For you today, this feature originally published in Death Ray 11, that pits Battlestar Galactica against Blake’s 7 in a tussle for our affections. Features like this were Death Ray’s best feature, if you ask me.
Cheap and miserable UK TV clashes up against flashy and hopeful US goggle-fare in the battle of 1978′s SF giants…
If you like your TV SF a touch on the depressing side, then 1978 was a good year. Blake’s 7, now renowned as the most cynical of SF from a nation (and a Terry Nation) that excelled at creating flinty-hearted fables, came crashing onto the screens of the UK. Meanwhile, Battlestar Galactica, a distinctly downbeat offering for a US industry whose coin was optimism, pulled out of its Californian spacedock and fled across the stars. In one series, human free will was under threat, in the other the actual fate of the species hung by a thread. Despite production values that were, on the surface, light years apart, there was a distinct kinship in tone between these two distant transatlantic cousins. Both epitomised, in their own way, the spirits of the nation that produced them, and both created ardent fans who would campaign for years for the series’ reinstatement.
Battlestar Galactica‘s premise is now a classic: the deadly robot Cylons launch a surprise attack on the 12 Colonies of man, almost wiping out the entirety of the species. The survivors flee on the few craft remaining, under the protection of the last military ship, a Battlestar named Galactica. Read the rest of this entry »