Battlestar Galactica-Complete Series (1978)

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Released 3-Dec-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Featurette-The Creation Of Battlestar Galactica: Glen Larson
Featurette-Inside Battlestar Galactica: The Cylons
Featurette-Working With Daggit
Gallery-Photo
Featurette-Documentary: Remembering Battlestar Galactica
Deleted Scenes
Trailer-U.S. Sneak Peek At Battlestar Galactica Mini-Series
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1978
Running Time 1161:04
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (84:54)
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Richard A. Colla
Alan J. Levi
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Richard Hatch
Dirk Benedict
Lorne Greene
Herb Jefferson Jr.
Maren Jensen
Tony Swartz
Noah Hathaway
Terry Carter
Lew Ayres
Wilfrid Hyde-White
John Colicos
Laurette Spang
John Fink
Case ?
RPI $99.95 Music Stu Phillips


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format ?
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

"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..."
 
 
    Television has been around for quite a while, and in that time many a program has come and gone. Some are fondly remembered while others come and go without notice. For the most part, the longevity of a television series is a true sign of success and popularity...but not always. In 1978 a television show would come along that would prove to be very much the exception to the rule. It would also bear out the old saying "The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long".

    It's the mid 70s, and television writer and producer Glen A. Larson began working on a concept for a television program about a group of humans fleeing a marauding terror and banding together to fight a common foe, a storyline that he had been promoting with little success for several years. This infant concept would go on to become Battlestar Galactica, a program whose influence and popularity would reach beyond its single season run. With the whirlwind success of the film Star Wars, science fiction was quickly and suddenly the flavour of the month and this had a definite and direct influence on the Battlestar Galactica project getting a green light. Mind you, this is far from stating that the film Star Wars had an influence on the storyline and characters as portrayed in the show. Twentieth Century Fox of course had different ideas, and instigated legal proceedings against Universal Studios and the producers of Battlestar Galactica, claiming that the show was a plagiarisation of Star Wars with characters and scenarios too similar to the successful feature film. Universal promptly counter-sued Fox stating that Star Wars was in fact a rip-off of its Buck Rogers series from the late 1930s and R2D2 was declared a direct copy of the robots from its film Silent Running. It's unfortunate that these petty and hyper-reactive legal proceedings (which Fox eventually lost in 1980) overshadowed what should have been one of the most successful television programs in history. All this said, the program remains a true marvel in the annals of amazing television.

    The Battlestar Galactica project eventually got a green light in the late 70s and, with the absence of any real quality sci-fi on the small screen, the ABC network in the U.S. took on the promising Universal tele-movie. When the executives at Universal saw the initial episode, they were amazed. Although shot and intended for network television, the scope of the story and the quality of the special effects were so great that it was decided that the initial episode of what was intended to be a mini-series could actually be reedited and released theatrically, which was done firstly in Canada to much box office success. The film was then released to a world wide market, including the U.S. Meanwhile, the studio and network were so excited by the show that the original idea of filming the show in several mini-series was abandoned and the show was instead quickly put into production as a weekly 1 hour program. This is one of the things which would be the death knell of the show.

    Of all the programs that had preceded it, Battlestar Galactica was for its time the most expensive television show in history. It's estimated that the pilot episode Saga of a Star World cost between $9 and $14 million dollars (U.S.). Given that Star Wars had a budget of just $10 million, this would be a staggering amount for any film of the time, let alone a television series. The great thing for the show (especially the pilot episode) was that the millions of dollars thrown at the production are on screen for much of the program. Hot off the success of his work on Star Wars, effects wizard John Dykstra took the helm of the special effects department and with his visual mastery created vehicles and space battles that would be the envy of any sci-fi project anywhere, television or otherwise. Unfortunately, because Dykstra had helmed both Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, the effects seen on Galactica would bear a similar visual style to George Lucas' creation and this would be a contributing factor to the lawsuit brought on by Fox. Still, the pilot episode set a great benchmark for the quality of a tele-movie, and this is another thing that would eventually bring down the show, for the staggering amount of special effects seen in the first episode would be impossible to do week to week, both in regards to time as well as financially.

    Each week, viewers were treated to a continuing spectacle about a convoy of ships (much like the Wagon Train to the Stars that Gene Roddenberry intended Star Trek to be) fleeing from the deadly race of Cylons, a race of mechanized beings that were dedicated to the destruction of the human race. With all human colonies all but destroyed, the last remnants of the 12 tribes of man have come from near and far in whatever ships they have been able to procure in a last desperate attempt to save themselves and the human race. Under the protection of the last great Battlestar, Galactica, this 'rag-tag' fugitive fleet leaves familiar territory in hopes of finding the legendary planet Earth, home of the lost 13th tribe of man and perhaps the last hope of the species in the face of the Cylons. While the Galactica, commanded by Commander Adama (Lorne Greene), lead the fleet in the quest for the planet Earth, the Cylons were lead by the traitor Baltar (John Colicos), a former member of the Council of the Twelve and the only human to be allowed to live in the new Cylon order. Baltar commands his own Base Star (the Cylon equivalent of a Battlestar) and leads the mechanical army in a continual quest to destroy the last vestiges of the human race. In the midst of the horror that the Cylons wish to inflict on the humans, those aboard the 220 ships that make up the fleet attempt to make something of their lives, and the show revolves around a central core of characters that inhabit the Battlestar including Commander Adama and his children, Captain Apollo (Richard Hatch) and his sister Athena (Maren Jensen), Lt. Boomer (Herb Jefferson Jr.), Lt. Starbuck (Dirk Benedict), Lt. Sheba (Anne Lockhart) and Med-Tech Cassiopeia (Laurette Spang). Each week was a story of struggle and adventure as the convoy eluded the Cylons in a quest to find Earth. That was the idea, anyway.

    It's a shame that the original concept of a mini-series wasn't pursued, as the one thing that most hampered the series was the frantic pace that it had to be produced at, which led to some quite pronounced production limitations that would put the show in a lesser light than it could have been seen in. Because of the hectic production schedule, principal photography might not begin for an episode until a Wednesday. This might be fine, except the show screened on a Sunday night, giving the production team just a few days to write a script, construct sets, shoot footage, score, edit and present the final episode to the network for broadcast. This often saw principal photography taking place on a Saturday for broadcast the next day. To their credit, the production team for the show did a fantastic job with the limited time afforded them, but the downside was that because the show was produced in such a hurried fashion, corners had to be cut. The most glaring example of this was in the massive overuse of space flight stock footage. While the space flight scenes created by Dykstra and Co. were first rate (and still look great), the problem was that the same footage was used over and over again, episode after episode. This limited the writing staff as they had to keep their scripts within the realm of what footage they could use from the pilot episode. Fans of the series will vividly remember the shot of the Cylon Raider banking right, only to have a trail of laser fire catch up with it resulting in an elliptical explosion. This same shot was in fact used twice in the show's opening credits, so when it came to the show itself, footage was reused ad nauseum. While fans might overlook or tolerate such production limitations, the general viewing public began to lose interest as the story of the fugitive fleet fell into a repetition of stock shots. While the storyline of the show's central characters continued to develop and grow, the fact is that a science fiction show relies on its charms in a visual sense and while the storylines were at times fresh (or as fresh as could be expected given the limited time allowed to produce the scripts), the visuals were as stale as week old bread. A casual viewer probably looked at the show and thought 'Didn't I see this last week?', and this would very much hamper the popularity of the show. While the pilot episode was a ratings bonanza, the weekly show slowly sank in the ratings and at the end of its run finished 24 overall. This final figure alone shouldn't have been the lone cause of the demise of the show, and it wasn't.

    The old saying goes 'The bigger they are, the harder they fall', and this would be a very apt description of Battlestar Galactica. Despite the massive U.S.$1 million budget per episode for the series, the show's creators couldn't continue to create such a major program with the hectic pace of shooting and the continual reuse of stock footage, and at the end of the 21 episode Season 1 run, the show was abruptly cut short. This left all the show's loyal viewers in a huge quandary (myself included), as we were never to know the fate of our much-loved star travellers and their quest for Earth. Despite the numerous Emmy, Grammy and Golden Globe Awards the show was nominated for and won, despite the huge amount of money invested in the show and the following it had achieved, the ABC network unexpectedly pulled the plug on the show. It was a decision that the network would later regret. ABC soon realized their mistake in cancelling the groundbreaking show, and a follow-up program, Galactica 1980 was hastily produced. Set around 30 years after the original Galactica series, this program followed the exploits of the Galactica and its crew as they find Earth, but as Earth is technologically too primitive to help them fight the Cylons, it's decided that the Galacticans should subtly introduce new technology to the Earthlings in the hope that they will be able to not only help the Galactica and the fleet, but be able to protect themselves from the coming Cylon armies. While this show could have been an opportunity to wrap up the saga, in fact the reverse was the case. Filmed with a limited budget, and with only a couple of characters and stars from the original show (Lorne Greene and Herb Jefferson Jr.), the show failed to inspire and was dropped from the ABC schedule after just 10 episodes. Fans of the original Battlestar Galactica largely consider the storylines and events in Galactica 1980 to be apocryphal.

    Unlike the Star Trek franchise, Battlestar Galactica was a lone entity in terms of television and film development. While a comic book series and several books based on the characters and events from the series were spawned (some penned by the show's star Richard Hatch), there were to be no feature films, no second series, and no spin-offs (save for the disastrous Galactica 1980). For fans of the show, the silence was deafening. Still, there were those who believed in the program and continued to resurrect the show. The most evangelical of these would be the show's star, Richard Hatch. A chance occurrence at a Star Trek convention sparked a renewed interest in Hatch to bring back the show. When asked if he wouldn't mind signing a few autographs while visiting a convention, Hatch was flabbergasted when the line to get his signature snaked throughout the auditorium with hundreds eager to meet him. All this at a Star Trek convention. Hatch realized that if there was this level of interest, then surely a renewed television series or film would be a success. Using his own money, Hatch produced an extended teaser trailer for a possible feature film called Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming. This trailer featured some of the original show's stars including Hatch, Richard Lynch (as Count Iblis), Terry Carter and John Colicos reprising his character Baltar in what would be his last 'screen' role, as he passed away from a heart attack shortly after the trailer was filmed. Sadly, while Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming gained much attention as Hatch took it on the convention circuit, it was not enough to get enough people sufficiently interested in bringing back the project as he envisioned it. Although X-Men director Brian Singer was initially interested in the project, continual reworking and redrafting of the production eventually saw him drop from the director's slot. It was probably inevitable that the production of a follow-up to the Galactica saga would get the green light in some form, and in the end it was a re-imagining of the Galactica story helmed by Australian Director Michael Rymer who had directed Queen of The Damned, the second film in the Ann Rice Vampire Chronicles series. As was the case with the Damned film, it looks to be a case as history repeating itself as the new incarnation takes some of the ideas, characters and concepts from the original series and updates them in a new and hip style. The problem is that this looks to completely bypass the original series and instead of continuing the story of the remnants of the 12 tribes looking for the legendary Earth it instead makes the Cylons a race of human-looking androids originally created by man! Throw in some strange gender twists (Starbuck and Boomer are now female?!?) and you have a whole new ball game. Sad, as I didn't want to see a new game, but what happened at the end of the first one.

    All in all, despite its premature ending, this series was a true marvel in the history of television. Glen Larson has taken elements from Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology, mixed it with Mormon theology and good 'ol science fiction shoot-em-up, infused some spectacular special effects, a quality cast and a good musical score (including one of the best television show themes ever) and created a phenomenon that in some instances has yet to be rivalled. I so wished to see a second season of this show, and seeing it again after all these years had me wanting it even more. Finally, we have the original on DVD to satisfy the craving for a trip down nostalgia lane. A great trip, but far, far too short.

