Battlestar Galactica

Television comes in odd batches to our little island. Mostly things play about a week later here with the exception of a few satellite channels: CNN, Fox News, and ESPN notably. The rest comes piecemeal. Sometimes it shows when you expect it, other times their is a certain randomness in the television programming. Maybe a Wednesday’s tape was bad so they tossed in Saturday’s tape instead. It makes it hard to actually plan on seeing anything out here. That’s probably a good thing.

All this preamble is just to get around to my point: I sat through the Battlestar Galactica mini-series on the Sci Fi Channel tonight, apparently weeks after it originally aired back in the States. I remember the original Battlestar Galactica as mildly entertaining fluff from 1978 or so. I mostly remember how those guys crash landed on a different planet with human settlers every week. It was like they had a crash rotation schedule set up between Starbuck and Apollo. It got pretty stale. Then they made it to Earth and fried a Cylon with a microwave oven at Wolfman Jack’s Halloween party.

Anyway, back to the new Battlestar Galactica: I enjoyed it thoroughly. The story was retooled nicely, the special effects were pretty good, and the mini-series created a nice sense of dread about the Cylon menace. The Robots-That-Look-Just-Like Humans angle was a poor decision, but at least they cast a stunningly beautiful woman in very little clothes as the female Cylon-spy. I am quite willing to accept that hackneyed plot device as long as she stays minimally clothed. The storyline was fairly engaging too. I think the main problem with the show was too much going on with too many people doing it. I felt like I needed a scorecard to follow who was who and what they were doing. On the plus side, some of the subplots were enjoyable (Baltar’s guilty conscience, the love affair between the pilot girl and her crew chief) and I found they really engaged me in the story. And the battles in space were top notch. They actually looked like spaceships flying in zero gravity instead of airplanes banking around in the night sky. If anything, the space battles look like something out of that video game Homeworld: gigantic ships launching a fusillade of missiles at each other with smaller attack ships buzzing about the periphery.

All in all I give it a thumbs up and I hope that it becomes a tv series. I wouldn’t mind catching it every now then on my random island television.