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4.4 out of 5 stars152
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 7 February 2006
Now that the modern remake of this series is rapidly becoming the next big thing in TV Sci-Fi, many people are going to be tempted to pick up this boxed set to find out how it all began. You can’t go wrong here – this represents astounding value for money, and a great opportunity to discover or rediscover a series that really does deserve its classic status. It even has some decent extras.
Battlestar Galactica was created in 1978 a year after the Star Wars, and was essentially a brazen attempt by ABC television to cash in on the mammoth unexpected success of that film. Under conditions that may never be repeated, it was suddenly considered viable to create a full-blown big-budget epic primetime family-oriented science fiction extravaganza with a budget of $1m per episode (big money in those days). The series ran for a total of 24 episodes before being canned due to its expense and sliding ratings, but it had a huge impact and is remembered with great fondness even by those who aren’t rabid fans.
The story draws inspiration from diverse mythical and religious sources, including Ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, the book of Exodus, and the Mormon upbringing of its creator Glen A. Larson. When the 12 colonies of man are annihilated by the robotic Cylons, the only surviving Battlestar, Galactica, assembles a small fleet of dilapidated civilian ships and makes a run for it with the survivors, hoping to find the legendary 13th tribe who may have settled on a distant, mythical planet called Earth.
The series is often criticised for endlessly recycling stock footage, especially during the space battles where this reaches almost unreasonable levels, and for its cheesiness (plenty of cute kids and robots in this one), but on the whole it’s much easier to forgive such faults in retrospect. It also benefits enormously from its arresting premise, strong plotting, and above all its nigh-on perfect casting. It’s worth watching the 24 episodes through as well, because it does improve as it goes along, and is serialised to a degree (on balance I can see why it lost viewers, but it works much better on DVD). Considering it ran for such a short time, it does a surprisingly thorough job of exploring its themes, so it’s debatable what its natural life would have been had it been allowed to continue. Towards the end it becomes more cerebral and interesting, as eventually Galactica moves beyond its own space and begins to encounter worlds and cultures that bear an eerie resemblance to modern Earth. After cancellation there was a short-lived follow-up series, Galactica 1980, in which the Galactica did in fact reach its destination, but it was so irredeemably awful through its 10 episodes that it’s not really considered canon and is probably best left buried.
There are several documentaries on the seventh disc featuring interviews with almost all of the surviving cast and crew. These are fairly entertaining and informative, especially the production footage which reveals how hard the back-projection was to pull off (it's a shame there isn't more on the effects). It’s clear that Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict are still bitter that the plug was pulled so early, and they express this with some eloquence. Both campaigned vigorously, independently, to bring it back. Hopefully the current darker, grittier, edgier and more realistic BSG will come to a happier end. But somehow I doubt it’ll ever match the optimism and charm of the original, which belongs to a completely different age.
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on 19 June 2007
As others have noted, the first three episodes in this box set are joined together into a single long film, which is equivalent to the 1978 movie that's available as a separate purchase.

However, what's interesting is that the version in this box set is considerably longer than the separate release: I think about 9 or 10 minutes longer.

The most obvious difference is the presence of an Epilogue at the end that shows what happens to Baltar. However, there are other extra or longer scenes interwoven into the entire film, such as an explanation of where the Cylons came from (it wasn't humans who created them).

