UK TERRESTRIAL CULT TV

Battlestar Galactica

"There are those who believe that life here, began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans, who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Myans. Some believe that they may yet be brothers of man, who even now fight to survive, somewhere beyond the heavens."

Billed as TV's most expensive series ever, Battlestar Galactica was derided by the critics and fought over by the lawyers, but still became a phenomenon.

Forgoing the big finish, the series began with the virtual destruction of the human race. In a distant galaxy, the 12 colonial tribes of Man come together to end a 1000-year war with a robot race called the Cylons. But the Cylons spring a trap, devastating the humans' home planets and attacking their vast battlestar spaceships.

The remnants of mankind reassemble under the leadership of the final remaining battlestar, the Galactica, commanded by Adama, last member of the shattered colonial government. Forming a cumbersome caravan of some 220 assorted spacecraft, from shuttles to freighters, taxis to tankers, the survivors head off into deep space in search of the 'lost' 13th colony -Earth. Naturally, the Cylons don't let it go at that and relentlessly pursue them through the galaxy.

Aside from the paternalistic Adama, the series' other main characters were his son Apollo who led the Galactica's elite squadron of one-man Viper fighters; his handsome but impetuous buddy Starbuck; Adama's beautiful daughter Athena who was in charge of the ship's communications equipment; Starbuck's fancy, Cassiopea; Adama's second in command, Col. Tigh; Sgt Boomer, fighter pilot pal of Apollo and Starbuck; Apollo's adopted son Boxey, and the villain of the piece, Count Baltar, a human traitor now in league with the Cylons.

Battlestar Galactica was the subject of eager lawsuits from 20th Century Fox who complained that it was a steal from Star Wars; for Apollo and Starbuck read Solo and Skywalker, for the Cylons read Stormtroopers, for the Imperious Leader read Darth Vadar, etc. Galactica creator Glen A. Larson claimed his script was in the pipeline before Star Wars came out, and that if anything it was a lift from the Bible, with Adama as Moses leading the lost tribes to the Promised Land, pursued by the Egyptians, sorry, Cylons. Others have called it Wagon Train in space, with the Cylons replacing the marauding Indians and Lorne Greene reprising his famous father figure role of Bonanza's Ben Cartwright.

The ace up Galactica's sleeve was its dazzling special effects, masterminded by John Dykstra, who also did the tricks for Star Wars. But impressive though these were, they were diminished by the small screen and ultimately proved an expensive substitute for convincing characters and imaginative plotting.

By the time Battlestar Galactica reached British TV screens in 1980, American audiences had already seen off its successor, Galactica 1980. This was not down to UK reluctance to screen the series. ITV wanted to show it in 1979, hard on the heels of the American network, and with Star Wars still burning brightly in the hearts and minds of film fans. But Universal Studios insisted on a cinema release to squeeze precious box-office bucks from its costly 5 million pilot before the series could be screened in Britain and Europe.

So it was that Battlestar Galactica finally reached our screens in September 1980, starting in the London region, but its possible impact was dissipated by the lack of a network run. Other ITV regions were slow to follow. Some, for example, didn't show it until 1984, by which time Galactica 1980 had arrived elsewhere. Once ITV had had its turn, the BBC picked up the series for a BBC2 run in autumn 1987. BBC2 has reshown the series during 1997/1998, and is now currently repeating the series again. The two part episode The Living Legend is also known as "Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack."

During the year 2000/2001 repeat showing, the episode The Gun On Ice Planet Zero part 1 was shown twice. This was because the repeat showings were stopped after part 1 was shown, and when they resumed some months later BBC2 started with another episode instead of part 2. Hence they had to reshow part 1 on 100201 the day before screening part 2.

Transmission Guide

Season One

Episode Title

Third Transmission Date

Fourth Transmission Date

Saga Of A Star World Part 1

250897

020500

Saga Of A Star World Part 2

010997

090500

Saga Of A Star World Part 3

080997

160500

Lost Planet Of The Gods Part 1

150997

230500

Lost Planet Of The Gods Part 2

220997

300500

The Lost Warrior

290997

060600

The Long Patrol

061097

130600

The Gun On Ice Planet Zero Part 1

131097

200600

The Gun On Ice Planet Zero Part 2

201097

110201

The Magnificent Warriors

271097

060101

The Young Lords

031197

221000

The Living Legend Part 1

101197

020401

The Living Legend Part 2

171197

030401

Fire In Space

011297

111100

War Of The Gods Part 1

081297

040401

War Of The Gods Part 2

151297

050401

The Man With Nine Lives

221297

060401

Murder On The Rising Star

050198

 

Greetings From Earth Part 1

120198

220401

Greetings From Earth Part 2

190198

280401

Baltar's Escape

260198

130101

Experiment In Terra

230298

200101

Take The Celestra

020398

 

The Hand Of God

090398

 




Season One Episode Guide

Season One Episode Guide

Ref: Battlestar Galactica

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