Disc 1 

1. Saga of a Star World  (Pilot Episode)    -   133:24   Directed by Richard Colla
Written by Glen A. Larson

Starring:  Richard Hatch as Captain Apollo, Dirk Benedict as Lieutenant Starbuck, Lorne Greene as Commander Adama, Terry Carter as Colonel Tigh, Maren Jensen as Athena, Herb Jefferson Jr. as Lieutenant Boomer, Laurette Spang as Cassiopeia, John Colicos as Baltar, Tony Swartz as Flight Sergeant Jolly, Noah Hathaway as Boxey, Rick Springfield as Zak, Lew Ayres as President Adar, Wilfred Hyde-White as Sire Anton, Ray Milland as Sire Uri and Jane Seymour as Serina.
 
    After hundreds of generations of war, the human race stands on the edge of peace. For a thousand yahrens (years), mankind has waged war with the Cylons, a race of mechanicals that will stop at nothing to destroy the human race. But things look a bit more positive for the future as Count Baltar, a member of the Council of the Twelve representing the twelve tribes of humans in the known galaxy, has been in secret talks with the leaders of the Cylon empire and has arranged an armistice, a truce between the two warring civilizations...or so it seems. In fact, Baltar has betrayed the entire human race and instead of leading the fleet to a welcoming committee, they instead have been lead into a trap with thousands of Cylon raiders heading in to wipe out the entire human fleet before turning to destroy the home worlds of each of the twelve tribes of man. In the ensuing attack by the Cylons, a few humans manage to escape the onslaught and it is Commander Adama, the last living member of the council and the commander of the last great military ship of the fleet, the Battlestar Galactica, that sends out the call for all humans that remain to set sail in whatever ships can be made to work. The plan is to gather together under the protection of the last Battlestar and continue in a convoy on a search for the homeworld of the lost 13th tribe of man, a planet called Earth. It is hoped that once Earth is found, they can regroup with their long lost cousins and defend the remains of humanity once and for all.

    This pilot was a huge production and quite an undertaking by Universal. Still, when the show was finished it was so impressive that the studio executives released the pilot in re-edited form in a theatrical run around the world. This pilot was aired in the U.S. as a 3 hour (2 hrs 13min. plus ads) pilot, while in the U.K. and other markets (perhaps Australia?) it was split into three 1 hour episodes.

2. Lost Planet of the Gods (Part 1)   -   46:45   Directed by Christian Nyby Jr.
Written by Glen A. Larson and Don Bellisario

Starring:  Ed Begley Jr. as Sergeant Greenbeen, Larry Manetti as Giles, Janet Lynn Curtis as Sorell and Janet Louise Johnson as Brie
 
    As the Galactica flees from the pursuing Cylon army, Apollo and Starbuck discover a dense magnetic void directly in the fleet's path. After successfully escaping (just) the void, the pair return to the fleet with the news. Meanwhile, Boomer and Jolly have discovered a fortified Cylon base located on the surface of an asteroid. This leaves the Galactica in a quandary, for if the fleet travels straight ahead, they go straight into the magnetic void and a fate unknown. Head around the void and it's the Cylon base. After completing their patrol, Boomer and Jolly return to the Galactica, but little do they know that they have brought with them a deadly virus from the Cylon asteroid...and slowly it is spreading through the ranks of the viper pilots.

    With most of the Galactica's pilots down with a strange virus that Dr. Salik is unable to cure, desperate times call for desperate measures and the call is made to those with the aptitude to take the place of the stricken warriors, and it is the shuttle pilots of the fleet that answer. Of course, because of the perpetual state of war that exists, almost all male pilots have enlisted in the service, and since most of the viper pilots are ill, the great majority (okay, all) of the new volunteers are women. This includes Apollo's sister Athena and his girlfriend Serina. While many balk at the idea (including Apollo when he hears that Serina has enlisted), the fleet is heading into perilous times and all must heed the call.

     Now, Commander Adama has a perilous decision to make, and it is decided that the void is the only safe way of passage. All of this is set to the backdrop of Apollo having proposed to Serina and a wedding is set for the time when the fleet might be at greatest risk.

Disc 2

3. Lost Planet of the Gods (Part 2)   -   46:36   Directed by Christian Nyby Jr.
Written by Glen A. Larson and Don Bellisario

Starring:  Ed Begley Jr. as Sergeant Greenbeen, Larry Manetti as Giles, Janet Lynn Curtis as Sorell and Janet Louise Johnson as Brie

    As Baltar and the Cylons plan on how they might capture the Galactica and her convoy of ships, the fleet begin their trip into the void. While in the middle of the void to a fate unknown, Apollo and Serina are 'sealed' in a ceremony presided over by Commander Adama. As their vows are pledged, a bright star and its lone planet suddenly becomes visible in the heavens. Adama knows just what this could be, proclaiming it as the the planet Kobol (as in the Lords of Kobol), the birthplace of humankind.

    The Commander, Apollo and Serina travel to the planet they believe to be Kobol and are greeted by a scene of magnificent desolation. The ruins of a great civilization are evident (some scenes were filmed on location at the Great Pyramids in Egypt), but there is no sign of life. Still, Adama is able to read some of the ancient glyphs on the stonework, and it is his hope that some of the writings may contain records of the 13th tribe's path to Earth. All is not well, though, as the following Cylons have failed to be deterred by the threat of the magnetic void and Baltar has ordered them in to find the Galactica and the fleet.

    As Apollo, Serina and Adama search the ruins in the hope of finding some record of the 13th tribe, Baltar makes a surprise appearance. But as Adama and Baltar debate, the Cylons attack the ancient city, including the ruins where Adama and Baltar are. When part of the ceiling collapses and traps Baltar, he is left to his own fate, but the same sword of fate that traps Baltar also strikes Serina as she is shot by a Cylon landing party. Before Adama is able to read any of the ancient writings, he is forced to flee the planet with Apollo and the now dying Serina. Having escaped the Cylons once again, the Galactica and the fleet must face an unknown future, as must Apollo who is now forced to be a single father to Boxey after the premature death of Serina.

    This episode saw the end of the Serina character as Jane Seymour wanted to leave the show. Originally it was intended for the Serina character to be diagnosed with a terminal and quickly debilitating disease, but this was later changed to the death by Cylon attack, which seems much more appropriate to the storyline. A second unit was sent with some costumes to Egypt to film the shots of Adama, Apollo and Serina walking toward the Great Pyramids. Because of local religious laws, the second unit stand-in for Jane Seymour had to be male as no female was permitted to be seen in 'male' clothing under strict Islamic law.

4. The Lost Warrior  - 46:41   Directed by Rod Holcomb
Written by Don Bellisario with story by Don Bellisario and Herman Groves

Starring:  Carol Baxter as Macy, Kathy Cannon as Vela, Claude Earl Jones as La Certa, Lance LeGault as Bootees, Johnny Timko as Puppis, Red West as Marco and Rex Cutter as Red Eye
 
    During a routine patrol, Apollo encounters a large Cylon squadron and although just barely able to escape with his life, Apollo is forced to take a route far away from the Galactica and the fleet. His problems are compounded, though, as his fuel supply is fading fast and while he has managed to elude the Cylons, his fuel shortage means that he must find a hospitable planet to land on. One appears on his scanners, and he makes his way there, not knowing what awaits.

    Once on the planet, Apollo comes into contact with a rural community of farmers and ranchers, particularly a single mother Vela and her 10 year old son Puppis. Apollo's appearance on the Vela's homestead is greeted with suspicion, but Apollo is soon able to convince the woman and her son that he means no harm to them. Not long after, Apollo sees the real reason for the apprehension that Vela has, as the entire community is held in the grip of fear by a local stand-over man that demands regular tributes from the region's farmers and cattle herders. While the notion of the stand-over man is probably universal, it's the stand-over man's strong arm that is the true source of fear...a Cylon! A Cylon warrior has apparently crash landed on the planet, and while being the only survivor of the three member crew, is a victim of amnesia and has no recollection of the war between the Cylons and the humans.

    In order to survive long enough to attempt to make his ship flightworthy again, Apollo must come to the aid of the besieged community and face the focus of terror of the whole town...the one they call Red Eye!

    This is a fairly simple one. Very much a 'western on another world', this episode uses the very familiar motifs of the western town under the control of a ruthless strong man, only to be rescued by a lone stranger from parts unknown. The sets, costumes and the entire feel of this episode is like some rehash of a million western TV shows that have screened a million times before. The sets are given a 'space age' look, but it's pure western TV here. An okay episode, just.

5. The Long Patrol   -   46:46   Directed by Chris Nyby Jr.
Written by Don Bellisario

Starring:  Ted Gehring as Croad, Sean McClory as Assault-9, Cathy Paine as the voice of C.O.R.A.. and James Whitmore Jr. as Robber.

    As the Galactica and the fleet emerge from a dense dust cloud and into another galaxy, preparations are made to send out a reconnaissance patrol to evaluate the new region of the universe the fleet has just entered. To this end, the Galactica's technicians have constructed the Recon Viper 1, a heavily modified viper that is able to travel much faster that any other ship in the fleet. Starbuck, busy entertaining both Athena and Cassiopeia aboard the Rising Star (and each unaware of the other's presence), has volunteered for the mission and has decided on one last fling before he heads out.

    Dressed in non-colonial garb, Starbuck tests the new viper which is controlled by a flight computer named C.O.R.A. (Computer Oral Response Activated) which is almost as good a pilot as Starbuck is! There is little time for test runs and time trials as the ship picks up two incoming ships, one in deadly pursuit of the other. Starbuck intervenes in the ships' battle and manages to distract the fighter ship from the heavily handicapped transport shuttle, which lands on a nearby planet. On the planet's surface, Starbuck encounters a smuggler named Robber that purports to have a ship full of agro-parts, but is in fact stacked full of ambrosia. Before Starbuck can act, he is knocked out by Robber who quickly steals Recon Viper 1 leaving Starbuck on an uncharted planet with a slower than ever transport shuttle. As Starbuck leaves the planet, he is pursued by the very fighter he thwarted the first time. Out-manoeuvred and out-gunned, Starbuck has little choice but to heed the fighter pilot's commands.

    Forced to land on another planet, Starbuck is taken to a prison facility where all the inmates have no names, but rather the reason for their incarceration (Assault, Forger, Adulteress, and so forth). Much to his horror, Starbuck learns that the prisoners have been told that they are to make ambrosia for the colonial war effort and that the prisoners are in fact the ancestors of the original prisoners, not the original offenders themselves.

    As the Galactica looks for its lost pilot, Starbuck leads the prisoners on a jail break as the Cylons begin to attack.

    This one is good fun and one of my favourites. The up side is that we encounter some other colonists that we haven't seen in the series before. Also, the 'search for Earth' plot is advanced as Starbuck finds some drawings of solar systems in his cell that have been made by someone who might have been from Earth or perhaps knew of Earth.

6. (The) Gun on Ice Planet Zero (Part 1)  -   46:30   Directed by Alan Levi
Written by Leslie Stevens, Michael Sloan, Don Bellisari

Starring:  Christine Belford as Leda, Britt Eklund as Tenna,  Dan O'Herlihy as Dr. Ravishol, James Olsen as Thane, Richard Lynch as Wolfe, Larry Manetti as Giles, Danny Miller as Ser 5-9, Alan Stock as Cree, Roy Thinnes as Croft, Alex Hyde-White as Cadet Bow and Richard Milholland as Killian.
 
     While on patrol ahead of the fleet, Starbuck, Boomer and their squadron come under attack from a powerful laser located on a barren ice planet. When the patrol loses one of its vipers to the deadly weapon, the thought is to return to the fleet, but one rookie, Cree, is more daring and moves closer to the ice world only to be shot himself. Luckily, Cree's craft is only wounded and not destroyed, but this forces the young warrior to crash land on the planet's surface. The rest of the patrol manage to avoid the laser cannon and return to the Galactica.

