The first (and only) season of ABC's lavishly mounted sci-fi/fantasy series Battlestar Galactica begins with a spectacular (and spectacularly "hyped") three-hour opener, which in blatant Star Wars fashion rapidly establishes time, place, and characters. The time is the seventh millennium A.D. The place is Galactica, the only battlestar to survive a brutal attack by the evil Cylon androids (originally created as a worker race), which had the overall effect of virtually obliterating humankind and destroying the balance of interplanetary peace. The principal characters on the "good" side are Commander Adama (Lorne Greene), chief officer of the mile-wide Galactica; his only surviving son, Captain Apollo (Richard Hatch), head of Galactica's Viper (fighter) squadron; the resident "Han Solo" type, Apollo's cocksure ace pilot and all-around con artist, Lt. Starbuck (Dirk Benedict); Starbuck's fellow pilots, Boomer (Herbert Jefferson Jr.) and Jolly (Tony Swartz); Athena (Maren Jensen), Adama's daughter and second in command; Cassiopeia (Laurette Spang), Starbuck's erstwhile girlfriend; Colonel Tigh (Terry Carter), Galactica's first officer; Boxey (Noah Hathaway), Apollo's stepson; and, in the R2D2 tradition, a mechanical dog named Muffit. Leading the bad guys is the swarthy Count Baltar (John Colicos) and Baltar's willing if slightly dimwitted cyborg henchman Lucifer (voiced by an unbilled Jonathan Harris). In the course of the season, the crew of the Galactica, as well as those of the 220 minor space vehicles remaining in Galactica's fleet, race desperately toward the last known inhabited planet in space, an obscure little orb called Earth, with the relentless Cylons hot on their heels. Halfway through the season, the two-part episode "The Living Legend" introduces Sheba (Anne Lockhart), daughter of Colonel Cain, legendary skipper of the battlestar Pegasus. Sheba is briefly united with Adama and company when the Galactica and Pegasus join forces to ward off the latest Cylon assault. Beset by various lawsuits instigated by the creators of Star Wars and weighed down by low ratings, Battlestar Galactica comes to a climax after 24 episodes. The property, would, however, be revived in a dramatically altered format (set in the 20th century) as Galactica 1980; and a quarter of a century later, a new Battlestar Galactica (described as a "re-imagining") premiered over the Sci-Fi Channel.
by Hal Erickson synopsis