TPBLAD and Time Travel!

Sensibly explaining Starbucks mysterious Viper (UPDATED 05 Jul 2008 12:03)
In Hero, D’Anna gets herself shot by a centurian so that she can download. During this download she experiences flashbacks of her time on New Caprica as well as flashforwards of her experience in the Temple of Five which doesn’t actually happen until a few episodes later in Rapture!

So the download process includes a flashforward of something that is going to happen to her – therefore you have to say that since the download process involves passing through the place between life and death, this place must in some sense be timeless.

Hero Scene

Hero scene

Rapture scene

As you can see, the same footage is used in both episodes clearly indicating that during her download in Hero, she experiences a vision of what will happen to her in Rapture[2].

So lets just go with the idea that TPBLAD is timeless, we know that the Hybrids can see into this space (Razor writers meeting) so this is a good explanation of how the Hybrids can see the future. They can’t see it clearly, even D’Anna’s visions of the past and future seemed scrambled and she had trouble recalling what she had seen once she had resurrected.


(from Home Pt II)
Sharon: I think those are the Gates of Hera.
Sharon: …that’s the spot where your god supposedly stood and watched Athena throw herself down o­nto the rocks below out of despair over the exodus of the 13 tribes

There is an uncanny similarity with the “rocks below” and the “hard deck” that crushed Starbuck’s Viper on the gas giant planet[1].

Leoben stands on the shore of the stream/river, a metaphor for the space between life and death. It is from here that he can reach out to contact Kara.

Starbuck: You’re not Leoben.
Leoben: Never said I was. I’m here to prepare you to pass through the next door. To discover what hovers in the space between life and death.

So Leoben seems to be saying that he is helping Kara to go through a door and into TPBLAD.

The scenes at the end of Maelstrom where Kara is talking to her mother can be interpreted as a vision. However there is a much more interesting way to view it.

Leoben was showing her a scene that actually happened, the one where she found out her mother was dying of cancer. Kara recognized the scene so to her at least it was a vision of the past. This could be an induced vision or could she have actually been standing there but just not visible! Bear with me…

Leoben: She waited here. Five weeks, hoping you’d come back. She died alone.
Starbuck: I was afraid, I couldn’t watch.
Leoben: It’s not too late. She’s waiting, still.
(Kara slowly slides the bedroom door back: Socrata lying in the bed, weak and small.)
Starbuck, sitting: Momma.
Socrata, softly: You came back.

Now this can also be interpreted as a vision, but whats the point if Kara is simply imagining being at her mothers bedside while she dies – all the emotion in the scene is for nothing. Its makes much more sense that Kara was actually there, and it’s Leoben who took her back in time to be there! Otherwise the entire scene doesn’t have much meaning. Of course Socrata wouldn’t have noticed that Kara had aged 6 years, she was too ill to pay much attention. Also during that scene, Kara seems visible to Socrata but Leoben standing behind does not!

I only ask that you consider this time travel, not many people like the idea being part of BSG but as long as it’s restricted to the Lords of Kobol then it can work quite well.

So going back to the death scene, from Socrata’s point of view, Kara did actually show up by her bedside just before she died, albeit an older Kara.

Leoben: See, there’s nothing so terrible about death. When you finally face it, it’s beautiful. You’re free now. To become who you really are.

This explains Shelley Godfrey – the woman that appeared out of thin air and disappeared just a fast!

This also explains how Kara got her brand new Viper since when Leoben took her back in time to be with her mother, she was close to or living on a military academy site, a place that would have lots of shiny new Vipers! In fact it would have the Viper that she was using for her training so it would even have her callsign on it.

Where did the colonial distress signal come from that the Viper seemed to be picking up yet no other ship in the fleet could pick up. It wasn’t actually being broadcast from anywhere, the Viper was simply rigged while it passed back through TPBLAD to indicate a signal coming from ‘Earth’ by the ‘real’ Final Five, the Opera House figures – the human Final Five obviously have no idea where Earth is.

