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BSG TOS 1978 - Season 1

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 5.03

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# Votes: 24 0 3 1 1 4 1 3 13 12 8

Synopsis
The 12 Colonies of Man are all but wiped out by a cybernetic race called the Cylons. Commander Adama and the Battlestar Galactica lead a ragtag human fleet of survivors in search of a mythical planet called Earth. [DVD]

Problems
- A small retconning issue occurs here, the president says "years" in this episode, but in future episodes the term "yahren" will be used to refer to years.
- Why didn't the Cylons simply nuke the colonies? Surely a civilization which can travel to other planets has atomic weaponry? Even if we accept that the Cylons and the Colonials don't have nukes, why couldn't the Cylon base ships conduct orbital bombardment? Destroying entire planets with armies of fighters seems extremely poor strategy. Yet somehow the Cylons still won... the colonials must be really stupid! ;)
- You've got to wonder why the Cylons have ships with atmospheres and artificial gravity if they're just machines. You've also got to wonder why their fighters aren't robots themselves. Why have a robot pilot a ship when you can just make the ship a robot?
- Apollo takes his father to the surface in his Viper. Okay... how? They're single seat aircraft.
- Adama says Earth is located beyond the planetary system of the colonials. He also says it's in a galaxy very much like their own. So which is it? In another planetary system or in another galaxy? The RTF is not capable of traveling at FTL speeds from what we can tell. This is especially evident if they've been confined to a single planetary system. So how are they going to cross galaxies? For that matter, how they going to reach another planetary system? This is an extremely large plot hole which plagues the entire series.

Factoids
- The name "Battlestar" is derived from the US military. A "battle star" is given to a US warship after it has seen combat.
- Patrick Macnee, who tells the opening lines of the show, also is the voice of the Cylon Imperious Leader.
- BSG 1978 takes place in the "7th millennium of time" according to the president of the colonies.
- According to the president, this would have been the first peace man has ever known in a thousand years. This implies that the Cylon war may have lasted 1000 years.
- A line from Tigh suggests that the Cylon homeworld is in fact named "Cylon."
- Tigh at one point says, "my god!" which suggests the colonials are monotheistic, or at least whatever colony Tigh is from is monotheistic.
- Commander Adama's wife was named Ila.
- The ragtag fleet (hereafter referred to as RTF) is made up of 220 ships.
- According to Adama, the colonials descended from a mother civilization on a single planet which went out into space and founded the colonies.
- Among colonial society there are people called "socialators" which would be our equivalent to a prostitute, except legal and somewhat less slutty. Though the episode does imply they're considered dishonorable at least by some members of colonial society.

Remarkable Scenes
- "There are those who believe that life here began out there. Far across the universe. With tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. That they may have been the architects of the Great Pyramids. Or the lost civilizations of Lemuria. Or Atlantis. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens." The first words spoken in the series, a narrative read by Patrick Macnee.
- Apollo and Zac battling the Cylons.
- The Cylons killing Zac.
- The Galactica engaging the Cylon fleet.
- The Cylons destroying the Atlantia.
- The Cylons attacking Caprica.
- Apollo overlooking a destroyed coastal city below him on Caprica.
- The revelation that the Battlestar Galactica is the only surviving Battlestar.
- I like the scene where Apollo, Starbuck, and Boomer confront the hungry, angry, suffering refugees.

My Review
Part one of Battlestar Galactica's pilot was really a great episode of TV, especially for its time. Here we are beginning a story that is truly epic and very dark. An entire civilization is wiped out, minus a smattering of ships full of refugees. With their enemy in hot pursuit, where will they go and how will they survive? It's this dark premise that gives the show it's immense charm. In addition to that, the episode is complimented well with top notch (for the time) special effects and a wonderfully performed musical score.

Unfortunately, even in part one of the pilot the show starts exerting extensive plot holes and logical flaws. Among the technical problems listed in the problems section of this review, there's something just too far fetched about a society that's been at war for a thousand years being defeated so swiftly and completely. There's nothing technically wrong with that as it is presented in the story; such events really could occur, despite how unlikely it is. It's just that the military tactics used by the colonials in this episode were extraordinarily bad and you'd think a thousand years of war would make them have a better understanding of strategy. All science fiction shows require suspension of disbelief, but this is pushing it.

Case in point, the president was a moron. The Galactica's vipers are under attack early in the episode and the president orders the Galactica to ignore it? Who cares what the political situation is? When you are attacked, you defend yourself. Period. Fortunately, the show makes a pretty good point of voicing the various characters' discontent. Logical and technical problems aside, Saga of a Star World, Part 1 comes off strong. It's exciting, it's generally interesting, and it's better than most everything else made during its time.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-09 at 2:52pm:
    So I sat down to eat supper tonight and dialed up something to watch on demand from Netflix. One of the play-now options suggested to me was the original Battlestar Galactica complete series.

    I watched the show as a child, turning up my nascent Trekkie nose at it even then, but secretly liking it nonetheless despite its inherent goofiness. I know the new series has a completely different feel, and is by all accounts a good re-fitting of the oringinal concept, but I've never really given it a shot. So I figured I'd re-watch the original for the first time in 25 years and enjoy it the same way I would enjoy, say, "Plan 9 From Outer Space" or that god-awful 70s Buck Rogers show with the midget robot.

    And I did enjoy that way. The dogfight scenes and the atari controls on the fighter ships were priceless. Lorne Greene as Captain Adama looks like he thinks he's playing an emotionless Vulcan but really he's just that wooden. The council of 12 look like angels in a movie where George Burns plays God. In the first episode, Athena has four scenes. In two of them the camera focused on her just long enough for her to burst out in tears, in one of them she has a nervous breakdown, and in the final one she's half naked and telling Starbuck that she can't date him because she doesn't want to lose him like she lost her brother WHO JUST FRACKING DIED. This is an inherent problem with this series, it seems. Scanning ahead in the reviews posted here, it seems that I'm not the only one who thinks the Battlestar crew is a little cavalier about the destruction of their planet and all hte other colonies. Another thing that strikes me about this series is what god-awful pilots the Cylon Centurions are.

    However, once I got past the general corniness, I was shocked by how decent the show was. The Cylons (I never realized as a kid that they were patterned on the Roman Empire) were interesting and iconic, if completely dated in appearence. And the concept of the show (I was a bit fuzzy on this) which begins with the devastation of the human race everywhere except Earth, was really cool. The idea and the story itself were actually very intriguing. So I continued watching, wondering if I'd misjudged Battlestar Galactica this whole time.

    Then came the robot dog.

