Colonial Fleets

Colonial Fleets (
-   Battlestar Galactica
1978/80 Episode Reviews
-   -   BG-15: Experiment in Terra (

Flamingo Girl May 10th, 2003 04:50 PM

BG-15: Experiment in Terra
Apollo is chosen by the Ship of Lights/Beings of Light to perform a mission to save the planet Terra (discussed in "Greetings from Earth") from the Terran faction, the Eastern Alliance.

Series stars; Richard Hatch as Apollo, Dirk Benedict as Starbuck, Herb Jefferson Jr. as Boomer, Lorne Greene as Adama, Terry Carter as Colonel Tigh, Maren Jensen as Athena, Tony Swartz as Jolly, Laurette Spang as Cassiopia, Noah Hathaway as Boxey, Sarah Rush as Rigel, David Greenan as Omega, Anne Lockhart as Sheba, Jack Stauffer as Bojay, Larry Manetti as Giles, Ed Begley, Jr. as Greenbean, and John Colicos as Baltar.

Guest starring Melody Anderson as Brenda Maxwell, Peter D. MacLean as President Arends, Edward Mulhare as John, Nehemiah Persoff as the Eastern Alliance Leader, Logan Ramsey as Moore, Ken Swoffard as Gen. Maxwell, Sidney Clute as Stone, Ken Lynch as Dr. Horning, and Jordan Rhodes as Brace.

(Thanks to Michael Faries Battlestar

Senmut July 12th, 2003 12:50 PM

personally, I liked this one. The idea that someone out there is taking care of the universe, and sometimes enlists the help of imperfect people, is soooooo Biblical. No wonder the "critics" hated it!

skippercollecto July 13th, 2003 12:34 PM

where's the rest of the cast?
Very little of the regular cast is in this episode, just Apollo, Starbuck, Adama and (I think, because I haven't watched it in a while), Boomer and Tigh. I know that by this time, Maren Jensen and Noah Hathaway had been "let go" (for want of a better term), and since the episode doesn't involve John Colicos, he's not in it either. But where were Sheba, Cassiopeia and any of the numerous semi-regulars? You can't give me the argument that the studio was cutting costs, because Anne Lockhart and Laurette Spang would still appear in "Hand of God," along with a number of extras, and some of the semi-regulars were still seen or mentioned by name in the last five or so episodes.
This was always my least-favorite episode of the series, and this lack of cast members is one of the reasons why. So have any of you ever heard or read what happened to the rest of the actors the week this was filmed?

kingfish July 13th, 2003 12:55 PM

Jolly and Omega were in the episode from what I remember about it. I agree as to Sheba and Cassiopeia. If BG was given a second season Hathaway would have returned for a few episodes. The WORST decision was the idea of killing off Sheba. Also Colicos wasn't coming back for season 2 as well as a few other greats including Tigh. I believe that BG was going to be done on a smaller budget via G-1980.

shiningstar August 19th, 2003 06:18 PM

I really didn't like this episode. I think it could have
been better written and some of the lines .......had
me groaning Kingfish said the
"Oh AMNESIA .........." "Amnesia that's a pretty line."
that was in THIS episode and not the other one.

I think the writing for these TWO episodes involving the
"ALLIANCES" left MUCH to be desired.

originalsinner September 19th, 2003 08:54 PM

Oh Boy,
Very interresting episode, kind of like watching a "Quantom leap episode Al is John and Apollo is Sam, The closest thing we get to earth on BSG!

Doctor Salik November 5th, 2003 01:25 PM

I don't like this one. Far too much talk and very tiresome to watch. All the action is done in dialoge scenes.
Two interesting points:
1. The producers did a good job in creating Terra. Clothes and props make for a good "missing link" between Galactica standards and Earth.
2. In the prison they have force fields... Wait a minute! Forcefield technology? That's way above what the Colonials can do! Maybe they could use that technology to give the landing bay much needed shields against those crashing raiders.

originalsinner January 6th, 2004 03:14 PM

Moore went shoping
Terra unifroms found on the Galactica Mini!

shiningstar January 11th, 2004 07:02 PM

Doctor Salik I was wandering why they didn't do that myself.

shiningstar January 11th, 2004 07:04 PM

Re: Moore went shopping
So much for Moore's "ORIGINALITY" ........huh?

I wander if he shopped ebay?

ViperTech January 16th, 2004 10:08 PM

Not one of my favorites, but at least we get to see the Galactica show her stuff, even if the effects are weak.

I wish they showed more of Apollo's speech to the Prosidium.
At least mention of the regular struggles of the Colonials would have made the scene more interesting.

