1978: Battlestar Galactica – Part 1

battlestarclassicI watched the first 3 episodes of Glen A. Larson’s 1979 series, a task I have putting off since I bought the entire series of it and Galactica 1980 for 4.99 each on iTunes, probably 2 years ago. I only put it off because I have problems committing to an entire seasons of shows, especially if they aren’t currently relevant. I know I’ve probably seen most of it already. I used to watch it, probably out of order, as a child, when Space would play reruns. I don’t remember much though, just who the Cylons were and that Apollo and Starbucks were the Luke and Han, respectively, of the show.

fx-test-posterI watched the first 3 episodes because way back when it originally ran those 3 were edited together and released as a film. I found the first episode to be compelling, telling the story of the destruction of the 12 Colonies of Man at the hands of the Cylons, with the help of human traitor Baltar (John Colicos, who once played Kor, the Klingon antagonist in the species first appearance)  The surviving ships and people decide to head to a long-lost 13th colony under the leadership of Adama (Lorne Green), commander of the last Battlestar: Galactica. That long-lost 13th colony is Earth. We also meet fighter pilots Apollo (Richard Hatch), the Son of Adama and his rough around the edges buddy Starbuck (Dirk Benedict) and Boomer (Herbert Jefferson), whose heroics help keep the Galactica safe from Cylon attacks.

The second episode slowed down quite a bit, focusing on the issues of food and water, and the opposition to Adama’s rule. At the end of the episode they find a resort planet thar seems like it may be a good place to set up camp away from the Cylons reach. I was very tempted to call it quits during this episode. I was quite sleepy, but it didn’t have the same gusto the first episode had.

bsg.orig.castFortunately the 3rd episode picked up the slack. Adama shows everyone whose boss, and Apollo, Starbuck save the day when they uncover a plot by the Cylons to attack while all the fighter pilots are at a mandatory victory celebration. In the end, their new potential stronghold is compromised and they must keep on trucking to earth.

I said that Apollo and Starbuck were like the Luke and Han of the show. It is easy to compare the two properties, because visually they look very similar. The fighter ships aren’t too unlike x-wings, the Galactica looks similar in style to an Imperial Star Cruiser and the Cylons have a Death Star. Ok, they don’t. But could you imagine? The show would have been done after one episode. Cylons win, end of story. But even the Cylons are really just silver shiny Storm Troopers. But that is where the similarities end. The plot and drive of the show are vastly different. Unfortunately, the series was expensive and cancelled after one season. There was a sequel, Galactica 1980, that told the story of the Adama and the Galactica when they get to earth, but that also only lasted one season.

I would keep going with this, but now I’ve got to watch the remake! Thanks for reading!

Images from: http://application.denofgeek.com/images/gb/bsg/bsg.orig.cast.jpg, https://darthmojo.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/fx-test-poster.jpg, and http://i.toynewsi.com/g/albums/Bif_Bang_Pow/BSG/battlestarclassic.jpg

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