By Your Command Volume 1


By Your Command: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Battlestar Galactica
Volume 1 – The Original Series and Galactica 1980

By Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore

Published by Telos

This fascinating book takes an in depth look at the first two series of Battlestar Galactica, made and broadcast in the late 70s and early 80s.?

Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore structure their book around detailed analyses of screened episodes, with critical reviews and behind the scenes production stories. Alongside these are a number of more general essays and a look at unproduced scripts.

The writing style is lively and never dry, encouraging the reader to revisit these episodes. The often derided Galactica 1980 is given as much attention pro rata as the popular first series, and links between the two and the later reimagining of BSG abound (Volume 2, on the latter, will follow later this year).?

The section on merchandise spin offs and novels is perhaps intentionally limited, missing, for example, the ‘unofficial’ Galactica Viper toys that flooded the UK market in the late 1970s, and as ever with these unofficial titles, the lack of supporting photography throughout is an inevitable loss. However, the authors have drawn a foreword from Apollo himself, Richard Hatch, who spans both eras of Galactica and has authored a number of spin off novels himself.

Some authorial?comments do stretch credibility (not least an assertion that Star Trek IV borrowed liberally from Galactica 1980 because both were set in California, had invisible ships and included ‘fish out of water’ humour) and the writers devote surprising space to a very likely (in their own view) fake document detailing an abandoned second series of Galactica.?

These are minor quibbles though, and with almost 300 pages there is much here for fans of the show to engage with.?Together with the forthcoming Volume 2 this is likely to become the definitive guide to a classic series, and an excellent companion to the bargain boxsets currently available.

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