Talk:Season two timeline discontinuity/Archive 1

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Please explain the basis for the statement:

"Shortly before Cally's release, Dr. Cottle updates Laura Roslin's prognosis, stating that she has one month to live, "at the outside". This puts her projected death at day 114."

On the DVD copy of Flight of the Phoenix on the Season 2.0 set, the order events in this episode are. 1) Cally is released from the brig, 2) Tyrol begins construction of the Blackbird. 3) Laura is given one month to live. There is no basis for the above statement unless the DVD version of this episode is somehow different to the broadcast version. --Rexpop 21:01, 4 March 2006 (CST)

Interesting. I seem to have been convinced that Cally's release constrained Laura's life span projection somehow, but I can't seem to remember my reasoning on review. The alternative, I guess, is that about two and a half months passed in between Helo and Tyrol's fight (which was the same night as Cally's party) and Roslin's diagnosis. In the intervening scenes...
  • Dualla gets fried by the logic bomb and sent to Cottle
  • Lee nags Tyrol about Viper 289, leading him to come up with the idea for the Blackbird.
  • Tyrol starts the Blackbird project
Still, all the construction work on the blackbird takes place after Roslin's diagnosis. I can see fudging a week here at the outside, but nothing more than that. Anyone else have thoughts? --April Arcus 21:44, 4 March 2006 (CST)
There's always the "different scenes do not take place concurrently" explanation. --Redwall 22:27, 4 March 2006 (CST)
Also the statement that all the construction work happens after the diagnosis is somewhat false as we see that Tyrol has started building at least one frame before the diagnosis. --Rexpop 12:57, 5 March 2006 (CST)
If we work backwards. 'Epiphanies' happens on Day 189. Therefore if we assume that Roslin lasts the full 30 days that means her final diagnosis comes around day 155-158.
There is enough slack for the remaining events in 'Flight of the Phoenix' to happen in the time before the arrival of the Pegasus. So the question becomes is there any reason why around 70 days (10 weeks) could not have passed between Cally's release and Roslins diagnosis ?.
The answer is difficult to come by for the reason that the episode was edited to avoid having to track the passage of time. But we have a few metrics that we can use to judge the passage of time. The main one is the progress of construction of the Blackbird.
When we first see Tyrol building the Blackbird (which is before Roslins diagnosis), he has complete plans and the first frame ready. The next time we see the Blackbird after Roslins diagnosis it has a complete airframe with some electronics installed (but no wings). Given that Tyrol is working on the Blackbird by himself and in his spare time it is not unreasonable to say that it took several weeks to get to this point so it would lead to a decent chunk of time passing before Roslins final diagnosis.
There is also scope for time to be added between Tyrol and Apollo's conversation and the beginning of Tyrol building the Blackbird. Given when he starts construction of the Blackbird he already has detailed plans, so its likey that some time has passed between deciding to build it and the actual build. It would not be unreasonable to say that putting the plans together took time a couple of weeks given that he is working part time on the project.
There is one other metric we have for judging the passage, which is Gator debugging the ships systems. He says it could takes days, and the next time we get an update on this it is after Roslins diagnosis. It's obvious that some passage of time has occurred but how long remains up for debate. But I do think that several weeks might be pushing it a little, but there is nothing to say that it didn't take this long after all a Battlestar is a big ship with lots of systems and Gator may just have been talking about just debugging the console code.
