Just saw the Caprica pilot on DVD last night. Pretty good! There's a fair amount in the VR nightclub that's not going to make it past the censors (like nudity and sex movements). Tons of great set-up. So far, the only character who is in both this series and Galactica is Bill Adama; in this series he's only 11 years old.

I'm amazed at how far the plot took the story--there's already a Cylon (although no one knows it yet) and the creation of another virtual sentient being-Bill Adama's sister. I think she's going to be a force for good; but we don't know her very well at all at this point. We do know the daughter of the computer Bill Gates type guy much better. You have to see it to understand. I think her role is going to be much larger as the show continues. Really looking forward to it.

I did have some trouble with how the Taurans are portrayed as something like a Sicilian or Jewish style mafia, complete down to fedoras. I mean, I *like* fedoras but...I suppose it's better than bowler hats or cowboy hats? I love the actor who plays Bill Adama's father. I don't think Bill Adama had any idea who or what his father really was, aside from being a tireless civil rights activist lawyer. I think the guy had much darker things going on. Love it. He's sort of the reluctant mob boss on the rise, like in the Godfather. I think.

BSG 4:11

Jan. 17th, 2009 10:53 am
I'm still thinking, Holy Crap! because the implications Moore and buddies have brought into play are, if not entirely a surprise, unexpected in its expression.

Cut for more talk about the episode and spoilers galore! )

And that's it for now. Any opinons on what you think is going on?

Holy crap!

Jan. 17th, 2009 01:47 am
That's about all I can say at the moment. I'm still processing exactly what was going on and all.
I should be doing something else, but what the hell, I stayed up late enough to finish watching it, so why not write about it? I'm a few years late, but it's like new to me.

I'm not putting spoiler cuts on this because, duh, it's a few years old now, and I proclaim it is past the spoilage zone. If you feel like complaining to me about it, hold your tongue and move along.

Battlestar Galactica the Miniseries

The Guy went out and bought season 1 yesterday, to my astonishment. It sat there on his desk all shiny and reflective in its foil covered box with a sexy Six in a red dress on the cover (with two other characters in the background). He started the first disc up around 11pm just after I'd fallen asleep on the couch with The World Without Us on my tummy (closed and bookmarked). I woke up a few minutes later somewhere at the twenty minute mark - at least, past the scene where the Caprican Six murders the infant in its goofy looking carriage. "Yeah," admitted the Guy this morning, "I fast forwarded through that scene and the through the unnecessary introduction part where the Six makes out with the human guy, and allows the other Cylons to blast her and the space station to bits."

I'd like to make a note here that when the miniseries came out, I was excited and wanted to watch it BUT that baby-murder scene right at the beginning put me off like nothing else, and I only sporadically watched (and remember watching) the rest of the miniseries.

That Scene aside, and once the plot really got moving, once the Cylons attack (look ma! All those pretty mushroom clouds!) it was pretty good. It was even better watching it now, with hindsight 20/20 and all that. I think once the series ends, it'll be fun for BSG fans to look back at the series in its entirety (er...with the exception of that stupid romance quadrangle) and see if there were any clues set into the script. I'm sure there are die-hard fans who do that now anyway, but with the airing of the fourth and final season, I'm sure it's going gang-busters right now.

Characterization was raw - the actors and writers were feeling out where they were, and it shows here and there. Olmos and McDonnell were terrific. Of course, there's even more depth to the President once the series truly gets underway, like the Galactica on it's hide-and-seek egg hunt. It owes a lot to earlier movies (Alien, Bladerunner, Star Wars) for its Lived In look. Unlike the Millenium Falcon, of course, the Galactica isn't the family minivan with wrappers under the seat. Although there's likely to be a lot wet spots on the upholstery in THIS version of BSG!

The first scene between Boomer and Tyrol (oh, we thought we knew you well, Chief!) felt by-the-numbers and farcicial, like it should have been edited into another movie: perhaps Spaceballs. Moore and company had to get sketch out in shorthand, often cliche, their character's character building scenes and get a lot of exposition in there to ground the audience in the world(s) of the Twelve Colonies. There are moments here and there where it feels like the dialogue is going to lapse into "As You Know, Bob" infodumps, but fortunately, Moore and the writers are a shade smarter than that. After all, these are smart characters who sometimes act dumb, or make bad decisions based on the little they understand and are under tremendous pressure to keep the species alive.

As nutty as I think Mormonism is, Glen Larson believed it had a good story behind it. I agree with that: the best stories feature people struggling to survive, making it against a superior force (The Ten Commandments, The Prince of Egypt and other biblical tales come to mind) and winning. What's not clear in BSG, even in the beginning, is if these people are going to win. Are they going to "win" in their personal lives? Are they going to survive?

What I fear is, based on what I saw in the miniseries, that Moore won't or won't be able to go to the edge of that. It's a topic broached in a recent interview with Katee Sackoff, who plays Starbuck in the series. She has an excellent grasp and awareness of *story*. I only hope that SciFi Channel, with its incompetent executives allows Moore & Co. to not wrap up the storylines in neat little boxes with bows on top. The Galactica is not the Good Ship Lollipop - but then, neither was Farscape, and although that show ended on a postive note, it gave enough for closure (at least for this fan).

More impressions as I plow through the rest of the season. It may not be steady, though, because, well, Life. You know?
And the responses, although volatile in tone, do make some of the same points as the commenters on my LJ.

SciFi Letters

I hadn't thought about this, but this letter writer to the SciFi Letters column made a good point:

Battlestar's Shackles Offend Viewer
I was appalled and disgusted by a scene in the Nov. 10 episode of Battlestar Galactica.

[Warning: Spoiler ahead.]

I could not believe my eyes as a captured Cylon, an African-American man, was escorted to face the humans in chains and poles! As an African-American, I found this scene racist and extremely insensitive.

It is bad enough that African-Americans have minor roles in the show as it is—in the original show, the roles of Col. Tigh and Boomer were played by African-Americans. But even if the show had many more people of color portraying main characters, it is unacceptable to show us in a manner reminiscent of runaway slaves being brought back in shackles to face their white masters.

What were the writers and producers thinking? I was a fan of Battlestar Gallactica, but this was too much. Needless to say, I will find something else to watch Friday nights.
Toni Reynolds
[address withheld by request]

Toni Reynolds has a point, of course. And I think she's right. But she's failed to note that other Cylon characters (one, an Asian Woman) had also been shown around the Galactica the same way - and I heard no protests about that portrayal: a woman in chains. How symbolic is that? How are the two instances different?  And I believe that a Male Caucasion Cylon character was also a led around the Galactica in the same way. It's all in the context - or is it? Does it matter that the point is, the human "race face" of the Cylon, the enemy, doesn't matter, but that the underlying Cylon *does*?

Is it unacceptable only for the Black Cylon to be in chains like this? Or is it unacceptable for all? Where do you draw the line?

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