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My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.05

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# Votes: 26 2 7 0 16 8 7 9 4 8 4

Synopsis
Intense radiation and a dengerous mine field threaten an urgent mission to find food and fuel for the crippled Galactica. [DVD]

Problems
- This episode is another reconning slipup in which a character says "years" instead of "yahren."

Factoids
- Socialators are in fact officially considered "honorable professions" and have had "the blessing of the elders for over 4000 years." The woman who objected to Cassiopia in part 1 is depicted as a minority in this episode.
- This is the first episode to feature the term "micron" in BSG.
- This is the first episode to feature the term "centon" in BSG.
- This is the first episode to feature the term "feldercarb" in BSG.
- Apollo tells Boxey that the Cylons were created by aliens "thousands of yahrens ago." The race which created the Cylons were actually the original race called Cylons, and were a reptilian species.

Remarkable Scenes
- Colonial officer gives rank insignia to someone count 1. Apollo gives his rank insignia to Boxey.
- Boomer and Apollo discovering the gluttons living in luxury while other people in the RTF are starving.
- Apollo barging in on the quorum of 12 and proposing his radical idea.
- Apollo's subsequent argument with Adama.
- Athena steam burning Starbuck.
- Apollo, Starbuck, and Boomer minesweeping blind.
- The Cylon Imperious leader betraying Baltar.

My Review
The episode started out as a fine sequel to its predecessor. Right at the beginning they tackle the issue of hoarding and greed becoming a problem in the RTF, which is done realistically and interestingly. Then they move on to the flight plan. We already know Adama wants to find Earth. But there are more immediate escape problems. I like how Apollo solves the problem thoroughly to the displeasure of his father. Their argument was well done and and ensuing minesweeping was one of the most exciting scenes of the whole series.

Unfortunately, the good in the episode largely ends there. Because once they pass the minefield, the episode degenerates into something out of a bad Star Trek episode. This isn't to say I don't like bad Star Trek episodes; I love them! But come on people. The colonials have just had their homes completely destroyed. So now they go to a casino planet, build robotic daggits, and pursue romance?

Only the tidbits and details of the latter half of this episode are redeeming. We find out where the Cylons came from and we discover that the colonial galaxy is filled with various aliens. This is all very interesting, but this episode is largely in violation of the spirit of the premise. We're examining the nature of the human condition after a catastrophic event of proportions unparalleled in times past. The show should take itself more seriously.

We do get some interesting lines here and there, especially during Adama's and Apollo's arguing. And I did like how Boomer sort of bitched about Starbuck enjoying himself at the Casino. But they were almost complete throw away lines. The mood of the episode was undoubtedly cheerful. I don't recall much cheering after the Holocaust. Do you?

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My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 5

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# Votes: 8 4 1 6 2 1 3 2 6 7 4

Synopsis
Lured by the gracious Sire Uri, half the fleet lands on the planet Carillon, unaware they are being set up for a Cylon attack. [DVD]

Problems
- How did all the colonials at the party get off the planet in time?
- The whole idea behind blowing the planet up the way they did was pretty ridiculous. If it was so unstable, why hadn't it blown up already by someone dropping a cigar or something? ;)
- The words "yahrens" and "years" are BOTH featured in this episode. This show can't even get its own terminology straight!
- Watch Adama during the battle. He will magically gain and lose a cape during the cuts. ;)

Factoids
- This is the first episode to feature the term "yahren" in BSG.
- According to a member of the quorum of 12, the war with the Cylons did not begin until the colonials began intervening in their conflicts with other nations.
- This is the first episode to feature the term "frack" in BSG. (Starbuck is the first to say it.)

Remarkable Scenes
- Tigh embarking on his secret mission.
- The Cylon Centurion attacking Boxey.
- The dogfight.
- Starbuck and Apollo tricking the Cylon base ship into getting too close to the planet so that when the planet explodes it takes the base ship with it.
- The new Imperious Leader sparing Baltar.

My Review
Aside from serving to end the trilogy, this episode is almost a complete waste of time. Cut out all the crap in part 2 and fill it with the few good things in part 3 and this trilogy would have ended up making a far better two part episode than it was as a trilogy.

The episode picks up where all the silliness in the previous one left off. Starbuck's juggling his women. Starbuck pursues business deals. The slapstick humor is just overflowing, and most of it doesn't even work. There were some good attempts at it, like Tigh's secret mission, but they were the exception rather than the rule.

There are numerous technical problems in this episode and even more plot holes; certainly more than I've listed, though admittedly some of the ones I've avoided listing could be rationalized with some creative thinking.

The battle at the end makes this episode at least watchable, and the business regarding Baltar makes the conclusion interesting. But there was way too much garbage padding in the trilogy and especially too much of it in the third part.

A small part of me is glad they blew up the casino planet, even though the science behind blowing up the planet was a bit dubious. It makes me glad because now they can never go back to it again!

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My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.91

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# Votes: 14 6 9 5 14 10 9 3 5 14 10

Synopsis
Female pilots step into the breach when an unknown virus strikes down the Viper Corps, leaving only Starbuck and Apollo untouched. [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- A line from Adama implies that he is at least 100 yahrens old.
- This episode establishes that many but not all ships in the fleet (including vipers) are capable of light speed or perhaps faster.

Remarkable Scenes
- Boxey: "Come on, Muffet, they're going to argue." Serina: "We're not going to argue." Boxey to Muffet: "Yes they are." Apollo: "Yes we are."
- Starbuck: "Remember, these controls are as sensitive as a schoolgirl's... uh... lips."
- The dogfight.

My Review
Here's an improvement. We're shown some material tackling relevant issues facing the RTF. The fleet must travel at the speed of its slowest member; vipers are used to scout about and do patrol. It is also implied that the colonials and the Cylons have the ability to travel at at least light speed which complicates the issue of the fleet's escape if they're unable to make full use of their speed potential.

Baltar is on their tails and has a plan to take out the fleet. Surprisingly, his plan seems competent enough; though you've got to wonder just what the hell he does all day in that throne room. It would have been far less cheesy to just depict him overseeing operational details on the bridge or control room or whatever of the Cylon Basestar. It's only the 4th episode, and it's already a cliche to always depict the Imperious Leader or Baltar as having to plot and scheme in an evil imperial throne room.

Another annoying detail: this episode is highly sexist. All viper pilots are men? All women are shuttle pilots at best? Beyond sexism, there's unprofessionalism. It is becoming evident that the Galactica is decidedly nonmilitary in its operations. But despite all this I still enjoyed the episode quite a bit. It wasn't filler and a waste of time like the latter half of Saga was. The cliffhanger wasn't too exciting though. It's pretty clear that beyond that "magnetic void" will lie the planet Kobol. But that's a small deficiency.

