Remembering 'Battlestar Galactica' (2004)

Video   |    |  Documentary

The cast and crew of Battlestar Galactica remembers what it was like to film the series, covering everything from shooting schedules, special effects, costumes, guest stars, aliens and cancellation.


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29 May 2008 | Chip_douglas
| For Dirk Benedict, Battlestar Galactica was all about sex
This documentary is the centerpiece of the Battlestar Galactica boxed set bonus material. It reunites all the main actors (except for Maren Jensen who unfortunately seems to have disappeared), most of the directors, some of the writers and even a couple of guest stars. Creator Glen A. Larson is also there of course, but most of his interview got saved for a short feature of his own elsewhere on the same disc. The same also goes for the Cylons, who are hardly even mentioned over the course of 45 minutes, though the lesser known villains known as the Nomen (who only appeared in two episodes) are discussed in great detail. The show starts with a nicely edited ode to the opening credits and is split up into the following seven chapters:

"Hectic Schedule" - We learn that Glen Larson originally intended Battlestar Galactica as a mini-series and did not want to rush into production, but that's exactly what ABC ordered them to do as soon as the heavily hyped tree hour pilot episode's ratings were in. So during the production of the 24 episode season, rewrites were arriving every day (sometimes after the previous version had already been shot), different episodes were being shot at the same time and (although this goes unmentioned) guest stars like Anne Lockhart (Sheba) became part of the regular cast while others like Maren Jensen (Athena) were unceremoniously phased out. "Special Effects" - here Richard Hatch (Apollo), who is clearly the most knowledgeable and committed cast member erroneously mentions that John Dykstra did the effects for the entire series while in fact he only worked on the pilot and the next four episodes (though it's true that these shots were reused up until the final episode). Dirk Benedict (Starbuck) and Herb Jefferson Jr. (Boomer) join Hatch in explaining the difficulties of filming scenes in the Viper cockpits, having to line up their dialog to the back projection of Dykstra's effects work.

In "In and out of costume" we get to see an outtake from the pilot (Saga of a Star World) of Starbuck making out with Cassiopeia (Lourette Spang) with his shirt off that didn't make it past the ABC censors. The skimpy costumes the guys wore during their games of 'Triad' (which weren't wedgie-proof) and the leather outfits from 'The Living Legend part Two' are also fondly remembered. It is at this point that Dirk Benedict proves his own personality does not differ very much his on screen persona as he starts comparing everything to sex. "Special Guests and Memorable Moments" looks at some of the famous guest stars the show managed to attract like Lloyd Bridges as Commander Cain (a part originally intended for Richard Crenna), Patrick Macnee as Count Iblis (including his famous double entendre delivered to Sheba but cut from the broadcast version) and Fred Astaire as Chameleon. Although the latter refused to do any full out dancing on the show, Dirk B. did catch old Fred dancing in the shadows to the rhythm of malfunctioning prop laser guns. Ray Bolger & Bobby Van as Vector & Hector are perhaps remembered a bit more fondly by the actors than they are by fans of the series, though it is a treat to see more of their dance number (which also ended up on the cutting room floor). It is also at this time that the cast and crew take time to honor Lorne Greene (Adama) for being their anchor and inspiration during filming, as well as John Colicos (Baltar) for being the over the top theatrical villain in real life as well as on screen.

"Aliens and Acrobatics" briefly touches on Evie the chimp who was inside Muffy the Daggit, but more on this subject is revealed in a separate feature. We also get to see some never before shots of the various aliens from the pilot episode, and at last a good look at the Imperious Leader (and his pet lizard to boot!). The acrobatics mainly refers to actors doing their own stunts and the very energetic six year old Noah Hathaway as Boxey. Lourette talks about babysitting Boxey, though he liked to refer to it as a date, and both Noah and Richard Hatch admit to having had a crush on Jane Seymour as they talk about her short but memorable role as Boxey's mother Serina in "Love and Loss". And finally, in the "Epilogue", the interviewees conclude that the show should have gone on longer than it did as it was just hitting it's stride when the final episode (The Hand of God) hit the airwaves. Benedict gets in the last word (after referring to the series as 'foreplay'), saying the show was cut off without notice. But I think 'The Hand of God' is a pretty good way to wrap up the series (and the final episode of Galactica 80 guest starring Dirk is also high on the list).

9 out of 10


Release Date:

10 February 2004



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