The Long Patrol

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The Long Patrol
"The Long Patrol"
An episode of the Original Series
Episode No. Season 1, Episode 5 (discuss, thread)
Writer(s) Donald Bellisario
Story by
Director Christian I. Nyby II
Assistant Director
Special guest(s)
Production No. 50902
Nielsen Rating
US airdate USA 1978-10-15
CAN airdate CAN {{{CAN airdate}}}
UK airdate UK
DVD release 2004-12-28
Population survivors
Extended Info {{{extra}}}
Episode Chronology
Previous Next
The Lost Warrior The Long Patrol The Gun on Ice Planet Zero, Part I


[[IMDB:tt{{{imdb}}}|IMDb entry]]
Listing of props for this episode
[[frakr:{{{frakr}}}|Satirical view of this episode on WikiFrakr]]
Promotional Materials
Watch this episode's promo (on-wiki)
Online Purchasing
Amazon: | Standard Definition | | High Definition
iTunes: USA | UK


After losing an experimental Viper to a smuggler, Starbuck is imprisoned in a "unique" environment.


  • Athena is surprised that Starbuck volunteered, until Apollo explains that whoever volunteered to test the new Recon Viper would move to the head of the yahren-long waiting list to the dining room of the Rising Star.
  • Athena tells Adama that she had been invited to dinner with Starbuck, but her duty assignment conflicts. Adama agrees to cover her shift along with Colonel Tigh.
  • Starbuck and Cassiopeia arrive on the Rising Star. Starbuck bribes the waiter for a private room (a luxury that usually is reserved 60 to 70 centares in advance).
  • Arriving in their private room, Starbuck bribes the waiter for some Ambrosa. According to the waiter it is as rare as tylinium.
  • Cassiopeia leaves the room, promising to return quickly. Starbuck lights up his signature fumarello.
  • Galactica's scanners detect possible life. Concentrating their scans confirms the presence of life. Adama orders Recon Viper One prepared.
Starbuck romances Cassiopeia...
  • Athena arrives in Starbuck's private dining room. Starbuck quickly bribes the waiter for yet another private room, citing a (fictional) sanitation ship spoiling the view.
  • Athena raves about the mushies, but complains about the lack of fresh protein. Starbuck leaps at a chance to remedy the situation, using it as an excuse to visit his other room.
  • Back in Cassiopeia's room, Starbuck claims that they are all out of mushies. Cassiopeia claims that she doesn't mind, as the protein is just fine.
  • Starbuck is summoned back to Galactica over the intercom. He gives Cassiopeia one of his collar insignia as he leaves. He gives Athena is other one for her goodbye.
  • Starbuck settles up with the waiter for his dinner for three, costing him all his remaining cubits. The waiter admires Starbuck's daring, not in going on the mission, but in juggling the two young ladies. He claims that it is very "pre-war".
...and then Athena!
  • Cassiopeia and Athena encounter each other as they exit, both holding Starbuck's insignia. They quickly realize what has happened.
  • Starbuck reports to Recon Viper One wearing civilian clothes. The disguise is designed to hide his status as a Colonial Warrior should he be forced to land.
  • Apollo informs Starbuck that the Recon Viper has double the range and speed of a normal Viper, and has also had a voice activated computer installed.
  • Starbuck is instructed to turn on his short-range marker beacon, but to otherwise avoid transmissions to prevent the Cylons from tracking him. Should he make Cylon contact, he is not to return to Galactica as that would give away the position of the Fleet.
  • Apollo explains that all the engine upgrades were made possible on the Recon Viper at the expense of the laser generators. The vessel is unarmed.
  • Starbuck takes the new craft through some high speed maneuvers and is impressed with the results.
  • Starbuck activates CORA, commenting sarcastically that he'd like to see a computer do that. The computer puts the Recon Viper through a series of turns that forces Starbuck to ask to return to level flight.
  • CORA introduces "herself", then begins to set up a scan.
  • CORA indicates that two sublight craft have been detected. The Recon Viper slows to sublight to investigate, and finds a Sixth-millennium starfighter and shuttle. The shuttle is being chased by the fighter.
  • Starbuck assumes manual control and blows by the fighter with his turbo engaged, sending the fighter into a spin and allowing the shuttle to escape. Starbuck then pursues the shuttle, while the fighter returns to Proteus.
  • When Starbuck investigates the shuttle, the pilot attempts to sneak up and club him. Caught in the act, the pilot claims he was afraid that Starbuck was the pirate that had been shooting at him. The pilot claims to be a shuttle pilot transporting a load of agro parts.
  • Stabuck inspects the cargo, and finds Ambrosa. The pilot claims that it is 500-yahren old.
  • Starbuck starts asking questions about the capabilities of the pirates, when the shuttle pilot gets the drop on him and knocks him out using the Ambrosa bottle.
  • The shuttle pilot steals the Recon Viper. CORA asks him to identify himself, but the pilot has her fly him to another asteroid to make a transmission.
  • Galactica detects the transmission, but finds that it is encoded in an unknown format. The crew is concerned about the unauthorized, as well as the use of an unknown code.
  • Aboard his basestar, Baltar is informed of the detection of a signal in an unknown code. Baltar orders the launch of Raiders to investigate.
  • Apollo and Boomer are ordered to seek out and destroy Recon Viper One, in order to stop the transmissions. They are not allowed to attempt to contact the Recon Viper, as it would quickly outmaneuver them if it is hostile.
  • Starbuck awakens to discover his Viper gone. He launches the shuttle, only to be shot at by the sixth millennium fighter. Starbuck claims that there is a case of mistaken identity. The fighter pilot orders Starbuck to follow him.
  • Starbuck is greeted on the ground by armed guards led by Croad. His attempts at talking himself out of the situation fail miserably.
