234 of 239 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2007
Basically, you should buy this entire box-set for a single episode. "The Return of Starbuck". Your original Battlestar Galactica collection isn't truly complete without it. No matter what is said of this series as a whole, this one episode truly captures the feel of the original series.
What about the other episodes? Well, let's just say that on many occasions, critics have selected Galactica 1980 as the worst sci-fi tv series of all time. How could it turn out so horrid? The budget was slashed to just a fraction of the amount spent on the original series. Also, many of the episodes were aired in an early time slot (I believe it was 7:00pm) which placed restrictions on the content of the series (writers had to avoid writing too many action scenes or even the most innocent adult themes). Galactica 1980 was basically a rushed effort, pushed forward and then severely hindered (by various network executives) on a mission to recoup from their mistake of canceling the original series.
This series may have been a train wreck, but the final episode (The Return of Starbuck) is a bittersweet tribute to the original series. A must have!
This is being sold as "The Original Battlestar Galactica's Final Season". It must be noted that the original series was cancelled after the first season. While Galactica 1980 can indeed be considered a continuation of the first season, it is in fact a seperate TV series. Most fans of the original series pretend that Galactica 1980 never happened :)
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2007
I've read many poor reviews of Galactica 1980 over the years, so I was expecting a pretty cruddy show. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed it! Sure, it's more like "Galactica on Earth" than a space show, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed it any less.
It's great to see Adama and Boomer again, and the last episode is really good too. Also, the pilot episode was excellent, as well. Are there some campy moments? Sure. But the original BSG had them too. I found many BSG episodes slow and hard to get through, surprisingly, I got through G:1980 rather quickly.
I say pick it up and add it to your collection!
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2008
Ever since I bought the Battlestar Galactica complete series I'd been thinking, "What happened to that episode with Starbuck stranded on a planet?? And what about those flying motorcycles on Earth??" I'd almost convinced myself that I'd imagined them, since I did own the "complete series." Well, here they are. I was 6 years old when this series came around and it didn't enjoy the reruns of the original Battlestar Galactica, so my memories of Troy and Dillon (the new Starbuck and Apollo) were sparse at best (it's like when Dukes of Hazzard had those other cousins show up or Airwolf had a whole new cast suddenly show up....crazy 80's TV clones).
Overall the episodes are pure low budget 80's sci-fi trash-- vaguely reminiscent of Star Trek IV in its disturbing blend of heavy handed environmentalism (the "Super Scouts" episodes) and high school theater quality time travel (the pilot episodes with a generic Nazi Germany romp).
It's worth the Starbuck episode though-- he's the best!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2011
Being a huge fan of the original show, I was glad to see Galactica 1980 released on DVD mostly for its wonderful final episode "The Return of Starbuck", an episode that is just as good as any from the original series. This is a must-see for any Galactica fan.
As for the rest of the series, it is worth watching just to see how amazingly bad a show can be. Galactica 1980 had three fatal flaws. The first was a premise that changed kept changing (first it was about upgrading Earth's technology, then it was about time travel, and then it was about children with super powers). The second was that none of the premises worked. And the third was that it aired during Sunday at 7pm which at the time was designated a children's hour timeslot. Very little violence was allowed, which killed any real chance of drama. Even worse, a certain number of "educational beat" were required to appear throughout every episode. It's amazing to watch the story come to a grinding halt while a character says something educational. During a car chase: "I perceive that this vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine, and an internal combustion engine, primitive though it is..." Okay, that isn't the exact dialogue, but you get the point. In the episode Space Croppers, we get lectures on Chicano history, how to grow plants called legumes, and how rainful is produced! You have to see it to believe it.
