Battlestar Galactica (1978) - ORBzine 2000.02 Television Review

ORBzine - Battlestar Galactica (TOS) February 2000

[Season 1 (1978) !Galactica 1980 !Battlestar Galactica (2003) ]

  • Adama (Lorne Greene - Bonanza)
  • Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS )
  • Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) )
  • Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial )
  • Apollo's fiance, Jane Seymour
  • Cassie ( Laurette Spang )
  • Sheba ( Anne Lockhart )
  • Battlestar Galactica [Pilot - Episodes 1 & 2 & 3] Saga of a Star World
    shown 17th Sept 1978
    Reviewed January 2000

    This TV series was very popular in the post-Star Wars SF boom. Lorne Greene (Bonanza) and John Colicos ( Star Trek: TOS ) are the only big names in it. Richard Hatch played the central character, Apollo - he has not done much work since the series was cancelled, and has spent the last twenty years trying to get the show back on the air again.

    Dirk Benedict, on the other hand, went on to star in The A-Team and was last seen in Official Denial . Here he is excellent as the Han Solo-style cigar-smoking gambler, Starbuck. This reviewer's favourite scene is when the two women Starbuck had seduced meet face-to-face - and just as they start to cat-fight over him, he ditches them both in favour of a poker game!

    The villains are Cylons, stormtrooper-like robots that wish to destroy the entire human race. They almost succeed - they annihilate the twelve colony worlds. The few human survivors board a ragtag fleet of space vessels and follow their sole surviving warship (the Battlestar Galactica itself) in a quest for the mythical human homeworld ... Earth.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 4] Lost Planet of the Gods [Part I]
    shown 24th Sept 1978
    Reviewed May 2000

    Finally this series is being repeated, for the first time since Winter 1997. Boomer and the other pilots (including Ed Begley Jnr!) are taken down by an unknown virus contracted near a Cylon base. They have to be replaced - by female shuttle pilots and trainee cadets like Apollo's fiance, Jane Seymour. Starbuck's socialator, Cassie ( Laurette Spang ) pops up as the receptionist in med-bay!

    Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS ) is back from the dead - he got his head chopped off in some versions of the pilot episode, but he has now been put in charge of the Cylon pursuit.

    The Galactica is stuck between the Cylons and a magnetic void where no starlight can be seen - an idea seemingly stolen by ST: VGR twenty years later.

    Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) and Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) are the only fighter pilots fit to fly; they train up the women and lead them in an attack on the Cylon base so the medics can get samples of the purestrain virus and create a cure. This leads to a mildly humorous scene where the female warriors make macho chat about who was the best pilot, while Apollo and Starbuck discuss plans to redecorate their quarters.

    Apollo is sensitive enough to avoid giving Lord Flasheart's advice of Treat your fighter like you treat your woman - get in the cockpit five times a day and take her to heaven and back!
    However, Starbuck mentions that The controls are as sensitive as a schoolgirl's ...

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 5] Lost Planet of the Gods [Part II]
    shown 1st October 1978
    Reviewed June 2000

    The fleet discovers the lost world of Kobol, which looks a bit like the ruins of Ancient Egypt. Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) is captured by the Cylons, and Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS ) offers Peace to the humans. Jane Seymour and Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) get married - and since she is only a Special Guest Star instead of a regular cast member, her life expectancy is significantly lowered.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 6] The Lost Warrior
    shown 8th October 1978
    Reviewed June 2000

    Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) crash-lands on a planet that looks suspiciously like the Wild West. The local gang boss has a Cylon bodyguard whose armour can withstand the locals' handguns - only Apollo's blaster-pistol is powerful enough. Apollo must pretend to be a harmless farmer until he discovers the Cylon's origins, in case there are more of them.

