Eat your heart out Star Trek! (my review for the first season)
Feb 20, 2010
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 for every good Star Trek film there's an equally bad movie (Star Trek the Motion Picture, The Search for Spock). And don't even get me started on the series. In the past I really enjoyed it, but mainly because my dad loved it back in the day and I liked watching it with him, so I developed a likening for the show. However, since coming to Korea, I've decided to familiarize myself with the Trek universe only to realize that the show (Next Generation) was really kind of... cheesy, moralistic, badly acted, and in many cases downright boring. After one season of The Next Generation, I had enough. I wanted something a bit more real.
In comes Battlestar Galactica to the delight of this young aspiring sci fi fan, to the rescue as it were after being let down by the great giant of the Sci Fi world. Gods be praised, this show is amazing. In all my years of movie/TV watching I've never been as impressed with an ongoing TV series as I was with this show. Oh sure, I've never been much of a TV watcher, I stick with mini series and movies for the most part, but out of the major show's I have watched at various times(Hero's, Lost) this is by far the best. Well, it, Law and Order SVU, and Southpark, but COMPLETLY different shows, so let's not even try to compare.
The twelve colonies of humanity are a peace. Forty years ago, manmade machines known as Cylons, created to make every day life easier, rebelled against their masters thrusting the galaxy into a long and bloody war. At the conclusion of this war the Cylons left the Twelve Colonies to find of home of their home. For forty years nothing is heard from them, until suddenly, without warning, the Cylons launch a devastating surprise attack against humanities defenses. In less than a day the colonial fleet is neutralized, humanities home worlds devastated by nuclear weapons. Mankind's greatest weapons are simply turned off by the superior Cylon technology; human fighters drift powerless in space, the great Battlestars, giant combination battleships/aircraft carriers, are blown out of the sky.
The story is familiar to any Sci Fi fan. Humans on the run from killer man made robots in search of the legendary 13th colony, Earth. It was the plot of the old 1970's series, a show with its fair share of followers. I've never seen that show. I don't think I will ever have to. There's simply no way it can match up to anything this show does. Nearly every aspect is perfect; the effects, the characters, the acting, the mood, the mood, the drama, the battles, the political and moral issues it brings up, this show has everything and more. It has achieved a near perfection that very, VERY few other stories in any other genre can match. It's not only fun, its dramatic, its though provoking (in comparison to Wars and Trek at least), it's sexy, and it sounds great to boot. I really have to dig to find anything wrong with it.
Okay, first things first, this is a drama yes, but it would be nothing without some epic space battles. Battlestar goes the rout of Star Wars when it comes to space battles, although they do it far better than Wars ever did. Instead of having huge singular starships duke it out, the Battlestar's are more like space aircraft carries whose main purpose is to launch space fighters (Vipers) and use its heavy guns more as suppressive fire for the fighters. There are no laser guns here, no deflector shields, no super duper space torpedoes, no death rays that can destroy planets, nothing fancy like that. Just bullets and missiles. Like a REAL space military would be like. Laser guns, phooey. We don't need no stinking laser guns. Phazers, whatever. Good old lead and explosives work just fine if you ask me. No need to invent some new phang weapons weapon. Shoot a spaceship with a .50 cal and I'm sure it will go down. The fighters these Battlestars launch are really something too. Whereas the W-Wings in Star Wars fly more like real fighters do, the Vipers in this show fly like one would expect a space fighter, not limited by gravity and wind resistance, to fly.
Another major plus this show has is the Galactica itself. One of the things that annoyed me most about Trek was the perfect condition the ship (and its crew) was always in. Not a tool out of place, no grease stains on the floor, no dirt on the carpet, not a dirty or wrinkled uniform on the whole ship. Even when the ship is apparently being blown apart you see sparks fly out of the computers, the crew will jump around a little, but in the end the ship always ends up as perfect as it was before. I mean, come on, this is a MILITARY ship for god's sake, am I supposed to believe they spend all their time just clearing it up? Not the case with the Galactica. This is a real military vessel, dirty, greasy, cramped, dark, braking down and showing its age. The ship, quite frankly, is a mess, but it's a beautiful mess. Things that break in previous episodes REMAIN broken as the show goes on. The ship creaks as it turns, the launching bays break down, the ship (gasp) take damage and people die horrifically from fires and from combat wounds. This show seems like the anti Star Trek, and I love it love it love it.
If I were to babble on about everything this show does right, I'd be here all night. From the near perfect soundtrack that enhances every single scene, to the uniqly flawed characters who make up this fantasy world, its, as I said before, a near perfect show.
Near perfect, but not perfect. There were a few things that bothered me. For instance, Caprica (one of the 12 colonies destroyed by the Cylon nuclear attack) is the set for one of the series major stories, and yet from seeing it you would hardly guess that a nuclear war took place there. In the miniseries we have a scene where we see dozens of mushroom clouds billowing into the air, and yet as the story progresses we see no sign of the damage they must have caused. Cities remain whole, the countryside remains green. If the devastation was half as much as they show the planet would be a radioactive wasteland. Nothing would live there. Also, some of the characters were mis casted. The Chief was a little young to be the senior NCO on the ship, plus he was kind of a panzy at times. The XO had some really great moments, but for every great moment of acting there was an equally bad moment to go along with it.
Okay, I'm nit picking, but let that just go to show you how perfect this show is. That I have to point out such small things such as these tells you this show is something you need to see. I promise you will not be disappointed.
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 … more
I am a member of the US Air Force and presently serve overseas at RAF Mildenhall about three hours north of London. I grew up in Pappilion Nebraska and Crestview Florida, but since joining the Air Force … more
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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.