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->''"There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, [[{{Mayincatec}} or the Toltecs, or the Mayans]]. They may have been the architects of the great pyramids, or the lost civilizations of Lemuria or {{Atlantis}}. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens..."''

(For the 2004 series, see ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined''.)

At the end of a long, genocidal war between the twelve colony worlds of humanity and a race of robots called the Cylons, there finally appears to be a hope for peace. But the supposed end of the war is nothing more than a trap; humanity is almost completely wiped out when Cylon treachery (and a human traitor) catches them almost completely unawares. The survivors gather together to form a "rag-tag fugitive fleet" of refugees under the protection of the last remaining battlestar (the humans' most powerful class of space battleship), and flee Cylon-controlled space. Their goal is a legend -- a lost thirteenth colony world, known as "Earth", which they hope can help them stand against the pursuing cybernetic enemy.

Television's supposed first attempt to cash in on the popularity of ''Franchise/StarWars'' (and hilariously, Lucasfilm tried to sue). Originally called ''Adam's Ark'', this 1978 Glen Larson production fused a WagonTrainToTheStars gimmick to a dose of Von Danikenite "AncientAstronauts" atmosphere and a dash of Mormon theology. The result was a SpaceOpera with unsupported pretensions to a MythArc that was noteworthy for a number of television firsts: first SF series set in a spacecraft with sets that didn't look like they were built from cardboard and drywall, first TV series to cost a million dollars per episode, and the first primetime series to recycle StockFootage so much that ''everyone'' noticed it.

Although its first few episodes showed a certain amount of promise, the series quickly descended into a series of one PlanetOfHats after another, many of them merely [[RecycledINSPACE recycled plots from popular westerns]]. Its viewership ratings were high, but the TV network executives of the time had not yet embraced the notion of a million-dollar-an-episode series, so it was cancelled after one season. The fanbase was not amused.

In the face of a massive write-in campaign, the executives decided to ReTool the series into a less expensive spinoff, and so ''Galactica'' was promptly resurrected as '''''Galactica 1980''''', starring an older Boxey (now "Troy") as a [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute substitute for]] Apollo. The Galactica and its fleet finally reached Earth, only to be forced to pass it by to lead the Cylons away. Meanwhile, Troy and his wingman Dillon were left on Earth (soon joined by the "Super Scouts", a group of Colonial children stranded by accident), on a mission to uplift Earth science to Colonial standards while maintaining a {{Masquerade}} to avoid drawing Cylon attention. This revival proved grossly unpopular and was cancelled after only a handful of episodes. To this day, fans of the original series [[FanonDiscontinuity prefer to treat]] ''[[FanonDiscontinuity Galactica 1980]]'' [[FanonDiscontinuity as though it had never existed]], and novels and comics based on the original series continuity [[CanonDiscontinuity ignore it.]]

[[Recap/BattlestarGalacticaClassic Now has a Recap page]]

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!!''Battlestar Galactica'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AcePilot: Apollo, Starbuck, Boomer, Jolly, Greenbean, Cree, and Sheba. If you aren't a BridgeBunny, good chance, you're an Ace.
* AggressiveNegotiations: Count Baltar arranged a peace treaty between the 12 Colonies and the Cylons. The Colonies sent five Battlestars to the conference, leaving the Colonies completely undefended. The Cylons carried out a massive attack on both the Battlestars and the colonies, almost completely wiping out both.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: Justified with the Colonial outposts the Rag-tag Fleet encountered earlier; becomes blatant with the Terrans, who were explicitly ''not'' Colonial, but whose only problem communicating with the main cast is not understanding [[{{Microts}} what a "centon" is]].
* AmazonBrigade: The Viper pilots are laid low with space flu, and the (all female) barely trained shuttle pilots must step up. Chauvinism is largely averted: Apollo and Starbuck are suspicious of their experience level, not their sex. They are not the elite forces that Amazon Brigades usually are, but they are better than expected for a bunch of brand new pilots. Mysteriously, few of the woman warriors are shown in that role, despite the desperate need for Viper pilots, but they do appear sometimes.
* AncientAstronauts
* ApocalypseHow
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Applied quite generously, in fact
* AristocratsAreEvil: Almost any Sire or Siress is of high-brow low-moral character, and both of the Counts (Baltar and Iblis) are pure Evil.
