RIP Terry Carter

Terry Carter, who portrayed Pvt. Sugie Sugarman on¬†The Phil Silvers Show, the sidekick of Dennis Weaver‚Äôs character on¬†McCloud¬†and Colonel Tigh on the original version of¬†Battlestar Galactica, has died. He was 95. Carter died Tuesday at his home in Manhattan, his son, Miguel Carter DeCoste confirmed. Carter appeared three times on Broadway early in his career and produced and directed a documentary on jazz legend Duke Ellington for PBS‚Äô¬†American Masters series in 1988. As Col. Tigh on one of my favourite tv shows of all time, he was the no-nonsense, loyal to a fault deputy to the show’s patriarch Commander Adama (the late Lorne Greene).

The Brooklyn native, born John Everett DeCoste, appeared on all four seasons (1955-59) of CBS’ The Phil Silvers Show (also known as Sgt. Bilko) as Pvt. Sugarman, the only Black regular on the comedy. He then played Sgt. Joe Broadhurst alongside Weaver’s Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud on NBC’s McCloud from 1970-77 and Tigh in the 1978 Battlestar Galactica movie and 1978-79 ABC series. From 1965-68, he served as the first Black news anchor on a New England TV station, WBZ-TV in Boston. Carter formed his own production company in 1975 and made documentaries, including one on dancer-choreographer Katherine Dunham that premiered in 2013.

His acting résumé included the films Parrish (1961), starring Claudette Colbert and Karl Malden; Benji (1974), written and directed by Joe Camp; and Foxy Brown (1974), starring Pam Grier. He also had TV gigs on Naked City, The Defenders, Combat!, That Girl, Bracken’s World, Mannix, Julia, The Jeffersons, Falcon Crest, The Fall Guy, Mr. Belvedere and 227. Survivors include his third wife, Selome; his children, Miguel and Melinda; and his stepdaughter, Hiwot.

The Cylon Funko Pop

I have a few Funko Pops in my collection and was asked today as to which one is my most cherished one. While Star Trek is my favourite tv show franchise & movies as well and though the Spock pop that I have is very cool and awesome, I had to think about it a little bit. The most expensive one I had in my collection, based on what I paid the eBay seller, is the Cylon model.

This Funko Pop Battlestar Galactica Cylon Centurion vinyl figure is a cool high quality piece. The figure sees a Cylon Centurion with great attention to detail and a high quality finish; the Cyclon Centurions are fully armoured foot soldiers of the Cyclon ground forces. Known for their metallic look and offensive capabilities the Cylon Centurion were introduced during the Cylon War.

In the original 1978 series, Cylons are a fictional race of robots at war with the Twelve Colonies of humanity. The Cylons were created by a reptilian race, also called Cylons, that died out centuries before the series takes place. At the beginning of the series the Cylons are singularly devoted to the destruction of humanity. The war started when the Cylon Empire sought to expand into the territory of the Hasaris, and the Human Colonies intervened on behalf of the conquered Hasaris. Due to those events, the Cylon Empire now viewed the entire human race as a target.

Cylons are led by the Imperious Leader, an IL-Series Cylon elevated to a supreme leadership position over all Cylons. All Cylons, from the IL-series down, typically repeat the phrase “By Your Command” when responding to any order. Cylon society appears to be almost exclusively military. Until the discovery of Gamoray, which the Colonial fleet had targeted for its rich fuel reserves, no civilian Cylon outpost had ever been seen by anyone.

As a big part of my childhood, the BSG Cylons (even though a villainous race) is very near and dear to me. I was a fan of the show from the age of 4 so 40 years of being an ardent BSG fan is something to cheer for.

What A Trek!

In 1986-87 there was a short lived sitcom called What A Country which was a Mind Your Language ripoff. But the show had a Star Trek connection as the cast included former tennis player Vijay Amitraj who had a cameo in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) as a starship captain Joel Randolph, the late George Murdock who was “God” in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and as Admiral Hanson in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Best of Both Worlds (as well as a recurring character Dr. Salik in Battlestar Galactica) and Ada Maris who played Captain Erika Hernandez in Star Trek Enterprise.

Goodbye Apollo

It’s difficult to put in words the sorrow I feel on learning about Richard Hatch’s death due to cancer. Hatch played Captain Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica, a show that aired on Kuwaiti television during my childhood. I was about 4 or so back in 1980 when I first watched the show and it’s spinoff Galactica 1980 for the first time and would watch the show on many reruns. It was the first show I can remember getting into and all excited about as a kid and it was certainly the first scifi show (my fav genre of tv/movie) that I can ever remember watching. Since 2008 I have rewatched BSG a few more times and I just love the show and the characters. Richard Hatch was a big part of that and I will also be grateful for what he means to us fans. He returned to the 2003 reboot as Tom Zarek. Plus he was also a formidable Kharn in Prelude to Axanar.

