Thursday, September 10, 2015

Re-visiting Battlestar Galactica (1978)

File this one under "Damn you, NetFlix!" If not for the push button ease of availability of this series I would not be doing this.

I'll start from the beginning.

For no good reason I have decided to re-read the entire run of Marvel BattleStar Galactica comic books from the late 1970's. As a child of that decade I have fond remembrances of the show, the novels that were created as off-shoots and the comics books too. In fact if memory serves they usually managed to tell better tales than the often dull and repetitive TV show on which they were based. So I have gathered most of the 23 issue run in front of me (gallery post to follow) and thought it would be neat - in a completist sort of way - to also push play on NetFlix and revisit the original show for the first time in years. Oh my.

My dim memories of the show as dull and labored turn out to be very accurate with the added slight of being much more silly than I recalled. Clearly this show was written to appeal mainly to children under twelve. It is insultingly simplistic in its plotting, cartoonishly broad in its characterizations and incredibly slipshod in its production. With all those detriments it still somehow manages to also wedge far too many complications into its story - a least in the three episode long pilot film. Motivations are often ill defined to the point that I twice backed the show up to make sure I hadn't missed some important point. After the pilot I proceeded to the first regular episode which is a two part tale that sets up the search for Earth that is to drive the series. I remembered the Egyptian sets but it was very amusing to see that they sent some second unit folks to the site of the Great Pyramids to shoot some long distance shots of extras that are supposed to be Loren Greene, Richard Hatch and Jane Seymour. The doubling is laughably bad with the bright white wig on Mr. Greene's stand-in being especially fun. And once again, this story is needlessly overcomplicated and drawn out as if they were hurting for running time. I hope the rest of the show is less padded or I'm going to have trouble getting through the whole run. 

At this point there is no way the comics can be anything other than an improvement! I'll report back.

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