    Guilt-ridden about leaving young Cree on the surface to an unknown fate, Starbuck pushes for a rescue mission and Adama proposes an expedition to the planet's surface to find the laser cannon, destroy it and hopefully find the captured warrior at the same time. In order to carry out the mission, the computer is given the task of finding out the best people in all of the fleet to carry out a raid on an ice world in sub-zero temperatures. When the results come back, it's a group of prisoners on the fleet's prison barge that head up the list. Several of them have had experience in freezing temperature environments and it's decided that the group should be allowed to the surface to carry out the mission, all under the command of Captain Apollo. Modifying the computer's search parameters, Starbuck also makes the team.

    The strike team heads to the planet, but all are not at ease as some of the prisoners have scores to settle and the mission to destroy the laser cannon might take a back seat to other agendas. With the strike team on the surface, Apollo is startled to find that Boxey and Muffit stowed away on the shuttle and are now in the thick of it with the rest of the team. The team moves toward their target, but get trapped in a very heavy snow storm. Unable to proceed, Muffit jumps from the team's rover and heads into the blizzard while the rest of the team sit by and try to wait out the storm. When they wake up, they find themselves in a cave populated by what appear to be cloned humans all working for a Dr. Ravishol, who in turn works for the Cylons. It's Dr. Ravishol who has made the laser cannon (originally a communication device) and the clones will stop at nothing to preserve their leader/creator and his research.

    With the team on the surface, Baltar begins to plan the demise of the Galactica and her fleet as they are heading straight for the planet and right into the line of fire from the laser cannon. The strike team must convince the race of clones that they must fight for their rights as humans or else they will be treated with the same fate that the rest of humanity has received at the hands of the Cylons.

    This is a good episode that features some new special effects shots. While the script is nowhere near original (The Guns of Navarone / Force 10 from Navarone meets The Dirty Dozen), it does incorporate some different elements that make it suit the series. 70's sex symbol Britt Eklund gets a role (okay, three) as one of the clones on the planet. Three times the romantic interest for Starbuck.

Disc 3

7. (The) Gun on Ice Planet Zero (Part 2)  -   46:19   Directed by Alan Levi
Written by Leslie Stevens, Michael Sloan, Don Bellisario

Starring:  Christine Belford as Leda, Britt Eklund as Tenna,  Dan O'Herlihy as Dr. Ravishol, James Olsen as Thane, Richard Lynch as Wolfe, Larry Manetti as Giles, Danny Miller as Ser 5-9, Alan Stock as Cree, Roy Thinnes as Croft, Alex Hyde-White as Cadet Bow and Richard Milholland as Killian.
 
     As the Galactica and the rest of the fleet sit idly in space, the team on the planet's surface below continue on their mission to destroy the 'Ravishol Pulsar'. Having snuck into the fortress that houses the laser cannon, Apollo comes face-to-face with Dr. Ravishol, who is referred to by the clones as the 'Father Creator'. Apollo pleads with the doctor to help with his plan to destroy the gun, but he refuses, stating that he has nothing to do with how the Cylons use the device that was originally constructed as a communications tool. When Ravishol learns that his clones, who have been charged with the responsibility of manning the device, are in fact not permitted near it by the Cylons, the doctor is forced to rethink his allegiance.

    Meanwhile, Baltar and two other base ships are closing in on the Galactica's position with Baltar sending out waves of attacking Cylon raiders to engage the Battlestar, only to retreat again, and then reattack. Baltar does this to confuse Adama and trick him into going directly into the path of the laser cannon.

    On the surface, the team begins its assault on the pulsar with instructions on how to destroy the gun. While Apollo leads an increasingly unstable strike force to the cannon, Starbuck goes on to find the captured rookie Cree, who in turn helps Starbuck wreak havoc on the Cylons for enough time to allow Apollo and his team to plant explosive charges on the weapon of destruction. Once opposed to the destruction of his work, Dr. Ravishol now encourages his clones to fight against the Cylons and help destroy the gun and hopefully ensure a safe future for themselves and their children.

8. The Magnificent Warriors   -   46:46   Directed by Chris Nyby Jr.
Written by Glen A. Larson 

Starring:   Dennis Fimple as Duggy, Barry Nelson as Bogan, Eric Server as Dipper, Brett Somers as Siress Belloby and Olan Soule as Carmichael
 
    In a crippling attack on the fleet, the Cylons have severely damaged the agro ships, which are responsible for growing food for the peoples of the fleet. As food is a precious commodity, the fleet cannot afford to be without supply from the agro ships for long. While the ships are able to be repaired, much of the plants on board have been destroyed and new seed stock is very badly needed. Commander Adama proposes finding a planet with a suitable agriculture-based society from which some seed can be obtained. To facilitate the smooth acquisition of the seed stock, Adama orders an older unmarked generator (energizer) that can be traded, but cannot be traced to the colonials through its markings by the Cylons.

    The plan hits a snag, however, as the one energizer that can be found that fits the bill is in the ownership of Siress Belloby, an older well-off widow that takes a very keen interest in Commander Adama. Whilst it's a case of unrequited attraction, Adama tolerates the Siress' attentions for the sake of the fleet. When a suitable planet is found, a landing party is made up to take the energizer down, arrange a trade for some seed stock with the locals and head back. That's the plan, anyway.

    Once on the planet, the party find a simple agrarian society that is under the grip of a marauding pig-like race called Borays that pillage the town every full moon. Things are made more complicated as Siress Belloby is captured by the raiding Borays and the generator is highjacked. With a complete lack of law and order in the community, Starbuck is tricked into taking up as the local constable for the town, a position that has been vacated many times due to the sudden death of the office holder. With an inter-race war about to break out between the humans and the Borays, the energizer gone and Siress Belloby kidnapped, the landing party must do some quick thinking if they are to get themselves out their quandary alive and return to the fleet with the required seed.

    With a similar feel to The Lost Warrior episode, this one features some of the 'western' influences seen in the aforementioned episode. It's nice to see Adama get out of the Galactica and join a landing party, and it's even more fun watching him squirm under the attentions of Siress Belloby.

9. The Young Lords   -   46:47   Directed by Don Bellisario
Written by Don Bellisario, Frank Lupo and Paul Playdon 

Starring:  Charles Bloom as Kyle, Bruce Glover as Megan, Audrey Landers as Miri, Brigitte Muller as Ariadne and Adam Man as Nilz
 
    During a dogfight with Cylon raiders, Starbuck's viper is seriously damaged, leaving him no chance to return to the Galactica. Finding a suitable planet to land on, he does so only to find that it is occupied by a large garrison of Cylons. Although attempting to evade capture, a wounded Starbuck is finally captured by the mechanical race and is on the way to being brought back to their stronghold for interrogation when he is rescued by a well organized and well equipped troop of young children. When he recovers enough, Starbuck learns that the planet has been under the control of the Cylons for some time and it's only this well trained group of young people that have been not only defending themselves against the occupiers, but have been carrying out offensive raids against them as well.

    The young raiders are lead by Kyle and Miri, whose father is being held by the Cylons in their former castle home, now the Cylon's command centre. While the young, attractive Miri becomes fond of the newcomer Starbuck, Kyle hatches a plan to trade the wounded warrior to the Cylons in exchange for their imprisoned father. While Miri is upset at the concept, Kyle is insistent that the trade be made. But at the exchange, it becomes apparent that the Cylons have no intention of handing over their sole captive to the young raiders, who in turn have decided not to do the same with Captain Starbuck.

    Now, with an experienced colonial warrior in their midst, and a committed team of knowledgeable youngsters under his command, Starbuck leads a raid on the Cylon headquarters that could not only free the young people's father, but could also bring an end to the Cylon occupation.

    This episode featured a very fantasy/medieval style with young people in winged helmets riding unicorns. Still, it is a fun episode that features a great chase with the Cylons on the hunt for a wounded Starbuck. A very attractive Audrey Landers is also lovely to look at.

10. The Living Legend (Part 1)   -  46:45     Directed by Vince Edwards
Written by Glen A. Larson

Starring:  Lloyd Bridges as Commander Cain, Jack Stauffer as Bojay, Rod Haase as Tolan, Junero Jennings as the Pegasus launch officer and Anne Lockhart as Lt. Sheba.
 
    While on patrol ahead of the fleet, Apollo and Starbuck come into contact with another patrol of vipers! Threatened with obliteration, the pair are escorted by the surprise viper patrol to their base ship, the Battlestar Pegasus under the command of the legendary Commander Cain. Although they can't believe it, it soon turns out to be true as the Pegasus looms into view. Once aboard the newly discovered battlestar, Apollo and Starbuck are introduced to the living legend Commander Cain by the intercepting viper pilots, one of whom is the commander's daughter, Sheba. Apollo and Starbuck learn that the lost battlestar has been conducting strike raids against Cylon outputs for the past several yahrens after having escaped from the Cylons during the Battle of Molecay. Now, with two battlestars and a combined fleet of viper squadrons, Cain believes it is time to strike the Cylons while they have the numbers. Adama has other ideas, as the fleet is perilously low on fuel and no appreciable travel can continue without the acquisition of a large amount of fuel.

    Cain proposes a raid on two Cylon fuel tankers that are easily available and might provide the fleet with enough fuel to travel away from an immediate Cylon threat, and Blue Squadron from the Galactica is invited by Cain to join Silver Spar Squadron on the raid. With Cain on the patrol with them, the two squadrons attack the fuel tankers and their escorts, which are easily destroyed. Strangely, Cain fires on the now unarmed tankers and they are instantly destroyed. When pressed as to the order of events on the raid by Commander Adama, Cain responds that accidents happen, especially when flying with a good but inexperienced squadron like Blue Squadron from the Galactica. It is clear, however, that Cain has something to hide.

    With the fuel situation dire, Adama orders the full fuel supply from the Pegasus be distributed throughout the fleet. Cain quickly refuses and is relieved of his command by Adama as Col. Tigh is given the command of the Pegasus. All the while, Baltar along with 3 baseships are headed toward the Galactica on a mission to destroy it once and for all. Convinced that this is the Galactica's last stand, Baltar decides to get a bird's eye view of the destruction of the fleet and elects to join in one of the Cylon raiders on its raid on the battlestar. While enjoying the spectacle of the Galactica burning under the Cylon attack, it is with more than a little surprise that Baltar discovers that he has not only taken on one battlestar...but two!
 
     A note: This was the first episode in the series that didn't use the show's original "There are those who believe that life here...began out there" intro. Instead, the show launches into the main theme. The only episodes after this one to use the old intro would be Take the Celestra and Greetings From Earth.

Disc 4

11. The Living Legend (Part 2)   -  46:44     Directed by Vince Edwards
Written by Glen A. Larson

Starring:  Lloyd Bridges as Commander Cain, Jack Stauffer as Bojay,  Rod Haase as Tolan and Junero Jennings as the Pegasus launch officer.
 
     When Baltar discovers that he has two battlestars to contend with, he beats a hasty retreat back to his baseship where he can contemplate what to do next. Baltar has little time to think as the Imperious Leader is on his way to the nearby planet Gamoray to dedicate a new Cylon facility. If he discovers that Baltar has lost ground to the colonials, there will be hell to pay.

    With the Cylons on the run, Adama and Cain commit themselves to raiding the fuel supply on Gamoray, a mission that would serve the purpose of both destroying an important Cylon base and supplying much needed fuel for the fleet. Although Adama is apprehensive, Cain convinces Adama that the Pegasus can distract the oncoming basestars while a mission is sent from the battlestar to the surface of Gamoray to destroy the Cylon base and free up the fuel supply. Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer are ready to carry out the raid, but Sheba and Bojay from the Pegasus point out that they have much experience in dealing with Cylons on their home turf. Cassiopeia also offers her services as a med-tech for the raid and they all parachute into the Cylon city to carry out their mission.

    With the Imperious Leader on the surface, an all-out assault is commenced with attacks on both baseships by the Pegasus and a ground assault on the soon-to-be-dedicated Cylon outpost by Apollo and his squad. While the Cylon leader is announcing the opening of the facility, Apollo and his team strike, taking the Cylons by surprise. While Bojay is shot and badly injured during the raid, the group successfully disrupts the Cylons enough to steal their fuel and help prevent their attack on the two battlestars and the rest of the fleet. Returning to the Galactica, the team learn that all non-essential crew have been evacuated from the Pegasus to the Galactica as Cain will be taking on the baseships directly in order to allow the fleet to escape under the lead of the Galactica.

