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"The Night the Cylons Landed"
Galactica 1980 episode
Episode no. Episode 7-8
Written by Glen A. Larson
Directed by Sigmund Neufeld Jr. (Part I)
Barry Crane (Part II)
Original airdate April 13 and April 20, 1980
Episode chronology
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Episode chronology

The Night the Cylons Landed is a double episode, consisting of the seventh and eighth episodes of the television series Galactica 1980, a spin-off of the earlier ABC science fiction series Battlestar Galactica. The episode first aired in two parts broadcast on April 13 and April 20, 1980 on ABC.




Part I

A Galactican recon patrol encounters a new Cylon fighter. Attempting to disable the craft before it can discover Earth’s whereabouts, the Viper collides with the fighter. Unfortunately, the collision sends the damaged fighter floating towards Earth’s orbit. Mistaking the craft for its missing recon, Adama contacts Troy and Dillon, who meet with Jamie Hamilton at the Griffith Park Observatory. She informs them that the U.S. Air Force has detected the derelict craft (which they suspect is Russian), which is expected to land in New York in the next twelve hours. Because the two warriors are under military investigation, Troy and Dillon must forgo their Vipers in place of more conventional transportation while Jamie accompanies the Scouts to Billy’s Camp.

Troy and Dillon take a flight out of LAX. Having to pass through a metal detector to prevent hijacking, Dillon, upon learning the meaning of ‘Hijack’, muses, “I wonder what someone would do with an aircraft once they seized it.” They soon find out when their flight is beset by an attempted hijacking to Cuba. The two use their pistols to stun the hijackers, but their act is witnessed by a young boy. The FBI is ordered to meet the plane once it lands, but fails to catch the two invisible figures who escape from the scene.

Meanwhile, the Galactica has recovered its missing recon, and from the probe’s scans Zee hypothesizes that they Cylons have evolved into a completely new technological state. The Cylon vessel begins receiving transmissions from Earth just before it crashes sixty miles north of New York City. One Centurion and one of the advanced humanoid Cylons survives. The Cylon, Andromus, activates the automatic detonator and takes the ship’s distress beacon, hoping to infiltrate humankind and find a means to signal their Cylon brothers. Upon their arrival at the site, Troy and Dillon have only a few moments to realize not all of the Cylons perished before the craft explodes. Briefly detained by the police, they escape in a squad car before being perused while following the Cylon distress code towards New York City.

Andromus and Centuri have not gone far before they are offered a lift by Shirley and Norman, who assume the duo are—like themselves—in costume and on their way to a Halloween party in New York. The duo is invited to a party being attended by the legendary Disc jockey Wolfman Jack. Andromus decides to attend when he learns Norman is General Manager of a radio station and Arnie—their host for the night—is his Program Director. A distrustful and suspicious Norman reflects, “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.”

Part II

Troy and Dillon evade the police by accidentally driving their squad car off a pier into the East River. They contact the Galactica to explain their find of a humanoid Cylon at the crash site and are advised to stop the remaining Cylon at all costs. Making their way towards the Cylon distress signal, they must further evade police by hiding inside a theater. This leads the two upon the surreal sight of Scooby-Doo, Hair Bear, Hong Kong Phooey, and other assorted animated characters dancing onstage to “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”. Knowing they will be recognized by their clothing, Troy and Dillon borrow a couple of white suits, but they are mistaken for dancers and forced to bumble their way through a rendition of “On the Good Ship Lollipop”. With police now in the theater, they activate their nuclear fields to escape. Briefly interrupted by a gang in Central Park, they finally draw near to the signal.

At the party, Andromus decides they will need a set of keys and one of the guests to gain entrance to the radio station. His Centurion finds the keys and Andromus is introduced to the Wolfman, whom he surprisingly discovers known more about radio than he had been led to believe. Norman, increasingly suspicious of these guests’ motives, attempts to warn Arnie but they are interrupted by the Centurion, who is paralyzed when Arnie activates his microwave oven. Andromous shoots out the microwave, causing a fire; he takes Wolfman prisoner during the ensuing chaos.

Troy and Dillon arrives just as the Cylons depart. Troy is detained rescuing a kid from the burning apartment and joins Dillon outside station WQSL. Because they do not have the proper keys their elevator stops before reaching the required floor. Troy and Dillon take advantage of their ability to usurp Earth’s gravitational field and leap the remaining forty floors up the elevator shaft. As they do, Wolfman shows the Cylons how the station is automated, meaning no one else is on staff. Andromus decides to use the Emergency Broadcasting System for their transmission and Wolfman must lead them to the roof, where they engage in a firefight with Troy and Dillon. Both Cylons are wounded and the Centurion, promising to protect his master, carries Andromus in its arms off the roof, landing in a dumpster far below. Galactica signals that it has jammed the Cylon transmission; the crisis has passed.

Throughout the episode, Air Force Colonel Briggs pursues first the Cylon craft, then Troy and Dillon in New York City. He is at a police department when the report of a fire started by a man at an apartment comes in. Following this lead to the hospital, the Colonel interviews several partygoers and some of the Park toughs who also saw Andromus and the Centurion. Tracing them to the radio station, he comes up as empty-handed as his predecessors.




This episode introduces a new and more highly detailed scan of the Cylon fighter.

The film Troy, Dillon, and the Super Scouts enjoy is This Island Earth.

The plane Troy and Dillon use for traveling between Los Angeles and New York changes makes mid-flight.

The scene where Zee confides with Adama about his fears regarding the evolution of the Cylons originally appeared in The Super Scouts Part 1.

Popular music featured in this episode includes “Disco Inferno”, “That'll Be the Day”, “My Life”, and “What a Fool Believes”.

External links


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