G is for Galatica, Battlestar Galatica

Art, back when it was all done by hand. Image from http://www.megomuseum.com/remego/battlestar.shtml

Art, back when it was all done by hand. Image from http://www.megomuseum.com/remego/battlestar.shtml

Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar Galactica leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest… a shining planet known as Earth. ~ spoken by Lorne Greene at the close of each episode of the Glen A. Larson’s original Battlestar Galactica.

So, when normal geeky GenXers had already seen Star Wars the year before, my first exposure to Science Fiction and space travel was Battlestar Galactica and then Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (Erin Gray was such a hottie and still is. Gil Gerard.. eh). Looking back it now, it is almost painful to watch Battlestar. It was appropriate for the time, but now we have…

What does the SciFi Channel know about high productions?

In 2003, The SciFi (now SyFy) Channel showed a four-hour miniseries of a new Battlestar Galatica. announced that they have revived the 70’s space opera and would be adding it to their line-up. The purists decried the move as unacceptable, especially after seeing that Starbuck is now a girl (who I think would wipe the floor with the boy Starbuck.. Rawr!). Others could not see how SciFi could have high production value expectations that it takes for space shows. They already had Stargate SG-1, where would the bucks come from?

Could this really happen? No, but it makes awesome TV! Image from http://scienceinmyfiction.com/tag/battlestar-galactica/

Could this really happen? No, but it makes awesome TV! Image from http://scienceinmyfiction.com/tag/battlestar-galactica/

The bucks came from the show itself. Producer Ronald D. Moore gave us nitty, gritty life in space with real plot devices and was not afraid to mix things up. Think about trying to land a Battlestar on a planet to rescue prisoners from another ship. Balls, real balls!  He created an ensemble cast and crew that was critically acclaimed and stacked-up nominations, awards, and best of  lists. We had gone from geeky science fiction to one of the best dramas airing on television at the time. (In 2002, Fox aired and then cancelled Firefly before it had a chance.)

The legacy Ronald D. Moore gave goes beyond the spin-0ffs of Blood and Chrome and Caprica. He proved that a science fiction television show can be engaging beyond the special effects, the fantastic, and the parables of current events. He made science fiction appealing to an audience beyond geeks by making characters who are relatable by their struggles with religion, politics, and existence.

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4 thoughts on “G is for Galatica, Battlestar Galatica

  1. I have to admit, this is one of those shows that is on my queue to watch, but I haven’t seen it yet. I loved the original series in the 70s, and I’ve had many a person tell me I would love this show as well. I’m just afraid that it will end up like in the episode of “Portlandia” where they decide to give it a try and end up losing their home, jobs, life, etc. because they have to watch “one more episode.”

    • Yes, getting sucked into the series is definitely a possibility. Unlike Firefly 14 episodes and a movie, BSG has five seasons, a spin-off, and a miniseries. That makes it hard to do over a weekend.

      • Although still not as bad a Doctor Who. Andrea just started watching that, and good lord. Where do you even start? All the way at the beginning? With the modern Doctors (start with 9) or start with most popular (10 and 11). Oy vey!

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