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Battlestar Galactica was the brainchild of Glen A. Larson, and evolved from an earlier project called Adam's Ark. Larson had pitched the show in the late 60's, the same time that the original Star Trek was in its death throes, but the project was put on the backburner. In the intervening years, Larson worked on many popular television programs, including It Takes a Thief, and McCloud. It wasn't until Star Wars hit movie theaters in 1977 that Larson's pet project became something viable.
Larson once remarked in Science Fantasy Film Classics (October 1978):
Adam's Ark was sort of about the origins of mankind in the universe, taking some of the biblical stories and moving them off into space as if by the time we get them to Earth, they're really not about things that happened here, but things that might have happened someplace else in space. It was influenced by Von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods and some of those things... Adam's Ark helped bring a focus into what my concept had been. Ultimately, Battlestar Galactica is my original idea refined down to where I now have fixed on what my point of view is on how all humans throughout the galaxy probably evolved from some mother colony.Galactica has often been described as the Star Wars of the small screen. Several Star Wars graduates worked on Galactica, including John Dykstra's special effects, and Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston, who worked on the initial designs. The cast of television's new "Wagon Train to the stars" was led by Lorne Greene, best known as patriarch Pa Cartright of Bonanza. An important component in the series is Supervising Producer Leslie Stevens (The Outer Limits), who also produced Glen Larson's Buck Rogers of the 25th Century for NBC.
Special costumes from Jean-Pierre Dorleac contributed to the unique look and feel of the Battlestar Galactica universe, as did the stirring musical score and theme from Stu Phillips and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Galactica theme was cowritten with Glen Larson, former member of The Four Preps. Galactica's costumes, names and themes were influenced by classical sources -- Egyptian, Phoenician, Hebrew -- plus some more modern ones (Erich Von Däniken, Larson's own background as a Mormon.)
Initially planned as a series of telemovies consisting of a three-hour premiere and two two-hour movies, ABC executives upgraded the project to a full television series, after viewing the first half hour. The deal was signed several weeks before the Battlestar Galactica pilot appeared as a two-hour theatrical release in Canada, Europe and Japan.
Universal purchased 80 prints of film to run across Canada, and ran in more theaters than big films like Jaws, which had between 50 and 60 prints of film. Opening on July 7, 1978, the theatrical release did very well, a typical run lasting six weeks. Universal's agressive marketing and Galactica's appeal paid off, in this and subsequent theatrical releases, as Leslie Stevens remarked in Starlog #21 (April 1979):
From the very beginning, we smelled that Battlestar Galactica could be a fine shot at a corner of the Star Wars market. And we were right. In theatrical release, Galactica beat out Grease and Jaws II in Japan and Canada. And it has been shown theatrically in this country [the United States] in a few test locations -- after being shown on TV -- and it did very good business.Impressed by the profits generated by Galactica's theatrical releases, on March 29, 1979, Universal released the Buck Rogers pilot theatrically in the United States. Opening in more theaters than Jaws and The Sting, Buck Rogers grossed over $20 million in the first seven weeks of its release. At this point, on May 18, Universal released the Galactica premiere theatrically in some 400 theaters across the United States. Glen Larson's two television pilots have broken the unwritten rule that television pilots do not translate well to the big screen.
The three-hour pilot episode premiered on ABC on September 17, 1978, and audiences were treated to several scenes not seen in the theatrical releases. For the next eight months, 17 original episodes of the series appeared, consisting of 24 television hours. These include the three-hour television pilot, 4 two-part episodes, 1 two-hour special, and 11 one-hour episodes. Battlestar Galactica was canceled in April 1979, its last episode "The Hand of God" making its appearance on April 29.
Even after canceling the series, ABC continued to air Battlestar Galactica reruns between June and August 5. As early as May, two weeks after canceling the show, the network asked Larson for a two-hour movie where the Galactica discovers Earth, the project that eventually evolved into Galactica 1980.
