Adventures in Netflix! Episode 3: Galactica 1980


I… I don’t… What the frak did I just watch?

Hello, and welcome to Adventures in Netflix. I’m NekoShogun, and I think I’ve just witnessed one of the worst television shows of history. I’m talking of course about the 1980 Television show Galactica 1980, a really awful attempt at continuing the 1978 show Battlestar Galactica.

Galactica 1980: The Complete "Epic" Series

First, let me start by trying to convey how confused I was by this show. Now, I’m a big fan of the Sci Fi, oops, I’m sorry, SyFy channel remake of BSG, and I’ve even gone back and watched some of the original and kind of liked it. So I thought I’d be able to figure out what was going on here. I was wrong.

The episode opened with a series of scenes, presented somewhat out of order and completely out of context, then they played the theme song, and then  a bearded commander Adama was talking to a weird blond kid about Earth and Cylons and a lot of stuff that made me feel like I was missing something.

The focus then shifted to two colonial pilots talking to a room full of kids about Earth and what it’s going to be like to live there. Again, I got the feeling that I was missing something. The show seemed to expect me to know who these pilots were, but I had no idea they hadn’t been properly introduced, and I was pretty sure they hadn’t been in the original show.

I was so confused by the show in fact that I did a little research, what I discovered surprised and, just a little, embarrassed me: I wasn’t watching the first episode! Yep, turns out the first three episodes are only available on disc at Netflix, and I was watching it on streaming.  Oops!

So having cleared up that mystery I’ll stick to criticizing things that are actually the show’s fault, and there are a lot of them.

Everything I’ve read about this show says that it takes place 30 years after the events of the original series, but every character I saw from the original looked pretty much the same. Sure Adama had a beard, and Boomer had a handful of grey hairs, but they hardly looked 30 years older.

Funny thing is, I actually think Adama looks younger with a beard.

Moving on, once the show moved down to Earth things went from confusing and boring to confusing and gods–awful. First, a quick  little explanation of events. The afore mentioned colonial pilots and roomful of kids are attacked by cylons, they escape on a shuttle but are to far from the fleet to get back, so they go to earth, which is the worst decision the writers could have made. Not five minutes after landing in a field on Earth the kids are revealed to have, for some reason, super powers. I don’t know how to explain it, but the moment I saw that kid jump thirty feet into the air I felt all of the show’s remaining potential evaporate.

And with that leap, all my hopes and dreams died...

Things only get worse from there. A short while after the jumping fiasco things shift to the two pilots racing down the highway on the world’s most goofy looking space motorcycles ever. They pass a pair of cops, played by two people who truly couldn’t act, who of course give chase. The pilots end up using some kind of invisibility field to get away.

Later on there was a terrible scene in which one of the pilots, trying to enter a department store to buy supplies, gets caught in a revolving door. Shortly after, the other pilot (I never really caught their names and I didn’t care enough to look them up) tried to exchange a bunch of colonial gold for Earth money at a bank; a few misunderstandings later and he winds up accidentally robbing the place! Just in case that sounded even mildly interesting… it wasn’t; it was awful.

As the two pilots make their escape on their motorcycles, they pass the two cops from earlier. This time, instead of using the invisibility field, the motorcycles extend a set of dinky little wings and simply take off.

I don't know what's goofier, the flying motorcycles, or those ridiculous helmets.

The rest of the episode is largely a blur of anger and disappointment, but I’ll do my best to summarize.  The pilots and kids disguised themselves as a troop of boy scouts, the air-force is looking for them after reports of a UFO, some of the kids get sick from toxic water, the pilots, being from a better civilization and stuff, fix them up at a doctors office, and then they track down the CEO of the chemical company that polluted the water and lecture him on humanity and morals and stuff.

Behold, the worst thing about this awful, awful show, the most terrible child "actors" in all of history, the "Super Scouts!"

The episode, being part one of a two-part arc, ended with a cliffhanger. But try as I might I can’t remember what the cliffhanger actually was, that’s how bored I was by the show.

Well, I think that’s gonna do it for this episode of Adventures in Netflix.

Quick note: I’m going to be participating in National Novel Writing Month this year, so there may not be as many new episodes in November.

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