The Pilot

StarStruck PILOT Episode, "An Act of Cowardice". A horse-drawn carriage races through the streets of Arcetri, Italy, in a torrential downpour. It arrives at Villa Il Gioiello (the Jewel), where Vincenzo Galilei, the son of Galileo Galilei, greets a mysterious gentleman visitor. Inside the house, Galileo, who is old and blind, reveals that he is under surveillance and his books are being burned by those who want to erase him from history. The visitor, later revealed to be John Milton, questions Galileo's decision to recant his beliefs under pressure from the Church. He calls him a Coward! Galileo laughs at the impudence of his young visitor. Recalling his trial by the Inquisition and the events that led to his current situation, the episode ends with the execution of Giordano Bruno, who is burned at the stake for his belief that the Earth travels around the Sun and that the universe is infinite.

Scripts for episodes 2 through 10 are available upon request.

Episode 2

Episode 2, "A Search for Knowledge" begins in Rome with the burned remains of Giordano Bruno. Galileo, in his sitting room, sits frozen with the vision of Bruno's execution. He sadly engages with Milton over Bruno's fate; and his own pursuit of knowledge. There is a cut to a flashback of Galileo as a young man standing high up at the edge of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, where he conducts an experiment with two balls of different sizes and weights. His desire is to discover new things, things that have never been uncovered before. Galileo then demonstrates his invention of the pendulum to a group of medical professors at the University of Pisa. The flashback ends and Galileo shares his experiences with Milton about the power of knowledge and the challenges he faced in his pursuit of truth. He also reflects on his past relationships, including his affair with Marina Gamba and the tensions it caused with his family. The episode also touches on the conflict between the Church and the Republic of Venice, with Galileo's friend Paolo Sarpi being targeted by the Vatican. Sarpi survives an assassination attempt and Galileo provides his doctor to care for him. The episode ends with Galileo reflecting on the importance of not forgetting or being forgotten.

Episode 3

In Episode 3 "Heaven". Galileo is engaged in a conversation with God about wine. Then one of his students challenges his teachings. Galileo dismisses the student's beliefs emphasizing the importance of personal experience. Meanwhile, Galileo's pregnant lover, Marina Gamba, playfully enters the room suddenly collapsing in pain. Galileo rushes to her side. The scene fades out and transitions to a conversation between Galileo and God once again. They discuss the concept of miracles and Galileo's upcoming fatherhood. The scene then shifts to the birth of Galileo and Marina's daughter, followed by a flashback to a heated argument between Marina and Galileo's mother. The argument reveals tension between them. The episode continues with Galileo's discovery of the telescope and his observations of the moon and stars ending with a confrontation between Galileo and Milton, where Galileo reveals his motivations for accepting an offer from the Medici family in Florence. Marina confronts Galileo about their relationship.

Episode 4

In Episode 4 "A Gentle Separation", Marina and Galileo are in their bedroom in Padua. She teasingly questions him about her beauty and sophistication and whether they qualify her to be with him as his mate, the mother of his children. They have a final passionate encounter. The episode cuts to Galileo preparing to leave Padua with their two daughters, leaving their young son Vincenzo behind with his mother. Galileo reflects on the mixed blessing of leaving Padua and the uncertainty of the future. There is also a memory of Galileo speaking with God once again, expressing his desire for greater freedom and complaining about constantly having to defend his discoveries. God assures him that he is aware of his achievements and promises to fix the situation in time. Another flashback shows Galileo arguing with his mother about leaving his daughters with her, but she refuses. Galileo meets with Cardinal Mafeo Barberini, Clavius, Grienberger, and Maelcote, discussing the implications of his discoveries. He also meets with the wealthy and popwerful Federico Cesi, who offers his support and protection. The episode concludes with a banquet on the Janiculum, where Galileo demonstrates his telescope to the leading academic and religious leaders of Rome. The Pope confirms the truth of Galileo's observations and reveals that he, Galileo, was once charged with heresy but that it was not pursued. He also shows Galileo his collection of magical stones and takes him on a tour of St. Peter's Cathedral. In a flashback, Galileo is in trouble with the Inquisition, and Silvestro tries to take it out on him. Galileo explains to Milton that he is committed to finding a cause and fighting for truth. He is then inducted into the Lyncean Society and given a medallion. Galileo returns to Florence reflecting on the groundwork he has laid for the future. In a memory, he writes a letter congratulating someone on their forthcoming marriage. The episode ends with Marina, getting married to Giovanni Bartoluzzi in a simple ceremony.

Episode 5

In Episode 5, "A Divine Connection," Galileo arranges for his daughters to be placed in a convent. He falls ill and recuperates at Villa Le Selve. Galileo's relationship with his disciples and friends, including tensions with his son Vincenzo are witnessed. He discovers sunspots and outlines the principle of inertia with Salviati. Galileo then meets with the Grand Duchess Dowager Christina of Lorraine and is ambushed by religious leaders who twist his words. The episode also focuses on Galileo's memory of a marriage ceremony, a contest at a party, and conversations with Cardinal Barberini highlighting his determination to prove his theories and beliefs in what he believes to be his divine connection.