EPISODE DATE VIDEO BOOKS BATTLESTAR GALACTICA 1. "Saga of a Star World" (3-hr pilot) 17 Sep 78 Yes1 Yes 2. "Lost Planet of the Gods" Pt. 1 24 Sep 78 Yes Yes Pt. 2 1 Oct 78 3. "The Lost Warrior" 8 Oct 78 Yes No 4. "The Long Patrol" 15 Oct 78 Yes Yes 5. "Gun on Ice Planet Zero" Pt. 1 22 Oct 78 Yes Yes Pt. 2 29 Oct 78 6. "The Magnificent Warriors" 12 Nov 78 Yes No 7. "The Young Lords" 19 Nov 78 Yes Yes 8. "The Living Legend" Pt. 1 26 Nov 78 Yes2 Yes Pt. 2 3 Dec 78 9. "Fire in Space" 17 Dec 78 Yes No 10. "War of the Gods" Pt. 1 14 Jan 79 No Yes Pt. 2 21 Jan 79 11. "The Man with Nine Lives" 28 Jan 79 Yes No 12. "Murder on the Rising Star" 18 Feb 79 Yes No 13. "Greetings from Earth" (2-hr sp.) 25 Feb 79 No Yes 14. "Baltar's Escape" 11 Mar 79 Yes Yes 15. "Experiment in Terra" 18 Mar 79 No Yes 16. "Take the Celestra" 1 Apr 79 No No 17. "The Hand of God" 29 Apr 79 No No GALACTICA 1980 1. "Galactica Discovers Earth" Pt. 1 27 Jan 80 Yes3 Yes Pt. 2 3 Feb 80 Pt. 3 10 Feb 80 2. "The Super Scouts" Pt. 1 16 Mar 80 No No Pt. 2 23 Mar 80 3. "Spaceball" 30 Mar 80 No No 4. "The Night the Cylons Landed" Pt. 1 3 Apr 80 Yes3 No Pt. 2 10 Apr 80 6. "Space Croppers" 27 Apr 80 No No 7. "The Return of Starbuck" 4 May 80 Yes4 No
There is a Japanese version of the laserdisc which claims to be longer (it may be 2h20m.) It is the same as the above versions, but with the film speed of the 2h03m version slowed down to fit the larger timeframe. The reader is urged to avoid this version at all costs, and focus on untampered domestic laserdisc.
Galactica's theatrical releases, both Canadian and U.S., are missing several scenes in the original broadcast version of the pilot. This version of the pilot is 16 minutes longer than its home video counterpart, through the addition of 11 scenes available nowhere else. However, one of the scenes is 90 seconds shorter than its Home Video counterpart. For a more complete discussion of the pilot differences, the reader is strongly urged to read the separate document, The Different Versions of the Battlestar Galactica Pilot.
Currently, only 8 of the 11 one-hour episodes are available from MCA/Universal home video, each 47 minutes. These include "The Lost Warrior", "The Long Patrol", "The Magnificent Warriors", "The Young Lords", "Fire in Space", "The Man with Nine Lives", "Murder on the Rising Star", and "Baltar's Escape". Only two of the two-hour episodes are available, "Lost Planet of the Gods", and "Gun on Ice Planet Zero".
Other episodes appear in some format as full length movies. Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack (1h36) is an edited version of "The Living Legend" and "Fire in Space". Conquest of the Earth (1h39) is an edited version of Galactica 1980's premiere and the two-hour "The Night the Cylons Landed", along with stock footage from the original Galactica series. Both of these appeared as theatrical releases in Europe and Australia. Battlestar Galactica (47 min., StarMaker/Universal) is an economy priced edition of Galactica 1980's "The Return of Starbuck" (no longer available.)
Most video chains regularly keep all the above in stock, however only the pilot is available on laserdisc and DVD. Columbia Home video also carries Battlestar Galactica home videos (US only.) Finally, as of 2000, BSG videos are slowly being released in Europe in PAL format, including the three-part syndicated version of the pilot episode.
The best copies of the episodes, other than those originally aired, are contained in the syndicated package aired on several television stations, consisting of 24 one-hour episodes. With the exception of "Greetings from Earth" (which is missing three minutes) and the pilot (divided into three parts), the syndicated versions of the episodes are identical to those shown on ABC's first run in 1978/79. [Note, the syndicated episodes shown on The Sci-Fi Channel have had five minutes cut per episode].
The four two-part episodes, Lost Planet of the Gods, Gun on Ice Planet Zero , The Living Legend, and War of the Gods, each feature about five minutes of new scenes, which were originally filmed for the episodes, but never made it in the original broadcast version. The only episode to be originally aired as a two-hour block, Greetings from Earth , notwithstanding slight variations in main title sequence, is virtually identical to the original broadcast version. Although this telemovie has no new scenes, it is an improvement on the syndicated version, which is lacking several minutes of material, due to the splitting of the episode into two parts.
The remainder of the series (13 one-hour episodes), are presented as two-hour blocks. In each of these telemovies, the individual episodes were edited so that the end result was a two-hour narrative, instead of two distinct episodes. Sometimes these episodes were pieced together with the inclusion of over-dubbed dialog, and bridge sequences (from stock footage). "Experiment in Terra" is the only one of these latter telemovies which actually features new footage.