  • Apollo and Boomer continue to track the Recon Viper. It has stopped its long range broadcasts, but they are tracking it by its short range marker beacon.
  • Starbuck awakens, after his second blow to the head of the day, in a cell. There are strange drawings on the wall.
  • The other prisoners all seem to have bottles of Ambrosa. They welcome Starbuck to the prison.
  • Adulteress 58 asks what kind of offense Starbuckin' is, anyway. When Starbuck claims that it isn't an offense, that it is just a name, Forger 7 tells him that they are one in the same. Adulteress 58 wonders if their Original Sinners were as ignorant as Starbuck is.
  • Assault 9 explains that the Original Sinners are their ancestors, the ones who were first sentenced to Proteus.
  • The prisoners are curious for news about the war between the Colonies and the Alliance. The prisoners believe that the ambrosa they make is supplied to the Colonial Warriors.
  • Athena summons Cassiopeia to the bridge to inform her that Starbuck is no longer in control of the Recon Viper, and may be lost or dead.
  • The long range transmission is detected again, and Cassiopeia recognizes it as an Aerian merchant code.
  • They decipher the code, and recognize it as a request for the coordinates to Aeries. Adama countermands the attack orders to the Vipers. Adama reasons that the pilot of the Recon Viper must be a human that doesn't realize that Aeries is in Cylon hands. He orders Apollo and Boomer to investigate further.
  • Apollo and Boomer find the Recon Viper unmanned. A lot of equipment appears to have been stripped out of it, likely to make room for cargo.
  • Apollo and Boomer come under laser fire. They return fire, and pursue their assailant.
  • Boomer sees a crouched figure hiding in the darkness, and just as he fires a woman yells for him to stop and tackles him. The shot goes wide, and the crouched figure is revealed to be a little girl.
  • The Viper thief is able to get the drop on Apollo, but when Boomer reports that he has found a woman and a girl, he surrenders to Apollo asking that they not hurt his wife and child.
  • Robber reveals that his Original Sinner was an Aerian robber, and the Aerian merchant code has been passed down the descendents. The Proteus enforcers are likewise descendents of the original enforcers, and are as trapped as the prisoners.
  • Robber and his wife reveal that he stole Starbuck's Viper because he needed a craft capable of reaching Aeries, for the sake of his daughter Tanya.
  • Galactica picks up three Cylon Raiders on its sensors. The Cylons appear to be homing in on the location of the Recon Viper, and have not detected the fleet. Adama orders the fleet to change course in order to avoid the Cylons, even though that may strand the patrol.
  • Adama comforts Boxey, who misses his father, by telling him stories of Earth.
  • Starbuck is given the prison designation of Bootlegger 137. An enforcer tries to make Starbuck follow orders, causing Starbuck to break a bottle and dive at his cell bars.
  • Starbuck is surprised when he discovers that his cell is unlocked. The prisoners and the enforcers tell him to close the door, but when pressed, the enforcer retreats.
  • Assault 9 reveals that the locks haven't worked in generations. The prisoners choose to stay in their cells because they are prisoners, like all their ancestors before them. They are content to contribute their part of the war effort by making Ambrosa for the Colonial Warriors.
  • Starbuck reveals that all the Ambrosa is just aging out on the loading docks.
  • Croad returns with a group of enforcers to restore order. Croad claims that Starbuck is lying, but Starbuck reveals that he is actually a Colonial Warrior.
  • The prisoners leave their cells and overpower the enforcers, demanding to see the loading docks.
  • Starbuck asks how much Ambrosa is on the loading docks. Adulteress 58 estimates that it is the product of a thousand lifetimes.
  • Three Vipers fly in towards Proteus. Croad claims that they are Cylons, and that Starbuck is a Cylon spy. Starbuck retorts that they are actually Colonial Vipers.
  • Boomer and Apollo are appalled that all Starbuck can talk about when they arrive is the Ambrosa. They reveal that Galactica has altered course, and they cannot locate her.
  • The Cylon raiders were picked up by on the scanners of the Vipers. Croad leads a cheer of "Death to the Cylons" as the prisoners head back into the safety of the prison to wait out the fight. Starbuck, Apollo, and Boomer take off in their Vipers to face the raiders.
  • Starbuck uses CORA to help act as a diversion to distract the Cylons. The Cylons chase him, allowing the other two Vipers to get in position.
  • After the Cylons split up, Starbuck instructs CORA to get ready to execute a maximum-G climb. CORA protests that he'll black out, but Starbuck points out that she will not.
  • Starbuck initiates the maneuver, leaving the Cylon that followed to crash into the ground. Boomer and Apollo dispatch the other two raiders, and Starbuck recovers from the blackout.
  • CORA reveals that the Raider that had chased them crashed into a building containing highly volatile fluids. Starbuck is distraught, as that is his fortune in Ambrosa burning up.
  • Galactica picks up incoming craft on the sensors. The marker beacon reveals that it is the patrol (as well as a shuttle).
  • Adama hosts a dinner on the Rising Star welcoming back the patrol and the new members of the fleet (Robber, and his wife and daughter).
  • Boxey gives his father a map he drew. Starbuck corrects the map, saying that the blue planet is out of orbit. When questioned on where he had seen it before, Starbuck recalls that he saw the same map on the wall in his cell.
  • Robber tells them about the Silent One, who drew the pictures. The enforcers found him drifting in space. He never said a word.
  • Adama reveals that the solar system Boxey drew was based on ancient legends he had learned about the solar system that contains Earth.



