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Battlestar Galactica

It would be fair to say that when I heard that 70’s space opera ‘Battlestar Galactica’ was going to be remade, I was dubious: face it, the original made Star Trek seem like Shakespeare. Moreover when I later discovered that a leading character in the original series called ‘Starbuck’ (well before the term became synonymous with coffee) was going to be ‘re-imagined’ as a woman, I became downright contemptuous: “Oh gawd, another sickeningly politically correct bit of drivel spewing forth from Hollyweird”. Moreover womanising hard drinking cigar smoking Starbuck was one of the few engaging characters from the original series.

In a sense I acquired the DVD of the mini-series more as something to blog about, so I could actually say I had seen a piece of science fiction that was worse than that hymn for a limp-wristed California vision of ‘inclusive transnational socialism’ (well, maybe not all that inclusive), called Star Trek, a series which hit its nadir with the execrable Enterprise. So yes, I fired up this disc with extremely low expectations.

The show starts slowly, setting the scene in some detail, such as the fact we foolish humans were the ones who actually created the Cylons, the show’s homicidal robotic bad guys, and that Battlestar Galactica itself (more or less an aircraft carrier in space) was an obsolescent relic of a pervious war against the Cylons some 50 years earlier and was due to be retired from service after many years of peace. We see the back story of Gauis Baltar, who in the original series was a comical pantomime style ‘villain’ and arch-traitor, and who is this time ‘re-imagined’ as a deeply flawed genius (sort of a cross between Albert Einstein and Bill Gates, brilliantly acted by James Callis) who is psychopathically self-centered and thus tricked by an all too human looking ‘female’ Cylon into unwittingly dooming humanity. All better acted, better directed and far better written than I expected but only Baltar was particularly engaging initially.

But then the Cylons make their move…

Wow. A show which truly, truly, truly does not pull any punches and proffers a middle finger to the sugar coating of so much of Hollywood’s offerings that are aimed at the mainstream. We see nothing less that genocide: the steady nuclear annihilation of the human race. We see men women and children (yes, children) killed pitilessly in one of the darkest bits of sci-fi TV drama I have ever seen: the Götterdämmerung on 12 planets. Moreover we see the handful of dazed and traumatised survivors on the Galactica and the refugee fleet which forms around this last remnant of the human military, act like, well, people who have just seen their entire civilisation and 99.9% of their species exterminated by an implacable enemy.

In many ways this is a story that owes much to the dramas set in World War II that were made in the 40’s and 50’s and posit that there is a great deal more to being in command than saying “Make it so”. Even the look of the Galactica itself is a million miles away from the antiseptic interiors of Star Trek’s spaceships: it has manually opened pressure doors, old fashioned wire cable intercoms and chinagraph pencil plotting tables that would not have looked out of place on USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway. As in that earlier genre of movies from a less timid era, heart rending decisions are forced on characters, and not just the military commanders (who I am pleased to say actually act like real military commanders in Battlestar Galactica) but also the new president of the colonial government (very well played by Mary McDonnell), who is faced with desperate no-win life and death choices. The biggest surprise for me however was the character of Starbuck, who I was simply determined to hate. Actress Katee Sackhoff plays Starbuck as a hard drinking cigar smoking tomboy and does so with an almost feral gusto and real panache. Her hard bitten mocking grin, snappy dialogue and the almost maniacal gleam in her eyes had me won me over within about 15 minutes.

I have no idea if the series following the mini-series will live up to its potential but damn, it is nice to see such a refreshing bit of drama in the science fiction genre.

54 comments to Battlestar Galactica

  • I am wholly in agreement – very well done. Even watching it as a kid I knew how bad the original was and seeing clips from it in the DVD special features section firmly reminded me so. Why can’t we see more of this kind of SF?

  • The best piece of science fiction I have seen since Babylon 5 (and certainly way above the B5 pilot). The series just ran its second episode where I live. The first episode (’33’) was at the same level as the pilot. I missed the first 30 minutes of the second episode so I can’t comment. I’ll be buying the Season 1 DVD as soon as it is available.

