Battlestar Galactica: Season 1, Episode 3

Bastille Day (21 Jan. 2005)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Drama
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,002 users  
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Deciding to use the thousand prisoners on a prison transport ship to mine the ice on the planet they've found, Galactica's plans are upset when a political prisoner onboard leads an uprising, taking hostages. He questions the legitimacy of Roslin's government and demands free elections to be held in the fleet.



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Title: Bastille Day (21 Jan 2005)

Bastille Day (21 Jan 2005) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:


Water is found on a moon, but now there's the question of how to retrieve it. Chief Tyrol thinks the work's going to be hard. The moon is very barren and the liquid water is too salt. Only the ice is good enough, but it needs to be melted on site. Tyrol expects he needs at least a thousand men to do the work in proper time. President Roslin decides to ask prisoners on the prison ship Astral Queen to do the hard labor and receive points earning their freedom. But none of the prisoners are willing to cooperate, their representative Tom Zarek, a well known terrorist, tells. He has plan of his owns, frees the prisoners with the help of a guard and takes Lee, Dualla, Cally and Billy hostage. Zarek demands elections to replace president Roslin. Meanwhile on Caprica, Helo and the Cylon Boomer have arrived in an empty city, looking for a hospital to retrieve anti-radiation medication. Written by Arnoud Tiele (

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Release Date:

21 January 2005 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The character of Cally was supposed to be killed off in the original drafts of this script, but David Eick decided he wanted her to fight back during the rape scene rather than be killed off. Cally later became an important recurring character in the series. See more »


Tom Zarek: They call you Apollo.
Cpt. Lee 'Apollo' Adama: It's my call sign.
Tom Zarek: Apollo's one of the gods, a lord of Kobol. You must be a very special man to be called the god.
Cpt. Lee 'Apollo' Adama: It's just a stupid nickname.
Tom Zarek: Son of Zeus, good with the bow, god of the hunt. And also a god of healing. Now, a god can reconcile those two opposing forces, but a mortal has to pick one side or the other. Have you picked a side, Apollo?
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References Star Trek: The Conscience of the King (1966) See more »


Main Title Theme
Written by Richard Gibbs
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User Reviews

Picking the Side of Legitimacy
17 August 2008 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Chief Tyrol concludes that the Galáctica need one thousand men to explore the ice on the planet and pump it to the spacecraft. Commander Adama proposes to use the prisoners on board of "Astral Queen" due to the dangerousness of the mission. However, President Roslin is against slave work and asks that the prisoners should volunteer receiving reduction in their sentences. When Captain Apollo makes the offer to the political activist and leader of the prisoners Tom Zarek, there is an uprising and the group is taken as prisoners. Zarek proposes immediate free elections, questioning the legitimacy of President Roslin.

"Bastille Day" is the best episode so far of this series, with a good discussion of the principles of democracy. In this regard, I loved the attitude of Captain Apollo, picking the side of legitimacy of the government and leadership of the survivors. The problem with this series is the lack of charisma of lead characters, mostly the ridiculous President Roslin, the traitor Dr. Gaius Baltar and the alcoholic Colonel Saul Tigh. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Dia da Bastilha" ("The Bastille Day")

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