Monday, July 25, 2016


When sci-fi fans think of 3-D Chess, they inevitably remember several episodes of Star Trek (1966 - 69) in which this futuristic game was prominently featured.  3-D Chess is also seen in Battlestar Galactica (1978 - 79).  The game is set up in Apollo and Boxey's quarters in ("The Gun on Ice Planet Zero", part 1).  Some photos below:

Battlestar Galactica ("The Gun on Ice Planet Zero")
Star Trek ("Court Martial")
Battlestar Galactica (c) NBC / Universal; created by Glen A. Larson.
Star Trek (c) CBS / Paramount; created by Gene Roddenberry.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Battlestar Galactica ("The Gun on Ice Planet Zero")
 - aired on 10/22/78 and 10/29/78 

The Battlestar Galactica two-part story "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" is a rip-roaring, action-packed entry in BSG lore.  This was the very first story developed for the series which probably accounts for an interesting verbal "blooper" - repeated 3 times throughout this story!

A Cylon Base Star (a.k.a. base ship)

It had been established in previous episodes, that the formidable Cylon command base (often shown in packs of three) is called a "Base Star" (or base ship).  For some reason - and for this story only - Adama, Apollo and Athena refer to Cylon Base Stars as CYLON BATTLESTAR(s).  This sounds very odd - and comes off even worse when the DVD Subtitles are activated.  Some photos below:

Adama: ("We've picked up CYLON BATTLESTARS

Apollo: ("...until the CYLON BATTLESTARS
can reach and destroy it.")

Athena: ("...but CYLON BATTLESTARS
are entering the quadrant.")
 ...but all is not lost!  Towards the end of Part 2, Rigel (and the writers!) **suddenly** remember the proper name - Cylon BASE STAR(s)!:

Rigel: ("Cylon BASE STARS, quadrant Epsilon.")
GO Rigel!  :-)
Battlestar Galactica is copyright (c) NBC / Universal; created by Glen A. Larson.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Matthew Starr, P.I.

Fans of early '80's sci-fi TV will remember The Powers of Matthew Starr (1982 - 83).  This often-maligned series starred Peter Barton as Matthew Starr and Louis Gossett, Jr. as Walt Shepard.  The duo were aliens from the planet Quadris who have been exiled to Earth in order to escape the overlords who have taken over the planet.  Matthew (known as Ehawk on Quadris) was a member of the planet's royal family.  On Earth, he posed as a typical American high school student; while Walt was his guardian (and also his science teacher).  Matthew possessed several amazing powers, including E.S.P., telekinesis and astral projection.

I'm currently watching The Streets of San Francisco (1972 - 77) on DVD.  I got a kick out of one 2nd season episode titled "Most Feared in the Jungle" (aired on 12/20/73) which featured a sleazy private detective named Matthew Starr!  A fun coincidence...!  Some photos below:

Matthew Star, P.I.
The Powers of Matthew Star is copyright (c) CBS / Paramount.
The Streets of San Francisco is copyright (c) CBS / Paramount.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Is BATTLESTAR GALACTICA ("The Hand of God") a spoof of STAR WARS: A New Hope?

Battlestar Galactica - "The Hand of God" (Aired 4/29/79)
I consider Battlestar Galactica (1978 - 79) to be the best science fiction TV series of the 1970s by a wide margin.  I was a huge fan of the show when it originally aired and I appreciate it even more in the 21st century.

The Battlestar Galactica episode "The Hand of God" (4/29/79) - the last episode of BSG; written and directed by Donald P. Bellisario, is a great episode and a strong candidate for the Best Stand-Alone episode of the entire short-lived series.  I've always gotten a **tremendous** kick out of several scenes (and lines of dialogue) in this episode that **might** be (gently!) poking fun at Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) - the main inspiration for Battlestar Galactica and a source of litigation between 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios.

If you can't beat 'em - join 'em!  :-)

This (mostly) tongue-in-cheek photo essay (with Subtitles!) briefly highlights 8 points of similarity - intentional or not - between Star Wars: A New Hope and Battlestar Galactica ("The Hand of God").

Below is the exciting Opening Teaser / Trailer for Battlestar Galactica ("The Hand of God").  View it on YouTube HERE:

1).  A major plot point of both Star Wars: A New Hope and BSG: ("The Hand of God") is the reception of a mysterious "message" that is the impetus for much of the action.  In Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker discovers a garbled message in R2-D2's memory circuits (which he later learns is a message from Princess Leia to Obi-Wan Kenobi).  In BSG: ("The Hand of God"), the Colonial Warriors discover a mysterious garbled message / signal (from the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing):

Star Wars: A New Hope - Luke Skywalker discovers
a mysterious garbled message...

