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Battlestar Galactica

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The original Battlestar Galactica was a show I enjoyed immensely as a child and learned to enjoy even more as an adult as I saw a much more fascinating story mythos and a more fascinating set of characters than in any other classic sci-fi show I was brought up with (Star Trek, Space 1999 etc.). It was also the only show of its kind to show a more distinctly sympathetic ear to those with a Judeo-Christian perspective of the Universe as opposed to the more subtle and at times blatant secularism of Trek (with the heaviest influence, I will concede coming from creator Glen A. Larson's Mormon background, mixed in with his fascination with Von Daniken's "Chariot Of The Gods" which was enjoying its 15 minutes of fame at the time). Episodes such as the series pilot, "Living Legend" (Lloyd Bridges as Commander Cain, the greatest guest shot in sci-fi TV I've ever seen), "War Of The Gods" (Patrick MacNee as a charming mysterious man who turns out to be the Devil) and the last episode "The Hand Of God" rank as superior viewing for me than any episode of Trek or Space: 1999 (the two contemporaries of Galactica by which it should be judged most directly IMO)

Being one of the die-hard Galactica fans who for many yahrens as we say, hoped to see a continuation of the show that would provide some resolution to this saga, the appearance of this show was the biggest disappointment of our fan experiences (especially since Moore snatched away a Tom DeSanto project that would have been a continuation) and provoked a lot of ill feeling that still exists to this day in Galactica circles, especially in the way that Moore would go out of his way to justify his show by running down the original, and often with a lot of information that wasn't accurate.

As for this show itself, the miniseries pilot utterly repelled me on so many levels, and then when I forced myself to watch S1 on DVD, my negative opinion of the show was reinforced and I've never watched an episode since.

For me, the only show called "Battlestar Galactica" is the original.

Edited by ejp

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I'm almost done with 2.5. I'm still liking it, a lot. The scene where they

find the map to earth actually made me stop breathing for a minute, I was so excited when I realized what they were doing.

The only two episodes that have really bothered me so far have been "Scar" and the one immediately preceding it (forget the title). But they're extremely encapsulated, to the point that it was a little annoying. The feel of "traditional" TV, where one character was so focuses upon that the episode did little-to-nothing for the over-arcing story, or even remember character plights or battles in the following episodes.

So far, though. :-D

(And dude. I want a book with corners cut like that.)

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What the `frak'? Faux curse seeping into language

Lee Goldberg thinks Glen A. Larson is a genius, and not because the prolific television writer and producer gave us "Knight Rider" and "B.J. and the Bear."

It was Larson who first used the faux curse word "frak" in the original "Battlestar Galactica." The word was mostly overlooked back in the '70s series but is working its way into popular vocabulary as SciFi's modern update winds down production.

Associated Press, September 2

- - -

And while we're here ... if Palin is Roslin, is McCain Adama or Tigh?

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i can't wait until it's all nicely packaged into a box set...no really, i can't wait -- it's driving me crazy!

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So, the final episodes begin airing this week -- which has my wife and I very excited -- and Jimmy Akin has posted some speculation concerning the soon-to-be-revealed identity of the final Cylon. Massive spoilers abound, suffice to say, but he might be on to something.

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Ellen Tigh is the final Cylon?!? Whaaaaaaa?!?

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So, the final episodes begin airing this week -- which has my wife and I very excited -- and Jimmy Akin has posted some speculation concerning the soon-to-be-revealed identity of the final Cylon. Massive spoilers abound, suffice to say, but he might be on to something.

Ellen Tigh is the final Cylon?!? Whaaaaaaa?!?

Not necessarily ... what if Jimmy was right in previous speculation that

Ellen is a Cylon, but not a new model

?

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So, the final episodes begin airing this week -- which has my wife and I very excited -- and Jimmy Akin has posted some speculation concerning the soon-to-be-revealed identity of the final Cylon. Massive spoilers abound, suffice to say, but he might be on to something.

Ellen Tigh is the final Cylon?!? Whaaaaaaa?!?

Not necessarily ... what if Jimmy was right in previous speculation that

Ellen is a Cylon, but not a new model

?

I've read that speculation too (not Jimmy's specifically, but elsewhere), that

Ellen is an older Number Six

. I really hope that's the case. It would make a whole lot more sense -- and be a lot more satisfying --

then her being the final Cylon

.

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Apparently it helps to have followed the BSG "webisodes" if you want to understand recent plot developments and one character in particular. :spoilers: if you haven't seen the most recent episodes.

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Someone has tried to make sense of the increasingly convoluted, increasingly retconned history of the BSG universe, and came up with this chart.

Wow, that's actually pretty handy. I know I've become a little confused with the various revelations within the last few episodes.

Dirk Benedict (the original Starbuck) thinks there's something really wrong with the new series, and it's feminism:

Witness the "re-imagined" "Battlestar Galactica," bleak, miserable, despairing, angry and confused. Which is to say, it reflects in microcosm the complete change in the politics and morality of today

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Didn't Benedict post that rant somewhere way back when the new series started? It sounds strangely familiar. I don't think it's held up very well in light of recent developments for Kara-Starbuck, has it?

