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?