    In a hail of laser and missile fire, the Pegasus heads straight for the baseships, and with the help of Apollo and Starbuck, there just might be hope that the Cylons can be stopped from their relentless pursuit of the fleet.

    This is one of the best episodes of the series, most notably because of the great performance by the late Lloyd Bridges as Commander Cain. If ever there was to be an actor to walk into a role of a character that had, before this episode, never been mentioned and to have him carry himself in such a manner as to make himself as much a part of the series as Lorne Greene, then Lloyd Bridges would have to be the one. The past romance between Cassiopeia and Cain is an interesting one and hints back to Cassi's previous career as a 'socialator' (escort would be the modern term). To have the brashness and flippancy of Starbuck in direct competition to the confidence and experience of Cain is an interesting and surprisingly even match that the show fleshes out. It is also great to see another battlestar on the screen and to see the different politics that transpire between the two opposing sides.

12. Fire in Space   -   46:48   Directed by Chris Nyby Jr.
Written by Jim Carlson and Terrence McDonnell

Starring:  George Murdock as Dr. Salik, William Bryant as the Fire Leader and Jeff Mackay as the crewman.
 
    While under attack from the Cylons, the Galactica comes under a different form of assault - suicide pilots. As the Cylon raiders attack the Galactica, some crash their crafts into the body of the battlestar, including one of the landing bays as well as the bridge. When the bridge is hit, Commander Adama is injured with a piece of debris lodging itself very close to the commander's heart. Rushing the commander to the sick bay, Dr. Salik works to save him, but realizes that with the piece of metal so close to Adama's heart, the prognosis is fairly poor.

    Meanwhile, the Galactica is in great peril as the suicide attacks have caused some major fires aboard the ship that result in the separation of various parts of the ship. While Boxey, Muffit,  Boomer and Athena are in the the rec-room enjoying a bit of rest time between the frantic duties of the ship, they become trapped by the fire that rages because of the Cylon attacks. With no means of escape, Boomer must keep his wits about him as he may just be the only hope the group has. While the trapped group wonders what to do while the fire advances, Apollo and Starbuck volunteer for the mission to climb aboard the Galactica and set explosive charges on her hull that might cause the vacuum of space to suck out the oxygen and stop the fires.

    While Apollo and Starbuck carry out their do-or-die mission, Boomer is busy leading the rec-room away from the fire as it begins to close in. With only small air vents linking the rec-room party to the rest of the ship, it's Muffit to the rescue as the mechanical daggit might be the only one who can save them.

    This is a fairly pedestrian episode with lots of reused footage of the Galactica on fire apparently from the film The Poseidon Adventure. The inserted inferno footage looks to be an anamorphic 2.35:1 image stretched full frame to fill the screen. A good looking fire, but the odd elongated image doesn't fit in with the rest of the footage in this episode. Another limitation that wasn't evident during the original free to air run is the obvious wires that give Apollo and Starbuck their weightless appearance. Yesterday's televisions probably would have rendered the lines invisible, but with this new transfer to DVD viewed on a quality display, they are very much visible.

13. War of the Gods (Part 1)   -   46:43  Directed by Dan Haller
Written by Glen A. Larson

Starring:   Patrick Macnee as Count Iblis, Janet Louise Johnson as Brie, John Dullaghan as Dr. Wilker, John Williams as the Statesman, Bruce Wright as the guard,  Kirk Alyn as the Old Man and Paul Coufos as the Pilot.
 
    While on patrol ahead of the fleet (as per usual), Bojay, Jolly and the rest of the squadron are passed by a very quick succession of balls of light. Pursuit of these lights is impossible because of their speed, and as they disappear into the space ahead of them, a blinding light ship that emits a choral-like pitch overtakes the viper pilots. Overwhelmed by the loudness of the strange ship of light's sound, the squadron's pilots pass out.

    When the report of the missing pilots makes it to the Galactica, Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba decide to go to where the ships disappeared from in hopes of finding some clue to their fate. When travelling to the vanishing point, a mysterious red planet is found that apparently harbours no life yet has an atmosphere that is capable of supporting humans. Landing on the planet, the team find the wreckage of some type of ship on the surface, along with a man who appears out of nowhere. While questions as to who he is are met with vague answers, the trio and their new acquaintance quickly leave the surface due to the threat of radioactive contamination at the crash site.

    Once the group returns to the Galactica, the man introduces himself as Count Iblis, a being from a distant star system. While he continues to evade questions about himself and his origins, the Count exudes a high level of confidence, arrogance, wisdom, compassion and knowledge and word of the newcomer begins to spread throughout the fleet. One strange thing that happens with the strange new visitor is that no electronic equipment is able to be used around him, and in fact the Count disrupts much of the Galactica's sensitive computer and display systems whenever he passes. As the fleet becomes more and more enamoured with the new visitor, Iblis begins to challenge the authority of Adama and question the wisdom of those in charge. With many in the fleet still without adequate food and shelter, the Count promises the poor refugees that before a day has passed there will be an abundance of food such as the fleet hasn't seen in a very long time. When the agro-ships begin to report in that there is a very high level of growth of their plants, to an unexplainable level, it looks as though this Iblis just may be a gift from the Lords of Kobol. As the fleet and increasingly the Council of the Twelve begin to support this new would-be leader, Apollo and Adama are very much suspicious, Apollo even more so as Sheba has begun to take a definite interest in the visitor. When Apollo challenges Iblis, he is threatened with death, at which time Apollo knows the man's true nature.

    With the miracle of the agro-ships running through the fleet, Adama asks Iblis to a meeting where he's asked to finally explain himself, his origins and his powers. Iblis announces that the fleet would be in much better hands if he were in charge rather than Adama. In order to convince Adama and the council that he is a man of his word, Iblis proposes three tests, or 'miracles' that wouldn't normally be achievable. When the council can't decide what to propose as tests, the Count suggests that the council choose a first task for him to carry out while the second and third are agreed upon. The first test: "Deliver our enemy into our hands". When the Commander receives a transmission directly from Baltar stating that he is about to land on the Galactica under the universal sign of truce, it seems that the Count is true to his word and just may be the saviour that can deliver the fleet from the Cylons and lead them to Earth.

    The legendary star of the classic 60s television show The Avengers, Patrick Macnee, stars as Count Iblis in this double feature episode. While voicing the show's introduction (up to the Living Legend episodes), Macnee also was the voice of the Imperious Leader, a point that is made during the show. If there was anyone who could have conveyed the menace and power of Iblis, it surely would have to be Macnee. This also marks the appearance of the 'Beings of Light' along with their flying white Tabernacle in Space. Of all the episodes in the series, this one would be the most influenced by the Mormon theology of the show's creator Glen A. Larson. The concepts of free agency and the lines about 'As man is, we (God) once was. As we (God) is, you may become' are straight out of the teachings of the LDS church.

14. War of the Gods (Part 2)   -   46:45   Directed by Dan Haller
Written by Glen A. Larson

Starring:   Patrick Macnee as Count Iblis, Janet Louise Johnson as Brie, John Dullaghan as Dr. Wilker, John Williams as the Statesman, Bruce Wright as the guard,  Kirk Alyn as the Old Man and Paul Coufos as the Pilot.
 
    In an unbelievable act, Baltar has freely come aboard the Galactica, just as the mysterious Count Iblis has predicted he would. With the traitor in custody in the brig, word sweeps through the fleet about the miracle that Iblis has accomplished, and the calls for him to be elected the President of the Council of the Twelve grow louder. When the Count visits the now captive Baltar in his cell, Baltar recognizes the voice of Iblis as that of the Imperious Leader, a voice that would have to have been programmed into the Cylon leaders over 1000 yahrens before. As Apollo had recognized before, so Baltar begins to understand the power of the mysterious Count.

    As the fleet joins in celebration in the light of recent events, Apollo attempts to talk to Sheba about her change of attitude since the arrival of Count Iblis. It doesn't work and Sheba ends up walking away abruptly, leaving Apollo on his own. Meanwhile, the fleet continues to party well into the hours of the morning. When the klaxon sounds its alert, it's a full 12 centons before Apollo is able to rouse the squadron. Too much partying seems to be the cause, and when Apollo races into the pilot's barracks to rouse them all from their slumber, he is most annoyed. Once on patrol, Apollo and the others see again the flying lights that come and go without explanation. The Count doesn't seem too enamoured with them, and describes them as evil whenever possible. When Apollo has finally had enough of the Count and his deception, he decides to return to the planet's surface and have another look at the wreckage they found previously. Taking Sheba and Starbuck with him, Apollo heads to the surface of the red planet in search of answers. When Iblis senses what is happening, he abruptly leaves the Galactica and Sheba also takes a viper and heads to the planet's surface.

    When Apollo and Starbuck begin to examine the wreckage of the craft, they make a startling discovery. At that moment, Sheba appears and not wishing her to be upset at that they've found, they stop her from looking, but after reconsidering agree that she should see what they've found. Just then, Count Iblis appears in a hail of lightning and thunder forbidding Sheba to look at what Apollo and Starbuck have found. In a confrontation with Iblis, Apollo reveals that he knows who he truly is...the Prince of Darkness. As Iblis attempts to kill Sheba for Apollo's disobedience, he jumps in the way of the bolt of energy that comes from him and Apollo is killed. Devastated at the loss of his comrade, Starbuck fires repeatedly at Iblis, each time revealing the true nature of him. While on the shuttle back to the Galactica with the body of their lost squadron mate, they are suddenly overcome by the cathedral in space.

    Once on board the strange ship, the 'Beings of Light' explain the truth about Iblis and how they would achieve what was originally proposed, the restoration of life for their partner as well as the coordinates to the planet Earth. With Apollo resurrected, the shipmates and their previously captured warriors are returned to their ships and placed on a course back to the Galactica. When back on the Galactica, Adama quizzes the group as to where they've been all that time. While unable to describe where they've been, the trio announce that they have the coordinates to the lost planet Earth, a fact that they cannot account for.

    A footnote: This episode is the original version that screened on free to air television in the last 70s (January 1979 in the U.S.) and does not feature any re-inserted footage in regards to Apollo and Starbuck's discovery on the planet surface. What was found in the original script was a cloven glove, indicating that the ship was piloted by a race of 'swine devils', as we see Iblis to be in this episode. This episode and the editing out of some footage for broadcast is discussed in the extras on Disc 7 of the set.

Disc 5

15. The Man with Nine Lives   -   47:17   Directed by Rod Holcomb
Written by Don Bellisario

Starring:  Fred Astaire as Chameleon, Anthony DeLongis as Taba,  Robert Feero as Bora, Anne Jeffreys as Siress Blassie,  Lance LeGault as Maga, Frank Parker as Zed, and Patricia Stich as Zara.
 
     Lt. Starbuck is being interviewed for the fleet's video broadcast service. While travelling on a shuttle to the leisure ship Rising Star, a man named Chameleon talks to an attractive woman named Siress Blassie and when pressed by the shuttle's conductor for his fare, Chameleon distracts him by stating that he is in fact a producer of the interview show and it's real people such as the shuttle's conductor who should be interviewed rather than the high profile viper pilots. This gives the conductor a real charge, and it also works to distract him from collecting Chameleon's fare. Once on the Rising Star, Chameleon and Siress Blassie head to a gambling area for some merriment. But Chameleon is hiding something, and it might have something to do with the three hulking Borellian Nomen that follow.

