Monday, January 28, 2013

70's TV Week: Battlestar Galactica

What’s happenin’ sports fans?   Back this week to bring you a view of television years past.  Some of which is thoroughly enjoyable, some slightly sexist and some very creative.  So strap in your cockpit, stand by my command and get ready to launch.  This is Battlestar Galactica.
Port nacelle needs polishing.

Spoilers may very well be the salvation of humanity…

Our series hails from the mind of TV producer and writer Glen Larson (Quincy, M.E.  , B. J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy, Magnum, P. I. and Knight Rider) bringing together a ragtag group of rebel fighters comprised of an ancient race of humanity.  Through this storyline it claims humanity was born far, far away in a completely other civilization before Earth had even formed bacteria.  The Twelve Colonies of Man or Kobol (The planet of humanity’s origin) separated to different portions of the galaxy to colonize various planets in the hopes of creating not so much an empire but a commonwealth.  The odd part is all these planets are roughly in the same binary star system (a celestial body of more than two stars in the same orbital rotation of one other) More than a thousand years has drug on in a war of Humans Vs the Cylons (A series of robots created to be warriors for a long dead reptilian race, it is speculated by many of the survivors of Galactica that the Cylons turned on their masters and wiped them out).
Starbuck is not a WOMAN!

One human man Count Baltar (John Colicos of Forbidden Journey, Anne of the Thousand Day, Raid on Rommel, Star Trek TOS, and The Starlost), traitor to the 12 Colonies apprised the Cylons on how best to wage a sneak attack thus annihilating the colonies in a vicious and swift battle.     220 ships left after this seething assault one lone capital warship Galactica protects the surviving homes as they search of a new home and a place for peace.  They embark on a quest (and who doesn’t love those?) to find the legendary 13th colony their history spoke of.  A planet designated as Earth.  Commander Adama (Lorne Greene of Bonanza, Sailor of Fortune, Earthquake, Roots, The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald and Galactica 1980) leads Galactica to the best of his abilities alongside his Executive officer Colonel Tigh (Terry Carter of The Phil Silvers Show, Foxy Brown, McCloud and Benji) they guide their overworked and understaffed fighter pilots and bridge crew to dangers untold.  Adama’s own son Apollo (Richard Hatch of Santa Barbara, All My Children, The Streets of San Francisco and Battlestar Galactica 2004 remake) is a fighter pilot alongside his buddies and fellow pilots Starbuck (Dirk Benedict of Chopper One, Charlie’s Angels, The A-Team, Murder She Wrote and Alaska) and Boomer (Herbert Jefferson Jr. of Detroit 9000, The Streets of San Francisco, World War III, The Devlin Connection and Apollo 13)

Here are little fun facts about the show for you all now.   All the colonies are both species of human and planet are named after the Zodiac constellations.  The bridge set cost of build was just shy of 2 hundred thousand dollars. This was the first weekly television series that budgeted over a million dollars per episode due to special effect processing the re-use of previous footage throughout the series when they could.  Don Johnson was up for the part of Starbuck but the Southern accent killed that gig for him.  Hmm Don Johnson as Starbuck…Interesting.  
Space...through fish eye lens.

Now this particular latter 70’s show lasted 22 episodes and was revived in 1980 as Galactica 1980 and unfortunately between the farfetched writing and lack of real coherent story telling it this series followed its predecessor.   Lasting all of 10 episodes it took 24 years to resurrect for a whole new generation, but that they say is another story.   Growing up with this show I enjoyed every facet with the exception of this unnecessary robo-dog Dagget.   Of course I found out later it was 3 different chimpanzees that got rotated in costume.   Bobo, put on the suit!  Bad Bobo!  No fling poop in suit!  Well this show had the feel of a Star Wars adventure, I didn't have to wait 3 to 5 years for it to be told.  Excitement, dogfights, gambling, wooing the pretty ladies.   Folks they are a bunch of space pirates and frankly I was alright with that.