To be honest I think we are making a mountain out of a molehill. Yes the timeline goes a bit screwy in this episode, but there is nothing that flat out contradicts the statement that 'Pegasus' takes place six months after the fall of the Colonies. Similarly there is nothing that flat out proves beyond doubt that 'Flight Of The Phoenix' happened over 100 days.
In either case, this page and the timeline need to be re-edited as several of the statements made are based on the faulty premise that Roslins final diagnosis was before Cally's release. Given that this is not the case I think that the discussion on these pages needs to be changed. I would suggest that the timeline is kept fairly clear of discussion and this page state the facts and discussion for or against and then let the reader decide --Rexpop 12:51, 5 March 2006 (CST)
I think Tyrol's work on Viper 289 argues against this very strongly. We first see him inspect the craft and label it defunct prior to Cally's release. Apollo speaks to him about it, and he starts work on the Blackbird that night. I really don't think the amount of work accomplished on the Blackbird between that event (which was a few days after day 84 at most) and the airframe we see after Roslin's diagnosis can be stretched over two months. --April Arcus 13:13, 5 March 2006 (CST)
I don't know how long it would take to build a spacecraft so don't have an accurate estimate. I suspect that it would be the same as building a modern fighter aircraft. Looking at Google I have one article (last paragraph) claiming it takes 2 years to build one F-15. Keep in mind that Tyrol is working on the Blackbird in his spare time so probably can only spend a few hours of a day working on it. Given these two facts I don't see 2 months being too outlandish. --Rexpop 13:42, 5 March 2006 (CST)
It's not outlandish at all, but what I'm trying to say is that it just doesn't fit with what we've been shown. The majority of the Blackbird's construction takes place after Roslin's diagnosis, thus, within the span of about three weeks. It seems implausible to argue that the earlier stages of construction took over twice that long. --April Arcus 13:47, 5 March 2006 (CST)
Remember that after Roslin's diagnosis several people started helping Tyrol with the work, the key scene being when one of the engineers helped Tyrol with fitting the wing (which he was having trouble doing by himself). At this point the shot shows the airframe being complete, with cabling and electronics fitted to it some places. After this point the remainder of the deck crew start working on the ship with Tyrol, so its likely that work after the diagnosis moved far quicker than before because more people were working on the project. So I don't think its implausible to argue that with more hands and more time spent, the quicker the project would be completed. --Rexpop 14:07, 5 March 2006 (CST)
Also, note that if we do "delay" "Flight of the Phoenix" to match up with "Epiphanies", we have to explain Boomer's pregnancy advancing by about two months within the span of a week. --April Arcus 13:21, 5 March 2006 (CST)
I'm willing to write this one off as one of the side effects of working with an actress who isn't really pregnant and the production staff trying to keep costs down by not wanting to invest money into more than one prosthetic. Many shows get this wrong so its not an uncommon mistake. --Rexpop 13:42, 5 March 2006 (CST)
I'm not. There's plenty of other evidence to indicate that they simply lost track. Sharon is still doing sit-ups in "Pegasus". By "Epiphanies", she's quite... heavy with child. --April Arcus 13:46, 5 March 2006 (CST)
I'm not arguing that there haven't been production screw ups with the timeline. It happens all the time on TV shows. What I am arguing is that the discontinuity isn't as great as is being made out and in some cases can be accounted for (to a certain degree). --Rexpop 14:07, 5 March 2006 (CST)


