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Jerry Gebr Battlestar Galactica Art
Written by Marcel Damen   
Saturday, 05 March 2011

To capatalize on the Battlestar Galactica series, a bunch of telemovies were brought out after the show was cancelled. One of them being "Experiment in Terra" which mixed together the "Experiment in Terra" episode of the Battlestar Galactica 1978 series, with "The Return of Starbuck" of the Galactica 1980 series and added a complete new intro, with new footage, paintings and storyline on the Cylon origin. This article shows the newly added intro footage and the Jerry Gebr art that was used.

Recently Jerry Gebr gave some new information on the paintings he made for Battlestar Galactica. Though the painting were used in the telemovie that was brought out long after the series was cancelled the art was actually made in late 1977. The art was in fact created to pitch the show to ABC when it was going to be a series of movies of the week. He based all the artwork on Glen Larson's descriptions. He was also given Ralph McQuarrie's and Andrew Probert's art for reference.

There's a strange paradox to those facts. On one hand the preliminary pilot script (Galactica: Saga of a Star World) that pitched the project to the studios only mentions the reptilian Cylons briefly, while Jerry Gebr made several painting of them. Ralph McQuarrie’s paintings for that script don’t show any of the reptilian Cylons. In fact they do show Cylons, in their most early form, like Stormtrooper lookalikes. It wasn’t until much later that Andrew Probert (together with Joe Johnston) evolved the design into the Cylon as we know it. Yet it’s THAT (Andrew Probert) Cylon we also see in Jerry Gebr’s painting.

This raises several interesting questions: Was Glen still pushing the reptilian Cylon even though it was already cut from the script he pitched to the studios? When was decided that the metal Cylon was the only Cylon we’d see and all references to the reptiles were cut to this brief explanation by Apollo to Boxey in the Landram? Was the studio’s decision on not using any repile Cylons the reason Jerry Gebr’s art was stored and never used (only unitl much later)? Were some of the reptilian Cylon sketches by McQuarrie in fact also research on the same subject (reptilian Cylon)?

Jerry Gebr was head of Universal's Scenic Department for over 20 years. He worked on shows all through the 60', 70's and 80's and had a whole crew working on it.


Jerry Gebr Battlestar Galactica Art

Jerry Gebr Battlestar Galactica Art



You can view the video by clicking on the "PLAY" button below to start.


Battlestar Galactica "Experiment in Terra" Telemovie intro with Jerry Gebr art



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