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TV On DVD: Battlestar Galactica

The Morning News used to have a quarterly featured entitled Of Recent Note, in which the contributing writers raved about whatever they were currently grooving on. In the Spring 2005 installment, for instance, I talked up Oracle Night, KEXP, and the St. Petersburg freeware game.

With the redesign, though, The Morning News has started featuring one item of note daily, and, again, I am one of the contributors. Two weeks ago I recommended Stumbleupon; today I'm singing the praises of, believe it or not, Battlestar Galactica.

In fact, Battlestar Galactica is largely the reason why I have still not seen Revenge of the Sith. The Queen and I had intended to go last week so I could finish my write-ups of the prequels, but after watching the three-hour BSG mini-series we were so surprised and impressed by the storytelling that we knew that Sith could only disappoint in its wake.

I'm not saying that the Battlestar Galactica mini-series is great. But at least it's actual space opera rather than an overwrought romance plastered onto a bunch of politics as scintillating as a typical two hours of C-Span.

The mini-series served as the pilot for a regular series, the first season of which will be released on DVD in August. I am looking forward to it. If you receive the Sci-Fi Channel and own a Tivo (or have the wherewithal to watch 13 straight hours of television), you can get up to speed on July 6th when they are going to air all the Season One episodes in one marathon block. (Apparently the episodes can also be acquired via BitTorrent, but I, of course, wouldn't know anything about that.) Then settle in for Season Two, premiering July 15.

Posted on July 01, 2005 to TV On DVD


dude, whats up with the morning news link? It takes you to some creepy wall-street website that asks you to roll over immediately...I worry what they want to do to me after I roll over...

Posted by: saud on July 2, 2005 9:11 AM

Whoops. Yeah, that's themorningnews dot com, instead of dot org.

Posted by: Matthew on July 2, 2005 9:34 AM

Finally somebody has noticed this show! Everybody looks at the name, remembers the cheesy 70's show and thinks "Why the hell would I subject my cones and rods to a remake of some bad 70's show? Every remake sucks anyway." But That's where BSG breaks the mold. And I can't beleive I just typed in such a cliched saying. Anyway, BSG isn't REALLY about humans vs. robots, that's just the backdrop of the new series, it's much more about how the people are interacting and dealing with the stresses placed upon them. Wow, I sound like a total geek.

So if you haven't checked out the series, do. And forget all about the old series. Except for the names there's really no connection.

Posted by: Mindar on July 3, 2005 10:04 AM

Agreed, I caught the BSG mini-series this spring and was pleasantly surprised. After that I had to watch every episode. It is very well done. Now I'm waiting patiently for season two to premier.


Posted by: johnnyeng on July 3, 2005 10:39 AM

I will have to check it out - Just finished watching the entire DVD series set for Firefly (movie comes out in August - Hooray!) If you haven't seen it, it's definitely a must see.... and it has gotten me back in the mood for a good space drama - which was something I had thought "Revenge of the Sith" had killed for me - truly bloody awful.

Posted by: gatesgirl on July 4, 2005 5:01 AM

I loved the original BSG and was surprised by how compelling the new one is. Edward James Olmos is great in a role that I thought only Lorne Greene could play. With young twins, I'm home most Friday nights now and the series has become appointment television for me.

Posted by: not-for-profit-dad on July 4, 2005 7:01 AM

One thing I like about BSG is that the politics (what politics there are) are so much more engaging than Star Wars Ep. 1-3. I actually find myself caring about the outcome of political contests, and I am so little interested in fictional politics on T.V. that I have never seen an episode of The West Wing.

By the way, I just checked www.serenitymovie.com and the release date is September 30th. I'm seeing the trailers on UPN HD and it looks FUN!

Wash: This is gonna get pretty interesting.
Mal: Define "interesting".
Wash: "Oh, God, oh, God, we're all gonna die."

Posted by: Matthew Makous on July 4, 2005 8:01 PM

Best sci-fi on TV, bar none. And my devotion to the show has absolutely nothing to do with Grace Park's layout in Maxim. Absolutely nothing.

Posted by: craig on July 4, 2005 9:04 PM

I will watch it...I usually agree with you DY. (About everything except "Lost In Translation.")

Speaking of Star Wars and politics, my favorite Onion story is the one about the new daycare center on the Deathstar. It's not on the Onion site anymore but here are links with the text/pictures.



I also wrote something ridiculing myself for overanalyzing Star Wars


Posted by: miel on July 4, 2005 11:55 PM

Nah, I have to disagree. The series might be OK, only don't call it "Battlestar Galactica". As soon as the "re-imagining" involved turning our original pseudo egyptian/greek themed heroes into... well, Americans for crying out loud, things looked bad. Americans with khaki singlets and dogtags. And a President that flies around in "Colonial One". That, and the fembot cylons. Oh yeah, and the fact that, like all postmodernist revisionism, all our heroes don't get along and are riddled with self doubt. And the fact that the humans *made* the Cylons and were therefore the guilty authors of their own demise. And the fact that the new series does less than even "homage" to the old series, but positively *shits* on the old series by a series of glib and dismissive references and thinking that by doing that the old fanbase will respect it. That, and some other stuff I've written about in my own article on the subject...


I would rather clone cells from the cadaver of Lorne Greene and have them act in a petri dish than call this series "Battlestar Galactica".

Posted by: Nathan Zamprogno on July 5, 2005 5:28 AM

spectacular show. so glad it's been renewed for a second season.

Posted by: scott on July 5, 2005 6:20 AM

please fix the "use" in the first line - should be "used"

Sorry to be picky but had a hard time getting through the article after that !!!!!

Posted by: susan on July 5, 2005 9:20 AM

Ron Moore has a degree in political science from Cornell. That's why the new Battlestar Galactica is about politics.

("The old fanbase"? There are fans of the original Galactica? I mean, adult ones, who didn't notice how bad it was after they grew up? You learn something new every day here on the Internets...)

Posted by: Jerry Kindall on July 5, 2005 4:09 PM

I never liked Battlestar Galactica.

Posted by: Pope Benedict XVI on July 5, 2005 5:42 PM

i LOVE the new battlestar galatica series. i've often written about it and firefly on my blog in the hopes that someone will listen, pick them up and watch them. spreading the word, as it was. the issues in BSG are so, well, human.. questions of one's humanity, religion, politics, and struggling with one's place in the world (galaxy).. and these things apply to the cylons as well. are they human since they were made by humans in their likeness? are they the evolution of our species or just tin cans that can be turned off and thrown away? these are all issues that we deal with too in the here and now. i'm DVRing the entire season 1 right now. can't wait to get home tonight and watch it!

Posted by: gleek on July 6, 2005 7:38 AM

Hey - thanks for the review. I've got the mini-series in my que. I'll be moving it closer to the top based on your recommendation...thekeez

Posted by: Jeff Keezel on July 6, 2005 10:54 AM

Hey Mr. Baldwin, could I possibly add you to my StumbleUpon friends?

Posted by: Josh on July 6, 2005 3:53 PM

For fans of both BSG and Firefly, about 15 minutes into the BSG miniseries, you can see Serenity cruising by - the same folks (Zoic Studios) did the effects for both shows.

Posted by: Judy on July 6, 2005 6:17 PM

I can't stand the Sci Fi channel. But even I was sucked into BSG for a few minutes as it took me awhile to realize that the main guy in it is the gay friend in Bridget Jones' Diary.

Posted by: tex on July 11, 2005 12:43 PM