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Much American Critic-Love For Ronald Moore's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA!!

I am – Hercules!!

The British have been watching Ron Moore’s reimagined “Battlestar Galactica” since October (and get its 12th installment Monday). But at least America's tardy SciFi Channel is good enough to kick off the show’s first regular season Friday night with two new back-to-back hours.

The reviews are pretty spectacular. (Even original “Galactica” actor Richard Hatch stopped badmouthing the new series after it cast him as a guest star!)

The critics speak:

The Hollywood Reporter says:

For character-driven, hard-edged science fiction, the return of "Battlestar Galactica" can't be beaten. Where the original series cruised in with campy derring-do, this re-imagining of the franchise is "space noir," with actors playing it for high, realistic stakes. Old fans of the series may be a mite disappointed at the changes, but this fast-paced, tense and dramatic hourlong has plenty of choice rewards for viewers and upholds the smart promise of the 2003 miniseries. … The visuals and sound effects are extremely cool, with spaceships rendered as both sleek and dangerous, and the noises of fast-moving fighter ships toned down from the high-pitched whines of the original series. Characters Lee "Apollo" Adama (Jamie Bamber), who is the commander's son; Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff); and Colonel Tigh (Michael Hogan) are all generously dysfunctional and fun to follow.

Variety says:

Niftily picking up where the 2003 miniseries left off, the new franchise provides solid storytelling … Those who don't frequent Internet chat rooms have missed much of the off-screen drama surrounding "Galactica's" voyage, with plenty of overheated bleating from fans of the original that has gone a long way toward giving sci-fi nerds a bad name. Fortunately, producers of the new show have mostly tuned out the static and stuck to their guns, crafting a very adult series whose principle shortcoming is being almost unrelentingly grim -- though not inappropriately so, given the subject matter. … in terms of top-notch sci-fi fare on a budget, this impressive new vessel flies well beyond its predecessor.

The Los Angeles Times says:

… all of the characters and relationships are deepened in the new show. Far more serious in tone, Sci Fi's "BG" greatly improves upon the bad scripts and wooden acting of the original show (which, admittedly, is part of its charm for some people). The show could use a little more humor, and that may come as supporting players step into more prominent roles, but the first several episodes bode well for a series that should eventually win over fans, old and new.

USA Today says:

Those looking for a more exciting space-adventure alternative to Enterprise should be thrilled by the series return of the hit miniseries Battlestar Galactica … revival of the late '70s show — considered camp now, and lousy then. There's nothing camp about this darker, smarter, morally ambiguous update, which again follows the survivors of a sneak Cylon attack as they try to save humanity and find Earth. … The show stresses the sex a little too aggressively, the better to pull in teen boys. Nevertheless, this promising show is more the heir to Farscape than the old Battlestar, which is all for the best.

The Arizona Republic says:

… takes itself very seriously. It is the most ambitious science-fiction series since The Twilight Zone. … Friday's series opener is as compelling a piece of suspense and human drama as anything on the major networks. …

The Boston Herald says:

… could end up being one of the best sci-fi television outings ever … An intelligent, attention-demanding, character-driven show, it marks a maturing of the sci-fi series genre. … it's the dense narrative and impressive cast that stand out. The episodes aren't neat little ``Trek'' allegories or tidy ``Stargate'' shoot-'em-ups. The series is more like a sci-fi ``The Big Red One,'' moving through the real and sometimes small emotions and personal interplay of life under close-quarters duress. Crises often play out over multiple episodes of the continuing story line. Sometimes this makes the pacing feel off and the tone flat - until an episode or two later you realize the story was building to some ingenious surprise. This is a show that takes its time and challenges its audience, which is as welcome as it is rare. …

The San Jose Mercury News says:

… [the miniseries] caused a huge uproar among fans of the original who seemed to have forgotten just how bad the show was. … now back as a weekly series -- and quite a good one … far darker, a good deal scarier and a whole lot sexier than the original. … loaded with surprisingly strong stuff, including provocative takes on terrorism and the politics of genocide. The special effects are unexpectedly good. And the acting … is light-years better than in the original.

Newsday says:

… the new version from producer Ronald D. Moore more than fulfills the promise of his miniseries smash of a year ago. … This is no video game …

People Magazine says:

… there’s more than enough action to keep the show from getting preachy … Unfortunately, the Jan. 21 episode suffers from guest-star casting of Richard Hatch (Apollo in the ABC original), who seems rather rusty as a supposedly charismatic rebel. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

easily the best show the network has put on since "Farscape." … smart, deliberative drama … Two things make this series a vast improvement over the miniseries: Show runner Ron Moore and his writing staff now feel free to dig deeper into the characters, and the show's pace and tone, though still sometimes slow and somber by conventional standards, has been opened up and made more accessible. Lighter moments have been added and the show's scope has grown more epic ...

Here’s what Ain’t It Cool’s Brit reviewers said about 1.1 back on Oct. 18:

Battlestar Galactica 1.1 FAQ

Where does it pick up from the mini-series?
Apparently 118.5 hours after the mini-series left off. This has all been without sleep for the Galactica’s crew as the Cylons are continually chasing them – this is brilliantly outlined in the opening 5 minutes of the show; exactly 33 minutes after each faster than light jump the Cylons jump in again to harrass the convoy on its way. This is now the 237th jump that the convoy has made in a row and nerves are getting tattered.

Is Gaius still hallucinating about the gorgeous 6?
Oh yes – she’s still present and correct appearing both with the rest of the crew of Colonial 1, where Gaius currently is (but of course they can’t see her) and in scenes of Caprica in Gaius’s imagination. She apparently continues to maintain a neutral point of view in their discussions together which still leaves us undecided whether she is just part of his imagination or whether she did implant a chip in his brain, as suggested in the mini-series.
His mental state seems even more erratic to the others especially when he hears that there is a doctor from the Defense Department amongst the survivors who wants to talk to the President about something he’s uncovered – about how the Cylons got through their defenses.

Do we find out how many people are surviving in the convoy?
50,298 but this number is dwindling; notably in an incident involving the carrier that this “doctor with information” is on which Gaius is both relieved and appalled about…

Any other news?
The guy who was Boomer’s co-pilot (callsign ‘Helo’, apparently) who was left behind on Caprica is still alive! He even meets up with an old friend…

What’s Good?
Damn near everything. The character work is still evident even in the limited room given in the tense first hour – there’s even some time for a small amount of humour between Starbuck and Apollo involving drugs (well how else did you think they’d stay awake for over 100 hours solid? Double espressos?). It’s as bleak as the mini-series was too; with that and the tension through most of the episode you’ll be on the edge of your seat for most of the episode. The effects shots are still great too; having that same ‘realistic’ feel to the camerawork that was on show in the mini-series (although they do re-use the Combat Landing shot used before – so shades of the original series there!).

What’s Bad?
Very little – this is good intelligent sci-fi. Maybe a few more character moments would be good but this is something that they can address in the next episode – they definitely needed to address what the Cylons would be doing in this first episode.

Tricky’s rating for “Galactica” 1.1?


The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
***** better than we deserve
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins

“Mark” says:
I’ve just see the first episode proper of the new series, and felt honour bound to write.

Battlestar Galactica 1.1 FAQ

So the big question, is it better than the mini-series?
Actually the shorter running time seems to suit the show format, and were the mini series seemed slow and pondering at times the opening show really delivers some pace. What it gets so right is pathos of the unfolding events. Unlike the original show, where the magnitude of what is befalling people is a few people moaning about supplies, we are given subtle glimpses of a complete human tragedy.

Do we learn anything more about the Cylons?
Not really, except they may consider themselves Gods and that their intentions aren’t always obvious.

Any key developments?
The Baltar character is going to get progressively devious, but that was signalled beforehand. Number 6’s simple costume choices extend to a white, and there already down to less than 48,000 people. Though that doesn’t include those people left alive on the 12 colonies, which include the guy Boxey left behind. This first episode avoids talking about ‘Earth’ and lets them concentrate on just staying alive.

What’s best about it?
Cool if understated effects, and the stress and exhaustion of fighting and enemy that doesn’t sleep or get tired.

What’s not so good?
No new characters or cameos, but theirs plenty of time for that in future episodes.

Will die hard fans like it any more?
I doubt it. It’s a different show, for a new audience – but it kicks the current Enterprise into touch. The irony of which I’m sure isn’t lost on Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore.

On the Hercometre, I’d give it …




The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
***** better than we deserve
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins

“Pauly,” who tipped the Americans off to the sneaky Sky One, adds:

Hi again mighty Hercules - hope things are going well for you at AICN Towers this fine day.

As promised yesterday I thought I would take the opportunity to drop you a line regarding the first episode of the new Galactica series, which aired on Sky One last night.

Like many I was a fan of the original at the time, yet if I am honest I can rarely sit through an entire episode nowadays, save for that one where Starbuck got stranded with a Cylon who eventually ended up friendly, Then got shot! I'd watch anything back in the 70's including 'Jason of Star Command' and in my humble opinion Battlestar hasn't aged too gracefully....hell, even that very fetching Cylon helmet DVD box set couldn't tempt me for longer than afew seconds in Virgin megastore recently!

