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"Battlestar Galactica" The Lost Warrior (1978)

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

"Shane"-- In Space!!!

Author: Henry Kujawa ( from Camden, NJ (The Forbidden Zone)
21 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When ABC decided, at a very late date, that BG should be a weekly, there was a mad scramble to produce "one-off" episodes that could fill those weeks, something that was never part of Glen Larson's intentions when he created the series. 4 such episodes were quickly knocked out, and frankly, only 1 of them is really watchable. The others contain some nice moments, in spite of their rushed origins, but tend to be somewhat painful to watch. "THE LOST WARRIOR" was the first of these, and put simply, this is probably the episode that KILLED the show, ratings-wise. Pushing it up in the schedule to air before "ICE PLANET ZERO" (it was made right after) probably just made things worse, as this was broadcast only the 4th week into the season.

To draw attention away from the fleet, Apollo flies a solo mission, knowing Cylons are pursuing him. The ruse works, but he finds himself stranded on an isolated planet, out of fuel. Was this really a well-thought-out plan, since everyone on the main ship acts as if they all expected it to be a one-way suicide mission? Considering Apollo is thought of as one of their best fighter-pilots, you have to think somebody wasn't thinking straight when HE of all people, was picked for the job. Especially as he has a young son to take care of.

Surprisingly, the part of the story I found the MOST fun to watch was where Starbuck decides to watch Boxey until his father returns... and the kid winds up sitting in on a poker game ("Pyramids"), surrounded by pilots who are smoking and drinking (FRUIT JUICE! HONEST!!). Boxey has developed such a way about him here, you can tell he's on his way to growing up to be another Starbuck (if his father doesn't watch out-- heh). After being chewed out by one of his girlfriends, Cassiopia (who has somehow also volunteered to watch Boxie), Starbuck & Boomer decide to go in search of the missing Apollo, whatever it takes.

The part of the story that quickly became notorious was when Apollo finds that planet he's stuck on has a human colony who seem to have lost all knowledge of the other Colonies, and know nothing of space flight, or the war, or Cylons. Well, except for ONE Cylon. It seems some years back, one lone pilot was having a dogfight with a Cylon, and both crashed and walked away from it. The human married a woman and had a son, while the Cylon was found by a lazy good-for-nothing who found it damaged, and all-too-willing to obey his every command. So this sleaze-ball essentially took over the town, and has spent years demanding "tribute" from his neighbors. A not-so-good old-fashioned "western showdown" seems what's called for, and we get one... eventually.

The woman's brother, who learned about the Colonial Warriors from her now-late husband (the Cylon killed him before the story began), is played by Lance LeGault, who years later became the 2nd (and more maniacal) of the army officers bent on capturing George Peppard & crew on THE A-TEAM. Angered by Apollo's hesitation to take action (he didn't want to set a bad example for the boy, who reminds him too much of his own), LeGault, in a drunken fit, winds up getting himself killed.

Apollo, trying to get a feel of the situation, cozies up to "Lacerta", who controls the damaged Cylon. Lacerta is played by Claude Earl Jones, and the best way to describe him is, he spends the entire story "channelling" Victor Buono. (NOT Sidney Greenstreet! Victor Buono!!) He looked awful familiar, but I had to look his name up to find he was a regular on Dabney Coleman's series BUFFALO BILL, where he played Stan Fluger, the stage-hand whose name Bill could NEVER remember.

We finally get the the showdown, as expected, the Cylon goes down, and Lacerta, after all the hell he's caused so many people, simply flees town. You'd have thought the entire community would have wanted to see him strung up!

Apollo explains to Puppis (what an ANNOYING name for a kid, even worse than "Boxey") that he was scared the whole time, and killing is only something you do when it's absolutely necessary. The mother, seeing how much Apolo misses his son, finally gets around to mentioning that the ship belonging to her late husband, while not in shape to fly, DOES have fuel... How long do you suppose she was planning to hold out on telling him this? Next thing, he's back in space, JUST in time to rendezvous with his 2 best friends, who were on their way to running out of fuel themselves.

Overall, this isn't completely unwatchable. It's just a shame it ever got filmed at all. After the huge expectations built up by the first 2 stories, audiences were surely turned off when they realized the show so quickly was degenerating into insignificant "westerns-in-space" stories that were already clichés on TV more than a decade earlier.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Battlestar Shane

Author: Fluke_Skywalker from United States
8 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Plot; Apollo crash lands on an Old West style planet where a similarly crashed Cylon has become a deadly gunslinger and the muscle for the local tyrant.

This is essentially Battlestar Shane, with Richard Hatch (Apollo) in the classic Alan Ladd role. Hatch is in his wheelhouse here, getting the be the sensitive fighter. I don't know that he was ever destined to be a big star, but through the pilot movie and these first three episodes, he's impressed me not only with his likability, but with the subtle touches he brings. The guest stars are also solid, particularly Kathy Cannon as the widow, Lance LeGault as her brother, and Claude Earl Jones as the town tyrant, Lacerta.

The idea of the Old West motif in space--not just evocative, but literally Old West--is a bit silly on the surface, but it's used to good effect to tell a simple, timeworn story that's a nice changeup from the hi-tech halls of the Galactica.

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