WARDAGGIT73 February 14th, 2004 11:14 AM

* to 4****

It's nice to see the Sentient beings back after the 'War of the Gods' episodes, loved the locations once again, even though the resolution is bit pat...

shiningstar March 4th, 2004 04:12 PM


Originally Posted by WARDAGGIT73

It's nice to see the Sentient beings back after the 'War of the Gods' episodes, loved the locations once again, even though the resolution is bit pat...

"PAT"? It's downright PREDICTABLE. :(

Although like you I was glad to see the Sentient beings back again.

launchcruiser7 March 18th, 2004 01:20 PM

spin off show
best of the what if shows how did they servie the cylons did adamma leave techs and tools to bui;ld vipers and weopons if they had warships could they fight the cylonsjust a thought launch station falcon out here :cylon: :muffit: :beer: :superholy :wings: :halo:

Bombadil April 2nd, 2004 09:07 PM


Originally Posted by Senmut
personally, I liked this one. The idea that someone out there is taking care of the universe, and sometimes enlists the help of imperfect people, is soooooo Biblical. No wonder the "critics" hated it!

Exactly. Science fiction was supposed to be secular and materialistic, and the religious content of BG violated that understanding.

Which was one of the reasons I liked it so much.


Eric Paddon April 2nd, 2004 09:18 PM


Originally Posted by Thomasbombadil
Exactly. Science fiction was supposed to be secular and materialistic, and the religious content of BG violated that understanding.

Which was one of the reasons I liked it so much.


I find myself in the position of agreeing on the philosophical point of the episode, but for me I'm still faced with the troubling fact that the episode, especially as part of the story arc that's gone on, just doesn't work IMO.

Eric Paddon April 6th, 2004 10:44 AM

BTW, did anyone notice how at the beginning of the episode when it cuts inside the escaped Alliance destroyer there's just a tight shot of the crewman addressing Leiter, but we never see or hear Leiter? They were clearly determined to do anything that would avoid having to pay Lloyd Bochner for another episode! (which I assume is what they would have had to do if they'd shot an extra scene and dropped it into that bit in EIT).

Senmut April 8th, 2004 01:44 AM

Bean counters. Gotta love 'em!

BRG September 26th, 2004 01:25 PM

Not a great episode. 2 out of 5.

While not as bad as the other 'Terra' episode, I would rate this as the second weakest episode of the series. It just didn't work for me I'm afraid. :/:

The 'Quantum Leap' similarity hit me as well, but I thought Apollo was a wee bit slow comeing to terms with the situation on the planet. John did explain quite clearly what the deal was, but Apollo kept acting weird in front of people and ended up in a cell. It reminded me of 'The lost Warrior', where Apollo's failure to put two and two together fast enough cost bootes his life.
But we did get to see the Galactica in action, we learned more about the Beings of Lights, and those all white uniforms are pretty cool!

PS- It really bugged me that I knew Brenda's face from somewhere, but couldn't place it. So I checked the IMDB, and there was the answer! Actress Melody Anderson had played Dale Arden in the 1980 film version of 'Flash Gordon'. The fact that she was blond in this episode but brunette in Flash had confused BRG! :duck: :LOL:

Charybdis September 27th, 2004 09:10 AM

Oh man, ever since I saw Flash Gordon in 1980, I have been in love with Melody Anderson. THe fact that she appeared in Galactica before that is icing on the cake. I don't really like her character in this episode, but she was just looking out for Apollo. I guess we can forgive her for that. After all, she does make up for it by taking Starbuck back out to his viper and she does believe after that...

Fragmentary January 2nd, 2005 04:53 PM

I hate this episode. By far, my least favorite one.
The main reason is what it does to the set up in War of the Gods. The Beings of Light are so mysterious and bigger than life there. Their technology is completely different than anything else we saw in Galactica, their motives were enigmatic, and their legacy with Iblis was truly of mythic proportions. Then we see them again here, and all of that is stripped away and they are reduced down to the light and kitschy John character. The scale that they were operating on was watered down to a stock brink-of-war-paranoia story so common on TV then.
Apollo sums up my feelings on this episode with his expression when John leads him down the ridiculous spiral staircase inexplicably located on the Ship of Light. He can’t believe what he’s seeing and I couldn’t either.

Eric Paddon January 2nd, 2005 05:49 PM

No argument from me on this being the worst episode of the series, but the real problem is the whole Terra storyline arc which makes the string of three episodes starting with Greetings From Earth through this one the low point.

Senmut January 2nd, 2005 09:50 PM

Am I the only one who liiked this one?????????????????

justjackrandom January 3rd, 2005 02:32 PM


Originally Posted by Senmut
Am I the only one who liiked this one?????????????????

