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View Full Version : Geez, Battlestar Galactica is really good!


Omi no Kami
03-01-2009, 11:53 PM
Alright, I know the title is kind of stating the obvious, but I've never been able to get into the new BSG series until this morning, when a friend finally persuaded me to try watching the first few episodes. I've subsequently spent most of the afternoon going through the first season, so I'd say it was a good decision. :D

In any event, other than mentioning how surprisingly good the show is, I was hoping to clarify something. Spoilers through season 1, episode 9 follow:

Whats-his-face the maybe-crazy-but-probably-manipulated scientist, having used his pretend cylon detector to frame the newsie who later proves to actually be a cylon, was coached by his hallucinatory cyclon handler to BS the captain into giving him a nuclear missile to build a detector. However, I'm a bit confused: as of season 1, episode 9, do we know whether the thing actually works? I thought it was another piece of nonfunctional hardware that the cyclons talked him into building in order to deplete the Galactica's stock of nukes, but the doctor seems to be behaving as if he believes that the device will actually work...

So as viewers, are we supposed to know whether or not the thing is (theoretically) effective?

lissener
03-01-2009, 11:56 PM
For what it's worth, I tried the show at first and dropped it, because it wasn't that great. I was persuaded to try it again, and I'm glad I did--it gets MUCH better after season one, so you have that to look forward to.

Omi no Kami
03-02-2009, 12:04 AM
For what it's worth, I tried the show at first and dropped it, because it wasn't that great. I was persuaded to try it again, and I'm glad I did--it gets MUCH better after season one, so you have that to look forward to.

Ooh, that's really promising- my big worry was that they would drop the ball in subsequent seasons; the characters are all fun to watch, and Kara Thrace in particular is easily my favorite character on TV recently, but I was worried that in subsequent seasons, the writers would be unable to keep up the suspense and sense of tense paranoia that (at least for me) really characterizes the early episodes, especially 33.

For the record, I failed on my first attempt to watch it because I watched them in the wrong order: I didn't realize that there was a pilot, so I started with 33, and the inability to work out what was going on really irked me. I somehow assumed that it was an artifact of bad writing, and so I gave it up and went back to watching Firefly

Renee
03-02-2009, 01:39 AM
We just started this series too...it is really good, isn't it? And I don't even usually like sci-fi, and hated Firefly. We only got through seasons 1 and 2, but they're both great, IMHO.

Anyway, as to your question, I don't think you're meant to know, at that point, whether the nuke is active. I actually found that part rather implausible--I could see them maybe disassembling the nuke and giving him the material he needs, but not giving him the whole nuke, especially since he's obviously a nut.

nivlac
03-02-2009, 02:23 AM
I was persuaded to watch BSG since this was its last season. So I spent about a week "catching up" from the mini-series to Season 1 to the webisodes and so on. I'm all caught up and can't wait for the series finale in a few weeks. Forget about Kara -- the fun guy to watch is Col. Tigh. Michael Hogan brings that character to life week after week. Oh, try to avoid spoilers that give away future plot development as you get through all the seasons. It's more fun that way!

GoodOmens
03-02-2009, 05:18 AM
BSG and Lost are the only two series that I've ever watched every single episode, without exception. I'm bummed that Battlestar is coming to a close...3 or 4 more episodes and I have no idea how it's all going to finish up.

Omi no Kami
03-02-2009, 06:03 AM
My opinion might change as I keep watching, but right now I mainly like the idea of Kara: they start her out on a simple concept (brilliant-but-troubled pilot who drinks, smokes, fights, and fails to develop interpersonal skills until her species' diaspora forces the point, after which the mechanism that she's used to escape emotional pain starts to amplify it), and cast an actress who absolutely nails the part. She may not be the most interesting character study, but she's extremely funny to watch.

As far as character development goes, I think you're right on the money about Tigh. Adama was fun to learn about in the early episodes, and it's been interesting to watch Laura Roslin go from low-ranking politician to president, and from there slowly spiral into (what I assume is) cancer-induced madness, but Tigh is one of the few characters who still seems to have places to go as the first season comes to a close.

I'm also a big fan of Chief, but I think the character was kind of played out by the time he broke up with Boomer.

Oh, and for the record, my single favorite scene from the first season has to be the section...

In which Chief crawls into the Raider and listens to one of his ducklings reading out Kara's detailed-yet-disgusting instructions on how to operate it

Unauthorized Cinnamon
03-02-2009, 07:53 AM
One of the nice things about BSG is they manage to move the characters to places you'd never imagine, but in a totally believable way, where the audience gets to watch each step of the process. Compare Heroes, where characters make huge swings in personality, values, and behavior, without explanation or segue, simply because It's In The Script.

In other words, don't assume you know where a character is going or what their final story is. Though it is always, always true that Col. Tigh is made of awesome and win, and Michael Hogan even moreso.

Omi no Kami
03-02-2009, 08:00 AM
I believe it, but from where I'm sitting (halfway through season 2, episode 2) I'm kind of ready for Dr. Baltar's story to be over. I'm hoping something unexpected will happen that drastically changes my take on him, but no matter how instrumental (or superfluous) to the Cylon plans he is, so little has been explained about him, the long hallucinatory sequences have quickly gone from interesting to boring and (seemingly) pointless.

davekhps
03-02-2009, 08:56 AM
Welcome to the next few weeks of your life, Omi!

The show has its ups and downs. IMHO, the first season is the best-- it's never quite that glorious again-- but every season has some fantastic episodes. And the character arcs are all a lot of fun to watch (well, most of them-- I won't spoil things for you, but there are a couple of narrative "dead ends" that you won't know about for a while).

My advice: stay away from spoilers OF ALL KINDS. The surprises in BSG are BIG surprises, HUGE surprises. Which means, sadly, that you better watch the episodes quickly, lest someone pop in and ruin your fun.

