Battlestar Galactica 2003, miniseries and episodes 1–8: Welcome to the freakshow

[Screenshot]I watched this all out of order. For a start, I’ve never seen the original series; secondly, I didn’t get around to the miniseries until after episode 8. So I got all the pieces, if, perhaps, in the wrong order. My conclusion is that it’s a pretty interesting experiment which is keeping me involved. Sci-fi shows are so often heroic: it’s rare to see a show whose characters are all so manifestly flawed. Pretty much everyone in the show is singularly unsuited to be in charge of the fate of humanity, from the extremely unsubtle weakness of Colonel Tigh to the nuanced and various guilts racking Chief Tyrol. I’m liking that aspect—it makes the characters a lot more interesting and manages to avoid making most of them unsympathetic (Gaius Baltar is the only “good guy” I find myself regularly loathing). It’s keeping me hooked, although I wonder how long it can keep it up: Starbuck’s alreadfy well on the road to well-adjustment, and sooner or later everyone will learn Baltar’s secret, or Boomer will learn her own secret, or somesuch forcing of them to manage their own crises. But until everyone faces their weaknesses and becomes a better person therefrom, I’m finding the interplay of flawed, insecure, uncomforable people absolutely fascinating. As for other aspects of the show than characterization: well, the plot’s there, mostly, IMO, to drive character crises. The production of the show is kind of peculiar: it’s a high-production show with low-production conceit, which basically means that the effects (especially the space effects) are well-done, but that the camerawork is a bit… off. It’s presumably intentional, so I can’t rightly fault it, but the occasional jerkiness or skewedness of the picture is kind of unsettling. Oh, and most of the people look uglier, probably due to lighting, than people usually do on TV. Fine by me on that point, though. TV needs less improbably beauty and more realism.

See also: IMDB (main series) IMDB (miniseries), Wikipedia


About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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