  • 1327

    I saw the adverts for BG on Skyone but decided not to bother as I have wasted hours watching terrible sci-fi series on that channel in the past – It looks like I made a mistake.

    However I did see Tripping the Rift on that channel which I quite enjoyed. Its best described as an adult sci-fi cartoon and it appears to be Canadian as well. Worth a look if you have Sky and like that sort of thing.

  • Shawn

    Like Perry I had very low expectations for this. Not just Star Trek but a great deal of Hollywood sci-fi often seems like an advert for the Democratic Party or for transnational socialism. In fact the last sci fi (of a sort anyway) I saw that I was genuinely impressed with was a French film, City of Lost Children by filmaker Jean Juenet.

    So it was a real surprise to watch the new BG. Very, very good and way above standard for Hollywood.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Nice piece, Perry. Just my two cents: the best thing I have seen lately is Firefly. Looking forward to the film Serenity, which is based on it. I think it comes out in April or May this year.

    M410: agree with you on Bab. 5. Best space opera I have ever seen, esp. the first two series.


  • Perry,

    If you are just catching on now, you’re behind the curve. The season’s final episode, No. 13, is airing right now on Sky One as I type this.

    I was in pyjamas when this series first aired, and had a small attachment to it, as I did Doctor Who. But after watching the mini, and then the first episode, I quickly forgot about any connections to the ’70s show. This one is better on so many levels, they aren’t really comparable.

    If you want that remorseless apolyptic feeling, watch the first episode “33.” The fleets been chased by the Cylons for a week, reappearing every 33 minutes. No one’s slept, and it’s only a matter of time before they make a mistake. There’s even a sci-fi shootdown decision, reminiscant of Flight 93 during 9/11. They’re pulling this show straight from the emotions of that day.

    The characters that grated on me in the mini, such as Starbuck and Captain Lee “Apollo” Adama, grow and change during the season. The season-long B-plot, which has “Helo,” the crewmember who gives up his seat for Gaius Baltar in the mini, running around a nuked Caprica for more than 2 months. This, IMO, was the weakest point of the new series, but finally goes somwhere cool in episode 11, “Colonial Day.”

    Episode 12 “Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Part I,” which aired last week; I will pit it against any sci-fi hour ever made.


    “Part II just finished, and all I can say is “HOLY FRACK!” Did I just see what I just saw?

    Ronald Moore, who also made the outstanding series Carnivale, is the best TV producer/writer going right now, no doubt.

    This series MUST be picked up for Season 2.

  • Johnathon-

    Oops! I forgot to mention Firefly – I’m a big fan, too. I love the mature, adult themes of these two shows – not written for the kiddies.

    Easter Egg Alert – In BG, during the scene where the Secretary of Education is in the doctor’s office, the camera pans up through the skylight and a Firefly Class ship is briefly seen landing.

    Gawd, I’m such a geek.


  • Elaine

    I’ve just finished watching Kobal’s Last Gleaming (part 2) the last episode & can’t wait for the 2nd series. It is the best thing I’ve seen since Firefly & I’m getting the DVD. If you like sf, you’ll love this. Great story lines, acting & special effects. I’m surprised some bean counter hasn’t axed it as they did Firefly.

  • toolkien

    I enjoyed the pilot too, though there was some weak plot devices that marred it toward the end (yes it was to set up tension for the series, but I think it would have been better to leave the pilot/mini-series a satisfying whole).

    And I still didn’t care for Starbuck. The original series actually had female leads with a fine jib so they didn’t need to transform a character. And she just plain annoyed me.

    Otherwise was fairly good. And I don’t watch a whole lot of sci-fi though I have seen the original Star Trek and Star Trek TNG. This certainly is better than either. It somehow seemed more authentic and real and so was more visceral – less escapist and more to pause over. In either Star Trek things tended to tidy up in nice 45 minute bundles, and whatever tensions left over were rarely ever dealt with again.