FYI, Baltar's story changes pretty dramatically over the show's length, so your opinion may change over time.

As for Tigh, he's probably still my favorite character, even now nearing the end of the show's run. Hogan is a fantastic actor, and he gets lots more stuff to do as the show goes on.

Personally, I'm jealous-- you still have the Pegasus arc to look forward to (no more on that ;-).

Now, go away and keep watching, quickly!

Omi no Kami
03-02-2009, 09:05 AM
My advice: stay away from spoilers OF ALL KINDS. The surprises in BSG are BIG surprises, HUGE surprises. Which means, sadly, that you better watch the episodes quickly, lest someone pop in and ruin your fun.

I hear that. I've actually been rather lucky, thus far: the only spoiler I ever read and remembered before I started watching was that Boomer was a cylon, which ended up being revealed within the first three episodes.

Eonwe
03-02-2009, 09:08 AM
Yes! I'm now a few episodes into season 4, having started watching sometime around Christmas. Other than a few episodes in season 2 (or was it 3, I can't remember) that I found a bit tedious, I've been in love with this show every moment.

Some of the greatest and most believable characters ever written for sci-fi television. And as Unauthorized Cinnamon says, the characters basically never do anything just because.

davekhps
03-02-2009, 09:18 AM
I hear that. One thing you'll notice soon is that the later seasons develop a bit of a rhythm-- season-ending cliffhangers and premieres are the best episodes with the most stuff happening in them. A lot of that has to do with the budgets-- after the first two seasons the show sadly never quite got the love from NBC/Universal & the Sci-Fi channel deserved, so you'll see that reflected in the effects budgets for the later seasons, which tend to follow a "big episode, followed by lots of smaller episodes" kind of rhythm.

Also, some of the smaller episodes were written as "standalones", i.e. back when the show got great ratings, the thought was that it'd be around a while, like six or even as long as eight seasons. Thus, the corporate guys pressured the showrunners (Ron Moore and David Eick) to do lots of a one-off episodes that could be used more effectively as syndication bait (syndication is notoriously hard for serialized shows-- syndicators like shows they can just plug into a time slot, in any order).

Alas, some of the worst episodes of BSG are the standalones in Seasons 2 and 3-- they're usually pretty obvious to spot because the events seem so disjointed from the main story, and the characters are usually written in ways that don't seem to mesh with the rest of the story, i.e. they do things that seem out of character.

Anyway, a side benefit of a bad thing (the show's eventual cancellation) was that by the time Season 4 came along, they knew the show wasn't going to continue for much longer, so The Powers That Be allowed Moore & Company the freedom to make the storyline more coherent again.

Omi no Kami
03-02-2009, 11:57 AM
Alas, some of the worst episodes of BSG are the standalones in Seasons 2 and 3-- they're usually pretty obvious to spot because the events seem so disjointed from the main story, and the characters are usually written in ways that don't seem to mesh with the rest of the story, i.e. they do things that seem out of character.

I think that I just hit the first one... Kara got separated from Redneck Mcstuddly and his team of Red Dawn throwbacks, and spent the whole episode escaping from an evil Cylon baby factor. :smack:

Bridget Burke
03-02-2009, 12:26 PM
I'd never seen the show at all until the beginning of Season 4.5. Clicking past it on the Monster Snake Channel, the shots of pretty people in their undershirts looked like Calvin Klein ads. And there were other shots of middle-aged people looking terribly haggard. Really--a remake of Paw Cartwright In Space? I was a full grown adult when the original series ran & never watched an episode. But I succumbed to peer group pressure. The show was ending, there were marathons & the internet is full of retroactive spoilers. So I educated myself & started watching. Damn, it really is good!

Some long-term fans are bitching mightily because the story they wanted is not being told in the way they wish it to be told. Me, I'm a newbie--just hanging on for the ride.

When it's over, I'll buy the first set of DVD's & start from the beginning. (Yes, I know there will be more complete sets. Someday, I'll have Blue-ray.....)

Lightray
03-02-2009, 12:39 PM
I think that I just hit the first one... Kara got separated from Redneck Mcstuddly and his team of Red Dawn throwbacks, and spent the whole episode escaping from an evil Cylon baby factor. :smack:
No, that one actually has implications that continue on.

In addition to the great acting by Michael Hogan, pay attention to Tricia Helfer and Grace Park -- in the miniseries, I rather dismissively regarded them as "underwear models wannabe actresses". So, so very wrong. They're both astonishingly good in their roles.

Also, be warned that just about every character on the show is going to do something horrible that you won't like them for, even though you like the character. Characters are so many shades of gray that it is fracking impossible to decide who is a "good guy" or "bad guy". So, don't.

And, as Ron Moore says in one of his podcasts, Galactica is the kind of show that seems like it can't get any darker. And then it gets darker still. And then... they turn the lights out on you.

DrDeth
03-02-2009, 12:49 PM
I really don't like the show. I suppose it'd be OK if they hadn't taken a cheesy but fun fondly remembered show of my past, then dug the body up and make it do unatural things.

I mean- why Battlestar Galactica? Why not just make up your own show?

Omi no Kami
03-02-2009, 12:49 PM
No, that one actually has implications that continue on.

In addition to the great acting by Michael Hogan, pay attention to Tricia Helfer and Grace Park -- in the miniseries, I rather dismissively regarded them as "underwear models wannabe actresses". So, so very wrong. They're both astonishingly good in their roles.

I completely agree with you there. Tricia Helfer has, thus far, been alternating between Stock Cylon Redshirt and Crazy Psychobabble Voice of the Cylons (via Doc), but they give her a crudload of dialogue, and she sells it extremely well.

I'm actually glad that you mentioned Grace Park, because that's something I hadn't noticed: so far (I'm on season 2, ep 6 right now) I haven't been overly impressed by the character, mainly due to the seemingly simple premise: now she's good, now she's evil, nobody likes her, oh gee the drama.

