By Your Command:
the Unofficial and Unauthorised
Guide to Battlestar Galactica
Released 30 June 2012
'The opposite of war isn't always peace...'
Battlestar Galactica was one of the most impressive American telefantasy series of the 1970s, facing down competition from the Star Wars franchise and antipathy from its own network to gain high ratings, a devoted fan following, and a spinoff commissioned less than a year after the original had ended.
In this book, Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore use behind- the-scenes material and in-depth analyses of both screened episodes and unmade stories to explore how Battlestar Galactica interwove relevant political and religious themes into the traditional space-opera format to produce a television programme which is never less than entertaining and frequently thought-provoking. Like the reimagined series it inspired, the original Battlestar Galactica poses difficult questions about the legitimacy of war, the value of love, the perils of leadership and, ultimately, what it means to be human.
With a foreword by Richard Hatch, who played Captain Apollo in the original series.
"Once upon a time, every TV show with a vaguely enthusiastic following had an episode-by-episode guide published – but these days, to convince the fanbase to splash out on a wedge of printed paper, rather than just look up the wiki on their phone, you have to offer more. Stevens and Moore certainly offer that in their book on the original Battlestar Galactica (and short-lived follow-up Galactica 80).... The book is strong on behind-the-scenes detail, assessing first draft scripts to see how they compare to the finished product.... It's as good a guide to the show as you could hope to read."
"This fascinating book takes an in depth look at the first two series of Battlestar Galactica, made and broadcast in the late 70s and early 80s.... The writing style is lively and never dry, encouraging the reader to revisit these episodes. The often derided Galactica 1980 is given as much attention pro rata as the popular first series, and links between the two and the later reimagining of BSG abound. Together with the forthcoming Volume 2 this is likely to become the definitive guide to a classic series, and an excellent companion to the bargain boxsets currently available."
"The book remains informative and entertaining throughout, with the authors presenting a very balanced view... Telos has done a number of similar books and they have never been anything other than well-researched pleasures to read, well worth thumbing through, and it remains the same with this new guide. Fans of the show will certainly want to own a copy."
"A book that needs to find its way on to the shelves of discerning fans of TV sci-fi.... Don’t let the word "unofficial" fool you in to thinking that this volume is anything less than an absorbing and insightful account of the rise and fall of one of the most heralded series to air on American television whose premiere showing of the first episode was watched by an estimated 66 million people. The story behind the series’ downfall and cancellation is as intriguing and cynical a tale of self sabotage as any I’ve read from Hollywood in a long time. Full and detailed synopsis of all episodes including the unfilmed scripts are given here, along with production notes and examinations of the various themes explored, such as world building, colonial politics, and religious metaphors. There are some fascinating anecdotes and observations - who knew that particular two word rebuttal can be seen written in the city lights as the Cylons make their initial attack on Caprica? This is volume one, with a promise that the next volume will cover the more recent reimagined series and that’s great news. If it’s written in the same style with the same attention to detail as this, I can hardly wait."