Battlestar Galactica (1978) Poster

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Cult Sci-Fi for People of My Generation
Claudio Carvalho7 July 2015
After many years of war, the humans from the Twelve Colonies are near to celebrate an armistice with the evil Cylon. Out of the blue, the Cylons betray the pact and destroy the Colonies and the entire fleet except the Battlestar Galactica. Commander Adama (Lorne Greene) summons the survivors from the Colonies to follow him in a journey to the planet Earth. However they are short of water, supplies and fuel and they head to the planet Carillon to replenish the fleet and get the supplies. Adama's son, the warrior Captain Apollo (Richard Hatch), and his partners Lieutenants Starbuck (Dirk Benedict) and Boomer (Herbert Jefferson Jr.) destroy the mines left by the Cylons and they reach the planet. They are welcomed by the inhabitants and find the paradise. Meanwhile the human leader Sire Uri (Ray Milland) wants to destroy their arms and live in the Cylon Empire despite the contempt of Adama. Sire Uri decides to give medals to Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer for their bravery on Carillon and invites the warriors to come to the party. However Adama believes that it is a trap for the Galactica. What can he do?

"Battlestar Galactica" is a cult sci-fi for people of my generation. I was one of the big fans of the movie and the series in the 70's and 80's, and it was delightful to see this movie again, indeed a travel in time. It is impressive that almost forty years later, the special effects and sets of the Galactica are still great. Impressive how beautiful Jane Seymor is in this film. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Galactica: Astronave de Combate" ("Battlestar Galactica")
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The highest potential of any sci-fi series ever...
nunyerbiz27 November 2000
As remembering 'Battlestar' from the viewpoint of a youngster in the late 70s - early 80s, I would give it a 9/10.

Viewing 'Battlestar' from the viewpoint of a near 30 male in the year 2000, I give it 7/10. (I have all 24 episodes on tape)

The special effects were near the late 70's level of "Star Wars", and that is truly saying something considering this was a made for TV movie / weekly series. Sure, the stories were uneven. However, to put that in perspective, they rode the gambit from the morality plays of Star Trek (TOS) to the character stories of Star Trek (TNG).

The backstory involved the last known group of 'humans'. After they were given a 'Pearl Harbor' job by the alien bad guys and nearly wiped out, they went in search of a long lost colony. This colony was located on a planet called 'Earth'.

This was really a revolutionary show. It took the best 'good vs evil' elements of Star Wars and combined them with the 'every show is a lesson' elements of Star Trek (TOS). If you weren't contemplating the human nature element of the story, you were involved in the characters.

Unfortunately, you were rarely concerned about both of those within the same episode. In my opinion, this is the only major flaw of the series, it was somewhat unbalanced from show to show. This is somewhat understandable from a series that was wrought with network politics and never made it past 25 episodes. Nevertheless, this is a series that would be very much enjoyed by any true sci-fi fan.

If you don't know the history of the show by now... ABC canned it, despite well above average ratings. The brass felt the show was too expensive. What could have been one of the great sci-fi TV series of all time was done after 24 episodes.

I place 'Battlestar' behind only Star Trek (TOS) as the best sci-fi TV series of all time.
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One of a kind...
Captain Spyro28 January 2004
That's right, one of a kind. When I first watched this show back a couple of years ago, it just caught me like no other had ever done before. The characters, the settings, the stories, all just magnificent.

One thing a lot of people pick on is the writing. I, myself, do not have a problem with it at all. In fact, I find that the stories make this show one of the most unique sci-fi's ever done. The 12 Colonies of Man all decimated by the Cylon Empire and the struggle of the refugees to survive, all escaping in some 220 refugee ships all being protected by the Galactica herself in search of the planet earth. And let's not forget the other memorable stories, such as the discovery of Commander Cain & the Battlestar Pegasus and when the Galactica found Kobol and discovered some of the origins of men. There's also the stories involving the Ship of Lights, Terra, and other ships from within the rag-tag fleet.