The actress, on the other hand, does a phenomenal job bringing life to a (thus far) flat role, and she has a bit of that Tom Cruise/Tom Hanks "I'd watch this actor reading the phonebook" flair.

Omi no Kami
03-02-2009, 12:50 PM
I really don't like the show. I suppose it'd be OK if they hadn't taken a cheesy but fun fondly remembered show of my past, then dug the body up and make it do unatural things.

I mean- why Battlestar Galactica? Why not just make up your own show?

Actually, that brings up a good point: if it's possible to answer without spoiling anything, could I ask how faithful the new show is to the original premise?

Lightray
03-02-2009, 12:52 PM
The jury is still out on faithfulness to any premise. And probably will be, up until the very last moment of the final episode.

Unauthorized Cinnamon
03-02-2009, 12:55 PM
Mild, general spoilers re: Baltar: As much as things change, he kind of stays the same. In D&D terms, I'd say he's neutral neutral. Sometimes he does something that winds up being good, sometimes he acquiesces to evil. But it's always because it is most expedient, or it's a response to a momentary emotional impulse. He isn't evil like the Cylons, but sometimes he's the most evil character because he is purely selfish.

Troy McClure SF
03-02-2009, 01:00 PM
Anyway, a side benefit of a bad thing (the show's eventual cancellation)
Cancellation? Pft... SciFi would have been mad to cancel their flagship and most highly-rated show. Moore & Co. are going out on their own terms.

I'll throw in my "Ooh, you get to watch this anew"... I think the last 13 minutes of S3 (the end of Crossroads pt II) are amazing, and to this day I'll still re-watch it.

FYI, Baltar's story changes pretty dramatically over the show's length, so your opinion may change over time.
While this is true, I still hate the little twerp.

Omi, Do you happen to listen to a lot of Hendrix?:D

kenobi 65
03-02-2009, 01:06 PM
Actually, that brings up a good point: if it's possible to answer without spoiling anything, could I ask how faithful the new show is to the original premise?

Not much at all, I'd say. A lot of the basics of the premise, and some of the main characters, are carried over, but the details are very, very different -- even the fundamental premise of who the Cylons are is very different from the original series.

kenobi 65
03-02-2009, 01:07 PM
SciFi would have been mad to cancel their flagship and most highly-rated show.

The same madness that led them to cancel Farscape? Stargate SG-1? Stargate Atlantis? :)

kenobi 65
03-02-2009, 01:08 PM
Omi, Do you happen to listen to a lot of Hendrix?:D

Or Dylan? :D

Merijeek
03-02-2009, 01:13 PM
Not much at all, I'd say. A lot of the basics of the premise, and some of the main characters, are carried over, but the details are very, very different -- even the fundamental premise of who the Cylons are is very different from the original series.

The original series to me could be summed up with the idea, "Humanity just got wiped out and we're all on the run from a genocidal bunch of - let's stop off for some R&R at the casino planet!".

-Joe

davekhps
03-02-2009, 01:16 PM
Actually, that brings up a good point: if it's possible to answer without spoiling anything, could I ask how faithful the new show is to the original premise?

The basic plot (Colonies destroyed by Cylons, humans flee for Earth). Some basic character sketches (Adama, Apollo, Starbuck a little less so-- not just because she's a she). Basic chrome (Galactica, ragtag fleet, Vipers, Raiders, Centurions, Base Stars).

But you pretty much run out of similarities after that first paragraph.

RE: why not just do a new show-- well, they could have done an entirely original show, but the basic structure of the original lends itself well to the themes explored in the new series: man vs. machine, machines discovering their humanity while men discover their inhumanity, desperation on both sides, and engaging character dynamics-- all wrapped up in a cloak of the original show, i.e. something familiar but very, very different.

Personally, I've always compared it to a modernist retelling of Shakespeare: Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello. . . all of these have been retold/reimagined in modern eras, with new modern trappings. The "stories" are the same, but the new trappings convert a timeless tale into something different.

Now, BSG ain't Shakespeare, but that's what Ron Moore and company did-- they took something that was very, VERY different, and used it to tell their own story.

BTW, this is why I've had such little patience for the "Old BSG rules/New BSG sucks" crowd. Even if you ignore the objective differences in quality-- the old show is really, really good when you're 9 years old, but seen now, it's painfully bad-- the new show isn't a remake of the old show. Back when the new show was first announced, a lot of fans hated the fact that Starbuck and Boomer were now women, the Cylons looked human, etc. If these were the only changes, they would have been stupid and unneccessary, because it'd just be cosmetic stuff. Instead, what those intial announcements didn't capture was that *the whole show* is different, in every respect that counts.

Some people don't like it. Oh well, that doesn't mean *I* don't.

Omi no Kami
03-02-2009, 01:22 PM
Or Dylan? :D

I used to listen to Hendrix, never was much of a Dylan fan... I prefer Clapton. :D

Why do ya ask, though?

DrDeth
03-02-2009, 01:24 PM
Not much at all, I'd say. A lot of the basics of the premise, and some of the main characters, are carried over,.

No, just the names of some the main characters.

davekhps
03-02-2009, 01:27 PM
Cancellation? Pft... SciFi would have been mad to cancel their flagship and most highly-rated show. Moore & Co. are going out on their own terms.

Sigh, if only that were true. The show is at least one season, as many as three seasons, shorter than Moore & Co. originally expected/desired. They got the news "you'll only go to the end of Season 4, time to wrap this up" at the end of Season 3.5.

What's funny is that the ratings for the show took a strange curve. Highly rated at first, then it dropped-- so Sci-Fi thought the show was dying off, and started treating it like crap (all the season breaks, for instance). Eventually, they cut it short-- just as the ratings start to pick up again, because BSG benefits so much from the sale of DVD sets (not to mention a bigger marketing push at Season 4.0).

