Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Battlestar Galactica, or BSG, is a franchise of science fiction films and television series, the first of which was produced in 1978. A series of book adaptations, original novels, comic books and video games have also been based on the concept. A reimagined miniseries aired in 2003, with a regular television series starting in 2004.

All of the Battlestar Galactica productions share the same premise: In a distant part of the universe, a civilization of humans live on planets known as the Twelve Colonies. In the past, the Colonies have been at war with a cybernetic race known as the Cylons. With the help (knowing or unknowing) of a human named Baltar, the Cylons launch a sudden sneak attack on the Colonies, laying waste to the planets and devastating their populations. A few thousand of the human survivors flee into space aboard any spacecraft they can reach. Of all the Colonial Fleet, the Battlestar Galactica appears to be the only military ship that survived the attack. Under the leadership of famed military leader Commander Adama, the Battlestar Galactica and its crew take up the task of leading the small fugitive fleet of survivors into space in search of a fabled refuge known as Earth.

Original series (1978 and 1980)

Battlestar Galactica (1978)

Glen A. Larson, the Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica, has stated in many interviews that he originally conceived of the Galactica premise in the late 1960s, which he originally called Adam's Ark. However, he was unable to get the project greenlit for many years.

Battlestar Galactica was finally produced in the wake of the success of the 1977 film Star Wars. In fact, 20th Century Fox sued Universal Studios (the studio behind Battlestar Galactica) for copyright infringement, claiming that it had stolen 34 distinct ideas from Star Wars. Universal promptly countersued, claiming Star Wars had stolen ideas from the 1972 film Silent Running (notably the robot "drones") and the Buck Rogers serials of the 1940s. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed in 1980.

Initially, Larson envisioned Battlestar Galactica as a series of made-for-TV movies (a three-hour pilot and two two-hour episodes) for the ABC television network. A shortened version of the three-hour pilot, Saga of a Star World, was released in Canadian theaters (before the series aired) and American theaters (after the series aired), and instead of two additional movies, a weekly television series followed.

In 1979 at the 6th Annual People's Choice Awards, the series won for Best New TV Drama Series. [1]

During the eight months after pilot was broadcast, 17 original episodes of the series were aired (five of them two-part shows), totaling 24 hours of broadcasting. Citing declining ratings and cost overruns, ABC canceled Battlestar Galactica in April, its last episode "The Hand of God" premiering on April 29, 1979.

Galactica 1980

Main article: Galactica 1980

During the autumn of 1979, ABC executives met with Galactica's creator Glen A. Larson to consider a relaunch of the series. A suitable concept was needed to draw viewers, and it was decided that the arrival of the Colonial Fleet at contemporary Earth would be the storyline. A new television movie entitled Galactica 1980 was rushed into production. Again, it was decided this new version of Galactica would be made into a weekly series. Despite the early success of the première, the show failed to achieve the popularity of the original series and was canceled after only ten episodes.

In this 1980 sequel series, the fleet finds Earth and covertly protects it from the Cylons. This series was a quick failure due to its low budget (e.g., recycling footage from the 1974 Universal Studios film Earthquake, during a Cylon attack sequence), widely-panned writing, and ill-placed time slot (Sundays at 7:00 p.m., a time slot generally reserved for family-oriented programming and, more specifically, 60 Minutes). The show also had to adhere to strict content restrictions such as limiting acts of violence and being required to shoehorn educational content into the script and dialogue. To cut costs, the show was set mostly on contemporary Earth, to the great dismay of fans. Another factor for fan apathy was the nearly complete recasting of the original series: Lorne Greene reprised his role as Adama (and worked pro bono), Herb Jefferson Jr. played (now Colonel) Boomer in only half of the episodes (with almost no screentime), and Dirk Benedict as Starbuck for only one (the abrupt final episode), which was mostly unused footage from the original series. Some syndication packages for Battlestar Galactica incorporate the episodes of this series.