At the beginning of the year I rather apprehensively sat down to watch parts 1 and 2 of the new re-envisioned Galactica, then showing on Sci-Fi I believe, and despite the reports that I had read (thanks Harry), found it to be thrilling and detailed if overlong and carrying 2-3 too many flat ideas for its own good. That said it was a pilot for the forthcoming show, and as I know little about the process of putting a series together, guessed that the mini was intended to allow room for feedback on concepts for the benefit of the later programmes.

Overall I found the decidedly downbeat and adult tone a welcome change from the current crop of sharp, witty self-referential scripts for shows popularised by Joss Wheddon et al, and have been looking forward to the return of the series for most of 2004.

My wait was somewhat shorter than expected thanks to Sky One, who in exactly the kind of move the UK Science Fiction market needs, decided to pony up a great deal of cash to aid Sci-Fi with the creation of 13 all-new episodes to air weekly from 18th October. This means that we appear to have been lucky enough over here to get the series several months ahead of your good selves. I was quite surprised at this and had to check that my facts were straight as although Sky One have been pushing it for the week with a repeat of the mini-series over the weekend accompanied by their own in-house advertisements (which oddly enough feature no in-series footage, are visually weak, and conceptually seem to have had no input from the creators of the series, suggesting we really are getting these shows just as they are coming off the 'production line'), very little has been said about it in other areas of the press, but sure enough come 8.00pm on Monday I got to see Galactica Episode 1, titled "33". I could spend my time giving you a spoiler filled synopsis of the episode, but frankly Sky have done a far better job here:

Suffice to say we start the episode afew days after the close of teh pilot, with the crews having to jump lightspeed every 33 minutes due to relentless regular Cylon attacks - they haven't slept for over 130 hours. Their are nods to the old series very apparent in the fleet and yes in this first episode we find ourselves on the planet 'Caprica' - although there appears to be no 70's cosmic disco there this time round. There is a new theme tune (but not the original orchestral march), and the show opens with a rapid-cut overview of the coming hours entertainment. Wisely '33' lays off on any major space combat - that was the pilots strong feature in my opinion and I can wait a while for a major face-off.

Tone is similarly dark to that established at the beginning of the year, if not more so as I refer to the manner in which a certain starship is destroyed late on in this episode. There are plenty of tough decisions in this version of Galactica and the writers seems to relish putting the cast through the wringer as a whole; I doubt things are going to get lighter as the series progresses. Of course this style of writing is going to have to rely on the fact that the cast can emote the fallout of decisions in which hundreds of lives hang in the balance.

The actors seem a little more at home in their roles this time round - they have obviously had time to absorb the characters that have been presented to them, but weighty acting is going to be required all round, with precious little humour apparent in the situations the cast are thrust into. Of all the apparent story-arcs it appears that Grace Park (Boomer) is going to have a demanding role and I hope she's able to carry it off - good writing should get around any concerns we might have with regard to her part. James Callis remains as surprising a piece of casting as ever in the part of Baltar with very little physical presence when compared to Olmos, for example, yet if he becomes less of the hapless victim of sexually-driven ircumstances (and who would blame him) and more a weasely malignant presence onboard theGalactica, then all should be well.

The episode finishes a little abruptly, clearly marking that any stories we are following will take more than a single hour to resolve.

Didn't like the female Starbuck or the Cylon Boomer? Well, sorry people, nothing has changed there - and it appears there's plenty more humanoid Cylons around to keep you guessing (although we get plenty more looks at the mechanical ones in this first hour too). Liked the Cylon Number 6 with a severe case of the cosmic wild thang? You're in luck my friend, though there's no spine glowing action this episode - she seems to have cooled off a just little in the past 8 months, although she is doubtless a welcome sight on screen. Speaking of which visually the show is as dynamically pleasing to the eye as the mini-series was, if not more so with some stunning imagery helping it to find its own style, albeit one which is admittedly influenced by the short-lived Firefly, which is no bad thing.

The ship designs continue to reflect some sort of technical grounding over form and as mentioned there are numerous legacy ships there from the original series.

I only hope that Sky learn to market this a little better during the week, and that it doesn't get lost in the sea of programming that is available right now (Carnivale, the O.C., Sopranos, Deadwood) - it certainly deserves a decent measure of success. Now, if the BBC can get their act together and manage to edit together a premiere episode of the new Dr Who in time for Christmas Day, that'll be 2 shows that will have arrived pleasantly ahead of time!



“Obraxis” says:

Hey Herc! Greets from the UK!

Galactica is the fucking dogs bollocks man! Just caught it on SkyOne over here. The dam thing was amazing! Continues in what seems like a week or so after the mini-series, the Battlestar is a step ahead of the only 33 mins a FTL. GREAT news that HELO (correct spelling - pronounced Halo) is back - and seems to have a large part in forthcoming episodes. He was the guy left behind on Caprica when he gave his seat up for Baltar.

The CG effects are awesome. Praise to the FX company Zoic Studios who have created a real world on a TV budget. We even get to see a fair bit more of the 'Warrior' Cylons which just fucking rule!! You wouldn't want to mess with one of those! And the intro music....totally different from the mini-series, it has kind of an eastern feel to it - and suits the images they put up there. Defiantly setting this up to be THE Sci-Fi-Epic-Opera since the end of DS9. Great. Although not ending on a cliff-hanger, this episode really REALLY makes you want to know more about EVERYTHING in this universe. I can't wait till next week.

The way the series focuses on the people and their problems makes this just as heart-warming and terrifying as the best episodes of any series on TV. Period. I'd easily compare this to the BEST episodes of DS9 or TNG.

All hail the return of great Sci-Fi, for it has been long since we have had a show, as good as this.

“Dragonsteeth” says:

Hey Herc

I’ve just seen the first episode of the new Battlestar Galactica series courtesy of SkyOne in the UK, I’d seen the miniseries on the same channel last week and was very impressed. It’s slick, stylish, and in Edward James Olmos, one of the best actors around, a believable leader of the rag tag fugitive fleet. All the characters, and it’s a big cast, have been given enough of a background to make you want to learn more and get to know them. Writers of Star Trek Enterprise take note!! The original series for me was all about spectacle and I loved it. However you didn’t really get the full scope of the desperation and utter destruction that befell the colonies in an instant. The new series solves that and also gives a background to the Cylons and in the character of number six an interesting insight into how the enemy thinks.

The first episode ‘33’ follows the fleet as they run for their lives. Having gone without sleep for days tempers are frayed and hope of survival is fading as after each successive light speed jump the Cylons find them 33 minutes later and attack. How can they find them, when will it stop, and how long before fatigue causes the fleet to make an error that cost them their lives. Amongst the palpable sense of doom and the fear of knowing there may be a traitor amongst them the crew struggle to keep things together, and when disaster does strike all the President can do is keep track of the falling number of survivors in the fleet.

It was good stuff and it keeps the tension going well as you watch the clock count down to the 33 minute deadline to see if the Cylons can find them again. Alongside the main story we get to follow what happened to Boomer’s friend who gave up his place on the shuttle to let Baltar on board. I didn’t expect to see him again and it will be interesting to see what happens next. I really enjoyed it and want to see more of Galactica to see were the writers take this adventure. Just when I was starting to despair that I would never see a good Sci-fi show again with Farscape more or less gone and Enterprise just re-cooked past trek episodes or just some weeks just prize winning crap, Battlestar gives me hope and I can’t wait till next week’s episode.

Be seeing you

“Zool” says:

Hi Herc.

It's 1.50 AM here in England and I've just finished this review. Rest assured the series won't dissapoint you as it ruled quite a bit. Hope you use the review.

Battlestar Galactica 1.1

The Synopsis is all spoiler and the Review has a few spoilers in there so walk soft, they both assume you’ve seen the mini series.


It’s five days after the events of the mini series and the Galactica, Caprica one and rest of the rag tag fugitive fleet (still waiting for Olmos’s Adama to say that) aren’t faring too well. Roughly 50,000 humans have survived the Cylon attacks on the twelve colonies by staying one ‘faster than light’ jump ahead of the Cylon fleet.

The Cylons are relentless. Appearing and attacking exactly thirty three minutes after each jump (the opening sequence shows (amongst other things) various time pieces ticking down to that number), everyone is exhausted, a number of ships ‘FTL drives’ are breaking down, the fleet is getting slower and it’s clear that they will all die if the pursuit continues much longer.

Aboard Caprica one the new President of the twelve colonies is trying to keep track of how many people are in her care (there have been miscounts and confusion) and an exhausted and mentally frayed Gaius Baltar spends a lot of time within his own imagination, talking to and ‘taking comfort from’ the beautiful Cylon woman in his head (the talking is mostly about God). The President receives word that a scientist (an ex colleague of Baltar’s) on the ship Olympia (I think… I didn’t take notes, might have been Olympica) needs to speak to her urgently, he claims to have information on how the Cylons managed to access the Colonials defence network. Baltar and his Cylon ‘imaginary friend’ realise that this information could implicate him in the destruction of the colonies.

