Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction television series, created by Glen A. Larson. It starred Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict and ran for one season in 1978–79. After cancellation, its story was continued in 1980 as Galactica 1980 with Adama, Lieutenant Boomer (now a colonel) and Boxey (now called Troy) being the only continuing characters. Books have been written continuing the stories.
The series was remade in 2003, beginning with a three-hour mini-series followed by a weekly series which ran from 2004–2009. A feature film remake is also planned for 2013, directed by Bryan Singer, with production input from original series creator Glen A. Larson.
In a distant star system, the Twelve Colonies of Humanity were reaching the end of a thousand-year war with the Cylons, warrior robots created by a reptilian race which expired long ago, presumably destroyed by their own creations. Humanity was ultimately defeated in a sneak attack on their homeworlds by the Cylons, carried out with the help of a human traitor, Count Baltar (John Colicos). Protected by the last surviving warship, a "battlestar" called Galactica, the survivors fled in available ships.
The Commander of the Galactica, Adama (Lorne Greene), led this "rag-tag fugitive fleet" of 220 ships in search of a new home. They began a quest to find the long-lost thirteenth tribe of humanity that had settled on a legendary planet called Earth. However, the Cylons continued to relentlessly pursue them across the galaxy.
The era in which this exodus took place is never clearly stated in the series itself. At the start of the series, it is mentioned as being "the seventh millennium of time", though it is unknown when this is in relation to Earth's history. The implication of the final aired episode, "The Hand of God", was that the original series took place after the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969 (as the Galactica receives a television transmission from Earth showing the landing). The later Galactica 1980 series is expressly set in the year 1980, though it is also claimed that the voyage to Earth took 30 years which contradicts the Apollo moon landing transmission which was only 11 years earlier. Larson incorporated many themes from Mormon theology into the shows.
The pilot to this series, budgeted at $7 million (the most expensive at that time), was released theatrically (in Sensurround) in various countries including Canada, Western Europe and Japan in July 1978 in an edited 125-minute version. On September 17, 1978, the full 148-minute pilot premiered on ABC to high Nielsen ratings. Two-thirds of the way through the broadcast, ABC interrupted with a special report of the signing of the Camp David Accords at the White House by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, witnessed by U.S. President Jimmy Carter. After the ceremony, ABC resumed the broadcast at the point where it was interrupted. This interruption did not occur on the West Coast. The theatrical cut of the pilot was also released in US cinemas some months later.
Battlestar Galactica initially was a ratings success. CBS counter-programmed by moving its Sunday block of All in the Family and Alice an hour earlier, to compete with Galactica in the 8:00 timeslot. From October 1978 to March 1979,All in the Family averaged more than 40 percent of the 8:00 audience, against Galactica's 27 or 28 percent. In mid-April 1979, ABC executives canceled the show. An AP article reported "The decision to bump the expensive Battlestar Galactica was not surprising.
The series ... had been broadcast irregularly in recent weeks, attracting slightly over a quarter of the audience in its Sunday night time slot." Larson has claimed that it was a failed attempt by ABC to reposition its number one program Mork & Mindy into a more lucrative timeslot. The cancellation led to viewer outrage, protests outside ABC studios, and even contributed to the suicide of Edward Seidel, a 15-year-old boy in Saint Paul, Minnesota who was obsessed with the program.
Criticism and Legal Actions:
Battlestar Galactica was criticized by Melor Sturua in the Soviet newspaper Izvestia. He saw an analogy between the fictional Colonial-Cylon negotiations and the US-Soviet SALT talks and accused the series of being inspired by anti-Soviet hysteria.
Isaac Asimov commented: "Star Wars was fun and I enjoyed it. But Battlestar Galactica was Star Wars all over again and I couldn't enjoy it without amnesia."
