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CRITICS' REVIEWS OF

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA


For the most part, the characters are given more psychological dimenstion than the comic-strip cutouts engaged in Star Wars, and Galactica creator Larson has a deft knack for spaced-out humor... Expensive, ingeniously crafted and singularly fun-filled... - Harry F. Waters, Martin Kasindoff, Betsy Carter, Newsweek, September 11, 1978, pages 58-62.

I'm sure the purists blanch at these things, but all television has to be homogenized, so why shouldn't science fiction be? It's amazing that Battlestar Galactica looked as good as it did. - Tom Shales, The Best of Science Fiction Television, Harmony Books, 1987.

Campy, formulaic, and often as poorly written as the back of a cereal box, Battlestar Galactica was also immensely enjoyable, and few shows since have matched it for pure entertainment value. - Net Trek, 1995, page 311.

While boasting a charismatic cast and production values still unsurpassed by any sci-fi series today, Battlestar Galactica was undermined by repetitive and uninspired storylines... - Lawrence McIlhoney, TV Zone Special #17: "The Lost Voyagers of Cult TV," June 1995, page 7.

Battlestar was not thought-out particularly well before being rushed onto ABC, and the writing suffered from implausible and often inane plots that were filled with scientific inaccuracies. This is not to say that Galactica was a bad show. On the contrary, it had some interesting ideas, a capable cast, great special effects and top-notch sets and props. But such things are no substitute for a capable hand at the helm to keep a series steered in the right direction. - William E. Anchors, Jr., Epilog #33: "Battlestar Galactica," August 1993, page 5.

The galactic negotiations between the people and the Cylons really resembled the U.S.-Soviet SALT talks - not in their actual form but in the perverted interpretation of the enemies of the treaty from the family of Washington hawks... Their [Battlestar Galactica] inspiration is the pumping-up of military, anti-Soviet hysteria, which in this case is disguised in the modern costume of socio-scientific fanatasy... (A)nti-Soviet symbolism dressed in a transparent tunic of science fiction. - Melor Sturua, Izvestia.

Star Wars was fun and I enjoyed it. But Battlestar Galactica was Star Wars all over again and I couldn't enjoy it without amnesia. -Isaac Asimov, "Science Fiction is more than a Space-Age Western," Knight-Ridder Newspapers, Spetember 17, 1978.

Battlestar Galactica is a black hole of an epic. Aside from its many unpleasant qualities, it lacks what Star Trek was smart enough to develop: people... The old concept of portraying good (human) vs. bad (alien) no longer provides sufficient tension to keep a show alive and that is what Battlestar Galactica relies heaviest on. - Marvin Kitman, The New Leader, "Lost in Space," May 6, 1979, page 22.

A strange mix of the flight of the Israelites from Egypt, the Wagon Train teleseries and the views of Von Daeniken [sic] whose "God is an Astronaut" slogan the film literalizes... the superior special effects notwithstanding, make for a charmless clone of George Lucas' paen to the innocent delights of gee-whizz heroics. - Phil Hardy, The Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction, William & Morrow Company, page 339.

This lumbering behemoth just doesn't work in any area but special effects. These are zippy and lots of fun, if wholly unscientific and unbelievable... The wholesale reshuffling of hoary old SF bromides, Egyptian mythology, World War II-type battle scenes and supercilious, unintentionally funny dialogue once again proves that the whole can be no better than the sum of its parts. - Douglas Menville and R. Reginal, Futurevision: The New Golden Age of the Science Fiction Film, Newcastle Publishing, 1985, page 66.

An immediate success, Battlestar clobbered the competition and seemed set for a long run. The battles in space, staged by special effects man John Dykstra, winner of an Academy Award for Star Wars, were the best ever to soar across a TV screen. But the scripts failed to keep pace, becoming increasingly juvenile, and viewers slowly lost interest... [A]n expensive failure. - Gene Wright, The Science Fiction Image, Facts-on-File Publications, 1983, page 42-43.

