The Baron Re-Watches the Original "Battlestar Galactica" and "Galactica 1980" (SPOILERS POSSIBLE)

We begin with the three-part pilot, "Saga of a Star World", first broadcast September 17, 1978.

Summary:  The humans of the Twelve Colonies are ambushed by their old enemies, the robotic Cylons,  Most of humanity is wiped out, but one battlestar, the Galactica, survives the attack. Under the leadership of Commander Adama, it leads a hastily-assembled fleet of ships out into space, in search of the legendary Thirteenth Colony, Earth.

Random Notes:  

1)I'd forgotten how many past and future star were in this:  Ray Milland, Rick  Springfield, Jane Seymour, Ed Begley, Jr. and Wilfrid Hyde-White.

2)the hair-styles - particularly those of Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict  - do give away that this was made in the late 1970's.

3)I always liked the design of the Cylon Centurions and their ships. I still have toys of both of them that I've had for years.

4)For some reason, the "Colonial Movers" ship has always amused me.

5)The creation of bits and pieces of new language - "felgercarb', "yahren", "centon", and so on - was, to my mind, a nice try that kind of became irritating after a while.  By and large, I liked the world-building, though.  The colonies' names corresponding to the signs of the Zodiac amsued me, for whatever reason.

6)The effects were pretty good on this, I thought, with some nice design.

7)The writing was OK, I thought. A little sketchy in parts, maybe.  The human and the Cylons do seem to take turns falling into each other's obvious traps.

8)The acting in this was pretty good, by and large. Greene, Hatch and Benedict do well, and there are only a few bits of scenery-chewing.  Even Noah Hathaway manages not to annoy me too much,.

9)Not a big fan of the robot "daggit".

10)The message of this seems to be: Never trust your enemies if they try to make peace.

11)The ending of this shows the Cylons deciding they don't need to wipe out the humans after all, and sending Baltar after them with an offer of truce. This was, dropped for the series, perhaps understandably.

Overall:  This was pretty good. Better than I reminded it, even.

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"Lost Planet of the God" - Part 1, first broadcast September 24, 1978

Summary:  While exploring a new region of space, Apollo and Starbuck discover a black void of unknown size while on patrol, even as Apollo and Serina prepare to get married.  Jolly and Boomer bring an unknown infection back to the Galactica which takes out most of the fighter pilots, so replacements must be trained, including Serina.  Baltar schemes to capture the Galactica, and Adama order the fleet moved into the void.  We end with Baltar ordering the capture of a colonial pilot.

Random Notes:

1)Baltar's epilogue from the pilot has been re-worked to show him being sent to hunt down the Colonials.

2)We also meet Baltar's aide/minder, Lucifer, voiced by the inimitable Jonathan Harris possessor of one of the all-time great voices.

3)We get our first "Oh, frack!"

4)Boomer and Jolly skipping decontamination when they get back strikes me as Plot Convenience Playhouse stuff.  Trained star pilots wouldn't just skip that, and the ground crew wouldn't let them skip it.

5)The replacement pilots are all women, because apparently there were no men in the fleet doing nonessential work.

6)Lucifer rightly points out that Baltar's "plan" seems to be "doing nothing in particular".  Perhaps he's scheming to capture to capture Galactica for himself rather than let the Cylons destroy it?  I can't remember.

Overall: An OK episode. Lot of plot jammed in there.

...Have you read that GALACTICIA 1 he980 series that a company I've forgotten - Dynamite? - put out this century? I came on to one issue a bit back and was intrigued.

I heard of the comic you're talking about, but I never got to read it.

"Lost Planet of the Gods" - Part 2, first broadcast October 1, 1978

Summary: Starbuck is captured by the Cylons. Apollo marries Serina. They discover Kobol, "the mother world of all humans".  Baltar confronts Adama on Kobol, but Lucifer attacks without Baltar's permission.  The sick pilots are cured and help drive off the Cylons, but Serina is mortally wounded.  Baltar is left for dead as the fleet continues on its way.

Random Notes:

1)Adama quotes The Book of the Word, which seems to be the Colonials' Bible.

2)"There are many cities here on Kobol. Eden was the largest."  OK.

3)Kobol has Egyptian-looking pyramids.

4)Baltar is quite the schemer, here.  You can't be quite sure whether he's plotting to betray the humans, the Cylons, or both.

5)Lucifer in his turn is scheming against both Baltar and the Imperious Leader.

6)Serina gets an OK death scene, nice and melodramatic. I knew she was killed off at some point, I hadn't remembered that it was in this episode.

Overall:  An OK wrap-up of the story.

I have the first three episodes edited into a "movie" on VHS. Tracy is returning home tonight after a weekend with family, but she won't be in until late. I may watch it tonight if I can find it. will comment tomorrow.