    Boomer, Starbuck and Jolly, enjoying themselves on the Rising Star while off duty, notice the Borellians and when one of them draws his laser bolas it's assumed that they are on a blood trail. It also appears that Chameleon is the subject of that blood trail. Under the protection of Starbuck, Chameleon is escorted from the Rising Star on board a shuttle, and this does not go unnoticed by the Borellian hunters. On the shuttle trip back, Chameleon and Starbuck begin talking and find that they have much in common, including the same homeworld of Caprica and losing family members on a Cylon raid on the planet. When it becomes clear that Starbuck and Chameleon could be related, it is decided that the pair should have genetic testing to establish their possible relation.

    The Borellian Nomen find a way onto the Galactica by becoming volunteers for the viper pilot training recruitment program. Under the guise of becoming viper pilots, the hunters are able to continue on their blood trail, a trail of someone named Captain Demitri. As the Nomen plan their attack on their prey, Starbuck and Chameleon become more acquainted and learn that they are in fact at least distantly related if not closer and further tests are carried out by Cassiopeia. Apollo and Boomer confront Starbuck about their suspicions about the truth of Chameleon's story and propose that it is all just a con in order to gain the protection of Starbuck from the hunting Borellian Nomen. Starbuck doesn't take this well and declares his friendship with Apollo over. With the possibility of perhaps finding his long lost father (Starbuck is a orphan), Starbuck decides that he may quit his squadron in order to spend more time with Chameleon, his potential father.

    The pair's time comes close to being cut short as the Borellians launch their attack on the two while they are visiting the launch bay. Chameleon does the unthinkable and fires the viper's laser cannons down the launch bay tube as Starbuck leads them down it and away from Chameleon. Starbuck drops down just in time and even though the Borellians are hit, they survive. Starbuck realizes that there must indeed have been something between the Nomen and Chameleon, or Captain Demitri as the hunters call him.

    When Cassi comes to Chameleon with the results of the genetic test, it's a shock as the tests indicate that Chameleon is indeed Starbuck's father. Chameleon asks Cassi to keep the true result a secret from the warrior as he is much needed for the protection of the fleet. Starbuck greets the news that Chameleon isn't his father with sadness, but is happy to have gained a new friend.

    This marks one of the last screen (big or small) appearances for movie legend Fred Astaire and probably the last time he would dance for the camera. While the episode as a whole is just above average, it's Astaire's performance that brings this show up a notch or two.

16. Murder on the Rising Star   -   45:56     Directed by Rod Holcomb
Written by Don Bellisario, James Carlson and Terrence McDonnell from a story by Michael Sloan

Starring:  Frank Ashmore as Ortega, Brock Peters as Solon, W.K. Stratton as Barton, Lyman Ward as Karibdis / Pallon, and Newell Alexander as Elias.
 
    Starbuck has a reputation as a hot-shot, but hothead wouldn't be as accurate. Still, when a game of triad (a type of full contact rugby basketball) featuring Starbuck and Apollo vs Barton and Ortega gets out of hand, Starbuck begins to take the barrage of clips and late hits personally. After one particularly hard hit, Starbuck says 'I'll kill you!" to his unsportsman-like opposition player Ortega. When the game finally finishes, Starbuck is seen running from the locker room. Disturbingly, the dead body of Ortega is found with gun drawn, but not fired. As Starbuck has been seen running from the location of the murder, he is asked to surrender his weapon for evaluation. When this check finds that it is in fact the murder weapon, this puts Starbuck in the spotlight as the main suspect in Ortega's murder.

    With Starbuck the prime suspect in a murder case, the workings of the colonial legal system begin to move with a hearing to be held within 10 centares (hours). While the fleet's star prosecutor Solon begins to make his case against Starbuck, Apollo steps in as defence council with help from Boomer. Starbuck's friends begin to enquire about the life of the murdered trial player and while it is found that he was a fairly independent figure, he did live in fear of one person...Karibdis. A check is made in the fleet's records, but no person named Karibdis can be found. When more checking is done, the name comes up as the former pilot for Baltar who was believed to have been killed in the Cylon raid on Caprica. If there is any one else in the fleet that could identify Karibdis, it would be the now imprisoned Baltar, and Apollo heads to the prison barge in order to see if Baltar can be of any help. Meanwhile, Starbuck begins to grow impatient and worried about his fate as the accused and successfully escapes from the brig and heads to the launch bay. As he is just about to launch his viper, he is talked out of fleeing by Apollo with the promise that the true killer will be found and exposed.

    While interviewing people close to Ortega, Apollo hears a tale of bribery involving several men as they sought to flee their home worlds at the time of the Cylon attacks. Three men paid bribes to Ortega who was a guard on a transport charged with getting people off the besieged planet, and when these men are found and taken to Baltar, the real killer may be revealed.

    The timing must be just right if Apollo is to catch the real killer and prove his friend innocent. On a shuttle to the prison ship, Apollo hatches a plan to reveal the identity of the real killer, all this while the hearing to determine Starbuck's fate has just got under way. Will Apollo be in time, and can Boomer handle the case while Apollo flushes out the killer?

    Murder in space with some great shots of the game of triad in action. Actor Richard Hatch reports that the actors really learned to play the game and did so many times during breaks in the shooting.

17. Greetings from Earth (2 Hr. Special)   -   93:30    Directed by Rod Holcomb
Written by Glen A. Larson

Starring:  Ray Bolger as Vector, Bobby Van as Hector, Lloyd Bochner as Leiter, Randy Mantooth as Michael, Murray Matheson as Geller, Lesley Woods as Aggie and Kelly Harmon as Sarah.
 
    While on a deep space reconnaissance flight, Apollo and Starbuck discover an alien shuttle that doesn't match any known design. Scans reveal that there are 6 persons on board, but as life signs are quite low, it's suspected that the occupants must be in some sort of suspended animation or hyper-sleep. Bringing the ship back to the Galactica, Adama speculates that this in fact could be a ship from the planet Earth and there might be Earthlings aboard. As the ship is sealed and the nature and motives of the occupants are unknown, Adama and Dr. Salik along with Apollo plead for caution when dealing with the shuttle and its sleeping crew. However, there are impatient elements within the fleet, especially the Council of the Twelve who demand that the inhabitants of the shuttle be at once taken out and interrogated. Fearing that this could in fact kill those aboard, Dr. Salik goes on board to evaluate the situation. Found on board are two adults (male and female) and several children, all of whom are in stasis chambers. Not wishing to unsettle the capsules that house these people, Dr. Salik asks for time to determine the best course of action. Still, this is too slow for some and many call for the chambers to be opened immediately.

    When the adult male awakens from his sleep and exits the chamber, he finds himself and his ship in unknown territory. When he exits the craft and encounters those surrounding it, he draws a weapon and demands to know what has happened. When he becomes startled at the nervous crowd and the security guards surrounding the craft, he fires his weapon which stuns one of the guards. But because of the difference in the Galactica's atmosphere, the man collapses and is rushed back into the shuttle and into a stasis chamber. As the council and others become more nervous and inquisitive about the alien shuttle, Apollo and Adama decide that the best course of action is to set the the shuttle back on its course. With the shuttle safely out of the range of the fleet, the man explains that they are Terrans from an outpost called Lunar 7 and refugees from something called the Eastern Alliance. The man, named Michael, and his companion Sarah tell Apollo and Starbuck and Cassi that they are headed to a planet called Paradeen where Sarah's father has set up a home for them and the children. Meanwhile, very far away, a battleship of some sort detects the movements of the shuttle and the two vipers escorting it. It is obvious that the family is fleeing from something, and it's this craft from the Eastern Alliance that seeks them out.

     When the travellers reach Paradeen, they find out from Sarah's father's robots Hector and Vector that he has passed away. Still, a farmhouse has been set up for the couple and their children. When they finally get a chance to talk, Michael tells Apollo, Starbuck and Cassi that they are Terrans who have worked in farming communities producing food for Terra, but because of the different atmosphere, they are in fact unable to ever travel to there. Learning that there is an abandoned city nearby, Starbuck travels there with Hector to see if he can find any records that might help them find Earth, but is lost in the basement of one of the buildings. He is also near suffocation because of the lack of oxygen at the lower levels of the city. Hector returns to the farmhouse to raise the alarm, and Starbuck is rescued.

    With everyone safely set up in the house, Apollo learns that Sarah and Michael are not a couple, but have been forced together by necessity. It is Apollo that she's attracted to, and she has even sabotaged Apollo's viper in order to prevent him from returning to the Galactica. This all pales into insignificance, however, as the Eastern Alliance finally arrives on Paradeen to capture the refugees and find out the truth behind the other craft that accompanied them. The tables are turned on the Eastern Alliance as Apollo and Starbuck capture the Alliance team and, leaving Michael and Sarah to make a future for themselves, return with the captured Alliance crew and their ship to the Galactica.

    A very family-oriented episode, this one gives further hints as to how close they might be to finding Earth. Not content with only having dance legend Fred Astaire as a special guest star, the episode features popular dancer and actor Ray Bolger, most remembered for his role as the Scarecrow in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz.

Disc 6

18. Baltar's Escape   -  46:43   Directed by Rich Kolbe
Written by Don Bellisario

Starring:  Ina Bolin as Siress Tinia, Lloyd Bochner as Leiter, Lance LeGault as Maga, Robert Feero as Bora, John Hoyt as Domra and Anthony DeLongis as Taba.
 
    While Commander Adama is interrogating Commandant Leiter about his knowledge of Terra, he is interrupted by a communication from the Council of the Twelve. Adama is to awarded the highest medal commendation there is, The Star of Kobol. There is more to this award than meets the eye, as the Council has also elected to end the state of martial law that has existed since the exodus from Caprica. With the Council wanting to create a more normalized state within the fleet, Adama is told that while he will remain as the Commander of the Galactica, a Council observer, Siress Tinia, will be monitoring the general business on the bridge of the Galactica. Annoyed at this half thought out course of action, Adama has little choice and reluctantly agrees to allow Siress Tinia to observe.

    Meanwhile, on the prison barge, Baltar, Commandant Leiter and the Borellian Nomen hatch a plan to escape their captivity. The Council in its wisdom has decided that it will invite the Eastern Alliance prisoners to the Galactica for talks where it is hoped that some more information about Earth might be found out. When the shuttle, piloted by Sheba and Boomer, is taken over by the prisoners, all communications between it and the Galactica are cut off. The Council waits in the landing bay to welcome the Alliance prisoners, but they are taken by surprise and herded into the shuttle. While Baltar and his cohorts hold the Council members hostage, Baltar gives Adama his demands, which are to make his Cylon Raider available, as well as its two pilots, allow the Alliance ship to leave and allow the shuttle to depart. When the prisoners are safely on their way, Baltar promises that the hostages will be released unharmed. Part of the problem that Adama has is the Cylon pilots have been dismantled by Dr. Wilker who is unsure as to whether or not he can put them back together again.

    Barely able to make the Cylon pilots walk, let alone fly a raider, Dr. Wilker says that it's the best he can do, and this gives Apollo an idea. When the Alliance Commandant and crew make their way to their ship with the Borellian Nomen, Baltar goes to his raider with its waiting Cylon pilots. When the Alliance ship leaves, Baltar signals for his pilots to take off, only to have the barely functional robots smash the raider's controls. With his fellow escapees on the run, Baltar is left as a sole prisoner as Apollo and Starbuck raid the Cylon craft and arrest him.

    The Council agrees that the idea to end martial law too quickly was a bad idea, and Adama is given his leadership commission back. It is also recommended that the Galactica follows the trail of the escaped Alliance ship as it might lead to the location of Terra, and eventually Earth.

    Jailbreak in space. This also started the notion that Adama and Siress Tinia (sounds like a foot disease) might be heading down the romance trail.

19. Experiment in Terra  -  46:45   Directed by Rod Holcomb
Written by Glen A. Larson

Starring:  Melody Anderson as Brenda, Edward Mulhare as John, Kenneth Lynch as Dr. Horning, Peter D MacLean as the President, Nehemiah Persoff as the Eastern Alliance Supreme Commandant and Ken Swofford as Gen. Max-Well.
 
