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Battlestar Galactica

Thanks to everyone who replied to my query. It seems that most people can view my website, but a few can't. I'm one of the few. Until I have access to it again, this journal will remain a text only affair.

In other news, the new Battlestar Galactica aired on Sci Fi last night. Wow!

I'd been looking forward to it for months, and usually that kind of anticipation lays the groundwork for serious disappointment, but not this time. Battlestar Galactica provided everything I wanted it to. It had great writing and tackled lots of issues that the original series never touched. The original series, great in its own way, had to focus on the external military conflict between the Cylons and the Humans because the writing in that series kept to a moral framework simple enough to please George W. Bush. All the humans acted heroically except for a couple of diabolical evil-doers who sabotaged human life to increase their own levels of wealth and power. Except for outright traitors, all humans dutifully fell in line under the remaining Battlestar commander. In the new series, various human factions, following their own legitimate agendas, struggle with one another to determine the aim and direction of remaining Human assets. With all of this rich socio-political conflict within the human ranks, the film-makers could downplay the military conflict with the Cylons. When the Cylons attack the Human colony worlds, we see no armada of warships or strafing fighters. We see only mushroom clouds.

The new Battlestar Galactica, like the Matrix films (particularly Animatrix) and the Terminator films, touches on several topics that have been on my mind recently. Humans create artificial intelligence, treat that new life with cavalier disregard, and suffer the consequences. Battlestar takes that line of speculation a step further. Within 40 years of fighting a devastating war with the Cylons, the Humans have once again made themselves dependent on the very technology that led Humanity to the brink of ruin within the memories of some living Humans. Commander Adama, played with stunning gravitas by Edward James Olmos, refused to allow a networked computer system aboard the Galactica because in the first Cylon war, the Cylons demonstrated that they could infiltrate and take control of such systems. Just four decades after the war, most people consider Adama a kooky eccentric for his stance.

I loved the way the writers set up the story in this first installment with the presidency of the 12 Colony worlds falling on the Secretary of Education who has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. As audience members, we see that she really has juice to step up and take charge in a crisis, but to Adama, she remains the Secretary of Education, someone with no qualifications for wartime leadership.

I loved the scene in which Starbuck is sitting in her Viper fighter craft, waiting to be catapulted out into space to join an on-going dogfight only to have the launch aborted due to a mechanical failure. As she sits in the cockpit of her fighter waiting for the mechanics to get her into the fight, she can hear the radio communication between the pilots already in the fight.

The Sci Fi channel showed the two hour premier at least three consecutive times last night, and I watched the first two back to back showings. I hadn't planned to. Even half-way thru my second viewing, I didn't intend to stay up to watch it thru to the end. But I did. I can't wait for tonight's installment.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 9th, 2003 10:45 am (UTC)
Re: argh!
Sci Fi will be showing an encore presentation of the first installment tonight at 8 eastern/7 central before showing the second one.
Dec. 9th, 2003 10:18 am (UTC)
feck, I missed it! and I wrote it down and everything. You didn't happen to tape it, did you?

I'm glad, however, that you weren't disappointed. I'm sure you know taht the Buddhists advocate letting go of expectations and attachments, for they only lead to disappointment and suffering. And they do. Just not all the time,
Dec. 9th, 2003 04:44 pm (UTC)
I've been half wanting to see this, half dreading it. Part of me wants to get cable again for things like this on the sci-fi channel, including taping "Babylon 5".

However, I'm worried about two issues.
1. 90's PC pollution. I hate the overall 'theme' to 90's, the forced political correctness. The only thing I hated about Star Wars Episode I was the 90's feel. I worry that yet another childhood favorite will have it's 'edges' filed off to shove smoothly down a larger but more delicate throat.

2. "Space Gods".
Yep, I know it likely is not the case. However, one of my earliest memories is turning on "In Search Of" seeing Mr. Spock introduce the "Chariots of the Gods?" episode. It's one of the reasons that I liked the original battlestar so much. I'm worried they played this theme (the MAIN THEME) down because too many people (Religion nuts, Carl Sagan on the other end) didn't like it.

It's hard to 'spoil' a plot for me, so could you tell me about either.
Dec. 10th, 2003 07:06 am (UTC)
1) In terms of edges, the original Battlestar Galactica is a bowl of rice pudding compared to the Sci Fi channel mini-series.

2) I get no sense that the writers of the new show are pandering to anyone (except maybe "feminists" by casting women in many of the major roles). They're not pandering to die-hard fans of the original show, and certainly not to religious nuts.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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