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It was a bold idea to compress 7 TV episodes into a 90 minute feature film. A challenge "Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack (1978)" barely managed with 2 episodes. This challenge has certainly been lost here. The compressed version seems rather like a teaser for the original TV series than like a coherent stand-alone movie. In fact, the story is broken off into too many parts within 90 minutes. Furthermore, the new scenes which are supposed to glue the old footage together fail their purpose. They seem misplaced as they make use of digital effects and introduce a different, more modern language. I cannot understand why they did not stick to the original style. I would favour a complete remake of the series with new actors over this compilation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you thought there is no science fiction or space adventure when it
comes to German movie-making you were wrong. The original Orion series
came out at the very same time like "Star Trek", but there were some
differences. First of all, it ended right away again after seven
episodes, then it was in black & white and finally nobody outside
Germany (or maybe inside Germany too, by now) knows it. So, back in
2003, they decided to take the series and fit it into a movie. This is
the result. They also included additional voice parts for Ben Becker
and Elke Heidenreich, both still much more famous 12 years ago than
I am not familiar with "Star Trek", so I cannot elaborate on further differences and similarities, but to me, the main character felt more like a space commander version of James Bond. He was struggling with authority, mostly does what he wants, spot-on under pressure and also good with the ladies. The actor who played him (Dietmar Schönherr) died roughly a year ago. The two directors from back then, clearly over 80 and 90 years old by now, are still alive and I wonder what they thought of this new version. Also in the cast is Wolfgang Völz who is actually still very much known in Germany, mostly because of Käpt'n Blaubär. The most memorable thing here for me is probably the main music theme. It's not all space drama, but here and there also some comedy, for example when a man wants to invite a woman for a drink and she acts interested at first, but then tells him that she has to report him for having alcohol on board. His crew has a good laugh and so does he, sort of.
So as you see, from the inside there are struggles in terms of authority pretty much from beginning to end, while on the outside they are fighting against foreign forces. At one point, they said that there are 4-10 billion planets with the possibility of intelligent life out there. Seven episodes is not too much for such a prospect, isn't it? I don't remember too much about the original series anymore to compare it to this one here, but I personally found it a bit strange in terms of editing when they just beat a giant dangerous opponent where you would suggest this must be the end and then the film goes on and on with the next quests. Anyway, I am not a great fan of the series and not of this movie either. Not recommended, unless you are a really massive sci-fi buff, but even then you must admit the space animations and effects are not particularly mentionable either, even for the 1960s.
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