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View Full Version : Questions about the Cylon Detector(tm) (Galactica spoilers)



ToSeek
2005-Mar-07, 03:24 PM
1. If Baltar now knows that Boomer is a Cylon, why doesn't he say anything?
2. Why does the process that took minutes in the last episode take 11 hours in this one?
3. How much sense does it make to keep aborting and restarting a process that takes 11 hours?
4. Since he supposedly has the concept down, can't he make more than one now?
5. (And the $64,000 question) How do you develop a detector for something when you have no already-identified samples of what you're trying to detect to test it on?


(You might guess that I found last Friday night's episode rather annoying.)

Kemal
2005-Mar-07, 05:28 PM
They do have samples of the Cylons: biological material from the remains of the suicide bomber in the previous episode, and the one they found aboard the Galactica in the pilot.

Grogs1
2005-Mar-07, 05:29 PM
#1: With Boomer sitting there, it made quite a bit of sense. 6's argument that she may have turned violent if he tried to out her seemed valid. As for why he didn't notify someone afterwards, it seems 6 has had enough of an influence on him to make him 'go native' so to speak. He may not be actively working for the cylons, but he's making no effort to oppose them.

#2: Yeah, that bugged me too.

#3: That was the point. Adama and the President were sneaking around checking up on other people and mucking up the process. Also, if Baltar had had a backbone, he probably could have prevented the fiasco.

#4: I think the idea is that it takes the core from a nuclear warhead, so in theory at least 2 dectors = 2 nukes (which are very limited in number.)

#5: But they do. Watch the pilot and you'll see that they conducted an autopsy on the cylon from the space station. Also, there have been at least 2 other known cylons in the fleet (the suicide bomber and the one shoved out the airlock) they could have taken samples from.

TimH
2005-Mar-07, 05:38 PM
Spoilers below....



1. If Baltar now knows that Boomer is a Cylon, why doesn't he say anything?


Two answers for this one, (1) Baltar is afraid of what Boomer will do to him (2) He might be afraid of getting N0. 6 mad at him and leave again



2. Why does the process that took minutes in the last episode take 11 hours in this one?


It might have taken just as long for Boomer and we only saw her when she came back for the results



3. How much sense does it make to keep aborting and restarting a process that takes 11 hours?


None really, but the Pres felt knowing if the BSG's top guy was a Cylon took priority over knowing if anyone else was



4. Since he supposedly has the concept down, can't he make more than one now?


Technically, yep, but the detector requires a nuke and I think there are only a small handful of them around-Adama probably wants to hang on to the rest in case they are needed for the ocassional Basestar




5. (And the $64,000 question) How do you develop a detector for something when you have no already-identified samples of what you're trying to detect to test it on?


No. 6 told him how to build it. I'm pretty sure she makes Baltar promise to deliver one and when they (he and 6) are lone, he tells her he has no idea how to build one. An episode or two later, when Adama wants to know why so little progress has been made, 6 appears and tells Baltar what he needs to make one. I guess we can infer she then told him how to string the pieces together.

ToSeek
2005-Mar-07, 05:43 PM
They do have samples of the Cylons: biological material from the remains of the suicide bomber in the previous episode, and the one they found aboard the Galactica in the pilot.

I realized that after I posted, but there's never a mention of using that material in the process of building the Cylon detector.

Humots
2005-Mar-08, 12:44 AM
After the Cylon suicide bomber, I recall Baltar saying that he would sabotage the detector himself rather than risk being killed. Maybe he hopes that if a Cylon (Boomer) passes the test then the Cylons will conclude that the test doesn't work and leave him alone.

I notice that Baltar has definitely committed treason. Up to now, he could have claimed that while he had completely blown security precautions by allowing 6 access to classified material and equipment, he had not knowingly given aid to the enemy. Not that would save him from being tossed out the airlock.

If there is chip in his head and it's detectable, he could also argue that the Cylons had taken control of his mind and he's not responsible for his actions.

I would like to know why that one Cylon raider was such a threat. Didn't Adama say that the XO had saved the ship? From one lousy raider, with no nukes? It would have made more sense to say that the raider was about to ram that nifty observation room and it was full of people.

Stregone
2005-Mar-08, 07:20 AM
That lone raider looked like it was going straight for the bridge, which would have been bad I guess.

tmosher
2005-Mar-08, 07:22 AM
That lone raider looked like it was going straight for the bridge, which would have been bad I guess.

Was it the bridge or was it that observatory that showed in the beginning of the episode?

Stregone
2005-Mar-08, 07:33 AM
That lone raider looked like it was going straight for the bridge, which would have been bad I guess.

Was it the bridge or was it that observatory that showed in the beginning of the episode?

Hmm, I dunno. I assumed it was the bridge because everyone in the bridge was getting mighty worried :D

Kemal
2005-Mar-08, 02:42 PM
IF a lone Cylon fighter ona kamikazi mission is such a threat they should do away with fighters and just launch raider-sized missiles at the ships.