    Lance DeGault pops up as the brother of the woman who hides Apollo. He also appears in other episodes of the show as a religious cultist aboard the Galactica's fleet.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 7] The Long Patrol
    shown 15th October 1978
    Reviewed June 2000

    Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) takes a starfighter prototype on a test-flight. This ship has a voice-activated computer named CORA, a precursor to KITT in Glen Larson's next show Knight Rider .

    Unfortunately, Starbuck's ship is stolen and he is thrown in prison. The other prisoners are descendants of the original prisoners, sentenced there over 700 years previously. The prisoners make Ambrosia all day - Starbuck realises that the liquor will make him rich, but the viewers will all realise that the reset button will be pressed by the end of the episode!

    The ship-thief broadcasts a message in a strange code - Galactica picks it up, and sends Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) and Boomer out to destroy the prototype so it does not fall into enemy hands. Athena (Starbuck's GF) explains the situation to Cassie ( Laurette Spang ) - Starbuck's other GF. Galactica only compared the strange code to all known MILITARY codes - Cassie recognises it as a CIVILIAN code (as all viewers can guess!).

    The irony is that in the previous episode, Apollo got stuck on an M-Class world that looked like a movie back-lot. Now it is Starbuck's turn to have the same thing happen. And as we all know, Battlestar Galactica [Season 2, Episode 10] The Return of Starbuck had the same concept ...

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 8] The Gun on Ice Planet Zero (1)
    shown 22 Oct 78

    Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) and a rookie are on viper patrol, doing recon work along the fleet's path. They are shot at ... by a planetary weapons system! The rookie crash-lands, and is captured. However, Starbuck escapes and brings word of the danger.

    The superweapon must be taken out on the ground, in a commando raid. So to destroy the Guns of Navarone Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) recruits the Dirty (half-) Dozen. These prison barge inmates include the Colonel (Roy Thinnes - The Invaders ) and Wolfe (Richard Lynch - ).

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 9] The Gun on Ice Planet Zero (2)
    shown 29 Oct 78

    The Colonials are helped by local resistance - clones who are used as slave labour by the Cylons. The females are played by Britt Eckland , and their creator is a mad genius (Dan O'Herlihy - Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch ).

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 10] The Magnificent Warriors
    shown 12 Nov 78

    The Cylons attack the fleet, and hit the three agricultural ships (which resemble those in Deep Running ). The fleet needs grain, or the population will starve ...

    Luckily, there is an M-Class world nearby. It has a Wild West settlement, besieged by rowdy natives. Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) tries to con the locals into helping, but he ends up with more than he bargained for.

    The undercover nature of the mission is all well and good, but Adama goes along - as well as a middle-aged seductress who has her eyes on him. Plus Boxy and his robo-dagget, Muffet!

    While Adama's lack of brains and backbone (especially compared to his treatment of Ray Milland in the pilot episodes) is shocking, the real genius of the story is ... Starbuck, of course!

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 11] The Young Lords
    shown 19 Nov 78

    This ep was written and directed by Donald Bellisario - the brains behind Quantum Leap and Airwolf. He is ex-US Navy, and his most recent series is J.A.G. - which is often set aboard USN aircraft carriers!

    Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) and Boomer are on patrol. Starbuck's viper gets shot up, so yet again he crash-lands on an M-class world. It is garrisoned by Cylons, commanded by an android named Specter.

    Starbuck is rescued by a horde of children, who have their very own unicorn. They want their father (Bruce Glover - Diamonds are Forever ) back after he was taken by the Cylons. The kids memorise their mission plans in a rhyme, like in The Dirty Dozen.

    There is some delightful interplay between Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS ) and his sidekick, Lucifer (Johnathan Harris - Lost In Space ) who is jealous of the success of his counterpart, Specter.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 12] The Living Legend [Part 1]
    shown 26th November 1978
    Reviewed April 2001

    The crew of the Galactica discover there is another Battlestar still operational - the Pegasus, under the legendary Commander Kane (Lloyd Bridges).

    It turns out that Kane's ex is Starbuck's GF, Cassie ( Laurette Spang ) the Socialator. Worse, Kane's aggressive command style clashes with Adama's.

    Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS ) leads the Cylons in an all-out attack on the humans.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 13] The Living Legend [Part 2]
    shown 3rd December 1978
    Reviewed April 2001

    Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS ) and his cylons close in on the fleet. Kane forces Adama into helping in a full frontal attack on a Cylon world. Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) and Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) lead a commando raid on the target, along with Kane's daughter Sheba ( Anne Lockhart ), her sidekick rookie Bojay and Cassie ( Laurette Spang ) the socialator (now the team medic!).

    The guys get to run around firing with a blaster in each hand, but the direction is nowhere near as good as that of John Woo or the directors of Farscape . No surprise there, of course, it merely shows how much potential this episode had.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 14] Fire in Space
    shown 17 Dec 78
    Reviewed 16th January 2007

    The Cylons launch kamikaze attacks on the Galactica. They cripple the bridge, and put Adama into the ICU.

    This is a bottle show, focusing on the crew under stress rather than exploring another M-Class world. Boomer, Athena ( Maren Jansen ) and Boxy are trapped together, in a storage compartment with no way out ...

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 15] War Of The Gods [Part 1]
    shown 14th January 1979
    Reviewed April 2001

    Sheba ( Anne Lockhart ) and Bojay are still among the Galactica's crew. Bojay and his patrol disappear without trace, abducted by a UFO. Sheba goes out to search for him, along with Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) and Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ).

    They go to a planet where everything is filmed through fancy lenses (like in BSG (2003) ), where they discover the remains of a crashed ship. They also encounter the mysterious Count Iblis (Patrick MacNee - The Avengers ). They take him back to the fleet, where he promises to guide them to Earth if he is given Adama's role as commander.

    This episode involves with a two-a-side basketball contest. Apollo and Starbuck prove that white men can jump, and they do not even break a sweat doing it.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 16] War Of The Gods [Part 2]
    shown 21st January 1979
    Reviewed April 2001

    Iblis (Patrick MacNee - The Avengers ) tricks Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS ) into declaring a truce, which allows the cowardly Colonials to double-cross him. Adama is still suspicious of Iblis, and realises that Baltar knows the truth about him.

    Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) and Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) discover the truth about Iblis, and end up in a showdown with him. Hell, MacNee also provides the voice of the Cylons' Imperious Leader!

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 17] The Man With Nine Lives
    shown 28th January 1979
    Reviewed April 2001

    Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) meets up with a con-man called Chameleon (Fred Astair - Ghost Story ) who claims that he might be Starbuck's father. They get DNA tests, courtesy of Cassie ( Laurette Spang ). She is Starbuck's only love interest this episode - Athena ( Maren Jansen ) is nowhere in sight. As for the DNA tests: when this was written over twenty years ago, it must have seemed a completely SF idea!

    However, Chameleon's real motive is to hide from a couple of Cultists. Their leader is played by Lance DeGault, and his sidekick is Anthony DeLongis ( Star Trek: Voyager ). In what seems a nod to Star Trek , the Cultists have lots of non-human make-up such as huge eyebrows and really thick ridges on their foreheads.

    Another notable cameo is Alex Hyde-White ( Biggles ), here unrecognisable as a long-haired pilot.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 18] Murder on the Rising Star
    shown 18 Feb 79

    Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) and Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) play another match of the two-a-side basketball game. The three female characters - Cassie ( Laurette Spang ), Athena ( Maren Jansen ) and Sheba ( Anne Lockhart ), sit together while watching the game. Unfortunately this episode fails the Bechdel test, because they are talking about Starbuck. This functions purely as exposition for the main storyline.

    It turns out that Starbuck has a rival, Ortega (Frank Ashmore - V: The Series ). Yes, a Latino name combined with the blondest hair you have ever seen. Anyway, the two have been rivals for many years - even though Ortega is never mentioned before or after this episode.

