The Living Legend (Battlestar Galactica Series, No. 6) Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1982
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This novel, "The Living Legend", is based on one of Battlestar Galactica's most memorable episodes. As the episode begins the Galactica and her fleet of survivors are in desperate shape, as the fleet has nearly run out of fuel, and three Cylon battleships (called "basestars") are closing in for the kill. However, a fighter patrol led by Adama's son Apollo and his best friend Starbuck are captured and taken to another human warship - the famed Battlestar Pegasus, led by the legendary military genius, Commander Cain (Lloyd Bridges, in a memorable guest performance). The Pegasus was thought to have been destroyed in a battle with the Cylons years earlier, but Cain's military genius had allowed the Pegasus to escape and survive in Cylon-controlled space. Cain is often a hot-tempered, egotistical rulebreaker, and he and the higher-ranking Commander Adama soon butt heads as to who's in charge of the human fleet. But it soon becomes clear to Adama that Cain - for all of his recklessness and refusal to follow orders - is also the only person who can defeat Baltar and the Cylons, capture the fuel supplies his fleet desperately needs, and thus save the human race. This two-part episode featured some great battle scenes (the special effects for the series were created by John Dykstra, who did the FX for the first "Star Wars" movie), and it is often listed by fans as the single most popular episode of the original series.
This short novel, written by "Galactica" creator and producer Glen Larson, adds a wealth of detail to the episode's storyline, and while I don't expect a TV novelization to resemble fine literature like "Cold Mountain" or even Stephen King, this novel is surprisingly well-written, and the prose flows smoothly. If, like me, you enjoyed watching the "Battlestar Galactica" TV series as a kid, then you'll probably enjoy reading this account of a fondly-remembered episode. Long live the Pegasus!
Most readers have probably already seen the television episode so I will concentrate on similarities and difference between them. The story starts off with a prologe set years (possibly decades) after the story in which Apollo's adopted son is assuming command of the Galatica. From there the events of the Living Legend are told in novel format. In general the story follows the episode although more details are fleshed out. There are some major differences; in particular the cylons in the novel are living creatures instead of fully mechanical as in the series.
Overall "The Living Legend" is a fine although somewhat altered version of a classic episode. I recommend it for fans of the series.