It begins with an astronaut finding Commander Adama's log book in space, and a short pre-Carillon synopsis of the pilot, with narrations by Patrick Macnee and Lorne Greene (reciting from the log book.) This is followed by more stock footage from the pilot episode, and a special edited version of "The Return of Starbuck". This version of the Galactica 1980 episode has had all the scenes and references to Angela and her star child removed, and is made to appear as if Starbuck took the part-Cylon part-Galactican escape craft back to the Battlestar Galactica. This sequence is then followed by a slightly longer version of the episode "Experiment in Terra".
TELEMOVIE ORIGINAL EPISODES 1. Battlestar Galactica 2-hr version of 3-hr premiere 2. Lost Planet of Gods "Lost Planet of the Gods" (expanded) 3. Gun on Ice Planet Zero "Gun on Ice Planet Zero" (expanded) 4. The Phantom in Space "The Lost Warriors" "The Hand of God" 5. Space Prison "The Man with Nine Lives" "Baltar's Escape" 6. Space Casanova "Take the Celestra" "The Long Patrol" 7. Curse of the Cylons "Fire in Space" "The Magnificent Warriors" 8. The Living Legend "The Living Legend" (expanded) 9. War of the Gods "War of the Gods" (expanded) 10. Greetings from Earth "Greetings from Earth" 11. Murder in Space "Murder on the Rising Star" "The Young Lords" 12. Experiment in Terra "The Return of Starbuck" (edited) "Experiment in Terra" (expanded)
The Galactica bridge was estimated at $850,000. The computer hardware giant Tektronix donated $3 million worth of high tech computer hardware to dress up the set. Television monitors totaling $35,000 were used. The six-foot long model of the Galactica, which weighed 60 pounds, cost $50,000. In 1990, this model was restored for the purpose of a Battlestar Galactica display at Universal Studios Florida, in Orlando. 35 Cylon Centurion costumes, at $3,400 a piece, were created.
Some of the costs are very visible in the episodes themselves, including "Lost Planet of the Gods", part of which was shot on location with doubles at the Egyptian ruins at Luxor. In many ways, the special effects (especially in the premiere) surpass those of Star Wars.
Prior to the lawsuit, Fox had leased its soundstage and John Dysktra's special effects personnel to Universal. The agreement was beneficial to both parties, for Dykstra's Industrial Light and Magic, later renamed Apogee, was not working on any projects at the moment, so leasing the personnel and sound stages was beneficial to both parties. To not infringe on the prerogatives of Star Wars, Glen Larson had an agreement with Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz not to do several things in the Galactica series, including laser streaks coming out of the pistols.
According to Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas, 20th Century Fox initiated the first lawsuit at the urging of Star Wars creator George Lucas. One possible reason for the lawsuit was Universal's decision to release the premiere theatrically in Canada, the same summer 20th Century Fox had planned to rerelease Star Wars.
Universal countersued, claiming that R2D2 was based on the Huey, Duey and Louis robots in its 1973 release, Silent Running (Universal lost the countersuit in 1980.) In response, Fox filed a suit attempting to prevent marketing of Galactica toys and merchandise. Universal countersued, asking Fox for damages because of a violation of the California business and professional code. The lawsuit that started it all was decided on August 22, 1980, when Los Angeles Federal court judge Irving Hill ruled in Universal's favor, stating that the two films were very different when viewed as a whole. Glen Larson commented on the differences between the two in Science Fantasy Film Classics (October 1978):
Battlestar Galactica is quite different. When it comes to who are our characters and what our story is, I would have to say that if you were trying to compare Shane to Gunfight at the OK Corral, you'd say, "Yes, they're both westerns," but I doubt if you'd find many parallels beyond that.The second unrelated lawsuit concerns the December 31, 1978 death of a four year old boy in Atlanta after the misuse of one of the Galactica toys. The child aimed a Colonial Viper toy into his mouth and launched one of the projectile missiles, inadvertently choking himself to death. On January 11, Mattel issued a recall order for the Viper and three other vehicles. It also issued a missile mail-in for those who had had already purchased a missile-firing version of the toys. In exchange for the little red missiles, Mattel provided a Hot Wheels toys, "for the loss in play value." Mattel redesigned the vehicle line to have non-firing missiles.
The boy's death triggered a national outcry to remove projectiles from all toys. On March 23, the boy's parents sued Mattel. The judge presiding over the case singled out Star Wars space toys as the culprit (which upset Lucas very much.)
