Battlestar Galactica!


#1

Many of you will doubtlessly be aware of the famous Battlestar Galactica of 1979, the ostentatious and explosion-consumed space opera (or rock-concert, as the frequency of battles suggests) that gestated not only instantaeneous cult affection but also the subject of a subtantial number of remakes, even before the recent Hollywood necrophilic mania for exhuming dead cinema and television transpired. And, as with many remakes, they were all uniformly dire.

Except for the latest production of Battlestar Galactica - despite my known and oft-exhibited passionate devotion to prolixity, my reaction to it can only be expressed in two words:

[size=150]ABSOLUTELY STUPENDOUS![/size]

The new version of Battlestar Galactica a truly amazing and magnificent specimen of television drama, and along with the superlative Farscape and the tragically short-lived John Doe I think it deserves to be recognised as the best serialised science fiction in the past five years. Indeed, it seems almost completely flawless.
Like any space opera, there are extravagant CGI scenes - but these scenes are rendered with a genuine artisitc beauty and some directorial genius (cameras wobble and zoom as if it’s being handled by somone recording a live newsreel), and special effects are not the order of the day - crucially, Battlestar Galactica is a programme that lets its actors… well, act. It’s also rendered with a refreshing, gritty realism that buffs it with the proud polish of authenticity - you can sense that you are aboard a genuine military vessel with limited resources rather than the tension-suffocating Star Trek passion for just lobbing a few reverse-polarity tetryon neutrinos &c. at a problem.

Like Farscape, Battlestar Galactica has a strong sense of continuity linking episodes, but it honestly doesn’t require too much trouble to consider. This is all you’ll require to establish a foundation for appreciating this excellent programme:

-Humans live in the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, each named after a star sign (Caprica, Sagitarrium, Scorpion, etc.). They created a slave race of robots - the Cylons - to perform menial labour and so forth.

-Forty-two years ago, the Cylons rebelled (as you do) against their human creators, and after a brutal war the two belligerents signed an armistice, and the Cylons left the Twelve Colonies to settle another world.

-Now, the Cylons have returned to eliminate their hated former masters - achieving total surprise, humanity has been all but completely erased from existence as high-yield nuclear strikes inflame every world and defence forces are incapaitated by viruses that wreck their systems (created because their defence network’s designer, Dr. Gaius Baltar, has spent two years sleeping with a Cylon agent disguised as a human).

-The only survivors of the comprehensive massacre are the eponymous battlecruiser (an aged veteran of the first war with the Cylons which was actually being decommissioned and turned into a museum on the day of the attack) and a tattered flotilla of civilian craft. A ramshackle government is precariously stapled together by the cancer-stricken President Roslin - actually the Minister for Education who was only given her new title because the rest of the Colonial Government was wiped out.

-Now, the 48,000 surviving humans are being harried by the Cylons who want to tie up the loose end…

Last week’s episode, “Bastille Day”, where an old revolutionary stages a riot aboard a prison ship in the fleet, was absolutely sublime, excellently-acted and featuring some good expositions of the follies of a terrorist, ending as it does with the revolter being given the most errible fate - damned to liberty.

If you have Sky television, turn it on Sky One tomorrow at eight in the evening (GMT) and watch it. If you don’t have Sky, go to a friend’s house and watch it instead. Once you’re done, go to HMV and purchase a DVD of the pilot miniseries. Battlestar Galactica deserves to have as many people regaling it as possible, because this is one programme that is far too good to be cancelled after a few episodes in the vein of Century City.

And no, I’m not being paid by Rupert Murdoch to post this - although I should be. :anjou_happy:


#2

I’ve only seen the movie.

I would like to see the tv shows sometime though.


#3

Firefly.
Firefly.
Firefly.
Firefly.
Firefly.

Did I mention Firefly?

Hey, guess what? Sounds like Firefly.


#4

The original Galactica’s is beeing broadcast on a portuguese channel for sometime now.My brother told me it was is favourite tv series of all time so I checked.

