Battlestar Galactica: Season 1, Episode 6

Gun on Ice Planet Zero: Part 1 (22 Oct. 1978)

TV Episode  -   -  Sci-Fi | Action | Adventure
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 126 users  
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A special task force, mostly made up out of convicts, is dispatched to destroy a giant Cylon operated pulsar cannon on the planet Aracta directly in the Colonial Fleet's path. Having lost a... See full summary »

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Title: Gun on Ice Planet Zero: Part 1 (22 Oct 1978)

Gun on Ice Planet Zero: Part 1 (22 Oct 1978) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Maren Jensen ...
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Laurette Spang ...
Cassiopeia (credit only)
Tony Swartz ...
Flight Sgt. Jolly (credit only)
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Christine Belford ...
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Denny Miller ...
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Storyline

A special task force, mostly made up out of convicts, is dispatched to destroy a giant Cylon operated pulsar cannon on the planet Aracta directly in the Colonial Fleet's path. Having lost a cadet on the planet earlier, Starbuck is eager to join the expedition for once. Boxey and Muffit also join the group as stowaways. Written by The TV Archaeologist

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22 October 1978 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The schematic of the weapon on "Gun on Ice Planet Zero" is that of a common reflector telescope. See more »

Goofs

The hood of the snow ram, as seen from inside looking out through the windshield, doesn't match the exterior shots. It's obvious that the hood is of a different vehicle. See more »

Quotes

Commander Adama: Colonel, Program a computer research for qualified personnel experienced in arctic survival, expert in mountaineering, highly specialised in heavy demolition.
Col. Tigh: Yes sir.
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Connections

Edited into The Cylons of 'Battlestar Galactica' (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Alistair Maclean-- In Space!!
14 December 2010 | by (Camden, NJ (The Forbidden Zone)) – See all my reviews

BG drastically shifted gears with its 3rd "movie" story. Instead of continuing various plot-threads with the show's larger-than-normal cast of regulars, the focus is a comparatively narrow one. But this proves necessary, as "ICE PLANET ZERO" attempts the daunting task of doing a sci-fi variation on no less than THREE war movies at the same time-- THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, THE DIRTY DOZEN, and the Cold War epic, ICE STATION ZEBRA (from which we get both the setting and part of the story's title).

The Cylons continue their pursuit of the refugee fleet from a distance, as it happens, "herding" them toward a small planet with a weapon that can destroy the Galactica with a single burst. To take it out, it's decided to send in a team of specialists-- most of whom are criminals! One has to wonder, given the nature of the fleet, how or WHY a entire prison barge of convicts would even be part of the escape effort?

What a cast! Leading the convicts is Roy Thinnes, former star of THE INVADERS, whose conflicted yet determined character was so well-played, it's frustrating that he never came back in subsequent episodes. Also on hand are James Olson, who made a career out of playing psychos and killers, except when he starred as the scientist-hero in THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN; Christine Belford, who was George Peppard's rival and one-time romantic entanglement on BANACEK; and Richard Lynch. Between his face and his name, Lynch seemed destined by fate to spend his career playing killers-- and worse. I found myself expecting, when they read his character's rap sheet, to add, "...and he also bazooka'd an innocent family's home on Christmas Eve. Nice guy!" (A reference to INVASION USA)

Complicating things are Starbuck's tampering with the computer so he can join the mission to rescue a cadet who was captured while under his command; and Boxey, who stows away with robot daggit, then says when discovered, "Muffit wanted to see snow!" (Oh, RIGHT. The ROBOT DOG wanted to see snow! Uh huh.) It blows my mind watching these right now, that I actually DON'T find this kid irritating. I should-- but I don't. The fact that Muffit winds up saving everyone's life a third of the way in may have helped.

Things get even more complicated, not only by the ongoing plans by some of the convicts to escape, and leave the entire fleet of refugees to their sorry fate, but by a village of clones "manufactured" by a narrow-minded scientist who can't bring himself to see that the "pulse generator" he's built for scientific purposes is being used as a weapon of genocide. Dan O'Herlihy as Dr. Ravishol eventually proves to be a lot more reasonable than the character he played in the infamous HALLOWEEN III.

The BEST scenes, however, are with Baltar and Lucifer, who don't even show up until the 2nd half. Baltar is shown rubbing his legs, and later walks around his chamber, clearly limping, recovering from being buried in that Egyptian temple (pardon me, KOBOL temple). When he asks Lucifer if an assignment has been carried out and his sly sidekick says, "Not-- exactly.", Baltar violently explodes, "WHAT-- EXACTLY???" This is probably the only time in the series he loses his temper this much. As he later mutters to himself, "Soon, Adama-- SOON!" it's clear he's given up hope of double-crossing his robot "friends", and focuses instead of getting back at the man who left him to die in the rubble.

Another cute bit of continuity turns up when Starbuck cons the computer room tech into leaving his post by telling him he's taking the pilot cadets for a tour. "WOMEN cadets?" "I-- believe some of them are women, yes." It's clear this story was meant to follow directly after LOST PLANET OF THE GODS-- and would have, if ABC hadn't screwed the show over by insisting it be turned into a weekly series. Instead, 2 drastically-inferior stories aired between the 2nd & 3rd "movies", and to say it hurt the ratings in the long run would be a major understatement.

There's so much going on here, there's little room for the Galactica bridge crew, but the story is so gripping, exciting, and sometimes even fun, you don't mind. I'd say this was one terrific, if "minor" story. There's only one real problem. That is, the point around which the ENTIRE story hinges-- makes NO SENSE. The fleet is being forced thru a "narrow channel" past a weapon on a fixed position-- a planet. But-- THEY'RE IN SPACE!!! (A lot of people have criticized this story for this point over the years.)

What gets me is, THE GUNS OF NAVARONE was already adapted into a sci-fi series set in space, with MUCH better, more gripping, more thrilling, and far more logical results. That was on STAR BLAZERS (1974). On there, they did a 2-part story about the "Pluto Reflex Gun". It had limited range, but almost unlimited power. And via a network of satellites, it could shoot around corners. The only problem the villains had was, HOW to "lure" their target within its range? This was taken care of, however, when the crew of the Argo realized that base on Pluto was where the bombs devastating Earth originated. So, they deliberately headed straight for it, not knowing about the "GUN" until they were already being hit by it. Oh yeah, and as if to point out the probability that whoever wrote the BG version saw the SB version first-- Pluto was an ICE PLANET.


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