as of 2/25/01, scifi.com
is reporting that Bryan Singer
, director of the 2000 X-Men
film and of The Usual Suspects
has had talks with Glen A. Larson
(creator of the original Battlestar Galactica
) about a new series. The new effort would, in fact, be about Battlestar Galactica
, and would probably take place after
the events of the original series (and Galactica 1980
Although Singer confirms that the Cylons will be present ("You can't have Galactica without Cylons!") he doesn't think any of the old characters will be involved. This will no doubt disappoint Richard Hatch (Apollo), who, in recent years, has been involved with various book spinoffs and has been trying to get the series revived.
Although the show is apparently in an 'early conceptual phase,' it would include "up-to-the-minute" (I love phrases like that) special effects (I guess a là Babylon 5) and a reasonably high budget. This would, IMNSHO, be way cool - I loved the Galactica concept as a kid. The recent Sci-Fi Channel marathon proved that the production values haven't survived, but the basic plot was cool...and, I have to say, the Colonial Viper was all in all the best-looking damn spacefighter ever, beyatch.
Much of this is from the story on scifi.com.
Well, it's here. The series was introduced with a two-hour pilot, which aired in the U.S. on the Sci-Fi channel in Dec. 2003. It has been followed with a weekly series, with the full cast returning; the show has begun airing on SkyOne in Britain (who co-funded it) a full few months ahead of its opening in the U.S., causing no little gnashing of teeth.
The new BSG is a complete retelling of the original story. The pilot, and the series concept, are almost entirely faithful to the original show - down to the character names. The Battlestar Galactica, which fought heroically in the 'last Cylon war' some forty years prior to the show's opening, is being retired and converted into a museum. It is commanded by Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos) at its decommissioning ceremony. However, the Cylons have coopted the brilliant-but-clueless Dr. Gaius Baltar and hence gained access to the defense network of the Twelve Colonies - and after forty years, mankind's children have come back to finish what they began.
Thus begins the pilot. This BSG is much darker than the original - not that the original was all that light; it's just that this one has much less 1970s humor and chrome glitz overlying the fairly grim drama of some 50,000 last surviving humans fleeing for their lives, pursued by a relentless foe. This time, things are worse - in a nod to Philip K. Dick's Second Variety, the Cylons now look human - at least, as the show's introductory credits tell us, there are several models of them, with many copies...but the humans don't find out about that for a while. Not all the humans, anyway.
The show isn't the same show. Things are changed, obviously. There are several obvious metaphors which have been emplaced to make things easier to deal with. The Galactica itself is now run explicitly on a modern aircraft carrier concept - the acronyms, slang and habits of the CVN are recognizable. It doesn't hesitate to take jabs at the original series:
"That's my callsign. My name is Lee Adama."
People die, here. A lot of them. Horribly. There is heroism, in the dark; there is also cowardice. There is weakness, and strength, and avarice, and nobility. There's love, and hate. There's fanaticism and pragmatism. It's all coming together. Eight episodes in so far, and it's still getting better.
So say we all.
Update update update: And it's over. Five seasons of storytelling, bloody good acting, above-par writing, and awesome special effects. And unlike most other shows, even most other sci-fi shows, this one had a point - a destination it was heading towards all along. Unlike most of those which shared that characteristic, it did, in fact, reach its destination. Whether it did so to everyone's satisfaction is of course subjective. Whether it possibly could have, given the vagaries of the 5-year marathon the writers went through, I don't know. All I know is that looked at as a whole, looking back, this version (known as the 'reboot') of Battlestar Galactica took the basic ideas of the original - expanded on them, built entirely new mythology around them, and turned the whole into something that, love or hate, you have to respect. Something rarely seen on American television.
A single, coherent, five-year-long, intricately told and beautifully acted story.
And that's more than most would have predicted at the outset. Me included.
SO SAY WE ALL.
Dirty Secret: The finale was the weakest point of the series. If you have never seen this show, watch it and then DO NOT WATCH the second half of the finale. It will make it a better show, even with the unresolved questions. If you do watch the whole thing, you'll know what I mean.