If I were a writing instructor, I would use Galactica 1980 as an example of how NOT to write drama. In any story, it's important to create powerful villains and put the heroes in situations that are difficult to deal with. But all of the villains in Galactica 1980 are weak. The Colonials have so many advantages over the people of Earth - spaceships, super powers, invisibility fields - that they are essentially invincible, thus robbing the series of any possible drama. In Galactica 1980, there are no worthy villains. The bumbling cops and incompetent military personnel never have a prayer of apprehending Troy and Dillon, so there's no suspense. And it's certainly not funny to watch Earthlings constantly being confounded by extra-terrestrials. Yet that is what we get time and time again throughout the series.
Also, conventional storytelling says that when you have a character trying to solve a mystery, you want the audience to move along at the same pace as the character. If the audience knows more than the character does, they find themselves simply waiting for the character to catch up, which is boring. Unfortunately, Galactica 1980 violates this basic rule of storytelling as we're forced to endure the U.S. military's investigation of the "aliens". We know everything, they know nothing, and thus there is nothing even remotely interesting about it.
In the end, Galactica 1980 is worth watching just to see a spectacular trainwreck.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2012
I was a teen when this series aired in 1980, and old enough to know how bad it was even back then. I had watched the original '78 series and although I liked it, I realized it was not the best written or produced show. This sequel series, on the other hand, was an ill-conceived and hastily thrown together mess which really tarnished the reputation of it's predecessor.
So why did I buy it? I only really got this series to replace an old EP VHS copy of "The Return Of Starbuck" I bought back in the late '80s. As other reviewers have said, this episode is really the only reason to get this series, and it was worth the price I paid for it ( less than $6.00 ). I will say that rewatching the whole series has been fun in a "Plan Nine From Outer Space" kind of way. The plot holes and implausibilies are so numerous that there should be a drinking game based on the show. I promise you...anyone who tried it would end up in an alcoholic coma.
The quality of the DVDs themselves are 'okay'. Typical for DVD releases of many older Universal television series, the prints are not perfect nor do they appear to be digitally remastered or enhanced in any way. Honestly, this series does not really merit any extensive remastering effort, so the picture quality is fine as it is.
Bottom line; If you're a "Battlestar Galactica" completist, or enjoy watching television shows that are train wrecks, then by all means buy this set ( just don't pay more than $10.00 for it ).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2008
Yes, the extreme cost cutting shows in the re-used footage, and some of the scenes reek of late 70's - early 80's kid shows, but there are some bright spots in this short lived follow up.
The opening 3-parter features guest star Robert Reed, and a scene with Brion James and Mickey Jones. The 2-parter "The Night the Cylons Landed" features Wolfman Jack and William Daniels (the original voice of KITT from Knight Rider). That episode also features the first appearance of a Cylon in human form.
And there is the "Return of Starbuck" episode where in addition to getting Starbuck back for another hour, there is Cy voiced by Gary Owens (Adult Swim views know him) and Judith Chapman (Gloria on Young & The Restless) as Angela.
Dennis Haysbert is briefly in the "Space Croppers" episode.
The whole story line with the kids (half of them were related to Glen A. Larson) went on too long, but this was produced more as a kids show originally.
Kent McCord and Barry Van Dyke do a good enough job, their only crime is they weren't Apollo & Starbuck. Viewers will also get a laugh at the re-cycled footage. Every time Troy and Dillon fly off on their cycles, they show the same shot of them going over the same LA landscape.
