TV Series Review: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA – 1978
Science Fiction back in the day was cheesy and had horrible special effects right? But then again, the best Sci Fi shows came from the 60’s and 70’s. Let’s not even mention the Big Two and get right into another cult Sci Fi favorite which I’ve ignored until very recently. And starting with the Original Series, I can honestly say that BATTLESTAR GALACTICA has an awesome concept and was very interesting to go through..
BSG has had a plethora of remakes, continuations and reboots. What interested me about it was the 2004 Miniseries turned TV Series. However, I figured I couldn’t go through that until I watch the Original. So here it is.
BATTLESTAR GALATICA gives us a very unique story, of which there have been formulaic versions over the years in many movies and TV Series’. A Universe of Humans that occupy 12 Planets (named in variations of the Zodiac), have been at war with a race of machines known as Cylons for 1,000 years. At a Peace Treaty, the Humans realize that they’ve been betrayed, and while their fleet was distracted, all 12 planets (or colonies) were completely annihilated.such classic-ness… body suits. awesome!
The survivors take to space in whatever ships they can find, under the protection of a Battlestar, a warship, which is the only remaining one that the humans have. This rag tag fleet of Human survivors then journey to find a fabled 13th Colony of Humans that settled on a far away planet called Earth.
This concept is, simply put, awesome. It gives the audience a great fictional universe where science can be made up, twisted, and basically sci-fi’d. However, they bring the season wide story into something familiar and tie these characters and this universe, into the universe we know, but saying they’re part of the same groups of humans that reside on Earth. It’s concepts that are similar to STARGATE, in the sense that they’re creating a fictional universe and connecting it to actual real history.
The Original Series of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is good for many reasons. The performances by some of the characters are amazing. Creator Glen A. Larson has created a great, if not simplistic futuristic world with spaceships, laser battles and the whole shebang. The threat of a machine race wanting to exterminate all humans is brilliant as it lets them play with the humanity vs. cold logic issues. Think The Borg from STAR TREK.
The characters of Apollo and Starbuck are awesome. Dirk Benedict’s Starbuck was the ultimate original playboy, and possibly the beginning of the ‘anti hero’. Apollo is the quintessential hero, complete with responsibilities, relationships and even being a father figure to his adopted son. Most notable though however, has to be Lorne Greene’s Commander Adama. He is the one who remembers the history of his people and the mythical 13th Colony known as Earth. It’s Adama who realizes that the last chance the human race has, is to seek out their brethren, and thus begins the journey of Season 1.
Season 1 basically focused partly on the Human fleet’s journey to escape from Cylon ruled territory. Most of the season was spent running, with some filler episodes that go nowhere, and some very pivotal episodes near the end of them getting some hope and idea of where Earth is.
Being a show from the 1970’s BATTLESTAR GALACTICA falls prey to the stuff that’s seen as cheesy and irritating now a days. Corny jokes, self explanatory lines that take 3 people to explain, and a painfully simplistic plot, majority of the time; not to mention some horrible ‘special effects’. But the story of the show is interesting enough to dismiss all of that.
Over all, Season 1 of the Original Series of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is good enough to go through to get completely immersed in the BSG mythos for the future shows. Season 1 is short and quick enough, (after some tiresome episodes) that we can get to the meat and potatoes of the remakes and the continuation of the series. A very cool concept, coupled with pretty good performances and writing that will breed generations of stories to come, is what makes BATTLESTAR GALACTICA the birth of a Sci Fi at the time, that didn’t know how far it would go.