    Ortega turns up dead, and Starbuck is the obvious suspect. The head Opposer, basically the prosecutor, is Brock Peters ( Star Trek: DS9 ). He is willing to plead the case down to self-defence, but Starbuck refuses to make a plea deal. Ironically, Starbuck actually tries to escape custody - which would leave him in permanent exile, a fate even worse than a suspended sentence and dismissal from the military. He would probably have ended up crash-landing on a desert planet ...

    Apollo and Boomer use the ship's computer to access the personnel records. It uses a voice-activated interface, like CORA in the recon viper. Eventually Apollo deduces that the only one who can identify the real killer is Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS ). This leads on to a life-or-death climax.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 19] Greetings From Earth (1)
    shown 25 Feb 79

    Adama provides exposition in the form of a Captain's log. This is not a mere audio-recording, but rather a voice-type system that records spoken words as typed input. Since the most advanced computers on the Galactica are also voice-interface, this seems to be a standard technology on the ship. Also of note, the Galactica's bulkheads are riveted together ... the same technology that held the Titanic together, and was replaced with welding during World War Two.

    Galactica recovers a relatively primitive starship which only has sub-light engines. It contains six humans in suspended animation. Apparently it is from Terra - is this the big clue to Galactica discovering Earth?

    The doctor and a scientist try to find a way to revive the sleepers. However, the civilians (including the Council of Twelve and their security guards) can board the Galactica at will. They even start a riot in the hangar bay!

    Athena ( Maren Jansen ) has been reduced to the level of a schoolteacher, providing exposition for Boxy and his playmates. This is her last appearance in the show. When the reboot happened a quarter of a century later, the female warrior trope was placed on the Starbuck character and the name Athena was only revived as an after-thought.

    This sets up a conflict between military and civilian authority. Adama orders the seizure of the Terran shuttle, but is uncertain about how to proceed. The inhabitants are his only clue to finding Earth. However, if he tries to awaken them he risks killing them. Apollo suggests setting the shuttle back on its course. Starbuck wants to open the cryo-pods at any risk, although he soon changes his mind when he discovers that the Council of Twelve (and the civilian population) agree with him. He complains We aren't dealing with reasonable people, we're dealing with Bureau-ticians ... a cross between bureaucrats and politicians.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 20] Greetings From Earth (2)
    shown 25 Feb 79

    The shuttle arrives at Paradeen, a planet with air pressure which is a fifth of Caprica's. The human residence there is run by a couple of robots - Vector (Ray Bolger - Wizard of Oz ) and his son, Hector. Yes, despite having no FTL capability the locals can build humanoid robots. Even better, one of them is the original Tin Man! He puts his song-and-dance skills to good use.

    It turns out that Terra has an ongoing civil war. The Eastern Alliance, a scarily Soviet-sounding organisation, has military spaceships patrolling the area and attacking the West's argricultural colonies. The Commandant (Lloyd Bochner - ) orders his Destroyer to attack the ranch.

    Starbuck discovers an abandoned city which was depopulated by an Eastern Alliance WMD that killed the people but left the structures intact. He and Hector go off to explore it. Strangely, Starbuck - the infamous hothead - says he wishes the Council of Twelve were as logical as robots because people should not be ruled by their passions.

    Cassie came along to monitor the conditions of the cryo-tubes. Apollo tells her to keep an eye on Michael, the Terran man who has been helping them, so she uses her sociolator skills (while stating her job is merely a med-tech).

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 21] Baltar's Escape
    shown 11 Mar 79

    In the previous episode, Apollo and Starbuck abandoned their damaged Vipers and hijacked an Eastern Alliance warship - an act of war by most peoples' definition. Now Adama must deal with the political fallout. The Council of Twelve has a new leader, who revokes Adama's privileges as military dictator and places civilian oversight on him.

