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<I>Battlestar Galactica</I> Flying Onto Disc

3 Jul, 2003 By: Brendan Howard

One year after Luke Skywalker fought Darth Vader in 1977's Star Wars, sci-fi fans wanted more. For one season (1978-79) the TV series “Battlestar Galactica” gave it to them.

Now older fans and a new generation of potential fans can see all 24 original episodes, fully digitally remastered in either 5.1 Dolby Digital or the original mono track, in Universal Studios Home Video's Battlestar Galactica: Complete Epic Series (six-DVD set $119.95). It streets Oct. 21 (prebook Sept. 19).

Extras will include never-before-seen footage and new interviews with series creator Glen A. Larson, Richard Hatch (Apollo), Terry Carter (Col. Tigh) and Anne Lockhart (Sheba).

Also available Oct. 21 on DVD is Battlestar Galactica: Original Feature Film (no extras, not remastered) at $19.98. It includes a coupon for $10 off the series set.

The DVD set is the capstone in a 25th anniversary celebration that includes a new “reimagining” of “Battlestar Galactica” with a new cast and storyline to appear as a miniseries on the Sci Fi Channel; and a new video game for Xbox and PlayStation 2 that will act as a prequel to the new miniseries.

The series -- which was canceled so quickly because of high budgets -- follows the adventures of the crew of a spaceship from a colonized planet who are looking for the lost 12th tribe that had left for a fabled planet called Earth. Hot on their heels were the evil robotic Cylons, villains with an eerie red light shifting from left to right in their visors.

Hatch, who played the space pilot Apollo in the series, said “Battlestar's” world held its own against Star Wars'.

“It wasn't just a rip-off of Star Wars. The success of Star Wars made it possible for shows like ‘Battlestar' to come to TV,” Hatch said. “‘Battlestar' had a very unique story and mythology of its own. The fans loved that they could get a very theatrical-style show every week.

“With a second season, the show would have gone on to mega-success. It's still considered the third favorite [sci-fi property] behind Star Wars and ‘Star Trek.' Fans have been dying for this definitive release.”

The mythology of the show is covered in more depth than ever before in the interviews to be included in the set.

“I was listening to [series creator Glen A. Larson] talk, and I had never heard some of the information about the spiritual and philosophical ideas of ‘Battlestar.’ Hatch said. “He goes into detail about where the story came from and the deeper elements.”

The Battlestar itself had a very egalitarian mix of pilots and crew.

“The ‘Battlestar' had a lot of women in powerful positions. The women were equals on that ship,” Hatch said. “Anne Lockhart's character Sheba [who had an on-screen romance with Apollo] could fly the pants off anybody.”

Hatch has been involved for years in trying to get Universal to make a new show continuing the saga. He's worked on a trailer that was pitched to Universal, but never picked up for a series -- “Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming” -- and has written or co-written five books about the adventures of the crew years after the end of the series (and ignoring the fan-reviled continuation TV show “Battlestar: 1980”).

New information on the old series and the new one, and the video game is available at battlestargalactica.com. Information on Richard Hatch's work promoting the show and his novels can be found at richardhatch.com.

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