Another highlight of the show is the characters, especially Adama, Apollo, and Starbuck. One could say that Adama was the father figure, the wisest of the group. Then there's Apollo, just one of them good ole boys. And then we have Starbuck, probably the most memorable character from the entire series. And let's not forget the others: Boomer, Jolly, Athena, Cassiopeia, Boxey, Muffit, and last, but definitely not least, Baltar. Yes, this menacing figure is probably the 2nd most memorable face in the series.

And let's not forget the Cylons. These guys were probably one of the biggest money makers of the series back then. Menacing and powerful, they will stop at nothing until the destruction of the human race is complete.

One of the biggest highlights of this production is the music. Who can forget the opening theme? No doubt one of the greatest in all of sci-fi. We also have the Cylon music, very dark and menacing. In this production, Stu Phillips was a genius and he should definitely be commended.

Now, the special effects are something to be admired as well. Created by Star Wars' own John Dykstra, the effects in Battlestar Galactica greatly outshined the rest at that time. Though, the biggest drawback is the constant reuse of special effects footage over and over and over and over again. But it was done to save money, so it's understandable.

Another memorable aspect of the show are the ships themselves. The Galactica, herself, is a huge and powerful vessel, while retaining a charm that few other ships can keep. Probably the most popular ship was the Colonial Viper. While they may resemble the X-Wing Starfighters of Star Wars, the Vipers are unique and special in their own way. Probably the most unique ship in the show was the Cylon Raider. Bat-like in appearance, it was a fierce competitor for the Viper. Then there's the Cylon Basestar, just plain menacing is all that can be said about it. Then there are the other ships: The Rising Star, The Colonial Movers ship, The Celestra, The Prison Barge, The Livery ship, The Gemini Freighter, etc. They all were memorable in their own way.

This show is VERY underrated. A work of art, in my very honest opinion. I give it a 10/10. Extremely brilliant.
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A for effort, C- for execution
Scott-825 December 1998
Give the people who made "Battlestar Galactica" credit, it took a lot to make what they did. The concept was good, a war between humans and "cyborgs" (although they seem more like simple robots) to survive, as the humans flee in a collected fleet trying to find the lost colonies of humanity, namely Earth.

That would have been a novel idea for a theatrical movie, and for a TV show it was outer limits. The special effects were (by 1978 standards) top notch, the set design was good, and they even tried to create a different system of measures, since I think even in Star Trek they refer to things by minutes, hours, and years.

What let the movie (and later series) down was the same limits that affected most of seventies television. Schlocky dialogue, storylines sticking on personal and relationship problems, and somebody had the bright idea to put in a kid and a robot dog to go with him. If the series had been made today, or had simply been let free to explore ideas rather than stick to the "conventions" expected of series television, it might have been great. Instead, it's hardly remembered today.
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A film for children of all ages, especially those who never left the 70s and 80s
Matt-26926 May 1999
This film, and the television series that went with it, definitely had the greatest impact on a lot of boys' childhoods in the early 80s. If like me you are unsure of whether you saw Star Wars or this first, then a mutual fondness of both arises. Today Battlestar Galactica is considered to be an example of how not to do sci-fi - despite the opening promise, with the unforgettable destruction of humanity's home and the following promise of hope still bringing tears to my eyes - the series quickly degenerated into children's television aimed at the youngest and dimmest of children everywhere. But none of that affects the promise of this opening film, which has all the elements any successful film or TV Movie could hope to employ - drama, action, loyalty, betrayal, destruction and death, loss and hope, and the most lovable of characters everywhere - right down to Boxey, who by owning Muffit, was the envy of children everywhere... (In fact it's rumoured that Annakin Skywalker's look was based on him!) So overall, I would recommend this film - it symbolises all the good that made the late 70s memorable.
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Guilty Pleasure
ebk340220 April 2005
This is one of my favorite sci-fi shows, but I certainly recognize its flaws.

The Good:

* the concept

---> I liked the historical context of the 12 tribes of Kobol, the Pearl Harbor-like attack, the "ragtag fugitive fleet" seeking Earth. This really framed the series well.