  • Where the previous episode, "The Lost Warrior" was a story about Apollo being stranded far from the fleet, this episode was a story about Starbuck in the role of the lost warrior. It has been suggested that the two episodes were filmed at the same time, with one part of the production focusing on Richard Hatch's character, while the other crew was busy with Dirk Benedict.
  • During the course of the series, Starbuck would go missing or end up stranded a number of times. In this instance, his Viper is preserved, so this is not an instance of Starbuck crashing his ship - rather this time it was stolen.


  • How many other "lost" colonies and settlements originating from the Twelve Colonies exist?
  • What happened to the recon Viper?
  • Why aren't more voice interfaces like CORA used (other than the database search in "Murder on the Rising Star")?
  • For that matter, why didn't CORA appear in subsequent episodes?
  • Is the map that the mysterious prisoner drew of Earth? (If Galactica 1980 were to be believed, it is unlikely as Earth lacks the technology for a ship to get out that far.)
  • Who exactly was the mysterious prisoner?
  • What happens to Robber and his family after they join the Fleet?
  • How many prisoners and/or enforcers survived the Cylon raid, and how many chose either to join the Fleet or remain behind?
  • Who buys ambrosa which smuggled by Robber

Noteworthy Dialogue

Starbuck: A hot pilot doesn't need all that electronic felgercarb.

Guest Stars

External Links

Original Series Episode List
« The Long Patrol »
Season 1

Template:Original Series Season 1

Other Series : Galactica 1980Re-imagined SeriesCapricaList of Episodes
de:Die lange Patrouille

fr:La Patrouille lointaine