The Galactica and fleet are being herded by the Cylon's towards a specific planet, Arcta which possesses a powerful and deadly weapon capable of destroying them all. A team of Colonial warriors and specialists is sent to the surface in order to destroy the weapon and allow the fleet to pass.
A small recon patrol with Starbuck, Boomer and three cadets is investigating a planetoid when they come under attack. Two of the cadets are lost while the third crash lands on the surface. Reluctantly, Starbuck and Boomer return to Galactica.
Adama determines that a team of specialists should destroy the laser on the planet surface or the fleet will face destruction. Their computers put together a list of people who come from the fleet's prison barge.
Of course the team doesn't gel too well with prisoners and warriors together, but they head to the surface where Apollo, leading the mission discovers Boxey and Muffit have snuck on board. During a storm the group are taken in by humanoid clones who call themselves Theta-class lifeforms. They agree to assist the team and take them to one of their villages - not before encountering a Cylon patrol.
As discussed on the Battlestar Wiki, it's hard to think a fleet in space could be herded in any particular direction unless the Cylon's were closing in on a three-dimensional path! But it helps the story. You would also have to wonder about the security measures in place (or not) in the shuttle hangar that would allow Boxey to sneak aboard without anyone noticing - so far, his presence on the shuttle hasn't added anything to the storyline either except putting himself and the team in more danger!
Rating for Part I: 6/10
Evading the Cylon patrol, the Colonial team reach the Theta underground city where Apollo meets the creator of the deadly pulsar weapon threatening the fleet.
Baltar and his baseships close in on the Galactica forcing the fleet to move closer to the planet where the weapon is located. It's up to the ground team to do their part - with some of the prisoners looking for escape and freedom.
The 'gripping' conclusion sees the problems the ground team faces as the criminals among them look out for their own interests. Baltar's fleet pushes the Galactica nearly within striking range of the pulsar weapon and it ends in what would have been a climactic sequence for the time.
Ultimately everything works out and Baltar is outplayed once again with the fleet continuing their search for Earth.