Friday, July 18, 2014

Battlestar Galactica 1.22: “Experiment In Terra”

Airdate: 3/18/79

Apollo gets abducted by the shiny bright spacecraft from the “War of the Gods”episode; his presence there is explained by a old man in white – he needs the young pilot to go to Terra under an assumed name (and body), where he can lend some invaluable assistance to a rebel faction fighting oppression by the Eastern Alliance. His ID: Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones fan on the writing staff?), a man whose checkered past includes a troubled relationship with a girl named Brenda. Of course Brenda shows up, and Apollo is understandably confused by her ire. But getting back to business, he discovers, after an imprisonment by Terra’s government, that the planet’s president is a corrupt bureaucrat trying to stifle the voices warning of an EE assault. With Starbuck’s assistance, he gets the Galactica to shoot down all the nuclear missiles fired by both warring sides, prompting the EE to consider negotiations.

Interesting, moderately successful drama is a hodgepodge of different ideas. Apollo’s story on Terra is a pretty direct copy of Heaven Ca Wait, a huge hit movie from the previous year – producer Donald Belisario would later use the different-body inhabitation concept for his 80s’ series Quantum Leap. And the notion of an unwinnable nuclear war was of course the salient conundrum of the Cold War, but give the show major props for forecasting the Reagan-era Star-Wars technology as the Galactica manages to (improbably) shoot down all the missiles fired between Terra and the EE. All in all it does hold one’s attention, and I give it an extra half-star for the performance of Melody (Flash Gordon) Anderson. Gotta love her.

Rating:  ***

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...