Blu-ray Review Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection Blu-ray Review

Jasper70

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Killing Sheba would have upset many fans. Athena was, IMO, absolutely stunning, I’d hate to see her go. GL seemed such a genius at times but these ideas sound really weird to me. Not that it matters anyway.
 
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AndyMcKinney

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They did plan to kill off Sheba, but not Athena. She was to have been horribly injured in battled, disfigured, which would allow them to recast the part (they weren't fully happy with Maren Jensen, which is probably why she quietly disappeared near the end of the first season).

As bad as Galactica: 1980 was, the proposal for the second season wasn't very good, either. Perhaps we are better off that it didn't go ahead.

Here is that full Year Two proposal.
 

Blimpoy06

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I wish I could find the piece where Don Bellisario talked about his plans for a second season. I'm pretty sure he intended "The Hand Of God" to be a farewell to the Cylons. I wonder if he would have even been involved in a second season of Galactica. Would Magnum P.I. have happened if he did?

I've read some of the stories developed before the show went into production. There was a more adult tone in those. Has anyone read why Leslie Stevens left the show so soon? He did the same for Buck Rogers.
 

AndyMcKinney

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There was enough of a gap between Galactica ending and magnum that he could probably have been involved in a second year of Galactica if he wanted (though probably still as a 'supervising' producer).
 

AndyMcKinney

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I was reading in a Buck Rogers book recently that Morgan Brittany (who guested on that show) said that she was asked to play the role of Athena in Galactica but turned it down. I never knew that before.
 
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The Drifter

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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, 40+ 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 grotesque & 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 further 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; I liked how the aliens from the War of the Gods episodes made an appearance here, and 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?! 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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The Drifter

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To add to my last post, here's my review of the 10-episode Galactica: 1980 series. This was an uneven series, and I know it's typically either despised or ignored by BG fans.

-The series is never specifically called Galactica: 1980 in the opening credits, it's called Battlestar Galactica - IMHO, it was basically treated as S2 of BG - i.e., the opening theme song & scenes are overall from the regular BG series, not Galactica 1980.

- In the last episode of the regular BG series, the Galactica picked up a transmission from Earth re: the Moon Landing in 1969. If they were getting this transmission in "real-time", then it would mean Galactica 1980 is taking place 11 years later, after Apollo has died?! (as implied in EP1) and Starbuck has been lost (as seen in EP10). In any case, though I know a lot of fans didn't like that they "replaced" Apollo & Starbuck with Troy/Boxey & Dylan, at least there was a logical explanation for this in the story.

-The series was somewhat dis-jointed: I.e., the first three episodes dealt with the Galactica finding Earth & dealing with a renegade Colonial warrior named Xavier; in episodes 2-3 he went back in time to Germany during WW II to try to give them modern weapons so that in the future, Earth would be better equipped to deal with the Cylon threat. Troy & Dylan stopped him, and they eventually all went back to 1980 - but then Xavier escaped again, and at the very end of episode 3 they mentioned that he had gone back in time to the era of the Napoleonic wars. So, the strong implication at the end of E3 was that future episodes would deal with the two heroes (Troy & Dylan) & Jamie Hamilton (R. Douglas) going back in time to stop Xavier at various eras in history.

However, in E4-on, the time-travel storyline went on the back burner - and, though Xavier was mentioned again - the idea of the heroes chasing him through time was discarded. I'm guessing this was either partially or completely because it would have too expensive to have a network TV series set in a different historical era every week. And, I'm actually glad this happened since if they had continued with this storyline, we may not have seen the Cylons later in the series.

Also interesting here was that in these time travel episodes, when they went back in time their clothing & helmets turned completely white (the reason given was the disruption in time/space, or something like that ). In any case, this brought to mind the episodes from the original BG series where Apollo, Starbuck, and Sheba went to the "angel" ship - in that sequence, their clothing turned white as well.

-In episodes 1-3 when the Troy/Dylan were in modern 1980 California (actually, the series was probably filmed in '79) they were wearing leather jackets/contemporary clothes & there were numerous times they were chasing someone/being chased on foot, and/or involved in a car chase. So, if I hadn't known better, during these scenes I would have thought I was watching an old episode of Starsky & Hutch - LOL.

-The first three episodes got a lot of laughs since Troy & Dylan were clueless on how to use pay phones, money, etc.

-It was amusing to see Mr. Brady from The Brady Bunch (the late Robert Reed) play a scientist in the first several episodes, and even funnier was his large 'fro!

-The scene in E1 when Troy/Dylan communicated with this scientist by solving a complicated equation on his computer was certainly inspired by a similar scene in the classic 1950's film The Day The Earth stood still in that film, the alien (Michael Rennie) communicated with a scientist by solving an complex equation on his black board.

-The brilliant child scientist Dr. Zee changed actors between E3 & 4.

-Episodes 4-6 dealt with a group of children who were born in space on the Galactica - these children, due to the different gravity on Earth, were able to jump higher, run faster, etc. than regular people. At the time, I identified with these characters to some extent since I myself was in elementary school back in 1980, and was roughly the age of most of these kids.

