20160611

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

In the 1978-79 TV series, 'Battlestar Galactica', Commander Adama tried to save the human race from being wiped out by the army of robots led by Lucifer, the cold, metallic Commander of the Cylons. Lorne Greene made the observation, "It's up to the audience to decide the time frame - whether it's the past, present or future. It's interesting that in the series, the computer should be our enemy. Because the computer could become our enemy here on Earth. We have no secrets from them. There is a certain symbolism in that which is very pertinent." 

Glen A. Larson selected Lorne Greene to play "the Moses of outer space" because he was "the guy who pulls it all together. He has family appeal. His warmth will make people feel comfortable in a cold place like space." Marlene Adler Marks of 'Us' noted in 1978, "The story goes that it took God 6 days to create the universe." However it took John Dykstra a little longer to fulfil his vision of outer-space Armageddon. 

"It's fun," John said. "I've always loved machines and challenges. And only movies allow you to create total realities out of things that aren't real." The most well-known unreality took place in 1923 when Cecil B. De Mille "arranged for the Red Sea to part in 'The Ten Commandments.'" Budgeted at a record $7 million for the first 7 hours, John Dykstra reportedly spent 15 months to create the imagined 2000 feet long alligator-shaped spaceship, Battlestar Galactica. The spaceship was said to be only 72 inches long in reality and weighing 60 pounds.

On the series, viewers learnt the 12 colonies of mankind had been blasted into radioactive dust during the 1000-year war with the army of robots. However according to ancient writings, there was another galaxy, the lost 13th colony called Earth, which would have civilization which paralleled the refugees' own. Commander Adama's task was to guide a convoy of 220 spacecrafts containing the last survivors of their once great empire in search of Earth.

Richard Hatch had stated, "Glen Larson is to be commended for his visionary story of a rag-tag fleet in search of a mythical planet called Earth. I still feel that our story is no more a rip-off of 'Star Wars' than a western film is derivative of every other western film. Our show was inspired by 'Star Wars', but it definitely had its own unique characters' flavor and point of view. 'Star Wars' blew me away, the universal theme of good versus evil is always compelling, but the story of humankind's search of its ancient heritage struck an even more powerful chord within me. I believe down deep inside us all we are asking the universal question of who we are; where did we come from; how did we evolve?"

In 1983, 44-years-old Lee Majors celebrated his 20th year in acting. He told Peter McDonald, "This ('The Fall Guy') may be my last series. I have suddenly realized this is my 20th anniversary here (in Hollywood) and this is my 5th series and that adds up to a lot of work … I did 5 movies after 'The Six Million Dollar Man' regardless of whether anyone saw them.

"For 5 years I was a robot, a bionic man on 'The Six Million Dollar Man', I mean, how can you act with a part like that, let alone win an award? I remember the first time I had to face it on 'The Big Valley.' They put me on a plane and sent me city to city and scheduled interviews all day long. My suit was borrowed from wardrobe. I was scared to death."

On 'The Six Million Dollar Man', Lee played a cyborg – a combination of man and machine, reconstructed by scientists after an accident. A team of aero-space physicians repaired Steve Austin's human body with spare mechanical legs, right arm and the left eye which had telescopic vision. The artificial right arm and legs controlled by his brain possessed super-human physical power that allowed Steve Austin to run at 60 miles per hour and performed high jump.

It was reported, "While heart transplant recipients found they were the same persons after receiving someone else's heart, no one knows what would happen after a brain transplant. Actually transplant surgery was unknown as recently as 40 years ago (in 1939). Efforts to perform transplants in humans had always met with failure. The problem of rejection of the grafted tissue by the body seemed to defy solution.

"In those days, if a vital organ became diseased or worn out, you either managed without it or died. But during the late 1930s the world of tissue transplants began to look brighter. Tissue typing was developed so testing could be done before surgery. Immunosuppressive drugs to help combat rejection were developed. Then in 1939, the first transplant of human bone marrow was accomplished.

"The first kidney transplant was performed in 1954. Then came a successful liver transplant, then lung, pancreas and heart transplants. Today (in 1974), about 25 kinds of tissues and organs are regularly transplanted. Ever since Dr. Christian Barnard transplanted a heart, research on the various other organs that make up our bodies has come closer to the day when man may have more spare parts than a used car. Doctors have succeeded in keeping animal brains alive outside the body. And Professor David Hume, of Virginia Medical College, believes that human brain transplants are a real possibility."

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