MISSION GALACTICA: THE CYLON ATTACK (1979)
Article 4926 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Christian I. Nyby II and Vince Edwards
Featuring Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Lorne Greene
What it is: Space Opera edited from TV episodes
The Galactica encounters the Battlestar Pegasus after having believed it was destroyed in a previous battle. However, the Pegasus’s commander, though a brilliant military tactician, is also obsessed with glory, and tries to force the Galactica to join it on a foolhardy attack on a Cylon outpost.
As stated in my review of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, I’ve never seen the original series, though the fact that many of the episodes were edited into TV movies will ultimately result in me watching quite a bit of it. This one edits together three episodes of the series; “The Living Legend” (parts one and two), and “Fire in Space”. I didn’t know that as I was watching this. Knowing it now, I recognize that what I saw had the dirty fingerprints of what happens when you edit together different episodes of a TV series; you get a lopsided plot that does not feel like an organic whole. This one is particularly annoying in that it never resolves the story arc that takes up the first two-thirds of the movie (which is actually a rather intriguing story); it gets mired in the “Fire in Space” episode and then practically dismisses the original story with a couple of lines of dialogue. One thing I have discovered from watching this, though; I dislike the Cylons as villains, and I found the character of Baltar (who I gather is a renegade human helping the Cylons) particularly tiresome, as he seems to spout nothing but evil-villain cliches. At this point, based on what I’ve seen so far, I’d have to say that the original series was a very mixed bag indeed.