---> The look of the Ceylon base ships and the bat-wing Ceylon fighters was terrific. I also liked the look of the battlestars and Colonial vipers. The command center of the battlestar seemed believable.

* the casting:

---> Lorne Greene as Adama brings a commanding screen presence

---> Richard Hatch as Apollo is well-cast and believable as a leader/captain of a fighter wing

---> Dirk Benedict as Starbuck the amiable sarcastic sidekick

---> John Colicos as Baltar oozed evil with perfection

---> other minor cast members like Herbert Jefferson Jr as Boomer and Terry Carter as Colonel Tigh were very well cast too

---> I thought the three most visible female characters were all good, though not standout. Maren Jensen, Laurette Spang, and Anne Lockhart just also happened to be beautiful too.

---> visiting cast members like:

-------> Lloyd Bridges as Commander Cain was truly memorable

-------> Patrick McNee as Count Iblis was also highly memorable

-------> Ray Milland and Fred Astaire were good guest stars too

* the costumes

---> I liked the Colonial Warrior uniforms - they still have a style to them today. I liked the Warrior helmets with their Egyptian-like motif.

---> The Ceylon warriors with their shiny armor, had a great look to them too. The red strobe they used for vision was a great menacing concept.

* some episodes with great plot lines

---> the return of Commander Cain and the Pegasus stands out

---> I thought the visit to the "home" planet of Kobol, with its Egyptian motifs, was terrific. This is part of the pilot's introductory three episodes.

---> I also liked the encounter with the Ship of Lights and Count Iblis - this was especially well done.

* the music - I still like the theme song to Battlestar Galactica

* the behavior of the Ceylons was entertaining. "By your command" spoken in a tinny voice was a favorite.

The Bad:

* some cheesy special effects (by today's standards)

---> ...and reuse of the same special effects

---> why was Count Iblis' crash site off-color in one moment, and clear blue the next?

* quite a lot of cheesy cringe-inducing dialogue

* the little kid Boxie and his robot dog

* some of the episodes had really horrible plot lines, especially later in the series

---> the Lost Warrior where the kids attack the Ceylon outpost

---> why did Baltar return to the human fleet again?

The Ugly:

* the original show was cancelled after one season

* Galactica 1980, the follow-on show in which the battlestar finds earth, was pretty horrible

All in all, I am willing to forgive Battlestar Galactica's flaws and remember with fondness its strengths.

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Battlestar Galactica
warbird178612 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Awesome show for the time. As far as copying anything from Star Wars, I don't think so. The Vipers are NOTHING like the X-Wings. The model work is outstanding. Some of the dialog is sugar coated, but the premise is great. For once, it isn't earth getting annihilated by aliens and robots. I have shown this series to some of my sons friends who thought it was cool. It's worth watching. Lorene Greene is excellent as Commander Adama and his counter part, John Colicos, is very good as Count Baltar. I still love seeing the Vipers launch out of their tubes(I'd like to see an X-Wiin have a dramatic entrance like that)A lot of work went into the show only to have ABC cancel it out of stupidity. The show was very popular(which is why George Lucas and Co. went after it)It is NOTHING like the new show. But is very well done.
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Engaging Saga Of A Star World
Michael Daly3 May 2003
Warning: Spoilers
(contains spoilers) Often derided as a Star Wars knock-off (even to the point George Lucas filed a lawsuit against Glen A. Larson and company), Battlestar Galactica is quite different (as Lucas found out when his lawsuit was beaten, and when he started copying Galactica themes and ship and alien designs into his Star Wars continuity).

Galactica is a more serious story of the travails of twelve tribes of mankind when the search for peace ends in the largest military assault in the history of galactic warfare, leaving twelve worlds of mankind utterly destroyed and surviving citizens of these worlds forced to take flight into the stars under the wing of their race's only surviving warship, a 4,100-foot-long fighting and carrier craft named the Galactica.