The controversy had an impact on Kenner's Star Wars' toy line, as it delayed the shipment of its Boba Fett dolls. The action figure -- whose character would star in The Empire Strikes Back sequel -- was part of a mailaway offer on the backs of other Star Wars figurines. Although Boba Fett's original design and promotion included a rocket-firing backpack, this mechanism was removed from its design. No rocket-firing Boba Fett's ever rolled off the line, and only a handful of the unpainted prototypes exist.
In his book, Confessions of the Kamikaze Cowboy (pg. 139), Dirk ("Starbuck") Benedict relates the thinking behind Galactica's cancelation:
For whatever reasons... Battlestar Galactica failed to live up to its blockbuster beginning. The ratings sagged and finally settled at a level that would have been sufficient for the continuation of any other show. But not for a project that had numero uno written all over it by everyone months before it went on the air. Anything but the top was too near the bottom and not good enough.Glen Larson elaborated on Galactica's cancelation and its Sunday time slot in Starlog #36:
When you put the most popular show on the network [Mork and Mindy] there and [ABC] has to move it out, it proves the problem... was in the time slot, not us...
The original Galactica, I think, started off just right. It's like an airplane that takes off from an aircraft carrier -- it sort of dips before it really gets going. Galactica by its sheer weight and expectations, took a natural dip as it left the carrier deck. Then I think it started to climb. We did better stories and concentrated more on the characters...
[Galactica] had either the good fortune or the bad fortune to be on the most successful schedule in the history of television. In the ABC schedule last year, literally every show was in the 40's. That was just phenomenal. Galactica was canceled with a position of 24th in the top 100 shows, according to Cashbox's annual sweepstakes lineup. We happened to be on a network that misinterpreted how competitive, how tough the eight o'clock time slot was on Sunday night.
One of the earliest names associated with the project was the renowned science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. Just prior to Galactica's cancelation, Asimov had agreed to work as an advisor on a story bible for Galactica's second season (which would never be.) In an interview in Epi-Log Journal #14 (Spring 1994), Glen Larson explained Asimov's association with Galactica 1980:
In our talks with Asimov, we discussed a lot of ideas, and none of them had anything to do with discovering Earth. That was just sort of a hype that made it possible for us to get in business with ABC again. It was all to attract that young seven o'clock audience.Adama reprised the role as commander, and Boomer is now Colonel, taking over the role played by Tigh. The remainder of the cast was entirely new, as most of the original crew were unavailable at the time of its filming. In fact, the roles for Troy and Dillon were originally written for Starbuck and Apollo. Xavier's role was originally written for Baltar (as president of the Council of the Twelve!) Why did the Galactica discover Earth? According to Larson, "we needed an event and certainly, Galactica discovering Earth was an event that would bring people back to the tube for a fresh sampling." (Starlog #36)
Three factors, however, were stacked against Galactica 1980's favor. They were working with a whole new cast, at a vastly reduced budget, and FCC regulations stipulated that the time slot (7 PM Sunday EST) was to be set aside for younger audiences. Kent McCord ("Troy") discussed some of these problems in Starlog #162:
ABC felt it was too good an idea to let go. They really wanted to make it work, but they needed a way to economize, and so, when they came up with the idea for Galactica 1980, they decided to let us find Earth so they wouldn't have to spend much money on sets. Glen's idea was to do something along the lines of The Day the Earth Stood Still, in which Barry Van Dyke and I were these peacemakers who come to Earth with the knowledge and powers to create either a peaceful or warlike situation. I felt a show with that premise was really worth doing.McCord and others believed that the response to the pilot had guaranteed Galactica 1980 as a regular series in the Fall 1980 lineup. However, ABC wanted the series rushed into production just three weeks after the pilot episode aired. One Galactica 1980 writer, who wished to remain anonymous, remarked in Starlog #37 (August, 1980):
ABC jumped back into it and started demanding that we put kids in the show so that we could attract a young audience. I told anybody who would listen that we made Adam 12 in a way that kids picked up on it without having to do things to attract a kid audience. But the network wouldn't listen, and I felt, by the time it got to the point where we saw alien kids playing baseball ["Spaceball"], that much of the show's original premise had been stolen from us.