Meet Cy The Cylon Centurian

The Cylon model is finally here. The NWOB Vintage Battlestar Galactica Cylon Centurian Action Figure that I purchased online 15 days ago reached me via post this afternoon. I opened it up and here are some pics of the model.


In honour of that great Galactica 1980 episode and an awesome friendship that still inspires, I shall call him Cy.


Battlestar Galactica Models

Battlestar Galactica is in my top 5 list of Favourite Science Fiction series & franchises. It’s either my 3rd of 4th fav but the first scifi franchise that I ever watched and hence it’s my biggest sentimental favourite. A big part of my childhood, they showed it on tv when I was 4 years old (I’m not sure if it was a rerun or the very first time that they showed it on Kuwaiti Tv) and then on and off in reruns for a couple of years. I had a couple of episodes of Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980 recorded on VHS tapes and my cousins from the UK also had some.

Many, many years later the original film was the very first DVD I ever bought, sometime in 2003, and I still have it here somewhere though I have still bought another better copy. And then ofcourse they rebooted the show in 2003 with the miniseries and the 2004-2009 series as well. I only watched the show for the first time back in 2011 and although I do agree that the newer version is well acted and is an awesome show, the original is still a big deal for me and I prefer that storyline.

Just somethings about the story and plot sticks with me a lot and several times during the week I find myself mentally revisiting the show. So it’s only natural that I should try and get some Battlestar Galactica models or kits and even some action figures. I have looked at getting some for quite a while now and my usual purchases since last year when I started buying scifi models and ships online have been restricted to Star Trek. But I have checked options for BSG and others and been eyeing several items from eBay and Amazon sellers.

Mostly I wanted the ships – the old & new Cylon Raiders, the Galactica herself and a few Cylon models. I have finally bought my first BSG related model, it’s the Cylon action figure you seen on the top left over there. This will reach me in a few days. Sometime next month I am looking at getting the old and new Cylon Raiders as well from Habro. They are smaller than Eaglemoss’s Star Trek collection but they look good and are mostly diecast.


RIP Patrick Macnee

Actor Patrick Macnee, star of The Avengers TV series, has died in California at the age of 93. The Briton, best known for playing John Steed in the 1960s television spy series, died at home with his family at his bedside, his son Rupert said. Macnee also played roles in theatre, appearing on Broadway, and served in the Royal Navy during World War Two. He died peacefully at his home in California’s Rancho Mirage on Thursday, Rupert said.

Born in London, Macnee grew up in Berkshire and was educated at Summerfields Preparatory School and Eton. At the age of 11, he acted in Henry V opposite a young Sir Christopher Lee. He first appeared in the West End while still in his teens. He played a number of minor roles – including one in Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film version of Hamlet – before rising to fame in the original Avengers series between 1961 and 1969. The series developed a cult following around the world, the BBC’s Los Angeles reporter Peter Bowes said. Steed was known for his dress sense, always donning a bowler hat and carrying an umbrella, which was used as a secret weapon.

Macnee returned when that series was reprised as The New Avengers in the 1970s, appearing alongside Joanna Lumley’s Purdey and Gareth Hunt’s Mike Gambit. Later, he starred on Broadway in Anthony Shaffer’s Sleuth, touring internationally with that play and several other productions. He also appeared in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill, playing an ally of Roger Moore’s Bond character, and made a cameo appearance as the head of a record company in This is Spinal Tap.

However I will mostly know him for his role in the original Battlestar Galactica as the charming & evil Count Iblis, who is an advanced alien being who has powers beyond human comprehension and is likened to the devil. He is revealed to be formerly of the “angelic beings” known as The Seraphs, who were a noncorporeal race of sentients. MacNee also narrated the opening of the show, in his distinct voice.

Daniel Patrick Macnee (6 February 1922 ‚Äď 25 June 2015)

The Cylon Hybrids

Returning to the topic of Cylons, in the re-imagine BSG we also have a version of cylons called as the Hybrids. During the end of the first war with the cylons¬† William Adama, then a Lieutenant & viper pilot, crashed on a planet during a battle with the Cylons and discovers a lab housing, in which the Cylon centurians were conducting experiments on live humans that led to the first hybrid – part machine, part humanoid cylon. The First Hybrid was protected by a sect of old Cylon Centurions called the “Guardians”. The Guardians took off with him in a prototype basestar just before the Armistice was signed and got away with him. He claimed to have the gift of prophecy and is far more lucid than newer models. However, this hybrid was considered to be a failure and most cylons aren’t aware of them other than just legends. This hybrid, the only male model, was destroyed when Major Kendra Shaw detonated a a nuclear device while on the basestar.

