The Lost Warrior
|"The Lost Warrior"|
|Battlestar Galactica (1978) episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Rod Holcomb|
|Written by||Don Bellisario
|Original air date||8 October 1978|
"The Lost Warrior" is an episode of the original Battlestar Galactica television series.
The episode begins with Captain Apollo, in his Viper, under attack by Cylon Raiders. He radios for help, but does so only to deceive the Cylons and lure them away from the fleet. He eventually loses his pursuers, but at the cost of his fuel supply and he is forced to land on a nearby planet.
On the world, a young boy named Puppis (named, as other characters are, for a constellation), sees Apollo land and investigates. He greets Apollo, who learns he is on a forgotten frontier planet called Equellus whose people live in an Old West-style society with limited technology. Puppis' mother Vela arrives and strongly urges Apollo to hide his ship. Afterward, Vela and Puppis take Apollo back to their farm where Puppis shows off his "pneumo gun" – a glorified air rifle. Puppis informs Apollo that more powerful weapons are forbidden by a local leader named Lacerta who only permits his thug "Red Eye" to carry a laser gun similar to Apollo's side arm. Puppis believes Apollo can take out Red Eye because pneumo guns are apparently powerless against him.
Suddenly, Red Eye arrives at the farm and Apollo hides. He is shocked to see the gunslinger is really a Cylon Centurion. Red Eye questions Vela and Puppis about "mysterious noises" – like that of a ship landing – but the two feign ignorance. Red Eye leaves when Vela's brother Boötes arrives and offers misleading directions to the crash site. Apollo meets Boötes who identifies Apollo as a Colonial Warrior just like Puppis' late father who was a Colonial pilot named Marten. Nine years earlier, Marten crashed on the planet after a battle. Vela nursed him back to health and later they fell in love. When Apollo brings up the fact that Red Eye is armed with a Colonial-issued laser, Vela tells him that it was Marten's gun and that one day Lacerta showed up at their farm with Red Eye to demand tribute. Marten attacked Red Eye and was killed.
Later, Apollo visits the local saloon where he sees Red Eye sitting in a corner watching over Lacerta. Apollo is then bullied by a thug named Marco who intimidates others as a way to gain Lacerta's favor. Apollo instead tries to make "friends" with Red Eye, but the Cylon pulls his weapon. Lacerta calls Red Eye off and demands Apollo state his business. Apollo claims he was trying to impress Lacerta in hopes of getting a job. He is then laughed out of the bar. Apollo returns to the farm only to learn that Puppis ran out into the night to hunt a lupus, (a dangerous wolf-like creature), that has killed much of the livestock. Apollo finds the boy who succeeded in killing the beast.
Back at the fleet, Colonel Tigh convinces Commander Adama to send a patrol to find Apollo while the fleet is still in range. Only Lieutenants Starbuck and Boomer take patrol, as Starbuck wasn't willing to allow Boxey to lose another family member. The two, along with the other pilots, were playing Pyramid with the boy, who has gained an upper hand much to their surprise before being ordered to brush his teeth by Cassiopeia.
Back on the planet, Vela is told by a friend named Jason that half of Boötes' herd of ovines was taken by Lacerta as tribute. Enraged, Boötes has gone to town to confront Lacerta and Jason fears Red Eye could kill him. Apollo rushes to town with Vela and Puppis, but they are too late. When Boötes threatens to kill Lacerta, Red Eye shoots and kills him. When Apollo does nothing, Puppis storms away disappointed.
Uncertain as to why a Cylon is here and backing a human con man, Apollo learns from a bar maid named Macy that Lacerta found Red Eye among the wreckage of a crashed ship. Somehow, he reactivated the Centurion, whose programming got scrambled, and mistook Lacerta for its Imperious Leader.
Apollo returns to town where he confronts Lacerta who quickly calls Red Eye to his defense. When Red Eye steps from the saloon, a western duel begins. Red Eye draws his gun, but Apollo is quicker on the draw and blasts the Cylon to oblivion. With his powerful sidekick defeated, Lacerta is quickly run out of town as the others cheer Apollo as their new hero.
Later, Vela helps Apollo retrieve the fuel from Marten's crashed Viper to refuel his ship. He says his goodbyes to her and Puppis and heads off into space. He is quickly found by Starbuck and Boomer, and guided back to the fleet.
- This is the first episode to make use of a promotional teaser prior to the show's opening.
- The episode is based on the western novel Shane. According to Anne Lockhart, Bellisario wrote a similar show to this one for the television series Tales of the Gold Monkey, except the antagonist is Japanese and the events are set in 1936.
- The character names Vela, Puppis, Boötes, and Lacerta are taken from the names of constellations, as is the name Cassiopeia. Likewise, Lupus is the name of a constellation. The planet's name, Equellus, closely resembles Equuleus ("little horse"), the name of yet another constellation.
- The animals in this episode were portrayed as alien creatures - of note the horses had striped fur (similar to a zebra) and their sounds were overdubbed wildcat growls. The livestock were sheep-like animals called Ovines, and the lupis was a vicious wolf-like creature; these names are Latin in origin.
- The Lost Warrior at the Battlestar Wiki
- The Lost Warrior full summary at Sheba's Galaxy
- The Lost Warrior full episode on YouTube