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Old 10-29-2019, 12:40 AM
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Could Battlestar Galactica of been the next star wars?


When the original b.s.g came out. Star wars was the hottest property.I wonder if the 78 Galactica could of done at least 3 season s.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:50 AM
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When the original b.s.g came out. Star wars was the hottest property.I wonder if the 78 Galactica could of done at least 3 season s.
If they had been able to deliver good quality stories and SFX week after week, possibly so, but it likely wasn't possible to deliver anythng close to Star Wars on weekly television in the 1970s. As I remember it, a big part of the issue was that they lacked the budgets to consistently deliver high quality episodes. They recycled the same handful of SFX shots again and again in order to save money, and while there were a few good scripts after the pilot film, there were also a lot of clunkers.

Also, ABC cancelled BSG after its ratings dropped -- but one should note that the drop in ratings was likely due to CBS moving All in the Family and Alice into BSG's time slot on Sunday nights.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 10-29-2019 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:50 AM
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Not sure what you saying here. Star Wars came out first. Battlestar Galactica was produced because of the success of Star Wars. So Battlestar Galactica had whatever success it derived from Star Wars.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:56 AM
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I was the target demographic at the time: smitten with Star Wars, willing to watch anything set in space.

But even I could see it was a hastily thrown-together Star Wars Lite.

(But to be honest, Buck Rogers deserves that epithet even more. I mean, I'm sure they thought "C3PO was humorous, so let's foist the Abomination That Is Twiki on the public!") (Hmmm, BG did have a cyborg dog near the end...)

So, maybe, with better writing and sets and special effects, yes, it could've been... but they would've had to set their sights higher before they started shooting.

If only the whole show had had the emotional punch of Lorne Greene intoning "That... was my son."
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:03 AM
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(Hmmm, BG did have a cyborg dog near the end...)
Actually, Muffit the robot daggit (dog) was in the original pilot film.

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So, maybe, with better writing and sets and special effects, yes, it could've been... but they would've had to set their sights higher before they started shooting.
What I didn't realize (or remember) until reading the Wikipedia article on BSG just now -- it wasn't originally planned to be a weekly series. Glen Larson (the series creator) had originally planned it to be a series of three made-for-TV films, but they made a last-minute change into a weekly series, which apparently led to lousy scripts for a time.
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:23 AM
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:36 AM
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Would Mighty Joe Young have been a bigger hit if King Kong hadn't come first? It's really that derivative. I watched some old episodes with my nephew back in the 90s and they did not hold up very well.
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:41 AM
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:59 AM
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So, maybe, with better writing and sets and special effects, yes, it could've been... but they would've had to set their sights higher before they started shooting.
They would never have gotten the budget for better sets and special effects. But they could have worked on better scripts.

Good writing is what made the Battlestar Galactica remake a success. And it's why there have been eight Star Trek series.
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:28 AM
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Network executives took the teeth out of it to make it more "family friendly". It would have been a much better show if the network executives had kept their hands out of it. The network suits saw it as more of a kid's show, unfortunately.

The writing definitely went downhill as the show progressed. I don't know how much of that was due to it being difficult to get good writers due to low budgets or how much executive interference killed decent stories (gotta keep it kid friendly), but whatever the reason, the show definitely needed better scripts.

The show was still doing reasonably well in the ratings when it was cancelled. Based on ratings alone, the show could have easily had a 3rd season, but it just wasn't profitable enough due to its high production costs. Money killed it more than anything else.

The show was on its way down, though. Maybe if the suits had stayed out of it and let the writers have some vision then it would have been better, but one way or another it wasn't going to last too much longer (IMHO).
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:57 AM
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...ignoring the quality of the script writing for a second: but the production design, the Vipers, the Battlestars, Basestars and Cylon Raiders, the uniforms, the look and feel of the series, was simply (excuse the pun) out-of-this-world. (And I'd say the same for Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the Starfighters were the best) . All hail Ralph McQuarrie & Co.