Episode 6

In Episode 6, titled "To Redeem from the Ignorant the False Title of Victory," Tomaso Caccini passionately preaches in a church, challenging the beliefs of the churchgoers and questioning the existence of miracles. Galileo must deal with the conspiracies against him and a modified, altered, accusatory document that was circulated to enrage others against him, leading to an official complaint. He travels to Rome to defend himself against the false accusations and faces a tribunal of the Inquisition. During the hearing, Tomaso Caccini testifies against Galileo, accusing him of heresy and associating with Galileists in Florence. Galileo is questioned by the inquisitors about his beliefs and connections, but he denies knowing Caccini or being a Galileist. Galileo is warned by the inquisitors to abandon his support of Copernicanism and not to discuss or defend it. He meets with Cesi and discusses the challenges he faces and the need to proceed cautiously. Galileo and Cesi are summoned to the Vatican to meet with Pope Paul V, Cardinal Bellarmine, and Cardinal Barberini. The Pope and the cardinals inform Galileo that the committee has found the idea of the Earth's motion to be heretical and erroneous. Galileo is ordered to abandon Copernicanism and not to represent it as truth, and his friend Kepler's books are also prohibited. Galileo expresses his frustration and disappointment, but he is warned not to meddle in theological matters. Returning to Florence, he feels defeated and reflects on the decline of Italy and the end of the Renaissance. Galileo confronts Milton, who demands answers about Galileo's abjuration, leading to a violent altercation between them. Galileo recalls the illnesses and personal losses he has experienced, including the deaths of Salviati and Marina! Galileo visits the convent where his daughters, Sister Marie Celeste and Sister Arcangela, have taken their vows, and he observes their restricted lives. Galileo and Vincenzo have a tense conversation about their past and present circumstances. Galileo meets with Grand Duke Cosimo II, who declares him the father in-fact of his son, Vincenzo Andrea, finally providing certainty to his parentage. The episode ends with Galileo expressing gratitude to the Grand Duke for this recognition.

Episode 7

In Episode 7, "The Gold of Truth," the Catholic army led by Ambroglio Spinola defeats the Protestant army at the Battle of White Mountain in Prague, leading to celebrations throughout the Catholic world. Galileo's book, "The Assayer," is approved for publication by Father Niccolo Riccardi and is well-received by Pope Gregory XV and other individuals. And his best friend and admirer, Cardinal Maffeo Barberini is elected as the new Pope, taking the name Urban VIII. Galileo meets with him, discussing his discoveries and receiving advice on how to best present his theories 'safely' as hypothetical. Before leaving Rome, Galileo gives the Pope a microscope as a gift and is cautioned by Cesis who reveals his financial troubles. Cesi urges Galileo not to let his pursuit of the truth become a mistake.

Episode 8

In this Episode 8, "The Danger of Truth", Cesi, Galileo's wealthy patron and head of the Lyncean Academy, reveals he is facing bankruptcy and can no longer support Galileo's controversial ideas. He advises Galileo not to make any "great mistakes". Galileo decides to write a book "solving the problem of the church" by proving the Earth revolves around the Sun, hoping to convince the Pope and avoid embarrassment for the Church. The book takes the form of a dialogue between three characters - Salviati (pro-Copernican), Sagredo (open-minded), and Simplicio (representing Aristotelian view). Over four days, Salviati makes a compelling case for heliocentrism and the Earth's movements. Meanwhile, Pope Urban VIII is shown to be increasingly paranoid, relying on an astrologer's advice. Despite a conspiracy against him, Urban frees the torture Campanella. Tragedy strikes when Cesi dies on August 1st, leaving Galileo without his powerful patron and publisher. The episode ends ominously, with Galileo saying "the horror was just beginning" as dead bodies from the plague are shown in Florence.

Episode 9

In Episode 9, "That Book is More Dangerous Than All the Writings of Calvin and Luther Combined", Galileo is interrogated by the Inquisitor of Florence regarding his support for the Copernican heliocentric model of the solar system. Despite pressure to recant, Galileo stands firm in his beliefs. Galileo meets with Cardinal Francesco Barberini, who had previously been supportive of his work. However, Barberini now advises Galileo to be cautious and reconsider his stance on heliocentrism to avoid a terrible, possibly deadly, conflict with the Church. Galileo meets with his supporters. They encourage him to continue pursuing the truth, even if it means defying the Church's doctrine. Galileo discusses his theories with Pope Urban VIII and Niccollini, facing both support and opposition. He contemplates the risks of continuing to promote the heliocentric model and the risk of publicly contradicting Church teachings. He weighs the potential consequences against his desire to spread scientific truth. The episode ends with Galileo seemingly resolved to publishing his findings, despite the dangers.

Episode 10

In Episode 10, "Your Conviction Was My Gift to You", delves into the riveting saga of Galileo Galilei's trial by the Holy Office of the Vatican, a pivotal moment in history stemming from his endorsement of the heliocentric model of the solar system. Uncover the depths of Galileo's unwavering resolve, his eventual renunciation of his beliefs, and the aftermath that followed. Through compelling storytelling, the episode offers insights into the motivations and perspectives of key figures, including the Pope and other individuals embroiled in the trial's proceedings. As the narrative unfolds, brace yourself for an emotionally charged conclusion, culminating in Galileo's passing and a poignant reflection on his enduring legacy and the intricate interplay between science and religion that continues to shape our world.