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My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.84

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# Votes: 10 0 0 3 3 1 2 1 2 6 4

Synopsis
In search of a clue to the location of Earth, the fleet follows a mysterious pulsating star to Kobol, the lost planet of the gods. There Count Baltar, leader of the Cylons, launches his attack thwarting Adama and killing Serina, Apollo's fiancee. [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- According to Adama, there were many cities on Kobol, Eden was the largest.
- Lucifer and the Imperious Leader appears to be a newer, more advanced versions of the Cylons, more advanced than the Centurions.

Remarkable Scenes
- Galactica discovering Kobol.
- Adama lunging at Baltar.
- The dogfight.
- Serena's death.

My Review
Kobol was interesting, but I'm not sure what we got out of this. Baltar's scheming was the most alluring aspect to the episode; spending all this time on Kobol and getting nothing out of it seemed somewhat frustrating. Adama discovers something he thinks is profound only to have the Cylons destroy it before he can make any sense of it.

I'm not sure whether I'm glad to see Serena go or not. She was one of the better characters, but with the show's blatant sexism, I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed seeing her stick around further just so we could see her character abused further.

In the end, the episode seemed like another excuse to have a dogfight, but if they wanted to fill time doing dogfights, at the very least they could stop recycling material. That, and Baltar's motives and decisions never seemed quite "logical" as Lucifer would put it. All this cheesy innuendo gets in the way of the Cylons + Baltar accomplishing anything. And while it's nice to see the bad guy lose, it's frustrating to see them depicted as totally incompetent.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-09 at 9:46pm:
    I've watched the series up to this point now, and several things strike me.

    In many ways, BSG is the anti-Trek. The feel of the remaining humans taking on the Cylon Empire is more like the feel of mid-century WWII movies or the coming Reagan 80s than the utopioan ideals of Trek, which is philosophicaly rooted in the more progressive 60s.

    Star Trek has always been ambivalent toward religion, favoring science and reason. BSG, on the other hand, is steeped in religious symbolism and idealogy. This is especially evident in this episode, with the de facto star of Bethlehem guiding our little band of pilgrims across the galaxy.

    I'm curious to know whether the rebooted current series is in a similar, though undoubtedly more serious, vein, and I realize now that I'm going to have to watch it.
  • From Zoltan on 2014-11-10 at 8:24pm:
    You are forgetting, this series was created in the 1970s. What you call sexism was, mostly, just the way things were done at that time and are entirely reflective of the era. Feminism was still relatively new. You see its beginnings in the fact that the women demanded to become shuttle pilots, then were given vipers to fly when most of the men became ill. They are starting to come into their own. As for the Cylons being completely incompetent, it does make you wonder how they managed to form an empire and defeat the Colonies, doesn't it?

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x06 - The Lost Warrior - Originally Aired: 1978-10-8

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.1

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# Votes: 20 5 1 5 3 1 17 8 0 4 5

Synopsis
A marooned Apollo must defend homesteaders against "Red Eye," a malfunctioning Cylon gunslinger who thinks the local cattle baron is his "Imperious Leader." [DVD]

Problems
- So yeah, I understand the writers didn't care about making this show very militaristic, but come on... letting Boxey just barge into the bridge of an aircraft carrier in space?

Factoids
- This episode establishes that the cardgame the colonials play is called Pyramid.

Remarkable Scenes
- The revelation that "Redeye" is a Cylon centurion. I loved his little chrome plated horse. :)
- Boxey beating Starbuck at cards.
- Apollo confronting Redeye in the bar.
- Apollo killing Redeye.

My Review
This episode is kind of the showcase for everything that was good about BSG and everything that was bad about BSG in a single episode. This episode did many things well. For one, Redeye was fascinating. A Cylon with his memory wiped, who can be reprogrammed by the first person to respond to his statement of "by your command" certainly is a valuable resource for a planet with limited technology. Additionally, the western theme of the episode was very successful, the acting was great, and the plot flowed well.

Unfortunately, despite this episode being well done, it had all the common problems BSG perpetuated as well. First, let's talk about that planet. Why is Galactica near yet another habitable planet? It seems like they're stumbling on a new one every week! Who needs Earth when every week you find an Earth-like planet? Second, who are the people on this planet? They're not very well connected to the twelve colonies, so where did they come from? The history and culture of these people should have been developed more. Finally, it is becoming clear that a better title for BSG 1978 would be "the adventures of Apollo and Starbuck." It seems every week is an excuse to put one or both of these characters in a new dangerous situation, largely ignoring the fleet its troubles.

You should notice though that my criticisms about this episode are not particularly severe. While there are things I would have preferred to have seen or had clarified, the episode is fairly solid, moreso than the average BSG 1978 episode. But at the same time, while the episode is solid, it does not manage to live up to anything more than average by overall television standards. Sadly, "average" by television standards is actually above BSG 1978's average offering.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From BSG Watcher on 2014-09-19 at 5:19am:
    A card game was shown in the first or second episode I believe and the name "Pyramid" was mentioned. Also, it's unfortunate that the Cylon Centurion attacking Boxey in episode 1x03 wasn't a bit more successful. The child and the dog thing (chimp in a suit) were completely unnecessary to the show and only served to provide an annoyance.
  • From Zoltan on 2014-11-10 at 8:55pm:
    The various human settlements encountered by the Galactica are stragglers or others who, for various reasons, either got left behind by the original migration from Kobol or decided to leave the migration and settle on these planets. The technology varies because some of them have devolved technologically over the yahrens, for various reasons, or just haven't advanced as far. Keep in mind, most of them are still more advanced than Earth is when Galactica finally finds it in Galactica 1980. Why they didn't stop and settle on one of them? They were still being pursued by the Cylons. Apollo mentions it himself, in one episode, they haven't stopped because they haven't felt they were strong enough to stop, colonize, and defend themselves should the Cylons find them. BTW, the reason they recycle the viper dogfights is budgetary. These effects were VERY advanced for 1970s special effects technology. They simply couldn't afford to keep making new ones. They also recycle the same old shuttle transit scene every time someone travels from the Galactica to one of the fleet ships.

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x07 - The Long Patrol - Originally Aired: 1978-10-15

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.48

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# Votes: 20 1 4 3 7 11 10 2 2 5 10

Synopsis
While testing out a new ultrafast spaceship, Starbuck loses the ship to a crafty renegade and suddenly finds himself marooned and imprisoned on a mysterious planet where the prisoners serve terms for the crimes of their ancestors. [DVD]

Problems
- Apollo says to Boxey: "We're leaving our star system, Boxey. When we get through this asteroid dust field there'll be a whole new galaxy. One no human in this fleet has ever seen before." Okay, so which is it? Are they leaving their planetary system (which is the correct term, not star system) or their galaxy? Even Tigh throws around the terms loosely. As does Starbuck.
- A man on the Rising Star says "this reminds me of the old days, before the war." But the war started 1000 years ago...

