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Trouble-Plagued Sequel To Battlestar Galactica
Michael Daly3 June 2003
ABC's decision to cancel Battlestar Galactica after one season didn't sit well with viewers, and the show's strong ratings (it out-rated almost every ABC series renewed for 1979-80) easily justified continuation. But with costs rising faster than expected ABC and Universal Studios wanted the show for substantially less than the per-episode costs of the original show, and at a time when SFX technology was not as advanced as today (modern SFX technology allows maintenance of a series' high production values at greater affordability, as well as allowing greater production of original SFX footage), there was no practical argument against the economics angle that hurt the show.

Nonetheless, ABC tried to continue the Galactica mythos on a budget, and regardless of whether series creator Glen Larson was involved. Larson signed on to try and make it work, but the result, Galactica 1980, was a bitter disappointment to all.

The show's weaknesses were extensive, but by far the greatest weakness lay in the deception used in promotion before the first episode aired. Promotions used the footage of Cylon raiders blasting Los Angeles extensively and gave the impression that the Cylon empire had found Earth and was in process of slaughtering the last planet of humanity, a premise that would have given the show a much stronger punch. But this footage was merely part of a "what if?" computer simulation to illustrate why the survivors of the Twelve Colonies cannot colonize Earth - "If we land, we will bring destruction upon Earth as surely as if we'd inflicted it ourselves," as Commander Adama succinctly puts it in one of the show's best lines.

With this premise of real life Cylon predation against Earth thus vetoed, the show begins to suffer, hurt even more by the excessive juvenile angle in the platoon of children rescued from the freighter Delphi after it is ambushed by Cylon raiders and forced to land on Earth, and also in the use of the mysterious Seraph youth Doctor Zee - had Doctor Zee been a Cylon creation (like the humanoid Cylon featured in "The Night The Cylons Landed" or better yet the Cylon IL Lucifer from the original series) that had turned against its masters, this angle would have made more sense - as it was, Zee's genesis did make for the show's best episode and surprisingly one of the best sci-fi episodes of any series, "The Return Of Starbuck." Subsequent graphic-novel speculations about Doctor Zee does make the character more understandable.

The show also suffered from several embarrassing incidents, notably the Halloween angle of "The Night The Cylons Landed" and the general incompatibility of the Kobollian survivors with the culture of Earth, leading to numerous bits of forced comedy that really aren't funny.

But despite these weaknesses, the show did have some superb moments - the Cylon attack on Los Angeles, deception or not, is compelling footage, lasting roughly ninty seconds on-screen and superbly mixing stock matte-FX footage of Cylon raiders over outtake footage from Universal's 1974 disaster film "Earthquake." The sequence thus becomes one the best SFX sequences ever done for television - I especially liked the shots of Cylon raiders blasting the Capitol Records building, Cylon raiders diving into strafing runs then cutting to the Cylon POV shot of a street being attacked, the street being strafed as seen from above then from low angle as a raider flies toward and then past the screen, and the triumphant flyover of Cylon raiders over the now-ravaged city.

The introduction of new Cylons in the human-form combat ILs in "The Night The Cylons Landed" as well as the new command-class AB raider (first seen mixed with the stock FX shot of Cylons strafing the Delphi in "The Super Scouts" but not fully explored until "Night") is also an intriguing look into the evolution of the Cylon empire; not surprisingly this idea was developed to great fruition by Ronald Moore for the 2003 version of Battlestar Galactica.

The arguments between Commander Adama and Commander Xavier (Richard Lynch) in the three-part pilot episode are well done - Lynch's Xavier gives the show as compelling a villain in his own way as John Colicos' Baltar, whose non-presence is particularly missed here. Also well done is the interaction between Troy (Kent McCord) and Dillon (Barry Van Dyke), especially early in the opening episode when we learn something of Troy's background. The presence of Boomer (Herbert Jefferson Jr.) is welcome with no other original cast members available except for Dirk Benedict's appearance in "Return Of Starbuck," and the series does tackle some moral dilemmas (notably the Nazi-Jewish angle in the three-part opening episode) generally avoided in the original series.

By no means is Galactica 1980 great television, but it does have some excellent moments, and the cast deserves credit for trying to make it work.
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Oh, come on... it wasn't THAT bad...
LenPal8 March 2003
Galactica 1980 may not have had what the original series had, but it DID bring closure to the series by bringing them to their final destination. The scenes on Earth weren't that great, but the segment on whatever happened to Starbuck was great.

