When Apollo tries to divert the Cylons away from the Galactica, he crash lands on a strange Earth-like planet when he runs out of fuel (oops!). There he discovers a young woman, Vela, and her son, Puppis, and learns that they are part of a small village controlled by a usurious thug named Lacerta. Why is everyone afraid of this portly oaf who looks like he came from a Tennessee Williams play? He gives orders to a Cylon warrior, who obeys unquestioningly. Only Apollo knows about Cylons, but he is puzzled by their relationship – in any case, he resolves to lay low lest he is outed as a star pilot and gets into worse trouble than he’s already in. This gets tough, especially when he sees Vela’s brother, after a bit too much grog, mouth off t Lacerta and get shot by the Cylon henchman in retaliation. Time to get tough, and so Apollo, mimicking Will Kane in High Noon, takes out his laser gun (against the law here, for obvious reasons) and beats the Cylon gunslinger to the draw. Hailed as a hero, Apollo declines the invitation to stay on account of his son, Boxey, and fuels up so he can rejoin his Galactic family.
A rip-off of not only the classic Western High Noon but also Shane, and it clearly bases its dapper but devious villain on Sydney Greenstreet’s in Casablanca. Having said that, it’s still an improvement over previous episodes, mostly because it goes easy on the monotonous techno-babble and relies on straightforward dialogue, which service a pretty solid story, even if it is cobbled together from screenplay parts. Katherine Cannon (Father Murphy) is a standout as Vela – too bad she didn’t stick around as a regular.
Oh, and by the way, this planet – Equilus, I think it’s called – is FRIGGIN’ EARTH! The conceit of the series is that they’re trying to find that lost 13th colony on Earth; well, they found it! (I don’t care how many stripes they painted on that horse, or how many sci-fi words they came up with to replace English words.)
All for now.