Galactica 1980

Deutsche Version | Battlestar Galactica (1978) | Battlestar Galactica (2003)

Disc 1

Galactica Discovers Earth

Synopsis: After many yahren, the Galactica has finally discovered Earth. But Earth isn’t the save heaven they had hoped for. They are technologically inferior and wouldn’t survive a Cylon attack. Adama decides to send small teams down there to speed up Earth’s development while he leads the fleet away from Earth since they are still followed by the Cylons. Troy (who was called Boxey when he was a child) and Dillon are being send to a country called “United States of America” where they want to meet with a leading nuclear scientist. And the local TV reporter Jamie Hamilton becomes their “tour guide”.

My Opinion: And once again Los Angeles was destroyed by aliens – even though it was only a simulation. Grin I liked this first episode of the series, it showed promise. To bad the bridge sets seemed to be destroyed. The new bridge looked far inferior to the old one, but I liked to see Colonel Boomer again. I had forgotten that another recurring character (besides Adama) from the old show reappeared in this show. I also like the new two-seated Vipers because I like Jamie and that gives her the chance to ride along.

Galactica Discovers Earth, Part II

Synopsis: Troy and Dillon have been ordered back to the Galactica and they brought Jamie along (they didn’t have much choice). Dr. Xaviar has travelled back in time to advance Earth’s development in th past. He’s gone into the year 1944 and to Peenemünde in Nazi-Germany. He’s helping to develop the V2 and must be stopped. Troy, Dillon and Jamie follow him there.

My Opinion: The whole plot doesn’t make much sense. Even if he could change the past, 36 years are clearly not enough to catapult Earth’s technology forward in a way that it would be of any use in 1980. And even though the Nazis were the most advanced in regards to rocket science at this point in time I think it’s very unlikely that the “Master Race” would be very open-minded towards a truly superior alien race.

Galactica Discovers Earth, Part III

Synopsis: Troy and Dillon can successfully sabotage the start of the V2 and it explodes shortly after launch. Xaviar is accused of being a spy and gets arrested but can escape, returns to his Viper and travels back to his own time. Jamie, Dillon and Troy follow him but lose his trail. After they successfully returned Jamie to California a new problem arises: The cloaking field has deactivated and made the Vipers visible. They are now in the hand of the US military and they need to get them back.

My Opinion: Even if the V2 test had worked (btw: the V2 tests started in 1942, in 1944 they were already mass-produced in slave labour), one year later a nuclear bomb over Europe would have still ended the war.
Also: They won’t kill german soldiers because that would change the future but they free an entire train of Jews who were about to be brought to Auschwitz. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t critizise the break-out but then they might as well shoot the Germans.

The Super Scouts

Synopsis: After the Cylons have attacked and destroyed the fleet’s school ship, Dillon and Troy have to evacuate 12 of the children down to Earth. There they disguise themselves as boy (and girl) scouts. Due to the higher gravity and the denser atmosphere in the fleet the children are stronger and faster as normal children of Earth. But that doesn’t protect them from Earth’s diseases and especially not from water that is poisoned by a chemical plant.

My Opinion: C’mon, gimme a break! Kids that jump 30 foot high? How high can Troy and Dillon jump? The Empire States Building? It’s always a good idea to critizise how we treat our environment, but to shift the focus in a Sci-Fi show from their main protagonists to a bunch of kids who (of course) do childish things isn’t a good idea.

The Super Scouts, Part II

Synopsis: Troy and Dillon have to care for three of their children who are very ill. But that’s not their only problem. The military is after them because they detected the landing of the shuttle. The police is after them because they are accused of bank robbery. And the local workers are after them because they threaten the chemical plant.

My Opinion: And now a real “flying saucer”, too. This ship looks nothing like a ship from the colonies. Why would they use such a design? No, these two episodes didn’t work for me at all.

Disc 2


Synopsis: Troy and Dillon are called back to the Galactica for an important mission. But it’s a trick of Xaviar’s and now they are sitting in a disabled Viper somewhere between Earth and the fleet. Meanwhile Jamie has to care for the scouts and to protect them both from the US military as well as Xaviar who wants to use them as bargaining chip. Jamie hides them in a baseball camp.

