Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009)
9 user 4 critic

Sometimes a Great Notion 

Scouting the planet reveals that there is no life except plants. The destruction occurred about 2,000 years earlier. Among the ruins, skeletons and wrecks of a different kind of Centurions ... See full summary »


Michael Nankin


Ronald D. Moore (developed by), David Weddle | 3 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Edward James Olmos ... Admiral William Adama
Mary McDonnell ... President Laura Roslin
Katee Sackhoff ... Captain Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace
Jamie Bamber ... Lee Adama
James Callis ... Dr. Gaius Baltar
Tricia Helfer ... Number Six
Grace Park ... Lt. Sharon 'Athena' Agathon
Michael Hogan ... Colonel Saul Tigh
Aaron Douglas ... Chief Galen Tyrol
Tahmoh Penikett ... Captain Karl 'Helo' Agathon
Michael Trucco ... Ensign Samuel Anders
Alessandro Juliani ... Lt. Felix Gaeta
Kandyse McClure ... Lt. Anastasia Dualla
Lucy Lawless ... D'Anna Biers
Callum Keith Rennie ... Leoben Conoy


Scouting the planet reveals that there is no life except plants. The destruction occurred about 2,000 years earlier. Among the ruins, skeletons and wrecks of a different kind of Centurions are found. But closer examination of the skeletons reveals they are Cylon! Could the 13th Tribe really have been all Cylons? Chief Tyrol, Colonel Tigh, Sam Anders and Tory remember living on the planet and dying there. How did they get to the colonies? Starbuck finds a piece of her Viper, and despite Leoben's warnings, starts to look for the cockpit... Roslin loses her faith in the Scrolls of Pythia. Apollo and Dualla seem to get back together, but he needs to figure out what to tell to the people of the Fleet... A tragedy prompts Adama to confront Saul. Written by Toni Tapola, Finland

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

suicide | See All (1) »


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was written to function as a possible series finale, due to an interruption in filming by the WGA Strike of 2007-2008. Fortunately, the strike resolved in time for the Sci-Fi Channel to allow filming to recommence. See more »


When Adama is holding a gun to his head in Tigh's room, something wet appears and disappears on the gun between shots. See more »


Captain Karl 'Helo' Agathon: Baltar just confirmed it. The planet was nuked about 2,000 years ago.
D'Anna Biers: Squares with what our teams have been finding all over the planet.
President Laura Roslin: It's perfect. We traded one nuked civilization for another.
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Crazy Credits

No title sequence for the episode See more »


Main Title Theme
Written by Richard Gibbs
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User Reviews

3 October 2015 | by UNOhwenSee all my reviews

In the beginning of each episode of Battlestar Galactica, we begin with 'previously, on Battlestar Galactica.'

Most of the times, the clips shown are from the previous episode, but, this is not always the case,many this episode's one of them.

The focal point of this episode's 'previous' clips are on 'Dee,' who, though she's been along for the entire ride, her role - whilst quiet, in comparison, contains much gravitas, because, Dee is our representative for the fleet's citizens, by-and-large.

She is WHAT this whole, painful trip is about, and WHO it ultimately will,fulfill their hope.

In Dee's position, as the CIC's lieutenant who handles most fleet communications, as well as for the Admiral, she IS the 'nerve centre,' and in Dee's previous time of voicing the concerns and hopes, she spoke to both the Admiral, and to (her then-husband) Lee, who was serving as the commander of Pegasus, and she told both of these men that THEY are the fleet's 'light,' - the beacons, and they needed to fulfill their positions, as such, so as to enable all of the fleet to have their hope, as well.

In a very real sense, the crux of this episode is Dee's life.

She has always been - as even she herself, once pointed out to the Admiral - 'quiet,' but, sometimes, it's the quietest, who 'speaks the oldest,' and Dee does, here, in Sometimes A Great Notion.

In this episode, we do finally get to the earth, prophesied by Pythia, and, what we find is a devasted, radiation-filled, toxic wasteland.

Who the 13th tribe were, and why Earth is as decimated as it is, brings very clearly to mind the saying, in all it's permutations throughout it The series' run; 'all of this has happened before, and it will happen again.'

We learn that, no matter how far away from home one runs, the problems go with them.

It also reminds us that no matter how far one goes, problems are the same all over, and, in this case, so we're the results.

We've all had our hopes dashed, at some point during our lives, and, depending on the situation, the disappointment can be deeply profound, devastatingly upsetting.

But, the question here, is in light of the disappointment the members of the (combined, now) fleet has felt, how much more hurt can one sustain, if they even can?

One reviewer, who understood this episode, beautifully, is a different drummer.

They said how important hope is to the very idea of being human, and when it's taken - or, as during this episode, ripped violently away, can one even go on?

In another's review (written during the series' original run) - I chuckled over their Because, even thought they believe themselves to be 'smart,' (as well as having loved the series, early on), they're lost, and felt it the show's creators fault, for just adding more questions, without answering any of those originally asked,

I watched Battlestar Galactica, then, as well, but, I am not put off by this, as life doesn't come with a book of answers.

While I know that, ultimately, answers are forthcoming, and as BSG now heads into it's last episodes, things will get darker, before the light, and, even then, it's through hope and conviction, it disappoints me whenever I read how people felt 'cheated' when things aren't clearly spelt out to them, as happened with the final scene of the final episode of The Sopranos.

Instead of understanding the writers' saying 'use your brains,' these half-wits I are disappointed.

If you fall into this 2nd group, then not only is Galactica not for you, but, many of the best films, TV shows, books, aren't as well.

I hope you're the first type, the type who likes to be challenged, because you'll find life to be so much more rewarding, as is Battlestar Galactica.

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