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Battlestar Galactica (1978)

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After the destruction of the Twelve Colonies of Mankind, the last major fighter carrier leads a makeshift fugitive fleet in a desperate search for the legendary planet Earth.


Richard A. Colla, Alan J. Levi (uncredited)


Glen A. Larson



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Hatch ... Captain Apollo
Dirk Benedict ... Lieutenant Starbuck
Lorne Greene ... Commander Adama
Herbert Jefferson Jr. ... Lieutenant Boomer
Maren Jensen ... Lieutenant Athena
Tony Swartz Tony Swartz ... Flight Sergeant Jolly
Noah Hathaway ... Boxey
Terry Carter ... Colonel Tigh
Lew Ayres ... President Adar
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Sire Anton
John Colicos ... Count Baltar
Laurette Spang ... Cassiopeia
John Fink ... Dr. Paye
Jane Seymour ... Serina
Ray Milland ... Sire Uri


The story of how the Twelve Colonies of Mankind are destroyed after 1,000 years of war with the evil Cylon Empire. Through deceit, the Cylons are able to destroy the Colonies' entire fleet, except for the Battlestar Galactica, captained by Commander Adama. Adama gathers up the few remaining humans left on all the twelve worlds and embarks on a journey to find the mythical planet Earth, the supposed thirteenth colony, lost millennia ago when humans first left the motherworld Kobol. With food and fuel running out, the fleet heads for a mineral planet, Carillon, hoping to get what they need. The Ovions, who populate the planet, are being controlled by the Cylons, who set a trap for the Galactica. Under a clever ruse, Adama convinces the Cylons that his pilots are on the surface at a banquet, while the real pilots are at full combat readiness. The fleet gets their food and fuel, and escapes, destroying Carillon and a Cylon Baseship hiding behind the planet. Written by BSG Mailing List <bsg@csonline.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They were searching for a star called Earth, but first they had to win a great war. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

18 May 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kampfstern Galactica See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario) | (Québec) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Sensurround (theatrical print)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The opening narration in the theatrical version concluded with the line, "who even now fight to survive far, far away amongst the stars." In the series, the narration concluded with the line, "who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens." See more »


Shortly after Apollo and Zac launch, as they make a turn there is a very brief moment when a Cylon Raider is visible in the lower left hand of the screen (only on the DVD box set, Saga of a Star World). See more »


Lieutenant Athena: Commander, we're picking up some attack signals between Purple and Orange Squadrons. We don't *have* Purple and Orange Squadrons.
Commander Adama: Purple and Orange?
Colonel Tigh: Starbuck and Apollo?
Commander Adama: Lord help them both!
See more »


Followed by Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

"...beyond our star system, in a galaxy much like our own..."
7 March 2007 | by The_Other_SnowmanSee all my reviews

The above statement, from the patriarchal Commander Adama (Lorne Green) sums up this show quite nicely. Adama has to lead the last survivors of humanity from the Twelve Colonies of Kobol to a long-lost mythic planet called Earth, home of the 13th Tribe, after the colonies are attacked by the robotic and clumsy Cylons, who strafe a city or two and kill at least one dog.

The first part of Adama's statement is fair enough. Clearly another solar system would be located beyond your own solar system. Oh, but it's also in a different galaxy? You might as well say that the restaurant you're trying to find is "Just down the street, in another country". I wonder if the writers knew what they were talking about.

"Galactica" is full of moments like this. The Vipers, the little fighter planes our heroes fly into battle, have enormous fiery exhaust trails, implying constant acceleration, the effect of which would be to reduce our heroes to strawberry jam. (The Vipers themselves look like hastily cobbled-together knock-offs of the X-wings from "Star Wars"). Their cockpits even have a little instrument on the dashboard telling the pilot which way is "up" -- in space.

The villains of the show are the infamous Cylons, renowned in the realm of televised science fiction as the dumbest, clumsiest, and most ridiculous-looking villains ever. It's to be expected that they can't shoot, but these chrome-plated robots can barely walk. According to Lorne Green, the Cylons are just plain evil, but I'm not sure "evil robots" is all that meaningful, although I did have an evil calculator once. I'm never quite sure whether the Cylons had an organic counterpart who created them, but it doesn't really matter.

In many ways this show is a shallow imitation of "Star Wars," and this can be seen in the cast of characters. Particularly Starbuck (Dirk Benedict), who tries so hard to be Han Solo, but only comes off as petulant, sexist, and rather pathetic. Apollo is the noble, Luke Skywalker hero type, and as such doesn't have a personality. Starbuck has a faithful black sidekick, Boomer, who seems to be much more competent than Starbuck. Adama also has a faithful black sidekick, called Colonel Tigh, who at one point is reduced to picking up everyone's laundry. Take that, Civil Rights Movement!

The destruction of the human colonies is a brief, and amazingly painless affair. A park is strafed by Cylon ships, and a small dog is killed (though the actual death is not shown, so we are left with some hope). Soon enough, our heroes have forgotten all about the genocide: Starbuck tries to get it on with two equally boring women, and Apollo enters into a creepy relationship with the little boy whose dog was maybe killed (though it might be slightly less creepy if you consider he was only trying to sleep with Jane Seymour, the boy's mother). The Cylons, meanwhile, attack again, but are destroyed because they're so utterly incompetent.

Oh yes, and there's a robot dog. I think it was actually a chimp in a robot-dog costume, but either way it's quite nauseating. The special effects are all right to start off (I like those old effects from the Seventies and Eighties, sometimes more than modern CGI), but get very repetitive very fast. I could also mention the preposterous characterization of the humans, including weak-kneed pacifists who are quickly killed, the inexplicably evil and stupid Lord Baltar (John Colicos) who betrays humanity, and the unbelievably dumb Council of Twelve, who prove that democracy just doesn't work.

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