    The villainous fascist military unit from the previous episode are being held in the prison barge. Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS ) is the trustee in charge of the food kitchen, and takes the opportunity to recruit a team. The Cultists, Lance DeGault and Anthony DeLongis ( Star Trek: Voyager ), are already planning a breakout. Now they have a destination to flee towards.

    Boomer and Sheba ( Anne Lockhart ) are put in charge of the transfer shuttle. They have some kind of rivalry with the security guards, which climaxes with Boomer conducting a weird piloting maneuvre that completely defies the laws of gravity. Of course, Boomer loses his brains and courage when the storyline demands it.

    Baltar takes the Council of Twelve as hostages, and promises to release them when he is free. This is the main flaw in his plan. Although he seems earnest in his promise, absolutely nobody is willing to actually believe him! As a result, Adama's side are convinced that violence is the only way.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 22] Experiment in Terra
    shown 18 Mar 79

    Once again, Adama delivers a story so far update in the form of his Captain's Log.

    Once again, Apollo gets captured by the Angel starship. Its Captain, John (Edward Mulhare - Knight Rider ), gives him his quest. John also gives Apollo a makeover, so he can magically pass for someone else. This is basically the premise of Quantum Leap ...

    Apollo arrives on a planet that looks like Earth, on a continent that looks like North America. Brenda ( Melody Anderson ) picks him up in the desert, thinking that he is her boyfriend Charlie Watts. John pops up as a hologram, providing advice. Yes, it is all incredibly familiar.

    It turns out that Terra is on the brink of nuclear war. The Western nationalists, despite being a civilised democracy, have a President who is up to no good. Although he is convinced the Eastern Alliance will make a treaty, they are in fact planning a first strike with nuclear weapons. Their plan is deliberate depopulation, using mutually assured destruction to thin their own herd. Nobody has factored nuclear winter into the equation, although they can always rely on their off-world colonies to supply the survivors with food until the climate reverts to normal.

    Starbuck comes looking for Apollo. He lands in the desert near Apollo's viper, but the local Men In Black have caught his approach on radar. Their commanding officer is John DeLancie ( Star Trek: TNG ), whose face may be covered but his voice is unmistakeable.

    Apollo tries to talk sense into the Western politicians. Meanwhile, Starbuck tries to shoot down the nukes. He cannot do it with a single viper. However, the Galactica has a rarely-used FTL capability as well as its normal sublight cruising speed. Even better, the Western Nationalists may have a forcefield door but the Galactica can somehow project forcefield shields that can protect an entire planetary continent. A pity they never used these against Cylon raiders!

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 23] Take the Celestra
    shown 1 Apr 79

    Adama holds a ceremony to give a medal to his old mentor, Kronos. Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) recognises an old flame - Aurora ( Ana Alicia ), who he had assumed killed in the Cylon invasion. Naturally, this disrupts his relationship with Cassie ( Laurette Spang ). Athena ( Maren Jansen ) has not been seen in a few episodes, and is never referred to here either.

    Unfortunately Aurora is involved in a Space Mutiny against Kronos. It turns out that Kronos has been running his ship like a military dictatorship. Starbuck assures everyone that the rest of the fleet is more lenient. But since there is no real civilian authority in the fleet (Adama got around the Council of Twelve whenever he needed to) then the civilian workers have no hope.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 1, Episode 24] The Hand of God
    shown 29 Apr 79

    Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) has discovered an observation bubble on the Galactica's hull, at the highest point on the ship. It is situated above the main thrusters, and the entry tunnel needs special hearing protection. He takes Starbuck, Sheba ( Anne Lockhart ) and Cassie ( Laurette Spang ) there, and likens sitting in it to sitting in The Hand of God (though the Colonials do not seem to have a god)!

    They pick up a strange old-fashioned radio signal, which seems to be from Earth. Boomer, now a tech genius, discovers that the signal comes from the direction of a nearby star system. Starbuck investigates, and discovers a Cylon basestar!

