Battlestar Galactica: Season 1, Episode 1

Saga of a Star World (17 Sep. 1978)

TV Episode  |   |  Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 255 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 3 critic

The Twelve Colonies of Man are annihilated by the Cylons. Adama, commanding the last surviving Battlestar, takes it upon himself to lead all remaining survivors aboard 220 ships to find a ... See full summary »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Swartz ...
Maren Jensen ...
Laurette Spang ...
John Fink ...


The Twelve Colonies of Man are annihilated by the Cylons. Adama, commanding the last surviving Battlestar, takes it upon himself to lead all remaining survivors aboard 220 ships to find a new home. After the Galactica's fighter pilots successfully navigate a path through the Nova of Madagon minefield, the spoiled Sire Uri proposes to settle down on Carillon, where food and entertainment are provided by the natives. However, Adama suspects a Cylon trap. Written by The TV Archaeologist

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Release Date:

17 September 1978 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original shooting model, restored for a display at Universal Studios several years after "Galactica 1980" wrapped production, went missing when the display was removed. The model, which Universal views as stolen property, has yet to be recovered. See more »


During Zac's dogfight the camera cuts to a shot of his joystick, but the hand operating it belongs to a woman, and there is white nail polish on the thumbnail. See more »


Commander Adama: And just what did you think you were doing, volunteering for a mission like that? Sire Uri must be laughing up his sleeve.
Captain Apollo: What's worrying you more, the mission or your being made to look foolish by Uri?
See more »


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

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User Reviews

To Save The Human Race
3 December 2010 | by (Camden, NJ (The Forbidden Zone)) – See all my reviews

A gigantic space battleship, loaded to the gills with warriors, laser turrets, shuttle craft & fighter jets, must travel from one end of the galaxy to another, to save all of mankind from total annihilation. But wait, that's SPACE CRUISER YAMOTO (1974). Creator-Producer-Writer Glen Larson "borrowed" from a WHOLE lot of different sources when he came up with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, including WAGON TRAIN, THE STARLOST, the general look and vibe of STAR WARS, THE BIBLE, and, a complete surprise to me, The Book of Mormon.

The 70's was a very downbeat, gloomy time for science-fiction. In the wake of PLANET OF THE APES, the motto seemed to be, "the world is going to hell, and there's nothing we can do about it". This was even reflected in several sci-fi TV shows, including UFO, POTA, and most infamously, Gerry Anderson's abominably bad SPACE: 1999. When I first heard of the premise-- 12 colony planets totally wiped out, and the survivors ON THE RUN for their lives (oh great-- another FUGITIVE riff!), I though, Oh no, do we really need this? But I watched anyway. I guess curiosity (and limited choices) will do that to ya.

Unlike YAMOTO (STAR BLAZERS in the US), which got me totally involved on a deep, emotional level from the very first, the BG pilot left me flat. I felt no connection or interest in the planets that were wiped out, and only disdain for the wimpy, incompetent politicians who let it happen. DR. KILDARE himself (Lew Ayers!) over saw the proceedings, helplessly standing by and whining, "How could I have been so wrong?" John Colicos ("Kor" from STAR TREK) actually had an almost "Dr. Smith" vibe when he suggested it "might not be prudent" to sent out a patrol just as the enemy fleet was about to wipe EVERYBODY out.

Amidst all this, are countless scenes of likable character played by likable actors, just standing around saying very little, with dim, confused looks on their faces. WHO was responsible for this? Glen Larson wrote MUCH better on McCLOUD (indeed, his scripts tended to be among that show's finest). I checked out the director, Richard Colla. Whatta ya know! Of all the things in Colla's resume, the ONE that stood out besides this was the PILOT episode of McCLOUD, "Who Killed Miss USA?" That was the one really terrible, almost unwatchable story in what was otherwise my favorite TV series of the 70's. I guess Larson figured if the guy started out one show badly that became a hit, why not give him a chance to repeat his crimes against TV audiences?

TV veteran Lorne Greene doesn't even seem to wake up until the 3rd episode. Until then, the ONLY actors who come across "natural" despite the lame script and incompetent directing are Dirk Benedict (it's no surprise Starbuck was probably this show's most popular character) and Terry Carter as Col. Tigh. I always liked him as Joe Broadhurst on McCLOUD. Here, he keeps getting the BEST lines! Especially the bit where he's collecting uniforms, but over-acts to keep curious pilots from finding out what's going on. "When Commander Adama sees this-- he's GONNA GO CRAZY!" I also give special notice to Maren Jensen as Athena, who showed real promise despite having far too little to do. It was a great disappointment when she all but disappeared in the 2nd half of the run.

All in all, re-watching this was not as painful as I expected, but it still hurt to see something with so much potential not living up to it. I guess we can blame ABC's stupidity. BG was intended as a series of TV movies, like McCLOUD, or the much-later PERRY MASON revival, where each story could stand on its own as a "special event", while in this case also slowly moving the "big story" ahead. The network suit whose decision forced BG to become a weekly series should have been FIRED and never worked in Hollywood again.

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