Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Battlestar Galactica 1.5: “Lost Planet of the Gods Part 2”

Airdate: 10/1/78

OK, into the void the Galactica goes, but meanwhile Baltar keeps plotting with the Cylons a way of attacking our heroes and finally exterminating the human race. He does succeed in kidnapping Starbuck, so they cook up some scheme of keeping him as a ruse for another “peace mission” Meanwhile, Apollo and Serina marry, but no honeymoon until they can get out of the void. It turns out Adama was right – planet Kobol looks like it’s just waiting to be visited, and when he and the crew do, they discover ancient writings that seem to reveal that humanity did in fact start there, and that the “13th colony” of Earth must still be out there. The Cylons aren’t impressed – they attack the planet, and mortally wound poor Serina. Looking ever so beautiful or her deathbed, she bids adieu to her soon and newlywed, promising she’ll see then again the great beyond.

Conclusion to Battlestar’s first two-parter is even worse than its predecessor, with the most of the drama here either hokey, convoluted, or both. How convenient to land on a planet, looking exactly like Earth’s ancient Egypt, and then blast into a sarcophagus where all the secrets of the origin of man are revealed (were it not for that pesky Cylon attack). And what happened to that mysterious outbreak that grounded all the fighter pilots in part one?

I’m also noticing, in addition to lapses in story logic, a flaw in the editing. Crucial plot developments just suddenly happen (the landing on Kobol, Starbuck’s Cylon abduction), with no intermediary scenes to set them up or connect them fluidly to the others. And, even worse, there’s the continued lack of fun troughout the proceedings – if you’re gonna have such goofball plotlines, don’t be so damned portentous. Have a ‘lil fun with it all, a la the TV series Buck Rogers or theatrical release Flash Gordon (both to be released within the next couple of years).

This is around the time that CBS counterprogrammed Battlestar with All in the Family, and the ratings for the space saga took a fast nose dive. Creator Glenn Larson often complained that this was the reason for the show’s cancellation, but that doesn’t hold water: the two shows had vastly different audences. More likely word got out that Battlestar was a turkey, and the core fan base stayed away in droves.

(PS: Bad season for sci-fi weddings; just two weeks earlier Bill Bixby lost his dearly beloved on The Incredible Hulk!)

Rating:  *1/2

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