I watched the two-hour and five minute "movie" last night as I had planned. I thought it was a combination of the the first three episodes, but after the orgin, the next one isn't one you described. In my version, the next story is when the Council is folled into a peace deal with the cyclons, but Adama sees through it. It takes place on a gambling planet with a trio of singers whose faces are kind of "split," with an extra eye on eaither side and an extra mouth below. I don't think the message is "Never trust your enemies if they try to make peace" (although this is the era of "Trust, but verify") so much as it is "Don't be blindly stupid."

I remember the debut of this show so well. It was obviously influenced by Star Wars, but the most common comparison was to Star Trek. (Who would win in a fight? the enterprise of the Galactica?) We all had memories of being burned by Space: 1999, the previous "Big Thing" to replace Star Trek, so we were all cautiously optimistic. I have other memories of the show, but I don't want to get ahead of the discussion.

The gambling planet was in mine, too, I just didn't think to mention it.  What I summarized as the "first story" was actually a three-hour pilot.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I watched the two-hour and five minute "movie" last night as I had planned. I thought it was a combination of the the first three episodes, but after the orgin, the next one isn't one you described. In my version, the next story is when the Council is folled into a peace deal with the cyclons, but Adama sees through it. It takes place on a gambling planet with a trio of singers whose faces are kind of "split," with an extra eye on eaither side and an extra mouth below. I don't think the message is "Never trust your enemies if they try to make peace" (although this is the era of "Trust, but verify") so much as it is "Don't be blindly stupid."

I remember the debut of this show so well. It was obviously influenced by Star Wars, but the most common comparison was to Star Trek. (Who would win in a fight? the enterprise of the Galactica?) We all had memories of being burned by Space: 1999, the previous "Big Thing" to replace Star Trek, so we were all cautiously optimistic. I have other memories of the show, but I don't want to get ahead of the discussion.

"The Lost Warrior", first broadcast October 8, 1978

Summary:  While trying to lead the Cylons away from the fleet, Apollo crashlands on a farm colony where he helps a young widow and her son dealnwith the local bully, who has a damaged Cylon called "Red-Eye" acting as his enforcer.  Meanwhile, Boomer and Starbuck set out to find him.

Random Notes:

1)Apparently, this is Shane in space, but since I've never seen that picture, I couldn't comment.

2)Didn't the Colonials think they were the last humans? Shouldn't Apollo be astonished to find more of them? Shouldn't the Colonials warn them about the race of killer robots that will be coming along shortly to kill them all?

3)They're playing Scott Joplin music in the saloon, so the farm colony has obviously had relatively recent contact with Earth.

Overall:  An OK episode. The whole "western in space" gimmick is kind of cheesy.

"The gambling planet was in mine, too, I just didn't think to mention it. What I summarized as the "first story" was actually a three-hour pilot."

Oh. Here's the way I remember it (bearing in mind there's a better-than-even chance my memory is faulty). Battlestar Galactica had a two-hour pilot. Later, the first three episodes were edited together and released to theaters as a two-hour (without commercials) "movie."

"They're playing Scott Joplin music in the saloon..."

That's a pretty sloppy mistake. Maybe we're supposed to understand it's Scott Joplin-esque.

"The Long Patrol", first broadcast. October 15, 1978

Summary: While trialing a new recon Viper, Starbuck locates a lost penal colony. He allows the Viper to be stolen, by a smuggler, and is imprisoned in his place.  Boomer and Starbuck rescue him and several of the prisoners, and recover the stolen Viper.

Random Notes:

1)They misuse astronomical terms a lot in this series, "galaxy" and "star system". particularly.

2)It suddenly becomes Three's Company as Starbuck juggles dinner dates with Athena and Cassiopeia.

3)The computer system on the recon Viper has a flirtatious female personality that reminds me of the one in the Star Trek episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday".

4)The prisoners on the penal colony are all comedy Irishmen.

5)The idea of a penal colony where the prisoners inherit the crimes of their ancestors is an interesting one.

6)Baltar's back, with no explanation of how he escaped Kobol.

7)Yet another group of humans - the Colonials have gone form being the last humans to being several among many.

8)Starbuck is especially chuckleheaded in this, leaving the recon Viper utterly unsecured and and it be easily stolen. Also, you'd think they'd have put a safety lock or something on the thing so random bozos couldn't fly away with it.

9)They apparently take in the surviving prisoners, surprises me they'd have room for them.

Overall: An OK episode.

The "Theme from Battlesatr Galactica" was popular on high school campuses across the United States for marching bands, concert bands and jazz bands at the time the TV series was on the air. Here is Maynard Ferguson's highly "disco-ized" version.

Maynard Ferguson's version of "Theme from Battlestar Galactica"


(For band freaks, Maynard ferguson was head-bangin' music.)

Awesome.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

The "Theme from Battlesatr Galactica" was popular on high school campuses across the United States for marching bands, concert bands and jazz bands at the time the TV series was on the air. Here is Maynard Ferguson's highly "disco-ized" version.

Maynard Ferguson's version of "Theme from Battlestar Galactica"


(For band freaks, Maynard ferguson was head-bangin' music.)

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