Gallactica the Best Show on TV?

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    Space at Its Deepest Point (and Adult Sci Fi for People Who Hate Sci Fi)

    by Diane Werst

    From (actual link to long to reproduce)

    Possible Spoiler Alert

    Whew. Having just watched the next two episodes of Sci Fi’s re-imagining of the post- holocaust saga “Battlestar Galactica,” I have only one question:

    Is this the best show on television right now or what?

    Actually, this surprisingly introspective hour of nail- biting suspense, philosophical clashes, knuckle-bruising action and steamy, interspecies sex raises a hundred other questions, too. What does it mean to be human? Is there a God? Where do civil liberties stand in a time of siege? When does cautious suspicion morph into obsessive witch-hunting? Who gets to define justice and morality? How do we decide who can be trusted in an age of covert terrorism? Does any other TV drama use female characters this dynamically?

    And the biggest question of all. Two socko episodes this Friday (at 10 p.m.) and next (Feb. 25 at 10) manage quite disturbingly to make you contemplate this stunner: Are we cheering for the wrong side in this life-and-death struggle between humans and the ruthless, human-looking Cylon cyborgs they’ve unleashed on the universe?

    With all due respect to fans of the 1970s rock-’em sock-’em ABC original “Battlestar Galactica,” this fresh odyssey, redeveloped by Ronald D. Moore from Glen Larson’s promising original concept, is a hundred times smarter and a thousand times more thrilling. This is truly adult sci-fi for people who don’t even like sci-fi.

    Those who do have a head start, of course, in any tale filled with spaceships and their accoutrements. But the real fascination of “Galactica,” even more so than other space-based soul-searchings such as “Farscape” and “Star Trek,” lies inside the judgments of the human mind.

    In fact, crucial parts of this series do take place inside people’s heads. This Friday’s midway-through-the-season episode showcases that beautifully. When it comes to the scientific genius who helped the Cylons nuke this tale’s galactic human colonies (in the show-launching miniseries, now available on Universal DVD), he’s a reluctant turncoat essentially controlled by a hot blond Cylon babe, who exists only within his brain yet electrifies all parts of his body to keep him under her control. When James Callis’ Baltar decides he’s had enough puppeteering, Tricia Helfer’s Number Six vacates the mental premises. And an identical-looking copy of the same Cylon model appears in the flesh, so to speak, as a human aboard the fleeing Battlestar Galactica who charges Baltar with treason.

    What sets them against each other is, of all things, a theological disagreement between Number Six’s insistence upon “one true God” and Baltar’s science-based scorn. Has this Cylon or the Cylons – or are they one unified being? – twisted God to her/their/its own purposes? Or do the Cylons know something we don’t? Once the issue of Baltar’s “guilt” is at least temporarily resolved, next week’s meaty script further raises the stakes.

    An even more “manipulative, cunning” Cylon model played by former “Due South” star Callum Keith Rennie is discovered on another ship in the ragtag Galactica-led fleet housing the 50,000 remaining human refugees. Sent to interrogate him is Katee Sackhoff’s top-gun fighter Starbuck, still rehabbing from last week’s near-death downing on a hostile planet. Through physical torture and dueling mind games, their riveting exchange fills us in on the humans’ polytheistic faith and the Cylons’ yet more devout belief in their own shared soul.

    It also reveals that the Cylon reason for attack goes far beyond plain mechanical orneriness. Significantly cited are the “sin, hate, corruption, evil” they say is exemplified by the former masters on whom they’ve turned.

    Too deep for some tastes? No need to go there, then. “Galactica” is satisfying on many levels. Take sex and violence. If not this week or next, “Galactica” does find time for lots of slam-bang adventure and special effects mayhem. Plenty of sensual activity, too. Despite their technical workings, the Cylons “live” like humans, and that visceral existence is heightened in the female characters who provide the richest threads in Moore’s dense tapestry.

    His stories effectively use female sensuality to deepen the conflict, not exploiting skin or sex, but recognizing the instinctual power of physicality that women traditionally embody. It’s no accident, certainly, that Starbuck escaped death last week by wriggling inside a “living” Cylon fighter craft and becoming one with its blood and tissue to fly safely home. As the Galactica crew now attempts to reverse-engineer the craft, Grace Park’s hotshot pilot Boomer indicates a corporeal connection with it, too. She’s a Cylon model herself, one who doesn’t know she is, but who has come to suspect her own unwitting duplicity. Which leads to the truly mind-bending exploration of the twisted emotions inspired when you can’t even trust your own body. Does Boomer have to be who she is? Or can she become “human”?