  • Daran

    With regard to tripping the rift: the original is hilarious and found here: http://www.pocketmovies.net/detail_99.html(Link) Don’t bother with the cartoon series.

  • Andy Cooke

    I watched the mini-series last year on Sky One and eagerly awaited the full series.

    My expectations were, following the mini-series, unreasonably high.

    They were more than met. This has become my favourite series of all time. I just finished watching Episode 13 and Oh. My. God.

    I believe that 6 episode scripts for either a continuation if series 1 or the start of Series 2 (reports vary) have already been ordered.

    The effects are more realistic than in any other sci-fi series I have ever encountered, characters are well drawn and realised, drama and pacing are superb, superb twists and unexpected events hit repeatedly and the consequences of difficult actions are followed through with continuity throughout – you get the feeling that this series was a single movie cut into 13 well rounded chapters.

    I am very impressed.

  • The series is pretty damned good, just finished watching the last episode on Skyone… you have some treats ahead.

  • Battlestar Galactica as currently envisioned, is simply the best example of lifeboat ethics I’ve ever seen.

    Quite seriously, I think the mini-series and first two episodes alone could be used to teach a course on the subject.

    As to it being picked up, they have a contract for two more series (seasons whatever you want to call them), and they are already in post production on series 2, so we’ll get at least two and probably three years out of it.

  • Jwarrior

    I happened to catch one episode and I’ve been watching ever since! It is very enjoyable and uniquely dark. There is also a hint of 1950’s US communist paranoia with Cylons disguised as humans moving undetected through the fleet.

    Great stuff!

  • cirby

    BG is definitely one of the best SF shows, ever, and is well into the running for current best on TV. Good characters, insanely tough situations (ever try getting no sleep for a couple of weeks straight and still try to do something complicated? Good luck), and people die in wholesale lots.

    They also (and this is something that’s slipping by a lot of commenters in various places) show competent people, doing hard things, and there are no “idiot plots” (the sort that require everyone to be complete idiots in order to happen). Even the “bad guy” Baltar is watchable, since he’s smart enough to cover for his encroaching madness and long-existing cowardice.

    “Bastille Day” (the third regular episode) had a big steaming dose of realpolitik that is nice to see – you work with what you’ve got handy, not with what’s perfect.

  • Stevely

    BG has been such an incredible surprise. I never liked the original series, found it cheesy with cartoons for characters (case in point: original Baltar). I watched the mini last year on SciFi out of idle curiousity, but ended up being amazed at its quality. The new series has been so far outstanding (we’re only up to episode 3 here in the States, y’all must have got it early as a thank you to Tony Blair or something… 😉 ) and I eagerly await the rest. There is so much to like, from the writing and acting to the excellent plots to the realistic effects (check out the attitude thrusters on the spacecraft, and the plausible explanations for some of the dated technology on board Galactica) to the camera work, which make it seem like a documentary sometimes.

    Sci Fi Channel has had a good although uneven track record with original productions (Dune and Children of Dune were quite good IMO, definitely far superior to the terrible David Lynch version, but Riverworld was bad) but I think they have really outdone themselves here. I only hope their future endeavors maintain this level of quality. I am also very happy that I got my DVR just in time for this series.

    Someone else mentioned it, Ronald Moore is also behind Carnivale, of which I recently just got to see a few episodes. Really good stuff, time to consider subscribing to HBO.

  • Simon

    I’ve just added it to my Netflix account based upon your review. When is someone going to re-do Blake’s 7?

  • David Wildgoose

    Right, I keep hearing about this new series. I’ll have to buy it.

    And like others have said, “Firefly” is fantastic and comes highly recommended, (especially if you ever played the Traveller RPG).

    The Sci-Fi channel’s Dune and Children of Dune series are also highly recommended – faithful to the books and done reverently and competently. Much better than Lynch’s movie which was an absolute travesty.

  • Oh my goodness yes Firefly is great. The series was cancelled, but the movie is in post production right now, for theatrical release late this year.

