Back in the 70s, there wasn’t the glut of sci-fi and fantasy on television that we have today. We only had three channels, four if you were lucky and could get a decent UHF signal, so when something (anything) sci-fi came on, it was a pretty good bet that I was watching it.
Battlestar Galactica debuted in 1978 and ran for one season. Supposedly, it was meant to cash in on the ‘Star Wars’ craze on a weekly basis but the show became just too expensive to make, even though it received good ratings. Created by one of the biggest names in television at the time, Glen A. Larson (who also did such shows as Magnum P.I. and Knight Rider), BSG starred screen veterans such as Lorne Greene, Lew Ayers, and Wilfred Hyde-White. I even remember Fred Astaire and Lloyd Bridges guest starring in a few episodes. It also starred a few new, young, actors such as Dirk Benedict, Richard Hatch, Jane Seymour, and Larry Manetti, who would go on to co-star in Larson’s Magnum P.I.
Next to the Six Million Dollar Man, I used to think this was the coolest show out there. I had the toys (back when the Cylon ships actually shot things), coloring books, etc., and never missed an episode. After not having seen it for many years the Sci-Fi Network ran some episodes around Christmas time, one year, and I watched all those as well. It still held up (somewhat), at least for me, and I guess my childhood fondness for the show helped me overlook the really cheesy (at least by today’s standards) effects and dialogue.
A few fun facts about my BSG experience:
- I never realized until years later that Patrick (Steed of The Avengers) McNee was the narrator for the introduction.
- I never realized until I was looking things up for this post, today, that Jonathan Harris (Dr. Smith from Lost in Space) was the voice of Lucifer …. By your command.
- When I was younger, I was convinced that the android pet, Muffit, was a real robot and not a monkey in a suit. How naive’ I was.
- It’s thought that the BSG episode Experiment in Terra was, in part, the inspiration for the t.v. show Quantum Leap, though Donald Bellisario denies it.
For me, there are some shows that will always have a place in my heart and Battlestar Galactica is one of those shows.