Battlestar Galactica (1978) – Season 1

After the mammoth 3 part episode pilot or theatrical movie as shown in some countries, BSG continued as a 24 episode single season on television. So the pilot is split into episodes 1, 2 & 3 and then the rest. BSG would have some stand alone episodes and also 2 episodes arcs, some episodes that added nothing to the main theme, with the overall theme being escaping the Cylons and trying to find earth. Episodes 4 & 5, The Lost Planet Of the Gods parts I & II, sees many warriors suffering from an unknown ailment, the Galactica recruits new viper pilots—mostly young women, including Apollo’s new bride, Serina. Meanwhile on board the Cylon basestar, Baltar’s order of execution is countermanded. He is spared and given command of a basestar and introduced to an IL-Series Drone, Lucifer, as his second-in-command. Starbuck is lost while on patrol and captured by the Cylons and brought to meet baltar. Apollo is saddened by his best friend’s death and Serina, fearing that they all may not have much time to live hastens her wedding to Apollo. After a battle with a Cylon patrol, and led by Adama’s spiritual interpretations, the fleet enters a vast magnetic void, emerging at the planet Kobol, the legendary world from which humanity originated. Landing parties make their way to the surface of the desert like surface and find pyramids and ruins. While the others setup a camp, Adam, Apollo & Serina enter a tomb and find a room that appears to contain a sarcophagus. Baltar comes in through another entry; like Adama he also recognized that the planet could be Kobol from the descriptions.

Baltar claims that he did not betray the colonies, and claims to be sympathetic to the humans. However neither Adama nor Apollo are falling for it and know that they should try and find clues to the path to earth. Starbuck returns to the camp, much to the joy of Athena. Cylon raiders begin attacking the camp and the female viper pilots defend them and are soon joined by the recovering warriors from Galactica. In the rubble Baltar is trapped while a cylon shoots Serina fatally. Although the humans suffer little other casualty and are able to get back to their battlestar, Serina dies leaving Boxey to be raised solely by Apollo. In the next episode, Apollo has to land on a strange planet as he is low on fuel and meets and befriends a young widow and her son, rallying a town against “Red Eye”— a likewise marooned, yet memory-damaged, Cylon centurion gunslinger, who is controlled by the town’s richest man. Apollo kills the cylon and is able to salvage some fuel from an old ship and makes his way back to the fleet. Ironically in the next episode it is Starbuck who is lost! They would do this often in the series. After losing an experimental Viper to a smuggler while on a planet, Starbuck is imprisoned on a long lost Colonial penal colony, but this new environment holds a possible clue to the location of Earth. A former prisoner long dead has drawn the earth’s solar system, meaning he has seen and been to that region of space. Herded into a confined area of space by the Cylons, the fleet must pass within close range of a lethal Cylon pulsar cannon—unless an expedition of officers from the Galactica and a team of convicts can penetrate the ice-bound fortress housing the weapon and destroy it. Apollo, Starbuck, and Boomer lead a team of cut-throat demolitions and cold-weather experts (and the stowaway Boxey). Along the way, they encounter the misguided human scientist who originally built the weapon, as well as his legions of clones (guest starring Brit Ekland).

When a Cylon attack destroys the fleet’s food supply, Adama and the others must agree to certain compromises with old acquaintances and with the inhabitants of a grain-rich, yet politically turbulent planet. Once again this is a wild west themed episode and offers little to the overal arch. And then we have the crazy episode – crash-landing on the planet Atilla, Starbuck befriends a group of young siblings trying to free their castle, their planet, and their father from the Cylons. This family lives alone on the planet, as the other humans are dead, in a medieval style castle and ride —- unicorns! Freaking unicorns! And after they get their father back with the help of Starbuck who formulates a plan, they defeat the cylons and get their castle back. While Boomer & Apollo come to find Starbuck they offer to take the father and his kids with them – but the family says NO! They will stay alone on the planet and defend themselves if cylons appear again! No kidding! In “The Living Legend” the Galactica is reunited with the Battlestar Pegasus, previously thought destroyed. Led by the brilliant but arrogant Commander Cain (guest starring Llyod Bridges), the fleet is torn in its loyalty between Adama and Cain until the human traitor Baltar launches a devastating attack. In order to obtain much-needed fuel, the Galactica and Pegasus join forces in a daring attack on the Cylons. The Pegasus plunges into the teeth of Cylon forces and is either destroyed or “missing in action” after the attack. These two episodes introduces Sheba (Anne Lockheart) as a regular cast member and new love interest to Appolo.

