SF Obscure: Galactica 1980


Hi out there Smart Girls Readers!  I was thinking about Battlestar Galactica and the fact that fans are often split between lovers of the original and lovers of the newer version.  For those not familiar with the Battlestar Galactica universe, it concerns the remains of a human population in a fleet under the flagship Galactica fighting for survival against the Cylons. Adama, Boomer, Baltar, Starbuck, Apollo…the names are familiar even as the ethnic backgrounds and genders change. And which model Cylons you like is a matter of preference.

There is one other version that gets overlooked and willfully forgotten- Battlestar Galactica 1980. It ran for  ten episodes.  In this version, the Galactica Fleet has arrived at Earth but  Earth is not technologically advanced enough to take on the Cylons.  Galactica heroes Captain Troy and Lt. Dillon are sent to Earth to assess the situation.  This involves time travel to Nazi Germany to stop another Galactica fleet time traveler from changing Earth’s technology. Then they decide not to time travel but just sort of help science along with amazing inventions and tech, mostly courtesy of a mysterious child prodigy (alien?) Dr. Zee. At some point, Troy and Dillon have flying motorcycles which I guess was supposed to be an amazing example of advanced technology but comes off as a silly.

The actors who played Starbuck (Dirk Benedict) and Apollo (Richard Hatch) were originally planned to be in the series but had scheduling conflicts. Or refused. Depends on whom you ask.

There is also a subplot involving a group of children from the Galactica fleet now living on Earth who need to be protected. These children also have superpowers because of the differences in “gravity and physiology”(well, that’s the explanation given). The children can jump really high-that special effect is used a lot.

(But isn’t earth supposed to be a planet of the long lost Thirteenth Tribe in which we would be closely related? And how come the adults don’t have these physiologic changes?And why is exactly is the child prodigy Dr. Zee running things?)

At one point it appears the goal is to change the Earth’s timeline to effectively fight the Cylons; at another point the goal seems to be to integrate into the Earth’s population. A lack of clear concept is one of many problems with Galactica 1980. Honestly, I think it was made to cash in as long as possible and reuse props and film footage. The acting is rather hit or miss. Lorne Greene as Adama is in it and Dirk Benedict as Starbuck shows up for what becomes the final episode.

Galactica film footage is also used liberally in other movies including a B-movie classic Space Mutiny. Those who are fans of truly, tacky movies will enjoy this.


So, any fans of Battlestar Galactica out there? Which is your favorite? Do you even remember Galactica 1980? Do you hate me for reminding you?

13 thoughts on “SF Obscure: Galactica 1980

  1. I DO remember the 1980 version of Battlestar Galactica and loved it BUT…I love the newer version better. New Starbuck kicks ass and takes names and is…gasp…a woman! Girl Power! I also remember Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and may have had a teensy crush on him.

  2. I will admit to being old school fan. I was Dirk fan and liked him in A-Team, too. LOL I don’t remember this one, though. I am thinking back and I sort of vaguely remembering seeing it and wondering what the heck was going on. lol

  3. I like both the original and the newest version. They are very different. I don’t think I ever saw the 1980 version. I must have been to busy studying in college.

  4. Okay, I confuse. I am a geek. Not only do I remember this short lived nod to Galatica, I own it. *sigh* What can I say? I also own the original Battlestar Galatica in the old Cylon shaped box.

    Die hard original fan. I tried, I really did, to watch the new series. Didn’t like it. I didn’t even like it when Richard Hatch put in an appearance. It just didn’t work for me and it wasn’t just the gender bending that bothered me. Maybe I just don’t like change.

    I did like Glactica 1980 though. Fan of Barry Van Dyke and Kent McCord here. For those who aren’t familiar with this show, they played Dillion and Troy and were probably the big reason I liked the series. The kids and story lines . . . I will leave you to decide that on your own.

    BTW – I also own Buck Rodgers of the 25th Century. *sigh*

  5. I’ve never even seen the original, but I got hooked on the newest version after it reached Netflix (I tend to be a late adopter of TV shows). I even tried Caprica, which strikes me as having some of the same problems detailed here for the 1980 version (which I’ve never seen). Namely, a lack of focus as to what the main idea was.

    • Thanks for stopping by. Quite a few fans of the newer have never seen the original.

  6. The Return Of Starbuck is the only redeeming episode from Galactica 80 series run. The series, as many others have said previously, just seems hilggledy piggledy, as though written each week without thought to a longer plan.

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