Battlestar Galactica

Season 1 Episode 17

The Man with Nine Lives

Aired Sunday 7:00 PM Jan 28, 1979 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
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  • Starbuck meets a man who claims to be his father, while Borellian warriors begin a blood hunt that will lead to the Galactica itself.

    This episode does some fine work with character development -- we learn a little bit about Starbuck's past, the character of Chamelion played by Fred Astaire is very entertaining, and a little conflict occurs between skeptical Apollo and his over-eager best friend.

    The Borellians, while interesting, are a little too cliche for my taste -- it's the first time we've really seen any real diversity of tribes in the fleet, and yet they just turn out to be evil warmongers. Likewise, the conflict between Starbuck and Apollo seems a touch contrived -- couldn't Starbuck have waited for Tigh to say that there *is* no Chamelion registered on the fleet?

    But all in all, there is a definite sense of suspense as the Borellians follow their trail, and Fred Astaire does a great job with his role.
  • Another classic episode of the original series.

    It's unfortunate that the original BSG took so long to find its stride, but "The Man With Nine Lives" was one of the best of the entire show. First, it is notable as being perhaps the first episode of the series not to include the Cylons in any way-- and by turning the plot inward, we are finally able to get more than a glimpse of life in the fleet.

    While on leave from duty, Starbuck and Apollo meet up with a conman named Chameleon that claims to be Starbuck's father in order to escape pursuit by some rather gruff-looking humans who he had scammed in the past. But what makes the episode shine is the character moments, Dirk Benedict and Fred Astair play perfectly off of each other and Mr. Astair did an absolutely amazing job riffing on Starbuck's mannerisms and attitude so that you really believed they were related. Excellent work, all around. (Except for the gruff-humans who seemed completely out of place. We could have done just as well here with a less "alien" antagonist.)

    It's a shame this wasn't followed up on before the series conclusion, but episodes like this really make the series fun to watch.