- A human sleeper ship found drifting in space is brought aboard Galactica, leading to argument and debate on whether to awaken its occupants. Their ship is eventually escorted by Apollo, Starbuck, and Cassiopeia to the planet Paradeen—embroiled in a bitter war with the Eastern Alliance.
- Rampant speculation that the craft may be from Earth forces Adama to make an announcement attempting to stop the rumors, and ask for the people of the Fleet to wait as the ship is towed aboard Galactica and quarantined.
- Once the spacecraft is aboard, Apollo worries about how safe it is for them to mess with it. Dr. Wilker, eager to board the ship, assures them that it isn't a bomb. Adama fears contaminating the spacecraft with their presence, but on Dr. Salik's recommendation they board the ship.
- Inside they find a man, a woman, and four children in some sort of stasis tubes. Dr. Salik is reluctant to remove the people from the equipment, as they lack the knowledge to operate it. Dr. Wilker suggests choosing one to experiment with, but is overruled by Adama and Apollo. The doctors are left alone in the spacecraft, but with strict orders from Adama not to risk the lives of the unconscious crew.
TV Guide ad for Greetings from Earth
- Inside the shuttle, Dr. Wilker accidentally shorts out a component causing Dr. Salik to demand that they stop tampering with the equipment before they cause any harm. Apollo observes a loss in power, and commands them to stop immediately.
- Dr. Wilker explains that they have determined that the passengers of the craft come from a planet with 1/6th the gravity of Caprica. He also mentions references to a planet called Terra, which Adama recognizes as the Gemonese word for Earth.
- Apollo is upset that the people have been seized, and suggests releasing their ship and putting it back on course.
- Sire Geller arrives, demanding that the passengers be released. Adama worries about the consequences of interfering with the people, but Geller offers to relieve him of the responsibility by having the Council vote on it. Adama agrees to let the council convene, buying some time.
- Athena is teaching a classroom of children, who ask questions about the "Earthlings".
- A mob has assembled outside the ship, curious about the occupants. Reese and his Council Security compatriots claim jurisdiction over the situation, but Starbuck and Boomer refuse to yield.
- Inside the ship the male adult passenger is revived, and exits the tube. He awakens the other adult.
- Sarah is disoriented, and wonders if they have arrived. Michael indicates that they have not, but will investigate the matter.
- Sire Geller proposes removing the eldest member of the unconscious crew, believing that age will help that person acclimate to the situation. Dr. Salik refuses to participate, but the orders are issued anyway.
- Thanks to the order, Reese and his crew are officially in charge of the scene. He has little time to enjoy it, as shortly after assuming command Michael exits the shuttle holding a weapon. Reese fails miserably at diffusing the situation, managing to get himself shot in the process.
- Chaos erupts, and Michael is overcome by the pressure of Galactica's atmosphere and collapses. Dr. Salik orders him to the life sciences center to be placed in a chamber with reduced atmosphere. Adama rescues Sarah from the shuttle, and both adults are stabilized. Reese turns out to be merely stunned.
- Removing them from the support chambers will kill them, so the warriors decide the best option is to return them to their vessel and get them back on course. Dr. Wilker observes that their life support is nearly depleted, allowing them to hope that the ship may be near its destination.
- Michael's use of a weapon on Reese is suggested as a pretext to handle the situation as a military matter, so it is decided to escort the ship to its destination try to resolve the situation quickly.
- Apollo and Starbuck recruit Cassiopeia to board the shuttle for the duration of the flight in order to provide medical assistance if necessary.
- The warriors wheel in the support chambers, claiming that they are going to be used to remove the children from the ship. Reese is up and about, and makes little effort to hide the satisfaction that his men are in charge of the situation. Reese allows them to board the ship, believing them to be carrying out the Council's orders.
- Michael awakens aboard the ship, asking the warriors if they are with the Eastern Alliance. The Colonials have no idea what he is talking about. Michael reveals that his people are from Terra, but that he and his companions are from Lunar Seven. They fled the Eastern Alliance forces there.
