Previously, on Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica returns to TV tonight for the start of its final season. (Or at least the start of the first half of its final season; the second half may not air 'til next year.) I'm deeply apprehensive, given the end of season 3, but the writers still have so many author points that I'm going to keep watching.

The other night, Kam and I were catching up on some TiVod TV, and we happened across something really remarkable: "What the Frak Is Going On?", an eight-minute recap of all three seasons (and the miniseries), which you can watch online by following that link. Roughly 42 hours of television (52 episodes + 3-hour miniseries) in eight minutes; call it ten seconds per episode.

The narrator talks fast, of course, but not quite so fast as to be hard to follow if you've seen the episodes in question. (I'd kind of like to see this piece sped up to run in about six minutes; that would be even more impressive.) But if you haven't seen the series, I wouldn't really advise trying to jump in by starting with the recap. Entertaining as the recap is, I suspect it's pretty hard to follow if you haven't seen the series, and you'll miss a lot of really good TV. At least go buy (or borrow) the miniseries on DVD, and see if you get hooked.

The other remarkable feature of the recap is the narrative voice. It's snappy and sardonic and very definitely a 21st-century-Earth point of view, not an in-universe POV. It comes across sounding like a fan video (in a good way), with a bunch of little deadpan jokes thrown in. "Now there are twelve humanoid models. Some of them actually look like models." And talking about the fleet "following the Galactica through space, where cameras have a difficult time keeping up." And so on. Oh, and I love the description of the pregnancy.

So if you have been watching and liking the series, the recap is totally worth watching, for pure entertainment value even if you remember everything about the series so far.

5 Responses to “Previously, on Battlestar Galactica”

  1. Jenn Reese

    Agreed. I laughed out loud so many times I can’t even pick my favorite lines. Thanks for the pointer!

  2. Michael

    I had seen that online, and enjoyed it even more on television when Tivo showed it. It’s brilliantly done, and I want recaps like that for everything! TV series, movies, fantasy trilogies, my life in eighth grade, and American history (say, 4 minutes per decade). The speed of it is addictive, and perfect for an old New Yorker like me who used to hear people talking that fast regularly. In Boston, everyone sounds like they’re talking with a Southern drawl…

  3. Niall

    Not available to people outside the US! Grrr, argh. 🙁

    But a quick trip to YouTube finds this.

  4. Ted

    The narrative voice, and I think the narrator herself, appeared to be borrowed from the “Everything you need to know about Lost in 8:15″ recap that aired a while back. You can see it on YouTube here.

    (I signed in with my TypeKey identity, but it doesn’t appear to show up.)


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