Most sci-fi fans have a very warm place in their heart for Starbuck, Apollo, and the rest of the crew of Battlestar Galactica. At over $1 million per episode, it became the most expensive show in network history. Star Wars master Jedi f/x man John Dykstra utilized many of the techniques he developed for the Lucas enterprise. George Lucas claimed they were so close he was forced into a failed effort to sue the show for copyright infringement. Sci-Fi channel is about to relaunch this revered franchise, but the results appear so far underwhelming. (Starbuck as an airhead blonde chick?) Dressed in an amazing package that resembles a Cylon face, this is the ultimate Galactica. Glen Larson was already a network master with huge successes under his belt, like the famous forensic scientist Quincy, when he wrote and pitched the show. Galactica was a risk he did not have to take. The result was television magic. Like so many masterful shows before it, such as another famous sci-fi “enterprise”, it was never given a fair chance at the time. It was doomed to only be truly appreciated when it was finally gone.
The audio is once again typical TV quality, remastered into to Dolby Digital 2.0. Stu Phillips’ wonderfully majestic theme is as bright and moving as I remember from all those Yahrens ago. Most of the dialogue is clear, but there’s unfortunately not much else to this simple mix. An occasional low will register on your sub. Remember, the pilot was released in that 70’s gimmick Sensurround, which was really just cranked subs. You will hear a bit of high end distortion on a few scenes in the pilot episode. The rest of the episodes are audibly tame.
Battlestar Galactica is presented in its original broadcast 1.33:1 full frame format. I expected the pilot to be wide screen since it was also shot as a theatrical release. The print is better than the reruns currently available but it does tend to show its age. Although there is some stark contrast between many episodes, the following is generally true. Colors are fine and occasionally quite dynamic for a TV show. There are many film specs and other blemishes evident, again most prominently on the pilot episode. Darks are only fair. The transfer is quite clear of any digital artifact. Layer changes are extremely smooth.
This collection features six double-sided discs. There was a bit of misleading advertisement in the promos. The six discs shown had artwork which, of course, is not on the actual discs. Each disc contains 2-3 episodes with a generous collection of deleted scenes for each. Many of these scenes are in various stages of production. Some have no sound and others are in poor shape. All in all I am very glad to have them in whatever shape they are in.
A fancy booklet accompanies the set, with photos and a guide to each disc. There is also a look at the new sci-fi miniseries / pilot and a promo for a new Galactica video game.
There is a wonderful commentary on the pilot with Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, and Herbert Jeffries. This track is a treasure. They seem to enjoy each other’s company, and its one long reminiscing fest. It is unfortunate that Lorne Greene could not have been there to share this moment. Worth the time.
Every fan’s gotta have this collection. There is far too much here to simply rent it. I like the neat package, but it won’t fit on your DVD shelf. The inner box will, but it is unprotected and has no writing on the spine. This will always be Battlestar Galactica for me. And that’s no “Fildacarp”.