I have the greatest amount of respect for Glen Larson. The fact that Galactica 1980 made it on the air at all is a tribute to that man's dedication and hard work. He was up against incredible odds. The audience reaction to the three-hour Galactica Finds Earth movie was tremendous. And ABC made a wonderful decision -- do a series. But they wanted it in three weeks. There was no time for preproduction, which can mean death for a science fiction show.The same writer revealed that during the filming of the episodes, one would have seen scripts being written during filming, several episodes being aired at the same time, scenes shot on Friday and Saturday to air on Sunday, with production costs close to the original $1 million per hour. As McCord recalls:
There was one day that was just nuts. We were shooting on a soundstage with about 50 extras, and they came down at noon with eight pages of dialog and told us we had to learn these pages and be on another soundstage at 4 PM to shoot scenes from another episode that had nothing to do with the scenes we had been shooting. It was a mess.In all, ten television hours of the show were produced -- consisting of the three-part pilot, two two-part episodes, and three one-hour episodes. The show's ratings were abysmal, and even a guest appearance by Starbuck in the last episode couldn't save the series from extinction [see also E19].
By 1994, however, it was clear that Fox's enthusiasm for the project (if it indeed there was any) had dissipated. Since then there have been separate attempts to revive the series - the Glen Larson / Todd Moyer project (2000), Brian Singer / Tom DeSanto (2001) and Ron Moore (2002), along with a trailer produced by Richard Hacth (2000) and shown at science fiction conventions.
Richard Hatch has also been agitating to revive the series since at least 1994, when it was first revealed that he had written a trilogy of Galactica scripts. These scripts may have evolved into his three-book deal with Byron Preiss and Pocket Books, of which the first volume, Armageddon was released in 1997. The second volume, Warhawk was released in summer 1998, followed by Resurrection from Dimension books in 2001. For more information on Richard's career, and his revival efforts, view the Richard Hatch web page at http://www.richardhatch.com
Any revival of Galactica will be incomplete, however. One of the principal stars, Lorne Greene (Adama), died in 1987. Other deceased stars include Fred Astaire (Chameleon, Starbuck's father in "The Man with Nine Lives"), who also died in 1987. On March 10, 1998, Galactica fans were saddened with the loss of Lloyd Bridges, who played Commander Cain in "The Living Legend". And on March 6, 2000, John Colicos passed away.
Visit this page for more revival information visit
The SFC has had a big impact in reviving interest in Battlestar Galactica. If your local cable operators do not carry it, contact them and express your interest in it. Note, the syndicated packages aired by the SFC have been edited to allow for more advertising time. The show is now also seen on Canada's Space channel.
Local networks may also still be airing Galactica episodes in one format or another, either as one hour episodes or telemovies. Check your local listings for availability.
>From the three-hour premiere:
There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. That they may have been the architects of the great pyramids, or the lost civilizations of Lemuria or Atlantis. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive far, far away, amongst the stars.>From the regular episodes:
There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man, who even now, fight to survive, somewhere beyond the heavens.An all-new narration was used in the home video Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack:
In the seventh millenium of time, a tribe of humanoids engaged in a terrifying conflict against a race of machines. The humans lost. Now, led by their last surviving warship, the mighty Battlestar Galactica, a handful of survivors moves slowly across the heavens in search of their ancestral brothers, a tribe of humans known through ancient records to be located somewhere on a distant shining planet, a planet called Earth.The end narration was spoken by Lorne Greene (Adama):
Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica, leads a ragtag, fugitive fleet, on a lonely quest -- for a shining planet known as Earth.
The twelve human Colonies in space bore names that are easily recognizable on Earth... Caprica, Gemoni, Canceria, Piscon, Sagitara, Leo, Libra, Aquaria, Virgon, Aeriana, Taura, Scorpio -- all are similar to the names that Earth humans have given to the constellations visible in their night sky, the only twelve that the star appears to pass through during the span of a year.
Our recorded history tells us we descended from a mother civilization [Kobol], a race that went out into space to establish colonies. Those of us here assembled now represent the only known surviving Colonists, save one. A sister world, far out in the universe, remembered to us only through ancient writings... I wish I could tell you that I know precisely where it is, but I can't. However, I do know that it is beyond our system, in a galaxy very much like our own, on a planet called... Earth.The Book of the Word described the journey of the tribes of Man away from Kobol.
After their home planet Kobol was known to be doomed, the people set forth across a Great Void, which seemed to be endless until a bright shining star appeared as if from nowhere and guided them to safety.After passing through the Void -- a seemingly endless magnetic sea -- the Galactica, guided by a bright star, rediscovered the lost planet of Kobol. Baltar, perhaps quoting from scripture, described it as "the endless black Void and the magnetic star in the heavens."
