Battlestar Galactica 10: The Long Patrol (1984) – Ron Goulart, and Glen A. Larson

I don’t know who gave the okay to adapt The Long Patrol to a novel, and let it be a standalone tale. Despite the fact that Starbuck is the story’s central character, I hated it when it originally aired, I hate it every time I rewatch the series, and I hated reading an adaptation of it.

On the flipside, at least this time out, Goulart has a better handle on Starbuck’s character and he isn’t quite such an arrogant ass as he was portrayed in the previous novels.

Based on the episode of the same name, the story sees the Galactica leaving their galaxy and entering another. They decide the best way to find out what lays ahead is to send out a recon patrol with a revamped viper (no weapons, but lots of speed and agility – not to mention an on board computer with a personality).

Starbuck takes the assignment, not just for the fun, but for the added cubit bonus, which will allow him to treat Cassiopeia (or Athena? Or both?) to a dinner aboard the Rising Star in an exclusive restaurant.

As Starbuck and the computer, named CORA, explore the outer edges of the new systems they are coming to, they discover a chase involving two ancient starships, and soon finds himself caught up in a weird society that has guards, prisoners, and a family name passed on for the crimes committed, and a whole deck full of ambrosa that could not only keep Starbuck happily pickled, but make him a mint when he sells it!

Things are complicated, as they always are, with the arrival of the pursuing cylons! Not only do the Galactica and Apollo have to find the wayward pilot, they may have to blast their way through countless cylon raiders and centurions to do it.

I’d like to say there are some interesting ideas at work in the story here, but I can never really enjoy it enough to delve into any relevant themes. It all just seems so silly. The prisoners stay where they are not because doors are locked, but because that’s the way it’s always been. Umm, sure?

And as fun as the beginning of the episode/novel is, with Starbuck bouncing between Athena and Cass, it just isn’t that great of a story. Still, that closes out the adaptations of the original Galactica series, and from here the novels try their hands art original stories. Next time it’s Battlestar Galactica 11: The Nightmare Machine!!

Fleeing from the Cylon Tyranny, the last battlestar Galactica leads a ragtag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest: a shining planet known as Earth.

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