My Opinion: Don’t win! Win! Don’t win! Win! Jamie’s constant change of minds were a bit annoying, especially since the point of this episode was totally lost on me. There was nothing in it but to show some special effects of super-kids playing baseball.

The Night the Cylons Landed

Synopsis: A Galactica patrol has encountered a new and improved Cylon Raider and engaged it. Both ships were damaged but the Raider is drifting towards Earth and will crash north of New York City. Troy and Dillon travel by plane there but they assume their patrol ship will crash there. Only two Cylons survive the crash but one of them is an advanced model who looks like a Human. And it’s Halloween…

My Opinion: Together with the first part of this series, Galactica Discovers Earth, this and the following episode were re-cut to form the movie Galactica III: Conquest of the Earth. And I have to say that I like them. I thought it was an ingenious idea to hide two Cylons in plain sight, but since it’s Halloween no one questions their appearance. And although these human Cylons are fully mechanical they are obviously the template for the human Cylons in the next series.
And it seems to have become a running gag that no matter where Troy and Dillon go, they get in some kind of trouble with the local law enforcement and that they steal a police car.

The Night the Cylons Landed, Part II

Synopsis: The Cylons were invited to a Halloween party and the famous radio moderator Wolfman Jack will be there. They want to capture him in order to get to the “communication center”. From there they will send a distress signal and reveal Earth’s position. Dillon and Troy have to prevent that at any cost. But they are not only the chaser, they are also the chased.

My Opinion: It was only years later that I learned that Wolfman Jack was a real person but I liked the character from the start. What I didn’t like about this episode (and what wasn’t in the movie) were Troy’s and Dillon’s “super jumps”. But I really liked how the (seriously damaged) Centurion tried to protect the Cylon Andromus and jumped from that skyscraper and landed in the dumpster. Grin

Space Croppers

Synopsis: The Cylons have destroyed the agricultural ships and the fleet needs new crops. The Cylons hope that it will finally lead them to Earth. Dillon and Troy buy a piece of land from a farmer and try to grow plants there. But the farmer (and now they) are harassed by their neighbour who owns pretty much all land there and he controls the water reservoirs. But people who can fly through space can also make it rain.

My Opinion: I can’t remember ever seeing this episode before. And to be honest: When they were harassed by their neighbour (played by MacGyver‘s Dana Elcar) I expected to see a certain black van with a red bar on it: “If you have a problem. If no one else can help. Maybe you can hire – The A-Team.” Wink
Since the scout kids were back, they used “super jumps” to spread the seeds and used the “flying saucer” to make it rain. ship I didn’t like this episode very much.

The Return of Starbuck

Synopsis: Doctor Zee tells Commander Adama about a dream he had. It includes a great battle and a great warrior called Starbuck who had to be left behind on a lonely planet. There he repairs on of the Cylons who crashed there with him in order to have some company. But soon they are not only 2, but 3.5: Cy has found a pregnant woman and Starbuck has to get her off the planet because soon other Cylons will come looking for their patrol.

My Opinion: That was a great episode. It was well told and had great characters in it. I loved to see the developing friendship between Starbuck and Cy. It was a bit like Enemy Mine and I was really sad when Cy “died” because he protected Starbuck from these other Cylons. And it’s pretty ironic that this episode worked very well and didn’t need many FX shots (except for the re-used battle scenes in the beginning where Boomer has to say goodbye to his friend).

The Series – My Opinion: Let’s face it: The series isn’t that good. The special effects were basically reduced to “super jumps”, to cloak each and everything and to make their motorcycles fly. And while it maybe OK to destroy the same Raider in the upper right corner over and over again, it looks odd when your motorcycles always fly over the same skyline no matter in which countryside you had been before – especially when you do it in nearly every episode.
It was a good idea to bring the fleet to Earth – they had told many space stories in the original series – but they didn’t make anything out of it. Instead four out of ten episodes revolved around a bunch of kids and the main characters were reduced to kindergarten teachers.

Battlestar Galactica (2003)