I have great childhood memories of this series. SciFi channel just started running it again and I'm watching it more for nostalgia than as any kind of groundbreaking series. And for that, I guess I'll always love it.
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Laugh out loud bad
Jack29 May 2004
After Battlestar Galactica was canceled, the network decided to try and wring some more dollars out of the series by giving us this low budget thing. It was incredibly childish, featuring a bunch of little kids who could jump really high, like up into trees. I think they could turn invisible as well. They used these powers to throw apples at bumbling cops and stuff like that. The cops would look around, all confused, like "Where are the apples coming from?! I can't figure it out!". You get the idea. Then there were the two main characters who gave comically bad performances. When they first got to earth, they couldn't figure out what a phone booth was, and had trouble with our vocabulary. It could have been done in such a way as to make it realistic, or perhaps even funny, but the way it was done just came off as these two guys being idiots. And yes, they were the stars.

Plots were very much like a Saturday morning cartoon of the '70s, like Isis or Shazam. Packed full of "educational" material (did you know that cars have internal combustion engines?) and environmentalist schlock - the same guys who didn't know what a phone was got upset that people didn't like environmentalists.

Then there was Dr. Zee, the little kid who was supposed to be really smart. But because he was so smart, he spent a lot of time staring off into space, almost as if in a coma, and spoke his lines as if reciting from a cue card. Definitely in the top 10 most laughably bad character I can remember in any TV show right now.

I have to say this thing rates extremely high on the "so bad it's good" scale. I mean, you just can't help but laugh at it.
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4/10
That bad, HOWEVER. . .
MovieBuffMarine14 November 2008
At least this attempt at trying to revive BG still retained the FUN of the original series. I saw this series when it first came out, boy was I excited! My disappointment at the time was the lack of ninety some percent of the original cast. Other than that, as an eight year old kid, I didn't care.

Then through the years I read about the crap that it contained. I read that BG fans the world over don't consider it canon and that it's a conspiracy. I can agree with them on that, too!

(I've said this before, I'll say it again, poor Barry Van Dyke has the dismal honor of being cast in two failed revival shows, the other being Airwolf. Both shoes were on the premise of some revival, though the 1987 Airwolf was done mostly to get the show on the syndication market, and both had writing problems, continuity errors, and very limited budgets.)

Fast forward to 2008 when IMDb started having viewable episodes on site. Despite the cheesiness, corniness and continuity errors, the show is STILL FUN TO WATCH! While I still agree the G1980 was utter crap, at least it's still watchable in my humble opinion. Other than comedy, so called "serious" shows today (whether they be SciFi or Drama) lack the fun of both BG and G1980.

This was a poor execution of the right idea: meaning that we BG fans wanted it back on the air, but got less than stellar results. Too bad bickering over the years and other factors got in the way of making it "right." It's a shame the new incarnation wasn't a continuation (I enjoy it by the way. They really put their effort into the stories and characters, even if the fun is gone and it is a dark series.) While it is a superb series in its own right, the fans were just completely ignored IMHO. It didn't really have to retain the fun, but continuation would have been nice, even if it's darker. But that's another story.

Galactica 1980, crap fest? Sure. But I give it credit for retaining the fun of the original. Makes it watchable if you don't pay too much attention to all the things against it.
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10/10
Seriously underused series
gritfrombray-16 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
As a lover of good science fiction and the original Battlestar series I have to say I enjoyed this. It started off with a good pilot and explored the factions growing in the fleet regarding Earth. The time travel story was quite well done too. The series had so much room for development. But there was not nearly enough Cylon involvement. The episode The Night The Cylons Landed was pretty good, but sadly we were only to see them one more time before the series untimely demise. This episode, Space Croppers was fantastic. The Cylons damaged and or destroyed Agro ships prompting Adama to establish a farming colony on Earth. If this had been the direction the series had taken from minute one I really believe it would have worked. Doctor Mortinson's involvement with Troy and Dillon was too quickly forgotten about too. Another idea would have seen Commander Cain return in the Pegasus with his own fleet in tow and boot the Cylons across the Galaxy in a battle that would have really drawn all the non believers back! Kent McCord said clearly that if they had not been given the terrible time slot of Sunday evening the series would have done far better in the ratings. Waiting patiently for a decent DVD release with some behind the scenes footage.A potentially brilliant series gone, but not forgotten....
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1/10
With apologies to Homer Simpson, I can't believe I watched the whole thing!
Lexx-224 February 2004
2003 saw the re-launch of the Battlestar Galactica in the form of a cable miniseries and the DVD release of the 1978-79 original, promoted as the "Complete Epic Series". Amidst the fan hackles that were raised over the mini-series, (a top-to-bottom remake, and not the continuation many fans had hoped for) Richard Hatch's 4&1/2min promo trailer The Second Coming gathered a new mystique. Hatch's post-series novels continued to sell and even pre-production remnants from Tom DeSanto's aborted 2001 revival attempt were gleefully feasted upon by fans.