Factoids
- The Galactica leaves the colonial home planetary system in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- Starbuck regarding the ship he was left with: "It's like trying to fly a museum."
- The dogfight.

My Review
Back to its old ways, BSG 1978 produces an episode full of plot holes and technical problems. Once again, there's a habitable planet... er... well, asteroid found. And gee, it looked like a hunk of airless rock from space to me, but what do I know. Once again the show becomes the adventures of Starbuck or Apollo with the fleet taking a backseat. Once again, we get cookie cutter scenes aboard the Cylon Basestar. Baltar and Lucifer are getting so generic now that they could probably start recycling their plotting and scheming scenes in addition to viper dogfights. The biggest error though is what I've discussed in the problems section. The writers apparently didn't know the difference between a planetary system and a galaxy, and throwing the terms around so loosely makes the episode embarrassing to watch, among other details. I concede an extra point for the nice bits of humor in the episode, however.

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My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.49

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# Votes: 14 7 4 3 10 4 9 7 2 5 8

Synopsis
Convicts and clones join forces with Galactica personnel to disable a tremendous Cylon pulsar cannon that threatens the Galactica from an icy world. [DVD]

Problems
- If the weapon is indeed so powerful as to be capable of destroying the Galactica in a single volley, why not mount it on a Basestar and attack the Galactica directly? Maybe it depends on some sort of geothermal energy? This should have been explained.
- Letting Boxey slip on board a military shuttle on the eve of a long range tactical mission seems careless by even BSG 1978's low military standards.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The hidden Cylon base picking off Vipers and the Cylon raiders ambushing the rest.
- Colonial officer gives rank insignia to someone count 2. Apollo gives a military medallion that his father gave him as a graduation gift to Boxey.
- The crash landing.
- There are multiple short clips in this episode of a Centurion staring at a very colorful alien computer display which is actually just a computer screensaver... I'm not sure why, but I find the idea of a Centurion staring at a screensaver vaguely hilarious.

My Review
Hey look! A mysterious moon! (Later described as an "asteroid" on the computer screen, but whatever.) It's an obvious trap, but let's dive into it even though we have nothing to gain by investigating it! The military tactics here are at an all time low, as is the writers' understanding of three dimensional space. You simply can't "squeeze" a space ship into a single course so exact as to approach a specific planet, moon, asteroid, or whatever it is within range of a planet-based weapon.

Furthermore, why was it necessary to recruit criminals for this mission? Why were the criminals constantly fighting each other? Why were Apollo, Starbuck, and Apollo even chosen for this mission in the first place? They're Viper pilots, not foot soldiers! The whole damn thing just reeks of being poorly thought out from the beginning. But aside from that, the episode was actually a pleasure to watch. Even though some of the special effects were recycled, most of them were edited (mostly to add atmosphere) making them feel nicely fresh. They could have done a better job on a few of the visual effects though, particularly the freezing atmosphere in which you can't see anybody's breath. ;)

Overall, not too bad. And fortunately, Baltar's and Lucifer's single scene, while still pretty cliched, was far less so this time around.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Somebody Else on 2009-09-15 at 8:03pm:
    The biggest issue I had with this episode was the unwise cold-weather gear and use thereof by the protagonists - the facial mask in particular utterly fails to heat the breath, which is the main point of wearing a facial mask in cold weather. In addition, the characters seemed to use the masks mainly while inside the shelter of the snow-ram, removing them when they went outside - why? Other than this, if the cold was truly lethal, why order a soldier to ride on the outside of the vehicle, where the effective temperature would be far, far below the actual one? And didn't these trained, experienced arctic-survival specialists know that the fastest way to die from hypothermia is to fall asleep, and the best remedy is sharing body heat? If the warriors were actually dying from cold inside their vehicle, then they should be dead long before the hunters ex machina had the time to carry them to safety. (Well, I understand why they didn't use the last one, but still...)

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My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 6.24

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# Votes: 1 3 2 3 3 1 0 4 4 11 2

Synopsis
Apollo, Starbuck, Boomer and their polar demolition team lead a desperate attempt to destroy the Cylon cannon. [DVD]

Problems
- All ships in the convoy increase to maximum speed, yet it still takes forever for the ships to get across. Either their maximum speed is painfully slow or that weapon had some crazy range.

Factoids
- Ships in the fleet destroyed: two, at least!
- The Cylon Imperious Leader is named Barkol.

Remarkable Scenes
- Apollo confronting the creator of the clones.
- Thane suiciding the Centurions.
- Seeing ships in the fleet destroyed!

My Review
Part 2 wastes a lot of time. Having the clones and their creator added little to the story; the Viper dogfights got especially repetitive, mostly thanks to Baltar's erratic and poor strategy. The basic idea behind this story was to depict a mission to destroy a Cylon weapon so the RTF can escape the Cylons and live for another week. But we end up with lots of side stories. There's the clones and the cloner's responsibility for his work. There's Baltar and the Cylons internally conflicting, there's Starbuck trying to save his lost comrade (and his pursuit of clone women), there's the issue of the prisoners wanting their freedom, and of course the main plot. Most of these ideas are good ones, but without the right recipe, the souffle flops.

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x10 - The Magnificent Warriors - Originally Aired: 1978-11-12

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 5.82

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# Votes: 4 2 4 1 2 2 2 4 6 8 3

Synopsis
On a mission to secure food for the fleet, Starbuck is tricked into becoming sheriff on an agro colony, a job complicated by marauding, swinelike aliens known as the Borays, and an amourous Siress with her eye on Adama. [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Ships in the fleet destroyed: two.

Remarkable Scenes
- The external shots of the agro ships were cool.

My Review
And BSG 1978 chalks up an episode full of cliche and silliness. I was really looking forward to this episode. I couldn't wait to see how the RTF solved its food shortage problem, but the serious survival issue became a silly romance with a touch of generic western sheriff nonsense. That, and... ANOTHER habitable planet. WTF? Who needs Earth when every planet in every planetary system seems to be habitable? In any case, I concede an extra point for giving us a chance to see Adama get more to do, showing us some neat shots of the argo ships, and the episode at least trying to tackle a real issue that the fleet is facing. Plus, as ridiculous as the episode is, it is somewhat cute if you try not to take it too seriously, despite the seriousness of the issue.