He also told me " well, I wouldn’t buy most of this space mumbo jumbo if it was today;but at that time [and that time means more like 85 :P;even then it was a repetition] I loved it ".


#5

[quote]Firefly.
Firefly.
Firefly.
Firefly.
Firefly.

Did I mention Firefly? [/quote]

No, actually, I think you muttered something about a Serenity of some kind or other? :anjou_happy:

And yes, I’ll admit it, I did neglect this similarlay sterling programme - I humbly and pathetically prostrate myself in abject penitence and grief before the all-encompassing Great Shrine Joss of Whedon and acknowledge my fault. “The tragically short-lived John Doe AND Firefly.” :anjou_sigh:

But once you’ve bought the fantastic Firefly DVD set, you should still watch the new Battlestar Galactica. It is, stated succinctly, 73h p//||z0r1337n355. :anjou_love:

One hour forty minutes, everyone! Set the clock! :anjou_embarassed:


#6

The only thing that annoys me about the new series is the fact that not only were Boomer and Starbuck turned into women, but Boomer was turned into a Cylon as well.

Other than that, and other than all the sex scenes the show’s producers felt they had to include in order to broaden its appeal, the new series isn’t bad at all. I liked the use of tribal drum rolls in all the combat sequences in the pilot episode.

Hopefully the series will end this time; I want to see the Cylons live to regret their mistake…


#7

Personally, I think that once you get over the intial shock of gender-bending, the women recasting actually works extremely well. Whether you prefer Starbuck as a man or a woman, you can’t deny that Katee Sackhoff plays the role brilliantly and with genuine conviction - as today’s episode demonstrated.

I also think that having Boomer be a Cylon introduces a wealth of new storyline possibilities for the series - for instance, in the Caprica sub-plot with Helo, she’s impersonating a human well - and with her reaction to seeing rat-nibbled corpses, perhaps it’s too well for it to just be an act? The Cylons are sentient and independent (No. 6 Mk. III expresses regret for the systematic eradication of humans and questions her race’s methods), so I’m beginning to wonder whether the Caprican Boomer might actually defect to humanity… now that would open up a proverbial can of worms.

To return to today’s episode, “Act of Contrition” - pardon the hyperbole, but I think Edward James Olmos (Adama the Elder) deserves a peerage for his masterly performace. His voice never ascends above a whisper, but the amount of suppressed rage he’s able to convey with barely a flicker of his eyebrows is truly awe-inspiring.

I can’t wait for next week! :anjou_happy:


#8

And they said I was sad for enjoying Star Trek: TNG.


#9

Way ahead of you on the DVD set. I will try to check out Battlestar Galactica when I get a chance, though that might not be for awhile.


#10

I detest the new series of BSG and will always support the original and a continuation of it not this nonsense that 's on tv at the moment.


#11

Hey Robert, do you know what I like about the new series of BSG the most? The Cylons actually believe in God. That was totally unexpected considering the theme etc.

Hopefully humanity won’t be satisfied until it has been given the opportunity to exact some kind of revenge upon the Cylon menace. I have no desire to watch a soap opera set in space.


#12

I agree with you wholeheartedly about the Cylons, Geoffrey - I think it’s admirable that they’ve given the foe a personality, rather than simply being 73h 3/i|_ as they were in the original edition. Aspects such as the Cylon faith, along with other aspects such as Sharon Mk. II’s defection to humanity (which I correctly predicted! w00t! :anjou_happy:

I was reading an article in SFX where the director was connoting that religion is going to become a major factor later on…

I think the charge that Battlestar Galactica is a glorified soap opera is unfair though - having an entire epsiode spent watching a man/cyborg/drone/clone/etc. being tortured ("…there’s something beeping in the back of your head - Error. Error. Does not compute." - brilliant!) and then vented out of an airlock isn’t precisely what you’d see in your average weekday instalment of Coronation Street. :stuck_out_tongue:

The programme is also full of delightful links to the old version as well, remaining true to its roots as well as evolving into a higher state. The redesigned Galactica is a superbly designed vessel, genuinely beautiful whilst still retaining a grizzled, stolid, heavy character, yet it is still recognisably the Galactica of yore. An entire small story has been evolved around the retention of the old Viper design, and its presence alongside the advanced Mk. VII of Apollo shows that supporters of both series can enjoy it! And what device helped the Cylons find Helo and Sharon in the restaurant…?