Cinema releases

Besides a re-edited version of the pilot, released originally in Canada, Europe and parts of Latin America and, following the broadcast of the series, in the U.S., two other Battlestar Galactica feature films were released in cinemas. Both Mission Galactica: The Cylon Attack and Conquest of the Earth were made up of various episodes of the original series and Galactica 1980 respectively. (See: List of Battlestar Galactica feature films)

Attempted revivals

The original series maintained a cult fandom, which has supported efforts by Glen A. Larson, Richard Hatch, and Bryan Singer (independent of one another) to revive the premise.

Richard Hatch produced a demonstration video in 1998–1999 which featured several actors from the original series combined with state-of-the-art special effects. This video, titled Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming, was displayed at science fiction conventions, but did not lead to a new series.

In 1999, Wing Commander producer Todd Moyer and original series producer Glen A. Larson revealed plans to produce a motion picture based on the television series.[2] [3][4] It would have featured Battlestar Pegasus.

In 2000, the director and an executive producer of the X-Men film, Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto, began developing a Galactica television miniseries with Studios USA for FOX. Intended to air as a backdoor pilot in May 2002, filming was scheduled to begin in November 2001.[5] However, production delays caused by the September 11, 2001 attacks meant Bryan Singer had to drop out, due to his directing commitments on X-Men 2. This led Fox to lose interest in the project.

2003 reimagining

Despite attempts to revive the series over the years, none came to fruition until it was reimagined in 2003 by Universal Television in association with Sky One and the Sci-Fi Channel with Ronald D. Moore as the creative force behind it. Edward James Olmos stepped into the role of Commander Adama. A weekly new Galactica series followed, premiering on Sky One in the UK and Ireland in October 2004, and on Sci-Fi in the U.S. in January 2005.


In December 2003, the American Sci-Fi Channel broadcast a three-hour miniseries that reimagined Battlestar Galactica. This miniseries was so successful that Sci-Fi opted to develop this new version of Galactica into a television series.

Television series

Featuring critically-acclaimed veteran actors Edward James Olmos as Commander William Adama and Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin, the new series first aired in the UK and Ireland on Sky One in October 2004. The series debuted in North America on the Sci-Fi Channel in January 2005. Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Grace Park and Tricia Helfer round out the original cast.[6]

An edited version of the "pilot" miniseries was broadcast on NBC—a corporate sibling of the Sci-Fi Channel—on January 9, 2005, five days before the Sci-Fi series premiere.[citation needed] NBC also aired three selected first-season episodes to promote the show in advance of the second-season premiere in July 2005. Three seasons aired on Sci-Fi and Sky One between 2005 and 2007. A two-hour film (set during the show's second season), Battlestar Galactica: Razor, aired on Sci-Fi on Saturday November 24, 2007, as a prelude to the fourth season. A fourth and final season began airing on April 4, 2008.[7][8] Owing to production delays caused by the 2007-2008 Writers Guild strike, it has been reported that the fourth season will be split into two 10-episode pieces, the second part of which may air as late as 2009. The fourth season will also air on Universal HD beginning in July 2009. [9]

The series has won widespread acclaim among many mainstream non-genre publications. Time magazine,[10] Rolling Stone magazine[11] and New York Newsday[12] named it the best show on television in 2005. Other publications like The New York Times,[13] The New Yorker[14] and National Review[15] also gave the show positive reviews.


The webisodes were a series of shorts produced to promote the third season of the show. They filled in some of the events between the second and third seasons and featured some of the main cast. These webisodes were made so as not to reveal what would happen in the beginning of season three. Season 3 was also set up so that missing the webisodes would not leave a viewer confused about the story.

Each of the ten webisodes was approximately three minutes in length, and they were released twice a week leading up to the U.S. Season 3 premiere.


