Podgodz 245: It was bigger than Star Wars!
Recorded 30 May 2017
Battlestar Galactica (1978 AKA Saga of a Star World AKA Episodes 1 to3)
Lax pulled one deep from his emotional archive. Battlestar Galactica 1978 Theatrical Release.
What do you get when you grab a handful of Mormonism, Ancient Aliens, and Star Wars and smoosh it altogether? The beige paste known as Battle Star Galactica. Surely the most expensive TV show made at the time. This shit was meant to be huge, but NOT a TV series,but rather a run of made for TV movies, 7-11 hours in total for 3 to 5 airings.
And now that you will have watched this movie, you have seen ALL special effects shots used for the entire run of 22 episodes.
Because the production was so costly, it was decided to release these first three broadcast hours as a theatrical movie in the Summer of 1978 in Canada and Europe and then the following year in the United States.
Star Wars had just rocked the world, this was the first ‘knock off’. There was a lawsuit from George Lucas, early advertising touted the participation of John Dykstra as the creator of the effects of StarWars.
The second made for TV movie was to be Lost Planet of the Gods and then Gun on Ice Planet Zero and I would presume the two other two parters, The Living Legend, and War of the Gods.
The switch to a series lead to many bad episodes, stretching the meagre remaining budget and falling back on old tropes (and Universal back lot sets) that included castles and cowboys. It also lead to Jane Seymour
In this Battle Star, unlike the more recent remake, they actually had black people, but no Asians.
You have no idea how BIG this was to a little 5 year old Lax Dude.
This show is also to blame for NCIS and a whole string of shitty TV,which I would dare say includes Galactica 2004, or at least about half of it.
Battlestar Galactica is set in a distant star system, in an age described as “the seventh millennium of time.” Twelve colonies of humans, living on different worlds, have been fighting a 1,000 year war against the robotic race of Cylons, who seek to exterminate all of humanity. The Cylons have unexpectedly sued for peace, through the diplomatic agency of a human, Count Baltar. The human leaders, called the Council of the Twelve (with one representative from each colony), and the commanders of their military fleet are all too pleased by the Cylon offer of peace, which ends so many years of warfare. The powerful “Battlestars” are assembled for armistice talks with Humanity’s age-old robotic enemy. But it’s all a deception – Baltar has betrayed humanity for personal gain, and the Cylons have no intention of making peace.
Only Commander Adama, of the battlestar Galactica, suspects that the Cylons are planning a trap, and orders a recon patrol, consisting of his two best pilots: his eldest son, Apollo, and Lt. Starbuck. Adama’s younger son, Zac, convinces Starbuck to let him go in his place. The patrol discovers a vast Cylon armada waiting in ambush behind a moon named Cimtar, but the Cylons jam their communications. Cylon fighters pursue the two Vipers, and Zac’s fighter is hit. This forces Apollo to leave him behind, so that the fleet can be warned. Zac’s Viper is destroyed by the Cylons just before he reaches the fleet.
Baltar manipulates President Adar into prohibiting the launch of fighters as the Cylons close in on the fleet. Frustrated, Adama orders the Galactica’s Viper squadrons be placed on full alert, with their fighters ready to launch. As the Cylons attack, the Galactica is able to launch its fighters first, while the other battlestars are caught off-guard. The Atlantia, with President Adar aboard, is destroyed, as are apparently the other battlestars; Galactica alone survives the Cylon assault. Apollo informs Adama that the Cylons were accompanied by refueling tankers, and Adama realizes that this would allow the fighters to operate far from their base ships (known as “basestars”), which must be operating somewhere else. He orders the Galactica to withdraw and protect the planet Caprica, Adama’s homeworld, but they are too late, as the Cylon fleet has launched simultaneous massive assaults on all the Colonies at the very same time the attack on the battlestars has commenced.