No, Rexpop, it is a big discontunity. Between 2 and 3 months were simply skipped. --The Merovingian 20:27, 5 March 2006 (CST)

The 75 day gap: not important.

I think this gap that everyone is making a fuss over is much ado about nothing. As long as there is no contradictions I think it is no problem. Most of the things that are being listed as problems and discontinuity are simply delays. For example I think when it comes to Roslin's delayed journey to the death bed was simply due to perhaps to her individual constitution and it is possible that the Herbal potion she liked did work a little. She simply defied the odds for a while as what happens in real life sometimes. I am sure Cottle's studies of women in similar situation as Roslin was in and his own experience said that she would die within a certain time period, but it is not a hard and fast rule. Just because a doctor gives you three months to live it doesn't mean you will die exactly 90 days later. Odds borne out of experience say that it will happen around then, but it could be only a month later that death comes, or three months past the deadline, defying the averages. This is by no means unheard of.

As regards to Sharon's pregnancy, this just verifies my contention that there are undocumented time gaps. It is not as if we are seeing life aboard Galactica every day in real time, but only when important events takes place, so only two episodes are within the 75 day gap between Pegasus and Epiphanies, just like there was only about three episodes that covered the five months-150 days-between Collaborators and Unfinished Business. In this case one can treat Pegasus & Resurrection ship Parts I & II as one single three part episode since they obviously are so close in time; i.e. Resurrection ship Part I takes up immediately after Pegasus; Resurrection ship Part II in turn takes up immediately after Resurrection ship Part I. Now the time gap comes in between Resurrection ship Part II and Epiphanies. Why is there a time gap? Simply because nothing happened of any significance in between except that Sharon's pregnancy progressed and Laura Roslin's condition deteriorated. When the important facts of Roslin being near death is reached and Sharon almost loosing her baby via abortion happens Epiphanies documents it 72 days after the events of Resurrection ship Part II.

As for the delayed elections I think given the arrival of Pegasus and its personnel, it could be fanwanked to be said that the elections was moved back and delayed to give the new arrivals time to acclimatize and get familiar with the issues of the fleet. Then there was the crisis of command between Cain and Adama; the near civil war between Galactica and Pegasus and the death of Cain. Then there was the deteriorating condition of Roslin. Perhaps the elections were put off because of that reason. All three of these reasons together could compel a postponement to holding elections.

As noted, there are significant gaps in time between Collaborators and Unfinished Business. There are only three episodes within that five month (150 day) "gap", and two of those episodes are just a day apart, Torn & A Measure of Salvation. It is the same situation between Pegasus/Resurrection ship I & II and Epiphanies.

Simply put, the 75 day gap is a non-issue. Hunter2005 19:23, 26 December 2006 (CST)

