Battlestar Galactica (1978) – Lost Planet of the Gods

 

This week’s look at Galactica, in the Bellisario & Cannell files, sees the two-parter which aired part one on September 24, 1978, and part two on October 1, 1978. Written By Glen A. Larson and Bellisario the series continues its space opera sense of storytelling, alongside some outdated thoughts on women.

The episode opens at a dinner party featuring Apollo (Richard Hatch), Adama (Lorne Greene), Starbuck (Dirk Benedict), Athena (Maren Jensen), Serina (Jane Seymour) and Boxey (Noah Hathaway). It’s after the meal, and everyone is complimenting the ladies on their fine cooking abilities. Oh dear. Even Athena, who works on the Galactica’s bridge is involved, as if that is all the women of the fleet are capable of. Sigh.

The dinner is being held to announce the impending bonding between Apollo and Serina, and Starbuck ducks out before Athena can get ideas.

Boomer (Herbert Jefferson Jr.) and Jolly (Tony Swartz) arrive back from a patrol, having discovered a planet with a Cylon outpost, but are so eager to get to Apollo’s celebratory party that they both skip de-con. Consequently, they bring aboard a virus that puts the entire bunch of pilots out of commission. The party, before it gets underway, is a lot of fun, as we get to see more of Greenbean (Ed Begley Jr.) and the first appearance of Larry Manetti as Giles, Manetti would go on to join one of my favorite Bellisario shows as Rick on Magnum, P.I.

starbuckteaching

On the Cylon front, Baltar (John Colicos) is assigned a basestar (and what does he do in that empty room up on that pedestal when no one is there?) with Lucifer, who reveals that he and the Imperious Leader are from the same line, which is odd, because the Leader looks a little more organic than the light bulb headed robot that is Lucifer.

Apollo and Starbuck, on their patrol, discover a black void in the middle of space, a magnetic abyss, which when they report back to Galactica rings a bell with Adama, who believes they must cross it until a single star leads them out, to the lost planet of the gods, Kobol.

But first, they have to return to the planet with the Cylon outpost and find the source of the virus. Unfortunately, they don’t have the pilots to do it, so Starbuck and Apollo have train a new bunch of pilots, female ones, gasp!

When Serina joins up, Apollo is furious, yes, he’s worried about her flying in combat, and he eventually comes around, but his character’s mindset when she reveals this to him isn’t very open-minded at all…

serina

Eventually, Starbuck, Apollo and their group of new warriors return to the outpost, blow it up, and discover the cure before the Galactica enters the void.

Baltar, however, is determined to capture a patrol, and use it as the opening move in a gambit that will capture the Galactica, and poor Starbuck is the lucky pilot…

As Serina and Apollo are sealed, the single star reveals itself, and the fleet arrives at Kobol, which has lots of pyramids and cartouches. A terrible exterior sequence features bad extras in horrid wigs, wandering the ruins pretending to be Apollo, Serina and Adama.

Adama’s medallion guides them through the tomb of the 9th lord of Kobol, and clues are found about the 13th colony, but Baltar’s arrival ruins everything, promising peace and the release of Starbuck, but Lucifer uses the opportunity to launch an attack on Kobol.

lpotg2ru9

The new warriors are joined, just in the nick of time, by Boomer’s recovered squadron and the day is saved for everyone except for Serina, who dies in a quick firefight with a Cylon landing party… oh oh… Apollo is now a single dad.

Baltar is left trapped under debris vowing vengeance against everyone as the Galactica continues on its way, and Apollo and Boxey mourn Serina.

The two episodes are epic space opera, though their attitude towards women could have been a little more progressive. Why there weren’t female viper pilots from the off is beyond me…

Also, the re-use of stock footage use is well under way already. 

It’s still fun, it’s incredibly camp and I still love it, though the older I get, the more I find myself shaking my head at a lot of the dialogue. Just wow…

Next time we see Apollo facing off against Red-Eye in The Lost Warrior, and Starbuck ending up in a prison in The Long Patrol.

Did you grow up with Galactica? Did you have the toys? The cards?

bsg

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