In 1978, 20th Century Fox sued Universal Studios (producers of Battlestar Galactica) for plagiarism, copyright infringement, unfair competition, and Lanham Act claims, claiming it had stolen 34 distinct ideas from Star Wars. Universal promptly countersued, claiming Star Wars had stolen ideas from their 1972 film Silent Running (notably the robot "drones") and the Buck Rogers serials of the 1930s. 20th Century Fox's copyright claims were initially dismissed by the trial court, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit remanded the case for trial in 1983.
Galactica 1980 is a science fiction television series, and a spin-off from the 1978–1979 series Battlestar Galactica. It was first broadcast on the ABC network in theUnited States from January 27 to May 4, 1980.
Set during the year 1980, and a generation after the original series, the Galactica and its fleet of 220 civilian ships have finally discovered Earth, only to find that its people are not as scientifically advanced and that the planet can neither defend itself against the Cylons nor help the Galactica as originally hoped. Therefore, teams of Colonial warriors are covertly sent to the planet to work incognito with various members of the scientific community, hoping to advance Earth's technology.
Commander Adama and Colonel Boomer — now second-in-command — on the advice of Doctor Zee, a teenage prodigy serving as Adama's counsellor, sends Captain Troy, who is the adopted son of Adama's own son Apollo, and Lieutenant Dillon to North America, where they become entangled with TV journalist Jamie Hamilton. After an initial, epic time travel adventure to Nazi Germany in the 1940s (to stop rebel Galactican Commander Xavier, trying to change the future to improve Earth's technology level), the three friends devise ways to help Earth's scientists and outwit the Cylons in the present day. Meanwhile, Adama sends a group of children from the Galactica fleet (the Super Scouts) to Earth in order to begin the process of integrating with the population. However, due to differences in gravity and physiology, the children must deal with the fact they have nearly super-human powers on Earth.
The fates of several characters from the original series are explained during the course of the series. Apollo is apparently dead, the cause of his seeming death not addressed. Starbuck was marooned on a desert planet, although the script for the episode "The Wheel of Fire" (unfilmed at the time of cancellation) indicated that Starbuck was eventually rescued from the planet by the inhabitants of the Ships of Light and became one of their inhabitants. Captain Troy is revealed to be Boxey, and Lt. Boomer has risen to the rank of Colonel and has become Adama's second in command.
Baltar was apparently rescued from the planet he was marooned on in "Hand of God", and is now Commandant Baltar of the Cylon fleet pursuing the Galacticans. The fates of several other characters, including Adama's daughter Athena, Colonel Tigh, Starbuck's girlfriend Cassiopeia, and Muffit the robot dog are not revealed. These characters are absent from the second series.
Battlestar Galactica 1978 Season 1 Episodes
1.01 Saga of a Star World (1)
1.02 Saga of a Star World (2)
1.03 Saga of a Star World (3)
1.04 The Lost Planet of the Gods (1)
1.05 The Lost Planet of the Gods (2)
1.06 The Lost Warrior
1.07 The Long Patrol
1.08 The Gun on Ice Planet Zero (1)
1.09 The Gun on Ice Planet Zero (2)
1.10 The Magnificent Warriors
1.11 The Young Lords
1.12 The Living Legend (1)
1.13 The Living Legend (2)
1.14 Fire in Space
1.15 War of the Gods (1)
1.16 War of the Gods (2)
1.17 The Man with Nine Lives
1.18 Murder on the Rising Star
1.19 Greetings from Earth (1)
1.20 Greetings from Earth (2)
1.21 Baltar's Escape
1.22 Experiment in Terra
1.23 Take the Celestra
1.24 The Hand of God
Galactica 80 Season 1 Episodes
1.01 Galactica Discovers Earth (1)
1.02 Galactica Discovers Earth (2)
1.03 Galactica Discovers Earth (3)
1.04 The Super Scouts (1)
1.05 The Super Scouts (2)
1.07 The Night the Cylons Landed (1)
1.08 The Night the Cylons Landed (2)
1.09 Space Croppers
1.10 The Return of Starbuck