Now if you think this is all a bit crazy, just listen to what RDM was going to do for the last seconds of the Crossroads Pt II series finale…

4/8/2007 — The original scripted ending was that Kara was going to be in Lee’s quarters. He was gonna be rushing into his quarters. He was gonna get his helmet and his flight uniform and then he was gonna turn to go, and then he looks up, and then Kara’s standing in his quarters, and says, “Hi Lee.” Yeah. Right here. Where he comes in, he grabs his flight helmet and stuff, and he turns, and then boom. Kara was gonna be there. We were gonna play the last scene with Kara in the room. And then when I was up in Vancouver I started having second thoughts and wondering if that made it too supernatural into the next season. How would she get in there? Too many questions and did I really wanna go down that route? And decided, to protect ourselves, let’s shoot a version where he encounters her in the Viper. He gets in a Viper. He goes out, and Kara comes up next to him in a Viper. And ultimately in the cut that was the way Rymer cut it, and I decided to go with that too. It was a stronger ending, and it got us outside Galactica, you got action going and fighters, and at this point you’re unhinged in terms of where the hell it’s all going… When we talked about “Maelstrom”, this was part in parcel what “Maelstrom” was gonna be. We said we’ll kill her here, we’ll take her out of the main title credits for the next few episodes, but then she’s gonna come back at the end, and say, “I found the way to Earth.” And that fulfilled her destiny, because I think there was also questions after “Maelstrom” aired about whether that actually paid off everything. Did her death have any meaning? Her death didn’t have meaning, but the resurrection of Kara does. (Source: Crossroads, Part II podcast)

Head Characters

Going with the idea that Kara did travel back through time and looking at it from Socrata’s point of view, Kara is visible and appeared out of nowhere (just like Shelley Godfrey), but Kara has a head character that Socrata can’t see (Head.Leoben).

RDM:“There are similarities, and there are connections, between Starbuck and Baltar that will develop as time goes on” (Source)

Can this mean that Baltar was saved from dying in the explosion on Caprica by Head.Six (not shielded by Caprica.Six), just like Starbuck was saved by Maelstrom.Leoben before her Viper exploded, both being sent back in time before they were killed. After all in Kobols Last Gleaming when Baltar and Head.Six are in the ruins of the Opera House…

Baltar: I know this place.
Head.Six: Of course you do. Go inside.

Was he sent back to the Opera House on Kobol 2000 years ago just like Kara went back to see her mother die. He was then sent forward in time to a point after the explosion, in the same way Starbuck reapppeared at the Ionian Nebula.

The Reincarnation Interpretation provides a more likely answer as to how he recognizes this place.

So whatever Maelstrom.Leoben did to Starbuck, Head.Six did the same with Baltar

(Thanks to genji2000 for helping me iron out these connections)
[1] Thanks to Mathematica for pointing this out
[2] Thanks to Subjekt2323 for help in identify this connection

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11 Responses to TPBLAD and Time Travel!

  1. tina says:

    I’ve been pretty much thinking the same way. Not as elaborate, but I think the Kara Thrace that returned to the fleet this season is infact Kara but a Kara from another point in time. I find it probable that the Kara that went into the eye of jupiter died but a Kara from a few moments or even days prior made the journey and returned to the fleet. Sounds crazy I know, but I think the fleet will find an earth in a paralell time that was not destroyed. Then again, I could just be talking out of my ass.

  2. John says:

    Capricia 6 did not save Baltar because she did not even know he was alive untill season 2 when she was told by newly downloaded Boomer on the planet Capricia……

  3. lew says:

    what does TPBLAD stand for?

  4. Mike says:

    A few years ago I thought BSG was all about this.

    “No time travel, no worm holes and NO aliens. Ever.”

    Your theories explain events better than I can if time travel is indeed allowed but I hope not. It will be a bit of disappointment for me since I thought RDM didn’t want to do the Star Trek thing again. My theory does not explain what happened to Starbucks ship, however. What I thought was going on was that everyone is IA and programmed by the LOK who are just IA them selves. The TPBLAD is just a super sophisticated sci-fi computer system that can send signals faster than light that’s a leftover of the Earth’s first attempt to create AI. All real humans are dead, Colonials are AI that think they are human. There is no real re-incarnation, copies of programs get uploaded and downloaded to and from genetically engineered bodies that simulate humans and the “super sophisticated sci-fi computer system that’s a leftover of the Earth’s first attempt to create AI”. Your theories are in a lot of ways better than mine because they explain a lot of things that confuse me. They just go against the “No time travel, no worm holes and NO aliens. Ever.” Concept that I thought the show was all about. My idea that everything in the show is just the result of some broken (super duper) computer system running amok is a different kind of sci-fi than a time-travel Star Trek rehash that RDM use to work on. Unfortunately my idea sound a bit to much like the Matrix which isn’t that great either. If its all about time travel and the LOK are super aliens and the worm hole Kara got sucked down transported her around space and time is true then welcome to Star Trek. I thought RDM wanted to get away from that. I thought he was trying to do something else and although what I’m saying sounds like the matrix I think its not quit that because there are no humans left being used by computers. Its just all just a moldy computer system that can send signals faster than light winding down after thousands of years of operation. The legacy of Humans is still in the Galaxy leaving its trash behind.