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x11 - The Young Lords - Originally Aired: 1978-11-19

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 5.7

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# Votes: 3 2 5 3 3 3 1 4 3 8 5

Synopsis
Starbuck is marooned on a world where the Cylons have wiped out most of the adult population, leaving tribes of children in charge. He must lead them in a daring raid to free their father from the Cylons. [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Starbuck: "Take it easy, will ya?" Centurion: "These humanoids are not well constructed. They damage easily." Starbuck: "At least we don't rust." Centurion: "Silence."
- Watching Baltar play head games with the IL-series Cylons, while corny, was strangely amusing.
- Colonial officer gives rank insignia to someone count 3. Starbuck gives rank insignia to Kyle.

My Review
On yet another habitable planet, the adventures of Starbuck and/or Apollo continue. This week, Starbuck gets to lead an army of children against a Cylon-occupied castle. Meanwhile, the bad guys reinforce their incompetence by engaging in endless bickering, shortly before one of their occupied territories is overrun by a ridiculously small army of children. An extra point for making an (admittedly half-assed) attempt at doing character development on Baltar and his Cylon allies.

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x12 - The Living Legend, Part 1 - Originally Aired: 1978-11-26

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.53

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# Votes: 1 2 1 0 2 2 2 1 6 13 8

Synopsis
Adama engages in a fierce conflict with the hot-blooded Commander Cain of the Battlestar Pegasus, long assumed destroyed. Adama's cautious leadership falls into doubt in comparison to Cain's more confrontational style. [DVD]

Problems
- Adama orders a dead stop to conserve the fleet's fuel... but in order to achieve a dead stop, you have to USE fuel. Why not just continue forward by drifting? Drifting doesn't use fuel...

Factoids
- Cain supposedly perished with the 5th fleet two yahrens ago.

Remarkable Scenes
- The colonials shooting at each other.
- The first sight of the Battlestar Pegasus.
- Cain and Adama arguing over whether or not to strike back against the Cylons and open a new offensive.
- The attack on the Cylon tankers.
- Cain sabotaging the mission by destroying the Cylon tankers.
- Adama relieving Cain and placing Tigh in command of the Pegasus.
- The Cylon attack and ensuing battle.
- The Pegasus joining the battle.

My Review
This is easily the best episode of BSG 1978. The implications of the survival of another Battlestar are milked for all they're worth here.

Cain wants to go on a new offensive, but Adama wants to play it safe. This eventually leads to Cain turning insubordinate, forcing Adama to relieve him of his command. Throughout the episode, you want to side with Cain. Or at least I wanted to. I wanted to see The Galactica and Pegasus conquer Gamoray and solve their supply problem. But just when you start to hate Adama for relieving Cain, three Cylon Basestars attack. Adama was right.

Baltar finally gets some real action here. It seems his long term strategy was to wait for the RTF's resources to run dry so he could attack in full force. But just when Baltar's victory is so close that he can taste it, the Pegasus shows up in his fighter cockpit window leaving us with the best cliffhanger ever done on BSG 1978.

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My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.29

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# Votes: 8 1 1 1 1 1 3 5 3 8 10

Synopsis
Surrounded by Cylon warships, Commander Adama reluctantly joins forces with the foolhardy Cain in a desperate surprise counterattack. [DVD]

Problems
- You've got to wonder how they were able to parachute into the city without their shuttle being shot down.

Factoids
- When Pegasus fires her missile, the footage used is actually real life footage of the Command Module separation from the final extraction stage of NASA's Apollo moon missions.

Remarkable Scenes
- The precision strike on the Cylon base.
- The Cylon Imperious leader visiting the Cylon base.
- Apollo: "Did you find the control center?" Boomer: "We found it all right." Sheba: "Where?" Starbuck: "There!" Explosion ensues.
- Officer aboard Pegasus: "Sir, long range scanners picked up an unbelievable number of enemy craft on their way." WTF? An "unbelievable number of enemy craft?" How extremely unprofessional!
- Apollo confronting Cain about his death wish.
- Cain going on his suicide run.

My Review
Part two, while strong compared to most BSG 1978 episodes, is weak compared to its predecessor. This episode revisits the BSG 1978 cliche in which a new habitable planet must be in each new episode and some dangerous mission must be performed there.

Unfortunately here Cain is depicted as a foolish war monger, determined to strike back at the Cylons at all costs. Any number of better strategies could have been concocted for this episode to preserve both the Battlestars and make Cain a regular cast member. But sadly, in 1978, reset button syndrome affected a great many TV shows. At least we get to keep Sheba around.

But I get the feeling there was pressure to eliminate the Pegasus from the story because the show is named Battlestar Galactica, not Battlestar Pegasus. A silly reason to hinder the story and a mistake repeated in many science fiction shows. Most notably, Star Trek Voyager repeated this mistake with the Equinox.

As annoying as it is to lose the Pegasus, the episode was still a pretty decent ride, way above BSG 1978's average. And Cain's noble sacrifice was fitting, if overall a poor decision for the show in the long run.

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x14 - Fire in Space - Originally Aired: 1978-12-17

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.88

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# Votes: 6 9 5 16 5 8 10 9 8 10 3

Synopsis
Commander Adama is critically injured when Cylon warriors carry out a kamikaze mission against the Galactica, causing a raging inferno aboard the ship. [DVD]

Problems
- When the bombs exploded, all the air was blown out of Boomer's compartment. How did that not kill everyone in the room? And yes, I know, they had oxygen masks. But quick physics lesson people... there's more to atmosphere than oxygen. The dramatic drop in pressure would have been equally fatal.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The Cylon Kamikaze attack.
- Starbuck saving Apollo.

My Review
Many insults are thrown at this episode, but I tend to disagree. Yes, Fire in Space is shamelessly derivative. Yes, there are a few issues with the science in the episode. And yes, the military tactics are questionable once again. But really, these are problems fairly common to every episode of BSG 1978. So with that in mind I'd like to point out that the drama and tension level in this episode is unusually high quality. And the use of the characters was absolutely excellent.

First, let's talk about the plot. It's not stated directly, but why do you think the Cylons are going on this suicide mission? Maybe it's because the Pegasus blew up their Basestars and have no place to land? Now that's what I call excellent continuity. Next, let's talk characters. A lot of neglected characters get important roles in this story, such as Tigh, Athena, Boomer, and Sheba. This breathes a lot of life into the plot, as you don't have to watch the same two or three characters for the entire hour.

