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REVIEW: FTN retro-reviews Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009)

December 10th, 2012 by bash Comments

When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protects a small civilian fleet – the last of humanity – as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony of Earth.

I actually stumbled upon the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica just after the two hour mini-episode was released around eight years ago. Remembering how poor the original series was, starring Dirk Benedict, I wasn’t expecting anything earth shattering from the new series – boy, how wrong was I.

Here was a series that had high production values, serious acting and space battles that were unlike anything I’d seen since Return of the Jedi.

The story arc of Battlestar sees a civilisation of humans living on a group of planets known as the Twelve Colonies. In the past, the Colonies had been at war with the Cylons, a robot race created by man.

After 40 years of peace and humans about to retire most of their war machine the cyclons, with the unwitting help of a human named Gaius Baltar (James Callis), launch a sudden sneak attack on the Colonies, laying waste to the planets and devastating their populations. Out of a population numbering in the billions, approximately 50,000 humans survive

With Battlestar Galactica the only military capital ship that survived the attack, under the the leadership of Commander William “Bill” Adama (Edward James Olmos) and President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), its crew take up the task of leading the small fugitive fleet of survivors into space in search of a fabled refuge known as Earth.

Battlestar is without doubt one of the greatest TV shows ever made, never mind just sci-fi television. Led by the ever reliable Olmos, who produces some of his best work here, creator Ronald D Moore fashioned a show that took itself seriously with storylines that tackled racism, religion, our current war on terror, and, ofcourse, what life itself all means. This is sci-fi for the 21st Century!

Through all four seasons there are twists and turns that I really didn’t see coming, especially at the end of series one. From there, anything is possible and while season four becomes a little bit too religious in content, all in all, the numerous storylines involving the seven or eight lead characters are so involving you can forgive writers for the slight lull in proceedings.

One of the things I look for in TV shows is a great pay-off. For me, the ending of British TV series Ashes to Ashes is my absolute favourite. While the end of Battlestar didn’t blow me away at the time like that aforementioned series, subsequent chats with friends who have also seen the re-imagined show has made me re-evaluate things and think, yeah, what a wonderful end to a fantastic series.

Battlestar Galactica is a series we want the new Star Wars TV show to be like – serious, enthralling and laced with space battles that have us gripping our seats. I really am sorry that it is over and while the new prequel series Blood and Chrone will certainly fill a void, it won’t ever replace this wonderful testament to what a great sci-fi series can be.

4.5 out of 5 nerds

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Hi all. I'm Bash and love anything and everything to do with Star Wars. Although I've watched hundreds of movies, read dozens of books and played numerous computer games from other genres and franchises since, nothing has come close to seeing George Lucas' epic for the very first time. I hope you all like the site and come back often.