** The Sires who aren't evil are useless or obstructive, with roughly two exceptions, both Siresses.
* BattleCouple: Apollo and Serina, his wife, for one two-part episode. She [[spoiler:[[CartwrightCurse dies heroically, mostly to get her out of the way.]]]]
* TheBattlestar: TropeNamer
* BigBad: The Cylons' Imperious Leader, both the first and second one.
* BlackBestFriend: Lt. Boomer and Colonel Tigh.
* BloodlessCarnage: For all the laser fire and explodium, there's hardly a drop of blood or burn mark.
* BloodKnight: Cain. He is effectively Film/{{Patton}} RecycledInSpace.
* BrightIsNotGood:
** The Cylons wear (or are made of) bright shiny armor.
** Count Iblis, evil incarnate, wears shining white robes.
* CaliforniaDoubling: The opening of the series pilot, showing the Cylons attacking the home world of Caprica, was filmed at the City Hall/Main Public Library complex in Long Beach.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: They don't have dogs, they have ''daggits''.
** They don't play poker, they play ''pyramids.'' Which is sometimes like poker and sometimes like blackjack.
** It's not basketball or hockey, it's "Triad." Confusingly, the 2000s version called it "Pyramid," and the card game "Triad."
** They don't spend dollars or Deutschmarks, they spend ''cubits.'' Which are rectangular coins.
** Inverted in "Greetings from Earth" when the Terrans mention a wolfpack and a bear, and the Colonists have no idea what they are (a lupus pack and ursine, obviously!).
* TheCaptain: Adama
* CaptainsLog: Read into a log computer with voice recognition.
* CatchPhrase: "By your command."
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder:
** Count Baltar. In "Lost Planet of the Gods", he tries to get into a position to backstab either the Cylons, the Rag-Tag Fleet, or ''both at once'' -- and not even the audience is sure where he actually wants to aim the knife. It all ends with him pinned under rubble at the bottom of a Space-Egyptian pyramid when both sides refuse to trust him.
** Commander Cain. In order to have his way, he destroys needed fuel tankers to force Adama to attack a base. Adama calls him on this, everyone expects him to backstab again, and no one is surprised when he disobeys orders again in a later attack.
* ClipShow
* ComicBookAdaptation: MarvelComics published an adaptation of the original TV movie, and then (unusually for most comics based on TV series) went on to adapt some of the early episodes as well before branching into original stories (the comic ran for nearly two years, outliving the TV series). Dynamite Comics later published comics based on the classic series alongside its adaptations of the remake.
* ComingInHot: TropeNamer
* ContractualImmortality
* ConvenientlyClosePlanet: Planets are usually pretty close together, and the Colonial homeworlds were, apparently, all in one star system.
* CoolSpaceship: The Battlestar Galactica.
** The Vipers and the Cylon Raiders, as well.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: to the Nth degree, and amped up even more with the Seraphs, who inhabit a space city of crystal and wear glittering robes.
* CyberCyclops: The Cylons, with their constantly scanning one red eye.
* DaddysGirl: Sheba.
* DancesAndBalls: In one episode the colonists shake their disco funk with hand held cords, in another they have a slightly more formal hand meeting dance.
* DeadpanSnarker: In one episode when Baltar is attacking Galactica while Pegasus is pulling round, his Cylon pilot says, "I really think you should take a look at the other battlestar."
* DeathRay: blasters, anyone?
** I think they were more like laser pistols, which were shockingly scientifically realistic in the sense that they shot a quick, invisible beam of energy. Much like real, laser pistol-like devices.
*** As part of the lawsuit settlement with [=LucasFilm=], BG was prohibited from showing hand weapons that shot visible bolts on-screen. The space combat scenes were not so limited, for whatever reason. Thus ironically making BG's hand-lasers more realistic than Lucas's blaster weapons.
* DemotedToExtra: Athena ends up getting this treatment. She starts out as a BridgeBunny, but is only sometimes shown on the bridge after the pilot. Then she's used as part of a triangle with Starbuck and Cassiopeia, but that plot is dropped fast. The only time after this she's given any significant screen time is when she's one of the characters trapped in the fire during "Fire In Space." Late season, she spends her time, apparently, as a school teacher.
** This was reportedly due to the producers lack of interest in coaching Maren Jensen, who was at that time an inexperienced actress. Cassiopeia was developed to take Athena's place as a frontline female character.
