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Messages - Werthead

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Tmp2 / BSG CGI designer reveals battlestar sizes
« on: April 12, 2009, 11:05:14 PM »
700m seems awfully small for the length of Galactica, and unlike the basestar and the Viper, I don't believe any changes were done to the CGI model from the pilot through to the finale, aside from the battle damage. And these were the 'latest' figures taken straight off the CGI artists who worked on the last two seasons. Maybe Zoic was working to a different idea (Lee Stringer was a Zoic animator, right?) than Gary Hutzel's team?

Tmp2 / BSG CGI designer reveals battlestar sizes
« on: April 12, 2009, 12:28:43 AM »
There has never been a solid answer on how long the Galactica and Pegasus are, at least until now. On his blog, CGI designer Mojo reveals the sizes of the two ships:

Galactica: 1.445km/4,740 feet/0.89 mile
Pegasus: 1.790km/5,872 feet/1.11 miles

So there you go.

Tmp2 / How FTL jumps work in BSG (based on new information)
« on: March 28, 2009, 11:24:10 PM »
WARNING: This post contains excessive geekery :)

Working out how the Fleet plots those FTL jumps in the series has always been a bit tricky due to the writers' cheerful refusal to tell us much about it. However, now the series is over some info has come to light that allows the methodology to be pieced together. More or less. This may (or probably not, this late in the day), be helpful to BTRL for mission/story purposes.

Jump Range and the Red Line
The Colonials' FTL drives do not necessarily have a range at which their FTL drives operate per se. The limitations are instead based on how jumps are calculated. Basically, without the networking of their computer systems, the Colonials' ability to plot jumps is severely curtailed.

Throughout the series, the rule-of-thumb used by the writers (as explained by producer/writer Bradley Thompson on Battlestar Wiki) is that the Fleet has been executing 5 light-year jumps. This is not the maximum range of the Fleet, but smaller jumps can be plotted more quickly and produces less stress on the navigation computers and the person plotting the jumps (most of the time, Lt. Gaeta, probably explaining why his crankiness increased over the series). Unfortunately, lots - hundreds and probably thousands - of smaller jumps probably didn't help Galactica's structural problems.

In Water Colonel Tigh laments they can only search planets within 12 light-years before they have to jump to another sector. This may be a reference to the fact that Galactica is holding station and giving the Raptors the coordinates to jump to. Given the severity of the water shortage problem, it is not surprising that Galactica has now extended its jump range to something closer to the Red Line, though still not all the way up to it. The distance of the Red Line was only revealed (or at least heavily hinted at) in information given, of all places, on the blog of BSG composer Bear McCreary.

Calculating Coordinates
In Daybreak, Part 2 we saw Kara input jump coordinates based on the 'All Along the Watchtower' music. She inputs 12 figures. Because they knew the viewers would try to decipher that the figures meant, the writer (Ronald D. Moore) instructed composer Bear McCreary to find a way of transcribing the music into a numerical value.

McCreary decided to try and make this as scientifically accurate as possible, and contacted the show's science advisor Kevin Grazier. The system they came up with was rather complex and required lots of numbers, so producer Bradley Thompson suggested they pare it down to simple astronomical coordinates like we use today: right ascension, declination and distance.

For distance they elected to use the show's distance measure 'SU's or Stellar Units. 1 SU = the distance between one of the Colonial planets (presumably Caprica) and its star and 63,495 SU = 1 Colonial light-year. This equals to 1 AU (astronomical unite) and 63,495 AU = 1 Terrastial light-year. According to Grazier and Thompson, they wanted to keep things as simple as possible and based on character ages in the show versus those of the actors playing them, any difference between the Colonial and Terrastial light-year is negligible.

So, the Galactica's jump computer can only have six numbers inputted into it, meaning that the ship's maximum jump range is 999,999 SU, which works out at 15.81 light-years. That must be the upper limit for the red line. You can continue jumping beyond that limit, but presumably the rangefinger flips over to 000,000 or infinity and you might end up forty light-years away or inside an asteroid.