    Apollo comes up with a typically insane plan. If he and Starbuck infiltrate the enemy ship, they can sabotage it so that Adama can get the Galactica into range. Boomer and Sheba will lead the entire Viper wing.

    Baltar (John Colicos - Star Trek: TOS ) gets dragged out of his cell again, and offered a deal by Adama. In exchange for the internal layout of the Cylon basestar, Adama will maroon Baltar on the nearest M-Class world. Yes, a slow death by starvation when his rations run out and his only hope of rescue will be the Cylons or whatever other villains are hunting the Galactica. Strangely, Baltar accepts. But can he be trusted?

    We get to learn a bit about the ships' technical specs. Galactica was launched five hundred yarns ago, and the observation bubble was used for the navigators to confirm their location by taking stellar measurements. This seems oddly steampunk, from an age that far pre-dates Apollo's era of voice-activated computers. When Colonel Tigh reveals that the Cylon basestar contains three hundred fighters, and this will outnumber the Vipers by two to one, we can thus deduce the Galactica has a hundred and fifty fighters. Strange that we never see more than a dozen pilots. Athena ( Maren Jansen ) is listed in the opening credits, but was last seen as Boxy's schoolteacher and does not appear in this episode.

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    Galactica 1980 [Season 1, Episode 1] Galactica Discovers Earth
    shown 27th January 1980

    The title says it all. Thirty years have passed since Apollo (Richard Hatch - Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) ) and Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) intercepted Earth signals sent in 1969. For some reason it is now Earth year 1980. Adama is still in command, although he has a beard now. The Galactica now has improved tech, such as invisibility shields for Vipers, courtesy of creepy child genius Dr Zee.

    Apollo and Starbuck are nowhere to be seen, but now Boxy is all grown up and takes their place. He is called Captain Troy (Kent McCord - Farscape ), and gets sent to explore California with his partner, Lieutenant Dillon. Their mission is to help build nuclear reactors (this is before Chernobyl) and outwit hippies. They also have to dodge the USAF investigator (this is before Men In Black went mainstream).

    Our square-jawed heroes try to fit in, which leads to the predictable fish-out-of-water humour. They speak perfect English (though they do not understand the vernacular), but they do not have fingerprints!

    Galactica Discovers Earth


    shown 3rd February 1980
    Reviewed April 2000

    This is just cobbled together from a couple of episodes of the disasterous Battlestar Galactica spin-off, Galactica 1980 . Usually the second part is the cylon ship crashes on Earth one - this time it is the go back to 1944 and stop Dr Xavier from helping the Nazis story.

    Galactica 1980 [Season 1, Episode 4-5] The Super Scouts (1-2)
    shown 16-23 Mar 80

    Dr Zee tells Adama that the Colonial children must go to Earth and integrate. Hopefully it will not be too hard. The Aliens speak perfect English, although they strangely use the word Orac for Gold!

    Troy and Dillon fall foul of the CHiPs, but luckily they have flying motorbikes and invisibility switches. Unfortunately, they also have to worry about USAF Special Detachment One (AKA the Men In Black ).

    Three of the Colonial children fall sick. It turns out the silly kids had been drinking stagnant water. The moral of the story is an Environmentalist one, although previous eps were pro-nuclear power.

    Galactica 1980 [Season 1, Episode 4-5] The Super Scouts (2)
    shown 23 Mar 80

    The Sheriff (John Quade - Buck Rogers in the 25th Century ) and his men come looking for the fake scouts. The USAF Colonel calls in backup. Instead of using his own Special Forces unit, as Cancer Man and the MIBs would have done in The X-Files , he relies on the local National Guard.