    It’s a space western in the classic American tradition, but with better characterization, and writing (especially dialogue) from Joss Whedon.

    The only problem I really have with the show is that Mal is basically Angel, Kaylee is basically Willow, Wash is basically Xander, Simon is basically Wesley etc… etc…

  • Daveon

    I have no idea if the series following the mini-series will live up to its potential but damn, it is nice to see such a refreshing bit of drama in the science fiction genre.

    Based on the final episode that just aired, the series most certainly did. Wow. And again, WOW.

  • I could only watch it when drunk…..

  • Elaine

    To each his own, Mark.

  • “Her hard bitten mocking grin, snappy dialogue and the almost maniacal gleam in her eyes…”

    Plus, she’s hot.

  • I grew up watching the original BG series religiously. I used to have whole episodes memorized. I still have some memories from that time.

    On the whole, I find this new series much better. Its iconography is far less compelling (with the exception of the new Cylons), and I prefer the original cast (Dirk Benedict, Richard Hatch, and Lorne Green were just great), but this show has very few flaws. The third episode was very compelling and had a good example of republican principles in action.

  • I think what suprised me most about the pilot mini-series was the decision to just abandon the nearly hundred thousand refugees whose ships didn’t have FTL drives to the Cylons so that the ships which did could more easily escape.

    Not because it was a bad decision; it was a necessary choice. It was suprising because it was so different than the standard sci-fi plot where they would have somehow come up with a miraculous way of saving everybody.

    There’s been very few sci-fi shows that have been willing to deal with that sort of hard reality.

  • MTFO: for sure, but that would not be enough. Brigette Fonda in the remake of La Femme Nikita was hot but also utterly implausible as ‘Action Woman’ as she lacks the physical presence to carry it off, hense the American remake was achingly bad compared to the original French version with the much harder wirey looking Anne Parillaud.

    Sackhoff does ‘hard chick’ far better than most and yet also gives the great impression of hiding her feeling behind a grinning fascade, which considering her line of work is kinda stressful. A fine bit of acting … and yeah, she’s hot, but not in that over groomed way so many actresses are presented.

  • Junyo

    Sorry, the show leaves me cold. From Edward James Olmos’ “I’m just here for the mortgage payments” Adama, to James Callis’ maniacal turn as Baltar (yes the original Baltar was chessy, but at least he seemed sane) a lot of the performances are subpar. I’m sorry, but when they need ordnance for the Vipers in the miniseries and Adama says “Get me some bullets” (man’s been in uniform his entire adult life and he’s not asking for ‘missiles’, not ‘ammo’, not ‘ordnance’, he needs freakin’ ‘bullets’ mind you, for his spaceships…) I was done with him. Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck doesn’t really bother me and she plays the role well, Apollo is kind of a pussy but fine he didn’t want to be like his dad; Grace Park as Boomer and Micheal Hogan as Col. Tigh are a different story. As a young black kid in the South, Battlestar was cool because unlike every other scifi show that relegated blacks into support roles Battlestar actually had blacks integral positions – hell a brother was the exec. Nice to know that we had a place in the future away from the Enterprise’s switchboard. Now Boomer’s an Asian chick, Col Tigh’s a white guy, and the only person of color is disposable eye candy, PO Dualla. 20 years, and we wind up back at Uhura.

    Blahblahblah – gritty, realistic look, yadayadayada – well written, yakkityyakyak – hard choices. The hard choice would have been to launch the show on it’s own merit as a new fiction universe, freeing them from expectation. But instead the producers choose to cash in on the goodwill of fans without actually honoring the original show.

  • David A. Young

    The show’s characters and plots are great, but the anachronistic sets are annoying and distracting to me. Whiteboards? Twenty years from now every grade school in the Western world will have color LCD drawing boards on the walls, and yet these guys still use whiteboards??? And microphones that look like they came out of “My Show of Shows?” C’mon!! And guys, please . . . ya can’t find WATER? Hydrogen’s the most abundant element in the universe and oxygen is (I think) the third most. Any place you find collections of mass at reasonably cool temperatures, you’re going to find water (or its constituents) in one form or another. I know it’s fiction, but it is SCIENCE fiction. Please try to get the easy stuff right. Oh, and wasn’t there a comment about not being able to drink salt water? They can build starships the size of city blocks, but they can’t desalinate water? Sheesh!

