The original “Battlestar Galactica” series aired in 1978. It was rebooted in 2004 and ran through 2007. I’ll ignore movies like “Razor” and “The Plan”. There are proposals to reboot “Battlestar Galactica” yet again. I asked why we’d have another reboot, and I was met by confusion. What other reboot was there? It was the short run sequel “Galactica 1980”. And it has been forgotten even by fans of the original series.

 

The Hard Data

“Battlestar Galatica” was initially considered a ratings success, though it was riding on the coattails of “Star Wars”. According to Wikipedia, 28 percent of the public tuned in to watch.

Nevertheless, it was expensive, and it was canceled after one season. A fan write-in campaign led to the first “reboot”. That means there was a passionate fan base. So why did the original BSG reboot fail?

 

It Undermines the Roles in the Original

Starbuck was a fan favorite. He appears in one episode, namely to explain the origin of Doctor Zee. You don’t even learn the fates of other characters.

Doctor Zee is a trope character, the genius child who has tons of ideas. But the character’s role destroys Lorne Green’s character. You have the savior of the human race, Commander Adama, looking up at the genius child of angels asking what to do. That’s a turn off.

 

It Is Hard to Suspend Disbelief for Many of the Scenarios

In “Galactica Discovers Earth”, you are expected to believe that Cylons happy to hand on Halloween and are able to seamlessly interact with humans well enough to hitch a ride. When the Colonials are on Earth, we learn that they essentially gain superpowers… that they never use to their advantage otherwise. Never mind no one says hey, let’s create a small colony on this new world to help them develop or just let a few people off these rust buckets … and those aren’t the only hidden horror stories in “Battlestar Galactica”.

The introduction of humanoid Cylons in “Galactica 1980” could have led to Terminator type scenarios, but the show was too family-friendly to go that route. The BSG reboot in the early 2000s did that right.

 

It Loses the Ethos of the Original

An epic fight for survival becomes a sort of sci-fi spy drama on then modern day Earth. The religious parallels are gone, barring a character who is literally born to lead and watch over humanity. Never mind how boring this is, especially since he isn’t suffering or taking risks like Harry Potter. The few religious references are mostly explanatory hand-waving, such as the mother of Doctor Zee explaining with a trite line how you get from one dimension to another. The time travel plot doesn’t help things.

 

Budget Cuts

The original “Battlestar Galactica” was expensive. The “Galactica 1980” solves this by setting nearly everything on Earth. This does save money on special effects, but you get hokey storylines and difficult to believe scenarios. It might have done better if there were more episodes like “Space Croppers”. What little occurs in the fleet is mostly Lorne Greene begging the child genius for wisdom and advice – and is boring.