Battlestar Galactica (1978) – Fire In Space

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This week, the Galactica is troubled as it does its bit for 70s disaster films. Originally aired December 17, 1978 this episode has a teleplay by Jim Carlson and Terrence McDonnell based on a story by Micheal Sloan, with that many names in it you might expect something stronger, but this one is pretty much disaster movie fare.

While on Boomer (Herbert Jefferson Jr.) is on some much-needed relaxation time in the Rejuvenation center with Athena (Maren Jensen), Boxey (Noah Hathaway) and Muffit, the rest of Blue squadron is scrambled to take a look at an approaching cylon signal. What is first thought to be a probe is actually a full assault, and Sheba (Anne Lockhart – whose helmet keeps swapping from a Galactica to a Pegasus helmet and back), Apollo (Richard Hatch) and Starbuck (Dirk Benedict) dive in, lasers blasting, to stop the cylon threat.

A number of the raiders simply bypass them, and start suicidal attacks on the Galactica. The bride is damaged, and Adama (Lorne Greene) is severely wounded, forcing Tigh (Terry Carter) to take command, the port landing bay is aflame, and crew members, including Boomer and company, are now stuck behind sealed bulkheads.

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While flights are rotated, Apollo learns of his father’s condition, and that Boxey is trapped with Boomer and Athena. Duties require him to take to wing again though, and he and Starbuck, along with Sheba, make dousing runs across the burning sections of the Galactica, hoping to put out the raging fires.

Meanwhile, Boomer and company realize that things are getting too warm, and that the fire is closing in on them, so they begin hot-wiring doors and keep working their way into the ship until they can go no further, and they send Muffit into the ducts to find an exit and a solution.

Happily, Boxey has taught the robotic daggit to track down mushis (lords know what those are) and Tigh has some laid out for the robot, as Apollo has shared this piece of information with him, and they all hope the daggit will be able to help save the day.

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The fires continue to rage, as the stock footage from the Towering Inferno shows, and it seems that while Adama is about to go under the knife to remove dangerous fragments that struck him during the bridge assault, Starbuck and Apollo are going out on the hull!

Sadly both groups, Doctor Salik (George Murdock) with Cass (Laurette Spang) and Apollo with Starbuck suffer from some of the worst costume design for the season, as the medical garb is horrendous, but nowhere near as foul as the spacesuits our heroes are forced to wear (and to dangle from noticeable wires). Which is too bad, because the uniforms are so cool!

Apollo and Starbuck plan to blow a hole in the hull of the Galactica to extinguish the fires, drawing closer to the ship’s last remaining energizer…

This is probably my least favorite of all the Galactica episodes, it just doesn’t have any of the sense of fun, or even the mythology that the rest of the series had. It simply feels like it wanted to be a tiny disaster of the week episode. Oh well…

On the flipside, Jeff MacKay makes a brief appearance again! YES!

Next time it’s another two-parter with War of the Gods!

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