And the music! My gosh...the music. The theme-song was one of my favourite things. I listen to it every so often when I need a bit of inspiration. Its majestical.
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:59 AM
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The original movie was pretty good but once they went to a series the scripts were mediocre to awful. I see that were rushed into production, and it showed.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:57 AM
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Note that the person who supervised the production of the first episode was Leslie Stevens, who produced The Outer Limits and had some understanding of the genre. He did not work on any other episode of the series.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:13 AM
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I eagerly watched the first episode of the original Battlestar Galactica -- Getting good special effects at the time was still pretty rare, and the fact that they used some of the same people who worked on the effects for Star Wars meant that we were going to get that. It was pretty impressive, and the music was good. But the whole thing was kind of hokey, especially that forced "Daggit" (which was played by a chimp in a foam suit with some radio-controlled devices), clearly an attempt to give us a "cute" R2D2-like hanger-on. "Starbuck" was a retread "Han Solo". It didn't help that it starred Lorne Greene as the leader, giving it a "Bonanza in Space" vibe. But it was cool that they got Patrick MacNee as a villain, and got Frank Frazetta to paint advertisements for the show.

Mad magazine quickly picked up on the flaws in the series, the way they basically recycled plots from elsewhere. Or that they always showed Baltar lit from underneath ("Have them shut off that light shining up into my face to make me look Evil! It's driving me nuts!"). Long before that James E. Ford paper pointing out the similarities between Battlestar Galactica and Mormon culture that the Wikipedia article refers to (Glen E. Larson was LDS), the Mormon science fiction writer Orson Scott Card had pointed it out in his Saintspeak Dictionary. He said that the show was clearly put together to make things hard for Mormon missionaries. They'd try to explain LDS theology, and the potential converts would say "I'm sorry, but it all reminds me of the silliest sort of science fiction." Card pointed out the many similarities.

Anyway, it was clear that Battlestar was aiming at a lower common denominator. And, after you'd seen the full repertoire of effects, there wasn't much point to continuing to watch it, so I gave up pretty early on the show.

Could it have become the next Star Wars? No way. It started out as a painfully obvious derivative of that phenomenon, and its originality and creativity declined week by week. It wasn't going anywhere interesting.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:08 AM
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I was right there in the beginning. I had high hopes. the production values were very good, for 1978 TV. (They didn't recycle Viper banking shots over and over and over right away.)

But the stories! The best we could ever say about the show was, "well, that was a little better." Even the good episodes (The Living Legend, War of the Gods, Experiment in Terra, The Hand of God) weren't that good, but they were almost there.

Then along came Galactica 1980 and it showed that the good episodes were flukes. Other than The Return of Starbuck (which wasn't that great - it still had Dr. Zee (insert vomit emoji)), it was all crap.

Star Trek TOS succeed despite poor effects because it had good stories. BG failed because it had good effects but crap stories. Same with BeeDeeBeeDee Buck. You all should read the old Starlog article about the behind the scenes meddling by the network in Buck Rogers. It's hilarious, and sad.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:16 AM
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"Could of"???
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:13 AM
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"Could of"???
I'm pretty sure that the intended phrase was "could have" -- I frequently see the word "of" mistakenly used for "have" in that context. The "have" in "could have" (or "could've") is often pronounced more like "of," and I suspect that many people think that "of" is the right word.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:18 AM
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Then along came Galactica 1980 and it showed that the good episodes were flukes. Other than The Return of Starbuck (which wasn't that great - it still had Dr. Zee (insert vomit emoji)), it was all crap.
I never got a chance to see Galactica 80 when it first aired but I knew full well that it was not good. I did get to see it on Netflix a few years ago and got a chance to confirm how bad it was. Netflix didn't have the first episode included though for some reason, which I understand is better than the rest of the season and was about a villain from the Galactica going back to the 40s and hooking up with Nazis. The Return of Starbuck was not too bad either but everything in between was awful.