  • Shawn

    Oh please, I know that such taste in things like TV shows and movies is subjective and people are going to have different experiences of a show, but criticising it because there are no Black people on the command staff? And mentioning the fact that there is an Asian, as though if there is, then there just HAS to be a Black person as well?

    I can barely turn the TV on without seeing yet another program in which the obligatory cast makeup always HAS to include at least one Black person. So when I see a show, like BG, that bucks the trend on this its a breath of fresh air.

    I have Native American ancestory on one side of my family and I have never seen a Native American anywhere near the command level on a spaceship in any sci-fi show.

  • dob

    About the anachronistic look of Battlestar Galactica: They do cover that in the pilot. BG was built to be as low-tech as humanly possible, as the enemy had an uncanny ability to hack any overly complex circuitry, jam transmissions, power, etc. Indeed, that’s the reason that the 50 year old relic Galactica is the sole surviving Battlestar.

  • Hank Scorpio

    Thanks Dob, that’d been getting to me also. When they said they had to use the ice on that frozen world because the water below was salty all I could think was, “So you’ve mastered faster than light drive technology, but somehow desalinization is beyond your grasp?”

    That fills in a lot of gaps. It’s akin to the use of vacuum tubes in backup systems in modern aircraft to counter a possible EMP attack.

  • snide

    But instead the producers choose to cash in on the goodwill of fans without actually honoring the original show.

    Er, that would be because the original show totally blew chunks. Face it, it absolutely SUCKED.

    This show, on the other hand, rocks for exactly the reasons the man said.

  • David A. Young

    Yeah, dob, I do recall that now, but I must admit, I found the rationale unconvincing even then. I just don’t think you can beat hi-tech with low-tech, not in the long-run. But I realize I’m picking nits. I just have to stop letting the window dressing bother me. I actually had a bit of the same problem witn “Firefly.” As much as I loved the show, some of the trappings of the show were a little too 1860s American Western for me. I got the whole raw frontier thing, but it didn’t look generic frontier, it looked American frontier. When I noticed it, it tended to pull me out of the story. But, I got over it.

  • Guys, the fact is, eveyrone writing these shows are liberal arts folks. THey have little or know scientific knowledge, and almost certainly they have no military knowledge.

    One prior service enlisted man or officer (maybe two, one air force one navy) on the writing staff as consultants would solve a lot of the stupid little stuff.

  • hmm, doncha jsut love when cognates get mixed up in your head.

    Little or no military knowledge

  • daveon

    I tend to agree that a low tech Battlestar would ahve been creamed in a battle with an AI controlled cylon attack force. But, if AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) is possible then there are limited options for the human race as it stands now anyway. A Vingean singularity would then be the most likely TEOTWAWKI event of the next 30 years.

    OTOH. IF we’re looking at the colonisation of terra formed planets as in Firefly, then a 19th century frontier style of technology is the most practical. If space transport and travel is expensive (even relatively) then you’ll want tech you can easily maintain yourself.

    Until you have a suitable industrial base in place then it’s going to be the 19thC all over again.

  • I do some of this there ‘scientifical fiction’ stuff myself (webcomics on a professional subscription-based site), so I would tend to agree that lack of industrial base = back to the 19th century. If there was a cataclysm, plague or devestating global war, we’d soon find out just how fragile our infrastructure is.

  • dob

    ” I just don’t think you can beat hi-tech with low-tech, not in the long-run.”

    Well, nope, but there are always (well, almost… 😛 ) exceptions to a rule, and BG would be it. (Given the rather “special” nature of the enemy.)