It'll take some time to digest your comments, Hunter, but I would tend to agree. Just because we, the viewers, expect to see things happen on-screen doesn't mean that things are ALWAYS in action for the characters. Gods, give 'em a chance to breathe. --Spencerian 19:35, 26 December 2006 (CST)
I'm sorry, this is just wrong. The most logical way to explain away the discontinuity is to suppose that two months suddenly pass between the Cally scenes in the teaser of "Flight of the Phoenix" and the Roslin scenes. If this didn't leave behind any contradictions, it would be a (marginally) acceptable explanation, but it doesn't even offer that advantange. Let be briefly summarize the unresolved problems that the discontinuity leaves behind:
  • Elections delayed by two months (consistantly predicted to be around month 7 in season 1, actually depicted around month 9)
  • In Pegasus, when Sharon is raped, she is not visibly pregnant (consistant with the first half of the season). In "Resurrection Ship", we learn that it is six months post-holocaust and that she should be five months pregnant.
Lastly, to simply suppose that Cottle was somehow "wrong" in the diagnosis he gave in "Flight of the Phoenix" is outright fanwankery. The show takes itself seriously and invites a close reading. If it can't stand up to that level of scrutiny, we shouldn't invent explanations in an attempt to let it off the hook. --April Arcus 15:41, 27 December 2006 (CST)
I believe that with a little thought these problems are not so big. As to the election and the diagnosis, I don't think it is that big and issue. As I said, given the the reasons I gave, the near civil war the influx of new people, I don't think it is that so out ragious that the election was postponed for two months. As for Doctor Cottle's diagnosis of Roslin's cancer, I didn't say that Cottle was so much wrong as that Roslin beat the odds a little. Again, this sort of thing happens in real life. It is no reflection on Dr. Cottle's competancy that Roslin got a bonus one or two months to live. It does happen in real life. It happens the other way too and you kick sooner than the doctor thought you would. I just don't think it is that big an issue that she didn't drop dead on schedule.
Now I admit that Athena's pregnancy is a hurdle, but even that has a viable explainaton:
Admiral Cain said it was six months since the Apocalypse. That is 180 days. Of course since humans round off very often the estimated 175 days in which the events of Resurrection Ship Parts I and II happen is very reasonable match.
Sharon and Helo made love on the 24th day. Let's say they conceived Hera the very first time they had That would mean by Resurrection Ship Part I The future Athena was around 156 days (180-24 days) or five months and about five days pregnant Let's for laughs and to make the math easier say she was five months and a week pregnant or 21 weeks. It is true that during Pegasus Athena did not appear pregnant, however I think in real life there have been cases of pregnancies that gave very little outward sign of itself until surprisingly late in the gestation period. However, I do agree that this is unlikely.
If you don't like that explanation, there is always the very relevant that this is a mixed Cylon Human child, something that doesn't exist in the real world of course. And we have seen two in show ways that Sharon Agathon's pregnancy and her child are different. One was before Hera was born. Sharon somehow knew it was a girl in Home, Part II. She knew, she did not feel or guess. The other more telling and obvious was post pregnancy. That is, from a human perspective, Hera's lack of development. Hera is about two years old now as of The Eye of Jupiter, but appears to be just one year of age. Working backwards, within a few minutes after most of the humans left New Caprica on the Second Exodus (something like five and a half months ago in BSG time as of The Eye of Jupiter), when Baltar found her in the arms of her dead foster mother Maya she appeared to be only around six to eight months old. Before that in Roslin's school in Lay Down Your Burdens Part II after the Colonials had been on New Caprica for a year Hera still seemed to be about the size of a baby only a month or so old; so there is plenty evidence of Cylon/Human "under development" relative to fully human babies. Since they grow post-natally slower than a human child, it stands to reason that they develop slower pre-natally as well, hence Athena's flat appearing stomach in Pegasus while she was doing crunches at 21 weeks.
This is not a mere fanwank. I don't think this was accident. I am using what was presented in the episodes. I don't think it would be too difficult to have an casting call for a two year old Eurasian female baby; and before that a year and five month old at the time of the Second Exodus and before that a year old baby at the time of the Cylon invasion. I think RDM is deliberately showing us that Cylon/Human babies develop slower.
Therefore, while judging strictly within the realm of human Obstetrics Athena's lack of any visible signs of pregnancy in Pegasus is strange (most if not all human woman begin to "show" at the beginning of the second trimester), this is a special case that doesn't exist in reality of course; a human/Cylon hybrid, and it goes without saying that the "rules" will be different.
Oh I almost forgot: Athena wasn't raped, but almost raped, at least that is how it was originally broadcasted. Hunter2005 23:32, 27 December 2006 (CST)
While I think that the issue isn't nearly as big as its made out to be, it's nonetheless there. Sure, the missing time can be accounted for, but contradictions are is still there. Sharon's pregnancy progression is a more practical error, but the election and Roslin's diagnosis could have been adressed in dialogue.
Could had been address in dialogue, but there was no real need. As to Athena's prenancy, see my response to April Arcus. Hunter2005 23:32, 27 December 2006 (CST)
Personally, it doesn't affect my ejoyment of the show, but when I think about it, it's a bit weird that stuff like this happens --Serenity 15:52, 27 December 2006 (CST)