Bet that NBC/Uni wish they had their decision back.

Merijeek
03-02-2009, 01:29 PM
No, just the names of some the main characters.

Funny, I thought Apollo was the son of Adama (the boss) in both shows. And that Boomer was a pilot. And Starbuck was a party-hardy type.

Must have missed that.

If only they'd had Centons and Microns it wouldn't suck nearly so much!

-Joe

davekhps
03-02-2009, 01:32 PM
Oh, and another point: ratings are important, but ratings/cost is more important. BSG was an expensive show, especially in comparison to the crap that Sci-Fi usually shovels: Ghost Hunters, wrestling, and those $1 million monster movies they do ever Saturday night.

Believe it or not, those crap movies (like Mansquito) make a TON of money for Sci-Fi: they're cheap to produce, and they're easy to market overseas, either in DVD or even in theaters.

The quality stuff, the stuff that you and I may love? They're seen as loss leaders at best.

Lightray
03-02-2009, 01:33 PM
Why do ya ask, though?
You've just been spoiled, here, for stuff much later in the series.

Kind of a crappy thing to do to someone, when there's entire other threads for such things, but such is the Internet.

Troy McClure SF
03-02-2009, 01:42 PM
You've just been spoiled, here, for stuff much later in the series.

No, they most certainly have not.

GargoyleWB
03-02-2009, 01:43 PM
Overall, I love it. At times, it is painfully clear that the writers have no grand consistent story arc planned and are making it up as they go (e.g. Lost), but the consistently superb acting and production gets one through the wonkier plot twists.

Acsenray
03-02-2009, 01:50 PM
I used to listen to Hendrix, never was much of a Dylan fan... I prefer Clapton. :D

Why do ya ask, though?

You don't want to know. My suggestion would be to stay out of any Galactica threads, including this one, even though you've started it yourself. Stay unspoiled.

Merijeek
03-02-2009, 02:06 PM
You don't want to know. My suggestion would be to stay out of any Galactica threads, including this one, even though you've started it yourself. Stay unspoiled.

Soylent Tylium is made from people! FROM PEEEEEOPLE!

-Joe

kenobi 65
03-02-2009, 02:15 PM
The quality stuff, the stuff that you and I may love? They're seen as loss leaders at best.

That's why Farscape got canned, for sure. It was SciFi's highest-rated show at that point in time...but expensive to produce (even though they were doing it co-operatively with an Australian network). So, goodbye. :(

davekhps
03-02-2009, 02:29 PM
That's why Farscape got canned, for sure. It was SciFi's highest-rated show at that point in time...but expensive to produce (even though they were doing it co-operatively with an Australian network). So, goodbye. :(

Had a good discussion with the GF this weekend on this same subject-- would BSG have thrived on a broadcast network? There was talk in the beginning of it being first-run on NBC.

The extra money would have helped, but the ratings brutality might have killed it years ago-- a hit on Sci-Fi is a flop on one of the still-sorta-Big Four.

Also, while it's been frustrating for many fans (including-- especially-- me) to have to watch the show get dragged out over multiple half-seasons over many years, from a dramatic standpoint the real time elapsed has done the show some good: not only have the characters aged, but the actors have, too. If you haven't seen it in a long time, fire up the miniseries and look how young some of the actors are-- heck, Jamie Bamber (Lee Adama) looked all of twelve years old ;-).

Do I wish the show had lasted longer? Yes. Am I glad the show is finally wrapping up? Yes. I can reconcile both ;-).

Cervaise
03-02-2009, 03:16 PM
Actually, that brings up a good point: if it's possible to answer without spoiling anything, could I ask how faithful the new show is to the original premise?The original series to me could be summed up with the idea, "Humanity just got wiped out and we're all on the run from a genocidal bunch of - let's stop off for some R&R at the casino planet!".
Same response, but with less snark. :p

I would argue that the new show is much truer to the original show's premise while not being true to the original show itself. In other words, the original show was not true to its own premise.

That premise being, MASSIVE GODSDAMNED HOLOCAUST.

There is no sense in the original show, no emotional undercurrent, that billions and billions of people are dead, and the remaining thousands are teetering on the brink. That's the show's setup, but they do not follow up on it at all. It's basically the Mormon wagontrain to Utah, but minus any sort of awareness that everything between the Mississippi and the Atlantic Coast has been turned into radioactive glass. They're just rolling along on an adventure in the wilderness.

It's a semantic argument (faithfulness to the premise versus the execution) but I think it warrants consideration.

kenobi 65
03-02-2009, 03:20 PM
I would argue that the new show is much truer to the original show's premise while not being true to the original show itself. In other words, the original show was not true to its own premise.

That premise being, MASSIVE GODSDAMNED HOLOCAUST.

That may be so, but bearing in mind that the original (a) aired in 1978-79, and (b) clearly had children as at least part of its intended audience...I don't think you should be terribly surprised by that.

Cervaise
03-02-2009, 03:40 PM
Fair enough, but if you want to rip off Star Wars, you don't make Act One a recap of the Final Solution.

Chronos
03-02-2009, 04:50 PM
Forget about Kara -- the fun guy to watch is Col. Tigh.That's Colonel Superior Asshole, right? I'm sorry, but after Starbuck's line in the pilot where she's in the brig, I can't think of him as anything else.

I'm currently working my way through Season 1, too, via Netflix, but I've only seen two discs worth so far (the pilot and the first four episodes). I did catch the cameo of Serenity (or at least, a Firefly-class ship) in the pilot, and also noticed that
Tigh's wife, with whom he was having so much family angst, was a SixIs there anything else in particular I should have noticed?

Acsenray
03-02-2009, 05:12 PM
Tigh's wife, with whom he was having so much family angst, was a SixIs there anything else in particular I should have noticed?