The later hybrids were all female (played by the same actress) part-biological, part-machine and control all internal functions of their respective basestar’s central computer system. The biological part of the Hybrid is a female humanoid Cylon-like being, housed inside an immersion tank similar to a Cylon re-birthing tank and attached to the mechanical part of the Basestar computers by umbilicals. The Hybrids do not have a completely human body, but rather appear to be more like cyborgs, consisting of conduits and other connectors mated to, or in place of elements of their bodies. The Hybrid is not one of the “twelve models” of humanoid Cylon, but is a separate model that is essentially another stage in “evolution” from fully mechanical Centurion, to partially biomechanical Raider, to humanoid Cylon. Hybrids manage the autonomic functions of the Basestar, including navigation and FTL jumps, climate control, and the like. The extent to which a given Hybrid is integrated into its Basestar means that, for all practical purposes, they¬†are¬†the Basestar. The Hybrid is revealed to be capable of having its own opinions and thoughts, but does not have a say in decisions made by the humanoid Cylon models. The humanoid Cylon models control the Basestar via “Data-Font” in the Basestar’s Control Room that are made up of a red flowing substance that seems to take the commands to the Hybrid itself.

The hybrids speak strange, seemingly random phrases, which the humanoid cylons consider to be incoherent babbling of a deranged mind and only the # 2 series (Leoben Conoy model) model of Cylons believe that every word the Hybrid speaks means something, and that the Cylon god speaks through the Hybrids. he Caprica Model Six Cylon, however, has given an alternate explanation: the Hybrids do not perceive their existence in the same way as normal beings. They possess an expanded awareness of being one entity existing in space as well as perceiving all activity in their basestar’s interior.The Hybrid may also express the state of the ship physically, as demonstrated when one has a physical reaction during an FTL jump, similar to an¬†orgasm. The Centurions developed the Hybrids on their own while attempting to evolve, but nothing that could live independently. They agreed to cease the war with humanity in exchange for the¬†Final Five building them fully humanoid Cylons with the ability to resurrect.

Cylons (Reimagined)

Ok so now that you’ve read the original Cylon concept let’s take a look at the reimagined universe of Battlestar Galactica and what the history of Cylons says over there. I’ll have to say this, there’s somethings about the reimagined universe that I don’t fully agree with or possible even understand and it took me some reading of online material and I’m currently rewatching the series (mid way through season 2 at this moment) to really grasp it.

So in the rebooted or reimagined BSG, humanity started life on a planet called Kobol, a planet where the “gods & man lived together”. Once mankind achieved technological advancements, they created robots known as Cylons to serve them. Later Humanoid Cylons came into existence; it is not clear as to whether the robots created these humanoids or if humans themselves helped in the creation. The humanoid cylons also developed resurrection technology, since they couldn’t reproduce each cylon would not die but his/her memories & psyche were store and integrated into a copy or a new body. After a long time, Kobol became a wasted planet after a great conflict and the humans left Kobol in a great exodus and settled on 12 planets; upon settling the colonies they discarded all their technology and started afresh.

However a 13th tribe, which were all humanoid Cylons, also left Kobol albeit in the opposite direction and eventually settled on a planet called Earth (the original one and not our Earth). This happens between 3,000 and 4,000 years prior to the events of the Miniseries. On Earth the humanoid cylons created their own robot cylons just like humans on Kobol did. Eventually, these Cylons developed the ability to sexually reproduce and resurrection technology fell into disuse and was lost. 2,000 years prior to the miniseries, the “Final Five” began work to redevelop resurrection, having been warned by mysterious “angels” that a disaster possibly similar to the one on Kobol was coming. When life on Earth was destroyed in a nuclear war between the thirteenth tribe of humanoid Cylons and their mechanical Cylon creations (caused by maltreatment of the mechanical Cylons at the hands of the humanoids), the Final Five managed to download into a vessel they had in orbit.

Some 4000 to 5000 years after the 12 colonies were settled and humanity, humans created the robots called Cylons to be used as soldiers and later to be servants etc and there was an uprising which caused the first Cylon war. At this point the Final Five arrives at the Colonies in order to warn the humans about to treat their Cylon workers well in order to prevent another catastrophe and alarmed at the war going on. The Final Five also learned that the Centurions were trying to develop organic bodies through experiments on humans, resulting in the first Hybrid. So the Final Five reveal themselves to the Cylons and in order to end the war against the humans, they agreed to assist the Centurions to produce humanoid cylons, model numbers One to Seven, and also provide them with resurrection technology.  Then the Cylons disappeared after an armistice was declared and for 40 years no one in the Colonies saw them. During these 40 years the cylons have improved their technology, perfected creating humanoid cylons and numerous copies of them and slowly intregrated some of them in the 12 colonies. Some humanoid cylons had their memories erased and had no clue that they were infact Cylons. The original 5 also had their memories erased and planted into the colonie Рmasterminded by the first model aka Brother Cavill. So 40 years later the Cylons attack and almost destroy the humans.