The one thing that didn't enjoy renewed interest was Galactica 1980, a series few remember and fewer even knew existed. Every other incarnation of Galactica can be enjoyed on multiple levels, but G80 is only good for taking the p*ss, MST3K-style. This is truly one of the worst, most hilariously misbegotten pieces of television in existance.

As with all roads to hell, G80 started out with the best of intentions, as Glen A Larson's pitch to revive the recently-canned Battlestar was seized upon by ABC, who had a gap in their Sunday night schedule. But a number of problems quickly developed to ensure utter disaster. First, the budget was severely reduced from the original (hence Galactica finding earth, which minimized sets and effects). In turn, most of the original cast were either unwilling or unable to return. This led to an abrupt rewrite, which set the show thirty years after the BSG, causing major continuity problems with BSG's final episode (which ended with footage of the Moon landing), so as to accommodate the casting of Kent McCord and Barry Van Dyke. Of the original cast, only Lorne Greene (and to a distinctly lesser extent, Herb Jefferson Jr) returned, sporting a ragged fake beard and barely concealed embarrassment. ABC demanded that "educational dialogue" be shoehorned into the scripts (in accordance with the 7pm kiddie timeslot) and that a cadre of cute kids (many played by Larson's own offspring!) and a truly loathsome kid genius (the infamous Dr Zee) be added.

Larson, aware that things were spinning out of control, wrote (and rewrote) most of the episodes himself in an attempt to minimize the damage, but to no avail. Last of all, ABC rushed the series into production, where all of the above factors collided into one hell of a train wreck.

And as they say about train wrecks, you can't take your eyes off Galactica 1980. From the eye-rolling dialogue, delivered with almost poignant sincerity, (you've really gotta feel for these actors, you really do) to the awful attempts at humor (an earthbound Cylon being mistaken for a Halloween reveler, for one) to the heavy, heavy, HEAVY reliance on stock footage from BSG (dig the opening five minutes of Space Croppers) and other sources, (Silent Running, Earthquake and I swear to god Close Encounters!) its an unmitigated campfest nearly all the way.

I say nearly because, if there is anything close to a decent episode in this series, it has to be the final one, "The Return of Starbuck". Dirk Benedict returns one last time as everyone's favorite space-hopping skirt-chaser for a flashback story with very little (thank god) of the regular cast. It's a suprisingly touching send off for the space cowboy and an indication of what Galactica 1980 could have been with the right kind of handling.

And yeah, I watched it all. It was mid 96, my parents had cable and I had no life. And here I am telling you all about it....

But honestly, I've probably piqued your curiosity by now, right? So go on, hop on Petition Online and start rallying Universal to release this "Complete Epic Series" on DVD straight away! The commentaries would be worth the price tag alone.....

PS: Believe it or not, the voice of the Imperious Leader in Space Croppers (sorry to bring that episode up again) is none other than 24's Mr President, Dennis Haysbert. Kinda prophetic, don't you think?
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7/10
Fun show!
stevenfallonnyc27 March 2008
I have no problem at all admitting I like "Galactica 1980". I deliberately avoided buying any bootlegs of the show because I figured the new (and bad) Galactica show would eventually see this released.

Sure it's flawed, but it was a fun show. It actually started off with a really good three-parter, when Troy and Dillon first come to Earth to check things out for the Galactica. I liked that Apollo did appear in a photograph and that one of the main adult characters was a grown-up Boxey. And seeing Boomer again was also great.

I remember as a kid being disappointed that the Cylon attack on Los Angeles was "fake" (a "computer simulation" to see what would happen if the Cylons found Earth) because it was done so clever and well, using the "Earthquake" movie footage. The subplot with Robert Reed as the doctor who makes friends with Troy and Dillon starts off good but Reed's character is simply forgotten about after a few episodes unfortunately. Instead, an Earth woman befriends the Galactica guys and the focal point eventually becomes a bunch of bratty kids, which is where the show starts to get a bit annoying.