There wasn't much spectacle in the episode, no really great moments and no really memorable scenes. But overall the episode is far more watchable than most BSG 1978 episodes, and it'd be on my list of recommended episodes for people wanting to sample the best. The episode may be average at best, but it flows much better than the most of the others. I liked it.

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x15 - War of the Gods, Part 1 - Originally Aired: 1979-1-14

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 5.51

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# Votes: 6 8 0 0 2 2 4 3 4 15 1

Synopsis
While Starbuck, Apollo and Sheba search for missing pilots, they find the mysterious Count Iblis. Charismatic and gifted with mental powers, he entices the Galactica's people, including Sheba, with promises of a successful end to their search for Earth. [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The Triad sports game.
- Adama confronting Iblis about who and what he really is.

My Review
Another habitable planet, but fortunately not one with a human civilization. What we have here this week on BSG 1978 is something completely original. Count Iblis is obviously some sort of alien, or a more evolved human. But the limits of his power and his exact motives are left unclear. Personally, I thought this episode seemed to drag. It was a decent ride, but there's a great deal of repetitive concepts thrown around. Iblis spends a lot of time sweeping Sheba off her feet and manipulating people and it got a bit redundant after a while. Perhaps War of the Gods might have been more effective as a single episode?

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2011-08-22 at 8:28am:
    Yes it drags, but it keeps the excitement going, and I am very curious to see how it all comes out...

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x16 - War of the Gods, Part 2 - Originally Aired: 1979-1-21

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.97

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# Votes: 6 3 4 5 4 0 4 9 14 13 3

Synopsis
At first thrilled that a mysterious stranger on board will lead them to Earth, the Galactica leaders discover their benefactor is the evil Prince of Darkness. [DVD]

Problems
- Tigh says Apollo was scheduled to visit the agro ship 9. But they only had three agro ships. And two of those were destroyed...

Factoids
- Human life expectancy in this universe is about 200 yahrens.
- Humans in this universe are just beginning to unlock the mind's true potential, with latent telepathic and telekinetic abilities.

Remarkable Scenes
- Baltar confronting the council of 12 and Count Iblis.
- The Triad sports game.
- Adama using telekinetic abilities.
- Starbuck: "Sweet lady, there aren't many places I've been in my life where I didn't feel like I was in complete control, but, uh, this is an exception."
- Alien to Starbuck: "Because as you are now, we once were. As we are now, you may become."
- Apollo, Starbuck, and Sheba reciting the location of Earth: "Earth, quadrant alpha, nineteen million sectares by epsilon vector twenty-two, on a circular reckoning course of zero-zero-zero-point-nine... in a star system of nine planets and one sun."

My Review
This episode is fascinating. We learn a lot about the nature of the Galactica universe here. For example, we learn that humans in this universe live longer than in the real world and they have latent telekinetic and telepathic abilities. We also learn that humans are on an evolutionary path in which they will begin to refine the power of the mind to the point of living to thousands of yahrens and having godlike powers. This episode implies that all it will take to accomplish this is for the human race to spread across the galaxy... to find Earth and bear new colonies elsewhere from it.

Even more interesting are the unfortunately vague implications of Count Iblis having some sort of connection to the Cylon leader. Is he / was he the Cylon Imperious Leader? Or more likely was he responsible for the destruction of the race that created the Cylons? Did he interfere with the Cylons from 1000 yahrens ago? Did he program the various Imperious Leaders? We're not given this answer, and it's really a shame too. Because it would give far more meaning to the whole story.

Overall, a pretty good episode. But it would have been much better as a single episode instead of two, with more time spent showing us some more details about the various religious philosophy thrown around, the history of these beings, and less time spent on Iblis being evil.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From hugo on 2011-09-01 at 1:45pm:
    So what was in the space ship wreck? Points of for the cheesy "dream sequence" with the ancient aliens. Q beats Iblis in every way!

    Oh, and I am no big fan of psychic powers in sci-fi.

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x17 - The Man with Nine Lives - Originally Aired: 1979-1-28

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.97

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# Votes: 1 4 5 3 3 2 4 2 5 4 1

Synopsis
Film legend Fred Astaire plays Chameleon, a con-artist on the run from a group of humorless nomads, the Borillian Nomen. He masquerades as Starbuck's long-lost father, and may indeed be. [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
- Starbuck, an orphan, has no idea how old he is.

Remarkable Scenes
- Starbuck on "TV" talking about his history.
- The revelation that Demitri really is Starbuck's father.

My Review
An interesting look at civilian life in the fleet, and the Nomen were also a nice idea, but the episode seems to drag. We do get one nice tidbit in that this con artist really does turn out to be Starbuck's father, so the episode isn't a complete waste of time; I thought it was kind of nice that in the end Demitri decided it was best not to tell Starbuck the truth fearing Starbuck really will give up on the military to play catch up with the old man.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From hugo on 2011-09-09 at 1:53pm:
    I loved the Nomen - I hope we get to see more of them, and that we get some more nuances glimpses of their culture. The BSG response to TNG-era Klingons. Otherwise - mostly bottle episode, but with some new interesting settings - such as the passenger shuttle and the nightclub/casino.

    Too bad that Sheba got to play stupid again - I would love to see her take more command.

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My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 5.39

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# Votes: 1 5 2 4 5 2 5 2 3 4 5

Synopsis
Apollo uncovers a blackmail operation and finds his own life in great danger as he races against time to clear Starbuck, who has been accused of murdering a fellow Viper pilot. [DVD]

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The Triad sports game.
- The evidence mounting against Starbuck.
- The silly computer scene...
- Apollo proving Starbuck's innocence.

My Review
Quite a bit of mud gets thrown at this episode, but I'm more forgiving. Murder on the Rising Star, while having nothing much at all to do with Galactica's preferred subject matter, is an interesting diversion. A "who did it" murder mystery that's decently executed. The beginning is especially captivating, with the fighting during the Triad game and the mounting evidence against Starbuck; I really believed he had killed him for a while. The ending, however, was fairly weak. While still just as fun to watch, I just simply cannot get over the sheer convenience of events, which leaves me with the impression that this episode wasn't at all thought through very well.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From hugo on 2011-09-16 at 3:11pm:
    I like! Great bottle show with good pacing and mystery. A lot of male bonding, of course, and the women are just decoration in the background though.

    But - what happened with Starbucks gun? How did Karibdis manage to kill Ortega with it?

    I love the panning shot of the Rising Star halfway into the shoe by the way.

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My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 6.14

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# Votes: 1 1 0 3 4 0 1 1 1 8 1

Synopsis
Apollo and Starbuck intercept a cryogenic sleeper ship they believe may be from Earth. The inhabitants say they're from a planet called Terra, and warn of the pursuit of the tyrannical Eastern Alliance. [DVD]

Problems
- One has to wonder why the Terrans and the Colonials are speaking the same language.
- How is Cassiopea able to live on the sleeper ship at the end without... you know... being asleep with the rest?