But in Caprica the first humanoid Cylon (of the Colonies) was created by Daniel Graystone, for his daughter Zoe, which we see at the end of Caprica! Right?


So let’s talk about Cylons. The original concept of Cylons in Battlestar Galactica started out as an advanced reptilian race of aliens who created the robotic race also called Cylons, to serve them. The Cylons were on a galactic quest of domination and were attacking the Hasaris who turned to their friends the humans of the 12 colonies and they got caught into the war. After the¬†Hasaris were wiped out the Cylons and the humans were at war for 100 yahrens during which the reptilian race died out centuries earlier, presumably destroyed by their own creations, leaving behind only their race of robots.

The Cylons are ruled by an Imperious Leader most advanced Cylon model. Under him are several IL series Cylon robots, who look much more civilian.  However the Imperious Leader has a reptilian body, shaped much like the original Cylons masters and 3 brains. Each time the IL is destroyed, his consciousness is downloaded into an identical body and carried on (this concept was carried forward to great effect as a characteristic of every human Cylon in the rebooted series). IL-series Cylons act as commanders for the military and governors for civilians of the Alliance. They have two brains, and a mostly transparent head through which various lights can be seen pulsing. They also have a metallic, humanoid face with two eye scanners (compared to the single eye scanner of the Centurion models), and wear clothing (full-length glittering robes).

Command centurions look like the regular centurions only with gold armour. These are the lower commanders for individual military units, though they can be responsible for entire Basestars and garrisons. Their voices are slightly lower pitched than regular Centurions. And ofcourse you have the regular military centurions, androids with silver armor. Centurions are armed with a powerful energy weapon, often referred to as a blaster rifle. They also have bayonets and swords for close combat and the execution of prisoners. Although not common, some of the Centurions are given names. There is also a unique Cylon with glittering robes, with a metallic humanoid face, called Civilian Cylon. They are only seen in one episode.

And finally we have the briefly seen humanoid Cylons – a rather new model probably first built long after the destruction of the Twelve Colonies of the Humans. They are only seen in the Galactica 1980 episode “The Night the Cylons Landed“. One of which is named Andromus. Though it is entirely mechanical beneath its artificial skin, this model is an android and has a superficial human appearance (and a condescending attitude toward Centurions). Once again, this concept was taken to full fruition in the rebooted series, who ran with this concept to great effect. Ofcourse the concept owns their origins to the original Galactica 1980 although they improved on it.

Galactica 1980

After Battlestar Galactica was cancelled in 1979 after just one season (and just as they were getting really good) the infuriated fans started a massive write-in campaign in favor of restoring the show. Back then this was unheard of and it prompted¬†ABC¬†to re-think their reasons for canceling the show. After some deliberation, they contacted¬†Glen A. Larson¬†to see about reviving the series, albeit in some modified and less-expensive format. That was almost as good as not bringing it back again, because from a ground breaking scifi tv show that spawned a memorable franchise, the show was reduced to a low budget, heavily tamed and bad tv show (compared to what it was) called Galactica 1980. At times called the “worst tv show ever”, rather harshly I must add, the spinoff injected a lot of humour into the show mainly because they were being shown at an early time and a lot of kids would be watching it.

Larson & Donald Bellisario set about looking at ways to work with the lower budget and they had to settled for cutting out most of the cast and setting it 30 years after the events of the final episode of BSG. From what I know they tried to set it at 5 years after the previous show ended but couldn’t get all the actors that they wanted back. Hence only Lorne Greene as Commander Adama & Herb Jefferson, Jr.¬†as Boomer return; the later now promoted to second in command as the Colonel replacing Col. Tigh. No explanations were given as to what happened to Apollo, Athena, Cassiopeia, Tigh and any of the other main characters or recurring stars. We assume that they all died in battle with the Cylons along with Count Baltar. Poor Boomer, who was the 4th main male lead was reduced even further to a recurring role in Galactica 1980 appearing in only 3 episodes.¬† So 30 years later, with many deaths among the humans in space, they finally reach earth but find her technology not advaced enough to help the Galacticans or defend themselves from the Cylons. Adama decides to keep the fleet away from earth so as not to alert the Cylons to the location and sends small groups of warriors covertly to the¬†planet¬†to work incognito with various members of the scientific community, hoping to advance Earth’s technology. The creators decided to make Boxey, now called Troy a captain just like his father Apollo, as the main lead along with Lt Dillon (played by Ket McCord & Barry Van Dyke respectively) and the show focuses on their efforts to settle a group of young children on earth and form a colony. They would be joined by human reporter Jamie Hamilton (my first tv crush Robyn Douglass) and the main protagonist would be Cmd Xavier, a rogue Galactican who wants to use time travel to go to earth’s past and influence & speed up our technological advancements. There is also Doctor Zee a genius & mysterious child prodigy who advices Adama on various matters.