For those interested, the range Kara inputs into the computer is 365,321 SU, which equals 5.77 light-years. Which pretty much puts the Colony in a star system very close to us. Even 150,000 years later, the star system with the Colony in it can't have travelled too far away from us, and is probably still within 20 light-years. And no, no star within 20 light-years of us has a black hole in it. But what the hell? Starbuck was confused if it was a black hole or a naked singularity, and it may very well have been some other, unique phenomnenon which no longer exists for whatever reason.

Note that this doesn't mean the minimum distance the ship can jump into is 1 AU (93 million miles). I'm thinking that a scale system operates and you can flip the scale over to hundreds of thousands of kilometres instead, explaining how Galactica jumps from the nebula to 100,000 feet above New Caprica's atmosphere then back into orbit. Or there may be a second console screen on the jump computer that allows for greater accuracy, since Galactica jumps from presumably several light-years away to a point a click or two above the Colony's surface in the finale.

Giving Coordinates to Other Ships
There seems to be some confusion here, since in the mini Boomer tells Roslin that Raptors can only make short-range 'hops' compared to the big jumps capital ships can make. That's true under their own power, but we are told and shown time and again Galactica downloading its coordinates to other ships, allowing them to jump presumably further than their own navigation systems could calculate. Most of the other ships in the Fleet, if not all of them, were never designed to travel outside the Colonial home system (whilst Galactica was) and it doesn't make sense they'd have the telescopes and navigation equipment needed to make bigger jumps. In fact, in Kobol's Last Gleaming Boomer specifically says that Gaeta fed their Raptor the jump coordinates to land them in Kobol's orbit.

I think we can assume that on most occasions the Raptors did receive their FTL coordinates straight from Galactica, and were forced to make much smaller jumps only when they were away from the Fleet and had to operate on their own.

This does introduce a plot hole though: why did the basestar have to upgrade the Fleet's FTL drives so the rest of the Fleet could keep up with it? It could have just given them the jump coordinates instead. This is a somewhat confusing situation. I suspect that what the baseship did instead was provided the Fleet with means of better communication between their jump drives and navigation systems, and also upgraded their rangefinding and coordinate-resolving software rather than did anything to the actual drives.

Cylon FTL Superiority
Cylon FTLs are more powerful than Colonial ones. In Kobol's Last Gleaming a Cylon Raider jumped from Kobol to the Colonies in one jump, whilst Colonial ships would have required many to get back. However, Galactica's route after the mini-series may have been circular or irregular, and their real distance to the Colonies may not have increased dramatically. The distance from Kobol to the Colonies may therefore be on the order of tens of light-years rather than hundreds (this also supports the theory that the Final Five retraced their ancestors' steps from Earth to Kobol, and from there found clues leading them to the Colonies, rather than going directly from Earth to the Colonies, as they would have no idea where the latter were located).

We get a clue of how much more powerful the Cylon FTLs are in Season 2. In Pegasus Starbuck claims it would take 230 jumps for Galactica to get from their current position back to Caprica. Due to the number of jumps, I'm assuming that Starbuck's proposal was for them to simply turn around and backtrack their route from Caprica in the first place. However, a few episodes later (Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I), using a Cylon FTL the Raptor squadon is able to return to Caprica in just 10 jumps, suggesting a 23-times superiority in Cylon FTL range to Colonial ones, which seems excessive.

This can resolved and squared with the later mere three times improvement by suggesting that Galactica's route from Caprica had been highly irregular, and in real-distance terms the distance was much shorter, but because Galactica didn't know the direct-route back to Caprica and couldn't calculate it because it was well past the red line, they were stuck backtracking their course. However, using their two captured FTL computers from the Heavy Raiders, there were able to plot the direct course from their current position to Caprica in a straight line and do just ten jumps back home.

Tmp2 / Daybreak part 2 SPOILERS
« on: March 23, 2009, 12:29:23 AM »
My mistake, the windows didn't get blown out. However, the side of the flight pod split and air blasted out through the hole. You can still see the scar in some of the other overhead shots during the battle.

