When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protects a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony of Earth.
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Thirty years after the events of the series "Battlestar Galactica," the fugitive star fleet finally reaches its legendary destination. But Commander Adama discovers that the Planet Earth in 1980 is not technologically advanced enough to help them battle the Cylons. Indeed, by coming to Earth, the Galactica has inadvertently exposed the helpless planet to attack by the android race bent on exterminating all humanity. Written by
Anthony Bruce Gilpin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As depicted in the pilot sequences, the series was to originally focus on Xaviar traveling through time to disrupt Earth history with Troy and Dillon chasing him down to restore proper Earth history. While the concept was dropped, it was said to inspire series Staffer Donald P Bellisario to create the TV Series Quantum Leap. See more »
At the beginning of the series, the Galactica arrives at Earth in the year 1980. It is said by Adama that their voyage has taken 30 years which means that the events of Battlestar Galactica (1978) took place around 1950 in Earth time. However, at the very end of the original series (in the episode "The Hand of God"), the Galactica receives a television transmission that shows the 1969 Apollo moon landing. Since the fleet's journey to Earth had only started a few months prior, it means that the events of Battlestar Galactica (1978) must have taken place at least in the late 1960s Earth time. This would also account for Adama not appearing much older in the sequel, as a 30 year gap would have meant the returning character would be 80 to 90 years old. See more »
Several episodes end with the disclaimer: "The United States Air Force stopped investigating UFOs in 1969. After 22 years, they found no evidence of extra-terrestrial visits and no threat to national security." This is due to the series featuring an Air Force division dedicated to looking for UFOs. See more »
With apologies to Homer Simpson, I can't believe I watched the whole thing!
2003 saw the re-launch of the Battlestar Galactica in the form of a cable miniseries and the DVD release of the 1978-79 original, promoted as the "Complete Epic Series". Amidst the fan hackles that were raised over the mini-series, (a top-to-bottom remake, and not the continuation many fans had hoped for) Richard Hatch's 4&1/2min promo trailer The Second Coming gathered a new mystique. Hatch's post-series novels continued to sell and even pre-production remnants from Tom DeSanto's aborted 2001 revival attempt were gleefully feasted upon by fans.
The one thing that didn't enjoy renewed interest was Galactica 1980, a series few remember and fewer even knew existed. Every other incarnation of Galactica can be enjoyed on multiple levels, but G80 is only good for taking the p*ss, MST3K-style. This is truly one of the worst, most hilariously misbegotten pieces of television in existance.
As with all roads to hell, G80 started out with the best of intentions, as Glen A Larson's pitch to revive the recently-canned Battlestar was seized upon by ABC, who had a gap in their Sunday night schedule. But a number of problems quickly developed to ensure utter disaster. First, the budget was severely reduced from the original (hence Galactica finding earth, which minimized sets and effects). In turn, most of the original cast were either unwilling or unable to return. This led to an abrupt rewrite, which set the show thirty years after the BSG, causing major continuity problems with BSG's final episode (which ended with footage of the Moon landing), so as to accommodate the casting of Kent McCord and Barry Van Dyke. Of the original cast, only Lorne Greene (and to a distinctly lesser extent, Herb Jefferson Jr) returned, sporting a ragged fake beard and barely concealed embarrassment. ABC demanded that "educational dialogue" be shoehorned into the scripts (in accordance with the 7pm kiddie timeslot) and that a cadre of cute kids (many played by Larson's own offspring!) and a truly loathsome kid genius (the infamous Dr Zee) be added.
Larson, aware that things were spinning out of control, wrote (and rewrote) most of the episodes himself in an attempt to minimize the damage, but to no avail. Last of all, ABC rushed the series into production, where all of the above factors collided into one hell of a train wreck.
And as they say about train wrecks, you can't take your eyes off Galactica 1980. From the eye-rolling dialogue, delivered with almost poignant sincerity, (you've really gotta feel for these actors, you really do) to the awful attempts at humor (an earthbound Cylon being mistaken for a Halloween reveler, for one) to the heavy, heavy, HEAVY reliance on stock footage from BSG (dig the opening five minutes of Space Croppers) and other sources, (Silent Running, Earthquake and I swear to god Close Encounters!) its an unmitigated campfest nearly all the way.
I say nearly because, if there is anything close to a decent episode in this series, it has to be the final one, "The Return of Starbuck". Dirk Benedict returns one last time as everyone's favorite space-hopping skirt-chaser for a flashback story with very little (thank god) of the regular cast. It's a suprisingly touching send off for the space cowboy and an indication of what Galactica 1980 could have been with the right kind of handling.
And yeah, I watched it all. It was mid 96, my parents had cable and I had no life. And here I am telling you all about it....
But honestly, I've probably piqued your curiosity by now, right? So go on, hop on Petition Online and start rallying Universal to release this "Complete Epic Series" on DVD straight away! The commentaries would be worth the price tag alone.....
PS: Believe it or not, the voice of the Imperious Leader in Space Croppers (sorry to bring that episode up again) is none other than 24's Mr President, Dennis Haysbert. Kinda prophetic, don't you think?
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