Since this is not the case, I don't see how one fighter could pose that much of a threat, and it would make sense to have the CIC in a heavily protected part of the ship.

As for Baltar it should be obvious to everyone aboard that the man is stone-cold fracking insane. I would not trust him with a wet match, much less a nuclear weapon.

Jason
2005-Mar-08, 04:17 PM
IF a lone Cylon fighter ona kamikazi mission is such a threat they should do away with fighters and just launch raider-sized missiles at the ships.I think Adama was (slightly) exagerating the danger in order to make Tigh feel better. It seems unlikely that the entire ship was in danger, but the raider could definitely have done serious damage.

As for Baltar it should be obvious to everyone aboard that the man is stone-cold fracking insane. I would not trust him with a wet match, much less a nuclear weapon.
Their entire civilization was destroyed less than a month ago - I would guess that the majority of the people in the fleet show stress-related unnusual behavior. Look at Tigh's wife for a prime example.
Baltar is also apparently the only scientist of his caliber left to the human race, so as long as he produces results his eccentric behavior will probably continue to be ignored.
Perhaps 6's true agenda is to drive Baltar completely insane?

Nergal
2005-Mar-08, 08:14 PM
Their entire civilization was destroyed less than a month ago - I would guess that the majority of the people in the fleet show stress-related unnusual behavior.Plus, now they are all crammed into various space vessels...a large number of which probably weren't meant to house more than just their crew, and none of which were designed for long-term habitation. They are under constant threat of attack, and god only knows what vaguely food-like substances they are living off of at this point.

At this point, "unusual behavior" is probably pretty damned normal. :lol:


Perhaps 6's true agenda is to drive Baltar completely insane?
If so, she's done a bang up job so far! =D>

Madcat
2005-Mar-08, 09:58 PM
Well, if you want to have a spaceship with enough delta-v to go somewhere at rates that are interesting on TV, you've probably already given it engines that make a nuke look small; perhaps ramming is actually more effective than a nuclear bomb.* Of course, if that's true one wonders why there even ARE nukes and we don't see more kinetic-kill weapons.

*It would certainly be more concentrated, wouldn't it? If I were in a tank I think I'd rather go through a near miss from a nuke than a direct hit from a tank gun.

archman
2005-Mar-09, 05:26 AM
Was it the bridge or was it that observatory that showed in the beginning of the episode?

The "bridge" is deep inside the ship, functionally equivalent to a Command and Control Center. Note the lack of any windows or viewscreens.

The "observatory" seen in the episode is some sort of recreational room, with a big window looking out into space. It's a heck of a lot more vulnerable to enemy attack.

DataCable
2005-Mar-09, 07:10 AM
The "bridge" is deep inside the ship, functionally equivalent to a Command and Control Center.
Which is probably why they call it CIC, and not the bridge. 8)

Nergal
2005-Mar-09, 02:34 PM
Well, if you want to have a spaceship with enough delta-v to go somewhere at rates that are interesting on TV, you've probably already given it engines that make a nuke look small; perhaps ramming is actually more effective than a nuclear .* Of course, if that's true one wonders why there even ARE nukes and we don't see more kinetic-kill weapons.
The short answer is: nukes make for better TV (at least until the cylons start screaming "Ramming Speed!" :D )

Most of what you see in BSG is kinetic-kill weapons. They've repeatedly said that the Vipers, Cylon raiders, and even Gallatica's guns fire "bullets". The real question is: Where are they storing the prodigious quantities of ammo and fuel they are consuming?

Jason
2005-Mar-09, 04:14 PM
Most of what you see in BSG is kinetic-kill weapons. They've repeatedly said that the Vipers, Cylon raiders, and even Gallatica's guns fire "bullets". The real question is: Where are they storing the prodigious quantities of ammo and fuel they are consuming?
They got a whole bunch of ordnance off of the station in the mini-series, and judging from the previews the next episode will be about getting more fuel.

Kemal
2005-Mar-09, 08:32 PM
Presumably they have a limited ability to mine asteroids or planets for raw materials; it shouldn't be too hard to manufacture new ammunition that way.

I think nuclear weapons will have still their place, even with the advent of super-fast missiles. Firearms have been around in one form or another for hundreds of years, after all.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-10, 04:59 AM
1. If Baltar now knows that Boomer is a Cylon, why doesn't he say anything?
2. Why does the process that took minutes in the last episode take 11 hours in this one?
3. How much sense does it make to keep aborting and restarting a process that takes 11 hours?
4. Since he supposedly has the concept down, can't he make more than one now?
5. (And the $64,000 question) How do you develop a detector for something when you have no already-identified samples of what you're trying to detect to test it on?

1 & 2. We're not sure how much time has passed so perhaps he hasn't got around to mentioning it. Or perhaps he doubts his results. If the process really takes 11 hours and his "test" of Boomer took only a half hour or so, then we could assume there is doubt about its acuracy in that instance. Or perhaps there is a variable time element in the test. I suspect that the test requires about 11 hours maximum to prove that a sample is human, while it may take less time to detect cylon-positive variations.