The Galactica is rammed by Cylon Raiders making suicide runs on the main bridge and a landing bay. With Adama lying critically injured and the ship in flames, Boomer and Athena lead a group of survivors in the rejuvenation center, relying on Boxey’s robot daggit Muffit to help them. Vipers are disappearing from regular patrols, and mysterious bright lights are flying around the Galactica at immeasurable speed. On an eerie, red-glowing planet, the enigmatic Count Iblis (Patrick Macnee) is found, apparently the sole survivor of a major catastrophe. Always shunning the mysterious bright lights, Iblis uses his charm and his supernatural powers to wrest control of the fleet from Adama, but the wiley Commander knows Iblis’ key is on the red planet, where Apollo and Starbuck go only to face tragedy – and find the answer to the mysterious lights. Iblis performs feats of magic and gets Baltar to surrender himself to the council of the 12 and is made a prisoner. Iblis identity is kept mysterious – he is revealed as the voice of the Cylon’s Imperial Leader but is originally from an advanced race of beings, much like the humans, who ascended into ‘angels’ like form after millions of years of evolution. The ‘angels’ help Starbuck, Apollo & Sheba and Iblis is forced to go into hiding. They also give the coordinates of earth to the 3 humans. An old con man, Chameleon, meets Starbuck and cons him into believing he may be his father in order to gain his help in evading a trio of blood-thirsty Borellians who are after him seeking revenge for a previous con. In the process, Starbuck’s girlfriend Cassiopeia learns that Chameleon’s con may not actually be a con after all.

When Starbuck is implicated in a rival triad-player’s murder, Apollo and Boomer come to his defense as Protectors. They eventually uncover a plot involving Karibdis, a traitor alongside Count Baltar in the Destruction of the Twelve Colonies. A ship of humans in suspended animation is found drifting in space. When brought aboard the Galactica, the Colonial leaders debate whether to awaken its occupants. Their ship is eventually escorted by Apollo, Starbuck, and Cassiopeia to the planet Paradeen — embroiled in a bitter war with the Eastern Alliance. Baltar escapes from the prison barge by hijacking a shuttle piloted by Boomer and Sheba. Taking advantage of lax security imposed by the new governing council, Baltar kidnaps the council members from a Galactica landing bay and demands to be released. The mysterious bright lights return again, transporting the bewildered Apollo to the planet Terra to avert war with the Eastern Alliance. Exposing a plan by the devious president, Apollo has Starbuck warn the Galactica, which uses its laser cannon to destroy all the ballistic missiles avoiding planetary holocaust. When Starbuck encounters his long-lost love Aurora, she complicates matters by taking part in a mutinous rebellion aboard the Celestra. Her rebellion, undertaken for a noble cause, is soon overshadowed by a sinister mutiny by Charka, the Celestra’s power-hungry second-in-command. Receiving a mysterious radio signal possibly from Earth, Adama and the crew are wary of a Cylon trap, and decide to turn the tables by attacking the Cylons with a stolen Cylon Raider. Apollo and Starbuck, in the series finale’s last scene, narrowly miss receiving Apollo-11 moon-landing transmissions from Earth.

The show was cancelled after lower rating caused by network interference led change in screening changes, causing them to lose some of their viewership. Since the show was expensive it was decided not to produce a second season, causing much outrage by the fans. Shame as it was a good show, with a few bad episode choices non-withstanding, and had a lot to offer. More discussions to follow.

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