Battlestar Galactica

Galactica

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Battlestar
space battle animation

Battlestar Galactica came from one of the Hollywood studios who told George Lucas that science-fiction was dead. When Star Wars started breaking box office records, they dusted off their scripts and story ideas, hired Star Wars special effects wizard John Dykstra (he won an Oscar for his work in SW, so tv audiences were wowed by the battle scenes in BG), and created Battlestar Galactica. While it may bear a superficial similarity to Star Wars or Star Trek, all 3 have major differences. Battlestar Galactica, the ship, is essencially an aircraft carrier in space. In Star Wars, the good guys have no "mother ship" for their fighters, and Star Trek doesn't even have one-man fighters as seen virtually every week on BG. Nevertheless, lawyers for Lucas threatened to sue and the series was almost killed before launch.
Each episode would start with impressive narration by Patrick Macnee (sometimes incorrectly spelled MacNee, he prefers the other spelling) of Avengers fame and host of Ghost Stories. He later guested as a mystery man who seemed able to work miracles. The entire series is essencially a quest for an unknown homeworld called Earth. BG leads 220 spaceships of various sizes & functions containing the last survivors of the 12 Colonies, destroyed by sneak attack from the Cylon Empire during treaty negotiations. To make the series easier to sell to US and British television, which both had strict limits on death portrayed on the screen, the Cylons were a robot race; this way you could blow away as many of them each episode as you wanted, robots aren't alive so they don't die...

The Living Legend, part 1

Living Legend, part 2 guest star Lloyd Bridges

After an impressive beginning with good ratings, the series seemed to run out of steam. After its 1st year, 1978-79, most of the human cast was fired and the series name changed to Galactica 80 (hoping to last thru 1980, I guess), but the series was cancelled after only a handful of new episodes. The highlight was an episode (possibly the 1st of Galactica 80) in which Los Angeles is destroyed in the opening minutes by Cylon ships. The camera pulls back to show that this is a simulation of what would happen if they reach Earth, which they're now close to, because it's too primitive to fight off Cylons.

The series starred Lorne Greene (known in his native Canada as the Voice of Doom during WW2) as the ship's commander and admiral of the fleet. Dirk Benedict and Richard Hatch played his fighter-pilot sons, and Anne Lockhart of Troll (the 1986 Harry Potter movie) joined the cast with the Living Legends episode, also as a fighter-pilot. The writer/director list included Donald P. Bellisario of "JAG" and Quantum Leap, Glen A. Larson of Buck Rogers, and Leslie Stevens, the creator of Outer Limits.
Battlestar Galactica books & videos are available, as well as eps available on video or DVD

Video releases so far (Most are no longer available) from Amazon.com
Battlestar Galactica (1978), is available only on DVD from Amazon.com
Baltar's Escape
Conquest of the Earth (they reach Earth)
Fire in Space
The Living Legends (aka: Mission Galactica), 2 hours
The Long Patrol
Lost Planet Of The Gods
The Lost Warrior
The Magnificent Warriors
The Man With Nine Lives
Murder on the Rising Star
The Young Lords

SYFY channel broadcasts of Battlestar Galactica

Times shown are EST/Pacific, all are new eps except 1970s marathons
Combined listings, note: 5am is night of date shown, it's not morning until the sun comes up and the vampires go home
No episodes currently scheduled
Classic (1970s) episodes of Battlestar Galactica are showing on MyRTN the Retro TV network

Top 10 Reasons To Watch Battlestar Galactica


Previous SCIFI channel broadcasts 2001-2008

No Lorne Greene 1970s eps currently scheduled, though Bonanza is showing on TV-Land, and no episodes of the new Battlestar Galactica are scheduled for Sept-October 2008 1970s Battlestar Galactics episodes can now be seen free at the SCIFI Channel Drivein

Previous listings
        1970s cast, 1st season
Dirk Benedict - Lieutenant Starbuck
Terry Carter - Col. Tigh
John Colicos - Baltar
Dick Durock - Imperial Leader
Lorne Greene - Commander Adama
Richard Hatch - Captain Apollo
Noah Hathaway - Boxey
Herbert Jefferson Jr. - Boomer
Maren Jensen - Athena
Alessandro Juliani - Lt. Gaeta
Anne Lockhart - Lt. Sheba
Patrick Macnee - voice (uncredited)
Laurette Spang - Cassiopeia
James Patrick Stuart - Dr. Zee
Tony Swartz - Jolly
        2nd season - Galactica 80
Robyn Douglass - Jamie Hamilton
Lorne Greene - Commander Adama
Kent McCord - Captain Troy
Robbie Rist - Dr. Zee (January-February 1980)
Patrick Stuart - Dr. Zee (March-May 1980)
Barry Van Dyke - Lieutenant Dillon

        New series, 2003-2005
 
Jamie Bamber - Captain Lee 'Apollo' Adama
Jim Callis - Dr. Gaius Baltar
Aaron Douglas - Chief Petty Officer Tyrol
Tricia Helfer - Number 6
Mary McDonnell - Laura Roslin
Edward James Olmos - Commander William Adama
Grace Park - Lieutenant Sharon 'Boomer' Valerii
Katee Sackhoff - Lieutenant Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace 
      Season 2 started July 15, 2005 (no new eps have been scheduled yet for 2006)
Guest star Richard Hatch will return in the second season

Fun fact:
Edward James Olmos played the police chief in "Miami Vice" but thought the scripts were shallow and the TV-series silly, so he never looked directly at his costars (Thomas and Don Johnson) when talking to them. But fans loved it, they thought it gave his character a dark edge.
The Miami Vice tv-series is now available on DVD but will probably never be seen in reruns due to its extensive use of copyrighted rock songs as the background music in each episode

Click here to hear Battlestar Galactica opening narration by Macnee . . . or here for a Cylon

Or here for the Mars Attacks themesong along with the Tim Burtin's Mars Attacks Monstervision host segments

Why do bad people do bad things? Well, Mr. President, they hate us and... our love of freedom (Lorne Greene, Battlestar Galactica)

Episode title list only, both seasons

See Star Base letters page for comments about the new Battlestar Galactica movie said to be in the works, or the Sci-Fi channel's
The New Battlestar Galactica official website (2005) and New Battlestar Galactica miniseries
The Battlestar Galactica official website (1979) and Galactica 1980

Official 1970s Battlestar Galactica website at Scifi.com (archived in 1997), with individual 1970s episode descriptions

How did it all begin???
Official Sci-Fi Channel website
Or would you prefer to go to the Planet of the Apes?


Battlestar Galactica attacked by Klingons & Cylons

Enterprise attacked by Cylon basestar & Colonial warriors, then assisted by Battlestar Pegasus

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