Thursday, April 30, 2020

Review of "The Long Patrol," episode 5 of the Battlestar Galactica original series

Review of

The Long Patrol, episode 5 of the Battlestar Galactica original series

Three out of five stars

Weak tries at unnecessary humor

 The story opens with the newly reopened Rising Star, a space equivalent of a luxury dining car, hosting Starbuck on a dinner date. He volunteered to go on a solo deep patrol and as a consequence was put near first on the list of patrons. Since Athena was scheduled to work, he made a dinner date with Cassiopeia. However, when Athena is able to cut short her control room duty, both women are there at the same time. In some sense, he is saved by an urgent call to return to the Galactica. This is the first try at humor.

 He is flying a modified Viper that is faster than anything else but has no laser generators. His mission is to examine a cluster of planetoids, looking for life and evidence of Cylon penetration. The Viper has a new computer system called C.O.R.A. that is capable of interacting with Starbuck and flying the ship. It has a seductive human female voice, and this begins a human-machine flirtation sequence that is the second attempt at humor.

 Starbuck discovers a penal colony where the prisoners make the adult beverage ambrosia and have for generations. Children of criminals are automatically incarcerated with their parents. Children of the enforcers (jailers) also become enforcers. Starbuck upsets this pattern amidst an attack by a Cylon patrol. The patrol is defeated but there is a catastrophic loss of high quality ambrosia.

 The two attempts at humor are weak attempts and were largely unnecessary. It is logical that there would be isolated, small human settlements that the Galactica convoy would encounter. They would be at risk of a Cylon attack and could provide the Galactica convoy with desperately needed resources. With so much room within that area, there is no need to introduce a dining three-way or a seductive computer.

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