Back on a rainy ‘Cylon occupied Caprica’ (who saw that coming?), Boomer’s co pilot from the mini series tries to stay alive by injecting anti radiation meds and fighting off CG Cylons (who look better than I expected, better than they did in the mini-series certainly). He is captured by a blond ‘human’ Cylon (another replicant of Baltar’s companion).

Aboard the Galactica, between attacks the pilots and other crew attempt to make repairs, rest and just keep things moving. Tempers are frayed, a number of people have collapsed with nervous exhaustion and ‘stim’ medication is being issued to keep people on their feet. The rumour that Cylons look like people and that Tigh abandoned someone he ‘thought’ was a Cylon at the arms depot (events of the mini series) has circulated and is breeding some paranoia (and cements the crew’s hatred of Tigh). At the predicted time another Cylon attack occurs they make another jump but lose a ship, the Olympia (and it’s 1300 passengers).

Back on Caprica, the pilot is rescued from the sexed up Cylon (who is behaving exactly like her first appearance in the mini series) by Cylon ‘Boomer’ other Cylons are clearly complicit in this.

On the Galactica, the thirty-three minute mark is up and no Cylon attack occurs, it is speculated that the Olympia’s absence might have something to do with it. Baltar is relieved that the scientist who wanted to speak with the president is now missing. Tentatively, orders are given to start getting the crew rested and making essential repairs, the Vipers all land barring a small patrol made of Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer (in her Apache-like transport craft).

The Olympia arrives. It claims to have had engine trouble and that the Cylon fleet ignored it, Adama resets the thirty-three minute clock. Baltar, acting entirely in self-preservation strongly recommends that they cut off communications with the vessel and that the Galactica destroy it. He claims that Cylons must have infiltrated it, or at the very least have an agent/device on board which enable them to track the fleet.

The Vipers and Boomer get the Olympia to hold away from the fleet proper. The ship starts moving and attempts to join the fleet, it is scanned and found to be carrying nukes after some debate and with the Cylon attack imminent the order is given to destroy it (with the 1300 passengers aboard). Apollo braces himself to begin his attack but Starbuck refuses, the Cylons arrive and are minutes from weapons range. They both engage and destroy the ship. The fleet makes its jump.

Twenty four hours without a Cylon attack has passed the President is informed by her aide that the number of survivors has changed. A baby boy was born on one of the ships during the last Cylon raid.


The good news is that Galactica 1.1 is really pretty good, there’s no real bad news but I do have a few niggles.

Now, with Firefly killed off long before its prime (although I’m stoked that Serenity is happening) and the Star Trek franchise dying a slow, boring death it’s a real relief to me (and presumably nerds everywhere) that Battlestar Galactica is such a solid piece of work, this is a space opera that has a chance of being around a while.

You’ve seen the mini series so you know what to expect from the production. The design, CG, sets and costumes are all pretty much feature film standard (it’s amazing how much TV production values have come on in the last few years… if only B5 had this kind of budget). The credit sequence isn’t too inspiring, kicking off with images of Caprica city and other colonies (some taken from the mini series and some new footage), then the Cylons, then the orbital bombardment of a planet, then a pretty standard montage of action/character shots. A special mention should be made of the music in general, the theme tune isn’t memorable but the incidental and mood music throughout is really pretty good.

The focus of the show, the Galactica itself is solidly presented as an aircraft carrier in space, everything has a functional, clunky look to it and clearly a lot of research into naval vessels has been done. The procedures you see at work, the organisation, the communications, even the fact whiteboards and felt tip pens seem to play a big part in the future it seems (check the Viper pilot calls signs, and the gradually altering number of survivors) strikes an authentic chord.

The Viper pilots behave, well, like pilots they have a shared superstition on leaving their briefing room. The flight crews have that harassed, ‘same shit, different day’ look about them and are constantly manhandling equipment around (no tractor beams or anti-grav here) and the bridge and command staff are suitably tough and well disciplined. This all conspires to make the Galactica a boat that, if you watch the news at all, you kind of recognise. I think this is an important thing to note.

Good though all that is, that’s just the stage, the story and the players are where it counts.

This episode had a lot going on, we join the crew as they’re seconds away from their two hundred and something’th Cylon attack in five days, it’s tense, everyone’s exhausted and under constant pressure. This forced pace, and placing everyone under real stress is good writing but it doesn’t give any character much space (Baltar and consort seem to get the most screen time). The cast do everything that’s required of them (and I’m sure to learn their names soon), standouts being Adama and Tigh. But as I’ve mentioned Baltar gets the most play, now, I’m a big fan of regular characters in TV shows who are self serving pricks (I was gutted when Ralphie was bludgeoned to death by Tony Soprano a couple of seasons back). Baltar is such a man and there’s a lot going on with him, his entirely selfish agenda, his (current) lack of any guilt about his part in the genocide of his own race, the fact he’s got an alluring, crazy, obsessive girlfriend stuck in his head (whatever she turns out to be). It all makes for someone interesting (and funny) to watch. But also someone who seems a little out of place in the show. I’m intrigued to see how he fits when things settle down.

What I’m waiting for is the politics, the President and Adama are good characters played by good actors (the couple of scenes they had together in the mini-series were a joy) and I’m expecting their relationship and conflicting philosophies to become the backbone of a lot of episodes. Why I think Galactica succeeds is that a great deal of care and attention has clearly been paid to the details and the backgrounds of the characters relationships. An exchange between Starbuck and Apollo regarding taking ‘pills’ plays out beautifully and surprisingly, Adama and Tigh are convincing as both military men and old friends with a lot of history together. I’m taking these as good signifiers of what’s to come.

There were a couple of minor things that I didn’t like, I thought the Olympia should have clearly been full of people when Starbuck and Apollo blew it up (it would have leant a lot more impact to making that decision) and because so much happened in this episode it didn’t quite hold together as a whole (a little less Cylon philosophy would have been welcome).

My only real concern for the series future lies with the bad guys, I don’t get the paradoxical behaviour of the Cylons. I love sci-fi and have watched, read and otherwise consumed more of it than is probably healthy. Consequently I know this stuff, and have a few ideas on where it could go. I can understand a mechanical, unwavering killing machine and I can understand a ‘new’ sentience questioning what it means to be alive, have faith and love. But I don’t understand both things happening simultaneously. The weakest thing in this episode was the ‘meanwhile on Caprica’ segments, which are clearly ongoing at least for a while, and I can’t get that excited about the Cylons talking about God. I hope to be proved emphatically wrong.

The best moment I saw tonight was when one of the bridge crew (in one of the 33 minute periods of calm) asks a very strung out young officer about survivors from one of the colonies. He has little information and is unable to transmit her pictures (presumably of her friends and family) to the rest of the fleet. He tells her he can put them on the wall if she likes. We see the wall, a corridor really, with thousands of photos of loved ones, candles, ribbons. This is an image that gets a lot of information across, and one that, sadly, we have all seen a bit too often recently. This is the thing I find most impressive; Battlestar Galactica is bleak but contains hope and if it does all gel, it has a chance… an outside chance of not only being good sci-fi but being ‘relevant’ to current affairs in a away Star Trek has failed to be since the 60’s.

“Cheeze” says:

Just though you might like to know, I didn't have high hopes when watching the mini-series remake of this. It was different to the original series, where you had one story, whether the warriors were on the Galactica or in their vipers in the middle of a dogfight, because, at the end of the day, that's what the whole thing in my mind was about, the struggle a group of people had protecting the survivors of their race against an overwhelming enemy in testing times. I tended to ignore all the egyptian stuff, it gets lost on pre-teens.

When I saw the mini-series, I didn't mind about the gender swapping or any of the other controversy. What pissed me off the most was that you lost the personal connection with the dogfights in space. There were so many grey little specs darting all over the bloody place, you just didn't connect the 'epic' dogfight scenes with the people who were supposed to be in the ships. It came across a little...stale. It was like one story intercut with little sci-fi set pieces that just didn't work for me.

The first episode of the series has just finished on sky, and I'm glad to report that the signs are that they realized this in between making the mini-series and the series proper. It managed a good mix of familiarity for those who wanted something resembling the old series, while enough originality to hopefully attract a new audience who ain't, like me, in their thirties and can remember the original to compare it to. I think I can see why Richard Hatch done an about-face and is now going to appear in the series. I hope it's an indicator of the direction the series to come will follow.

“The Harbinger of Fish” says:

Just finished watching the first new episode of Battlestar Galactica '33' here in the UK.

It's a promising continuation of what was begun in last year's miniseries (Count me as a positive on the mini too). Here's my attempt at a review.


The good:

- Baltar's serendipitous repentance to number six (It makes sense when you watch it!).

- Cylons hunting a lone Colonial in the forest.

- The president sacraficing 1300 people in order to save the rest of the fleet.