If you can sufficiently suspend your dis-belief (and in some cases your common sense) you'll probably enjoy watching these episodes.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2008
I'd heard for many years how awful this show was. Well, it is, kind of. But I liked it. I was very entertained by even the most (for that time) politically correct episode (there are many environmentalist issues at hand since "higher intelligence" deals with we "dumb modern day humans"). It's about the Galactica finding earth and then two guys making sure earth is safe from Cylons, that is, making sure that we could in fact battle Cylons if they happened to attack, and follows their adventures in a modern day society with their special space skills, and flying motorcycles, and bionic children. And a cylon actually lands on earth and kidnaps Wolfman Jack. Now if I were to have read this a month ago, I'd think there wouldn't be any way for it to be good... But every episode keeps you interested, somehow. Seeing Robbie "Cousin Oliver" Rist and Robert "Mr. Brady" Reed in the same episode (although never on screen together) was kind of funny. Kent McCord as the grown up "Boxey" is good; Barry Van Dyke (son of Dick) as his sidekick (McCord is the "Apollo" while Van Dyke is the "Starbuck", per say) isn't good at all. Van Dyke is about as wooden as a log cabin as far as acting goes, and his voice sounds like an FM dj. "Adama" played by Lorne Greene and "Boomer" (who has basically replaced "Col. Tigh" as second in command) are the only original cast members, and it's kind of relaxing to have them there even though they aren't involved much since they stay in space, and most of the show is on the ground. "Starbuck" (Dirk Benedict) is the center of the final episode. The entire series (including the original) ends with our hero "Starbuck" (the "Han Solo" of BG) stranded on a barren planet. A total cliffhanger, leaving me to realize the show was canned while trying to "tease" the studios into letting it stick around. And do we ever get to hear about what happened to "Appolo" and his sister, or "Cass"? Anyhow, this show had time travelling, space dog fights, and a very, very cool visual-scenerio of Cylons blowing up earth. Pretty neat. And as I've mentioned, the stories are involving. Kept me watching. While I wasn't on the edge of my seat, I was firmly planted on the middle of my couch, and enjoyed myself the entire time.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2007
I agree with Mr Dempsey's review of BG-1980 it is not as bad as (I assume die hard original series fans) most of the reviewers have panned this series. Let me recount the origins of BG-1980. ABC have canceled the the original series in 1978 after 1 season, but thanks to letter writing campaign (from die hard original fans) ABC agree to bring it back but on the network terms,with a tiny budget and only 10 "trial" episodes. Also,the executives wanted the show to be more kid friendly so Dr Zee is introduce. The pilot 1st 3 episodes are actually quite good dealing with time travel. True the writers have to comply with the family aspect of the show,so the episodes have very little fight scenes (would not be able to film it any way due to limited budget). After learning ABC would not renew the show, the producers filmed the last episode "The Return of Starbuck" to wrap up the series as a whole. Give a rental if those of you are not sure about the show. I took away 1 star because of packaging I don't know why Universal keep releasing their shows in double sided discs.***I was corrected BG-1980 is released in 2 single sided discs - give the fifth star back but the system would not allow it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2008
Galactica 1980 attempts to revive the story line of the original series by finally making it to Earth. Though the cast is all but gone from the original series (only a year or so before), there are some familiar faces. Many have called Galactica 1980 some of the worst science fiction ever made, but I have a different opinion.
Galactica 1980 did not do justice to the drama of the original series. It had many hokey special effects (some recycled from the original series, which actually helped tie the two together) and some pretty cheesy story lines, but what it did do was to give a little closure to what was a really great series. There are familiar contract actors that many of us grew up with from many other television series, along with familiar scenery from shows, such as CHiPs and The Dukes of Hazzard.
Galactica 1980 ends abruptly and a bit strangely, but it does give us die hard "original" Galactica fans a little more (The Return of Starbuck). It is nice to watch those programs from the late 70's, early 80's that however imperfect they are, the bad guy always get it, the good guys are really good, and the show is over at the end of the hour. Whatever the show lacked and however badly it was exectued, Galactica 1980 was still fun to watch. Story lines were not complex, and the acting was not top notch, but it sure did give this fan a little more of what I miss most of growing up, a simpler time.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2009
I'm a fan of the ORIGINAL series. But Galactica 1980 was doomed from the start. The biggest problem was Dr. Z. No offense to the kid that played the part, it's just that the character was not needed and even took away from the series. To see Adama go to Z for advice or even instruction was demeaning and degrading to the character of Adama. If I had the software to edit DVD's, I'd take out every scene with Z in it.