Kobol itself was considered lost or a legend until its rediscovery in "Lost Planet of the Gods", its demise attributed to both the variable radiation of its sun or some ecological disaster. As Adama was exploring the remains of the lost city of Eden, he elaborates (in the telemovie version only):
You are searching for a place called Earth. You are of the house of Kobol. Your tribes are scattered. The thirteenth journeyed to Earth several millenia ago. [Its civilization] has known great rises and falls.In several Galactica episodes, most notably "War of the Gods" and "The Hand of God", signs were given that the Thirteenth tribe was more than just a myth, but a real destination [see also E17, E18].
They're not like us. They're machines created by living creatures a long, long time ago... a race of reptiles called Cylons. After a while the Cylons discovered humans were the most practical form of creature in this system. So they copied our bodies, but they built them bigger and stronger than we are. And they can exchange parts so they can live forever... There are no more real Cylons. They died off thousands of yahrens ago, leaving behind a race of super-machines, but we still call them Cylons.A dialog between Count Iblis and the imprisoned Baltar in "War of the Gods" suggests a more sinister theory behind the original Cylons demise, that the biological Cylons made a pact with Count Iblis (the Devil.)
In a conversation with Apollo, Commander Adama suggested that Count Iblis and the light entities are members of an advanced civilization. He speculated that they could in some way have been responsible for the original founding of Kobol.
For a more thorough discussion of the time units and what they represent, view the separate document Colonial Time Units and Their Earth Equivalents.
It won't matter where you go
It won't matter what you do
'Cause something's always after you
It's love, love, love, love
It's love, love, love, love
It's love, love, love, love, love
You run, you can't get away
If you go or if you're staying
'Cause love is here, love is there
Love is almost everywhere
There will be another beat
One you may not tire of singing
Love surrounds you, love's around you
Love is almost everywhere
In an interview in Starlog #138, John Colicos (Baltar), discussed the evolution of the Baltar character between the two versions of the premiere:
Initially, I was only going to be in the pilot. Then, Glen [Larson] decided he liked the character and the work that I was doing, so he decided to keep Baltar as a running character. He redirected the pilot's final scene himself, so that when the sword came down to cut me head off, he stopped it at the last second and I was spared if I would betray the human race.
Here is one view of how Cain survived the assault, from Justin Collins (see Battlestar Galactica Digest #7):
I always thought the Pegasus survived at the end of "The Living Legend". The Pegasus sustained considerable damage at the hands of the Cylon fighters before Baltar ordered them to break off the attack. However, when Starbuck and Apollo asked about the damage, Cain said she (the Pegasus) would be ready to do the job. By the time the Pegasus reached the basestars the fire was put out. Cain had also ordered the ship to proceed at "full speed" to intercept the basestars and for its electronic defense shields to be brought to "maximum power". Judging from the dialog leading up to the final battle, I think the Pegasus was battle worthy by the time it reached the baseships.
Starbuck and Apollo inflicted considerable damage on the weapons systems of the two basestars before they could cause the Pegasus serious harm. Remember when they knocked out the flank missile launchers on both basestars?
I don't recall a chain reaction blowing up the second basestar. My copy of LL shows a close-up of the weapons panel on Pegasus bridge after the first basestar was destroyed, followed by a second volley of missiles being launched at the remaining basestar. I agree with Starbuck, Cain probably jumped to light speed and headed into deep space just like he did before.
You have agreed on three tests of my strength. The first is to deliver your enemy [Baltar]. The second is to accurately plot your course to Earth. The third you cannot agree on. Some of you want to know who I am, where I come from. The others are satisfied to accept me because of my works and are willing to follow me blindly providing I guarantee your safety.
Apollo: Everything is pretty well vaporized. Whatever hit this thing must have had the power of a sun.The networks decided to drop the scene with the cloven hoof for two reasons. The scene might be scary to younger audiences, and there were religious implications behind the scene (i.e. "satanic".) For audience members, the absence of the scene wrongly suggested that the warriors had peered inside the wreckage of Commander Cain's Battlestar Pegasus. As Count Iblis told Sheba, "Your father, you will see him again."
Apollo stops dead in his tracks, looks down. He seems to shutter.
Starbuck looks over and sees the sober look on Apollo's face. He moves over and looks down as Apollo begins to put on some tight fitting gloves. A piece of metallic surface, highly scorched but out of which protrudes a foot-like extremity, except that it's tip is clearly in the shape of a cloven hoof. Apollo and Starbuck exchange heavy looks. Apollo bends down and tries to life the metal. As they lift it off, tossing it aside, they grimace in horror. Under the wreckage is the figure of a devil, a demon.
