Battlestar Galactica (1979) – Greetings From Earth

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In this two-hour special presentation Glen Larson’s writing hints that the fleet may be closer to earth, but things may not be as they seem in this episode that aired 25 February, 1979!

The cylons have begun to fall behind, the fleet has grown safer, but Earth is still just a distant hope, until Starbuck (Dirk Benedict) and Apollo (Richard Hatch) come across an unusual ship while on deep patrol. When they rendezvous with Galactica they discover that the craft’s six inhabitants, are in a form of suspended animation.

There is excited talk through the fleet that this could be the first contact with humans from earth, and there is much debate on whether they should be awoken from their cryogenic sleep, or allowed to continue on their way.

The choice is taken away from them as Michael (Randolph Mantooth) is woken from his induced sleep, and confronts the crew with unfamiliar technology. Using this weapon and the danger of biological contamination as a threat, Adama (Lorne Greene) secretly orders Starbuck, Apollo and Cassiopeia (Laurette Spang) to escort the ship on its original course, and perhaps get information not only on their destination, a planet referred to as Paradeen, but their origin point, referred to as Lunar 7.

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Michael is unsure about revealing anything to the Colonials, in fear that the Eastern Alliance will follow the Galactica, and destroy Lunar 7, and perhaps even those who live on Paradeen.

The sides confront each other, and the Eastern Alliance is stunned when they see the sheer size of the Galactica. Still, it would seem that the fleet may have a new enemy now as they pass through this sector of space onwards to their final destination.

There are some unusual bits in this episode, the climax comes way to quick, we’re not sure if Starbuck found anything in the long-deserted archives of Paradeen, there’s a sequence that sees Athena (Maren Jensen) as a teacher for Boxey’s (Noah Hathaway) class – which struck me as odd, wouldn’t her duty shifts on the bridge take up most of her day, and wouldn’t rotating shifts keep her from being a regular teacher? – and then there’s the rather annoying presence of two robots, Hector (Bobby Van) and Vector (Ray Bolger).

Starbuck in a discussion with one of the robots wishes he had more of them… but then wouldn’t that begin to constitute a race, and wouldn’t that race have more in common with their robotic kindred the cylons?

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There’s a hint of a romantic subplot between Apollo and Sarah (Kelly Harmon), one of the other travelers from Lunar 7.

I’m sorry to say that since War of the Gods, none of the stories have been especially strong, but this one is probably the weakest of the bunch, which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it, as I do all Galactica episodes, but this one isn’t one I like to revisit often.

It’s not Larson’s best writing.

And at this point, the end of the series is on the horizon, only 4 episodes left before the fleet is left behind, and I tackle Belisario’s next effort that influenced me.

Until then, I will happily continue to voyage with this ragtag fleet as it continues its lonely journey, seeking out that distant planet…

Earth.

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