    Also, it’s worth noting that BG doesn’t “beat” the Psilons – it just manages to escape from them. Slight difference. As for desalination, BG was undergoing decommissioning at the time of the attack, and I doubt it would have that kind of equipment onboard. (Especially given it’s own vast onboard water supply – after all they only need to replenish due to extensive sabotage)


    – Professional rationalizer / excuse maker

  • Duncan

    “I have Native American ancestory on one side of my family and I have never seen a Native American anywhere near the command level on a spaceship in any sci-fi show.”

    See StarTrek Voyager, Chicote – 2nd in command…
    Admittedly the show is detestable…

  • Shawn

    “StarTrek Voyager, Chicote – 2nd in command…
    Admittedly the show is detestable…”

    oops good point. I had forgotten about him.

    Damn, I dont get to be a victim anymore.

  • Steve P

    I’ve been trying to spread the word on this series for some time now; great to see that people are getting into it. Like Perry, I love the gritty no-nonsense feel of this show. Admittedly it has its faults; sometimes it can feel relentlessly grim. Also, many of the characters are difficult to like or empathise with (Mary McDonnell’s newly-appointed president being a notable exception) and although I have no problem with Starbuck now being female the sassy-cigar-chomping-out-punch-and-outshoot-the-guys stereotype can grate a little at times. That said, the show’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses by some margin, at least in my opinion. Where it truly excels above many other SF shows is in the space combat sequences which have a very realistic feel to them. For example, one scene where a Viper is being pursued by a Cylon fighter, the Viper spins around on its axis so it is now facing the opposite direction (but still moving in its original direction) and is now able to return fire. This is something you don’t often see in SF shows/films where spacecraft (particularly fighters) often manouvre like aircraft (Looking at YOU here Star Wars!). Instead of phasers and energy shields we now have cannon fire, nuclear torpedoes and good-old-fashioned armour plating (When the Galactica is hit it takes damage; none of this “shields down to 50%” nonsense).
    OK enough SF geekery for now.

  • David A. Young

    daveon and monique — I agree that 19th Century tech would be most useful, and present, in a new colony world — I think it was Niven who pointed out that horses were self-manufacturing — but my (poorly made) point was that the STYLES of clothing and buckboards and such were too reminiscent of American artifacts of that time. One can argue form-follows-function, I’m sure, I just wished the hats and vests and stuff had looked a little less like they’d come out of an old “Bonanza” prop box. More style-generic, in other words. And yes, I know, that’s an incredibly anal nit to pick.

    And dob — keep on rationalizin’, dude; it’s what separates us from the lower critters. : – )

  • Junyo

    I can barely turn the TV on without seeing yet another program in which the obligatory cast makeup always HAS to include at least one Black person. So when I see a show, like BG, that bucks the trend on this its a breath of fresh air.

    How about you refrain from accusing me of playing the victim card, and I’ll refrain from calling you an ass. I commented on the lack of blacks for the same reason that de Havilland linked to the post on the lack of religious inclusiveness in the Trek universe. The original show, for it’s flaws, showed a worldview that was consistent with the colorblind meritocracy of the military, where the ethnic mix simply was. Boomer and Col Tigh were in their positions without comment or commentary because they were competent. If anything, the new show smacks of the exact obligatory cast makeup you claim to decry, with a carefully scripted gender/racial mix, with the ‘correct’ demographics in prominent roles (general rule: one member of any given ethnicity is a token, two or more actually means something) which is the reason I commented on the races of the replacements, and something that I find to be a valid point of criticism. And you’re making just as big of a statement when you choose to ignore the reality of race (The amazing ability of the cast of Friends to live in NYC for a decade without encountering any minorities comes to mind).

  • Junyo

    Er, that would be because the original show totally blew chunks. Face it, it absolutely SUCKED.

    Obviously the small but devoted fan base, that kept the Galatica franchise a marketable entity, don’t think so. Is the new show good? Maybe, in it’s own way and on it’s own merits. But is it Galatica? No, it’s not. Is a modern dress/language version of Shakespeare, like ‘West Side Story’ good? Sure, but it’s also not Shakespeare.

