This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What I hate about you, or why I won't watch the new BSG

I suppose I should admit right at the onset that I am biased against the “re-imagined” Battlestar Galactica and that I am a fan of the original BSG. Having said that, I freely admit that the BSG TOS(the original series) was a flawed series; there were certainly problems with it, much like there are with every show ever conceived. I was, however, willing to give the new BSG a fair hearing, so to speak. I like sci-fi, and I enjoy it all the more when the show is good. I'll get to that in due time. To get things rolling, I want to provide a synopsis of both shows, for those who may not be familiar with them. First, BSG TOS.

When the show starts, humans on the Twelve Colonies have been at war with the Cylons for damn near a thousand years, ever since they interefered with the Cylons' attempt to enslave another race. Cylons are an alien, reptilian race that has merged with their technology and has become rather evil, in a we-want-to-take-over-the-Universe-because-we-are-the-only-ones- who-know-what's-good-for-it kind of way, and they're willing to and capable of killing everyone who stands in their way. In other words, evil for evil's sake.

The most powerful Colonial capital ship is a battlestar, basically a huge fighter craft carrier, capable of FTL flight and able to absorb ridiculous amounts of damage before finally giving up the ghost. When the story starts, the humans and the Cylons are about to meet to discuss signing an armistice, to end the war. What the humans don't know is that a traitor in their midst, one Count Baltar, has lured the human fleet out of position and convinced it to not activate their defenses when the Cylons show up, thereby allowing the fleet to be ambushed and destroyed. This also allowed the Cylons to sneak-attack on the Twelve Colonies and destroy them utterly.

One battlestar, the Galactica, survived the destruction of the fleet by leaving the site of battle in a vain effort to reach the home worlds and defend them. By the time it got there, it was all over bar the shouting, but in the confusion of the battle, the Cylons didn't realize their victory wasn't as complete as they thought.

And so it began. There were, of course, human survivors, and the Galactica herded them aboard a few surviving civilian ships and took off across the Universe, trying to find the Thirteenth Colony, Earth.

The Colonials were, as a group, a relatively spiritual people, who took their inspiration from the Lords of Kobol who were as Gods to them. Some of these people even had latent psi powers, a legacy from the Lords. Earth was a long-lost thirteenth colony, long-lost in the mists of time and legend.

As well, the Colonials were as alien to us as the Cylons would be, though they look pretty much like us. According to the crappy follow-up series, Galactica-1980, they didn't even have fingerprints. And they were heavy-worlders, to boot. Their speech modes were different from ours, and when they used their own slang for swearing and other things, it felt natural because they were different from us, and the language differences flowed naturally. They even counted time differently. Their names were different, too, unlike anything that we know.

e Cylons, alien as they were, didn't believe in God, because they felt themselves to be Gods. But, unable to find the humans and destroy them, they ordered Count Baltar(after ordering his execution) to do their dirty work for them, following the old adage that “only a human can catch a human”. In order to facilitate this, they gave him three base stars, Cylon equivalents to battlestars, though of a different shape and design. They also gave him an IL-class Cylon, an artificial intelligence named Lucifer. Baltar and Lucifer didn't get along, and this provided part of the background story.

The Cylons you normally saw were the big walking suits of armor with the now-classic red moving eye. They were big and dumb and didn't care for their own casualties so long as they got the job done. Oh, and they had one brain, and not a good one, at that. Their commanders often had two brains and were a different color. They were smarter than their single-brained Centurions, but they often fell pray to very human failings: greed, jealousy, etc. The supreme commander of the Cylons was the Imperious Leader, and he had three brains and was the mastermind behind the final solution to the pesky colonial problem. He was destroyed in the series pilot movie and was promptly replaced.

Cylon figher craft required three crew members and were generally inferior to human pilots, who were usually alone in their ships, especially when numbers weren't on their side, which they usually were.

The main characters on the Galactica generally worked well together, though they often disagreed. One, a pilot named Starbuck, chain-smoked sigars, always was on the look out for the main score that would set him up for life, and tried to get in the pants of every woman he met. He eventually settled on two, a call-girl that survived the war and the commander's daughter.

So much for the original BSG. If I think of anything more, I'll edit this post. In the next section, I'm going to provide the synopsis of the re-imagined BSG and my comments.


At Tue Mar 15, 02:02:00 PM AST, Blogger Quackin' Mad Duck said...

I liked the original a lot, too, even if the scripts were silly and the "space disco" material seems really really dated. Technically, however, it was a show well ahead of its time, especially when you compare it to later scifi stinkers like Buck Rogers and V (the series), and especially Galactica 1980 (what were they thinking?).

At Tue Mar 15, 06:54:00 PM AST, Blogger Miranda said...

I liked how everyone had the non-traditional names and how the fighter pilots were mainly a boys' club until Sheba came along. And Boxy and Muffet.

At Tue Mar 15, 08:32:00 PM AST, Anonymous Realmspace said...

Has anyone noticed that there are no kids in the new BSg or only on really rare occasions. I think the kids in the original really tied the struggle and the family aspect of the show together. They seem to be MIA in the new BSG.


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