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That's interesting, Opus. Do you agree with it?

Strong male characters:

1. Adama. He has in the main capitulated to the President when they disagree, but there are countless examples in which he has stood his ground throughout the series and made bold choices that will affect the outcome of the human race.

2. Though Tigh has a weak spot for blondes, he did

kill his own wife

.

3. Baltar has a harem.

4. Lee Adama is a pretty substantial male lead.

5. If Starbuck is a feminist, she is a bad one. She is famous for her sexual appetite and commands fighter pilots. But she is also quick to swoon over the next swashbuckler around the corner.

6. Zarek was pretty... decisive.

Rather than saying this imagining of BSG is feminist, it would be better to say that it is about sexual politics. The Cylon's main conundrum involves procreation, as they have until now used sex for gratification or to trick humans. The human's main conundrum involves the potential end of their race. The show does a good job at showing how sexual politics become distorted for both sides in this context, which is why

Boomer's reappearance

was such a shock last episode.

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No, I don't really agree with it at all (I'm actually working on a response on Opus, but just haven't posted it yet). First off, I don't see moral ambiguity and bleakness as inherently bad things. Sure, there are times where the series does wallow in it a bit, but at the same time, I find it a powerful vehicle for exploring some truly powerful themes and topics that are especially relevant in today's society. During much of Benedict's criticism, it seems like he's stuck in nostalgia for the original series and the halcyon days that it apparently represents, when men were men, and so on.

As for the supposed argument that all of the series' male characters are weak and indecisive, and the female characters are these strong, iron-willed Amazons, let's just do a quick rundown:

Adama: As was pointed out, sure he has moments of doubt and fear, which I suppose could be construed as weakness. But I can think of few characters who also display as much integrity as he does, be it in the devotion to his duty, his loyalty to family and friends, or in his adherence to justice.

Helo: Here's a guy who remains committed to both his duty and his wife, when it's terribly unpopular. Who has continually put fought against the hatred and fear shown his loved ones.

Anders: When we first meet him, he's leading a dedicated resistance against the Cylons, hardly the work of a weak-willed coward. And later, we see him fight for his marriage, even when his wife wants nothing to do with him and even as he has doubts about who he really is.

Tigh: I would've agreed with Benedict's assessment early on, when he was little more than a mean drunk. But within the last season, I think Tigh has really come into his own.

Lee Adama: Like his father, he's willing to make great personal sacrifices -- even defying his father -- to follow his ideals in the pursuit of truth and justice.

Starbuck: Sure, she smokes and drinks and gets all fired up and beats up men... but Starbuck is hardly presented as a noble, ideal individual. In some ways, she's one of the most pitiable characters.

Roslin: Yes, she's can be a strong, unifying leader, and she's certainly held her own with Adama. But she's shown terrible lapses in judgment, committed terrible abuses of power, lied to her people, and experienced great crises of faith.

In all, every character has moments of greatness and moments of weakness. Even the most pathetic characters -- e.g., Baltar -- have moments where they shine, and rise up to the occasion. And even the strongest characters -- e.g., Adama, Roslin -- exhibit great character flaws and lapses in judgment. Which just makes the more human to me.

I guess that what I appreciate so much about the new series -- its moral ambiguity, the nuanced and flawed characters -- are the very things that Benedict hates.

And while I certainly agree that the series is bleak (it is about the tattered remnants of humanity attempting to survive systematic annihilation, after all), I don't find it hopeless or meandering overall (though, like any series, there are some dead patches). For example, I keep thinking back to Lee's final speech at Baltar's trial, where he essentially says that, with the complete dissolution of social order and "normal" standards of human conduct, the only thing that will really see them through is forgiveness, is grace. Which, to me, provides some glimmer of light in the middle of the darkness.

Rather than saying this imagining of BSG is feminist, it would be better to say that it is about sexual politics. The Cylon's main conundrum involves procreation, as they have until now used sex for gratification or to trick humans. The human's main conundrum involves the potential end of their race. The show does a good job at showing how sexual politics become distorted for both sides in this context, which is why

Boomer's reappearance

was such a shock last episode.

Agreed. I think another example of this would be

the love triangle between Caprica, Tigh, and Ellen

.

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Didn't Benedict post that rant somewhere way back when the new series started? It sounds strangely familiar. I don't think it's held up very well in light of recent developments for Kara-Starbuck, has it?

According to Wikipedia, he originally published the article in 2004 in Dreamwatch magazine. It was then reposted on his website in 2006. Since he sees fit to have it re-published verbatim (as far as I can tell) in 2009, I can only assume he feels the same way now as he did back in 2004.

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Didn't Benedict post that rant somewhere way back when the new series started? It sounds strangely familiar. I don't think it's held up very well in light of recent developments for Kara-Starbuck, has it?

According to Wikipedia, he originally published the article in 2004 in Dreamwatch magazine. It was then reposted on his website in 2006. Since he sees fit to have it re-published verbatim (as far as I can tell) in 2009, I can only assume he feels the same way now as he did back in 2004.

