Battlestar Galactica

Galactica Renewed

Thank Frak for that! The excellent Battlestar Galactica has been renewed for a fourth season. This is really great news, Galactica is one of the best shows on TV right now, taking the mantle in my view as West Wing faded, and SG1 moves to an end.

As of today, Galactica is number one for me (it takes some getting into, but the catchup at the start of the episodes is helpful), second place goes to SG1.

Confirmation has appeared on the BSG site, TV Blend and the Chicago Tribune reports the rumour of renewal.

The Futon Critic cites the press release.

There is talk of a direct to dvd special, as well as a spinoff, showing the development of the Cylon - 'Caprica'. They've created something really special in galactica, I defy anyone to watch the pilot, with six walking in a crowded marketplace not to sit up and take notice!

Battlestar Galactica: Season 2 [2005] [2004] The pilot movie is now quite cheap, and both season 1 and season 2 are available in one boxed set. Season 3 is currently showing in the UK on Sky One.

Writer of Galactica on US sensibilities

This is a 'hit the nail on the head' job. A fantastic entry in GalacticaBlog: 'I'd also point out, as I have many times before, the strange standards of American audiences, who can become red-faced with indignation over nudity, but find no problem with slasher films or chains-saw massacres. I mean, Galactica's premised on a massive genocide, and the pilot deals with violent, shocking deaths over and over again, but people get upset about the sex? Weird....'

Battlestar Galactica - end of Season 1

Tonight was the last episode of the first season of Battlestar Galactica (the remake). For all it's faults, I have fond memories of the original - I grew up with it and I was concerned that the memories may be tarnished. Nevertheless I am extremely impressed. The new series is not the original, that has to be said. There are some nods to the original, in the pilot mini-series we see and old style cylon in a museum and are told 'they still have their uses' for modern cylon culture - however we don't see them again. The new series is different. The new series is good. The new series is over.

The new series will be made - I hope!

The thing is much darker than the original, we see this in the mini-series when they make the point of showing that in wartime it's not just the adults who die....

One nice stylistic touch is the opening credits, after the credits (when they do the 'the cylons were created by man' thing, which I find a bit tedious now), they do a funky drum thing. During this they show split seconds from many scenes of the episode that is to come. There's not enough to spoil the show but enough to make you think 'how do they get *there*?' An exceedingly clever device.

I'm looking forward to its return, and am hoping we get the second series before the americans too!

Starbuck's a girl? Works for me! She's great.

BattleStar Galactica - remake

Cylons

Battlestar Galactica, a series I grew up with, has been remade. I viewed the remake with some trepidation as I have some fondness for the original. Some did not view the original in a similar light to me and were cynical for that reason. All round, I personally thought the thing would suck, but decided to give it a chance. I was glad I did.

They began with a pilot, the pilot was shown some time ago, and I missed it. Sky have been showing the pilot this week. It was in two parts, then they ran the lot together.

The first run-through I missed the second half of the second part (the tape was too near the end and ran out). For the full run-through I wound the tape to the beginning, but the whole thing was longer than the tape. Stupidly I forgot to check for length!

So, I've missed the last half hour or so of the pilot. Still, what's the general impression?

Overall, good. The are some nice nods to the original series, the music being played at a ceremony, the original cylon specs being onscreen before we see the new cylons, the cylon in the museum.

The new cylons still have the cool glowing thing going on, which is nice - though the CGI isn't quite photoreal. Some of the 'old model' cylons still exist, as 'they have their uses', so with luck they'll make an appearance.

Starbuck is particularly good - nice use of a cigar there. Some will object to her being a female, though the article linked to was written before the show was seen.

I was unsure about the female Starbuck, thinking that the 'Buddy' thing between Starbuck and Apollo would be lost. I got past this pretty quickly. She had the 'swagger' and 'in your face' attitude that Dirk Benedict did, without the apparent self consciousness (though this bore fruit with the Cylon in the A-team titles). They've played it so the Buddy thing can continue, though there will always be a risk that they'll play it for romance - something which should be avoided.

Colonel Tigh isn't the likable character I remember, though this setup could simply be down to his growling around due to impending retirement. This worked for me too, you wouldn't have the best of the best on a museum piece - Tigh is on his last legs, and Adama is about to retire (though he comes across much better). Adama is held in high regard. Adama has respect for his executive officer, but his XO himself doesn't command respect. He is struck by Starbuck at one point, and at another point a crewman complains directly to Adama about him. I do hope that they let this roll out a bit, it could be fairly interesting.

The series is tough, the world (or rather, worlds) comes to an end, and the kiddies die too. Not just random kiddies, but kiddies that have had some screentime and been shown to be cute. One of the early kiddies is still in a pram.

The 'humanoid' cylons are quite effective, though I would not want to see them overused. They should be 'expensive' to build, and so used with care by the cylons.

Baltar is played very well - nicely ambiguous. There is a lovely scene as people are vying for a place on the last shuttle off the planet, and someone asks him for help. He's quite sympathetically done, serious thought has been given to why Baltar acts as he does. What is unclear is why Number Six (a Cylon) acts as she does at times!

Oh, and Firefly's Serenity makes a brief appearance just as the minister is visiting the doctor.

What don't I like? I'm not overly keen on the cylon ships. These are essentially one big flying cylon. Sensible for the cylons - but there was something about the flying wing with the three cylon crew that I liked a lot.

Oh, and no cylon has yet said 'By your command'. I miss that. I also miss the brown 'colonial' uniform, though the new styles are good, so I won't miss the old uniform too much.

I also found Apollo to be rather weak - though I think this was the script not the actor.

As has been hinted in some places, though it is 40 years after the 'original cylons', it is not 40 years after the 'Lorne Greene' Galactica.

The miniseries starts on monday. I'll be watching. I'll probably be getting the DVDs so I can see how the thing finished! I may even get hold of the original too!

The picture above is from the Cylon Helmet Project.