Battlestar Galactica (1978 TV series)

Battlestar Galactica (1978 TV series)

infobox Television |
show_name = Battlestar Galactica


caption = Battlestar Galactica intro
format = Science fiction
runtime = 45 minutes per episode
creator = Glen A. Larson
starring = Richard Hatch
Dirk Benedict
Lorne Greene
John Colicos
Maren Jensen
Noah Hathaway
Jane Seymour
Herb Jefferson, Jr.
Tony Swartz
Laurette Spang
Terry Carter
Ed Begley, Jr.
Rick Springfield
Anne Lockhart
David Greenan
Sarah Rush
country = USA
network = ABC
first_aired = September 17, 1978
last_aired = April 29, 1979
num_episodes = 24
list_episodes = List of Battlestar Galactica (1978-1980) episodes
followed_by = "Galactica 1980"
imdb_id = 0076984
tv_com_id = 1253 |

"Battlestar Galactica" is an American science fiction television series, produced in 1978 by Glen Larson and starring Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict.

The premise of the series incorporates themes from "Chariots Of The Gods?" and Mormon doctrine, world view and culture. [Battlestar Galactica Frequently Asked Questions, [http://www.kobol.com/archives/BG-FAQ.html#E21 E21. Are there parallels between Battlestar Galactica and Mormonism?] ] [The Millennial Star, [http://www.millennialstar.org/2006/02/12/battlestar-galactica-and-mormonism Battlestar Galactica and Mormonism] ] The show lasted only one season in 1978–1979, but has since developed a cult following and several books have been written continuing the sagas of the characters, of many of which Hatch was co-author. After its cancellation, its story was continued in 1980 as "Galactica 1980" with Adama, Lieutenant Boomer, now a colonel in the Colonial Service and Boxey, now called Troy, being the only continuing characters.

It was "reimagined" in 2003 by SCI FI (see Battlestar Galactica (re-imagining)).

Narrations

The opening narration, spoken by Patrick Macnee, reads as follows:

:"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 short version of the narration, also spoken by Patrick Macnee, reads as follows:

:"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. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens..."

During the narrations, the viewer could see scenes of nebulae and other celestial phenomena.

Patrick Macnee provided the character voice of the Cylons' Imperious Leader throughout the series, and appeared as Count Iblis in "War Of The Gods," a two-part episode which aired in January 1979.

The closing narration, spoken by Lorne Greene, reads as follows:

:"Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last battlestar, "Galactica," leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest for a shining planet known as Earth."

Plot summary

Humanity lived on twelve colony worlds in a far distant star system. They fought a thousand-year war with the Cylons, warrior robots created by a reptilian race which expired long ago--presumably destroyed by their own creations. Having never been commanded to cease fire, these warrior robots continuously waged war against the colonials. Mankind was defeated in a sneak attack on their homeworlds conceived by these robotic servants, now referred to as Cylons, and carried out with the help of Count Baltar (John Colicos). Protected by the last surviving warship, a "battlestar" (the word, presumably coined by Glen Larson, is short for the phrase "line-of-battle starship") called "Galactica," the survivors fled in any ship that could fly. The commander of the "Galactica," Commander Adama (Lorne Greene), led this "rag-tag fugitive fleet" in search of a new home on a legendary planet called Earth. The episodes dealt with the fleet's struggle to survive the Cylon threat and to find Earth.

The era in which this exodus took place is never clearly stated in the series itself. The implication of the final aired episode, "The Hand Of God," was that the original series took place after the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969, perhaps decades or centuries later, allowing for the time necessary for the propagation at light-speed of television images of the landing, which were picked up by the "Galactica."

However, the later "Galactica 1980" series is expressly set in 1980.

Pilot

The pilot to this series, the biggest budgeted (US $7 million) pilot ever up to that time, was originally released theatrically in Canada, Western Europe and Japan in July 1978 in an edited 125-minute version. (See "Saga of a Star World" for information on the pilot). On September 17, 1978, the uncut 148-minute pilot premiered on ABC to spectacular Nielsen Ratings. Two-thirds of the way through the broadcast, ABC interrupted with a special report of the signing of the Camp David Accords at the White House by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, witnessed by U.S. President Jimmy Carter. After the ceremony, ABC resumed the broadcast at the point where it was interrupted. This interruption, however, did not occur on the West Coast. In 1978, 20th Century Fox sued Universal Studios (the producers of "Battlestar Galactica") for plagiarism, claiming it had stolen 34 distinct ideas from "". Universal promptly countersued, claiming "Star Wars" had stolen ideas from their 1972 film "Silent Running" (notably the robot "drones") and the "Buck Rogers" serials of the 1940s. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed in 1980 as being "without merit."

Ratings

As the series progressed, the ratings began to decline, even though the show still consistently won its coveted Sunday evening timeslot. Although each episode had a budget of about $1 million, the show reused so many special effects shots due to budgetary constraints that many critics derided it as "overplayed into tedium." Fact|date=September 2007

In mid-April 1979, ABC executives canceled the still strongly-rated show. Some sources indicated that the million-dollar-per-episode cost led to the show's demise.Fact|date=February 2007 Others believed that it was a failed attempt by ABC to position its hit comedy "Mork & Mindy" into a more lucrative timeslot. [Larson confirmed this on the Sci-Fi documentary "Sciography"] (The ratings for "Mork" plummeted far below what they had been for "Battlestar Galactica.") The cancellation led to viewer outrage, protests outside ABC studios, and even contributed to the suicide of Edward Seidel, a 15-year-old boy in Saint Paul, Minnesota who had become obsessed with the program. [ [http://lpmuds.net/galactica_suicide.html Battlestar Galactic Related Suicide] ] On May 18, 1979, the theatrical version of the pilot was released in U.S. theaters.

ABC executives have noted that the problem lay not in "Galactica," but in the time slot. The four or five shows that filled that slot after the cancellation of "Battlestar Galactica" never reached the ratings achieved by the series.

Language

While primarily English, the Colonial language was written to include several fictional words that differentiated its culture from those of Earth, most notably time units and expletives. The words were roughly equivalent to their English counterparts, and the minor technical differences in meaning were transparent to the viewer.

:Distance and time units Colonial times were never fully explained, but appear to have been primarily in a decimal format. Time units are millicenton (never clearly defined), micron (approximately equivalent to one second), centon (minute), centar (hour), cycle, secton, quatron, sectar, yahren (Colonial year), centuron (Colonial century)

:Expletives — frack (interjection), felgercarb (noun)

:Miscdaggit (Dog), ducat (ticket), pyramid (card game), triad (a full-contact game similar to basketball)

:Figures of speech — there were a number of these used in the series, such as "daggit dribble," a term used to condemn falsehood.

Videos and DVD release

The series was released on VHS videotape with selected episodes from Universal Home Video in the 1980s and 1990s.

The series was released on DVD in 2003 as "Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Epic Series" which was packaged in a limited edition "Cylon head" box set with six discs. Extras included an ultimate comprehensive episode guide and collector's book, over 3 hours of deleted and alternate scenes, new interview with television series creator Glen A. Larson, 45-minute documentary on the making of Battlestar Galactica, a featurette on scoring the television series, featurette on the creation of the Cylons, an audio commentary for the television pilot episode with Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, and Herbert Jefferson Jr., and never-before-seen photos and drawings.

ee also

* List of Battlestar Galactica characters
* List of "Battlestar Galactica" (1978, 1980) episodes
* List of Battlestar Galactica (1978) cast members
* Battlestar "Galactica" (ship)
* Galactica 1980
* Battlestar Galactica (re-imagining)

References

External links

*
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