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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 06:15 PM
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In Moot Member Blogs Battlestar Galactica (original) Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #65 New April 16th, 2016 04:06 AM
I don't have too much to say about this TV series, but I'll try and expand on some thoughts here.

It was obviously riding off the success of Star Wars, but had the usual Hollywood anti-Nazi riff going for it in the form of the genocidal Cylons. What can you do, but shrug your shoulders at it, and hopefully enjoy the ride.

But I remember watching it as a kid (when I should have been doing homework) and the thing that struck me the most was that it seemed very uncomplicated, and, sure enough, there was a kid with the obligatory cute robot thrown in.

For a TV series it seemed awfully non-dramatic, and pretty basic. I mean the story was dramatic, but the climax of the season opener was, ironically enough, somewhat anti-climactic, and did seem to take more cues from George Lucas's creation.

The robot cylon troopers, the vipers basic design and color scheme, the dogfights, and the big finale at the end seemed to be recycled material from Lucas's realm, but I never heard anything until the last few years when people pointed me to archived news stories of Lucas's lawsuit against the BSG people.

I have to admit, the law suit seems to remind me of that scene in Eddy Murphy's "Coming to America", where the restaurant owner has that "serial numbers filed off" knock-off of McDonald's--replete with golden arches.

But Commander Adama is not Ben Kenobi. A Viper, though loosely similar in color, cockpit, and sort of overall engine scheme, is not an X-Wing. Princess Leia is not Starbucks main squeeze ... what's her name ... the "socializer", and Muffet and Chewbacca aren't even distant cousins (3PO and R2 not withstanding).

I wonder how I would feel if I were George Lucas. Probably pretty put out, but I wonder why he went after the BSG people and not the Turks who used his SFX footage for their own gawd-awful B-grade POS project. Or maybe he did, and I just don't know about it.

But anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. Star Wars was far more cinematic and higher production values than BSG. And, to be honest, even though the stories were sort-of kind-of similar in who they were fighting (Again, Hollywood with the Nazi fetish), the themes were a bit different. Though the educational level of the two properties tended to favor Lucas' Star Wars, and not the child geared BSG.

And I guess that's why I never rushed to the TV to see BSG. It was a kids' show. Trek was for adults. Space 1999 was for adults, but was a poor man's Trek in some regards. Dr. Who was, well, Dr. Who. And Buck Rogers had those babes in the hot spandex ... whoa Nelly!

BSG had that CVA in space thing going for it, minus any escorts. It was interesting to see the launch tube sequence, but I always wondered why the exhaust of the Vipers tended to curl or dip downward as they left the tube. I mean, there's no gravity out there ... right?

I liked BSG as something to see and pass the time, but I never became a fan. Buck Rogers, on the other hand, actually did seem to tackle Trek like themes, though it too seemed a bit more aimed at younger ages than the college age and older crowd that Trek shot for.

Again, not a big deal. Buck Rogers was a little campy every so often, where BSG seemed to take itself rather seriously in spite of shooting for a lower age bracket. Again, not a big deal.

I guess my only real complaint about BSG was that it had an opportunity to shoot for slightly more weightier themes. It kind of did with the whole "war of the gods" thing, and even got a little scary there for a bit. But it seemed to have a more religious or quasi religious tone to it, and so I shrugged at it.

All in all BSG seemed like a show more for kids than anything else, and the technology presented, even though we were close to ten years out from classic Trek's wonky tricorders and phasers, the props for BSG looked very kid-friendly. Almost like they had padding in case one smacked into a kid by accident.

The one thing I really liked about BSG were those cool nude leather jackets. Those rocked. But I wasn't a fan of the show, so I never really contemplated getting one.

I didn't hate BSG, I really didn't love BSG, I saw BSG as a kind of cool space show that had some space combat every so often, which is sort of why I tuned in in the first place. That verse Buck Rogers where the stories were kind interesting, and the women were hot-hot-hot!

I tried watching the newer BSG, but it seemed more like an attempt to cash in on the 30-something Gen-Xers who were about to enter middle age, more than an earnest effort to put forward a space saga with deep themes. The plot of the show struck me more as just being way too genocidal and hopeless. I couldn't get into it. I guess there was a part of me saying "Stand and fight, dang it!"

