Paging Dr. Asimov
I can’t say that I actually have fond memories of Battlestar Galactica. I have only vague memories of the show itself, of shag hairdos, and Starbuck getting caught with some chick or other in a Viper launch tube, and the cool robot dog, and a kid named Boxey which I thought was kind of a neat name for some inexplicable reason, and bits from after the show jumped the shark, when they found Earth, and all the colonials could jump really high because of some ridiculous thing to do with gravity. Or was that in V? It’s all kind of a blur.
Mostly I just have a nebulous leftover feeling of: How cool is this that we can watch something every week that’s not as good as Star Wars but still has spaceships and space battles and evil robots and neat stuff like that? I have this feeling that I owe stuff like Galactica (and V) a huge debt of gratitude for contributing to my eventual geekiness by pandering to my Lucas-
So I’m really not very happy with Sci-Fi Channel’s “reimagining” of Galactica.
It didn’t need to be reimagined, for one thing. I think we were all perfectly content with our vague memories of shag hairdos and “god I love Star Wars so much I’ll watch anything even remotely trying to cash in on it,” and if we weren’t, there will always be DVD to remind us how bad the original series was. We certainly didn’t need a bad new series to drive the point home.
The entire concept makes no sense, for starters. I remember thinking this even as a little kid. How could Earth be a lost 13th colony of humans who came from elsewhere in the galaxy if we know for a fact that humans evolved on Earth?* When it comes right down to basic scenarios, Galactica is SF for fundamentalist Christians who just don’t buy into that fossil crap or geology or radiocarbon dating or other such nonsense.
But okay, as premises go, I’ve seen worse. But there are other issues that must be confronted. Like, if these people in this new Galactica really are our long-
I mean, hello! These stupid colonials created the Cylons, and then what happened is that “the day came when the Cylons decided to kill their masters.” This is a bad way to build robots, and also: Don’t give them the secrets of thermonuclear weapons, cuz then when they decide to wipe you out, it’ll be easy. But then, if my advice had been followed, this “reimagining” couldn’t have been the mushroom-
These people are really, really dumb, so dumb that you’re almost rooting for the Cylons. They had this big war with the Cylons — who are, mind you, really, really evil robots with no compunctions about killing humans; they’re like silicon-
Oh, and another law, besides the don’t-
If this new Battlestar Galactica sounds like a soap opera, just wait: It gets worse. Secretary of Education Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell: Donnie Darko, Mumford) ends up being the highest-
It’s a bit of a stretch how writer Ronald D. Moore, a seasoned veteran of some of the more worthy Star Treks, manages to make Adama’s son also Apollo, by putting some quotes around Captain Lee “Apollo” Adama’s nickname and shoehorning it into the middle there. Starbuck and Boomer not only are merely quotes in the middle of someone else’s names, they’ve also had sex changes and morphed into women (Katee Sackhoff and Grace Park), I guess because, you know, gotta get some tough ass-
Still, it’s kinda cool to see Horatio Hornblower‘s friend Mr. Kennedy aka Jamie Bamber get some work (he’s the fake Apollo), and his American accent is truly amazing– Hey, wait: American accent? Aren’t these people supposed to be on the other side of the galaxy or whatever, separated from the humans of Earth long before there was an America? What gives?
This may be the worst thing about this new Galactica: It looks like the society of the part of Earth we call the industrialized West, maybe a few years into the future, and where everyone dresses really sharp, like Armani did all the costumes. The captain of a civilian spaceplane, for instance, gives welcome-
I’m sure there’ll be plenty of opportunity to explain this. They left it all open for a sequel or, Asimov protect us, a series. I’m not saying I wouldn’t watching it or anything, but I no longer think Boxey is a cool name.
*Of course it may truly all be a ruse put about by the transdimensional mice and we Earthers really are descendants of the B Ark, but if we get into that kind of metaphysics, we’ll be here all day.
**She is not a number! She is a free Cylon!