If you look really closely when Galactica comes out of the jump with the pods extended, you can see the landrams and Vipers inside getting thrown around. At least one Viper gets hurled out of the pod and drops off the screen (hope they fired up the engines sharpish otherwise they splattered onto the surface of the Moon). I remember Adama saying in the mini-series to retract the flight pods to jump and I remember thinking, "Why?" Five and a half years later, now we know :D

Quote from: Ender;113578
Also i got Gina confused, I meant Shelly Godfrey. Thats always annoyed me as well as who was caprica meeting in the miniseries.

Maybe not the mini-series question, but we find out what was going on with Shelly Godfrey in The Plan. She's in one of the previews for it.

Tmp2 / Daybreak part 2 SPOILERS
« on: March 21, 2009, 12:12:58 PM »
Overall, a great episode. But I can hear the Internet exploding with frustrated and enraged fanboys at not getting their spoonfed answers from here.

The battle scenes were absolutely amazing but i was annoyed that the whole FTL distortion thing got ignored when the assult force jumped out the starboard landing and then when galactica jumped away, still was pretty amazing. and i was left open mouthed with awe at the centurians and marines fighting side by side.

Galactica should have damaged the surrounding area of the Colony when it jumped, but was too small (relative to the size of the Colony) to 'tear its guts out'. However, when the assault force jumped out the starboard landing pod it blew out the windows and tore a HUGE hole in the side of the ship, with the air blasting out into space and everything.

Also, didn't Galactica jump with the flight pods extended? I'm guessing that contributed to the damage the ship sustained.

I also liked the shots of the fleet arriving at new earth but i was kinda confused at it considering they found one that seemed to have the same continents.

Real Earth didn't have the same continents as 13th Tribe's Earth. They were very careful never to show us the 13th Tribe's Earth in Revelations or Sometimes a Great Notion. The Earth we saw in the Season 3 finale was this (the real) Earth.

Where did the second Starbuck come from and who is she really?

She was Gandalf the White. When she died the One True God sent her back to fulfil the rest of her destiny.

Explinations about Heads Baltar and Six?

Servants or angels of the OTG.

Why were the Flashbacks there?

Simply to bookend the series. Show why Laura got into politics, how Starbuck and Apollo's relationship evolved, why Adama didn't take early retirement and a job (with a bank or something, I think) and how Ellen and Tigh's relationship worked when they weren't yelling at one another. I don't think we needed all of the flashbacks, but they generally worked well.

Tmp2 / BSG 419 - Daybreak, Part I
« on: March 18, 2009, 02:37:19 AM »
Quote from: Jangiri;113344
anyone notice that all of the new movies on sci-fi are terrible. why don't they make a miniseries of foundation or something

Foundation is being developed as movie by Roland 'Independence Day' Emerich.

Quote from: Jangiri;113343
actually me thinks that this last episode will be more of the climax other than the actual end of the show. i think we will find out so much more in the plan than this last episode. cause we all know at least half of it has to be a space battle. also to many questions. what is six still doing in baltars head. for fraks sake we want answers.!!!

If nothing else, RDM has promised definitive answers to why Six is in Baltar's head, why Baltar is in Six's and what is going on with the Opera House. There seems to be a question mark over how much gets revealed about Starbuck. More than we know at the moment, anyway. Beyond that, all bets are off.

Tmp2 / BSG 418 - Islanded in a Stream of Stars
« on: March 18, 2009, 02:32:11 AM »
Podcast for this episode has gone up at the SFC website.

Not Jupiter :(

Also, RDM goes off on one about the "Daniel is behind everything!" theories being total BS and he didn't intend for people to end up thinking that. It really was just a way of resolving a minor plothole from Downloaded and that's it. So Daniel isn't the man behind the curtain, he's not the Cylon God and he isn't even Starbuck's dad. Woah.