Battlestar Galactica: Razor is a television film produced and broadcast in the gap between Seasons 3 and 4. It chronicles events on Battlestar Pegasus in two time periods, both of which are "in the past" with respect to the Season 4 continuity. The "present day" framing scenes are set during Lee Adama's command, in the latter half of Season 2, while "flashback" scenes depict Helena Cain's command in the period between the Cylon attack and the reunion with Galactica in the second season episode Pegasus. It aired in the United States and Canada on November 24 and in Britain and Ireland on December 18, 2007. An expanded version was released on DVD on December 4, 2007.


Main article: Caprica (TV series)

Caprica is a proposed television series described as "television's first science fiction family saga". Caprica will be set on the fictional planet Caprica around fifty years before the events depicted in the 2004 reimagined series. The show will revolve around two families, the Adamas and the Graystones, the building of the Cylons, and the beginnings of the first Cylon War. A two-hour backdoor pilot is scheduled to air in late 2008.[16][17]

Comic books

A series of comic book publishers have adapted Battlestar Galactica since its inception.
Marvel Comics published a 23-issue comic book series based upon the show between 1978 and 1981. Other comics have since been published by Maximum Press, Grandreams, Look-in Magazine, Realm Press and, currently, Dynamite Comics. Of all these series, only those by Marvel, Grandreams and Look-In actually completed their storylines and brought the story to a conclusion. All the other series were canceled at various points during their run, with no resolutions.

Both the Grandreams and Look-In comic strips take place early in the series. The other comic series based on the 1978 series have been set after the final episode of the series and ignored Galactica 1980.

The Maximum press series began with the discovery of a completely unpopulated Earth some fifteen years after the conclusion of the TV show. The look and the feel of the comics had been changed considerably from the series, to give the stories a "more nineties" feel.
The Realm Press series picked up immediately after the conclusion of the final episode of the original series in an attempt to present what they called "Season two" of the original show.
Dynamite Entertainment are currently publishing comic books featuring both the classic and reimagined Battlestar Galactica series.


A Battlestar Galactica video game was published on the Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox platforms.

Wiz Kids, Inc. (a collectible game manufacturer) produced the Battlestar Galactica Collectable Card Game based on the 2003 mini-series and 2004 TV show. The premier set of this game was released in May 2006. After the release of one expansion set, Wizkids announced the game's cancellation on March 13, 2007.[18]

The original series inspired a Battlestar Galactica board game. The game is set during a training mission, where two to four players maneuver pieces representing Colonial Vipers in order to capture a damaged Cylon Raider. Skillful play includes using terrain elements and a number of special-ability cards to the players' advantage.

A Battlestar Galactica role playing game was released in August 2007 by Margaret Weis Productions at Gen Con.[19]

A community-created space flight simulator game set in the Battlestar Galactica universe is in development. Beyond the Red Line is based on the open-source FreeSpace 2 game engine. In 2007 a multi-player demo, including three single-player missions, was released. Work on the full version of the game is continuing. Players can participate in deathmatch-style dogfight missions, or in team-based missions, on the side of the Colonials or the Cylons. Beyond the Red Line won the 2007 Mod of the Year award.[20]

Development of a community-created real-time strategy Battlestar Galactica game is also in progress. Battlestar Galactica: Fleet Commander is a Homeworld 2 total conversion. Beta versions of BSG: Fleet Commander are available for Windows and the Macintosh. Players command human or Cylon fleets from both the original series and the 2003 reimagined version of the series. [21][22]

Cylon Attack by A&F Software for the BBC Micro in the 1980's was another game based on the original series (1978)

Superscape, a mobile phone entertainment company, announced the launch of an action-game based on the series. Through a licensing deal with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, the Battlestar Galactica mobile phone game is available for download now worldwide for Java enabled handsets.

FASA in 1979 released a tabletop counter piece game for Battlestar Galactica based on the fighter combat, which included the Galactica and a basestar to be launched from, attack with and attacked/defended. The counters for the Vipers and the Raiders included three model versions MKI/MKII/MKIII not just the MKII Viper and Raider MKI.

