Battlestar Galactica Seasons 1 and 2 (Possible spoilers)

August 17, 2011

During a recent girls’ night out with some friends, the topic of discussion turned to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series.  Not having watched it when it was first broadcast, I decided it might be worth a look.

I downloaded the initial mini series from iTunes and was immediately hooked.  I watched the entire miniseries over two evenings and straight away begged my friend to lend me the rest.  As of now, I have watched seasons one and two and am about to start on season three.  I read an article today in The Telegraph how watching television for long periods of time shortens your life expectancy.  In all honesty I can say I’d be happy to give up a year or two of my life to watch such quality programming as Battlestar Galactica, HBO’s Game of Thrones and Lost. 

Anyway, I digress.  Battlestar Galactica.  Well-written, well-acted and well produced, it makes for compelling viewing.  I’ve already lost sleep by staying up too late to watch it.

What I liked:

Thought-provoking premise: BSG is a sci-fi show.  The show’s premise is that humanity is struggling to survive after a devastating attack by man made machines gone bad.  However, the writers use this premise to explore some pretty basic human themes such as guilt, forbidden love, the appeal of power, trust, betrayal and spirituality.

The series poses some very interesting moral questions – for example, to what extent can human rights and freedoms be preserved while the survival of the species is at risk?  What makes us human?

Well-written and acted characters: Each of the characters is portrayed as being three-dimensional with his or her own flaws or strengths.  The exception to this for the Cylons (robots) who have not spent time living amongst humanity.  In general, they all act consistently, based on their own experiences and wishes.

Gripping storylines: As I have mentioned, I have already lost sleep staying up to watch this series.  This show is definitely a case where I had to watch "just one more episode."  As it stands at the moment (end of season two) the showrunners have brought in a major gamechanger – the Cylons have located the survivors’ fledgling colony and attacked.  I look forward to seeing where they go from here.

WhatI didn’t like:

Occasional deus ex machinae: There were a few storylines introduced that I felt came from nowhere.  An example of this would be the introduction of the Pegasus. I don’t remember it’s being indicated that there may be other survivors.  I could also mention the President’s terminal cancer’s being miraculously cured by Boomer’s unborn baby’s blood.  OK…  whatever

Lee is the Rory of Battlestar Galactica: In almost every episode it seems that Lee, like the character Rory in Doctor Who, is fake killed.  It no longer creates any dramatic tension after the first few times.

Relationship between President Roslin and Admiral Adama: Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the relationship between them, and I suspect it will make an interesting dynamic going forward.  My gripe is that it seemed to come from nowhere.  Maybe I’m mistaken, but it seemed to me that one episode they had their hackles raised in a political turf war, the next they were holding hands.

In conclusion, this is first-class television and I suggest you take a look see if you haven’t already.

Currently reading: Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott, The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Currently watching: Battlestar Galactica: Season 3


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