Battlestar Galactica

Season 1 Episode 2

Saga of a Star World (2)

Aired Sunday 7:00 PM Sep 17, 1978 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
78 votes
  • With low food and fuel supplies and discontent growing among the fugitive fleet, the Council hatch a plan to reach the safety of planet Carillion. But once on Carillion, everything seems a bit TOO perfect – and nasty surprises lurk underground. Decent...

    This review contains minor spoilers.
    Review continued from Part 1.

    The story continues as discontent grows among the rag-tag fleet that the Galactica is attempting to lead to safety.

    Most of this segment is taken up with character expansion, in particular, Starbuck, as he attempts to romance Cassiopeia behind the back of Athena (I never did work out yet if Athena is Starbuck's "official girl", or just has her eye on him, or what the deal is. Either way, it leads to some moments of friction, mostly played for comedy).

    Elsewhere, young Boxey (played in traditional 1970s "cutesy kid" style by Noah Hathaway) gains a Daggit, a cyborg half-bear, half-dog "thing", named Muffit. One single thought about Muffit. What. Were. They. Thinking?!
    Sure, many TV shows of this age, particularly science-fiction ones, included elements "for the kids", but this thing … ?! Even for the era it was filmed, it's embarrassing to watch. I thought it was a joke that a chimpanzee was put inside to move Muffit, until I read up and found it was actually true!! (I'm sure that animal welfare was involved every step of the way, but something about this just feels kinda wrong!).

    Other elements I didn't get to touch on in Part 1: the Cylons – yes, they do look like giant toasters. Obviously Storm Trooper-influenced. But I don't mind them one bit; they fit in with the "comic-book space saga" feel of the whole thing.

    Jane Seymour is as lovely as ever; she doesn't really get much to do in the whole story, but works with what she's got. And although it's never explicitly stated on-screen (although heavily hinted at in her introduction), Laurette Spang's character of Cassiopeia had previously been working as a "socialator", in other words, a prostitute (although it could be taken that she was more of a geisha). Due to the Standards and Practices of American TV at the time, this would be little referenced in the following TV series, as she instead became a nurse.

    In the later stages of the story, as the crew arrive on planet Carillion, where the final third of the story takes place, things set into what could be a more typical "mystery planet" episode of the week. Not that this is a bad thing.
    Again, many of the props and designs here look very clunky, and were surely dated by the time the show ever first aired. As I said on my review for Part 1, it is the design of many of the props and sets that are maybe the original BSG's downfall, as they feel to be so rushed – maybe as the series was rushed to the screens to capitalise on the success of 'Star Wars' less than a year earlier.

    The planets insectoid inhabitants are quite clearly men in rubber suits, but you know what, I can forgive this. C'mon, vintage 'Star Trek' (still the best incarnation of 'Trek', in my opinion) is so highly regarded, but even in that, many of the "monsters" were guys in rubber costumes. What do you expect from 1978 (and a TV budget at that), 3-D CGI-created living insects? Accept it for what it is, all part of the comic-book fun.

    Although I won't refer too much to the other current review on these three episodes (I totally respect where the reviewer is coming from, but feel they are comparing far too much to the 2004 BSG, a totally separate production that came out over *25 years* later), I do get what they mean about the sweeping over of the whole Colony being destroyed in Part 1. Further, Apollo's younger brother Zac, being killed in his first space combat early in Part 1, almost seems forgotten by Part 2. But at the same time, this was a different era, a different style of story. This wasn't sobbing-emotion-driven material. Sure, the crew mourned such losses, but here they are more concerned with merely surviving. To use the phrase once again, this is comic-book fodder folks (and in the traditional sense, not the modern "dripping with emotion" style).

    As with Part 1, I really enjoyed this second part. Again it does have some flaws, but it kept me interested throughout, enough for me to again give it a respectable 9 out of 10.

    Review concluded in Part 3...
  • Felgercarb, Daggits, and other WTF moments SPOILERS!

    After discovering that their food, and water supply has been contaminated the crew of the Battlestar Galactica make plans to head to the planet Carillon to refuel and restock supplies.

    Despite being incredibly flawed, part one of Saga of a Star World at least had intrigue and action going for it. Part two, however, is an overextended transition device. The plot doesn't seem to thicken or advance much at all. It just stagnates until the last 10 minutes where it then opens up rather clumsily. We spent a lot of unnecessary time on Starbuck and the space hooker's budding 'relationship' and just lightly touch on the interesting issues. What happens to the body of government. How are they going to find earth? Why the frack are Cylons basically lizards in tin suits?

    The dialogue is truly horrendous. It comes across as corny and awkward as well as sounding forced. It gets even worse when technobabble is involved. The 'alien' words like felgercarb and frack get extra points for being unnecessarily unnatural sounding.

    The sets and costumes are still rather nice even though the costumes are outlandish. Though most of the stuff is painfully (and I really do mean painfully) fake. The daggit is a perfect example of this. There was no need of putting a trained monkey in an ugly suit. Think of all the money they could save by just having a regular trained dog!

    The acting is once again sub par with the exception of Lorne Greene/William Adama's monologue/discussion with Maren Jensen/Athena. Dirk Benedict seems so out of place at best and down right annoying at worse in his role as Starbuck. Richard Hatch does get a few brief moments to shine as his character Apollo tries to connect with the child survivor, Boxey. Maren Jensen is still absolutely terrible.

    The ultimate nail in the coffin for this episode (and the way it's looking, the rest of the series) is the general attitude of the characters. The twelve colonies have just been destroyed, cylons could attack or take over at any minute, and their food/water ration supplies will most likely run out before they find Earth. Yet, the characters act like this is just another day at the office. Like this happens every single day. With the exception of the previously mention Lorne Greene monologue, you really wouldn't think the world has just come crashing down around them. It's this moment you realize how shallow the original BSG really is. It's just a cheap cash in on Star Wars explosion wrapped in Mormon trappings that was ultimately poorly executed.