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Battle of Galactica Ride - The Ride


A - Imperious Leader B - Colonial Hero C - Cylon Control Station D - A lone Cylon E - The Tram F - Background Alien G - Ride entrance Guarded by a two man Cylon Tank

Battle of Galactica

During my years of collecting I have received lots of information on the 'The Battle of Galactica' ride that appeared at Universal Studios LA between 1979 and 1992. The ride was featured as part of the back lot tour that travels around some of the old sets behind the theme park, and then through some set piece bits of action. I was never lucky enough to get to see the ride as a kid but always wished I had. In 1992 the ride was closed and the land used to build and escalator that would transport tourists to the bottom of the hill. Such a shame


Battle of Galactica

Watch a Promo video for the ride by clicking the YouTube link below. Thanks to Dale Long for fidning this.




A Rough Guide to the Ride

Click on the image below to see how the ride was set out. Each letter will show you what was located at it's position.


A - The Imperious Leader watches over the tram.
B - The Hero Colonial Warrior saves the tram.
C - Cylons at their Control Station.
D - A lone Cylon Watches the Entrance
E - The Tram.
F - A Background Alien.
G - Ride entrance Guarded by a two man Cylon Tank.

The ride would start part way through the Tram Tour (click for program) when it was attacked by two Cylons riding in a tank. The Cylons would command the tram to enter their base - 'You have wandered into a Cylon Battle Zone. You are now our prisoners, do not attempt to excape! Move forward immediatly or we will blast you!'

NOTE: An audio file of this speech will play when the page has loaded. If not, you can hear it by clicking here

Cylon Tank - picture taken from the Universal Studios Tour guide

Thanks to Mary Wernke for supplying this picture. Click on the links be low to see some more pictures of the tank. On the right hand side of these images you can see the Cylon base that the tram is forced to enter.

Cylon Tank shot one - Thanks to Mary Wernke.
Cylon Tank shot two - Thanks to Mary Wernke.
Cylon Tank Postcard
Alternate Postcard - with 5 images
Cylon Tank close-up - Thanks to Bill Cotter.
Cylon Tank firing it's gun - Thanks to Bill Cotter.

After being attacked by the Tank the tram is forced to enter would enter a large grey building housing the main part of the ride.

Picture thanks to wegottafindearth.com

Once inside the Cylons base a laser battle would ensue with laser beams shooting from everyside and the tram stuck in the middle. The cylons on this part of the ride where animatronic figures controlled by computers, with the Colonial warriors played by real people. There are 20 mechanical actors in the shot, two Cylons manning the cannon outside, and 18 more characters in the ship itself including Ovions and Imperious leader.

The Ovions appear and laugh when the Imperious Leader says, 'The Captives will make tasty morsels for our Ovion allies.' They disappear in flames-made with Mylar, fans and CO2 smoke-at the end of the gun battle.

You can read and article on the making of the ride taken from Starlog Magazine by clicking here. Or go to the Articles section to see more.

Cylon Figure from the Ride courtesy of www.wegottafindearth.com

I have two great images taken from within the ride taken by Brian Duelley in 1988. The first shows one of the Animatronic Cylons who appears to be very pigeon footed. The second is of the Colonial Warrior bursting through a door to protect the tram passengers.

Inside the Ride: Cylon - Thanks to Brian Duelley.
Inside the Ride: Colonial Warrior - Thanks to Brian Duelley.

Below you can see and image of all the characters that feature in the ride. The Imperious Leader looks like it has been altered to have a more human shapped face, but this gives teh impression that he has a huge Afro haircut.

Cast from the Ride courtesy of www.wegottafindearth.com


Inside the Battle of Galactica ride. picture taken from the Universal Studios Tour guide

I have another scan of the above picture which appears to have been edited to feature more lasers and explosions.- Click Here

Here is a larger scan of the laser show - Laser show. On the right hand side there is a cloaked figure, that could either be Baltar or Lucifer. But that's just a guess.

The back of the card reads - The Battle of Galactica - Evil aliens trap your tram inside their cylon battle cruiser. A brave colonial warrior comes to your rescue and triumphs heroically in a spectacular laser battle.

And once again the day is saved thanks to a Colonial Warrior!

And here is a great picture of the Colonial Warrior. The inset shot shows the uniform worn when the ride first opened, but as you can see in later years the traditional warrior helmet was replaced by a cheaper version. One of the helmets was recently up for sale on ebay from which I was able to aquire these close up photos of the Tour helmet. Notice how it looks more like a motorbike helmet. Click Here to see the picture.

Christopher Smith who worked on the ride in 1980/81 informs me that the Colinal Warrior on the right is Pat Quinn, and the guy on the right with the moustache is Barry "Bear" Burge who was his was roommate while he worked there.

I have just be informed that the later helmet was actually one used in the Galactica 1980 series. It featured in the episode 'Space Croppers' and was worn by the Daggit Squadron. Scott Wilkerson kindly supplied these scans of the helmet and some stills from the show. Click Here to see the picture.



Battle of Galactica Videos

Home Videos

And here for the first time in many years you can see what it was actually like to visit the ride. I have been sent a couple of home videos taken by vistors to the attraction in the 1980's.

Inside the Ride - video #1: 18meg - Thanks to Denny Freeman.
Inside the Ride:- video #2: 18meg - Thanks to Denny Freeman.
Behind the scenes video #1 - YoutTube Video
Behind the scenes video #2 - YoutTube Video
Behind the scenes video #3 - YoutTube Video

Animal Show

As well as the ride there was also an animal show featuring a chimp called 'Livingston' as seen on this postcard. The back of the card reads - Livingston appears as Daggit in Ray Berwick's Animal Show. You can see another couple of pictures of Livingston by clicking Here.

If you know anything about this animal show, then please get in touch and let me know.

Daggit postcard - Livingston appears as Daggit in Ray Berwick's Animal Show - Picture courtesy
of Mary Wernke

Back Lot Props

Also featured (or left to rot) on the back lot tour was the Full Size Viper prop used in the series. This picture was taken at Universal Studios Hollywood by Todd Boyce sometime in 1982. And the Full size Cylon Raider Cockpit. Picture taken by Christopher Smith in 1981.

This next ship was used in the Long Patrol to be the cockpit section of Robbers ships, it is in fact a PBY Catalina Flying Boat, but I'm not sure from which show it was originaly used. Robbers ship prop #1 and Christopher Smith standing in Robbers ship prop #2


LINKS

While surfing the web I came across the web sites of two of the companies that worked on the Galactica ride. They both feature small amounts of information on the creation of the ride. Click the links below to check them out:-

AVG Inc

AVG are the company who created the animatronic and creature effects for the ride. There site contains some information on what they did.

Ewing Architects Inc

Ewing Architects Inc. omplete design of a 15,000 SF special effects theater and surrounding themed landscaping. We provided program analysis, script rewriting for the show, complete architectural design, laser light technology, special effects lighting, set design, monster and alien creature design and exterior spaceship design.

Davy & Associates, Inc.

This is the company that created the audio effects for the Galactica ride.


Title picture comes courtesy of Sheba's Galaxy. If anyone has any more pictures from the Universal ride, please get in touch with me.