The plots are cool, but frankly there just were not enough Cylons in the series. Finally towards the end of the series they start to appear, but in a goofy Halloween setting.

The last episode is generally regarded as the best because it shows the return of Starbuck, who actually makes friends with a Cylon after being stranded from the fleet in flashback. It was very cool seeing Boomer behind the controls of a Viper again. Even this episode has a few problems, such as the Cylon's voice, and where DID he find that girl? The ending is downright sad. Also, there was no Troy and Dillon for this final episode (the actors must have loved that).

So yeah, it has tons of stock footage, goofy kids and thin plots. But it is a fun show, and definitely a fun watch. I for one and very glad it is on DVD, although no extras is a disappointment.
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4/10
Better than the sci fi channel soap opera
stargatemd11 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
While Galactica 1980 was not anywhere near as good as the original series (10 out of 10 in my opinion)with it's few new but cheesy special effects shots. Come on a strobe light as a special effect? how disco. Even with the later kiddie scripts it is still better than the sci fi channel remake. This show did have some humor with it's fish out of water bits that many find fault with but I find funny, wouldn't't any alien dropped into a strange culture and trying to blend in would have that problem?. I will agree with some that the show was a pale imitation of the original but......it was far better than the political soap opera that they are trying to pawn off on us as entertainment today. If I wanted to watch a soap opera I would watch a soap opera. I for one am enjoying my new set of DVD's of Galactica 1980 and will enjoy them long after the bad taste of the new series has left my mouth. *hint I don't watch it*
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A truly awful series and not at all like the original.
Rob_Taylor20 December 2002
The worst series in the world....ever!

After the events of the REAL Battlestar Galactica and series, this troll of a series came along. Gone are Starbuck and Apollo and replacing them are Troy and Dillon. Wannabee heroes who can't act. They might as well have cast Troi (StarTrek TNG) and Dillan (Magic Roundabout) for all the effectiveness they have.

Lorne Greene must have had a mortgage to pay off or something, because I can't see any other reason he'd want to be on board this turkey.

There's a new character, in the form of the obnoxious Dr Zee. A child genius who basically tells Adama what to do. I couldn't help thinking that maybe Adama had gone senile and Zee was his nurse - he always dressed in white, anyhow. It certainly seemed like Adama was senile, he didn't seem to be able to make a decision without consulting the boy-wonder. A far cry from the confident, decisive war veteran of the original Galactica series.

Anyway Troy and Dillon get to inact it up a little and go to Earth on repetitive boring missions. There's none of the interesting space-going malarkey from the original series (even though a lot of it was stock footage) and I don't think I ever saw a starfighter. No budget for anything remotely interesting.

The only gadgets on display were the flying motorcycles (I kid you not) that the heroes use now and again. The special effects of them flying through the air are particularly guffawful, reminding me of those old rear-window shots of roads in black and white films, where the road movements in the background bore no correlation to what the driver did with the wheel.

A truly awful series and not at all like the original. Only one episode is remotely worth watching. Entitled "The Return of Starbuck" it focuses on what happened to Starbuck and has a kind of "Enemy Mine" plot involving a Cylon. Mercifully, it features only very few scenes of Dr Zee and Adama talking and none at all of Troy and Dufus. Nearly all Starbuck.

But, apart from this one episode, the rest of the series is just awful.
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Good GOOGALEEMOOGALEE It Stinks!
crooow6425 July 2002
You know, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA was an ambitious show that had some problems due mainly to the fact that it was very expensive to produce. So rather than address that, the TV execs in their usual brilliance decided to fire most of the cast and crap on the fans. The result, GALACTICA 1980!

Horrid, putrid and eye-bleedingly wretched are terms that only begin to describe this odious obscenity that was obviously cobbled together in the wee hours the morning of it's premiere.

The surviving cast members from BG (Lorne Greene and Herbert Jefferson) both appear in old age make-up (did the producer's think they could connect with the 80-something viewers?). Seems that after years in space (gosh, seems just like last year.) that the Colonial Fleet has finally found Earth, BUT, they decide it's better if they don't actually land on Earth because that might alert the Cylons who want ot destroy all humans. Makes sense...for about 10 seconds until you realize that the Cylons cost too much to appear in this series! Enter Warriors "Troy" and "Dillion" who make many scouting missions to Earth. They don't really do anything much, they stand around and talk, and worry and fret. Meanwhile Adama and Col. "Boomer" stand around and talk, and worry and fret about whether Troy and Dillon will survive their latest mission. I think if they're so worried, maybe they should send someone else, seems these two warriors are the only two who ever see any action, if you can call it that. There's also some earth-chick they pal around with for some reason that I can't remember. They also now have on board "Dr. Zee", a supposedly brilliant child who gets to tell Cmdr. Adama what to do, when he's not getting beat up by the cool kids over on "The Rising Star" I mean. Seems to me they had some flying motorcycles, HELL they probably had flying monkeys too! It's just that BAD!