No, she's not. It's a completely different actress. Number Six is played by Tricia Helfer. Ellen Tigh is played by Kate Vernon

kenobi 65
03-02-2009, 05:14 PM
and also noticed that
Tigh's wife, with whom he was having so much family angst, was a Six

Actually, no, though I can see where you might have made that connection.

Lightray
03-02-2009, 06:16 PM
Tigh's wife, with whom he was having so much family angst, was a SixIs there anything else in particular I should have noticed?
That Kate Vernon is 48, and Tricia Helfer is 35, and that 13 years is not enough age difference to make the same person indistinguishable.
Otherwise, you'll end up rehashing one of the (many) interminable, nonsensical fanwank theories.

Save yourself!

Hellestal
03-02-2009, 06:38 PM
That's Colonel Superior Asshole, right? I'm sorry, but after Starbuck's line in the pilot where she's in the brig, I can't think of him as anything else.

I'm currently working my way through Season 1, too, via Netflix, but I've only seen two discs worth so far (the pilot and the first four episodes). I did catch the cameo of Serenity (or at least, a Firefly-class ship) in the pilot, and also noticed that
Tigh's wife, with whom he was having so much family angst, was a SixIs there anything else in particular I should have noticed?I'd kinda recommend you not looking in any spoiler boxes, but you saw wrong there. That's not a Six.

In that photo you're referring to, Tigh's wife is portrayed by David Eick's real-life wife. I remember that from a podcast commentary, but she's not an actress in the series.

nivlac
03-02-2009, 07:05 PM
That's Colonel Superior Asshole, right? I'm sorry, but after Starbuck's line in the pilot where she's in the brig, I can't think of him as anything else.


Keep watching. Saul Tigh is a critical part of the plot all the way through the series. He's ornery and flawed, but so's every single character in BSG. That's why the show's so good. There's no black or white for any issue or any character. They're all trying to cope with the hands that they were dealt. Everyone will have moments of great angst, pain, uncertainty, and joy. Ron Moore is a master at raising you emotionally only to bring you crashing down to earth again, and vice versa. The other aspect of BSG that has really appealed to me is that there are no transporters, no replicators, no phasers, no tricorders, no automatic doors, and no shields!!!! Imagine a space scifi show without these standard scifi gimmicks! The finale is only 18 frakking days away!

Frostillicus
03-02-2009, 08:35 PM
I am currently early in Season 4 and I absolutely love it so far. The word "frack" has now entered my everyday vocabulary.

Omi no Kami
03-03-2009, 11:36 PM
Man, you guys were right about seasons 2-3... I'm just about to finish season 2, and I've only seen 4-5 episodes that even come close to most of the stuff in season 1. >_<

Chronos
03-03-2009, 11:57 PM
Well darn... They do look a lot alike, to the point that when I first saw the scene with that photograph, I expected it to be Baltar holding it. I guess it's good that I found out now, rather than spending the rest of the series wondering when it was going to become relevant.

Keep watching. Saul Tigh is a critical part of the plot all the way through the series. He's ornery and flawed, but so's every single character in BSG. That's why the show's so good.Oh, I never said that I didn't appreciate the characterization. But as you say, all of the characters have their flaws, and his is that he's really good at being a Superior Asshole. Really, the only character I actually want to reach through the screen and slap is Baltar, and I get the impression that that's exactly how I'm supposed to feel about him.

Cervaise
03-04-2009, 09:22 AM
Re Baltar: Yes, absolutely. He is unquestionably the closest thing this series has to an outright villain (at least, among the humans), but it's a completely different take on villainy than the standard. He's not rubbing his hands together and looking forward to doing evil; he is thinking only of himself and choosing his own desires, and his own safety, above anyone and everyone else. Sometimes he recognizes this, and hates himself for being that way, to the point of brutal self-flagellation — but he doesn't stop doing it. And he never, ever totally sees himself as the villain, which leads us, occasionally, to sympathize weirdly with his position and his choices.

Basically, he's selfish and emotionally weak, but simultaneously gifted with extraordinary intelligence and a powerful will. This is a dangerous, destructive combination, and it's much more representative of what a real-world villain is probably like, compared to the mustache-twirling, easily-recognized-as-evil baddie we normally get in shows like this.

He can be a frustrating character, certainly, because it's not at all what one expects or even wants from a conventional bad guy, but that's precisely in line with the show's narrative and artistic ethos.

kenobi 65
03-04-2009, 09:39 AM
I've joked that, in the final scene of the final episode, we'll have Baltar as the only survivor of the entire cast. He's like a cockroach. Well, maybe a cockroach who gets laid an awful lot. :D

davekhps
03-04-2009, 10:22 AM
Man, you guys were right about seasons 2-3... I'm just about to finish season 2, and I've only seen 4-5 episodes that even come close to most of the stuff in season 1. >_<

I'll be interested in your opinion of the Season 2 finale. It was VERY polarizing among fans at the time-- at first, I absolutely *hated* it.

But then, over time, I got used to it. And then to see how it's all excellently (IMHO) resolved in Season 3 makes it all worthwhile.

The best thing about the way Season 2 ended? It proved to you that Moore & Co. had the balls to do absolutely anything to these characters, and the show. Take nothing for granted.

Omi no Kami
03-04-2009, 10:36 AM
I'll be interested in your opinion of the Season 2 finale. It was VERY polarizing among fans at the time-- at first, I absolutely *hated* it.

I'm pretty neutral about it. It's an interesting twist, and since the first few episodes of season 3 seem to be a big improvement on the worst of 2 I think it was worth doing.

As far as the individual episode goes, though, I have a few big problems with how the season finale played out. One issue was that I felt the election subplot was poorly written: it felt like one of the writers said "Gee, we should have a political story", and they just winged it from there. Considering how important the results of the election would become, I kind of wished they'd made the events leading up to the thing slightly more nuanced.

