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14 Greatest Format-Breaking SF & Fantasy TV Episodes Ever 13

13 Galactica 1980
“The Return Of Starbuck" (1980)

Galactica 1980 was the cheesy, Earthbound spin-off from the original Battlestar Galactica. Most episodes were a corny mix of the Galacticans trying to integrate into Earth society while keeping the planet safe from possible Cylon attack and having to baby-sit a troupe of hyper-intelligent kids at the same time. It was TV trash of the trashiest calibre. But its final episode has become legendary, partly because it was actually half-decent, but mainly because it saw the return of beloved cigar-chomping Battlestar rogue Starbuck. And thankfully, he isn’t dragged into all that dull Earth-based shtick. Instead, one of the 1980 characters – an odious teen whiz-kid called Doctor Z – has a dream in which he sees Starbuck, stranded on an alien planet, forced to befriend a similarly-stranded Cylon. It‘s very much like the film Hell In The Pacific (in which, during World War II, an American and a Japanese soldier are forced to work together when they’re trapped together on a desert island) and the sci-fi film that Hell In The Pacific inspired, Enemy Mine . Some people would say it broke format merely by not being crap.

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