- IMHO EP 7-8 (The Night the Cylons Landed, Parts I-II) were two of the best episodes in the series. Cylons crash-landed on Earth, and one of them looked human - though he was a cyborg. This was the first time we saw human-looking Cylons in this series. And, I wonder if the re-imagined BG from the 200X's (with all of the humanoid Cylons) was inspired by this character?!.

-As I'm sure many agree, the very best episode in the series was E10: The Return of Starbuck. This was the story of how Starbuck had crash-landed on a planet years before, and gotten stranded there. Very poignant episode, especially the way he formed an actual friendship with a Cylon, "Cy", who ended up saving him at the end (at the cost of Cy's "life"). This was a fascinating episode on a lot of other levels as well. I.e., who was the mysterious woman whom Cy found, and where did he find her? Was she an alien or an angel? Who was the father of her child (Doctor Zee)? She somehow ended up back on the planet (on a cliff) after Starbuck had put her & her baby in the spaceship, which was also mysterious, though the baby in the ship made it's way to the Galactica (shades of Superman's origin!). Also, did Starbuck ever end up getting off the planet? You would have thought he could have used the Cylon craft that the 3 enemy Cylons landed in, since that was presumably still operational.
 
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TJPC

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I recently re-watched this series. It got too silly for words and more “Lost in Spacy”y the closer it got to the end. I wish there had been an episode where the child and his “robot” monkey had been sucked out an open airlock!
 

Blimpoy06

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The series is never specifically called Galactica: 1980 in the opening credits, it's called Battlestar Galactica
That was a change made for syndication that was held over to the prints on the DVD release. On the Universal blu-ray sets the title card has been restored to it's first broadcast version.
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Timothy E

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I recently re-watched this series. It got too silly for words and more “Lost in Spacy”y the closer it got to the end. I wish there had been an episode where the child and his “robot” monkey had been sucked out an open airlock!
Boxey and his daggit in the first season were a high point in comparison to the cheesy "Lost In Space" vibe that was added to the series in Galactica 1980.
 
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The Drifter

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Let's not confuse what Galactica was doing from what we saw the next year with the foolishly conceived and executed "Galactica 1980." If anything, as time went on they went out of their way to make the "kid" elements of Boxey and Muffit less intrusive and gave us some very strong shows, and in fact saved one of their best for last with "The Hand Of God". It's the strength of that last episode that has often accounted for why Galactica fans still harbored so much hope for a revival/reunion project that sadly we were never given.
Wanted to move this conversation over to the dedicated BG thread. Yes, the original BG was definitely an underrated show - especially towards the end of the series.

I didn't hate Galactica: 1980 as much as some, though do agree most of the episodes were more comedic than anything else. That being said, the NYC episodes featuring a humanoid Cylon were interesting, since nothing like this had been seen in the original '78-'79 series. Also, "The Return of Starbuck" (one of the few episodes I saw on it's original airing) was superb, and IMHO was one of the best episodes from both series.
 

BobO'Link

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^Good idea... I've been wanting to break that conversation out myself (we all kind of tend to go off on tangents quit frequently, eh?). In that vein, here's my last message in the other thread.

Let's not confuse what Galactica was doing from what we saw the next year with the foolishly conceived and executed "Galactica 1980." If anything, as time went on they went out of their way to make the "kid" elements of Boxey and Muffit less intrusive and gave us some very strong shows, and in fact saved one of their best for last with "The Hand Of God". It's the strength of that last episode that has often accounted for why Galactica fans still harbored so much hope for a revival/reunion project that sadly we were never given.
True, but it was too little too late as the demographics they needed had already left, mostly due to the kid elements of Boxey and Muffit but also due to the far too frequent reuse of those expensive visual effects (ships launching, ships zipping through space) as they were quite obvious (just another trouble spot for the series). That's what I discovered when watching the entire series on DVD. Had ABC not insisted on such material due to the "Family Hour" time slot, or just put it back an hour where they'd not have to worry about such issues, it would likely have lasted another season or two at the least. I found Galactica 1980 to not be as bad as I was expecting. It's not as good as the better episodes of the original series but still worth watching at least once.
 
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Blimpoy06

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I thought the concept developed in the three part opener of Galactica 1980 showed promise and could have sustained a full year of stories. The pursuit of Xavier across history would have resulted in a show very similar to what we've seen recently with Continuum, Legends Of Tomorrow and Timeless.
 
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Jack P

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Actually the ratings drop I think was also attributable to a lot of pre-emptions that took place. Yes, it didn't help that they ran out of F/X money for the budget too soon but they did try to compensate for that. Sometimes successfully and other times with disastrous results like the "Terrrible Terra Trilogy" as I call it. But the concept for better storytelling than what we had seen before in other 70s series I think still stood out. Again, when comparing it to "Logan's Run", "Planet Of The Apes", and "Fantastic Journey", Galactica stands apart in a different league. The former three shows are basically warmed over "Fugitive" retreads with Sci-Fi trappings and strain just to come up with plots that don't advance the endgame at all. You can get away with that in a contemporary anthology show like "The Fugitive" but you can't in sci-fi where the nobility of the premise makes us want to see some momentum (this is also what made a show like "The Immortal" a colossal bore to me that burned out its premise within a few episodes).
 
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