    The local doctor has run tests on the sick childrens' blood samples. It turns out that the Colonials have no cells that belong in human blood. Worse, he cannot cure the poisoning. In fact, one of the kids is already brain-dead. Luckily, the Galactica's level of health-care is such that it can raise the brain-dead. Dr Zee has built a new starship that can shuttle back and forth to Earth. It looks like a flying saucer in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind , and is crewed by Zee and Adama themselves.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 2, Episode 6] Spaceball
    shown 30 Mar 80

    Troy and Dillon are called to meet Lieutenant Nash (Jeremy Brett - Supernatural (1977) ). He sends them off in his Viper, while he stays to look after the super-scouts with Jamie ( Robyn Douglass ). This is from the era before Brett played Sherlock Holmes, when he was basically a rent-a-villain, and he gives off an unbelievably creepy vibe. However, everyone trusts him implicitly.

    Jamie the journalist is left to look after the super-scouts. Her boss assigns her to interview a one-armed former basball player who has built a sports camp for underprivilaged kids. Naturally, Jamie takes the job so she can hide the scouts there. Unfortunately the scouts have a tendency to use their super-strength when they are playing baseball, thus putting the other kids at an unfair disadvantage ... and drawing unnecessary attention.

    The USAF Colonel has been keeping track of Jamie, and he follows her up to the kids camp. This guarantees that any unusual activity by the scouts will result in immediate apprehension by the Government.

    Troy and Dillon get trapped in outer space. They must repair the Viper and get back to Earth before Dr Xavier does something unpleasant. Yes, Xavier is an outcast from the Colonial fleet. He is the new Baltar, although he has no ties to the Cylons. Worse, Adama was actually willing to maroon Baltar while Xavier is denied the same deal.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 2, Episode 7] The Night the Cylons Landed (1)
    shown 13 Apr 80

    A Colonial recon patrol viper encounters a strange ship. This bogey turns out to be a new Cylon prototype, a larger ship with long-range weapons. Since the viper is completely out-gunned, the pilot uses brute force ... he RAMS the Cylon ship! This also cripples the Viper. Strangely, Adama only sent out a two-man viper instead of two one-man fighters. This means the characters can have dialogue, but they are isolated from the rest of the Colonial fleet.

    Dr Zee assumes that the missing viper will crash-land on Earth. He orders Dillon and Troy to get to the projected crash site. The good news is that out of seven major continents, on a world that has two-thirds of its surface covered by water, the projected crash site is in North America. The bad news is that the site is in New York State, while Troy and Dillon are on the West Coast. Luckily Jamie ( Robyn Douglass ) books them flights before she takes over babysitting the super-scouts yet again.

    The airport scenes allow the usual fish-out-of-water comedy that we have seen too much of already. Luckily the Colonial mini-stunners that our heroes carry are made of carbon synthetics, so they can pass through the metal-detector safely. A pair of Latino hijackers use a more elaborate system to smuggle a gun aboard the plane, in the hope of diverting it to Cuba.

    One of the Cuban couple is a female character, seemingly played by a man in drag. This is reminiscent of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery , which evokes the trope of male terrorists disguising themselves as females. Forty years after this episode was made, there is a lot more transgenderism. The previous episode, which showed one group of children competing in sport by using an unfair advantage over the rival team, would also be deemed controversial today.

    The USAF sends a senior officer to investigate the UFO that is about to crash. He mentions a fellow officer in a Washington hospital, comatose because of injuries he got while chasing Tory and Dillon. This is obviously a reference to the events of the previous episode.

    Back in the day, Baltar used a normal Cylon ship and took the third seat behind the two pilots. Here, the new ship has two extra seats. The command units who sit there are skin-jobs, next-generation androids that can pass for humans. This might be the first portrayal of skin-jobs in the 1980s.

    The Cylons crash-land in upstate New York, and the survivors hitch a lift with Norman (William Daniels - Knight Rider 2000 ). By lucky coincidence, it is Halloween night so the alien invaders can blend right in! By even bigger coincidence, Norman works at a radio station.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 2, Episode 8] The Night the Cylons Landed (2)
    shown 20 Apr 80

    Troy and Dillon make all haste to New York City. Unfortunately they are driving a stolen police car, so they have very limited options. The police broadcast a description of them - two very average-looking men with easily identifiable jackets. However, our heroes do not just ditch the jackets. Instead they get involved in an off-Broadway song-and-dance show. Then they remember that their wrist-watches have an invisibility setting.

