Monday, December 5, 2011

Battlestar Galactica--"The Magnificent Warriors"

You do not have to watch Battlestar Galactica long before realizing how Glen Larson earned the nickname Glen Larseny. “The Lost Warrior” was a blatant rip off of Shane. “The Magnificent Warriors” is a blatant rip off of The Magnificent Seven, which is an Americanized version of Seven Samurai. perhaps that is why Larson thought he could lift it himself so easily.

A Cylon sneak attack damages the agricultural ships. Footage of those ships are taken from Silent Running, if the swiping of other content has not yet overwhelmed you. The damage can be repaired, but the fleet needs to restock its seeds or everyone will starve. There is yet another planet of humans nearby which maintain an agricultural settlement. Adama believes they can trade a energizer to the colonists for seeds. However, he does not want to give up a military energizer because the emblem will give their true identities away. He needs a civilian to give up a personal energizer. Siress Belloby, a woman who has had the hots for Adama for decades, agrees to give up hers if he will court her. He reluctantly agrees to that and her coming along to the planet for the trade negotiations.

For a change of pace, the settlement is named Serenity and is the same wild west style set we have seen in two previous episodes, so if you want to cruelly speculate Joss Whedon got some inspiration for Firefly by watching this episode, feel free. Whedon is definitely a hack, but I doubt even he would stoop low enough to steal from “The Magnificent Warriors.”

The people of serenity have a big problem. Every full moon, a porcine race of aliens come from the hills to raid the town of grain and women--in that order. For good measure, they kill off whoever is currently constable. Bogan, the local poobah, hatches a plan to con one of the new strangers in twon into becoming the new constable. Said plan involves attacking our heroes, stealing the energizer, and then conning Starbuck into accepting the constable’s badge without him knowing what it is for. The plan works.

On their next raid, the boray kidnap Belloby. Our heroes kill two birds with one stone by handing the constable’s badge over to their leader, Nogau, in exchange for Belloby’s freedom and an end to the raids. The people of Serenity are grateful enough to go through with the energizer for seeds deal.

“The Magnificent Warriors’ is light-hearted, highly contrived junk that prompts brain cells to commit hari kiri. There is no reason why they cannot just scratch the military emblems off the energizer in order to hide its true owner. The necessity of taking one from a civilian is just an excuse to bring Belloby in as man hunting comic relief. Even if it was necessary to take a civilian’s energizer, Adama should be able to order Belloby to give it up. There is no reason for him to cater to her wishes other than comedic effect. It makes no sense for anyone to seriously consider Starbuck as constable for life, either, since accepted the badge as winnings in a card game under fraudulent circumstances. None of the major plot elements stand up to the slightest scrutiny.

“The Magnificent Warriors” is an awful episode. The only thing that keeps its rating out of the cellar is some genuinely funny moments. Of course, that only merits an extra star. Whatever aspects of the episode were not stolen from elsewhere are incredibly dumb. The actors look embarrassed to be in it. Apparently, they were. Richard Hatch has called this the worst episode of the series. It is difficult to argue with him.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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