All in all, if you buy this box set, don't waste your money on the separate 1978 movie release as well. This version is 'the same but better'.
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on 14 January 2006
this is the entire original series of BSG from late 1970's. it looks a little dated now, with the sets and costumes (and a little dialogue), but overall it's still excellent by today's standards!
you have to overlook a couple of bouts of sheer silliness, (how does a kid (Boxey) get involved in serious military matters?, how come the Viper fighters need gyroscopes in space??), but overall, the series is ACE!!
For my money, one of the best characters in it is Baltar, played (with great relish) by John Colicos, the traitor to the human race. Later on in the series, he gets written out of a few storylines, but with guest appearances from the likes of Fred Astaire (Chameleon, in The Man with Nine Lives), and Lloyd Bridges (Cmdr. Cain, The Living Legend - My favourite episode), there is enough going on so that you don't get bored.
The last episode (Hand Of God) is a good place to end the series, as it answers the question whether the mythical "Earth" really exists. This being science fiction, you're never really sure if it's meant to be 'real', or just fiction - until the last scene.
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on 3 February 2006
The Cylons agree to a peace treaty brokered through Baltor (evil eyebrows and everything). The Entire fleet from the 12 colonies goes out to meet, great and take the president to sign the treaty. Of course Adama isn't taking this at face value and as such is semi prepared - at least mentally - for the attack. In fact his son is one of the first casualties and as the rest of the fleet struggle to realise they're getting their bums kicked by the supposed peace seeking Cylons he is also the first to realise that the colonies are totally unprotected and trys to go help which is how his ship survives the innitial assault. This collection then follows the survivors through their escape to Earth visiting several plannets - and yes the Daggit is slightly annoying it doesn't really appear that much.
This is a fantastic buy the extras are also quite funny.
If you remember watching this as a child you can't help but still love it. The charactors are at times cheesily nice to each other and at others you think 'why are you even arguing about this?' But its still great. I saw nothing wrong with the special effects - its a 70's programme it has 70's effects - and the acting is very good.
- One question that lingers over this show is that if Baltor is aware (and the Cylons remind him several times) that the Cylons wish to destroy all humans - including him (which again he is told by the Cylon leader), why he keeps helping them when he could escape to go rule over some backward plannet?
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on 30 September 2005
Like some of the others that have written reviews I too watched this in the 80's and all I could remember was the cylons and Face from the A-Team shooting them up. But after purchasing the boxset and watching it again it is only now I appreciate how good this series was/is (better than the new series)! yes the picture is'nt 100% but is that really important what I watch for is the special effects and great story lines and Face from A-team blasting Cylons ,remember this is an early 80's tv series not a 100 million dollar movie.If you liked it in the 80's then your still going to like, if your looking for classic sci-fi then it's worth a look at under £20 for the entire series.
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on 16 January 2004
I remember when I was 8 or 9 and I just couldn't wait to see another episode of Galactica. It was amazing! I kept waiting for them to arrive here on earth...all of them, including daggit!
I go on being a sci-fi fan, trying not to miss a sci-fi movie or serie, but this is truly the ONE for me. And finally someone had the courage and intelligence to release this box-set!
Well...yesterday, when the box-set arrived I couldn't wait to go home and watch all the episodes... of course this is a tough job but somebody has to do it!!
Till now I have watched 4 episodes and I must say it is a superb production. Rememeber how all sci-fi charecters used to look funny in those silver futuristic costumes?...Well, Galactica characters are not like that at all and they still look very updated (and fashionable) in those brown uniforms and greek/roman like costumes. Plus, the battle scenes look real and the special fx (visual and sound) are very good with thrilling battles with the Cylons, who still look (and walk) much better than Darth Vader!! Till now (remember I just saw 4 episodes), each episode had a good story with quite good performances. I just can't wait watching all episodes.
I still can't understand why Galactica had never the same popularity has other sci-fi series when it was (and is) so good.
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on 11 June 2004
I grew up on this throughout the 80s - Battlestar Galactica, Mission Galactica and Conquest of The Earth were 3 of my favourite films but i didnt realize as a youngster that they were all cobbled together from various episodes of the t.v. show. Ok its a bit hokey in places and you just wish for Jane Seymour's son and that godammn dog/daggit to be sucked out of the airlock but its still great! Personal favourite is Living Legend with Lloyd Bridges as guest star. Its also noticeable that many of the episodes blatantly borrowed plots from other movies ie Dirty Dozen, Towering Inferno and Shane but who cares. The cast is great but the real scene stealer is John Colicos as Baltar who really does chew the scenery as he plots the destruction of Dirk Benedict and Co. Quality of the episodes is pretty good and there are plenty of extras - the deleted scenes should keep you going for a while even if some of them do come-across as "i'm glad that didnt put that in the show" quality.
All we need now is the Batman and Buck Rogers TV shows out on DVD and we'll be well away
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on 27 June 2004
If you're reading this you don't need me to remind you how brilliant this series was - jaw-dropping special effects, epic space battles, the human race all but destroyed by the mechanistic Cylons and on the run in a hastily cobbled together rag-tag fleet of ships.
Made in the days when CGI might be considered a cute name for a robot but nothing else and filmmakers had to actually build massive sets and spaceship models. Forget the less than perfect acting, savour the adventure!
Critiscised by some reviewers as a poor-man's Star Wars and by others for its sometimes heavy-handed religious overtones, the series still looks good 25 years on - and I can still remember seeing the original movie on the BIG screen where the dog-fights of Colonial Vipers and Cylon Raiders across the battle scarred Galactica made the hairs on the back of my neck rise up.
Go on, treat yourself!
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on 9 February 2004
I loved the series, but as a DVD box set, this is a bit of a disappointment.
I've only watched the first 5 episodes, so far, but I have to report that the picture is average, at best. There's been no attempt to clean it up that I can see. At times, it has a hazy quality that makes it seem that you're viewing it across a smoky room - and there's no smokers in our house! There's a fair share of blips and scratches too, although nothing too distracting. It's still better than VHS, of course, but not by as much as I'd hoped it would be.
The sound, at least, is a massive improvement over my old video tapes of the series. Although touted as a 5.1 mix, I got nothing out of my rear speakers, save for some music over the opening credits. But all my front speakers appeared to be busy, even the sub-woofer.
I've not yet watched any of the extras, so I can't comment on those. However, you should be warned that the US version of this set has more extras still, including a Hatch/Benedict commentary over Saga of a Star World. I decided I could live without these though.
Despite all that, I'd still put this down as an essential purchase for fans of the series, and at a reasonable price (less than 40 quid, as I write this).
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on 21 April 2013
I always loved the original Battlestar Galactica I remember it as a child and thought it looked amazingly high tech at the time,it looks dated now,but is way better than the remake they released a few years ago which is far too sexed up for my liking,it's just a shame this series was cancelled,I know there's the 1980 version,but although okay can't compare to this greatness.
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