The concept is intriguing and with a magnificent cast, excellent production values, and superb direction from Sigmund Newfeld and Richard Colla (Newfeld handled the bulk of direction), the story is an engaging epic of the efforts by the Galactica and her warriors to protect what is left of humanity as they begin a search for a seemingly mythical planet that offers their race one last refuge - a planet called Earth.

Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch, and Dirk Benedict shine throughout the film and subsequent weekly series (although Hatch admittedly gets too much screen time), but are ably aided by Herbert Jefferson Jr., John Colicos in one of the finest villainous roles in all sci-fi or television, Laurette Spang, the grossly underused Tony Swartz, and reclusive Terry Carter. Jane Seymour shines as well in her all-too-brief involvement with the series, and Ray Milland steals the show as the corrupt Ted Kennedy-esque Sire Uri who gets his comeuppance near the end of the film.

The film is uneven because of the weaker second half at the planet Carillon, but the Carillon sequence is engaging nonetheless and a superb overall film results.

John Colicos' role as Baltar is worth examining in the context of the movie because of the massive changes that took place. Colicos made such an impression that his fate was changed - in the first version of the film he is beheaded, but so strong an impression did he make that it was decided to change some scenes - instead of being beheaded, Baltar is spared when the Imperious Leader orders him removed for public execution; this is changed when a new Imperious Leader orders him to command Cylon forces, given that he alone thinks as the humans do and can deduce where they will go and what they must do. This is handled in a superior epilogue directed by Glen Larson himself involving Colicos and Patrick Macnee's Imperious Leader.
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The Best Star Wars Clone
skorzeny19 June 1999
Created by Glen A. Larson, the master of late-1970's TV Sci-Fi, this is the best of the spate of Star Wars clones. On the surface, it is a cheesy space-opera epic with space battles, an army of genocidal robots, a traitorous betrayal, and a desperate fight against incredible odds. Going deeper, it is both a statement about the Cold War and a conscious allegory of Mormon theology (Larson is a member of the LDS church).

I grew with this series, and idolized Starbuck and Apollo. Still today, I can watch the series premiere (which was also variously released as a TV movie, and even in theaters in Canada, Europe, and later the USA) over and over again. There are some moments of great dialogue, the effects are pretty good (even if they tend to repeat...a lot), and the story and series concept are excellent. You gotta love any series that STARTS with the near-extinction of the entire human race.

Unfortunately, when the transition was made from the original concept of several special-event TV movies to a regular series, the conventions of 70's TV took over. Forget most of the series episodes, they tend to repeat plot ideas more than "Star Trek: Voyager" re-uses the "Space Anomaly of the Week" idea. But the original movie is a true sci-fi classic.
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The new widescreen DVD
rlcsljo24 October 2003
Having just seen a "restored" theatrical print a couple of months ago and now having seen the new DVD, I can say that it is virtually flawless. The subtlety of color makes many sequences appear almost three dimensional (especially on the Galactica). They appear to have removed most of the annoying matte lines from some scenes, although a few garbage mattes are visible. Some scenes that were almost unviewable blurs on the VHS have been restored to almost crystal clarity. Also visible are occasional film scratches, but it is far superior to anything I have seen since the 70's theatrical release in "Sensurround" or however they spelled it.

If you are a Galactica nut or even a fan, you will cherish this in your collection.

