Kam and I have been watching the new Battlestar Galactica series, and so far (having seen the first five episodes) I'm really impressed.

Good production values, good acting, characters worth caring about, and really compelling stories. The first couple episodes were written by series creator Ronald D. Moore, who back in 2003 said, "Our goal is nothing less than the reinvention of the science-fiction television series." As I noted a year ago wrt to the miniseries, I don't think they've quite reinvented the sf TV series, but they sure have reinvigorated it.

I was quite impressed with episode 1, "33" (the conceit that the Cylons show up every 33 minutes felt mildly implausible to me but was extremely dramatically effective and very tense, and the cast and writer (Moore) did an excellent job of portraying the characters' utter exhaustion), and extremely impressed with episode 3, "Bastille Day," which did things related to terrorism that I haven't seen anyone else do. And after Kam explained to me that the guest star, Richard Hatch, had played Apollo in the original TV series, I was even more pleased than I would've been without that info; some of Hatch's lines have a nice little sprinkling of in-joke extra meaning when you know who the actor is.

Other things I like: the overarching plot; the way they manage to take a really goofy-sounding religion (from the original series) and treat it seriously; the emotional depth and complexity of the characters and their relationships; the sense of camaraderie among the military folks; the careful handling of difficult questions about government, military, and the legitimacy of power; the portrayals of various characters gradually learning to like and trust each other, despite their flaws; the complexity of the Cylon culture and plans (they're clearly not merely killing machines dead-set on destruction); the difficult moral choices that the characters face over and over; the multiplicity of viewpoints and opinions among the characters; the characters' integrity, even to the point of being able to admit that they're wrong when they realize they are; the humor; the fact that every episode so far has made me cry, at least a little. (Though it should be noted that I cry easily at this kind of thing.)

Really there's not much I don't like. I'm not thrilled with the handling of Baltar and Number Six; it seems a little too over-the-top. And I have doubts about whether the as-yet-unrevealed secrets of the series (like what the Cylons really want) will live up to my hopes for them. But I'm really enjoying the ride.

The website is worth taking a look at if you've been watching the show (but perhaps not if you haven't, as it contains some spoilers). Among other things, the Episodes section contains QuickTime versions (in black-and-white) of deleted scenes from most of the episodes. And you can read Moore's blog; the latest entry is a nice discussion of Star Trek and fandom.

Anyway. I'm very pleased to hear that the show's been doing well; so well, in fact, that the SCI FI Channel has renewed it for a second season.

7 Responses to “Galactica”

  1. jere7my

    Glad you’re liking it! I’ve been similarly impressed. Unfortunately, since it’s already finished its first season in the UK, I’ve gotten some spoilers for upcoming episodes. (Don’t worry—I won’t share them. But…well, let’s just say that’s not a zucchini!)

  2. Wayman

    that’s no zucchini…

    … that’s a space cucumber!

  3. Al'

    Good production values, good acting…and hot cylon chicks. I’m just sayin’…

  4. Jed

    Hee—good point. I was forgetting about the hot Cylon chicks.

    And the zucchinis.

  5. Karen

    I’ve seen the whole first season, and can tell you it continues great the whole way through. I am chomping at the bit for season 2.

  6. Ted

    Karen, how did you get to see the entire first season already?

  7. Karen

    It already aired in Canada, and we have those episodes on disc. Commercials for obsolete local news cut in at the end while credits are rolling, which is disconcerting, but no complaints. So far it’s my favorite TV series-with-spaceships ever. Well… okay, I still have a soft spot for Babylon 5 and Blake’s 7, hard to compare for context, but Galactica is definitely my favorite TV series-with-spaceships without a number in the title.


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