  • Daveon

    Well, yes, they were too western, when, as everybody knows, they would have been wearing Victorian British clothes 😉

  • Shawn

    “which is the reason I commented on the races of the replacements, and something that I find to be a valid point of criticism”

    Why? because there was not, in this instance, a Black person on the command staff? I dont see that as a valid point of criticism in this case at least. Not EVERY command staff is always going to have blacks, or Asians for that matter, or white people or lesbians or redheads or Cherokee/Cajun converts to Orthodoxy. I wasnt accusing you of playing the victim card, but, and if I’m wrong please tell me, you seemed to be saying that EVERY show of this type MUST have a Black person otherwise its a step backwards. That seems a little over the top to me.

  • Hard B

    Shawn, you are correct in that every sci-fi show does not need to have one black, hispanic, asian or martian in it’s cast. The point being made, however, was that a sci-fi show that, for all it’s cheesiness, at least broke some barriers at it’s time by allow two intregal roles to be protrayed by black males.

    I echo Junyo’s rememberances of growing up and seeing black male role models in a position that was not the norm at the time. For me, it was my first time seeing blacks in a command position and also as one of the guys who got to fly around in the sleek little fighter ships and go down to the planets were the action was. In fact, at that point in my young life I didn’t even know black pilots existed in the real world (I had no knowledge of such people as Jaques Bullard, the Tuskegee Airmen, Bessie Coleman or the others that came after them). Seeing that, even in a fantasy show was something special for a liitle black boy growing up in Ohio who up until then only saw blacks in positive role, on TV, in sports. Other than that the majority of the things you saw was drug dealers, hookers, thugs and mammy’s (some would say you still a majority of that today, but Hollywood is getting better).

    Battlestar Galactica(the origianal series) had some uniqueness to it that has been lost with this reimagining. Junyo is correct in that blacks were removed form the intregal parts and relagate to a black female who is a support officer and eye candy for the males (like Uhura) and another black female who we see only when there is scene needing a preacher such as a funeral. The only good thing about this new cas is that there is asian and hispanic make up in it. But to remove the black element from the main cast and say it’s truly diverse as our society is false.

    I understand that you may not see why this is an important issue for Junyo, myself and other blacks who are trying to accept this reimagining. This topic has been discussed on other discussion boards including the BSG board hosted by the SciFi Channel. The common theme I seem to see in the debates on this is that everyone claims to say it doesn’t matter who portrays certain roles in a TV show and for the most part they are right. But they’re not being honest that we all, no matter what race or gender, imagine ourselves or people who are like us in the important an exciting roles, espacially in a fantasy show. I’ll put it to you, if the reimagining had a mostly all black cast with white actors relgated to support roles, let alone eye candy for the black male actors, there would be an uproar. You yourself might not mind but many others would. For example, does anybody remember City of Hope, the mostly black hopital show that the creators of NYPD Blue tried to put out on the air?

  • alchemist

    As a student getting a phD in chemistry, I would vouch for some of the science in the show. For instance: it is very hard to find habitual (or even landable) planets in space. Alot are very, very cold. Take titan (-200 F) it’s so cold that there lakes and rivers are made of methane.
    So the show is a little lo-tec; that’s better than the star-trek “sciency’, trilithium/anti-matter containment gobble-de-gook they use. They literally left holes in the script, at which point in time they would send it to scientists who had to make up things, most of which they had no experience with either.
    Good scifi is not dependent on the science, but on the fiction. 1984, brave new world, gattaca, dark city, twilight zone, etc. are great because they are dependent on the story, not on the science to make the show work. So what if it’s lo-tech, this series seems almost more rooted in war drama or film-noir than in scifi, and it’s better for it.
    I loved star trek many years ago, but watching the reruns again, i’m disturbed by how ‘quaint’ that show was. Their military vessel ran around and did the same missions over, and over, and over again; and yet the cast never noticed it. This shows has balls to put characters out on a limb, and struggle through their strengths and weaknesses. That’s more HBO/i-film caliber than what you typically see on regular tv.

