About a week or so ago, I took the time to re-watch some episodes of the old Galactica series.
Now, I was born in '84, so what I remembered of the old series was mostly just some bits and pieces, certain impressions and images that I had in my mind since the series was on the air in around the mid-nineties.
First of all, here’s an interesting piece of trivia: at first, the series wasn’t released on TV at all here in Germany, they took parts from different episodes and edited them together to be a feature movie and showed them at movie theaters. That must have been in the 80s, I assume. Now, what I remembered from childhood were these old Battlestar “movies.” So, watching the actual old series was somewhat of a new experience to me. And let me just add that, for instance, “ALF” was so immensely popular over here, too, that the Alf-movie, which was actually a TV movie, was released theatrically here. And, for what it’s worth, I’m still a huge ALF fan.
Back to the old series. I re-watched “Saga of a Star World,” “The Living Legend,” and “Hand of God.”
Now, re-watching “Saga of a Star World” I really had an intense déjà-vu feeling, it’s like I was nine or ten years old when I saw that stuff first and all I remembered was the initial attack, the explosions, the laser beams, the red light … it was just one blurred recollection and when I saw the footage again, it was like this huge “this feels SO familiar” feeling, like something that really intensely connected back to childhood.
Some comments about the exposition/Cylon attack in the old series:
I think the old bridge (now they call it the CIC, but it’ll always be the bridge to me) was way cooler than the new CIC. First, they had a viewscreen. Viewscreens are per definitionem COOL and they’re so sci-fi! Second, they had this part of the bridge that they had to climb up to, like a couple of stairs, and that part would rotate. I still have no idea would there would be like a revolving commander’s desk on the bridge, but it was just awesome. I liked it. Third, and most importantly, the bridge would be bathed in crimson light when at general quarters or action stations or whatever they call it. And for me, that just does it, that’s the trick, that’s how to convey tension, battle - I mean, there’s a reason red is always used as the color of action/danger, it does have this ability to reach into your unconscious self and say hey, start pumping the adrenaline…
Something else entirely: in the old series, Zak Adama was killed by the Cylons. In the new series, Zak Adama was killed by Starbuck. Now, I have no intention to deduct from this that new Starbuck is a Cylon, but hey, what does that mean for the character of Bill Adama? I mean, there’s a difference in what he should feel towards the Cylons if they killed his son and if they didn’t. What do y’all think?
About “Living Legend:”
In hindsight, Lloyd Bridges seems like a casting mistake. Now, I know that Hot Shots was way after Battlestar '78, but to me, he’ll always be the funny guy from Hot Shots.
Storywise: Why does Adama act like he’s superior in rank to Caine? He’s not, yet Caine acts like he’s taking orders from Adama and when he doesn’t, it’s Caine who’s the insubordinate.
About “Hand of God:”
Now, there’s an interesting episode. The phrase “Hand of God” for Apollo means “traveling in the hand of god” - they’re in the observation room, watching the stars go by. In the new series, it means something totally different. Also, in this episode, the Galactica recieves a signal from Earth, footage of the Apollo 11 landing. Now, this was the last episode and I understand that the old series was canceled after that, but I see some connection to the “All Along the Watchtower” in the series, which could in fact also be a signal from Earth of some kind.
So, what about Galactica 1980, the one with the flying motorcycles, does anyone know if they resolved the thing about the signal from Earth there, did they tell us what it was all about? If anyone happens to have recently re-watched Galactica 1980, please enlighten me!
What’s more, I move that the GWC crew re-watch and discuss one or two episodes of the old series, I would really love their opinions now that we’ve all seen the new show.