The bad

- I didn't like the 9/11 'wall of photographs' reference... it didn't make much sense in the context of the story.

- Half a dozen of the SFX shots near the beginning of the hour were taken from the miniseries.

Overall, the SFX were great, the writing more solid than the miniseries, and the acting believable. I'll definitely be sticking with it.

PS : LOST is definitely the best new show of the year.

“Dark Avenger” has a take:

Battlestar Galactica 1.1 FAQ

What's it called?
"33". So named for the 33 minutes which pass between each attempted Cylon attack and the subsequent jump to light-speed which the entire surviving fleet must make to avoid total annihilation (the episode opens with their 237th consecutive jump and the weary crew at breaking point). Don't ask why it's every 33 minutes.....

What does TV Guide say?
"After Cylons destroyed the Universe, can mankind's few survivors find the mythical planet Earth?"

Ok, how's the title sequence?
The theme is certainly less grandiose than the original, more akin to a gentler version of the Earth: Final Conflict intro, before kicking up the tempo to an intense tribal beat. Some nice lookin' clips from the series play during this.

Is Starbuck still a chick?
Yep. Still undecided on her after episode one. And speaking of chicks, Number Six is also still present. Oh yeah!

What do we learn?
Less than 50,000 humans remain following the destruction of the 12 colonies, so it's looking like resistance is to speak. Also, Baltar keeps seeing Number Six (it's not clear if he has completely lost it at this point or if it's the product of some Cylon technical wizardry).

The good?
Lots. This is an awesome follow-up to the very solid miniseries. The action sequence on the Cylon-occupied planet of Caprica is pretty cool as are the space FX. Edward James Olmos(Adama) and Jim Callis(Baltar) are both note-perfect in their respective roles. The ticking-clock motif, onboard memorial and casualty scoreboard are all nice touches. The harsh reality of war is also well played out - how one simple human error (or perhaps not) can lead to the loss of 1,300+ lives, etc.

The bad?
Jamie Bamber's portrayal of Apollo leaves a lot of room from improvement (c'mon, no one could ever had accused Richard Hatch of being a wet blanket).

How does it end?
The total number of survivors goes up by one. Aww.

“R of Loxley” says:

Greetings from Nottingham, home of Robin Hood Hood.

Just a quick email about the first episode of Battlestar Galactica that screened tonight in the UK. If you use this please call me Moon Zero Two (well, I like it).

I'll keep this brief, as I'm sure you'll get hundreds - OK, tens - of emails tonight from Brit-based readers anxious to spill the beans on the brand new series of Galactica. Let's face it, we don't get out much over here (unless of course we are off to the pub, sipping afternoon tea by the village green or dodging dentists generally) so, sadly, this is something for us to get excited about. So, was it any good? Amazingly...


Maybe I'm still tired or hung over from the weekend but visually this programme was stunning to look at; the FX were first rate for TV and the production design overall was top notch. The music is also very strong: unobtrusive, even chilled at times. Not sure about the theme tune but I'm sure it will grow on me (yes, I'll be watching next week). The acting too was very good and very straight-faced. Starbuck may be a girl but she was more of a man in this than the original ever was! If you don't believe me just compare their haircuts. However, perhaps the best thing about Battlestar Galactica 2004 so far is the fact that it's adult viewing - adult as in mature, not adult as in find yourself a real girlfriend - and enriched in a post 11/9 (sorry, 9/11) desperation that might prove to be the show's major strength. Until they land on casino planet or wild west planet that is!

Anyway, it's past my bedtime but for what it's worth I liked it and it helped me get the ironing done. (And we got it first SO THERE!)

“Viridian Alien Horde” says:

The UK getting the world preview of the new series of Battlestar Galactica a couple of months before the US, eh? Hey, it’s nice to get some payback for Tony Blair rolling over and let Dubya tickle his tummy for the past couple of years (though I’m not sure that when he said, “Look, I want to see the spaceship plans, George” that this is quite what he meant).

You have no idea of the sheer, visceral pleasure us denizens of this particular part of the North Atlantic have in writing the following and winging it across the ether to the US of A: Spoiler Alert. Yup, not only have we produced the funniest film in years with Shaun of the Dead and will see the new Doctor Who waaaay before anyone else beyond these shores does, but we know what happens in the Galactica universe before you do. Hyuk.

So, I’ll say it again. Spoilers sail the choppy waters beyond this sentence. Watch out me hearties, aaarrrrrr.

So, where are our merry crew then? Well, it’s been about five days since the twelve colonies were somewhat pulverised by the Cylon menace and things aren’t looking too good for the home side. The problem with being pursued across the galaxy by a race of relentless robots is that, well, they do tend to be a bit on the relentless side and the strain on Galactica is showing.

The crew’s been without sleep for 130.35 hours, the cylon fleet keeps turning up every 33 minutes like clockwork, and something really has to give. Meanwhile, Dr Baltar’s virtual Number 6 has got God in a fairly major way, the numbers in the gene pool keep tumbling downwards, Helo is fighting a solo rearguard action as the rains pour down on the devastated Caprica back home and, to top it all, it looks like Boomer might not even know she’s a cylon herself.

The big question right here and right now is though can the show make the transition from four-hour mini series to full-on episodic glory (kind of a reverse transition to the one Farscape is just going through)? On the evidence of this first ep, that’ll be a yes. There’s a cloying claustrophobia to this episode that’s pretty impressive, leading you to conclude that in launching a series in such a downbeat way, those that know where it’s headed have got to be pretty confident of their roadmap. Cylons chase humans/humans escape/cylons track down humans/cylons chase humans again and so on ad infinitum is not going to work for anyone in 2005.

Beyond the plot of any individual episode, however, it also seems to check all the boxes it needs to to get the wide world of sf fandom on board en masse. There are multiple story arcs kicking off in the background, including some intriguing inter-cylon rivalry; it’s got a tense, edgy atmosphere (crucial for these paranoid times – watch out for the very affecting scene where a corridor becomes a cross between a vast missing persons register and a memorial); there is enough crytpicism to keep newsgroups happily chewing over the bones for a while; and it’s also got plenty of two-legged eye candy, Number 6 continuing the tradition of intergalactic robotic crumpet on the small screen by out-sevening 7 of 9. Plus, and this is the clincher, it’s not made by Fox so has got a good chance of not dying still-born before it gets time to really show what it can do.

Talking of which, the effects work hits the same superb high standards as both the mini series managed last year and Firefly (a pox on all your descendents, Fox Television Execs, may your stomachs roast in hell) did before it; all shaky handheld shots, focus pulls and the like. This contributes greatly to the show’s overall aura of gritty realism, giving the whole project an almost semi-documentary like feeling.

And gritty is what it is. Forget Ronald D Moore’s previous sojurn in the Trek universe, the grime, the grit and the creeping sense of paranoia Galactica engenders tend to remind you more of the best moments of Babylon 5 than anything else. It’s a post-24 B5 though, Galactica being more sharply edited and jittery, not to mention being capable of hitting bleaker moments than even B5 ever managed. Sadly, however, the comparison also extends to J Michael Stracynski’s occasional wooden ear for dialogue too, the odd banal utterance falling to the deck with an all too audible clunk.

That is forgivable though. Characters take a while to establish, so too do writing teams, and it’ll be more than interesting to see what they manage to brew up together as season one progresses.

Oh yeah, can’t really go without mentioning the original series, BG:TOS. It’s simple really; everybody has to grow up, people. You’ve done it, now let your TV shows do it too.

“J.” chimes in:

Just watched the season premiere.

For me, it carries on exactly as the mini series left off, so if you enjoyed that you'll like the series. I felt the mini was strong when it concentrated on the shit hitting the fan, the tragedy's and the tough choices. It was weal and amateurish when it slowed down to look at Baltar's relationship with the weird fembot thing, or when it tried to be a soap opera.

The first episode of the series shows both of these sides. It starts with the fleet still on emergency footing, the Cylons are attacking every 33 minutes, leading to some pretty good tension. Theres plenty of moments that play to the allegory of post-9/11, moments that look at people dealing with the stress and the loss. Moments stressing the effect the rising death toll has on those left alive.

In the tradition of the best of DS9 this is not so much sci-fi as a 'war movie set in space', and the tough choices that were made in the mini continue here. Does the President shoot down a civillian craft when it breaks radio contact and possibly poses a threat?

However, the weaknesses of the mini still shine through aswell, and the pace and tension is stopped in its tracks several times to concentrate on Baltar's Fembot (now also sporting a white Mac. Character development), and not all the characters have yet settles into the show, some still seeming forced or out of place.

Still, for me at least, it looks promising. It has at least earned a chance.

“Wolf at the Door” says:

How does it look, you ask?
Not terrible, but not great either.

How does it start?
With a ‘previously on Battlestar Galactica’ clip package from the mini-series. Then we get the pre-title setup. Galactica and the fleet have been on the run for 5 days, with the Cylons attacking like clockwork every 33 minutes. The fleet has made 237 jumps and everyone is showing the strain, unshaven, etc.