Speaking of writing, the finale seemed to suffer rather heavily from Heroes syndrome, in which protagonists who we know are quite intelligent do unbelievably stupid, short-sighted things (to wit, settling on the planet) in order to give the story an excuse to move on.

Granted, I think that was the point here, but I didn't feel like the interplay between the new president-elect and the rest of the cast was deep enough: we know that, with the exception of maybe Baltar, everyone with a say in fleet affairs is convinced that settling is a really, really bad idea. Given that, their decision to resolve the whole decision with that thirty second exchange between Baltar and the admiral felt kind of cheap, especially when you consider Adama's past issues with backing civilian authority when they make stupid decisions.

All in all, I'm liking that the second season finale seems to have brought the show in an interesting direction, but I ultimately thought that it did so in an uncharacteristically shallow manner.

Oh, and for the record? Thrace's Crazy Cylon Baby Seduction House = worst subplot ever.

Lightray
03-04-2009, 10:43 AM
Speaking of writing, the finale seemed to suffer rather heavily from Heroes syndrome, in which protagonists who we know are quite intelligent do unbelievably stupid, short-sighted things (to wit, settling on the planet) in order to give the story an excuse to move on.
I think the differences you're seeing are only superficial. Heroes does have its characters make stupid decisions to set up the plot they want, and those decisions tend to be wildly out of character for how the characters have been portrayed. Peter sliding around from unbelievably stupid to only rather dim. Mohinder's season o' eeeevil. Nathan's current hijinks. All way out of character.

BSG, on the other hand, has the characters make stupid decisions that are in-character for them. Gaius and Kara being the posterchildren for this, really. You're not really left wondering why the heck they would've done something, so much as left shaking your head that Gaius couldn't help thinking with his tallywhacker again, or that Kara has gone off the rails and messed up her life once more.

Oh, and for the record? Thrace's Crazy Cylon Baby Seduction House = worst subplot ever.
Oh, don't decide yet.

Omi no Kami
03-04-2009, 12:26 PM
Alright, everything else aside, the rescue scene from the second part of Exodus was pretty damn cool.

Chronos
03-04-2009, 04:35 PM
Well, maybe a cockroach who gets laid an awful lot....By his imaginary friend. I'm somehow not entirely convinced that that's a point in his favor.

carnivorousplant
03-04-2009, 05:52 PM
...By his imaginary friend. I'm somehow not entirely convinced that that's a point in his favor.

He has a Real, Live Harem at the moment. I'm sure there was a Lewinsky following while he was President. :)

Speaking of his imaginary friend, maybe he will awaken from a drug induced haze in the last episode and Adam and Tighe will go home after the decommissioning ceremony and have a beer.

Acsenray
03-04-2009, 06:56 PM
I don't blame anyone for occasional typos, but this one has been cropping up a lot lately. Please, don't take this the wrong way. I'm just going a little crazy right now and I hope my calling this to everyone's attention will clear this one little thing up:

Cottle had to remove the body...is abort the correct term when the fetus is dead?...and Tighe said he saw the body.

I really do not like them turning Adama into Tighe's drinking buddy, it makes me squirm for some reason to see Adama all slurry.

How did I miss that Tighe and 6 had sex?

It's Tigh, no E. Same spelling in both the original and reimagined series.

Just a friendly reminder. :)

Tamerlane
03-04-2009, 07:22 PM
Re Baltar: Yes, absolutely. He is unquestionably the closest thing this series has to an outright villain (at least, among the humans),


Of the regulars, yes. But...

Assuming we dismiss the Black Marketeer Guy as a single episode goof and Rapist Interrogator as a short-lived non-entity, Admiral Cain probably gets top human billing, period. Still a little complex, but far more black and white than Baltar - indeed she provides Baltar with one of his sharpest reliefs as a compassionate man, however selfish.

carnivorousplant
03-04-2009, 07:49 PM
It's Tigh, no E. Same spelling in both the original and reimagined series.

Just a friendly reminder. :)

Thanks, ascenray! :)

Frostillicus
03-04-2009, 10:15 PM
I just finished the midpoint of Season 4. Holy frakking Christ!

Eonwe
03-04-2009, 10:19 PM
I just finished the midpoint of Season 4. Holy frakking Christ!

My roommate and I just got through episode 7 of season 4. Our plan is to actually watch the final episode when it's broadcast.

Merijeek
03-05-2009, 07:31 AM
So, do we know if the final episode (3 hours, right?) is going to be broadcast all at once or what?

-Joe

Cervaise
03-05-2009, 10:49 AM
I believe the plan is to air the first hour as one episode, and the concluding two hours a week later as a single event.

davekhps
03-05-2009, 01:28 PM
Alright, everything else aside, the rescue scene from the second part of Exodus was pretty damn cool. Indeed it was. Atmospheric jumps *rock*.

BTW, another thing you will notice is that the characters have great memories. Especially as they get deep into Season 3 and into Season 4, the characters will refer back to events from the previous seasons.

Actions and events have consequences. Even things you might not think are a big deal at the time become important later on.

TJVM
03-05-2009, 02:48 PM
Alright, everything else aside, the rescue scene from the second part of Exodus was pretty damn cool.
In my opinion, the first four episodes of season 3 are some of the best of the series. Unfortunately, IMHO, the quality drops off after that, until the last few episodes of the season.

Cervaise
03-05-2009, 03:01 PM
I'm right in the middle of season three right now (catching up my girlfriend, who doesn't like SF but who was surprised to really enjoy this series). We are about to do the "Eye of Jupiter" episode, where they find something old and interesting on the algae planet. Season three is definitely uneven, but the two episodes bridging the midpoint are pretty good, in my opinion.

Omi no Kami
03-10-2009, 06:52 PM
Gah, what on earth happened to this show... season 3 started off on a peak, dipped a bit, went up a smidgen around the Eye of Jupiter section...

