Battlestar Galactica - The Complete Epic Series
Universal Home Entertainment -
1978 - 999
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If youï¿½re reading this then it wonï¿½t make any difference to you what I think about Battlestar Galactica. You either love it or hate it. I love it, because as a young male growing up in the seventies there was nothing cooler than Starbuck chomping on his cigar, flirting with the ladies, and then blasting Cylon butt into the heavens. Still, itï¿½s incredible to believe the attention this series receives, even twenty five years since it debuted. Incredible because this seminal show ran only one season--the horrible Galactica ï¿½80 notwithstanding--and thereï¿½s a new version resurfacing in December 2003.
To really get what this show is about requires you to suspend your current appreciation of state of the art special effects--the best 1978 had to offer, though. Instead, appreciate the dramatic scope of the surviving remnants of a race of humans struggling to survive against incredible odds. The back story about when and where humanity really originated will get you thinking. Were the Egyptians, Toltecs and Mayans from another planet? The space battles werenï¿½t really all that bad, despite an endless stream of stock footage of Vipers shooting three times to the right. Pay close attention to the guest stars (Fred Astaire!) and the fact that producer Glen A. Larson utilized every penny he could on screen--even if the Cylon red light showed up on KITT in Knight Rider years later.
ï¿½ Episode I: "Saga of a Star World":
The Twelve Colonies of Man (Twelve Tribes; Colonials) are destroyed in a Trojan Horse gambit by their 1,000-yahren old enemies, the Cylons. A surviving military starship, the battlestar Galactica, leads a handful of survivors in a 220+ civilian starship fleet to safety amongst the stars. The Galactica's commander, Adama, intends to search for a lost Thirteenth Tribe who inhabit the planet Earth. The Colonials face pursuit by their Cylon aggressors--and the Colonial traitor who helped orchestrate the holocaust: Baltar.
ï¿½ Episode II (Part 1 and Part 2): "Lost Planet of the Gods":
Serina and Apollo prepare for their wedding as a mysterious and highly contagious disease contaminates the entire squadron of Viper pilots. Accidentally brought on board the Galactica by pilots returning from a space mission, it infects all of those gathered for the celebration. Apollo and Starbuck, the only two to escape contamination, must now rely on a group of inexperienced shuttle pilots to help them defend the Galactica against a surprise Cylon attack.
ï¿½ Episode III: "The Lost Warrior":
On patrol, Captain Apollo leads a Cylon attack force away from the fleet. When he lands on a remote farming world, he finds danger at the hands of a terrorizing thug--and his malfunctioning Cylon henchman named ï¿½Red Eyeï¿½.
ï¿½ Episode IV: "The Long Patrol":
Starbuck is assigned to test an experimental Viper, only to have it stolen by a renegade convict eluding capture. While in hot pursuit, he is accidentally mistaken for the thief and captured by officials. When he is taken to a prison planet, he uncovers the secrets of the people long ago imprisoned there.
ï¿½ Episode V (Part 1 and Part 2): "Gun on Ice Planet Zero":
Baltarï¿½s Cylon forces herd the Colonial fleet towards a Cylon-controlled ice planet where an ultra-powerful laser pulse weapon is pointed directly at their path. When Adama realizes the Cylon plot, Apollo and Starbuck are sent to the icy planet in an attempt to save the fleet. Joining forces with a dangerous band of criminal demolition experts, they must work together to destroy the weapon.
ï¿½ Episode VI: "The Magnificent Warriors":
A Cylon assault demolishes two Colonial agro ships and damages a third. The resulting food shortage threatens the Galacticaï¿½s very survival. In an effort to secure food for his crew, Adama leads a mission on planet Sectar, where he re-unites with an old flame who possesses the means for their survival.
ï¿½ Episode VII: "The Young Lords":
After Starbuck crashes onto Attila, he discovers a planet where the Cylons have destroyed most of the adult population. Rescued by a tribe of children, he soon realizes that they intend to trade him to the Cylons in exchange for their imprisoned father.
ï¿½ Episode VIII (Part 1 and Part 2): "The Living Legend":
Apollo and Starbuck encounter the legendary military leader Cain, who commands the battlestar Pegasus, a ship all had assumed destroyed. When Adama questions Cainï¿½s suicidal plan for the two battlestars to launch an attack against the Cylon base on Gamoray, his own leadership comes into question. Sheba (Anne Lockhart), Cainï¿½s daughter and love interest for Apollo, and Bojay (Jack Stauffer) are introduced.
ï¿½ Episode IX: "Fire in Space":
A Cylon attack engulfs the Galactica in flames, trapping crew members and critically injuring Adama. As Adamaï¿½s life hangs in the balance and the fire continues to spread, it is up to Moffit, the mechanical daggit, to lead firefighters to the rescue.
ï¿½ Episode X (Part 1 and Part 2): "War of the Gods":
When mysterious spheres of lights surround the Galactica and a squadron of Viper pilots vanish, Starbuck, Apollo and Sheba must go on a mission to find the missing pilots. What they find instead is the mysteriously charismatic Count Iblis. Once on board the Galactica, Count Iblisï¿½ true nature begins to reveal itself, putting all lives aboard the battlestar at risk. (Note: This is the first appearance of the Triad game.)
