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Old December 13th, 2020, 10:04 PM   #19
Eric Paddon
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Morristown, NJ
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Default Re: Revisiting The Old Novelizations

#6-Living Legend by Nicholas Yermakov

3 stars of 5

-It's a testament to how Galactica was still considered a popular franchise more than two plus years after it had left the networks altogether that the novelization series was continuing. The cover says "The one you asked for" meaning readers wanted to finally see what they considered one of the best episodes make it to the printed page.

-We get a new writer, Nicholas Yermakov and it brings a change in format. Gone are the first person chapter digressions of Thurston and Resnick and instead we get our first straight-ahead conventional narrative since the Saga novelization (which only had Adama's journal entries to break things up). This makes the LL novelization a very easy read overall.

-Because there is a need to keep the novelization universe consistent, the book opens with a short prologue set in the G80 universe established with #5. We see Troy (Boxey) having just assumed command of the Galactica playing a message from the now dead Adama telling him to go through his old journal entries. There are comments of regret about how Apollo is dead and how Adama could never be openly affectionate with his son and tell him he loved him. But Yermakov wastes no time dealing with other matters of the G80 world. There's no mention of Earth, no mention of any other G80 characters, no mention of what the current situation is. This prologue is strictly a transitional set-up and after it, we never return to the G80 universe again in the history of the novelizations. But I will confess that all the "Apollo is dead" talk does tend to kind of hang over the proceedings a bit in my mind so it's kind of unfortunate that this was necessary as a result of the unwise decision to have adapted the G80 pilot in the first place.

-Once we dive into the story, Yermakov's adaptation is very straightforward, with very little in the way of changes (the deleted scenes that were part of the telemovie are also present). It's only in the latter stages of Part 2 that we start to see some new wrinkles introduced.

1-Omega is the one who flies the shuttle with the commando team for the drop over Gomoray (I have to remember to spell it the way it appears here and not the way I usually do!). There's also a bit about how Omega, after the drop has to then nonchalantly fly back toward an orbiting satellite so as not to draw attention before he then high-tails it out of there.

2-Yermakov also addresses something the original episode never did, namely why didn't the Imperious Leader's baseship (it is taken for granted he arrived on one) take part in the battle? He adds some details about the need to protect the Imperious Leader and get him out safely prevented their ship from being able to do anything. He also explains why neither the Galactica nor Pegasus detected that ship's presence beforehand. Cain is clearly surprised that it's there (a more cynical take might have had Cain knowing Impy was arriving and thus his reason for wanting to secure the base was hoping for a chance to take out the Cylon ruler).

3-Yermakov includes some backstory on how Cain and Cassiopeia met, and how shattered emotionally he was by the death of his wife. Yermakov is also responsible for details about Sheba's mother that became "official" to me when doing fanfic. First, he was the one to capitalize on Anne Lockhart's resemblance to her mother June by saying Sheba looked exactly like her mother and that was why Cain didn't reach out to Sheba and needed Cassie for emotional support and not just the physical support from her profession. He also describes Sheba's mother dying from a wasting disease that left her delirious at the end and how Cain hadn't gotten back to her bedside in time before the end. They are brilliant touches.

4-Lucifer's devious plotting against Baltar is carried over from the earlier Thurston novels now that the novelization continuity is being re-established. Lucifer in fact refuses to tell Baltar that the Imperious Leader is out of danger at the time when he is sending the fighters toward Gomoray instead of finishing off the Pegasus.

5-Colonel Tolen gets seriously injured in the initial assault on the Pegasus but recovers in time to take on the baseship and he and Cain exchange some words of camaraderie that wasn't present in the episode.

-Ultimately because Yermakov has been forced to accept the G80 universe, the one drawback is that he has written a novel that basically takes for granted that Cain does not survive in the end though he isn't explicit about it. And because of the underlying specter of Apollo dying later on, we're not getting any chance to explore the potential of an Apollo-Sheba relationship either (this in fact never happens in the novelizations, not the least of which is because "Hand of God" never gets adapted sadly).

-Interestingly, Yermakov establishes the idea that the Pegasus and Galactica are relatively new ships, only 30 plus yahrens old and that Cain and Adama are practically the only commanders they've ever had. That runs totally against what the series ultimately establishes and it I think contradicts the internal references of the Galactica's age in the original Saga novelization.
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Last edited by Eric Paddon; January 5th, 2021 at 04:49 PM..
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