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Battlestar Galactica 1980 Reviewed
When Galactica 1980 dropped onto my desk for review it had already been out to buy for over a week, a little odd when one of the perks of my job is getting a title early for review! This did however explain the urgency placed on this review by the PR team behind its release.
Being raised on Star Trek, I do remember the original Battlestar Galactica, but by name and theme music alone - so when the packaging of Galactica 1980 stated "The Original Battlestar Galactica's Final Season", my first thought was about what I had missed. Luckily, Galactica 1980 is actually a spin-off series from the original, and it doesn't take a novice such as myself any time at all to pick up the storyline.
Now unlike many, I pride myself on being able to view and review shows based on their own merits, and without outside influences - and judging by some of the reviews on this series I think that's a plus! As I had a tight deadline on this review, I must admit to only watching disc one of the two disc set, but as other reviews single out episode ten as "must see", then my review based on episodes one to five should be fair!
Each episode begins with the words "The great ship Galactica, our home for these many years. We have endured the wilderness of space. And now we are near the end of our journey. We have at last found Earth.", spoken by Lorne Greene who plays Commander Adama (both in the original Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980). I found this was a great touch for newcomers to the show as it established the Galactica's journey to Earth in the original series.
Galactica 1980 follows the Battle Ship Galactica and her crew, as they finally complete their long-anticipated journey to Earth. With time running out and Cylon forces closing in on the Galactica fleet, Commander Adama and the crew must work hard to help Earth create the technology necessary to battle the Cylons and enable them to call Earth their new home.
Episodes one to three, focus on the first tenuous meetings between the Galactica's crew and people from Earth. Captain Troy (Kent McCord) and Lieutenant Dillon (Barry Van Dyke) are sent to Earth to meet with the planet's top scientists and jump-start Earth's primitive technology. Ordered to be inconspicuous and not to draw attention to themselves, these two crew members come to rely on their advanced technology a little too much, and at the slightest hint of trouble turn to exposing their weaponry and technology to the humans around them. This - however annoying to others - just adds to the charm of this series, it was the 80's after all!
As Galactica 1980 moves past the initial three-part episode, it moves away from its time travel storyline and shifts focus towards the children of Galactica. With Troy and Dillon taking a group of the fleets younger inhabitants to Earth in order to integrate them into society and prepare them for future life on Earth. This of course leads to various problems, from differences in gravity and physiology making them almost super-human, to problems with a contaminated water supply causing serious illness with “The Super Scouts".
All in all, the problems with this show cited by die hard fans of the original Battlestar Galactica made this series enjoyable, and if you are prepared to enter into this show with an open mind and as a show in its own right, you shouldn't be disappointed. Galactica 1980 offers a nostalgic treat at a reasonable price. However if you are a big fan of the original series, and don't feel that you could separate the two shows, it may be worth giving it a miss (or just buying it for episode ten "The Return of Starbuck"). Either way with an RRP of £15.99 - meaning it can be purchased for just over a tenner from most high-street retailers - it is well worth the gamble!
Film (c) 1980 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.