In¬† the 3 part episode Troy & Dillon are sent to Los Angeles where they try to meet an earth scientist Dr. Mortinson, a nuclear physicist at the Pacific Institute of Technology. They are however mistaken for being terrorists and are arrested and get tangled with a reporter Jamie Hamilton. They must evade the local police as well as the US military, who tracked some “UFOs” movement in the area. Meanwhile Xavier who also meet Mortinson and get some information that he needs from him. Jamie finds out who the Troy & Dillon really are and to avoid the cops they must take her with them on their vipers to the Galactica. Initially stunned with all this revelation about aliens who are really earth human’s cousins, she agrees to join the duo in earth’s past, back in Nazi German and using the help of an American major, they stop Xavier’s plan to accelerate the¬†Nazi¬†rocket program (as theirs was the most advanced rocket program of the time). Unfortunately Xavier, using his personal shiled that makes him invisible, escapes from the trio once they are back in 1980. Troy & Dillon later put Jamie back on a bus and ride their flight capable bikes back to the field where they left the bikes only to find that the military has found them when the shield’s battery ran out the ships became visible. Xavier’s ship is also found and¬† the two get Jamie’s help to sneak into the military base and steal their ships back. They are unable to stop Xavier from escaping with his ship and head back to the Galactica.

In the next episodes the two main men must bring a group of kids to earth where they disguise them as a Scouts group of orphans and along with Jaime must also help the kid when they fall sick due to chemicals in the water. Ridiculously in episode 6 the kids use their superhuman strengths as ringers in a baseball game while Xavier plots their abduction. In the double episode The Night The Cylons landed, a special Cylon raider crashes on earth finding the planet by chance and in it were the latest Cylon experiment РCylons that look and talk like humans! Troy & Dillon reach the crash near the NYC area but are unable to stop a surviving humanoid Cylon and a Centurian from getting away. The Cylons are mistaken for Halloween participants and are taken to a party where they find out that they are near a a radio station and they force Wolfman Jack (played by himself) to the station and use the Emergency Broadcasting System for their transmission to alert the location of earth to the rest of th Cylon fleet. Troy and Dillon are able to reach them just in time and stop the signal from being sent and the two Cylons are destroyed. In episode 9, Troy & Dillon buy part of a farm from a Hispanic farmer in financial trouble.  They then get Jamie to bring the Galactican children to help the farmer & his family by using their advanced strength in planting the crops and the using their technology to create rain which enables the plants to grow quicker. Then some of the people from the fleet are quickly moved to the land to help grow more crops for the fleet.

That was the last we saw of the major part of the cast and of earth in the final episode we come to learn what happened to Starbuck and how his “spiritual child” Doctor Zee was sent out in a small pod to meet up with the rest of the fleet when still a baby. It is funny that the worst of the BSG series, has the very best, sad and most memorable episode ever. Based much like Enemy Mine (unsure of if the episode was influenced by the book) this is a great episode. You can read by post on that episode here. Thus ends the promise of a great show started in 1978 and ended up mostly as a joke with crappy cheesy stories and humour in Galactica 1980 which ended with just 10 episodes. However the show is nostalgic and establishes a few good points like the Humanoid Cylons which would be put to great use and fleshed out in the rebooted universe.

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‚ÄĒmostly 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”‚ÄĒ 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‚ÄĒunless 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚ÄĒ 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.

Battlestar Galactica (The 1978 Original)

One of the first tv series, and the first science fiction series, I ever watched was the original Battlestar Galactica whose first and only season was shown back in 1978-79. BSG, created by Glen A. Larson (who also created many other classic tv series like Quincy, M.E., B. J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy, Magnum, P.I., Knight Rider and the short lived AutoMan), who used his Mormon faith as somewhat of a basis for the show, was set in a distant part of the galaxy. The plot line involves humans but not from earth! According to the original BSG universe, mankind originated on a distant and now dead planet called Kobol. The humans of Kobol developed space-faring technology and due to the complications of having a growing populaion on a solitary planet, one who’s resources were dwindling, and a star which was dying, they left to find new planets to colonize and make their home. The humans left Kobol, separated in 13 tribes and 12 of them eventually colonized 12 planets (each named after the Zodiac signs) in a single solar system and settled to continue their growth as a species. However the 13th tribe presumably traveled a greater distance and in another direction, settling on our Earth and were lost in the archives of the rest of the humans. Hence the BSG universe tells us that life on earth actually began out in another planet and we are infact generations of aliens on earth. Anyway, back to the story – after the human inhabitants of Kobol fled the planet and founded the colonies, they deliberately destroyed all of their technology and spacecraft; it took several centuries to rebuild even the most primitive ships for exploring the stars but eventually they did flourish as a society.

