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", 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."