Tmp2 / BSG 419 - Daybreak, Part I
« on: March 14, 2009, 09:52:53 AM »
Interesting episode. I think it is worth bearing in mind that the whole finale was originally a single two-hour special, and this was the first part of it. By expanding to three hours, this first section simply got lopped off and stuck out by itself without even a cliffhanger. So it doesn't work well by itself (take the first 20 minutes of the uncut version of 'Pegasus' and see how well it stands by itself). But as the first movement of a bigger story, it is exceptional.

The opening, with the shot of the whole Galaxy and then Caprica, was stunning. I've heard people asking what the CGI team will be doing on CAPRICA since they don't have that many space shots. Well, I guess they answered that with this episode. The shots of Caprica City were absolutely stunning. Looks like that when RDM told the effects team to hold back all the big stuff for the finale, he wasn't kidding.

Mary McDonnell was on top form in this episode. Tough but emotionally scarred as well. Seeing Lee and Zak together was cool, along with Lee and Starbuck's first meeting. Baltar and his dad were amusing, and Six's actions for his father were interesting, although how much of it was motivated by compassion and how much by her need to ingratiate herself in Baltar's life is debatable (Tricia Helfer does a stunning job slipping back into the ways of the 'old' Six from the mini-series).

The present-day stuff was a bit more predictable in terms of events, but even mundane scenes like Adama packing up his belongings and Fed-Exing them to the baseship were well-done. I hope they didn't get around to stripping out the accelerators from the Viper launch tubes, though. I'm guessing Galactica is going to need them next week.

Anders saying something interesting: "Slip the bonds of Earth...find a perfect world for the end of Kara Thrace." He's going to find a new world for Starbuck and, by extension, the rest of humanity?

One thing that is lame: are they really going with the explanation given in the mini-series novelization that Baltar was so embarrassed at forgetting Six's cover name he never asked her about it again in the following two years?

Adama's speech was well-done, and the people choosing sides (by crossing the red line) and notably Baltar not doing the same. There was also a nice bit of business in how they showed Adama's plan, with Tory and Ellen discussing it during a casual stroll down the corridor and Lee authorising the release of the prisoners. Skulls and Racetrack having another recon mission was also funny (and vital: it seems that no important planet or facility can ever be found in the series unless Racetrack is leading the recon).

So next week they let slip the dogs of war. Interesting to see how RDM's promised final revelations about Starbuck, Hera, the Head-People and the Opera House come out in the story because it looks like a fairly straightforward action story taking us straight to the resolution. But I'm sure he has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Tmp2 / BSG 418 - Islanded in a Stream of Stars
« on: March 11, 2009, 01:42:52 AM »
Quote from: TripRussell;113165
If anyone seen that "Year of Hell" eppie of ST:  Voyager, I surmise the Big G would go down that same path?

What, it gets handwaved away with a lame time travel retcon? :blah:


Tmp2 / Gaeta in the Watchman?
« on: March 11, 2009, 01:36:54 AM »
Did you also spot Lt. Thorne from the Pegasus as one of Dr. Manhattan's 'minders' at the TV studio?

Tmp2 / BSG 418 - Islanded in a Stream of Stars
« on: March 07, 2009, 01:44:41 PM »
Quote from: TESLA;113109
Yeah, was pretty cool alright!!!!!
Really setting things up for a final showdown,
So Galactica is going on in a blaze of glory!!!

One Q,
Jupiter?? Think i might have missed that

It's the planet Boomer's Raptor jumped right in front of on her way back to the Colony. The cloud bands are identical, and it has moons around it similar to the real Jupiter's. The one in the foreground strongly resembles Callisto.

The only problem with the scene is that the Sun is far too bright, but I'm putting that down to a CGI error.

Tmp2 / BSG 418 - Islanded in a Stream of Stars
« on: March 07, 2009, 12:25:00 PM »
Some nice character moments and some good revelations, but overall fairly quite and just a set-up episode for the finale. Next week, the mayhem really starts.

Things that are cool though: the Colony, the old-school Cylon Raiders returning and Jupiter. Looks like everything it starting to come together.

