Director Richard A. Colla filming one of the "Carillon" sequences in "Saga of a Star World."
Richard Colla filming "Starbuck's Card Game" in "Saga of a Star World."
There are two versions of "Saga of a Star World." The complete and unedited movie Richard A. Colla filmed for George Santoros at Universal Studios....and then the heavily edited piece of trash (mandated by ABC-TV and Glen A. Larson) after they got their hands on Richard A. Colla's work and butchered it. This second version unfortunately...is the only version everyone has seen except for maybe Colla and Santoros before ABC-TV and Glen Larson got their hands on the Colla / Santoros complete version and wrecked it via heavy editing and thoroughly unnecessary re filmed scenes that were far inferior to what Richard Colla shot. Based upon what I have seen in the (unfortunate) only available version of the pilot (The ABC-TV / Glen A. Larson) version....I suspect this is what happened when ABC-TV and Glen Larson viewed Richard A. Colla's unedited pilot. I'm going in sequence now right down the line...
1. The longer version of Starbuck's card game was cut because ABC-TV and Larson objected to all of the shirtless guys in the warrior barracks. Including Tony Swart's "Bigfoot" hairy back.
2. The Starbuck / Apollo / Zac scene was reshot because ABC-TV and Larson objected to the word "Danger" being used by Zac (replacing it with "Trouble" in the unnecessary reshoot.) They also objected to Starbuck's line...."It must be my stomach...Too many cigars."
3. The extended toast of President Adar....Baltar: "I say we lift our cups to him...who for the first has brought the dissident races together"....was either cut by ABC-TV and Larson to bring down the running time...or because they thought the line of dialogue was too cerebral for audiences.
4. The longer version of the "Caprica" attack...including Boxey chasing his dog, and Serina's longer reaction time to the attack..."We better check this out"....was no doubt cut because Larson and Richard A. Colla had creative differences over the pilot. (Hint: Richard A. Colla was in the right while Glen A. Larson was in the wrong.) Cut also was Jim Peck's secondary commentary on the armistice signing...as well as an overall more violent depiction of the attack.
5. Commander Adama's line....."Did (Count) Baltar suggest that our forces sit here totally defenseless?" was clipped of the word "Count." No doubt ABC-TV and Larson were afraid that "Count" would remind viewers of a vampire.
6. "Starbuck Storms The Bridge" - Now here is a true mystery. A thoroughly unnecessary edit. Immediately after "Starbuck" crash lands, he storms the bridge demanding to know why Adama and Tigh pulled the "Galactica" away from the fighter pilots. I suspect this scene contains one of Dirk Benedict's strongest acting moments in the pilot. This guy can act if he has the right director (Richard A. Colla.) coaching him. It was cut because...to bring down the running time?
7. Additional scenes of the survivors in the barges. Where are these scenes?
8. Athena consoles Adama as originally shot by Richard A. Colla. Far superior to the inexplicably bad re filmed scene.
9. Doc Paye and Serina discuss her illness. A beautiful scene like this cut because....ABC-TV and Larson felt that viewers would find it too upsetting. Ironic because ABC and Larson then allowed Serina to be shot at point blank range by a Cylon in the second episode. Certain kinds of deaths are ok for network television?
10. Adama wants to resign - A strong scene between Adama, Apollo, and Athena. Cut because..to bring down the running time?
11. "Extra Casino Footage of Aliens" - Screw George Lucas. Let's see this sequence in its entirety.
12. "Starbuck and Boomer Chat With The Pig Guy" - Cool!! Just dub in an alien voice for the pig. CGI the mouth as well. No doubt cut to not upset George Lucas.
13. "A Pre-Scene Work Up to Apollo Addressing The Council" - Just before Apollo addresses the council about going through the Cylon minefield, the council is discussing Sire Uri hoarding food. Cut because....ABC-TV and Larson assumed audiences would find "hoarding" too upsetting?....after watching the "Battlestar Atlantia" explode?? Never "Assume." You know the rest if you watched the "Odd Couple" episode in court.
14. More Ovions!! The Ovion Queen commanding the Cylons. Find these scenes and put them back in. Cut because....ABC-TV and Larson were afraid viewers would find them too scary? After ABC-TV and Larson allowed the Ovion costumes to be built?? And they were approved by executives after they were built??
15. "Serina asks Apollo to write her a Poem" - Cut because....to bring down the running time?
16. Tracking footage of the Ovions escorting Apollo, Serina, and Jolly into the mines. Cut because....why? Running time?
17. "The Anthem Scene" - I have an idea. Get rid of the cartoon explosion depicting "Carillon" blowing up (a cartoon explosion straight out of a "Road Runner" cartoon) and replace it with the anthem scene.
18. "The Landram Scene With Boxey and Apollo" - As Richard A. Colla originally filmed it, Boxey was a gloomy little boy delivering the killer line..."You could die at any age, can't you?" This original scene remains far superior to what ABC-TV and Glen A. Larson ordered as the reshoot...."Boxey being an overly cheerful little boy...a sibling reject from "Eight is Enough." The reshoot just didn't fit in well with the overall story in the pilot.
19. "Special Shameful Mention" - Glen A. Larson himself evidently filmed the "Epilogue" of the pilot with Baltar being dragged in to see the "Imperious Leader." Overly bright lighting (you can see the upholstered fabric used to cover the walls) in the "Imperious Leaders Chambers" combined with Larson cutting off the heads of the Cylon Centurions in camera view led to a very sloppily filmed scene. This is the one and only scene that should be cut out since it totally contradicts the story just shown. Why would one of the "Imperious Leaders" offer peace after overseeing the eradication we have just seen?
Put all of these scenes back in plus the ones I still don't know about and we'll have a complete and unedited pilot episode ten times better than that piece of trash ABC-TV and Glen A. Larson..."Corporate Execed" their rear ends all over. The version that has unfortunately been the only seen version for 35 years.
At least 25 minutes is still missing from the pilot. Where is this missing footage? Visions of a giant incinerator in the basement of Universal Studios....with "Jason" wearing a hockey mask tossing the missing footage into the inferno.
Read the books Universal Studios has tried and failed to censor on Amazon.com...
And read these books at another location where Universal Studios executives and its stealth marketers won't be able to post negative, misleading (stealth marketed) reviews of the books via them purchasing candy and Rogaine Foam on Amazon.com (allowing them access to the Amazon book review section) and not actually buying and reading the books. I'll leave the other 150 global locations under wraps for now.