P.S. I don't work for Universal!
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better story than Star Wars but worse effects
andre-715 December 2000
Battlestar Galactica did have a heavy impact on my childhood. I remember all of my friends trying to rebuild Battlestars and Vipers in various designs out of our LEGO space edition tiles. And how much fun it was to blast the other's ships into pieces! LEGO must have earned millions through us. Never ever has there been another spacecraft as illustrious in design as the Galactica (forget Star Trek's clumsy saucers). Unfortunately, the special effects appeared a little simple, because they were persistently reused. And YES, another commentator was right: Maren Jenson is THE reason to watch the show! Of course, there are one or two things about the story which are quite dubious. For one, the praised military leadership being better than a civilian one is a little hard-core cold-war belief. And in the series, those partially overemphasized religious elements sometimes got a little annoying in the otherwise splendid science-fantasy plot. But after all, those elements formed a heterogeneous mix promoting tolerance and gave the show its uniqueness. Definitely worth watching!
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1970s sci-fi, with a little bit of Star Wars plagiarism...
rebeljenn13 November 2005
Although it is a little bit of a dated script and obviously copies off of Star Wars (don't those starfighters look an awful lot like X-wings), Battlestar Gallactica is worth a watch if you're a science fiction geek. If you've seen the new version before, you'll be amazed at how different the old version really is. In the old series, action, jokes, and flirting are much more common. The new version relies on political events and characters.

Although this 1978 version of the film moves a little slowly in places, there are the fascinating space battles. The dialog between the characters and some of the comedy is a little dated, however. I would recommend it if you're a fan of this genre.
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Childhood Favorite
DianeDever3 April 2004
This was one of my favorites as a child. I try and catch the show whenever it reairs on the Sci-Fi network. I enjoyed the 2003 mini-series but I feel that it was incomplete. It left a lot hanging. I wonder if the Sci-Fi channel plans to finish the show. If anyone knows then feel free to email me. Let me know when they are planning to air the rest of the show or if it is still in production. I checked a few online sites but I didn't have any luck with finding any real comment on the subject. Has anyone seen the DVD version in the stores yet? I found the VHS version a few years ago but you could only purchase two episodes at a time and considering the price I didn't think it was worth the cost. I want the entire TV series with the original cast members. I am not interested in the newer version with Barry Van Dyke as one of the major characters.
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"...beyond our star system, in a galaxy much like our own..."
The_Other_Snowman7 March 2007
The above statement, from the patriarchal Commander Adama (Lorne Green) sums up this show quite nicely. Adama has to lead the last survivors of humanity from the Twelve Colonies of Kobol to a long-lost mythic planet called Earth, home of the 13th Tribe, after the colonies are attacked by the robotic and clumsy Cylons, who strafe a city or two and kill at least one dog.

The first part of Adama's statement is fair enough. Clearly another solar system would be located beyond your own solar system. Oh, but it's also in a different galaxy? You might as well say that the restaurant you're trying to find is "Just down the street, in another country". I wonder if the writers knew what they were talking about.

"Galactica" is full of moments like this. The Vipers, the little fighter planes our heroes fly into battle, have enormous fiery exhaust trails, implying constant acceleration, the effect of which would be to reduce our heroes to strawberry jam. (The Vipers themselves look like hastily cobbled-together knock-offs of the X-wings from "Star Wars"). Their cockpits even have a little instrument on the dashboard telling the pilot which way is "up" -- in space.

The villains of the show are the infamous Cylons, renowned in the realm of televised science fiction as the dumbest, clumsiest, and most ridiculous-looking villains ever. It's to be expected that they can't shoot, but these chrome-plated robots can barely walk. According to Lorne Green, the Cylons are just plain evil, but I'm not sure "evil robots" is all that meaningful, although I did have an evil calculator once. I'm never quite sure whether the Cylons had an organic counterpart who created them, but it doesn't really matter.

In many ways this show is a shallow imitation of "Star Wars," and this can be seen in the cast of characters. Particularly Starbuck (Dirk Benedict), who tries so hard to be Han Solo, but only comes off as petulant, sexist, and rather pathetic. Apollo is the noble, Luke Skywalker hero type, and as such doesn't have a personality. Starbuck has a faithful black sidekick, Boomer, who seems to be much more competent than Starbuck. Adama also has a faithful black sidekick, called Colonel Tigh, who at one point is reduced to picking up everyone's laundry. Take that, Civil Rights Movement!