It is certainly not at the top of my list, but it contains a great deal of information about Colonial technology, as well as showing that some serious scientific thought went into writing some of the episodes. I these reasons I tend to rank it higher than a lot of fans, and have watched it a number of times. It has grown on me with each viewing...


skippercollecto April 3rd, 2005 11:24 AM

the name "john"
There is a small sequence in the novelization of this episode that explains more of who John (Edward Mulhare) is. In the scene where he first meets Apollo, Apollo asks him something along the lines of "What should I call you?"
The angel thinks about it for a moment, and then answers, "John. Is that the sort of name you're familiar with?"
Apollo answers no.
John then nods and says something like, "Oh, yes, I keep forgetting where I am. It's a very common name on Terra."

I swear that at least one of the times I saw the telemovie that I heard this conversation take place on the show. Yet it's not on the DVD, and it's not in the deleted scenes. Does anyone else remember this conversation being on TV?

SpyOne April 3rd, 2005 01:07 PM

The "It is a very common name on Terra" part sounds familiar.
Could be I'm mistaken, or that could be a memory from the original airing.

Tabitha September 9th, 2005 10:16 AM

I think that they were running out of ideas by this time. Thats the problem with the entire BSG concept, its exciting if you plan to have frequent battles and lots of spaceship smashing, but its hard to have much else because the cylons would be shooting you all the time if you dared to make planetfall, and that is the biggest problem with the new series as well. They need to find a reasoning that the cylons wouldnt be able to track them, but maybe they meet cylon pickets from time to time. If the cylons are really able to follow (a rather straight course) so easily, and they seemed to be able to find them every time they needed to, then the series writers would eventually have to deal with the fact that the heros cannot go to a planet, and if they did, there couldnt be humans there because the cylons would kill them too. If a planet can defend against the cylons, then likely most of the fleet would choose to remain there, as opposed to risking their childrens lives going on to a planet that theres no guarantee exists. Before anyone starts to think Im NOT a fan, I am, but Im also honest and realistic enough to recognise the basic flaw in the series concept.


Dawg September 9th, 2005 12:54 PM

I've got to disagree, tabbi. Experiment in Terra (indeed, the entire Terra arc), together with episodes like Take the Celestra and Murder on the Rising Star, do represent the low point in storytelling for the series. But it does not mean the ideas weren't there.

If you are familiar with how BSG came to be, back in 1978, you'd know that a weekly series is NOT what Larson & Co. set out to do. BSG was to be a series of 2-hour TV movies, spread out over the season - not an hour every week. It was ABC who rushed it into production as a weekly series, and they had no one-hour story lines or scripts made up. The writers had to scramble - so you literally had the actors being handed their lines moments before they went before the cameras - inconsistencies between episodes - and episodes delivered to the network mere hours before they were to air.

With pressure like that, you'll get aluminum cowboy hats and Russian spies.

But you'll also get work like Hand of God, Living Legend, War of the Gods....

The possibilities of that universe - the one that Larson and his team created - are virtually endless. New enemies, new places, new phenomenon, all the things that make science fiction so great, and tales of the human condition so compelling were - and are - available to be told. There were obvious aspects that were never touched upon in the episodes that were created that following seasons would have delved into. The characters would have been deepened, built upon.

Running out of ideas? They'd barely scratched the surface.

I am

Tabitha September 9th, 2005 02:17 PM

Well, you may be right about the possible ideas, but I was saying I think the writers were out of ideas. We must all make sure, and take very special care that we remember that writers for series are very often the farthest out of touch with the very series they write for. Proof? Well, Enterprise! Makes one wonder if the writers had ever actually watched Star Trek before. There are other even easier examples, but thats the latest. Just because you and I can think of a bizillion ideas, doesnt mean some fat cat hollywood writer can, he might be more interested in the person handing him his martini.


Dawg September 9th, 2005 04:16 PM

Comparing Star Trek to BSG really isn't a fair comparison. For one thing, ST got studio support where BSG was ignored since Day One. ST ran for what, 18 years, straight, in one form or another? The fact the last "leadership" team seemed to go out of their way to contradict canon (not unlike a certain other "leadership" team) is actually beside the point.

Manny Coto proved there was life in the franchise when he got the reins in Enterprise's last season - the worst episodes of the final season (including that lousy ending ep) were the result of the Killer B's direct influence.

Give a writer a rich universe to work in (like BSG), and the time to work in it (which they did not have), and you'll get good stories for years on end.

I am

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:22 AM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.8.11, Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content and Graphics ©2000-Present Colonial Fleets