The Galactica sent out a Viper patrol to investigate the local system, which passed by the first three planets. Starbuck investigated the third planet, where he passed what looked like Earth's moon to find a dead planet. Hiding behind that planet was a Cylon basestar.
The Viper patrol found five planets in fairly widespread orbits. The first planet was a giant, composed of 80% compressed hydrogen and 12% helium. The second planet was almost entirely composed of compressed carbon dioxide gas. The third planet had no atmosphere, just barren rock. Contrasted to our own solar system, our first four planets are in relatively close orbit, and Mercury, our first planet, is small, with almost no atmosphere.
The transmissions did not come from the local system, but from another, whose time and distance from the Galactica is unknown. In short, it is unknown therefore how near or far the Galactica was from Earth.
[ Incidentally, there is an 11 year gap between the Apollo moon landing and the time frame of Galactica 1980, yet the show itself is based on the assumption that there is a 30 year gap between the discovery of Earth and the destruction of the Colonies. ]
If I have my way, Galactica 1980 would certainly be Starbuck's nightmare, and we'd go back to the original concept. I guess if Dallas could turn a whole season into a dream we could make Starbuck wake up in the middle of the night after having had a nightmare about discovering Earth.More likely, he argued, the series could be explained away as a computer projection of what the discovery of Earth could be like if they're not careful, not unlike the simulated Cylon attack sequence in the Galactica 1980 pilot.
It should nevertheless be taken as given that the Galactica would eventually find its destination. Earth's location was revealed to the Galacticans in "War of the Gods":
Earth -- quadrant alpha, 19 million sectars by Epsilon vector 22 on a circular reckoning course of 000 point 9 in a star system of nine plants and one sun.If the transmissions of the Apollo moon landing in the "Hand of God" are to have any meaning, it is that the Galactica was certainly on the right track.
In the three-hour premiere, "Galactica Discovers Earth", the Galactica had at last found Earth (c. 1980). Unfortunate for Adama and company was the discovery that the Cylons had been following them all across the galaxy. The Galactica found Earth's technology was so backward that colonization of Earth would be impossible, until Earth could raise it to a level where it could defend itself against the Cylons.
One plot element involved Galacticans contacting Earth's top scientists to help Earth bring its technology up to the Galactica's standards. An additional time travel element involved Xavier, who traveled back in time to help out Nazi Germany's rocket plan in his attempt to improve Earth technology. These elements were generally ignored in the short-lived series that followed.
The remainder of the episodes were disappointing at best, hindered by both its time slot and lower budget. Themes ranged from pollution ("The Super Scouts") to racism ("Space Croppers"). Another storyline had Cylons crashing in New York on Hallowe'en ("The Night the Cylons Landed"), and even costarred Wolfman Jack. One of the ongoing storylines had a group of super-powered children from the Galactica stranded on Earth. Their "powers" were a result of Earth's lower gravity, and the super-kids used them to their full extent to win a baseball game in "Spaceball".
The only memorable episode in the series was its final one ("The Return of Starbuck"), which revealed the origin of Dr. Zee and his connection with Starbuck.
The show closely follows the plot of Barry Longyear's novella Enemy Mine, as Starbuck and Cy are forced to help each other for mutual survival. After Starbuck cheats at pyramids, Cy runs off, and later returns with the body of a pregnant woman, Angela. In the course of the show, Angela delivers her child (the future Dr. Zee), and Starbuck and Cy put together parts from both the Raider and Viper to send the mother and child (the future Dr. Zee) off to safety.
At the end of the episode, another Cylon Raider lands on the planet, and its three occupants start attacking Starbuck. Out of loyalty to his new friend, Cyrus confronts and kills two Cylons, and in the process, he himself is destroyed. Starbuck finishes off the third Cylon, and is once again alone.
Does Starbuck escape? On his own, probably not. In "The Hand of God", it is revealed that Cylon raiders require a minimum of two pilots to ride it. Unless Starbuck revives one of the Cylons (perhaps Cyrus), or jury-rigs the Raider to run with one pilot, Starbuck will remain stranded.
[ One of the unfilmed scripts of Galactica 1980, "Wheels of Fire", revolves around the idea that Starbuck, found "worthy" in this episode, is rescued by Angela and the Ship of Lights (from "War of the Gods"), and that he becomes an angel himself. ]
1. In Battlestar Galactica, twelve tribes of man founded the Twelve Colonies after departing from Kobol. A lost thirteenth colony colonized Earth. In The Book of Mormon, around 600 BC, the prophet Lehi took a remnant of the tribe of Joseph from Jerusalem to ancient America, during the time of the Babylonian captivity and the scattering of the twelve tribes of Israel.
