The Living Legend
|"The Living Legend"|
|Battlestar Galactica (1978) episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
Episode 12 & 13
|Directed by||Vince Edwards|
|Written by||Glen A. Larson|
|Production code||50919 & 50920|
|Original air date||November 26, 1978 & December 3, 1978|
"The Living Legend" is a two-part episode of the original Battlestar Galactica television series. The episode is often rated as one of the most popular of the original series. It served as an inspiration for the "reimagined" series episode "Pegasus" in which the character of Commander Cain and the Battlestar Pegasus were revived, with substantial changes.
Galactica is reunited with Pegasus, a sister battlestar previously thought destroyed. Led by the legendary and sometimes arrogant Commander Cain, the fleet is torn in its loyalty between Adama and Cain, but they eventually join forces in a daring attack on the Cylons.
While on a routine patrol, Captain Apollo and Lieutenant Starbuck find Pegasus, which was thought to have been destroyed in a battle with the Cylons years earlier. The Pegasus is under the leadership of the legendary Commander Cain. The Pegasus's commander wants the Galactica's help in defeating the Cylons. He also asks Starbuck and Apollo about a woman he is fond of, who turns out to be Cassiopea, Starbuck's girlfriend. Neither man tells Cain this information.
Meanwhile, the Galactica and her civilian fleet are dead in space because of a lack of fuel; soon this shortage will threaten life-support. Cain and Adama meet and clash on techniques. Adama is worried about the safety of the civilians; Cain wants to attack Cylons at the nearby planet of Gomorray. Adama proposes an attack on Cylon fuel tankers, which Cain reluctantly agrees with. Also, one of Cain's Viper pilots turns out to be Cain's daughter Sheba.
In the attack, Cain intentionally destroys the tankers in order to get his way. Adama then relieves Cain of his command, claiming Pegasus's fuel. The Pegasus crew support Cain and get into a tense confrontation with the Galactica crew. A Cylon attack led by the human traitor Count Baltar ultimately results in Adama restoring Cain to command of the Pegasus. The Pegasus launches a surprise attack, and stops Baltar's attack.
After Pegasus thwarts Baltar's attack on the Fleet, Commanders Adama and Cain plan to attack Gamoray for its desperately needed fuel supplies, in the midst of this is a visit from the Imperious Leader himself.
Cain and Adama develop a plan to destroy the Cylon forces at Gomorray. Apollo, Starbuck, Boomer, Sheba, and Bojay - another pilot from the Pegasus and a close friend of Sheba's - parachute down to the planet's surface. With them is Cassiopea, who has come as their medical technician. Bojay is injured in a gunfight with a Cylon, and Cassiopea saves his life, thus earning the respect of Sheba. The Cylon control center is destroyed, and vipers from the two battlestars wreak havoc over Gomorray. Fuel tankers land and begin taking on tylium. The warriors board a shuttle, Cassiopea directs it to land on the Pegasus so she can help the wounded on board, including Bojay. Cain leads the Pegasus directly into a massive number of Cylon fighters, in the ensuing fight the battlestar suffers heavy damage but survives. His daughter Sheba is wounded in the battle, and is taken to the ship's medical center for help. At this point both Apollo and Commander Adama learn that Cain's plan was never to break off; he intends to head straight for the three Cylon basestars and attack them head-on. Given that he is outnumbered three-to-one it seems like a suicidal plan, but Apollo notes that if anyone could accomplish such an incredible feat, it would be Cain. Adama contacts Cain and begs him to turn away, but when Cain refuses Adama reluctantly gives him his blessing.
Cain has a tearful farewell with Cassiopea and his wounded daughter, who begs to stay with him. However, she is placed on a shuttle with other wounded Pegasus personnel and flown to the Galactica. Apollo and Starbuck lead an escort of vipers to ensure the shuttles reach the Galactica, but after a short time they turn command over to Lieutenant Boomer and fly back to the Pegasus to help her in the fight with the Cylon baseships. Baltar orders his basestar to fall back and allow the other two basestars to fight the Pegasus first. Apollo and Starbuck's vipers attack and cripple the two basestar's defensive laser cannons; Cain has the Pegasus fly between the two enemy ships and destroys them with nuclear missiles. Unfortunately, the dust and debris from the explosions prevent Starbuck and Apollo from discovering whether or not the Pegasus survived the battle. They return to the Galactica, where they tell the recovering Sheba that her father probably headed into deep space.
- This is the first mention of more than just one fleet in the Colonial Military. In the pilot there appeared to be only one main fleet. Pegasus was part of the Fifth Fleet.
- Sheba was introduced as a new love interest for Apollo and their relationship was to develop over the course of the series had it continued into more seasons.
- Commander Cain and Pegasus were also slated to return in future episodes had the show not been canceled.
- This is the last appearance of the Imperious Leader, apart from Galactica 1980, and his most visible.
- With Pegasus's Viper pilots stranded aboard Galactica, two new recurring characters have been added: Lieutenants Sheba and Bojay.
- Bojay would only be seen for a few episodes, with his last onscreen appearance in "War of the Gods, Part II".
- This episode features the only use of shuttles for parachuting troops.
- One of the parachute stuntmen appears to have a moustache, yet none of the warrior characters have one.
- This two-part episode, along with the episode "Fire In Space", were edited together and released as the film Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack.
Since the series was cancelled after only one season, the Pegasus was not seen again in the original series. A long-standing fan rumor was that the ship wreckage seen in the later episode "War of the Gods" was from the Pegasus (hence Apollo's frantic refusal to let Sheba see for herself what he had found among the twisted hullmetal). However, the script from this episode shows that the dead crew found in that ship were not human at all, but aliens with cloven hoofs, so that crashed ship could not have been the Pegasus.