I don't think it is weird at all. There is nothing to contradict. Even Athena's quirky pregnancy has a very viable explaination given what we have seen. Hunter2005 23:32, 27 December 2006 (CST)
As Peter and Serenity said, the gap is there and it's not something that can be easily dismissed, at least after the fact. Does it affect the enjoyment factor? Probably not for most, but it's important to note anyway. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 16:00, 27 December 2006 (CST)
To note maybe, but not so important, except that in the case of Hera, it is an insight on Cylon/Human admixture. Hunter2005 23:32, 27 December 2006 (CST)
Hunter, just because you can fanwank doesn't mean you should. If you want to indulge the showrunner's sloppiness by inventing ridiculous explanations, you can feel free to do so privately, but do not attempt to propagate it as fact, or use it to supplant the meaningful analysis we have painstakingly assembled here. --April Arcus 05:49, 28 December 2006 (CST)
First of all, point to any time in my arguments that I present my explanations as fact. Just once. What I did was use plausible in show and real life arguments as to what could had happened and why these discontinuities are not as serious as they are made out to be or even necessarily discontinuities, especially when it comes to Roslin's dire diagnosis and the postponements of the elections. As to the issue of the pregnancy, I used a real life argument but I used mostly in show explanations. Do you deny the visual record of Hera's constant under development? It has been consistent hasn't it? Many people have complained about it. I just point out that it has been too consistent to be chalked up to sloppiness or laziness on the part of the production staff and it is deliberate on their part for a reason. I merely extended that phenomena pre-nataly as well as post-nataly. Anyway, it seems that some don't want to discuss the merits of my arguments. RDM has said that he will not explain every thing explicitly and will rely on the intelligence of the audience to deduce things. I just made the attempt. And here I thought this was a discussion board. Hunter2005 10:07, 28 December 2006 (CST)
The article's name alone gives us the answer, it seems. If our count, derived by official sources, contradicts what was shown in "Flight" and "Pegasus" (another official source) AND if no official source has retconned or admitted the error, we as contributors cannot guess or estimate or synthesize any plausible speculation. Any attempt is fanwanking since we would be generating content. So, do we note the discrepancy and leave it alone (given that later episodes resume a meaningful timeline)? I recommend we do. Essentially, "it's just a TV show" and we should really relax about it. I do recommend that we clarify the discrepancy, without comment or explanation. --Spencerian 12:34, 28 December 2006 (CST)
Once again (and I don't know why everyone keeps misunderstanding), I didn't put forth my arguments as fact, but as possible explanation for the apparent discrepancies. Believe me, I know the purpose and rules of a Wikipage. I have been a contributor to Wikipedia for a bit over a year now, so I am very familiar with the rules and concept of sources. I have never proposed that my theories where what in fact happened. I don't have anything to back that up via official source. Never claimed they were. I put them forth here merely as theories as to why these so-called discontinuities happened, not as a hard fact. If you look all my contributions to this article they have been strictly derived from facts in the show, most notably the my mathematical derivation of the five month elapsed time between Collaborators and Unfinished Business. I would never place in the body of an article (in this case about discontinuities) an explanation that was not from an official source. For example I know that Roslin's extended life was not explained on the show but I gave a plausible reason for it for example. However, would I put it in the article? No. It is speculation; speculation based on real life, but speculation none the less. The same with Athena's lack of visible manifestation of her pregnancy just before the attempted rape and I backward extrapolated it to the apparent lag in development of Hera. I aired my explanations not to argue to have them included in the article, but as an explanation as to why they may have happened and that it was no big deal anyway. After all, some here have written that the apparent discontinuities were the result of sloppiness on the part of the writers and producers. I say that may not be the case and I gave scenarios as to why they are probably aren't and/or if they are they are not that important in at least two of them. That is all.
I thought that was part of the purpose of the Discussion/Talk page, not only to list the apparent discontinuities but why they exist or even if they are and to show why or why not. That was my only intent; to explain and hopefully clarify, not to have my unsourced pet theories insinuated into the article. That was the original intent of this section "The 75 day gap: not important." Hunter2005 21:57, 28 December 2006 (CST)
Suggestion: Logistics issues held elections off for a couple months (It is necessary for candidates to have some amount of time to campaign, or at least declare candidacy.) Roslin's cancer went into remission, this is actually common enough to be plausible, and in one case happened so unexpectedly to a friend of mine that he went from expecting to die to having several years left. Unfortunately, it came back 18 months later.
I know the United States has fixed election dates, but many other countries do not. In Canaada, a Prime Minister's term can be anywhere fromo three to five years, and that may be the case in Colonial society as well. In "Bastille Day", Roslin says to Lee "you've committed me to holding elections within a year." Holding elections nine months later (rather than seven) would therefore still be respecting that commitment. That only leaves Roslin's cancer, which held out for much longer than Cottle predicted (judging by the progression of Sharon's pregnancy) but is still plausible.