Saturday, 18 May 2019
The intricate internal mechanisms and lighting of the impressive Galactica model are examined prior to filming, in another great behind the scenes effects shot during the making of the pilot episode, circa Summer 1978.
Saturday, 11 May 2019
The sinister truth beneath the once seemingly benevolent face - the mysterious and enigmatic Count Iblis, is fully revealed to Apollo and Starbuck during the chilling finale to War of the Gods Part Two. I remember this moment scaring the 'Pogees' out of me as a little kid watching it mid-evening on UK ITV Thames region, back in 1981. It's no surprise to me that this memorable scene and story continues to be recognised as one of the series and sci-fi TV's all-time great episodes.
Saturday, 4 May 2019
NOTE: This blog contains a make-up effects image that may not be for the squeamish!
We all know how major changes were made to the original pilot episode of Galactica, Saga of a Star World, as the commissioned weekly series followed on its heel. Evading death to return for the second two-part episode to be filmed, Lost Planet of the Gods, would be the female characters of Cassiopeia and a temporarily reprieved Serina (who'd be given a more emotional and satisfying demise soon after). On the villain's side of things Baltar, the traitor to humanity, as played with relish by John Colicos, was himself executed by the duplicitous Imperial Leader, commanding a Cylon beheading duo. But his destiny on the small screen was soon to change...
|Some kind of death scene for Baltar was filmed. Note the substitute playing Baltar wears a balaclava mask over his face with some kind of loose skin make-up appliance on top. With thanks to John Johnson.|
Some kind of death sequence for Baltar was indeed conceived and filmed for Saga of a Star World's theatrical version, as seen in this rare colour image which appeared on the cover of a short-lived, rather obscure 1978/79 UK film/media/science fiction magazine, Screen On!. How and why this grisly shot exactly came into being is not known - perhaps it was some kind of make-up/prosthetics test outtake? (A similar idea to what had prior been done by ILM for an aborted, deemed too graphic Cantina alien death scene (for the at first named 'Walrus Man' character) from the original Star Wars.) If anyone out there has any more info on it, please get in touch.
Baltar's beheading demise ultimately made it into the finished theatrical version of Battlestar Galactica but thankfully in a much more tame, family audience-friendly way- the Cylon Centurion's sword moving in a fast pan simulation. The B/W photos below (and above top colour image) are specially posed from the filming of that sequence, albeit for the theatrical release.
|B/W stills photography from the scene for the theatrical pilot.|
The scene where Baltar is spared from immediate death in the original TV pilot version - Larson liking the character and wanting a human villain for the weekly series - would be concocted via a hodge-podge of existing footage put together, with the Cylon Centurion's unsheathed blade insert shot literally reversed by the editors, followed by a reused close-up of Baltar from earlier in the scene of his looking upwards to the Imperious Leader, followed by Patrick Macnee's new line of dialogue overlaid telling the Cylons to prepare the human for public execution. Later, of the infamous new scene tagged on to the end of the pilot (possibly shot at a point during filming of the next adventure, Gun on Ice Planet Zero - which itself had later reshoots and newly shot insertion material so as to incorporate Baltar- the story moved to later in the sweepstakes transmission run as a result), resulting in Baltar being spared by the new Imperious Leader, Colicos would recall to Starlog magazine in the late eighties: 'He (Larson) directed the pilot's final scene himself, so that when the sword came down to cut my head off, he stopped it at the last second and I was spared if I would betray the human race.'
|Baltar's later-filmed reprieve scene, tagged onto the end of the original pilot episode.|
Saturday, 27 April 2019
Enjoying a little quality time with his friends in the Rejuvenation Centre deep within the Galactica, Boxey has a special trick up his sleeve with regards to his robot daggit's abilities, in this sweet moment, and important later plot device function, from Fire In Space.
Saturday, 20 April 2019
We need very little persuasion to celebrate many of the stunning and capable female Colonial Warriors of the Galactica fleet, as well as the terrific ladies who played them. So this lovely composition from series longtime fan Wiilie T proved another fine blog entry incentive!
Saturday, 13 April 2019
Another great Galactica toy from my youth that I had many hours of fun with - the Mattel 'Viper Launch Station', where you could shoot excellent replica light rubber Vipers out at cardboard Cylon targets. Super stuff, but I had to make sure the family dog never got its sticky chomps on the Vipers!
Saturday, 6 April 2019
Starbuck's cigar and Cylon blasting vices come to the fore in this great behind the scenes image of Dirk Benedict taken during filming of the classic two-parter The Living Legend.