    Apollo again encounters the 'Ship of Lights' (or the tabernacle in space) and its angelic beings, who ask him to travel to the planet Terra in order to stop the Eastern Alliance from launching an all-out nuclear assault on their arch enemies, the Nationalists. This destructive war could have dire consequences on the cosmic scheme of things and John, one of the 'Beings of Light' asks Apollo to go to Terra in the guise of a lost soldier to help prevent the impending war.

    Apollo, in his white 'heavenly' uniform, is directed to the planet Terra where he meets Brenda, his former girlfriend. While Brenda is very happy to see Charlie Watts, she has no idea of the true identity of the man she believes to be Charlie. When she gets him back to the city and her apartment, Brenda becomes worried about the mental state of her long lost Charlie and calls the authorities. Meanwhile, the President of the Nationalists sector of Terra has been in secret talks with the Eastern Alliance and is convinced that peace is near at hand. Because of the sensitive nature of the peace treaty, all those who might have knowledge of the brutal tactics of the Alliance on the lunar colonies are to be kept silent, and this includes the newly arrived Charlie (Apollo), who is taken to a medical detention centre for analysis.

    Starbuck and Boomer locate Apollo's long range distress signal and Starbuck races ahead to seek it out. Adama learns about Apollo's ship being listed as missing and the unusual movements of the squadron and orders a squad of vipers to escort the fleet as the Galactica speeds ahead in an attempt to find out what's happened to Apollo. Back on Terra, things are becoming desperate as the Supreme Commandant of the Eastern Alliance is about to launch a pre-emptive strike on the Nationalists. With most of the Terran civilians dead, a new and more powerful regime can rise from the ashes and build a strong new society. When Starbuck lands on the planet, he is met with some level of resistance, but this he easily deals with before heading out in search of the city and his friend.

    As the Eastern Alliance launches their attack, the President addresses the parliament telling of the coming peace. As his is giving his speech, he learns that the very people whom he has arranged the peace treaty with have launched a nuclear strike and the missiles will arrive shortly. Apollo, released from the government facility, addresses the parliament as himself (even though he looks to everyone like Charlie Watts), telling them of the fate of his own home world. As the missiles head for the Nationalists, Starbuck takes his viper to the skies and sees the missile attack. Just then, the Galactica comes into range of the planet and together the battlestar and Starbuck destroy all the Alliance missiles, leaving the Supreme Commandant with nothing to contemplate but peace with his neighbours. Before Apollo bids farewell to Terra, he asks John (the Being of Light) if Terra is Earth. 'No' is the answer, but Apollo is urged not to give up the search.

    Closer and closer our heroes get to Earth, but as the show never went into a second season, all of the episodes that start to progress this storyline never come to anything. Frustrating.

20. Take the Celestra   -  46:49   Directed by Dan Haller
Written by James Carlson and Terrence McDonnell

Starring:  Ana Alicia as Aurora, Paul Fix as Commander Kronus, Nick Holt as Charka, Randy Stumpf as Damon and Richard Styles as Hermes.
 
    Commander Adama takes time to preside over a ceremony decorating Commander Kronus with the fleet's highest honour. The commander has had a distinguished military history, including a time when he commanded a fleet of over 600 ships from his own Battlestar, the Rykon. Now he is in charge of three ships charged with producing various products for the colonial fleet including textiles. The commander leads his convoy of ships from the Celestra. During the awards ceremony, Starbuck notices a woman whom he recognizes as Aurora, an old flame whom he assumed was killed during the Cylon raid on Caprica. He eventually tracks her down, but when quizzed about what had happened to her, she seems evasive and cold to Starbuck.

    When Commander Kronus and his crew return to the Celestra, the reason for Aurora's coldness becomes apparent, for she, along with the ship's second in command, are planning a mutiny. Soon after the commander's shuttle lands, the mutineers engage in a fire fight in an attempt to take control of the hanger. However, their plans are disrupted when Starbuck and Apollo arrive in an attempt to find Aurora. When they arrive in the middle of a laser battle, they quickly disarm the situation and assist in the capture of the mutineers. When Starbuck gets Aurora to talk, he discovers that Commander Kronus has lead the ship with an iron fist, not allowing the crew the normal amenities afforded the rest of the fleet.

    With this information coming to light, it's decided that the commander should be confronted with the accusations, which he fails to deny. Starbuck and Apollo find themselves in a quandary, however, when the Celestra's second in command sends their shuttle on the wrong course and quickly leaves them behind. They discover their problem after they have travelled quite a distance, and it's a matter of pure luck that they are able to turn around and use what little fuel they have left to find the Celestra again. When they do, the mutineers along with Apollo and Starbuck join forces to take the Celestra back from the control of Charka. This they do, but Commander Kronus is mortally wounded in the battle to regain control of the ship.

    Commander Kronus receives a burial in space and those who plotted against him are dealt with by the fleet's justice system, though they are given mild sentences considering what they've had to endure.

    This episode does have one thing that stands out against the others: the laser gun battles feature laser trails. This is something that is very different from all the laser battles throughout the show as normally you just see the flash of the gun and the resulting explosion on whatever the target is.

21. Hand Of God   -  46:49   Directed by Don Bellisario
Written by Don Bellisario

Starring:  Regular cast only, no guest stars.

    Apollo, Sheba, Starbuck and Cassi go to one of Apollo's favourite places, a 'celestial chamber' on the top hull of the Galactica. In ancient times, navigators would use these open transparent domes to measure the stars and plot the course of the ship. All this was generations ago and now all the course plotting is done by the Galactica's computers. Still, Apollo finds it to be a relaxing, out of the way place where he can take it easy and meditate. Demonstrating the monitoring equipment, the four encounter the strange transmission of an alien space craft. Wanting to know more about this highly unusual signal using the now obsolete gamma frequency, the four take a trip to see Boomer, who is an expert on interspace communications. While at first uninterested at the news, his ears perk up when he hears that it was transmitted on the gamma frequency. As no one has used this frequency for hundreds of generations, this could be a clue to either a past civilization or the transmission of a less developed race. Boomer takes the hard copy recording and attempts to enhance it, with limited success.

    When Commander Adama is told of the transmission, he orders a scan to find its source and a solar system is found that might be the signal's origin. Going on a patrol to check what this new system might reveal, Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba examine the various planets in the system. While they don't find any life or source of the transmission, Starbuck stumbles on a Cylon basestar which the trio is able to avoid without detection and return to the fleet. With the news that the Cylons are indeed still out there, Adama indicates that he's tired of running and that the only way to continue on their quest for Earth unhindered is to rid themselves of the Cylon pursuers once and for all. With Adama committed to a fight to the finish, Apollo hatches a plan: use Baltar's raider to land aboard the basestar, plant explosive charges and get out before they are detected. With Starbuck's limited experience on the layout of a basestar (he had been captured by the Cylons before), it's Baltar that can give the pair the best idea as to what to expect when landing on a Cylon basestar. Adama offers Baltar a deal: provide Apollo and Starbuck with the information required and Adama will have Baltar left on a habitable planet with plenty of provisions and equipment to ensure a secure, if somewhat reclusive, life. As Baltar faces the rest of his life stuck on the prison barge, he takes the deal and gives Apollo and Starbuck the information they need. In order to tell the difference between normal Cylon raiders and Apollo's raider, Boomer comes up with a device that emits a signal so that the Galactica can tell which ship belongs to the warriors. With all the information about the layout of the basestar fresh in their minds, the pair head to their date with destiny.

    It's not long before Apollo and Starbuck find themselves in the middle of a Cylon patrol which is on its way back to the basestar. Blending in as perhaps a slower craft coming in late, the pair land on the ship and exit their raider without detection. The pair descend into the basestar's core to plant the charges, but are discovered by a guard, whom the pair shoot before the alarm can be raised. While Apollo and Starbuck continue to plant charges, the battle stations alarm sounds and the pair conclude that the expected viper attack has commenced. This is indeed the case with Boomer and Sheba heading the attack on the basestar from the outside while Apollo and Starbuck set their explosives. With their mission completed, the pair head back to their raider as the Cylons, now aware of their presence, chase them. As the two climb the ladder through the core to the launch bay, they drop the signal device that will show the Galactica who they really are. With this now gone, the two launch from the ship with the hope that they can make it to the ship and escape being fired upon. As the Galactica and the basestar go head to head, the charges explode and the viper squadrons and the battlestar are able to make short work of the Cylon craft.

    Apollo and Starbuck manage to return to the battlestar unscathed by waggling their wings, a trick that Starbuck told Boomer as a joke they would do should they lose the signalling device. As they approach the battlestar, they waggle their wings like mad which is noticed by Boomer. Back on the Galactica, the pair are greeted as heroes, and with the Cylons apparently now behind them, the fleet can now rest easy.

    Relaxing in the celestial chamber, Apollo is greeted by Starbuck with news that the pair are to receive a special commendation for bravery. As the two leave the celestial chamber, Apollo's laser bumps on one of the switches in the chamber turning on the receiving device. This goes unnoticed by the warriors as they leave, so they miss the incoming transmission, which seems part of the one they had received earlier. The voice heard in the transmission is heard to say: "Contact lights. Okay, engine stop. Er...Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed".

    A good episode, but one that promises so much to be revealed in future seasons, only to have the whole thing end right here, making it a frustrating experience. This episode is also strange in the fact that there are no guest stars, only the cast of regulars.
 
End of Series One (and only).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    We get a pretty good transfer here, considering the age of the television show and the film stock used. This show was filmed on real film, and not shot on video, which would have been much cheaper (both in cost as well as look). Some of the film stock looks to be a bit sub-standard, but on my television (via cable) in 1978 and 1979 it looked pretty good. It's probably only in the light of newer playback and display technology that we see some of the limitations that were in the production at the time.

    This program was filmed full frame for broadcast in that aspect ratio. The pilot episode, Saga of a Star World was edited down and released theatrically in 1.85:1, but this was a matted widescreen creation with information cut from both the top and bottom of the originally filmed image.

    Again, before I go into the various flaws that are evident in the transfer here, I must stress that at the time these episodes were originally broadcast the quality of the display equipment was nowhere near as good as what we have now. I had the benefit of having seen these episodes through a cable hook-up and not through an aerial as I lived in a rural area where no free to air broadcast signals were receivable. Still, though the transmission was flawless, I was using a nearly 10 year old television, and this in 1978. Even those in my circle of friends who at the time had the latest Zenith and Curtis Mathes televisions would be hard pressed to pick up any of the flaws that are evident on a modern display device. With this in mind, here's what I noticed:

    For the most part, the image is reasonably sharp. However, there are several areas where the image is not as crisp and clear as it should have been. Focus is a bit hit and miss at times throughout the series. Some of this is due to the often used soft focus or frost lens technique which is sometimes used to soften an image for dramatic effect (or to hide wrinkles in some ageing actors). We can see this out of focus effect in Episode 2 at 4:02 and 22:27 and Episode 8 at 25:22. Just plain poor focus can be seen in Episode 16 at 25:00. Shadow detail is all over the place here, sometimes within the same shot. For example, you might see a star field in the opening credits superimposed over another star field. One might be black as black, while the other might be washed out and more of a grainy grey than black on black. Because of the many film elements used to produce the show, the special effects wizards would have had to layer element over element to produce the desired effect. While not visible on my TV 25 years ago, they stand out like the proverbial here. Episode 21 would have to be the worst in this series for shadow detail, with examples at 35:50, but there are examples to be seen throughout the series. I had no issues with low level noise, but the amount of grain visible at times could have made this one hard to pick out if it were present, which it isn't.

    Colour use in this series is very much indicative of the era in which it was produced. As with many 70s productions, it's the earthy tones such as brown, tan and orange that are most prominent. While just that little bit washed out, we still get a fairly vibrant colour palette here. Colour's commitment to this disc looks quite good with a consistent colour image available throughout. When colour does get inconsistent, it is due to the film stock and the original production values and techniques, not the transfer to DVD.