The story I understand of it was that ABC was way overinvolved in the project and they put the show in the Primetime Access slot (7:00 Eastern on Sunday) so they had to be way more family friendly, which meant adding kids to the show and eliminating gunfights and violence. So the stories were watered down and uninteresting to kids or parents.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:24 AM
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And I'd say the same for Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the Starfighters were the best.
Yes. I must still have my one of these somewhere, because I would have never gotten rid of it.

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Old 10-29-2019, 11:26 AM
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The '78 show never would have lasted 3 full seasons. Eventually that one snippet of film showing 3 Cylon raiders descending would have worn out from constant re-use.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:20 PM
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The '78 show never would have lasted 3 full seasons. Eventually that one snippet of film showing 3 Cylon raiders descending would have worn out from constant re-use.
And the clip of the Cylon Raider banking up and to the right, with the Viper shooting at it three times, then connecting on the fourth shot.

https://youtu.be/E2BJodHVGT8?t=140

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Old 10-29-2019, 12:46 PM
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And the clip of the Cylon Raider banking up and to the right, with the Viper shooting at it three times, then connecting on the fourth shot.

https://youtu.be/E2BJodHVGT8?t=140
You made me nostalgic!

The first time, it was OK. That was a good scene, in the pilot movie,

When they were still using it in the last episode., well....
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:57 PM
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It's probably for the best that Battlestar Galactica failed. Had it become as successful as Star Wars Glen A. Larson may have become to busy to do other things.

Like create Knight Rider.

And that would have been the real shame.

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Old 10-29-2019, 01:31 PM
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It's probably for the best that Battlestar Galactica failed. Had it become as successful as Star Wars Glen A. Larson may have become to busy to do other things.

Like create Knight Rider.

And that would have been the real shame.
Knight Rider? Larson's real masterpiece was his reunion with Lee Majors for The Fall Guy.
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:44 PM
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It's probably for the best that Battlestar Galactica failed. Had it become as successful as Star Wars Glen A. Larson may have become to busy to do other things.

Like create Knight Rider.

And that would have been the real shame.
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Knight Rider? Larson's real masterpiece was his reunion with Lee Majors for The Fall Guy.
You two are nuts. Larson's greatest creation was obviously Magnum, P.I.
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:57 PM
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You two are nuts. Larson's greatest creation was obviously Magnum, P.I.
We all totally forgot about Larson's magnum opus-------Automan!!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automan
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:07 PM
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From the amount of rip-offery, Battlestar Galactica wasn't trying to be the NEW Star Wars; it was trying to be the SAME Star Wars .
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:25 PM
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Y'all gonna make me defend BSG.

The only season feels like its got 100 eps in it. Most shows have this overall melding tone in their first seasons. BSG had:

Pilot
Discovery of Kobol and death of Jane Seymour
Ice Planet Death Weapon
Living Legend
The Devil shows up!
Space nazis in subs episodes
We get rid of Baltar
Final ep where they miss the moon landing transmission

Finally Galactica 80 had the great Starbuck episode.

My problem with BSG was their ship capabilities were wonky as hell. Some five episodes in they announce they are finally leaving their star system....WHAT??? what? How are you even getting to other star systems then? Are cylons all robots? (Not including books which said some were lizard-cyborgs?)
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:05 PM
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Y'all gonna make me defend BSG.

The only season feels like its got 100 eps in it. Most shows have this overall melding tone in their first seasons. BSG had:

Pilot
Discovery of Kobol and death of Jane Seymour
Ice Planet Death Weapon
Living Legend
The Devil shows up!
Space nazis in subs episodes
We get rid of Baltar
Final ep where they miss the moon landing transmission

Finally Galactica 80 had the great Starbuck episode.

My problem with BSG was their ship capabilities were wonky as hell. Some five episodes in they announce they are finally leaving their star system....WHAT??? what? How are you even getting to other star systems then? Are cylons all robots? (Not including books which said some were lizard-cyborgs?)
half your plot points are the same episodes I listed.