The destruction of the human colonies is a brief, and amazingly painless affair. A park is strafed by Cylon ships, and a small dog is killed (though the actual death is not shown, so we are left with some hope). Soon enough, our heroes have forgotten all about the genocide: Starbuck tries to get it on with two equally boring women, and Apollo enters into a creepy relationship with the little boy whose dog was maybe killed (though it might be slightly less creepy if you consider he was only trying to sleep with Jane Seymour, the boy's mother). The Cylons, meanwhile, attack again, but are destroyed because they're so utterly incompetent.

Oh yes, and there's a robot dog. I think it was actually a chimp in a robot-dog costume, but either way it's quite nauseating. The special effects are all right to start off (I like those old effects from the Seventies and Eighties, sometimes more than modern CGI), but get very repetitive very fast. I could also mention the preposterous characterization of the humans, including weak-kneed pacifists who are quickly killed, the inexplicably evil and stupid Lord Baltar (John Colicos) who betrays humanity, and the unbelievably dumb Council of Twelve, who prove that democracy just doesn't work.
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Not as bad as its reputation
Starbuck-139 April 1999
I loved Battlestar Galactica when I was a kid. I never saw the series, but the two movies were really nice work.

And today, I still love those two movies, but can understand the bad reputation the series gained.

But I love the scenario (it is so wonderfully hopeless: The last remnants of a human civilisation are fleeing the overwhelmingly evil Cylon empire). It has some very strong moments, for example when the treason of the Cylons is discovered too late to save the human colonies and fleet. This was a bold and different approach. Or when Apollo's brother is shot down and killed just seconds before reaching the safe haven Galactica.

I love the spaceships. The model kits are really wonderful, especially the Battlestar design.

And I also love the characters. Starbuck impersonates everything a boy wants to be (he's so damn cool), and I still go by the codename Starbuck today, though (or maybe because) I am totally different. Lorne Greene as Adama is the archetype of the wise leader, and the girls might seem very 70s to us today, but they certainly worked back then :-)

All in all, I think that Battlestar Galactica, at least the movie, deserves some better praise than that you usually hear. Even though the battle sequences are always the same (they always get the Cylon in the middle, njahahaha)...

And yes, I hate the kid and the robot-dog as well.
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Space Colony searches for its' lost tribe.. Earth!
Macros-510 January 2000
A great cast of charachters, combine with several celebrity cameo's to make this slightly typical science fiction story fresh each week. The plot revolves around the destruction of the 12 colonies of mankind, by a race of machines called Cylons. The last remaining Battlestar (Galactica) is now in search of the lost 13th tribe, from it's known origin, which split from the original group & has no known location. They hold the hope that Earth will give them a base to fight their antagonists & to rebuild their own race. This series put Universal in the front of sci-fi developement for a while. Worth watching for any science fiction fans who may have missed it. You'll enjoy it a great deal.
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We was robbed!
rlcsljo17 July 2000
From what I remember about what was said in the press about this show, Larson, et. al., had high minded ambitions about this show-He wanted to be fun and interesting for both children *and* adults. Cassiopeia was a "socialator(prostitute?)", remember.

However, it was reported that the network was adamant that it be a kiddy show. This lead to increasingly inane plots and cartoon like characters which ultimately resulted in "Galactica '80".

I still think the premiere episode and some of the subsequent ones were some of the best work ever done in science fiction.

I still sometimes think in terms of "centons", and "microns", and praise the lords of Kobol.