    This disc features a decent compression level with the bit rate running at around the 5.58 Mb/s, with lows at 3.59 Mb/s and highs at 9.44 Mb/s. For the quality of the original prints used for the transfer, this level of compression is adequate enough to give us a good image (and good enough to highlight some of the nasties I've mentioned above). Because this show was originally shot on film rather than video, the galaxy hopping intergalactic pest edge enhancement doesn't get as much of the sector to trouble. There is just the slightest bit there, but it's far less noticeable than a show of this vintage could have had. Being shot on film, we do get quite a bit of film artefacts here. There are some fairly pronounced watermarks or blotches visible in Episode 3 at 34:31 and Episode 4 at 32:53. Grain is a big issue here, again due to the film stock used. I got the impression that at times a different stock was used and this was visible on the screen from time to time. Prime examples can be seen in Episode 4 at 27:21, even more so in Episode 5 at 28:42 and it's most obvious in Episode 12 at 10:57-59 and 11:06-41 where the different film stock changes the whole look of the image. One particular episode, the last in the series (Episode 21 The Hand of God) seems to be very much affected by a number of artefacts. The print used to transfer this episode is quite poor with many of the stock shots of space battles seen throughout the series looking decidedly bad. In many of these stock shots, the focus is bad, the shadow detail is not available and overall sharpness and clarity is out the window (again, see 35:50 in this episode for a look at how bad it is). This poor material seems to affect the stock shots more than anything else, but as this show relies on them so much, they do stand out.

    We have only one set of subtitles here, that being an English subtitle stream. While these titles will get you in the ball park, they are far from word for word and instead only highlight the conversations so at times whole phrases and words are left out. The good thing about the subtitles here is that they are available in the extras material, including the 2 hours of deleted scenes.

    While all the discs in this set are dual layered, the layer change is only noticeable on the fist disc during Saga of a Star World, with the change coming in at 84:54. This is a fairly abrupt change and not the seamless change you might have hoped for. I did not notice any other layer changes on the other discs and I can only assume that each disc features 2 episodes per layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     For a production of this vintage, the audio we do have is quite reasonable, especially as we get a 5.1 mix that is quite faithful to the show's original mono soundtrack.

    There is only one audio option on the discs, that being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.

    The dialogue quality throughout is quite good, with the spoken word understandable during the entire program. There are some fairly obvious echoes in the dialogue to be heard in Episode 11 at 24:50, but this could be due to the original production techniques and not a problem with the show's transfer to DVD. There is also a noticeable audio drop out during the dialogue in Episode 6 at 28:01.

    Audio sync is workable, but sometimes it's out a fair bit. There is some out of sync dialogue seen / heard in Episode 9 at 24:35. ADR is also fairly obvious in several episodes, particularly Episode 7 at 20:19 and 30:12, Episode 14 at 26:52 and 44:43, Episode 17 at 5:47, 11:47 and 42:39 and lastly in Episode 18 at 18:06. This looped in dialogue might not have been as noticeable on 1970s televisions where the sound was coming from a single speaker with a limited frequency response, but with today's equipment, these flaws (as we have seen in the video department) stand out.

    The music for this series was composed by Stu Phillips, who is most likely remembered for his many television themes and scores, such as Switch with Robert Wagner and Eddie Albert, Quincy M.E. with Jack Klugman, B.J. and the Bear and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Stu's score is very good and the orchestral music suits the material very well. Also contributing to the score is the show's creator Glen A. Larson, who composed the show's theme, one of the best television themes ever (in my humble opinion, of course).

    As this show's soundtrack was intended to be heard in mono (the movie version was remixed into Sensurround, which is a 1.1 sound format consisting of an on-screen action track and an LFE track), the Dolby Digital 5.1 we have here is quite good as it suits the program material very well, but doesn't descend into gimmicks and tricks and instead stays true to the original sound of the show. For that reason, the rear channels take on a supporting atmospheric role and do not attract attention to themselves.

    As is the case with the surrounds, so it is with the LFE channel. We get the appropriate low engine rumble from the Galactica, and this is heard during most of the show, but it doesn't get so low as to hinder any full frequency speaker system. A good use of the LFE channel, overall.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This boxed set features 6 discs containing the original series and a 7th disc that is dedicated to extra features, of which there are several.

Menu

    After the usual distributor's logos and copyright warnings, we are taken to the disc's Main Menu. These are very simple in nature with a static image of the Galactica and the icons for Episodes and Subtitles. Picking Episodes takes you to a menu of the disc's contents and a Play All option. There are no chapter options and selecting a particular episode from the Episode menu takes you directly to that episode. The Subtitles page lists only English as a selectable title option.

    The 7th extras disc is themed very similarly to the others in the set, but has more selectable options. Selecting the Bonus option on the Main Page takes you to the following options:

Page 1

Page 2 The Creation of Battlestar Galactica:  Glen Larson   -   5:47

    This short interview with the show's creator is very interesting as he tells how he came up with the idea for the show and how he made it come to life. In the absence of a commentary (see R4 vs R1), it's these little titbits that make this disc worth having. It is presented in full frame with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Inside Battlestar Galactica:  The Cylons   -   4:50

    This is great fun, as you finally get to see the behind the scenes on the workings of one of television's best looking villains. They just kept blowing them up until they didn't have any more, then they patched them up and blew them up again. Presented full frame with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Working with Daggit   -   5:12

    Muffit was played by a chimpanzee and in this behind the scenes look, you get to see just how they got the little thing to do what it was supposed to. It looks like much of the time it just plain didn't. Presented full frame with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Photo Gallery (125 images)

    These still shots show some behind the scenes production shots as well as publicity photos. An interesting look at the making of a memorable show. We have on offer:

Documentary - Remembering Battlestar Galactica   -   44:56

    This is the real jewel in the crown of this set, as we get to see many of the stars of the program today talking about their time making the show. Interviewed here are Glen A. Larson, Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Herb Jefferson Jr., Terry Carter, Laurette Spang and Noah Hathaway. It would have been interesting to hear from some of the other living cast members and some archived footage from those who have passed on (particularly Lorne Greene and John Colicos) but it is great to see these actors talk with passion about the once-in-a-lifetime project that was Battlestar Galactica. Again, this helps to make up for the absence of an audio commentary (see R4 vs R1). This feature is presented full frame with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Deleted Scenes   -   131:01 Total Running Time

    These are deleted scenes for several of the show's episodes. Here, we have a glimpse of some ideas that were filmed but never used, including alternate storylines, expanded scenes and bloopers (everyone loves them, and there's a few here). I've made a fairly detailed list so you can see if there is something in this collection that you are particularly interested in. All of these scenes are presented full frame, as the show was, and features audio in Dolby Digital 2.0. English subtitles are also available for these scenes. The transfer quality with many of these is fairly poor, but it's great just to have them and to complain about some nicks and flecks would be nitpicking in the extreme. Here's what's on offer:

    Saga of a Star World   -   34:54

    00:00 to 2:21   Pyramid game in the warrior's barracks.
    02:22 to 03:23   Zak and Starbuck before the armistice.
    03:24 to 03:54   Zak and Apollo talk before they launch.
    03:55 to 04:23   The Council of the Twelve toast President Adama before treaty.
    04:24 to 05:12   Unused model shots (?!?). No audio.
    05:13 to 05:34   Serina during the live broadcast of the peace treaty.
    05:35 to 06:01   Boxey and Muffit on Caprica before Cylon attack.
    06:02 to 06:13   Serina calls out for Boxey.
    06:14 to 07:00   Boomer, Starbuck and Apollo check on ship after fleeing Caprica.
    07:01 to 07:31   Starbuck meets Cassiopeia on ship.
    07:32 to 08:14   Starbuck talks to Cassi about making a booking for err...services.
    08:15 to 08:30   Athena hugs Adama
    08:31 to 11:41   Adama laments those left behind. Athena offers comfort.
    11:42 to 12:12   Adama tells Tigh he's resigning from command.
    12:13 to 14:04   Adama, Apollo and Athena discuss Adama's decision to resign.
    14:05 to 14:57   Adama announces his resignation to the Council. Debate.
    14:58 to 15:17   Cylon and Imperious Leader discuss human informants.
    15:18 to 16:11   Council debate peace with the Cylons.
    16:12 to 16:51   Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer talk of upcoming perilous mission.
    16:52 to 18:14   Serina visits the doctor.
    18:15 to 20:47   Doctor tells Serina that she's dying and has only a few days to live.
    20:48 to 21:48   Baltar's execution. Various takes.
    21:49 to 22:10   Imperious Leader and Cylon talk about finding the humans.
    22:11 to 23:30   Boxey and Apollo talk about the war with the Cylons.
    23:31 to 24:05   Boxey and Jolly get out of the rover.
    24:06 to 24:21   Ovions capture Boxey.
    24:22 to 25:13   Boxey and Muffit in the Ovion lair with the Queen.
    25:14 to 25:50   Boxey and Muffit in the Ovion lair with the Queen, alternate take.
    25:51 to 26:38   Apollo and Serina come before the Queen in the search for Boxey.
    26:39 to 27:39   Centurion reports to Imperious Leader about the humans on Carillon.
    27:40 to 28:54   Apollo and Serina talk on the shuttle.
    28:55 to 29:25   Apollo and Serina enter the Carillon casino. Serina appears weak.
    29:26 to 30:06   Boomer and Starbuck enter casino.
    30:07 to 30:33   Boomer and Starbuck talk about people missing in the casino.
    30:34 to 30:52   Apollo and Starbuck shoot Cylon on Carillon.
    30:53 to 31:19   Adama, Omega and Athena on the bridge. Maren Jensen flubs line.
    31:20 to 33:07   Adama leads Council and observers in prayer and a hymn.
    33:08 to 34:54   Adama close up singing hymn.
 

    The Gun on Ice Planet Zero   -   9:57

    00:00 to 00:25   Adama, Tigh and Athena talk about more patrols.
    00:26 to 03:18   Adama and strike team are introduced.
    03:19 to 04:05   Strike team discuss the discovery of humans on the planet.
    04:06 to 05:10   Strike team set out to human outpost.
    05:11 to 05:27   Strike team walking through underground tunnel.
    05:28 to 06:47   Starbuck and Apollo talk about the mission.
    06:48 to 07:12   Apollo and human clones talk about hiding.
    07:13 to 07:29   Clones talk about the strike team.
    07:30 to 08:15   The strike team hides while Cylons approach. Starbuck checks it out.
    08:16 to 08:38   Apollo talks to the clone council.
    08:39 to 09:17   Starbuck gets an offer to be made...warm. (How does he do it?)
    09:18 to 09:31   Apollo exits room.
    09:32 to 09:57   Cylons decide to search the clone village.
 

    The Living Legend   -   12:16

    00:00 to 00:36   Cassi and Cain talk about Starbuck.
    00:37 to 01:58   Sheba and Apollo argue about Cassi's relationship with Cain.
    01:59 to 02:46   Adama and Tigh talk about divine providence.
    02:47 to 03:22   Adama and Tigh talk about the fleet's lack of fuel.
    03:23 to 04:04   Apollo, Sheba, Cassi and crew ready for the jump onto Gamoray.
    04:05 to 04:43   Adama orders the fleet told that both battlestars are moving ahead.
    04:44 to 05:55   Two Cylons talk of Imperious Leader's visit and his safety.
    05:56 to 06:46   Sheba, Cassi and Starbuck land on Gamoray. No audio.
    06:47 to 06:57   Starbuck, "Can't they hear that?"
    06:58 to 07:42   Starbuck and Boomer evade Cylon patrol (with director's directions to cast).
    07:43 to 08:09   Starbuck and Boomer follow Cylons.
    08:10 to 08:22   Starbuck and Boomer run into Sheba and Apollo on the Gamoray raid.
    08:23 to 08:44   Cain on the bridge of the Pegasus.
    08:45 to 09:25   Starbuck in his viper. Dirk Benedict does combat dialogue.
    09:26 to 10:16   Cain leads viper attack. 3 takes.
    10:17 to 10:52   Adama and Cain talk of fuel distribution. Lloyd Bridges flubs line.
    10:53 to 11:49   Cain and Cassi talk before final battle.
    11:50 to 12:16   Adama, "Lord help us."
 