ï¿½ Episode XI: "The Man With Nine Lives":
Legendary Fred Astaire guest stars as Chameleon, a con man desperately trying to elude a band of Borellian Nomens on a blood trail. To ensure his own safety, Chameleon masquerades as Starbuckï¿½s long-lost father to gain entry to the battlestar Galactica. The two men start to become close, as Starbuck struggles with the thought of what suddenly having a father will mean for his future.
ï¿½ Episode XII: "Murder on the Rising Star":
When his archrival Ortega ends up dead after a public confrontation during a Triad game, Starbuck finds himself falsely accused of his murder. Convinced of his friendï¿½s innocence, Apollo must work with the only man that can clear his name: Baltar.
ï¿½ Episode XIII: "Greetings From Earth":
An alien spacecraft is discovered by Starbuck and Apollo on patrol. It contains six human fugitives in suspended animation--possibly from the planet Earth. Tension amongst the fleet at the prospect of brethren from Earth rises. In time, the humans are revealed to be from Terra, a Colonial-like world. They are journeying to Paradeen (a nearby colony world) to escape the threat of the Eastern Alliance, a Terran faction with a ruthlessness akin to the Cylons. Starbuck, Cassiopeia and Apollo finish the journey with the Terrans, hoping to find clues to the location of Earth. But the Eastern Alliance pursues the ship to Paradeen, where more troubles ensue.
ï¿½ Episode XIV: "Baltarï¿½s Escape":
Baltar, with the help of the Alliance Enforcers and the Borellian Nomen, plans a prison break. To preserve the fleet, Adama must bend to Baltarï¿½s pressure, leaving Apollo and Starbuck to embark on a dangerous rescue mission.
ï¿½ Episode XV: "Experiment in Terra":
Apollo is chosen by the Beings of Light to perform a mission to save the planet Terra from the Eastern Alliance. After being sent down to the planet disguised as a Terran astronaut, Apollo must find a way to stop a war that will affect them all.
ï¿½ Episode XVI: "Take the Celestra":
The Colonial vessel Celestra comes under the command of Kronus, a Colonial war hero, whose career is being celebrated in a special ceremony. While on board, Starbuck discovers his long-lost love Aurora and enlists the help of Apollo to help win back her affections. What the two do not realize is that they could be in for more than they bargained for.
ï¿½ Episode XVII: "The Hand of God":
The final episode of Battlestar Galactica before cancellation by ABC-TV in late spring 1979. When an enemy Cylon basestar is discovered nearby, Adama and his crew choose to plan a military strike instead of running. They realize their only chance of prevailing is to have Apollo and Starbuck sneak on board the Cylon basestar in order to blind its scanners. This dangerous mission could prove to be the only thing standing between the Galactica and its final destination: Earth.
Remastered from the original film negatives, Battlestar Galactica has never looked better. I remember taping every episode I could catch on television on one of the first VCRs ever made--you know the big silver ones with a grill from a ï¿½57 Chevy and a hood that virtually needed a kick stand. Until now, that was about the best a Galactica fan could do. The new print is much improved from its analog predecessor, and the crisp delivery is a sight to behold. Granted, given the age of the material, there is some noticeable grain as well as indications of print damage, but true fans wonï¿½t mind, particularly when compared to the best they could do before the advent of DVD.
The audio on this release also gets a sufficient upgrade. Though Galactica suffers the same fate as other twenty-five year old audio sources forced to the new standard, it didnï¿½t fall as flat as one might expect. Though you wonï¿½t get any terrific separation from either the rear or the front channels, the audio is adequate overall. The voices are clear and spatial, and exhibit a better range than I would have thought. Laser blasts and crumbling Cylon armor--other Glen Larson stock footage staples--come across quite nicely. The subwoofer actually performs pretty admirably, and adds to the high drama sequences as it should.
To be commended for taking this assignment seriously, Universal has put together a beautiful box set for Battlestar Galactica. First and most obvious is the ominous Cylon cranium packaging. Though the lenticular lens wonï¿½t haunt you in your sleep or make the textbook Cylon warble, this three dimensional packaging is as inventive as it is fun for true Galactica fans. Once inside, your pleasures continue. The full color glossy brochure is a nice feature, with full episode summaries and a smattering of both Cylon and Colonial blueprints. Content-wise you wonï¿½t be disappointed, either. There are a handful of mini documentaries, as well as one longer one and some episodes with commentary from Dirk Benedict (Starbuck), Richard Hatch (Apollo) and Herb Jefferson, Jr. (Boomer). The most enjoyable for me, however, were the deleted and extended scenes that you can find interspersed throughout. They were the only footage that I had truly never seen. Be prepared to get lost in this Cylonï¿½s head for a while.
Some people donï¿½t like caviar because itï¿½s expensive, confusing to know what to order and they donï¿½t like the taste. But for those who do, itï¿½s delicious and rewarding--kind of like Battlestar Galactica. Respectable audio and video considering the age of the source material are coupled with one of the nicest box sets in terms of aesthetics and content in a long time. This is an easy BoxSet recommendation for ownership.
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