    Andy the Android and his Centurion get to the party and meet the guest-of-honour - Wolfman Jack, the ultimate 1970s radio DJ. The humans have a secret defence against Cylons. It turns out that the microwave oven, a primitive 1970s design, is unshielded and messes up the Centurion's processors.

    Troy and Dillon, blending into the darkness by wearing white tuxedos, take a shortcut through Central Park. They get mugged by a gang of Italian-American types, whose leader is so cool he wears sunglasses at night. He certainly needs them later on, because the Centurion's armour creates dazzling lens-flares which would make JJ Abrams himself go green with envy!

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 2, Episode 9] Space Croppers
    shown 27 Apr 80

    The Cylon's Supreme leader has a new voice, and a new battle-plan. He has his minions target the fleet's agricultural ships, so that the Colonials will starve and thus lead the Cylons to Earth. This battle uses a lot of stock footage, not just from Season One but also from Silent Running (1972) .

    Colonel Boomer (Herb Jefferson Jr - ) orders a decoy unit - D-for-Daggett Squadron. They ensure that Troy and Dillon get safely to Earth. Yes, Jamie ( Robyn Douglass ) has been left in charge of the scouts again.

    Troy and Dillon become co-owners of a Latino family's farm. Mr Steadman (Dana Elcar - McGuyver), a corrupt millionaire who runs the local Growers' Association, has monopolised the local water supply. His bully-boy (Bill McKinney - ) also causes trouble for the locals. The Colonials' business partner, Hector Alonso, claims that Steadman is prejudiced against Latinos. However, all we see is typical rich-man greed. The story would play out the same with an all-Latino cast.

    Nobody in the valley will stand up to Steadman, so the super-scouts get called in to plant the fields. Troy and Dillon have full-sized laser pistols now, instead of their mini-stunners, and use the lasers to plough the field. Scattering the seeds is easy when you can jump fifty feet in the air.

    Adama and Zee send down their flying saucer, filled with the surviving staff from the agricultural ships. Yes, finally there will be a proper colony on Earth instead of just a fake scout pack.

    Denis Haysbert ( ) is listed as The Creature. However, no such character appears in the story so there must have been deleted scenes.

    Battlestar Galactica [Season 2, Episode 10] The Return of Starbuck
    shown 4 May 80

    The Super-scouts do not make an appearance this episode. Instead the other super-child - Doctor Zee - confronts Adama with a troubling dream he had. Adama narrates an extended flashback, of events that happened ten years previously.

    Boomer reported to Adama that Starbuck (Dirk Benedict - Official Denial ) was lost in space after a dogfight with a Cylon raider. Unfortunately, with the Cylons in pursuit of the fleet

    The rest of the story is from log entries narrated by Starbuck himself. The good news is that Starbuck crash-landed on an uninhabited desert planet. The bad news is that the cylons also crashed nearby. The good news is that while Starbuck only got a headache, all three Cylons were killed on impact.

    In the movie Passengers , Chris Pratt takes a whole year before he is driven mad by loneliness and wakes up Jennifer Lawrence . Well, he does have the robotic bartender (Michael Sheen - Underworld ) for company. However, Starbuck only lasts THREE DAYS before he Frankensteins together one of the Cylons. Luckily, the Cylon is not a robotic killing machine. Instead it is an intelligent life-form that Starbuck is able to talk sense into and eventually form an alliance with.

    Cy the friendly Cylon brings home a human woman. She refuses to speak, so Starbuck nicknames her Angela. Unfortunately she is heavily pregnant, so Starbuck's chance at fatherhood is reduced to step-fatherhood.

    At the end, Starbuck is cornered by a Cylon search party. He and Cy have to sort out their friendship.

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