    Fire in Space   -   8:48

    00:00 to 00:43   Boxey and Boomer talk in the rec-room.
    00:44 to 01:22   Boxey and Boomer talk in the rec-room, retake.
    01:23 to 01:42   Boxey's reaction to Boomer in rec-room. 2 takes.
    01:43 to 02:17   Doctor and medics rush an injured Adama from the bridge.
    02:18 to 02:49   Muffit sees smoke come under door.
    02:50 to 03:12   Muffit sees smoke come under door, take 2.
    03:13 to 04:20   Boomer dives through door, from various angles.
    04:21 to 04:36   Muffit goes into air vents for help.
    04:37 to 05:21   Muffit goes into air vent with note.
    05:22 to 05:44   Anne Lockhart getting ready for viper cockpit shots.
    05:45 to 06:20   Tigh and Omega talk about the fire.
    06:21 to 06:46   Muffit moves through flames.
    06:47 to 07:05   Omega and Tigh see Muffit emerge from air vent.
    07:06 to 07:51   Apollo and Starbuck on the surface of the Galactica, weightless.
    07:52 to 08:13   Apollo warns Starbuck. Richard Hatch flubs line.
    08:14 to 08:48   Apollo visits Adama in the medical centre.
 

    War of the Gods   -   22:02

    00:00 to 00:55   Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck check out planets.
    00:56 to 01:32   Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck spot Count Iblis.
    01:33 to 01:44   Count Iblis' surprise appearance. Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck's reaction.
    01:45 to 02:46   Iblis and Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck talk.
    02:47 to 03:49   Iblis and Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck talk, alternate take.
    03:50 to 05:05   Apollo, Sheba and Starbuck discuss Iblis.
    05:06 to 05:29   Apollo and Sheba ask Iblis about Earth. Iblis claims to have been there.
    05:30 to 05:47   Iblis and Sheba talk about the ships in the fleet being dangerous to him.
    05:48 to 06:23   Iblis and Sheba in the agro ship. Iblis, "You're safe, as long as I am inside you."
    06:34 to 06:42   Iblis and Adama talk. Adama asks Iblis who he is.
    06:43 to 07:00   Refugees on ship ask Iblis for help.
    07:01 to 07:41   Refugees and Iblis talk.
    07:42 to 08:25   Iblis incites refugees to follow him.
    08:26 to 08:58   Iblis before the Council, "I will deliver your enemy to you this night."
    08:59 to 10:04   Starbuck and Boomer talk before the triad game.
    10:05 to 10:53   Starbuck and Boomer talk before the triad game, take 2.
    10:54 to 12:25   Apollo and Sheba on the dance floor. They argue.
    12:26 to 13:01   Squadrons fail to respond to red alert.
    13:02 to 13:22   Apollo wakes Starbuck and Boomer on the red alert. "I'll never drink that s***!"
    13:23 to 13:46   Iblis watching the fleet. "This time, I will win."
    13:47 to 14:24   Apollo and Boxey talk. Boxey despondent.
    14:25 to 15:04   Apollo and Boxey talk. Apollo explains.
    15:05 to 15:36   Apollo and Boxey talk. Adama enters.
    15:37 to 16:25   Apollo and Adama talk of Count Iblis and the missing pilots.
    16:26 to 16:36   Adama promises to watch Apollo in the triad games.
    16:37 to 17:26   Adama announces Baltar is coming aboard the Galactica, reactions.
    17:27 to 17:52   Iblis and Baltar talk.
    17:53 to 18:29   Iblis before the Council.
    18:30 to 20:10   Adama pleads to the Council for time.
    20:11 to 20:31   Starbuck 'comes on' to Angel (Being of Light).
    20:32 to 22:02   Adama welcomes back Apollo, Starbuck and Sheba.
 

    Greetings from Earth   -   19:33

    00:00 to 00:33   Apollo and Starbuck intercept shuttle.
    00:34 to 01:13   Adama and Tigh discuss the arrival of the "Earth" shuttle.
    01:14 to 02:33   Adama, Apollo and Starbuck discuss the Alliance.
    02:34 to 02:53   Apollo and Athena talk.
    02:54 to 03:07   Apollo and Athena talk. Richard Hatch flubs line.
    03:08 to 03:32   Athena leads class.
    03:33 to 04:08   Athena leads class. Maren Jensen flubs line.
    04:09 to 04:39   Apollo and Starbuck order "blackshirt" Council security away.
    04:40 to 06:22   Adama and Tigh talk. Lorne Greene flubs line, second take.
    06:23 to 06:50   Apollo talks to Michael. Richard Hatch flubs line.
    06:51 to 11:48   Adama and Boxey discuss the Earth people. 3 takes.
    11:49 to 12:34   Hector and Vector greet new arrivals.
    12:35 to 13:12   Children arrive at the new house.
    13:13 to 14:37   Hector and Vector sing and dance.
    14:38 to 15:29   Adama dictates to journal.
    15:30 to 16:12   Apollo, Cassi and Michael talk.
    16:13 to 16:29   Hector ordered by Vector to destroy homing device.
    16:30 to 16:59   Apollo shoots barrels, various reactions.
    17:00 to 17:33   Starbuck and Hector head out to city. Blooper.
    17:34 to 18:21   Apollo, Starbuck and Michael raid house.
    18:22 to 19:33   Various bloopers.

 
    Baltar's Escape   -   6:41

    00:00 to 00:58   Adama dictates to his journal.
    00:59 to 01:53   Adama, Tigh and Councillor on the bridge.
    01:54 to 02:14   Adama, Tigh and Councillor on the bridge. Dirk Benedict flubs line.
    02:15 to 03:22   Baltar holds shuttle crew hostage. 2 takes.
    03:23 to 03:41  Galactica security guards take position.
    03:42 to 04:56   Baltar and gang ready to make their escape.
    04:57 to 05:50   Borrelian reaction to shots, various.
    05:51 to 06:21   Apollo and Starbuck apprehend Baltar.
    06:22 to 06:41   Adama and Tigh on the bridge. Alternate take.
 

    The Hand of God   -   16:41

 
    00:00 to 00:19   Apollo, Starbuck, Cassi and Sheba in the celestial chamber. Alternate angles.
    00:20 to 00:34   Apollo, Starbuck, Cassi and Sheba in the celestial chamber. Different angle.
    00:35 to 00:45   Group talks of the purpose of the celestial chamber.
    00:46 to 01:06   Group receives signal.
    01:07 to 01:34   Group goes to wake Boomer. Alternate takes.
    01:35 to 01:55   Boomer goes to change. Group cracks up.
    01:56 to 02:34   Apollo and Sheba talk about the mission.
    02:35 to 03:03   Cassi and Sheba enter the Cylon raider while Apollo and Starbuck talk.
    03:04 to 03:36   Adama and Baltar talk.
    03:37 to 04:14   Adama, Apollo and Starbuck talk about the mission. Baltar enters.
    04:15 to 04:39   Cassi and Sheba watch Apollo and Starbuck leave on mission.
    04:40 to 04:55   Apollo and Starbuck get aboard raider.
    04:56 to 05:15   Vipers intercept fleeing raiders.
 
    Extra Scenes

    05:27 to 06:03   Group in the celestial chamber. Alternate take.
    06:04 to 06:36   Group in the celestial chamber. Richard Hatch flubs line.
    06:37 to 07:49   Group goes to wake Boomer. Several alternate takes.
    07:50 to 08:21   Boomer tries to enhance audio of signal.
    08:22 to 09:14   Sheba tells Apollo how she feels about him. "Dynamite."
    09:15 to 10:52   Baltar enters Adama's quarters. Various angles.
    10:53 to 12:59   Apollo and Starbuck run into a Cylon Patrol. Various takes.
    13:00 to 13:25   Apollo and Starbuck shoot Cylon while coming down ladder. No audio.
    13:26 to 14:01   Apollo and Starbuck enter base ship control centre.
    14:02 to 14:38   Apollo and Starbuck climb ladder.
    14:39 to 14:57   Apollo and Starbuck climb aboard raider.
    14:58 to 15:37   Cylons climb aboard raiders.
    15:38 to 16:17   Cylons under attack. Reactions.
    16:18 to 16:41   Adama, Tigh and Omega rejoice in destruction of base star.
 

 
Trailer - U.S. Sneak Peek at Battlestar Galactica Mini-Series   -   2:04

    As I write this review, this new series goes to air in the U.S. on the Sci-Fi Channel. There has been much controversy with this new series, as it is a 'reimagining' of the original show, not a continuation. You wouldn't dare do it to Star Trek, but they've seen fit to do it here. Australia director Michael Rymer, known for his films Angel Baby and Queen of the Damned brings this show to the small screen. The production values look a million dollars, but this is still not the show that many have grown up to know and love. This trailer is presented in 1.85:1 without 16x9 enhancement. Audio is in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I ain't happy, folks. We've been robbed...again. While the episode content available on this set is the same as that afforded our friends in Region 1, we miss out on several important and interesting extras. While this might be explained away because of the different disc style used in Region 1 compared to our set here (the Region 1 set uses a mix of layers per disc), ours could have easily have held the extras that we miss out on.

    The Region 4 version of this set misses out on:

     The Region 1 version of this set misses out on:     When you see the balance so far in favour of the Region 1 set, why would you consider the Region 4 set? This applies to the Region 2 U.K. version, which is the same as we have in Region 4. We're not talking about a couple of trailers and a subtitle or two, but major and quite important extras that Universal have seen fit not to give us. I would have much preferred that we got an NTSC version of the set straight from the U.S. with the region code changed in the mastering process. This has been done several times elsewhere, but what we get here is such a disappointment. The loss of the commentary track is the worst of all, as it is reported to be quite good and something that a fan of this show would want. It's with much regret that I must recommend the Region 1 version over ours in Region 4 (and the U.K.'s in Region 2). This means that I'll have to go out and buy this series from the U.S. as we miss out on too much. Not happy, Universal.

Summary

    While shows like Star Trek have gone through various incarnations from television to film, this humble little show had just the one incarnation, and only one series at that. If you are a fan of Star Trek - The Next Generation, then you will know what it's like to have an embryonic show that is a bit silly and lightweight at times, but every now and then you'd catch a glimpse of brilliance. By the third season, Star Trek - The Next Generation was producing some of the best science fiction television ever made. I got the same feeling when I watched this series again after seeing it in its original U.S. free to air broadcast in 1978-1979. There was so much promise here, but because of chance or design never made it out of series one. Had this program gone into two or three more seasons, I really think that a franchise in the league of Star Trek might have been created. Of course, all this is speculation and I could be dead wrong. Still, I like to dream that this show caught on enough for at least one more season where some of the loose ends (stacks of them) could have been resolved. With all its premature ending, this is still a great television show that will be remembered as something that tried to do things in a bigger manner than before. Flawed? Of course, but this isn't an excuse to write off the show as irrelevant and uninfluential. This is a great television experience and should be required watching for any fan of classic television science fiction.

    The video is okay, but because of the age of the material as well as technological constraints, we do get quite numerous flaws.

    The audio is good and while being 5.1 remains faithful to the intention of the show's original mono soundtrack.

    The extras on the 7th disc are interesting, but we miss out on far too much in comparison to the Region 1 U.S. set.

 

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Sean Bradford (There is no bio.)
Sunday, January 18, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD RP-82 with DVD-Audio on board, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko TRW 325 / 32 SFT 10 76cm (32") 16x9. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderYamaha RX-V2300 Dolby Digital and dts.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V2300 110w X 6 connected via optical cable and shielded RCA (gold plated) connects for DVD-Audio
SpeakersVAF DC-X Fronts (bi-wired), VAF DC-6 Center, VAF DC-2 Rears, VAF LFE-07 Dub (Dual Amp. 80w x 2)

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