The Gun on Ice Planet Zero was just a cheap imitation of the Guns of Navarone.

I can defend BG and attack it, in the same episodes.

The Living Legend was one of the better episodes, can't go wrong with Lloyd "I picked the wrong day to quit overacting!" Bridges, and Sheba was a great addition. But Cain was a horrible commander; his tactics were suspect, his grasp of the Big Picture lacking, and his respect for the chain of command non-existent. The scene where the cylon pilot asked "what about the other battlestar" was great, and the though of having an ally in the universe made me hope for the future of the show, but then it's countered by the general idiocy of Cain's plan, and the plot in general. (that, and using Saturn V third stage footage for super weapons launch! Talk about cheap!)

And then in War of the Gods, the BG crew finds the wreck of what may or may not be the Pegasus, and then...nothing! "Don't let Sheba look!" makes you think it was, then they completely forgot about it. There's no reason for a show of that time to be so subtle.

Space Nazis in Space Subs (aka Experiment in Terra) was a great idea that just went in the wrong direction. Terra SHOULD have been Earth, but that wouldn't fit with the tone of the show. So they teased, but left us frustrated, The left the smell but took the steak. The look and feel of that episode was great. The look on the SNiSS when they got taken aboard the Galactica was priceless!

Galactica 1980 was such a mess. After all these yahrns of travel, when they get to Earth and find us to be backwards hicks (and they can tell, because we watched Galactica 1980!) they just...move on! Earth has no protection against an enemy with the power of the Cylons, but hey, maybe no one will see them. See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!

And what really funny about that is, when the Vipers start zooming and banking through earth's atmosphere, in their "we are sooo much more advance than you puny earthers" Vipers, they almost got shot down by a pair of F15s! If the Galacticans didn't have the Magik Invisibility Device, they'd have been toast. Hmmm, maybe we could have taken the Cylons after all!

Not to mention that the Galactica picked up the Apollo 11 broadcasts how many light years away, and yet, somehow, 15 years later ship time they arrive 11 years later on earth. Hello! Science!

And the less said about Dr Zee, the better. Robbie Rist! That kid ruined more shows than Ted McGinley.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 10-29-2019 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:00 PM
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We could take the Cylons! I distinctly remember the Colonials commenting on our great driving skills and staying in formation!

You can actually see how slow the cylon ships are in atmosphere....our jets are much faster and more accurate!

Speaking of wonky one time only tech (super-weapons!)

Didn't Galactica emit a planet wife shield to stop a nuclear war??
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:04 PM
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Network executives took the teeth out of it to make it more "family friendly". It would have been a much better show if the network executives had kept their hands out of it. The network suits saw it as more of a kid's show, unfortunately.
This was a problem with a lot of the sci-fi in the 70's, IMO. "The kids love Star Wars, let's do more Star Wars kids shows."

I think the reboot shows that BSG obviously could have mined a ton of space-opera interest. Network execs just weren't thinking that way in the 70's.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:38 PM
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Didn't Galactica emit a planet wife shield to stop a nuclear war??
Yes, in Experiment In Terra the Galactica obliterated ALL the ICMBs in flight. I remember it with Adama smirking about the Terrans primitive technology, but that could just be my 40 years of bitterness at the show clouding my memory. Your superior weapons didn't prevent a multi-system holocaust, old man.
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:39 PM
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Didn't Galactica emit a planet wife shield to stop a nuclear war??
"Wives Against Nuclear War."

(Great typo!)
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:30 PM
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:41 PM
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Yes, in Experiment In Terra the Galactica obliterated ALL the ICMBs in flight. I remember it with Adama smirking about the Terrans primitive technology, but that could just be my 40 years of bitterness at the show clouding my memory. Your superior weapons didn't prevent a multi-system holocaust, old man.
That was a quibble of mine that even the new BSG didn't deal with. Is each colony in a different star system? A different planet? Just 12 different colonies in one system?
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:14 PM
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Television in 1978 was only going to be so good. Essentially no drama at the time was up to the standards of 21st century TV. No network would have allowed that artistic freedom that today's cable content networks do.