At the beginning of the show the humans 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. Apparently this war started when humans reached to aid their allies the Hazaries but then the war turned to just Cylons vs Humans. At the end of the 1000 year war, the Cylons call for a cease fire and for negotiations for peace using a treacherous & devious human Count Baltar (John Colicos) as mediator. These negotiations for peace talks were just a ruse and the Cylons use this opportunity to sneak into the colonies air spaces and almost wipe out humanity. They also destroy the unsuspecting human war spaceships, called Colonial battlestars, leaving the surviving humans with no defense – except for one! Veteran Commander Adama (Lorne Greene) not trusting the Cylons or Baltar moved his own battlestar, the Galactica, away and was ready with defence when the Cylons attacked. Being the sole surviving military spaceship the Galactica protects the ‘rag-tag” fleet of surviving human in whatever civilian ships they can find and they set out to escape the Cylons. Soon food & water becomes scarce and Adama sends his son Apollo (Richard Hatch), captain & squad leader of the fighter pilots with Lts Starbuck (Dirk Benedict) & Boomer (Herbert Jefferson, Jr.) to find out sources for food – it seems that some of the wealthier class of humans are hording food on their more luxurious ships. Apollo puts his foot down and gets the food to be shared while they look out for friendlier planets to resupply their stocks. Meanwhile Starbucks find himself in hot steam, literally, as the playboy hotshot pilot juggles two women – his main squeeze Athena (Maren Jenson) who is Apollo’s sister and solicitor Cassiopeia (who he found in one of the poorer ships).

Apollo meets and befriends a young woman, former reporter Serena (Jayne Seymore) and also bonds with her young son Boxey. After initially escaping the Cylons across a massive starfield called the Nova of Madagon (referred to as such due to its extremely dangerous, hot environment, and Cylon mines), the Galactica and the fugitive fleet find brief respite on the resort planet of Carillon, where they hope to find food and fuel for their journey. A small group of humans land on the planet and find an oasis – a luxurious resort where other humans are gambling, drinking and eating their way to excess. No one seems to be losing any money at the games and the insectoid hosts, who keep to themselves, are more than willing to host the humans while they themselves remain in the background. Apollo is the first to suspect something is amiss – and he & Starbuck set off to investigate. The fact that Carillon has more than enough food and fuel for the fleet’s needs makes Adama wary. It is also apparently the largest tylium (fighter fuel) mining facility in that part of the galaxy, as well as a popular gamblers’ den, but nobody has ever heard of the place. Meanwhile a powerful leader, Sire Uri, and member of the council of 12, convinces everyone else on the council that they should abandon their weapons, as a show that they are peaceful, and settle on Carillon and that the Cylons are far behind. The Council arranges a banquet on Carillon, and orders all fighter pilots to attend. Adama suspects that this might be a golden opportunity for the Cylons to launch an attack on their fleet, and orders Colonel Tigh to surreptitiously hold back their fighter pilots from attending the party while he is to outfit noncombat personnel with fighter uniforms.

In the lower levels of the complex Apollo & Starbuck discover the secret – the insectoid Ovions, have set up the gambling resort to lure humans to them to serve as living food for their hatching larvae in their underground chambers. They are also secretly in league with the Cylons and mine the tylium solely for their purposes in exchange for their freedom, and they are cooperating in the Cylons’ efforts to eradicate the human fugitives. During a subsequent fight with Cylon soldiers, the laser fire from both parties sets the tylium mines on fire, threatening to destroy the planet once the fire rages fully out of control. Adama’s ruse worked and the pilots are able to fight the attacking Cylon fighters. During the fight, Apollo realizes the Cylon fighters couldn’t have come so far without a basestar, and he and Starbuck disengage from the battle and find a Cylon basestar hidden on the far side of Carillon. In defiance of Commander Adama’s recall order, they decide to attempt to destroy it, in order to enable the refugee fleet to elude pursuit, and use fake radio chatter to fool the basestar into thinking it’s under attack by multiple Viper squadrons. The basestar descends into Carillon’s atmosphere to avoid detection, and is destroyed when the planet finally erupts in a massive tylium explosion. Despite their victory, however, the humans realize their enemies will still be pursuing them, and they set out to Earth, their last hope for survival.

Baltar meanwhile was ordered to be beheaded by the Cylon’s mysterious Imperious Leader (voiced by Patrick Macnee who also narrates the opening), wanting no human to be left alive, but relents in the events of the basestar exploding and gives Baltar his own command, a basestar and plenty of squadrons of Cylons to attack the humans. This theatrical film was also shown as a 3 part pilot for the 1978 tv series. As a movie I give it a 9 outta 10, considering for the time period a classic scifi movie at it’s best.