Word is that there's a revival of Battlestar Galactica in the works and that it continues the series from the first series and ignores the GALACTICA 1980 continuity, as it should.

GALACTICA 1980 is the worst series since SUPERTRAIN!
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10/10
Galactica '80 is to Battlestar Galactica as Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was to Star Trek!
Juicy_Kumquat16 June 2009
Both are plain fun!

++++For those 1st season watchers that are fans of the new series....this is the season that introduced the "human like" cylons.

This series lasts 10 episodes and is entertaining to those who have a base knowledge of Galactica '79 or even the new series (which were both more serious). In this, Galactica has found earth during 1980 and the questions of what would happen if? are pursued. This series is in fun.

Events happen like:

-A Galactica kids' baseball team takes on a Human kids' one.

-Two Galactica motorcyclists are challenged by a "Hells Angel" type group.

-Cylons visit a Human Halloween party and take over a radio station.

-Galactican's stop hijackers from taking over a human plane.

-A "baddie" Galatican (Baltar like) tries to help the Nazi's.

I watched (and bought) this after I saw the 1st season and the new series. I thoroughly enjoyed this lighthearted take.
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Galactica 1980 is a work of pure genius
James Lipton14 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In 1980.. a TV series came out that changed the face of American theater arts. That series, of course, is "Galactica 1980: The Conquest of the Earth". If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and see the most magnificent television series EVER...in the history...OF THE WORLD.

I was truly touched to see the deep level of commitment that the survivors of Battlestar Galactica had in regards to the anti-nuclear campaign and radical environmentalism of the early 80s. I know of no other space beings in television who ever began saving the earth from pollution while dressed as Boy Scout Troop leaders as killer robots were chasing them across the universe.

The scene featuring an intrusion of the Cylon killer robots into a children's Halloween party was quite disturbing. Only the shower scene played by Anthony Hopkins in "Psycho" could possibly come close to equaling the cinematic horror portrayed by this excellent episode.

This series is just saturated in originality which no other television production ever dared tried to copy. Galactica 1980's position at the top of television theater is seemingly forever secured.
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4/10
Not the great conclusion fans had hoped for
Jiiimbooh14 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
**minor spoilers**

The original Battlestar Galactica's (1978) sequel/spin-off show Galactica 1980 (1980), about the Galactica finally arriving at Earth, was not a great success at the time, and watching it for the first time in 2013, I can understand why. There are some good ideas here and there, but also some very, very bad ones.

Starting with the characters, they are very one-dimensional. There is never any real disagreement between the good characters, and they don't seem to have many flaws. The good ones are 100% good and the bad ones are just evil. This makes them seem very much like just characters, and not like real people you relate to or care about. In the original series the good characters didn't always agree, and at least Starbuck could be described as flawed. Boxey returns, but as an adult. This is a good idea, except the character suffers from the problems mentioned above. We find out that his real name is Troy, and he has a sidekick named Dillon. A female reporter from Earth becomes a friend of Troy and Dillon. Boomer from the original series has a supporting role in some episodes. Adama also returns for the sequel show, as a regular, but his role of being the wise leader is handed over to the super-intelligent child Dr. Zee (played by two different actors.) There could have been an interesting conflict if there was ever a disagreement between the two, Adama with his life experience, and Dr. Zee with his extraordinary intelligence, but alas—Adama even says in "Galactica Discovers Earth" that Dr. Zee has never been wrong. Adama seems wasted here, which is a shame.