3. None. Mrs. Tigh's comment about the president as a former kindergarten teacher hits the nail on the head in my opinion.

4. Yes, but expensive. Others already explained why. BTW, I think Adama said they only have 3 nukes left, so now they only have 2.

5. Already answered. In one episode they pull the dead cylon from the space-station-armory out of a morgue. I think it was a couple eps ago where Starbuck interrogates another of that model.

Jason
2005-Mar-10, 06:27 AM
1 & 2. We're not sure how much time has passed so perhaps he hasn't got around to mentioning it.
Every episode with Helo in it shows how many days he has been on Caprica. If you want to see how much time passes between episodes just compare Helo days.

Gas Giant
2005-Mar-10, 11:54 AM
1. If Baltar now knows that Boomer is a Cylon, why doesn't he say anything?
2. Why does the process that took minutes in the last episode take 11 hours in this one?
1 & 2. We're not sure how much time has passed so perhaps he hasn't got around to mentioning it. Or perhaps he doubts his results. If the process really takes 11 hours and his "test" of Boomer took only a half hour or so, then we could assume there is doubt about its acuracy in that instance. Or perhaps there is a variable time element in the test. I suspect that the test requires about 11 hours maximum to prove that a sample is human, while it may take less time to detect cylon-positive variations.
Is it the same test? The one used on Boomer correctly tagged her as a cylon. The one he is now using is described by Six as one "everybody passes." I suspect that the "test" Baltar is now administering doesn't actually do anything, but just takes a long time.

Nergal
2005-Mar-10, 02:08 PM
Presumably they have a limited ability to mine asteroids or planets for raw materials; it shouldn't be too hard to manufacture new ammunition that way.
According to the "Helo on Occupied Caprica" clock, it's only been 28 days since the Cylon invasion. I doubt they've had the time (much less the oppurtunity) to mine anything.

Things I'd like to see the series address (but they probably won't):

1) What type of power do they use and what do they use for fuel?

2) What the heck are those 47,000+ people eating?

3) What's the rationale for the artificial gravity?

Jason
2005-Mar-10, 04:32 PM
Is it the same test? The one used on Boomer correctly tagged her as a cylon. The one he is now using is described by Six as one "everybody passes." I suspect that the "test" Baltar is now administering doesn't actually do anything, but just takes a long time.
I believe she meant that even though he conducts real tests but lies about the results if he actually uncovers a Cylon.
It's in Baltar's best interest to know for himself who is Cylon and who isn't, and it worked on Boomer, so I'm sure he does have a real test. Since Baltar was so dismayed at how long it takes to test anyone it would seem to be the duration of a real test - if he wasn't doing anything he would presumably have chosen a shorter time for a test.

Jason
2005-Mar-10, 04:36 PM
1) What type of power do they use and what do they use for fuel?The fuel is Tylium (a carryover from the original series). Judging form the preview, the next episode is apparently going to be about finding a source/cache.


2) What the heck are those 47,000+ people eating?Whatever they could bring with them and what they can grow on the agroships that made it away from the colonies.


3) What's the rationale for the artificial gravity?It's artificial. :)

Nergal
2005-Mar-10, 09:13 PM
1) What type of power do they use and what do they use for fuel?The fuel is Tylium (a carryover from the original series). Judging form the preview, the next episode is apparently going to be about finding a source/cache.
Cool, I must have missed that early on. Hopefully they'll explain more about how the power system works too.



2) What the heck are those 47,000+ people eating?Whatever they could bring with them and what they can grow on the agroships that made it away from the colonies.
I can understand why they are avoiding this topic...other than one brief mention in one of the staff meetings about how much food the fleet needs. A population of 47,000+ eats a lot of food. Food also takes time to grow (unless they have some super-mutant fast growning food). You also don't see many of those agro ships in the wide shots, and for the life of me, I can't imagine why an agro ship would have a FTL drive (who builds inter-stellar farms). I also can't see agro ships equipped with artificial lights (think about it, why put lights on a ship that can position itself for optimal solar lighting.)

Okay, enough nitpicking...this is clearly a case of reality taking a backseat to the economics of film-making.



3) What's the rationale for the artificial gravity?It's artificial. :)
Ok, I walked right into that one #-o

Jason
2005-Mar-10, 11:45 PM
You also don't see many of those agro ships in the wide shots, and for the life of me, I can't imagine why an agro ship would have a FTL drive (who builds inter-stellar farms). I also can't see agro ships equipped with artificial lights (think about it, why put lights on a ship that can position itself for optimal solar lighting.)
I guess it would depend on what the agro ships were originally designed to do.
My guess is that the agro ships are intended to fly out to remote locations and act as semi-permanent stations there for growing food.
So, say you have a mining outpost way out at the edge of the system. The ship FTLs out there and then parks in orbit to provide fresh produce to the outpost without having to ship it out from one of the colonies all the time. It needs lights on board because light from the sun doesn't provide enough for the plants out that far. The ship also recycles organic wastes from the outpost into fertilizer, and possibly helps provide fresh oxygen.