2. In "Lost Planet of the Gods", it is revealed that the mankind originated on Kobol, the mother world of all humans. Kobol is a rearranging of the word Kolob, which is the star "nearest unto the throne of God" (see The Book of Abraham, Ch. 3, found in The Pearl of Great Price.) The "Star Kobol" was also the ship on which armistice talks between the Colonials and the Cylons were held.
3. The episode "War of the Gods", with starred Count Iblis and the Ship of Lights, introduces viewers to various elements of LDS teachings. The universe is under the law of Free Agency: "We cannot interfere with freedom of choice. His, yours, anyone's." Even Count Iblis (Satan) is bound by these laws, for he has only control over those who had "freely given him dominion." Those who accepted Iblis' words were willing to follow him blindly provided he guaranteed their safety. According to the Mormon account of creation (The Book of Moses, Ch. 4, found in The Pearl Of Great Price), one of the reasons God cast Satan out of heaven was because he "sought to destroy the agency of man."
4. The beings on the Ship of Lights are highly evolved brothers of man, and may also have founded Kobol. The phrase "As you are now, we once were; as we are now, you may become" is a rewording of a quote from Lorenzo Snow: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." This is an important component of the doctrine of Eternal Progression. According to LDS beliefs, all humans are children of God, who is Himself an exalted man. By following God's laws, a believer can enter the path to godhood.
5. In their sealing ceremony, Adama sealed Apollo and Serina with these words: "A union between this man and this woman not only for now but for all the eternities." In a Latter-day Saint temple marriage, a couple is sealed for "time and all eternity."
6. There is a similarity in the political structures of the Colonies and the Latter-day Saint church. Both bodies have a Council (or Quorum) of the Twelve, and a President.
7. In the Galactica 1980 episode "The Super Scouts", Dillon uses the phrase "The glory of the universe is intelligence," a rewording of a passage in Doctrines and Covenants #93: "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." In Experiment in Terra, aboard the Ship of Lights, the "angel" John tells Apollo "I have no physical body, as you know it." Apollo, pointing to John's "body", asks him "What do you call that?" "A reflection of intelligence. My spirit, if you will." Later on in "The Super Scouts", Dillon remarked that he was admiring "this choice land." This is a variation of the Book of Mormon description of the Americas "This land is choice above all other lands" (1 Nephi, Ch. 2. et al.)
The words "Fuck Off" can be clearly seen spelled out in the lights of Caprica about thirty minutes into the [pilot] movie. Watch closely just after Serina's news broadcast is cut off by the sound of laser fire. The next scene shows four Cylon fighters swarming over the city and when the third fighter reaches the center of the TV screen, the offending words can be seen to its immediate right. They are even clearer in the Battlestar Galactica photonovel published by Berkley.
In total, Berkley/Ace released fourteen Battlestar Galactica pocket books. The first ten were adaptations of the episodes, and the last four were all new stories. They are all out of print. If you are lucky, your local used book store may have a some on their shelves.
Glen Larson is credited as coauthor on all fourteen books. The list of authors includes: Robert Thurston1, Michael Resnick2, Nicolas Yermakov3 and Ron Goulart4.
Here is the Berkley book list and the episodes they adapt:
BOOK ADAPTS YEAR Battlestar Galactica1 Battlestar Galactica pilot 1978 BG 2: The Cylon Death Machine1 "Gun on Ice Planet Zero" 1979 BG 3: The Tombs of Kobol1 "Lost Planet of the Gods" 1979 BG 4: The Young Warriors1 "The Young Lords" 1980 BG 5: Galactica Discovers Earth2 Galactica 1980 pilot 1980 BG 6: The Living Legend3 "The Living Legend" 1982 BG 7: War of the Gods3 "War of the Gods" 1982 BG 8: Greetings From Earth4 "Greetings from Earth" 1983 BG 9: Experiment in Terra4 "Experiment in Terra" "Baltar's Escape" 1984 BG 10: The Long Patrol4 "The Long Patrol" 1984 BG 11: The Nightmare Machine1 (new) 1985 BG 12: "Die, Chameleon!"1 (new) 1986 BG 13: Apollo's War1 (new) 1987 BG 14: Surrender the Galactica!1 (new) 1988
For more information, please visit Ronald C. Carman's Star Trek Actors' Other Roles FAQ.