Despite the problems with the characters, the show nonetheless has an acceptable start with the sci-fi-war thriller three-parter "Galactica Discovers Earth." The fleet arrives at Earth in the present time (ca. 1980), but soon a time travel story follows in which the characters travel back to the Second World War. It at least kept my interest for all of the episodes. After this we have a change of tone, genre, and it would appear, target audience with "The Super Scouts" (two parts), and "Spaceball," which are family entertainment/silly comedy, with some sci-fi elements. In "The Super Scouts," the school ship is attacked by Cylons and has to crash-land on Earth, with Troy, Dillion, and the fleet's children on board. On Earth, the children pose as scouts, and the adults as scout leaders. (They have not made their presence known to us Earthlings.) This story has a message about pollution, with three of the children becoming sick from the water in a lake. Not shown or mentioned until "The Super Scouts" are the Galacticans' "super powers." Since gravity on board the Galactica is higher than on Earth, the Galacticans have some abilities like strength and being able to jump high into the air. This sometimes serves as an easy way out of difficult situations. I would be more comfortable with these abilities if they had been present from the beginning; this way it seems like too much of an afterthought (which I'm sure it was.) "Spaceball" is about a baseball contest. In "The Night the Cylons Landed" (two parts) Troy and Dillon quickly leave the kids behind as they go to investigate the crash of a space craft. This is a relief as the show can become more of a sci-fi show again, but it still has some of the silly humor. A story about racism follows with "Space Croppers." Although the kids return it's still not a bad episode, but not great either. I wonder if they were really passionate about making this story, or if they just wanted to make a story with a message that seemed important, because it seems like social commentary was mandatory in all of the episodes.

Saved for last is the fan-favorite "The Return of Starbuck." It's nice to see another character from the original series. With all of the cardboard characters, it's also interesting to have a character that, despite being good and likable, still has made some morally questionable decisions in the past (i.e. his womanizing behavior.) I like the first half the most, when Starbuck crashes and is trapped alone on a desolate planet. A group of Cylons also crash-land and break, and Starbuck, having no other companions, and no one helping him to survive, tries to repair one of them. This is the best 25 or so minutes of the entire series.

Galactica 1980 is much worse than both the original series, and the 2003 mini-series. (I haven't seen the episodes from 2004 onwards.) With all the different directions it took, you can tell that there were some different wills involved. All-in-all, I can't recommend it if you're looking for a good sci-fi show, but if nothing else, it's an interesting failure.
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i very love this show,the 2th season "battlestar galactica" was very good
Behor Chulpaev17 June 2003
the 2th season of battlestar galactica was very good, they finely arives home to our planet and we can understand more what happend to galactica in earth. i do not understand people that say "galactica 1980" is not sequel to "battlestar galactica" and why they say this.......?? they love galactica in space.......ok so we need to wayt 30 seasons to galactica finely fined home. but i say people they finely find home with new problems. i loved what they do with the cast, children of the original cast are battle with cylones after 30 years.
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Forlorn step child of the original
Scott-817 January 1999
"Galactica 1980" was someone's bad idea to rejuvenate the "Battlestar Galactica" series that had been cancelled the previous year but still had strong viewer demand.

It would have made sense to simply take up where the old series left off, but no, they went for a loop. All the old cast is gone except for Lorne Greene, and the Galactica has found Earth. However, she only hangs around in orbit, not revealing herself to the primitive earthlings.

The first question that comes to mind is how long could this last? The answer was not very. There's only so many soap opera turns you can make with a scenario like this. Thankfully the series was short lived. The only episode worth watching was the final one, which explains what happened to Starbuck. (And no, he didn't open a chain of coffee houses.)
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3/10
Five stars for "The Return of Starbuck"
pery-120 January 2014
"The Return of Starbuck was fun, with great humor. The rest were mostly very cheap looking, with silly lame stories, and set on earth. It really dragged. There were some scenes about Galactica in space, and some dogfights. Old Adama seemed weary and listless. Some of the explanations of how they were evading the cylons when traveling to earth were not believable. Baltar was one of the best parts of the original Battlestar Galactica and is sorely missed here. Where is the Cylon Imperious Leader?