Battlestar Galactica : Blood & Chrome

The saga before the show ever got to see the light of day was almost equivalent to a sci-fi opera, with many false starts and cancellations that us fans were wondering just what is it going to take for this maligned franchise & show to finally come out. Initially supposed to be a full fledged prequel tv series to the much celebrated & award winning re-imagined science fiction space opera Battlestar Galactica (2003 series) and also a sequel to the short lived Caprica (which itself was a prequel to BSG). Instead it almost didn’t see the light of day but finally it was greenlit as a webseries by Syfy and saw it’s release in November of 2012 as a 10 webisode series on¬† and on it’s Youtbe channel ¬†will also air as a televised movie in February 2013 on¬†Syfy.

As for continuity in the BSG universe, this is how to goes – for someone not familiar with the show – it’s like this; BSG was shot first, Caprica is set 60 years before the events in BSG and Blood & Chrome is 20 years after the end of Caprica and 40 years before the beginning of BSG)! Got it? Good.

So the prequel to BSG but sequel to Caprica, is set in the tenth year of the¬†First Cylon War, the story follows¬†William Adama, a young pilot just graduated from the Academy, assigned to the newest¬†battlestar¬†in the¬†Colonial fleet: the¬†Galactica. Ensign Adama, played by British actor Luke Pasqualino, is a cocky & talented pilot is disappointed when instead of being assigned to a viper, to a¬†Raptor¬†transport ship named¬†Wild Weasel. He meets his surly co-pilot Coker Fasjovik (Ben Cotton), who is cynical and interested only in leaving the military, as his tour of duty ends in a month. Coker finds Adama’s eagerness irritating and nicknames him Husker. Galactica’s Commander Nash briefs the two on their first mission together, a routine “milk run” sending cargo to the¬†Scorpia Fleet Shipyards¬†and returning with supplies for the Galactica. It is a four-day trip during which they are to avoid enemy contact of any kind. While preparing for the mission, Adama and Coker find out that their cargo isn’t supplies but a civilian software engineer, Dr. Beka Kelly (Lili Borden). They depart, but upon leaving Galactica’s¬†DRADIS¬†range, Dr. Kelly hands them new orders from the Admiralty. They are to rendezvous with the¬†Archeron, another¬†battlestar, in an area bordering Cylon space. They are also to take all further orders from Dr. Kelly. As they travel to their destination, Dr. Kelly reveals that she worked for¬†Graystone Industries, designing the upgrade for the Cylons’ MCP “brain” chip. When they reach the rendezvous point, they discover that the Archeron was ambushed and destroyed. A¬†Cylon raider¬†appears and attacks.

Thanks to Adama’s risky but excellent piloting, the¬†Wild Weasel¬†narrowly escapes the Cylon raider. Despite Coker’s desire to head home, Dr. Kelly has them break radio silence to send a transmission; they receive an immediate response with yet another set of coordinates. En route Dr. Kelly tells Adama that she was married to famed marine Ezra Barzel (from the Hebrew prophet Ezra and the Hebrew word for “Iron”), who inspired many young people to join the Academy. They arrive at the coordinates to find a fleet of “ghost ships”, Colonial vessels assumed to have been destroyed in battle that are now camped out hiding in Cylon territory. The commander of one of the ghost ships (Jill Teed)- an older Orion-class battlestar called¬†Osiris¬†– assembles a small fleet for a mission. They will bring Dr. Kelly to embedded Colonial operatives on Djerba, a former winter resort planet located in Cylon teritory that holds Dr. Kelly’s objective. Dr. Kelly requests that Adama and Coker continue to escort her in their raptor. Coker overhears the commander say that the mission’s personnel must be volunteers (i.e. it is a¬†suicide mission); he is not pleased. On the launch deck, Coker runs into his old friend Jim Kirby (Sebastian Spence), who was presumed dead after his ship was badly damaged in battle. Kirby asks Coker whether his wife has remarried, and Coker informs him that she has not and is raising their son. Kirby is overjoyed to learn that he has a child. As the mission fleet departs, the commander of the¬†Osiris¬†tells the crew that the fate of the war depends on Dr. Kelly reaching her objective. Just after the fleet jumps into Djerba’s orbit, a¬†Cylon Basestar¬†appears.