Battlestar Galactica ("The Hand of God") - The Galactica
intercepts a mysterious garbled message...
2).  How often do sci-fi characters play with TOYS?!?  Check it out - both Star Wars: A New Hope and BSG: ("The Hand of God") feature scenes where characters "play with toys" (!):

Star Wars: A New Hope - Luke Skywalker plays with a toy starfighter
while C-3P0 watches ("Toys, Luke?").

Battlestar Galactica ("The Hand of God") - Adama studies
a miniature replica of a Cylon Base Star while Baltar watches and mocks him

("Toys, Adama?").
3).  In the Opening Teaser for BSG: ("The Hand of God"), a dramatic voice over by Colonel Tigh gives a dead-on description of the capabilities of both The Death Star and the Cylon Base Star ("She's an orbiting killer, capable of destroying every ship we have."):

("That's no's a Cylon Base Star!") :-)
4).  Both Star Wars: A New Hope and BSG: ("The Hand of God") feature a "strategy session" scene where the Rebels / Colonial Warriors decide a course of action against The Death Star / Cylon Base Star:

Star Wars: A New Hope

Battlestar Galactica ("The Hand of God")

("Man your ships...and May the Force be With You!")  :-)
5). There is some very fun dialogue between Starbuck and Cassiopeia in BSG: ("The Hand of God") that **might** be a send-up of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo's rescue of Princess Leia from her captivity aboard The Death Star.  Cassiopeia says ("'re probably going to find some beautiful female prisoner to rescue on that base star!").  Starbuck replies ("Come on., that's crazy.")  :-)

Battlestar Galactica: ("The Hand of God") - Starbuck and
Cassiopeia discuss the improbable (or perhaps the
inevitable)...!  :-)

Star Wars: A New Hope
LOL! :-)
6).  In both Star Wars: A New Hope and BSG: ("The Hand of God"), the Star Warriors / Colonial Warriors infiltrate The Death Star / Cylon Base Star and wreak havoc...!:

Star Wars: A New Hope - The Star Warriors
infiltrate The Death Star and raise some Hell...!

BSG: "The Hand of God" - Apollo and Starbuck
infiltrate the Cylon Base Star and raise some Hell...!
7).  At the conclusion of both Star Wars: A New Hope and BSG: ("The Hand of God"); The Death Star and the Cylon Base Star are destroyed in a terrific explosion:

Star Wars: A New Hope - The Death Star explodes!

Battlestar Galactica: ("The Hand of God") -
The Cylon Base Star explodes!

8).  To celebrate the victory, both Star Wars: A New Hope and BSG: ("The Hand of God") have a celebration in which the heroes are awarded Medals.  BSG: ("The Hand of God") doesn't show the awards ceremony (probably due to budget or time constraints), opting instead for a "quiet" ending...: 

Star Wars: A New Hope - Celebration!

Battlestar Galactica ("The Hand of God") 
Star Wars: A New Hope - created, written and directed by George Lucas; copyright (c) LucasFilm and 20th Century Fox.
Battlestar Galactica - created by Glen A. Larson; copyright (c) NBC / Universal.

All photos and quoted dialogue are used for illustrative purposes only and are copyright the respective copyright holders.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Stand-In

One of the best episodes of The Greatest American Hero (1981 - 83) is "The Resurrection of Carlini" (11/19/82).  The next time you watch this 3rd Season episode on DVD, be sure to take a close look at an interesting scene at the 38:38 mark.  Robert Culp must not have been available for this pick-up shot where Ralph, Pam and Robert Culp's STAND-IN (dressed in a pirate costume with a mustache) enter a room.  I suspect that most viewers didn't catch this during the initial broadcast (the stand-in is only seen for about 1 second), but he really stands out on the crystal-clear DVD image.

Have a look for yourself in the following four screencaps taken from the DVD set.

The Greatest American Hero:
"The Resurrection of Carlini"

The Stand-In enters the room

The Stand-In (zoomed for close-up)

Robert Culp as Bill Maxwell
The Greatest American Hero is copyright (c) Stephen J. Cannell Productions.  All photos are used for illustrative purposes only.