Wednesday, October 20, 2004

God it seems like it took forever, but...

I finally managed to see all of the new BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. I loved the original as a kid (my big two heroes as a six year old were Han Solo and Starbuck), so I was worried about how this would turn out. There seemed to be a lot of seemingly random tinkering - characters have changed genders, races, ages; and the design classic Cylons went from being impassive Centurions to BLADE RUNNEResque sexy androids.

I did, however, have a modicum of faith in RONALD D MOORE, the show runner, who was responsible for most of the best STAR TREK of the modern era. And, yes, I loved it. It took a long time establishing its cast, didn't rush to start the inevitable action, and many may have gave up during its first half, believing it to be too ponderous. But taking this time to provide background for these characters, who you may have thought you already knew from before, worked. I believed in the cast, and in their relationships. So when their universe went to hell in a handcart, I cared. While the original was comparatively quite a light and breezy show about killer robots chasing humanity into extinction, the new GALACTICA treats this dark precept in the suitably adult fashion it deserves. With its dark sets, handheld camera work, and uncommunicative characters fighting to contain their emotions, the TV show it reminded me of most was actually NYPD BLUE, rather than any genre show antecedent.

Maybe I'm just sci-fi starved after the cancellation of the great muppet spacesoap FARSCAPE and the short-lived but brilliant space-western FIREFLY (and the sad, progressive decline of TREK), but I thought this new, grimmer, paranoid GALACTICA rocked. Here's hoping the ongoing series, now started on Monday nights on Sky One, can maintain these high standards.

**UPDATE 15/11/'04**
Seen four episodes of the ongoing series: so far, so damned good.