  5. swozzie says:

    heh, nice ideas, the thing is we don’t know the true nature of the LOK, it seems they are immortal, but are they supernatural or are they in fact super AI possibly created by the humans thousands of years ago, have somehow transcended space and time and now just look after their creators, so a matrix type scenario isn’t really at odds with this theory too much

    I doubt we will ever be told their true nature though

  6. Armand Asante says:

    so…ummmm….what does TPBLAD stand for.

    I’ve searched this blog for it – no luck.
    I’ve googled it (thinking it’s a common BSG abbr. that everyone knows) – I only got links back to this place.

    The way I see it, if you guys didn’t even feel the need to explain this concept, this says a lot about your communication skills (or lack thereof).
    Which leads me to another thought – RDM didn’t get to where he is if he couldn’t communicate to his audience.
    So my final conclusion is that this whole TPLAD and time travel business is way too convoluted to be anywhere near what RDM and co. would produce.

    While it might ALL make sense if we “bear with you” – I can see no way that this could be explained within the show without the audience going whaaa? (think architect scene a-la Matrix 2).
    Also it would be a real downer of an ending if we discovered all these human characters we learned to care about (cylons are human too in this context) for 4 seasons turned out to be demi-gods or something.
    The backlash would be enormous and RDM still has a new Caprica show to think about, so he’s gotta keep his audience happy AND attentive.

    This is TV after all…

  7. Nathan says:

    Wow. This theory goes way beyond anything I have thought of. Sort of reminds me of some of the Lost theories I have read.

    @Armand TPBLAD stands for “The Place Between Life and Death”, which is a quote from the hybrid I think.

  8. smaelz83 says:

    Maybe true that Kara now is not Kara that they know months ago. I am thinking that last Cylon is on Earth who send Kara to bring the human and Cylon back to Earth. Just my opinion.

  9. Chris says:

    I’m not convinced the evidence stacks up to time travel for either Caprica 6 or Starbuck. This theory is somewhat wayward and not in keeping with the nature of the programme. I agree with one of the contributers who believes that humanity has been wiped out and replaced with AI. The AI divides all ‘plays a role’ sometimes the attacker the other the evader (This is played time immorial.

    The AI can see prophesies as it is programmed to by the original players call them the Lords or Kobol or is it an operating programme which aims to progress the eternal persuit. Once the cast is reset.

    Ok it sounds a bit ‘Matrixy’. The basis if the programme is are we have a right to survive and what is our true nature. Quite deep for a TV programme, well if they make them like this, why the hell not.

  10. Hailey says:

    Can’t the same theory exist without the time travel?

    The space between life and death could somehow be in sync and persistent, or exist is some other way that does not involve time travel to reach it. Was no.3 having herself killed over and over in order to experience the space between life and death? She did not seem to time travel in order to experience the past or future, nor did she lose any time by doing so.

  11. sWozzie says:

    its not that you need time travel to reach it, but rather it is outside of time (and space), its a BSG universe interpretation of a religious and metaphorical concept of the place you pass through after you die, and come from before you are born. If you can reside there, neither alive nor dead then you can experience all of time – if you know how. If you have the ability to emerge from it at will then you can perform feats like Shelley Godfrey or Maelstrom.Leoben.

    it allows time travel for the LOK only – they are the only ones that know how to utilise it which is why they are revered as Gods. The Eye of Jupiter allows you to “see” into it by harnessing the power of a supernova, supernovas create big problems for space and time (see Einsteins relativity), the Razor hybrid was hanging about near a supernova remnant, the Ionian Nebula is the remains of another supernova explosion.

    the skinjobs never pass through it, when they get there they are sent back

    course there is no point trying to over analyse TPBLAD, the show will never try to explain it as concept that exists in the real world but as a BSG universe idea, it is what it is

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