Tmp2 / Earth is only 2,000 ly from the Colonies? (spoilers for No Exit)
« on: February 14, 2009, 07:18:39 PM »
The Final Five, presumably travelling in a rubbish little research ship (but we'll assume for argument's sake can somehow reach a decent percentage of lightspeed), get from Earth to the Twelve Colonies (via the Algae Planet and maybe Kobol, since they were backtracking the 13th Tribe's route which began at Kobol, not the Colonies) in a bit less than 2,000 years, but only a few months or years pass for the crew thanks to relativistic affects.

That puts Earth, at the most, 2,000 light-years from the Colonies. Of course, the Final Five's ship probably isn't top of the line. If it can only do 50% lightspeed, than Earth is only 1,000 ly from the Colonies and so on.

There is a dialogue problem here. In Rapture Gaeta tells Adama that the Ionian Nebula is 13,000 light-years from the Algae Planet. After considering various angels, tangents and so on, there's no way that can be true. The Algae Planet and the Nebula are both signposts on the road to Earth, so getting from the Twelve Colonies to Earth should be a relatively smooth line or curve through the signposts along the way. If we go with a scripting error and say an extra zero was thrown in, the real distance could be 1,300 light-years. That doesn't seem too bad, as long as we assume it was the lengthiest, most boring long-haul part of the trip, and that Earth is fairly close to the nebula, as the zoom-out in the Season 3 finale seemed to confirm.

Of course, this distance assumes that the Final Five's ship was pretty damn fast, and also that it was somehow able to survive the star cluster surrounding the Algae Planet when the far larger and more powerful ships of the Fleet couldn't without jumping, but whatever.

A small distance between the Colonies and Earth is otherwise quite reasonable. Adama instantly recognises the Lagoon Nebula in Home, which is located 5,000 light-years from Earth and is not a major, Galaxy-dominating body. From more than a thousand light-years away it would be invisible, or not of particular interest and certainly not instantly recognisable even to a spacecraft commander Thus the Colonies must be relatively close to Earth for its people to recognise the nebula. These smaller distances also mean that the people of Kobol could use orbital telescopes and advanced means to locate other systems with lifebearing planets rather than having to sponsor tons of scouting missions, which would make the colonisation of Earth and the Twelve Colonies easier. It would also mean that the Colonials and Cylons don't need such large jump drives as they would otherwise to crisscross the Galaxy several times.

Tmp2 / Deciphering the Final Cylon (minor spoilers)
« on: February 13, 2009, 04:11:19 AM »
Quote from: Setlec;111658
i think that Starbuck is a hybrid or a clone with downloaded brain(?) if the humans didn't cause the holocaust on the Cylon's Earth, who did it? the very first cylon like those we have seen on Razor movie?

The SFC did let slip the podcast for the next episode early. They pulled it again, but not before a few people DLed and spilled the beans.

Apparently the inference is very heavily that:

[spoiler]The Lords of Kobol devastated both Kobol and Earth in fury at their creations (humanity) daring to create their own forms of life (Cylons). However, RDM says that this came from a deleted scene in the episode, so it may be that they backed off from this as the final 'canon' explanation. It also doesn't explain why the Lords of Kobol waited 2000-1600 years (the time between the 13th Tribe leaving Kobol and the destruction of Earth) before going after them.[/spoiler]

Tmp2 / bsg "blood on the scales"(spoilers episode 14)
« on: February 08, 2009, 06:04:32 PM »
The stress fractures in the FTL drive room's wall were quite worrying. By my count the Galactica has jumped something like 2,000 times in four years, having previously not jumped at all for twenty years. Add in the numerous battles, the New Caprica atmo-jump (which I wouldn't be surprised was the main cause of the damage) and you end up with a ship which is in urgent need of some drydock time.

The only thing that bothers me slightly is that we know there are still maintenance crews doing their job, and I'm guessing the FTL drive must be a priority system. How come this hadn't been noticed before? Galactica hasn't been in a major combat situation for months (since the battle in the nebula), so I'd have thought someone would have noticed this sooner.

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