Monday, March 15, 2010

Why the old 1978 BattleStar Galactica is better than the new one....

Just a few years back I was still in college. While it was an enlightening experience it was also tedious. That’s why whenever I was granted a day off from the powers that be I made the best of it.

On more than one holiday away from the dusty old lecture hall I remember waking up and turning on the TV in an attempt to catch a glimpse of day time programming. I was giddy in anticipation to see shows like The Price is right, McGuyver, Knight Rider, Live action Hulk / Spiderman, and Press Your Luck. No whammy!!!! I vividly remember it was 10:00am and I was flipping through the stations when all of a sudden I stopped at the SciFi channel. I starred motionlessly at the monitor expecting some obscure direct-to-DVD SciFi Channel produced movie that was already being dumped into bargain bins across the USA.

As the commercials faded from sight I saw a trio in futuristic garb and scenes reminiscent of the Star War’s imperial fleet. The three people were having a very serious discussion on what seemed to be a bridge of a spaceship. As I took a closer look these men were none other then Lorne Green, Richard Hatch, and Dirk Benedict. At this point I sunk back and observed quietly. I noticed that the acting wasn’t cheesy or over the top. It was very professional; the veteran actor Lorne Green was impressive as Commander Adama. He showed traits of a true leader calm, decisive, and compassionate, Dirk Benedict was the carefree ladies man with the heart of gold and Richard Hatch was the stoic son of the great commander. The sets were intricate, the battle scenes were interesting, and the whole entire show was very positive all around. Something you don’t see too much now a day. It wasn’t just mindless action and explosions, there was meaning behind each episode and a whole army of personalities and emotions all going on at once. I was immediately hooked. Now I'm not a novice when it comes to Science Fiction series. I’ve been a fan of the original Star Wars movies, Farscape, and Star Trek: The next generation. Battlestar mixed all these elements perfectly. The story, the people, the effects, everything was unique and flowed well.

Shortly after I discovered that a new of BattleStar Galactica series was on so I gave it a shot and was immediately disappointed. The show was too dark, depressing, everyone was paranoid and nervous. It was like 24 with Jack Bower but in space. It was a let down. The final nail in its coffin was the grotesque CGI effects. The Cylons weren’t even live action; they were computer generated shadows of their former selves. Now I’m not saying the actors in the Cylon costumes were always on top of their game. There was many an episode where Cylons miss their marks or blatantly stumbled on something because of poor visibility but they were real nonetheless. When you saw a bunch of men in chrome plated plastic lumbering towards you with black toy guns you ran! In the case of the “new” Battlestar Galactica you just laughed. You laughed until you cried and then you turned it off.

After being depressed from watching what they have done to the series I asked myself an important question, What do fans of good television do now that most stations are stuffed with utter garbage? Well, I came to only one solution, purchase DVD box sets of everything meaningful that you can remember before it’s out of print forever!

I will leave you now with a quote from Dirk Benedict regarding his opinion of the “new” Battlestar Galactica series.

Benedict was sharply critical of the revived series, and the changes to the story and characters. A May 2004 article in Dreamwatch magazine, entitled "Starbuck: Lost in Castration",[10] revealed his disdain for the re-imagined series, its dark tone and its moral relativism. Benedict said,

"'Re-imagining', they call it. 'Un-imagining' is more accurate. To take what once was and twist it into what never was intended. So that a television show based on hope, spiritual faith, and family is unimagined and regurgitated as a show of despair, sexual violence and family dysfunction."


  1. And I so agree with you and Dirk on this. The original BSG, which is also known in fan circles these days as BSG: The Epic Series, was terrific and truly enjoyable to watch. Not to mention you could watch it with children in the room without having to worry about the content they might get exposed to. Shame of it is that if the original series had been completed the atrosity that is Sci-Fi's BSG might not have ever been made.

    Oh, and do yourself a huge favor by not watching Galactica 1980, purely thrown together filler material made by the network solely to get fans to stop bugging them to bring the original, million dollar per episode series back. Galactica 1980 starred Dick Van Dyke's son, Barry Van Dyke. Wasn't that they didn't get some half-way decent actors, but the premise of the series was so stupid and so low budget that it just turned out pathetic. At the very least the Epic series left off in a very, shall we say, interesting way.

  2. I really do enjoy both shows, but to say that the original BSG is well-acted... I just can't agree. The acting, not to mention the plots are far too campy to be considered serious by any stretch of the word.

    I enjoy the original series for its 70s charm, but in terms of actual gripping storylines and good acting, the new series takes the cake by a longshot. It is dark, however, take a look at the storyline: almost all of humanity has been destroyed by a surprise attack, and a ragtag group of ships contains the last remnants of humanity. What about that is not dark?

    On the topic of Dirk Benedict, he was just frustrated that his generic hot-shot pilot character was replaced by a woman, who actually added a third dimension to the very flat Lieutenant Starbuck. Richard Hatch felt the same way about the show initially, as he wanted to reprise his role as Apollo, but he eventually saw the light. He also did a fantastic job as Tom Zarek in the new series.

    I also must say, Edward James Olmos really steals the show as Adama, his acting is superb, and his character as a whole seems far more decisive and strong than his predecessor.

    Again though, I do enjoy both. The original series has its charm, however the new series truly deserves the title of the epic series.