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     Battlestar Galactica to begin its third season on the Sci-Fi Channel
    Movie Discussions
    For the Group29 folks, the next best thing to Star Wars was Universal Studios' Battlestar Galactica show on ABC-TV in 1978. A "long time ago, in a galaxy far far away" morphed into a story that the human race came from the stars thousands of years ago. Erich Von Dankien’s controversial 1968 book Chariots of the Gods? may not have played well in scientific circles, but it made for great science fiction. Build some nifty vessels and make the primary vessel an aircraft carrier, and you have a winner for science fiction technophiles. The Colonial Viper is my favorite space tactical fighter, even over the vaunted X-Wing.

    The Season Premiere on October 6th, 9pm, 8 Central in the United States.
    In Canada, the shows will be seen on the Spacecast network

    Those familiar with the original Battlestar Galactica series will note that it rode into network television on the popularity of Star Wars. Lucasfilm would eventually sue Universal Pictures for ideas seemingly lifted from Star Wars. But, Universal would counter that Lucasfilm lifted ideas for Star Wars from Universal's Silent Running. The TV show ran for two seasons, then was cancelled. In the original story of Battlestar Galactica, the Cylon warrior machines were created by a never-seen reptilian race that became the enemy of the humans. The Cylons wiped out twelve human colonies of Kobol. Apparently there was a lucky 13th colony that escaped disaster called Earth. This supposed colony became the destination for the "rag-tag fugitive fleet" carrying the remaining bits of humanity. In 1980, the series came back for one season to actually find Earth. So the story finished out. And the Cylons never destroyed Earth.Sci Fi Channel
    In the early 1992 and 1993, as the Sci-Fi channel was getting off the ground, constant repetition of Battlestar Galactica was one of the staples of this new middle-tier cable television offering. I thought that it was a cool concept, but poorly executed. I expected Sci-Fi to pick up the syndication of Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Lost in Space. But broadcasts of those shows were rare according to acquaintances that actually had the service. In the end, I have never subscribed to the Sci-Fi channel based upon the negative feedback. In 2003, Battlestar Galactica was re-imagined. This apparently caused quite a stir amongst the fans of the old show since a number of things were going to be changed. Once the show came out, the reports came in that it was a cool series. It was not the old show, but it did not need to be. The most significant criticism of the show is that the Sci-Fi channel promoted it endlessly. And when it finally did show, was filled with commercials. So the only way to properly view these programs is recorded and skipping the commercials.When season one became available on DVD, I bought it as a present. I was eventually able to see all the season one episodes. I give this show high marks; it is of the few television shows that I watch and like. In fact I would go so far as to say that this is my favorite. I will not go into the differences between the old and new shows. That is covered in exhaustive detail at the Battlestar Wiki: Suffice it to say, Cylons destroy the twelve colonies of humanity. And a rag-tag fugitive fleet commanded by Adama on the Battlestar Galactica will attempt to lead humanity to Earth and away from the Cylons. What I like: Cylons have human forms. "They walk among us" is a time honored science fiction convention. Cylons are not just hive-minded automatons anymore. The best new villain is number Six (Tricia Helfer), the hottest of hot blonde-haired women. We poor nerds do not stand a chance! Cylons warriors are fearsome. Imagine a whole brigade of skinless Terminators heading right for you. Scary! Gaius Baltar (James Callis), instead of a scenery-chewing villain, is now a super narcissistic, super egotistical, super intelligent scientist. His one tragic flaw is that he let the Cylons destroy billions of people by rendering the Colonies' defense network vulnerable to a computer virus. Well, who could blame him? That hottie, number Six made him do it. (Who among us would not unwittingly betray humanity for a night in the sack with Six? Six beats Six of Nine any day by the way.) This crucial error in judgement appears to have made Baltar insane enough to keep seeing visions of the seemingly dead number Six. They did not mess with the Vipers and the Galactica as planes and aircraft carrier concept. The whole Naval force in space dynamic works well. The Vipers are the coolest of cool tactical fighters. Never mind that they have air intakes in space, maybe they are photon collectors… The sounds in space are muted with only slight shudders from passing spacecraft and the sounds of chain guns during battle. The Battlestar also functions like a submarine. The Galactica is a much airier and open version of U-96 (Das Boot). The analogy of going faster than light (FTL) is a submarine diving. In fact, according to the Wiki, it is more of a Wormhole concept by which space is folded, and so no speed faster than light is actually achieved.
    No more lasers and phasers! Energy beam weapons are gone. Thermonuclear weapons are powerful enough thank you. Cylons are religious nuts. Cylons are exterminating humans because they have the one true religion. Brutal, just brutal. The new series Galactica is old technology made new. They have old style corded phones and no networked computers. Vipers fly mechanically. This is due to the nature of the war against the technology that turned on them. Humans had to be Luddites to survive.Adama has not just stepped of the Ponderosa this time. Now he is a hardened police lieutenant from the Miami Vice squad. Edward James Olmos has a powerful presense in the series.

    Colonel Tigh, played by Canadian Michael Hogen is just the kind of tough guy you want on your side. He does an excellent job of replacing his subservient predecessor in the original series.

    No more "planet of the week", which is the main storyline for Star Trek. How many times do we really need to see the Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce, California anyway?

    What I do not like: This show is dark. Up until this show, the darkest moment in Science Fiction to me is when Neo wakes up in his pod in The Matrix. Now the darkest moment in Science Fiction is the updating of the white board that contains the total remaining number of humans until extinction. There is very little hope that Earth will be found. In fact it seems most likely that the Cylons will [use your Dalek voice here] "ex-term-in-ate" the humans. The only thing stopping the extermination seems to be the actions of the Cylons themselves. The Cylons are watching the remaining humans somewhat like you would observe animals in a zoo. The accent for Lee Adama (Apollo) done by Jamie Bamber is whiter than white. It all made sense when I saw Jamie in an interview and heard his ordinary London accent. Eddie Murphy does an impression using the very same accent in Beverly Hills Cop when he mocks the oreo policeman about falling for a "banana in the tailpipe."
    Katee Sackhoff trying to be Dirk Benedict does not work. Skip the cigar chomping Twelve O Clock high Gregory Peck characterization too. Kara Thrace is a crazy tomboy but also a damn good pilot. At that level, her character works.Too much time on Caprica, and Vancouver: I realize that terrestrial locations are cheaper in Canada, but for crying in the beer, give us some better CGI locations than downtown Toronto and Vancouver. I would like to know where Balter's house is (better known as the "domicylon"). I also like to think of it as "Baltar's happy place".
    I am looking forward to seeing season three, but first I need to catch up on season 2.0 and 2.5.
    Posted on Monday, September 25, 2006 @ 09:49:15 UTC by BB
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