Factoids
- According to Boomer, every human encountered up to this point were offshoots of the Colonials, or possibly offshoots of the 13th tribe that may have bailed during the journey and never made it to their destination.
- According to Adama, "Terra" in Gemenese means "Earth."

Remarkable Scenes
- Boomer discussing the significance of the finding of this ship.
- The mysterious humans waking up.
- Michael confronting the Colonials.
- Michael: "Centons?"

My Review
Cheesy drama, but amusing in a juvenile way. Somehow, the main plot of this episode has more taste than other similar attempts. Particularly fun to watch is the Council of Twelve being outwitted by Adama. Though one could say that only barely makes up for the silliness which caused the situation in the first place. I find it hard to believe people could act so irrationally and stupid in the face of an unknown group of aliens.

Another nice thing about this episode is we don't stumble on yet another habitable plant of the week. However, the treatment of these new "alien" humans that are not related to the Colonials in any way could have been done in a better way. There are technical problems and plot holes spread about their interactions with the Colonials; I get the feeling the author of this story wanted to rush through the whole first contact thing.

Some other things which make this episode lose points are areas where it is decidedly lacking in taste. Specifically, what's the deal with Athena in this episode? Is she a viper pilot or a kindergarten teacher? The whole classroom scene reeked to me of overt sexism. It's as if they had nothing for her to do, so they conjured up something stereotypically feminine to pass some time. Also, what's the deal with the Eastern Alliance people being a bunch of space Nazis? Listen up American TV! Bad tradition! It didn't work on Star Trek, so don't do it on BSG!

If less time was spent on silliness in this episode and more time spent on showing us what the realities of a first contact would really be like, it would have been worth more points.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From hugo on 2011-09-26 at 4:59pm:
    Totally agree with the review! Some interesting ideas, but mostly fluff. In addition to Athena in the classroom we get Sheba nodding in a meeting. At least Cassie gets involved in the action...

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My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 5.35

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# Votes: 4 3 1 9 10 19 9 10 2 4 8

Synopsis
Apollo, Starbuck and Cassiopea return a family of six to the planet Paradeen, but their enemies track them there. Adding to the danger, Starbuck gets lost exploring an underground city. [DVD]

Problems
- Apollo says there are only 6000 people in the fleet. What? With 220 ships? That's absurd.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The revelation that Sarah sabotaged the Vipers.
- Michael: "What is a Centon?" Again, haha.

My Review
This episode is difficult to take seriously. Once again we have yet another habitable planet. Though, this isn't so bad as this time it serves more of a purpose than usual, and it isn't random. The sleeper ship was coming here all along. What this episode does do is serve as a proper introduction to what Terra and the Eastern Alliance are all about, which was the expected conclusion to the previous episode's setup. But this continued story is told with even more silliness than its predacessor.

This episode is possibly the best evidence that the creators of BSG 1978 wanted to market this as a kids show. Something light hearted and not meant to be taken seriously. I suppose there isn't anything wrong with that, but with such dramatic potential in the premise, I still feel that episodes like this one are not true to the spirit of the premise. Episodes like this one make the survival of humanity after the destruction of the 12 colonies seem like fun and games. And that's just sad.

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x21 - Baltar's Escape - Originally Aired: 1979-3-11

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.66

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# Votes: 7 2 5 10 3 2 3 2 9 5 2

Synopsis
The imprisoned Baltar leads a deadly revolt and takes hostages with the aid of the Borellian prisoners and the Alliance Enforcers. [DVD]

Problems
- How and where did the Nomen get their robes and weapons back?

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Adama interrogating the Eastern Alliance officers.
- One of the Nomen: "We do many things to survive. Even die."
- Tigh's meeting with Apollo and Starbuck in the Officer's Club.
- Starbuck: "Baltar, Nomen, and the enforcers. At least we've got all our enemies in the same place!" Apollo: "Including the council!"
- The activation of the zombie Cylon.

My Review
This episode brings up an interesting issue of whether or not Adama should be allowed to exert martial law over the fleet. Sadly the issue is not explored particularly well because the council is consistently depicted as completely incompetent. Even Adama's "overseer" appointed in this episode is somewhat dense, and the whole point of her character was to show that the council isn't a bunch of idiots!

What I do like about this episode is its continuity. There is continuity with "War of the Gods" regarding Baltar's imprisonment. There is coninuity with "The Man with Nine Lives" regarding the Nomen. And there is continuity with "Greetings from Earth" regarding the Eastern Alliance captured soldiers and their ship. This episode serves to tie up loose threads from those episodes, or rather to compliment them. During a time when few science fiction shows understood the concept of episodic continuity or plot arcs, I do appreciate this attention to detail.

But in the end, what could have been a fascinating look at government in the RTF degenerates into a silly hostage situation resulting in the ludicrously easy escape of the bad guys. As if the writers could not think of any good reason to keep them around, so it's time to get rid of them!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From hugo on 2011-10-07 at 3:23pm:
    Oh, the Nomen - I love them. An excellent bottle show with great continuity. Thumbs up. And a strongish female character for once - while Sheba continues to be a decoration Siress Tinia has more balls. Annoying though with the stupid slash incompetent council. And council security (police?) are just stupid and arrogant.

    Omg kethinov, thx!

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x22 - Experiment in Terra - Originally Aired: 1979-3-18

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 5.53

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# Votes: 1 0 4 6 2 2 2 3 2 7 1

Synopsis
The Beings of Light from "War of the Gods" enlist Apollo in an attempt to save Terra from nuclear annihilation at the hands of the Eastern Alliance. [DVD]

Problems
- Starbuck and Apollo repeatedly say they're from another galaxy.

Factoids
- The missile footage is in fact recycled from various actual U.S. missile launches, some even including some of the Apollo Moon mission footage.

Remarkable Scenes
- The ship of lights appearing.
- John: "What an excellent idea." In response to Apollo's proposal that his entire conversation with him was a dream.
- The Galactica taking out the nuclear missiles.