Modern BSG, now that I think about it, seems more like Star Wars in the sense that it seemed more like a soap opera than a space saga. I'm not sure how I would have directed that show, but perhaps something more in tune with the first iteration, though upgraded for all ages, and not just kids or former kids who were now fully grown adults. Again, maybe something like Trek ... but I digress.

I guess as a fairly sophisticated kid when BSG first aired way back when, with the opening credits and music, I was expecting something a bit grander than what was presented. I thought that opening visual of the nebula or whatever it was, might be something that the Galactica would have to navigate or contend with.

I thought the Galactica might come across other "tribes" with other architecture that paid homage to the ancient civilizations of our own past; Sumerian, Roman, Palmyran, Yamato, Minoan and so forth.

I thought the intro was going to take the ship and crew to really exotic worlds with vast oceans or vast vistas with maybe some alien cities or something.

I really expected a lot from that show, but the premier told me all I needed to. It was another Hollywood production about peace and not fighting, and how you should only fight nazi-like foes. Oh well. One wonders if someone'll let the Revolutionary War or Civil War in space. I wonder how Hollywood would handle an indy production that did just that. One wonders.

Back on topic; so the show that I thought might come never manifested. But I wasn't put out. I wasn't angered. I just shrugged my shoulders and hoped that perhaps someone someday would deliver the goods, instead of another "big hat, no cattle" production from Hollywood's old guard.

When BSG ended I was a little disappointed because there weren't too many other shows in space that had space dogfights; i.e. Buck Rogers. And BSG had Buck beat in the dogfight in space thing. So, it was back to toons and Trek ... maybe some Godzilla or 1950s schlock with the occasional Ray Harryhausen film tossed in there.

So, BSG isn't really big on my radar. As far as Traveller goes, I suppose one could emulate the circumstances of the show. One does wonder how the carrier and dogfights might handled, and how the Cylons might be represented as per Book 9 or the Zho alien module.

I guess ultimately I didn't have too many feelings regarding Battlestar Galactica, other than it could be fun to watch every now and then, and some of its elements seemed to be borrowed from Star Wars. Otherwise I really didn't wait for it to come on with great anticipation.

Truth be told, as per Lucas's interview on KGO in the Summer of 1977, I was waiting for that Star Wars TV series to be produced. But it never came, and I guess that's pretty much why I didn't let my enthusiasm boil over with BSG or Buck; i.e. I knew something better was coming down the pipe. Or so I thought. Oh well.

BSG was interesting when it first aired. Follow up modern BSG felt like a cash in to me. Richard Hatch actually put together a team and trailer for his version of a BSG revival, which to me looked a lot closer to the original, and looked like it would have been more fun than what ultimately got produced.

Maybe he'll get a second shot; https://youtu.be/_s8heJPX8xk

p.s. that ship at 1:39 in the background almost looks like a Kinunir class "Frontier Cruiser" ... minus the wing guns.
Views: 347 | Comments: 3


RSS Feed 3 Responses to "Battlestar Galactica (original)"
#3 April 18th, 2016 05:43 AM
Blue Ghost Says:
I don't know Aramis. I've given it some thought, and I think the best one can cite is a tendency towards revamping fables and myths; another homage to Star Wars, only reworking whatever brand of religion with some Egyptian flavoring. When I think of the stories that BSG aired, I'm not seeing any real deep themes. Some are somewhat archetypal, but rely more on myth than science. Ergo the series is dumbed down a few shades.
#2 April 16th, 2016 05:43 PM
Blue Ghost Says:
Well, to me it seemed to lack sophistication. That's not to say that there isn't any, I just didn't pick up on it. When I bought the DVDs a few years back I did notice some quasi religious overtones, but nothing much beyond that. Can you elaborate on the Narnia equivalence?
#1 April 16th, 2016 03:54 PM
aramis Says:
BSG wasn't written for kids. There is an adult subtext throughout. It is every bit the Mormon equivalent to CS Lewis' Narnia.
 


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