Perhaps the least likable of all TV SF in its ineptness, its cynicism, its sentimentality and its contempt for and ignorance of science. BG was devised by Glen Larson (who went on to do a similar job on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century) in the wake of the successful film Star Wars which it resembles closely in many respects. Space battles, the raison d'etre of BG, were carried out by planes apparently designed for flying in atmosphere, with fiery exhausts which, Larson is quoted as saying, "make Space more acceptable to the Midwest." The casting of Western star Lorne Greene as the patriarchal leader, Adama, emphasized the obvious subtext of wagon trains rolling west under constant attack by Indians. Other cast members were Dirk Benedict as Starbuck (ne' Solo), Richard Hatch as Apollo (ne' Skywalker), Maren Jensen as Athena and Noah Hathaway as the cute boy, Boxey, whose nauseating robot dog (ne' R2D2) may have been the low point. Ratings began well but soon fell off and since each episode cost three times as much as a conventional one-hour drama, the series was terminated ...The film (Saga Of A Star World) is poor. Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack is more cardboard still. - John Clute & Peter Nichols, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, St. Martins Press, 1993, page 97.

Perhaps the most blatant rip-off ever to appear on the small screen. The show ripped off, naturally is Star Wars which Galactica copies in nearly everything but wit and talent. - Time, September 18, 1978, page 98.

Nine-tenths of the human race have been wiped out and the survivors are fleeing the enemy Cylons... [T]he premise here is even less honorable: "They're after us! Let's run like hell!" ... When the viewing audience began to realize that these people were not going to find a place to stand and fight back, they lost interest. Who can really care about a show that has cowardice as part of its basic format? - David Gerrold, Starlog, "Hope - The Human Challenge," September 1979, page 68.

Battlestar Galactica proved to be a resounding dud... The borrowing from Star Wars in every detail became so painfully obvious that not even the four-year-old minds for which the series apparently aimed could fail to notice the resemblance. - Harry and Michael Medved, The Golden Turkey Awards, Perigee Books, 1980, page 108.

...tiresome, totally unimaginative Biblical space opera... Battlestar Galactica was able to recreate the look but not the impact of Star Wars. - John Javna, The Best of Science Fiction Television, Harmony Books, 1987, page 84.

The origins of Battlestar Galactica lay only in a hustle for bucks... John Dykstra's special effects are wasted on a wholly mindless plot. - Frederick Pohl, Scientific Studies in Film, SF Ace Books, A Grosset & Dunlap Company, 1981, page 287.

There is no science background in the show whatsoever. Why don't Viper pilots wear pressurized suits when they fly? What good are those stupid-looking Egyptian helmets? What powers the battlestar and its Viper craft? ... How come they keep running into Earthlike planets out there in the vastness of galactic space? ... [A] million-dollar-an-hour disappointment. - Howard Zimmerman, editor, Starlog #19, O'Quinn Studios, Inc., February 1979.

The gimmick ... that the group of protagonists is fleeing not from Earth but to it - is one that has been utterly beaten to death by now (most notably by that deep space turkey Battlestar Galactica)... - Stephen King, Danse Macabre, Berkely Edition, December 1983, page 242.

This film, adapted from the television series, opens with the preparation for a peace treaty by President Adar (Lew Ayres). He has arranged to end a thousand years of war between mankind and the subhuman Cylons. Events go downhill from there. It's a seventh-rate Star Wars. (Turkey rating) Mick Martin & Marsha Porter Video Movie Guide 1991, Ballantine Books, 1990, p. 920.

Star Wars meets Wagon Train as a futuristic flotilla of ragtag explorers search for a mysterious savior planet known only as "Earth," while being pursued by the dreaded Cylons (cybernetic tin-can baddies with vocal patterns that closely resemble a Speak & Spell game). This theatrical feature culled from the first and fourth episodes of the fondly remembered TV show is hilariously dated (the preponderance of polyester outfits and astrology motifs have the unfortunate effect of making the future look like an giant interstellar singles bar), but that only adds to the retro charm. An irresistibly cheesy blast from the past for Gen-X nostalgia-hounds, with impressive visuals by effects legend John Dykstra and a special appearance by teenybopper guru Rick Springfield. --Andrew Wright Amazon.Com

Blast-off or rip-off? George Lucas took TV supremo Glen Larson who produced this Star Wars clone to court. (He lost it incidentally.) Plot? Last vestiges of a human colony fleeing through space in a giant convoy of space ships to escape misanthropic golden robots called Cylons. The special effects are by Star Wars special effects wiz John Dykstra and therefore not bad at all. Lots of impressive space ships roaring through space blasting each other to smithereens with noisy, flashy lasers. Fun in its own peculiar way... Sci-Fi Movie Page

...Belongs on the small screen where it's moderately interesting and John Dykstra's special effects come off best. Leonard Maltin's 2000 Movie and Video Guide.


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