Battlestar Galactica (1979) – The Man With Nine Lives & Murder On The Rising Star


After last week’s installment of War of the Gods, these two episodes come across as a little lackluster, but there are lots of little moments, and characters in both that I was very happy to see.

Both stories heavily focus on my favorite character though, Starbuck (Dirk Benedict), so that’s good!

The first episode, The Man With Nine Lives, aired January 28, 1979, was written by Bellisario, and gives us a little bit, not a lot, of background on Starbuck. He was an orphan after an attack, and never got to know his father and mother. Now, yahrens later, and after the holocaust that wiped out the colonies, along comes a man named Chameleon (pronounced with a Shhh sound though) played by the legendary Fred Astaire, who is claiming he may in fact be Starbuck’s long-lost father.

His friends, Apollo (Richard Hatch), Boomer (Herbert Jefferson Jr.), Cassiopeia (Laurette Spang), Sheba (Anne Lockhart) and Commander Adama (Lorne Greene) are all a little worried that Starbuck is being conned, especially when they discover that a group of humanoids called Borellian Nomen appear to be pursuing him on a Blood Trail. Leading the Nomen is a familiar face to Bellisario and Cannell fans… Lance LeGault.


Starbuck is offended to discover his friends have been investigating his potential father behind his back, and of course, there is all manner of resulting drama, but there uis a nice poignant moment late in the episode between Chameleon and Cass that gives the episode a lot of heart.

There’s also a nice moment when Omega (David Greenan), a Galactica bridge officer makes a recruitment video that is viewed by the Nomen.

Murder On The Rising Star is based on a story by Michael Sloan and written for the screen by Bellisario, Jim Carlson and Terrence McDonnell and aired on the 18th of February, 1979.

Triad is a pretty competitive sport, and Starbuck and Apollo are always the team to beat, unfortunately, Starbuck keeps butting heads with another player, Ortega (The original V’s Martin – Frank Ashmore), and they both get ejected from the game. When Ortega is discovered dead, Starbuck is the prime suspect, and Apollo has to kick into detective mode to save his friend before he is tried and drummed out of the service, to spend the rest of his life on the prison barge.


As Apollo and Boomer investigate they learn about the mysterious Karibdis, who had a hand in the cylon attack on the colonies. Apparently Ortega had helped him escape during the assault, and was blackmailing him to keep it a secret.

The only person alive now who could identify Karibdis, is his former commander, who just happens to have turned himself over to the fleet in War of the Gods… Baltar (John Colicos).

Racing against time, Apollo uses himself and Baltar as bait to draw out Karibdis while Starbuck stands trial…

This one is the stronger episode of the two and has some pretty familiar faces to fans besides Ashmore, there’s Brock Peters, and Jeff MacKay is back.

Next time around… the Galactica receives Greetings From Earth!


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