A chrome-plated toaster! 8)!

Galactica has been an amazing programme throughout, and I’m sorry, Goonboy, but if you detest it then you obviously haven’t watched it. It’s returning back onto Sky One at 8 P.M. GMT on the 3rd January (Monday)… everyone, set your videos! :anjou_love:


#13

Sorry for double-posting, but I think that you would have been more than satisfied by last night’s episode, Geoffrey - eradicating an entire Cylon installation in a single blow in true obscenely-improbable-but-it-still-looks-incredible Death Star trench run style? :anjou_happy:

One factor perplexes me, however - throughout the battle, the crew were acting as if the Galactica had all the defensive capability of a floating brick - what happened to its banks upon banks of artillery cannons that absolutely tore a wng of raiders to shreds in the miniseries?

Anyway, I hear on the grapevine (i.e. SFX) that next week’s episode is going to involve the return of Tom Zarek in some capacity… now that’s a wild card if there ever was one. :anjou_wow:

Be sure to have your videos set!


#14

Yesterday’s episode wasn’t bad. I feel that the series has been lacking in epic space-combat sequences so far, and yesterday’s episode filled that void admirably.

I’ll add some more comments later.


#15

The Scifi channel in the U.S. seems to be airing the miniseries this week. I just saw the first episode, and it was freakin’ awesome. Thanks for the recommendation, Rob. I’m glad I didn’t miss this show.


#16




WOW. :anjou_wow:

What an ending!

As of five minutes to nine o’clock in the evening G.M.T., 24th January 2005 A.D., the final episode of the first series of Battlestar Galactica closed, and with it, fifteen hours of some of the categorically and indisputably best television I’ve ever seen.

I shall refrain from discussing the numerous amazing and astounding facets of this brilliant coup de theatre in respect for our American forumers who are still in the second or third episode… but I think I can safely declaim that it changes everything. The final ten minutes rendered me and my mother absolutely dumbstruck and forcibly dragged me to the edge of the setee. Even if you’re not especially impressed by Battlestar Galactica (we know that there’s one lonely, lost individual out there somewhere), you must stay the course.

This is a programme that’s begging for a second series. The plight of the Colonial Fleet is a story that needs to be told. God in Heaven, don’t let it be cancelled for more reality TV tripe!


#17

Stupendous news, everyone!

You’ve all seen from my previous posts how much I adore this television programme - you can easily imagine my unadulterated and genuinely immense delight, then, when I discovered that this marvellous series wasn’t going to suffer the ignominious fate meted out to John Doe and Firefly and was indeed to be blessed with a second series: scifi.com/scifiwire2005/index.php?id=30357

It may sound rather premature to flag this up considering that the series hasn’t even started filming yet, but this show is so impeccable I think that it deserves as much publicity as it can get - American forumers, if you haven’t tuned into it yet, do so as a matter of urgency!

Battlestar Galactica is authentic, compelling, provocative, consistent, arresting, passionate, vigorous, explosive, intense, relentless, varied, inventive, reflective, thoughtful and intelligent all at the same time. I can’t wait for another 13 episodes! :anjou_love:


#18

Or you could just say it sucks I guess :stuck_out_tongue:


#19

Btw, I loved each and every episode fo John Doe. Did anyone ever figure out who or what he was? There was an interesting clue in the episode where he suffered from amnesia and therefore was temporarily unable to draw upon his vast mental dipository of knowledge. I hope I wasn’t the only one to spot it…


#20

I can’t stand the new BSG,I much perferred the original and a continuation to it but that’s less likely now.

Original styles to the sci fi theme like Farscape is the only thing that would spark any intrest from me in the space genre of sci fi.