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Author Topic: Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979)
Nostalgic for the '80's
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No specific forum for '70's TV shows, so though I would just post this here. Mods, I hope that's acceptable.

A while back I watched - in chronological order - the entire original Battlestar Galactica series (1978-1979). I have never seen the majority of these episodes, and the few that I had seen were as a kid on their original broadcast release, over 35+ years ago.

And, I was pleasantly surprised that the show was a lot better than I remember it being - at the time it was on, I remember thinking it was a Star Wars-rip off. However, on re-watching it many years later as an adult I definitely see the SW-like elements, but the series is actually much more nuanced than I previously gave it credit for.

The 2-hour premiere with the Cylons attacking the humans & forcing them off their home planet was quite gripping, especially the scenes with the Cylon raiders attacking the civilians/buildings. Also liked the "nightclub" where Starbuck, Apollo & co. find themselves with all of the aliens; the four-eyed, two-mouthed female singers were both groteque & fascinating, and the Ovions (and what they were doing with the humans) were quite disturbing.

I also thought it was interesting that that these humans were possibly descendants of the Egyptians - this was mentioned in the opening sequence of some of the episodes & heavily implied by the design of the Colonial warriors' helmets...

Also liked the iconic theme music - this is one of the few things I remember about the show when watching it as a child...

The rest of the series was impressive as well; IMHO, there weren't any bad episodes, though some were obviously better than others. Some high-points included:

- "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part I & II": Great two-parter where the BG crew stopped on a desolate planet to get furthur clues about how to get to Earth; I thought the Egyptian-like pyramids were interesting...

- "The Lost Warrior" - this episode was an homage to old Westerns; Apollo was marooned on a frontier planet, and had to go up against "red eye", a Cylon who had been damaged in a crash & who was controlled by one of the corrupt officials on the planet.

-"Experiment in Terra" - great episode involving a totalitarian government in an almost "alternate reality" Earth; liked how the aliens from the War of the Gods episodes made an appearance here....was intrigued by the interesting artwork/designs in the blonde woman's apartment...

-"The Magnificent Warriors" - well-done episode involving the Colonial warriors battling a group of Boray aliens on a remote planet; liked the alien make-up re: the Borays here - these are some of the few actual aliens we see in the series...

-"The Hand of God" - excellent final episode, and one of the few where we get a good glimpse of the rarer gold-armored Cylon. Very cool ending where they inadvertendly picked up the Apollo-11 moon landing transmissions from Earth.

-"War of the Gods, Part I - II": I felt these were the strongest two episodes of the series; extremely creepy episode dealing with Count Iblis, an individual who may or may not have been the devil?! I remember seeing this episode as a kid & being extremely disturbed - especially by the scene when they found the crash site...Also very interesting was when Apollo, Starbuck, and Sheba found themselves in the "White Light" ship, and were all wearing those very cool white uniforms...

Several points about these two episodes:

I found it intriguing that Patrick M. played both Count Iblis & was also the voice of Imperious Leader, the Cylon leader/mastermind. This was also mentioned by Adama?! in one of these episodes. I'm sure this was not coincidental...it sounds like Count Iblis & Imperious Leader were supposed to be the same being...Also, Patrick M. did the voice-over for the intro to some of the episodes...

It was also interesting that you never got a full glimpse of Imperious Leader - his face was always in the shadows. However, the late 1970's action figure looked quite bizzare...

The only real complaint I had about the series was Baltar: I honestly thought that he was a pointless villain. The Cylons should have just eliminated the character off in the beginning, as they actually did in the original two-hour premiere & the Marvel comics; they re-did this scene for the series to show Baltar begging for his life, and he was then spared. However, this never made any sense to me - the Cylons, who considered themselves an advanced race, didn't trust Baltar since he had betrayed the other humans - but they spared him anyway, presumably because he convinced them that he could be of service to them - even though they considered themselves superior to all humans?! Bull$#$#! And, to top it off, they gave him his own Base-star to command?! Yeah, right....That all being said, it did seem that they tried to take him out by bombing the pyramids in the "Lost Planet of the Gods" two-parter...

A couple of side-notes:

In the past, I have compared this original series to the re-imagined 200x series - however, after seeing this original series in it's entirety, I won't be making these comparisons any longer. Both series are completely different, and a show from the late 1970's shouldn't be put up against a show from the 200x's...