...and now I'm being forced to sit through two hours of shitty dialogue and vapid, self-indulged moral fappery in the form of this bad Grisham-esque courtroom drama that comes pre-packaged with a blase Scifi Mystery that could've come straight from an early Star Trek: TNG episode. :smack:

I still have 20 minutes to go before the end of the third season finale, and it still might pull up... wait a minute, is Lee still on that monologue? Damn it boy, we get it... we got it like four episodes ago when you hooked up with the Devil's Advocate guy and manifested some mind-bogglingly comprehensive daddy issues out of left field.

Lightray
03-10-2009, 07:13 PM
Yeah, that. Annoying Lawyer Guy basically exists to demonstrate what a Writer's Pet Character looks like.

And this was the point that they had absolutely no idea what to do with Lee anymore (basically, ever since they morphed Helo into their "upright do-gooder guy"). The only character look they left themselves with Lee was Daddy Issues, so...

Omi no Kami
03-10-2009, 07:19 PM
See, this is where I would've taken a page from Joss Whedon and had Lee die a sudden and unexpected death. Hell, if they can get away with doing it to Billy, they should damn well get to do it to Lee.

(I've never liked Lee, if you couldn't tell. He and the football commando are easily my least favorite characters in the entire show.)

...speaking of which, what the hell happened to football guy? I'm at the end of season 3, but the last time I remember seeing him was when he was pissing people off on the Algae planet, where someone had apparently promised to pay him a dollar every time he said the word "guerrilla".

Omi no Kami
03-10-2009, 07:25 PM
Well fuck me, that was unexpected.

Lightray
03-10-2009, 07:30 PM
Get your question about Sam Anders (aka, "Blanders") answered, then?

Omi no Kami
03-10-2009, 07:31 PM
Get your question about Sam Anders (aka, "Blanders") answered, then?

Yep. Out of curiosity, do you happen to know if they were planning that from the start? I so called two of those, but the other two seemed like the writers going "Fuck it, we have one season left, let's just say..."

Lightray
03-10-2009, 07:41 PM
There have been podcasts and interviews which state that one of the Final Five was basically planned since season 1, but that the other four were only selected when the writers got together to plan the final story arc. Which one was planned ahead of time I do not believe has been confirmed yet.

If it is any consolation, here at the very end of season 4, lots of things are making more sense in hindsight -- even though we all knew that the writers were basically making things up as they went along. They've been pretty good at following through on what might otherwise have been throwaway details. Probably.

With this show, we'll never know until the end. If then.

Omi no Kami
03-10-2009, 09:45 PM
Huh, thanks for the clarification!

In retrospect, I'm actually surprised at how disappointed I've been with the hidden Cylons as plot devices: with the exception of the big reveals in the season 1 and 3 finales, every time they reveal a cylon I end up thinking "They wasted one of the 8 on this?"

I think it's mainly an artifact of the show's general high quality: pretty much every other twist is unexpected and very well-constructed, and the cylons tend to come across as rather weak in comparison.

jackdavinci
03-11-2009, 04:04 AM
I didn't much care for the original miniseries (I liked the ideas in it but not the pacing) so I'm glad I stuck it out past that. Definitely got much much better and has done some amazing things.

Don't forget to watch the three webisode series and Razor movie:

The Resistance : takes place between 2x20 and 3x1

Razor : backstory of the Pegasus - takes place before, but is best to watch after 2x12. The DVD came out right before 4x1 so you might want to watch it then instead.

Razor flashbacks : an early mission of young Adama - ties in with Razor and is included on the DVD

The Face of the Enemy : takes place between 4x11 and 4x12

I really don't like the show. I suppose it'd be OK if they hadn't taken a cheesy but fun fondly remembered show of my past, then dug the body up and make it do unatural things. I mean- why Battlestar Galactica? Why not just make up your own show?

Having watched the original when it was on, I felt like they didn't end it properly, so I'm glad that there is a new series that will have a more definitive ending. That said, in most other respects it's basically an entirely new concept with a similar premise and some superficial carry overs.

Omi no Kami
03-11-2009, 06:40 AM
...seriously? That's the twelfth cyclon? What a letdown. :smack:

jackdavinci
03-11-2009, 03:16 PM
...seriously? That's the twelfth cyclon? What a letdown. :smack:

I was really disappointed in that too, until the follow up :D

anu-la1979
03-11-2009, 03:24 PM
The best part is that it's re-watchable. The only other series I've ever said that about are Seinfeld and Arrested Development. I'm rarely able re-watch dramas (compared to laughing at Bluth antics repeatedly) but BSG is the exception.

It's been hard to face the end of such quality entertainment but I recently (as in 2 days ago) gave Lost a third try and this time it stuck...so I have five years worth of DVDs to entertain me for a while. I've also Netflixed Jericho, Jeremiah, Mad Men and all of the Tennant Dr. Who so that should keep me busy through the mourning period for BSG.

On a separate note, Gaeta and I were at the same undergrad school at exactly the same time-alas, I did not notice him back then-though I'm sure I walked by him in the halls at RVC at some point.

Cervaise
03-11-2009, 03:50 PM
The best part is that it's re-watchable. The only other series I've ever said that about are Seinfeld and Arrested Development. I'm rarely able re-watch dramas (compared to laughing at Bluth antics repeatedly) but BSG is the exception.As I've mentioned a couple of times, I'm rewatching the series with my girlfriend, who has become addicted and is catching up as fast as she can. She has asked a couple of times: Are you sure you don't mind watching these again? Me: Nope.

They really do get better as you rewatch. A handful of the flaws do take on greater significance (and the few truly bad episodes look even worse), but in general most of the problems fade into the background, bringing the positive qualities into high relief. Choices that seem questionable the first time around can be seen in context on a rewatch, because you know where they're going with them.

