Battlestar Galactica (1979) – Take the Celestra & The Hand of God

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And just like that, one of the series that helped influence my childhood, and generate my love for pop culture comes to an end…

For me, Galactica, and it’s follow-up series, the less than stellar Galctica 1980 (except the one episode The Return of Starbuck) will always be joined in my mind with CFB Borden, I saw the entire run of the series there, and played Galactica constantly, often in conjunction with Star Wars in Star Trek.

In the final two episodes, especially the final episode, the series goes all out to end on a high note.

In Take The Celestra, Jim Carlson and Terrence McDonnell wrote the script based on a story concocted with David G. Phinney and David G. Arthur, which aired 1 April, 1979, honors are being given to Commander Kronus (Paul Fix) for his years of service to the Colonials, and his work with the fleet since the destruction of the colonies.

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During the course of the ceremony, Starbuck (Dirk Benedict) spots a long-lost love, Aurora (Ana Alicia) who happens to be living, and working aboard Kronus’ ship Celestra. She and a few fellows are preparing to lead a rebellion against Kronus, and his right hand man, Charka (Nick Holt), who according to her, is running the craft like a slave ship.

Starbuck, and his relationship with Cassiopeia (Laurette Spang), are caught right n the middle of things, and Apollo (Richard Hatch) along with his buddy end up on the Celestra during the uprising…

Once again, I wish there would have been more on the concept of slave ships starting to spring up in the fleet, individual commanders establishing themselves as rulers, and the politics that could happen on a ship like that… but perhaps it was too early for that kind of story to come across on television, though it is hinted at.

In the final episode of the series, The Hand of God, Apollo, along with Sheba (Anne Lockhart) – who is beginning to reveal her feelings for Apollo – Starbuck and Cassiopeia are in a small observation dome when they come across an unusual transmission, which viewers will recognize as the Apollo landing on the moon.

The episode is penned by Bellisario and he is going to make sure that the series goes out on a high note, with the colonial theme playing throughout and heroics filling the screen, the evening of 29 April, 1979, was ablaze!

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Adama (Lorne Greene) orders a probe to be launched to discover the source of the signal, but the probe, Starbuck, Apollo and Sheba, come across a lone cylon base ship.

Instead of running, a plan is developed using Baltar’s (John Colicos) raider and information, Apollo and Starbuck will sneak aboard the base ship (greatly upsetting their respective romantic interests, though Athena (Maren Jensen) is sadly missing), disable the communications and the scanners, leaving the ship blind to the battlestar’s approach.

An all out assault is launched, there are miraculous escapes, and a joy that sweeps through the fleet at their victory, and as the Galactica drifts off through the heavens, one more transmission comes through.

Gods, I loved this show. I can’t believe how much I loved revisiting it. Sure some of it is campy, sure stock footage gets used to death, sure it’s almost cheesy in its good versus evil ideas, but there’s an honesty and enthusiasm to it that still comes through, and can still hold my attention, and my affection.

So good!

When Bellisario next came into my life, I was living on CFB Kingston, and adventure was going to find its way onto my screen again, this time with Stephen Collins in Tales of the Gold Monkey.

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