I cant wait for the theatrical remake!
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watch it again for the first time
gsawyer16 March 2000
for over 20 years poeple have slammed BSG for not being as good as star wars.......excuse me? but sci fi series is. QUIT SLAMMING IT AND WATCH IT AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME.what you'll discover is a wonderful tale about tragedy,exodus,survival,conflict,strategy,and even'll find a group of people who are forced to draw a line in the stars and fight back when all odds are agianst them . the story is actually better than star wars. and maybe even better acted than star wars. what it fails to do is capture your immagination the way star wars did. the specail effects hold up even by todays standard. i'm going out on a limb to say that the 2 1/2 hour pilot movie is arguably the best space opera ever behind the star wars trilogy.if you love great looking space battles,good special effects, and a great story. this film is a must owe it to yourself to own a copy of this movie. it is a classic treat your gonna wanna see over and over and over...and just like star wars you'll never get tired of it
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Colonial Insignia
gdaymateo20 February 2005
I followed the original Battlestar Galactica during it's original airing and was an avid fan. What I did not notice during that time, and only noticed after seeing some of the original series' episodes being rebroadcast now that the new series is out, is the insignia on the colonials' collars. The insignia is the officer branch insignia for military intelligence for the U.S. Army. I was very surprised when I first noticed it. The insignia is described as follows: On a gold color metal dagger, point up, 1 1/4 inches overall in height, a gold color metal heraldic sun composed of four straight and four wavy alternating rays surmounted by a gold heraldic rose, the petals dark blue enamel. I just thought that this was interesting. I have not seen it posted anywhere else.
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For kids, really.
winstonsmith_844 December 2003
Having watched the series as a kid, I was pretty excited to see this sitting on the shelves. Time to relive my childhood. But I was disappointed in the end.

The show is definitely designed for kids, since I thought it was absolutely terrible this time round! I found it difficult to sit through, and I had to insert a stick between my teeth to take the pain... but alas, childhood memories were revived. Sorta.

Anyhow, the plot, acting, and characters are just plain bad. Names for things are laughable. Those "evil" robot creatures, the Cylons, are just too evil to take seriously. I guess that's what has changed since childhood. I've become more skeptical, serious, and have seen too much. Only show this movie to kids, cause they will love it whilst we shall hate it.

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Great start to a massively underrated TV show
When asked if I liked "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" better, I answered "'Battlestar Galactica'-- the original!" It's better technically than "Trek." It's more creative than "Wars" (originally a rip off of Frank Herbert's "Dune"). And it definitely tops the insubstantial thrills of the 2003 "reinvention." This TV movie opens with a tragic attack on the human race by the vicious and mechanical Cylons, including the spectacular strafing and bombing of the planet Caprica, which destroys Colonial morale. By the time fifteen minutes are up, everyone has lost somebody close, and the story is already in full form thanks to Richard Colla's brilliant directing and Glen A. Larson's constantly clever writing.

The special effects are still spectacular to this day, and while they could have cheapened the actual drama of the show, they didn't. Watch especially for cheesy good performances from Richard Hatch, Jane Seymour, and, of course, Lorne Greene. Look out for space disco performed by the alien Android Sisters.
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Great Show
mysty0120 August 2002
I have seen Battlestar Galactica (The original movie and series) so many times, I probably know it verbatim. By todays standards the special effects are not *special* at all but for the time the show was made they were. The story line is great and the cast is great so the special effects being outdated now does not really hurt much in my opinion. I can still say it is one of my all time favorites after all this time and many many many movies later.
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They don´t make them like this anymore.
I first watched this at the movie theater way back in 1978-79, long before i even knew this was made as a television series. And as a kid, who had just seen STAR WARS, and was desperately looking for more of the same, of course i had to love this. In fact, BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA, had more of an impact on my imagination than STAR WARS ever did. I remember that i loved the egyptian look of the helmets and i never forgot that BATTLESTAR GALACTICA movie introduction, where it is mentioned the alien origins of the ancient earth civilizations. This movie got me interested in archeology long before i even knew who Indiana Jones was.

Then the whole series was shown on television here in Portugal in 1983-84, and i remember how disappointed i got, each episode that went by. I was expecting a true development in the story of the 12 colonies, how the earth ended up being colonized, when did they arrived on earth, their relation with egypt and the pyramids, etc. Instead what they did in that series was just action, action and more action, with the same space battle images repeated over and over again. Even if was a teenager i always thought that the stories were too much for kids, when they could have been great if they showed, all that i had in my imagination and i was expecting them to show. And when they created that last serie, about gallactica on earth, i just got extremely disappointed with the whole thing and i never saw any episode, because i felt sad just looking at what they did with such a marvelous concept, wich was present in the original "movie".