I mean, I think I've watched the miniseries ten or twelve times... :eek:

Merijeek
03-11-2009, 04:13 PM
I mean, I think I've watched the miniseries ten or twelve times... :eek:

That's cuz the miniseries was fantastic. I really have a hard time fathoming the people who say, "I tried the miniseries and I just didn't like it."

I just can't understand that. Guess some people just aren't cool enough for school.

-Joe

anu-la1979
03-11-2009, 04:28 PM
I mean, I think I've watched the miniseries ten or twelve times... :eek:

Me too. If I have to choose between going out to a crappy movie or watching the BSG Miniseries one more time...I inevitably choose the miniseries.

I think I've received a fair rate of return on my BSG DVD purchases.

Omi no Kami
03-12-2009, 03:23 PM
Out of curiosity, could I hear some of people's least favorite episodes from seasons 2-3? I agree that the seasons as a whole could be pretty stinky, but the only truly horrible episode that stood out to me was the season 3 finale.

Lightray
03-12-2009, 03:44 PM
"The Woman King" was the absolute worst.

1. We don't learn anything new about Helo, on whom that episode is centered.
2. The plot is telegraphed from the beginning, so much so that only having a main character do something surprising could have saved it -- but see #1.
3. Nothing that occurred in that episode was ever relevant again.*
4. Really, really bad writing.
5. Also, not so great acting, either.


* one of the saving graces of "Black Market" is that it becomes relevant because of a minor plot point later on.

Omi no Kami
03-12-2009, 04:03 PM
"The Woman King" was the absolute worst.

1. We don't learn anything new about Helo, on whom that episode is centered.
2. The plot is telegraphed from the beginning, so much so that only having a main character do something surprising could have saved it -- but see #1.
3. Nothing that occurred in that episode was ever relevant again.*
4. Really, really bad writing.
5. Also, not so great acting, either.


* one of the saving graces of "Black Market" is that it becomes relevant because of a minor plot point later on.

Good god, I'd forgotten about that episode... it worked out better when I saw it, because I mistook Helo for Lee and thought he was being punished for pissing Adama off, so I interpreted the whole thing as "Lee learns humility" which, while equally pointless, had the bonus of going towards character development.

And then I learned it wasn't. :D

Lightray
03-12-2009, 04:12 PM
Although mixing up Tahmoh with Jamie is a bit perplexing, mixing up the characters of Helo and Apollo is completely understandable -- they ended up writing both characters into the same archetype, "the Stand Up Guy".

It is a bit annoying, since it seems like there was only room enough for one of those in the series, so half the time we got Apollo, the rest of the time we got Helo.

Meanwhile, there's enough Starbuck for about ten characters to have shared in.

gallows fodder
03-12-2009, 04:48 PM
B-b-b-but "The Woman King" included Helo punching Tigh in the face! I mean, I love me some Saul Tigh, but sometimes I feel he needs to get punched in the face...and he did! And then he laughed! So awesome, that guy.

"Black Market," on the other hand, did not include one single solitary redemptive detail. Pfah.

Omi no Kami
03-12-2009, 05:30 PM
I think the problem is that I don't tend to remember characters until I get a good reason to- I knew Kara Thrace, Tigh, and Adama from episode 1, Roslin, Baltar, and Boomer from episode 2, and so forth... but neither Helo nor Lee ever did a single thing that made me remember them, so they both got filed as "generic muscle in a uniform".

Omi no Kami
03-12-2009, 07:36 PM
..aaaand I'm up through 4x18. Damn... if tv.com is right we only have three episodes left, and I can't imagine how they'll satisfactorily wrap everything up in two hours.

Lightray
03-12-2009, 08:15 PM
"Black Market," on the other hand, did not include one single solitary redemptive detail. Pfah.
To the contrary, it becomes relevant in "A Disquiet Follows My Soul", when
Zarek gives up the location of the Hitei Kan because he thinks that Adama knows that he took over running the black market. Which occurred at... the end of "Black Market".

In fact, Lee's entire experience with the black market might have been set-up by Zarek so that he could get control of the black market.
Mind you, "Black Market" is still rather pants, as an episode. But at least they salvaged some relevance out of it. "The Woman King" didn't even have that.

edit: After 4.18 there are three episodes left, but the final episode is a three-hour episode. Part 1 airs tomorrow night; Parts 2 & 3 air next Friday.

That wait may well kill off BSG fandom from the stress, though.

carnivorousplant
03-12-2009, 08:27 PM
That wait may well kill off BSG fandom from the stress, though.

We'll be dropping like flies.
:)

davekhps
03-12-2009, 08:34 PM
..aaaand I'm up through 4x18. Damn... if tv.com is right we only have three episodes left, and I can't imagine how they'll satisfactorily wrap everything up in two hours.

Three hours-- tomorrow night is one hour, the second part next week is two hours.

Congratulations for sawing through the episodes, Omi no Kami!


BTW, please don't bash Romo Lampkin too much-- the actor is a family friend, he does his best ;-).

Omi no Kami
03-12-2009, 09:02 PM
BTW, please don't bash Romo Lampkin too much-- the actor is a family friend, he does his best ;-).

Oh, I have no problem with the actor- I think he does a good job with what he has. I just think that the character is pointless, and very poorly written to boot. As the show has been written, there is not, and has never been, a need for the Galactica to have an evil kleptomaniacal lawyer running around. Every episode that features him seems to inevitably spiral into an overly preachy bad West Wing knockoff.

But he does it well; if they gave the same actor a more interesting character, I think he'd be fun to watch. ^^

carnivorousplant
03-12-2009, 09:18 PM
But he does it well; if they gave the same actor a more interesting character, I think he'd be fun to watch. ^^

Well, there's Firefly, Medium, and Burn Notice. :)

II Gyan II
03-13-2009, 06:53 AM
Well, BSG is entertaining, but this is taking it too far:

A 'Battlestar Galactica' panel discussion at the United Nations (http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2009/03/battlestar-galactica-united-nations.html)

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