Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009)
8 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 | 2 more credits »

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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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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The title is a reference to the folk song 'Goodnight, Irene': "Sometimes I live in the country / Sometimes I live in the town / Sometimes I have a great notion / To jump In the river and drown". This lyric has also inspired the title of the Ken Kesey novel 'Sometimes a Great Notion'. 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

A new perspective on an old episode
20 February 2015 | by A_Different_DrummerSee all my reviews

This review written 2015.

Were I writing this review in a vacuum, I would simply say it is nothing less than brilliant; I have never seen so many stellar performances in such a compressed space; anyone (foolishingly) tuning in without having seen the earlier part of the series might think they accidentally stumbled on a strange version of Masterpiece Theatre, lacking only British accents; the core theme of the story is a stark reminder how "hope" is more than a 4-letter word, it is an essential part of being human and, if you take it away, bad things follow; and I was generally gob-smacked by this episode since by this late stage in Season 4 I thought the writers were winding down, not winding up.

However, a funny thing happened on the way to this review. I looked at some of the other reviews and found that some IMDb members were actually annoyed at the new twists and turns in the story.

Which provides a segue to a theme that I am using in many recent reviews of 2015 TV (and God Only Knows in what year YOU will be reading this).

The new direction of TV writing is surprise. This is a relatively new development and I think a good one. Congrats to the BSG writing team who were clearly ahead of the curve when they bullpenned this episode.

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