* DepopulationBomb: The shown fleet population drops quite a lot, especially in the middle of season one.
* DevilInPlainSight: Count Iblis
* DirtyCoward: Baltar. Commander Cain once altered the course of a battle just by heading the Pegasus in his direction to scare him into pulling back and leaving the other two basestars to protect him.
* TheDragon: Baltar, to the Cylons' Big Bad; then, later, to Count Iblis.
* DrivingADesk: Used for the in-cockpit shots.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt - all twelve of them.
* EnemyMine: In "The Return of Starbuck".
* EverybodyIsSingle: Apollo gets married in the second plot, and still spends most of the season a widower; his father is also a widower (common in the Fleet, one assumes), and every one else is not married.
* ExcessiveSteamSyndrome: The pilot does this. Starbuck and Cassiopeia are seen kissing in the hangar bay, while Starbuck's other love interest catches them by surveillance camera. Cue the push of a "Steam Vent" button.
* ExplosionsInSpace
* ExplosiveInstrumentation: Somewhat less than other shows.
* FantasticMeasurementSystem: according to its TheOtherWiki [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlestar_Galactica_(1978_TV_series)#Language article]], the only distance unit that wasn't an Earth name was "metron" (1 meter).
* FatherToHisMen: Adama. Literally in the case of [[spoiler:Apollo, Athena and Zac - while he lasts.]]
* FictionalSport: Triad.
* FighterLaunchingSequence
* {{Forgiveness}}
* GenocideFromTheInside: Baltar's goal is to completely destroy humanity.
* GodTest: In "War of the Gods Part 1", Count Iblis claims to have great powers and knowledge. The Council of Twelve gives him three challenges: to deliver their greatest enemy (Baltar) to them, to lead the fleet to Earth, and one more to be named later.
* GoldColoredSuperiority: Ordinary Cylons were silver/chrome but special commander Cylons were gold.
* GreaterNeedThanMine: Apollo sacrificing himself to Iblis, for Sheba.
* HeadInTheSandManagement: President Adar, with disastrous results. It leads to the basic premise of the show, and also to his...
* HeroicBSOD: "Can't you see, I've led the entire human race to ruin; I've..."
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Apollo and Starbuck - Not only do they often fly together, but they're also on the same Triad Team.
** Starbuck and Boomer also make a pretty good team, and the novelisations state that Adama and Tigh were their generation's Starbuck and Boomer, albeit in a somewhat more serious, responsible fashion.
* HomeworldEvacuation: Somewhat inverted, the twelve colonies of Kobol are being evacuated and searching for Earth, which is the [[LostColony "lost" thirteenth colony]].
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Cassiopeia, although only one person is ever shown to have an objection to her profession. Later, she's HelloNurse.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: You'd think intelligent computers would be better shots.
** Hey, you try to shoot when your eye is constantly darting back and forth!
*** It's their own fault. They should make more efficient eyes.
** And then they went and subverted it with Red-Eye, a damaged Cylon who's not only a deadly shot, but he actually stops his eye scanning when he's targeting. So, guys, why is the damaged and malfunctioning Cylon so much more deadly that the fully operational ones?
*** Partly because he's immune to the local "pnuemos," compressed air guns, and partly because he has machine speed draw.
**** Actually, ''only'' because he's immune to the local guns. He usually spends so long targeting before he draws that he gets shot...and receives yet another small dent in his armor plating and then puts a laser blast through his opponent. (That's how he was destroyed, since this time he was up against a Colonial Warrior, armed with a weapon designed to destroy Cylons with a single hit. This may explain why they miss so much: They know they'll always lose if they take long enough for their aiming system to lock on.)
* InfiniteSupplies
** Averted in the pilot, when resources were so scarce that the fleet practiced Forced Socialism against Sire Uri, and braved the Nova Matigon so as to make it to Carillon for resupply before they starved.
** Averted in "Living Legend", when the fleet needs fuel, for plot reasons.
* InstrumentalThemeTune: a full symphonic suite, one of the things inviting comparison to ''Franchise/StarWars''. Was recycled as the National Anthem in the revised series.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Starbuck
** More like a LoveableRogue. He's a pretty likeable guy when you aren't annoyed at one of his irresponsible schemes.
* KillerRobot: The Cylon Centurions.
* LadyOfWar: Sheba. Also, [[spoiler:Apollo's short-lived wife, Serina.]]