    And we haven’t even gotten to the political tugs-of-war between Edward James Olmos’ intimidating military commander Adama, Michael Hogan as his resentful second and Mary McDonnell as the minor cabinet member who has suddenly inherited the human presidency amid her own secret battle with cancer. If these details sound like they’re piling on, they’re not. They’ve each got a role to play in this ever-widening yet always tightening tale. When next week’s Cylon troublemaker extols life after death, ramifications hit home all over the place. Then he drops an astounding shocker. “Battlestar Galactica” just keeps getting better.[/url]


    Is “BSG- Reimaged” the best show on TV? I don’t know but for this cat I can honestly say that this is the only show I will not miss without fail during any given week.
    I also follow pretty regularly the Charlie Sheen comedy “2 1/2 men” and the med drama “House” with Hugh Laurie of old “Blackadder” fame. To be honest I was suprised as hell when I saw his face show up on an American show and only watched the first episode because of him (he even loses his British accent for the character.) The show is in fact good entertainment and I try to follow it as regularly as I can.
    Anyway, BSG is a pleasure to watch and I hope more (non-sci-fi) people give it a shot. Just look at how deep this cast is and the relationships/ arcs we have. There are even a couple of episodes (and I have just seen thru “Six Degrees…”) where Baltar and Six barely have roles at all, so the show does a great job “spreading the wealth” as far as development goes.
    Question: does anyone see a character or group of characters and think,” Oh God, not him/her/them again.” ???


    I’ve said to Headgehog on many occassions, that I think there’s at least two actors (possibly more) that deserve honest-to-god Emmy nods. If it had aired on NBC, I have little doubts that it would’ve.

    BSG gives me the same feeling as the first season of “24” did. It’s just as fast paced, and it’s filled with the same suspense you’ll find in any network thriller. Is it the best show on TV? I really don’t know, but it’s certainly the best show Sci-Fi has ever produced.

    Dont &#@! it up Hammer.

    Thanks for the story Bonnee 😀


    it’s certainly the best show Sci-Fi has ever produced.

    Dont &#@! it up Hammer.

    By sci fii, I assume you mean the network and not the genre? If so, why do you prefer it to another fav of yours, Farscape? And whilst I’m asking, what are your – or anybody else’s – thoughts on Lost, a (possible) reiimagining of the cult sci show Fantastic Journey?

    Speaking personally, I’m surprised that both Lost and Carnivale seem unappreciated around here – they might not involve spaceships as such, but their outlandish premises and treatment are way out there.


    By sci fii, I assume you mean the network and not the genre? If so, why do you prefer it to another fav of yours, Farscape? And whilst I’m asking, what are your – or anybody else’s – thoughts on Lost, a (possible) reiimagining of the cult sci show Fantastic Journey?

    Galactica is easily the best original show that Sci Fi Channel ever aired. But that’s not difficult when one compares it to Black Scorpion, Scare Tactics etc. I certainly enjoy the show, and make sure that I don’t miss it. I believe in it so much I got dressed up in costume to help promote it at a busy mall. I wasn’t going to do that for LEXX or Farscape.

    Is it the best scifi ever? That’s hard to say. Its up against some stiff competition. B5 comes to mind, but the acting in B5 just can’t compare. Angel is another strong show, but it had its camp factor. Space: Above and Beyond is a strong contender. It’s been a while since I last saw the show, so I’ll hold off on any comparisons until I get the DVD set.

    I will say this definitively, BSG is not the answer to all our Sci Fi needs, and its not the original masterpiece that Moore makes it out to be. Don’t get me wrong, the show is great, but its not the second coming of scifi. Contrary to popular thought, its not that original as many of the plots we’ve seen have been done before, and usually in other science fiction. The show’s a remake so lets face it, it can’t be uber original.

    Lost is another great show, one which I try not to miss. (But I have a class that night, so it has to be recorded this semester) I think the reason why its not discussed here more is that its not space based (like many shows here) and for some reason the sadboard membership in general has been very quiet since LEXX ended. Lost, like BSG, is another character driven show. Its more drama then action and it’s scifi-lite at best. The thing that worries me most about the show, is that it might become like its sister-show Alias; which even in the first season had the feel of: “we’re making it up as we go along”. But if the series had a firm “series bible” to begin with to explain the various mysteries, then it has tremendous potential.

    Bonnee, I’m not sure how Carnivale (another Ron Moore show) aires down in Oz, but in the States, its on HBO which most people don’t get. I’m interested in seeing some episodes, but I don’t have HBO. I suspect it’s a similar situation for other posters.


    Bonnee, I’m not sure how Carnivale (another Ron Moore show) aires down in Oz, but in the States, its on HBO which most people don’t get. I’m interested in seeing some episodes, but I don’t have HBO. I suspect it’s a similar situation for other posters.

    Moore was involved with the first season of Carnivale prior to moving on to BG. Apparently he left because of ‘creative differences’ – since Carnivale wasn’t originally his creation, though (it is written and conceived by Knauf), Moore’s move hasn’t hurt the show one bit. As far as I know, he was more the midwife to Knauf’s vision and helped to produce it.

    If you don’t have access to HBO, I reccommend you check out season 1 on dvd or both seasons via your local internet connection. Give it a couple of episodes if you can manage to source it – the show is intricately plotted and slow moving at first. Across the two seasons, though, it contains some of my favorites moments/scenes in television, and has a hypnotic effect on me as a whole.


