Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Galactica 1980 1.10: “The Return of Starbuck”

Airdate: 5/4/80

Dr. Zee, the teenage whiz-kid of the Galactica, tells Adama about his recurring dream, which frames the episode’s following story. During the timeframe of the original series, Starbuck, while on patrol with Boomer, crash lands on a desert planet with a damaged Cylon warrior. Fraught with so much loneliness he actually fixes the Centurion just to have a companion, he soon befriends his would-be enemy, whom he teaches the ways of human behavior. In return “Cy” returns with a female, a pregnant woman named Angela, the self-proclaimed matriarch of a new society. Constantly querying Starbuck of where he’ll be at the time of judgment, he picks up on her inference that he ought to be the spiritual father of her child and may have to sacrifice himself for departure for a new life elsewhere. All this does indeed come o pass (Starbuck ostensibly left to die at the hands of invading Cylons, despite Cy’s last-minute, sacrificial act of heroism), and we finally learn that Dr. Zee has these dreams because he is, in fact, the baby, and Starbuck his “father.”

Series finale feels more like an episode of the original Galactica; I’m guessing writer/producer Glenn Larson figured he’d use the hour of TV time to do the finale that never really happened, at least in terms of Starbuck’s story. It’s not terrible – it actually is nice to see Dirk Benedict reprise his role one last time, and with no one else around to steal his airtime at that. But it sure is an oddball episode, beginning as a variation on the WWII classic Hell in the Pacific, and ending a little too hippy-dippy for my taste (I mean, what is really up with the Angel-a character anyway?).

Well, anyways, that’s the ball game, folks. Series assessment next. This one gets a…

Rating:  ***

Oh, I never mentioned this before, but I have to make this observation: why do three Cylons need to pilot their fighters? I know they’re not people, but it sure must be awfully expensive to replace those two extras when a ship goes down. Okay, maybe there needs to be a co-pilot, but what the hell is that guy in the back doing?

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