- Michael will not assist them in locating Lunar Seven, fearing that the arrival of Galactica might tip off Eastern Alliance destroyers to the location of his destination.
- Boomer and Jolly remove the chambers from the shuttle. The engines fire on the shuttle, prompting Reese to panic. Boomer explains that the shuttle is being jettisoned to prevent possible contamination of Galactica.
- Reese pulls the covers off of the chambers, revealing them to be empty. Boomer admonishes Jolly for having forgotten to remove the children. Reese attempts to stop the shuttle from launching, but his attempts are futile.
- The shuttle launches, followed shortly by Apollo and Starbuck in Vipers. Sire Geller arrives, wanting to know the situation. Reese claims the shuttle is being jettisoned (to prevent further contamination), and Geller is furious.
- Sire Geller orders Vipers to be launched, providing Apollo and Starbuck a pretext for their mission. Geller is further enraged when he sees the empty support chambers, but Reese isn't able to offer an explanation.
- Apollo and Starbuck put their Vipers on auto-pilot, and Cassie is sleeping aboard the shuttle when she is awakened by radio transmissions from their destination, Paradeen.
- As they near the planet, Michael finally reveals that they are making their way to the home prepared for them by Sarah's father. After arriving they will destroy their homing beacon in order to prevent Eastern Alliance forces from tracking them.
- Onboard an Eastern Alliance destroyer, Commandant Leiter is informed by one of his crew that they have detected the shuttle that had escaped Lunar Seven a month ago, and it is being escorted by two small craft of unknown configuration. The Vipers pique Leiter's interest, so he instructs the pilot to divert course from Lunar Nine to investigate the unknown ships.
- The expedition safely lands on Paradeen, and they are greeted by the androids Hector and Vector. They are taken to the home that was prepared for them, but Sarah's father is nowhere to be seen. The androids reveal that he is dead, and show her his tombstone.
- Sarah forbids Hector and Vector from telling the children about Terra. She rails against technology, as the governments engineered the colonists for thinner atmospheres but by doing so prevented them or their descendents from ever returning to their home planet.
- Sarah and Michael reveal that they are not married (as everybody had assumed). Sarah is a widow, and the three youngest children are hers. She claims she wouldn't marry a technocrat like Michael if he were the last person on the planet.
- The mood is lightened when Hector and Vector perform a traditional song and dance number from Terra.
- The Eastern Alliance destroyer tracks the shuttle's course to Paradeen. They are unable to report back to Eastern Alliance headquarters due to a sabotaged relay station on the planet.
- Michael thanks the robots for preparing a place for them, and for ensuring that it'd be safe by destroying the homing beacon. The robots are dismayed, as they realize that they forgot to destroy the beacon. Michael is still unwilling to let them use the beacon to find a way back to Lunar Seven, as he fears that they underestimate the Eastern Alliance.
- Michael explains the political history of Terra, with two sides polarizing into Eastern and Western factions. The powers from the East focused on expansion of planets near Terra. While Michael is filling Apollo and Starbuck in on the backstory, Sarah sneaks out of the house.
Sarah wants Apollo to stay on Paradeen.
- The following morning Sarah asks Apollo to stay on Terra with her. Apollo tries to let her down gently, but Sarah insists that she was forced to come to Paradeen with Michael, as he was the only way to get off of Lunar Seven, but she doesn't love him. Apollo indicates that her offer is not unappealing, but that he has to leave soon. Sarah asks what might happen if he weren't able to leave.
- Starbuck runs in, having spotted a city. Hector explains that the city is deserted, the population having been eradicated by neutron weapons that left the infrastructure intact.
- Apollo suggests that Starbuck search the city, hoping to garner information that might help them find Earth. Meanwhile Apollo will return to Galactica to warn them about the Eastern Alliance threat. Vector pulls a gun on them to try to stop them from going to the city, but their laser pistols prove to be persuasive.
- Hector and Starbuck wander around the city, philosophizing as they go. Little of intelligence value is left on the surface of the city. Hector mentions that the archives are under the city, but warns of the air quality down below. Starbuck ignores the warning, plunging forward and losing his android companion.