The basestar and the Osiris exchange fire as the¬†Wild Weasel¬†and its Viper escorts, one of whom is Kirby, fly toward Djerba. They are pursued by three Cylon raiders which the Colonials manage to destroy, though Kirby deserts midway through the battle to go home to see his family. Meanwhile, the¬†Osiris¬†is heavily outnumbered by the Cylon basestar and raiders. When its nuclear weapons jam, the commander decides to fly it into the basestar and manually detonate the weapons, destroying both the Cylon ships and the¬†Osiris. The¬†Wild Weasel¬†crash-lands onto the surface of Djerba. Adama, Coker and Dr. Kelly abandon their raptor and trek through Djerba’s harsh wind and snow, following a signal with Dr. Kelly’s communicator. They track the signal to a huge cave, where they discover their escort unit dead from mysterious non-artillery wounds. Suddenly the cave floor collapses and plunges them into a dark underground chamber. Strange noises surround them and a large snake-like creature lunges out and bites Coker. As Coker struggles to contain the monster, a man rappels into the chamber and kills the snake. He introduces himself as Xander Toth (John Pyper-Ferguson), the only surviving escort. He explains that the snakes, which killed his unit, were created by Cylons doing half animal/half machine experiments. Toth has been alone in the cave for some time and is slightly mentally unstable, prone to unpredictable aggressive outbursts. Nevertheless, he has scouted a route to Dr. Kelly’s objective. They leave the cave and stop at a cliff overlooking a seemingly abandoned resort compound.

Toth takes Adama, Coker and Dr. Kelly into the abandoned resort, where Toth says the Cylons previously stored “spare parts”. He has rigged the perimeter with¬†mines¬†and set up a generator inside to keep heat running. Dr. Kelly later confides to Adama that her husband’s status as a war hero was completely fabricated by the Colonial army. He did not singlehandedly defeat a Cylon platoon; rather, his exploratory mission was felled by¬†friendly fire. She emphasizes that the war must end, with which Adama agrees before tenderly touching her. She tells him that “you will regret this” and they sleep together. Shortly after, Adama finds Coker deftly playing a¬†grand piano, and Coker quickly surmises what has happened between Adama and Dr. Kelly. Just as he begins telling Adama that Dr. Kelly’s objective is more than it seems, one of Toth’s mines explodes and¬†Cylon centurions¬†approach the compound. Adama and Coker search the compound for Dr. Kelly, who disappeared when the Cylons arrived. Toth is shot multiple times by a centurion; his fate remains unknown. Meanwhile, Dr. Kelly stumbles into a cold storage room filled with human body parts – likely the “spares” Toth mentioned in the previous episode. She hides inside from a centurion, who finds her when she exhales loudly. Instead of killing her, the centurion scans at length a¬†microchip¬†dog tag¬†she wears around her neck. Adama and Coker burst in and Coker shoots the centurion. The centurion crashes to the floor and emits a high-frequency wail, which Dr. Kelly explains as screaming – the Cylons can feel pain. Coker puts the centurion out of its misery and the three set off to look for Toth.

When Coker wants to send a rescue signal for the mortally wounded Toth, Adama and Dr. Kelly instead insist that they press on toward Dr. Kelly’s objective. Coker demands to know Dr. Kelly’s mission, and she finally explains that she will upload a virus to the Cylons’ communications array. Once they find the array, Dr. Kelly begins her upload, but Coker shoots her and disarms Adama when he sees a Battlestar on the communications screen – Dr. Kelly is transmitting information about the ghost fleet to the Cylons. She shoots Coker several times and justifies her betrayal: she believes that the war will only end when humans negotiate with the Cylons, who she thinks value life more than humans do. Accepting that Dr. Kelly is a traitor, Adama destroys the communications unit. He drags a badly wounded Coker out of the array, leaving Dr. Kelly behind. As Adama and Coker wait for a rescue to take them back to Galactica, Coker shows Adama a picture of his wife before passing out. In the communications array, a quasi-humanoid Cylon (voiced by Tricia Helfer) tells Dr. Kelly that her enlightened view of Cylons does not change their hatred of her, then snaps her neck. Back on Galactica, Commander Nash explains that the seemingly failed mission actually went as planned. Colonial command had anticipated Dr. Kelly’s betrayal, and by the time the Cylons followed the communication, the ghost fleet was long gone and was able to destroy multiple defenseless Cylon bases. Nash tells Adama the casualties of the¬†Osiris¬†were worth the victory, for successes like these keep civilians supporting the war effort. Disillusioned, Adama signs off on a prettified account of the mission in exchange for his own Viper. A recovered Coker surprises Adama on the way to his ship, which displays his newly-chosen call sign: “Husker”, a tribute to Coker. Adama joins his fellow pilots, ready to continue the fight.

I like the plot, the cast (but why must a British actor use an American accent for a show that is not about earth humans?) and the acting. The special effects – in places it really looks like a web series rather than a tv show and the cost factor must have really hampered it. During the crash scene, it looks like an¬† early 2000’s computer simulation! Ben Cotton is great in his role (he always seems to play unlikable characters but it’s different as Coker). Brian Markinson plays Commander Nash(isn’t he in everything shot in Vancouver), Mike Dopud has a small role as Captain Deke “Minute Man” Tornvald, a celebrated veteran, while Ty Olsson & Carmen Moore have minor parts as well. I wish this show had gotten a proper treatment with more financial backing to get better special effects. What is gonna happen to the franchise? Wait & see.