There is a highly interpretive and gestural ballad / ballet interlude that reaches deep and wide to the fringes of how impactful an earlier age of enlightenment might have been for all of us. The stylized interlude is likely to stir cringes from the average moviegoer, and might explain the lack of activity surrounding this work considering it's heavyweight authors and contributors.
Topol must have been granted access to everything he needed to revive the legendary 1947 performance that Laughton is lauded for - perhaps it is the more obvious connection, the common director for both Laughton and Topol, Joseph Losey. Topol does a masterful job with the role, but I can imagine a more empathetic and cathartic experience from Laughton. I imagine Laughton brought the tragedy of Galileo's censure to a more emotional climax, as opposed to Topol's equally passionate, but decidedly cerebral and rational reaction to the harrowing conclusion of Galileo's work.