Battlestar Galactica: Mini-series, part 1 (before season 1)

Date: Wed Jul 02 2008 Battlestar Galactica
"The Cylons were created by Man. They were created to make life easier on the twelve colonies. And then the day came when the Cylons decide to kill their Masters. After a long and bloody struggle an armistice was declared. The Cylons left for another world to call their own. A remote space station was built ... where Cylon and human could meet to maintain diplomatic relations. Every year the Colonials send an officer. The Cylons send no one. No one has seen or heard from the Cylons in over forty years." Thus begins an amazing journey of a TV show which far outshines the TV series which was the inspiration of Battlestar Galactica. The original show, aired in 1978, was, well, I'll be charitable and say the original show was less than inspiring and not very good. For some reason I did watch the original show. While I do not watch TV nor own a TV today, this rendition of Battlestar Galactica was so good that I have taken measures to be able to watch this show. Because of the long hiatus until the showing of season 4.5 I'm rewatching the entire show episodes, again.

The mini-series shows the initial Cylon attack, the incipient retirement of the Galactica as a museum, the early stages of fighting back, and the formation of the ragtag fleet of fugitives running for their lives.

Starbuck is a woman? One sidelight of watching the modern B.G. is looking for corollaries with the original B.G. Starbuck and Apollo were principle characters in the original series, but they were both male and were best buddies. In this show they are best buddies, but are differing sexes, which makes for a different relationship. It was shocking when I first heard Starbuck was a woman in this version, but the portrayal is spot on.

The tone of the show is set from the outset .. the modern B.G. is very raw, real, and draws clear parallels with events of our own society. Such as Laura Roslyn (a major character) learning she has cancer, and the raw realistic portrayal of her grief. Such as the meeting with the officer on Armistice Station that ended with destruction of the station. Such as Caprica 6 (as she became known later) ogling a baby while strolling through Caprica City, and then nonchalantly killing the baby. And Kara (that is, Starbuck) starting off on the right foot with Col. Tigh (who is a drunkard) by striking a superior asshole and ending up in the brig.

We see a ship with "backwards" technological status.. old style computers, telephones with cords, no automatic systems anywhere, etc. All because Humans in the earlier Cylon war developed a fear of computerized networked systems. The Cylons were masters of infiltrative software (virus's) and was able to subvert shipboard computer systems. This attack methodology was devastatingly used in the attack shown in the mini-series and it was the ships with modern computer systems which were destroyed in that attack. The ships with older systems, such as the Galactica, are the ones which survived.

Dr. Baltar is introduced as having outrageous views about research and development of advanced computer technology. It seems these people decided to stagnate their computer systems, due to the prior Cylon war. But Dr. Baltar is shown advocating advanced researched and, oh, by the way, his girlfriend is a Cylon. And the major tension of the whole show is Dr. Baltar's betrayal of humanity and complicity in the annihilation.

Jolly is there - he was in the original show, but here he was killed in the initial battle.

"Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed, spite and jealousy. And we still visit all our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept responsibility for anything that we've done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life and that life turned against us. We comfort ourselves in the knowledge that it wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God and then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later the day comes when you can't hide what you've done anymore."