When did Battlestar Galactica go wrong?
July 4, 2011
At least, it was really bad near the end. I never finished the series, thanks to being terrifically annoyed by almost everything that happened in season 4.1 – not to mention being annoyed by splitting seasons into multiple DVD sets. So: I don’t know how the series ended. I didn’t care when the “final four” was revealed, and I still don’t know who the final Cylon was. Nobody tell me.
But one night, while browsing Netflix, I started watching the original Battlestar Galactica. It was really bad.
Don’t get me wrong: I loved it when I was a kid, and Dirk Benedict is still totally rad. But the special effects always looked like leftovers from Star Wars – and were often recycled episode after episode – and the story was generic and bland.
After half an hour of that, it occurred to me that I should re-watch the remake, since it was so good at the beginning. And then, I thought, I should figure out exactly how that great beginning turned so bad.
So here we are: I’m re-watching Battlestar Galactica (the ongoing, not the miniseries; we already know the mini is awesome), and blogging about every episode. Some of them I’ll bunch together for thematic reasons, or simply because some episodes are so boring I can’t string together more than two or three sentences about them. I’m going to start with the ongoing series, because we all know the miniseries was great.
Let’s get a few of my prejudices out of the way, so you can decide whether you care about my opinions right off the bat:
- The War on Terror themes were great. The mystical Cylon prophecies were lame.
- I really like Katee Sackhoff.
- The show never had great actors, but most of them were well cast. There’s Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, and then everyone else.
- One exception: Tamoh Penikett is incredibly dull. He has the emotional intensity of a damp piece of plywood, which is unfortunate for a guy who has to handle a lot of the emotional content of the show.
- Jamie Bamber is also super boring. Likable, but dull.
- Baltar is awesome. Seriously, James Callis created a loathesome yet still sympathetic character.
- The best Cylon reveals were the ones you never see coming, and the ones that were built up – hello, Final Four – were disappointing. Boomer, D’anna, and Cavill were fantastic, because you never suspect them; Cavill even joked about being a Cylon, which meant he obviously wasn’t one, but then PSYCHE! He was. It ruled.