* LivingLegend: In the episode "The Living Legend", the Galactica encounters the battlestar Pegasus, whose captain is the Colonial military legend Commander Cain.
* LostColony: Earth, specifically; however, [[spoiler: several others show up in the course of the series.]]
* {{Microts}}: Honed to an art form. They had:
** "microns" (or "millicentons") for seconds
** "centons" for minutes (hours in the pilot)
** "centars" for hours (after the pilot)
** "sectons" for weeks
** "yahrens" for years
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in the episode "Greetings From Earth," where the Terran colonist asked "What ''is'' a centon?"
* MacGuffinLocation: Earth
* MisanthropeSupreme: Baltar
* {{Mooks}}
* NotableOriginalMusic
* NobleMaleRoguishMale: Apollo and Starbuck.
* OhCrap: Baltar's reaction in "The Living Legend" when he's gloating at seeing the Battlestar ''Galactica'' about to be defeated, only to see the Battlestar ''Pegasus'' on an attack run right at him.
* OnlyOneName
* PardonMyKlingon
* PhotoprotoneutronTorpedo: Pulsar cannons.
* PlanetOfHats
* PlanetTerra: Subverted. [[spoiler:Despite multiple layers and episodes of teasing ("Terra" being a Geminese term for "Earth", the Terran political situation being based on the UsefulNotes/ColdWar), the planet called Terra turns out to NOT be Earth.]]
* {{Precursors}}: The Lords of Kobol.
* PrisonShip: The original series had the Prison Barge, a ship used to hold prisoners of various kinds, including prisoners of war. Baltar organizes an escape from the ship along with various characters arrested or captured in previous episodes.
* ThePromisedLand: Earth
* ReadingsAreOffTheScale
* RecycledInSPACE
** Many episodes were blatant retreads of popular movies, frequently Westerns, right down to their titles.
** Mormon theology and folklore is so prevalent in the series that fans and detractors alike tend to refer to it as Mormons In Space.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The Cylons, of course, but also Count Iblis.
* RedShirtArmy: Mainly the Cylons, but the Colonial pilots get shot out of space fairly regularly, too.
* RobotBuddy: Muffet, Cy
* RoboSpeak
* RobotWar
* RoadTripEpisode: Type 3 trips appeared in several episodes.
* SatanicArchetype: In "War of the Gods", the fleet is tempted by the promises of the mysterious "Count Iblis" (an Islamic name for Satan), who turns out to be a fallen angel from Caprican mythology.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: The writers simply didn't understand the difference between a system or a galaxy. Made worse by the fact that only the ''Galactica'' has FTL.
** Even worse, the ''Galactica'' only has L, without the FT.
* SpaceBasedWeaponHasCutoffRange
* SpaceClothes: Mostly averted. They're wearing clothing, for the most part not in Earth fashions (except for some disco wear). The main exception to this are the Terran colonists, who do indeed wear shiney space clothes.
* SpaceIsMagic
* SpaceJews: 12 Tribes, driven from their homeland and searching for the missing, legendary 13th Tribe? How can it ''not'' be? (though the allusion to a 13th Tribe is based on Mormon theology, rather than Jewish).
* SpaceMines: In the pilot, they have to go through a Cylon minefield.
* SpaceOpera
* SpaceWestern
** In one episode, Apollo had a ''walk-down gunfight'' with a rogue Cylon.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Baltar was RewardedAsATraitorDeserves in the pilot movie; new scenes were shot for the series to keep him around as a recurring villain.
* TheStarscream: Lucifer is a more subtle variant. As for [[UpToEleven Baltar]], if Classic Galactica had lasted longer ''he'' could have been the TropeNamer.
* StockFootage: The special effects were based on optically overlaying stock footage (spacecraft, explosions, and so on), and several completed scenes were used more than once.
** Some of the completed effects from ''Galactica'' were used in the B-movie ''SpaceMutiny''.
** The beginning and end of one establishing shot (in a city) became two establishing shots in ''Series/BuckRogersInTheTwentyFifthCentury''.
** Footage of the 'Agro-Ships' was recycled footage of the forest-carrying freighters from SilentRunning (which was originally done by a effects man who also worked on this show).
* StrawCivilian: Sire Uri and the Quorum of the Twelve.
* SufficientlyAdvancedAliens: The Seraphs are this to the Colonists. Interestingly, the Colonists regard the Seraphs as exactly this - technologically advanced aliens.
