Here's my review of the 10-episode Galactica: 1980 series. I re-watched this a while back on the DVD set. This was not a bad show by any means, though I know that it's typically either despised or ignored by BG fans. Note there are SPOILERS below, if you've never seen this.
-The series is never specifically called Galactica: 1980 in the opening credits, it's called Battlestar Galactica - IMHO, it was basically treated as S2 of BG - i.e., the opening theme song & scenes are overall from the regular BG series, not Galactica 1980.
- In the last episode of the regular BG series, the Galactica picked up a transmission from Earth re: the Moon Landing in 1969. If they were getting this transmission in "real-time", then it would mean Galactica 1980 is taking place 11 years later, after Apollo has died?! (as implied in EP1) and Starbuck has been lost (as seen in EP10). In any case, though I know a lot of fans didn't like that they "replaced" Apollo & Starbuck with Troy/Boxey & Dylan, at least there was a logical explanation for this in the story.
-The series was somewhat dis-jointed: I.e., the first three episodes dealt with the Galactica finding Earth & dealing with a renegade Colonial warrior named Xavier; in episodes 2-3 he went back in time to Germany during WW II to try to give them modern weapons so that in the future, Earth would be better equipped to deal with the Cylon threat. Troy & Dylan stopped him, and they eventually all went back to 1980 - but then Xavier escaped again, and at the very end of episode 3 they mentioned that he had gone back in time to the era of the Napoleonic wars. So, the strong implication at the end of E3 was that future episodes would deal with the two heroes (Troy & Dylan) & Jamie Hamilton (R. Douglas) going back in time to stop Xavier at various eras in history.
However, in E4-on, the time-travel storyline went on the back burner - and, though Xavier was mentioned again - the idea of the heroes chasing him through time was discarded. I'm guessing this was either partially or completely because it would have too expensive to have a network TV series set in a different historical era every week. And, I'm actually glad this happened since if they had continued with this storyline, we may not have seen the Cylons later in the series.
Also interesting here was that in these time travel episodes, when they went back in time their clothing & helmets turned completely white (the reason given was the disruption in time/space, or something like that ). In any case, this brought to mind the episodes from the original BG series where Apollo, Starbuck, and Sheba went to the "angel" ship - in that sequence, their clothing turned white as well.
-In episodes 1-3 when the Troy/Dylan were in modern 1980 California (actually, the series was probably filmed in '79) they were wearing leather jackets/contemporary clothes & there were numerous times they were chasing someone/being chased on foot, and/or involved in a car chase. So, if I hadn't known better, during these scenes I would have thought I was watching an old episode of Starsky & Hutch - LOL.
-The first three episodes got a lot of laughs since Troy & Dylan were clueless on how to use pay phones, money, etc.
-It was amusing to see Mr. Brady from The Brady Bunch (Robert Reed) play a scientist in the first several episodes, and even funnier was his large 'fro!
-The scene in E1 when Troy/Dylan communicated with this scientist by solving a complicated equation on his computer was almost certainly inspired by a similar scene in the classic 1950's film "The Day The Earth stood still"; in that film, the alien (Michael Rennie) communicated with a scientist by solving an complex equation on his black board.
-The brilliant child scientist Dr. Zee changed actors between E3 & 4.
-Episodes 4-6 dealt with a group of children who were born in space on the Galactica - these children, due to the different gravity on Earth, were able to jump higher, run faster, etc. than regular people. At the time, I identified with these characters to some extent since I myself was in elementary school back in 1980, and was roughly the age of most of these kids.
- IMHO EP 7-8 (The Night the Cylons Landed, Parts I-II) were two of the best episodes in the series. Cylons crash-landed on Earth, and one of them looked human - though he was a cyborg. This was the first time we saw human-looking Cylons in this series. And, I wonder if the re-imagined BG from the 200X's (with all of the humanoid Cylons) was inspired by this character?!....
-As I'm sure many agree, the very best episode in the series was E10: The Return of Starbuck. This was the story of how Starbuck had crash-landed on a planet years before, and gotten stranded there. Very poignant episode, especially the way he formed an actual friendship with a Cylon, "Cy", who ended up saving him at the end (at the cost of Cy's "life"). This was a fascinating episode on a lot of other levels as well. I.e., who was the mysterious woman whom Cy found, and where did he find her? Was she an alien or an angel? Who was the father of her child (Doctor Zee)? She somehow ended up back on the planet (on a cliff) after Starbuck had put her & her baby in the spaceship, which was also mysterious, though the baby in the ship made it's way to the Galactica (shades of Superman's origin!). Also, did Starbuck ever end up getting off the planet? You would have thought he could have used the Cylon craft that the 3 enemy Cylons landed in, since that was presumably still operational....
[ 07. May 2017, 14:58: Message edited by: Nostalgic for the '80's ]
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When they found earth they changed half the cast and wasted what could have been an entertaining premise.[/QB]
Yeah, the child genius Dr. Zee was somewhat off-putting on the show. Very odd character; he reminded me of this strange kid alien in an episode of the original 1960's Star Trek.
Re: not using Apollo & Starbuck on this 2nd series, the way they seemed to explain this on the show was that BG: 1980 chronologically came out 11 years after the Galactica had received the transmission from Earth re: the Apollo Moon Landing (in 1969). So, if they received this transmission "in real time", then it's taken them 11 years to get to Earth. By that point, Boxey has grown up to be "Troy", Apollo had passed (presumably), and Starbuck had disappeared (his fate was revealed in Episode 10). To make Adama seem older, LG grew a beard.
[ 10. May 2017, 12:32: Message edited by: Nostalgic for the '80's ]
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