Tuesday, April 30, 2013

News: 1978 BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Movie Blu-ray Confirmed - Coming In May!

Looks like the earlier rumors are true. According to various sources, Universal will be releasing a high-def Blu-ray of the 1978 theatrical release version of the Battlestar Galactica pilot on May 14th, which they are labeling as the "35th Anniversary Edition."

As long-time fans know, in order to help recoup some of its high production costs, Universal released a theatrical version of the Battlestar Galactica pilot, "Saga Of A Star World," around Christmas, 1978. It primarily played in non-U.S. markets, but it got some domestic distribution too, the theatrical experience augmented by the studio's patented Sensurround audio process.

Very few details about this edition are available as yet. Presumably, this will be the matted, 1.78:1 widescreen version that Universal previously released on DVD. No bonus features or supplements have been announced. It also appears that it will be Best Buy exclusive, so bear that in mind if you want to pick it up. (It's already on their website for pre-order HERE.)  

I'll be buying it for sure.


  1. This is exciting news, but I have to wonder if a made-for-TV feature will hold up in HD.

    I was one of those that caught this in the theater, and caught "Mission Galactica" on the big screen, as well. The "sequel" was the two-parter with Lloyd Bridges.

  2. For what it's worth, I remember seeing this in the theater as well, with the dubious bonus of "Sensurround" (or Senselessound as we called it). The one major detail I remember that was different was the Baltar was executed in the theatrical release as the movie was meant to play as a stand alone. At least, that's what I remember... from 1978.

  3. Cousin, I've echoed that sentiment several times (too often perhaps...). I'm under the impression that while the live action shots will be cool to see, alot of the space effects won't measure up too well.

    I'm always noticing the bad matting effects behind some ship model shots, even on non-BLU-RAY disks. It was designed originally and for all intended purposes, as you said, a 'made-for-TV' series, so shots weren't done as well as what the big screen calls for. They're meant to be seen on small television screens.

    That being said, I applaud the re-release on new format, but sadly I don't believe much will change.

    1. And I don't really see the problem. The special effects are of their time. I'd rather see matte lines than have them replaced by CGI.

    2. Totally agreed. I don't mind much, but folks with a critical eye today who haven't seen it on the big screen before will probably expect 'Star War-quality' effects because it's BluRay and they won't see it.

      I remember getting the series set 10yrs ago and watching it on just a 30" and noticing everything.

      It's still great to watch, don't get me wrong. I watch the 1999 BluRay series on my 50" plasma and it's so awesome ~ Who cares if I see wires..?

      It's television.

    3. The issue isn't so much that the special effects don't hold up; it's that they were created with a certain level of detail in mind. For example, I've heard the Blu of the '80 FLASH GORDON is so sharp that you can see the woodgrain in the "gold" fixtures on the sets.

      Also, so many of the SFX for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA were designed with '70s television sets in mind. I remember reading a story as a child (probably in Starlog) about how the "stars" in the outerspace shots were intentionally made larger than they would have been for a cinema screen. I'm sure there are lots of other examples of flaws that went uncorrected because nobody could see them on television.

      I'm not saying the idea of BG on Bluray is doomed to failure. But some movies and TV shows might not benefit from high definition. I love DARK SHADOWS (hence my avatar) but the idea of seeing it in HD makes me shudder in all the wrong ways.

  4. I recently went to a "special showing" of Battlestar Galactica at a local theatre and was disappointed that what they showed was a widescreen version of the the three part "Saga of a Star World" edited together and not the actual 1978 theatrical release (which I saw back in the day here in Canada).

  5. I meant to mention that the matting wasn't a distraction at all.

  6. The theatrical version I saw in Canada back in '78 also had a slightly saucier version of Starbuck and Cassiopeia's love scene, where Athena catches them on the monitor.

  7. oh damn really? Baltar lives in this release? I hope not!

  8. The effects will hold up fine. I would not be happy if they replaced the model effects with CGI. Luckily they have no intention of doing that. That would be an insult to those who accomplished these great effects back then. The effects in Space:1999 still look fantastic on Blu-ray, and I'm sure these will look great also. Sure they'e a product of their time, and will show matte-lines at times perhaps, and maybe more optical noise on effect shots, but that's to be expected. Definitely a must-buy for me. Hopefully this means they are considering the full original series on Blu-ray eventually.

  9. Best buy online ordering is now on backorder.
    Facebook likes are almost at 1 million users. This is good!

    It's never looked this good. It's very sharp and clean, colors pop. There are occasional very small dust specs, but its way cleaner than the original DVD (non-anamorphic) release. Also the colors are much better. The original DVD had a green tint...this one looks perfect. The special f/x footage looks a lot better than I thought it would. John Dykstra was being too hard on himself when he got upset over the theatrical release not holding up on the big screen. The models look great at 1080P.

    It's 1.85 matted, though on a 16x9 tv the very small black bars top and bottom are not seen. And get this, the audio is DTS-HDMA 2.1 with the original SenSurround!