Battlestar Galactica, Sky One

by | Jan 9, 2007 | All, Reviews

Tuesday 9 January 2007

Did we like it?

Once we’d got some grasp on what the Hell was going on, we appreciated this as a thrilling, brave and contemporary take on its more famous, and inferior, forbear.

What was good about it?

• For an American drama, Battlestar Galactica takes the extraordinary, courageous step of making direct allusions to the American occupation of Iraq with the heroic humans taking the role of disgruntled natives.

• The leader of the human ‘insurgents’ Colonel Tigh orders one of his men to act as a suicide bomber at a passing out parade for police cadets recruited from the human population. The other human ‘insurgents’ are uncomfortable with this strategy, and this ensures that the motivation for suicide bombings isn’t simply dismissed as the work of mad, evil terrorists but instead is discussed in a rational, intelligent manner.

• The consequence of the bombings for the human population is that the oppressive Cylons become even more tyrannical, reflecting the common ruse of occupying forces to exaggerate and exploit any act of rebellion as justification for more cruelty, torture and execution.

• It was a curious coincidence that on a day when a number of suspected terrorists were executed in Somalia, along with a number of non-terrorists, without recourse to a trial to determine their guilt, 200 humans on the fictional world of New Caprica were randomly rounded up before being shot dead by the merciless Cylons.

• Richard Hatch, who was one of the stars of the original Galactica, here in a role as a seditious politician.

• The heroes are three-dimensional and are often heavily flawed. Commander Adama’s son Apollo has taken refuge in food while the fleet waits for the chance to launch an assault on New Caprica to rescue the rest of the humans. He has become so porky that his father sees him as unfit for service.

• While Kara Starbuck (the heroine, originally Dirk Benedict’s character from the original, and no he wasn’t in drag) is kept in a prison as a quasi-houswife who is regularly visited by one of the humanoid Cylons, Leoben Conoy, as they act out a play of an unhappy couple. But after she brutally and deliciously murders him with a fork, he returns the next day with a gift – a child he claims is her daughter who he uses to coax her maternal instincts out of her in order to better control her.

• The Cylons look like Cybermen who have had their stomachs made smaller as if they were obese teenagers with an insatiable appetite for junk food.

What was bad about it?

• Recently, we’ve been grumbling about various shows using recaps and coming up next slots as ways of padding out time to fill out the time, but with Battlestar Galactica the opposite was true.

• Granted, there was a recap of about five minutes but as this was our first exposure to it, it wasn’t until about one-and-a-half hours in that we even had a vague idea of what was happening beyond the fact that a human colony had been invaded by the dreaded Cylons four months previously.

• Although undoubtedly exhaustively explained in an earlier series, we were confused when Kara Starbuck stabbed her captor through the neck with a fork. He turned up again soon after right as rain. Apparently, he’s a humanoid Cylon and they can download their personality into a new body if the present one is killed. We think.

• This is also confusing as there are a number of versions of each humanoid Cylon meaning that we quickly become lost during the dialogue scene when they are mostly coercing human president Gaius Baltar to sign the execution order.

• The word “frack” as a laughable substitute profanity for “f**k”.

• Too many people drinking coffee and swallowing hard so that you see their Adam’a apple throbbing. And too many men speaking with indecipherably gruff voices to add gravitas to their situation.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

09/01/2007

Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!

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