My Review
So what is Terra? It is remarkably like Earth, but it is definitely not Earth, according to John. This episode would have been far more interesting if more time had been spent exploring the Terran civilization and showing the audience why it isn't really Earth. Instead, we're supposed to take John's word for it. Saving Terra from nuclear war was an interesting idea for a story, and involving the beings from "War of the Gods" was a clever and welcome continuity connection, but "Experiment in Terra" fails to measure up to its own profound intentions by not staying true to the prior material. Frankly, I have the same problem with this story that I had with "Lost Planet of the Gods." It leaves you feeling empty, when it should have been far more significant to the overall storyline of Galactica.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From hugo on 2011-10-14 at 4:45pm:
    I think part of the problem in this episode is that Apollo gets too much handholding from John. First it sounds like he has to figure out for himself how to help the Terrans. But through the episode mr John pops up every now and then and tells the boys what to do. And the Charlie Watts thread is kind of left hanging - if he is presenting himself as Apollo and tries to convince people that he is from the colonies, why being someone else then?

    Oh, and I am starting to hate colonel Tigh - stiff, boring and bad acting...

    OMG Kethinov, thanks!

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x23 - Take the Celestra - Originally Aired: 1979-4-1

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 5.85

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# Votes: 1 3 6 6 5 10 6 16 3 10 5

Synopsis
Starbuck's rekindled romance with his old love Aurora takes a back seat when he and Apollo become embroiled in a life-or-death struggle for control of the battlestar Celestra, ruled by the iron-fisted Commander Kronus. [DVD]

Problems
- So, the Celestra loses its engines... and stops? Why can't intertia carry them?

Factoids
- Chronos held the flag of the 4th Colonial Fleet, aboard the Battlestar Rykon.

Remarkable Scenes
- The ceremony at the beginning.
- The revelation about the conditions on the Celestra.

My Review
Bad science and poor timing ruins an otherwise viable episode. It makes little sense that by now, this mutiny hasn't already taken place. Furthermore, it makes no sense for a the fleet to be constantly exhausting fuel in order to maintain speed. An object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an external force. There's no external stopping force in space. Finally, how quickly a shuttle can be completely lost from the fleet hardly seems realistic. Conversely, the swift magical upgrades performed on the shuttle's sensors seemed equally unlikely. Sadly, the plot hinges on these weaknesses and the episode is hard to take seriously because of it.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2011-10-20 at 1:49pm:
    I kind of liked it, and Aurora was cute. I didn't have a big problem with the science - I can live with that - but I thought it was a bit unclear who was in on Chakra's plan. Also - how would he have gotten rid of Kronos if the group with Aurora and Damon would not have needed to be shuttled off?

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BSG TOS 1978 - 1x24 - The Hand of God - Originally Aired: 1979-4-29

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 4.69

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# Votes: 6 19 0 5 0 0 0 14 4 8 5

Synopsis
Weary of evading their relentless Cylon pursuers, Apollo and Starbuck sneak aboard a Cylon basestar to lead the Galactica crew in a last-ditch effort to end the Cylon threat forever. [DVD]

Problems
- Boomer speculates that the Apollo mission signals are most definitely intergalactic...
- Adama claims that this Cylon Basestar may be the only one in this galaxy. More absurd references to Galactica's supposed intergalactic travel...

Factoids
- The Galactica was launched over 500 yahrens ago, according to Apollo.

Remarkable Scenes
- The opening star chamber scene.
- Apollo witnessing the Apollo missions. ;)
- The Cylon Basestar's appearance.
- Adama declaring his intent to attack the Basestar.
- Adama offering Baltar his freedom.
- Sheba and Apollo finally getting together.
- Boomer: "Whatever you do, don't lose that transmitter. It's the only way we'll be able to tell you from the Cylons." Starbuck: "Well if we do, we'll just waggle our wings."
- Baltar providing intelligence.
- Apollo regarding the Cylon fighter: "Know how to fly this thing?" Starbuck: "I thought you did!"
- The dogfight.
- Galactica taking on the Basestar.
- Galactica destroying the Basestar.
- Starbuck waggling the Cylon fighter and Boomer catching it.
- The final scene in the star chamber. So sad.

My Review
This episode would have well been worth a full nine points if it weren't for some nitpicking about some technical problems, including the Cylons themselves. They're far too easily fooled here by Apollo and Starbuck. One wonders, and I've mentioned this before, why the Cylons provide atmospheres aboard Basestars full of nothing but machines which don't require such provisions. Furthermore, Apollo and Starbuck encountered far too little resistance, and the Cylon Basestar's sensors were far too easily taken out. No redundancy? Finally, there's more technical trash regarding Galactica having traveled inter-galaxy. (Not inter-stellar.)

However, unlike many, many prior BSG 1978 episodes, the technical problems do not bring down the plot. Very easily the Cylons could have been outwitted by some other plot device, or hell, even not at all. The Galactica barely makes any use whatsoever of their surprise attack on the Basestar anyway as the Cylons very quickly figure out what's going on and retaliate, making for a spectacular space battle.

As an episode of BSG 1978, this episode shines. Elements of continuity from nearly all prior material is put into good use here, and the "let's stop running, turn around, and punch them in the nose" factor makes for an exciting change of pace. I grade the episode purely on these grounds, for as a finale to the series, this episode is less adequate. I am fairly sympathetic to the writers here for not taking Galactica directly to Earth in the season finale, as it's a far more complicated story than they had time to tell. Maybe the whole Terra storyline should have been abandoned and Galactica should have reached Earth instead of Terra, so the complexity of finding Earth could be explored in sufficient detail. But in the end, it's better to leave the show open ended than to totally conclude it poorly. A rushed "they found Earth!" episode at the end of the series would have been a bad thing.

When Star Trek TOS was canceled, it ended similarly to this series. Just another episode. I find the lack of closure supremely annoying, but faced with the alternative of something rushed and worse, I must once again say, what we got was pretty damn good considering the circumstances.

And so BSG 1978 goes out with a bang. This canceled series gives us one of its best outings, showing us just how good it could have become. A few more episodes like The Living Legend, Part 1, Saga of a Star World, Part 1, and this one, and a few less episodes like Greetings from Earth, Part 2, The Long Patrol, The Magnificent Warriors, The Young Lords, and Take the Celestra and BSG 1978 may well have lasted more than one season.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2011-10-26 at 2:11pm:
    I am a bit torn in my review of this episode - I give it an 8, for a lot of the points you brought up. I love the build up and the sense of real danger, Baltar works great (love that smirk as he enters the hangar). And the shots of Galactica in action with the base star. The camera work when Apollo and Starbuck are in the base star are great too - especially when they climb down that ladder. The scene in the beginning in the dome is great too - and nice what they did to Apollo + Sheba.

    But then - the episode also spent 2/3 of the time or so just talking and setting the stage. If you think back, not much actually happened in the episode. And them losing the identifier device was pretty obvious coming up.

    Interesting note: In 1978 it was obviously ok to have a drink before flying the (maybe) most important mission of your life...

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