I'm glad I watched it all so I didn't miss the one great episode- the last.
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10/10
Good show, bad ratings
blair-625-32033229 March 2010
The title of this review says it. No need to repeat it. Now for background: Battlestar Galactica, (the 1978 original, not the piece of felgercarb that aired on the Sci-Fi Channel, now SyFy), had been renewed for the 1979-80 season. However, due to high production costs, (not low ratings), it was cancelled. No meed to repeat what another reviewer said about that. Battlestar Galactica became too expensive and ABC wanted to pay less per-episode than it had agreed to with Universal. All but two characters, Commander Adama, (Lorne Greene), and Lieutenant, (now Colonel Boomer), were gone. Apollo, (Richard Hatch), Starbuck, (Dirk Benedict), and Jolly, (Tony Swartz), were gone. Instead, there were Captain Troy, Adam-12's Kent McCord), as a grownup Boxey, and Lieutenant Dillon, (Barry Van Dyke), who were the two Viper pilots. As the story goes, the Galactica, after thirty yahren, (years in the BG universe), the Galactica has reached Earth. Unfortunately, for the people of the ragtag, fugitive fleet, Earth isn't advanced enough to defend the Galactica, and itself, from the Cylons, an android race that wants to drive the human race to extinction, and according to the wunderkind Dr. Zee, the Galactica and the fleet, may have inadvertently led the Cylons to Earth. There were an impressive array of guest stars, William Daniels, Wolfman Jack, and Robert Reed. Robyn Douglass, was a television reporter named Jamie, who'd helped the interstellar refugees.
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The worst spinoff ever
Kevink129 March 2003
This was a horrible show which took place about a decade after the origal series. The premise was that the "rag tag" fleet has found earth which is not yet advanced enough to fight the Cylons. With cheesy special effects you get to see flying motorcycles and children who can leap fifty feet into the air.

The only half way decent episode was one where they did a flashback that explained what happened to Starbuck from the previous series.
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Confusing
hightech_redneck324465 December 2004
I enjoyed Galactica 1980 when I was eight years old. Of course I enjoyed anything that had spaceships shooting at each other. Well, I watched the show 13 years later on the sci-fi channel and I could tell it was not the best of TV shows ever written. I was trying to figure out how it correlated with the first season. What had happened to the original crew of the Battlestar Galactica? As for Captain Apollo, Colonel Tigh, Athena,Cassiopia, Doctor Wilkor and Jolly. The final episode was where Leutenant Starbuck was stranded did not make sense. In the final episode of the first season the fleet was in earths solar system and none of the planets were habitable. It was like the fleet backtracked in some area of the galaxy fighting the Cylons.
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1/10
surprisingly bad and pointless
impfac1 May 2012
Galactica 1980 is the rushed, pointless follow up to Battlestar Galactica. Almost the entire thing takes place on Earth, decades after the end of the original. It is poorly written with a threadbare budget and none of the feeling of the original, itself inferior to its remake.

The whole production feels rushed and cheap. I was impressed how the effects of the original held up-not so with 1980.

Add in kids and the all knowing "Doctor Zee," who makes Adama constantly look like a moron, plus lots of cheap laser effects and invisible pilots/planes, and this show is consigned to the ashbin of TV history.

It even has a crummy disco-ized BSG soundtrack.

Not worth watching. Most don't even consider it cannon to BSG.

*/**** (One star out of four)
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A series unworthy of the name "Galactica"
man-myth-legend11 March 2003
This is a very poorly constructed spin-off of the great "Battlestar Galactica" series. From watching the opening credits sequence, you can clearly see how

cheaply made this show is. The opening credits simply show clips from the

original Galactica series. Most of the action takes place on Earth, probably to save from having to construct fancy sets.

I also have a serious problem with the continuity of this show. There is no

explanation for the absences of Apollo, Athena, Cassiopeia, Jolly, Greenbean, and many others. Baltar, the original series' prime villain, has also vanished without explanation. Starbuck's absence is explained in the final episode of this series, which also happened to be "Galactica: 1980"s best.

The two new Colonial Warrior heroes, Captain Troy and Lieutenant Dillon, are

by far no proper replacements for the great Apollo and Starbuck, and an aged

Adama seems to be relegated to listening to some child genius named Dr. Zee,

who I found to be quite an annoying character.