With the Colonies in ruins, Adama collects as many survivors as possible, and orders every intact civilian ship to take survivors and follow the Galactica. They hope that the Galactica can protect this ragtag fleet long enough to find the legendary thirteenth human colony. It is called Earth, but the location of this lost colony is known only to the last lord of Kobol, the planet which was the original home of Man, but which was abandoned thousands of years earlier, when the Thirteen Tribes migrated to the stars. Helping Adama in the quest for Earth are his son, Captain Apollo, commander of the Galactica’s strike wing; Lieutenant Starbuck, the Galactica’s best fighter pilot and Apollo’s best friend; Lieutenant Boomer; and Colonel Tigh, Adama’s second-in-command.
The Cylon Imperious Leader, determined that no human at all shall survive, orders Baltar’s execution after his usefulness is over, but (as retro-actively revealed in the TV series version of the film) he is spared at the last moment in order to help the Cylons hunt down the human fleet. After initially escaping the Cylons across a massive starfield called the Nova of Madagon (referred to as such due to its extremely dangerous, hot environment, and Cylon mines), the Galactica and the fugitive fleet find brief respite on the resort planet of Carillon, where they hope to find food and fuel for their journey. As much of the fleet’s food supplies were contaminated by pluton bombs during the Cylon attack, the fleet is in desperate straits, and must find a food source soon or face starvation.
It quickly becomes apparent that there is more to Carillon than meets the eye. The fact that Carillon has more than enough food and fuel for the fleet’s needs makes Adama wary. It is also apparently the largest tylium (fighter fuel) mining facility in that part of the galaxy, as well as a popular gamblers’ den, but nobody has ever heard of the place. Adama discovers that Baltar was responsible for performing the initial Carillon survey, and reported that tylium was too minimal for mining, and he immediately smells a Cylon trap.
But in the meantime, Sire Uri, Adama’s self-serving nemesis on the new Council of the Twelve, uses the opportunity the planet presents for the morale of the fugitives to make his move against Adama, whose strict but selflessly benign intentions hinder his own ambitions. The Council of the Twelve, led by Uri to believe the Cylons have been left far behind, propose that the humans pause to celebrate their escape and dismantle their military and weapons to prove to the Cylons that humans are no longer a threat to them. The Council arranges a banquet on Carillon, and orders all fighter pilots to attend. Adama suspects that this might be a golden opportunity for the Cylons to launch an attack on their fleet, and orders Colonel Tigh to surreptitiously hold back their fighter pilots from attending the party while he is to outfit noncombat personnel with fighter uniforms.
Down on Carillon, Apollo and Starbuck gradually discover that something is amiss when they see strangers walking around clad in the uniforms of their squadron, and after some investigation they discover the truth behind the planet’s prosperity. The natives of Carillon, the insectoid Ovions, have set up the gambling resort to lure humans to them to serve as living food for their hatching larvae in their underground chambers. They are also secretly in league with the Cylons and mine the tylium solely for their purposes in exchange for their freedom, and they are cooperating in the Cylons’ efforts to eradicate the human fugitives. During a subsequent fight with Cylon soldiers, the laser fire from both parties sets the tylium mines on fire, threatening to destroy the planet once the fire rages fully out of control.
Adama’s ruse works, and the Cylons, believing that all of the pilots are at the banquet, launch a fighter attack against the Galactica in orbit, but Adama is ready to spring his trap. Once the Cylon fighter contingent is fully engaged with the Galactica, Adama recalls all his Vipers from the surface of Carillon, taking the enemy by surprise. During the fight, Apollo realizes the Cylon fighters couldn’t have come so far without a basestar, and he and Starbuck disengage from the battle and find a Cylon basestar hidden on the far side of Carillon. In defiance of Commander Adama’s recall order, they decide to attempt to destroy it, in order to enable the refugee fleet to elude pursuit, and use fake radio chatter to fool the basestar into thinking it’s under attack by multiple Viper squadrons. The basestar descends into Carillon’s atmosphere to avoid detection, and is destroyed when the planet finally erupts in a massive tylium explosion. Despite their victory, however, the humans realize their enemies will still be pursuing them, and they set out to Earth, their last hope for survival.
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Time to put the Crown Royal sack back on the microphone.