What’s the title sequence like?
More Shots from the mini-series – the cities being attacked, mushroom clouds, vipers fighting cylons, the fleet jumping – with enya-like pipes and chimes. I’ve seen and heard worse (Enterprise) but it don’t exactly get the blood pumping.

Is the hot Cylon babe still around?
There is hot Cylon action from the very beginning.

What about sexy Boomer? Is Boomer showing any Cylon-like tendancies?
No. She shows human-like crankiness like the rest of the crew. Although the other crew joke at one point that “she’s a cylon” because she doesn't seem to suffer from lack of sleep.

What’s Apollo doing?
Conducting ‘Hill Street Blues’-style flight briefings with the pilots. He even says “let’s be careful out there”. Plus he also argues with Starbuck.

How’s Starbuck?
Still ugly, annoying and generally unlikeable as a character.

And Dr Gaius?
Lots of hallucinating conversations with the hot cylon babe. He becomes alarmed to learn that another scientist wants to speak to the President about how the Cylons really penetrated the defence system.

And on Cylon-occupied Caprica?
Cylon-occupied Capria? No I wasn’t expecting this either. But Boomer’s old crewmate is on the run. This may be setting up a 1984/Matrix-style subplot because he gets captured pretty quick. And then rescued by Boomer!

Uh? Boomer’s on Caprica?
Or someone who looks like her…

And the 9/11 parallels?
These come thick and fast throughout the episode. First, there’s lots of 9/11-style impromptu photo memorials for victims of the cylon attack. Second, the President and her staff keep revising the death toll. Third, the Vipers are forced to shoot down one of the fleet that turns up late after a jump (it may have been infiltrated by Cylons). Plus the Cylons keep talking about god.

Is it as good as the original series of Galactica?
Hmm. I have fond memories of the original Battlestar Galactica. Mostly fond memories of laughing at it because even as an 8 year old, my friends and I could recognize a bad Star-Wars rip-off when we saw it. Nonetheless, there were some cool things about the original Galactica. The special effects (Dykstra went straight from Star Wars to Galactica), the Cylons, the title music, the Vipers.
So does the new series retain what was good and jettison the old? Not so much. It's replaced cheesy with dark and gritty &i really admire the naturalistic tone of the show, but Moore forgot to bring the funny – there ain’t many laughs in the new Galactica other than the unintentional ones. None of the characters are very interesting, many of them are insipid and one or two of them are just fucking annoying. When a show makes you long for the chemistry of the Enterprise crew or even the Voyager crew, then you know you have some serious problems.

Here’s what Ain’t It Cool’s Brit reviewers said about 1.2 back on Oct. 25:

We begin with scurvy-ridden “Tricky”:

Hi Herc,

Following up with my review from last week - here's my thoughts on this week's episode. Forgot to mention last week - apologies for the theft of your editorial style but I've been following your spoilers for the last few years and the way you present things is always appreciated. For us (usually) behind-the-times UK viewers your bits and pieces on Alias, 24, Buffy and Angel have kept me enthralled!

Anyway, here we go:

Battlestar Galactica 1.2 FAQ

How does it begin?
Boomer wakes up soaking wet, obviously unaware of what she’s been doing to get in that state. Looking through a bag at her feet she finds a bomb! Whilst furtively returning the bomb to the small arms locker on-ship she opens up a box of detonators to place the one from the bomb in her bag back in the locker, only to find that at least 6 other detonators are missing – cut to shots of bombs ticking away secreted in Galactica’s innards… I guess Boomer is living up to her name! (sorry)

So what’s been “rigged to blow” then?
Well after Herc rated my review last week as fairly spoiler-ific I thought I’d best not reveal too much here.

So what else is going on then?
Supplies are running short - tensions are running high (I’m sensing a theme here so far in this series!) and one of the causes of the short supplies (hey, I’m trying not to reveal too much here!) brings up the question of Cylon agents again; yeah, I bet you all wondered when they were going to bring that back into it, huh?

Sounds like possibly a more action-driven episode like the first one? Were you wrong when you suggested that this episode would be more character-driven stuff?
Hah! No! Whilst there is some action courtesy of the bomb element, this episode makes with the character-type stuff! The interplay between Commander Adama and the President is full of nuance. There’s even a moment of flirting between Baltar and Starbuck during a Poker game (or whatever it’s called round these parts – Pyramids, wasn’t it in the old series?!) and Boomer discovering herself doing odd things brings an edgy element to her relationship with the Crew Chief (I’m forgetting his name right now).

Do we see any more of Helo, back on Caprica?
Indeed we do – he receives a signal which his companion seems to take an untoward amount of interest in (again, I’m trying to keep this spoiler free, okay?)

What’s Good?
This is a fantastically paced episode – they’ve taken the time to drive forward more of the characters whilst maintaining the edge-on-the-seat stuff that makes this such a compelling piece of television.

What’s Bad?
Erm… I wish this was on BBC so that there were no bloody adverts – much like 24, I think this series would flow better without these constant interruptions! Other than that… not much at all that I can think of.

“Tricky’s” rating for “Battlestar: Galactica” 1.2?


The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
***** better than we deserve
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins

On to “Kevin”:

Battlestar Galactica 1.2 FAQ

What's it called?
"Water". There's lots of it in this particular installment. As in Boomer dripping wet in her clingy clothes, Number Six naked in a tub of the stuff and a real lack of it following an apparent case of sabotage.

What does TV Guide say?
"Sharon (Boomer!) wakes up soaking wet, covered in red stains, carry an explosive. Six more bombs are missing from the locker. Who's controlling her and where has she been?"

She's been uncovered already?!
Not this week. Thanks to her very up close and personal relationship with Tyrol, she manages to recover the last bomb. Although not before the other five have done some serious damage to the Galactica.

Is Starbuck still a chick?
Yes, quit asking! Although I'm anticipating a Crying Game-style reveal any moment now.....

Does Apollo still suck?
Sadly, yes. Granted, his guilt over his role in last week's events is pretty poorly written, however, I can't believe that Adama Sr. would've raised such a mama's boy as him. I ask you, is it too freakin' late to recast this role?! *cough* Ben Browder *cough*.........

What do we learn?
Supplies of food and water are becoming a big concern. Can't wait to see their version of Alive in space!

The good?
Edward James Olmos(Adama) and Jim Callis (Baltar) still reign supreme in the performance stakes. The writers are taking care to look at the obvious issues early on in the show (last week - exhaustion, this week - paranoia, resources running out). Also, a lot of threads are dangling at this point which can only be good - when will the Cylon agent be uncovered? Will Helo and Boomer No. 2 escape from Caprica? How long before Col. Tigh falls off the wagon again? Will Baltar go completely insane before or after the crew learn of his role in the Cylon attacks? Overall, it's not bad, although certainly a step down from last week's fantastic edition.

The bad?
7 days 'til the next episode (guest starring Richard Hatch, I think, woo-hoo!).

How does it end?
There's still at least one Cylon still operating onboard the Galactica.

9 p.m. Friday. SciFi.

I am – Hercules!!

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 14, 2005, 3:44 a.m. CST


    by powder

    Best sci-fi TV series for many years. Give em more money for the special effects.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 3:51 a.m. CST

    i dug DS9

    by speed

    so i reckon i will like this as well. dark, brooding drama in space. I like it!

  • Maturing of the genre - no wonder they think that if all they watch is Trek.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 4:05 a.m. CST

    BG is the Dogs Bollocks!

    by afraidoffans

    That's good BTW. This is the best Sci-Fi show since Babylon 5...hell even the new Starbuck has finally won me over although Dirk Benedict will always be the man and I hope he cameos in Season 2.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 5:47 a.m. CST

    I have to admit I enjoy this show...

    by Kelvington

    I watched BSG mini-series and thought it was just ok. Then I started to watch the first 20 minutes of the first episode (from the UK) and thought, man this sucks. But by minute 21 I was totally hooked. I really wanted to hate this show, but by the Gods they have done a great job. I really give them credit for not trying to make every prop and costume. I don't know why but it really works. American fans are in for a treat for the next few months that's for sure.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 10:22 a.m. CST

    "st ambitious science-fiction series since The Twilight Zone."

    by amrcanpoet

    This twat has obviously never seen Farscape. I missed the mini-series, and will be taping the first two eps. tonight in order to watch a long marathon when Sci-Fi reruns the Mini on Sunday. For the Scapers out there: Will this help lessen the pain of losing a truly deep thought Farscape in a way that SG:1 could NEVER do?

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 10:24 a.m. CST

    How about a remake of the Fred Astair episode?

    by Col. Klink

    Where he played Starbuck's long lost con man father? It would be a perfect opportunity for Dirk Benedict to cameo as the new Starbuck's Dad. Can you imagine the scene with the two Starbucks smoking cigars and playing poker together? Sweet!