This series is a grave injustice to the "Battlestar: Galactica" saga. True fans should shun this atrocity and enjoy the original series.
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2/10
A lesson to original Battlestar fans; be careful what you wish for!
Sebastian196627 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
As a kid, the premature cancellation of Battlestar Galactica was a huge letdown. It was my weekly 'escape' TV; the cathode-ray STAR WARS! Then came the rumor (no internet yet; STARLOG magazine...newspaper, that was it) that Galactica was not only coming back...but that they were going to find Earth! To quote "Flounder" from "Animal House"; "Oh boy, is this great!" Cut to January, 1980. In front of the TV. Stu Philips' score rang out. So far, so good. Lorne Greene was in the credits...okay, but...Kent McCord? The guy from ADAM-12?? Queasy feeling coming in. A few minutes into the show, we see Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch in a high chair with a strange voice dubbed in(sounding like the 'Keeper' from STAR TREK). Okay, mild panic sets in...my family was watching with me! THIS was the show I wanted back on the air so badly? Er, no. Then they break out the flying motorcycles...sinking feeling...then came the rationalizing: Oh, surely it'll get better! Then we see Mr. Brady as a nuclear scientist (in fairness, the late Robert Reed really tried) in a plot lifted whole from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" minus about 40 IQ points. The ersatz Apollo/Starbuck duo (called Dillon and Troy)get arrested (for assault and battery/attempted rape of the original series). But their handy-dandy personal cloaking devices save the day. Couldn't they have used the damned things before they got arrested?!? Okay...forget story, forget plot logic...just ignore any pieces that don't fit and say you finished the puzzle anyway! I still stayed with it! High expectations are a dangerous thing for a kid. Not that original Galactica was Masterpiece Theatre, but it was decent escapism for 1978(the era of Three's Company and Charlie's Angels!). This was a train wreck, yet I still watched! Like Galactica in the show, I was quietly hovering close by... waiting for the series to grow and develop; hoping it'd improve. After too many mind-numbing, lost hours of my life spent wading through crapisodes like "Space Croppers" and "Spaceball"(sports and sci-fi rarely mix!),the final episode was like a shot of morphine to a man hit by a falling plane; we had Cylons, a (younger)Boomer(minus the faux gray hair), and Starbuck!It was called,"The Return of Starbuck!" Not Dillon, or Troy. Whew! Better. It was a flashback episode(a dream of "Doctor Zee"--not the Robbie Rist model; a new generic British kid) regarding the fate of Starbuck. And it was the LAST episode. So ended my first big lesson about unrealistic expectations of entertainment. My next would be called "Return of the Jedi" 3 years later. And I had to PAY for that lesson! Thankfully, SCI-FI channel has resurrected Battlestar and given it the dignified, adult treatment I'd always felt it deserved. Of course, this version could not have aired in 1978 nor would it have been appropriate for kids. But it seemed to me, the show 'grew up.' And it really washes away the fungal, dingy blot on the show's history that was Galactica:1980. It's watchable only to see how bad bad can be. At your own peril, of course. Just keep your expectations nice and low, and no one gets hurt!
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Goof: Unexplained situation
tdemurray31 March 2003
In episode "The Return of Starbuck", we learn of the origin of Dr. Zee and perhaps the fate of Starbuck. Starbuck, marooned on a desolate planet, had just sent the woman and child off in the makeshift spaceship, and survived against the just arrived three (3) Cylons. Why was he now marooned? Wasn't there a perfectly good Cylon ship that had just landed? It's crew wasn't going to use it.
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Worse than "Robot Monster"
arion14 November 2003
This is quite possibly the worst TV series ever made. After Battlestar Galactica failed, ABC attempted a spinoff series using the premise of the Galactica finding Earth. With that concept in mind, they could have done anything! Instead, the decision was made to downgrade the viewing audience to 8-10 year-olds. In doing so, they committed three big mistakes:

1) It cost them the faithful viewers they already had.

2) The time-slot was inappropriate for such viewers, since most children would already be in bed.

3) Children who do watch TV science fiction wanted simple storylines with lots of action, which Galactica 1980 did not provide, thus alienating the ones who did tune in.

Compounding these problems was the loss of popular characters established in the previous series, moralizing scripts with thinly-veiled lectures on political correctness and environmentalism, and sloppy editing. There was also the problem (freuquently encountered in science fiction) of 'deus ex machina'; the god out of the machine--the idea that all problems can be solved with superior technology. This put the Galactican humans in the position of being moralizing gods trying to correct the wayward, Earth-bound humans. Either Executive Producer Glen Larson was unaware of this problem, or he didn't care about it, because nearly all scripts fell into this trap and never climbed out.

Universal has never released Galactica 1980 on either tape or DVD, and it's a good thing, because no one will buy or rent it. If you do, you'll be sorry! It is terrible!
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2/10
Feldercarb
Ron Brooks5 August 2008
I am a die hard SciFi fan, but even as a young boy, this 'remake' was IMHO truly a waste of my time. I do not say this lightly as I love SciFi, but this effort is crap to put it in its best light.

Even putting aside everything else, one thing even as a youth 'jumped the shark.' I remember where two characters were arrested. What do you know, but they did NOT have any fingerprints. I remember earlier that Starbuck and Apollo in the original series had to have their prints scanned to enter a secure area.

Now this may be nit picking, but this IMHO is a glaring gaff. Add this up to the sorry acting in this follow on and it truly sucks.
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