BSG breaks the mould and re-defines what science fiction on television can do.
Apr 7, 2009
I think it's fair that I should start this review by mentioning that the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica is my favourite TV series of all time. I should also mention that despite outward appearances, I also really a big nerd. :) That said, I think Battlestar, or "BSG" as some of us affectionatly know it, really does break the mould by offering something to anyone who enjoys a great story and deep character development.
Like all really good science fiction, BSG uses a fictional setting to explore contemporary themes. In doing so, it takes a radical step away from the conventional narratives of space operas like Star Trek in that BSG isn't really about space ships, futuristic technology, aliens or mysterious planets. Its focus remains firmly rooted in its characters, themes and the over-arching storyline.
So what is BSG about? At the start of the series, the colonies of humanity are destroyed during a surprise attack by the technologically advanced Cylons, human like robots originally created to make life easier, but who turn against their former masters. Human civilisation, reduced to a mere 50,000 by the genocide, are now on the run and looking for a new home, all the while pursued by a relentless enemy they cannot understand.
As the series progresses, it explores themes of hope and hopelessness, war and terrorism, politics, human motivation, religion and the behaviour of a community under constant threat of extinction. While this may sound heavy, and the series is indeed a lot darker than traditional sci-fi fare, the intelligent writing and deep, memorable characters make BSG a compelling and truly exciting series to watch.
BSG is also one of the few (if only) series to tackle contemporary, and very down to Earth, issues such as terrorism and religious fundamentalism. With both sides using the former, and the Cylons motivated by the latter, BSG aims squarely at the American "war on terror" and religious fundamentalism on both sides of our present cultural divide.
All in all, BSG is a great show for anyone who enjoys entertainment which is thought-provoking, intelligent, topical and engaging. The fact that this series is popular not just within the sci-fi community (which we would expect) but has gained a wider following speaks to the commonality of its appeal.
And now, for those who have decided to give BSG a try - this is story which deserves to be seen from the start. Download or rent the miniseries, and then continue through the series in order. I hope you love it as much as I do!
I'd like to make a little disclaimer before going on. I've never been a sci fi (sorry, SyFy) geek, not in the least bit. Oh, I've enjoyed my fair share of it, from Star Trek to Star Wars, and I've enjoyed it a lot, but I've never been a geek or nerd for either show. Oh sure, the original Star Wars series was amazing, and still a favorite of mine, and Star Trek has some great films too (The Final Frontier, First Contact, and the newer film come to mind) but the prequels ruined Star Wars for me, and … more
Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined), known to regular fans as "BSG", is a 2003 science-fiction action adventure miniseries which re-imagines the original 1978 television series for a 21st century audience. The minisieries was intentionally produced as a "backdoor pilot" by Ronald Moore and David Eick for Universal Television, and it spawned a four season television series which culminated in 2009's series finale "Daybreak".
Notable elements of the serious are its lack of "technobabble", or reliance on technology to tell the story. BSG breaks from conventional space opera (such as Star Trek) by focusing instead on its characters and the over-arching themes of the series, which are primarily war, religion, politics and human motivation.
The series is also notable for the prevalence of episodes which further the story-arc, with very few stand-alone episodes, its complex mythology and storyline, deep character development, and its strong attention to physical continuity.
BSG received strongly positive critical reception from mainstream critics and publications, including Time and Rolling Stone, and is popular with audiences who do not traditionally watch science fiction.