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 10:26 a.m. CST


    by dengreg31

    Nice read, but it would be nice if you could mix in some reviews of the episodes..really didnt touch on that much in this article :)

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 10:29 a.m. CST


    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    I love Farscape, man, but the two shows have NOTHING in common. BG is brilliant military action that just happens to be in space. There is no comparison between the two shows.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Still no word on Universal HD's schedule?

    by Iaidoka

    Has anyone heard anything? This is getting annoying.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I'm definitely keeping an eye on this one...

    by JTylor

    Catching the re-run of the miniseries on Tuesday and Wednesday was great, cause it was still pretty damn good. I just love how matter-of-fact everything is and how the show-runners know how to make things more emotionally true by underplaying it (Caprica getting nuked, for instance). It hooked my girlfriend too. Another note: didn't Zoic do the effects for Firefly? No wonder they're great!

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 12:25 p.m. CST


    by Kyle.Reese

    let this this be a collossal smash-hit in the states. I've been watching the series here in the UK since it started and have loved every single episode. I wasn't even planning to watch the show when the first episode came on all those months back, I never even watched the mini-series but caught on to what was happening right away... It's amazing, that's all I'm gonna say. For all you Americans across the pond you are in for a treat, please make sure you watch the show and keep on watching, I want another series to happen!

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 12:48 p.m. CST


    by SID 8.0

    Watching the mini-series didn't make me nostalgic for the old show. Especially after watching it on sci-fi I remembered how bad it was. It did however make me miss Space Above and Beyond all over again. I think the show has a bright future in front of it and I can't wait to see the new season.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Still no Sci-Fi network here in East Lansing

    by symphy

    ...unless you order satellite or digital cable. Everywhere else I've ever lived, Sci-Fi was part of basic/expanded cable and I just can't understand why Comcast refuses to add it to our channel line-up here. I mean it's one of the nation's largest college towns -- surely we're the target demo!

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Dirk Benedict

    by riskebiz

    I saw some special once when the mini-series premiered that had Dirk Benedict getting together for coffee with the new female Starbuck. They were good together and Dirk was really cool, funny and gracious toward her. I liked when he head that Boomer was a female and he asked surprised "Are there any MEN on this show?" I seriously think that remaking the Fred Astaire episode with Dirk as Starbuck's long lost father would be awesome. I think if they could find a spot for Dirk on this show, this version of BG could send viewer appreciation and dedication to unheard of levels.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 2:03 p.m. CST

    It's back!

    by Electric_Monk

    I find it interesting that the new BG is being praised for its charater driven qualities. Farscape, Babylon 5, and DS9 were all shows that were praised for the same reasons. Still, all fell short in the ratings. Now, I love the idea of were a show's direction is dictated by story and less by action (there is a place for that). This was what made DS9 so special to me. Ron Moore has a chance to re-create what he tried on TNG and DS9. I just hope fans can keep up with the stoy arcs. Farscape -for as good as it was -perhaps got to deep into its soap opera elements to keep fans watching (this happened on DS9 for many). BG will have to avoid some of those pitfalls. It's a fine dance, but I'm actually looking forward to this.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 2:59 p.m. CST

    After having watched the first 11 episodes, my observation is th

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    How many minutes do they devote to Helo's story per episode? 7-8 minutes? Across 13 episodes, that totals up to about 90 minutes right there. I've wondered how his story would hold up if all his scenes were edited together into one long sequence. Maybe by design Moore had Helo's story plotted out like a movie that's stretch across 13 episodes.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 3:22 p.m. CST

    " For the Scapers out there: Will this help lessen the pain of l

    by Ravenwing263

    Not really. However good Battlestar Galactica is it can never be Farscape. And while it's great to have another mature, serious sci-fi show, I can never really forget that the mini was made with the money that should hape gone to Farscape's season five, which is why I didn't watch back in 2003. However, after reading all the great reviews of the series, I've seen the mini (and enjoyed it), and I'm more than willing to give the series a chance.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Best Friday night EVER!!!!

    by Hairy Nutsack

    Goodbye Enterprise, they better find another night for that show. SG-1, Atlantis, then Galactica? Cannot wait.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 3:55 p.m. CST

    I hope it's better than the miniseries...

    by JackBurton

    Personally I found the miniseries rather weak and pretty patchy throughout. That said it still showed some potential, so I'll at least check the show out in the hope of better things to come.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Does anyone know if the new BG uses the original theme music?

    by odysseus

    It was one of the best ever.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Note about Farscape:

    by amrcanpoet

    I never meant to ask if BG was LIKE Farscape, or as GOOD as Farscape. I was referring to the fact that those of us Scapers who stare at the pathetic Sci-Fi (not fantasy, which is great like Lost, Alias, etc.) line-up of SG's and Enterprise, will BG HELP, even a little, us find some kind of enjoyment in network Sci-Fi television again? I missed B5's first run, so I'm enjoying those on DVD somewhat; but have been looking forward to a Friday night Sci-Fi show (having watched X-Files on Fri's, then moving to Farscape, then moving to nothing after that). Here's to hoping it's decent, and not descent.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 4:50 p.m. CST

    "considered camp now, and lousy then"

    by Shayde

    My ASS. USA today can bite my ass. If it was "lousy then" then why was it the... 1. Highest rated new show of that year? 2. CONSISTANTLY in the top 5 shows? ABC dropped the ball on that show. They looked at the budget first, and evicerated it.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 5:17 p.m. CST

    All this critical love and a Starbuck you want to fuck!!!

    by Gabba-UK

    You just can't go wrong with this series, trust me. It kicks ass!!!

  • 20 years ago if you would have told me that a new BG series would be better than new Star Trek and new Star Wars films I would have thought you a loon.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 8:57 p.m. CST

    I agree, bring on Dirk!

    by Daredevil

    The there was only one really cool thing about the original series, aside from the space battles (which, you have to admit were about as good as it got outside of the Star Wars trilogy for the next decade.) That was Dirk Benedict as Starbuck. He was Lando Calrissian before Billy Dee Williams was. When I heard they were making the new Starbuck a female, I winced, but then thought, "As long as they're true to the smarmy con-artist nature of the character..." Well, they didn't. But the show itself was good enough that I didn't mind it too much. BUT that leaves them with the perfect chance for uber-coolness, as well as maybe bringing back those 1978 purists who weren't as forgiving of change as I was. As others have mentioned, the creators should bringing Dirk into the show as Starbuck Sr. Not exactly the same character from the first series, but the alternate universe character who is very, very close to the 1978 version. He can be a retired pilot ("Starbuck" was also his callsign), who never re-upped with the military because he was too interested in chasing skirts and making a tidy profit. Now he has settled on one of the Colonies and runs a business of some sort (most likely a casino). He's survived and being ex-military is helping a group of survivors. At some point they link up with the convoy and the Starbuck's are reunited. He could even have a uniform he pulled out of mothballs that looks just like the old BG uniforms (or not.) Benedict seemed pretty friendly with the new Starbuck and didn't have a problem with the new show, and I'm guessing he won't be too busy acting in other shows these days (at least until the A-Team movie...) I'm game for just about anything as long as they don't bring Dillon and Troy from Battlestar Galactica 1980 into it. (Actually I would love to see a show, or a celebrity deathmatch, or something where Dillon and Troy meet Coy and Vance, the Dukes of Hazzard stand-ins.)

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 9:06 p.m. CST

    I would watch this show even if it sucked!

    by Daredevil

    Because Boomer is so hot! She's easily the cutest babe I've seen on TV in a while.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Oh please, coop

    by I Dunno

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Yes, Dirk Benedict should guest star as Starbuck's father -- per

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    ...And this could tie in with why Tighe and Starbuck (the female one) have an issue with one another. Maybe Mrs. Tighe came between Starbuck's dad and Tighe.... And as for the captain of the Pegasus: Come on, people. The character has to be played by Jeff Bridges.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Other actors from the old series who could easily guest star in

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    Colicos has guest starred on DS9 numerous times. I'd like to see him on the new Galactica playing a good guy instead. Should the series enter a second season, I also think they ought to introduce/reveal a new human-Cylon model that functions as an "Imperious Leader" type and who could be played by either the actor who played Boomer in the original series or Tighe in the original. And, for some reason, I see Jane Seymour playing a religious leader. Basically, whenever the show requires a guest character, they should look to the age-appropriate actors who were in the original series to see if they could fill such roles.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Like I said earlier, Battlestar Galactica is what happens when t

    by Noriko Takaya

    And cutestofborg only gets a 3.5 out of 10 on the Trollometer. Better luck next time chap. ^_^

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 11:10 p.m. CST

    OK, 33 was a damn good episode.

    by FluffyUnbound

    I like the exhaustion and desperation. I like that nothing's easy. And the President, Baltar, and the reimagined Adama are some of the most interesting characters to be on TV in a while. I don't know where they're going with Apollo yet, but I'm interested. And Starbuck is just plain old hot. Hot.

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 11:29 p.m. CST

    It rawked!

    by NicholasWolfwood

    nuff said!

  • Jan. 14, 2005, 11:34 p.m. CST


    by RenoNevada2000

    I, for one, don't want to see john Colicos on the new series. Why? Well, I belive he died a few years back...