Of course, even if they had, BSG wasn't going to be Star Wars. Only Star Wars is Star Wars. Had there been cable TV and Space Network in 1978, what BSG could have been would be... uhh, Battlestar Galactica, actually. The reboot is what you'd hope and dream a space TV show could be.

In 1978, too, people still thought of sci fi as being for kids, so it was doomed to being simple and having a robot dog and stuff like that. Today it's just normal to aim sci fi and comic book stuff at adults, so you can have the modern BSG, which has not a single thing in it for children.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:15 AM
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In 1978, too, people still thought of sci fi as being for kids, so it was doomed to being simple and having a robot dog and stuff like that. Today it's just normal to aim sci fi and comic book stuff at adults, so you can have the modern BSG, which has not a single thing in it for children.
People like to say things like that, and it wasn't true then, and it isn't true now. I give you two examples: Star Trek and Sharknado.

OK, I also give you Logan's Run the Series, Genesis II, The Questor Tapes, Quark, Future Cop, The Invisible Man, The Night Stalker, UFO and, to some extent, The Starlost. I wouldn't describe any of those as "for kids". I wouldn't necessarily describe some of them as "good", either, but that's a different kettle of fish.

There are also 70s sci fi movies that aren't "for kids", but I assume you're just talking about TV?
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:25 AM
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We could take the Cylons! I distinctly remember the Colonials commenting on our great driving skills and staying in formation!

You can actually see how slow the cylon ships are in atmosphere....our jets are much faster and more accurate!
Wasn't their an episode of 1980 where a humanoid Cylon and a Centurion crashed on Earth, and they found that microwave ovens can disable the centurions? I always assumed that was going to become a major plot point going forward.
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:13 AM
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That was a quibble of mine that even the new BSG didn't deal with. Is each colony in a different star system? A different planet? Just 12 different colonies in one system?
I always assumed different systems and FTL travel, mostly because 1) I was raised on Star Trek and 2) anything else is just stupid*. Doesn't Hollywood understand how BIG space is?

But who knows what they were thinking.




*I thought it was silly if not stupid in Firefly, too, but not as bad as BSG would be in one system. How do all those planets keep a habitable temperature?
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:18 PM
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Hollywood still doesn't understand the vastness of space. There is a well known director who recently made a science fiction movie where they made a planet into a super weapon that sucks energy from its sun somehow, and then shoots a death ray across systems where it splits into different death rays, and then hits different planets, and people can stand there and watch, and the ray doesn't seem to go through hyperspace, and it instantly blows up the target planets as soon as the death ray hits them.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:31 PM
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Hollywood still doesn't understand the vastness of space. There is a well known director who recently made a science fiction movie where they made a planet into a super weapon that sucks energy from its sun somehow, and then shoots a death ray across systems where it splits into different death rays, and then hits different planets, and people can stand there and watch, and the ray doesn't seem to go through hyperspace, and it instantly blows up the target planets as soon as the death ray hits them.
What hack would make something so stupid? That's right up there with sentient bugs shitting unguided rocks across interstellar distances, and having them hit specific targets.


yes I know who it was. George you can write this stuff, but it makes NO DAMN SENSE!

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 10-30-2019 at 12:32 PM.
  #42  
Old 10-30-2019, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post


yes I know who it was. George you can write this stuff, but it makes NO DAMN SENSE!
(George didn't write that one though)
  #43  
Old 10-30-2019, 01:56 PM
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(George didn't write that one though)
Huh! ( and I usually read credits...getting sloppy)

Well, that's even worse! All three have written good movies.
  #44  
Old 10-30-2019, 02:08 PM
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People like to say things like that, and it wasn't true then, and it isn't true now. I give you two examples: Star Trek and Sharknado.
I do not for an instant understand how Sharknado has anything to do with this. I didn't say ALL fantasy/sci fi stuff now is for adults.
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