Battlestar Galactica Review

By UnkleBus

Season 1 & 2 (partial) *spoiler alert*

Often I am not patient enough to sit through more than 3 episodes of any TV series. So far only 2 have caught my attention one being ROME and the other BG. Most of the mini-series out there IMHO has a tendency to over dramatize or the story line is just plain boring. What drew me to this series was the fact that it did not go over the top with the sci-fi and the general look of it was very gritty making it very believable unlike others that have been showing for sometime now like Babylon 5 or even (dare I say it?) Star trek.

The story begins roughly 40 years after the first cylon attack, whereby the cylons whom were created by humans rebelled against their masters. A truce was eventually reached after a war and the cylons went away to colonize an unknown part of space. 40 years passed and the machines have not rested since. The cylon technology evolved to a much greater height and they’ve managed to “manufacture” almost identical human copies and infiltrate the human colonies and society. That’s when the shit hits the fan. All of a sudden the humans find themselves at the brink of extinction when the cylons; whom have planted a virus in the defense network, launch a large scale attack. All of the fleet except the Battlestar Galactica was destroyed.

(from L-R) Dr. Gaius Baltar, Number Six, Col. Tigh, Pres. Roslin, Cmdr. W. "Husher" Adama, Capt. L. "Apollo" Adama, CPO Tyrol, Lt. "Boomer" Valerii, Lt. "Starbuck" Thrace

The humans have 12 plus one mythological factions in total and were named after the constellations. Each one of the factions having their own Battlestar. After the cylons supposedly destroyed 11 of the 12 battlestars, the remaining humans started an exodus to find the final 13th faction… their only hope, their destination earth. Along the way they encounter a relentless enemy, which also has 12 models of humanoid cylons operating amongst them. The storyline closely follows Greek mythology and there are many references to it like the gods; Zeus, Apollo, Athena… even the 12 factions are named after the constellations. According to the scriptures, this has all happened before and will happen time and again and a dying leader will lead them to the promise land. This lends some glimmer of hope to the grim reality in the movie.

My deeper understanding of the movie was the fact that humans are a self-destructive race, as in real life. I find my self comparing real-world events to those on BG such as the acts of betrayal by Cpt. Apollo. It’s pretty evident in the movie as they play out the power struggle between the President and a so called freedom fighter, Tom Zerek (whom by the way played the original Cpt. Apollo in the classic series). Humans ultimately are selfish and can only think of themselves in times of need, which boils down to the instinctive need for self-preservation. This was also played out very remarkably by Dr. Giaus Baltar, who was instrumental in allowing the cylons infiltrate the defense network.

But like any good drama it portrays human resilience well, in the shape of commander Adama and his Galactica crew. Did I mention that the Galactica was scheduled for decommissioning at the beginning of the movie? He ultimately led the castaways and handled every situation with calm and prose, making difficult decisions but neither faltering nor swaying once it was made. His XO however was a different story. He lacked the capability nor desire to be captain of the boat when Adama was shot.

Towards the later part of the series, more of the cylon objective becomes clear. They’ve been trying unsuccessfully to breed with humans and part of the infiltration mission of its agents was to experiment to see if love played a key factor. So when Lt. Helo was trapped on the planet Caprica, he and Lt. Boomer had a good forest shag, insects and all, him confessing his love for her. Later he found out that Boomer was a cylon carrying his child.

I’ve watched the series till the last disc before it decided to give out on me so I won’t be able to tell what happens in the end. However out of the 12 models of humanoid cylons only 6 have been revealed so far. Xena the warrior princess is the 6th to be revealed and by the gods she looks absolutely hot unlike that barbaric character. I wondered that if a machine were to be able to learn emotions… would it then be called human? And would a synthetic life form be able to breed with humans assuming that the copy was as good as the original? What would the baby be like then? Hopefully these questions will be answered in the coming episodes.

Lucy Lawless as D'anna Biers aka Number Three

This is the main reason why I do not like Star trek where everything is perfect. BG has fire teams, ground crew, surveillance and scouting missions, each individual having emotion and belief, purpose built hardware like machineguns, grenade throwers, etc. They don’t wear tights and carry just a phaser set on stun all the time and a tricorder. They have flak cannons, different versions of fighter’s, freighters, transports, prison ships and sometimes even accidents happen on board.

It’s a good mix of myth, sci-fi and reality and that everyone harbors a secret. I love what I have seen so far. The series plays out on both the bad and the good side of human nature and that “perfection” which is the cylon, is ultimately flawed.

I rate it a 4 out of 5

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