    Sci-Fi as in the channel, hence my admonition to Ms. Hammer hehe 😆 As everyone knows Xenosaga/Xenogears is the best Sci-Fi ever made followed by the Dune Saga. 😛

    I’m glad to see BSG is getting some well deserved recognition.


    Well, I’ve been a Sci-fi fan since the mid 60s. And whether some think of this as just a “remake” or not (I think the original BSG just plain sucked, after the first episode), I think the show taken as a whole is a masterpiece. I’ve literally never seen a show of this intensity, with such an intriguing plot line.

    In my opinion, the new BSG IS the best Sci-fi series I’ve ever seen. I’ve watched every episode three times – every time it repeats on Sci-fi channel. It has purpose and direction. And I too find myself wondering sometimes, if the humans are really the bad guys; considering the Cylons seem to have such a great understanding of “the One True God’s Plan”, while the humans here are polytheistic. …………… almost like the Jews being punished, then led to a greater belief in the “One God” through their adversity, brought on by God “using” more powerful enemies.

    I think the whole series is a pretty profound concept.


    Question: does anyone see a character or group of characters and think,” Oh God, not him/her/them again.” ???

    (For details I refer you to my reviews. D.)

    James Callis who “clowns” the part of Baltar.

    That execrable actress who hams it up as Ellen Tigh. There is a reason I call her “Ms. Uglyfeet”. That bit was the best “acting” she did on the show to this date.


    great show, even got my girlfriend interested, well, she is cylon!!!! 😯


    I don’t agree

    mandara k

    😮 I say prove it. If it is the best show on TV, prove it.

    My bro got me into House; that some interesting writing right there.

    I don’t listen to critics; I say prove this show is the best on TV.

    What are you willing to sacrifice if it is not; that is how I’d do it; these writers are not going out on a limb, not going to break new ground now unless you sweeten the pot.

    I would give them a 1/2 season of 4; you bring in numbers again and get critical praise you get the rest plus we’ll give you a piece of the new media pie

    if not security escorts you out with your cardboard box.

    You also lose support for Caprica on sci-fi; and we replace your ass from the top down with a whole new staff.

    Cut throat, yes, but this is business 😉

    mandara k

    I decided to delete what i said and wait…… it’s a 50/50 split if it will survive beyond 4 seasons…. yes it will get a conditional 4th…
    it may be told to wrap it up on the second half; but that would depend on a few factors….

    It does not matter…. time marches on….. something else will take it’s place…2008 will be a tough year.

    mandara k

    I decided to just enjoy the ride of reading posts there and not having to post “*whew” but there are some funny posts.

    I can’t ask them individually but thanks to all that make this bb somehow humorous to read…..

    1.) to raymond Shaw a fellow Jake sympathizer: It’s great!!!!

    To Malcolm XII that’s funny….

    you know those Klingons, bad hair or not they keep growing it! And wass up with the goatee, beard then to goatee; umm beard on “clap clap” beard off “clap clap”

    Someone truly needs to photoshop him in full Klingon regalia ’cause ya know that’s at the bottom of his fashion sense; and um the weak chin; that facial hair covers a multitude of sins I tell ya. Ya think with a former costume lady he’s stop dressing like a shlep. I mean not three piece suits but man. He should totally pick up a GQ or something. Mandara likees GQ very mucho (and macho) 😉 😀 Whickh brings us to another 80’s song “Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top; but i like a lot of ZZ Top.

    Frey will kill me, there from “gasp” Texas!

    SO, submit some of your favs from other BB’s for a laugh!


    The show started out good, the mini or movie was very cool, and even a lot of the old fans were able to get past Starbuck being a girl and the show having a woman President. Actors like Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell have been playing a fantastic role in this series. Of course its not all original there are elements of the old-series, bits from Singer/DeSanto, episodes like SAAB, the V miniseries, Firefly or Star Trek Voyager, the Baltar/Six role has clearly borrowed on Farscape. The first season of Galactica was very good and had some of the better episodes, recent writing however seems to be getting weaker.

    RDM stated he is using real life problems to bring more realism to the show. However unlike 2001 space odyssey the realism hasn’t won over the critics. Shows like Firefly, SG1 and even Lexx sometimes got to mix politics and religion, but they got to rub people the right way. Ron Moore and other new BSG writers have ruibbed people the wrong way as Liberals complained because of the warmongering episodes, Bush fans didn’t like the fact it could be illustrating bits of today’s Iraqi resistance

    Some of the last few episodes were weak, Adama crying like a baby because he gets this idea into his head that he started the war, and Kara Thrace can’t remember Bulldog has the drink finally fried her head? Well how do we explain Pirate Tigh’s great memory ?. The shows ratings ain’t getting much better as it is now with wrestling !! Some people think the move to Sunday will be the kiss of death for the show. The next episode we can watch Kara thrace box the heck out of Apollo – Rocky style

    It’s still an ok show, but it doesn’t compare to other top shows or the classic scifi show

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