  • Inserticon

    First like to say, this is not to bash this outstanding series. Someone mentioned earlier in the articles above the resemblance to the 50s communist hunts and so forth. This is also where I am going with this. Look at the movie from the 70s Midway. This is a direct story takeoff of this movie. There are the roundups of the Japanese versus Cylon suspects and there are the Japanese pilot scouts that resemble the Cylon pilot scouts, the US carriers that resemble the Battlestar in size compared to the fleet and their function. The only real indiscrepancies are the additions of the civilians in the BSG series. This theory of mine does not only stop there though. The overall cinema style/director (Jack Smight{Midway} vs. Michael Rymer{BSG}) style is on the same level as well. This can be noticed in the spotting of the enemy ship and the zooming in, the roles of Adama and his son versus the role of Charlton Heston and his son, the meetings of the lead Cylon humanoids and so forth just to name a few.
    I feel now is a good time to reiterate the fact that I do not wish to bash this series, only to point out that this series does not suck because it is drawing from a great movie for its overall style. This may be disagreed on but it is only being put out there to point out the positive, and to say that the best drama usually comes form real life events. For another great viewing experience watch the movie Midway 1976.

  • Chris mankey

    Comment deleted by Admin. If you care to phrase that politely, go right ahead. If not, feel free to get lost.

  • Chris mankey

    Admin says: Banned. Bugger off.

  • I think the new Battlestar Galactic is a sad statement on what passes for science fiction these days. Most Sci-Fi shows today are just rewritten romance novels and BG in its current incarnation is pathetic over sexed joke. The supporting actors behave like over sexed hams, while the main characters behave like 12 year olds with Attention Deficit Disorder, which I guess makes them like a lot of republicans, but I digress. I can tell you being ex-military when your life is on the line you could care less about humping everything that moves. I don’t see how any female with any sense would think, because a show is full of women that act as scandals and naive as these would think that these is some kind of step forward for women try three steps back. The comments on the criticism posted about people expressing their opinions about the remove of Blacks from the roles of Tigh and Boomer is just another example of the ingrained bigotry still in the world today. Other people have opinions that will conflict with your Anglo Saxon view of the world and deserve to be heard. As far as you using this amorphous Indians in my family thing I notice people who are bigots try to use the racial ambiguity card thinking this gives them the right to commit on everyone who really could give a crap what you’re mixed with, If Blacks who are Black 100% of the time what to see more Blacks they have the right to say so.

  • Of course liking something like this series is a subjective thing but I must disagree with you about military folk not wanting to hump everything that moves, particularly as these people live together year in and year out. Imagine being on an aircraft carrier but then imagine the cruise lasts not a few months where all your focus is on the job but, well, for the rest of your life.

  • James

    Wow Jerry, six years later, and I find your comments still right on time. I realize that when this review came out the show had not played out. I’ve just finished watching the complete show, and for 2 seasons, I thought the show was fairly decent. I wouldn’t go so far as to state, “Best SF show ever!” as many have done, because it’s quit obvious that the producers were trying to have it both ways ( watched every eps twice, the second time with the pod cast). BSG was a SF show that didn’t want to be labeled as an SF show. Moore constantly talks about trying to make the show unlike TV, but watching it, it becomes apparent that he really meant SF television shows. He seems unaware that the tropes he was replacing it with were pretty familiar soap opera tropes, even down to bringing characters back from the dead. As far as the feminist angle, I’m truly amazed that any feminist stayed with the show after that ludicrous mini series opening with the Six line “Are you alive?” Pure fanboy fan service if I ever saw it! Don’t get me wrong, when this show was hitting on all cylinders, it really was the best thing out there, but I found it hit or miss at best. I honestly think much of the problem was not “having a plan”. As for the lack of prominent Black roles, yeah that bothered me some, but I have to give them props for giving Edward James Olmos the most prominent role on the show, so on that score I give them a pass.