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Prof. Pop-Cult turn in your geek card my friend

    by MGTHEDJ

    Colicos passed away in 2000. As for the premier, good start to the show. I'm in.******* One last thing, on the issue of the Battlestar Pegasus-- come on gang the role of the commander has to go to Anne Lockhart (Sheba). That would be cool.-----later-----m

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Olmos isn't MEAN enough

    by Mutant Leader

    He's such a tough-looking dude I keep expecting him to be a hardass ala TNG's Captain Jellico. But still, I really like the show. (jakeblues, I hear ya)

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 1:39 a.m. CST

    3 words: "Fuck Shaky-Cam"

    by The Killer-Goat

    Another horrendous cinematic trend from the 90s that should have died back then. If not for that, I would have stayed tuned for the rest of the show because it looked promising. I don't need a nauseous headache for drama.

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 2:55 a.m. CST


    by Purple Fury

    To answer your question, yes. This is potentially the best science fiction show ever produced for TV. Better than Trek (all flavors), better than B5, and better than Farscape. Sadly, I haven't seen Firefly, so I can't compare that one. Regardless, it is well worth your time.

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 4:20 a.m. CST

    The best SF premier EVER...

    by SG7

    "33" kicked ass on every level. I thought the miniseries was OK, but a bit hit and miss. But this one episode shows that Mr. Moore knows his shit. I've been watching the original series on DVD and MY GOD it SUCKED. I remembered being so much better. But this new series: you don't need the fog of distant childhood memory to make it great. It's great out of gate. I hope it's a hit for SciFi so we get more episodes. Watching the making of thing before hand I noted the series bible Moore had: thank god. Continuity is good.

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Best SF Series Ever?

    by JohnDrake

    Incredible. They followed the solidly written and produced miniseries with two episodes that were, if anything, even better. The pacing in these two episodes was a little better than in the mini, the dialog was first rate (easily the best in a SF series since The Prisoner aired 35 years ago), the acting top notch all around (if only Babylon 5 could have had a cast this uniformly capable) and the production values and effects have if anything improved since the mini. Anybody still harping over the changes made from the original needs to move out of their parents' basement. The original was an overpriced, one dimensional cartoon so poorly written it seemed to be tailored for (or produced by) mongoloids. The 2005 rendition is a sharp, suspenseful drama made by and for adults, and it works on so many levels. There is no comparison. They're even tackling the kind of philosophical issues Star Trek was loathe to touch, and earlier series like Space: 1999 and Babylon 5 handled either incoherently or via way too much preachin' 'n speechin'. Given the declining ratings dramas are receiving on television these days, this may be the last great science fiction series. Catch it while you can.

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 10:05 a.m. CST

    I finally

    by Itchy

    got around to watching the miniseries last night in HDTV (thank you, Tivo). I'm stunned. I can't believe someone did Sci-Fi right. It was absolutely marvelous - in tone, in plot, in cinematography. I am instantly hooked. This is just as good as any Sci-Fi I've seen since ST:TNG got their act together in season 3. Can't wait to see more. I'm signing up now for my 2005 Dirk Benedict cruise ! (

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 10:50 a.m. CST

    One thing about the show confuses me:

    by FluffyUnbound

    What the motivation for the character of the Chief? In that situation, wouldn't you pretty much instantly conclude, "Oh shit, my girlfriend is a Cylon?" Why is he protecting her? It doesn't make sense. Unless it turns out later that the Chief is ALSO a Cylon. By the way, one of my favorite small touches is the way that chick that also works flight crew is always sneering and looking out of the corner of her eye, as if to say, "Yeah, go play with your girlfriend, Chief. We'll do all the work, don't worry. And yeah, nobody notices, you're really hiding your relationship well."

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 10:54 a.m. CST

    The cylons believing in God makes perfect sense...

    by Batutta

    Most genocides have been carried out in the name of God.

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 11:15 a.m. CST


    by Real Deal

    A really great show for 21rst century SF TV! A grown up SciFi show. Who'd a thunk that! This show will be a new bar to compare with despite the nutty bleating about how much people miss Farscape or how much they hate Enterprise ( sheesh! ). It's a SF show but it's a different kind of show than those two. SF has room for many kinds of story telling. Not just one kind. Competition is a good thing and I only hope this inspires the other shows to be better. For the record I still like Enterprise and think it's much improved this year. It's no Galactica but it's not meant to be. I liked Farscape also but think it's pretty overrated by it's rabid fans. Long live BSG and all SF on TV!

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Old Cylons looked better.


    These new ones look like a poor version of the Terminator. Other than that, I enjoyed the show. Had to watch the rerun of it so I was up til 1:30am. < Yawn > Starbuck is just as much of a whore as her Dad was apparently.

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Question you need to ask is does the chief know

    by elab49

    Cylons look human.

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 3:17 p.m. CST

    They need to stop hiring camera men with Parkinson's diesese

    by LeFlambeur

    Not to say that shakey cam is bad,

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 3:20 p.m. CST

    They need to stop hiring camera men with parinsons diesese.

    by LeFlambeur

    Not to say that "shakey-cam" is always bad. IT CAN WORK IF THERE IS A REASON FOR IT! Case in point, Saving Private Ryan. However, when it is in every movie, every tv show, like anything, it becomes redundant and neaseating.

  • Jan. 15, 2005, 6:05 p.m. CST

    First show that's made me tense in a long time

    by ejcarter9

    nuff said.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 12:16 a.m. CST

    BSG has surprised me

    by xcalibar25

    I like the new sereis. Definately better than the original material (though I always wondered what Richard Hatch's vision would be). THe old one hasn't aged well (I cringed when I watched the old episodes when SPACE showed them last year) and even back them it was corny. Give it a chance if you haven't already.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 1:16 a.m. CST

    What Star Trek should be

    by Electric_Monk

    This new version of Battlestar Galactica is all I could hope for. As a long time fan of the original series, I had some resevations about what Moore was doing to it. However, after the 2003 mini, I was suprised on how good it was. Mostly, because, Mr. Moore did not sacrifice charactarization for silly plot devices. This is what has been missing in Trek since he left the franchise in 1999. Despite a better fouth season (though I completly forgot a new episode of Enterprise was on this past Friday -which must be a bitch of a problem for UPN and Paramount), Enterprise still fails to amaze me like this show did. Enterprise still thinks it needs to dumb down its content, so below average, Jerry Springer Americans can get the plot. In a four-hour mini, and two episodes, Ron Moore proved why he is so much better than Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. As a matter of fact, both B & B should be asking forgiveness for letting Moore go. But, it's too late. Braga pissed all over Ron Moore, so Moore went off to prove him wrong for doing that. Enterprise and the entire Star Trek franchise is dying because a handful of suits decided they knew what was best for the investors, but forgot what the customer really wanted. Battlestar is evidence that Moore knows what the customer wants. And if Trek's 1/14/2005 overnight ratings (OMG, they sucked) is any proof, I think Scott Bakula should be talking to Ron Moore and figuring out how he can be on the new BG series.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Was I the last to find out about this???

    by lsuhsc2006 SCI FI Channel confirmed that Farscape star Ben Browder will join the cast of SCI FI's original series Stargate SG-1. Browder will join the cast in the show's upcoming ninth season; no information on Browder's role was available. Meanwhile, the show's producer, MGM, is still working on a deal to bring back SG-1 star Richard Dean Anderson (Gen. O'Neill) in some capacity. SG-1 will air the remaining new eighth-season episodes, starting Jan. 21, 2005, in a new Friday 8 p.m. ET/PT timeslot, followed by the new episodes of Stargate Atlantis at 9 p.m. and the new original series Battlestar Galactica at 10 p.m.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Yeah, well... wait 'till you see the new Doctor Who

    by TheTARDIS

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 10:20 a.m. CST


    by richard1025

    Anyone noticed how Adama promised Earth and its location known to the senior fleet members? Hopefully this issue is addressed in the final 2 episodes of series 1 cos thats whats this is all about and thats where they are running. Its not mentioned that much. But hey no. 6 would well get it!

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Remember all the bad reviews the mini-series got just a year ago

    by Voice O. Reason

    For example: What a shithead.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Are you listening Rick Berman?

    by Spacesheik

    Friggin idiot...fucked the STAR TREK franchise with his stooge Brannon Braga -- THIS is SCIENCE FICTION laddie!

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 1:41 p.m. CST

    In earth

    by Vision

    richard1025 wrote "Anyone noticed how Adama promised Earth and its location known to the senior fleet members?" Didn't you notice he later admitted to the prez, that he hadn't got a clue where earth was, it was just something he said to get them to have hope.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Not bad.

    by mrfan

    I actually liked the first two episodes better than the mini-series. Wish it well and will continue to watch.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Voice O Reason

    by FluffyUnbound

    That review you posted a link to is pretty funny. I especially liked the fact that the guy devotes a considerable space to criticizing the fact that the new series "doesn't utilize an EMP weapon" when apparently the guy gets his entire knowledge of EMP from the Matrix, which gets the concept dead wrong in a hard-science way. What a dumbass.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 4:41 p.m. CST

    "didn't Zoic do the effects for Firefly? No wonder they're great

    by Voice O. Reason

    I don't think so, but I noticed after recently rewatching my Firefly DVDs and watching the BSG premiere that BSG uses the same "we're pretending a camera guy is really out there filming it" philosophy that added some needed realism.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 6:33 p.m. CST

    I would bang Starbuck.

    by mrfan

    Uh..not the one from the original series. The new blond one. Yeah.

