Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Dirk Benedict

Lieutenant Starbuck, a Viper pilot on the original Battlestar Galactica television series. Yum yum.

Although my brain wanted to fall in love with stable, honorable Captain Apollo (Richard Hatch), I lost my heart to cigar smoking, womanizing, Pyramid playing, fighter pilot Starbuck. (I didn't know what womanizing was then—what was I thinking? Oh, I wasn't!)

My parents knew not to try to get me to do anything during the show, because I wasn't leaving Starbuck's side. He didn't have the insight or planning ability of Apollo, his best friend, but he was an exciting bad boy. (Thank goodness my crush on Starbuck was the only "real life" crush I ever had on a bad boy!) Yes, Starbuck got into more than his fair share of fighting, trouble, and reprimands on the show. But he was the best pilot on the Battlestar Galactica.

After an episode, I would spend the week imagining scenes from the show interfacing with my life. Finding the daggit, crashing my Viper, fighting Cylons in deadly space, escaping from a malfunctioning launch tube. These flights of imagination could happen anywhere, especially during my more boring classes. (Pardon, Mr. Adams, you want me to conjugate what French verb?)

Starbuck's dress uniform had me imagining my own military-style wedding, complete with uniforms and swords. And back-slapping, cigar-clamped-between-teeth pilots. (Even though my uncle smoked a very stinky cigar.) Yes, Starbuck was mine. To this day, I harbor a soft-spot for a full-dress military uniform, but not cigars.

Starbuck looked good in anything. In those days guys didn't take off their shirts to show off their six- or eight-packs. Nor were there shower scenes with a skimpy towel wrapped around a narrow waist. Lucky for me, or I may have slipped into a less-than-logical frame of mind during math class.

But Starbuck gave me the chance to fall for someone I would have been terrified to meet, let alone date. And, I didn't realize until now, every one of my books has a pilot character with Starbuck-like qualities.

By the time the show was canceled, my crush had run its course, though I must say that when Dirk Benedict returned to the small screen as "Face" in The A Team, I put an A Team bulletin board up in my first-year-teacher classroom. As a nod to relevance—and math. (My principal bought that logic.)

And my favorite rank is still lieutenant.

4 comments:

  1. I remember this guy! I didn't watch the A Team, but I remember the first Battlestar Galactica, and I remember daydreaming about MY life and world overlapping the fictional. Hmm. You've just given me an idea for my post.

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  2. We NEVER want the stable, honorable ones...

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