The computer game Epic released by Ocean software in 1992 featured a similar plot to Battlestar Galactica as well as similar ship models and characters.[23]


1-^ People's Choice Awards Past Winners:1979 - pcavote.com
2-^ Glen Oliver (March 16, 1999). GALACTICA Reborn ((Todd Moyer talks to Glen about the new movie, Richard Hatch press release, etc. !!!)). aintitcoolnews.com. Retrieved on 2006-06-14.
3-^ Science Fiction News of the Week
4-^ BattlestarGalactica.com : 'Battlestar Atlantis - The Glen Larson / Todd Moyer partnership'
5-^ El Cosmico (February 22, 2001). A New BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Series Is Coming!. aintitcoolnews.com. Retrieved on 2006-06-14.
6-^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407362/
7-^ Blend Television: Battlestar Galactica Premiere Date Set
8-^ LA Times Show Tracker: 'Battlestar Galactica': Say it ain't frakkin so!
9-^ Blend Television: Now That The Strike Is Over, When Will My Shows Come Back?
10-^ Time Magazine Dec. 16, 2005 issue
11-^ Rolling Stone Magazine Jan. 27, 2006
12-^ New York Newsday Dec. 25, 2005
13-^ "Ron Moore's Deep Space Journey," The New York Times July 17, 2005
14-^ "Across the Universe," The New Yorker Jan. 23, 2006
15-^ "Starborn Society," The National Review Jan. 20, 2006
16-^ The Hollywood Reporter: Sci Fi unveils 'Battlestar' prequel
17-^ Blend Television: Scifi Greenlights Battlestar Galactica Prequel
18-^ Battlestar Galactica Collectible Card Game
19-^ Gen Con 2007 In A Nutshell
20-^ Mod of the Year 2007, phase 2
21-^ BSG: Fleet Commander
22-^ Fleet Commander Development forum
23-^ MobyGames page for Epic

External links


The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the Earth. Their purpose: to make it their world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here, that they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun.


The Invaders, a Quinn Martin Production, was an ABC science fiction television program created by Larry Cohen that ran in the United States for a season and a half between 1967 and 1968. Dominic Frontiere, who had provided scores for The Outer Limits, provided scores for The Invaders as well.

Season One has been released as a DVD set in the United Kingdom. The first season was released on DVD in the United States on May 27, 2008.[1] [2]


The opening narration reads as follows:

The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the Earth. Their purpose: to make it their world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here, that they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun.


The series was produced by Quinn Martin, who drew on two sources for the inspiration for the show. One was his previous series, the immensely popular The Fugitive, which had ended in 1967. Unlike Richard Kimble of The Fugitive, however, David Vincent of The Invaders is more the pursuer than the pursued.

Another inspiration was the wave of "alien dopplegänger" films which had come ten years before in the 1950s, typified by Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and the British film, Quatermass 2 (1957), known in America as Enemy from Space. While these paranoid tales of extraterrestrials who posed as humans and lived among us while planning a takeover are usually linked with a Red Scare subtext, Martin simply wanted a premise that would keep the hero moving around and that would explain why he couldn't go to the authorities (not only had the aliens infiltrated human institutions already, but most humans would dismiss a claim of alien invasion as a paranoid delusion).

Roy Thinnes starred as architect David Vincent, who accidentally learns of an alien invasion already underway and thereafter travels from place to place, trying to foil the aliens' plots and warn a skeptical populace of the danger. As the series progresses, Vincent is able to convince a small number of people to help him fight the aliens, most significantly millionaire industrialist Edgar Scoville (Kent Smith) who became a semi-regular character as of December, 1967.

The Invaders were never given a name, nor was their dying planet. They were not even shown in their true, alien form; their human appearance was a disguise. Unless they received periodic treatments requiring equipment that consumed a great deal of electrical power, they would revert automatically to their alien forms. One scene in the series showed an alien beginning to revert, filmed fuzzily and with flashing lights.

