee is intent on catching Zarek doing some piece of dirty work or another. There is a great street fight type of brawl between Lee, Kara and a few thugs, who may..or may not work for Zarek. Zarek, ever the strategist , brings up a very valid point, which is that a Vice President needs to be elected in case something should happen to Laura, and is immediately nominated. Ummm.. yeah , not good. Laura has her own choice, but when she sees Baltar giving a very charismatic interview, she decides to oust her friend in favor of Gaius, in spite of what she thinks of both personally. Ellen spends her time flirting with Zarek in her own special way. Zarek asks her as a special favor, to check on a friend of his in detention...Vallence, one of the thugs Lee aprehended and interrogated. Shortly thereafter, that man is killed in his cell, in spite of guards being there. Zarek is obviously suspected. Baltar is elected by a narrow margin, and Tom tells Laura that he didn't kill Vallance. Meanwhile, on Caprica.. Sharon and helo are about to steal a ship. helo is obsessed with the model Six he saw, and suspects the truth...that there are human model Cylons. The pair split up to make their move, but shortly before they do...Helo sees another Sharon..and two plus two equals four. His Sharon immediately shoots her twin.. but Helo freaks, and bolts away as fast as he can. Richard Hatch seems to love playing Zarek, the slimy plotting, but very smart terrorist prisoner turned politician. What is Ellen Tigh's real agenda, and did she kill Vallence for Tom? This is a mystery that has never been answered..yet. Gaius is finally given something new to do rather then talk to and frak his virtual love goddess, or test blood samples. After his initial resisitance, he slips right into the political role, and seems to relish in it.. but as in everything Baltar does... purely for his own selfish purposes. This is the second time we see Roslin's cold side...although not as drastic as killing a Cylon...her decision to oust her close friend out of the Vice candidate position, is a sad one, and it hurts her...but it is a very cold and calculating decision nevertheless. She is willing to substitute and use a man she clearly does not even like for her own abitions. The celebration is a joyous scene. From the big band music.. to Adama practically sweeping laura off her feet, and onto the dance floor. And how about Kara, and that killer Va-va-vamp, to the nines, dressed to kill look? Look closely, kiddies. One time only! You won't see that happen again. She dances with Lee.. then Gaius cuts in. Someone should warn him about Kara and booze. Boor baltar. Then... Helo finds out the truth. He has fallen for a Cylon. He has been played..duped.. and it scares the hell out of him... and he doesn't even know about the bun in the toaster. Wait till the morning after.
  • Another quality episode

    The way the opening credits go first with the standard intro hymn music while the opening description on what the show is about is same with all episodes but the second part shows glimpses of what is on going to transpire this episode. This one might think it’s a bit boring with the topic of politics and elections. I like the inclusion of the old Apollo (Richard Hatch) into the script, he’s definitely not the same type of character that he originally played in the old series. I like the way politics was worked in, and through the chaos of fleeing they still manage to have conflicts with each other.
  • My personal Farvourite of Season 1 because it gives so much and the political episodes are usally my favourite.

    This epuisode proves that Poltics are as dangerous as war but are also nessacary if you want a fleet to function probably. The Characters were so human in this episode the President, Adama, Apollo, Kara Thrace and Tom Zarek and I'm glad there were more scenes with Zarak and the President in Season two because they play so well together and the poltical thrill aspect of the episode was so intense it made for great viewing. Plus we got another unanswerd question at the end did Helen Tigh Kill Zareks Assian or not i think she did but i doubt they'll every answer the question.
  • Eat your heart out, Geena Davis

    Mary McDonnell is the best actress on this show. I don't care what you might have heard to the contrary, but that's the way it is. That Sackhoff kid's got some spunk, but she's out of her league here. And don't even mention those ex-models they have strutting around. No, no - this lady's the real deal. Too bad this episode didn't do much to show off her talents, in spite of all the screen time she got. But she still manages to be extremely believable as the President, woman or not. But on the bright side, Richard Hatch is back. The erstwhile Apollo is still suffering from his messiah complex, it seems, but I can't say that I mind. The old series lacked a civilian perspective on the fleet, but this new Galactica has not only that, but factions to question the civilian government in the form of Tom Zarek. Now there's some intrigue - will the Cylons destroy the fleet, or will the humans destroy themselves first? And speaking of Apollo, why can't this show give Lee Adama something better to do? He's facing some thug down in a bar, and what does he say? "After you leave. Which is now." How is that supposed to be intimidating? It doesn't even make any sense. Give the guy some better material, some kind of history or motivation and something to do besides bug the hell out of Kara Thrace, and let's see if this character can develop into something, I don't know, a little less ... annoying. Also, for the record, Gaius Baltar is a dog. A reporter? In the men's room? That's something to brag about, right there.

    Someone needs to work on the extra handling in the future. The press corps lost interest in their interviews pretty quick, and those guys listening to Roslin speak looked like they'd rather be watching the pyramid game in the bar than be where they were. Eyes on the nice lady, fellas.
  • Another brilliant episode but with different surroundings.

    I really enjoyed watching thsis episode aswell.

    I liked that there were different surroundings in this episode it made a nice change to Galactica or Caprica. I also liked that we got to see a little more of Ellen, I am looking forward to seeing more about her in the furture. I liked that we got to see a little more of the Lee and Kara relationship out of Galactica, (I know I have said this before but I really think that they should be a couple). I thought that it was very interesting that Gius became vice president, I personally think that he would make a rubbish vice president and possibly president. I also quite liked the fact that we got to see a different side to Laura, we got to see her playing up to the cameras with Zerek I liked this as I was beginning to think that she was a bit of a pushover. I thought that this was again a great episode and I really love the series.
  • Politics is ungly, no matter where you are

    In keeping with the theme of having the new series slit away from the original series, in this installment we deal with the civilian concerns and the civilian government. Because this is not a military dictatorship, election time has come to the fleet. Those who consider the President to be a light weight will be quite surprised to see her ruthless political side shine through. The ending sets up the opening scene for next week.Blink and you'll miss it.
  • Good, But I like Politics.

    Good Episode. The basis of this episode is about trying to restore some sense of order and normality to the fleet. The president decides a that she will hold the election for vice president.

    Enter Tom Zarek. The power mad 'political' prisoner that wants to change his office from cell #892 to colonial 1, and he does'nt mind not playing by the rules. Enter the hird gun, and the basis for the episode

    And all this excitment held on the lavish outside enviroment of cloud nine (which sorta came out of no where)

    So once again its up o Galctica to stop the culprit and some who link him to Zarek who as you can imagine President Rosilin is none too keen to share a work enviroment with.

    Now a change from the norm instead of a last minute dash to stop the would be assasin he is caught rather quickly and easily in a bar fight(appantly the best assasins were busy)

    So the last half hour is a broyal with good old political intrique. Will the heads of the Colanies make the right decision and choose not to elect Zarek. Not before one last twist.

    The candadate Rosalin wants to elect is not doing as wll as she may have hoped. The answer to that is get a new candidate and who better for the jon than the cylon loving Gaius Baltar ( I think I see a problem) With Baltar on-board he wins over Zarek although it is tight.

    Zarek escorted back to his cell the winners can be found enjoying the their victory and celebrating colonial day the heroes dance the night away. However Baltars dancing with a Cylon. Not a good indication of things to come.