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A Look Back at BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s Daggit, as Played by a Chimpanzee

Since the recent passing of Richard Hatch, we’ve been looking back at the sometimes underappreciated Battlestar Galactica. While the 2004 reboot is rightly regarded as a classic, the original Battlestar Galactica from 1978 had its merits as well. Star Wars was clearly the major source of inspiration for the first BSG, but it also brought new things to the table; take for example, the Daggit, the robot dog that was a companion for Apollo’s stepson, Boxey. In modern sci-fi shows, the Daggit would probably be a CGI creation. But on this series, it was actually a chimpanzee in a suit!

Via BoingBoing, a behind-the-scenes featurette from Battlestar Galactica – The Complete Epic Series DVD has been posted online. The subject of the video is Evolution (or Evie), the chimp who portrayed Muffit the Daggit on the show. Cast members Dirk Benedict, Herbert Jefferson, Jr., Noah Hathaway, Laurette Spang, and Anne Lockhart shared their memories of Evie, and most of them had complimentary things to say about their unusual co-star. Hathaway was particularly close to the chimp, because he played Boxey on the series. However, directors Alan Levi and Richard A. Colla recalled that it wasn’t always easy to get Evie to perform.

Apparently, even Evie had limits when it came to the suit that she was forced to perform in. By modern standards, it might even be considered cruel to subject an animal to those conditions. But considering the circumstances, it appears that Evie actually managed to make the Daggit into a more believable character. She could even pull off a few stunts!

What do you think about the decision to use a chimpanzee to play the Daggit on BSG? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!

Image: Universal TV

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