Battlestar Galactica

I just finished watching Battlestar Galactica: The Lowdown on the SciFi Channel. Not a bad behind-the-scenes show, and the upcoming mini-series doesn’t look any more than half bad.

Yes, Starbuck is a girl. And so is Boomer. And so is one of the main Cylon characters. And so is the President of humanity.

Actually, are there any guys in the show? Besides Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama, all of the male characters seem to be at least potentially homosexual. When my wife said they made Starbuck a girl so that she could sleep with Apollo, I said maybe they made Starbuck a girl so Apollo couldn’t sleep with her. Not fair to the actors or characters, I know. Sex looks to me a major story element here. We’ll see.

From what I saw, the story is fairly dark, the dialogue is mediocre at best, and the special effects might be pretty good. It looks to have been shot in a semi-focused shaky cam manner, which might get annoying pretty fast. The sets look decent, especially for a television show. There seems to be quite a bit of actual stuff for the actors to interact with, like control screens and instrument panels, so hopefully the series won’t suffer from blue-screen confusion. I feel that actors not being able to visualize their surroundings and really touch them is one of the biggest problems with CGI effects in movies today.

The Viper fighter, which I’ve always thought was totally bad-ass, appears mostly unchanged (although it looks a little plastic in this pic.) The way the space battles are fought, however, is quite a bit different. There is a lot more going on, and missiles seem to be a primary weapon, and anti-missile guns similar to the Navy’s Phalanx CIWS are there to try and stop them. The laser fire from the Vipers looks like tracered cannon fire from today’s aircraft. The Cylon ships all look quite a bit different, as do the Cylons themselves.

Richard Hatch, who played Apollo in the original series, was interviewed extensively during the show. He fought a long legal battle in an attempt to stop others from making a Battlestar Galactica while he tried to produce his own. He isn’t very happy with the direction that the new series takes, but he’s big enough to admit his personal bias and he claims that hopes to be able to get past his own disappointment and enjoy the new shows.

As a kid, I loved the original series. I was not really looking forward to this remake. But after watching this show on SciFi, I’m at least going to check out a few episodes of and give the mini-series a chance.