So regarding the original "movie". Ok, everybody can say it´s cheesy, but for the time it was incredible. Even today it´s got a great atmosphere. Some of the battle scenes still are a joy to watch. And the imagination in the designs is still fantastic. Some of the interiors might look made of cardboard, but others look very good indeed. And the GALACTICA spaceship is truly a marvelous concept design. The vipers looked very cool and still do, and the Cylon ships are the best menacing fighters ever. To me, even better than the TIE fighters from STAR WARS. Even their starbases had an incredible atmosphere. Then there were the Cylons, wich looked and sounded great and were the perfect enemies for this story. And above all there was the soundtrack. Simply fantastic and for the first time in television we had this type of music from the movies in a series.

I think it´s unfair when people say that BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is awfull, just because it doesn´t look like Matrix in special effects. We have to look at it and remember when it was made. It was a brilliant concept, and i wished there were some more like it.

And as from being just a STAR WARS rip-off, i can´t disagree more. Just because GALACTICA is also a Space-Opera, like STAR WARS is a rip-off of it ? True, it never had been made if it wasn´t for the sucess of Star Wars, but calling it a rip-off is a bit exaggerated. At least BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA had real and original imagination in it´s concept, contrary to STAR WARS. Read the "LORD TEDRIC" books by E.E.DOC.SMITH written in the early 30´s, and you´ll start looking at STAR WARS in another way. Then you´ll appreciate the originality of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA much more.

I just bought it a couple of months ago and i still watch and enjoy it many times. An excellent "movie"
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Cylons, ships and crap effects!
nmk2002uk25 March 2004
"There are those who believe, that life here began out there." These words marked the start of a new sci-fi show that featured robots, ships, bigger ships, planets, space and more robots. Yes, I remember when I got my first taste of Battlestar Galactica for the first time back in 1986 when it showed on BBC2 at 6pm. Aged only four, I knew this program would be in my life forever. My sister used to watch it just for Richard Hatch and still does! The Twelve colonies of Man have been fighting the Cylons for over a millenia. Finally having a choice for peace, the Humans take it, not knowing what lies around the corner. Only Adama's two sons, Zak and Apollo know of the empending doom from a routine recon patrol. Racing to get back to the Galactica, one of them gets blown to bits when a Cylon attack force races towards the fleet of Battlestars. If you've seen the series and the feature-lentgh movie, you know of the quality of the effects were, at that time, groundbreaking. Now, they're just pants. The actings good along with the plot. Its just those effects. That niggle aside, I still love watching both the series and the movie. Oh, don't bother watching the new one. It don't match up to the original. I mean...Starbucks..a..Woman!!
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Lowest Grade Sci-Fi
jmg3820 January 2004
This noisy aimless mess was an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Star Wars, released the previous year. Battlestar Galactica was barely able to hang on for one season despite the fertile ground and general acceptance for sci-fi that had been created by the Star Wars hit.

This 1978 Galactica, and all the other followup Galactica "movies" and series to come from it in the early 1980's, was poorly written and poorly developed. The final product was so revolting that they even managed to mangle the hackneyed character stereotypes and plot twists that were regularly used to fill out the majority of each week's episode.

While fans of the series heap praise on Lorne Greene, John Colicos (and Richard Hatch) for their fine effort, most seem to ignore the fact that these unlucky thespians were working with ridiculous scripts. One shudders to think how much worse the final on screen product would have been if everyone performed as poorly as Dirk Benedict, the intended 'lovable rogue' stereotype who instead came across as the 'obnoxious pain in the a**' stereotype.

The final product would have been better suited for Saturday mornings, but the expense of the leading edge special effects (for 1978) forced this to be a prime time offering.

Producer Glen Larson has an impressive track record for producing fun, technology-based fare, but Galactica was simply too weak on too many levels. Catch his Buck Rogers, early Knight Rider or Fall Guy for examples of how the genre CAN work without making you wish that the 'bad guys' would win so the series could end.
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