I can believe he feels the same way, but based on posts above, I wonder if he's actually watched the show at all since 2004? Seriously.

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The only thing I really regret about my family's upcoming trip to Japan is that we'll miss the very final episode of Battlestar Galactica... especially after the way in which this previous episode ended.

Admittedly, it felt like they wasted their time with the flashbacks -- Laura hanging out with her sisters, Lee chasing a bird around his apartment, Baltar chewing out his dad. I suppose they all relate to the characters' present set of circumstances in various ways, but given that there's so much to still be explained, and they only have two hours left in which to do it, those scenes felt like unnecessary padding.

That being said, I think the image of Laura walking onto the flightdeck, barely able to stand while shaking like a leaf, is probably one of my favorite scenes in the series to date. Honestly, I got a little choked up, and I loved the way in which Adama embraced her, and also the way in Starbuck held her.

My wife and I have been making a list of all of the things that still need to resolved, and honestly, they're going to have to have a revelation approximately every 3.5 minutes next week to answer them all.

We've also been talking about we want the series to end. Personally,

I hope to see Adama go out in a blaze of glory as he plunges what's left of Galactica's hull into the Cylon colony, dying with his first and greatest love

. (OK, not really a spoiler since I have no idea what's going to happen, and won't know what happens for another month, but better safe than sorry.)

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I had mixed feelings about the finale--thought the first hour worked better than the second, and a couple lines in the second hour were just--bad--but Alan Sepinwall looooved it, and he does have some points.

The good, IMO: Like I said, pretty much the whole first hour.

The bad:

Baltar's lame theology lesson: "God is a force of nature...beyond good and evil..." blah blah. Give me a break. Kara to Lee: "This is the first day of the rest of your life." Was that creaky old cliche supposed to be funny?

If you haven't seen the finale yet, Sepinwall's review will tell you EVERYTHING, so :spoilers: --you have been warned.

To opus--I think I can safely say that it doesn't end exactly as you hoped, but a blaze of glory is involved at some point, for some.

Edited by BethR

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I thought the action scenes in the first hour were terrific. The second hour was satisfying on a character level. But given the complexity of the storytelling that the show has done, the way things wrapped up seemed kind of shallow. Particularly with

Starbuck's revelation

, I was thinking, that's it?

However, there was certainly a beauty in seeing

a new beginning on an unspoiled prehistoric Earth

. The epilogue

150,000 years in the future then served as a counterpoint, showing the results of both the innovative ability of humans to create, and the weakness that dooms humanity to repeat its mistakes.

And the final scenes with

Adama and the dying Roslin

were beautiful and moving.

Edited by Crow

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I thought the action scenes in the first hour were terrific. The second hour was satisfying on a character level. But given the complexity of the storytelling that the show has done, the way things wrapped up seemed kind of shallow. Particularly with

Starbuck's revelation

, I was thinking, that's it?

However, there was certainly a beauty in seeing

a new beginning on an unspoiled prehistoric Earth

. The epilogue

150,000 years in the future then served as a counterpoint, showing the results of both the innovative ability of humans to create, and the weakness that dooms humanity to repeat its mistakes.

And the final scenes with

Adama and the dying Roslin

were beautiful and moving.

What Crow said. My wife and I finally got around to seeing the finale after getting back from vacation, and all in all, I thought it was pretty satisfactory.

I agree that there were some parts of the finale that seemed a little too neat and tidy, especially when compared to the complexity and ambiguity that been one of the show's great strengths.

Starbuck

was mentioned earlier, but I was also a little confused with

Cavil and his quick ceasefire, considering the antipathy and hatred that he'd shown for humans earliers

. I was also left confused by some of the flashbacks, which often felt unnecessary and only tangentially related to the finale's current events. And yeah,

Baltar's speech about God

was really cheesy. But all in all, those are relatively minor quibbles.

A few of my favorite moments from the finale include:

- The action sequences from the first hour (though I had to read a couple of online synopses to figure out what, exactly, was going on at moments).

-

Anders flying the fleet into the sun

, which struck me as a very fitting end for that character. I also loved the musical ode to the original series during that scene.

-

Tory

having to deal with the wages of sin.

-

Baltar

coming full circle (his tearful breakdown at returning to, and being satisfied with, his roots is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series, not just the finale).

- The

flash-forward

at the very end, which didn't bug me nearly as much I thought I would, and provided some final and interesting commentary on human nature.

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Let's just say it's rather annoying to be so behind the curve on this show. I'd like to go and read all 96 posts, but I'm refraining from the time being. I will say I finally watched the first two discs of season one. It took all of 20 minutes into the mini-series to know I'd be watching the entire series. Wow. It's good.

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moi aussi. even more, i'm confused about what sets i need to pick up. i just picked up season one (5 DVDs) and three (6 DVDs) but have no idea what else i need. obviously there's season 2.0 and 2.5. and season four. also razor? and the miniseries? can anyone clarify the timeline (and yes, i'm a bit of a completist - i suppose i'll also pick up the original movie)? Edited by techne

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