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 7:36 p.m. CST

    33 minutes baby..

    by Driver8

    episode 1.1 just aired in Canada and was terrific! They have really outdone themselves so far. The thing that stands out for me is the War drums during the battle scenes.I haven't gotten ratcheted up for space conflict like that since B5. Kudos!

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 10:10 p.m. CST

    ugh! You babies... quit complaining about the camera work...

    by Russman

    you're probably the same fools who didn't like Homicide for all the jump cuts "ahh ahhh I'm going to throw up, I'm a loser who can't handle anything different because I'm stupid and only like things to be the same over and over again, because I'm a loser" GROW THE F UP!!! THERE IS NO UP AND DOWN IN SPACE, and if you were a camera man in a spacesuit, floating in space the camera would shake as you TRIED TO FIND SOMETHING AS SMALL AS A SPACESHIP IN THE VAST HUGENESS OF SPACE. GROW UP, GROW UP, GROW UP!!!

  • Jan. 16, 2005, 10:40 p.m. CST

    HaZaa! What a great fracking show!

    by Kentucky Colonel

    FRACK ME! This show FRACKING rocks! Better than Star Wars & Star Trek...who would have thunk it? Now, can we get "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" re-imagined with more space-hotties in camel-toe spandex??? Puh-lease!?!

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 12:01 a.m. CST

    RE: "didn't Zoic do the effects for Firefly?"

    by Mad_Radhu

    If you look closely in the first hour of the pilot miniseries (in the scene where Roslin is meeting with her doctor and discovers she has cancer) the Serenity can be seen flying through the sky of Caprica City. It comes from right to left across the glass ceiling of the doctor's office. And in regards to the shaky-cam, why does no one bitch about this exact same camera work when it is used in 24 or the Shield? It just looks cool and conveys a nice feeling that you are there peeking over someone's shoulder watching the action transpire. This show wouldn't feel quite as viseral without shooting it this way. I've seen all the episodes aired in England so far, so I have to say you guys are in for a treat. Episode 10, "The Hand og God" will rock your world.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Why did they change the opening theme for the Sci Fi version????

    by Doom II

    I prefer the chorus opening theme from the Sky One broadcast. Is it a copyright issue or does Sci Fi have to change something just so they can call it their own? Stupid.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 5:48 a.m. CST

    Lucky for me, I didn't watch any of those other shows with the f

    by The Killer-Goat

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 5:56 a.m. CST

    shaky cam. So NUTS to YOU!!!!

    by The Killer-Goat

    There are plenty of shows with "gritty, realistic atmosphere" that DON'T resort to such tack. Whatever. It's a style I don't care for. I didn't say the show sucked, just that I won't watch it. So go run home to your mommies and suckle your apologistic thumbs. Sheesh.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 6:04 a.m. CST

    "and if you were a camera man in a spacesuit, floating in space"

    by The Killer-Goat

    which does nothing to explain the same arthritic spasms exhibited on all the INTERIOR shots where there's artifical gravity and everyone is standing only FEET away from each other. You apologist. That's a WEAK excuse for such a potentially good show. I've seen it done far better, with far more control and subtlety, to better effect. Go play with the herd, nimrod. (Yeah, I can resort to name-calling, too)

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 8:14 a.m. CST

    He, He

    by Real Deal

    Looks like the usual trolls ( I don't like the shakey cam ) is the best they can up with ) aren't getting very far with this thread and show. He, he he!

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 9:42 a.m. CST

    To Vision on earth

    by richard1025

    Yeah he did mention that to the prez. but what I was wondering is why there is no real mention of it from everyone aboard the ships in the later on episodes. If people were holding onto that as their last hope I thought there would be some mention of it. I have missed some episodes but havent heard from any of the characters later on in the series on the matter. I wonder if they will ever find it. Loving the new series tho, shame there is only two more episodes left of series one. Hopefully the american audiance laps this up. I know its my replacement for crap sci fi that I used to love but have grown bored of its samey feel and banality e.g. star trek & star wars. Lucas could only dream of such good scripts, and dare I say better directing. Ohhh I dare say lol.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 1:01 p.m. CST


    by Jeditemple

    It reminds me of the crap they used on Star Wars: Episode 2.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 1:47 p.m. CST

    He, He, looks like Real Deal is trying to make more out of this

    by The Killer-Goat

    Sorry, buddy, barter your polarity somewhere else. I already gave the show some due praise. I'm not in the troll camp. Bite me.

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 2:53 p.m. CST

    "which does nothing to explain the same arthritic spasms exhibit

    by Voice O. Reason

    Apparently I was too busy being enthralled by the storytelling and dramatic tention to notice. If you're going to let something that minor ruin the show for you, you're better off watching "Andromeda".

  • Jan. 17, 2005, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Yeah, it's 'minor' because it's a visual style used throughout t

    by The Killer-Goat

    Good Grief. Call me picky, but you can merit a show for good actors, good story, great development and the same good everything that Farscape AND Firefly had, and if the camera work detracts from a good experience, that "minor" element ain't so minor anymore. If you can look past it, more power to ya. My posted opinion is that this show has alot going for it, but I don't care for that camerawork style because it's overdone. I'd LIKE to see less of it. My Preference. Yeah, I like my scifi enough to be that picky. Both Farscape and Firefly resorted only sparingly. I wouldn't know about Andromeda, that show's stillbirth.

  • Please note that I was talking down naysayers about how to give the new Battlestar a chance and how they shouldn't care about the original. Then I saw the new Battlestar and went to watch the old show and realized just how much better the 70s show was. But, I will give the series a chance nonetheless. Without further ado. Top 10 Reasons Why The New Battlestar Galactica Miniseries/Movie Sucked 1. Opening scene that makes absolutely no sense. Sacrifice valuable resources to distract a half-asleep old guy? 2. Hopeful message for the future that there

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 8:17 a.m. CST

    To LordSoth

    by richard1025

    Ummm I heard one of the cylons say by your command. Check out the very last bit of the show "Dont worry we'll find them. By your command" is the last piece of dialouge im sure.

  • I really really don't like them ditching the original series theme. It's classic. I can accept a more haunted theme for the beginning of this show, but they'd better switch to the bomming fanfare soon. ************** Regarding the episodes, I liked them. At the moment I don't really care for the Boomer storyline (either of them). The one on Galactica is in the position to blow up the most essential ship in the fleet. Why doesn't she? Why waste time with minor sabotage? I have a feeling Boomer will be more interesting later in the season than she is right now. The one on Caprica with Helo is more interesting, although I sense that storyline is going to have a glacial pace. I found the new Cylons a little more generic looking than they were before however. I can barely see the flashing light visor, and the armor just looks dull in the daylight. I wish they were more unique in appearance, though I admit that's harder now than it was when the original series aired. I am looking forward to more personal scenes with Adama. I was surprised that the female Starbuck didn't have much of a presence in these two episodes. I doubt it would have been better had Starbuck been male though since that character is rather stereotypical now. Maybe it was just her status in the background this week. All said, I am most eager to see how insane Baltar will get, and how both Adama and Apollo will interact with Roslin. Oh yeah, and that Dirk Benedict as Starbuck's dad is a must, I hope they don't screw it up!

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 11:05 a.m. CST

    John Colicos is dead Prof pop-cult

    by jtp8000

    Unless you have a shovel and dig him up, I don't think he can make an appearance on BG, unless they do a Weekend at Bernies episode

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Old theme music does appear in the Mini...

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Hey now...when the Caprica version of "Interview Tonight" is on in the background...gabbing all about Adama's can hear some snippets of the old theme. This also happens, I think, during the Viper flyby as Adama is giving his speech. Pretty cool, n'est pas?

  • Jan. 18, 2005, 6:45 p.m. CST


    by Mad_Radhu

    You really don't hear it mentioned much again until episodes 8 and 9. And then it is mostly from a deranged woman who has her legs wrapped around Col. Tigh's head while she sings "Adama doesn't know where Earth is," over and over again. Seriously. Got the feeling Episode 12 will recitify that situation, though.

  • Jan. 19, 2005, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Olmos needs to can it.

    by Sean38

    I'm getting pretty tired of Olmos going on and on about how the old Galatica fans can't be won over. That's bull. I was a HUGE fan of the old show. I WAS ALSO 10 YEARS OLD! The new Galatica has done what the new Star Wars moved failed to do, keep pace with the new taste and maturity of its audience. Galactica can and DID win over this old fan. So zip it don't know what you're talking about.