They had certain characteristics by which they could be detected, such as the absence of a pulse. Nearly all were emotionless and had little fingers which could not bend, although there were many "deluxe models" who could manipulate this finger. There were also a number of mutant aliens, who unlike the majority of aliens had emotions similar to those of humans, and who opposed the alien takeover. Their existence could not be documented by killing one, for their dead bodies would always glow red and disappear, along with their clothes, any items they were carrying at the time and anything they touched when dying.

An Invader ship landing.

The spaceship by which they reach the Earth is a flying saucer of a design derivative of that shown in the contestable photographs of George Adamski, but instead of having three spheres on the underside, the Invaders' craft has five shallower protrusions. It was a principle of the production crew to not show them with set and prop designs and control panels that were utterly alien from the conventional human ones (such as H.R. Giger would later present in Alien). The Invaders' favorite means of killing someone is by applying a disk with five glowing lights to the nape of the neck, which will cause a cerebral hemorrhage.

In 1995 the series was reprised as a three-hour TV miniseries also titled The Invaders. Scott Bakula starred as Nolan Wood, who discovered the alien conspiracy, and Roy Thinnes reprised his role from the series of David Vincent, now an old man handing the burden over to Wood. The miniseries has been released in some countries on home video, edited into a single movie.


There was a total of seven paperbacks and two hardback published based on the TV series:
by Pyramid Books in the US, all in 1967 : Invaders and Enemies from Beyond, both by Keith Laumer; Army of the Undead by Rafe Bernard.

by Corgi (a Transworld imprint) in the UK : Halo Highway by Keith Laumer (1967), Meteor Man, by Keith Laumer under the pen name "Anthony Le Baron" (1967), The Autumn Accelerator by Peter Leslie (1967), Night of the Trilobites by Peter Leslie (1969).

by Whitman (a subsidiary of Western Publishing) in the US in hardback : Dam of Death by Jack Pearl (1967).

The Invaders: Alien Missile Threat, by Paul S. Newman, A Big Little Book, Whitman Publishing Company, 248 pages, hardcover, 1967.

Note that Army of the Undead by Pyramid and Halo Highway by Corgi are the same story.


The pilot episode of the series, "Beachhead", was remade years later in 1977 for another Quinn Martin series, Tales of the Unexpected, where it was retitled "The Nomads".

Frank Black's "Bad, Wicked World", on Teenager of the Year, is about The Invaders

Gold Key Comics published four issues of an Invaders comic book based upon the TV series in 1967-68, years before Marvel Comics published their own, unrelated Invaders superhero series.
A pre-Internet urban legend (of the missing show kind) has circulated about a hypothetic final episode of the original series. According to it, David Vincent finally manages to convince the authorities and the mainstream of the Invaders' plans, and a massive invasion attempt is successfully thwarted. However, the final scene shows Vincent speaking through a transmitter to a different species of space invaders, to tell them that the coast was now clear -i.e. Vincent's fight had taken place in his position as a mercenary of the second alien race.

Starlog ran an episode guide, in an issue in the 1980s.


Season one (1967)
2-The Experiment
3-The Mutation
4-The Leeches
8-Doomsday Minus One
9-Quantity: Unknown
10-The Innocent
11-The Ivy Curtain
12-The Betrayed
16-Wall of Crystal
17-The Condemned
Season two (1967-1968)
1-Condition: Red
2-The Saucer
3-The Watchers
4-Valley of the Shadow
5-The Enemy
6-The Trial
7-The Spores
8-Dark Outpost
9-Summit Meeting - Part 1
10-Summit Meeting - Part 2
11-The Prophet
13-The Captive
14-The Believers
15-The Ransom
16-Task Force
17-The Possessed
19-The Pit
20-The Organization
21-The Peacemaker
22-The Vise
23-The Miracle
24-The Life Seekers
25-The Pursued

External links

The Invaders at the Internet Movie Database -- the original series
The Invaders at the Internet Movie Database -- 1995 miniseries/movie
The Unofficial Web Site and Episode Guide -- fan site
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