The rumor began to flow earlier this year: Universal is preparing to relaunch Battlestar Galactica.
All of this has happened before and it will all happen again.
A little over ten years ago, the franchise’s previous relaunch ended its four-season (six-year) streak. When Universal last announced a reboot of the series, fans of the original were angry. The new BSG would feature a whole new cast, new story, new Cylons, new Starbuck, new everything. Well, not all. In fact, if you look at it from an unbiased point of view, the point is that all of the skeleton of the original story was still intact. Show creator Ronald D. Moore (former Star Trek TNG and DS9) likes to call it, not a remake, but a “reimagination”.
I approached the series without any bias, except perhaps to appreciate Moore’s Star Trek episodes. The man wrote the book on Klingon “honor” culture, scripted some of the franchise’s best episodes (including Tapestry, Yesterday’s Enterprise, Redemption 1-2, Chain of Command 1-2, All Good Things… , Trials and Tribulations, In Pale Moonlight, and many more). After DS9 ended, Moore switched to writing for Star Trek Voyager but, by his own admission, found the job unsatisfactory. He only has a few credits to his name on the show and left after only a few months of work. He would later describe his frustrations with the series and how it failed to live up to its premise.
Now, let’s stop for a second and consider what the “premise” of Star Trek Voyager is…
It’s a show about a lone ship, stranded far from home, on a mission to find land, with a crew of Starfleet and Maquis, who are forced to come together and coexist if they are to survive their long. trip.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Moore believed Voyager would obviously age with wear and tear over the course of his seven-year journey. The ship would break down, the various crew would have infighting, people would start having babies, the stuffy federation ship would start to look more like a house, with pictures hung, potted plants dotted around the hallways , etc. Instead, Voyager (the show) was under strict orders, from Star Trek executive producer Rick Berman, to remain entirely episodic. “You should be able to jump in at any time and enjoy the 45-minute plot. It was his vision of the show. Moore, coming from the more serialized DS9, tried to back down, but found that the influence he had on the other show did not last.
So he left.
A few years later, he wrote the two-part miniseries for a reinvented Battlestar Galactica. Here is the premise …
It’s a show about a lone military ship, stranded after its home was destroyed, on a mission to find land, guarding a civilian fleet and its very different president, who are forced to come together and coexist if they are to survive. on their long journey.
The difference is in the details, but you can see how the show would provide Moore with a creative outlet. Eleven years later, Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009) remains, in my opinion, the greatest science fiction show ever to air. Traveling is good for several fun little forty-five minute plots, but BSG tells a true story, filled with drama, adventure, humor, horror, gravity, heroism, wickedness, betrayal and enormous pathos. It’s a show that is enhanced by incredible performances, powerful musical arrangements and an eighty-part story that always amazes and always entertains.
I first watched the show in the fall of 2008. The first half of the last season had just ended and everyone on the sci-fi forums was crazy about it. I hadn’t thought about the show before, but decided to give the first few episodes a chance to see what it was about. The two-part miniseries serves as a fitting introduction to the show. It’s a three-hour film that introduces us to the universe, heroes, villains, and issues. He also plants seeds which in some cases will only be refunded in the dying minutes of the final episode. After the miniseries, I was hooked. I bingered the show within a few weeks, then watched it again just before the last batch of episodes aired. When it was over, I cried.
I hadn’t done this in a show’s finale since the end of DS9.
A year later, I saw him again (also cried again). A few years later, I saw him again (cry). I saw it again in 2016 (yes). I’ve been busy ever since, but found myself in quarantine. Not having much to do with my parties, I decided to put on my favorite show and watch it for the sixth time.
This time, watching, I decided to take some notes. I wrote down thoughts on the show’s key themes and character arcs, rated the episodes, and reflected on its legacy.
On that last point, I’m sorry to say that the show hasn’t reached the pantheon of other TV shows often hailed as the best of all time: The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc. It’s sad because, in my opinion, she belongs there with them. Unlike other shows that faded and failed to land a satisfying finale (Game of Thrones), Battlestar Galactica told its story from start to finish and wowed audiences every step of the way. of the process.
Of course, some fans were not happy.
Fans of the original were furious at the major changes to the one-season OG show in 1978. Among the most notable, Starbuck is a female, names like Apollo, Boomer, Athena, etc., have been transformed into “call signs” and the Cylons have been portrayed either as computer-generated robots (as opposed to the original “men in metal suits”) or as human-looking undercover robots (nicknamed “skinjobs”). This latest move is actually a stroke of genius as it made it possible to portray the enemy without expensive CGIs (or cheap-looking costumes), and it introduced a whole new dynamic between good guys and bad guys: when the enemy looks like you, the enemy could be anyone.
Since I wasn’t attached to the original show (to this day, I’ve still never watched a second), I wasn’t bothered by any of the changes. I first watched the show and judged it on its own merits. What I found was one of the purest forms of sci-fi ever to appear on the screen.
During Picard’s review, I referred to a scene from the TNG episode “The Measure of a Man …”
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What I said is this:
what I love most is how pure science fiction it is, although there are no crazy aliens, no spaceship battles, no tech gossip. The climax of the episode simply features two actors debating whether a machine should be considered alive and what are the moral implications of the decision they make. It’s about as “Isaac Asimov” a phrase I’ve ever typed. It’s science fiction. It’s not about the window dressing, but the things that make you think of it. Even a popcorn blockbuster like First Contact has always bothered to explore the damaged humanity of man, Picard. It is the “human condition” element that Gene Roddenberry wanted to set his show apart
Much like this scene, the set of Battlestar Galactica is a spectacle without aliens, phasors, force fields, or photons. There’s no tech gossip (except when the very idea is mocked), phones have cords, guns have bullets, ships have nukes, and doors have handles. It’s serious, it’s raw, it’s real, and it’s done that way to keep the focus on the people in the story. The result is a hugely satisfying character-driven sci-fi show that stays excellent long after its special effects seem stale. A 2004-era CGI robot won’t look so good until 2020, but good acting is timeless. Good music is timeless. A good story is timeless.
Battlestar Galactica is timeless.
This is just the first in a series of articles on the show. I have a lot more to say, but until then, if you’ve never seen Battlestar Galactica, you just have to. If you are a sci-fi fan, this should be obvious. Even if you’re not, the show is just too good not to enjoy. My wife hated science fiction, but she loves this show because good stories, well played and well told, don’t shy away from.
And what I realized on my last rewatch is that it’s as relevant and necessary as ever.