The Cylon Raider/Colonial Viper space battles were obviously "inspired" by the Space battles at the very end of the original Star Wars film (1977); not a criticism, however, since J. Dysktra did the effects for both Star Wars & BG...

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aTomiK
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I rewatched the original Galactica series back in 2015 and liked it very much.
This was a huge show for us when we were kids and i was very happy it hadn´t lost it´s magic.

Some very cool episodes like you mentioned, great cast and you just can´t go wrong with guest stars like Jane Seymour, Audrey Landers and Ana Alicia [Smile]

Ana Alicia

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Nostalgic for the '80's
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Agree about the original BG being a huge show for kids who were around in the late '70's. I remember not being able to watch all of the episodes, and I had no way to tape them since this was long before my family got a VCR.

The versions I re-watched a couple of years ago were streams. Last year, I bought the Blu-ray set (2015) and plan on re-watching the entire series at some point. I read that they reformatted the series to make it widescreen, so that will be interesting.

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Logan 5
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Battlestar Galactica is one of those shows I have very mixed feelings about...

The good:

The opening / theme tune was great.
Ship design and effects were great (for the time).
Cast were good.

The bad:

Baltar was tacky...
...as were the Cylons (though I willingly overlooked that as a kid)
Kid cast member (never a good idea)
The show was a dirge, and often lacked humour.
The milkybar kid genius.
When they found earth they changed half the cast and wasted what could have been an entertaining premise.

I have fond memories of it as a child, but it was marketed as a kind of TV Star Wars, which it really wasn't. It was a 70's drama in space with some cool ships. It had some really nice elements, but it never really worked, and on top of that, the typical period TV budget saving kicked in almost immediately (see Buck Rogers) and the quality dropped.

However, the Battlestar, along with the Vipers, sits along with the Buck Rogers Starfigher, the Enterprise, and half the ships in Star Wars, as the best designed space ships of all time (in my opinion). And again... that fantastic opening... so much promise at the start of each episode. Just like Buck Rogers, actually, like half the shows from the 70's and 80's - fantastic openings. Just watch the credits and then switch over, because the shows seldom beat the intros!

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P_a_u_l
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My only issue with the original BSG is that there were, if possible, too many comedy moments. The serious life-and-death stuff was there, and was good, but because there was the possibility of Starbuck being caught showing some pretty young cadet his joystick, or that annoying robot daggit trying not to fall over again, I couldn't take the dramatic bits seriously.

As such, much as I enjoyed the original series, the 2004 remake was far superior sci fi.

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Nostalgic for the '80's
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Agree completely about this original BG series having a little too many comedic elements; I'm not sure if that was for the kids, and/or because they wanted to keep the series from being too "dark" - due to this being a late '70's network TV show.

However, it's worth noting that Marvel comics had a fantastic 23-issue BG comic series (1978 - 1980) - solid stories, with some truly fantastic artwork. Some of the issues were adaptations of a couple of the episodes (notably the pilot), but most of them were original stories. And, I actually found this comic series far superior to the TV show. Much more serious, and without the restrictions of '70's special effects, the sky was the limit on the stories they could tell (or rather, draw).

Baltar did indeed get killed off in the comic adaptation of the pilot (in the original TV movie, he was also originally supposed to die, but it got re-written so he was a unnecessary recurring character on the show).

http://starlogged.blogspot.com/2012/01/battlestar-galactica-marvel-comics.html

I agree the 2003 - 2009 BSG "re-imagined" series was far superior to the original show. I was a fan of this series when it was on, and found it very gripping & well-done. EJO was incredible as Adama, and everyone else on the show did an amazing job as well. I liked the new robotic & human cylons - especially "Six" [Wink]

However, trying to compare both series is like trying to compare apples & oranges. While the original BSG was a light-hearted sci-fi/campy series, the 200X show was a grim, dark sci-fi series with heavy doses of 21st century social commentary.

I may start another thread to discuss the 200X BSG series, since I don't want to de-rail this thread too much...

[ 10. May 2017, 11:10: Message edited by: Nostalgic for the '80's ]

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P_a_u_l
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I'm trying to schedule in a marathon of BSG 2004-9 sometime. The only thing is, it's a very big time investment. The series shows alone come in at 69 hours 52 minutes, with another five hours and four minutes if you're including Razor, The Plan, and Blood And Chrome.

Two hours a night, five days a week, for nearly two months? I've had less time invested in relationships before now...

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