* SupernaturalAid: The Seraphs and their Silver-Crystal Cityship.
* TechnoBabble
* TemptingFate: In "Murder on the Rising Star", Cassiopeia mentions during a Triad game that Starbuck and his rival Ortega are gonna kill each other if their fierce rivalry keeps up. Ortega is killed, alright, but it wasn't Starbuck that did it. [[spoiler:It was Karybdis, who went by an alias Pallon during his time in the fleet.]]
* ThereIsAnother: The battlestar Pegasus.
* TonightSomeoneDies: Jane Seymour, in the second episode.
* TooManyMouths: In the pilot, there was a female singing group that each had four eyes and two mouths (and apparently could each sing two different notes).
* UnusualEuphemism: Frack, felgercarb
* WagonTrainToTheStars: Or, from the stars.
* WaveMotionGun: "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero".
* WholePlotReference: Several, including "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" (''Film/TheGunsOfNavarone''), "The Magnificent Warriors" (''Film/TheMagnificentSeven''), and "The Lost Warrior" (''Shane'').
* WritersCannotDoMath: The Fleet has 220 ships, and about 6,000 surviving Colonists. That's about 27 people per ship. Not crowded, but also no population base. No wonder the Fleet seems like it suffered a DepopulationBomb. The revival does better, with about 200 per ship.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Because it's been bombed out and is crawling with robot enemies.

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!!''Galactica 1980'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AliensStealCable: How Dr. Zee finds out about Earth cultures.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: In one episode, a Cylon states that their goal and purpose is to organize the entire universe. Another character asks what they'll do after that. The Cylon hesitates and finally admits that no one has ever asked that question.
* BackForTheFinale: [[spoiler: Starbuck, in a rather sad {{flashback}} episode.]]
* BenevolentAlienInvasion: Galactica's plan for [[spoiler:bringing Earth up to their level of technology.]]
* BigApplesauce: In the episode "The Night the Cylons Landed".
* CanonDisContinuity: For the continuation comics and novels, at least.
* ChekhovsGun: It turns out microwave ovens can really scramble a cylons circuitry.
* CoolBike: Troy and Dillon were given motorcycles to blend in to Earth society, with a few extra features like converting into mini-aircraft.
* CultureClash: Invokes FridgeLogic since Dr. Zee is monitoring Earth's transmissions.
* HumanAliens
* InnocentAliens: Played straight ''and'' averted.
* IntrepidReporter: Jamie Hamilton, who becomes the Colonials' SecretKeeper during the first storyline.
* InvisibilityCloak: Dr. Zee created a short-duration unit for the teams sent to Earth to use in emergencies.
* NewSuperPower: In ''Galactica 1980'', we discover that the artificial gravity they've been living with in the fleet is several times the surface gravity of Earth; so, when they land on Earth, they can jump several meters in the air.
** Which is pretty amazing, considering we've seen crew members wrestle and/or drop things in the original series, and they didn't seem to fall any faster than they would on Earth.
* PlotHole: The last episode of the first season (The Hand of God) had a final scene in which it is revealed that the unusual transmissions that the Galactica observatory was picking up were [[spoiler: the transmissions from the 1969 Apollo moon landing]]. However, Galactica 1980 (which we are led to assume is set in 1980) is said to be set thirty years after the events of the first season. This is impossible to reconcile unless the colonial Yahren was ridiculously short, or the fleet had to take an insanely roundabout course, equivalent to Seattle to Vancouver (a day trip if you go up the coast) by way of Los Angeles, Mexico City, New Orleans, New York, Toronto, and Whitehorse.
* StoryboardingTheApocalypse: Dr. Zee demonstrates the need for the fleet to pass Earth by in the first episode with a computer simulation of an attack on Los Angeles (made using StockFootage from the movie ''Earthquake''). The footage was heavily featured in the commercials for the series premiere.
* TeenGenius: Dr. Zee.
* TheyLookLikeUsNow: Cylon human-form infiltrators appeared on this show decades before the "Skinjobs" in [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined the new series]].
* TimeTravel: Xavier makes a HeelTurn to implement his alternative to Adama and Zee's plan -- travel back to UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Germany to induce StupidJetpackHitler.
* YouLookFamiliar: In the pilot [[TheBradyBunch Mike Brady]] is reunited with Cousin Oliver.