- Apollo encounters Aggie Moreland, Josh Moreland, and Doyle hanging about near the Vipers and the shuttle. The locals are anxious for the Colonials to leave, fearing their presence might attract the attention of the Eastern Alliance. They are also upset to learn that there are children in area. Apollo is ready to take his leave when he discovers that the controls of the Vipers have been sabotaged.
- Apollo returns to the homestead, revealing that the Morelands seem to have disabled their Vipers. Sarah is hopeful that they will stay.
- Hector reports back alone, warning them that Starbuck is down in the archives and is likely oxygen deprived by now. Hector tried to find the air tanks, but got lost and returned home for help. Needing more manpower, the group plans on seeking out the help of the Morelands.
- Realizing that her deception might be discovered, Sarah admits to sabotaging the Vipers. She had hoped it would make Apollo stay. Sarah remains behind with the children while the rest head to the city to rescue Starbuck.
- The older children are out in the barn when the Eastern Alliance destroyer lands near the house. They stay out of sight as Leiter and his goons enter the house, capturing Sarah and her youngest son.
- Leiter wants Sarah to talk, threatening her children as a possible consequence for not cooperating.
- The rescue party cannot find Starbuck. Vector suggests enlisting the former custodian, Doyle, who had been somewhat gruff when speaking to Apollo earlier. The group begins to hear a faint tapping sound coming from the pipes.
- Starbuck is nearly incapacitated, and lacks the air to speak or call out, so he is tapping on a nearby pipe.
- The kids sneak out of the barn and make their way to the Moreland residence. Aggie relents and takes the children in.
- The search party finds Starbuck just as he collapses. Doyle arrives, having been told by the kids where they were. He also heard about Sarah's capture, and offers to show them a quicker route back to the house.
- Leiter and Sarah engage in a war of words, Leiter believing the eradication of Paradeen's population to be justified, and Sarah believing that the Eastern Alliance will eventually lose.
- Michael jumps an Enforcer outside the house, while Starbuck and Apollo slide off of the roof to take out two others. They enter the house, freeing Sarah and her son, and capturing Leiter and another of his goons.
- Sarah asks Michael if their children are alright, and Michael is obviously pleased at the newfound "our" in the equation.
- The Colonials depart, taking the Eastern Alliance soldiers and Destroyer as their prize, as well as giving them a way home. Leiter is still full of bluster, sure of the Eastern Alliance's superiority, until they come into visual contact with Galactica and he sees the largest combat ship he's ever seen.
By the good graces of the lords of Kobol, the Galactica continues to lead her flock of survivors towards the coordinates, given us by those great white lights that vanished as mysteriously as they first appeared. There are those who speculate that those lights, advanced ships really, might have come from Earth, giving us great hope that they have a highly developed technology. Even now, our long range scouts patrol the quadrants, watching for signs that indicate that we are drawing close.
The ships have been gone for almost a secton now, and still no word. The Council has asked me to appear before them for an inquiry.
- Originally aired as a special two hour presentation that was edited into two parts for syndication.
- The destroyed city on Paradeen was filmed in Montréal, Canada. The prefabricated buildings left over from the World Expo of 1967 fell apart in the harsh Canadian winters. What remained made perfect futuristic ruins.
- Gillian Greene is the daughter of Lorne Greene. Michelle, G. Eric and David G. Larson are all children of producer Glen Larson.
- This is the last appearance of Maren Jensen as Athena in the series, as well as the last appearance of Noah Hathaway as Boxey.
- In the 2009 Galactica 1980 comic series, issue #2 is titled Greetings From Earth, an obvious nod to this episode.
- There are clues to a link between Terra and Earth in this episode. Further analysis can be found in the Terra article itself.
- Why do the doors in Michael and Sarah's home on Paradeen make the same door chime as Galactica's doors?
- See: The deleted scenes from this episode.
| Original Series Episode List
de:Kontakte zur Erde, Teil I
fr:Meilleurs Vœux de la Terre